My Life as a Machine: The Word “Perfect”

“Perfect”. I hate that word. Any time I hear that word used in a serious context, my entire being becomes focused on the word. Even reading it in the Bible–“get closer to perfect”–is laughable. There’s not such thing as “perfect” in this world.  Why would the Bible say that? Of all places, the Bible should know not to suggest something impossible.

I hate “perfect”. It means that there is an ultimate comparison out there, and that means there’s another place for people and machines to worry about, to hang themselves out for death towards, to brag to others about. There’s nothing great about being “perfect” or striving for “perfect”.  There’s only getting better, improving oneself. It’s something that animals aren’t gifted with besides getting food, building shelter, or self defense. And people have such a hard time just bettering themselves, let alone, becoming “perfect”.

Since I don’t believe in that whimsical word “perfect”, I don’t believe in perfectly straight lines. I’m happy just scraping a pencil in something resembling a line versus using a level to draw a tiny straight pencil line. I hate grids. I hate it all. It’s because of this reason that I have a deflection from mathematics. It’s just too straightforward and cold, and I hate that too.

I suppose that’s why I hate “perfection” as well. There’s nothing fun  or interesting. If you’re perfect, you know everything, you can do anything, and you don’t need anyone. You just are flawless.

Editor

I’ve been wondering lately about my being an editor for Anime3000.com. I began to doubt my writing ability. I noticed how the rhetoric world I buried every review into held the same formula. As Fernando said, it didn’t “pop”. I get it. I come across as stiff in reviews and almost robotic in anime that I dislike. But it wasn’t like I just said, “Hey, that’s just how I write, so deal with it.”

I took a week off to figure out why writing life was spiraling into this invisible abyss in my brain. Ironically, the answer came to me after a few conversations with friends. I wasn’t allowing my personality–my warmth, my approachable nature, my goofy nature–to translate from reality to words. I couldn’t express myself in a manner that connected. I needed to find that punch that was me, or so, the me that wanted to find my niche in the writing world.

‘I can be a writer!’ I thought, and my confidence returned with a conviction I never felt before. But then, another thought occurred to me. As much as I liked being an editor, I didn’t know that much about anime or manga. Sure, I knew a good amount for a person who liked anime and manga, but liking something and loving it and knowing a lot about it were very different things. My knowledge lacked. I felt the tug of embarassment at knowing practically nothing next to people who lived anime and manga for years. I mean, I watched Dragon Ball GT in Japanese and read the translated post-Dragon Ball GT manga in English before I hit ninth grade. But that doesn’t make me editor material.

The biggest problem I have to deal with in regards to being an editor for anime and manga is the fact that I don’t have time nor patience to investigate different publications. I wish I had that deep yearning to dig deeper. Unfortunately, I don’t. I just don’t feel it. Maybe with manga, but there’s still this limiting cap.

But I love being an editor. I love what I do. I love getting new articles from the staff and editing them and seeing the article posted on the site for fans. I’m extra critical about my own articles.

Still, do I deserve being an editor? I know my personality and I know what makes me ticks (thank goodness). That doesn’t make me an editor. It makes me a person. I might have to have a heart-to-heart with a few more people before I decide if I’ll be returning as an editor or just a staff writer.

My Life as a Machine: Slowness

I knew nothing of the Slow movement. I simply knew little whispers hear and there–“Hey, did you know multi-tasking makes you less efficient?”–but I didn’t think anything of it. Then, when my friend handed me Carl Honore’s book, In Praise of Slowness, I dove into the movement with adamant.

Who knew being Slow was great? I mean, as a machine, being Slow sucks, but everyone expects you to be Slow, so no worries. As a person, being Slow means not conforming. Ironically, both people and machines alike have the innate nature to try to be fast and efficient. For people, it’s being part of society and adapting to everyone else. For machines, it’s formatting your life for people because people make the world go round (or so we’re all taught).

But I started taking it seriously. Being Slow isn’t nothing to be ashamed about. Actually, being Slow can make a person or machine more effective, more creative, and less stressed. I started practicing it in Slow, deliberate ways. Instead of speeding to class, I drove leisurely at the speed limit. Whenever I had the urge to wolf down my food without any reason to be in a hurry, I told myself, “Yo, it’s just food. It’s not going to run away.” I would automatically slow down, relax, and allow my brain to register a sated stomach. I’ve felt myself become calmer in most facets of my life, and I feel like my life is a little more peaceful.

It does takes some coaxing, but it’s worth it in the end. Now, if people could learn that the Fast culture is the hair-pulling culture–and that we machines exist because we’re meant to exist, not to serve them–the world could be a beautiful place.