Monday, November 28, 2005

Human Tradition

I didn’t feel like sex this morning. Quite amazing, I never thought I’d ever feel like it, but of course Richard was right when he said much earlier on in the relationship that we wouldn’t be having as much sex as we did at the start. I didn’t seem possible when you existed in a state of having to have sex whenever you could, as opposed to only when you felt like it (in which case, whenever you could would be the same as whenever you felt like it).

It is funny, but it’s just like all other human behaviour pertaining to life. The more used to it you are, the less likely you think it will be ending anytime soon, although the natural state of things has not actually changed in anyway. Children are more aware of death than adults are, I think, they are less rooted in life, they have less philosophical notions of it (life and death), and understand it from a visceral point of existence that is the closest to the truth.

Our neighbour paid us a visit last night, and it was one of those situations where everyone thinks, yeah, it’ll be nice to get to know each other, but the getting to know each other process is so tedious you put it off to forever. And than when it happens, it really is tedious and you don’t quite see what the point was, but anyway. It is nice to know your neighbours.

Than again, I’ve always been a self-absorbed loner, and I function very well in social situations, but I’m not particularly fond of them. The other thing I realized is that the moment sex is taken out of the equation from my relationships with men, I’m infinitely disinterested.

I’ve no idea how to deal with the opposite sex without exerting my physical desirability, and it is difficult for me to do so without. I wouldn’t come on to them of course, wanting sex and using the prospect of sex is two very different things. In the former you’re the prey and in the latter, you’re the predator. But I can’t help but cock tease. I don’t think there’s anything we can do about the way we behave around the opposite gender, the only thing stopping other girls from doing it too is a lack of self-confidence or vague notions of what is and isn’t socially acceptable.

I went home to my parent’s yesterday evening. I do miss them. In a way, I think National Service is absolutely necessary for Singaporean boys because that is the only time they leave their families for extended periods, and leaving is necessary in order for filial love to develop. It’s a biologically calling. It doesn’t need to be forever, but it has to happen.

I tried to draw my little sister, and it turned out quite nice and my mom wanted one too. But I just couldn’t do it properly. I felt like she was looking at me and saying, ‘can you really do it? You must do it properly. We’ve raised you so far with so much hard work, you can’t disappoint me’. And of course it just wasn’t as good. Anyway.

I wonder how true it is, what they say about the model's relationship with the artist. Can you see it? I don't know. I love my little sister above all else. I would like her to need me and I know sometimes she does, and she's so soft and and so strong and so serious and so mad. So creative and smart and full of feeling...


Friday, November 25, 2005


Richard and I bummed a ride from a friend* last night, and as we were heading to the booze shop (the aunties there no longer endearingly call him the vodkaman anymore ever since he stopped patronizing their store as often as I go running, for a bottle of Absolut), I asked him* what happened to this girl we knew once, Miss N, who had big tits on an impossibly slender frame and a mouth that looked like she'd like to eat all of you up, and he told me she called him once in a while to try and sell some new concept or other to get famous. Presumably, everyone wants to get famous.

I suppose he* is quite right, we live in a state where nothing affects us more than contemporary media does, and at heart, we would all like control over the people around us at some level or another. What a lot of people don't realize is that so many of us don't even have control over ourselves, and the people with real fame, who incite genuine admiration, are the people that do.

I told Richard I really liked how his biting attitude towards society's obsession with recognition had affected me and he told me that he actually quite liked it when people recognized me occasionally (mostly thanks to the blog and FHM, I wish I could write more for the paper. I really should). I suppose people recognize me for all the wrong reasons, but it's alright, as long as I don't let it affect what I want to do. Fame hides the stupidity of any individual, and I suppose that is why a lot of people desire it, and I cannot deny wanting it because people have no forgiveness for stupidity, being mostly stupid themselves. And there is nothing we hate more than seeing our human failings reflected in another human being.

I try my best not to be interested in fame. Of course I desire recognition, but I don't want to have to become a slave to it and for its sake. He's* become obsessed with it, and he* can't stop telling me about ways in which I can get famous. Anabel Chong's famous alright, but what good has that ever done anyone?

I don't want to be bothered with it, it's so tedious. No where is it more tedious than in Singapore. For god's sake all our stars on TV are manufactured, no wonder bloggers can actually get famous here, because no one made us.

My reclusive behaviour is getting worse and worse I think. I went to a party last night, and it was full of people from the Fame Factory, and it was boring, tedious and frankly, full of bullshit. I can't stand it. Why would anyone want to stand around drinking wine and eating expensive chocolates while gossiping about people you don't really know anyway, while looking at people looking down their noses...

I'll admit it, I felt like an idiot, and I hate it when I feel like an idiot because I'm 19, and I'm just no bloody good in dealing with the fakery. If I wanna say something, I'll say it, and just because I'm young doesn't mean I'm an idiot or that I'm no good for getting things done.

That's just how I feel like in most social situations involving tons of older people anyway that does not involve tight leather outfits of the hanging possibility of a big orgy 'round the corner of the clock. I like those much better, my age doesn't matter.

I like the company of teenage girls like my sister that scowl at any form of authority and older men that know that nothing of the pretentious, plastic, LCD technology supported world actually matters.

I hate the pretension. I really hate it, I hate it I hate it I hate it. Why can't people just get over it.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Freedom of Speech

It's easier to say fuck off, if you're not saying it alone.

An independent press is important because it gives the people a means to communicate among one another. It is important as a representative of the views of the collective.

I'm not educated enough in certain academic areas to know what will get me sent to jail and what will not. And most people probably don't either. So we shut up and know, yeah, there's maybe a couple of other freaks out there who think like me, but you can't find them, and possibly there's not enough of us anyway to change anything.

It's back to school all over again when the principal got us to sit and stand and sit and stand until we could stand up and start singing the national anthem in 2 seconds. Why didn't every one just sit and not stand or stand and not sit and sing the anthem once and be done with patriotic duty.

Because you don't know who was going to stand with you if you didn't sit when they told you to. And if you were the only one, you were fucked.

So let's just follow the rythm and tide of their demands; after all, it only lasts for a couple of periods, and you'll be in school for a couple of years.

So don't like it, so leave.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Good adn Evil

Tell me, is the human capacity for good more than the human capacity for evil, or is our knowledge of what is truly good insufficient for us to be able to do works of a genuinely good nature. That the people that do good have the same philosophy as the people that believe they are doing good, when to the rest of the world, they are not.

At the end, whatever we do, there will never be more good than evil, and good can never triumph, because from someone else's point of view, what is good for you might not be good for him. We sympathize with the victors as history is written by them.

Is God really more powerful than the devil in this case if good can never triumph over evil in the world.

In nature, no one calls the predator evil; the lioness hunts out of necessity, but not all the deer are caught. The lioness is never evil though, and we don't say good has triumph because the majority of the prey manage to escape and the casualties are few.


Relative Achievement

I was picking off a pair of underpants this morning when I saw the neighbour looking at me. Its not his fault that I insist on going around half naked and parading my youthful nakedness about, and frankly, I don’t care if anyone looks (I think that much is clear). But my attitude towards nudity is such that it doesn’t bother me if it doesn’t bother you. So.

Last night Richard set up the studio for his latest photo do, and we had a slightly weird time looking at our faces under UV lighting. The most horrid thing about it is you get to see all the fat deposits in your skin, and for all my worldliness, I am still a teenager, and my skin still conforms to the oily just-after-puberty model. Its gross and fascinating at the same time.

We did a search on the internet after that and found out there were two kinds of UV lighting tubes you could get and that we’d been sold the wrong ones. There’s the super low intensity sort you find at nightclubs and things, and than, there’s the ones used in sun beds. Which are no fun for your eyes, skin, or general health. We wanted backlights of course, not the latter, for christ’s sake. Something must be done about that incompetent salesman. To me, it’s just completely ridiculous. You can’t buy something like an after-morning pill at the pharmacy because unnecessary consumption might result detrimental side effects, but you can buy something like hardcore UV-B lights? What if some idiot that didn’t know better sticks them up for a house party? My, my.

In other rambling, self-effacing news, I’ve started cooking now that the gas has been connected, and I’m proving to be quite good at it. Having a maid doesn’t ruin your ability to function as an independent individual really. The problem with spoilt children is that no one ever taught them the value of being able to do things for yourself. And reading Wicked, the story of The Wicked Witch of the West re-created, I remember how I felt when it was told to me countless of times when I was younger, and I thought it very telling of how most bourgeoisie kids of my generation feel towards cleaning up after themselves. ‘Oh my, how miserable Dorothy must be, cleaning after the witch all the time’. Being a kid, it never occurred to me that someone in my life was actually doing the same thing, because if I’m not doing it, then someone else must be, mustn’t they.

There’s nothing denigrating about doing the chores, but because having a maid seems to be the prerogative of the educated middle-class, not having one implicitly suggests other negative social stigmas. Like, didn’t your parents go to school, are they not as smart as everyone else’s, so on. Some things, I suppose, are especially appreciated in a predominantly Chinese culture, and really it is not good enough just to shut people up when they say racist things about another ethnic group. The belief is still inside a number of people that grew up within the same, or similar environments as the people that voice out their disdain. And the underclass will always seem the underclass to the people that consider themselves in the higher castes of society, by virtue of the fact that they espouse the things they think are important in life. Say, economic advancement and scholarly achievement. But what we see as the ultimate markers for human achievement may not be what someone else’s view of things, and I can’t say anymore, because I’m just as guilty for being narrow minded when it comes to what sort of achievements can be constituted as success.


Monday, November 21, 2005

Fixing Up

The furniture has finally arrived and the gas leak has been fixed for good. Richard and I will stay together in this place for awhile yet I expect. I met my parents after church yesterday (I don’t go any longer, it’s not a terrible thing really because the people that do not believe in the Christ as the way the truth and the light are not any less joyous then those that do. Besides, it is not that he came and died for our sins that matter, I know the unsaved will end up with the saved when we die because we came into the world similarly, and we will depart similarity. If the concept of eternity holds, than there is no change in our states before we were born and after we die.)

My father has been a lot friendlier to Richard in recent times, and they know he loves me, and I think that’s what matters the most to them. We are a odd couple I suppose, but no one I know thinks about it much any more. I don’t think I could make do with anyone less strange, less romantic, less of I Don’t Give A Flying Fuck.

We were at Borders a couple of days back and I bought some books without knowing that I’d forgotten to bring my wallet out with me. I had to go out to the bistro and pled with R to handle my purchases first. He went in and told the salesgirl that there was a girl who’d gone outside to ask him to pay for her purchases in exchange for a blowjob.

‘Do you think she really means it of she’s just fucking about with me and taking me for a ride?’ He asked her.

The girl giggled and didn’t quite know what to say in return.

We went to the Sexpo on Saturday. It was strange going there for me, because months back I had been asked to sell tickets on this blog for the event, and I remember thinking, ‘Oh Shit. No way. I’m not going to get people to buy tickets for some ridiculous event they would find boring.’ Because as R had put it to me, it was boring for the people that are having sex, and useless for the people that were not. So quite what the point of the Sexpo was, I don’t know. But as a social indication that Singapore isn’t quite as conservative as it once was, I suppose it works. Honestly though, something like that could have only worked in Singapore.

If you are wondering what I was doing there since I didn’t think it worthy of anyone’s time, it was for FHM. I took some silly pictures, and that was about it.

I’m going to continue reading the very engaging ‘Wicked’ by Gregory McGuire, and going for a run after that. The weather is so lovely these days if you don’t have to brave the rain. It’s cool and fresh but not too chilly.


Illustration for uh... my own general purpose.


Saturday, November 19, 2005

Picking up Your Pieces

Thursday was the day the domesticity started. It simply could not have had been put off any longer. I have this unbearable infatuation with full coloured art books that I will not give up, and they had started piling up around the apartment like brush strokes on a Lucian Freud painting in progress. They were getting out of hand, and the trip to Ikea was inevitable.

Initially, he had wanted to get shelves that were just the right size to fit in front of the desk, but just like everything in a place like Ikea, nothing really quite fit with everything else. Nothing was custom built, so everything had to be made on the basis that there was a general compromise between the way the furniture would have to behave towards one another in a given space.

There were no shelves of the sort that he wanted, and I suggested going for a really cheap set that looked very decent that could go up against the wall. He didn’t want it because he’d always wanted a day bed in the study where visitors could crash on when they came by (so far, there hasn’t been any, and being from a family that had to make up in off days for the maid what we couldn’t give her in terms of a private sleeping space, I didn’t really see the urgency of a having a designated guest room –besides, I’m 19. It my prerogative to crash on couches and act like its so cool because I really don’t give a shit. A place to sleep on is a place to sleep on, and I’ve slept on all of them.

Perhaps the fact that my father’s from Sarawak has more of an influence on me then I did think it did. It certainly has made me a great deal more comfortable with really roughing it out. After the age of 8, I got past complaining sleeping on bug-ridden mattresses that were made to fit 10 people and taking a dump in outhouses that had sanitation technology of the 1970s in South East Asia- because there is a vast difference in technology between SEA and the developed West at that time. But not like there isn’t, any longer.

Kuching isn’t as backwater as it used to be, but I remember marvelling at how my cousins managed to live in the conditions that they did. They weren’t terribly horrid or un-liveable, but there is a big difference back in the early 90’s living in a lazy, quiet town in the middle of a tropical jungle, in little houses made out of wood and zinc, from living in a HDB flat in Singapore with a maid to pick up the pieces. I was often there for two weeks at a time a couple of times a year, so for me, it was a novelty, and it was quite a bit of fun as long as the mosquito coils were put out.

Richard and I had an argument over having a cleaning lady come in to scrub the floors regularly, and I got really mad and raised my voice for no apparent reason- the fact that I suspect my hormones haven’t been very good to me these days aside-. He had been quite difficult coming to the end of this week, and it must have affected my sensibilities. It wasn’t his fault that he was, people come the way they are, and our little eccentricities are to no doing of ours. Big things like Laziness as a way of existence is a fault. Things like being prejudiced because your too ignorant to understand the concept and means to acceptance… that sort of thing I have no qualms feeling scathing towards. But there are some things we grow up with that we cannot shake off; although that is no excuse not to think logically despite the failings, we cannot help but feel the way we do.

Of course I don’t expect to get my way all the time, and most of the time, it doesn’t matter to me. Little things like arriving in the middle of the night for the first time into Saigon because your then boyfriend refused to listen to sense and thought it would be fun to take ‘alternative’ transport, or having the man you were seeing cancel out on a trip after you’d bought the tickets with your own cash because he presumed you had cheated on him, your lover only seeing you a couple of times a month because he had someone else to care for… I tolerated all of those things (it wasn’t very difficult I suppose, my mother had raised me with the mantra ‘ignore, ignore, ignore.’ And life would be much easier to live.

Richard is right, I have become soft. I don’t care much for a cleaning lady, and I don’t care much for a bookshelf, but what upset me was the reason he had for feeling upset in Ikea, for not feeling comfortable with getting furniture for the apartment, for not feeling comfortable with getting a cleaning lady to make my life easier. I must have felt then that he didn’t want to because he didn’t want to change his ethic for me, and I suppose I’ll have to accept that as it is. You can’t change what people are at heart until they do it without knowing, by themselves. I told him it made me feel trapped, because at the end of the day, I’m not paying for the place I’m staying it. It’s his place, and I’ll never feel like I have any right with it, and I cannot (nor do I want to) ask for anything major to be done with it, although I will be very grateful for all the concessions he makes for me.

It’s inevitable that we all feel trapped at some point, because the truth is, we are all really trapped. Whatever values we have, east or west or capitalist or Marxist, we’re all beholden to someone else or something else. Lovers, children, money, companies, parents, landlords, taxi-drivers… you got to be kidding if you think at any one point you can truly exist independent of all these things. And if you were… I doubt you would be happy. We’re social creatures after all and there’s nothing we can do about it. Only most times, we don’t mind being beholden to someone, we don’t mind having to be responsible to some one else. It’s all a matter of what your willing to compromise and how much pleasure you get in return.

I know I wouldn’t be happy if I went to live on my own –not now anyway. I like being with Richard, I’m with him all the time I’m sure the friends I used to have must think I’m such a bore. They all say I’ve changed, well… I was never really a party person anyway, it was just that I had nothing better to do with my time, and I needed the illicit high I got out of fucking for money or for the heck of it or… it goes on.

I love him, and I’ve become soft because I want to be. Its such a minor thing, feeling uncomfortable with buying furniture to sort the place out to accommodate and admit to the fact that I’ve come into his life, wanting everyday for it to last. I don’t want the pessimistic realism of the rest of the prejudiced, scheming, organized, time-tabled world to seep in, and feeling uncomfortable about making such concessions smacks of that.

I really lost it yesterday when we had the argument about getting a cleaning lady to come in, and the night before I had felt mildly pissed off over the fact that he was being elitist about unnecessary hard work and other Marxists ethics – I can’t stand people being elitist over anything. It’s because being elitist doesn’t have to make sense and it seldom does. It’s all about people adhering to values they haven’t re-evaluated or even thought about; and I hate it oh I hate it because it was the sort of environment I grew up in, and felt condemned in.

Why couldn’t these people see that it made no sense! And of course people are people and I cannot attempt to change them, but I don’t like it when my logic is disputed without reasons I see any way of rationalizing.

Of course he rationalized it to me later, and it made sense, and I’m alright with it now. But of course the rationalization had al to do with, this is the way I was brought up, forgive me if you don’t like it, but that’s the way things are. Being difficult because you can’t help it and it’s the truth suits me just fine, because it means I’m right, and I don’t mind being wrong, but I need a good reason as to why I’m wrong and I’ll admit it without fuss.

I’ve grown up in schools with teachers that constantly thought they were right without reason, and they never seek to explain anything to you, only if you do this, then its wrong because we have said it was wrong although we have not told you why, and you have no obeyed it because you’re a difficult child, and because you are a difficult child, you are wrong and therefore have to be punished. But they didn’t see they were the difficult ones of course. And that’s the problem I have with people being elitist, because they are difficult without a reason, for no good reason and still think they are right.

Richard explained it all to me over coffees and fags last night, and we had a weird discussion about how European people still felt a little awkward if they had maids and things, because it reminded them of a period when classes existed and everyone had a station in life. Slaves were slaves and maids were maids, and they serviced the arses of the gentry, and it was all undesirable when Marxism took hold. People started behaving antagonistically towards everything that smacked of colonialism and the idea that one race was superior to another.

Of course I don’t believe that sort of nonsense, although I will admit that the culture of a certain race will inevitably affect the ethics of the majority that are born into it, and some cultures value lelaxation over hard work, rigid moral values over intelligent, logical concession and acceptance, fatalism over living to the fullest etc. And yes, I do believe that different levels of awareness and self-consciousness, different levels of humanity exists in people. I am definitely more humane and accepting now that I’m older, than when I was younger, less well read, and less knowing. But it has nothing to do with race or religion, although like it or not, some cultures cultivate that sort of awareness better than others. Some religions allow you to think more than others, and that makes a great deal of difference.

I believe everything and everyone has a place in life, which is different from having a station in life. At any one point in time, we all have our places, and if my maid’s place at this point is to keep my parent’s household in order, than there’s nothing wrong with it. Because she has chosen it herself and no one is more apt to make a decision about their lives then the person themselves.

You can say she would rather be working in a top market job if she could, but the poverty of her country has prevented her from doing so, has prevented her from achieving that station in life. Well, yes, but the reality of it all is that there’s nothing we can do about that is there. And what we can do is to help her come one step closer to what she wants; she wouldn’t have access to all the literature and culture she has access to living in my parents place if she lived on in the Philippines, and yes cramming it up with 5 other people in a tiny condominium might smack of ill-treatment, but it isn’t.

I know nothing of the world my parents were born into, but I can tell you it was much more miserable than the world these maids from the Philippines are coming into. They have roughed it out for a larger part of their lives and worked hard to come into a different place and point in life, and if they wish to have an easier life now because they can afford it, I don’t see any value in not making life as easy as possible for yourself.

Am I a spoilt thing that has had to too easy…? You know what, I don’t think so. I have had it easy, certainly, and I know it, but I am immensely grateful for everything that has been done so that I can have it easy. But when push comes to shove, I still believe in the value of being able to cope with it myself. And when I’m unable to, I feel unbearably ashamed of the fact that I can’t. And one days I’ll grow up and I’ll be able to deal with it each time. We might not be independent, and we might never be independent, but I believe in the necessity to carry on with living as best as we can with ourselves. You can only choose death otherwise, and unless that happens, when the shit hits the fan you can only either deal with it, or feel miserable about it. And the former is always a better option.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Q and A

December's edition has popped up at the bookstores and I'm in it. Henry's been very nice to me, but he's off now; good on him, really- He has been very sweet, although I would rather they didn't sugar up my replies. Of course I try to give sensible advice, but it isn't as if anyone really reads my column for advice. They must like the 'for god's sake your problem is you don't get laid enough' approach. As opposed to the, 'You poor thing you don't get laid enough. Do go get laid!'. And I don't really like using exclamation marks. But its what works for the mag I suppose.

So, if you have any pressing dirty questions, email me and the most dastardly will appear in next months edition. Or the month after next, I think I might be reviewing sex toys for January.

At any rate, Richard has purchased some amazing mannequins from this store that will customize them for you somewhere in one of the hellish domesticated block areas of the country, so we'll do a couple of shots with them.

It was a vaguely amusing experience, him asking for the dummies to come with sets of hands that would help them hold their bodies up in the missionary a d doggy position, with legs that were at least 2 feet apart.

This Saturday, Dee will be coming back from Melbourne, and we will be up to our nonsense. Not like anything otherwise was to be expected. She will be bringing an award winning photographer around with her, and I am still wondering how I am going to get the stuff I need for that shoot together. It isn't very difficult really, but my minds been freezing up these days. A combination of, oh my god it's the holidays, with a dash of but I have so many things to do that do not have a deadline. Always a bad way to feel.

I had this weird long email a couple of days ago from this guy who couldn't stop pointing out to me the fact that I was a slut and that one day I would grow old and regret everything I'd ever done.

The simplest way I can answer that is that life nearly never falls according to any pattern you expect it to, and there are only right choices at any one moment. There are no right choices for the future, aside from the fact that at that moment there is one right choice, and that is the right choice for the future. Get it.

The important thing is to know yourself and know what you can handle and what you can't The things that will ruin you and the things that you will come out off a better person.

So simple la.

I'll be off to brunch now, although I must set up links to answers to the most commonly asked questions I get over email soon, because it is just so tedious to re-read things that remind me of the existence of ignorance, stupidity and worst of all, rigidity that will not continue to cease in the world.

Cest la vie!


Monday, November 14, 2005

Hide-A-Nut Inc.

I cannot stop thinking about pretty little cakes with fresh cream and berries on them. What I really want is a small little tea cake in a pretty colour like olive green or pink and some nice tea.

I don’t quite know how Café Rosso on Holland Village is doing these days, but it’s a great café, and I’m always keen to give my support to nice little places like that, because it’s always nice to share the things you like.

Richard and I spent most of yesterday fucking about (literally) and we didn’t do anything. I was never so aware of how much fucking there was going on, but there was. Because it took up the entire day, and when we tried to get at it this morning, I started bleeding. Which is not a good thing to have happen to you. It doesn’t feel like anything though, not yet anyway, but then again, there aren’t a lot of pain sensors on the surface of the skin of the vagina.

We had the conversation about pussy size once again, and I’m always shocked at how sill I once was for presuming that small dicks didn’t get anywhere. But of course, small dicks are good for small pussies, and some girls are made with much smaller pussies then others. And for all the fucking that some girls will ever do with their life, their pussies will always stay small, because that was just the way they were built… and then there are virgins with cavernous cunts… because that is the way they are. So seriously, the idiots that think too much fucking will loosen up a girl’s pussy? They should start getting their brains in order by just reading a bit more.

You know. Reading a bit more of international/classical literature, watching less mass-marketed blockbusters, while watching more independent films, and above all, stop wasting time on local television, because it really does make you stupid.

If you think about it, Mediacre TV. Inc. is completely and absolutely full of programs about small minded characters whose lives seem to revolve around the places owned by the sponsors of the show (which also means that the stories are made around the sponsors demands; around products and available locations- i.e. showrooms). They are shows about nothing, but that suits the Hide-A-Peanut corporation just fine because it takes up your time and prevents you from thinking. Its no use saying it here of course, because the people that read beyond the sex bits in my blog already KNOW what I’m taking about, but I’ll say it anyway.

The educated will always think for themselves, they know what’s going on, they can’t stand it for long, and eventually, they fuck off out of the Shity. Unless of course there’s a great deal of money holding them back, in which case they will stay and find their own excitement with what money can buy. But most creative people can’t stand it forever, and they leave, eventually.

But as long as the majority are comfortable, with their minds comfortably occupied by the dilemma of some unimportant person who will eventually come up with a solution we already knew, to a plight that had happened to so many time previously, then we’re safe. There will be no revolutions, and as such, there will be no voice. And the best thing is, in the free market, such crap on TV wouldn’t be able to make it for long. People are stupid, but they aren’t gonna stay stupid and simple minded forever. I never watch local TV if I can help it (and I can, so I never do) and tons of people would rather watch the cable channels then the local free bits.

Hey, hey, I have no problem with taxpayer money going into the arts. Especially if it’s the art of how to keep people sated on crap. No problem with it going into another program about teenagers feeling stressed out over school projects and bitching about dresses and boyfriends. Its even better when all that money gives me someone bereft of talent to worship because some higher authority has decided to call her a ‘star’.

I was having this bloody weird conversation with my neighbour the day before, and he said the word ‘artiste’ with such contempt it was hilarious.

‘So I was at this party yeah, and I met this girl, and I asked her what she did, and she said she was an artiste’
‘I asked her what medium she worked in, and she said she was an actor.’
‘Then I asked what sort of theatre performance she was into, particularly, and she said she worked on TV’
‘”So, you’re an afternoon soap opera wallpaper for people’s homes. That musn’t be very fun. What do you plan to do in the future.”’
‘And she said something that made it sound like this was it. Like making it big in Singapore was it. It was all they ever wanted, to be famous… in Singapore.’
‘I’ve never quite had it like that in any other place around the world. Even the telenovella actresses in Central America want to do something greater than what they are churning out of their arses right at the moment.

Richard and I went over to the friend’s today for dinner- he’s R’s business partner, but it come up to the same thing I suppose. Thinking about it, it was quite an amazing experience, sitting down in the living room over a cup of tea and some impossibly strong whiskey talking about the next Harry Potter- It’s not Harry Potter, and if Harry Potter is seditious, then this book is even more so, although not so quite as bad as Lé Squirrel and the Hide-a-Nut corporation.

I’ve not read it, but the drawings for the book are absolutely amazing and the story as I’ve been told is as amazing as they come. I personally think it has plenty of ideas taken from all over the place, from Rushdie’s Sea of Stories to The Longest Journey, but then again, all these stories have been repeated again and again.

The poor boy needing to escape from horrid relatives? C.S Lewis did that way before J.K. Rowling could write. Combining science fiction and fantasy is every fantasy fanatic’s dream since the invention of the light bulb. Children going off on strange adventures in the jungle while fighting off evil powers that seem far bigger then they are until the end, that’s always been around for time without end. Stories like that are in the myths of every culture, its just a matter of reinventing them.

I haven’t read his book yet (it’s still got a few more pages before it’s finally finished) but I’m sure its already better than a lot of the nonsense out there trying to cash in on the current fantasy bandwagon. Just on the basis that its written by an individual clearly more talented and more experienced then most of them. I certainly hope it’ll get published big anyway, because it’s such a pity when wonderful things get created, and they stay hidden in the closet for god knows how long. Sometimes, I still like believing that every piece of worthwhile work out there will eventually get noticed. I mean, if perfectly unremarkable things like a girl talking about how she likes using disabled toilets more then the general ones can get attention, I don’t see why something like an amazing story about imagination and hope won’t sell out.

I would like to believe that anyway.


Saturday, November 12, 2005

They've Done it! (Again)

To quote all the people I’ve talked to about the Future of Creativity in Singapore… ‘It’s central planning! The problem is central planning!’

Where shall I start? Shiek Haikel really has nothing to say about anything, and the former is way too up your arse, I think I’m so famous in this tiny little town, I can tell grown people smarter then I am how to behave.

Richard and I went to the convention today, and it was terribly disappointing to have some dude up there whom nobody, save the most ‘I’m a complete graphic design groupie’ type of geek, would know, answering questions without first showing us his work. And it was even more ridiculous for the fucking emcee to tell people off when they jeered at the complete ridiculousness of it all. We paid and took the time off to see work and hear about real experiences, not to have someone we don’t know ask someone we don’t know questions that no one else would understand because no one but the someone that has asked the question actually knows what he does. If you didn’t understand that, that’s good, because that’s exactly how it felt like, only it was worse because I had taken time off from school and Richard and paid a hundred bucks for my ticket.

Its such a bloody Singaporean thing really, to have a question and answer session for someone that no one really knows anyway. I mean, if it were Roman Polanski or Baz Luhrmann, that would justify a question and answer section in a conference. If nothing else, it would be cool to know the insider gossip on how hell it really is to make a movie. (although you can be sure it won’t be as interesting as asking David E. Kelly how hell it was to make multi-episode TV featuring an anorexic, depressed, middle-aged lawyer) What did those people asking the questions expect anyway, some sort of formula on how to make contacts and produce good art work? I can answer that – Get off your ass, stop spending all your time trying to be cool and actually do something really cool.

To top it off, both emcees had nothing worthwhile to say, amidst all the fantastic art. In the short periods of time they had to say something worthwhile… (I get pissed off thinking about how much better some other people would have used 5 minutes of complete attention from thousands of young, creative people) all they talked about was… actually, they talked about nothing. But perhaps that’s just the way the Design Singapore Council likes it. Lots of revenues from a big event like that, without immediate cultural and intellectual discovery. It’ll be too fast la.. don’t say anything revolutionary, just keep the kids producing pretty things and keep them buying beanbags and toy robots.

Unbelievable, but here’s a little quiz, does anyone here know why it’s called DesignEdge this year instead of IDN? Because… *drum roll* the government has stuck their fingers once again into something that seemed to be going to become a good thing last year and stuck the DSC up to it and turned it into DesignEdge.

Why the hell did they call the design council in Singapore the DSC, especially since everyone that has ever visited a prostitute in Singapore or anyone that has ever found out that their partners have been sleeping around know very well that the DSC is the clinic for sexually transmitted infections on Kelantan Lane (meaning that I have had partners that have slept around, and at some point have ended up in that clinic as well) There’s something wrong with the people here that give the acronyms to government appendages; it’s not bad enough that we have a Singles Development Unit named after the Single, Desperate and Ugly – our design council has a Sexual Health clinic for its namesake. Tres chic.

Actually, I can’t really judge how much crapper the design festival is this year compared to last years when it was run by IDN only. People I know have said it was crapper, and I must say I am a little bit disappointed with the selection of graphic artists. But then again, that’s a personal opinion, and I’m much less into generic graphic design than I am into real craft skill and originality borne out of an artist being an individual.

In other words, there are graphic artists that are very good at copying other people’s stuff and modifying it to suit them and give it an original voice, and there are graphic artist that spent years sitting outside cafes drawing people and amassing this large toolbox of ability that they then subsequently and/or simultaneously use in their work. And as I have realized, even real life drawing of the same subject is completely different under the pencils of different individuals. There’s absolutely no need to force a style to have a voice, it’s already in everyone of us. Its like the way people walk, its just walking, but yet its possible to know whether someone is a friend or stranger from half a mile away just by that alone.

I’m going to check out the booths tomorrow, and I’m sure they will be pretty decent. I shouldn’t slag it off too much, they have some pretty damn good artist, and Mode2 and Delta are fantastic. The funny thing is, the less name dropping there is, the better the work that seem to come out of the artist. There is nothing more irritating then an entertainer that can’t really entertain but justifies his credit through cunting around with the people that can actually do stuff.

But at any rate, Design Singapore is a way better way to spend the money the government has for ‘cultural’ development than any classical concert at the Esplanade. Allegedly, the people that watch those things are already ‘cultured’ as it is; but I can see why it makes sense, those people have greater spending power then a bunch of young kids who have hands dying to paint cocks on the parliament building. The stuff at the Esplanade doesn’t attract the people that will change the cultural face of Singapore, most of it is as boring as imitation Jalan Kayu Prata for breakfast.

I attended this talk by the dean of our school recently, and he was talking about the merging of ‘high art’ and ‘low art’. And someone stood up and asked if it was believable that the government would fund the arts from a non-commercial point of view. I immediately got the impression that she was suggesting the government fund poncey ‘high art’ involving lots of blank squares on museum walls and films that didn’t have any dialogue or proper music in them.

I personally don’t think funding the ‘arts’ is as important as understanding the concept of being original and bold, and going ahead with design that has not already been tried and tested somewhere else in the world . And I certainly do not see the need to fund things that cannot generate money in themselves, or pay for themselves eventually, in a short run economic time frame. Of course some bigger acts won’t come without the injection of some state money into their arses, and I’m glad they do that, but to me, it is not as important as letting people do what they want, loosening up the OB markers and making the businesss/retail environment easier for these people to get their work out to the public.

I’m completely exhausted. The last few days have been hell at End of Term. Time for bed.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Bible In Two Snaps

The Old Testament

The New Testament

You do realize that's the essential difference between the Old and New Testament, and I am not being blasphemous; The Sistine Chapel has nudes aplenty- most with blatant eroticism.


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Luxury Shitter

Richard and I went back to Sentosa today to finish up the rest of the Lolita school-girl perving, and I must say, we got some pretty racy shots done, given that this is Singapore. But the truth is, people here are more concerned with leaving you alone if they don’t really like what you’re doing, than with bothering you. Unless they’re really, seriously bored. And the good thing about going down to the beach to get your kitty photographed right after the rain probably means that who ever that’s there would be damn serious about enjoying the man-made madness rather than your madness.

Before I digress into more utter craziness that the both of us have been getting into, I must say something about disabled toilets, firstly because it’s not enough that they are everywhere physically, they also have to be everywhere in the news. But of course, nothing like a story everyone can understand while trying to concentrate on taking a shit.

After all, if there’s space in a paper that has to scrimp to be filled up, why not fill’er up. Otherwise, if there’s nothing in it, no one will want to advertise in ; And here’s the thing, more press freedom has not been proven to result in further economic prosperity anyway. But that’s okay, there;s nothing quite like killing trees for slimming ads.

"The media is free to put across a range of worthy different viewpoints to encourage constructive social and political discourse," Goh stressed.

Of Course. Talking about disabled shitters in the National Paper is constructive discourse. After all, everyone has to take a shit at some point in their lives, so it must be an important social issue. As such, I must talk about it, so bear with me.

At school, we have a number of disabled toilets, although I have not seen one single permanently disabled person attending the course as of yet. I have no problem with that of course, nothing like being able to have a shit in a large spacious toilet with handle-bars to grab on for that extra oomph in your gut. I quite like using the disabled toilets, and I’m not the only one there that does. But no one ever fights over their usage.

The first time Luna and I took a toilet break together (we’re not one of those girls that feel the need to take toilet breaks together so I remember it quite well) she hesitated before the handicapped toilet before making as if to go on with me into the general one. I told her I used it all the time too and that she should use it anyway if she wanted to, because its there and it just seems quite pointless that she shouldn’t enjoy it just because I couldn’t –not unless she wanted me to watch her take a piss of course, which I don’t suppose I’d mind- really.

So my point is, handicapped toilets are one of life’s pleasures and shouldn’t be denied normal people if it didn’t inconvenience anyone else. Its one thing for wheelchair ramps to be used as skate ramps –that’s just annoying- and another for normal people to want to take a shit in a handicap toilet.

If you think about it, what are the chances of a disabled person on a wheelchair coming by to your handicapped toilet cubical in the 10 minutes you are taking a shit in it (possibly while reading an article in the local paper about other people wanting to take a shit in that same cubical) in some shopping mall on a floor full of retail shops selling shoes that don’t have wheelchair friendly entrances anyway; Duh, because people who have just suffered a major accident and are temporarily bound onto a chair with wheels will not feel like going out to buy crap, Besides people who have a disability normally have better things to do then go shopping (why bother when you can get someone else to do it for you).

So really, why deprived normal people of this little bit of luxury. We are the majority that buy the crap in the malls anyway, and the toilet space allotted for disabled people is just disproportionate to the amount of wheelchair bound persons that actually turn up in these places.

Anyway, Singaporean people are like that la. Luna didn’t even want to use the disabled toilet because only one person could use it at any one time, and she felt awkward that she should have it while I couldn’t. And I’m not even disabled.

Look. If I were taking a shit in a disabled toilet and I saw a pair of wheel chair wheels waiting outside, my self-consciousness would will the shit away and I will come out with my pants up to my knees, apologizing profusely about the bad smell while attempting to kindly ease the wheelchair bound individual in. All while remembering to Flush After Use, of course. I suggest making the air-vents below the doors in the disabled toilets a little higher so we can be sure whoever is using the cubical can see if the cubicle’s appropriate patron is waiting their turn.

I couldn’t help it. I like talking about shit, and it was with much joy that I found out the Local paper liked talking about shit too.

The truth is, does it really make much of a difference to the disabled and the wheelchair bound whether or not some healthy girl is having a shit in a toilet that was built for its own sake? How many people in wheelchairs do you actually see out in public. If you were wheelchair bound, taking a piss might be a hassle for a while, but for heaven’s sake, some people in wheelchairs can slam dunk from the other side of the court, hike up mountains and swim in the Pacific.

Disabled people also have better bladder control. You would develop one if you couldn’t get to the bathroom as easily as an individual with working legs and thus without the hassle of a wheeler. The physical limitations for these people are under their control, and sooner or later, they will adapt to it. Their bodies are as useful to them as our bodies are to us, and isn’t the primary reason why we don’t see more of them in society.

Like it or not, people are uncomfortable dealing with the disabled. We’re not used to them, and we have all these assumptions about them that make no sense. The fact that we really think it matters whether or not they have immediate access to a toilet as the thing most worthy of discussion pertaining to the disabled last week proves that well enough.

The disabled don’t want or need more unoccupied ‘special’ toilets then there already are. All our buildings are over-specified when it comes to that component of interior architecture. So over specified it seems like we really do care for the disabled. We care so much we’re concerned about them to even the littlest detail, like them taking a shit.

The reality of it is that, that’s what we think of when we think about people that cannot walk.

‘Must be difficult for them to have a shit… are you sure they can do the job properly? They need special toilets to do something that normal people do so easily… wah lau. So simple thing also so mah fan… better hire a normal person that can make coffee for me without hitting over the flower vase.’


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

This Is Madness

That's it. It's started now. I can't breathe.

I've got three major projects going on at the same time, and a couple of smaller ones, along with getting my shit together for end of term, finishing Waiting for Godot, and reading up on the whole of Greek art history and the Renaissance.

It has started. I'm so pressed for time everything that I do that I don't enjoy makes me mad. Throw in the need to sleep, work-out, make tea (because I like tea) do the dishes (because I can't stand dirty dishes); I'm gald Richard cleaned out the apartment yesterday, it makes a big difference really.

Tori is going to Tokyo this Friday, the lucky cunt, my parents are so much more generous with her then they were with me whan I was her age. They always have it easy, the youngest siblings do. I must get them to buy me impossibly wonderful 3D art supplies. Japan really does have the most wonderful craft materials - anything from Plastibo to latex, its a place I actually woldn't mind shopping in.

Yesterday I started off a little project with the rest of the denizens in the apartment block. I gave a few people disposable cameras and some thank you cookies, and asked them to take a shot of one area in their apartment twice a day, or two areas, once a day, and return me the images at the end of the week. The first person I went to was the guy I thought was a wannabe novelist but was really a copywriter whom I often see thinking out branding concepts in front of his Powerbook half-naked from the service area (Richard's fridge is outside where we hang our clothes because we've run out of space in the kitchen, thanks to a huge meat counter he got off a restaurant) He agree instantly and thought it was a really cool idea.

I was walking down the stairs from his place and the two blokes down below had just turned off their late-morning rock fest and were about to go for munchies. They looked cool, so I asked them to do it too. One of the guys worked a day job as a corporate analyst but was really a painter, and he had loads of nice paintings and prints on his walls, and told me it was a great idea, and that it was good that someone kiocked him in the ass to get him started on his photography again. (He's not going to use the disposable camera of course. Crap photography doesn't concern me that much though because I'm a photoshop whore.)

Then there was the couple whos service area faces our service area. And I was a little worried at first because I walked around naked all the time and had started wondering if it was insulting any body else that had no choice but to catch an occassional glimpse. And its not like I'm unattractive naked, but nudity is just something that offend some people some time. Especially if their significant other sees it) But they were both such nice people! And they thought it was a cool idea too. So.

Now I just need the lady downstairs with the expensive lampshades, the fashion designer on the first floor, and the messy Indains next door. And maybe the aunty with the rude T-Shirts living below the couple that is occassionally tormented by my nudity.

And now I have to get back to doing more work.

Cest la vie.

But I like it.