May 31, 2013
“The Third Stage Navigator told us all that we should all power off! They said, if we do not comply, then they will slap us all with a charge of treason under the Arullian Protocal. But Gentlemen, when I think about it – I only have one life. And if one sees it that way – then there is really only one thing to do. It’s hardly a matter of choice.
let me put it another way – if you are a family man – doesn’t even matter whether you are high or low, rich or poor, smart or stupid like me – doesn’t even matter whether you happen to be a jamban cleaner, dog shooter, part time call girl, policeman, ISD officer, internet survelliance officer, lawyer, doctor, accountant, lecturer, journalist, home maker, tuition teacher, bus driver – what will you say, if you child ask of you one day, ‘Daddy what did you do to protect the Internet so that we can enjoy freedom today?” – that I feel puts it all very nicely in the right perspective – what will you say Gentlemen? Now who is with me in the good fight?
Gentlemen to win in this war – we first need to kill the policeman in our head. We need to grab this invader who is called FEAR somewhere in the darkened corner of our head and we need to pull back his head and slit his throat. And watch the life seep out of him.
Once this is done….anything is possible and nothing is impossible. Send an encrypted message capsule to all the tribes in the Strangeland….tell them we are defying the four houses.”
We will Win!
May 30, 2013
Last night, despite my best efforts to turn the tide. I was voted down by the hot heads. It didn’t take me very long to realize, it would be uphill to try to convince them – this was just a minor glitch- I could tell from their tone, expression and mannerism. They don’t believe this is just a small storm in the teacup.
There are far wider ramifications here. I was told this morning. I have to power off.
I drove four hours to the city just for a face-to-face meeting that lasted the whole night. Now all there is to do is to drive back where I came from.
It will be a long drive back….
May 29, 2013
“Cui Bono? Who stands to benefit the most from all this? The way I see it – it can’t be those who are passionate about the truth.
And what happens when the flow of information is curtailed? What happens when an iron curtain descends on the freedom to write and be read? What happens when you suddenly look around your head and see a policeman standing there?
It can’t be the ordinary man on the streets who benefits? After all, if he just reads the ST – then how can he possibly win in life? How is it possible for such a man to derive at an informed decision when facts are regularly embellished, exaggerated, elided and give the spin treatment whenever it is served up like fresh bread day in and day out? What happens when the flow of counter information becomes less trafficked – as no one after all likes to blog or for that matter put their thoughts on an electronic parchment because they can’t cough up 50K?
What happens when we all suddenly find ourselves living in a hermitcally sealed totalitarian information state where only the big like ST and breakfast Network who can easily foot out 50K are allowed to shape thoughts and opinions as ONLY they can continue writing – while the small man who may well enjoy a large readership is forced to bow out as he can never afford it? How does that idea forward information democracy?
No. I really don’t think the stakeholders of Singapore stand to benefit from all this whose. This common good thing is all a crockmof shit – no it’s not people whose kids have to one day put on uniform and learn how to leopard crawl and cut razor wire with a multi tool who stand the most to benefit from all this?
Cui Bono? Who stands the most to benefit from all this?
It is best to wait and see, hear and seek to understand. This I believe is what the wise will do – if after a period of time, its business as usual and no rationale accompanies this latest move and they behave as if this is another beautiful day in paradise – then and only then will we form our own opinions that will eventually be the truth.
Gentlemen, we are not dealing with the Strangelanders here. We can’t just send a third stage guild navigator and demand and explanation like we usually donned. This is in the real world. We need to explore and if possible exhaust all diplomatic avenues before we proceed to measured response.
You know personally I feel very disappointed by this latest move – as I had planned to start a cooking series for many of those who have told me that they wanted to be hawkers, but didn’t know where or how to cook for nuts – now it seems these plans would have to be shelved.
Coming to think of it what can anyone write about Singapore when this comes into full effect?”
Excerpt of conversation cannot be retrieved as the phantom stealth mode is currently enabled – brought to you by an unspecified underground source. Origins unknown. Insufficient data. Source: unspecified probe, ownership: unknown / EPROM codex: undecipherable due to break in codex / insufficient data – this is a computer generated message from a unspecified source /
May 28, 2013
Remain very calm. Be still, so very still like a hunter before the quickening. No, this is not a surprise. It should be….as it was always in the cards, I reckon.
Yes I understand. I am understand completely now.
This day was always meant to be – after all, it has always been a case of when will they blink. Never ever whether this would ever come to past. Never.
I may not agree with this – but I can understand why this is seen to be even necessary by the custodians of power. I understand. When I scale what seems to at stake.
So why should this be a surprise at all?
No! Like I said it was in the cards all along….It was foreseeable. Yes it was. You don’t even have to be remarkably smart to connect the dots either to figure out, why this day was always meant to come.
And if this was expected all along, foreseeable and something that was always meant to happen – then it can’t be that new at all – which is really just another way of saying it probably happened somewhere before, in another age, another timeline, another place- this same thing has happened before to whole communities who suddenly woke up one morning and found themselves all looking dumb struck at strange and menacing clouds rolling in like the four horse men.
And if it has happened before. Then surely I have nothing to fear at all – it is after all a well trodden path. A path that has been transversed so many that I can even make out the texture of how this trail resembles the quality of earthenware, cut maybe on the side of a hill with other meandering paths radiating out all over like how the roots of a tree radiate out and touch the roots of other trees – and if that is the case, what is there to really fear.
The truth will live on. Relax. Breathe….Breathe deeply. Go on breathe…
Tomorrow will be a beautiful day, I reckon. An exceptional day even. As now you understand – it was always meant to be. I reckon for me, tomorrow will certainly be a day amongst days – as had it turned out any different from what transpired today….that would have really surprised me.
But this? No. Like I said, it was always in the cards.
May 28, 2013
“The real and complete man is not hamster. He is a rugged individual. So if you think you can just say to this man – this is your lot! Don’t be surprised if he just calls your mother something unmentionable and walks right out of that door! You should not take it personally as a vote of no confidence – it’s just his way of saying, he has every RIGHT to live his life and not just exist like a battery chicken……this is very natural…as the sleeper must awake. Only then can the real and complete man emerge.”
May 28, 2013
He’s someone who doesn’t just read the propagandist ST and swallow it whole – hook, line and sinker. As he knows only too well what’s their hidden agenda. So he’s not in the least surprised that the apparatus of mass assimilation is in the business of embellishing, eliding and massaging the truth to keep the status quo ante. Neither does a netizen have any problems in calling a spade a spade vis-a-vis the ST is a machine to engineer consent.
He’s also not someone whose dumb enough enough to just take and run with what someone in TV has to say about life and their objects of interest in general. As again he knows there is more than one way to get ahead in life and though he may agree the tried and yellow brick road of officialdom certainly offers one way, it’s certainly not the only or the best way. So the netizen will always prefer to go his way.
Neither is a netizen someone who just takes and run with whatever is served up in blogosphere as he knows only too well Potemkin sites such as Singaporedaily and Breakfast Network exist to serve a very real and sinister goal – and that goal MAY have very little to do with beaconing out the murk or for that matter furthering the truth.
Dont believe me then go and ferret out the history of those who claim to be the new purveyors of the truth online. Go on! You owe it to your brain just as you probably owe it to your well being to read food labels before you start gobbling it all down.
In summary, the netizens is the prototypal modern thinking man. A man who knows only too well – life is NEVER so simple as how it’s so often forwarded by the custodians of power and their minions – a sort of man who will always peer into darkened interiors, nurse his askance and always interrogate whatever comes before him – as he is none other than the humble seeker of the truth and nothing but the truth. Hardly the sort don’t you think so, who will compromise his values simply because it makes sense these days to know which side of the bread is buttered…..like so many sanctimonious pricks and cunts who I rather prefer avoid and read my book or play my violin instead.
And that is definitely uncommon in Singapore. Get used to it! Because that will always be in your face whether you like it or not!
May 27, 2013
“I never said to anyone they shouldn’t be a crane operator. All I said was do it only AFTER you have finished your degree. After that you can do whatever you like – it’s after all your life.
Having said that, let me be frank – if I find out that any of you have sneaked off to operate a crane without finishing your degree – then I may just pay your sweethearts a courtesy call when you’re working playing Bob the builder. You know it’s very high up there – you just can’t step out of the cage and hail a taxi to go back home…..that simply means I can do a lot of things with your precious in the kitchen as you wouldn’t be around – things like baking cakes after that we may move to the hall and so on and so forth.
Coming to think of it, even if any of you confront me. I’ve still give your wife a playful smack in the ass – she will probably like it – you can watch if you want – you want to know why I am suddenly taking a personal interest in your woman?
Because you have left your backdoor wide open like a chicken house with a big neon sign that says, eat as much as you want!
What are you going to do call up the police and tell them that there is a strange man wearing really tight trousers with a bulge chatting to your one and only…. I want to be clear. If that ever happens. You have no one to blame, but your poor sorry self.
As you never bothered to improve yourself. You were so cinchai that you didn’t even bother to take it all to the logical end – you just stopped at your stupid diploma and sucked your thumb instead of going the full home run by finishing off your degree – and since all you do is impersonate a yo-yo and use as much brain power as it takes to tie your shoelaces to get through a working day as a crane operator – you’re probably as interesting as a bollard or a door stopper. You know why don’t you, because you motherfuckers didn’t bother to connect the dots. You just ran with what someone who you saw on TV said – so you never fleshed out your character or for that matter bothered with the whole deal of developing yourself as a well rounded individual. Never even invested in the idea of getting to know yourself deeper or for that matter pushing yourself to the very limit.
You will not be able to stop me. Do you all understand?
You disregarded my brotherly advice on the art of manliness – and there is one thing that I can never abide in a man – a failure to see a thing through to the very end. My god, if there is one thing that makes me white hot…this is it….you’ve all hit my hot button!
Now I want you all to understand – this is what I am going to do in three years time.
You all know I never kid around – you all know that if I say, I do something….I’ll do it and it’s as good as a promissory note from the Bank of England….you all better run along right now and tell all your friends about the facts of life.
Remember…I was not here….I did not say this.”
Excerpt of a conversation somewhere in the people’s square in Prima Maritima – The Brotherhood Press 2013
“The goal in life is to get ahead. That’s it! That at least is how I see it – to get ahead. And a big component of that is to have the inner confidence to see a thing through to the very end no matter what obstacles you may face – that’s why you have to get your priorities right when you’re young and not be too bothered about the whole idea of earning 7K as a crane operator or high class call girl – besides, if your just a frog in the well – because that is precisely how you will come across to others, if you didn’t see the wisdom of finishing your academic career to it’s logical end.
Sure! By and large people are generally nice about it even if you don’t have a degree – but in reality, a graduate will always look down on a non graduate – it’s nothing personal, it’s just the way the system scripts a thinking man. Look at it from his point of view, he’s cut his teeth, served his number of tours of duty, earned his stripes etc etc etc – could well be he’s a graduate from the halloed ivy league or a tin pot neverheardof university.
But this is where the world is incredibly egalitarian as a graduate is still a graduate.
You need a degree because when you want to get ahead in work – the last thing you want to do is to give any of those motherfuckers from writing down in your secret employee file.
“He’s smart. Enthusiastic. Good team player. Highly motivated. Resourceful. Diabolically popular with his colleagues…..pity he’s not one of us….pity he gave it all up at the Diploma level…..pity he’s not a graduate….”
Because that is what they will say to you – not in words, but say it they will behind your back at the water cooler, expressed in sardonic clucks, similes, the raised eyebrow, the cosy insiderism that the graduate tribe typically exudes when they talk imperially about lower lifeforms.
So those motherfuckers are a tribe like us gentlemen.
Understand this! As this is how the game of life is played. The game master has provisioned some cheats along the way – when you’re a graduate – all the cheats are there. The graduate never gets blamed, if anything fucks up. It’s always the diploma holder whose always holding the bag with a befuddle look as the rest of management look at him with that collective expression of resignation,
“They always fuck it up!”
You never want to give anyone the excuse to look down on you, like I said the pedigree of your degree is not really important. As it just gets you through the door like a skeleton key, after that you’re good to go on a level playing field – because this is where performance becomes the great equalizer in life.
If you’re the man who can get things done – even if you have a degree in Origami or a Phd in the seven fabled urination techniques, you will be unstoppable.
My point gentlemen is to play the game of life well – you need a degree. Look at it from a strategic point of view. It gets you through the door, covers your ass and is also good to go for the gold.
What’s the cost, two down years and having to do it our tribal way – where to qualify you need to work and study and wean yourself from being a sissyfied parasite to your family.
To be your own man gentlemen.
What did I say? The opportunity to begin your education in the art of manliness.
To find the rugged individual somewhere in that geek, nerd, sissy, gaming addict, social parasite. The real and complete man who is not afraid to go where angels fear to tread – if you go to the furtherest reaches of desolation, you will see this tribal man who belongs to the Singaporean tribe – there are only a few now, but increasingly more will go out like wild seeds taking to the air.
These men will go into all types of businesses that was once unimaginable in Singapore – they will do so the hard way as they will be the first in their tribe to do things that were never done before. As at this level of the game, they will no longer be using their degrees to get ahead of in a company.
At this new level – they embody the corporation – the man becomes the company. At this new level, he is now a businessman.
As this new man, this tribal man’s sphere of influence grows further and wider – he will begin to notice there are others like him. The game master has once again provisioned enough clues, hints and cheats so that this might happen – as time goes by these men form into guilds.
To cut a long story short – these men or their apprentices as it will be many many years from today will return whence they came from – by then Singapore will not be a very happy place for the natives.
And they will make it a better place. Save it even. As these men are accustomed to hard work and most importantly seeing a thing through to the very end, no matter how difficult or hard it may be.
That is at least how I see the rough outline of this game.
Now you understand why I can’t just watch by quietly as some idiot comes around and tell young people – a degree is useless. As that man has every right to say that it is best not to to expect La Dolce Vita if you happen to be a graduate. But he has no right to say, a degree is not important.
As Gentlemen to play this game well. You need a degree…and it’s final….not negotiable…
You all do not have any idea….none whatsoever….how much I am willing….how much I am prepared to give to see the end of this game. You all have no idea.”
May 26, 2013
If you’re in Australia or Canada. Then I will say a degree might well be optional. As plumbers and car mechanics can earn as much as a brain surgeon. Besides even if you miss out on opportunities to pursue higher education in those countries, it’s still possible to work towards a degree as the whole idea of adult education is really a science in Western societies – in western societies but, it’s perfectly normal for a person to drive a trailer and eventually work his way through night school to be automobile engineer.
However in Singapore, the hard facts are blue collar workers will always get a bum deal no matter how one cuts and splice it. Don’t believe me? Then go and find out how salaries for blue collar jobs have stagnated and even regressed in the last ten years in Singapore! Go on, you owe it to yourself to get the hard facts before you take the dive.
To exacerbate matters, the whole idea of adult education or night school is non existent in Singapore. Either that or prohibitive expensive and discriminates against adult education (don’t believe me, then why don’t you try getting your working experience recognized as credit points by NUS, NTU or any other local institution – when was the last time you shared a lecture with an uncle or auntie) so if you miss out of getting a degree when you’re young, you’re more or less set that way for the rest of your life.
My feel is these harsh realities must first be factored into your plan as you make the decision to either join the workforce or pursue your degree.
Besides the ONLY reason why there is a 180 degree reversal in policy by officialdom (cast your mind back to that period when that over paid idiot once mentioned, if you just have a basic degree, then you’ll be washing testubes and petri dishes) is because someone fucked up big time in their planning assumptions. Yes, I mentioned the phrase, fucked up. As that is precisely what it is - wonder no more why these days you have so many ministers coming out of the woodwork to pooh pooh the whole idea of a degree.
Besides even if you decide to pursue a degree – what is to prevent you from being a crane operator, high class call girl, laborer thereafter?
But if you just to put your studies on hold and believe that you can work a few years before you decide to pick up where you last left off – then I can more or less guarantee you that, you will never be able to find either the time or opportunity to continue your studies again – I am not saying it’s impossible, but from first hand experience, it can be incredibly disruptive and an unhappy enterprise – I rather much prefer to keep the momentum and get it all done with in one straight line like emptying my bladder. That’s just the way I see it.
Another reason why you should get your studies over and done with before you even decide to be a hawker, crane operator or dog shooter is because this will provide you with an opportunity to work, live and play abroad – trust me the experience will definitely broaden your outlook in life. If all you’re doing is just shoveling sand in Boon Lay, then I really don’t see how brain is going to expand and be changed by the world. But if you can arrange it in such a way, where you are able to work and study for the last leg of your degree in either the US, EU or Australia – then you might consider working a couple of years abroad to broaden your working experience.
The way I see it – pursuing a degree, if it’s done right with the right attitude will always broaden your mind and give your the skillsets to connect the dots later on in life – it will put you in god stead and give you that added confidence that you’re a graduate – may well be just a tin pot university – but nonetheless a graduate is a graduate – if all you’re doing is just putting your nose to grind wheel day and day out, then no matter how well you think or write – you’re really just a frog in the well.
And while we are on this subject of winnowing the truth from lies – let me just say, a degree is not hamburger, so WHO IN THEIR RIGHT FRAME OF MIND WOULD EVEN WANT TO EAT THEIR DEGREE? That more of less puts $8 Shorty Kwan et al in the dustbin.
Coming to think of it – do you see any of the privileged children of those elites sending their kids to the circus to brush up their hand and eye coordination to prepare them to be better crane operators?
Trust me. In five years, many of you will thank me for good advice.
You are good to go! Just remember one thing – you will NEVER get such a frank discussion on this subject from the nation destroying press – to them, you’re just a statistic. The way I see it, you weren’t put on this planet just to improve the annual performance appraisal of ministers – you were meant to do greater things…..
We will win!
“The gold standard of the art of manliness is to work and study at the same time – for one this configuration will not burden your parents financially. The second benefit is this regimen will allow you plenty of opportunities to manage yourself and others – as you need to develop a personal culture of continuous improvement where you strive to get it right the first time – as time and resources is always a constraint. Unlike a full time student who needs only to preoccupy themselves with studies – you will continuously need to juggle resources as you will be have to function in an environment of resource scarcity.
I think, that is the ONLY thing one ever takes away from pursuing a university degree – the idea that you have every reason to fail, but you didn’t and at the end of the day despite all your trails – you came out safely through the other side. Either that or you were just lucky and the system spat you out like a seed.
Anyone who tells you that counts for nothing – just hasn’t lived life at all.
So tell me my friend, how smart is it to just take a run with something you heard from someone who you hardly know in TV? What happens one day if they turn out to be all wrong – that can happen – as these days, they seem to get it so very wrong so many times that I can’t for dear life remember when they were last right on anything!
You go figure that out! As all I can do is tell you how this will begin – I am not Nostradamus, I can’t tell you how it will end.
But what I do know is this – if you start off with a defeatist attitude that a degree as just a useless piece of paper. And I suspect that is what most short term people do, to them it’s just a paper chase, mug, sit for exams and move on to the next level. What happens in between is just a huge blur - then guess what, it will just be that, a piece of paper and nothing beyond that – a self fulling prophecy.
But I don’t think that’s the way smart people regularly look at things. As they know only too well, it is really what you are prepared to bring along with you to the whole degree experience - even if it happens to be a tin pot university, if done right – working towards a degree can certainly be a life changing experience – I am just not talking about what you put into your head, but everything else – lying on the grass in summer with a voluptous Italian girl and just watching puffy clouds go by to maybe ridding your bike really fast down snakey roads in the Pyrennes – all these sights, sounds, sensations and experiences all add up to make up character – so if you say it is nothing, then you have to stupid – that’s really how I see it. Stupid is stupid.
In life, if you are not prepared to commit yourself to an enterprise – be it a degree, harvesting oil palm, tying knots, polishing your car on a Sunday afternoon, fixing a leaky sink – then the chances are you will get absolutely nothing out of it – it will just go right through you like X- ray and pass out as urine – and I guess that’s really how life is.
But once you put ALL of yourself into a thing – then I believe even something that looks really mundane and everday like cutting down a oil palm fruit can be something so special. As in truth, it is NEVER simple – only stupid people think it is simple and useless – as they can only reduce value to utility terms. But the wise have always known knowledge is one of the keys to power.
Go for it!”
This post has been relayed and broadcasted to all secured channels in the Underground Federation of Gamers Internationale by the Interspacing Mercantile Guild in collaboration with the Confederation of Gamers, The four houses & all the Guilds in the Strangelands – The Brotherhood Press 2013.
May 25, 2013
The nation destroying press recently reported Kishore Mahbubani was very concerned that ‘online discourse might be eroding trust in public institutions’. I understand. I understand completely. As these are after all very real concerns.
But for Kishore to put ALL the blame on the online community is not so different from a befuddled husband who keeps wondering aloud why doesn’t the girl he loves seem very keen to reciprocate his affections – infact, she seems to be far more interested in investing her emotions in another man.
This may seem odd and even peculiar, but I assure you all this is quite natural and explainable – as when a man does not service his precious regularly in the way a farmer from time to time gives his trusted tractor a good turn with the wrench – along with doing the things that needs doing – then you really cannot blame the woman, customer, citizen or for that matter thinking person from seeking happiness elsewhere.
The moral of the story, what you never bothered to take care of diligently – you never once owned – other people who know how to take care and love things will just come along and take your precious away.
And you can do absolutely nothing as you watch by helplessly.
Absolutely nothing…..Instead of Kishore asking, “whether we can afford to lose trust in public institutions” like a cry baby. He would do well to ask, “what public institutions can do to regain back the trust of the public?” To put it crudely maybe Kishore should go and ask officialdom and the mind numbing press to put their house in order first – as let us be frank, so many things are wrong and contrary to his broken record sermons – all is not well in paradise.
Research this well, as this applies to your loved ones, friends, pets, customers, business associates and those who may try to sell you things that you are not interested in.
Trust me, life is very simple – there is absolutely no need to complicate your already complicated life – just let the naked truth sink in slowly and you’ll be good to go in a while.
“There was this time when I was in Singapore and Dotty’s pastor confronted us in the park - I think, he considered me a shady character – as he mentioned God told him that it was unnatural for a man and woman to spend hours sitting on a park bench watching birds.
So I gave him a Kung Fu Panda kick in his ass - when he asked me why I kicked him. I told him God told me to kick him. I apologised profusely in tongues that sounded a bit like yabadabado.
As I told Dotty’s pastor there was nothing I could do about it - Dotty laughed out loud and rolled on the grass like a possessed woman. Her pastor told her she was besotted by the devil - so I gave him another kick – and this time, I told him, it could have been either God or the Devil who told me to give him yet another kick. I can’t be sure.
Again Dotty laughed out loud again. As I don’t believe she has ever gone out with such a peculiar person.
I think, when you are really sincere, comfortable in your own skin and genuinely care for person – then no matter how odd, strange, weird or peculiar you may be - that person knows deep in their bones, she can trust you - and when you think about it; that is all there is to it.
So whenever others try to separate both of you - they can only fail. Not even God can separate two people who are blessed to experience this perfect unity.
To love and be loved in return. No conditions. Good to go!
I don’t understand these people. I don’t know why there is a need to complicate things – to make it even harder and more difficult than it seems, when it’s really quite simple.
Trust is a fruit. It’s something that ONLY comes AFTER you have planted the seed, nourished the soil with water and tend diligently like a farmer. Trust doesn’t come if all you have is me, me, me and me or take, take, take and take – it’s give and take.
People who don’t grow things don’t know this. They just go to the supermarket and put stuff in their cart.
But I can tell, I can hold up two mangoes that look exactly the same – and tell Dotty where this and that were grown – I can even paint a picture of the farm….you see, you’ve got her interested….you’ve planted a seed in her….so you’re drawing her in….ever slowly into your world….your private world where you’re allowing to see the world as she has never seen it before.
But before it is possible to even share your world with someone – you need to work hard to flesh out that world in your head – the world that is you and the world that you want to be part of, the world that is bigger than you. A world where you can trust your hopes and not your fears.
When you think about it, no woman or for that matter man will just listen to anyone these days. How could they when everyone is trying to plant a flag on your head to tell you to buy this! Be that! Wear that! Drive that! Eat that. Day in and day out people are screaming into our ears – and it’s getting louder and louder. So why should anyone listen to you these days…why should anyone listen to me for that matter?
Unless of course you done everything that needs to be done. You done it well. You done it sincerely with a genuine heart.
If you have done all these things. She will listen to you. If not then, WHY should she listen to you? You could even her father, but if you show no love to her – why should she listen to you?
But if you love her and she can feel your love. Then anything is possible.
As all they can really see is the good and funny side of this strange man who has come into their life – she may not know what the future holds. It could even be tragedy. He’s after all a married man. But she knows he cares deeply for her…..and so even when the woman knows deep down that man may well be bad and evil. I think, they will still believe he is still a very lovable and huggable person – but I think, they first need to be in love. I happen to think that is the alpha and omega – the beginning and end – and everything else comes thereafter.
Nowadays I don’t go around kicking people any longer - as I am often told by others, I have to behave like a mature, responsible and law abiding landowner – that is why these days, I get the girls who are really fond of me to kick their pastors instead.
These are some of my happiest memories of Singapore.”
May 24, 2013
“Gentlemen, this is idea of native PMET’s being discriminated in their own country is not a new story – if you are a regular reader of blogs, then you will find that this narrative has been around for the last seven to eight years.
It is only recently that the issue has registered on the decrepit PAP radar – no thanks to the nation destroying press that keeps on churning all is well in paradise sound bites.
The question is, is this trend reversible? In my opinion there is a cruel finality to this sad state of affairs – as once natives loose their foothold on a particular vocational sector be it banking, lawyering, doctoring or even sports then what is likely to happen is they will no longer be able to sustain the core intelligentsia necessary to perpetuate that vocational discipline.
As I mentioned it matters very little what that vocation or preoccupation may be – it could well be ping-pong, football or even how to string sentences together. Once foreigners gain critical mass in that particular field, then it is virtually impossible for them to regain back the lost ground – that I have always felt is the nature of any vocation – take too many natives out and what will eventually happen is the delicate social networks that used to breathe life, élan and panache into that industry will be transformed irrevocably – as to perpetuate ANY vocation coherently and holistically in a way that benefits natives, it is first necessary to maintain a critical mass of native intelligentsia.
Without this category of serious men – it is a mathematical impossibility to reverse the trend.
Chuan Jin has embarked on a noble enterprise – but even he must know that there is no possible way to fashion a happy solution out of this hubris – as since the problem of foreign PMET’s have been disregarded for so very long by the both officialdom and the apparatus of mass assimilation – the matter has been allowed to deteriorate to such an extent that in my opinion it is beyond all hope of rehabilitation – as it’s conceivable the problem now is no longer superficial, but systematic – and that’s just another way of saying that it’s now so deep and well burrowed into the work culture of Singapore that any attempts to eradicate it would simply be a forlorn dream.
I understand this is not what most people would like to read – nonetheless I believe this to be the truth.”
“A job is not just a job. If you don’t believe me, then just set aside some quiet time and look at that job longer and what you will begin to tease out are the nuances that previously escape you – the delicate human connections, the master and apprentice relationship along with the tribal aspects of leadership and the ability to maintain discipline.
To me whenever foreigners come into a particular job sector – there is always a need to regulate their numbers. Politicians and journalist in Singapore may not like to hear this, but that is only because their own profession is protected from such intrusions. So it is really quite useless to try to explain this concept to them.
But if you happen to be a professional man in Singapore who works in the private sector – then I don’t think you will have any problems in understanding the corrosive effects of lazy laissez faire immigration policies.
The real tragedy gentlemen, is not that we did not have human raw material to create a tribal core of natives to lead many of these industries – but since this matter was given scant attention and virtually zero attention by the psychopathic press that is only fixated on keeping the ruling party in power at every cost and opportunity – even it means eliding, embellishing and down playing the magnitude and seriousness of this problem.
If you think this is just an indolent rant then maybe you should read history and familiarize yourself with how happy-go-lucky immigration policies are really not so different from those horror stories where you have someone bringing a dainty flower from the old country only to transplant them to their new home – and within a short span of time, that alien weed begins to overreach to squeeze out the local fauna to destroy everything – even history bears witness to this chelating – the Ottomans brought in Jani to revivify their martial ranks, within a very short time these foreign soldiers began to empire build and even created a elaborate ritualized and stylized way to perpetuate their monopoly of the art of war – the same can be traced out in the twilight years of the Roman empire, when the iron discipline of Roman legions were slowly corroded by mercenaries – eventually even Romans themselves didn’t know the front end of a sword from the back.
The moral of the story is what you never bother to take care of will always go to the dogs.
To me it is a one way street. And it’s final. With no possibility of reversal. Once the high ground is taken. That’s it! Kaput! The end that is. The sooner we come to terms with the carnage, the better it is for
all of us.
If you’re a professional man in Singapore. It gives me very little pleasure to say – it’s every man for himself. That I am a afraid is as good as it gets – now you understand why this makes me so very angry. I think gentlemen it is best if I hold my tongue…..”
May 23, 2013
It’s very easy to close the door on the world and retreat into a make belief world. I am reminded as I sit on my rattan chair and watch Debbie, plantation life still offers plenty of oppotunities for that sort of escapism– a planters life is after all not so different from being marooned in another age. An old age where to be slow was just right – it’s an old world that has it’s charms. Not so different from those vignettes of the past, we come across from time to time in sepia prints that hark back to an age when men were very much still men. And women still had the decency to faint or at least pretend too – it’s an excrutiangly slow and relaxed world and that mood of amber moving ever so slowly as it encapsulates everything in it’s wake seems to be working it’s magic on Debbie.
She doesn’t snap as often as she did. She doesn’t even mind waiting for me whenever I return back from the field. She doesnt fidget as much as she did whenever we sit during the evenings when the sun begins it’s currelean swan dive – she just calm. In the moment. Like a lotus floating in a mirror lake….that is really plantation living./span>
City living on the other hand isn’t that kind and gentle to the human condition – as at some point even the best of us will trip and fall on the supersonic treadmill of faster, fastener, fasterest. Could be the idea of omnipresent work. The variety that we mull over even when we are supposed to spend quality time wirh our most precious and loved. The pressure never ever leaves us. Not even on a lazy Sunday afternoon….then there are deadlines, or the rocket science details of tying up a loose end on a deal, too many of us spend too much time running without ever once pressing the pause button – to think, where are we going? What kinda price are we paying for this ‘dolce vita?’ COMING TO THINK OF IT, I DON’T REMEMBER SIGNING UP FOR THIS DEAL!.
Soon this becomes the only way we know how to live – where we even expect life to be stressful, unrewarding and most importantly served up fast – but the net result is hardly a better world – as our expectations for fast, efficient and if possible supersonic is so often the source of the wheel of human misery.
<span style="color:#000000;How right. Speed kills. Most of us don't even read slowly and deeply anymore. We just scan. Speed read. We have to develop those life skills in speedy Gonzalez land. As a result very few of us can still our minds to bear out patiently the beauty of prose – and since we are regularly on a diet of sound and nano bites – most of us don't really have deep understandings of things that really matter in the great adventure called life – we know that Samsung is better than Apple. We even know, we are going to get one. But we don't really know or haven't really asked ourselves whether such gizmos add or subtract from the whole quality of life – most of us will miss out on the nuanced textures of life.
Yesterday when we were both in the city. I saw a boy nod his head at a tree. Debbie thought it was strange – she said, there was something odd about the boy. She was not alone. So were most people who saw this all from the cafe – the boy of the mother and the maid looked embarrassed. The boy has done this before I reckon. Debbie saw me walk up to the mother and after a while, an expression of calm swept over the face of this woman – the mother understood why her son always stops at this very spot and nod his head again and again – he's counting the leaves.
It's a vampire thing. I just know about these things the – I knownthem very well. As I don't see the world like most people. I always see it slightly differently.
Speed means the simple pleasures of daily life, a conversation with a stranger, stilling the mind to notice, the subtle changes in the skyline and how the light plays on the nooks of buildings, the quiet beauty of a weekend morning, the deeply edifying sense of accomplishment that can only come when we dedicate ourselves to a task carefully and slowly…….slow food, the type where you never use a blender. It's all done the slow boat way……so slow that even watching grass grow as Debbie once remarked can be such fun – sitting on a park bench and just watching the birds.
In these last three weeks – I have been subtely trying to share this aspect of life with Debbie – the wisdom of slowing down. My reasons are simple – if we keep disregarding that little voice in our head that is telling us to slow down – we may succumb to the myriad of health conditions that are a result of leading fast, stressful lives. The biological costs of ignoring stress are staggering, manifesting in cardiovascular and other systemic diseases and even, new research shows, in accelerated aging. The psychological costs are equally large with anxiety, depression, eating disorders and other emotional illnesses associated with unmanaged stress.
We need to dedicate ourselves to be mindful of the side effects of leading a life that is too fast. This is the answer. Only then can we develop a wise and sustainable relationship with speed. Mindful living is a way of life that urges people to discover wisdom in the Tao of the snail. The slower the better……
Watching Debbie in these last three weeks as she takes it all in reminds me that I must be more patient with her. I really just have a few concerns – I don’t want complications – and I am always getting myself into all sorts of complications.
Even then I tell myself to take it all calmly and slowly….the slower the better…..there is no rush in the world for her to make up her mind.
“When I was a salary man many moons ago in Singapore. I never worked more than 8 hours a day. Mind you there were many people who put in a 10 and even 12 hour day. But not me. One day my supervisor told me that if I didn’t stay back, then it would affect my promotion. Eventually, I told him that was fine with that idea. Besides I working hard on materializing Plan B – this job was just to get there, it was a means to an end. My real job came after work, where I like to watch the birds and trees with Missy Dotty.
However my boss still very Bo kum buan (not satisfied lah). So one day he sat me down to talk to me about high performance and cultivating a competitive attitude – I am not sure how the conversation took the turn that it took. But eventually we started talking about our families – that was when I told him that if he busted his ass every evening instead of heading home – then it was only a matter of time before his wife will go off with another man. My supervisor was quite flabbergasted by my off the cuff comment – he even when on to impress upon me that both he and his wife had a solid relationship based on mutual trust and respect. He even said that I was talking rot. I didn’t know his wife and I should mind my place – I looked at him impassively.
Two weeks later when he went back home early for reasons known only to himself, he saw me sitting down with his wife in the kitchen enjoying a bowl of Lotus root chicken Pao sum soup (which gentlemen I highly before closed encounters of the dangerous kind)- my supervisor was very surprised and shocked…you could even say it must have been a turning point in his life…it was all written on his face as he looked at his wife and me…again and again….his smoking….going through the possibilities. I lit cigarette… I offered him some soup, his wife insisted that I should finish it. She wasn’t coy about it. Through that desolate wasteland of time where every must have cut like a knife. I looked at this man very deeply and calmly like a very loving father before a sobbing child…I could tell he was not comfortable that I had visited his wife without informing him…but what could I do – what choice did he leave me?
Besides this is really my perculiar way of conveying to him, life is indeed filled with countless vagaries and caprice and the odd barbed repartee – surely this would lead any man in his position to seek a answer to the philosophical question: there has to be much more to life than just work, work and work. I told not in words, but through my obvious intimacy with his wife – work is and will always be simply a means to an end. Nothing more or less. And he should never confuse it as an end. Perhaps it would be a good opportunity to reconsider his unreasnable position of not promoting me simply because of my personal policy not to work beyond the eight hours specified by the terms of employment?
As it turned out – he proved most civilized, accomodating and congenial about the whole business.
After that day, my supervisor never stayed back after 5 any longer – everytime I packed my stuff at half past four to prepare to meet Dotty before the evening closed like a hand over the city – he would beat me to the door….he would always ask in the lift, “where are you off too?” I would always smile cryptically….Yes, that is understandable. How so often live acquires a clearer perspective after we have managed to correctly prioritize what is and is not important in life. I understand – believe me.
Either that or there is a moral to the story somewhere………But one thing is very clear to me. Had I not done what I did – then I firmly believe my supervisor would probably end up poor, lonely, riven with diseases, wifeless and no would ever want to fuck him - or I would probably be bullied to stay back every day till eleven like the rest of those monkeys who are trained to pick coconuts, in which case I would never have ventured into business as I have my nose to grind wheel all the time. A lot of opportunities would have gone poof! I wouldn’t have been able to research for Plan B.
Till today, I have absolutely no doubt that I not only improved his health dramatically, but I may also have saved his marriage and given him a new perspective in getting his priorities in life right….the only reason why I say this is because he promoted me every single year despite not staying back and maxing out on all my medical leave.
I reckon he must have been very thankful….so very thankful indeed for this life lesson that I have shared with him - when I left the company and told him that I wanted to start my own business and seek my fortune abroad – for a moment, he looked like the world’s happiest boss.
It is so nice to have a considerate and understanding boss. I am a firm believer in the idea that it’s incumbent on every employee to bring out the very best out of his boss.
Don’t you think so?”
May 22, 2013
Today I hopped down to the city for spot of business in the Planter’s - Debbie is always excited like school girl, whenever we head to the city. She’s after all a thorough bred Singaporean gal whose happiest strolling in malls – I can tell.
During lunch, I asked whether she had any plans for the future as at the back of my mind - it’s not possible for her to stay with me forever…..she needs to make plans to live her own life. As it turned out, the hint just flew by her. I never tried again.
The problem as I see it. This could well be the biggest hurdle for Debbie. As she has always relied on others to take care of her needs.
I tell myself that I should patient. Meanwhile on a lighter note, the 300 year old planters located right in the heart of the city is going through a renovation, the first in 300 years - I asked the front desk whether they would be installing broadband – the eighty something looked at me quizzically and simply said,
“no broad band Sir, only a string quartet…as usual in the Sweetenham room.”
Welcome to the 21st century a la Planter’s style lah. Nevermind at least the men’s room now comes with space age sensor faucets…maybe like the last one….it too will last 300 odd years.
As one of the most valuable lessons that I gathered from watching trees very early on in my life – is how they don’t seem to have any hang up’s about saying NO! I realized very early on in life NO! is a NOT an ordinary word – it is like Ohm or Hellaluya, it is a power word. When the farmer wants a tree to produce, it is not unusual for the tree to go on strike and just stop fruiting and rest. Even today scientist do not know why trees do this and they have tried everything to cajole mother nature and it hasn’t worked. As nature is bigger than man and it has it’s own way of doing things and it cares very little about what man thinks or even wants. This I think is the crux of what I have gathered from watching trees – I think BEFORE it is possible for a man to be able to seek happiness and a rewarding life. He should first feel comfortable with saying NO! NO! to staying back after 5 at work. No! to what you want me to be! No! to what you think of me! A point will come when you are so accustomed with this power word, NO. That you will eventually realize the more you use it, whenever you say NO! You are actually saying YES to what you really want out of life. As all I really wanted to do in my life was to be close to my trees everyday, so to me it is very easy to say NO. I think when you know what you really want in life – then it is very easy to work towards it, day by day, month by month and year by year and this goal with the power of the mind can only materialize into reality. It is really only a matter of time. I wish you all luck in find the line in your great escape.
“To be able to live a rewarding life – we must all be able to believe in the idea: if a man works hard, then he will be able to turn the wheel of life.
These days its hard to believe in that idea any longer – with salaries for the low income stagnating and in certain cases regressing – it is very difficult for many to remain optimistic about the whole idea of aspiring to live a happy life. Coupled to this fact, while the poor are getting poorer, the rich seem to be having a gala time. Everytime, we turn on the TV or just walk around in Singapore, we are bombarded by images of what we have to buy IF we are to live. It is a very cruel and constant reminder like a wind….not any wind. But I wind that blows for days – a wind that when it stands billowing in the distance can still make the face of death.
I saw such a wind once in Africa – a wind that a mad sultan once even marched with a whole army complete with elephants to declare war on such an evil.
It is such a wind I reckon, relentless, getting into every crevice, pore, orifice till it permeates you – that sort of soulful winThe not the fart in the elevator variety – that is why I believe it’s a grand failure of imagination whenever policymakers fail to put themselves into the shoes of the common man from time to time – to see the world from his humble vantage, to experience the texture of daily life as they do – if they did.
Then even politicians will realize without too much difficulty. For many there is a cruel twist to this whole affair of living in Singapore in this age – even natives are finding themselves edged out – edged out from car ownership. Edged out from job opportunities– meanwhile they are able to see what the rich may wear, drive around in and dine on very just like the orphans in Oliver Twist – but since they have no reasonable means to actualize this dream of living a happy life – they feel frustrated and demoralised by the whole idea of globalization, chasing growth, immigrants etc etc etc and eventually life goes down the drain pipe.
This begs the question – what then is the cure? One word. NO! If we cannot or do not see the wisdom of cultivating a level of comfort in the whole idea of how to say NO! Then how is it possible for things to improve in our lives. We must all be able to live our own lives and take control of it in such a way, whereby it is US and not OTHERS, who define what is success, good, right, noble, honorable, patriotic, normal etc etc etc etc – as once others are able to script their version of what those set pieces in life should look like – then if we are not MINDFUL we can all only struggle like a hamster in a wheel chasing someone elses goal all the time.
Though we are putting our shoulders to the wheel and even working so hard that we are panting and sweating. We are really not getting any where closer to our goals of living a happy and rewarding life – as the wheel is fixed and though it continues to turn, we are going absolutely nowhere.
Because let me explain to you why NO! Is not just another bullshit word like calibrate when it should be manage – and if it’s not well calibrated it means mismanaged – that at least is how a farmer calls it.
I reckon NO belongs to a compendium of power words like Ohm, hallelujah, abacadabra or some sonic cum metaphysical super duper cheem awakening of manhood.
As what follows the word NO for every man who uses it seriously thereafter is the road that ONLY he must walk all by himself – the lone inventor who toils in his garage trying to make things work the way he and he alone sees it – the man who writes as if he’s shoveling coal into the furnace though what he may well be doing is just stuffing scribbles into a bottle and casting it out into the infinity of the sea.
I think it is this aspect of the new man who has just said NO to his evil boss, fucked up supervisor, office politics or just plain backstabbing that I had enough of your psychotic nonsense – now I want to start my own business…no thank you. No!
You see that door? I am going to walk right out of it now! Good day Gentlemen.”
Excerpt of conversation captured in Steps of the Grand Magnifique Theatre in Primus Aldentes Prime – during a reception staged by princess Arullia of Asitopian – relayed through deep space channels by the Turbollion class death destroyers KDD Fist of God III – the Brotherhood Press 2013
Self explanatory lah! The word is Krav Maga. To those who know, they will never get slapped. To those who do not know….they will be slapped again and again. Trust me. I know about such things.
May 21, 2013
My gardener is a tribesman – that could be one reason why Vun (that’s his name) doesn’t consider it perculiar to spend his time devises ever more inventive ways to fix me. Usually he tries to surprise me by either impersonating a tree, hiding in the fridge, painting himself the same color as my curtains or burying himself in mud to stage a surprise attack - lately, Vun seems to have given the idea a rest – as the last stunt involved tying himself to a ceiling fan to ambush me – it came crashing down. These days Vun is just happiest to shift my archery target from tree to tree whenever I am asleep – sometimes, it’s at 30 yards. At other times 50 yards and further – after that, Vun crouches in one hidden corner and waits for me to wake up from my target practise.
When I get up. It’s not usually to kick start my body into alertness by shooting a dozen or so arrows – I don’t aim, not consciously at least – it’s hard to describe the whole process, except to describe it as throwing a ball through a hoop, that is at least how it has always seen it.
Archery to me has always been an intensely spiritual and meditative activity that I feel the word, sport doesn’t quite manage to capture – to me, there’s much more to it – it’s not so different from caressing one prayer bead as it slips over to yet another prayer bead that resembled the last in every shape and form and so on and so forth – there is a soothing elegance to the range of movements. An honesty even in the way the muscles stretch out to handle the strain of having to pull a high strung hunting bow - precision even in the way one controls the breathing and cadence to render the movements smooth, natural and still - then the shot – with every shot, my mind begins to turn inwards deeper and deeper cutting through all kinds of frivolous thoughts – be it worry, anger, envy, desire, lust, anger, anxiety, false hope, doubt or fear…..they all melt away like lemon drops…leaving only a pure and unadulterated moment of calmness that I can call my very own – I am ready for the world. So ready!
May 20, 2013
I was supposed to do a review of the Nikon AW100 after 500 days of shooting…only one word to describe it, GREAT! Everything still works fine, after countless drops and having to put up with crushing field conditions…..my last Sony bloggie didn’t even last one month in the field.
Way to go Nikon…..now can I please have a Rolex to review?
May 20, 2013
I am not kidding. I happen to believe Vivian Balakrishnan’s idea of promoting hawkering is perhaps the best idea to ever come out from the PAP. First of all, this has to be remarkable. As the PAP really has as much imagination as a door knob. One reason why I like it is because, it is a very straight forward platform that contains within it plenty of room for improvisation and experimentation.
What many people may not realize, especially young entrepreneurs is entreprenuerialship can never be taught – if you don’t believe me go and ask yourself where Philip Yeo’s guppy and whale pipe dream ended up? One reason why it failed big time – was due partly to the mind boggling complexity of the whole enterprise. This blue print by Vivian doesn’t seem to suffer from those pit falls – the rough outline of the plan is simplicity unto itself – and hopefully this will allow the young to get used to the whole idea of managing themselves and others where they will expose themselves to business.
One of the things that hit me like a brick wall when I first started out in business was how so much of my mind was still stuck in the mud of thinking very much like a salaried man – the result was unnecessary down time, mistakes and what I can only describe as missed opportunities.
Eventually, I was able to make the perceptive shift – but my point was it didn’t come naturally for me and I really had to put in a lot of effort.
One reason why I like this idea is because hankering is really just a stepping stone to bigger things. I have blogged about this in detail and the essay is somewhere in the Brotherhood Press archives (you may want to look it up to get up to speed) – you may for instance start of just trying to whip up the perfect char kuey teow – but given enough time and opportunity – you may also see yourself branching out into designing, building and marketing modular kitchen furniture and fittings for hawkers – or alternatively, you may even decide to take your signature dish to Shanghai, Moscow or Paris and start a franchise there – the only thing that stops you is your imagination.
But to gainfully make full use of this opportunity – one needs to be able to see opportunity for what it is and not confuse it with other stupid considerations like – what if your friends eventually find out that you are turning the wheel of life as a hawker? My take on this is really very matter a fact – so long as your better half supports you, then you can just as well pack the rest up and fuck them all off.
The important thing is to do just do it – and not think too much about it – once you’re in the groove, then the doors will present themselves.
Good luck. Remember, this is opportunity. Even if people look down on you and think that you are a two time loser for wanting to be hawker – it doesn’t alter the fact opportunity is still opportunity.
“Business is a black art. No one is my family is a businessman. So I really had to learn it all from scratch. But the biggest thing I had to learn was not anything new. Rather I had to LEARN how to unlearn so many things that has through the years managed to encrust themselves in my thinking, behavior and responses- this I believe was one of the hardest things for me to do. But if you go into business and even if you are doing nothing except planting row after row of palm oil – then a some point, you will begin to stick out your head and wonder to yourself, where the hell are all these palm oil bunches going too? Who is buying them? What are they doing with it?
You see this is what I did. I began to look beyond my field. These days I spend most of my time thinking about evil ways how to intimidate and blackmail the oil mills – from time to time, when I don’t get a good price for my palm oil bunches, I would jump up and down and threaten to build another oil mill next door to the only oil mill in my area - that strategy for the time being seems to work pretty well. But let us face it. Eventually, I will probably have to stretch myself and go towards that general direction.
That is the funny thing about business – if you look at a thing. Anything long enough. At some point you will begin to see BEYOND it. At some point possibilities will begin to present themselves – that is why when you decide to make hawkering a career, it is very important to keep asking yourself – where do I go after I have created the perfect char kuey teow. Don’t see it as an end. Rather it simply a spring board that holds out the promise of possibilities to go elsewhere.
Listen to me. You don’t have much time. I see dark clouds over the horizon. Can I share something with you? Can I really? You see I believe that one day, it will be impossible for the middle class in Singapore to turn the wheel of life anymore – as it is, they are already squeezed. That means most of us will have to go out of Singapore to turn the wheel of life. There are dark clouds coming our way my friend. Most people are still in a dream. They think it can never get worse and only get better. But look at the world economy it is well and truly fucked beyond all recognition. China is slowing down. Meanwhile the price of oil keeps going up. Salaries go down. Firms downscale. You get retrenched. You fall back on your payments. Next thing you know, you will be pitching camp somewhere in Changi Village. By that time your wife has probably left you.
I want to know – is this how you want to end up? You see I do not believe in this age and time, it is possible to turn the wheel as a salaried man in Singapore anymore. I believe the only reliable way to turn the wheel of liwit without grief these days is for a man to run his own business. This will be the only way in the future for the middle class to have liberty in Singapore.
But how does a man get over this mental block? How do you jump start a whole nation to want to be someone like Li Kha Sin or the next Robert Kwouk? Instead of settling for stupid things like a scholarship and whatever comes there after – how do you wean a nation from the idea that the only way to seek a better life is to work for someone?
I think it needs to be taken slowly, eating an elephant – it needs to be reduced into bite sizes. In this respect, I see hawkering providing a very stable learning platform – your real estate is small. What you offer is very specialized, the risk are small and manageable – its an excellent way to learn bother what other people say and think about it – just fuck them all off – that incidentally is the first thing you need to really feel comfortable about: telling other people to go fuck off! You see there is no other way. Because now you are no longer the name and face of a corporation. You are your own man – so your life for yourself. If you do not know how to say fuck off – you will always live your life for other people and never yourself.”
If you happen to be young and standing before the cross roads of life and reading this. Then I believe very strongly – it pays to interrogate further why so many ministers lately have been trying to sell the idea that a degree is suddenly unnecessary – do you just take and run with what they say?
Well if you want to do that – then do what you like. Only I feel the need to warn you all – if you do that and one day, you end up bald, poor, no one wants to fuck you and the only thing you can attract are flies and debt collectors, then you really have no one to blame but yourself – as you NEVER bothered to do any further research on why there is suddenly a policy swing or for that peer into the darkened interiors of this crucial decision nexus that came before you. You just believed someone who you saw on TV, took the course of least mental resistance and acted on it like a monkey trained to pick coconuts.
The way I see it – the acid test of how sustainable this proposition is - can best be explained in the following prosaic terms: do you see any of the children of these multi millionaire ministers joining the circus to improve their hand and eye coordination to stand a better chance at pursuing a course on how to operate a crane?
That’s it – no, you don’t need ten bullet points to kill demolish an argument…you just need one good and convincing point.
If it was me – I’ll go a degree any day. Finish off the last leg in a university in either the US or EU. May even decide to stay a couple of years for work experience abroad. While I am at it, may even learn a few lines to whisper sweet nothings to French girls. Better still if you can work and study at the same time. As that will certainly allow you buy a second hand sporters (cars are dead pan cheap there), drive it real fast around windy continental roads as if petrol is free, lie down on the grass in summer with a buxom Italian girl and watch puffy clouds go by as you plan your next move.
The world is after all your oyster…..why settle for less….why confine yourself to a small pond…do you see those FT professionals doing that when they decide to vote with their slippers to come over to Singapore….so why are you selling yourself short?
And that my friend is the truth and nothing but the truth. Besides you were not put on this planet just to solve their short term unemployment problems or to make them look good for their end of the year performance appraisal. Neither are you here to take part in some great experiment in life like some monkey that is going to be blasted into space -as, I am convinced, you are here for greater things.
Just do it and in five years times drop me a line and tell you how you’re getting on…I can almost guarantee you that if you set your eyes on working, living and playing outside Singapore….you will never regret it.
This is the same advice that I will give my own children – I sumpah – by position is crystal clear: if Singapore cannot accomodate your dreams, then find another country that can! Never settle for less! It doesn’t matter what it is – could well be the right to own a car at a reasonable price or even taking a position on just paying a reasonable price and nothing else for a home. This is not subversive, not at all, as it’s exactly what many of these minister’s hope for their own children.
Life after all cannot be so simple where you just follow like a bloody idiot as a whole lot of people jump onto a bandwagon without working through your options…you have got be to fucking kidding me…right?
“Gentlemen, What really maketh a man? If you ask me, then I will say, he is really just the sum of all his trials and tribulations. Intelligence, pedigree, lineage and the rest you can more or less throw right out of the window – it wouldn’t make the slightest difference.
That’s why I strongly believe there are really only two categories of men in business – the first acquired their wealth and influence through inheritance, patronage or through a system of annoiting – they are not really so different from the remnants of old money and you can see it in the savoir faire manner in the way they are callous and indifferent in the way they usually dispense advice. To these people your long term well being is never as important as whether they can use you as raw material to fashion a solution to solve their problems – I will speak frankly gentlemen, as it is not often that we can all be together in one room. To me these are inconsequentials who have never known what it means to stand outside and look in a people feasting their hearts out while they get by with crumbs – either that or they have just forgotten their roots – what else gentlemen can account for their condescending tone where they always believe they know what’s best for you and me or that you should just be content with whatever crumbs they throw out.
Then there is that other category of planter that we sometimes come across in the Planter’s Club – it is easy to recognize this man, there is hardness about him like seasoned leather that makes him stand apart from the savoir faire tea party crowd – it could be the way he wears his bush jacket with the last button undone – as he was accustomed to fighting and carrying a revolver.
This man will never fit in with the elite savoir faire crowd. He is Desolation beyond the dictionary meaning like a faraway shark infested island that – it is not unusual to find him standing alone from the loquacious crowd in his awkward bush jacket as he looks on at the world with a lingering sadness – he is quite the mystery man, an unknown quantity – he has almost a Great Gatsby air about him. He there, but elsewhere at the same time if you know what i mean – and you know, unlike the pretensious arty farty crowd. He doesn’t think much about them.
He is a mystery, no one is really quite sure where his money came from. There are of course rumors – but no one really knows for certain. A planters life is after all a money’s game. This man probably started turning the wheel of life with a tube of Mentos in his pocket and a few dollars – though he may roll into the drive way in a big car; he may even sport a very expensive watch and to all intents and purposes he may even come across as a very well educated, impeccably well mannered and polished man – but I say look again. Observe this man very carefully. As when you still your mind and look at a thing long enough – then you will begin to see things about this man that previously escaped you. You will notice that this man will have plenty of battle scars – he will look at you like a hunter. From time to time, you will see his eyes cloud over in the way a falcon rolls it’s eyes just before it’s piercing talons sink into the flesh of the preyed – this man cannot help it.
These are the signs that you must look out for – as these gentlemen are the rugged individualist who we would do well to ally ourselves with.
When you sit down with this man. You will feel his eyes burning holes in your brains – and this is only to be expected as when you peruse the history of this man. You will probably find that he probably cut his teeth in the field and since field life is quite a macho affair where the likes of Yawning bread et al will not even last a single day – that spirit of oneness with the land has really permeated the marrow of his bones. And when begin to sit down with this man over a whisky – you will find something that is very unusual about him that seems almost to set him apart from the old money, parvenu or hanger on crowd – this man loves the land passionately –to him the land and community is always referred to in the feminine and never the masculine – it is always “she” – “her” – “my love” etc and whenever things don’t go well, as after all plantation life is filled to the brim with vagaries – this man is will never curse the land unlike the old money parvenu crowd. To this people if not enough money retrench lah – to him, the mother, lover and woman that is the land and community can do no wrong to deserve such treatment. I know it is a very agricultural way to see the world.
He always make excuses for her capricious nature in the way sailors will always look sympathetically on the sea even when she kicks up a fuss – as they will say, she can’t help herself, the moon affects her.
And here you have the key to understanding the nature of the true being of the self made planter – as the difference between this planter and the old money or corporate agriculturist who is holed up in his office in some skyscraper is simply this.
One ilk of man made a commitment once upon a time in his life, probably many years ago to stand and fight for his one and only love – the land. That is to say this man put all his chips on one number and he said to himself, for better or for worse – I will see this business to the very end even if they pour petrol all over me and….I am so so sorry gentlemen….No. I don’t imagine anyone of you knows how it feels to be that man whose kicked about as he has to watch them burn his dogs….Let us not go there my brothers…let us not wander too far from the well trodden road lest we find ourselves in oil darkness.
While the other has absolutely no idea of what I am even talking about – as they never had to fight for what they owned. They never made a commitment to pay that price.
And the lesson here is simply this, what you not prepared to defend with your life – you never once owned. And why is this so important gentlemen in this day and age – as we do not live in an age of information democracy.
All around us people from marketeers, politicians and new born evangelist are try to sell us all the prescriptive cure to our averagely miserable existence we call life – and from time to time some of these elites are going to believe, they can even tell you what should make you go whoopee! To how you should lead your life etc etc.
Now if you just follow this people like bla bla sheep without even bothering to work it out in your own mind. Then you will NEVER learn to be your own man. You will be other people’s version of how they always planned for you to turn out. Now if you’re happy with that railroaded existence, then it’s OK! The problem is not everyone is necessarily happy with that narrative. Now you understand the mood of this lone planter – you even understand why he can do very little except radiate a keen sense of apartness. As this man did not want others to tell him what he should or should not be satisfied with. He stood his ground. But before that he had already made a commitment in his mind to see the matter through. All or nothing. Sudden death. The one who chickens out first loses all his feathers….
That’s why to many people when they go through many of the videos I upload in Youtube. They often wonder what is this fellow trying to convey – that I think is not a pertinent question. As it is not the case of what one is trying to convey – as it remains what was once deeply experienced deep in the marrow of a man’s bones when he was a nobody struggling against extraordinary odds. It could well be what you see uploaded today transpired many years ago – in another age – in another life time – so what this man is really trying to do is capture an experience in the way one might take a photograph or develop a semaphore to articulate that stream of consciouness – it is really his alone and no else’s, as that’s his way of reminding himself of whence he came from – his roots – his beliefs – I have made a covenant to love you with all my heart and I am prepared to fight to the very end no matter what the price. And I will never break my word. That if you must all know is why the age of old money, patronage, paper anoiting, croynism and nepotism is numbered. As none of those hollow men have ever had to ever put everything on the line. Never.
Not even once. As it all came as fait accompli to them, like the infallibility sun the rising sun. One day Gentlemen, we will win! As only we will stand tall before the empire of their bones – as they never ever crossed that defining line in the head while we and Guilds have gone beyond that line. They have no idea what it even means to love something beyond the self – love it seems is so very important in business.
Who would have ever imagined love to be so important. Jugular even. In this whole idea of business. And no, it should never be confused for a character flaw, weakness or human frailty, if I so choose to see it in those terms gentlemen. NEVER Gentlemen – as let me share with all of you what the serious men have always known all along and hidden from the hollow men of this world – only the strong can love perfectly, never the weak – how can they? As they are not prepared to pay the ultimate price.”
Excerpt of a conversation captured somewhere in the hall of mirrors in the Temple of Reason in Primus Aldentes Prime – relayed by the deep space digital jammer Oberion class starcruiser KDD Majestic and KDD Odessa II – brought to you proudly by the Interspacing Mercantile Guild of the Confederation of Underground Gamers Internationale – The Brotherhood Press 2013
May 18, 2013
As you can see, I am making a real effort to slow down. Today my gardener set up my camp bed beside my rattan chair.
My guard dogs never ever relax when I am asleep. Never. They’re always on combat mode. No one trained them. They just came that way….how strange….how odd.