Dear Lana,

I woke in a fever dream around 4:45 AM today with a thought that I had. Why aren’t there any old Disney princesses? It seems that the license to be beautiful is tied directly with youth, that somehow aging is directly tied to the loss of beauty. I would be very curious to discover what Disney princesses are like when they get old, but that would go against the culture industry that Disney creates because it would allow people to be satisfied with themselves at the end of the day, which is not allowed.

The thing is old age isn’t beautiful. I don’t think that’s a gendered thing at all. Everyone gets pretty ugly when they get old. Disease is pretty awful. It’s weird to think about — when Siddhartha Gautama went outside of his palace and had his Four Sights, three of them were age-related: old age, sickness, death. Old age is pretty straightforward. People get sicker when they get older. People die because they get sick when they get older. I luckily have not had any major sicknesses in my life. The worse pain I’ve experienced is either the time I twisted my back when lifting concrete blocks (confining me to bed for two weeks) or when I ate too much brownies that one time in high school (bad, bad stomachache). For the most part, I could get away with these things because I’m still young and my body is pretty much invincible unless I get hit by a car. But, age is bad. It makes me subject to more sickness, which makes me subject to more pain, and I don’t want pain. Pain, bad.

If structuralism is the acknowledgement of the relational aspect of being and society, then wouldn’t memes represent the nihilistic manifestation of culture?

I was thinking back to that scene in The Crown when Churchill stared aghast to the portrait commissioned portrait of him by Parliament. He responded that the picture was an abomination and a betrayal, and the painter screamed back something along the lines of, aging isn’t pretty! It reminds me of that lyric from “Gods and Monsters” – life imitates art. Churchill got old and recognized that he wasn’t beautiful anymore. He realized that his body took an L from being alive for however long he was alive for. He saw ugliness because he was ugly. He was sick, which meant he was suffering from a lot of pain, and I refuse to accept a world in which pain is beautiful. Although I get making pain beautiful as a coping mechanism, I consider pain to be the opposite of beauty.

While we would like to be convinced that our life resembles our reality in some way, more often than not we are living quite separated from our reality. It reminds me a bit of postmodern critiques to Enlightenment thinking, specifically how it is not necessarily accurate to characterize the world into perceivable and unperceivable reality.

On another note, in Itaewon Class, I always thought that Saeroyi should have ended with Soo Ah. Does that say something about me? I don’t think there was ever a point in the series where I liked Yi Seo, mostly because she seems way to full of herself and able to get away with whatever she wanted, which is the entire source of Saeroyi’s feud against Jangga. Yi Seo is literally not a nice person, and her “love” is more of an obsession than anything. There’s a sort of sentimentality between Saeroyi and Soo Ah that always struck me as more genuine than whatever Saeroyi and Yi Seo had going for them. Everything that happened in the series started out between them. Although, I suppose actions do speak louder than words at the end of the day, which gives a better moral message when Saeroyi ended up with Yi Seo.

I’ve been listening to a lot of k-pop lately. Unfortunately, since I can’t speak Korean, this means that I have no ability to sing along to these songs. Lame.

We were born into an unfair world. Some people get what they don’t deserve — both good and bad. Most people, I would stay, still function and contribute to the world in a meaningful manner in which they work for what they achieve, regardless of all the hardships. However, the fact still remains that not everyone gets what they work for and not everyone works for what they achieve. The world isn’t this meritocratic utopia — it has flaws — and true meritocracy is impossible to create. When faced with this challenge, while we can still work hard to achieve, what does that say about our achievement when people who don’t work hard still achieve and people who work hard don’t achieve?