June 26, 2014
Last night I decided to dine out on for a change. I am after all in the city. Ordered a mid sized fish. Enjoyed it very much despite being a bit touristy. When the bill came I couldn’t understand why it cost $2,000. The manager raised his voice at me when I began to ask for a breakdown. I told him it was not necessary to raise his voice. That was when a few burly men surrounded me. I smiled and said to him, ‘I now understand.’ As I was counting off the notes, I gave an extra $200. The man looked very surprised and asked what is the extra for – I said to him given that this meal comes along with a complimentary night with his teen daughter and wife…I just thought it was a bargain….the man tensed visibly….we continue facing off and I after a very long while….as if reflecting he finally insisted on returning back all my money and told me I only had to pay the standard rate of $50 for the fish.
I said to him, but I insist on the complimentary service.
It’s the hot season and working conditions in the field can only be described as debilitating. Even breathing in this heat feels like sucking in glowing embers. Usually this time of year, it’s not uncommon for some of my farmhands to come up with 1,001 cocker meme excuses why this or that cannot be done the way I insist a task should be done – in my book complaining is well and fine….it’s perfectly natural for disgruntled folk to complain – I don’t see that necessarily as a bad thing as it’s probably their way of coping with stress by releasing their frustrations. I understand…
But I draw the line when those who I work with decide to take the lazy man’s way out by cutting corners. Whenever I see that the discipline slacks in the crew. Usually I don’t require words to enforce discipline. Less talk is better. I just do the work the way I want it to be done quietly…consistently and that really my way of shaming those who choose to stray out of line into compliance. I term this process for lack of a better – tightening the line. As without discipline nothing can be achieved.
Usually when I decide to ‘tighten the line’ its never a pleasant business. It starts with me shadowing the crew like Velcro. I do what needs to done consistently. I never make small talk…never and I don’t mix with the farmhands during rest or cigarette breaks as I want to convey to them my displeasure.
From time to time those worker’s who require a quick spin with the wrench to ‘tighten’ their wayward ways will feel so embarrassed and small that some of them would say to me, ‘we know how you want it to be done now. Why don’t you leave it to us.’ I just ignore them and continue doing what needs to be done and very slowly but surely a deadly silence pervades the entire crew till they rendered silent…serious and reflective…and that in a nutshell is how a man learns the error of his ways and rights them…a la kampung style.
‘The section in Sun Tzu’s art of war which is often misquoted is – treat your soldiers like your own children and they will fight courageously…but this misleads terribly as when one reads on – the famous strategist issues a stricture and warns against spoiling your soldiers and even goes as far as to say, if this warning is not headed, then they will be good for nothing.
And this should prompt any leader to ask the next supplementary question – how do you go about the unpleasant business of managing ‘good for nothing’ people. This makes perfect sense to me as in life whether you succeed or crash and burn hinges not on whether you yourself have the seven habits of highly effective people. That’s the easy peasy part.
As it remains the very simple brasstack case of how well prepared are you as a leader in dealing with the seven habits of highly ineffective people!
Don’t believe me then consider this. Why is MH370 still a persistent mystery like where is the lost city of Atlantis? The simple answer is there was a total breakdown in discipline and the person who was responsible for tracking flying objects the size of a shopping mall was probably playing solitaire instead of keeping his eye on the ball. The same thing can be said about the riot in little india. These people did not bother to train realistically so when the shit hit the fan, everyone in the chain of command was mumbling and covering their ass. Result, a bad hair day lah. Same goes for Roy versus Mini Lee. The person who is responsible for scaling threats and opportunities in blogoland gave Mini Lee lousy advise and the result, the man is locked in the basement with his keys on the other side of the door. I don’t even know how he’s going to get out. He’s stuck solid! Can you now see why it’s so important to build the core competencies to manage ineffective people?
CPF also same. Don’t complicate your understanding for a thing by trying to make sense of what Zorro Lim said. He will just confuse you no end as he is a very ineffective communicator. It’s very simple, if the custodians of power stayed true to the goal of CPF at it’s inception – there will be no problem today. Hong Lim park will be empty. Roy Ng will be just another voice in the great digital wilderness. But somewhere along the line, a few ineffective people decided to change the focus of CPF, they used it for housing, healthcare and ten other things which all had the cummulative effect of shifting the goal. I am sure at that time when these planners began tinkering with it, they felt perfectly justified to do so as the trade offs must have mesmerized them. But fast forward today and the thing which was supposed to provision for retirement can no longer fulfill it’s primary goal. It’s so bloody far off the mark today and encrusted with so many sub goals that it’s doubtful that they even have a clear line of sight to the original goal any longer. Now you go ask yourself whose fault is it? Ineffective people lah!
In every case when one peruses thru the anatomy of failure, it was due to an abject failure to intelligently manage ineffective people.
In the olden days when men were still real men and took their jobs seriously – there was hardly a need to manage ineffective people who let down the side down. Since these duds usually felt an acute sense of shame. In those days they could always be counted to do the right thing by putting a revolver in their mouths and doing the honorable thing and this served as a poignant warning to others to keep their eye on the ball and this was how the system perpetuated itself.
But these days it is very different. My feel is if this social convention was still around – then all our problems will disappear like lemon drops.’
June 23, 2014
These days it’s social hara -kiri to speak with admiration about the “rugged individualist” – that old fashion idea of a man who decides to take on a mammoth endeavor and succeeds by his own industry and relies on no one except himself to make something of his lot.
These days even that classical idea of self emancipation of “great men” doing “heroic deeds” leading along the rest of humanity is seen as passé and closer to Hitlerism than something desirable. In an age when everyone lays claim to the elemental right to be the individual…to he heard…respected…even when they spout rubbish…wonder no more why the rugged individual is as rare these days as a Cheshire cat.
Never mind that somewhere in the present day post modernist cult of ‘all men are the same and the only difference lies in the details’ can never fully supply an explanation how it’s possible for the Rennaisance, industrial Revolution or the advent of the digital age to have come about if the idea of the rugged individual never really existed.
In the kooky narrative of the air conditioned addicted new age metrosexual who much prefers to mull over skin enhancing creams where the only active ingredient is water rather than dwell into any deep discussion concerning what drives society forward – this theme of individuals taking on big endeavors merely amounts to an abberation of history. A necessary lie perpetuated by the capitalist manifesto to justify all sorts of social equalities in the name of progress along with supplying the raw material needed to mythologize the new aristocracy brought by new found wealth.
But I and my tribe will always reject the contorted worldview of these new age prophets and their poisonous sermons. Above all I despise their useless vanities and affectations for frivolous pursuits along with their vapid philosophies concerning how society should be ordered. If these hollow men have their way – then the sum of all society has to offer will be the anti thesis of the rugged individual – an air conditioned addicted half man whose allergy to hard work, industry and strife is only matched by his morbid fear of having to put up with mosquitoes and creepy crawlies.
My hope is El Nino will unleash hell. I pray that it bites so hard that it doesn’t even relent so much as once that it’s vigorous and singleminded like a man who just wants to thrust a dagger into the heart. There are times when I feel a tinge of guilt for my yearning. Yesterday while shaving before the mirror I felt a wave of acute embarrassment when these evil thoughts flitted thru my mind – but is it so wrong? Why does nine tenths of the world’s prime agricultural land have to be in the dead grip of old money and their idiot sons? Why have the millers and the rest of the plantation owners ganged up on me to ensure that my ‘imperialistic’ tendencies are checked – never mind that whenever they buy new tracts of land it’s always seen as diversification. But for poor me, whenever I get my hands on a measly veggie patch, it’s always see as a sign of my hidden agenda…. imperialistic tendencies…and failing as a social climber who dares to challenge the landowning classes – fuck them lah! Fuck all them like bowling pins… My only hope now is for the El Nino to shake and rattle their world and in the process winnow the boys and men – and somewhere in all that wasteland following that epic fuck day just after the mother of all the big shits have hit the mythical fan – I will be proven right…the rugged individual will be the only man left standing….they the soft flabby privileged undeserving land owning classes will all perish….only men like myself will stand….as we are true planters of lore.
He will win! We will win!
This remains my fervent hope of hopes.
‘Let me share with you succinctly what is fundamentally wrong with society these days. Now picture this scene. A man comes to see me because he’s fallen on hard times. Out of the goodness of my heart and the general love for humanity and my deep desire to redeem myself of my evil ways since I do surf porn after all. I give this man a sum of money to help him get up on his feet again. One week later the same man comes to me again and tells me another sob story. I give him the benefit of the doubt and again I give him a sum to help him out. On the third week, he shows up at my door again and this time I know almost intuitively he’s gaming me. In other words he thinks I am a bloody fool.
So I take off my shoes and bung it at him and since I am a crack shot. My shoes hit the mark, duh duh! Like the classic double tap from the execution arm of the state of Israel, the Kidon. This man falls down and ends up in Tan Tock Seng with two mega balaku’s. Each the size of a jumbo nasi lemak with otah…the $3.50 one lah that the auntie sells in Bedok bus interchange from eight to only nine.
Do you all know what will happen to me if I did all that in Singapore? I will go to jail. And not only that some fuck in blogoland will highlight this story and they will call me a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler. Do you see the irony…the person who games the system now has more rights than me. That if you must know is why the rugged individual can never thrive in a place like Singapore. He will end up in jail or become such a misfit that he ends up in the IMH.
And there you have it, all that’s wrong with the world today. And don’t get me started on how a man who dedicates himself to hard work, risk taking and industry these days has virtually no rights whatsoever. The poor have a right to dress down the rich for whatever reason known only to themselves. But the man who puts him thru university by holding down two shift jobs. The man who summons the courage to put everything on a number and grows an enterprise and dedicates himself to hard work twelve hours a day, seven days a week with not even so much as an off day to materialize a great enterprise. The man who puts everything on the line and draws out his parang in the pale moonlight and does battle with those who choose to take away his dreams…no he has no rights. None whatsoever it seems.
That is the sign of the times we live in today and that is also everything that is wrong with our age.’
The weather boffins have been predicting since the beginning of this year a monster El Nino is scheduled to hit. But I am not so sure they’re spot on – as the trade winds, which blow from east to west across Indonesia thru to Malaysia have shown hardly any signs of weakening — as they typically do in the run-up to an El Nino event.
The weakening of the trade winds is the one event that presages the El Nino phenomenon – take away that one event and its like a rifle missing the vital firing pin – it’s a dud – result: the chain of event that unleashes the fury of El Nino i.e the upwelling of cold ocean water off the coast of South America to be suppressed, and water temperatures at the surface will warm further, potentially unleashing a litany of effects across the globe all doesn’t happen – it will just be another year like any other year albeit with slightly less rain.
It’s hard if not impossible to predict what the weather will be like from this point onwards. As all the weather experts are really doing is extrapolating data concerning what is likely to pan out based on the last historical precedent of the last major El Nino event that took place in 1997 – that to me is like spinning a coin once and drawing the assumption just because it turned out heads the last time means that it’s going to be heads all the time! Besides weather prediction is riven with vested interest as it plays a preponderant role in price setting in the commodities future’s market and it’s to the interest of some quarters to predict doom and gloom just to bump up the price of coffee, rice, cocoa or any other grown produce.
El Nino is simply too politicized as it is to really draw any definitive conclusions as to the future – it may happen. Then again it may not. It’s very hard to say – neither do I want to play ‘should I cut the red or yellow wire’ any longer by wadding thru weather reports about butterflies flapping their wings in Oslo and causing a thunderstorm somewhere in Pacific shark infested island – I am tired….have been on the saddle the whole day and all I want to do now is put my head on a pillow and dream about Africa as I always do.
June 22, 2014
I consider business as the highest expression of war. To me there is nothing morally questionable or reprehensible about conducting espionage on my business enemies to asses their threat level on my business interest.
It’s a task that I take very seriously given that I don’t have the luxury of any safety nets like the flabby air condition addicted folk back home who run GLC’s – if they fail, they can just press the magic reset button and they have three more life’s to play the game. In my case, it’s like walking on the razor where if I so much as make ONE wrong call…. that’s it…I am washed out and I would probably have to learn to drive a taxi, sell tissue paper in Bedok bus terminal and get by with economy behoon and boiled water.
So failure is NEVER an option to me and since many of my business competitors have a better network, larger land bank and financial latitude that poor house me who often has to make do with loads of superglue, ductape and pot luck to get by. I am usually forced to fight a more formidable enemy with very little else except my wits.
My mission is to find out how bad the drought has hit them and to asses their level of prepareness for El Nino. To accomplish this, I have to examine their plantation to enable me to make an informed decision as there is to much misinformation. This will always be dangerous given that I am the world’s most notorious troubemaker to my enemies and there is even a bounty on my head. But I don’t fear them, through the years I have grown so accustomed to field life that I can even blend right in and become invisible. I can live of the land for days on end with just a commando knife. Don’t even need heavy MRE’s and all that shit that slowly me down. And I have even developed ingenous ways and means to tranverse vast tracts of land without ever leaving the slightest signature that I was ever there.
From the looks of it, my enemies have done absolutely nothing to prepare for El Nino – now I know, they’re all bluffing when they tell me that they have done this and that along with moving mountains to prepare for the coming monster drought – truth is, they have done fuck all lah! This information will be strategic later on in the year when El Nino begins to truly bite. I don’t know how I will use it to my advantage just yet, but I know any strategic information will come in useful.
Meanwhile I have been filling up bottles of whisky with Jia Jia liang teh and pretending to drown my sorrows in the village kopitiam. From time to time, I will even lament to anyone who cares to listen that I am ruined….as I have no fruit. In reality all my trees are well stocked with fruit, unlike my enemies who seem to have only fungus…. after a whole day of surveying nearly 20 square miles of land today – I can finally say with a measure of confidence that I am at least 100% better positioned than my enemies to weather El Nino – this will be jugular as during the dry season I will make my move against them. They will not be prepared this time and for the very first time. I will have surprise on my side.
I remain hopeful that I can negotiate concessions to survive one full year. I am so tired that I can eat a horse right now….it will be a long lonely ride back….but I am happy.
As I have never been more confident before….it is true what the ancients say, in crisis there is opportunity.
June 21, 2014
June 21, 2014
Imagine a time when all compliments are Janus faced, when every truth is tinged with a barbed repartee, when clever insults are the currency of humor. We have more in common with the 18th century than we might imagine…that at least is how I feel when I find myself in the city high society where wit is all and sincerity is an embarrassment.
Though I look out of place in my bush jacket amongst the well heeled city upper crust who seem to look at me with a mix of intrigue and derision – I am still considered a aristocrat nonetheless…a minor one…an insignificant one…where it is not uncommon for city socialites to introduce me to their circle of friends with the necessary social qualification….’Did I mention… he’s from the Kampung….the provinces.’ That’s the cue for everyone to go, ‘Ahhhhh…we understand.’
That is how well heeled city folk have always seen the planter In their midst – as a figure of novelty from some bygone distant age like maybe how the Irish would regard Lepercauns. A sobriquet character of endearment. Something quaint, old world and far removed from their plastic world – life is very different for the super rich in the city, they get excited over every little thing…daily intrigues of gossip fills their empty life
At times when I have no other choice but to mix with them. I feel very much like the dearly unfortunate Baron Ponceludon de Malavoy who suddenly finds himself in Versailles bumping into walls and furniture. The awkward country bumpkin aristocrat seems to have no chance at all with the Parisian sophisticates, but then he is taken under the wing of the wise old Marquis de Bellegarde – eventually the Baron discovers wordmanship is more crucial than swordsmanship.
The people of his district are dying because of the pestilent waters, which breed mosquitoes and disease. The Baron has a scheme for draining the marshes and making the land tillable. But he first needs to petition the king. But since the king values verbal wit above all else including matters of utmost urgency and lives mostly to be entertained by wit. If the baron cannot develop a savage witty tongue, he has no chance at all to further his case….
‘I wonder how would a lowly aristocrat feel when he makes his way back into the heady intrigues of court life after a prolonged absence. There he stands before a line of well manicured hedge groves that leads to paradise. His clothes are hardly fashionable any longer. They show signs of regular use, his cloak is threadbare around the elbows, his cuffs worn, there’s even a hole in his shoe which he stuffs with paper – that I imagine is how it is when a planter goes to a city to petition the unimaginably rich and wealthy.
When he makes his entrance his name isn’t even announced. He’s not important enough. So this man takes a seat in one corner of this cavernous hall hoping that no one will notice him and if they do….perhaps they will have the courtesy to ignore him without making fun of his ill fitting clothes and brusque manner.
Soon he begins to attract attention. He can’t help it. The man stands out. And in a while he even begins to believe they’re talking about him – he can see it in their mocking sneers. They high brow manner in which they all look upon him – the lowly aristocrat from the country with a coat of arms that no one even cares to remember….and somewhere in all this, this man has to petition the king to hear his plea.
When the king appears. This man is so far from the king, he might as well be on the surface of the moon, he says to himself and with that he decides to leave the party. On his way out. He catches a glimpse of a familiar figure peering at him. The stranger is powdered like a cake. He looks ridiculous with his wig like some awful caricature – then he realizes, it’s a mirror. He breaks out into a coughing laugh…soon he’s heaving as he laughs harder, till only the sound of this madman fills the hall… that is how it is, when a man from the country decides to petition the unbelievably rich and wealthy to hear his case.’
June 20, 2014
I have always suspected that I can no longer live in the city. It was just a notion that I first toyed around with sometime back ago in January. The idea that I am no longer suited to live in an urban environment just as probably how humans can’t live in space without a pressurized habitat. At that time when these thoughts flitted through my mind. I just laughed at it. Didn’t even give it a second thought. Ridiculous…was that what I said.
But today when I found myself marinating in a sea of humans in the city. I was suddenly assaulted by the feeling that I am so alone. I am not going to say the city smells of automotive spew all the time or that its just a place where everyone is rude and self centered. No. It’s not entirely true what city folk often say about romanticized kampung life – that people are grounded, friendlier and they value relationships more than city folk. Just as they’re probably bastards in the city, there will always be the samw bastards in the kampung as well. As for the peace and quiet, fresh air and slower pace of life in the kampung – that’s just a load of overrated crap. No that was not the reason why I suddenly found myself feeling a profound sense of loneliness….truth is….I don’t know what it was.
That feeling of estrangement was sharpest when I was flitting in a high street store selling woman’s clothes one usually finds in a city…any city…..I remember looking at the flower prints….. find it comforting to be surrounded by plants and flowers even if they’re just two dimensional prints whenever I am in a city – a shop with brightly colored clothes all neatly racked like heavy sweet fruit hanging from a tree complete with all the ubiquitous trappings of the marketing manifesto’s, pupil dilating spot lights that can make even the most subdued earthy tones pop out like some scene from a picture postcard where the sky is always paraffin blue….. subliminal elevator music that’s there, but not really there and peppermint cool of 23 degree ambient temperature….that was when I started to cry for no reason.
Well judging by the aggressive way Potemkin sites such as the Singaporedaily, Singapore Pundit, Five stars and the moon, Cynical Investor et al have been using the Internet to assassinate Roy Ngenrg, his lawyer along with everyone allied with his lost cause – they all probably think, they’re doing a great job of throwing spammers along with dutifully serving their political masters by furthering their agenda.
But all they’re doing with their relentless 2 cents cheap back stabbing, ten against one pocket gangster character assassination techniques is to turn perfectly reasonable people who would have much preferred to stay neutral to support Roy’s beleaguered cause.
With world class super duper brainless wonders like this working furiously to further PAP’s grand agenda to establish a digital empire in the internet. All they have done is turn perfectly reasonable people against their masters. As no one likes to see a la ten against one bullies ganging up on just someone whose seeking answers to his questions….no one likes that brain to be rail roared either. We have all had it up to our necks with the likes of ST…reasonable people much prefer their minds to be valued and respected…I have a feeling whatever the sum of the damages Mini Lee is awarded, it wouldn’t be a problem for Roy to raise it a flash….not at all. As public sentiment will definitely turn in his favor if these dummies don’t stop to think what they’re really doing.
And now all that’s left to do is to complete the hat trick and find some nutty reason to say that crowd funding to pay damages for a defamation suit is illegal.
‘When I was a kid. I lived in a very rough neighborhood. One evening while walking my giant Alsatian. I saw ten gangsters beating up to pulp this poor guy in a back alley. They just gave it to him again and again. Others walked on, but I stopped and watched. It didn’t take long for one of those low life’s to turn to me and ask, ‘what are you looking at psycho boy (that was my nickname)…move along.’ So I said to them, ‘why can’t it be a fair fight? Why can’t one of you just fight him while the others watch?’ That was when their leader turned to me with a pocket knife and asked menacingly, ‘why don’t you show us how to settle our scores.’ That was when I told my replacement killer Chow Yuen Fatt dog to do his thing. After that I ran to a sundry shop grabbed a tong of kerosene and poured it all over the leader who was by then lying in a pool of blood like a ragged doll – the other boys all froze and I could see fear welling in their eyes….sheer terror.
Two weeks later the leader of the ‘ang mui’ knocked on my door. He was very respectful and asked, ‘what gang do you belong too?’ I told him that I am the leader of the 1,001 Dalmatian gang. He said he had never heard of it. Nonetheless he apologized and handed me a brand new Raleigh Chopper as tribute and proceeded to apologize for the action of his men and promised that from today onwards my stretch of street will be considered a no go area. From that day onwards all the street merchants, petty traders and boarders called me, the benefactor – though I was just a young boy I conducted myself with dignity and was known to be fair and wise and in this way, my stretch of street was free from crime. That was my first lesson in life – all power comes from the barrel of the gun.
Before the gangster head left, he asked whether I would be interested in furthering my career in the criminal world since I was obviously a man with potential. I told him that I would have to first ask my mother. Till today, I don’t even know why I did what I did. I don’t think it was bravery or that I felt slighted in any way. I didn’t even know that poor sod they were creaming. All I know was it just rubbed me the wrong way and I felt very angry…it was just unfair. That I imagine is how kids would think at that age….’
June 19, 2014
It is very rare for planters and millers to sit together in the same dinning table. They are like cats and dogs. But when they do come together in this quiet manner, then it is only because there is a common enemy at the gates – El Nino.
As one the elders quipped, ‘let us set our differences aside this one time and put our heads together to see whether we can kill this bugger….after that we can go back to killing each other.’ Everyone nodded sullenly in silent agreement.
Serious men who wear sombre colored bush jackets like undertakers coming together in the night…..what are we all supposed to do? Don feathers and skins. Beat the drum and wail whoom pah pah like some shaman to make rain?
Fires will rage very soon is Sumatra. The winds will draw a thick impenetrable blanket of fog thru out the whole peninsular. It will be like a giant duvet. Worse than every experienced before I reckon. When that happens. Not only will we have to content with no rains, but no sun as well. What are we supposed to do then….
Maybe we should all hang off season Christmas lights on our trees and turn the every drought stricken plantation into a rainbow theme park. Yes…a night fantasia. Perhaps I should get me one of those ridiculous top hats, dress up in coat tails like some ring master, grow a handle bar moustache and curl the ends up like Salvatore Dali and shout out at the top of my voice, ‘step right in…the circus is in town.’ I am sure, my Doberman guard dogs can be trained to jump thru hoops and entertain the crowd….or maybe I can fashion a giant turban from the many letter of demands from the bank and sell myself as Sorcar the magician from the kampung. I would make all the lawyers who are trying to foreclose on my business disappear….poof!
June 17, 2014
Increasingly as time goes by most of the wealth in Singapore will only be concerntrated in a small privileged class – the 1 per cent – on the other side of the spectrum a large under class of the poor and have not’s will continue to bulge.
Meanwhile, though this hardly requires any elaboration, the middle class will continue to languish – as since they are neither rich enough to break out from the oppressive gravity of perpetual debt or sufficiently poor to qualify for state assistance – they can only expect to be slowly squeezed by runaway inflation, high prices and stagnant wages, many will be forced many into personal debt to try to keep up or die trying to do so.
The politicians will of course say in their defense this is a trend that is happening all over the world – that if you didn’t know in political parlance is just a round about way of saying – ‘don’t blame us. We did not cause this problem!’
But I don’t believe they can run away from the blame game – after, all this was ALL foreseeable and well within their scope of control. In truth, they knew what would come to past, but they were more than willing to accept the exorbitant social fall out. As they were probably mesmerized by the allure of chasing growth.
On the birth of the new man…..
When divisions between class, wealth and apertures of opportunities become so stark between the have’s and have not’s – then the sum of what continues to unite a tribe can only give in to irreconcilable divisions that threatens to tear society from within – I have always believed deep within the calculus of globalization there lies a mechanism of self destruction – class war. Just because proponents of globalization regularly choose to elide the undesirable aspects of leaving it all to the vagaries of supply and demand doesn’t mean these problems don’t exist – to me it just means, they much prefer to spend time talking about duty free shopping and the PLSE.
Already the uber rich live, work and play in ways that the poor can only envy and dream of. The tragedy of globalization as a political theory is while it makes possible the seamless import and export of information it also allows the poor to vicariously experience how the rich live as never before….in technicolor and stereo – but this is chimeric as since globalization provides little or no means for the poor to seek solace in the assurance of social mobility. It can only continue to heighten their anxiety that they’re missing out in life.
I don’t doubt for one moment, politicians and Pravda may continue to broadcast the trite message La Dolce Vita is still within everyone’s grasp the same vein as every school is a good school – as probably how the soviet union used to regularly tout – nothing could be better than living in the land where the red sun never sets. Never mind pesky details like how the national pastime for East Berliners used to be hot air ballooning, trying to contort their bodies to fit into a dashboard, sprinting to avoid trigger happy border guard snipers and tunneling. To the apparachiks these were merely details in the greater scheme of things.
The diorama of futurescape is likely be bleak for the poor and it will not be so different from the tragic scene in Charles Dicken’s novel, Oliver Twist, where droves of hungry kids can only press their noses yearningly against glass while their indifferent masters feast and dine on the best cuts while they make do with grub.
Never before in human history. Not even against the tumultuous period presaging the French revolution or the advent of the Bolsheviks. As these are hardly social and cultural shifts on a global scale….has there been a need for a new philosophy to guide the rich on how to live, work and play. Either that or the divisions between have’s and have not’s will be so heightened and sharpened…. we would all probably find ourselves living in gated communities like that dystopian sic-fi movie Elysium.
What is needed is the creation of a new man – a no nonsense sort of man who eschews from all forms of pointless opulence, ostentatious display of wealth and vain affectations brought forth by wealth and influence. Above all a man who understands that by just the mere act of breathing, eating and shitting, the rich can hurt the poor in so many ways that he doth not know.
It seems the Internet does not want to be ruled after all. This must be a source of endless consternation for those who believe they can make progress by going backwards to the good old days of analog era engineering consent.
It will not surprise me in the least if the Panadol vending machine in the PAP bunker always runs empty before nine in the morning. I wonder what will these people do next? Maybe they should just superglue their hands and lips together and make do with cue cards. As judging from the way they seem to attracting rotten tomatoes galore – they simply can seem to do anything right. Not even if they try like poor Hri Kumar who is now probably eating Panadol flavored ice cream.
As it is, they already stuck solid in the no man’s land of lose lose territory – the question now is do they continue to lose more or less. The answer will hang on whether those who are responsible for advising the custodians of power on how to prosper online have the verve, imagination and insights to win in the digital battlefield.
There is nothing more foolish in this world than to get a sheep to do a foxes job.
People who do not understand the Internet for what it is and not what others say it should be, should in my opinion, sit down, keep quiet and confine all bodily movements to just note taking. But who is to blame when bad advisors are treated as oracles and soothsayers.
After all let us be honest – mini lee already has too much on his plate and if no expects the CEO of a firm to make sure the shit pots in office never run out of rolls of bum paper – then why should the PM of a sovereign state be tasked to scale threats and opportunities on how best to win in the Internet?
The logic of division of labor presupposes that those who are tasked to do a job should know what to do – judging from the shambolic way, the custodian of powers are handling Roygate, they even seem to be able to sell the tragic charge of the light brigade as a sensible strategic move.
As I said, it is so very sad when a sheep is called to do a wolves job.
On the weather…..
All the ingredients that makes possible the El Nino event is already in the pot. The question is no longer whether it will unfurl, but how bad and long will the specter of famine hang cast a dark spell over the Asia Pacific region. Will we even get rains at all for the next six months? No one seems to know. As for the experts they’re still mumbling and trying to find politically correct words to describe what happens when the shit hits the fan.
Whatever comes will have to come. I’ve already done whatever needs doing – I have no doubt this event will hit me financially, but I am sure, if I have it tough, the others will suffer even more.
There is nothing left now but to prepare to suck in all in and roll with the punches as best as one can – sometimes in life one must just call a spade a spade and see a thing for what it is and maybe murmur under ones breathe prosaically, it is what it is – besides I am reminded, life is NEVER a just a simple case of whether bad or good things happen, but rather how well one can muster the courage and determination to pick the broken things up and to have faith to try again.
Pain is inevitable, but my hope when the full blast of El Nino bites is that suffering will be optional.
June 14, 2014
The winds have finally changed direction. They now blow from the East. I can almost sense the hot sweltering dry heat of Africa brushing against my cheeks. It’s just a hint….a suggestion….but it’s all there…Africa.
Yes, these winds have travelled from afar. They are many winds in this one wind that blows hard from the east…I know them all intimately like lovers from some distant past in another life. It’s as if, the endless winds of Africa are calling out through an ocean of time. Yes…I remember and soon sepia images flash through my mind eye…beginning with the hypnotic sway of endless fields of reeds across the savannah…with the gambezi murmuring in the background like the rhythmic beat of a mother’s womb…whomp pah pah…whomp pah pah..the mountain shadows and how it makes my skin turn bluish like only the color of lapis lazura can….reminding me of a foreign language one suddenly comes across while walking on a crowded pavement. I say myself, I know this tongue. I turn back suddenly, but it’s gone…snatched away by another wind. All that remains is a whispering hush to some distant memory buried deep…so deep, yet I know almost instinctively like the way child knows his mothers smell….the fragile scent of water hysins that blow thru the sea of purple of the Okavango Delta..to the winds that blow from the papyrus sea through the fluted salt scented mountain ranges along Angola before breaking into rains into the sands of the Kalahari.
And of course who can forget the Mara…that murmuring wind like a siren’s call that all legionaires know of only too well. As it leads them astray into the empire of the bones of the Sahara…and the laughable way in which they would all break out in The Legion song “La Fanion” to hold the line…the best, they can.
On a mauvaise réputation,
Mais on s’en fout comme d’une musette
On est fiers d’être à la Légion, à la legion.
Then of course there is that other wind the Bedioun only speak of after uttering the opening lines of the Quran to protect them against malevolent spirits…but never before loosing two shots from their 303 rifles into the desert air….one to curse her…the other to offer supplication to appease her…always two shots. I hear them ripple rents across the infinity of this ocean of time.
A wind so evil that a mad sultan even once declared jihad on her and marched out with armored elephants and endless row of pikemen…the Harmattan…the dreaded ochre colored dust wind sailors in the Coite de Noire call the sea of blood as it stains everything red…I remember elephants with red trunks…Rhinos with their gun metal skin shimmering in the mid day sun with splotches of rust…they all once made me laugh reminding me of some battleship of lore I had once seen in a picture book in a shop in Kampala.
The whopping winds of the Amboseli which remind me of an owl’s flight on a moonless night…whop…whop…whop….winds that have the primal power make all the wild animals in the Kalahari restless…a roar of the male lion rents out somewhere in some distant corner of my head. I wonder to myself did the winds make him rouse from his lair. A leopards nervous cough as he glides through the dark in anticipation…Hyenas calling out with their chilled mocking laughter followed by the grunts of the feeding hippo as if some primal force beckons them…from deep within…but it is only her…the wind.
Above all I remember the solitary figure of the man who wears knee high riding boots and sports a shouldered holstered revolver standing like a solitary tongue of light in darkness. No…I see the curious number eleven…yes, another other man is with him. A tall Matabili ebony framed body guard who carries a spear. They both make that number whenever they stand together. They’re on the run. But as the long as the moment last, they both seem transfixed on the aching beauty of the plains – that is not unusual as it is the hour of hesitation just before the light gives in to the velvety night when the whole valley takes on a Currelean patina like the bottle green of Olives….they had just fought a skirmish. The thick smell of cordite lingers in the air. A burnt out column of tanks scar distant horizon. A scene from another age…another time…another life of the many men in a man and soon even that faint image in my minds eye is snatched away like a falcon talons leaving only the present and the portents for the future, like the words of some poem written in some dead and forgotten language that only he can decipher….the infinite man….and no one else…the seasons have changed.
If one is serious about change for the better. Then the last thing one should do is to impersonate a firecracker – as the sum total of what Roy is likely to accomplish despite his fervent efforts is really just a loud bang followed by a momentary flash in the night sky and after that….oblivion…darkness…nothingness.
Tell me what can a reasonable man expect from this great explosion of nervous energy…what does it really accomplish? The short answer is a big fat nothing….understand this! Zero! There is a sobering finality to the architectural form of zero. As try as best as one may to negotiate around zero, it is not so different from a man who finds himself trapped in a hole where the texture of the walls that keeps him in may not differ entirely from that of a slippery shit pot. My point is nothing can ever or for that matter has ever emerged out of nothing….something can never come out of nothing….it’s virtually axiomatic….a truism of life.
For the sake of brevity allow me to come directly to the point. A far more reliable way to bring about meaningful change is to dedicate yourself to making something out of your life first – this may seem counterintuitive at first, but do bear with me.
This one can do by starting an enterprise. I do not pretend for one moment to believe this is to be easy, but it is precisely because it is difficult and riven with the prospects of crippling failure that one whose serious about bringing about change should do it. Look at it as form of mental conditioning. May not necessarily be in Singapore. Could be in the Ukriane or forgettable part of Africa where one man can just blow off the head of another man and no one would even give a damm….yes, I assure you there are still nooks and crannies in this world where even angels fear to tread….And my only reason for directing your attention to those areas is simply because these places still offer the classical promise of a man to discover his fortune with just the entry cost of a tube of Mentos in his pocket.
Bear in mind it will not be easy. Not at all… and you may even find yourself trudging for years on end with hardly any prospects of improving your lot….but trust me…keep at it long enough and a day will come when it will just come together marvellously and you will come into money.
Money will bring with it influence and once you have truly fashioned yourself as a man of consequence….only then can you bring about meaningful change.
It may take you ten, possibly even twenty years of your life to reach this stage. But the ultimate irony is at the end of your long journey as you stand before these politicians who are all lined up like little chess pieces to begin the process of change…..you may not wish to change a thing at all.
And all that is left is understanding for a thing for what it really is and not what others say or claim it is….you will understand it, as when you stand there in commanding heights with all your wealth and influence….you would have seen it all…the before…during and after.
There is an African saying, when the hyenas howl in the pale moonlight, even the tiger has to sheath his claws.
There are many ways to read this idiom – at one level of understanding, it may mean, at times it’s best to move backwards for one to gainfully make progress. A broader interpretation may suggest, it’s wiser to pick one’s battles carefully and to only engage in a conflict when the opportune time and conditions present itself.
It is very hard to say how this will all turn out. But one thing is clear, much is at stake. It may just burn itself out like one of those bush fires in the savannah. Then again it could very snowball and gather speed along with momentum. It’s hard to say. Very hard. As since this whole rumble began, so many other side issues some of which have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the crux of the case have managed to encrust themselves on this on going saga.
My gut feel tells me – this may no longer be just about the CPF any longer. This conflict by the looks seems to have suddenly embraced a broader geography of issues and it’s fuel largely by so many varied pent up emotions that if it were not this, it could just as well be any other flavor of the month….and this if you didn’t know is what makes it so dangerous.
‘leveraging on public sympathy is crucial to secure a decisive victory….I reckon. I feel deeply sorry for leaders who don’t know this and only seem to adopt a dogmatic and logical approach towards conflict resolution.
In the kampung whenever my enemies give me a hard time. It’s not unusual for me to go around downcasted with mascara underneath my eyes and tell whoever wants to listen that I genuinely want to be a good man, but unfortunately since some evil people are hell bent on making this impossible….I have no choice but to give all of myself to the dark side.
Since sulking comes almost naturally to me and on a scale from one to ten. I am probably somewhere around nine or a perfect ten – it’s dead easy to convince the villagers that a great battle between light and darkness is tearing up my soul – all I have to do is ride my mountain bike at breakneck speed wearing my skull faced mask with my trusted Doberman all around the plantations in the dead of night and howl like some distressed animal – when the rubber tapers see all this, they usually say to themselves, ‘Alamak! The farmer is turning evil again!’
I will not shave for days or pomade my hair and fill an empty bottle of whisky with Pu Er tea or Jia Jia liang teh and pretend to drink myself blind in the village kopitiam – all the while lamenting that it’s indeed regrettable that I am unable to be dedicate myself to lead a moral life any longer…as evil has befallen me.
In the evenings I will go down to the estates chettynad’s and drink Guiness stout which I fill up with prune juice, scold the patrons, sing dirty Indian songs and if needed even roll my eye whites, foam in the mouth and spin around the floor like a break dancer – it has to be this way as in the kampung, there is always a cinematic quality to the whole idea of a man who is at the verge of losing his soul…otherwise no one will ever believe it! When the Tamil estate workers see this, the women folk will draw blood by bitting their tongues. As this in kampung mythology invoking the protection of the Goddess of Kali is the best way to stave off malevolent spirits jumping into their bodies – as for the menfolk, they all go, ‘aiyoh yo! Evil is winning! We have to do something….’
Meanwhile all the bomohs, quacks, mediums, amulet peddlers, soothsayers and people who claim to be able to communicate with the dead have all been primed with bribes to finger the person whose responsible for casting me into this unimaginable hell – and it’s really only a matter of time before the whole village will get so worked up that they will all march to the house of my enemies in the night with torches demanding to know why this person is bringing out the worse in me…they will ask of this man, do you not know that if the farmer is seduced by the dark side then our lives will be turned upside down…the chickens will not lay eggs…..the moon will turn red….and the ground will crack….usually it ends in the usual Bollywood kaboom way where they finally threaten to burn down the house of this person.
Then at that very moment. I appear in the scene dressed in pajamas clutching my stuffed dog Floppy – as if awakening from some trance all the while exclaiming, ‘where am I? How did I get here? Why am I dressed in my pajamas?’ and true to the eternal promise of every great tale where the forces of good and evil are locked in battle…..light wins over darkness…the serpents head is crushed….and everyone exclaims in a hushed tones of relief, ‘evil has left the farmer….good has won over evil.’
Everyone except my enemies of course…. who all know too well all this was staged like a well planned Mossad military operation.’
Kampung Tales from the Way of the Farmer – on how to use public sympathy to destroy your enemies.
What was once an improbability must seem now to be a real possibility. I have a feeling many complacent people will find it very difficult to sleep restfully from now onwards…..as they ponder their next move….especially those who only see the world in terms of an endless field of nails.
Now their world has jumped momentarily…it may just be an imperceptible feeling I imagine, like a mild tremor…hardly noticeable….but that is only to be expected before the real shake up starts.
Hold on tight….
Kee Kee my tanned Doberman puppy has just turned 6 months old. He has turned out to be a very small dog….hardly the impressive and warrior like Doberman cut of his siblings.
Many people think dogs are stupid animals. But that is only because they don’t spend as much time with animals like me – I do and I can tell you, they can have the same breadth and range of feelings as humans.
One evening when I saw Kee Kee looking enviously at Big Foot and Turbo as they ran around in the garden – he turned to me and asked, ‘father why am I so small…why am I not big and muscular like my brothers and sisters?’
I told Kee Kee in the language of farmers to dogs – you are perfect to me and that is all that matters…..and that is it. All other considerations are immaterial.
‘In life, if the person who loves you sees you as beautiful even when you feel that you’re ugly, then a rare sort of magic is at work and soon you are suddenly rendered beautiful and every is complete…..as for other people…they are optional…this is life…real life….not the bullshit sort….but the real sort of love.’
May 31, 2014
Some people. Not all. But there’s certainly no denying ‘some’ people should never be trusted to manage large sums of money. As they lack wisdom and can easily be swayed by the many temptations that wealth brings with it. Instead of them managing money. Money is likely to go right up to their head faster than alcohol and usually it exerts such a strong influence over them, it turns their lives upside down and when they’re in this delusional gyre – they will just blow their largesse on women, horses and meaningless distractions…till they end up with nothing.
‘The story of the trials and tribulations of Odysseus is a theme that has always resonated with me – I do identify with the epic travails of the main protagonist…or maybe it’s just my conceited way of amplifying the challenges I regularly have to face as a farmer.
But I do make it a point to keep a copy by my camp bed table whenever I am out in the field….as very often whenever things don’t go my way or I encounter roadblocks…I find that it’s a source of comfort as it can always be relied on to put many of my problems in the right scale and context.
Many people would probably say the classics is boring and the stuff of toffee nosed privileged boarding school upbringing. I disagree, as when one strips the Iliad right down to it’s chassis…it’s really just another pulp fiction action cum adventure comic book – the prototypal Starwars minus the CGI. Nonetheless, the sort where the pace and the action just never let up’s and keeps the reader riveted.
There are a few notable action scenes in the Iliad. The face off with the mythical club weilding Cyclops. Thereafter the deadly brush with a troupe of Sirens which the main protagonist just manages to escape from…and how can one forget the close shave of Scylla and Charybdis. But the scene that sent shivers down my spine isn’t any of this – not even the action finale where where Odysseus returns to find his house overrun by parvenu suitors who had taken up camp in his household to bully his wife Penelope into marriage to which he responds no less by wasting all of them Al Pacino ‘scarface’ style.
The scene that terrifies me most is when Odysseus finds himself trapped on an placid paradise island by the nymph Calypso. Calypso’s secret weapon comes in the form of seduction, not brute force. The goddess sex appeal kept Odysseus and his men literally in a narcotic stupor where they lived a life of dissipation as their resolve to continue their journey home slowly corroded away.
To me this is Homer’s way of saying beware of good thing…as too much of it can really be as good as poison….very recently I won an air conditioner in a beer raffle in the village kopitiam. I took a long look at this contraption of La Dolce Vita and all I could see was Calypso….in one of her many forms…in this case she lurked somewhere in a Japanese inverter controlled one and half horse power air conditioner….I remember saying to myself…how nice it is to be able to sleep without pesky mosquitoes and creepy crawlies…but as soon as that thought took hold the terrifying image of a spend Odysseus and his listless men lying around shook me out of my reveries. So I donated it to the nearby Kun Yin temple for one of their new libraries.
As since I have to regularly sleep in the field. How can I continue to do so when my body and mind is so accustomed to a restful sleep only in the artificially created ambient of twenty four degrees Celsius! Or maybe I just don’t trust myself enough. Yes, perhaps I don’t trust myself….that may well be something that I rather choose to hide from the world….but my gut feel tells me…sometimes it’s best to mistrust oneself slightly and if possible to even say to oneself from time to time…. maybe this ‘good’ thing may not be so good for me after all. To me there is no shame in a man admitting to himself that he may have a weakness in character and preferring not to open Pandora’s box….it is wisdom….the wisdom the Iliad imparts to the perceptive reader. ‘
Politics is simply a means to an end. That’s the long and short of it. Anyone who tells you it’s more than this is probably trying to make a mountain out of an anthill.
Hence the litmus test of whether the political process is constructive, neutral or destructive can never be really answered by Parliamentarians – trying to do this is not so different from asking Dracula whether he believes he has the right stuff to be the CEO of the National Blood Bank (You know why he’s called the count right. Bc even when he runs into the red…he will cook the books to come out smelling like blue roses.)
Whether a political process is constructive or destructive can only be answered by the ordinary man in the street – and it would hinge on the following: has his lot has improved in the last five years? How confident is he about the future? Does he plan to raise a family?
If the answer is yes. Then even if the political process is widely termed as ‘destructive,’ it has to be ‘constructive.’ As since the political process makes it possible for real benefits to percolate right down to Ah Kau, Muthu and Ahmad….to improve their lives, that’s really when politics come full circle and delivers.
But if the answer is No! And the average man in the street complains no end that it’s increasingly difficult to turn the wheel of life despite putting in eight hours of his best and he still finds it hard, if not impossible to make ends met and all that life seems to him from now onwards is an ever decreasing circle and he and wifey don’t even have the confidence to start a family as since they can’t even take care of themselves….what’s the point bringing in another life into this planet…just to nourish human suffering…then what bloody use is it, even if the political process in that regime is rated as constructive?
In which case constructive politics might as well just mean destructive….very simple.
May 28, 2014
To live meaningfully. We humans need to have faith in the meaning of words. But what happens when words cease to carry with them real meaning any longer? For instance, if nation ‘building’ press means that a newspaper can have card blanche to embellish, exaggerate, selectively report or chose not to do so along with outright deceive, bend the truth and mislead the general reading public – then to me, it can only be rightly termed the nation destroying and not building press.
Similarly, if constructive politics means ‘do not criticise too much…do not rock the boat…and do not make me look bad all the time!’ Then its really as good as drinking herbicide to get a fairer complexion….Dowanlah!
And if ‘talent,’ used in the context of foreign workers means someone who is prepared to accept a lower pay to do a job that a native cannot possibly accept as he has higher financial commitments by virtue of living in the worlds most expensive city – then where might the ‘talent’ reside in this foreign talent? In which case might as well just say, someone who is prepared to accept a lower salary and skip the whole talent argument.
I wonder wouldn’t it far better to just call a spade a spade by using the right words or sentences to describe a thing for what it really is. As opposed to trying to use the politically correct words to call a circle a square…the color black…white or hell…heaven.
If this goes on for any longer, then words will cease to have meaning and when that happens then all there’s left is hopelessness….But I sure some may disagree and even call that faith.
‘Words need to be constantly nourished with consistent deeds and thoughts for them to retain their intrinsic meaning – they are not so different from plants…they need to be regularly watered and tended… if words don’t receive the proper nourishment – then they will die and eventually they will even give way to very different meanings.
The word ‘gay’ for example used to denote a happy and care free state of mind. Today if someone calls a man gay. It means he likes to fuck other mens backside. Even the word ‘homosexual’ today is considered politically incorrect. As since it comes across as too clinical, it suggest homosexuality is some character flaw like perpetual masturbation. So gay is the socially acceptable parlance these days – what we are witnessing here is the death of a word along with whole disquisitions of schools of thought.
There is nothing complicated about this. Words along with the meaning they carry can die. You don’t need a Phd in linguistics to understand how a word can die very much like a tree shriveling up till it’s nothing more than a lifeless stump. You just need to sit down and think about it.
For example, if someone says they love you and that person seems so faraway spiritually and emotionally that he or she and you might as well be the two furtherest points in the whole universe – then how is it possible for this idea of love to exist in this relationship? Even if you only have one call to make in this world, but all you get is a machine talking back, no time and please don’t call, I’ve call you – then how is the whole idea of love supposed to grow?
And even if there used to be love in that relationship, that love will still die if it’s neglected. It will die! Because love is like a potted plant on a window sill, if it is not nourished with care, affection and feeling, then it can only give way to ambivalence and die…it really very simple. Nothing complicated there.
By the same token when leaders say one thing and they do and believe in the opposite – then it’s really only a matter of time before the serious men of this world will treat them like used car salesmen and when that end point is reached, it would hardly matter if they have something meaningful to say….their words become meaningless……the same goes for a relationship with a man and woman – it doesn’t matter what vows they once took or even the trials and tribulations they once went thru together or how bonded they were once upon a time as two human beings – if that bond is not nourished….it will die and all these wonderful things will just be washed away leaving two strangers.
That is why I believe it’s vitally important for a man to learn this at a young age if he’s genuinely serious about wanting keep the things he loves in his life. Otherwise he will find that he will end up losing many things as he goes thru the journey of life – and when you look at the lives of some people, that is how their entire life looks like, it is a series of broken relationships….one after another…..they never ever stay long enough to get thru the first base….it’s easy come and easy go!
Only understand this! Some things in life will always be precious. And if you lose it. You have to live with the idea that you may never discover that thing back again. It’s gone, like losing your legs in an amputation…it’s gone.
That’s why for me. I treat words seriously. If I say, something. I mean it. Otherwise I dont say it.
As I have discovered this is the only way for a man to dedicate himself to serious enterprises and to gain the arcanum to be regarded as a serious man. Otherwise he will find whenever he opens his mouth, no one bothers to listen to him and you cannot blame them…as who in their right mind takes an inconsequential seriously, words are really just words to this lightweight, very much like grunts an animal would make for whatever reason…’
How should I put this across? Let’s imagine I create perfect conditions for others to speculate and fill in the blanks galore on a subject. Let us even say, I create a vacuum of information that makes it possible for charlatans, hucksters and comedians to step right in and say anything they want on this subject – as since the narrative is hardly clear and remains as unambiguous as clam chowder and comes encrusted with so many darkened interiors and lacunaes and it’s really a hall of mirrors where even the most outlandish theory can just as well stand and even hold water.
Whose fault is it really if someone decides to say something that is so incredulous that it may even garner a cachet of adherents who may well treat it as the truth and nothing but the truth?
Really who is to blame?
‘The subject of CPF these days is not so different from the tormenting mystery of MH370. It’s straight out of the X files. As there are so many vantages to see this subject from and it’s so incredibly multi layered with so many levels of mind bending complexity that it’s really horses for courses.
At the end of the day one can even derive at ANY conclusion and it can just as well stand quite well – but the question one would do well to ask at this juncture is – how did an apparent straight forward subject become such a black hole of endless speculation and conjecture?
Why does endless speculation and conjecture persist despite the official line? What accounts for the sense of dissonance, askance and disbelief? Is this feeling of not being able to get a handle on the matter justified?
In my opinion it may have something to do with the inexplicable ambivalence of the custodian of powers to supply a convincing answer. Every time the subject comes up, it’s either elided, dealt with in a piece meal fashion or simply whisked away.
To me the question is not whether Mini Lee is justified to do what he did. That is his prerogative. The pertinent question on the table remains: did he manage to allay much of the public concerns and anxieties associated with how the CPF is managed by threatening to sue the shit out of Roy?
Because if he is under the misconception threatening to sue can somehow beacon out the murk – then what he would need to contend with is the theoretical possibility. All he has really accomplished from all this great diffusion of energy is to deepen this CPF mystery and drive the entire narrative underground and since there exist so many contradictions and empty spaces in the narrative….rumors can only proliferate with vigor.
Let me give you a simple illustration of what I mean. When I first showed up in the kampung many years ago to turn the wheel of life. There was this chicken breeder in the village who didn’t like me very much – now, when people don’t like me. I never take it personally. As experience informs me, in life, that’s how it is at times. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to rub someone the wrong way for them to take pot shots at you. Some people just have an axe to grind, if it’s not me, it could just as well be you…they’re just generally angry and unhappy with life and they need to take out it out on someone.
But this fellow went too far. He would go around the village and spread vile rumors that I am a homosexual. That’s because no one has seen my wife before and since I live alone on a secluded hill deep in my lands. This rumor took hold and in all honesty I was partly to blame as I create perfect conditions for this sort of rumors to spread throughout the grapevine.
Things got so bad that the village homo. A Tamil lorry driver who calls himself or herself ‘Devi’ even paid me a visit in a sari one night. Can you imagine. A homo with a beer belly and handle bar moustache complete with stubble asking me out for a date. Even my Doberman guard dogs when they saw this went huh! WTF! They were so shocked. They couldn’t shit for a whole week!
So I knew something drastic had to be done. I had to set the record right! One day when the chicken breeder went out of town. I paid a visit to his MILF wife and teen daughter in my tightest trousers – I brought them a big lap cheong (chinese salami) amongst other things that usually brings a big smile to girls and we spend the best part of the evening exploring different ways of home entertainment since they didn’t have cable TV.
When the character assassin came back and discovered that I had raided the chicken coop. He went down to the kopitiam and called me a skirt chasing philanderer who all the girls in the village would do well to guard their chastity against.
Naturally one of the farmers asked, ‘which one is he now…a homosexual or a skirt chaser.’ That was the end of him lah. His credibility plummeted right down to zero!
That gentlemen this is why I will always rue the passing of the age of dueling – it is can be no coincidence that polite and civilized society more or less disappeared just around the time when dueling fell into disrepute. Someone should really consider reviving dueling as a means of conflict resolution – as I believe very strongly it will certainly improve manners immeasurably along with hold a man responsible for his words and actions – as it is these days, it’s a free for all, one it seems is free to say and do anything like a urinating animal.’