Deconstructing The Unique Whilst Chomping Down Char Kuey Teow
Do you know that treatises written in the 17th and 18th centuries often have long and pompous-sounding titles like the title of my blog entry? So I was just trying to be funny and cheem with this entry because I thought of this while (really) eating char kuey teow in a hawker centre recently. As I was eating, I happened to look at all the stalls and noticed that every other stall has one of those certificates from the many food shows on TV, saying how delicious the food of that stall is. So I set about to wonder: if nearly every stall has a certificate and is unique in having yummy food, then is that stall really unique? Or has it become ‘normal’ since its neighbours have a certificate too? This sort of reminds me of a graphic novel I was just reading. It’s ‘Earth X’ by Marvel and its 12 issues depict a world where strange mutations have occurred such that all humans now have a superpower. So that prompts the question: if everyone has a superpower, then is the power ‘super’ anymore? And what of the ‘original’ Marvel superheroes? What is their place in a world where they are no longer unique?
But besides the compelling storyline and the beautiful artwork of ‘Earth X’, what held me attention was also the quotes scattered across the 12 issues that illuminate the plot and characters at a precise moment. Here are some of them:
“The sun’s rim dips; the stars rush out: At one stride comes the dark.” – John Milton, Samson Agonistes
“There are an infinity of angles at which one falls, only one at which one stands.” – G. K. Chesterton
“Die before you die. There is no chance after.” – C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces
“If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then to me.” – Shakespeare, Macbeth