Tom's Vanity Press
The online home of some random schmo.
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We shall meet again
August 18, 2012 at 10:57:32
Categories: life One way or another.
Add a comment Estrangement etc.
June 27, 2012 at 16:44:02
Categories: life I'm not going to name you, but you know who you are! I have a hunch you're reading this now, since you check my blog every day, since you can't stop thinking about me, despite your best efforts to get me out of your life and forget about me. Got your attention, didn't it!? I haven't stopped thinking about you either, I'll be honest, but other thoughts, demands and commitments have taken over to the point where you have been reduced to nothing more than a fleeting daily memory. Nevertheless, if you wanted me to forget about you and stop thinking about you entirely, then you have failed. Miserably. I will NEVER forget you. And I thank you. If I hadn't told you what I told you, I might not have been able to break down the mental barrier within that has prevented me from living to my full potential. Basically, if I can strike up the courage and be bold and brave enough to tell you what I told you, then I can do ANYTHING. Telling you has enabled me, motivated me, to go out there to do and be my best, and not be afraid to try something, just because I might not succeed. Such fear is pointless and counter-productive. So thank you. Thank you very much. You have helped me on my path to find my own happiness. My question to you is: are YOU happy? Didn't you come to me originally because you were unhappy? Are you happy now? Is he happy now? Are you both happy now? I can only hope.
Add a comment My campaign. My plea.
May 8, 2012 at 23:01:06
Categories: meta Give me an opportunity. Give me a direction. Give me a chance. I will deliver. I will not disappoint. I am worth it. Last updated: May 8, 2012 at 23:02:41
Add a comment The Closest I Have Been To God
March 21, 2012 at 02:06:22
Categories: philosophy life religion A true story. I'm not sure when exactly the core tenets of the religion I was brought up to believe in started to make less and less sense to me. I guess it happened gradually during my teenage years, several years after my Confirmation. I started to question and doubt. I still do to this day. But there is one moment in my life that I can recall quite vividly. Call it a "defining moment" in my spiritual journey, if you will. An experience that I will never forget. 1997. Adolescent of thirteen. Went to church every Sunday, since that's what I was supposed to do. Went to a Catholic school, learned about my faith, of which I am a card-carrying member -- I have the "card" to prove it, somewhere -- during class time, amongst all the other regular subjects. It was normal. It was natural. It was familiar. As far as I was concerned, there is one God, He incarnated Himself as a flesh-and-blood man called Jesus, He walked amongst us, preached His Word, then died for us and rose again from death to show that, if we believe in Him, we shall not perish but have life everlasting in Heaven. As sure as 1 + 1 = 2. One afternoon after school, my mother said she was going to visit this "faith healer" that had come to address our local church, later that evening. Apparently, this man had "Jesus inside of him". She asked if I wanted to come along. I said yes. And so, my mum, her sister -- my aunt -- and I went. The church was rather full, far more than usual on a Tuesday night. But this was no ordinary occasion. Indeed, the congregation was behaving rather animatedly. As we were walking in, there was a singalong, with hands raised in the air, swaying side-to-side. Quite atypical for a Catholic church, I must admit. It felt more like a Pentecostal or an Evangelical gathering. Or something similar. Definitely not the church I was used to going to, although this was my church, after all, as the nuns from the nearby convent were present. I was feeling uneasy. I felt reluctant to join in. Then the "evangelist" addressed the crowd. He was quite a charismatic individual, this American man. There was something about him that had everyone -- myself included -- entranced and under his spell. He asked us to raise our hands and wave them about, to "praise the Lord". Everyone did -- myself included. I felt at ease for some reason. Maybe it was because everyone else was doing it, I didn't feel silly. I don't know. Then he came down from the sanctuary and walked towards an elderly parishoner. He waved his hands around a bit, placed them on her shoulders, shouted "LOOSEN UP!", and at once, she fell to the floor, quickly and suddenly. A nun attended to her. I was shocked by this, to say the least. Perhaps this man is what he claims to be, I thought. He continued walking around, moving from pew to pew. Then he stopped, roughly near the pew where we were sitting. He proclaimed, "I am sensing someone who is feeling great pain. Could you stand up, please? Rise from where you are sitting, so that, through God's grace you may find relief!" At once, my aunt stood up. He approached her, laid his hands on her, recited a blessing. Then, she began sobbing, "It's gone! The pain in my back is gone!" Apparently, her back was hurting for a few days, or weeks, can't remember. Nevertheless, I was in complete awe of this man's amazing abilities. Clearly, this man was channeling Jesus! After taking his tour round the church, laying his hands, causing more people to miraculously drop like flies, the "evangelist" returned to the sanctuary. Now, the rest of us mere mortals would get to experience a "true holy communion" that far exceeded the consumption of transubstantiated wafers and wine. The congregation formed orderly lines. Eventually, it was my turn. "What is your name, son?" he asked. I mumbled something incoherent. I was in far too much awe to speak coherently. Then he waved his hands about, reciting his blessing. It might have been in Hebrew, Aramaic, or something he made up on the spot, who knows. Then he laid his hands on me and, once again, commanded "LOOSEN UP!" I didn't drop to the floor as dramatically as the old lady. But I started to feel weak in the knees...and I felt compelled to lie down on the floor. Everyone else was doing the same. There were tears in my eyes. I was speechless. I just lied there for a few minutes. Then a nun helped me up off the floor and guided me back to my pew. I remained speechless for the rest of the proceedings and on the drive back home. To me, it was a miraculous intercession with God Himself. He touched me, deep inside. This was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, proof of God's existence! This was The Closest I Have Been To God. I would tell my mother this, after we came home (and after she convinced me to break my silence). The following day, I went to school. I had prayed to God that He would cure me of my crippling shyness and imbue me with the confidence to approach people in the playground. Yet, I had found, that I was much the same person that I was the day before, with the same lack of social graces that prevented me from making friends. I was disappointed, to say the least. When I came back home, I went to my room and burst into tears. I was inconsolable for at least an hour, maybe more. I thought, maybe if I went again tonight, I would be cured. But I didn't end up going that night, and eventually I got over it and continued on with my life as usual. It wasn't until several years later that I came to realise that this so-called "faith healer" was nothing more than a fraud and a charlatan, or -- at best -- a well-intentioned, yet misguided man who genuinely believed in his healing abilities, yet had no "supernatural powers" to speak of. He certainly was not "channeling" "Jesus" or anything like that. I believe that this man had practiced a form of hypnosis upon us that evening. Coupled with his natural charisma and our combined faith in Jesus as well as "mob mentality" and "groupthink", we were all very suggestible and would believe anything this man told us. It was entirely possible that that elderly woman was working in collaboration with the man. I mean, the way she fell to the floor seemed very dramatic...almost a bit too dramatic! As if we REALLY needed to be convinced of his abilities! No-one else that evening fell the way she did. Note also how I said he stood roughly near the pew we were sitting and how, in a vague way, without pointing towards my aunt, he "sensed her pain". Basically, he was doing a "cold reading" (just like John Edward and his fellow "mediums"). My aunt, however, was complicit and obediently stood up for him. And I will bet my bottom dollar that my aunt's pain relief was temporary, and that her pain came back not long after -- that he hadn't, in fact, cured her of ANYTHING! (he didn't "cure" me of my "shyness", did he?) Clearly, her pain was partly physical and partly psychological. Also -- and this really bothers me -- what the HELL was an "evangelist" of his ilk doing in a CATHOLIC CHURCH!? I didn't think the Catholic Church had anything to do with his kind. I don't know how the parish priest even allowed him to set foot on church grounds, to be honest. Worst of all, this man toyed with my emotions and my beliefs. He manipulated me. My hopes and expectations were raised and shattered. Perhaps he gave me a valuable gift, however, although not the one he intended. Perhaps this experience was a formative one that set me on the path to becoming more inquisitive, to stop blindly accepting things and to think for myself, to find my own meaning to life rather than accepting someone else's, to find my own happiness. Tom
Comments (3) | Add a comment Danger 5: Review
February 29, 2012 at 17:18:48
Categories: comedy review rants fb So I watched the first episode of the new Australian comedy series "Danger 5" on SBS ONE last Monday. The trailer looked awesome. I had to give it a go. It was disappointing, to say the least. Great concept, some good ideas on-screen, poorly executed. On paper they had a great concept. World War II, Nazi Germany...but in the 1960s. In each episode, a team of five crimefighting heroes (each with special powers, I'm not sure...I think two of them had telepathy) set out to stop Hitler's latest diabolical scheme, and hopefully end the war. The first episode involved Joseph Goebbels stealing all of the world's major monuments (Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, Sphinx, etc.) to build a Hitler statue as a birthday present for the Fuehrer. This is farcical comedy gold. How could you go wrong? From what I can see, it's supposed to be a parody/homage of 1960s adventure series, particularly British ITC productions such as "The Champions", "The Persuaders" and "Danger Man", with a bit of Supermarionation thrown in (the show's sets no doubt inspired in part by this), as well as Nazi exploitation films of the time. I just felt as if the writers didn't fully do the research and watched enough of these shows/movies to completely understand their memes and tropes, and hence do justice to the source material in their own work. It just didn't "ring true" to me. If they did do the research, they would've realised that the musical soundtrack formed an integral part of those series, and hence composed a proper, really kickarse opening theme, done in the style of the abovementioned shows, as well as a series of incidental/ambient themes and leitmotifs. The sparse soundtrack of the show left a lot to be desired. They really would have enhanced the show tremendously. Also, it's important not to confuse intentional bad acting with actual bad acting. Clearly, this is what they were trying to do. I felt as if they were "phoning it in" (as the Americans say) a lot of the time....as if to conceal the fact that the central protagonists -- the titular "Danger 5" -- aren't all that well-defined. I didn't really feel for any of them. I wasn't even *sure* who, exactly, *were* the Danger 5, from time to time! I should care, but I didn't. They were just...there. They were perfunctory. Apparently if you hop onto the creators' YouTube channel, you can learn a bit more about each character's respective back stories...but no! The series itself should a self-contained entity. I shouldn't have to go online to learn more about the characters. Don't try to paper over the cracks of your sloppy writing in-series by insisting I watch supplementary videos. I wasn't even aware of said videos until after I watched the first episode, and I'd imagine most viewers would be in the same boat. There was no Internet in the 1960s, after all. The sets themselves were quite imaginative (very "Thunderbirds", strings and all), and there were some mildly funny/surreal moments e.g. dying characters would give out the recipe for a cocktail before expiring. And it's great that they're making more non-fiction programmes in Adelaide (other than children's shows). Still "Danger 5" has left a bitter taste of disappointment in my mouth. Perhaps with bit more judicious editing, it would have been a better show. Not sure if I'll watch next week, where the Danger 5 fight Nazi dinosaurs. Sounds so freaking awesome, doesn't it? I just *know* they're going to stuff it up, though. SBS have produced plenty of great comedy series in the past ten years, from the sublime, spot-on, razor-sharp satire of "Life Support", to the crass, yet fun "Pizza" to John Safran's informative documentaries and "Speaking in Tongues" (with Father Bob Maguire). "Danger 5", sadly, is not one of them. Tom Last updated: February 29, 2012 at 21:14:29
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Tomislav "Tom" Bozic
a "recovering hikikomori"
and "Croatian mirepoix"
was born on
14th Iyyar 5744, or
27th Floréal CXCII
and spends most of his time within the
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
metropolitan area. (the rest shall be revealed in due course...)
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