Saturday, February 28, 2004

Advertising and the End of the World.

Gripe about advertising up and coming.
Firstly: The Lexus RX300 ad that they publish regularly in the vehicles section of the classifieds every Saturday. Now correct me if I'm wrong but Lexus is a classy brand right? Every Saturday however, there's a tagline that appears in the ad, "The Original RX300. After all, there is no such thing as a "2.4-Litre RX300/330". When it first came out I thought it was amusing at best...I mean it's a dig at all the Singaporeans who basically buy a Toyota Harrier and stick on the Lexus badge with the RX300 lettering. Then I realised that this was their marketing campaign. OK...There's not much good that I can attribute to a brand name that's SO insecure that they think that they need to restate the fact that their branded car is better than a cheap knockoff. I think that the RX300 is a nice vehicle. I think that the fact that it is a Lexus means that it's quite a prestigious vehicle (although I just see it as an overpriced Toyota...). I think that the car ought to be able to speak for itself. I don't think an ad campaign telling people that, aside from the 2.4 Litre engine, there's no perceivable difference between their $300,000 SUV and a $150,000 Toyota works to their advantage and the consistent stupidity that we can see Saturday after Saturday is testament to a level of incompetence on the part of their advertisers.
Speaking of incompetence...
I was watching The West Wing and there are ads in there that really don't belong. And I mean REALLY.
Now, anyone who's got about a half a brain will be able to tell you that ads have to get to the people who will buy your product especially in a day and age where advertisements are falling into the realm of the ignored. People have stopped watching ads. Now, you can sell beer during Baywatch. Why? Demographics. People who watch Baywatch drink beer. In fact, they probably drink beer while they're watching Baywatch. You can sell cars on F1 hour and you can sell basketball shoes during an NBA match.
What you cannot sell is breasts during The West Wing. You also probably won't sell much hair tonic and sleazy chatlines. You will definitely NOT be able to convince fans of the show (You'd have to be a fan to record or watch the's shown at the 12:30am...) that they should visit a trichologist in the unfortunately-named hair treatment facility called GLOWER. (Which means: To look or stare angrily or sullenly.) Do these advertisers even know who watches The West Wing? Do your research, people.
To the television station marketing department: It would be good if you actually watched shows so that you have some idea of who your target audience is. To the advertisers, thanks for helping to keep TWW on the air...but you really need to rethink your strategy.
These are but some of the gems that shine forth. I think I should try to find some more. :)

An Inspector Calls

An office full of workers stood and watched in horror as Harith Gary Lee stormed in and dragged his girlfriend out by her hair.
That made the front page of the Home section of today's papers. I am frankly appalled by the incident and it's got less to do with the fact that the poor girl got dragged out of her office by her hair, punched in the face and subsequently thrown off a building and more to do with the fact that the office full of workers did nothing to stop him. It's just way too much to imagine just standing by and watching as some guy reeking of alcohol strides into the staffroom, grabs a colleague by the hair and drags her out...Isn't the first instinct of anyone to actually stop the guy and ask what he's doing? Is there any way in the world to rationalise his actions as justifiable and butt out of what could be a really dangerous situation for the poor girl? Geez.
Have we lost that much of our humanity that the instinct to help someone in obvious need has been eradicated from our minds? Was there no one who just took a step back to assess the situation and say, "Hey, that's not right!"?
I think that this is a social ill that has developed in our nation. We've become a people who just say, "not my problem" so much that we've become numb to other peoples pain. Or maybe it was about saving face. "Yeah, the girl and her boyfriend probably have some issues to work out and we shouldn't butt in."
Get a clue. Someone inebriated and dragging his girlfriend out by the hair probably does not want to have a decent conversation over coffee...and now someone's dead. Priestley said that we're killing people nowadays indirectly by our apathy. We live in a world that's becoming more and more internal and we shut people out and now someone's dead.
I think that this tragedy was a wake up call for our nation.
It's time to start caring again.

Friday, February 27, 2004


Singapore. Little island in the sea.
Red Dot.
Home of the ungracious.
I occasionally find little gems that I like about my country in the strangest places. Strange actually because these things pop up unexpectedly all over the place and this is what made my day today.
In the forum section of the newspaper, there is a small subsection named bouquets. Basically a small space dedicated for people to write in to commend a good deed...which sounds kinda cheesy but I guess it helps to know that we're not all that bad.
Today's set of bouquets was the first that I chose to read and while it didn't really warm my heart in a big way, it was nice to know that there's hope for us yet.
That and listening to my recently resurfaced Corrinne May CD.
Now, this would be CD two of two local acts that I keep prized in my collection. (The first being The Lizard's Convention, a CD that took ages to hunt down) Corrinne's got quite a voice and the first track on the CD really blew me away. Subtle yet powerful, it's a track titled "Fly Away".

Well, on other news, my course ended today and I'm dreading the week of hell that's coming up. 2 lesson obs and an interview with da Man. Other than that, I've also got a camp next weekend, meaning that I'm going to be one cranky guy next week.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Very Bad Things

Just watched the abovementioned movie that I had intended to watch for the longest time but never actually got around to seeing it. It was on my watch list since I saw the title in a video store in Melly...I mean, dark comedy, Christian Slater...Heathers anyone?
I finally got around to watching it, a little hesitantly actually considering my low blood and gore threshold, and I quite enjoyed it. Well, it's not one of the videos that I really will keep around in my collection but it's not that bad. It actually took me back to the bachelor party that never really was...and I'm glad that the furthest mine went was multiple trips to worship at the porcelain altar...Where, with hasty yet sincere orisons, I promised never to drink that much again.
I enjoyed this the same way I enjoyed Heathers. It was fun, irreverent and threw moral standards out the window but I kept thinking that Slater was just playing a grown up JD. Funny really...JD, an estate agent.
Anyway, it's getting late and I'm still on course tomorrow. Still need to get one more lit lesson plan done for perusal by mine mentor.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Sex, Lies and Politics.

Sex and the City is now officially over. As an anti-fan, I gladly take up the shovel and start digging its grave but as a television student, my hat's off to a cultural phenom. May you rest in peace.
Speaking of endings, the Whedonverse received a huge slap in the face when the WB decided to dump the surviving cousin of the Buffyverse, Angel. Now, as a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I think that it's horrible. When Buffy ended its run with it's seventh (and IMHO, redeeming) season, I do we go from here? I wasn't that great a fan of Angel due to the fact that it's second season had the suckiest season closer EVER...(Charmed notwithstanding) and the fact that Conner was a huge mistake. I mean, teenage angst really had no place in Angel.
But then I decided to give Angel 5 a chance and started reading the transcripts on Buffyworld and I was sucked in. I can't really say whether it was Buffy withdrawal or that the show really did improve from season 2 but I liked it. And now it's going to go away.
As a fan of Buffy, I was hoping that the Buffyverse would survive at least in this incarnation and continue the story of the characters that I had grown to love, but it seems that it's not going to happen. (The characters from the scooby gang were supposed to make appearances in Angel...*igh...)
The WB has released a press release giving the old farewell to the series. Interestingly enough, the release states that Buffy and Angel were the "cornerstones of [their] network". Take away a cornerstone and I assure you that the building will collapse.
Another interesting read in this debacle is the article posted about the bad blood between Whedon and the WB. Yeesh. Talk about incompetence on the part of the WB. What can I say...Bureaucrats. Case in point, Charmed is getting a 7th season on the WB.

Speaking of which, I've been on the NPCC OC modular course and we had a briefing from the branch in charge of Co-Curricular Activities on the importance of encouraging students to take CCAs. Interestingly enough, they want all students to have a well rounded education and wish their students to take their interests in their respective CCAs with them for the rest of their lives, which I think is a pretty nice ideal to have. They are doing this by forcing all students to take a CCA and rewarding those who excel in these CCAs with bonus points towards their entrance into higher educational institutions. Hmmm.
On another note, there's a school that, when staff morale was found to be low, enforced fun upon its staff by having compulsory outings to boost morale. They watched movies, went out for dinners and had staff cohesion activities during extended staff contact times, which dragged to 6pm every alternate week.
Ah...the Singaporean way. It's the autistic country that can rationalise and replicate the motions of happiness but cannot connect with its emotion.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Forces of Nature

She's back she's back she's back!
Nothing much else to say now so I'll just promise that we will return to regularly scheduled programming as soon as I get over the feeling.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Or, how I wish I could...
Today was Fun-o-Rama day. Once every two years, the greatest funfair in Singapore hits town off Dover road. Religiously, I have attended this day every opportunity that I have and today, I continued said tradition, albeit only for about a half hour.
I got back to school at about 1:30pm today from some parade training where the parade commander spent the whole morning yelling at the students. Upon reaching school, I dumped my stuff and headed over to the funfair armed with $10 worth of tickets that were graciously (read: unceremoniously) donated (read: dumped on me) by a colleague who happened to be from a rival school named after some dude who happened to land somewhere on a speck.
Anyway, I met up with some of the first batch of students that I taught (professionally...or maybe not) and wow...They've all left school. (Well...most of them anyway) A sense of pride grew in my chest due to the fact that, despite my better efforts, they should graduate hopefully passing GP and moving on to better things...and then I remembered why I'm in teaching.
It takes small things to make us happy I guess...and I think that I came away from this fair feeling a whole lot better about my lot in life. I guess it's nice to know that I made an impact somewhere...I hope I can still do it now.
The day culminated with dinner and DVDs with my closest friends.
I think that today should go down on my blog as one of the most peaceful and satisfying days this year so far, despite being in school from 7-5...Yay me!

Friday, February 20, 2004

Female Perversions.

I was having a discussion with a friend the other day over my stat rape post re: the bit that said that people all over the world were using each other for sex. I've been thinking about the whole issue for a couple of days so basically since I have a soapbox, I might as well climb onto it...
Her side was that we were getting to the age where women tend to have more choice in terms of sex, that is, that women don't need to wait for men to make the first move in order to have casual sex...that the modern liberal woman has the choice of indulging in casual sex with no strings attached the same way men do. She said that it wasn't about being used or using someone else if there was mutual consent about what was going on.
My argument was that the fact was that the liberated women were using men (or other women) the same way they would use a v*be or d*ldo, and that men were using women the same way they were using Mrs. Palm and her five daughters. A whole lot of using in all senses of the word. Of course, odds are that neither party would be hurt or even vaguely remember who the other party was...but I don't think that was the point of my point.

In the spirit of all conservatives, I blame TV.

That said, I am a student of the idiot box and I think that I ought to quantify the above statement. As a pre-emptive strike to protect myself from all the Sex and the City groupies out there, I don't really have any problems with the whole phenomena called SatC. (Well actually I do...the feminist in me has a huge problem with the show...Candace Bushnell should be burned at the stake...)
See, I don't really have anything against most television shows per se, but watching SatC once was enough to enrage the little feminist in me. That's the darndest thing...I didn't know I was feminist till I watched the show. See, what SatC and all the shows like it have done is create a pseudo-feminist arena in which the unknowing viewers watching it automatically equate with feminism. The main draw on the show, at least for the first season, was the fact that they were the first show in history that the word c*nt was broadcast on television (public or otherwise). It was fine...I watched it, didn't think too much about it and dismissed it as a show that I couldn't possibly get into.
Then all the femi-babble began.
Yes, this show puts women on the same level as men as they cuss as automatically as men do...and they're not punished for it. This shows the world that the ladies can do what men do and get away with it. They can sleep around and hold a career and shop till they drop and they don't need the affirmation of men to create the foundation of their identities.

Only, they do.

The four ladies in SatC basically spend their time sitting around and bitching about men, men and men. Their lack of, their hatred of, their use of. For a “feminist text” all it does is portray characters who cannot seem to break away from the male. It’s Ally Mcbeal with all the swear words. While Ally Mcbeal had no delusions of itself as a feminist text (in fact it was largely a self termed anti-feminist text) SatC, or the reviewers who watch the show (in Singapore surprisingly despite the fact that the show’s banned), seem to think that SatC is one.
It’s neo feminism. It’s ladies acting like men. It’s about women who have decided that their identities as women are not enough to survive in a male dominated society. It’s throwing up the white flag of surrender and saying, “if you can’t beat them, join them.” But that’s not what feminism was about.
See feminism was never ever about the rejection of the (fe)male, but the patriarchal system. It was about the rejection of the roles and “responsibilities” imposed upon women by a male dominated society. It was all about breaking down those barriers and allowing the women to compete on equal footing with their male counterparts. It was about getting women the right to vote. For them to leave the kitchens and head out to work and to get paid the same wages as men for the work they did. It was never about women degrading themselves by lowering themselves into the muck like the men they so hated.
Bushnell’s idea of feminism is the creation of a space in which the female constantly degrades themselves in a pathetic attempt to raise themselves (or, more often than not, lowering themselves) to the level of men. The cussing, the casual sex, the irritating discourse that they indulge in, it’s all in an attempt to “play” the male.
See, the main problem is that they haven’t gotten it down pat. Men have been playing the male for a way longer time and I’m pretty sure we’ve got it perfected to an art. The sleeping around, the dumb one night stands, the empty life. As a species, the male has created that space for itself which is analogous to having an exclusive club in which, we burp, fart and cuss like the proverbial sailor. And here’s another insight, most of us don’t even belong. It’s an illusion.
Yes, there has to be the something to perpetuate the stereotype and I agree that there are men like that all over the world. There are those that sleep around and basically those that also play around with people, using them…And SatC has fallen straight into the set trap. What other show creates a breed of followers who so willingly walk into the arms of these men?
It’s like this animal called the Judas Goat/Sheep, the animal that’s used in an abattoir that’s used to calm the other animals. It walks into the great big machine and it walks out, allaying all the fears of other animals. Only thing, they tend to walk in and not walk out like ol’ Judas.
I’m not knocking the perpetuation of the myth. There are people who think that the usage of people for sex is fine. If that’s what they believe, I think that that’s their call. But there’s a fine line when it comes down to what you believe and what you think you believe. It’s indicative, really, when magazines are talking about more about more women doing “the guy thing”.
In the height of it’s popularity, Ally Mcbeal created a feminine rhetoric which saw a whole boatload of women looking for “Mr. Right” and now the torch has been passed. I think it would be interesting to draw up a graph that charts the evolution of the female thought with the shows that people watch.
I think that a good reading of SatC should be one of disempowerment / empowerment.* Basically, the premise of that reading is that the victimized takes on the persona of the person that they are accused of being. (ie a slut becomes the slut. A bitch becomes the bitch.) Read: Meredith Brook’s Bitch or more poignantly, Annabel Chong’s Sex . That’s all Candace Bushnell’s doing. She’s created a space in which the disempowered attempt to take back power for themselves by dropping themselves into the muck that disempowered them to begin with…but that’s not true empowerment. Life doesn’t work that way.
There is no power in Sex and the City. There is the illusion of it and the fact that the women in the show are throwing themselves into the last truly male arena may be lauded as an achievement but I think that it’s a battle that cannot be won. It’s like Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby. Maybe the struggle’s the point of the whole show but struggling against their proverbial tar babies do nothing for the women that the show supposedly represents.

OK…this was a long long post that I think started out from a short rant but blew up into a 1400 word essay. If I have ruffled any feathers, I pray that you may forgive. This is a blog and this has been a thought that’s been in my head for the longest time.

*For the Cliff Notes version of Disempowerment / Empowerment, ref. Chasing Amy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004


Yay! My first title that comes from a film that's made in Singapore!
My head hurts. I spent a full 13 hours in school yesterday and by the time we got out of school, it was dark. And I really mean dark...I got out of the GE resource room and I could barely make out anyone directly in front of me. Anyway, it feels like I got whacked inna head with a sledgehammer.
I had a dream that S and I had a baby. It was a girl, the sweetest, smallest thing that I held in my arms for just a second. Then I realised that my parents did not know that S was even pregnant and apparently we'd managed to keep them out of the loop for the whole time all the way till the birth of said child. Well, of course I couldn't tell them over the phone...Can you imagine?

"Hi mom...yes we're doing fine. Yup, don't worry, I've been taking care of myself. O, by the way, we just had a baby. Yes...It's a surprise to me too."

Gah...So I ran out of the hospital (after leaving the baby with S) and hopped into a car to go tell my parents. Then I woke up.
Weird dream.
*sudden snap back to reality*
I look forward to heading back home and sleeping.

*PS. Whoops. Forgot that my driver in the dream was the esteemed anonymousnoises. Somehow or another, he'd gotten his driving license.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Thick as Thieves

I was sitting in a staff meeting yesterday and The Man was talking about fundraising. I suddenly had a thought and remembered a verse from the bible.

"[12] Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. [13] "It is written," he said to them, " 'My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it a 'den of robbers.'" Matthew 21:12-13

I referenced this and it brought me to Jeremiah 7.

"[11] Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the LORD."

I'm going to avoid the new building...I think I should haul tail out of the school ASAP.

Sunday, February 15, 2004


My life has revolved and it has revolved back to the days of singlehood...I'm at home alone and I've just had lunch (Junk food) My parents have called and are asking that I go home for dinner because they think that I don't have plans for tonight. I don't, of course.
Sad really. S has said often that she thinks I would be happier as a single guy and I never got to thinking about that till today. Well, actually, it dawned on me today that this is my life if I were living by myself sans spouse, a little sad and directionless. Albeit a whole lot less messy than I used to be... (Trained like a chimp, I did the laundry yesterday and actually separated the whites from the colours! )
I hung out with my friends and have been keeping late nights watching TV and the usual things I did as a single person...Except that without S in the house, it seems a whole lot more empty than I remember it being, and a whole lot more pointless.
I don't think I'm good being single anymore. Weird thought actually because I keep deluding myself that it's all normal and deep down inside, I'm still 16 years old and marriage is a huge date thing. I'm trying to keep some normalcy in my life these 2 weeks but I'm beginning to see that it doesn't work that way anymore. S has become my anchor in the world. She has become so much a part of my life that I can't really see how it all fits together without her anymore.
I don't miss her in the usual sense I doesn't ache the way that I thought it's just that life has less meaning now and there's no compass on my ship anymore.
Which is just strange so I'll just chalk it up as my brain going funny in her absence.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

The Andy Warhol Story.

I was just reading Calvin and Hobbes and there was a strip in there that completely encompassed my degree in a nutshell.

Calvin: "A Painting. Moving. Spiritually Enriching. Sublime. ...High Art
The Comic Strip. Vapid. Juvenile. Commercial Hack Work. ...Low Art
A Painting of a Comic Strip Panel. Sophisticated. Irony. Philosophically Challenging. ....High Art "

Hobbes: "Suppose I draw a cartoon of a painting of a comic strip?"

Calvin: "Sophomoric. Intellectually Sterile. ...Low Art "

Wow. In four panels, he managed to explain something in my Pop Culture courses that no lecturer has managed to make clear in the hour they were given. I think that if they had used the comic strip, they could've been over and done with the lecture WAY sooner than they managed.
I miss that kind of discourse though. I recall having a ton of fun taking pop culture apart in class. Of course some academics managed to make all those courses REALLY boring. I wanted to take a course called Rock something and switched courses after the introductory lecture. It was interesting but the lecturer just killed it.
Geez, I really miss learning. I wish I could remember those courses a little better. Sadly I majored in Television so I think I missed a whole lot in terms of learning about other forms of pop art...Of course, now I'm a Literature teacher who can't really teach Lit the way the schools want their students to learn it.
This really sunk in to me when I took a look at the books on the reject pile from my bosses. Talk about major downers. HAlf of those books were stuff that I think would've made it into my uni reading list and there they were, rejected. Too controversial, lacking in Literary merit.
Literary Merit.
It's beginning to get more and more clear to me that I will eventually get fired.

The Late Show.

Show's latecomers faced 1-hour wait.
That's the headline from the article in today's newspaper, local section. Ha! I say...and Ha! again. I was at once highly amused and downright pissed off reading about some of the reactions from the people who got locked out of the show. That and I felt bad for the ushers who had to keep them out of said show.
(Anyone who hasn't seen the hideous monstrosity "Turpis Singaporus" (Or the common Ugly Singaporean) need only check out the abovementioned story.)
Late for a show and demanding to be let in...We had a play set up by our Drama Club that stated that it was common courtesy to show up early (at best) or on time (at worst) for a show. I think that it's the same whether you're watching a movie or a live act, be punctual. I think the problem with the average US is that they tend to think that the world revolves around them, a dubious delusion that comes from the whole "me first" mentality that a lot of us tend to manifest. It's our culture to be that self-centered.
I was amazed and then shocked and humbled when I realised that in all the countries that I have travelled to, ours was the only one with a need for a courtesy campaign. Singapore needed a campaign to teach them to be better people. Let's take a step back a while and let that sink in.
We need our government to tell us not to be assholes.
I applaud the management of the Esplanade (despite my initial misgivings about a theater that looks like the unofficial national fruit of Singapore) for making a stand against this tide of US', you are a classy venue and you should stay that way in order to better serve your punctual audience. I also applaud those who waited quietly and took their punishments like the Singaporeans that we hope we will become.
For the rest of them...the ones who yelled and Bill the Cat would put it:


Friday, February 13, 2004

Out Cold.

I'm sick and tired.
Quite literally actually. It's 4 pm on a Friday...Friday the 13th in fact, and I'm down with a cold. Now this is quite odd as I usually never get just a cold. It's almost always a cold plus. (ie. A cold plus a fever, a cold plus a sore throat, a cold plus get the picture) I'm quite out of it though...It feels like my head's full of cotton and my eyes are all runny...and I'm just beat. I've been trying to do stuff, work stuff but I've been unmotivated and frankly, just BLEAGH. (Which is what I sound like after the nose blowing.
Other than that, I'm exhausted. Despite sleeping for about 9 hours, I'm still tired...I think my body's trying to tell me something...
I know...haven't touched my blog in 2 full days and I did make a resolution to post more often now that I'm free at home, but I've been caught up trying to catch sleep...It has eluded me and when I sleep, I have funny dreams that surprisingly enough, makes tons of sense.
I dreamt last night that we were back in Melbourne. It was weird really because I don't usually have those dreams. It's S's job to do that. Me? I usually have dreams that involve a nurse chasing me through the corridor trying to push a huge needle the size of a pipe through my arm. And I run REALLY slow, like someone's hit the slo-mo function on the VCR. You know, when every step takes about 10 minutes?
Yeap. Those're the kinds of dreams that I have.
But this Melbourne one was quite different. We were back in Melbourne with *shock* my parents looking for a place to live. S was going for her PHD and I was looking for a house...which was strange because we'd just landed that afternoon so obviously we were stuck without a house...I was also wondering which car we were going to buy to get around in. I was even wondering if we had enough for a second car. Weird.
Could be anxiety, could be that I need to get out of the house...I dunno.
I just finished watching The In-Laws and Empire of the Sun. My brain's frying gently over a small fire...Sizzling away...I hate being sick.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Home Alone

Well, she's leaving tonight. It's going to be two weeks. Wow...this would be the first time I'd be at home alone. Specifically our own home. I never really thought about that much but here it is.
I keep having Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi (Covered by Amy Grant) playing in my head...I wonder if it means anything.
Anyway, I'm waiting for her to take her shower before we leave for dinner and then it's off to the airport.
Two weeks.
Anyway, I've got my little backup plan all set up. Got 4 DVDs to get through, got my D&D game this Friday (I think) and JL's coming over for some PS2 action on Saturday. What else do I have planned? I intend to complete KOTOR as soon as I possibly can (it's just getting interesting) and try to Blog a little bit more than usual I guess...
Odds are I'll just end up vegging in front of the TV, bathing in it's warm, nourishing glow.
I recall that when she left me for 10 days in Melly, I spent the whole tenday starting and completing Throne of Amn. Scared the crap out of my friends because I became sort of like the proverbial old hermit that lives in the little apartment on the second floor. Then I had Spike for company and now, there's no one in the house but me.
Well, my parents have graciously extended the invitation for me to have all my dinners at home as well as offering me my old room back for two weeks. I think that actually might be weirder than staying at my place by myself. They took all my stuff out, including my ol' Beauty and the Beast poster that had hung on the wall for the past 10 years. That came down in a hurry.
I'm going to miss my wife...I'm not ashamed to say it. I think it's going to be a hard 2 weeks.

Takraar (Argument)

This will be the last blog dedicated to our pet troll. Quite good actually, you call and it comes running.
So far, in a span of a few days, the troll has managed to:
1) Diss my wife, adding to her trauma of leaving for Stuttgart tonight.
2) State that she is an empty headed know-nothing (my wife, not our troll) who has no place in teaching.
3) Imply that I a controlling MAN who basically doesn't think that his wife is capable of fighting her own fights.
4) Say that I am full of crap. (Uhm...then again, not disputing that one)
5) Call my wife a bitch. Selfish to boot.
6) Lead us on an entertaining chase, leading to me finding out how easy it is to track IP's down. (Thanks Trolly. :) )
7) Imply that we have the emotional intellect of a 3 year old because we don't agree with it.

Hmmm...Interesting rhetoric that ranges between "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries" and "Bite me". It states that the reason it does this is to engage us in a discussion over some of the ideas that it disagrees with. Wow...way to go.
It's the Dubya way.
When you want to engage someone in a discussion, you don't start with "hey stupid!". And I know what Trolly will say, "I apologised already!"
Yup...Something along the lines of "I'm sorry that you're so stupid and don't understand that what I REALLY meant when I said Selfish Bitch was that I wanted to talk about the whole issue of students and adults in a postmodern world." And goes on ad nauseum about how it's the misunderstood party and that we should understand that what it meant when it said "QUITTER" it meant that we should have a civilised discussion about how we as Singaporeans shouldn't give up on the system too soon.
An apology's a good thing. If it's heartfelt and not something that's been beaten out of you. If someone wishes to have that discussion, why not. Bring it. You just don't insult your opponents just because they disagree with you. Then you're just stooping to [unnamed secondary school]'s rhetoric where, during a debate, announced to the opposing team, "Your argument is stupid madam!"
Passion is good in some areas. Not good when you're trying to argue ideas.
After all, passion leads to fear. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to Burger King...uhm...wait. Passion leads to hate. Hate leads to ding dongs. Uhm...Orchard leads to Somerset. The leg bone connects to the hip bone.
What we're trying to say is that if you have something, put it up. Leave a name so that we don't get confused by the multi-vocal rhetoric. Set yourself apart from the others. By all means, voice your opinions. But like all civilised parties, please be polite.

And now back to your regular scheduled programming.

Monday, February 09, 2004

The Accused.

Trolly has pointed out my little stat rape non-rant as unjustified. So here goes.
I think that the whole stat rape rule is quite archaic in certain ways. There is the argument that a minor has to be protected by law because they are not old enough to understand the whole concept of sex in terms of consequences etc. The idea is that the female under 16 years of age doesn't know any better and is basically bait for sexual predators and other knick knack paddywhacks. (Give the dog a boner.) I think that's quite right, yes, children need to be protected from sexual predators who will attempt to take advantage of a girl's innocence and naivete.
But it's the 20's...hmm...00's? I never quite figured that out.
Kids have changed. I still agree that the idea of the child is quite sacred. Children need to be protected. But what're you going to do if a child chooses to reject that protection? Stat rape laws state that children who reject the law are still protected under it, causing them to be in the position of innocence. Fairness? Justice? Nah.
Why not just extend rape laws? Statutory rape is the act of sex with a minor. Why not extend rape laws to protect minors as well? It can be argued that a child who is tricked into sleeping with a sexual predator is raped the same way a girl who sleeps with a guy who has drugged her is raped. There is no consent sans influence and that's what rape is.
I think that it was a bum rap that the teacher got jailed for statutory rape. That doesn't mean that I condone what he did. I think that 7 years in the slammer is what he deserved. But purely because he abused his position of power and influence to sleep with a person who was supposed to be safe in his care because she was in a classroom. I think that she was raped in that way. Not because she was younger, but because that trust was abused.
It happens all over the world. All over the world, people are sleeping with each other for no other reason than to use them.
I think that's the ill and that's the crime.

Troll 2: Trolls.

I suggested to The Languishing Cat that the troll problem that she had was just that: A troll problem. (Anybody who's been on any 'board for a considerable amount of time will know the species.) They're usually just flamers that post messages to rile up the board...sort of the attention seeking children that they are.
Then I read the stuff that her troll left her. She's my wife and if anyone talked to her like that to her face and I'd be forced to smash their faces in. I told her to ignore the troll and maybe he/she would go away. I told her that she's more mature than that and that she's above all the mudslinging and dumbass remarks and she shouldn't stoop to that level.
But then again, I'm not so here goes:

"so. you delete comments which displease you... out of spite? guilt? pray tell. you constantly anguish about the lack of discourse/creativity around, about complacency etc but when push comes to shove, you are no better than the rest, are you? if what you're really looking for is critique and comment, well, babe, you've got what you asked for."

This was a post off her web comments recently (*plug*powered by Haloscan by the way...*plug*) that basically said that all the stuff that he/she had posted was discourse.
This was the stuff that he/she posted.

"Your uni sweater is utilitarian? wow. Just goes to show how dumb you are, even your clothes are smarter than you.

"Wreckless" ?!?!?!

your stupidity never fails to amaze me. Which is amazing, considering I've seen so much of it in just a couple entries.

Teachers these days...

Selfish bitch.

You and your dear teacher friends complain that young people these days are too irresponsible, couldn't care less, etc. What about yourself? great role models you people are. Thanks for teaching the future generation just what's good and what's not.

Where do you guys come off sounding so ****ing self-righteous? Or, what's so special about yourselves that the rules bend for you? Nobody is allowed to be apathetic, but it's fine for yourself? wow, great ethic here.

Are you trying to sound greater-than-the-rest-of-the-world or just apathetic? make up your damn mind... if you have one.

The underaged are protected because they don't have the maturity to step back and decide rationally if what they are doing is right. They might think or act or sound like they know what they're doing, but they're still only teenagers, without experience and rationality to really guide them. They want to act grown up, but they're too young to be held fully responsible for their rash actions.

But then again, looking at people like Daniel and yourself, maybe 21 is still too young for people to be considered matured, sensible, responsible. After all, how old are you people, and you're still griping like angsty teenagers?!?!?!


You actually managed to THINK?!?!?! Impossible.

Oh, so just because you have the ****ing money to ***ing go overseas, you just don't give a shit? Great way to live life... QUITTER"

Wow...That's like discourse that is the intellectual equivalent to "No, you're stupid..."
I mean how much of an intellectual giant do you have to be in order to have a discourse that, and here's my favourite, starts with "Selfish" and ends with "Bitch"? I had a feeling that said poster really picked all that discourse jargon up in JC GP classes or the uni course "Discourse: 101" and basically copied it out wholesale.
All I can really say to said troll is this: Leave her want to be a bitch, you can come be my bitch.
Here Bitchy bitch...
Bring it on.

The Heckler.

We have our first heckler! :)
Wow, I never thought that my blog would ever gain the prestige of having my own little troll. Thanks for catching the "fervent" mistake. Didn't actually get that while editing.
Funny guy really. Quite angsty.
Anyway, it's Monday and we're back at work. It's been a really short weekend and while I'm not quite ready to head back in to school, I'm quite refreshed from my day of rest. Got out of school on Saturday and just managed to catch "The Odd Couple". (The play, not the movie) I found it quite good despite my initial resistance to any arty thing Singaporean. Thing about Singaporean plays is that they tend to be a whole load of angst and pretension. This was amazingly well done and we had a great evening out. I did feel quite "bleagh" leaving school on Saturday and quite drained by the time I got home. (Hit the pillow, fell asleep for all of five minutes, woke up to bathe to go to the play) By the time I got out of the shower, I really didn't feel like leaving the house...(bed comfortable)...and went rather unwillingly to the play. Felt quite dead all the way to dinner but then felt a whole lot better after that.
The play was quite good. Thought that some of the elements of the play could've been more polished *cough*BeatriceChia*cough* but the leads, Adrian Pang and Ramesh Panicker, were amazing!
As I was telling A and L, it's the first arty thing I'm doing this year and I'm inspired to aim for 3. I think it'll be a whole lot of fun.
O well, back to work.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Looney Tunes: Back in Action.

I downloaded iTunes from Apple. Wow. It's quite a cool media player that's sadly placed Windows Media Player onto the Ne'er To Be Reopened Program Pile. NTBRPP. The reason for the switchover is simple: Net Radio, recently rediscovered. iTunes happens to have a better interface than WMV when it comes down to surfing net radio stations.
Specifically what do I tune in to? The comedy channel. It's back to back stand-up comedy snippets. Yay!
So that's my highlight of the week. Sigh.
I recall listening to all this in Melbourne. Not the specific acts of course, but the channel. It was a whole lot of fun, especially in the late nights when I was writing some whole load of essays. Fun to have a whole load of comedians accompany you for all night essay marathons.
Nice to hear this lot of fools again, it's like welcoming an old friend back home.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Dead Man Walking.

Wow, I am so wiped out this week. Despite the fact that the week started on Tuesday and the fact that today is Friday, this feels like the longest week of the year. I am uninspired to teach, have a pretty short fuse and feel like someone's run over me with a herd of cattle.
It feels like the week that doesn't end.
Anyway, on to other things. School wouldn't be too bad if not for all the crap that the bureaucrats put us through. This school is an irony, which really sucks because the school I left almost 12 years ago was completely different. I feel like Algren (see previous post) wandering the world looking for honour and finding mission school principals telling their students to thicken their skins and thin their consciences. I'm haven't really been too eager in the semantics of the bible but I'm pretty sure that we are supposed to have sensitive consciences. The Man has brought my school to the ground. Dragged it through the mud and thrown it to the swine.
Sad really.
So, yes, I feel wiped out and it's just the start of the year.
I watch The West Wing quite fervently and I never knew how they would handle the 14 + hour days that they seemed to get through so easily on TV. I thought it was just unrealistic as I couldn't fathom staying in school for that kind of time.
Then, while watching the episode "Let Bartlett be Bartlett" for the 5th to 6th time it suddenly dawned on me. These people really believe. They are believers and that is why they can do the job. The show doesn't really celebrate the nobility of sacrifice as much as it rejoices in a bunch of people who are committed to their jobs because they believe in what they're working for. I recall being passionate about things. I remember working through the day and night on something that I cared about and I realised that I haven't done that since the wedding.
It was not so long ago that I pushed myself to the limit and beyond to get things ready and sacrifice sleep to prepare gifts and surprises. I worked to the point of near madness and I enjoyed it thoroughly because I was doing something that I was passionate about. I haven't felt that since and I think that it's quite sad.
I would love to do something I have passion for and I thought that teaching here would allow me to do that. I do still love the school but for the damn bureaucrats.
Stupid people.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

The Last Samurai

Anyway, almost a week since I watched the movie and I'm here to write about it.
A reviewer from the pop culture review site that I frequent, Popmatters, said that the movie was a Tom Cruise vehicle. I agree with that to a certain extent. I think that the movie did indeed have tons of moments where ol' Cruise could have sold all the Dove in the world.
But I don't think that the movie was all about TC, or should be read/viewed as a movie about Algren (Cruise) per se. The Last Samurai in the title definitely described the Katsumoto character (Played charismatically by Ken Watanabe) and not Nathan Algren. By definition, samurai have to fit at least 2 criteria.
1) They have to serve a lord unto their death.
2) They have to be born in a samurai family.
Tom Cruise (Algren) was NOT the last samurai. With that knowledge, you can basically say that the movie was truly about Katsumoto. (Although the promoters decided to use the more visibly recognisable Cruise in almost all the posters) What role then did Algren play in this tale?
I saw him basically as a muse of sorts. A watcher who related the story through western eyes (which automatically orientalises and romanticises the east*). Algren was a fallen warrior who was on a journey of redemption, a man who spent the better part of the movie looking for honour in man, and found it in Katsumoto.
I like that Katsumoto was kept away from the camera, creating a figure that was strong and powerful while at the same time fleeting and hidden (almost demure). There were some moments of "over-orientalism" that I felt were just a bit much *cough*haiku*cough*, but overall, Katsumoto was handled quite competently in the movie.
The contrast therefore between the Algren character and Katsumoto was stark (one brash and overexposed American vs. the quiet and unassuming hidden Japanese) and rather effective in my mind. That's the kind of movie that I thought The Last Samurai would be, and that's the kind of movie it was.

*Took one course in Cybercultures run by a lesbian Singaporean living in Australia, probably the most qualified subculture to talk about Orientalism and the Western Gaze...

Tuesday, February 03, 2004


So anyway, my Blog on my computer at home's all screwy and I have no idea why. I posted my last entry last night and despite getting to my page and reloading many times, the last entry always turned out to be "To Sir With Love". So I dunno...
Anyway, I'm in school now and I'm trying to figure out what the heck happened to my publishing screen.
Anyway, this is a test post as much as anything so I'll get back to work (ha ha) now.

Bump in the Night

Just popping in to post. Haven't posted over the long weekend and I'm feeling a little guilty.
Anyway, been slacking off a little in terms of writing. Busy in school and missing my partner in crime so I actually tried to get some work done in the meantime. Key word "try". (Insert obligatory Yoda ESB reference here)
So things have been relatively good. Haven't had any major accidents and my ankle's feeling a whole lot better. Still can't walk too much on it because it starts acting up a little. Something that comes with age I guess.
Tried writing my take on The Last Samurai on Sunday but that turned out really bleagh...Uninspired says I. Will try again tomorrow.