The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels. A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have. Partly it has great practical value — you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble‐sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand‐to‐hand‐combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindbogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you — daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough. More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: nonhitchhiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, washcloth, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet-weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker might have accidentally “lost.”. What the strag will think is that any man that can hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, ruff it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with. ~ Douglas Adams

those of you following me on twitter have probably had to put up with some pretty colourful and admittedly lengthy rants about, well, art. art and why we absolutely need it in our lives, and how sad, how truly and deeply sad it is that people don’t have art in their lives. oh, but the tragedy really is, that there are even more people who don’t want art in their lives.

i can accept and i might even put myself many times, in the category of people who don’t understand art. i really don’t think understanding art is really the point. appreciation really does not require understanding. we can look at something and think it is beautiful without even understanding or even knowing why and i think that is perfectly fine. sometimes that is precisely even the point. to love without pin pointing exactly why. great. i mean really, great. that is art. it triggers something in you. it speaks to something deeper in us, and i like knowing that that recess of me has been touched, has been accessed. it makes me feel like there is more than all of this, that i am capable of this surface world, and that really is a great feeling.

so my problem is really not with people who don’t get art. like i said, i am frequently one of those people. my problem is for people who don’t want art, and more than that, goes further to deny art onto the lives of others. i mean, macam ni la, just because you tak faham and because you tak faham, you refuse to think there is something more to appreciate about it, biarlah other people who are able to appreciate art have their art. instead, you say that you don’t understand and you say that it is useless and does not benefit anyone just because it does nothing to you.

i give it that different people are inspired by different things. i am sure there are things that you consider to be inspirational and beautiful. i don’t judge you for it. i don’t go around saying that that is stupid just because it does not work for me. so when i say that i like my art and that it makes me happy, just let it be. i am different and that is something i have never denied. in fact, i have happily come to terms with being different. if you want to put on my specs, you people are the freaks to me. i am normal. this is normal and you are the different ones. oh, and don’t come and give me that there are more of you than me. we all know that that is only true in your little narrow world.

but hey, you can call me a freak. really, that is okay. because you see, in your world, a freak is a bad thing. a freak is a negative word. in my world, a freak is not a bad word. and again, it is not a bad word in the world either. really, or else all those people freaking out and getting freaky in the 60s and the 70s would not have had all that fun.

or whatever else you want to call me. it is okay. or whatever else you want to think of me. and my colours. and my toys. and the language i use which i guarantee you is not bad language. it is english. it is the english that normal english speaking people speak. not that really toddler excuse for a pidgin that you use, but hey, if it works for you and if it makes you happy, they to each their own. i am not going to say that you are a freak just because you can’t creole.

it make me think that people like this, more than anything else, really could use a dose of art therapy in their lives. let art tap that bit in them that makes the imagination soar into the stars. art. magic. dreams. fairytales. all those wonderful things that makes us smile to ourselves. i feel sorry for people who can’t smile at themselves. people who don’t wish on shooting stars. and birthday candles. and rainbows. and chuck norris.

but that is just me.


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