Sunday, March 30, 2008


I've ranted about how online journalism is the way to go because the broadsheets have abandoned all journalistic integrity here in Singapore but perhaps there is such a thing as going overboard.

STOMP is an example of that. Well, then again, STOMP's run by aforementioned broadsheets so I guess it's par for the course.

But it still irks me to read stuff like this drivel and realise that in giving the voice to the masses, we've given a voice to the masses...Which would not be a bad thing necessarily IF the masses were articulate and perhaps a little more educated. The problem with the masses is the simple fact that most of them are morons. And unfortunately, that means that the chatter out there is really white noise that drowns out anything of real importance.

What chance do big ideas like Justice, Equality and Right have when faced with small stories that gossip and slander?

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Friday, March 28, 2008

And now we return to our regular scheduled programming...

This has got to be the most humourous article I've read about Mas Selamat's escape. It's not quite as scathing as the rest of the articles I've read about it, nor does it gloss over the obvious inadequacies of the government the way that the Singapore broadsheets (and tabloids) do. It offers a rather nice (seemingly) objective view of the incident while still being able to be snarky about it.

Favourite quote: The public has swung into action, as it has with previous nationwide campaigns — to have fewer children, to have more children, to keep toilets clean, not to throw things off balconies, to speak good English, to smile and to commit “spontaneous acts of kindness.”

And coming in a close second: In a furious response, the government put the entire country on alert, setting up checkpoints, sealing its borders, patrolling its parks and its shores, even urging people to keep an eye on their bicycles in case the wanted man decided to pedal to freedom.

And it's in the New York Times. Interestingly enough, none of their sources happen to come from the mainstream media. Almost all quotations are from Bloggers. Which makes one wonder if the Singaporean media's ceaseless attacks on the blogging community tend to be due to their own perceived (and perhaps rightly so) inadequacies than any real desire to raise public awareness of the dangers of blogs.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

New lens...But more importantly, new baby photos!

Taken with the EF 50MM F1.4.

Friday, March 07, 2008


I'm tired.

So. Very. Tired.

And it's not that I've been out of the house for 15 hours. It's not that I've been running around working the press release and trying to prepare to fight fires that never came. It's that I've been on an emotional roller coaster ride that's been so intense that it just left me completely drained. I've been pretty much coasting the rest of the way and I'm ready to drop into bed and sleep the sleep of the dead.

The results have been released and...well...they're not stellar. I spent the better part of the morning trying to justify the numbers (inflated national average by elite institutions...) and then wondering where I could get a sword to commit ritual suicide. My emotional turmoil really started when the numbers faded into obscurity and the students came into focus.

Statistically speaking, we didn't do very badly. But it's not about numbers and the day that it becomes about that is the day that I quit. It's about the students...and for the umpteenth time, I wondered if I'd done right by them.

I wondered if I had indeed done my best for them or whether I'd scheduled enough time and work to prepare them for the exams. I wondered if I managed to lead them to the right answers or if I'd managed to get them to produce the right answers. I'd wondered if I'd done my job.
Because the results sure seemed to scream at me that I hadn't.

End of the day, I asked myself the question (and others that kindly reassured me) if they really had learned something. Despite the reassurance that they had, I still wonder if it was worth actually getting them to enjoy the journey or if it would have just saved us a whole lot of heartache to just focus on the destination. Because it sure doesn't quite feel worth it at the moment.

What is needed in our education?

The questions? Or the answers? At the moment, it feels like the latter takes center stage in this. I'm just not sure which one students really need.

And I guess that it's just like me to leave that open ended...So I'll just end with a quote.

"Granny was an old-fashioned witch. She didn't do good for people, she did right by them... Like old Pollirt the other day, when he fell off his horse. What he wanted was a painkiller. What he needed was the few seconds of agony as Granny popped the joint back into place." ~ Terry Pratchett

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Monday, March 03, 2008

The Great Escape...

When you have a limping terrorist that gets away from the police, it really casts a shadow on the credibility of the recent wave of police ads that one can see in the cinema.

(I wish I had a link to that ad but even Youtube doesn't carry it.)

Basically the ad shows an athletic young man who's running on a track and then subsequently transforms (quite a transformer) into a policeman. He runs and runs and catches the crook who's running away from his female colleague (and of course he catches the crook instead of the policewoman who was chasing the crook to begin with...Girl power baby!) showing his athletic prowess.

Meanwhile, I'm also wondering why a police force that is so obviously lost in the woods doesn't release more details about Mas earlier than they did. If I'd lost a terrorist, I would've been dumping posters all over Singapore to ensure that EVERYONE knows what he looks like. I mean, have you seen this guy? His face is pretty generic.

I basically can't keep the face in my head no matter what and I doubt I'd be able to recognise him even if I saw him. BTW, the MMS hasn't gotten to me yet.

Ondine was theorising that the reason why they didn't release posters immediately was because they were confident in catching him...Well...IF I had allowed a limping man to get away from my "highly secure facility" I would really be questioning IF I could really catch him that easily and probably would want the public to be warned. But I suppose it's human nature to attempt to cover up your screw ups.

Interestingly enough, talk on Vent that night (during a WOW raid of Karazhan) was that he'd have very easily hopped into a cab and disappeared...and I think that it sounds like something that could have happened. After all, we have a world class transportation system that allowed a terrorist to get away from our world class police force.

I have been disappointed by Singapore systems before but I figure that this would be the most tangible that the system has disappointed me. Then again, it's almost like a Hollywood movie right in our backyard so it has added a certain excitement to the drudgery of life...

I hope they catch him soon though...Otherwise we'd have to do what Wahj suggested: Have 4 million Singaporeans join hands and form a ring around the island, then gradually move inwards a la The Truman Show, which, considering the success in all the efforts so far, could actually be more effective a method of finding the guy.

Plus it'll actually give me a day off from school.

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