Before the global financial meltdown everything resembled writings on stone tablets – you name it, and I can bet you my last dollar it probably had a defined shape, form and symmetry that we can all recognize without too much fuss: macroeconomics, the laws of demand and supply, GDP, market fundamentalism, capitalism, democracy right down to maybe the idea, if you munch too much carbs, you will probably end up looking like a two metric ton Soviet tractor – sure, from time to time, these giant blocks of schools of thoughts did generate a great deal of heat, especially, when they were challenged.

But by and large they were pretty robust and could easily blunt any attacks emerging from the “lunatic fringe” to still retain their primacy as the governing principle to run the economy, country, firm, family – right down to whether it makes sense for you to splurge out on a new iPod on your next pay day – my point is when you consider all of the “changes” that has occurred in the last 50 years cumulatively they were all so mainstream that it even permeated the groundwater of our consciousness to regard them as principia written on stone.

Yes somewhere along this timeline of 50 years, there were certainly disagreements galore, but my point is even in the heat of the debate – differences were always within set limits and agreed parameters of understanding.

In the aftermath of the financial meltdown, everything is now up in the air again. In this new age, where the world is beset by doubt, nothing can be taken at face value any longer. Will the Europeans be able to sort out their shit? I dunno. Is fiscal stimulus in the US working? Dunno! Are monopolies and price controls a solvent that requires market interventionist policies? Ditto. Should the IMF and World Bank cap the price of credit and regulate the supply of government money? Your guess is as good as mine. Will China implode economically circa 2012? Dunno again! Dunno!
I agree Gentlemen, the school of thought of dunno may not share the same pedigree as perhaps the laws of macroeconomics in their beliefs, in their persuasiveness or even in their elegance of marvelous completion. Yet they also have a lot in common. The former thrived in the age when everybody believed that markets moved according to deterministic laws very much like Newtonian physics – the latter shattered these assumptions and somewhere in this carnage, the word Dunno has no occupied the same venerated space as Ohm – in this age of confusion, “DUNNO!” is the word that best describes you, me and everyone reading this page.

DUNNO! is the new ferment that is surely spreading into every aspect of life challenging everything that we once considered timeless and universal – altering even how we all work, live and play – coloring everything from economics, market fundamentalism to the whole idea of what it even means to be human – many of us may not even realize the changes that is taking place all around us, as we are so caught up in the gyre, but whenever we turn on the TV and see droves of people clamoring for this and that in distant lands or watch how so much of what we once believed in has given way to a new quintessence slowly pecking its way out of its shell, to make its presence felt in the mainstream, be it in the field of mathematics, economics, sciences or just how to bake your cookies by using another way – what we may be witnessing is a revolution that the human species will probably go through only three or four times in the history of mankind.

I don’t think it is possible to predict anything for 2012 and beyond for a very long time. And I am not going to even try for fear of bringing pain to thinking folk – all we can really do is go with the flow and hope that our hunches can past from the realm of theory to reality with relief day by day, hour by hour and minute by minute – but whatever happens, for better or worse – take heart, one thing will remain certain: we will never be the same person who walked out from this age known as DUNNO!

Do have a Happy Dunno! Year

Darkness 2012

(This New Year Message was broadcasted to all channels (1 to 16) in Ekunaba, Phi Beta Kappa and the whole of the Strangelands onboard the Free French Cruiser KDD Marat somewhere in the Constellation Belt of Biblao Izmusth – The Brotherhood Press 2012)

Watching as a terminally ambivalent bystander the post SMRT fallout involving Ah Seng’s Freudian slip on how Malays and Indians cannot seem to speak good England – this raises a far more interesting question in its wake:

Why do we have such difficulty in dealing intelligently with the issue of race and religion?
It seems to me, we (as a nation) may have lost the capacity to question our present sense and sensibilities when it comes to dealing intelligently with race and religion and have even much less to offer in terms of alternatives. Except perhaps to outsource the problem lock, stock and barrel to the mata-mata – the police, I am sure would certainly put a stop to it, but if the goal is to resolve the issues of race and religion in sustainable terms – then I don’t really see them playing a significant role in furthering understanding which I believe is key, if we are to come to terms with the twin headed hubris of dealing effectively with race and religion hand grenades, be it in the real world or the virtual?

This should prompt all of us to ask: is it time for us to revaluate our current methods of managing race and religion? To paraphrase, is it time to see beyond the present means to conceive a different set of arrangements to deal with this issue of race and religion without involving the police or resorting to threats of coercion? Would the problem be better solved by society as a whole?

I suspect one reason why many haven’t really dwelled on this question may have something to do with our collective lack of urgency to see the growing fault lines in our age – the way I see it, two main factors will conspire to stress out Singapore’s medieval methods of dealing with race and religion.
The first hardly requires any elaboration – the internet is set to grow exponentially and whirl its way deeper into the lives of millions of Singaporeans. Judging by the lamentable news print sales, you could even say, this migration from the real to the virtual is inexorable. Hence, it’s only a matter of time before the frequency and intensity of race and religious flare up’s would increase.

What are we supposed to do then – call in the mata-mata? Yes, very intelligent response.

The second factor (which I consider much more pressing and urgent) that will combine to exacerbate our already moribund methods of dealing effectively with race and intelligence – is the frenetic pace of immigration brought forth by globalization – it is not by sheer coincidence that in the last 10 years, we have seen a marked increase of incidences of race and religious infractions involving either new citizens or residents (curry wars)– it stands to reason: as the Singaporean demographic landscape shifts from a homogeneous to multicultural society – this hardly requires any elaboration: mistrust and mutual suspicion will be likely to be more acute as compared to the past. In the past, these problems were well masked, as most new residents and citizens were culled mainly from neighboring Malaysia – because they are like you and me and see the world as you and me. There was always a shared cultural and historical understanding that fostering good relations irrespective of race and religion was vital – a willingness to give and take that rested on the tacit understanding: our cohesiveness will always be greater than the sum of what can divide us. These days with the flood gates of immigration flung wide open – I am not saying the same social compact that once held race and religious sensibilities in check has gone to the dogs. But no one can deny they appear less self confident and increasingly stressed.

Against this backdrop of social cultural change, it is incontrovertible (to me at least) that traditional methods of dealing with race and religion will at some point in the foreseeable future face serious practical challenges. Our shortcomings in dealing with race and religion, can at best be describe as discursive in the polite language of the diplomat – in less polite company such as the Brotherhood, it may even be aptly described as infantile and fairytale like. In a nutshell, we simply do not know how manage conflicts arising from race and religion whenever those sensibilities are ruffled. All we seem to be able to do is reenact the final moments of Chekov’s play, the Cherry Orchard. Take offence, preferably with lashings that this has somehow impinged our good personage, make a police report, this is followed by the offender having to apologize publicly (after that he is presumably packed off the equivalent of our Guantanamo Bay) and this is followed by a series of quick steps by state officials who will dish out sobriquet fortune cookie statements about – how “evil has been defeated, the forces of light has prevailed! We are one happy family again!”

This happy picture however misleads on a few serious accounts. For one since racial and religious harmony was purchased on the cheap (without any attempt to explore further on the causal links, if any) -and since we haven’t really figured out how to deal effectively with racial and religious infractions without the active participation of the state and its apparatus, none of us can really figure out how to contain the fall out next week, month or year.

Where does that leave us? As for the last fifty years or so in our history of managing race and religious conflicts – we have consistently failed to ask ourselves the questions that we should have asked, if we are really genuine about managing race and religious infractions intelligently. Like whether perhaps we have been over reliant on the state to resolve racial and religious conflicts which are after all societal problems? Or even whether outsourcing the problem to the police is the most intelligent method to obliterate our stereotypical beliefs we may harbor about certain races and religions (which is incidentally may be the root cause of our many of our race and religious flare up’s that we commonly see these days).

Instead, we continue take cold comfort in Chekhov’s Cherry Orchard coda: the mass of humanity can always be counted to react far better and wiser than they could ever have hoped too whenever the multi hydra headed monster of race and religion rears its ugly head. Somewhere in this infantile narrative of course – the politics of sectarianism, the politics of envy, the politics of insecurity, the politics of how most of us harbor stereotypical images regarding certain races and religions has somehow magically been elided and replaced by the perfidious tale – good will always prevail over evil.

The paradox of our ongoing lack of confidence to speak and write openly about religion and race may well be – instead of fleshing out whole narratives to further our collective understanding concerning race and religion – all we really have today is a bracketed account with serious gaps that will continue to create fertile ground for ignorance and parochialism to fester. It stands the test of reason, where angels fear to tread, you will get charlatans, hucksters and bent pastors stepping into the public square spewing unmitigated diatribe to a mesmerized crowd – neither will we ever be able to inoculate our sense and sensibilities sufficiently from feeling a sense of disproportional outrage whenever the bogey man of race and religion appears, as the right to be self confident can never be claimed by those who have never really invested either the time, effort or risk to understand the complexity of sectarianism and religious fervor beyond the superficial – neither will we be able to reclaim the idea, any infraction by any member of society involving race and religion is not the governments problem as it remains society’s. To end on a prosaic note, like the Chekhov’s, tragic starry eyed main protagonist Ranevskaya’s failure to come to terms with the many problems dogging her estate means that she eventually loses everything. Her petulant refusal to come to terms with the truth of her past, present and future is her downfall. She ultimately shuttles between her life in Paris and in Russia singing “all will be well, when the sunshines”. A dumb broad who lives in an illusion and none the wiser for it – but as vapid as Ranevskaya’s was, she had at least one redeeming feature, there were no phones in her day and as for the police in Tsarist Russia, they were all either drunk or communist. We on the other hand in perfidious faced Singapore can still take cold comfort from the fact, should that bogeyman of race and religion show up again all we have to do is ask Mr Gahmen to kiss it better and all our problems will melt away like lemon drops, till of course, when he decides to pop up again for another quickie.

I have no answers, only questions and more questions. I have to go now, I hear trees being chopped.

Darkness 2011

The final days of the Ascension Wars somewhere in the Carpathian Plains on Armistice Day during dinner.

General Adrill from the Aryanian Delegation: “For 2,000 years, we have waged war…this is a form of madness Darkness.”
Darkness from the Confederation: “Yes, I agree Adrill. But tell me, what is it about us that you hate so much?”
General Adrill: “We have been fighting for so long over this piece of worthless rock that it is hard to even recall, it is faint my friend, very faint.”
Darkness: “Yes, I imagine many of us also feel and see it that way General.”
General Adrill: “Tell me is it true what they say about you in the real world – that you are seven feet tall ……”
Darkness: “No Adrill, I would be quite a disappointment if you saw me in the flesh.”
General Adrill: “I happen to be a professor in a university in the real world. The law faculty. And you?”
Darkness: “I am an engineer.”
General Adrill: “You must visit me one day in Budapest. It seems, when we were eyeballing each other across the trench lines, we have nothing in common Darkness. But after being your prisoner here for over a month and dinning every night, I feel that we are certainly kindred spirits cut from the same cloth. Perhaps both our people were rash. We should have just sat down for some vodka and salmon!”

Footnote by the Chronicler of the Brotherhood: During the reign of PandiShah IX, the Emperor of the known universe decreed – no Aryanian shall be spared in the battle spanning 2,000 years – during the signing of the Armistice, Senator Darkness, then commander of Legio IV and IIV who vanquished the last remnants of the once great Aryanian army countermanded a direct order from the Imperium to take no prisoners – that evening, when the last of the shots had been fired – over 800,000 Aryanians were allowed free and unencumbered passage to return back to their homeland under the auspices of the Ottomans who enforced the Irrulian Protocol (The Geneva Conventions) – three days following this incident, the Imperium issued a warrant of arrest for Darkness and the entire command post of the Eastern front for treason.

The Aryanians have never invaded the Strangelands since. General Adrill and Darkness continue to remain good friends.

Extracted from the Book of Ages under the Chapter: “The Great War” Page 7,299 – The Brotherhood Press 2011

The Real Meaning of Work

December 28, 2011

Guildman: Darkness, we want to try out a prototype agricultural robot on your plantation.

Darkness: No! Permission denied!

Singaporedaddy: Give it a go. What’s the harm Darkness?

Darkness: What is the point of automating agriculture Singaporedaddy? Coming to think of it, what’s the point of using a tractor to dig a ditch, when what I can do is employ ten men who really need jobs to do the same with shovels? The Guilds are awash with money – that is why they can fritter away their largesse by building contraptions that no one wants to buy. But you are all missing the point here gentlemen – what we need to do is not to go faster, fasterer and fasterest. Are we in the business of selling high blood pressure along with coffins? What we have to do is to be as inefficient as possible and still be able to turn a profit – to be slower, slowerer and slowerest, if possible. Infact, I’ve been trying to get my workers to take naps during the afternoon when its impossibly hot to work – this way at least, people who work with us may even consider bringing their families to our plantation – they will not see it as work, but rather as a way of life that they much prefer to have. This is the direction that we should go. Any bloody fool can go faster, fasterer and fasterest. But it takes a genius to go slower, slowerer and slowerest and still be able to turn a profit – I do not pretend to suggest for one moment this is easy to do or even believe it can stand up to modern standards of accounting – but it is because this is so impossibly hard to do, that is why it has to be done.

(Extract of a conversation with the Guilds somewhere in the Vadanium Galaxy onboard the Free French Starcruiser KDD Marat – The Brotherhood Press 2011)

Storm Drain

December 28, 2011

When I first came. The villagers called me the Devil. They said, the Devil doesn’t wear Prada. He drives a Toyota turbo charged land cruiser. We have seen him – he has a way with animals and if you look directly in his eyes – you wouldn’t be able to shit for a month. If you trespass on the land of the Devil, he shall eat you and you will wander the earth like a restless spirit. Beware of the Devil!

I do not blame the villagers, they have always believed in hocus pocus. Besides, when I first arrived in these parts many strange and unexplainable events conspired to create this atmosphere of mistrust – a wandering cow had died under mysterious circumstances in my land, it’s innards had been removed and arranged in a mystical manner – a gang of thiefs famous for stealing oil palm in the dead of night had been found wandering around my land as if they had losted their minds. So this all served to only reinforce the notion – the Devil had arrived.

The Devil who lives on top of the hill – in the dead of night, he will play his broken violin.

All the villagers feared me. One day, I told them that a big flood would come their way. I told them, the river banks will burst their levies and their crops will be decimated. After listening to me, the elders said to themselves,

“He may well be the Devil. But if the Devil is digging trenches in his land to deal with the flooding that hasn’t come yet, then maybe, we too should do the same. The devil after all communicates with that other world – he knows things that we don’t know.”

The matter was settled. One day, I surveyed the rivers and the major tributaries – I showed the map to the elders and marked out the precise sections where storm drains had to be built.

The villagers turned out en masse and begun digging these massive waterways. For months, it seemed that these efforts were wasted. Then yesterday, she came – they call her the “kasmaria,” a wind that blows from the North. A wind that even the Spanish seafarers feared when they passed the narrow straits – when she emptied her bowels, it rained for three straight days and even the most skeptical villagers would be heard recounting.

“It was lucky that we followed the advice of the devil. We shall not have to grow hungry this year. The Devil has been kind to us. He has communicated with the dead perhaps to bring us this news. But how do we give thanks to the Devil? How do we offer him alms?”

Yesterday, the village head man and his family came to my land and invited me for dinner – I think they are slowing warming up to me.

I am happy, small steps, one step at a time.

Darkness 2011

The Suriman Tales – The Brotherhood Press 2010


(The eve of the Ascension wars somewhere in the planet Sardonyx)

Laison Officer of the Strangelands: “Do you see the red sun over there, when it turns a shade of brown, that is when a shower of meteors will rain down on your planet. Listen to me. I have come from afar to warn you all of impending doom. We do now have much time. You need to built shelters in the mountains.”

Farmer: “How do you people know these things?”

Village elder: “They run the bloody game stupid!”

Extract from the Book of Ages – recorded by the chronicler under the chapter: “The Ascension Wars” – Page 3,078 – The Brotherhood Press 2011

Reality Check!

December 27, 2011

Darkness: When myths are broken, it’s really the first step to consciousness – myths like what that dream job would be, only for it to be that other job. Myths about how that person is and dealing with really how he is. Myths should be shattered. Otherwise how would we all know reality Singaporedaddy?

Singaporedaddy: All the council is saying, get off Youtube. Do you realize 99 percent of our enemies in the virtual also happen to live in the real world?

Darkness: Those 99 percent also believe I am invincible…….

Singaporedaddy: which world would that be Darkie?

Darkness: That was what I meant to say, now you know why all myths must be shattered including the myth of Darkness. He was a fantasy. 

Singaporedaddy: You know what? You could well be right.

(Somewhere in the Callacan galaxy on board the Free French starcruiser, the KDD Marat)

“There are probably 140 million gamers. You know what, they all think Darkness in the game and in real life is one. That bothers me socially and mentally. It’s always bothered me, because I always been against the idea of cultism. So I have no doubt one day when the Darkness that is will have to be the Darkness that once measured to reality – if that happens, things wouldn’t be so tough on me. For starters I wouldn’t have to put up with, why are you so short Darkness whenever I see a gamer in the real world, all the time. That’s really where I see the game going Agnes in the next ten years. There will be a tussle between reality and fiction as we have never seen before in the history of man.”

Darkness 2001

Interview conducted by Agnes Proire in – recorded by the chronicler of the Book of Ages.  

Mindless GST

December 26, 2011

The Suriman Chapter – The Brotherhood Press 2011

Merry Christmas Missy Dotty

December 24, 2011

You made the right decision. I want to wish you and Dan a Merry Christmas. Let me read a poem you once wrote

I want to speak of well being; of sparkling morns; when you just know everything is going to be beautiful the moment you wake up.
I want to speak of peace, like birds nesting in each other’s warmth; the quiet type; where two people speak mostly through their silence.
I want to speak of wholeness; the kind no one ever spoke or wrote about; the one that I heard sweeps ever so ponderously filling your heart with wonder and awe.
I want to speak of epiphany, the one that tugs ever so gently and when the truth just draws out like silk scarf through a ring; the type that makes a smile break at one corner of your mouth and spreads to unite the mind and heart.
I want to speak of serendipity; the kind that stretches the heart like a blanket over the soul; wrapping your core in a sense of warmth and comfort – in the calm assurance; it was always meant to be this way.
I want to speak of beginnings and endings; the beautiful kind; the sort that even holds out the promise of redemption; where two people may be apart, yet remain very much one of the same.

Do you remember Dotty, you once asked me where in the universe was the furthest distance between two points? I said, I didn’t know. As I write this now somewhere in the jungles of the Suriman, I am looking searchingly into the night sky. But the answer isn’t there Dotty – it’s much closer Dotty. In my heart, the answer that is and it is only now that I realize – it was when you once stood before me and I didn’t even see you – that’s really the furthest two points that separates everything Dotty.

Merry Christmas
Darkness 2011

P.S I’ve see you in my next life.

Have you all noticed lately there’s been a strange communication sinkhole forming between us and officialdom – and its getting bigger, wider and deeper!

This may require a bit of history. Until now. We (netizens) have, understandably, been really only focused on our private bug bears and armchair battles for dignity in the digital realm: freedom of speech, and not getting bankrupted for blogging etc. All which we seem to write with varying degrees of commitment and just bung out like a man stuffing a message into a bottle into the greater wonderment of the digital ocean. And it seems we may all be starting to communicate much better. Believe it or not, I actually feel most bloggers these days seem to be writing better essays. This may have something to do with common sense – eventually, we all learn to discard what’s useless and hone those things that we instinctive realize will come in useful in life. The same happy tale cannot be recounted with same self confidence when it comes to our politicians and leaders – they all seem to be suffering from chronic shoe in the gob syndrome cum verbal diarrhea – when you consider how these days, politicians can’t even seem to make a statement without having to issue out a stream of mel culpa’s …my words were taken out of context…I meant to say this, but it came out as that…hiam and hum…etc etc etc etc etc etc etc.

It wouldn’t surprise me in the least, if a visiting alien linguistic expert landed in the Istana Singapore. He might surmise, our leaders are probably a bunch of shambolic ‘that other’ species mumblers.

And this should lead us to ask the question: Why can’t our leaders communicate effectively in the age of the internet?

Now at this juncture I don’t really wish to go into the rigmarole of whose right and wrong, or whether Cherian George was right or TOC simply being sensational. My point is simply this, when it comes to public speaking in the digital realm, you can even say the rule of thumb is axiomatic:

“It matters little what was said as much as how it came across.”

One clue that may provide us with a believable account of why the PAP cannot seem to communicate very well in the age of the internet – may have something to do with the PAP’s real world culture of monoculturalism: where they have never really perceived the wisdom of dealing with diversity and difference of opinions in an intelligent way. Hence their revulsion of the Westminster model which they’ve seen fit to mothball and replace with a perfidious faced politburo. A corollary of that also means, most PAP MP’s are so desensitized to prevailing sentiments, they don’t even bother to filter what regularly comes out from their trap to ensure they’re politically correct to their audience – and why should they? When even LKY himself regularly doesn’t bother two hoots about inflaming the sense and sensibilities of citizens and residents with his crackbrained worldview of why Malays should never be allowed to fly fighter jets and man machine gun post – wonder no more who these MP’s take their cues from – to exacerbate their already marooned state in the digital sea, since they have really only mastered one tool to resolve conflict – the hammer. Is it such a surprise: most PAP MP’s are simply ill equipped to deal with the plethora of point of views churned up by the internet. As since, the PAP’s attitude towards the whole idea of anyone holding a contrarian view is best summed up in the couplet: “the nail that sticks out will be hammered down!” – there is really no incentive to seek buy in or for that matter cajole those who may harbor differences to their side or even master the language of diplomacy and congeniality – to exacerbate the task of effective communication in the digital age – conventional understanding and parlance may not even apply in the digital realm – for starters, words aren’t mere words in the normative sense in the internet as they can even carry with them entire statements about ones deeper psyche and in such certain cases preferences and prejudices – all this is made possible with hyperlinks that allows readers to scroll through the statements made previously to glean some fragment of the world view of the commentator. That just goes to show you how judgmental the internet is – in most cases, netizens literally take and run with what’s said, at times even glossing over the statements and encrusting them with hidden meanings. But don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an indictment of the internet, it’s simply a statement of fact regarding how what’s said in the internet can and will morph in the way a car transforms into jetfighter a la transformer style – you could even say, the predilection of netizens to read between the lines these days is such a highly evolved skill set that its ingrained.

In summary, if one wants to communicate effectively in the internet – it’s never about negotiating the seven habits of highly effective people as it remains dealing with seven habits of highly strung mind readers who are only too ready to impute all sorts of things which one never meant to say – it comes with the territory.

The case in point is best summed up in the fabled traveler’s advice.

“In Rome, do as the Romans do.”

Try not to fuck it up next time. Welcome to our brave new world.

Darkness 2011

“In the age of steel when the game was still a child, the French in one stroke of the pen declared Francaise the official language of the Imperium – so they were all marooned in Babel using sign language. But those carpetbaggers learnt their language and even assimilated their ways. From the French, they learnt 3 things: diplomacy, statecraft and civil administration. Those trinket peddlers even sent spies into the French Royal court to learn the gentle art of persuasion, wit and repartees. In the age of the typewriter, the Germans did the same and again they were casted into the no man’s land of silence – again they learnt their language and adopted their customs. From the Germans they learnt how to organize and optimize: mass produce spaceships, logistics, accounting and how to monopolize technology. Then in the age of reason, English suddenly became the lingua franca. We brought in mercenaries this time to speak on our behalf to consolidate our interest in the Imperium, assured in our security they could never learn the art of speaking in one breathe in seven paces as the rules of our house dictates – so many of them began to tune into the BBC, and in no time, they all learnt how to debate without prepared notes along with throwing insults at us in a humorous way. By then to our eternal horror, we all realized there was really only one tribe in the whole universe that could speak all three languages fluently and so they became the natural intermediaries to unite the four houses and the Laanstrad. We, the legation made them vicious, lean and mean! And today in the Imperium, the sit there – the flint, powder and the ball awaiting the terrible explosion! The Brotherhood! And to think when the started off, no one even took them seriously…how were we supposed to know, they were just like the roma (gypsies) with their trinkets, nick nacks and stealing ways…how could this have happened overnight? How in the name of the Emperor could the impossible have happened?”

The Aryanian ambassador to the Strangelands – Senator Charrisamatic – recorded by the Chronicler in the Book of Ages under the chapter, “The Awakening” – Page 19,003 – The Brotherhood Press 2011



December 24, 2011

They have nothing in common – but they’re happiest when together – the poets must be right, love will always find a way to conquer all, even for canines it seems.

Darkness 2011

The Suriman Tales – The Brotherhood Press 2011


December 24, 2011

Came across this punchy rap about SMRT. I think its the best vid I’ve come across this year coming out from Singapore. Great stuff! Keep rapping, you’ve be famous and rich one day, trust me. I can tell a winner when I see one.

Cheers (thanks Aibo for the link)

Darkness 2011

You would have thought people who regularly preach to others about good elocution don’t electrocute themselves in the public eye. No such luck.

Darkness 2011

I’ve been invited to a gay wedding in the virtual – it was bound to happen – after all there are already straight marriages in the virtual, so this latest development hardly comes as a shock to moir. By now of course somewhere in the leafy neighborhood of Siglap – I am sure those erudite ladies (who so often write regularly to me – to serve out charming death threats) are bristling to pelt me with lychees (not that they can do as much harm as heartlander Sengkang Sally who prefers bowling ball durians, now you all know why I am not too bothered about those ladies in the Siglap club) I know what they expect me to do: launch into another tirade about how gays – denounce the idea gay marriages is the first step down the slippery road to unmitigable decadence. Well I hate to disappoint those flabby ladies. You see my dear perceptive reader, you could say I know only too well the pitfalls of taking on gayness head on, reputational suicide comes to mind el naturale– and why should I even feel that speaking out against gay marriages is somehow wrong?

Ever wondered? Ever considered?

You see it goes something like this: if you’re not familiar with the “new normal” in Singapore regarding what our attitudes towards gays and gay marriage should be. Then surely you must realize we aren’t supposed to speak about same-sex desire and weddings in the way we regularly speak about slavery and dwarf throwing. Under the new age prisma of the “new normal,” we’re all expected to understand that every sexual orientation under the sun consist of minor differences, miniscule details in the larger scheme of things, where sexual orientation should best be given the blasé treatment – to paraphrase, “it is the way it is because of the way it is.” And let me add the gay rightist even have the power to foreclose on their claim should you, I or the broader we even choose to defend the institution of marriage between man and women – then this is likely to happen “Darkness, if you keep bashing us gays, then we are all going to send you to Coventry! Not only that we are going to tar and feather you as a parochial in breeding git that you are!” And this leads me to ask – why can’t I, you or we even show our disapproval about the gay way of life without incurring the wrath of others and coming across as out of synch with the times? Why do those who seem inclined to protect the elemental rights of gays to emancipation and happiness at every turn and opportunity choose to deny me, you and the broader “we”, the same right to be heard without being labeled red neck, christian right, parochial, insular and just plain old fashioned?

Now to the perceptive reader, you know why I am writing this piece. Why I have to write it even, if only to remove myself from the whole idea that if I fail to do so for fear of incurring undesirable social repercussions – then it could be said those gay rightist have managed to successfully appropriate the whole idea of my independence along with causing untold pain to thinking folk.
I am against the whole idea of gay marriages (now that I’ve got it out of my chest, I feel much better) “marriage is between a man and a woman,” neither do I subscribe to the idea, that since everyone has an equal right to marriage, gender shouldn’t really matter at all. In summary, gay marriage these days have been given the marketing manifesto treatment as a matter exercising personal rights. Only allow me to stress these though thought-arresting platitudes aren’t by themselves articulate positions nor do they even resemble rudiments of arguments that can possibly slake the thirst of those who wonder with amazement why can’t we speak about the incredible likeness of being gay and everything that goes with it, without being discursive?

Well one reason may have do with how just as gay rightist once appropriated the dictionary meaning of ‘gay’ and now left us all with that poorer cousin ‘happy.’ the whole idea of gay marriages is regularly sold and marketed as a natural extension of the rights that naturally accrue to every human being. Absent of course from this argument is the whole idea of values and the deeper discussions of whether the institution of marriage between man and women should be upheld. What I find curious is how on one hand gay rightist don’t seem to show any revulsion about stuffing their worldview down the throats of others when it comes to upholding their own values to get married and play happy families. But when it comes to the values of those who may view the whole idea of man and woman marriage as an institution thats worth protecting and nourishing, it never ever seems right or even politically sensible to forward the idea – those values I might add are just as important to those who may choose to disagree with gay rightist about their way of life. To put it succinctly in Alice and Wonderland parlance: “Why can you keep the cake and cut it, while I can’t?”

Our inability to speak openly about gayness without coming across backward and intolerant, I believe has played a pivotal role in reinforcing naturalism about gayness along with gay marriages, and thus blunting virtually all attempts at forwarding the conservative cause to keep marriages strictly for men and women only – neither does the idea: gay marriage will not, as you homophobic conservatives Philistines fear, cause the human race to lose our moral bearings and flail around in a cesspit of moral decadence promote understanding on this subject either.

Wonder no more, why these days it’s almost impossible to speak abt gayness.

I suspect one reason why none of us can ever speak intelligently about this whole idea of why gay marriages should never be allowed in Singapore or the virtual – may have something to do with how gay rightist have through the years successfully sold us all the idea being pro-gay is cool and hip, it means you are a renaissance man, a sophiscant, a child of the times someone whose just got it all figured out – you could even say this perceptive shift brought about by the marketing manifesto has begun to move towards that direct in earnest and it wouldn’t surprise me if the whole idea of gayness these days is even closer to a faith accompli, rather than a subject that can lend itself to intelligent conversation – wonder no more, why these days even the same people who may regard the whole idea of upholding family values as a good thing don’t have any qualms about defending gay marriages on the grounds that gays are merely exercising their elemental right to freedom – or that their way of life represents no threat whatsoever to the core values that makes up society .What is seldom discussed at length in this reductive narrative entitled, “how to be kind to gays,” is the idea – that by condoning gay marriages, what we’re doing by default is undermining the whole conception of the nuclear family and of course everything we hold dear.

In truth we have all not been touched by the new age renaissance of enlightenment when we all choose to remain bovine about gay marriages or how it may even threaten the whole idea of broader society – we have all simply lowered our standards of what is right and worth defending.

No. I will not be not attending that gay marriage in the virtual.

Darkness 2011
An excerpt of a conversation captured by an auto-bot somewhere along the corridors of the Imperium in Primus Aldentes Prime – please note the debate on the Union pact will be convened on midnight xxxPrimus Time: 900283432. The senator for the Strangelands, Darkness will debate with the proposer of the bill – the ambassador of the Urusala Kemo. Time allocated for each speak for and against the motion is 30 minutes each / all tickets have been sold out / you can all watch live debate in Ekunaba and the Phi Beta Kappa. This message has been brought to you by the Interspacing Signals Corps – The Brotherhood Press 2011

Singaporedaddy: Darkness why do you have to take such a strong position against the gays?

Darkness: I am not taking a strong position. Not at all Singaporedaddy – all I am doing is defending what I believe in, just as gays I imagine believe they are doing the same.

Singaporedaddy: And where might we find common ground Darkness with the gay community who plays games. The Imperium will have to pass a law to sanctify the whole idea of gay marriages in the virtual. You could even say, its business and if we are to come across as congenial these days, we can’t take a hard line position with the liberals – do try to see reason Darkness.

Darkness: No it is you Singaporedaddy who fail to see reason – if we are to nourish the idea of values, then it pays naught for us to skirt around entertaining compromises. Parlay all you want with those who choose to stop me from speaking when this bill is tabled before the Imperium – speak I will with or without the blessings of the Brotherhood.

Singaporedaddy: Don’t be like that Darkness, this is after all only business.

Darkness: Yes, it is a terrible business.


“No Darkness is not Thio Li An, not by any stretch of the imagination. She was a punctuation, as he remains a whole paragraph. And it pays not for us to take him lightly when he next stands in the Imperium to speak about the passing of this bill. He will not rush into the fray like the others, he will tarry and harry in the fuss gentlemen – there in the universe of Darkness where door knobs, fire extinguishers and blown lightbulbs can be magically transformed into greatness – he will do the same with the whole idea of family values. By the time, he’s had his fill, it surprises me not should he even manage to bring down the house – we would do well to field our best speakers against him.”

Somewhere in the Imperium 9 hours later – captured by an autobot crawler and transmitted by the mineral cruiser KDD Famas – The Brotherhood Press 2011

These are some of my thoughts concerning what should be done but isn’t by the government to integrate an ageing workforce in the modern work place.

Darkness 2011

Do watch this in Ekunaba and Phi Beta Kappa using Holovision for the full video – The Suriman Tales – The Brotherhood Press

I have only fifteen minutes, so let’s dive into the deep end pronto. Why are the trains in the doldrums? Was it as good idea to privatize the trains in the first place? The mini skirt answer is, in an age of budgetary constraints, privatization makes a compelling argument that’s hard set aside. Consider this: if the state owns an inefficient and expensive public service –it makes perfect sense to offload it onto private buyers. For starters the sale piques the interest of the exchequer. And since the private sector is driven primarily by the profit motive everyone it seems benefits: the service improves, the state rids itself of a millstone, investors profit and the state gets a booty from the one time sale.

Makes perfect sense right?

Well not all the time it seems. You can only buy into that logic if you believe privatization resembles penicillin – now don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting ALL state assets would never benefit from privatization. Most do as historical accounts seems to support the contention flabby state owned steel mills, coal mines, car factories et al do benefit dramatically from privatization – but where theory lags behind reality is when privatization is directed to public services. As since they cost more to provide and maintain than they could ever hope to attract in revenue, public services and utilities make pretty lousy business models – for starters (without a single exception) they all seem to suffer from the paradox of capitalism i.e for a public service to remain relevant, it needs to be inefficient. This I understand may stand diametrically opposed to those who are well versed in standard accounting only let us be clear, they also happen to be the same people who are mesmerized by the cult of privatization – but consider this: if the goal of a public service such as trains is to serve efficiently, then why not just convert every station that has the lowest user frequency into a food court cum bumper car ride theme park and keep only the short inner city routes which have the highest frequency of commuters? My point this evening is to highlight succinctly public services are inherently flawed business models that should never be earmarked for privatization in the first instance – not even the French, Swiss, Japanese or for that matter the Americans have been able to accomplish this feat without provoking grief.
The second argument against the privatization of trains is it creates a moral hazard. The only reason that private investors are willing to purchase apparently inefficient public services is because the government stands as the de factor guarantor to eliminate the exposure of the operator from risk (now you understand why whenever price hikes are rolled out that’s really the only time you see ministers preparing speeches, the rest of the time, they are playing Soduku). In the case of the SMRT, for example, the operator were assured that whatever happened they would be protected against serious lost – thereby undermining the classic capitalist case that justifies the intent of privatization i.e that by injecting the profit motive into businesses this can only encourages efficiency. The “hazard” in question is that the operator, under such privileged conditions, will prove at least as inefficient as its public counterpart – since it now suffers from schizophrenia of having to deliver value to private share holders while trying in vain to sustain a business model that cannot possibly turn a profit without the complicity of the state to help it push through price hikes –end result: private services are usually no better than what they used to be when they were run by the state.

And last but not least and perhaps the strongest case that militates against any attempt to privatize public services is they simply cannot be left to the vagaries of the market without running the risk of deterioration. Public services are inherently the sort of activity that someone has to regulate. When the state privatizes a public service by default it embarks on a process of eviscerating its responsibilities to a taxpaying public by outsourcing what should and can only be performed by government – the case of this is best illustrated when the US government strained by crippling defense cuts and budgetary constrains outsourced many of its security functions to private enterprises such as Blackwater – what transpired thereafter hardly requires any elaboration to the perceptive reader, in short the public standing of government diminishes – as whenever things go wrong; not only is the government caught in a bind where it should not intervene too forcefully for fear diluting the independence of private agencies – but even if they plumb to do nothing, then overtime public perception will reach such as crescendo that it can only discredit the state and create a cachet of disgruntled taxpayers who believe the government should do more besides divesting themselves of all responsibilities in the way camphor gives itself to the atmosphere only to disappear into oblivion.

Wonder no more why we are such a bind.

Darkness 2011


“Yes, after the cho cho train blues. We know that they are not very good at communication. I think this is a limitation that we need to take very seriously and even factor into the worst case scenario, if we decide to go into nuclear power. We should built in the grounds of the istana. That way when the PM starts growing another head and glowing like a light bulb, then all of us will know that its time to pack our bags and head for the hills.”

Darkness 2011

Conversation captured in a thread in Ekunaba recently – The Brotherhood Press 2011

The trains have suddenly lost their luster – once the jewel in the crown of Singapore and a symbol of cool efficiency, dependability and quality assurance – it has been transformed overnight into a rickety bone shaker, the very source of a nations anxieties. Yet what remains curious to me is how so much of our revulsion concerning our trains has been directed to the imaginary sins (or maybe they are real? This is definitely a case for agent Mulder and Scully) we associate with everything that is wrong with the PAP. The timing of this twist of logic is no surprise; never before in the history of Singapore or for that matter any nation has such complex technology such as the trains occupied a central place in the economy, to say nothing of daily life. You could even say trains these days aren’t trains as they remain very much the alter ego of the ruling party, when trains hum along happily, the ruling party is sweet. And since so much of daily life has been touched by the whole idea of an all pervasive government – none of us ever seem to attribute the reliability of our trains to science – coming to think of it, neither do we associate life expectancy increases every year to science either as much as we do the whole idea of state planning. And this should prompt us to press the pause button and ask: how did the whole idea of the PAP become so enmeshed with the idea of trains? Granted, the PAP has rammed up the population and this may have even strained the sinews of public services. But this still doesn’t quite supply the answer – why do we blame the government when things go bump in the night?

One obvious reason is that, hardly anybody in Singapore these days can distinguish where the line between government and the icons of a progressive society begins or for that matter ends. For too many Singaporeans, the very idea that we can somehow gut out let’s say, the whole idea of government from water supply, air quality, deadly dengue mossies, airlines to running trains on time is simply inconceivable. You could even say, it would be something alien and abstract to believe that hospitals, water treatment plants and trains can somehow run as well as they do without the deft hand of government holding the levers of power – part and parcel of that misplaced belief has to lie with how the government has through the years fashioned its persona by leveraging on the success of these progressive icons e.g marina bay barrage, integrated resorts, SMRT etc to flesh out its alter ego of dependability, reliability and assurance of quality – at every turn and opportunity, the government has not only been quick to garner credit for everything that hums happily in Singapore from bus bollards that can stop blind aunties ploughing their SUV’s into to perhaps the idea when you turn on the tap for a drink of water without having to bear the taste of death. Worst of all it has even perpetuated the myth of infallibility to ridiculous heights by paying themselves sky high salaries that suggest perhaps these people have some deserving arcanum.

One might even conclude this may be one reason why it’s virtually impossible for the ranks of the general public not to feel an acute sense of disenchantment with the PAP when something goes terribly awry. As since the PAP has through the years cloaked the world in mystery by selling its mumbo jumbo of the cult of infallibility and promoting its appellation of the best in the world – this really can only work, if things don’t go bump in the night – but as the seers would often say, the fall from grace comes with pride – and when that day comes, is it so unusual for all of us to suddenly find the whole idea of relying on a select few to deliver the good life suddenly so threatening than enchanting?

Darkness 2011
“For 3,000, the Guilds have sold the idea to the entire gaming community, that only the Brotherhood have the ability to fold space – the black of arts of travelling without moving – the ability to transverse the infinity of space in one leap and bound. For 3,000, we have instilled the cinder of fear into every single race, creed and community in the outliers that without us, they will all be marooned like flecks of space dust. For 3,000, the Guilds have adulterated the good name of the Brotherhood by embellishing themselves with all sorts of mumbo jumbo, including I might add, the idea that they are somehow superior than the rest of us by forwarding us all the claptrap, only they and they alone can see the world clearest – and now that humpty dumpty is smashed beyond all prospects of economic repair – the whole universe sees us for what we really are, a bunch of shambolic mumblers whose levers of power are connected to absolutely nothing.“

“Speaker, the right honorable gentlemen of the Strangelands is out of line!”

“Good Sir I urge you to sit down before you fall down. I have not finished! Mr Speaker, I hereby table a motion before the Imperium to put an end to this sham – the motion that stands before this house is to put an end to the reign of the guilds once and for all and usher in the age of reason – it will be a brave new world gentlemen, one that may even see us sharing power – but one that I see no prospects of denying this if we are to continue to exert our influence over the affairs of the universe!”

Speech given by Darkness in the Imperium in the Age of Reason – under the Chapter: “The Age of Ignorance” – recorded in Hansard Page: 9,028 / The Book of Ages – The Brotherhood Press 2005

I’ve reached my 1,000th post. You know what? Big deal, one reason for my ambivalence has a lot to do the idea: I happen to believe blogging just happens to be incredibly overrated. I am not saying it’s a useless pastime. I am sure that’s what our government would like us all to believe: it’s nothing more than an indolent pastime reserved for people who can’t seem to hack it in the real world. I am not totally convinced blogging is as useless as it’s so often made out to be by the state run media. Any activity that requires you to discipline the mind: work through ideas, structure your thoughts, shape them with the power of words has to add rather than subtract from the whole idea of character building – only I wouldn’t go as far as to say that blogging has changed my life (not that I want it too). Or that it even defines me, as a person. If anything blogging is just one of many ways for me to touch base with really interesting people who may not really think they are that interesting, but nonetheless are still incredibly interesting who I would otherwise never have had the privilege to get to know better (coming to think of it never want to met, such as the erudite ladies of the Siglap read club who regularly send me threats to slash my tires along with other unmentionable body parts). In the final analysis, I still believe in making real physical connections – as forming real connections is really the basis of real growth. It’s really the point where the rubber meets the road along with the dispelling many of the myths and gaga ideas that you may harbor concerning someone who you find really interesting – the idea that you’re really not so different from them – that’s really the point when things take off, when you sit down and have a real conversation with someone who may perhaps even allow you the opportunity of seeing the world in a slightly different way.

In this year of blogging alone, I’ve touched base with so many interesting people – Dr Francoise, who shared her mind blowing tissue culture research thesis on how to develop better ways to solve the intractable problems of how to feed a hungry world in the age of resource scarcity – Dr JT, who was kind enough to include me in his metabacker read list on gradient management to better manage rain run off’s to augment water logging – Prof Kondoh, who not only made it possible for me to conduct leaf sampling on the cheap by allowing me to hog his expensive gas chromatography machine, but also used the entire resources of his faculty to assist me in conducting a simulation study on how best to solve flooding on my land. Missletoe, who shared with me the wisdom of making the pilgrimage back to chemical film by posting me shots she takes everyday with her LOMO on her way to school – Mr Kobayashi from Nikon who not only gave out prototypes like drinks coasters, but was even kind enough to put up with my constant whining. Dr Uime, from Toyota Motors whose always just kind enough to put up with my many incredulous 4X4 modifications. Uncle Ho, who regularly visits me with his daughter Melissa to share his culinary paramours and love of wine and last but not least Jared, who visited by plantation with his wife and three year old son and even invited me to fly over from France to stay as long as I wanted in their vineyard and raid their cellar.

On the behalf of the Brotherhood Press, I would like to thank all of you wonderful people for making 2011 one of my best blogging years.

Whoever said blogging was boring?



The Eve of the Ascension Wars somewhere in the Carpathian Plains in the Planet D’ni

“Who are you people? Why have you landed in our planet with so many spaceships?”

“We are the Brotherhood. We come in the name of peace.”

“What is your business here?”

“We have come to warn you that when the sunrises tomorrow, you planet will be destroyed by the invading Aryanian army – now get into our cruisers, we do not have time for small talk!”

“But we don’t know you.”

“We know you and that is enough. The rest will reveal itself when we sit down for a cuppa. Now we really do not have much time, If you and your race want to live follow us now.”

” The prophecy is true, the prophecy is true!”

Recorded by the chronicler of the Brotherhood in the Book of Ages under the Chapter – the eves of the great war – 2001


December 19, 2011

Creativity is just about making really simple connections. Whenever people ask me about my patents and how they actually came out from my brain. I always feel slightly embarrassed because in truth, I didn’t really put in the effort, they imagined. In truth, it just came right out – but if I had to really think about the process, then it would be darn hard to pin point that exact eureka moment – because it comes from having so many conversations, experiences or just having read something in the barber’s shop. I know this the answer that most people aren’t really looking for – as what they probably imagine is some blinding light followed by a crescendo of music and angels fluttering around whenever something new comes into the world; but that’s really not how it is with me. I’ve always been curious – when I was a kid, I remembered stripping a radio set right down to its chassis and putting it back again. Because a neighbor had told me little men lived in the box. In middle school, I was really interested in rockets and I made one with my neighbor Homer, that was eventually confiscated by the police – it seems we had broken some law and I remembered getting really angry because all I really wanted to do was to put my camera into the nose and blast it off just to take a few pictures. Then there was this time, just after university when everyone was really focused on getting a job – there I was with my newly minted degree, but it didn’t seem that much of a big deal to me – instead I decided to take my bike to see France – when I reached there, I said to myself, now that I’ve seen France, maybe, I should pop down to Italy – I did that, and after that Poland. But one day when I had resigned myself to return back home – I found myself staring out into the vast expanse of Russia. I can still remember that feeling that coursed through my veins that evening. Somewhere nestled in that vastness, I reasoned mystery was furiously at work – maybe it was the breeze, maybe the sweet hum of the cylinders between my legs – or maybe, I just had a full tank of gas – I said what the hell, since I am here. I might as well see Russia. So I winged it. Russia changed everything for me – not only did it change my outlook profoundly, but it also made me very comfortable with the idea of desolation and loneliness. After my Russian trip by bike, I returned back home and got a job. But it was never the same again. I realized somewhere deep within me an imperceptible shift had begun, may have been ever so slight, but nonetheless it changed many things in my life thereafter. During that period, I would usually hang out all by myself and that was when I began to notice others such as myself.
I would often see these men, they all had that same look in their faces – a mix of resignation and what I can only describe as an indescribable despair that comes from having led a life of compromises– usually we would stop and look at each other like two stray cats – transfixed, each cocooned in their own thoughts – it’s a vampire thing Eva, either you can sense it or you can’t and if you can’t then there is really no point in trying to explain it – but there was definitely something primal that passed between us that goes beyond the whole idea of just casual friendship. A sort of tacit understanding – OMG! There are actually people like me! I am not so weird after all. As the years passed Eva, I found more and more of these lost souls, in darkened basement Kendo halls, deserted mountain biking trails, in the desolation of the high seas, the foot of cold mountains. That was when I discovered the Brotherhood Eva. Or should I say, they discovered me.

Darkness 2011


The Suriman Tales – The Brotherhood Press 2011

Believe it or not, I actually feel sad that the dear leader has passed on. I can’t recall a world leader who has made me laugh so much through the years, except perhaps our entire elite cabinet. Our politicians regularly claim to be so stable, efficient and level headed, I may just take up the offer of using them as a side table to put my tiger beer and nuts on whenever I watch a football game on telly. North Koreans IMHO are just highly misunderstood people – if the truth be known, they must all have a great sense of humor. It’s the only country I know that regularly features “no smoking” signs all over public buildings. But since the dear leader loves to smoke, it is not unusual to see two oversized ashtrays beneath these warnings. The only country where five star hotels literally means you will probably see five stars or more since ceiling fans regularly drop on the heads of guest. The only country where if you hear “knock, knock” that’s not the cue to ask “whose there?” Because it simply means, a North Korean Auntie is hammering your head for taking authorized pictures. The only country I know that has managed to put to shame l’ecole de cordon blue by being able to serve up culinary delights such as tree bark congee and mud cake souffle. The only regime on this planet that regularly manages to thumb its nose at the powers that be, by regularly making fools of superpowers – when Obama was asked recently what US foreign policy should be towards North Korea, he suggested: we should all be patient with and use diplomacy and not rush into any kind of military actions. You know what that means of course in diplomatic parlance? There is no oil over there. Thanks for the fish Mr Kim, so long and have a nice journey.

Dictators never ever die, they just run out of jokes to tell.

Darkness 2011

A secret conversation between the guilds somewhere in the temple of reason located in Primus Aldentes Prime.

Vollaraine: “His father was not a gamer, but the son is. He’s an addict.”

Singaporedaddy: “You don’t say. Mmmmh, we live in interesting time it seems.”

Vollaraine: “Can we send a wreath or something to break the ice?”

Singaporedaddy: “Why don’t we just send Darkness to knock on the door?”

Vollaraine: “Tell me something Singaporedaddy, is it possible to grow oil palm in North Korea?”

Singaporedaddy: “Anything is possible Councillor when you work for the circus.”

Eva: You’re being silly Darkness.

Darkness: Excuse me! Did you know when the Titanic was taking half the Atlantic ocean. A string quartet played Mendelssohn on deck to calm nervous passengers?

Eva: But they were good. Alright then, go lug your violin with you whenever you hop on the trains – coming to think of it, I can’t imagine a more civilized way to break tempered glass.

Darkness: Don’t get personal with me, have you know young lady the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie once offered me a chair to play with them.

Eva: Maybe they were just being kind. Maybe they wanted to test their new electric chair.

Darkness: What did you say bitch?

Eva: Nothing.

The Suriman Tales – The Brotherhood Press 2011


One evening somewhere along the quiet Easterm front of the Sardonyx trenchlines during the Ascension Wars – recorded by the Chronicler of the Brotherhood Press.

“Who is playing that violin?”

“The men say it is the devil himself. Sire, he lives in the internet, it seems.”

Recorded by the Chronicler of the Brotherhood – 2001

10. A dog’s parents will never visit you.

9. A dog loves you when you leave your clothes on the floor.

8. A dog limits its time in the bathroom to a quick drink.

7. A dog never expects you to telephone.

6. A dog will not get mad at you if you forget its birthday.

5. A dog does not care about the previous dogs in your life.

4. A dog does not get mad at you if you pet another dog.

3. A dog never expects flowers on Valentine’s Day.

2. The later you are, the happier a dog is to see you.

1. A dog does not shop.

The Suriman Tales – The Brotherhood Press 2011