Friday, April 30, 2010

That's Not Art

Rage (when not directed towards me) can be funny. Behold my latest source of the giggles:

That's Not Art
by Garrett Murray -- where he bashes the shit out of so-called emo 'art'. I'm not sure why and how he comes across all these things, and god forbid that he's actually seeking them out.

Anyway. This site is not going to help me with my attempt to be POSITIVE and surround myself with GOOD energy. But it makes me laugh, so I figure it balances itself out.



See the Sun (via thelasthomerecording)

Hard not to, you know, unless you’re blind. In fact, I completely fail to take any meaning from this, even after trying very hard to get my mind into the state of ridiculous “things mean more than they seem” pseudo-artists. After 20 minutes of staring at this and thinking intensely, I’ve realized it actually has zero meaning. ZERO.




Things (via haylieerin)

Then you’re going to love this thing you just created.



Only More Love (via gatekeeper)

Shut up. Seriously.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

So he asked me to tell him what I liked about him. In my reply, I tried to give answers that wouldn't make me sound too crazy. I didn't list down everything either. It would be impossible, and would not help much in the trying-not-to-seem-crazy department.

He laughed slightly at some of the things I said, but I'm not sure if he was amused or uncomfortable. When I was done, he remarked offhandedly, "You like everything!"

Oh you silly, silly man, you've got no idea.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's reached that stage where some people actually leave the room when I enter. Perhaps its not so much because of my presence (this is credit that I would not like to take) but because they're not really supposed to be there.

Still, I don't enjoy being the Walking Reminder That We Have Work To Do.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Revamp.

It was time for a change anyway.

Am trying to get more organised, and posting all visual-related posts on Pause. Stop. Play -- I just need to direct my random-ness elsewhere.

I realised, that even after about five years of blogging, I've still not upgraded my technical blog skills - other than being able to find free templates a lot quicker than before.

And regarding Catharine Lim's latest article -- I'm not quite sure why, but it didn't go down very well with me, mainly because she slapped a negative connotation to the word 'dissent' from the beginning. Doesn't it just mean having a different opinion?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

(I realised after writing this post that it is insanely boring. Sigh. And all I had wanted to do was to throw spitballs from the back of the class!)

Watched Lee Hsien Loong's interview with Charlie Rose today, and I. Cannot. Believe. He. Mentioned. SARS.

A question from a friend about Singaporean politics had me feeling rather ashamed and ignorant, and I tried to do some brief research online just to understand the fundamental principals of how is it we operate. I came across this paper Asian Values, Authoritarianism and Capitalism in Singapore by Soek-Fang Sim, in which it states:

Rather than being a proud and self-confident nation, Singapore exists only through psychosis, as an existentially anxious nation (that awaits the salvation provided by the PAP).

The sense of national fragility is heightened through the staging of media spectres...


Media spectres which we are all too familiar with, and which puts LSL's SARS comment (I don't care if he later retracted it, it just showed how well-rehearsed that response was) in an interesting light.

Total Defence campaigns, that image of LKY sobbing, those terrible racial riots, the National Day songs (There was a time when troubles seemed too much for us to take...) and the strange divisiveness in our notion of multiculturalism. LHL said as much in his interview (transcript):

LEE HSIEN LOONG: Well, we’re happy to be a metaphor, but we remind
ourselves that we have no safety net and we can always fail if we get it
wrong.

CHARLIE ROSE: And what would "get it wrong" be?

LEE HSIEN LOONG: If you don’t have the right government, if you have
the wrong policies, if you cause a loss of confidence. Supposing we were
in the situation of Iceland, of Greece --

CHARLIE ROSE: Yes, I wanted to talk to you about that.

LEE HSIEN LOONG: Where would we be? Iceland is a friend of the EU,
Greece is in the EU, so the Germans come riding to the rescue in some way.
But in Singapore, how are you ever come back?

CHARLIE ROSE: And who would come to the rescue of Singapore if you
had a huge debt problem?

LEE HSIEN LOONG: Exactly. We’d be just another broken-back country
permanently.

CHARLIE ROSE: So you can’t afford to be -- have that kind of
financial crisis because you’re not sure --

LEE HSIEN LOONG: We can’t afford to have --

CHARLIE ROSE: The IMF is not going to be there for you.

LEE HSIEN LOONG: We can’t afford to have a disastrous bump in the
night, whether it’s a financial crisis, whether it’s government
misbehavior, whether it’s a security problem. But we only have one chance
to make a go of it. You can fail -- you can succeed in many battles. You
fail once, it’s finished.


In the beginning of this paper, Sim explains that Singapore has managed to avoid the transition to a liberal democracy even though the problems of late-capitalism exists which should rightly lead to a "flourishing of liberal discourses". How did we manage to avoid developing such "liberal inclinations" and demand of "political choices"? How did we manage to avoid ideological fragmentation?

To protect its one-party rule against threats of liberalisation and welfarism, the PAP labelled these tendencies as dangerous "Western" values, the antidote to which was the "Asianisation" of society, where communitarianism is promoted as an alternative to welfarism and plural/liberal democracy.


At this point, I realise I am basically just attempting to summarise the paper as a way of understanding it better. Ah well, in my defence, 'Asian Capitalism' was not on Cenite's reading list for political science.

Asian Capitalism, as Sim points out, is contradictory. The Asian Values component preaches harmony, the whole idea of community/nation before self, and self-reliance (ie meritocracy). It supports the one-party ideology by "emphasisng consensus over conflict" and de-legtimises ideological alternatives as "opposition for the sake of opposition" is deemed un-Asian.

Through Asian Values, capitalism and authoritarianism becomes mutually reinforcing: authorianism protects capitalism by enabling it to be un-compromised by welfarist demands, while capitalism success "protects" and provides economic legitimacy for authoritarian governments.


The contradiction comes when you realise that communitariansm is opposite to competitveness -- but it is this opposite nature that allows the former to be used to make this version of capitalism "more caring and the nation more cohesive"

By encouraging citizems to dream a dream that only the PAP can bring to fruition, authoritarianism is rendered tolerable, even necessary.


Ah that Singapore Dream. For those who will spend their lives chasing that Dream, it is bolstered by what Sim calls the "meritocratic myth" - that if you work hard enough, you can make it. For those who already have plenty, you raise the ceiling so that they never reach that stage where non-economic dreams become important or relevant.

At this point, I had to resort to Googling more about this meritocratic myth which, as usual, made me feel stupid - how is it I have never come across this before? We have a chapter to ourselves on Wiki's Meritocracy page!

The success of this myth is just one of the many examples of the PAP's ideological success. That we complain about the cost of healthcare and yet think of welfarist values as being unthinkable and inferior, that we are exasperated by how stifling the Singapore Dream can be and yet accept it to be the "normal path" of life etc...

The moral, economic and political legitimacy of the PAP is seemingly undefeatable.

CHARLIE ROSE: How do you measure your commitment to democracy?

LEE HSIEN LOONG: I think we measure it by the legitimacy of the
government and by the results, how Singapore works and whether Singaporeans
are able to have a better life.


I'm halfway through the paper and am already exhausted. It was enlightening to read about all these things when they are being discussed in a coherent manner.

Told ya it was a weird day.

Weird Starts

A slightly strange start to the day - listening to Chávez's Copenhagen speech, enjoying my wonderful housemate's tale of her very strange dream which involved me and an unwanted party in our house, and a sudden recollection of this incident in Singapore in 2004.

I remember it made for wonderful tabloid fodder - managed to find a report of this 'investigation' conducted by TNP on Ondine's blog- and it made mrbrown's SNE column as well.

And to end it all, being 'followed' on twitter by a person who calls himself a 'conservatrucker':

He tweets:

If my life ever comes to a point that I have to accept any type of gov't assistance, that is when I'll consider myself a failure.

Ah... here's a toast to the health of you and your loved ones, and the excellent insurance coverage you guys must enjoy!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Not for a long, long, long while.


EMAIL FROM DAD TO MOM WITH ME ON CC


Called Sis to congratulate her on the arrival of Choon's baby. She sounded so happy and excited.She forgot I am in Taiwn. She will be a good grandmother. JUST WONDER WHEN YOUR TURN will come.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Forgotten Things

Because I have a memory of a goldfish, trawling through old emails can be a rather nostalgic experience.

I had completely forgotten about acting for Joce's Serum City as a propaganda host, forgotten about a trip to Tioman with some friends, forgotten that I signed off an email to Mal with "don't fire me", forgotten what an self-righteous idiot I was/am, forgotten about the photos I took with a green lizard next to my face, forgotten about that an email with the words: "Hi! I have attached the pictures of the girls. Hope you like them." Ahhh....

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It makes me very happy to have two hours in the morning to 'warm up' before the day begins - filled with a routine of mindless internet surfing, elaborate breakfasts, multiple cups of coffee, careless browsing of newspapers.



And then the day starts and I sometimes wonder to myself is it really so bad to wish that the morning would last forever?

Monday, April 12, 2010

GENERIC ASTROLOGY READINGS WHICH ARE
SPECIFICALLY APPLICABLE TO MY LIFE


  • There are indications of mistakes in life arising from your impulsiveness, which is heightened and readily expressed by your emotional nature.
  • In love you are sympathetic and intense and try to conduct your romance according to your idealistic conception of love.
  • Your well-developed imagination often leads you into the realm of *mysticism, and there are *religious tendencies in your nature. (*Applicable only if you substitute 'mysticism' with 'idiocy' and 'religious' with 'alcoholic'.)
  • Once you have made up your mind, you are closed to all other suggestion or opinion.
  • Pluto opposition the Ascendant shows that you attract people with powerful egos and strong temperaments. (Cause...)
  • This indicates that the key to more spiritual and material development lies in your response to the several tests destined for you which consist of patiently enduring difficulties through human relationships. (... and Effect.)
  • Your inner self seems attracted to unusual matters related to the termination of life-death and its mysteries.
  • You will begin to realize the significance of friends and how important they are to you.
  • It may be necessary to struggle and break free from circumstances that you encounter in your work or with authorities, such as employers or government agencies.
  • At any rate some obstacle is preventing you from doing what you have to do, and you want to rebel against it.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


NOT-SO-NICE THINGS I'VE SAID TODAY

  • I think you guys can get back to work. Adda [chat] time is over.
  • Erm... I think its a lot more complicated than that.
  • I don't care.
  • What you've done is unacceptable.
  • I'm going to need a better excuse than that

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

"Destroying intellectual freedom is always evil, but only religion makes doing evil feel quite so good."- Phillip Pullman


Goosebumps. Read from here, thanks to this first link from Tym!
The heat is taking a toll on things. I count one case of a severe stomach virus thingamajig, four cases of semi-serious diarrhoea and general nausea, one case of high fever and one case of high-blood pressure that was a skip away from a heart stroke.

All this within the last week - general productivity is down because everyone feels like CRAP (and you can't go online in the house when there isn't electricity), the erratic electric supply is wrecking havoc on generators and computers, and just getting through the day uses up all the energy you have.

I never thought of things in terms of energy levels and good/bad vibes etc -- but I've been doing so recently, and it seems to make sense. It's just becoming really difficult to recharge, although a basketful of kittens might just do the trick for me.

I just feel worried, that the worst has yet to come.

Sunday, April 04, 2010