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Sean Tierney
Actor , Screenwriter , Musician , Comedian , Author
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Voluntary Boredom and Socializing with Poultry

My life is not very exciting.

I am not saying my life is boring, just that, well, it's not always a thrill-a-minute joyride.

And thank God for that.

Because my idea of exciting is probably not healthy.

No, it's definitelynot healthy.

I used to say that fun started at felonies. To me, 'fun' must contain an element of... illicitness.

Fun is what you're not supposed to do. Or survivedoing.

There are a lot of things I have done in my life that I am not proud of. But the memory of them makes me smile, or laugh. Even so, I wouldn't recommend doing them. The older I get, I realize how lucky I was.

I chalk it up to a part of my personality that I find problematic (though I don't really want to change it). I recently found a way to articulate this:

Ever been trapped in a social setting with a person telling a joke you've heard, or don't want to hear?

And they're telling it badly?

In your head, you're screaming in agony waiting for this to be over with, consumed by the awful futility of having to wait out a bad joke.

Sorry to say, but that's how I often view my own life. Like a bad joke I am stuck in. And knowing the punch line will suck. Just wishing it would hurry up.

I don't think my life sucks. It's just kinda... tedioussometimes.

That's why it's so much fun for me to play jokes on life, as I call it. It's really remarkable (and terrifying) what you can get away with, either with others or yourself.

I never felt like I misbehaved much in my younger years, but that's because the people I was around were, to be honest, a bunch of f@#$ing deviants.

So it was easy to feel like I was a neophyte. But that doesn't mean I was an angel. And it doesn't mean that people with no direct experiences of such things understand the distinction.

Saying that you never did very much cocaine is still admitting to something that most people haven't ever done, and I forget that sometimes. Especially since I know someone who can put his pinky all the way into his own nose because there's no cartilage left in it.

I also found out that when I was a teenager in the late 70's and early 80s, drug use among young people in America was at its all-time high (pun intended). So my perspective was skewed. It seemed normal to me. In a broader context, it wasn't. How was I supposed to know?

Good Lord, when did this turn into Confessions of a Dope Fiend?

The one nice thing I can retrospectively say about drugs is that they give you a nice kind of safety catch. Let me explain.

Ever had a situation in your life that was so weird, if you saw it in a movie you'd think "That never happens in real life. This writer's an idiot"?

At least when I was high as a giraffe ass, I could chalk it up to some minor hallucination or something.

But now, perpetually sober, it becomes harder to deal with things like Singaporean cab drivers telling you Jews are evil and want to take over the world, or forgetting your PIN while standing at the ATM, or still, at 42, having to stop for a minute to remember which is right and which is left.

Hmm. Maybe the dope got me after all...

Where was I?

Ah yes, my problematic view of excitement.

All my life, I have been prone to doing the wrong thing. And doing so becauseit's the wrong thing. It's been fun. It's kept me entertained. I'd like to think I never really hurt anyone. But I confess to making it possible for people to hurt themselves. Kind of...

For example: Spending an evening in Singapore with a pretty 19 year old Singaporean woman. We ate dinner and went on the Singapore Flyer.

And that's all.

Well, I mean, we laughed a lot, too.

Still, it was an entirely innocent evening, and I enjoyed myself immensely, even if it was not 'exciting' in any salacious way.

But if the glares I got from all the gwei por are any indication, what happened in their imagination wasprobably a lot more exciting.  Because apparently to them, I was involved in some kind of repugnant (they looked like they were sucking lemons) tryst with lots of ugly post-colonial and otherwise vile overtones. So long as their vituperations were aimed at me, so what? It would be unfair of them to impugn my friend. But if they got upset, that's fine. I love to see people get wound up for all the wrong (or false) reasons.

Especially some shrewish, miserable person who doesn't have the common courtesy to mind her own f@#$ing business and realize that her opinion matters as much to me as mine does to hers. I hope that righteous lather felt good. From here, it just looked sweaty and gross.

It tickles me to appearto be doing something wrong yet not be doingso.

It doesn't tickle me as much as actually doing something wrong, but I think you see my point. Short of further debauching myself, I will settle for the appearance of doing so.

I've known a lot of 'those' kinds of people in my life; junkies, convicts, hookers, prisoners, bikers, etc. It just fascinates me that so many people look at me like I went on some kind of death-defying safari by 'exposing' myself to these people.

Some of them are my relatives, after all...

They're just people, and they have their flaws as well as their virtues, like all of us. I admit, I am socially much happier around these types than the people who, as I used to say, actually live the lives portrayed in the J. Crew catalog.

I've eaten dinner with politicians, and I've eaten dinner with prostitutes.

Guess who was the more honest and funny of the two groups?

And guess who knew that there wasn't much difference between them?

Maybe I'm wrong for being so entertained by doing things that offend some people's sense of propriety. But maybe I think their sense of propriety is f@#$ed.

Besides, it's no one's business what I do in my free time, providing I don't break the law or garner undue attention. Gone are the days I would rally mty friends with "Let's get drunk and get on the news..."

What I do on my own time is certainly not the business of people who never made any effort to spend time with me, either.  Left to my own devices, I will do what I want, not what youwant. Don't leave me to entertain myself and then have the gall to judge me.

I guess I like offending people who offend me. Especially if I think there's some hypocrisy afoot.

I realized lately that most everyone in Hong Kong roundly decries prostitution. Yet it flourishes here. If people loathe it so much, why tolerate it?

I know why. They do it so they have someone to look down on. It's a sad fact of life here that people try to make themselves look good by making others look bad. The funny thing is, such behavīor is revoltingly new-money, low-class idiocy.

To a lot of people not from Hong Kong, it only proves what a bunch of classless,shameless social climbers so many people here really are. A domestic worker I know said that the worst people to work for are the formerly poor. They don't know how to act rich properly, so all their worst self-esteem reflexes get taken out on people  they think are worse off than them or that they think they can sh*t on.

Without prostitutes, these hypocrites wouldn't have anyone to step on to make themselves feel morally superior. Which they are too ignorant to see is an inherently immoral and pedantic thing to do in the first place. Ignorance and arrogance; two poor tastes that taste like sh*t.

I find that attitude more repugnant than f@#$ing strangers for $400 a throw. At least those women are honest.

And trustme, a good portion of their clientèle are these same hypocrites.

I know because I have interviewed lots of sex workers. Hong Kong doesn't make movies about rich people. They make movies about the other end of the spectrum. Consequently, that's where I go to learn about the situations I see in movies, and those are the people I meet.

Don't ask me how I know these people. I'll just say I have interesting friends. But I assume you've figured that out by now...

Watching Whispers and Moans sitting next to a well-qualified fact-checker was useful to me in a lot of ways. After all, she could tell me how accurate the film's portrayal of life in the horizontal refreshment industry was. Extremely accurate, it turns out; she immediately phoned all her colleagues telling them to see it.

It also made me laugh on the inside, in a cruel-sounding voice, to be sitting in a theatre doing such a usual thing with such an un-usual person. It made me feel like I got to put one over on life. So I really enjoyed doing something that would make a lot of people uncomfortable if they only knew. These are, after all, the same people I watched get visibly upset by the lesbian love scene in Spider Lilies. And that was a man. Imagine how they'd feel knowing that they sat next to... a chicken!

Hey f@#$face, it's 4:00 on a Tuesday. Why aren't youat work???

I enjoyed the chance to indulge in what can fairly be termed social charity since, let's face it, it's not like I had anyone else to go to the movies with. I felt good about giving someone whose life was pretty unusual a mostly normal afternoon.

I say mostly because, she told me later, she had seen two former clients; one in the theatre and one on the place we went for tea afterwards.

As uncomfortable as that might make you feel, imagine how shefelt.

Besides, those two @ssholes would probably be the first to condemn her.

F@#$ 'em.

Metaphorically speaking, of course.

I've seen research that shows HK people think prostitutes are immoral to a much greater degree than they think the men who visit them are. How sad is that?

What kind of f@#$ed up, hypocritical, narrow-minded, self-serving horsesh*t is that?

Then again, I suppose the respondents being married to some of those men will impact the results.

But hey, people are free to think as they choose.

And I'm free to point out that they're hypocritical f@#$sticks.

So to finally get back to the titular essence of this entry (!), whenever I feel bored, I realize that it is both voluntary and healthy. This city offers up a dazzling array of diversions, all of which are a minibus ride away.

Literally at my doorstep, there is a minibus that goes to Mongkok all night. There's nogood reason to go to Mongkok at 2:00AM. So I don't do it.

Or let me say, I choose not to do it. One, I think it's not a good thing for me. Two, I knowit's not a good thing for me.

So when I sit at home watching a DVD, I'm choosing to do something, and I'm choosing to notdo something too.

But I'm not choosing to stay at home because it's the right thing to do.

I'm staying at home because I know that's where I have to come back to anyway. No matter how long a lost weekend in Macau lasts, it will end.

I can't escape me. So rather than spend time and money trying, I find it simpler to just stay at home and live with it.

That's what I have to do anyway.

over 13 years ago 0 likes  1 comments  0 shares


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Hong Kong
Member Since
April 1, 2008