No one in this planet does it better than the Koreans when it comes to pumping out tear jerkers – they are the indisputable Toyota motors of the love stories genre; when I first started writing love stories to supplement my income; they were simply inspirational in every way possible – from plot, cadence, speed and texture – I copied these masters unabashly, now you know why the brotherhood press love stories division is so prolific – some may balk at all this; and say most of these yarns are nothing more than superficial rehashed Mills & Boons reads – I disagree; the plot may seem trite only because you’re distanced by your prejudice and ignorance – but once you immerse yourself in them and get beneath the triteness and invest your heart and soul in the plot; they’re astonishingly beautiful, sensitive and heart warming in every sense – many years ago before the internet age began; I lost someone who was very dear to me to lymphatic cancer – she was snatched away from me and this left an incredible hole in my heart which I can only describe as an eternal abyss – at first, I tried to bring her back to life in the virtual; I scoured the world for the best animators, best mathematicians, best illustrators; money was no object; I even once stormed a replica of Taj Mahal with 100 Sardokhan elite troops to create paradise for her - despite their very best efforts no matter how real they fashioned her; they were never able to capture her essence; – her spirit always remained elusive and afar; and that hole in my heart was never ever filled – it was only when I sat down and began to write love stories and started churning them out like a cookie factory; that I began to understand for the very first time in my life – how pain and joy are in fact one of the same reality; and the rest is really grist to the mill; as I had to immerse myself into my characters and experience what they really felt – and with that came a deep spirited understanding of love and courage.

Someday my animators in the gaming world will get it right and she will smile the way I remembered her – till then while the story goes on – somewhere in amid the tears and laughter, there will always be a place called paradise and she will never be far away from me.

Happy Birthday Sarah, Darkness forever – I’ve see you in my dreams.

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“I am a hard man. You could say life made me this way. One learns to be hard very early on in life especially when hardness seems to be the only thing the world seems to dish out – hard even when I was growing up. As I realized very early on in life, it doesn’t pay to back out from a fight, not in the neighborhood, I grew up. Sometimes you just got to stick it right in and give as good as you take - hard even when I strived to get an education against incredible odds. I am not like the rest of you. I went to London with just a tube of Mentos in my pocket and some loose change – made the rest up by holding down two shift jobs while trying my best to squeeze lectures in between. Those were desolate and bitter years and you could say, I hated the world and often wondered to myself why had fate dealt me such a lousy hand – it’s very easy for a man to be bitter about life when hardness is all he has known. I remember one incident clearly, when I attended lectures in soiled overalls and had dirt underneath my fingernails – and the rest of my classmates just moved away. And so that became an allegory of my own life – people can be cruel without really knowing it – it was clear as day to me; they didn’t regard me as one of them, I was an outsider. You know the sort of person who everyone pretends not to see in a room – I didn’t belong, didn’t fit in and you could say, the battlelines were drawn very early on in life. So I became harder. When I started working, life was hard again – my boss was a white motherfucker, he gave all the cushy jobs to his own motherfucking ang moh tribe – and sent me to Godsaken postings that none of his buddies wanted – fucked up third world countries – where it was not unusual for people to point guns at me at least 3 or 4 times a week – but what is a man to do? I needed the money and building water treatment plants in Mindanao paid very well –  As the Cantonese say, “Mah seih, lok tei han,” – When horse die, man has to walk - but make no mistake, only a hard man thrives in those fucked up countries – if you’re soft, you end being kidnapped or ass fucked and returning home in a NTUC plastic bag. It was tough and comical when I think back about it. As it was not unusual for me to carry a Samsonite briefcase in one hand and a semi auto in another – but that’s how it is when one is posted to a fucked up country. Much later on, life got easier, even then I had to scheme my way to get rid of my enemies and consolidate my power, but that hardness that I has always been with me, left a residue on my character. This time, I was polished, but incredibly deadly hard. But I don’t think a man can live an organically balanced life when so much of his character is hard – so what I did was work very hard to set this aspect of my character to one side, like a man who puts his stamp collection in a shoe box slides it underneath his bed. It was only when I started to write love stories to supplement my income that I began to realize how much of life I was missing out on – beauty, sensitivity and the ability to just hold time in one grain of sand that’s a big part of life – you could say the most rewarding and satisfying part of life. It’s not true when people say those sort of  things are arty-farty – it wasn’t trivial to me, not at all. You’ve got to understand, all I’ve ever known is hardness – and now a whole world of softness had suddenly opened up before me. I remembered feeling scared, but I said to myself, I will permit it to pass over me. So I went with the flow and when it has gone right through me I turned my inner eye to see the wake of the departing hard man – there was nothing thereafter, only I remained – that’s why I think, it’s very important to be soft to those who have only known hardness – even if you cook a nice meal for a girl and treat her like a lady for one evening, you could very well change her outlook in life for the better – or to reach out to that troubled teen and just to spend some time with him or her, that could change everything in the way you press the reset the button and set it alright again – little acts with bits of softness. But all this can really only come when you’re like an eclair, hard on the outside, buttery soft in the inside – finding that balance is important that’s the way, I see it.”

Darkness 2012

Captured in a thread in Ekunaba – Brought to you by the Brotherhood Press 2012

We are all flawed, even the best of us. Not everyone cuts all the right moves in life. Those who claim they did are liars – everyone carries with him and her a baggage of the haunting past of what could have been, if only I didn’t fuck that turning point in life up; could even be failing to get that grade and having to settle for second best for what we believe to be the rest of our lifes – or even failing in a business deal and having to see our dreams turn to mud.

Let me be frank and honest. Being blotted out by the shadow of our past can only deny nourishment to everything that’s hopeful, satisfying and nourishing in life – it stands to reason, since we can do nothing except carry with us the entire summary of our PAST. We can only live an unbalanced life. A life that is not in harmony with the laws of nature. Think about it, if nature really hardwired us to live in the past instead of the present. We would all be born with rearview mirrors. It is only when we begin to be mindful of how so much of the past can move so freely into our everyday life that we can really be acute aware so little of ourselves is living in the PRESENT – with out presence in NOW (This very second when you are reading this and not playing Soduku on the side) – how can there be such thing as a FUTURE and most importantly the power to MOVE on in life – to break out – to rocket ahead it seems that we are so shackled to our past failures that we are ALL like a man who suddenly finds himself waking up in a 9 by 10 cell – at first he struggles to fathom the incomprehensible – “why me?” then it gives way to a sort of resigned acceptance in the way a man in a wheelchair can only look on with defeat at a flight of stairs. And this can only bear the fruit of suffering called bitterness. Bitterness leads to anger. And anger to helplessness – you know the feeling where you look on at others who seem to have played the game of life so well and you wonder to yourself why can’t I even figure out how the game is played. No you’re not dumb, no it’s not because it’s a mystery – but bear in mind this sort of eating away at a man is what invariably happens when life is not balanced – there is no Ying and Yang here – no purposefulness that can even power you forward – if anything it holds you back – and when goodness gives way to feelings of hopelessness – we can only see the world in darkness – we seek out the worst in others, instead of seeing their good points – we remember what they did to us or how someone like him brought us grief somewhere in our distant past – yet we are quick to forget maybe, we cannot perceive what’s good because we are really living in the shadow of our haunting past.So like the man who has only known disappointment, loss and seeing the things he once loved and cherished being snuffed out like a candle – we continue to trace out our haunting past in the PRESENT – we see schemes when none exist, we mistrust when there is every reason to trust, we hold back instead of giving it all – but above all, we have betrayed ourselves by driving out everything that we ever wished we could be and much more.

But I say to you right now – you have to FORGIVE yourself; sometimes when we fail to make the grade; so what the fuck! there’s a reason – we may not know what that may be when the crunch came but serious men of this world all know: when one door shuts another door opens – it has too, and it will – maybe not be tomorrow or the day after or even a year or two from now – but a day will come when you will just say to yourself – if I didn’t go throw that period of losing everything where I can’t even see a country called hope, maybe I wouldn’t be the man that I am today.

Trust me shit happens to the best of us, but get back because BEFORE you can even move forward, you’ve to just travel light and that means making peace with yourself. 

Breathe tomorrow is another day; a new beginning and new start. 

Darkness 2012

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“Everyman reaches a point in life when he realizes it doesn’t pay to run away from his past – when a man doesn’t sit down with a bottle whisky in a very dark place and deal with the many demons of his past – it will simply overwhelm him. There is no point in pushing it away or saying to yourself, I am not like that, I had a happy childhood and everything was smooth sailing for me – bullshit! Everyman has a past, you have one so do I – and if we really want to break away and make something out of our lives, we simply have to deal with the things that holds us back – it doesn’t really matter whether you are a policeman, teacher, insurance agent, care salesman, dentist, professional call girl, politician or even a pastor – the past has a way to walking right up into the present and when it can come and go as it likes, that’s a real problem – a very big problem, that why when I found the man with the slicked back hair and sporting the expensive Italian suit called the Singaporean gangster in London just stroll right up as if he owned the present – I just said to him, why don’t you sit down – we need to talk my friend - and I just told him, this can’t go on, one of us has to leave – and somewhere in my mind eye’s, I placed a revolver on the table. And that was really the turning point in my life – when I walked away from it all, I didn’t even look back, not even once. As for that man from my distant past, he just disappeared and with that the rains came. I’ve had a hard life. But since then, I’ve worked hard to make it softer and kinder.”

Extracted from the way of the farmer – Brought to you by the Brotherhood Press 2012

The future of communication

December 7, 2011

“In the very beginning, all we really did was write in the internet. Then with improvements in technology, many of us began experimenting with different genres of communication – first it was youtube. But in the future, it may well take an earth shattering leap to the domain of film and movies. One day even a kid would be able to produce high quality movies that can match what regularly comes out of Hollywood. When that day arrives, then the whole idea of communication will merge with the whole idea of fantasy. We would do well to position ourselves somewhere in the learning curve of this new development. The Romans did not just rule the world, they accomplished this with the mastery of civil engineering – they could build roads that funnelled their armies and supplies to allow them to prosecute long campaigns which would otherwise have been impossible. Neither did the British just assume the mantle of imperialist and colonist on the cheap either – this they did by way of steel ships that could ply the high seas with such regularity that they owned it. As for the Americans, we already know that their conquest of space was strategic in the gaining a beach head to allow them to do the things they do – in the same way, in the future, when this technology to produce films, movies and short stories cheaply reaches a tipping point – then it too will assume a position that is incomparable to what we currently have a means of telling stories.”

Excerpt from a speech given by Darkness 2011 at the Timbilinger Gaming Meet recently in Munchen, Bavaria – The Brotherhood Press 2011

This is going to have to be a mini skirt. A month and a bit ago, I made a buy call for BIOCENTRIC ENGY HLDGS INC (Ticker: BEHL) at USD$0.09 / today she’s at USD$0.011 / last night she rocketed up some 17%! / I suspect it could be syndicated buying as most of the calls came from an anonymous source deep in the labyrinth of Belarus and mid way switch over to Russia / so when cowboys come in I am out / now ordinarily, I would seed rope and just let her run for what she’s worth. But my feel is the market is getting choppy and with the Russian mafia muscling in (because I still can’t work out how with everything going South, BEHL can somehow beat the odds! Cannot figure out in this case just means what it means, cannot figure out!) Under those conditions, we all better just take profit and get back in the car and drive off where we came from (nevertheless, not a bad innings eh 25% in one month wot?).

BEHL is a sell. Gentlemen this is not a drill. First ring sell, sell, sell,sell!

P.S: Just make sure whatever profits you make give some to theonlinecitizen, that will get the Liaison officer Singaporedaddy off by back. Always remember it has to go around; the way I see it, it makes far more sense to give it to a site than to some bent pastor who thinks Jesus wants him to venture into the real estate business – the right to read Gentlemen is never free!

Happy Hunting

Darkness 2010

(WARNING: THERE ARE ONLY LIES AND DISINFORMATION IN THE INTERNET. SINCE THERE ARE ONLY LIARS AND PERPETUAL MASTURBATORS ONLINE, IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO MAKE ANY MONEY – SO DO YOU OWN RESEARCH AND TRUST THE STRAIT TIMES AND DO NOT LOOK LEFT OR RIGHT – JUST KEEP TO THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD)

DISCLOSURE: THE AUTHOR HAS POSITIONS IN BEHL

I am probably going to get a few charming death threats about this write up (frankly speaking, I am starting to believe RIP should rightly stand for rise if possible, so thanks for the fish). Let’s dive in as some of you may already know Las Vegas Sands at the Marina Bay is going to open soon – perdition or salvation?
Lets just leave that to one side for the moment; I know that’s like talking about fruit cake recipes without the raisins, but lets just go with the flow for the moment. Firstly, where are we? We are in the shit hole; the economy is spluttering along like one of those soviet built dead traps – we need a radical shift to get shuffling again.
That’s one reason why I am a big fan of LVS. I happen to love casino’s not only because they offer great entertainment; but precisely the sort that really hits all my green buttons. I am not just talking about astonishingly fuckable ladies with liquid brown eyes and legs that run forever, that’s really a side dish – only the whole idea of a casino is really like entering an adult version of Disneyland, its a surreal dreamscape – that’s why in every single one of my love stories (for the benefit of those who regularly buy my sappy toe curling yarns, though I know not why?). I never ever fail to include at least one montage that features the main protagonist in a casino. You want proof, here it is! - Chapter 30 – “La Grande Casino.” Yes. I am a gambler, but I am not your regular punter who simply puts his chips on just any number; to me there is the whole idea of odds, trade off, pay out, calculus, algebra and the art of mentally crunching all these numbers without seeming to do so is what differentiates the gambler and a charitable foundation  (you need to have those baseline skills, because the last thing you want any casino operator to do is red flag you as a card counter) – so the whole idea is not unlike a virtual game; you strut right in with in Zegna tuxedo, hair slicked back, Vacheron Constantin (shades are a must!) and take your chances with the house - but one word of warning: never ever gamble with money that you are not prepared to lose!  And be disciplined (for example, yesterday I bough 50 lots of BEHL, you go check out in the Nasdaq, how it will go up tomorrow – go do it! I am out tonight, just after the bell! That’s what I mean by discipline) And dont ever get distracted, casino’s have honed the art of the hook, line and sinker to a science; once they spot a punter racking in the chips; dancing girls, free flow of drinks and the whole weapon of mass distraction will kick in fast and furious, trust me - you see casino operators aren’t dummies, they know; if they can keep a “winner” on the table long enough; the house will ALWAYS reap it all back and more; understand this! You can never win against the laws of probability in the long run (unless you happen to be the reincarnation of Nostradamus); all you can really do is run up her skirt when she is not looking; do your thing and scramble down the drain pipe  before the husband shows up with a meat cleaver – that’s as good as it gets as far as odds go when it comes to taking your chances with the house (unless of course you happen to be either GIC or Temasek and even when you take the mother of all falls you still come out smelling roses by invoking some mumbo jumbo freaknomics like, “long term investment”, duh! I surrender to you lah! ) - so three elements are vital if you are to win – set a min and max limit; dont ever get distracted, stay focussed – tip: stick to gatorade, never drink and deal!. My rule of thumb is simple; when the sirens show up; and the Presidential Suite is on offer; what I usually do is; slip a chip down the cleavage of one of those silicone tit distractors and whisper to them, “Go and buy a dress! Now! If I like it, I’ve fuck you when all this is finished and triple what they’re paying you. This is not personal, its strictly business” And stay focussed on the numbers, once you have hit the target limit, that’s the cue to cash out – dont look left or right, dont stop for a chat, stay away from that one for the road cocktail - just go to the counter and put everything in a briefcase (can get one in cash converter) and walk right out of the door – if you dont have that discipline or Tao to do that, then my suggestion is stick to monopoly and boardgames, because if you break those golden rules that I have just shared with you; IT WILL BREAK YOU IN HALF! I KID YOU NOT!

Now that after finished with the pitfalls of leading a life of dissipation, lets continue with the story of why I think casino’s are great stuff for us Singaporeans. My point is really simple sometimes to get good results and a decent return on energy; all it takes is a bit of imagination and verve – for example, if the government is really serious about solving our abysmal baby rates; the best thing to do is to incorporate a pole (for pole dancing and perhaps drying the laundry or building up your biceps) in every living room (strobe lights can be optional); that’s what I mean by practical solutions; no need for econometrics and statistical calculations and too much talking, cut it down to the primal and we would be producing like rabbits; all those power point charts can just go right out of the window along with the baby incentives - so with this in get to the point mentality do try to see my point when when I say that the financial crisis coupled with the advent of LVS gives Singapore a once in a lifetime chance to review how we can really organise our economy and society in ways and means never before..providing of course our government manages it properly. That to be is the biggest if.


I know some people are saying this casino thingy is just a great way to launder dodgy money; very believable when one looks at the structure; it reminds me of one of those high tech Scandinavian designer Ironing boards that one finds in high end laundrettes; but I am digressing, my point we are witnessing an epochal event, living through one of those moments on which history may even pivot in ways that we can never ever imagine..One reason for that is because the whole idea of a casino is not just the idea of an ivory ball tickling against a polish ed roulette wheel; its comes with a whole lot of other stuff; some good, others not so good and then there is the stuff that will simply put you in a citrus pine box; but with all these expect societal changes one thing remains patently certain; many of our assumptions and time honor beliefs about what and how socieity should or should not be orientated will be consigned to the dustbin of history.
Sure these verdicts might turn out to be overblown, then again the social cost may well prove me wrong to even regret writing such an article. Some have even counseled the idea legalising gambling on such a large commercial scale will lead society down a tempestuous slippery slope and trigger all sorts of social problems – well I don’t buy that claptrap, not even if it comes from the pulpit. Truth is gambling is already here ( and in earnest, I might add); don’t believe then just check out your local 4D outlet – so the whole idea of gambling is not a novel notion like a time traveling or teleportation.
Neither am that naïve to expect the cost to society to be muted either – like all vices, some will veer to the harder stuff; some will even go right down under – but when I put the pluses on the scales against the minuses; its not going to be anything near what the Christian right claims, where families will be ripped apart to ribbons and the lines of the destitute queueing for a bowl of soup will be the order of the day. In this view, a convulsion even one as radical as an appearance of a casino will not, by itself, be enough to usher in an Apocalypse; neither will we see the four horse men galloping in Orchard; there will certainly be tremors and perhaps even shakes; but all things considered; you will surprise how resilient human beings are; they will adapt, water will find its level and society will go along with it quiet happily; very much in the way the internet porn did not bring about the end of the world – or spawn an indolent society and perpetual masturbation lifestyle – trust me, life will just go right on.

What remains to be seen is whether the government is prepared for these epochal changes – like I said a casino brings with it a whole genre of stuff, some good, others not so good, but if the idea is really going to fly; then a heavenly balance needs to be found somewhere between the spectrum of let-it-rip and the whole idea of managing it in such a way, it does kill the panache, verve and aplomb of what a casino should offer – as the sages say, string it too tight; and it will snap; string it too loose and it will simply not play.

 
Either way one thing remains patently clear to be; the arrival of Sands will be both a blessing and a curse; that to me is the nature of the beast – just like the great cities of this world, like New York, Paris and Tokyo, they may be derided for their lack of moral turpitude, brutishness and filth; but despite the grime and all the good, bad and ugly they are also gold plated lightning rods that will always continue to attract the best in terms of intelligence and entrepreneurial spirit – I can’t wait for Sands to open. Btw, any card counters out there? You are free to contact me. This is a serious business proposition?

Darkness 2010

N.B DO BOOKMARK THIS SITE, IF SOME OF YOU CLAIM, YOU ARE MISSING OUT, BOOKMARK IT, THAT WAY WHEN WE DECIDE TO TAKE OFF SOMEWHERE ELSE, AT LEAST YOU CAN FOLLOW US ON THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD TO CONT READING SOME OF OUR STUFF . BOOKMARK, IT AS WHEN THEY TAKE OFF, AS THEY DO, AT LEAST, YOU WILL HAVE A LINK, DO IT NOW!– ANOTHER GOOD REASON TO BOOKMARK THIS SITE IS THIS HAS HAPPENED  RECENTLY – http://singaporedaily.net/2010/01/11/daily-sg-11-jan-2010/#comment-7611 , THE BP HAS BARRED ALL FUTURE ESSAYS TO BE POSTED BY THE SINGAPORE DAILY. I DID ASK BABY DARKNESS ABOUT THIS AND THIS IS WHAT HE HAD TO SAY, ” There are two ways to read, one is you let someone spoon feed you like a baby. The second is you choose what and how you want to eat.  Remember, if your body is a temple. Your mind has to be the altar piece; it’s the linchpin that makes possible the grand idea of La Convivencia with you and your community, spirit, mind and perhaps 7 million other things- without this one thing, the power to choose, you are simply a cactus on a window sill! 

So understand this little rich girl, there is reading and there is reading, there is a world of difference, if you dont even bother to argue with the belief, you are what you eat. Then you would have absolutely no problem understanding – why, you are most definitely without a shadow of doubt what you read and dont read.

You can certainly categorize what I write, but you have no right to judge ……that was what Singaporedaily did - a broad line has to be drawn, otherwise, dont be surprise, if someone decides its card blanche to give you and me the mushroom treatment, “feed you shit and keep you in the dark.” So this has nothing to do with Anime 3 and her rubberband brigade. I value her readership and support, but this is a bigger sphere we are dealing with here – so this is where I will draw the line…it will hurt…like that other fake site, Temasek review that kept faking doss attacks; but how could they let the real wolf out without first planting the idea in peoples mind, “if it can happen to me, it will also happen to you,” Think about it – they cried wolf – we helped, but this time, I am not going to stick my neck out for no one…its everyman for himself….I dont even care, if the whole house catches fire…call it tough love, but if you aren’t a hard man, then you shouldn’t be in the ring and that’s the only way to deal with people who cry wolf, its all here, the explanation

http://singaporedaily.net/2010/01/12/daily-sg-12-jan-2010/#comment-7618 - dont worry dotty, the readers will eventually pick up the scent…they always do, you just wait and see, dont ever sweat the small stuff, life is too short – Darkness 2010……”Missy Dotty

Just as common sense informs us for every action there is a counter reaction; this should compel us to ask why did Temasek Review even launch an attack on the Strait Times when it claimed that the later was responsible for crippling their servers? The claim even by the most liberal reading has to be incredulous as not only did TR lack the factual means to prosecute successfully on such an elephant enterprise but they were bound to end up with egg in their face – this begs the question: why would a blog set itself out for failure?

To understand WHY my apprentice (by the way your zipper is down); you first need to familiarize yourself with the art of selling a gold plated fire engine – how is this impossible transaction accomplished?

Simple, start a fire; that guarantees the demand better still if a tsunami of panic and outrage can be triggered; providing the fire rages on unabated, it may even have the effect of exacting a tenuous purchase on our collective concerns sharpening our fears further.

Viola! The transaction is complete.

Understand this! FEAR is the most powerful marketing astringent that even supersedes sex; providing the gold plated fire engine sales pitch goes off without a hitch; it could even compel perfectly level headed people to buy into ideas which they would not normally consider – don’t believe me; then consider this; how did the Nazi party in 1938 achieve a landslide victory? Did ordinary Germans fear the Bolsheviks? Closer to the stuff where the rubber meets the rubber; how do you think Volvo sell their chunky cars? Could they be selling you and I the idea we wouldn’t be lying in some bed with medical grade tubes sticking out from our nostrils if we drove one? What about insurance companies; what might they actually be selling? And the list goes on and on; it’s a litany that hardly requires any elaboration in a world where most of us find ourselves marinating in the marketing manifesto.

Now armed with this knowledge – what if I said to you one of the goals of Temasek Review is to perpetuate the myth that the internet is a feral domain populated by compulsive liars who do nothing all day but confect conspiracy theories along with disseminating lies. Think about it; how would the rhetoric of officialdom come across against an internet that we all know is maturing so fast that it will eventually challenge the primacy of the MSM as the sole purveyor of the truth? What better way to retard this inexorable change; then to insert the equivalent of a village dunce who likes to play with matches ro even represent the name and face of our blogosphere?

From time to time, of course, that village dunce may be directed by their puppet masters to (they cant do it all the time as people are basically like roaches, the more you spray them, the more they develop immunity; so a little goes a long way here and they would have to deploy this strategy very sparingly) provoke our sense and sensibilities by churning out ever more fantastical lies which may hopefully push our collective consciousness to some tipping point where many of us may even feel the need to re-evaluate many of our time honored conception about freedom of speech in the context of the internet? I other words they want us all to score a high to very high in the “puih” factor scale.

That incidentally is how bent governments, cult churches and of course hucksters and charlatans, take your pick (I consider them all birds of the same feathers) go about justifying the NEED for far reaching legislation and guidelines in the name of protecting the truth or for matter your rights which would otherwise have been wholly unnecessary. (btw is the elections coming?)

That in a nutshell is how one goes abt selling a gold plated fire engine.

And this is where Temasek Review comes in as the agent or proxy that makes this transaction not only possible; but arguably sensible, intelligent and even clever enough to hold it out as a prescriptive cure of our times.

The psychology for clinching the sale takes its cue from eleventh hour medicine, which, when it cannot cure, seeks to relieve suffering as efficiently as possible. But tell me would all this be possible without Temasek Review? Let me put it another way; what if I said to you, even if TR did not exist; an equivalent in some form would have to be found – short of fabricating a new word; you could say it is the one vital ingredient that makes possible the sale of the gold plated fire engine.

Now you know – Remember, all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.

Darkness 2009

(Its kendo day, once I have finished we will cont our conversation again, I promise)

I’ve just finished dinner with Missy Dotty; it didn’t go well; as my mind was on the market – I have a feeling when a woman goes on one of her wonky moods; they call it PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken. Anyway that’s over; I never mix my personal life with work; its nothing personal, that’s just business – I am looking at my four screens again and its all red, the market is range bound and it will be one of those ground hog nights again.

Where were we? Oh yes, how does one go about controlling the internet – like I said in Chapter 2, the key lies somewhere in between the art of controlling perception and selling the illusion that you have the power to do so; let me put it this way; if I can convince you; you have the power to effect change; then 9 out of 10; you will probably settle for the illusion of change rather than insisting on the real deal – don’t believe me? Then how do you explain why so many women fork out a small fortune at the end of every month just to buy a jar a la anti gravity moisturizer; where the only active ingredient happens to be tap water – and this really brings me to the main nub of this entry.

Why does Temasek Review keep on telling us that they have suffered a DOS attack and why do they go off line so often? What do they have to gain from this? Doesn’t seem to make any sense right?

Wrong! Makes perfect sense if you understand how the marketing manifesto really works – because what they are doing in an oblique way is to sell you and I the belief that what they actually have to say is something authentic and so subversive that someone up there feels the need to censor simply to preserve our fragile minds; it’s the stuff of stone wash jeans and less than perfect rustic “ I am not mass produced” marketing and it’s the antithesis of everything that most of us have come to hate about the hate and spin culture that is so prevalent in the MSM – the whole idea takes its cue from the Moulin Rouge – the allure of forbidden fruit; illicit thrill along with conjuring up images of chiaroscuro.

You see whenever the Temasek Review tells you and I someone has launched a DOS attack on them – what they’re in effect doing is reinforcing the necessary lie that has to feature in every successful fairy tale between good and evil – we have made the world a better place – progress always has to come at a terrible cost; nothing is ever gained without a good fight along with perhaps the trite Hollywood promise of redemption – if the good in the world outweighs the bad; its always has to be by the slimmest of margins and it was brought to you and I at a great personal sacrifice.

That of course really commands as much currency as my disposal underwear that is starting to smell a bit fruity after spending two days tracking the market in the office. In other words, it’s a crock of shit – they just threw the switch themselves. I’ve come to that in chapter 12.

So if anyone tells you that it doesn’t make one molecule of common sense for Temasek Review to throw the switch; that by itself doesn’t make any sense – truth remains; by throwing the switch and claiming it was a DOS attack – that is the only way for them to maintain a tenuous purchase on the Singapore imagination because ours is a country where no one ever believes the truth could simply emerge without the terrible cost of sacrifice.

Now you know why the necessary lie has to be perpetuated at every cost and opportunity – consider the alternative – would you even consider reading the Temasek Review if it was just another blog? There you go something to fry your mind.

On that note; it’s back to the life of cookie cutter…it will be a long night.

Darkness 2009

PS: Feel free to copy and paste it in your blog and gaming forum – everyone deserves to know the truth. Btw, where are the famous “cyber warriors?” Can anyone give me directions :)

This has been copied and pasted by Missy Dotty.

All gamers please be informed. A new space station bearing the Free Neutral Royal Persian flag will be comissioned @ sector 850.390.771 @ Primus time: 09587301 to coordinate the growing space traffic and interplanetary com-sat in this new space trade route - this new space station is our latest Dimitri class platform with geo-orbital capabilities - over 300 Dimitri class space stations currently serve throughout the known universe with unparalleled success and reliability.  

We will be naming this exceptional gift the KDD Tamally Maak; our hope is it will bring peace, prosperity and ever lasting friendship throughout the known universe.

KOHO

A complete lock down of the network will be enabled at 13-09-09 @ 1630 GMT (Primus time: 0956391) / all channels  from Single line feed (SLF’s) No.1 to No.7 will stand down for a period of 30 minutes when the space station is comissioned - please do not be alarmed; gamers in this sector are likely to experience possible lost of com-sat, this is normal  - we bear letters directly from her royal highness Princess Sorhyana of the Imperial Persian court and throughout the comissioning of this space station. As always we come in the name of Peace, we will also be flying the flags of the free legation – please help us to circulate this message to all known channels. We are also requesting for volunteers who are proficient in written Arabic; some of us know how to speak it, but very few us can write well; please report to bay 7 in Project Entropia @ 12-09-09 / 1300 hr GMT  - KOHO.

eggs-300x199Today is big cycling day – so we will just have to do a hello, bang-bang and good bye – coming to think, wasn’t that how our parents use to make babies? What’s happened recently? Why is LKY smacking his head!

 

Why is it so difficult to just get down to the whole business of making babies? It should be the most natural thing in the world. What’s the fuss all about? Why does it have to be something like the Da Vinci code?

 

My pet theory is; it may have something to do with the sworn enemies of the brotherhood – yes, those erudite spinsters who reside in that self styled monastery known as SPH (the Sisters of Perpetual Hesitation); who often write toe curling accounts on the seven habits of highly effective wife beaters – to why I rather sleep with my dog than a man – in their cloistered enclave when their mother superior Sumiko exclaims: “I’ve missed the boat.” Her underlings cheer on, “Well done, our aim must be improving.”

 

Leaving that all aside our baby blues remains a pithy summary of the sign of our times – it’s serious when you consider even Sengkang Sally these days seems to be hanging up her eggs.

 

In the early 80’s when the trend of forestalling the stork first surfaced it affected mainly the ranks of professional women – that was alright – besides all of them were batty and their abstinence probably saved most men from perpetual bitching.

 

But of late the trend of forestalling the stork seems to have reached pandemic levels and it’s even scissoring right through the length and breadth of our society! So out comes the same unsavory characters making a bee line in rogue’s gallery: high cost of living, not enough time, an uncertain future and the impossible demands of juggling jobs and kids etc.

 

Are they the only suspects? Could there be another reason why our birth rates are so low?

One clue that may explain why the baby figures are so shambolic may be found in the computer game called SimCity  – I happen to love the game. For one it’s a great way to take a holiday from my inferiority complex; as SimCity is really like playing god (though I don’t think he eats pot noodle or has to live in a room where clothes go to die) – now the thing that I learnt most about SimCity is:

Build a lousy system and you are likely to get lousy results; there’s no mystery there, it’s cut and dried; where the cost and penalty calculation become screwy is when you build a perfect system that’s so good that it even has reserves to gather momentum and when you pull on the brakes nothing happens!

 

It’s a bit like the Titanic 30 seconds before it struck the iceberg – instead of you playing the game; the game plays you – the levers of power are connected to nothing!

 

That dystopian nightmarish landscape bears out only too clearly in the game SimCity  – even the most benign and innocuous actions can be amplified and have far reaching implications – build a multi storey car park and the next thing you know you’ve created the mother of all traffic jams and that leads to probably an eight lane highway followed by deppreciation of real estate prices – next thing you know your neighborhood has turned into down town Baghdad; if you really want to understand why our baby birth rates is so low –here it is! -  the answer believe it or not can be found in a computer game and just in case you think – I am kidding.

 

I am not, I worked it all out mathematically one evening on a napkin in McDonalds.

 

The whole idea of playing the extinction game isn’t really so different from one those environmental horror stories; we so often hear about; When someone thought it would just be a dainty idea to bring a pot of flowers from the old country to brighten up the porch and dress up their bonnet for Sunday church.

 

But what happens when that species of alien flower finds its way into the local ecology and proliferates only to overreach its territory very much like a super invader to wipe up the rest?

 

The analogy isn’t so different from what really accounts for our baby blues. The historical accounts are sketchy; but the story goes something like this; during the late 70’s a great social engineering experiment was launched; the ‘2 is enough and 3 is company’ population control program.

 

It made perfect sense then to mitigate the high birth rates and leveraging on the apparatus of assimilation to broadcast the message it worked admirably, the problem was everyone from the policymakers to the social scientist who conceived this idea became so fixated on the drive train and breaking the land speed record; none of them bothered with the emergency brakes. In short, they forgot about the reverse gear – fast forward today; when we talk about our lamentable birth rates, it’s nothing more than a social Chernobyl experiment gone awry.

 

Yes, some one fucked up. And they fucked it up big time.

 

The lessons here are sobering – never ever mess around with something you don’t completely understand – that’s the problem when government decides to play a round of I am-God-almighty.

 

My point is simply this; it may have made pragmatic sense once upon a time to muck around with the lives of people, but even with the benefit of the best of intentions; the cost of doing so may simply be too horrendously high to contemplate in the long term; fact remains where the equation applies to people; the whole calculation may not even hold true as what we are dealing with here isn’t nuts and bolts – it’s not really a quantitative method as it remains a qualitative process; its more an art than a science; because you dealing with people and people don’t always behave rationally.

 

Yes, small things can have big consequences. They can even come back and bite you like a multi headed hydra. Worst of all, some of the mistakes we make can’t be reversed – once they go into the mind; they just stay there forever.

 

It would be good; if government just kept that in the back of their minds when they next decide to muck around with the internet.

 

Don’t say, I didn’t tell you; it’s doesn’t pay to play God.

 

Pls do correct for grammar along with spelling.

 

Got to go cycling now.

 

Darkness 2009

 

The Brotherhood Press 2009

Hey did you miss out on this BP article? The Incredible Koreans

72870126SWX01_PekingOperaThis has to be a quick one since I am trying to polish off my sandwich double quick and type this out at the same time in my shrunken keyboard – so lets dive in straight into the deep end. Tell me; why did Teo Ser Luck go to China? – to be honest with you; I’ve never heard of him before till I read this excellent article in TheOnlineCitizen recently – 16 March 2009 – The PAP’s fascination with communists – and who is Ah Teo, he happens to be the Chairman of the People’s Action Party (PAP)’s youth wing – the Young PAP (YP) and very recently he led a five-member delegation to Beijing. (See here.)

 

Now let me just get one thing straight from the onset; I have nothing against China; in fact, I think there’s a whole lot we can learn from them; like how to control our rat population (by cooking them into tasty delicacies like curry puff)– apart from that I don’t see anything in China that’s worth emulating, copying or transplanting; not unless you consider their lackdaisal human rights record as something that’s worth replicating – so naturally, you can understand why when Ah Teo decides to pack his bags and head East like Sun Wukong – some of us got pretty nervous; and just when you think Ah Teo could have perhaps provided some clarification, when a journalist asked him whether he was worried about YP associating with a Communist organisation, he replied:

 

‘We’re not worried because it’s the governing party and Singapore-China relations are so close. We don’t talk about political philosophy.’

 

Now this is the part where we all find ourselves suddenly transported to Panadol land; what does he really mean? We are “close,” but we “don’t talk about political philosophy.” Now don’t get me wrong, but this is a bit like saying you’re married to someone; but all you do is play xbox all day long – what about checking out her other box? (get my drift, wink)

 

You know what? I’ve cut to the chase: I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT AH TEO IS SAYING HERE! And I suspect he doesn’t have any idea either why he’s decided to lead a delegation to China; I am serious.

 

I even trawled around the internet to find out what was his objective was to go to China; even went down the Singapore ghost stories site P-65 where those shrunken heads are hanging out – absolutely nothing on why Ah Teo has decided to go off to China.

 

And neither does the author of this article: The PAP’s fascination with communists. Granted Ravi Philemon has a handful of theories but even he doesn’t really know either; maybe we should all just remain open minded about all this – the problem is our brains may threaten to spill out – and why do I find this so disconcerting; because: I DON’T BELIEVE CHINA IS A GOOD ROLE MODEL.

 

Might as well go and build an organization using the 7 habits of highly effective dodo birds – and let me tell you why just to add to Ravi’s list.

 

Firstly, do I deny that China’s meteoric rise has garnered its share of admirers (such as perhaps Ah Teo and his bosses?) – Nope, but I am also mindful of that it has its fair share of valid detractors and I am NOT only talking about human rights concerns here only, that’s maybe 10% of the gripe. As I am sure, some people may say, well it always comes down to that doesn’t it.

 

My concern relates directly to hard nosed business of maladministration aka lousy management – specifically bad governance that remains the unwritten narrative of the China story – all too often when China admirers speak of her stellar success, they wax lyrical and focus ONLY on the positive side of China’s economy; as a result the underlying societal ills and the exorbitant human and spiritual cost of how they have managed to secure their economic primacy is frequently never discussed.

 

We are not only talking here about cloudy abstractions like human rights but jugular how-do-you-run-your-country-into-the ground issues like severe environmental degradation and public infrastructure that’s so riven with endemic corruption and favoritism that it seriously militates against the whole idea of holding out China as a role model – unless you want to commit hara-kiri on a national scale of course.

 

At the root of the concern is NOT whether China’s GDP this year will outstrip the US or the EU; or even whether it will continue to break records in being able to balance it deficits payments – all this is given – RATHER at what cost does all this come about? To paraphrase at what price are these goodies purchased? And are these attributes really worth emulating and replicating in Singapore.

 

To say that something can be learnt from the oldest civilization in the world that once discovered gunpowder, paper and magnetic North – goes witht the whole territory of exploratory missions – only I don’t know whether Ah Teo sat down and did a lightning calculation; as I said, he never ever shared with any of us what his agenda in China was – I mean if you say; you’re there to learn; then what thoughtware are you really loading in your brain? Is it the good type that produces good while edifying human beings or is it the bad variety; where everything is reduced into faceless numbers and percentiles which come at the greater detriment of the mind, body and spirit?

 

My point is its very easy to be enamored by China’s seemingly successful track record – very much in the same way, most of us were blinded by the Lehman’s, Madoff’s and Satyam’s of the corporate world – till of course the dream spluttered ran out of petrol, keeled over a died – I am not saying for one moment China’s economic growth is going to fizzle out and they’re going to turn into a financial version of a giant and lumbering AIG and the sum of all our fears; ONLY when we speak about China as a success story; it pays dividends to be circumspect and drill deeper.

 

There remains serious concerns about the whole fairytale narrative of the China story -For one I don’t see how China or for that matter any country can continue it economic growth in perpetuity given the persistent flaws in its economic institutions and structure that are the result of impromptu, misguided and self serving government policies. Neither do I see how its possible for the Communist Chinese hegemony to continue it vicious policy of pursuing economic and industrial primacy whilst neglecting the fundamental aspects of society’s welfare – and this one observation that Ah Teo should consider very carefully – even the western educated Chinese no longer perceive the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) as a credible way to move forward any longer – there’s evidence of growing disenchantment, especially within the educated middle classes who have been begun to tune off state TV, state newspapers and even state radio and ridding themselves of everything that isn’t state inspired – the moribund communist system no longer has the cultural authority it once had over the collective consciousness – if that were really true; then why is there even a need to build a virtual fire wall that equals the length of the Great Wall of China?

 

All this suggest far from being a success story; China is in effect one giant choreograph wayang kulit of success – step back stage and don’t be surprise if you discover the same social, economic and political risk factors swept underneath the carpet— such as heavily subsidized soviet styled industries, growing inequality, trans migration, poor and inefficient use of labor—they remain, they fester and there lies the ticking time bombs.

 

If the truth be known; the communist party remains an old relic of the past and it neither has the imagination or verve to reinvent itself; hence it relies solely on economic growth to legitimize and mythologize it’s raison detre – it’s the equivalent of cheap cigarettes and circuses to keep the masses in a happy stupor.

 

By focusing exclusively on short-term monetary growth instead of long-term human sustainability, such as health care, education, creation of job opportunities and environmental protection – all this has been neglected for the cult of instant gratification.

 

The end result is a moth eaten state built on weak kneed political, economic and societal foundations with a potentially unhappy and restless people.

 

What we may be seeing right now when we look at awe and wonderment at China may well be the seemingly harmless and benign great Chinese firecracker, somewhere beneath all the razzmatazz, polish and sheen lies the disaster of the mellinium waiting to happen and all it takes is for someone to light the fuse.

 

All that glitters; is not gold.

 

Darkness 2009

 

Authors sidenotes:

Perhaps Ah Teo should reconsider once again – I stand corrected as always; but that’s only because he never once bothered to share with anyone his the full reason for his fabled journey to the East.

 

OK twenty minutes is all you are worth Ah Teo and I am not even going to bother with the spell check or grammar.

Remember take this constructively; I pay my taxes, so I have a right to ask a question that may affect me and my friends, as you never ever bothered to explain even so much as once – why you decided to go to China; and bear in mind there is much more where that came from and it just took me 14 minutes to bag you – btw always remember, the internet is a place full of lies and we dont have any credibility.

 

 

Darkness 2009

We highly recommend that this essay should be read in conjunction with this: http://wayangparty.com/?p=6756

 

 

PS: Dear readers: do take the trouble to check out the thread of The PAP’s fascination with communists ; somewhere along the line you can see Singaporedaddy, our friendly internet liaison officer of the brotherhood slugging it out with what we believe is a (My feel is if this is the quality of personnel they have assigned here, then they dont even need enemies) cyber internet counterinsurgent (who goes by the name of smallvices or voices – not sure) – read it, its hilarious! Happy hunting – Darkness 2009

Why Do Elites Die Young?

March 17, 2009

swiss_army_knifeWhy do some scholars take a bad turn? To paraphrase in direct terms: how did it fuck up? Does it have something to do with the venality of online games – I mean, it makes sense right! When you consider to get to the seventh level of war craft one has to vaporize at least ten thousands aliens and a few penguins – I am sure that’s bound to have a scouring effect on ones character.

Nope, I don’t buy into that straight line logic; anymore than I believe all women drivers are bad motorist because of late auto manufacturers seem to be provisioning cup holders.

 

Fact of the matter is; the reason why some scholars screw up isn’t so different from how many of us and even big juggernaut firms manage to egg it up – you’ve be surprise how remarkably democratic and class blind the laws of cocking up really is.

 

And it matter little whether you’re running a juggernaut fortune 500 firm or just trying to trying to chalk up the years to finish your miserable scholarship bond or even if you’re an average Joe like me, who is basically just trying his level best to get the best deal in life – the rules of success and failure apply just the same irrespective of class, color or creed.

So that’s the first myth out of the window; the low down is we all compete under one and the same sun.

 

Having said that do you notice the folk who usually take it the hardest are those who are really smart? If you don’t believe me just cast your mind back to your averagely miserable campus days; who were the ones who usually landed all the hot chicks? Was it Mr Ace-all-the-grades or the bad boy?

And just in case you think that’s another one of my crack brained theories; erase it from your mind; there’s even anecdotal evidence supporting the contention smarties have it rough and tough. Yes, according to Dr. Alex Benzer, a Cambridge and Harvard-educated hypnotherapist who had a piece in the Huffington Post last week called “Why The Smartest People Have The Toughest Time Dating.” There you go proof.

 

But why is that so? Well if you really want to understand why the dice is loaded against smarties; it just boils down to one theory; they aren’t that smart to begin with – that’s to say when we use the word “smart.” Its conceivable, we may be just applying a very narrow band of intelligence that bears little or no relations with the whole idea of using ones brain to carve out competitive advantage in life.

And what we should all consider is whether the whole idea of smart hasn’t been somehow scripted, packaged and sold to everyone of us since the day we are born – we are all told for instance – good grades = the good life. As a consequence most of us aspire to be scholars.

 

But what are we really producing?

 

Well if you consider that the word smart is synonymous with specialization – and specialization is just another word for focusing on one area of your life till it squeezes out everything in between and the middle to roughly the diameter of a pin head – then I don’t think that’s a very smart way to go through life; I am not saying everyone that gets good grades and manages to land a scholarship is narrow minded; but I don’t believe that’s necessarily the best way to build a better human being – besides there is more to life; then getting a string of A’s or making they the mythical tape line whenever one decides to take to sports.

 

My feel is there has to be a cost associated with being so focused in one area of interest that it excludes everything else.

 

And this bears out only too clearly when you speak to really smart people; they can tell you everything you want to know about lets say what happens if you throw a golf ball into a black hole; but the downside is when lets say they cornered in alley by a bunch of gay militant bikers bent on spot of free ass – they have absolutely no street wisdom how to talk or fight their way out of it – in short, they’re pretty lousy survivors.

 

Bear in mind; this is just my theory; based on my personal observations – smart people in my opinion have to be myopic people; they tend to get fixated on one point; they suffer from severe tunnel vision and it matters little whether its an object of interest in their research field or getting by in life; and if you really look through the life and times of smart people; they all have one thing in common; most of them don’t even make it past 40; they just seem to burn out and drop dead for some strange reason – again it matters little whether they are really smart composers; artist, scientist or even businessmen – it all reads like the curse of the Pharoah’s.

 

One reason why some of them seem to go down the dodo hall of fame is because being smart may not be the best way to get ahead in life; I mean if you look carefully at the animal kingdom – the most resilient species aren’t specialist like Koala bears who can only climb upside down and munch only on Eucalyptus leafs or Russian Sturgeons who only seem to be so manja (spoilt) they can only spawn when the temp hovers between the narrow band of 21.5 – 22 °C in the Caspian Sea.

 

Survivors are generalist par excellence; like rats and roaches; they can survive any where; in the case of roaches; the more you spray them; they just develop more immunity and come back twice as strong – all you’re really doing when you try to kill them is create the ultimate pest – my point is they are very versatile creatures – they don’t cling to fixed assumptions like the smart losers.

 

And one reason why the generalist wins is because he cannot afford to live in his make belief world of no regrets; generalist as the term implies have to always to pop up their heads like a periscope and take a sweep of the bigger picture. They learn to get by with plenty of duct tape, rubber band and super glue – since things never go their way most of the time; they just need to adapt, improvise and overcome and that could just as well be not having the right paper qualifications or like me graduating from a tin pot university that no one has ever heard of before – and in some cases they even get marginalized, discriminated and looked down on – but that doesn’t kill them off; it just makes them stronger; but elites can’t do that.

 

For one they’ve all bought into a shitty master plan where they’re told they’re infallible and the best in the world – and soon even the best of them get caught up in the gyre of mythologizing their existence, ratio and being – and when you buy into that shitty plan where failure is no longer an option – that’s simply trouble.

 

Because in real life shit happens whether you like it or not, airplanes drop from skies; your ipod doesnt synch and even your girlfriend may decide to open her legs for another man or show her bush to the whole world in the internet - that’s life man ; so you better get used to it.

 

The problem with elites is they cant roll with the punches and get up and fight again; that’s what happens when one becomes terminally fixated – things just have to work out their way, one way and our way; if it doesn’t they just pull the pin on the grenade and say bye bye.

 

In short elites dont take failure very well – they rather do themselves in then to admit that they have failed – it matters little whether what they once egged up happens to be running a business, relationships, career or the whole idea of being a man  – THEY RATHER DIE THAN ADMIT FAILURE. In short, they no longer possess the ability to see the world in the right scale and perspective – that probably means their judgment has become so warped, its worthless.

 

You could just as well take this kernel of an idea and just superimpose on lets say the question of why big firms go bust; you could even use it to explain stuff – like why do firms fail? Sure you can say it’s poor execution – bad planning, poor design, sloppy handling or just plain lousy market intelligence – but at the end of the day, if you really boil it down to one sentence it just comes down to – having a lousy perspective.

 

Somewhere amid the medley of making money they got carried away with not 100 or even 10 or 5 ideas that got them into a hole – but usually, they got so fixated on only one idea – could well be putting all their chips on one market niche like banking; or maybe deciding to spend hundreds of millions, or even billions, of dollars to build a vehicle that can just run on fuel cells like the Segway.

 

In game theory; we call this the all or nothing game and it’s not so different from walking into a casino and putting all your chips on one number. The long and short of it; that’s no way to win unless you consider dying in the speed a light some way to get ahead in life.

 

It always pays to remember life is valuable only because it can be lived in so many ways; it’s so versatile –   – makes far more sense to buy into an idea of a multi-tool Swiss knife that has everything from box cutters to a cork opener; may even be slightly clumsy as we all know Swiss knifes don’t seem to do any of the things they are supposed to do very well; may not even get you the first prize when it comes to a book shelve race - but that could just be what separates a real winner from the losers – the all rounder, that is.

Only losers kill themselves.

 

Darkness 2009

 

Brotherhood Press 2009

 

ipod_book_coverThe real question is not whether blogging can change the world; but rather is it supposed too? To be perfectly honest with you – I dunno –

I don’t have a claim on internet history and I don’t think anyone has either; it’s a geography that’s simply to big to squeeze into one head. All I can really draw on is my own humble personal account of what blogging really is – I remember (violin plays in the background), it was the summer of 1999 when I first blogged and like many who had stumbled on the internet. I didn’t really have anything significant to say; yet I distinctly recalled that I desperately yearned for an online persona.

I realize this sounds terribly petulant; the idea of not having the faintest idea of why one should even project online except the merest wisp of a fancy to be part of a revolution that one doesn’t know anything about; but I guess, if I had to sum up all the feelings of the online revolution that once swept the world by storm it would have to be those clueless few minutes when I first started to write something like ‘hello’ or ‘is anybody there?’

It was obvious from even these baby beginnings that what I was dabbling with was revolutionary. No sooner had I discovered this sudden power to publish my thoughts, in no time my baby gugu mama postings began attracting a slew of brutish comments (this could probably explain why all your comments here will be permanently held in queue). They were more direct than anything that I had ever experienced before, more persnickety than any arm chair pontificator with a grudge to bear against the world, and more dangerous than the average psycho one is likely to come across in a lifetime.

None the less like many of my generation; I took to this new medium like fish to water and soon even develop a rhino hide to find the mythical line. At first my motivations can only be described as something closer to fuzzy pretense; I remember telling myself, it was healthy to nurture such a thing called an inner voice (that could explain why I wasn’t very hot with the girls; it gets a bit crowded with your imaginary inner voice friends and pets running around): hence the will to record indelibly, to set down even the merest thoughts into permanent words seem akin to the conviction I was somehow larger than the community, state and broader universe. Sounds like a great trip on magic mushrooms right?

In the years that followed much of the initial euphoria levelled out; the blog still remained the blog; it didn’t change the world; the world didn’t get smaller, it still took the same number of hours to reach London or Tokyo by plane; the internet was a superficial medium.

By superficial, I mean its  allure relies on a kind of delusion or suspension of disbelief that blogging can change the world and will make it a better place; though I never got around to questioning how this change might actually come about; besides I was too busy validating my dysfunction self; for one I especially liked the way blogging made dyslexia respectable; as blogging surreptitiously rewards brevity and immediacy. And since I had roughly the attention span of a housefly – that just fitted me well down to a tee.

It was only somewhere around 2004, when I had written my sixth online novel. That I realized, instead of changing the world; the internet was actually some sort of giant Smithsonian institute; in this sudden reversal of logic; I realized blogging wasn’t  supposed to change as much as preserve against change; that thing being threatened could well be the idea of statistical insignificant ‘me’ against the greater ‘we.’ A critical way of viewing the world outside the cloistered cosy insiderism of group think.  Or even something as trivial as the right to ride my bicycle on the road without getting flattened into roti prata; reading back on many of my writings during that period; I realized the key to understanding a blog is to grasp that it’s a stab at the moment, a blot of ink and should never be equated with a publication. At best, an idiom of our times that allows millions of people to express themselves at their own speed, time and style – that could explain why any attempt to make a blog conform to any prescribed corsetted form or symmetry is just an act of futility – it cannot and will not – you cannot gut out the condition of human spontaniety that makes a blog, a blog.

But despite the seeming superficiality this doesn’t detract from its depth—greater depth than even what the traditional media could even be expected to capture in some cases. As not only does it capture the personalised version of the unvarnished truth, but it also provides writers and readers alike with an emotional black box to log how society once reacted, reasoned and dedicated itself to a path of beliefs, ethos and values to their objects of interest.

 

By this period somewhere in 2005.  I had noticed, the world had also begun to change inexorably (I don’t get out much); from my room with a view; I didn’t like very much what I was seeing. I am not saying I am anti-globalisation fundamentalist. Or that we should undo the internet and hammer our keyboards into ploughshares and return back to the days of the cottage industry.

 

Only it would not be too far off to say. I  saw globalization with a heavy dose of askance very much like  some pernicious evil weed taking hold; something even akin to a super invader that had the capacity to overreach threatening to leach out everything that’s real, valuable and authentic.

 

It stands to reason globalization promotes the idea of one worldness; the greater ‘we’ at the expense of the individual ‘I.’ In the years that followed, I sought out the merest hint of this global decay and with each passing affirmation where I saw the world barreling mindlessly into the end times of the age when the ‘I’ gave ground to the faceless ‘we’– I reached a realization, blogging was hardly a matter of choice, it was a matter of necessity – we have to write; if we are to stand a chance of preserving that which we hold dear and worth handing over one day to our children.

 

Though somewhere in this great narrative to save the people and planet; I hadn’t got around to figuring out exactly what it was which was so important that needed preserving, besides maybe my Bavarian cuckoo clock and overpriced Italian racing bicycle; the act of blogging it seemed was always more important than the pesky philosophy; its hard to describe in precise terms the feeling of being assaulted, except to say deep down; some of in the mess of my confused self. I must have rued an age of mass consumerism and the mono culture brought forth by globalization and everything that came with it – to me it was a form of McDonalization that even threatened to reduce the field of possibilities to a cinder. Against that belief, one takes up arms against the homogeneity of mass culture. One doesn’t want to be swept away. And writing and managing a blog, I guess offers the illusion of ”choice” in a “choiceless” world;  it’s a sanctuary against that scouring tide. A refuge even against the chastening passage of time.

 

I guess to know this feeling better, one needs to enter the messy mind of a blog writer as he struggles to express himself against how he sees his ever changing environment - When one writes time stops for the duration of the moment when a sentence needs to be wordsmithed, you’re acutely acute present to yourself; you step outside the unconscious forward rush of life. This is why the condemned are allowed the final cigarette, it offers release or rather the hope of it by gathering the loose threads that allows one the strength to walk through the door or cross that line. In a sense I saw it as the clearest testament against the omnipresent mechanization of mass culture.

 

And for a long time, I even nurtured the belief; the truth in this age can only remain the truth, providing one writes and another reads. I believed rightly or wrongly when serious writing and reading dwindles to near nothingness, it will probably mean that the thing we’re talking about when we use the word “identity” has reached a terminal end.
I guess when one sees writing in this sense; it ceases all together to be writing; and is instead closer to a form of samizdat; a mode of opposition thinking; that doesn’t necessary mean against state and authority, but rather it simply a reaction against the whole idea we may just be another faceless dot that connects to other dots – as Emerson said, “even a brick aspires to greatness,” eventually one learns to manipulate words and sentences in the way one takes pride in the god of the small even something as insignificant as tying your shoes laces or being able to make bubbles with your saliva acquires a monumental scale – one takes great pride in these small pleasures that the world hardly notices such as the art of adjusting lacing patterns to terrain – you tell yourself, those shoe manufacturers may know the foot of 99.99% of the rest of humanity, but your feet is different, you are an individual, you’re special, you’re not like the rest of those flat foots; no, for one you write, they don’t – so you develop a style of tying your laces which keeps the toe box loose and the ankle tight when climbing uphill (to prevent twisting) and on the descent you learn to reverse the pattern on the way down (to protect the Achilles tendon), using a double- twisted knot to separate the two parts of the lace – you tell yourself, few people know this trick, they don’t really know how important tying their shoe laces is, only you know it – and as you look out over the yonder, you tell yourself – I ready for the world and what it can throw as me – I can tie my shoelaces better anyone in this miserable planet.

 

I guess for anyone who has ever blogged before this graphic analogy which I have just shared is one that only they understand too well;  it’s easy to get caught up in the gyre, to be even swept away by it. And there lies the real danger.

 

It was only after the euphoria of the recent general elections in Malaysia in 2008 – when blogging was touted as the new wonder weapon of change; that I seriously began to think for the very first time about this new experimental form of writing – I vacillated and grew restive and contemplative during this time; taking off even whole weeks and months from blogging; often lapsing between hope and trepidation; struggling often against the imperfection of the results which blogging produced, vexing even with the broader constancy which I asked myself in stark terms; is this how I would like to make the world a better place? Is this how good wins over bad?

I can’t say for certain that by this period I have totally at ease with the power of blogging; unlike many of my compatriots; I realized its terrible and awesome capacity for change; but my discomfort zone was precisely because I had seen first hand the before, during and after story of how the internet could be weaponized so easily; neither was I fully convinced that the changes it wrought would be for the betterment of people or planet; during this period; my mind meandered often questioning the wisdom of how this new power could be better harnessed.

Even today I don’t have any answers to many of my questions.

But despite my initial reservations about the quality of change that blogging brought to the Malaysia political landscape – I remained hopeful, that if used wisely and responsibly (not within the definition directed by officialdom, as I don’t believe they really know what they’re doing), blogging for lack of a better word remains our best hope to make a better world.

I say this with confidence. As when we look back at history and peruse through the unresolved dialogues of Plato right up to Karl Krauss, its not too difficult to trace out the lines where a skeptic once questioned the spirit of his age to make it a better place; or an enquiring mind found a way out of the finality to the established truth to shatter the yoke of the great lie; in the scheme of things it matters little whether its disproving the theory the earth is flat; or rubbishing something as polished as the whole idea the earth is the center of the known universe. The one undeniable ever lasting legacy of the human spirit is where there is a mind who is prepared to write and defend his treatise before the world; there is hope for good to triumph over evil; and the truth can hold its own against the lie. In this regard blogging offers this tremendous opportunity for thoughts to acquire speed to bring about this type of change.

And though in this age; when blogging as a way of thinking or life may still have to compete furtively with slashing aphorisms and machine gun burst of invectives from its detractors who see it as merely a wasteful indolent pastime – I am reminded providing there is someone who writes and another who continues to read; then there may still be hope yet. For it is only when we question with a skeptical and daring mind can we change minds, acquire new knowledge, shift paradigms and grow wiser —and so this boon or bane that the world calls blogging, far from being perdition may yet hold out the promise of salvation.

I wish you all happy blogging for 2009 and may you all find your line.

Darkness 2009

(This essay was first published in PBK, The Confederation, The Strangelands, C-MOS, Just Stuff & Ekunanba / By Darkness / Reflections / Socio / Based Partially on Codex: 9926439-2006 / Revised Partially from EP edition 9926440-2007 – The Brotherhood Press 2009)

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Hey did you miss out on this? Check it out here: The world’s deadliest game: when bloggers and govt play hide and seek for the truth

 

Is God angry with Singapore? Well it would seem so judging from the dumbstruck look of the Merlion as a few bangla’s proceed to drill lightning arrestors on his head – I really don’t know which is worse really getting struck by lightning or having to wear stainless steel horns; as all he really wants to do is to vomit water all day long – and recently, when I walked into a lift – an uncle was going on about the evil rule of 3’s – and guess what – it all made sense, three recent unnatural deaths and that was the day when it took me three attempts to pull up my zipper (maybe I should lay off economy beehon for a while) – all of them seemingly occurring at the same time involving bright and mobile scholars (shouldn’t they be working on a cure for cancer or something instead of experimenting on inventive ways to do themselves in?)

Is there a common link to all these strange happenings? Is it an omen; is the waters in Marina bay going to turn red; was the Singapore flyer trying to tell us all something when it stopped suddenly for no reason? Will there be a full eclipse of the sun and moon? And just when you think; the story couldn’t get more surreal; to cap it off we have added shock and awe of the recession.

 

Yes, it’s easy to believe God is pissed with us and I don’t think it has anything to do with my aftershave either; this is serious; maybe I should start taking flower baths; maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to give away my lucky T shirt after all.

But you know what mumbo jumbo theories have always been around since the beginning of time: even long before the age of the internet, man had shown an insatiable appetite for the bizarre and superfluous. In the middle ages, the legend of Prester John riveted European courtiers no end as charlatans recounted the legend of a mighty Christian king who supposedly ruled a twelfth-century Asian realm rich in sapphires and free of snakes, scorpions and noisy frogs. And long before that Romans believed the waters of the river Tiber were poisoned by a dwarf like creature (now you know why dwarf throwing is a sport on the continent), boosting the production and sale of cups made of lead which supposedly neutralized this poison (could this explain why the Romans are no longer a super power these days?).

These days with the advent of the internet, conspiracy theories abound like demented Jacks-in-the-box. One in five Americans believe the World Trade center was brought down by the CIA to justify a war against Iraq. One in ten Americans do not believe a plane slammed into the pentagon. (If that is so, where did a plane, half the size of a football pitch, and over 200 passengers, go?) Yes, in conspiracy theory ganja land, when all fails, we always have the trusted “get out of jail free” card: The Bermuda triangle.

Nearly 80% of diehard royalist believe that Lady Diana was killed by the royal mafia. If you try to argue with them, they will show you historical precedents going all the way back to Henry VIII when British monarchs regularly lobbed heads off like dandelions, irrevocable proof that an evil murderous bloodline runs through the house of Windsor mafia clan. Over 300,000 Americans believe Elvis is still driving around Texas in a pink convertible Cadillac and nearly three times this number have actually claimed to have seen him. One in three people actually believe the Vatican and NASA have entered a secret pact to convert little green men into Catholics. And just in case you are wondering, there are actually people who believe in a conspiracy that the water supply in America is laced with mind bending LSD. Closer to home, we all know Mat Selamat was abducted by aliens – how else could a man with a bad leg pull of a reenactment of Shawshank redemption all by himself; that could explain the mountains of toilet rolls; after all, we all know those little green men cant be taller than pygmies.

My favorite conspiracy theory is the one propagated by the ministry of very homely affairs headed of course by my 86 year old grumpy granny who has a theory that the chicken rice man actually paints his birds a yellow tinge to give it a healthy and natural glow. Of course I humor her by removing the skin, but it hardly helps when the topic of discussion every weekend when we eat there is: where did the chicken man hide his pail of ICI? The funny thing about conspiracy theories is, they are a bit like culture (I am not referring to art galleries rather the Petri dish variety) – they multiply and grow. So, one day, when the chicken tasted a bit gamey, I could have sworn that it tasted a bit like paint – see what I mean.

Fortunately as far as conspiracy theories go, we Singaporeans are still very much tender foot babies. So far, our mania has been confined to bubble tea, bleached chopsticks, doggy Malaysian veggies. We haven’t really gone overboard have we? We are, after all, the level headed sort (yes, I need a side table to put my tiger beer and chips during my football matches, so if you are female, pretty and level headed please do volunteer to complete my Ikea collection.).

I guess in an age where anything is possible, skepticism is vogue and straight forward explanations are simply passe. Any theory, no matter how implausible, garners its fair share of adherents. Like the fable marijuana smoker, some will always gravitate towards the harder stuff, while others are content to stick to second hand smoking.

One reason why conspiracy theories take hold is because it palliates much of our fears that stems from our condition of powerlessness and impotence. When times are uncertain people naturally feel they have absolutely no control over their lives and its sharpened when those levers of power are suddenly connected to nothing – we panic, our heart rate shoots up, we sweat and the feeling of estrangement is heightened.

It doesn’t help either when so many things which once served as all weather reliable providers of the good job, good home and good life – have simply frittered away with each successive revelation that simply tells us the evil eye is fixed squarely on our lot – its hard, if not impossible even these days to believe in anything and anyone any more; even the whole idea of leadership is challenged; when so many have recently been defrocked as con artist, congenital liars and psychopaths who were simply out to hoodwink us all – harder even to buy into the idea of permanence when so many things which were once fixed like bollards seem to have given way like the river to the infinity of the sea – firms, businesses, political parties, ideologies and even the whole idea of good and bad are all up there in suspended animation . Against this topsy turvy world – where we might even be floating around lost and rudderless, it’s all to easy for many of us to confect all sorts of theories to soothe our battered sense and sensibilities; simple explanations it seems just doesn’t seem to be able to square off the accounts between our shattered dreams and the faint sense of hope that we once so carefully nurtured – if anything only the fantastical; surreal and incredulous seem to be able to able to supply a cogent account.

But maybe lightning just follows the path of least resistance and strikes very much like the roll of an ivory ball on a roulette wheel; there’s really no art or design to it; maybe a suicide is just a suicide and reading more into it may just as well produce nothing more than a mass of confused thoughts at work; maybe firms just belly up because that’s what happens when lousy leaders make lousy decisions; God isn’t angry with us; the Jews didn’t cause a global recession; the freemasons aren’t adding mind bending drugs into our water supply and the evil brotherhood isn’t trying to rule the internet.

It’s all up there in your mind, spinning like windmills – breathe…it’s just another day in Singapore.

Darkness 2009

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I Dream of You

March 14, 2009

I am going to Beijing for business again;  I’ve be flying in as usual in the afternoon – 3 hours before it gets dark. You know what? There must be a better way to go through life besides you slamming down the phone on me everytime I call you; I really cant think of a more painful way to go through life, kicking and screaming through it all – really there has to be a better way – I figure.

I guess learning to accept myself is the beginning of change. Learning to accept you and me is the beginning of wholeness – somewhere amid it all, love is supposed to win the day – I have been told - it seems, it not only sees more and enfolds even boundlessly, its the reason why I hope you will see me again – instead of slamming down the phone on me again as you always do.

I will wait as I always do where you know I always sit by during the afternoon when the sun wanes - I will wait for only an hour; I would wait for an eternity, but this is the length of time, I can only allow myself, as  eventually all playing has to come to an end – I hope you will behave like a woman – and I really have no choice, except perhaps to behave like - a person who simply loves you very much and will never ever let you go again.

This is my last business trip to Beijing – I’ve been making too many and my bosses are getting suspicious it seems.

P.S: I know you’re reading this; I know you’re smiling now and this is perhaps the happiest day in your life – I can feel it.

Darkness 2009

louisvuittonyumikococo02Today is big cycling day – I have only 15 minutes to spare, so lets skip the foreplay and dive straight into the deep end – tell me! What does it take to produce a free and independent press? Don’t think – it’s a simple question. OK, allow me to paraphrase it to make it simpler for you: what would be required to seed the supreme good and drive out the dystopian bad from our newspapers?

Did you say government should free up our press? Well you know what? You’re dead wrong!

Now before dwell deeper into how to build a better newspaper; it may be a good idea to discuss why a free and independent press is so important; if like me, you’re been following the sex in the city reportage surrounding the untimely deaths of both Widjaja and Allan Ooi; many things can be said here about slip shod reportage; they’re really too many to point out – you could just as well take your pick – everything from mind bending innuendos that is designed to cast doubt on the character of the deceased; right up to perhaps oblique references which suggest they may even be mentally unsound to perhaps good olde fashion character assasination – all would have made perfect sense; if only it wasn’t so easy to compress these accounts into a postage stamp and rubbish them within the time, it takes me to drain my bladder – that’s the cost of a lousy press – instead of news – all we get is gibberish.

Some in academia have forwarded the idea; one way of revivifying the fledging fortune of our press is by giving it more leeway and latitude to report and comment on current affairs – I don’t buy into this simplistic straight line account as its really closer to alchemy than anything that resembles cold cut logic; the problem with the freeing and opening up theory is it suffers from the same set of elusions it tries to inspire i.e by simply ‘opening’ up on a regulated press. It assumes endless opportunities for a broader all inclusive national discourse that will hopefully recruit an eclectic class of readers who may be willing to indulge in a spot of literary Sudoku.

That however is only holds water if you can believe for one moment the press corps is able to step up to the plate and play that sort of higher value added editorial game that world class newspapers excel in – truth suggest the ST may not even have those base line intellectual capabilities.

And one reason for my lack of faith in the press corps is due to the overwhelming evidence to suggest the condition I often describe as “department thinking” is now currently so prevalent amongst journalist, that it has calcified and even fossilized to levels which makes real cultural change impossible – its conceivable they (ST) may no longer be able to play the role of the fourth estate any longer.

This should prompt us all to consider very seriously whether; the whole idea of freeing up the press instead of driving out the bad by further freeing up minds may instead produce the reverse effect; life I am afraid is not so simple; decamp from authoritarianism and state control and magically happy democratization takes root like one of Jack’s bean stocks – that didn’t happen when the former soviet union bought into the whole idea of democracy – what preceded instead was balkanization and something akin to civil war. The same holds true for the Iraqi hubris; does everyone pine for democracy? Yes, they do; the only problem is what the Iraqi’s really want is democracy of a variant that has nothing to do with the Pax Americana ideal and theirs is really closer to an Iranian inspired theoracy.

As we can well see opening the press alone by freeing it up further is not nearly enough to give the ST an extreme makeover to make it a sleek long legged liquid eyes WSJ.

Neither do I buy into the idea of populist punditry that so often forwards the theory: one reason why our net these days resembles a zoo, is because the MSM isn’t allowed a freer hand to shape the collective consciousness by being able to write what they want –  that homily sugary idea would only really make sense – if you did not know for one moment the human raw material that one may expect to work with to turn a flabby press into a first class outfit may in fact be harder that raising the Titanic – tragic realism suggest complacency may be so riven within the ranks of the press corps what we may have instead is something closer to the idea of a ‘crippled press,’ – and if that’s true; you may even have to entertain the valedictory belief they may be even incapable of stepping up to the role demanded of them of what we usually associate with the fourth estate.

Here history steps in and gives us a clue into what it really takes to build up a free and independent press – it would seem for a free press to come about – one may even need to throw out all our templates about how to build a better newspaper – as history suggest very strongly the crèche that usually produces the best journalist are not the zoo keeping type that is endorsed with the appellation of government approval to write what you want providing you disagree with me under my terms – but rather good journalist, good editors, good newspapers seem only to emerge directly from the bedrock where they have to struggle perpetually in the discomfort zone.

It stands the test of reason; against the acute reality that he (the journalist) may actually be the vanguard that wordsmiths against big corporations, big power and big politics –  his version of reality is the only thing that separates us all from the mind dumbing version of reality that state imposed officialdom tries to forward – this effectively demolishes the myth of freedom to write in comfort may in fact produce nothing but rather more of the same to even suggest it is worthless as a way of building a better newspaper; if anything the entire crushing weight of history suggest without the fear of state inspired harassment, persecution and bullying it may not even be possible to produce such a thing as a credible journalist.

As in this desolate cold place where the oppositional writer puts his writing instrument on creamy paper; writing ceases to be writing in the truest sense and instead what emerges is its not designed to change anything as much as it strives to preserve something intact; that which is preserved may be the reality; things are never as simple as they often held out to be; it could be something worthy; something dreamy like having the right to read poetry or even a battle royale that attempts to take on the necessary lie of every successful regime.

I suspect here freedom does little to inure the oppositional writer with the right spirit to tease out the nuances and to seek out the greys in our omnipresent binary world.

If anything when that day comes when writers and the guilds they belong too and this includes journalist, bloggers and even the lone diarist are singled out for wreaths and honors and described in post scripted terms as exemplary models who we should all emulate by politicians; it probably also means real writing, deep spirited discourse along with the grist of the social narrative that continually seeks out the truth has dwindled to near nothingness, that I am afraid also means the thing we’re talking about when we use the word, ‘truth’ has reached a terminal end.

OK. I need to go cycling now; please do feel free to spell check and correct for grammar – bye for now – may write again, so check on down here from time to time.

Darkness 2009

The Brotherhood Press 2009

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282pic3Why do some things, people and ideas remain ageless and timeless? While others can just come and go like Haley’s comet? What’s the ONE winning secret that separates a winners from a loser?

Perusing the landscape of winners and losers suggest, most don’t make it simply because nothing is supposed to last forever. The Roman Empire didn’t make it. Neither did the Greeks or even the great Chinese empire, so why should we – truth is we’re just as vulnerable to the chastening passage of time. What this recession really shows us is nothing - and I mean nothing can last forever; not even if it comes with the copper clad 100 year appelation of Lehman Bros, or the juggernaut size of Bear Stearns and panoptical financial reach of AIG.

Time it seems is the great equilizer – the great leveller, even.

But every now and then, we all come across those firms, individuals and even stuff which manage to slip through the odds and manage to make it. Nothing seems to affect these winners, not economic melt downs, natural disasters or even cataclysmic events like war or plug, play and throw away age. They’re just anchored like the stoutest lighthouses shouting out at the top of their voice, “come what may, I am here to stay!”

What am I talking about; that old bike that just rides better than it looks – you just know once the gear mashes followed by the forward glide – this a winner / or that girl that you always go back too – and no matter what may come and go – she will always be right in the middle of your life – or even that buddy that’s always been there.

But what’s lies behind the secret of these winners?

One clue to understanding why some things wax and wane, while others remain ageless and timeless is to be found in the science of life expectancies. To cut to the chase the math is pretty screwy here, so I’ve spare you all a comatose inducing lecture, but if I had to hammer it down to one phrase it would be this simply this:

“Stuff (and this includes everything from hamburgers, firms to governments) that endure are designed to beat the law of averages.”

Of course, I am simplifying big time here gutting out whole chunks of math, stats, axioms and even disquisitions so I know some of you out there will probably be hollering at the top of your voice, “You idiot, what about wear and tear, weather and a number of other factors can influence life expectancy like a lousy attitude?”  OK, I hear you, but if we square off the irritating details with our broader than broad rule or ladle and discount anomalies like housewife’s who regularly electrocute themselves because they don’t know how to use a power tool or drive their cars into bollards etc – the whole of idea of beating the law of averages is actually quite a robust theory that does a very good job of explaining why some products, firms and stuff manage to thrive long before the end of their expected life spans.

A big chunk of the reason is because we don’t usually use all functions that’s offered by either products and services regularly marketed by firms. Don’t believe me, when was the last time you took a picture, saved it and printed it into a photo? Or how many programs do you regularly use in the latest Microsoft Vista? Even the number of songs you listen too in an iPod, if you tabulate it out, it would probably be less that the regular 100 odd despite the capacity to hold 5,000 tunes. By the same logic, I know the latest PDA offers probably 1,000 new functions complete with all the bells and whistles of regression curves cum extrapolation that basically even allows a novice engineer to build an atomic bomb, but if I really squared off the day to day usages of functions I regularly use – I would probably end up lets say simple addition and subtraction – the rest you could just chuck out and it wouldn’t really make any difference.

So the key to understanding why somethings have this enduring capacity to remain ageless and timeless is to look deeper at the 20% instead of trying to figure out the larger than life picture of the 80%.

And what does that mean; well simply this – if you are going to love a woman to bits, its going to be that 20% that makes all the world of difference and never the 80% (like how she never shaves her armpits) – if you’re going to put rat poison into some ones coffee its probably going to be the 20% that pushes you over the edge (that could explain the stabbing pain somewhere in my liver right now) – if you’re going buy car A instead of B; the decider is just going to be 20% and if you win or lose in life – the margin of between the thrill of victory and agony of defeat is just separated by that elusive 20% that makes up the rest of the 80% to make up the wholeness of 100%.

And that’s all I have time for. Its time for my morning run, I’ve be back again in part two with the rest of the 20% of this essay – stay tuned and remember to check out our new portal in wayangparty.com.

Remember, life just boils down to 20%.

(to be con’t)

Darkness 2009

sunsetThese are 10 things in life which has saved my chops more than once.

 

1.Trust no one, especially those who are closest to you and least of all yourself – trust only the facts and the results of your research.

 

2. Past performance is never an indication of future performance – if someone or something was good to go BEFORE; that just means, it MAY let you down when you least expect; go through the check list, make sure everything is tight and the way it should be.

 

3. Never ever fall into a pattern of behavior and thinking that makes you predictable to the opposition; break it up so that you will always be a moving target and always remain an unknown quantity to the opposition. Remember the game is to make sure he ALWAYS uses more energy and time to get ahead. Wear him down.

 

4. Make sure your girlfriend or wife loves you completely; make sure she loves you so much that she cannot live without you; if its anything less than this; then as our Northern cousins say, “tak boleh pakai,” its no good; it just doesn’t come around – dump her – go to the next one - keep things simple with a woman – don’t complicate your already complicated life. Always be faithful to her and never ever fuck around or give her cause to doubt you (if you really cannot tahan then just surf some porn to let off steam) – remember this is the most important rule not to get fucked up in life.

 

5. Always have an exit plan; most people plan the heist right down to the tee, but they never ever give the escape the same level of detail to attention. Make sure you train for the exit again and again, till you can do it blind folded – it matters little whether it is relationships, business or just sports – always have an exit plan.

 

6. When you know you’re being eyeballed by the opposition; never ever let the other side into the real deal; just behave normally and remain calm – that gives them the impression they’re in control and lulls them into false sense of security. Do and say everything they expect and even lead them to underestimate you by regarding you as a complete idiot – Remember it’s just a game and its never how well you play it as much as how well you go along with it.

 

7. Avoid strange and beautiful women at all cost – 9 out of 10 if you check into a plane and you’re sitting next to one – someone sent her; you’ve been red flagged and if you trade in your brain for your anaconda for even one minute – you’re toast; I guarantee you – 9 out of 10, if you get into trouble, its because you’re thinking with your dick. Never ever do that!

 

8. Always pick and choose your battles; some fights will bleach you white and leave you drained even if you win; others you simply have to take on no matter what the cost – knowing which is good to go and to hold back on requires wisdom.

 

9. Never ever be greedy; set a max point, once you reach it; cash in your chips; get out. If the min point is breached, cut your losses and just move on to another game – keep to the discipline and never ever reinforce failure.

 

10. Recognize your nonsense as nonsense; audit yourself regularly to get rid of nonsense; once you can see your nonsense clearly as nonsense – 99.9% of your problems will just disappear; it can never come back to bite you again; you can just move on and win in life.

 

Darkness 2009

 

The Brotherhood Press 2009

 

Check us out also in http://wayangparty.com/  Some incredible reads compile by Eugene – For Ekunaba readers please navigate Ctr – Shift

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Come and visit our new Brotherhood Press Portal in Wayangparty.com.

You know what; I don’t trust survey’s – and one reason why I always regard them with askance is simply because; they’re suffer from a failing common to bikini syndrome – its never how much is revealed; but how well they manage to cover up the bits we all like to see…..but cannot.

 

Take for instance the latest survey conducted by the Washington-based National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Boston Consulting Group which was reported recently in the ST, entitled Singapore tops in innovation–  at first glance seems innocuous enough; nothing really suspicious sticks out; all the bits are even tucked in.

 

But lets just peel the veneer and look what’s really underneath; for example: how was the results of the survey served up; lets see, Singapore was rated as the most innovative nation in the world, out of an overall list of 110 countries – I mean it reads plain and simple enough like I said; only do you get that familiar sinking feeling something is amiss? I mean; if we are really that innovative country on this planet then how come the ST is languishing somewhere in the 147th just behind the Timbuktu morning post? Why was it so difficult for Temasek to find a local to fill the post of CEO? Coming to think of it why did Temasek and GIC lose so much money? Get my drift? What’s rolled out just doesn’t seem to gel very well with reality; my brain is hurting again.

 

And let me tell you what lies behind the massive cognitive dissonance – firstly what our beloved rag ST deliberately failed to tell us all is – this is an industry survey, that’s to say it narrows the definition of innovation to roughly the diameter of a pin head – Question: was this narrow ambit of the term “innovation” ever mentioned in the article?

 

Next what it attempts to do is elide the cogent and instead promote the superficial; and how was this statistical sleight of hand accomplished? Well if you bothered to do further research and read up on the terms of reference of the survey (that incidentally was not even discussed in this article)  what you will find is the definition of innovation is specifically limited to appraise only two general metrics output: new products or knowledge; and secondly business innovation that result in higher quality and productivity (incidentally this includes activities like immigration as well) – now where the problem comes in is that’s a bit like saying, you have the fastest car in the world, but forgetting to mention it doesn’t have any brakes – the whole idea of us being the most innovative country in this planet would only make sense; if you didn’t know what’s actually being appraised isn’t even innovation in the strict dictionary sense as it remains innovation in the context of business re-engineering that incidentally has absolutely nothing to do with our normative understanding of the word – innovation.

 

 

 

As what this study really measures isn’t the REAL rubber-meets- the-road Innovation that we all associate with launching a weather satellite into orbit – or being able to design computer controlled toys that vibrate to keep lonely spinsters in the delirium of the floating world – and why is this so dangerous? Because when something is misrepresented then it runs the danger of being referenced and even used incorrectly. That’s the long and short of it.And why does this rile me no end; because it’s a bit like walking into Mcdonalds and ordering a big Mac only to discover the bread is soggy; the beef is wafer thin and it bears absolutely no resemblance to the Technicolor photo of what a big Mac should rightly be – in short it leaves an unmistakable metallic taste in the mouth of the customer that just says – “Can I have my money back please?”

 

If anything the write up by ST is a pithy summary of how we – the readers are often given side A only to be left wondering what happened to the side B?

 

What I find really disturbing about this write up is how it brazenly elides wholesale the cogent and promotes the superficial at the expense of accuracy – that surveys should be simplified right down to its nuts and bolts so that Ah Kow, Muthu or Ahmad can gobble it down with their morning kaya bread certainly goes with the whole territory that makes up journalism – But where it degenerates into churnalism is when good old fashion propaganda is passed off as the news of the day – served up a la Pravda al dente; where simplification comes at the price of confusing understanding by making generalizations about the real world.

 

At best, this hackneyed attempt to account for how we suddenly found ourselves to be the most innovative country in this world doesn’t edify or even nourish our understanding as it generates maybe a slew of questions how this could have even come to past – had ST went on further to volunteer this information – the missing blanks in the narrative could have been filled.

 

But as far as bracketed reportage goes; at best all it does is inflict pain to thinking folk – marooning them in their skulls as they try to make sense of the incomprehensible – at worst, it lulls those who are already terminally supine within the system into a false sense of hope and security – we cant be that bad after all, we are after all No.1– and that in a nutshell brings us all full circle to account for why we cannot possibly be the most innovative nation on this planet; not even if there is a survey that suggest otherwise simply because if there was ever such a thing as innovation; it never once emerged from an oligarchy that was so fearful of change – that all they seem to do is promote the idea should they even tamper with the status quo ante, then whole edifice will simply come crashing down – and that incidentally is the truth and nothing but the truth.

 

Next time ST, just give us the news and spare us all the mind bending falsehoods, distortion and propaganda, keep to journalism and spare us all the churnalism. And you can keep the sauce as well (wink!)

 

Got to go cycling now.

 

Darkness 2009

 

 

 

 

Seven years ago / space time: 800 years,  some time during the age of steel – the brotherhood begun work on Mindscape® - a revolutionary new propriety technology that will one day transform how each and everyone of us will one day interact with the virtual realm.

 

 

In that time our engineers worked day in and day out in garages and in rooms where clothes go to die all over the world; most of the time work never stopped even so much as one minute, most of the time, these cottage run researchers had to pay straight out from their own pocket; most of the time, their work went unrecognized – the great army of the anon rubber brigade was born – spanning over 30 countries – mindscape may have started as just an idea, but as the years progress – it pioneered new ways of collaborating on an international scale – where for the first time we used time lapsed engineering and water based isotroply simulations – many believed this could not be done – but it was actually developed by a bunch of IT engineers in Santa Fe working in a refurbished ice cream van - this just goes to demonstrate that big ideas can come from the most unexpected places – but the greatest accomplishment of mindscape as an idea or school of thought is it managed to raptured the most intelligent gamers throughout the world to all come under the banner of the under ground confederation to challenge the big gaming firms like Sony and the evil empire of Bill Gates Microsoft-is-my-brain. As not only has Mindscape united hundreds of dreamers, but has given every single gamer the belief this is what it really means to be alive in this age and to share in a common dream – Yesterday for the very first time at 0345 GMT – a trial run was conducted in the virtual at Primus Aldentes Prime with our American and Russian channel partners – The Californian 16 and the Molotovians, it was a success – there is still much work to be done, but I am confident, we are finally beginning to see the first ears of the our harvest - one day, we will all be able to hold eternity in one grain of sand…one day my friends…we will be able to build paradise here on earth and make it a very beautiful place.

 

Now you must all excuse me, I must return to my work.

 

Long live the brotherhood!

 

Darkness 2009

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Find out what the author of this essay thinks about the Strait Times - The Most Innovative Nation In The World Needs An American To Run Temasek??? March 11, 2009

Some things in life can get you killed – nope, I am not talking about the second hand smoke type of death. I am talking about the king cobra variety where you’re dead in 3 minutes flat.

I am talking about the things that seem benign, harmless and even safe; but nonetheless they pack as much punch as one swipe from the reapers scythe – people who deal with death all the time know this only too well. Don’t believe me go and ask any policeman who has ever worked in homicide and he will tell you – if you’re going to be slashed to death or stabbed, 9 out of 10, its going to be that dinky fruit knife or letter opener on your desk – its never going be a commando knife – if you’re going to die on the road; 9 out of 10 its not going to be on a stretch of road that you’re driving for the first time; its probably going to be the route you take every single day.

Death can come anytime, anywhere and it lurks in the most unexpected of places  – now most people will say that will never ever happen to them; but you know what; when they say things like that, they’ve just overlooked the very thing that will probably kill them.

Like I said earlier death lurks in the most unexpected places; that why I’ve decided to come up with this write up to give all of you a heads up on what I consider to be the top 5 killers of all time.

So let’s dive in starting from No.5

5. Things from above – you know what most of us don’t look up; but if like me you spend a lot of time reading up on Mossad and CIA techniques – then you must know that if you’re going to die unexpectedly, it probably going to come from upstairs; that’s why snipers like tree top positions – it maximizes on our natural blind spots.

Did you know once I cheated the grim reaper during a holiday in Malaysia by just shifting my sun lounger just away from a tree and within seconds a monster coconut that must almost weigh as much as a bowling ball just went clunk, broke the table into half like a karate chop – we are talking serious kilograms here; so if that thing ever hit me – that’s it. Now I am not saying that you should go around with an army helmet when you next decide to sunbath – only be mindful of stuff coming down from upstairs! And that includes cats, aunties, fridges and even the odd lightning bolt – as the Merlion found out when he was minding his business vomiting water, now URA is going to put horns on him (lightning arrestors), I really don’t know which is worse.

4. Mondays. Did you know that 90% of heart attacks occur on Mondays between the period of 9 to 11 in the morning – I bet you didn’t know that – Mondays are hazardous to your health; and one reason why Mondays are natural born killers is because most of us dread to return to work – so our blood pressure goes up; pupils dilate and our glands start producing heart attack inducing chemicals.

In fact, I hate Mondays so much, I just wiped it out from the calendar – what I do is treat Monday as an extension of a very long Sunday. So if you want a promotion or get on top of your boss; just ladle the bad news thick and fast on a Monday; when he starts to turn purple and bluish – that just means, you’re getting ahead in life.

3. Food. Now the reason why food is a killer is because we eat a lot; if you consider that we put stuff into our mouth 3 times a day and in between munch on other stuff as well, then in the course of a year; we are really talking about somewhere between 10,000 opportunities to die while munching on something.

The thing that kills you isn’t poison puffer fish but rather it comes from choking to death. Stuff just gets stuck in your windpipe and you just suffocate and die. Doesn’t take too long either about 3 minutes, that’s really how long you can hold out. So remember if that ever happens – just make sure you take off all your clothes and climb on the table and start jumping up and down. Hopefully someone in the restaurant will think its such a revolting sight they may even take it personally and give you a really hard rugby tackle thereby giving you something close to a Heimlich thrust. Remember don’t be shy about it – I rather be naked any day then dead.

2.Cars happen to be up there in the hall of fame of natural born killers – only because no one ever believes they’re going to die in a car; but I can think about 50 ways to die in a car; anything from spontaneous combustion to deadly carbon monoxide seeping into the passenger compartment – one good way not to die in a car is to make sure you dont confuse your car with your living room – dont put anything on your dashboard, bc when the airbag goes off, the last thing you want is to get a stainless steel buddha impaled in your head or something. When it comes to automobiles; always go for safety first, forget performance and the cup holder - I happen to be very particular about my wheels and you can really only go one way on this one, if you want to get it right: Mercedes Benz – I mean they are built so well that I once rolled over 3 times while driving at over 100 kmh on the ECP and my sisters kids were strapped in and after all that they just said, “That was fun can we go one more round pleeeeeeeze!” I mean, if I was driving lets say some Milo tin can on four wheels – that’s it. Finished – so remember safety belts are not enough; you need to get behind some serious engineering.   

The No.1 Killer is Love. The undisputed five chili killer has to be the love of your life - its so dangerous, I call this the silent death.

Don’t believe me go and check out how many crime of passions and suicides are the result of relationships gone awry – that’s why choosing who you’re going to go with is probably the most important decision you will ever make in your life; if you fuck this part up; I guarantee you; it will kill you faster than cyanide – remember it pays to make certain you’re not going out with some psycho woman.

Most men don’t bother with the details when they’re dating; most don’t even bother to check out the goods – remember when it comes to people who you’re considering going the long haul with, it just doesn’t pay to be shy on foreclosing on the whole idea of caveat emptor – for me, I don’t mind fake boobs, but I draw the line on fake people  – usually men miss out on what I call psycho char bor cue signs like –  

Men: What’s your hobby?

Siaow Char bor: Oh I am into cats..

And they stop right there, then never ever go further; till they get hitched up with cat woman only to find out she just happens to the mother Teresa to all the lost cats in Singapore – by that time its too late as they’re probably sleeping in cages in cat urine reeking habitats.

You get my drift – be mindful of the psycho signs. And pay attention and stay alert (please check up one of my post on interrogation techniques, this will close the loop on this write up.)

The way I see it, go for the level headed ones – that way, if you need something stable to make up for your incomplete ikea collection; you could just as well use her as a side table to put your tiger beer and peanuts on for your football matches.

But the best thing that you can do to avoid getting killed by someone who you really love; is learn to love yourself first; that may sound selfish and narcissistic; but how do you even give love to another, when you don’t even love yourself? 

In short never ever give yourself to another at the expense of cannibalizing on your own sense of worth and self esteem – if you’re going to give a 100% by all means give it the full toss of a decent 100%, but always make sure there is a 100% that loves yourself just as much – that way should it come to a sudden unexpected curtain call – you don’t ever do something stupid. You can close that chapter of your life under your own terms and move on with dignity – matters little whether its a failed relationship, job or even something that you once did but shouldn’t have done.

You fucked up Sandman No: 0774 / you broke your mothers heart into a million pieces and I don’t even know how to fix that and you left us all dazed and speechless; you fucked up big time – if you just picked up the phone and spoke to me; I’ve tell you that nasty piece of goods that you’re hitched up with is pure 100% garbage – girls like her are a dime to a dozen, they’re like buses; if you miss one another one just comes right along in no time.

It ain’t worth it brother. God speed, long live the brotherhood!

Darkness 2009

Announcement: The Confederation of Gamers will hold one minute silence & Taps for No. 0774 /Sandman @ Primus Time: 299437-94.

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