Religion is a sensitive subject in these parts isn’t it Darkness?

I guess so Eva.

Why should that be so Darkness?

Because I don’t believe that religion is just about religion. If that were really the case. Then I don’t think we need a metal detector to even talk about this subject without blowing up. No Eva, religion is much more than that, a way of life? History? Identity? A method of making sense of our share destiny? A phanthom mirror that allows us to see ourselves in relation to the whole idea of community? No, Eva. I believe it must be much more than the mere idea, that its religion alone.

The Suriman Tales – The Brotherhood Press 2011

No Eva, there is nothing original about your thoughts, opinions or even attitude – that idea cannot possibly exist. We are all to one degree or another souls who have been programmed. I am not saying governments are adding mind bending stuff into the water supply. Neither am I accusing them of having some big magnetic machine in some secret bunker that they regularly turn on during a full moon to fashion many of our thoughts. But the sheer fact that many of us breathe, eat and shit in an environment where we all have to be part of society to a greater or lesser degree that serves the interest of politics and power would ultimately mean, somewhere in this everyday dalliance – at some point the “I” has to give way to the “we.” And when we consciously or unconsciously resign ourselves to that condition. Then all you really have is the illusion that you are the master of your own thoughts. Understand this Eva! There is critical thinking and there is critical thinking. And what I am talking about is the latter – trust me when I tell you, the last thing governments desire of the masses is for them to develop those skillsets.

Darkness 2011

The Suriman Tales – The Brotherhood Press 2011 / Watch this full transcript in a secured line in Ekunaba. Please use Holovision only / this has been proudly brought to you by the Interspacing Mercantile Guild.

The answer is critical thinking Darkness.

Perhaps. But you’re forgetting one thing Eva.

What’s that?

Think about it Eva. Let’s say you have a group of people who can winnow truth from lies like one of those industrial diamond sieves – you know those machines with sieves so fine that they can even trap particles the size bacteria. Well let’s say, you have a bus load of those people and there they are preoccupied with the whole idea of ferreting the truth on this and that. Now consider this, what do you think will happen when these guys begin to turn their attention to the subject of politics and power? What if they even proceed to deconstruct many of the myths and time honored assumptions that makes up the whole idea of government? Where then will the whole idea of government be? Now you see why, it doesn’t pay in the long run for any government to develop critical thinking skills in the masses.

The Suriman Tales – The Brotherhood Press 2011

Check out the unplugged version of this video plus a violin recital by Darkness in Holovision. Do support Holovision! Remember you all paid for it! This sharing has been proudly brought to you by technology provided by the Interspacing Mercantile Guild – Transmission was forwarded by the Interspacing Metal Exchange Guild deep space heavy lift mineral vessel, the KDD Merlion – The Brotherhood Press 2011

Brasillerio

November 22, 2011

Eva, you’re German, so you’re been conditioned since birth to be really aware of blockish notes, hard E flats and even the hushed F’s, don’t exist in the German musical vocabulary. Why do you think, Beethoven and Mozart, both like to start off their repetoires with drums – they really had no choice but to get that part over and done with in the beginning. If you must know Eva that’s the only reason why you can’t seem to reach the higher notes, no matter how hard you try. It’s got nothing to do with technique and everything to do with outlook. Look here, try this. Just imagine to yourself, there are no notes, better still just throw away that sheet and close your eyes and imagine as if all you’re really doing is following someone else’s lead.

And who would that someone else be Darkness?

You of course, Eva.

The Suriman Tales – The Brotherhood Press 2011

The power of being different

November 15, 2011

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Eva: I am worried Darkness. There is no letting up on the rains and the water keeps rising. All your hard work will be wiped out.

Darkness: No Eva. Even if everything drowns out. And we are left with nothing except a river of mud. Nothing is ever wasted Eva. Nothing. Do you believe in miracles Eva?

Eva: Sometimes Darkness.

Darkness: Send this message to the Interspacing Mercantile Guild. Tell them. I need strong men. I need them to come here. I need them to help me dig a storm drain.

Eva: By your command.

Darkness: Thank you Eva.

The Suriman Tales – The Brotherhood Press 2010

“Gentlemen, please take a long and close look at this. This is what happens, when you fall in love with a siaow charbor. Dont say, I didnt warn all of you. I’ve told you this and now we have proof. Now I know why Darkness only allows his dog into his tent.

JDAM 2011

The Suriman Tales – The Brotherhood Press 2011

Did you read it Darkness? the Straits Times headline of Wednesday, 9 November 2011, wrote about new ways to teach students in Singapore, morality and ethics.

Good luck to them Eva. You know of course what the end result is likely to be, don’t you?

Not really Darkness.

Let me put it this way: how do you encourage the reading habit in a kid?

Teach them the value of literature. No, I meant, the beauty of the word.

No Eva. Lights off and taking their books away forcibly, is the only reliable way I know to root the reading habit – that guarantees, the child will secret a torchlight and continue reading beneath the sheets well beyond midnight. What most of these brainless wonders who regularly come up with policies don’t realize is, the more something is villified, the more it will acquire a sheen of mystery that gives it the quality of illicit thrill – a die die must do, see and experience allure. You could even say it’s irresistable Eva.

How did you come up with that logic?

I guess that idea may at first seem counter intuitive. But if you think about it Eva, it really isn’t. Just cast your mind to your happy days in University. Who did you really have a crush on? Was it the goody good guy who always made sure, he didn’t fart in the elevator or sit at the backrow? Or was it..

I see what you’re getting at Darkness – verbotene speise schmeckt am besten!

Hole in one Eva! Now you see why I say, the best thing, those numbskulls could do, if they really wanted to counter the pervasive forces of the internet is to simply give it the Coventry treatment – that should really be enough to demystify whatever dark forces that may lurk in the internet as something that is nothing more than a disigenous device like a kid throwing out daily reads while riding a tricycle around the neighbourbood – those idiots, are now going to label the internet as some kinda of Alcaltraz with elements of Area 51 thrown in – the perverse effect of all these efforts to educate our youth may well end up creating the whole idea of forbidden fruit. You know what they say about forbidden fruit don’t you Eva?

No, Darkness.

My lips are sealed Eva.

The Suriman Tales – The Brotherhood Press 2011

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“Why do we have to risk men and material Skipper by tacking against the wind this time of the year? Especially in this part of the ocean? – why not just head due South for two days and bank South Easterly Darkness?”

“Any idiot can do that Harphoon. Now I would appreciate it, if you set the course as I instructed, tell the men to tie everything down – this will be rough and tough – that bitch will never allow us to just sail up between her legs this time of the year without at least trying to give us a good kick in the balls. But I guarantee you – if and that’s a very big if – if, this can be done – then both Vasco Da Gama and Magellan were dead wrong – if we do it right, she may spit us out like a seed and if that happens, we may just be able to slide off the Cape with three days to spare. I’ve kept this from the lads, but we don’t have enough fuel to reach our next way point, not by half Harphoon. So we need this storm to take us to the otherside. Do you understand! There is no bravado here. This is not a matter of choice. Either that or we are all dead rubber ducks. Now, if you please, set the course for true South and tell the boys that we are just detouring.”

Darkness 2005

Somewhere in the Cape of Good Hope – the Alcurian Expedition – Recorded in the Book of Ages, in the Chapter entitled: The Spice Trade Revisited – The Brotherhood Press 2011

Politicians will always fear crowds – that may be one reason why we are always told, crowds obliterate reason along with corroding the whole idea of accountability, turning individuals into feral animals. That if you must know is the real reason why online anonymity is feared by all governments – in the whole idea of online anonymity, they don’t see the individual. Rather to these custodians of power, what drives it is the idea, a myriad individuals have some managed to reduce itself into a single dysfunctional glob – hence they believe rightly or wrong anonymity or the idea of crowding is stupider – proned to anti social behavior that may even have the power to spread like a “contagion” infecting more and and more people.

But do crowds or for that matter online anonymity that takes the form of mob really make us all dumber?
Does it have the power to appropriate your or for that matter my personality, in so far as altering who you or I really am?

I don’t believe it does – you see, this year, as the world watched a crowd after crowd topple autocratic governments from Egypt to Libya – what many failed to notice was, these people who gathered night after night either in Tahrir Square in Egypt, the Al bourdin fountain in Libya and even the Al Jamihnin café in Damascus didn’t really have a plan – not a coherent one except for perhaps the willing to take part in the simple act of coming together in one place. Contrary to what the press may say, these protest remained peaceful. Sure, you could say, these protesters also used social media, but that was really an adjunct to what was really happening.

My point is crowds, be it the idea of protesters gathering in the public square or being part of an anonymous group of netizens posting comments in a blog can change the way people behave. This I don’t believe is such a bad thing. Granted being a part of such a crowd can lead you to do things you wouldn’t normally do and might even consider silly; but that doesn’t for one moment suggest that what you may have said, wrote or shouted out at the top of voice did not really come from the real you – it just means, you never knew you had the courage to verbalize these things, if not for the whole idea of being a faceless individual hiding in a crowd. But that’s not to say that personality you have decided to adopt at that moment in time when you shouted out at the top of voice or decided to tap away at your keyboard as an anonymous poster isn’t “you” or that it’s an irrational part of you that the crowd managed to bring out like Mr Hyde in Dr Jackal. That’s to say, when someone shouts out in the public square that if he doesn’t hunch and stands erect, he’s two inches taller or someone hacks away at the keyboard that dishes off Mr Government for this or that which they consider either stupid or dumb, that person isn’t really giving up his individuality or for that matter identity; if anything, he or she enjoying the glorious feeling of being part of something bigger than himself – that’s hardly a character defect or for that matter something to be ashamed about – it just means, you are human. Breathe. Today will be a great day.

Darkness 2011

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“In America, if you tell your co-workers in your company that you blog – you will most probably be given a promotion – they call you an active citizen and in America, they like people to be fully engaged. In Korea, you will probably, get a double promotion, because over there blogging just means you’re thinking out of the box and everyone in the office will probably want to sit down and talk to you, as they probably believe, if they do so, they will somehow come to see the world slightly differently – but in Singapore, if you tell your boss, that you’re a blogger – then most probably, he will begin distancing himself from you – you will go around like one of those Jews during the Nazi occupation of Poland wearing a star of David patch – soon, you may even find yourself in a cubicle with no telephone and with a view of a row of urinals – because you are considered so toxic that the lavatory is the only place that human resources considers it safe to put you in – what they really fear is, you will infect the others with your deviant thinking.”

Darkness 2009

Extracted from a thread in Ekunaba and Phi Beta Kappa – The Brotherhood Press 2011

“You know that tails wind that whips up like a tornado in June when you circumnavigate the cape of Good Hope? There I was sailing with the crew and we watched her come our way – she was fierce, make a hand like a tiger and imagine that you have razor sharp nails – that was what she looked like. I knew, I had to do something – either tack my way out or maybe turn the boat towards her. So I looked around the boat and what I saw was a group of people who were all either praying or murmuring to themselves, why didn’t I stay at home. As usual Darkness was in the galley sleeping. So I turned the wheel hard to port, started both the electric and diesel engines and rammed her as hard as I could into that swell. Guess what? We made it to the otherside. That wave was evil, it lifted up the boat, a good 10 feet, but we made it over the crest. I dont even know how I did it. All I know is if I was alone, I would probably have curled up underneath my bunk. But that day, I just had the confidence to do that because I knew I had all of you right behind me on the wheel.”

JDAM – The Cape of Good Hope / Expedition: 902 / Chronicler in the Book of Ages under the Chapter: Paraffin Blue Waters – The Brotherhood Press 2011

With the prospects of skyrocketing inflation, a slowing economy, and growing concerns about how many are beginning to question the whole idea of what really constitutes “real’ progress in Singapore i.e GDP vs Happiness Index. It wouldn’t surprise me, if Singapore leaders feel as if they are juggling live hand grenades these days. Added to the list of growing woes most recently is the sad fact, Bedok reservoir is fast turning into a favored suicide hub – but what surprises, confounds and even vexes is how even this fails to provokes us all to ask the one question that should be asked: are we facing a moral crisis? One where we might be so fixated with the whole idea of getting ahead that we aren’t even riled by events that should force us to press the pause button – to think, to revaluated and perhaps even sigh about the underlying reasons for our ambivalence.

Perhaps my concerns are misplaced, suicides are after all a fact of life, so they say – every society after all from Nepali’s in the upper reaches of the Himalayas to the low lying tribesmen of the Matabili in Western Africa has struggled to reconcile themselves with this sad fact of life – the Japanese, have even taken the idea of suicides to renewed heights when April rears its ugly head which coincides with the annual entry examination – during this period, some students who fail to gain entry into a good university that guarantees the prospects of a good life, head to the suicide forest at the foot of Mount Fuji or simply find the most convenient peg to hang up their woes.

But just because something happens to be a fact of life shouldn’t mean that we should simply accept it without dwelling further on the underlying causes – I am sure, if we ferret deeper into the reasons why people regularly decide to throw it all in, we may come out with countless reasons – but do this we must as not doing so may well desensitize us to the point where we become so dehumanize where we may even consider suicides as the cost of living – only bear in mind, this is at best an acquired taste, just as Africans have become so accustomed to driving by corpses on the way to work. They no longer see or for that matter feel what they ought too. I can’t help but feel, this can only rob us of what it means to be a human being, if the whole idea of life is to lead a purpose driven life.

And if what you’re seeking is proof that it’s possible for people to acquire a taste for what’s morally reprehensible to the point where they feel absolutely nothing – you need look no further than what happened only a few weeks ago, when a toddler in Guangzhou was run over by a car and left dying in the street while passers-by’s went about their business as if nothing happened.

Granted that one episode (with the aid of YouTube) may have riveted a nation, provoking many Chinese these days to ask for the very first time since their meteoric economic growth what sort of society is being created? But I can’t help, it’s a little too late – once society has grown accustomed to the idea that which should rightly disturb is simply given the treatment of a “fact of life,” something must give and eventually die – and that which perishes may well be the one thing that differentiates us all from animals – our humanity.

Darkness 2011
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Somewhere in the battle trenches in the Sardonyx sector in the age of the rocket

Harphoon: Darkness, why have you commanded our tanks and infantry to stop short of the Steppes? They are sitting ducks, we have ten divisions in reserve with three to spare, their supply lines have been scissored. We can wipe the Aryanians out in this one strike! Why are we stopping!

Darkness 2007: Sit down my young apprentice…I said sit down! Let me tell you a story. In the moment of my youth, I did two things particularly well. One was climbing. The other was Kendo. You could say my life revolved around only these two constellations – fucking, drinking even my studies were secondary to these two preoccupations – the only thing that really mattered to me was summiting and winning every tournament. I can recall one particular climb vividly half way during a climbing expedition in Mont Elbrus when we were somewhere up the Western face – we received a SOS from a Swedish climb crew, some 12 kilometers beneath us – you have to understand, this was my first time I had ever led an expedition – and I had saved up for nearly 2 years for this one climb by holding two shift jobs, the summit was no more than 300 meters, the weather clear as to suggest clouds never once existed and the wind sweet to cheek. I remembered staring defiantly at her and saying to my No.2, this is the time, to rush up her skirt, we will never be able to get a better chance, then now, the Swedes can wait, besides it was tough love, that’s life – so I ignored it and sought comfort in the fact, a Norwegian team who was closer to them would respond to the SOS. When I returned to base camp, a senior who had taught me to climb, his name was Dr David Lim, admonished me publicly for my recklessness. As usual, I was good at arguing, so I had a bag of tricks to blunt his attacks – but when he used a particularly harsh expression “ghuid” (缺德) , meaning “virtueless” to describe my utter indifference. I felt marooned and at a lost to respond with words – I fell silent and began to reflect on the error of my ways. Even today, I can recall vividly how those words cut into my flesh, muscles and into the marrow of my being – from that day onwards, I have never ever failed to respond to a SOS no matter where it comes from. What we must consider this day and age is why this expression seems to have lost its admonishing power and has simply become a cliché of what we call the tough facts of life. I think we can blame many things, the cult of worshipping money to the idea that there is only 24 hours in a day and to the limits of what we can put into our hearts – but think about these things, we must. As when we set them aside, then it could be said, we have simply resigned them as one of the many wallflowers that makes up the portrait of modern life. And that is a lost…a real lost my apprentice.The Aryanians may have once treated us as animals. Even defeated as they are now, they may still regard us as animals. We may have even behaved like animals in this war that has lasted over a thousand space years. But that doesn’t mean we have to be animals – have you seen the latest signals reports? They have been sending out SOS’s all night long. But no one is coming. All their deep space battlecruisers have been destroyed. kindly inform the Aryanian high command, we will agree to an armistice – make arrangements to allow them free and safe passage back to their homeland. Assure them, we have every intention of keeping to the Geneva Conventions, the Arullian Protocol – this war is over.
Excerpt taken from the Book of Ages – Chapter 204, The Armistice – the Brotherhood Press 2011

When I talk about elitism – we may have to entertain the idea this may well be a broad idea. Contrary to populist belief this has little to do with one’s social standing or even the largese of their bank account or for that matter whether they preside over important affairs. If anything elitism is simply an attitude. But what renders this state of being particularly noxious is the impression that it is benign, normal and even generally accepted – if you believe for instance you are immune from this state of mind. Then I say, you have simply not invested either the time or effort to discover the breadth of this word beyond it’s dictionary meaning – as when we talk about elitism in this scale. It may very well apply to most people who none of us would possibly label as elites – the man who believes he sees the world clearest and regards the views of others are merely technicalities, is in every sense an elite – the politician who believes the only way to perpetuate the idea of progress is by keeping to the tried and tested yellow brick road thus denying all other fields of possibilities is in every sense an elite. Even the blogger who believes in the idea, since he has managed to garner a cachet of readers and takes pride in the belief he has the right to deny others a voice is in a sense an elite.

And this should lead us to only one question: how do we shoot a poison arrow that puts to sleep this attitude? It’s conceivable the idea may reside in the idea that life is not merely binary, but multi faceted – one is not merely switched on or off, scholar or cookie cutter, functional or dysfunctional, against you or for you, engaged or autistic or for that matter successful or unsuccessful. It is only when we dedicate ourselves to crafting a worldview that truly belongs to us and no other – in so far as we can call it our own – that we will finally realize elitism is not too handsome a thing.

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“I have never had a high regard for Western expatriates in Singapore or for that matter anywhere else. From what I see, they only seem to clump together with their own kind creating either little America, Britian or whatever enclave in their host countries. Worst of all they all seem to be congenital complainers, the water doesn’t taste right etc. Some even throw money as if it grows on trees, screw around openly with the local women and get so pissed that they end up making a mockery of themselves. And they wonder why no one wants them. Well let me tell you all this, that is well and fine in a city state like Singapore. But pull that same stunt in a plantation where the nearest police post is at least a hundred miles away and I guarantee you that, you will end up in a citrus smelling pine box. No I have no illusions whatsoever on this topic of shooting dead the ugly Singaporean, he must be chained and buried in some dungeon – he must be obliterated, we must maintain a high level of discipline when it comes to these matters and assimilate as fast as we can into the local community, build bridges, schools and whatever it takes to foster goodwill – these things are crucial, strategic and a precondition as we have learnt from our game – if we are to successfully further our economic agenda – discipline must be maintained!”

Vollaraine 2011

Excerpt of conversation recently at a secret dinner held in the Planters Club – intercepted by the deep space scientific vessel – KDD Nariobi – The Brotherhood Press 2011

The most important decision that will have the most profound impact on your life is not who you want to be or what you want to achieve before you hit 50 – those are side dishes.

The most important decision that you will ever make in your life is who will share the journey of life with you.

You see if you pick the wrong person then you’re just buying into a whole barrel of grief. You only have one life, so it has to be the decision of decisions.

Let me put it this way, if you pick some loser like me; then grief will be the color of your days. Some people stay in one place and they turn the wheel of life day in and day out; they may not be exciting, interesting or even that good looking, but they’re always there for you and that’s what really matters in the journey of life.

Others are like wanderers; they may stay of a while and you may even find a sliver of happiness; but a day will come when every wanderer will just stare out of the window and look enviously at those those birds that make a neat line to fly off in the September morn – like salmon struggling against the current to return to that place called home; whales beaching for no apparent reason or the capricious sea giving with one hand and taking with another – these things embody the spirit of the wanderer – you cannot rely on them for the long haul; as they will always do things that even they themselves don’t know why they do them.

If you invest in a wanderer – a day will come when they will just pick up and go; they don’t need any rhyme or reason; just as the sea can never help herself whenever she throws a tantrum from time to time; the moon affects her – so it’s the same with wanderers – they are the capricious type and you will always be at the mercy of their vagaries.

Wanderers are only good for the short haul; they make airports, bus terminals and places where sail boats berth interesting – they’re good for a cup of coffee; they’re even good when you stand beside them and watch the sun rise; but come a time; they will pick up and go.

But the guy who stays in one place and turns the wheel of life day in and day out; he is the one that any sensible woman should choose as a life partner; for one he doesn’t feel that pull or call of the wild; to him life is just an endless repetition; where everyday unfolds precisely as the last, the only thing that changes is the mundane stuff, like toothpaste thinning out or its time to get a haircut– it’s in the endless litany of repeating where you will always find the stayer to better investment than the wanderer in the long run; as where the former may seem to embody courage, excitement and everything that is worth living for – as he climbs mountains, rides his bike down a cliff and stares defiantly at the on coming storm in his tiny sail boat– let me tell you a secret; that’s not where real courage is to be found; as those antics (no matter how heart stopping they may all appear to be) all have a cut off point,

They all lack the horror of the litany of repetition – you can’t climb beyond the summit; ride further when the road runs out; that’s because wanderer can never bear out the long haul – that’s why the stayer will always be a better bet; he is a courageous man; who will see you through the long haul ; that’s why if you have to choose between a wanderer and the stayer, it’s a no brainer, go for the stayer; it’s a one second decision – as somewhere in the endless journey of life; filled with the litany of repeating where there is no prospect of even a place where it can all end the way you envision; you can always depend on the stayer to turn off the lights -you can grow old with such a man.

As for the wanderer; he’s just like one of those NTUC plastic bags that the wind catches and twirls as the thermals whips it high up – as it dances, pirrouttes and curls ever so charmingly; for a while, it’s poetry in motion as you stare out tranfixed from your office window – but never ever forget, it’s just garbage.

Darkness

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“Not so very long ago. Many of us were just coming together to play games in a computer. But through the years, we have all grown up – so it’s only natural that we should all put childish things to one side and pick up the things that every man should bear – Gentlemen, I will be honest with all of you tonight. The life of a palm is 25 years, with new strains in development, it may even well exceed this life expectancy by a factor of 3. Besides, I don’t expect the world economy to recover within 10 or for that matter even 20 years – infact, I don’t really believe the people in power really understand how deep and wide this hole actually is, or for that matter how impossibly difficult it will be for the world to climb out of this perfect shit pot. This Gentlemen would mean some of us in this room, may probably never ever see our homeland Singapore again. It is best, if we make peace with those who we may have made promises too in better times and perhaps even cut them loose, so that they may continue with their lives without us casting a shadow over them, it may even be a good idea that we take to the ways and customs of our host countries earnestly – in truth my dearest brothers, we all cannot be so different from those lone centurions posted to guard some far flung corners of the empire or those ancient mariners of lore, who simply couldn’t find a plank to sail back to that place called home – in which case, it is my duty to be brutally honest with all of you tonight, most of us in this room will probably die in a foreign land with Singapore in our hearts. You could say this is the life we have chosen to live. You could even say it is our destiny.”

Darkness 2011 – conversation at the Planters Club very recently – intercepted by the Arullian Space Station, KDD Arturo – The Brotherhood Press 2011

Catch the full extended version of this talk in Primus Aldentes Prime – do try our new holovision stream / This has been proudly brought to you by the Interspacing Mercantile Guild – The Brotherhood Press 2011

Catch a longer version of this video by using Holovision in Ekunaba!

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