looking for baudrillard, boorstin, or eco?

dare to hope for what is good
instead of what is merely good enough.
Dead in sin | Saved by grace | Living in hope | Walking by faith | Surviving on a prayer

+ sola scriptura + sola gratia + solus Christus + sola fide + sola Deo gloria +

jeudi, août 25, 2005

 Please return my books!

I am now looking for my Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited and my Tolkien Lord of the Rings.

If you have them, PLEASE RETURN THEM.

You know what, if you have ANY of my books, please return them.

ETA - LotR found! Di has them. Yes dear, get your sister to contact me. I really want the book back. Sorry to leave a msg for you like this; I'm missing your email address.

[Please return my books!]
Sngs Alumni @ 25.8.05 { 0 comments }

mardi, août 23, 2005

 Anti-Aging: Childrens Section in Borders, SG

The last time I checked, adult content was available in the childrens' section.

This time around, it's anti-aging literature beside The Hardy Boys.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Borders Singapore, where we want you grow up fast - but not too fast.

[Anti-Aging: Childrens Section in Borders, SG]
Sngs Alumni @ 23.8.05 { 0 comments }

lundi, août 22, 2005

 help is six seconds away

help is six seconds away
Originally uploaded by bloggeritis.
"In case of emergency, please press and hold the alarm button for 6 seconds. Our staff will attend to you shortly. Alternatively, please call 6****** for assistance."

What happens if I press the button for 7 seconds instead?

[help is six seconds away]
Sngs Alumni @ 22.8.05 { 0 comments }

dimanche, août 21, 2005

 Velvet Handcuffs

Velvet Handcuffs
Originally uploaded by bloggeritis.
Singapore Prisons Service advertises for positions - with pink velvet handcuffs. I... I don't even know where to begin the mocking. Do they even realise what they're DOING?!

[Velvet Handcuffs]
Sngs Alumni @ 21.8.05 { 0 comments }

 Meetings & Betrayals

a.A. treated me to SRT's production of Harold Pinter's Betrayal this afternoon. Directed by Wang Meiyin (another backward-play? I watched Saturday Night too, you know...), the show was rather blah. I liked the minimalistic decor and the innovative lighting design (done by Darren, whom I met while doing Chestnuts, I think), which allowed us all to focus more on the dialogue within the play - which you should do: it's Pinter - but somehow, it felt almost too plain - my eyes kept wandering. To make things worse, I really couldn't feel any chemistry between the three main actors - Shabana Azmi (Emma), Peter Friedman (Jerry), and Simon Jones (Robert). They're good actors in their own right, but somehow their performance felt hollow. Perhaps it was the fact that it was a matinee performance (renowned for their "lack of energy"), but the theatre was FULL, and we were bouncing their energy - when they bothered to throw it, at least. But as a testament to Pinter's magic, despite the flaws of the performance I still liked the play itself - just not this particular rendition of it by SRT.

Apart from meeting a.A. (whom I haven't seen in about a year, despite the occasional SMSes) and having excellent conversation (we both left each other with headaches - which we joked was due to the intellectual stimulation, ha-ha), I met a friend from the ISC competition (who went again to Switzerland this year, lucky bastard), and a student from my old workplace, then in Taka, met a secondary school classmate whom I hadn't seen since we graduated from Sec 4! Bought three good buys today - shoes at 40% off, a graphic novel (yes, another one) at 20% off, and a pair of great-looking sunglasses at a throwaway price.

So, all in all, a good day.

[Meetings & Betrayals]
Sngs Alumni @ 21.8.05 { 0 comments }

dimanche, août 14, 2005

 Please don't sacrifice our sensibilities for your fear

Perhaps the NKF debacle terminated too abruptly, but the citizens of our fair nation-state seem to have developed an almost bloodthirsty desire to crucify the newest public figure on the block, also known as Andrew Kwan. He's certainly being flogged and hung out to dry by our national papers. Not that he doesn't deserve it - he gives me the impression of extreme arrogance, and his being in possession of an intolerable smugness. To quote Miss Bingley of Austen's Pride and Prejudice, there seems to be "an abominable sort of conceited independence" in his manner and presentation. It didn't help that he made a political blunder the very first day he submitted his application for the Presidency - he brought his pastor along. Mixing two out of three of the social sex-religion-politics tripartite taboo did not endear him to anyone - no, perhaps not even those who belonged to his religion.

But that is all forgivable - to err is human, to forgive divine et cetera, et al. What is unforgivable is blatant way that our newsprint is framing our candidates, meritocracy be damned. When economic policies are debated, comparison charts are drawn up and published in the central news spread in the main section of the papers. CPF itself has bought countless cubic centimetres of real estate news through its length, Chew-illustrated explanations of policy changes, which are then in turn debated in the Home pages. Where is this rigour when we talk about one of our Presidential candidates? Where are the charts, comparing the companies that all four candidates have helmed? The comparisons of how much money each has handled?

No. Instead, we have Andrew Kwan on one page, holding his hand to his head like he has a headache, being questioned mercilessly by reporters. We turn the page, and we see incumbent President Nair holding hands with the rest of the PAP folks (aka that family) as fireworks bloom in the background during National Day.

Some semblance of fairplay would be nice, SPH. Any attempt to mask your endorsement of the current President just to play it safe politically would be welcomed. Even the playing field, please – it’s already bad that we have a one-party state and that that single party is going full-out in its obvious endorsement of Nair, and we need some form of transparency from you.

[Please don't sacrifice our sensibilities for your fear]
Sngs Alumni @ 14.8.05 { 0 comments }

vendredi, août 12, 2005

 Blogging and Journalism

There are debates raging out out there in both the academic and practitioner fields about blogging and journalism. Is blogging journalism? The existence of Garret M. Graf, the first blogger ever to be issued with a White House press pass seems to suggest that there is growing acceptance at the highest echelons of the public sphere that certain forms of blogging have been legitimised and parsed into mainstream media.

Interestingly, while commenting on the inclusion of Graf (editor of FishbowlDC), White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan also mentioned that the White House has
"historically... admitted the traditional media and the nontraditional media, as well as colo(u)rful individuals with certains points of view from the left or the right." (Emphasis mine.)
That seemingly innoculous sentence perfectly encapsulates the establishment's ambivalent attitude towards "journalistic blogging". Showing a mastery over ambiguous inclusivity, McClellan has effectively categorised Graf (and FishbowlDC) as "traditional media". No, "nontraditional media". No, Graf is merely a "colourful individual". Who could have left-wing leanings. Or right-wing inclinations. Or something. Maybe.

Singapore's method of dealing with bloggers is more straightforward - we've co-opted them into the system (just like the PAP.) The mainstream media (I hesitate to term them "traditional media") has given popular bloggers like mrbrown, mr miyagi, xiaxue, and sarongpartygirl regular columns within our (extremely small) newsprint offerings. (I don't think I need to link them, do I?) This after criticism that the very first bloggercon in Singapore was "a yawn", and that the bulk of Singapore-based/Singaporean blogs were insular and dedicated to "navel-gazing." Despite this, our newspapers have welcomed their contributions with open arms. My question is: why have we legitimised these bloggers, who have set examples for bad journalism? Shouldn't these bloggers be subjected to (at the very least) some form of journalistic standard by which they can be compared to other writers?

I read Izzy's (sarongpartygirl) column in Today with a skeptical eye - was that piece truly worthy of being published in a nationally-distributed paper? Perhaps the blame should rest on the editor, but her little ditty ran on about half a page too long, and seemed only to be included for its shock value ("art and porn" was her topic of choice.) mr miyagi's columns irritate the hell out of me because of its utter disregard for some semblance of propriety - his columns get my hackles up because he writes exactly like how he does on his blog, with lousy English (engrish) and a large dose of colloquialism. Wendy Cheng (xiaxue) also had a column somewhere, I believe, but it/she failed to make an impression. mrbrown is the only blogger-turned-journalist whose columns I can tolerate, but I think that is a testimony to his talent for observation than anything else. Plus, he writes well - his ideas flow, his words run together, and the use of Singlish is not overly-gratituous.

So - articles which ramble, writing which has less content and more shock value, columns which blatantly flaunt the use of bad English, discussions on non-topics - which of these would really pass muster in newspapers concerned about their journalistic integrity and standard? I hope that this fad of co-opting these famous/infamous Singapore bloggers into the periphery of local newsprint passes quickly. It does not bode well for the future of the profession should any Tom, Dick or mrbrown be allowed so easily to cross from their weblogs to the newspapers.

ETA - a.A. SMSed that it does not bode well for the journalistic profession either for marginalising "us bloggers" here in Singapore (such as their comments on bloggercon.sg etc.) While I agree that they should not have cast the first (biased) stone, prejudice on their part is beside the point in my argument. The prejudice is mine - against the use of poor English and gratituous use of Singlish in newspapers. In fact, one could argue that the "traditional media" have risen above themselves and have "graciously" (and I use the term loosely) allowed bloggers to enter into the "hallowed sphere" of newsprint. More about newspapers and agenda setting in the next post.

[I wrote the above ETA with great trepidation. a.A. is a philosophy major, and I'm not well-versed at all in logic and rhetoric. Hello a.A.!]

ETA II - a.A. frantically SMSed me that I have misunderstood her - I apologise. Her beef with The Establishment is that they would not allow her to write in their space, but would allow these bloggers to do so. [And sorry for getting home too late to call you.]

[Blogging and Journalism]
Sngs Alumni @ 12.8.05 { 0 comments }

lundi, août 08, 2005

 Why do I always get stuck with the crazies?

Today, after numerous emails and reminders that I have to conduct a tutorial without any material, the lecturer whom I am a teaching assistant for called me.



Needless to say, I am Not Happy today.

[Why do I always get stuck with the crazies?]
Sngs Alumni @ 8.8.05 { 0 comments }

samedi, août 06, 2005

 Navel gazing has given me a backache

My back has acted up again, probably because I carried a hard guitar case down two stories after the prayer summit yesterday night. This really, really sucks, and A. Jenny is going to accompany me to the chinese sinseh tomorrow to see if there's anything that can be done. I was in so much pain today that I actually called up an accupuncturist shop to see if they were open at 5pm on a Saturday (they weren't.) Ironic that I would want someone to stick needles in me to heal the pain, but there you have it - desperate times call for desperate measures. Has anyone gone for accupuncture before? Does it work? Does it hurt? How long does it take? Please tag or comment - I really want to know.

On top of the ache I feel in my lower back (more like shooting pains there and in my legs), I also have to move my brain a lot this weekend - my supervisor has come to the conclusion that I don't really "get" the subject matter that he assigned me to do (which I don't, so he's right), and we've decided that I have to come up with a new topic by this weekend. On one hand, this is a huge load off my back - I really did try to understand, but most of the time, I thought "this is just bullshit", or "this is just spin", or "isn't this common sense?" So I suppose, changing a dissertation topic is the best thing that I could have done. I'm trying to focus on ICT for development (ICT4D), humanitarian efforts in Asia, and developmental work. Broad strokes, which I am desperately trying hard to narrow down.

The best and worst thing about this is that my supervisor truly believes me capable of handling anything I set myself to do. I blame my previous supervisor for telling blatant lies about me to him, telling him that I'm worth my weight in gold, or something to that extent. Lies, all lies! I'd really prefer it if he didn't have any expectations of me, and then it would be so much easier to surpass anything that he was demanding. If that sounds like I'm taking the easy way out, well - you try walking a mile in my shoes! I'm living in perpetual fear that I'm going to trip and fall flat on my face.

So now I'm at home, trying hard to come up with a research topic. Uh... how does one do that again?

[Navel gazing has given me a backache]
Sngs Alumni @ 6.8.05 { 0 comments }

vendredi, août 05, 2005

 Hey there, look at my navel

My proposal has been thrown out the window, I've been (rightly) accused of not fully grasping the subject matter, and I'm wondering if quitting isn't such a bad thing (but it stinks of throwing in the towel, failure, and other smelly stuff.) I've not been too busy to write, but just a little mentally preoccupied.

But Singaporean bloggers are apparently a bunch of no-good navel-gazers anyway, so why bother coming back here to read about me and my bellybutton?

button your belly!

[Hey there, look at my navel]
Sngs Alumni @ 5.8.05 { 0 comments }

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Musings on Rick Warren's Purpose-Driven Life (PII)


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+ before i die +

Stuff I'd Like
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