Lost in time

March 15, 2016

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The terror of beauty

March 12, 2016

Is a beautiful woman terrifying? Or is the weapon of her beauty that is terrifying? Neither…just as some flowers can really only be nothing but beautiful while others remain plain…the beautiful woman is just being herself – she is not radiating invisible death rays….don’t worry…you are safe.

But not completely safe…..

As what supplies the element of terror that weaponizes this woman’s beauty is the sense of terminal estrangement from beauty itself that assaults the observer when he or she comes before this object of desire….there is an awful finality here…Faustian irony even ...an end point that leaves absolutely no shadow of doubt that one is completely divorced from beauty and that state of exile from beauty is what usually causes pain to people without them even realizing it.

As what so often occurs whenever we discuss beauty is NOT only LOVE alone…BUT it’s the anti thesis as well – HATE….and how this interplay between love and hate is really what gives beauty it’s power to both terrify and enthrall. They are really both one of the same reality.

Is a powerful man seen as beautiful as well? Of course he is – for lack of better word – he’s the exact mirror image of the beautiful woman described above….but again he’s not radiating death rays either. He’s just being himself….but never be fooled as by just the mere act of breathing and being there….as a powerful man, this man is already terrorizing other men. Not too difficult to understand, when one considers there may well be plenty of powerless humpback’s like me in the crowd…one would not be conscious of manhood if one didn’t feel the terror of this powerful man. Again love and hate and possibly ego is at play here….so now you have a trilogy of leitmotifs.

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‘There used to be a time not so very long ago whenever I came across a beautiful flower in the jungle. I would pluck it and put it in vase. These days, I no longer do that – Instead I much prefer to sit quietly beside this flower and simply watch it…the difference is very subtle.

As the first act is motivated by possessing, owning and taking control – while the other is a much more mature act that involves appreciating a thing for what it is….and letting go of that other nonsense.

To me this is a form of mental exercise…to tune my mind in the same way a man trues a wheel so that it can turn without wobbling…..and if you take a look around you…many minds are wobbling needlessly.

As the lack of understanding between desire and fulfillment is I believe the root cause of why so many men and women so often get themselves worked up unnecessarily into a state of anxiety, fear and insecurity – when a woman comes across a beautiful woman, she is suddenly conscious of herself…she may say, I am not self conscious. But don’t believe her! Don’t! Observe her body language and you will see that nine out of ten…I am right – the beauty of that other girl is attacking her like the sun stripping off paint from a building at mid day – the same psychology afflicts men as well, when they come across a more successful, handsome and confident person who seems to possess something they covet…again they become self conscious and they begin to do stupid things to slake their own insecurity by either bad mouthing or dragging his name thru mud just to liberate themselves from their own insecurity – to put it another way, all these are symptoms of a mind that is so immature that it doesn’t know the subtle difference between possessing and appreciating….hence the suffering goes on!

But if one is able to see clearly how so often our own mind conspires against us STOP us from seeing others in the way we wish to be seen and regarded…if we remain mindful of how it so often entraps us by making us feel unnecessarily insecure and anxious to nourish only our childlike ego. Then I think we can free ourselves from a lot of nonsense and just focus on what’s really worth appreciating in others.

When a man can do this, he will no longer feel jealousy, small, envious or suffer the feeling of being exiled from beauty….he will suddenly realize…these are childish things…..instead he will learn to appreciate the many beautiful qualities in that other man and even consider emulating them to be a better himself and this is how he grows. The same goes for women as well – they will be less bitchy and catty to each other and do just like men who can think and behave intelligently.

Above all when a man and woman can do all this, his and her eyes will be open for the very first time!’

The sinless man

March 12, 2016

Do not be unduly taken in by the pejorative terms holy people like to regularly use on those who may not want anything to do with their faith – ‘non believer’ ‘free thinker’ etc etc

As to say that one does NOT believe in the idea of a God is NOT the same as saying….one believes in absolutely nothing. There is another possibility….that is to say one believes in the idea far more significant than God itself!

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‘A sin is just a mistake. And a mistake is just a sin. Both words can be used interchangeably in my considered opinion – so when a man says, he has never sinned before, what he is actually saying is he doesn’t make any mistakes….and my suggestion is to run away as fast as your legs can take you away from this man. Because the only reliable way for man to learn and improve himself is by making mistakes and learning not to make the same mistake again….so when a man says he is sinless….it simply means he has learnt absolutely nothing at all in his lifetime….his memory bank is zero!

I can think of no man who is more dangerous than a man who is sinless…..it is an accident waiting to happen!’

Life has a habit of……

March 11, 2016

Repeating itself mindlessly….unless one makes the conscious effort to be mindful…..life has a habit of repeating itself mindlessly.

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‘I am sure all of you have heard. The sad story of the man who returns from the hunt, only to find his baby’s room in a mess -with the cradle turned upside down and standing right in the middle of this chaos, his dog covered from head to toe in blood….believing the dog has killed his baby…the man draws his sword in a fit of rage and kills the beast…only to discover much later to his horror….the unharmed baby beside a dead cobra in one corner of the room.

Recently in the village a scandal is brewing. For weeks I watched it unfurl like maggots eating into flesh – it involves a respectable man who is seen in the company of a disreputable woman under the following circumstances – his car is always seen usually parked on moonless nights directly outside where this woman stays – in a rented room above a Chinese provision shop. Before day break the man emerges carrying a bag from the premises and resumes his life of respectability….one can certainly draw many conclusions from this. Yes….it certainly looks very bad.

When someone asked me what I thought about all this. I told them all – it’s really none of my bloody business what a man decides to do with his pecker.

But since the scandal is really getting quite out of the hand and besides I happen to know this fellow is as straight as an arrow and believe that if the facts are not suitably set straight for the record, it would certainly bring grief to his wife and children…I decided to share with all of these villagers my own observations.

Firstly I drew all the villagers attention to the architectural detailing that the shop lot where the lady of the night resides is the only building in the whole village which has a flat concrete roof that is accessible via the common stairways.

I told them all, the reason why this man goes there at night, has nothing whatsoever to do with fornication. Rather it has everything to do with his on going fascination with astronomy.

Hence he only goes there during moonless nights not because darkness offers him the best opportunity to cover his tracks.

Rather that’s when stars are clearest and brightest and this allows him to capture still photos thru his hobbyist telescope…..thereafter everyone exclaimed. ‘Oh….I see!’

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Big foot’s leg

March 10, 2016

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It was healing well. But suddenly it turned…now it’s in a very bad state…she can hardly move. We are too far from civilization – I will need to saw it off tomorrow.

I plan to make big foot a big mutton meal lashed with loads of cheap whisky to knock her out – there after her leg really has to go…it is what it is…gangrene.

As I predicted the haze has returned in earnest – fires are raging in Kalimantan and by the looks of it…Riau will be engulfed in flames as well…and once again all attempts to contain this inferno will fail.

That is a mathematical reality.

Where I am located, the weather has been very erratic and continues to defy all attempts of accurate weather prediction – it’s all been a strain on me…..like flying blind in thick soup!

My last manuring was on the 24th Feb / where I chose to broadcast only potassium in the form of Muriate of potash / even then I had to be very scientific in the dosage of broadcasting fertilizer, at selected areas the quantity ranged between 1kg to 2.5kg – all this had to be done to take stock of lack of precipitation.

Since then 13 days have passed – fortunately the very night fertilizer was broadcasted – it rained. Judging from what remained around the palms – it was a decent rain about 80% of the fertilizer had permeated the top soil. Thereafter, there was no rain for 11 straight days – on the 12 day, we had another round of very good rains…so it seems, my strategy has paid off handsomely…as I have read the weather spot on this time!

But lately, I am not so sure that my luck will hold out – the rain clouds are way too high this time round…they’ve been lifted to the stratosphere by the unusually hot weather that has amplified the thermal effect – that means, they are unlikely to break water along the mountain ranges….they will go over the top and rain will fall elsewhere…..it is likely to remain hot and very dry here!

Should I risk it and go for another round of manuring?

I don’t have the confidence this time round to roll the dice. I don’t know why….could well be the accumulated fatigue of playing so many rounds of sudden death with Mother Nature this and last year….or maybe I just feel something amiss deep in the marrow of my bones….like some premonition of impending doom. The haze has returned earlier than usual this year – this means the monsoon has been cut short prematurely or the winds have shifted again – and with the onset of the haze and El Niño effect schedule to last till mid June…..all this will just conspire to make my life more difficult this year.

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‘When you go thru a rough patch. Don’t wallow. By this I mean – don’t allow it to consume you like quick sand till you lose all of yourself in this depressing black hole. Often when I am down. I take nourishment from the aphorism – while pain may well be inevitable…suffering is certainly optional with wisdom.

I can understand if man really only wants to run away from pain as fast as his legs can take him – I can understand!

But that is only because that sort response to pain is an acquired taste – an attitude brought about by social scripting and conditioning – what I believe is seldom ever discussed is how ONLY in pain and struggle can a man gain maturity, depth of character and wisdom….as pain is a very knowledgable teacher – for one, it forces one to look inwards for answers to many of our questions that vex us no end…the very nature of pain compels us all into a state where we find ourselves marooned in our own skulls. Where often we have no other choice but to pick up the pieces and somehow find the courage to create that psycho emotional confidence to best manage the crushing pressure of loneliness….abandonment and battling the idea of estrangement – no one can possibly understand what they have to go thru….and all that can only layer a man and make him a whole and complete person.

This is why if you notice people who have had it easy all their life – find it almost impossible to empathize and seek emotional oneness with the pain and suffering of others….observe very carefully…many of these people are emotionally stunted…..and that to me is only to expected, as since they are so distanced from the whole idea of loss, struggle and loneliness – it’s simply an abstraction to them….another country…. well beyond their scope of imagination. So their attitude towards those who are experiencing suffering can really only always be callous, distant and very indifferent.

It can be nothing else except this! Something cannot come out from nothing!

And that is just another way of saying these people who have it easy have not cultivated depth of character or for that matter experienced the full range of emotional hemispheres to know a thing for what it is.

I once came across a bankrupt who wandered my lands in contemplation of ending it all – only for me to see him one day standing at a promontory preparing himself for the final jump….I told this fellow, if he jumped from there, he would not die as it is not high enough and I suggested he walk with me to a better location to end it all.

During our long walk, the man shared with me, his wife had run off with another man. As he had failed in his business…my response……good riddance to rubbish! Better she leaves you now than latter. As you are still young and I am sure you can find a V.2 soulmate who is new and improved and offers ten times more home entertainment value!

Then he turned to me and lamented, ‘all my friends have abandoned me…they don’t even pick up my calls…I have no more face.’ Again I told this man….good riddance to rubbish again!

At least now you know who your real friends and just good for nothing blood sucking hanger on’s are!

As for your preoccupation with face…that is your ego talking! It’s not you…now that your ego is shattered…there can be no illusions…only reality and that in my opinion is not such a bad thing! I went on share with this man, I have trying to get a handle on my ego for years in vain and even envied him!

After that he complained that he had lost everything…all his worldly fortunes…to which I said to him, do you have stage three liver cancer? Has the doctor given you only two months to live? Is your name in Interpol’s most wanted list? Do you have to worry constantly every night when you go to bed whether black hawk helicopters will swoop down your yard and commandos with no necks will rappel down to kill you!…No! So what you are going thru is just a minor set back…to put it another way, it’s a process of education that every businessman should go thru at least once in his lifetime…..as only by going thru this cauldron of pain can one gain humility and further understanding to many of the things that make up a real and complete man.

I even shared with this man – my absolute and firm belief, Harvard Business School should seriously encourage their students to experience bankruptcy at least once in their career – as that experience remains the most reliable way for a man to gain knowledge on how to manage himself and others better ….when we finally reached the spot. The man told me, ‘I no longer want to die any more!’ Naturally I feigned disappointment and frustration….as I wanted to be very sure he would come here any longer.

Many years later after the man had squared off his debts, remarried and started a new and successful enterprise…he told me what I once shared with him was indeed one of the greatest truths in this universe. As he had learnt so much from this ‘set back’ once he put the effort to try to see all his problems in the correct scale and perspective and that it has completely transformed his whole outlook in life, so much so that today he is a wiser, far more patient and caring human being…..always remember while it’s certainly true for one to live in this world…pain may well be unavoidable….but with wisdom …suffering is always optional.’

Weaving evil spells

March 9, 2016

Today a man came to me and lamented….my household is in disarray. No one gets along…they are always fighting. The same holds true for my business. No one gets along as well….they are always fighting.

The man pleaded for my response…I simply told him, I encourage you to weave good instead of evil spells. Do this!… and you will see that they will all soon get along and all the fighting will stop.

We are our own Gods…we can make our life on this planet heaven or hell….it’s all in our hands!…it’s always been right the palm of our hands!

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‘When we speak bad of others behind their back. All we are really doing is reinforcing a negative image….casting it in stone. To put it another way, all we are indulging in is weaving an evil spell. Even if you don’t believe in black magic. You cannot deny when this is done regularly with zeal – the end is exactly the same.

That is what is so tragic about it!

As what the human mind can conceive and believe in, it will fashion into reality and sadly it becomes the only reality….so when siblings fight, disrespect and mistrust each other in a family, the root cause can usually be found in the head of the household who usually has nothing good to say about any of his children…observe this….look and you will see…he will go to child A and tell him quite openly that his brother or sister is like this or that and so on and so forth…and by merely the act of thinking aloud…doing this alone, this conceited man becomes the God of schism who sows the seeds of discord – the same holds true for businesses as well….I have seen this time and again…… if the employees of a firm are always at each other necks all the time and the work setting is riven with constant intrigue and politics to such an extent none of them can even set aside their differences to work together – usually it’s because the CEO has been talking bad about one employee in front of another and in this way…again he has fashioned himself as the God of schism and division!

That is why I always tell others who are genuinely serious about seeking relief from worldly suffering – where possible ALWAYS strive to always see the good in others.

Seek out their positive points rather than their faults!

This way instead of weaving evil spells that can only come back and bite us in the ass in one hundred and one ways. We will receive a multitude of blessings …for example I have a harvester who does not seem very smart. At times when I say to him, I will see you at three tomorrow, he will appear at my gate at three in the morning (even my Doberman’s all pengsan as they look on dumbfounded) only for this man to ask of me, ‘farmer why have you asked me to come at this unearthly hour…do we need to bury a dead body?’ Only for me to have to tell this man – Go back to bed! I mean three in the afternoon!

On another occasion he stupidly tried to check for a gas leak with a lighted match and nearly blew both of us up! I had no eyebrows for nearly six months and had to resort to using a black marker to fill in the blanks.

And on another occasion I was electrocuted for a full five minutes (that could well explain why I write about the things I do in this blog) – as he wired the lights the other way around despite giving him clear instructions.

But despite the many faults of this worker. He has a very good character – he is very honest and loyal….and so those characteristics about this man erases all his other faults and the nett result is a very good employee.

On another occasion when a friend who I knew only casually got to know my circle of friends – he commented…your friends they are all so weird ! I sat this fellow down in one corner and told him – you can say my friends are unique…you might perhaps even reconsider them as unconventional. But when you choose to describe them as weird in such a casual manner – I want you to understand, that is a very strong judgment word that has negative connotations concerning the faculties of an individual and if you keep on holding only to this word in your head – then I can almost guarantee you, it will cut off all the rest of the fields of possibilities as to how you may eventually see them – you will come to an end point, where you can only see them all as nothing but weird – this chap thought long and hard about what I said and latter on after a period of deep reflection followed by observation, he drew the conclusion…I think your fiends all have many good and positive qualities that I can emulate to be a better person….as I notice all of them seem to have a very unique and personalized way of seeing the world…they are all not afraid to express themselves in their own unique way..and since they all seem to be doing exceptionally well in life, maybe I was wrong in my judgement….I think they are all very interesting people who I want to get to know better.

Do you see how we fashion our own reality from the way we choose to see others…that is why where possible weave only good and not evil spells!’

The Sultan of Style

March 8, 2016

Who is the most well dressed man in the whole wide world? Is he an Englishman? Nope. Might he be a French gentleman? Non. I have given the matter considerable effort of deep reflection thru the years – in my studied opinion it is none other than this sartorially splendid gentleman who I have great pleasure in introducing to all of you.

http://kingofdhaka.com

Learn only from the best in the world!

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‘When it comes to personal grooming, dress IQ and style…I am fully conscious of my limits. I can perhaps take you to maybe level 6…but no higher. Further than that and we all be wearing oxygen mask and space suits.

Like I said I know where it all begins and ends for me…and I am not in the habit of pretending to be someone who I am not – what I can do….I tell you I can do…what I cannot do…I will do likewise and tell you as well.

Having said that I do know of a blog that can open many doors for you in your education to strive to be a real gentleman.

The Sultan of style’s arcanum on gentleman’s fashion goes beyond the superficial knowledge that I possess concerning the art of how to dress, behave and come across as a gentleman….nothing comes close to the sultan of style in terms of consistency, depth and range of knowledge which he shares in the many photos of his daily dress ensemble.

Please take the trouble to study very carefully and meticulously the detailing of how to put together a world class ensemble.

To the best of my knowledge, no one in this whole world can even come near to this gentleman – in terms of impeccable taste, sheer breadth and range of styling métier, appreciation of tailoring detailing and the rituals of how to dress and come across like a perfect gentleman.

Many world leaders, presidents, prime ministers, head of states along with captains of industry regularly visit the Sultan of style’s blog to share his rare pearls of wisdom on how to dress and behave like a gentleman.

He is a real gentleman…the real Mc Coy…the diamond standard, not someone like me who is still stuck at level 6 and going round and round…so please keep this information to yourself and never divulge this to others unless you know them well.

There is no spectacle that is more appealing on the face of this planet, than a man in the act of cooking.

This man is exuding pure 100% masculinity in this one act alone – it is not the saccharine eu de cologne variety of manly charisma….where it may be bright in the beginning only to lose it’s fragrance and mystery in just a while followed by boredom.

The attraction here is the heady exotic parfum variety that will make ANY woman weak kneed and lose her bearings – multi layered, concentrated and complex – with endless hues of lasting nuances that just go right on into the night.

As when a man can cook….it says so much about what he stands for….independence…autonomy….fastidiousness…attention to detail….sensitivity…..selfreliance…..creativity….panache….adapability…organizational skills….a steady disposition on how he manages his time and opportunity cost. His entire ethos and philosophy of what it means to be a man is expressed in this one act alone.

That is why when the serious men of this world see another man who can cook – they will look at each other and nod approvingly with that cosy inderism pride….yes, he is certainly one of us…we seem to share the same values and beliefs.

I strongly recommend you put this at the very top of your job application….as this put you on the top drawer category of men – what is your hobby? Cooking!

If you experience difficulty in finding long and lasting relationships…again invite that special person for a dinner where you will cook specially for her.

Beats mountain biking to mountaineering any day in the sexiness quotient scale.

I can almost guarantee it!

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‘A gentleman must absolutely learn how to cook. As when one does not know how to cook. One can only end up fat, dumpy and ugly…and when that happens…nothing can ever look spiffy on you..Givenchy, Kenzo, Zegna et al…they all cannot save you….all the white flags have gone up in Milan, Paris, Tokyo, London etc etc… it’s not realistic…as no matter what you put on when you are Rolly Polly…..even if it’s bespoke and crafted from the best materials, it can never avail Humpty Dumpty from being just Humpty Dumpty.

I am so sorry to share with you the brutal facts of life. I hope my tongue was not to sharp. But try to understand where I am coming from…..I am genuinely serious about your well being! However, one must understand realities. As even if Michelangelo is denied fine Italian marble and only able to work with clay – he will just be a great flower pot artisan.

That is because in my opinion – food that is regularly consume ‘outside’ is whipped up with the cheapest and often most harmful ingredients known to mankind….it can only make you fat! – thanks to the profit motive the lousiest produce is regularly passed off as good and wholesome chow.

For example. Many people have boasted to me..they are very healthy…as they are vegetarians.

But when I ask of them, do you know how much herbicide is used to grow leafy vegetables? Do you even know of the safety apparatus one has to wear to dispense these dangerous chemicals. And what of the cooks who regularly prepare this veggie dishes – have they even bothered washing and cleaning the bok chow, carrots and cauliflower thoroughly before it’s chucked into the wok? Do you think they even bother? Or care?

How do I know these things?

I put myself thru university as a cook in commercial kitchens….I speak in the capacity of a subject matter expert who has inner circle insights – so I can assure you all…eating out is always a risky proposition. As since one cannot really be assured of the quality of produce that goes into whipping up that dish even if it all taste wonderful….one can only end up fat. Besides I can cook better than most of what is served outside.

That is why if you observe very carefully – people who eat out are ALL fat and ALL of them experience great difficulty in managing their weight….one month they look slim…the next they look like Jabba the Hut…and it goes on and on like transformer. And they are always struggling…always fighting a losing the battle against the bulge.

But if a gentleman learns to cook. Then he can assured the best ingredients – the best oils, meat and veggies. They will all be lovingly processed with the utmost care and attention to detail….and it will all show in his excellent shape and form when he slips into his Weston’s and wears his suit….it is 5% only body fat….the 007 gold standard. Even if the gentleman is wearing a gunny sack from NTUC, he will look bespoke lah!

As it’s quite impossible to go out of shape when only good stuff goes into your body all the time….and the best part is you can eat a lot without ever going fat.

The best part is the gentleman is able to save money to start his own business and make better use of his time. As contrary to urban legend eating out doesn’t save you time or money…..not at all – it only seems that way – as when one can cook, a man doesn’t have to deal with the complications of cracking his brain where to eat, driving out, searching for car park, jostling the crowd, standing in line, waiting for food, worrying whether food court king rat drowned in the soup pot etc etc….I used to prepare my own lunch box everyday and chow in the office, it saved me so much money and I always had a surplus of time. In my current workplace – I do the same….life just becomes very simple and beautiful and very organized, when a man knows how to cook….and don’t worry I hold your hand and guide you into this valuable life skill!’

Today while cycling. I came across a farmer who is always accompanied by his Down syndrome kid whenever he works his lands. We were talking about other things. Mid way into the conversation, this farmer intimated to me something very private…he told me, I do not know why God has cursed me with this half wit child.

I asked him. Who said you are cursed? The sad man replied, everyone…..everyone….everyone says so…..they say my karma is lousy….others say, I must have done something very wrong to be punished in this life in such a terrible way.

I told the very sad man, please try not to see it as a curse…..and I told him quite frankly, the only curse that has befallen you – is….you listen and believe these people whose tongues are like knives. These are the most dangerous category of holy folk as since they regularly embellish holy scriptures to inflict suffering on others – they are truly the living personification of the devil himself.

At least the devil has the courtesy to wear horns and doesn’t bother with the business of hiding his tail! But these conceited folk who hide behind the patina of goodness while they throw out sharp knives…..they are one million times worse than the devil reincarnate…as such malevolent and evil people can only turn your entire world upside down and give you endless grief!

Truth is – your child is a great guru (teacher). He is the skeleton key that will enable you to open the magic door to wisdom and a higher plane of human consciousness – he will teach you the value of patience, open mindedness and how to be more forgiving to the faults of others and this I am sure will enable you to bless the rest of humanity….the beneficiaries will be your wife, children, relatives and friends. So please try to see this as an opportunity to live a purpose driven life…..I went on stress to this man…while it may seem pain is inevitable, but with wisdom suffering is definitely optional – as for other people who have it easy…they never once saw the need to cultivate these noble qualities and so they are really a curse to all humanity. As by just the mere act of living and breathing…they are a source of constant grief to mankind. That is why the very moment they open their Chee Bai mouth one thousand daggers come flying out….thereafter the farmer laughed and said to me, ‘yes maybe you are right….I never saw it that way at all…he has indeed changed my entire outlook about life….things that used to bother me…now seem so trivial and insignificant..and I must say I am a much more patient and loving husband, father and as you mentioned better friend because of my son….you are so right! He is indeed a blessing.

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‘If you do not have the ability or inclination to give relief to others – my advice is very simple – remain quiet…do absolutely nothing…just breathe and to move around as little as possible. Because if you think about it. You are really only passing thur here once. That is right. That’s to say in life you come and ultimately you, I and everyone else you know will have to go – so we are really just a travellers in transit.

Don’t think tomorrow will be like yesterday even if everything in your life remains exactly the same….it is not the same!

You are not listening to me…you are traveling – you are getting older, time has passed and you are one day closer to your final destination. So nothing is ever the same! You are just passing thru – and as a traveller, if you cannot make things better, then you should at least have the consideration not to make it worse.

I once knew a man who whenever he visits me – we will work together while we talk. He is an old man who has passed on. Life was not easy for me in the very beginning. As I faced strong opposition from a group of landowners who were literally out to fix me! So very few people dared to speak to me….except maybe this old man….who didn’t know better.

One day when I saw his son struggling to build a bridge the wrong way. I stopped, sketched out a rough plan. Got the people to come in and construct it. Supervised everything and got it all done at a very reasonable price. When the man asked me, why are you doing all this for me…I don’t even know who you are!

I said to him there are so many good memories that I have of your father….the mood is very soft, caring and brotherly.

In the same way there are some people who I do not want to ever see or even be with…never….if possible. As they are the source of constant reminder of pain, suffering and loss and it’s best that I just avoid them. Because I know myself very well. I don’t want to ever do anything that I will regret only to end up in death row and with men like me that is not a theoretical possibility. So with these people the mood is always tense, guarded and ready for war!

And one day even if they have all gone to the other side – that same shadow of pain, suffering and loss will cast a very long and dark shadow on their children.

Do you see how what goes around always comes around?

It is like an ever spinning wheel.

That is why I always tell others…please travel well. By this I mean, be thoughtful and where possible offer relief to your fellow travelers……as when you think about it, the journey of life is not a very long one….so the least you can do is try to enjoy it by reminding yourself to always be a nice person.’

(1) Beware of women. Never let your guard down with them. Never! As in their world it is really only play, play and play…but in your world everything is purposeful, mission orientated and highly strategic. So if you allow yourself to be sucked into their world of trivial pursuits…game over!

(2) Beware of greed. As greed can make one impulsive and lose sight of the goal. If you observe very carefully every con job is premised ONLY on greed…nothing else but greed – bent pastors solicit donations from greedy worshippers who believe if they give more…they will receive a hundred fold in return…greed…businessmen are often seduced by short term gains as they believe by doing so they can reap higher and immediate returns instead of pursuing the long and sustainable term etc etc…again greed is what powers such self destructive attitudes. Greed is the mother of all ungentlemanly conduct…greed for attention, lust, power, money, prestige, influence, popularity, love, adulation etc etc.

That is why it is virtually impossible to entrap a true gentlemen with greed – do that, he will see your hand like a very experienced poker player!

(3) Do not gamble! If gambling is such a sensible proposition then the business model of casinos and fruit machines would not be so robust – understand this! The house will always win! It’s all written in the law of mathematic probability – so if you have to gamble, then it is better that you set the right expectation and be prepared to make a donation – take ONLY calculated risk!

(4) Never be sharp tongued. This is the highest sin of a gentleman – as it demonstrates the highest level of what it means to be very opposite of thoughtful, considerate and well mannered….if you have nothing good to say, keep quiet. If you find bottling your negative emotions difficult – then seek relief in strenuous activity such as weight lifting or jogging. Look at Donald Trump, he thinks he’s very smart, but he doesn’t realize, the movers and shakers don’t think very much about him or his methods – yes, they may constitute less than 1% of the population, but when one considers all wealth, influence and prestige is also concerntrate only in this small percentage of elites – how much sense does it make to piss them off!

You watch and see what will happen to Mr Trump and his potty mouth! I want to you all to see the power of the invisible hand in action at the last leg of the GOP!

(5) Don’t make promises you cannot keep – your word as gentleman must be as good as a promissory note from the Bank of England! That is the gold standard. If you keep breaking your word or forgetting what you have promised to do. You will eventually lose all credibility and respect and no one will want to have anything to do with you any longer.

(6) Learn to be very very comfortable with the word ‘NO!’ Most people harbor the mistaken belief – a gentleman is a nice guy, so naturally they see this sort of man as easy meat….but when you demonstrate that you have a line and you make it very clear to others if they cross that line there will be consequences…there will be a prompt follow up..then as time goes by these people can only come to the understanding that you stand for certain values, beliefs and principles and that you are unfuckable! Hence by saying No! You say yes many other good things that may otherwise never have come your way!

(7) Strive ALWAYS to be independent. Learn to do things by yourself! A hallmark of a real gentlemen is that he is a highly versatile, adaptable and knowledgable person – a man of all seasons who is just as comfortable sitting in an exclusive private booth in the Opera or jumping out of an airplane at 9,000 feet. So learn to be comfortable with the idea of doing things by yourself – don’t always rely on others! Learn to how to maintain your air con, fix your bicycle, car or anything that should work but doesn’t, cook, shop for groceries, wash and iron your clothes, remove stubborn stains, clean up your room, organize your monthly expenses….the more independent you become….the more control you will find – you have over your life.

The more you outsource these life responsibilities to others…the less control you will have over your life!

If you find it challenging to be emotionally independent – I strongly recommend that you go buy a dog…as canines are very good listeners and they are ultra low maintenance!

Study and research the seven habits of the rise and fall of a gentleman.

There is much more to just being dapper and having impeccable manners that makes up the entire arcanum of what it means to be a gentlemen. That is only the tip of the iceberg.

The rest of the ninety percent of a true mark of a gentleman – is his complete understanding of the invisible lines of power and politics that criss cross the world like an intricate lattice….and he is always considerate enough to make sure his feet doesn’t thread on these fine lines that no one else can either see or knows of….except he…the true gentleman.

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‘A handshake between two gentlemen can speak the length of an entire sentence. It can very well even convey states of minds and schools of thoughts…… I stand for this….I believe in that…I come from there etc etc. Now if you don’t know…then a handshake is just a social convention for one to make an introduction.

But I think you should at least make the effort to know, if you genuinely want to be a real gentleman – as knowledge is power and to know of these things is to know of what others stand for and why they wake up, put on a tie and go to work everyday…it allows you a valuable insight into the lives of others to enable you to manage yourself and others effectively! With knowledge understanding and deep respect will come along with it – and I encourage you all to be open minded about this…but don’t be so open that your brains are spilling out lah!…hold back a bit….pace yourself.

The problem as I see it is – there exist so much disinformation and lies surrounding these noble institutions and orders – that it is quite impossible for one to separate fiction from reality reliably. To exacerbate matters Hollywood and fiction writers regularly make free and unmitigated use of these fraternities and their symbolism.

I say real understanding of a thing for what it really is, is never optional and always necessary as the last thing you want to do is behave like a fool in the company of other gentlemen – you don’t ever want to shoot yourself in your foot by asking stupid questions like: is it true that Mrs Jesus is buried in the Louvre? I can understand if a kid tells me, ‘Uncle I think the albino man is an Opus Dei contract killer!’ But for a grown man to think and even believe the same is tragic. Do that in certain social circles and I can almost guarantee you that you will be stuck at level 1 forever…for eternity even…like the ancient mariner you will just end up going around in big and small circles.

To the best of my knowledge. I can assure you all to an accuracy of 99.9% most of these fraternities and gentlemen’s clubs have no malevolent intentions to either control people or planet…not even the masonic order or Opus Dei are out to destroy mankind. They give millions to charities every year. They are not in league with Lucifer. If you take the trouble to understand their histories, ethos and raison d’être. They all exist to better humanity thru peace, understanding and love.

So I would definitely encourage all of you to find out more about these organizations and to even consider joining them if you happen to believe what they stand for is aligned with your point of view….experience it yourself…more than that…I am so sorry my lips are sealed.

Like the true gentleman. I will and can tell you how this might all begin..that I can certainly do. But I must reserve the right to hold back on how it may all proceed or where this might all lead too…otherwise I would just be a spoiler and that would be very rude and ungentlemanly wot?’

During the night. My newest addition to my pack of guard dogs…Kutty. A one year old female pup killed a cobra.

This is what working dogs in a plantation are supposed to do – Kutty was fanged by the cobra near the eye…but snakes are very proficient killers. Since it’s a boney part – full release of venom was not possible, so Kutty just got a bitten and it’s unlikely that she has suffered any long term damage.

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Look at how smug she looks! Despite the shiner – Kutty looks at me with that Howzat! expression that says it all. I am glad Kutty has finally earned her stripes. As dogs don’t usually take on a cobra and win without considerable training as where to bite and what to do thereafter…judging from the very dead snake, Kutty missed the vitals by a good six inches…perhaps she will do better next time. What’s important to me is she stood her ground and went for the kill!

That makes all the difference in the world.

She is now ready for her next level of training.

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‘It takes remarkable patience, hope and sagacity to invest in training a guard dog. As not all will cut the grade! One doesn’t even know after all the effort and time whether it will all pay off handsomely or turn out to be a dud!

It’s not unlike so many of you who now who have to prospect for business opportunities in the Ukraine and the Balkans – one doesn’t really know whether all the investment in the art of manliness series will pay dividends somewhere down the line or simply end up as a great nothing….but at least the effort and dedication one puts into the cause endures…as the motivation is genuinely sincere and good intentioned and noble to increase one’s chances of success…like the game we once played so many years ago….we all don’t need to make it….all it takes to open the draw bridge is for ONE of us to make it to the other side….this man will open the door for the rest of us to follow..for my part, I am glad at least the people who read this series are ALL mature and intelligent enough to understand the strategic importance of this arcanum – as by mastering these keys to powers, it can only confer upon one a competitive advantage in business and building relationships in the land of the white man.

Gentlemen. I may not say this as often as I should…but it has been a privilege to serve with all of you!’

If anything untoward happens to the woman. YOU WILL BE BLAMED. Understand this! I don’t make the rules of the world. That is how 99 out of a hundred people will see it….as it all occurred during your shift….it’s not a matter of right or wrong…it’s just how THEY will see it.

Security is paramount – as some of the ladies you go out with the evening may well be wearing expensive jewelry, or just by virtue of who they are…they are targets.

From the very beginning you have to make the assumption…she is the principal and you are the close protection agent – your attitude should be to adopt a one to one formation with the woman, who I shall now refer too as the principal – your primary mission is to always remain in close proximity to the principal at all times to shield her from encountering any altercations….if necessary you have to put your life on the line!

Rules to follow:

Line of sight. If possible this should always be 100%. Unbroken. There are only a few exceptions. Toilet breaks. Encounters with friends. The latter is quite easy to handle – make sure the principal is ALWAYS within the security zone.

Once you step into a setting your mind should ALWAYS be scanning for threats. Mark those danger areas in your mind as red and green zones.

For example if she sees a friend and moves away from you, follow her discreetly. Don’t be too obvious…otherwise she will think you’re the Velcro sniveling poodle sort. If possible start a conversation with a group adjacent to her group. Keep them where possible in the center (green zone) of the crowd. Stay away from the periphery (red zone).

During toilet breaks. Be discreet again. As if you get up and follow her – she will think are a closet pervert. What I usually do is wait a while, then follow her, while I hang around outside the ladies….note: women can spend a very long time in the lavatory, it’s like their second home away from home. It can really range anywhere between five to thirty minutes. So be patient and mindful of who goes in and out, keep track of what they bring in as well. When she sees you outside – women being women will just assume you took a dump or piss.

In between the security zone is when you are likely to encounter the highest level of threats. Usually I never trust the chauffeur – he’s the weakest chain in the link.

So if principal came in her car, give the driver the night off – do this by assuming the cover of a playful pretense like a kid swept away by a new toy. Demonstrate your eagerness want to get behind the wheel. Women are very understanding when it comes to men and luxury cars…it will NEVER be perceived as suspicious. Never tell the chauffeur this at the beginning of the evening..it must be a surprise. This is important – tell him where you want to go!

Then change it. Most women will never be suspicious…if she insist…you have to be very assertive.

Remember you are now in the most vulnerable zone! The super red zone – if anything is going to happen, it’s here!

So you have to take the lead. Make some excuse up like you have this sudden yearning for that particular sort of food etc etc. Or you just want to share with her a memorable experience that just came mind in a sudden moment of epiphany.

Take your time adjusting the seats, mirrors etc etc. set the principal’s seat back by a full twelve inches. This you can do by playfully playing with the knobs (hopefully she doesn’t play with yours when you are doing all this). Tell her this allows her to stretch her legs fully.

You need this clearance to see clearly and to push her head down in the event of an attack. You don’t want the principal obstructing you when the glass is breached. Disable all airbags. You may need to use the vehicle as a battering ram. Do not be afraid to use the car like a weapon when attacked. Remember your mission is close protection. Money is no object!

Proceed to location driving defensively all the time moving into flush points at regular intervals (circular routes that flush out cars tailing yours). Pretend when you do so, you’re not familiar with the city – the rule of thumb is never drive all the way up to the rear bumper of the car ahead of you when you stop at the traffic light…I always like to keep the car moving at a crawl to remain a moving target and the maximum distance is one car space between the car ahead – this way, in the event of any altercations, I can swing out and get away using the third gear. 0-60 in six seconds flat!

Women can talk to themselves automatically…they r all hardwired that way – so ask her leading questions while you adjust the rest of the ninth tenths of your brain bandwidth on getting to the next location safely.

If anyone bumps you along the way – don’t get out and just drive away. If you see men coming out from the rear mirror, wait till they are out, reverse hard smash their cars and drive full speed ahead.

Park the car yourself. avoid valet service. Choose locations where there is always a line of sight with the parked vehicle at all times. Drive her back home and take a cab back.

Always be so discreet that the principal is not aware of what you are doing or what is in your mind. Usually that’s not too difficult with women.

Keep it very tight, safe and secure!

If you do this….every girl in Singapore will think you shop for clothes ONLY in Cash Converter!

To me this is not an economically sustainable…how shall I best put it? Let us for lack of a better word just call it, ‘process.’ Not when you consider the going rate for bespoke gentlemen’s suit material @ 240 Grammes per meter!

Please delete this scene from your brain without further delay! As it’s closer to fantasy than fact – besides for a girl to stand there like a bollard when it’s raining cats and dogs…speaks volumes about her situational awareness along with quality of judgement. No respectable lady in her right mind would ever do that lah!

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‘Always use the right tool for the job to get the best results.’

The political destiny of UMNO, Barisan Nasional and Najib & Co has very little to do with whether the PM of Malaysia embezzled money or not. It has even less to do with what the opposition or other actor such as Mahathir and his clique may or may not do.

It all comes down to ONLY one determinant…one great equalizer…the price of oil in the next two years…if within this period of time.

The price of oil goes up to it’s previous level or manages to stay above the US$70 median range – then Najib et al will sail happily thru the proverbial eye of the needle….with plenty of room to spare. It will be landslide!

However if the price of oil stays well below the median range of US$40…..then it’s game over for Najib and like the Titanic that once struck an iceberg – it can only sink…it’s a mathematical reality.

But if the price of oil hovers between 40 to 70…then it’s 50/50.

Everything comes down to only one factor……the price of OIL.

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‘Oil is the biggest curse on humanity. Someone once shared with me, Saudi Arabia has the highest number of motorized wheel chairs per capita – naturally, I thought to myself. There must be plenty of risk takers and war heroes there, but in reality there are so many obese people in the Kingdom, they can no longer walk.

This is what invariably happens when man finds the world’s most easy peasy way to make money – he ceases completely to look for other ways to make two ends come together. Why should he…when all it takes to make it all go and come around happily is to stick a pipe into the ground, give it a few whacks and all the good stuff just flows right out.

Do you see how a blessing can be transformed into a curse? If it’s taken for granted to such an extent that it even makes people complacent, lazy and terminally addicted to their comfort zones.

That is why when people say Singapore has nothing – no land, water, oil etc etc…they may well be technically right, but so very wrong at the same time. As in the very kernel of nothingness, we have everything.

Do you see how paradoxical life can be sometimes?’

We all know those who are a constant source of embarrassment to all of us – I will not mention names….but we ALL know who they are.

These are the rules:

Dress bespoke for a symphony. Never go dressed in a business suit – people will think you’re trying to sell them insurance or something. I know it’s often done, but it’s wrong. The proper way to pull this off with incomparable style, panache and class – is a dark blazer, dark blue is very good…black is the gold standard of Savile Row combined with dark to medium grey pants.

There are of course other combos – but this a classic known as ‘the Imperial.’ It’s the modern adaption of the dark tails and grey pants tuxedo. No need to experiment…it will as usual only cause us all embarrassment as usual…so please kindly just follow lah!

Pocket square and tie is a non negotiable must. Dark brown or burgundy brogues. The darker the better….with fairer browns you can just get away with it. But NEVER wear black shoes…never! Or you will find many people asking you for directions to their seats and toilets etc etc.

I realize there are some people these days who may tell you, all this is – over the top, pretentious and unnecessary. As they much rather just show up in loafers thrown over with a crumpled summer suit. They think they’re hip and cool. But in reality these are low IQ folk! As doing likewise will only get you marked down – firstly, it demonstrates you have no sense for the occasion…you also have very little regard for the institution of musicians, except perhaps ambivalence and even less respect for yourself – as the CEO of your persona – so please dress as if you are licensed to kill 007 style!

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Never be late. Fifteen minutes early is good, twenty five is even better. As this will allow you plenty of time to check out the place.

When the lady’s car pulls up. Open the door with ONLY your right hand. I will elaborate on why as we go along. Stand behind the door and NEVER look or speak to the lady. This is a potentially embarrassing moment. As she has to adjust herself to get out in a dignified manner and if she happens to be a two metric ton internal beauty that is wearing a Snow White dress double matilah…as that will always prove challenging – it may not necessarily involve heavy machinery like forklifts, cranes and furniture movers etc etc, but I assure you, it will be challenging…so just look at the trees and birds. Before closing the door of the car make sure you don’t snag the helm of her dress – if the pavement is wet or soiled, it is customary for a gentlemen to lift the helm of a ladies dress gently or to give her that end, while she walks into the concert hall. This you do by lifting the very end ONLY of the helm of the dress, not the middle – the same should be done when the lady needs to walk up a flight of stairs. When closing the car door. Do not just close it by swinging it shut…use the handle. Do it gently and wave the chauffeur on.

Offer your left arm, NEVER your hand to escort the lady…unless you are dressed in tails and wearing gloves. As in the days when men were still men, swords were usually worn on the right hand side. So to stand or walk with a lady with her to your right is considered improper in polite circles.

When moving to your seat in between rows, do so facing the persons seated…this way your ass will not rub against their faces. As you move in say, excuse me…thank you. You lead the woman in – she takes a seat…then it’s your turn.

Make sure all electronic devices are switched off. Even silent mode is not good enough – as all concert halls have super excellent acoustics and the merest sounds can be picked up ten rows away.

You should be in your seat ten minutes BEFORE the light dim. Anything later than this is considered rude and disrespectful. When the lights dim all conversation and figiditing must stop completely.

If you don’t know WHEN to clap – just follow the cue of the crowd. As it’s a very complicated business when it comes to classical music and added to that some concertos may require you to stand up during the performance.

No food or drinks should be brought into the concert hall.

If you NEED to relieve yourself – go when everyone is showing appreciation if there is no intermission in the program – and move to your seat when the next concerto ends ONLY and NEVER during the performance!

When the performance ends – if you are in the mid row. NEVER try to squeeze your way out. Wait for the crowd to empty out and when it comes ONLY your turn do you get up. If you are seated in the wings, do be considerate and go!

After the concert it is customary you to ask the lady whether she would like to have supper – usually dinner is NOT required, as it will be around late ten or possibly even eleven when it’s done. So you are expected to have your dinner even before you go to the concert hall. So get a Big Mac before it all starts.

During supper with the lady – it’s customary to discuss the various movements of the symphony – so you should google up on the orchestra, concertmaster, symphony, history, background etc etc. in the age of the internet – there is no excuse not to know. Ignorance is not an excuse.

Above all enjoy yourself!

“When the school’s counsellor called Benjamin’s mother at 4.13pm, he merely informed her that the school had a meeting, and Benjamin will be excluded from the camp. Before the mother can ask any further questions, (he hung up),” Mr Lim said. “(In) the entire conversation … there were no questions asked about (Benjamin) at all … zero questions about (his) well-being.”

Well…we can certainly draw many conclusions here…everything ranging from whether Parliament should be leased out as another food court or that this circus show would not have happened had information being released in a timely manner….but one thing we all will have very little problem disagreeing on is – up to now all attempts to supply a credible account of what transpired raises more questions than it answers….

In the age of the great negotiator always expect to go round and round….best to standby two extra strong Panadol just in case.

Why can’t things be simple for a change…why?

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‘A lesson in ‘practical necessity’ extracted from the Book of Ages.

What does the legal aphorism really mean – it is not enough for justice to be done…it must be seen to be done!’ Now we can use all sorts of handsome words and clever constructs to flesh out the innards of this legal maxim. We might perhaps even dabble in a spot of jurisprudence, ethics and morality to explain what we actually mean like those elegant people in the Imperium.

But here in the trench line of Sardonyx far removed from the finery of Prima Aldentes Prime – we don’t nearly have the luxury of splitting hairs do we? Look around you, we are having this conversation in a rat hole…I know this is just a game. But never ever presume for one moment that I am not vexed by the decision to condemn an innocent man!

As in truth what has transpired here could well be replayed one day should I or you decide to venture into business in the real world….this is very real to me….I want you to always remember that my apprentice.

As what I am about to share with you is as close to reality as you can ever get….to my understanding – when one says justice needs to be seen to be done. It’s nothing more than dressing up something ugly and primitive with tassels and ribbons to make it appear civilized and kosher – as what I am describing is a primal yearning that is as old as mankind itself.

In the old days, a village would load all their fears, anxieties and pent up emotional baggage on a goat. The high priest would mumble something to the effect – begone evil! That laden goat would be led out of the city gates with great pomp and ceremony and as it wanders the unknown of the wilderness – everyone would look on silently clasping their hands in hope from the safety of the parapets and cupolas at this one sacrificial goat that carries all their collective psycho and emotional luggage…at the very moment the goat is devoured by the beast…the very moment when blood is splashed. Everyone would experience a great transcended relief…as if everything they ever feared or once caused them sleepless nights had been banished.

Shortly thereafter the rains would come….the sun would rise from the east….rivers will flow and life would go on as if what was once experienced was merely a ripple in the stream of man’s consciousness. That if you must know my dear apprentice is my interpretation of the aphorism: justice needs to be seen to be done!

To put it bluntly a scape goat needs to be found! Because man being intrinsically and elementally man can never come to terms with the mundane everyday reality sometimes shit just happens! He (man) needs. No sorry. Correction. He (man) has to believe in the idea that if something went terribly wrong, then someone or thing was responsible for that malevolent sequence of events.

So coming back to the point. Did I pervert the course of justice? Yes. Did I arrange the facts so that all blame will fall squarely on the shoulders of (name deleted). Yes.

I had no choice. If I did not do what I did – the boys along the entire trench line stretching from Maritima to the Balsicum Sea would have thrown down their laser guns and put up their hands! Do you have any idea what would happen if we can no longer mine minerals on this rock!

So spare me your condescending sanctimony. I know what I did – you have a right to hate me, but you don’t have the right to judge me!

The imperium doesn’t appreciate that realities we have to face here everyday in Sardonyx – they don’t know how difficult it is to maintain moral and discipline under crushing conditions of resource scarcity. Or even how we are outnumbered twenty to one and all our supply lines have been severed by the Interspacing Guild. Above all they have a very poor appreciation of what is required to motivate man and above all what it takes to palliate his fervent fears or to even nourish hope.

I however, harbor no illusions as to what it takes to win this war against the Aryanians with one hand tied behind my back!

That will be all.’

Prologue: In the reign of Pandishah III. In the age of the leviathan. The Arrullian Protocol that guaranteed the supply of Sardon – the only mineral that made space travel possible by folding space was cut off when an armada of Aryanians invaded the neutral planet Sardonyx and renegade on all treaties.

The war for minerals known as the Ascension Wars II was waged relentlessly in the Planet of Sardonyx between the Aryanians and the Confederation.

In the incident known as the ‘Andulosoa.’ The impenetrable force shield known as the fist of God was breached by the Aryanians. Thereafter they began to advance with great speed across the steepes – when Confederation forces regroup and blunted their advance with a counter attack and pushed them all the way back to the salient in Andulosoa.

To quell rumors amongst Confederation troops along the trench lines that the force shield known as the fist of God was not effective. The entire brigade responsible for manning this wonder weapon were summarily charged for gross dereliction of duty and forced to choose every tenth man who was condemned to march across the minefield in Andulosoa with the commander leading (name deleted).

Thereafter confidence in the wonder weapon known as fist of God was restored and shortly after the Andulosoa incident – Confederation forces overran the Aryanian lines and secured a decisive victory over the space port of Prima Maritima.

Till today no one knows whether the magical impenetrable force shield known as the Fist of God works or even existed at all during the period known as the Ascension Wars. Many claim it never existed at all and was simply an elaborate deception to prevent the Aryanians from staging an attack on the vulnerable stretch of the Andulosoa steppes.

Following the victory over the planet Sardongx. The Imperium declared the decimation of the brigade who manned the fist of God was ultra vires – Darkness was publicly disgraced. The order of purple was disbanded by royal decree.

Please read and if possible read again the night before at least 3 times – I don’t want to mention names, but we all know who they are….so these are the rules.

Follow the dress code as requested on the invitation. If it’s not mentioned conduct investigations on the restaurant…is it fine dinning or just a fill up the tank place? If it’s fine dining wear a combo i.e dark suit and grey pants…a tie is not necessary. But a pocket square is. If you find that the host is not wearing a suit, hand it over to the maître de, he will know what to do with it…as if you have just come from a meeting.

Always plan your trip so that you arrive at least 10 minutes early. Never be late! You can be early, but never late…if you arrive early in a fine dinning restaurant, never go the table even if the waiter has your name on the reservation list…proceed to the bar and order a glass of free water. I will elaborate on the importance of this point later.

It is proper to bring a small gift for the hostess that she is not obliged to use that very evening. Gifts such as flowers can be misconstrued, unless it is to a older woman. Avoid plastic flowers. Chocolates wrapped is the safest….bring also a bottle of wine.

Do not go for traditional white or reds. As your host and hostess will judge you on the quality along with avoiding the complications of whether red or white meat will be served. If you want to do that and incur cancer of the wallet – then at least have the courtesy to go for a reserva level wine.

Otherwise stick to safe bets like Rose and Chianti. In a fine dinning restaurant hand it to the maître de to be chilled. Never to the hostess…that is very rude as the communication is between the maître de and hostess ONLY. So he will convey that info…as the hostess may have already planned the wine selection. By doing this, you give her full power over how she wants the meal to go without imposing the obligation for your wine to be served. No need to remind the hostess of your gift – that is not only rides, it’s cheap….that’s automatic in all fine dinning restaurants.

Only when the host or hostess arrives do you get up and greet them – if it’s a couple. Greet the woman first, usually I like to start with a little joke such as, ‘finally, I get to see his better half.’ That sort of thing. Let the host or hostess lead you with the maître de to the table – do not sit till the host/hostess asks you to do so. As in fine dinning parties, when there are no name cards, wait until the host indicates where you should sit. The seating will typically be man-woman-man-woman with the women seated to the right of the men…even if they plonk you next to two metric internal beauty. You have no choice. You must sit!

An aperitif may be served before dinner as a salut for the gathering – not wine. Do not clink aperitif glasses with others – they will think you only regularly consume ABC stout all the time. Just raise it to the level of eye followed by a curt bow and repeat whatever the hostess says, usually it’s salut, cin cin – you are not supposed to gulp it all down a la down the hatch like a shot of vodka. No one does that – it’s an appetizer and may remain there thru out the entire sitting only to be sipped!

It also suggest the hostess wants the dinner guest to introduce themselves first. Talk only to those who are to your left or right…but never both at the same time. Never talk across the table or in between the person seated next to you…if anyone tries just smile and raise your glass and return back to your conversation with the two metric ton internal beauty – it’s rude to talk about controversial subjects. Usually for women. They can talk to themselves automatically once you wind them up…meanwhile to pretend to be deeply interested just play mental Soduku – this will usually create the expression necessary to come across as fully engaged in a very compelling conversation. Focus on the space between the eyes – as this creates a distant look and that way you will not come across as a suicide bomber – never request for more wine to be poured, it’s automatic – if you do that everyone will think you are a lorry driver who just won the Hong Bao big sweep….the rule is if you do not want more wine, leave it at that level. If you want more…just drink. Pouring is automatic.

Eating is very complicated…so I will cover that in another section.

After a formal dinner party, a physical thank you note should be sent to the hostess with a bouquet of flowers.

There was a time not so very long ago when men were really men – by this I mean they take great pride in the idea of dignity of labor to such an extent they would like the British say,

‘never let the side down.’

In those days to keep the harmony between heaven, earth and man in perfect balance – a gentlemen could always be counted to do the honorable thing.

May all seem slightly quaint and silly these days, when men would calmly give up their seats in lifeboats for women and children when the ship is listing. Or that captains of ships would much prefer to remain on the bridge and go down with the ship and their officers did the same stoically…and even when all is lost and death stared them straight in the face, a gentlemen could ALWAYS be counted to do the right thing. Officers penned a farewell letter to their one and only love and handed over their pocket watch and wedding band to those who didn’t need to go over the top with a bitter sweet smile. When the time came bayonets were affixed. They might perhaps steady their nerves by passing a pocket flask around and everyone would take a swig…but when the whistle sounded – the gentlemen could always be counted to be the first to take his foot off the fire steps and the rest of the common men would follow suit.

That was what cemented society together….the gentlemen could always be counted to do the right thing….you could always count on him NEVER to let the side down…to come thru thick and thin.

In the planters world. If a scandal ever broke out or something went terribly wrong and public confidence hangs tethering on the cliff’s edge.

The planter would receive a telegram from the serious men of this world informing him that he had been promoted and that he needn’t worry about his wife or children as they will be well provisioned for BUT…..it would always end cryptically with the words…we hope to see you in happier times.

Thereafter the gentlemen planter would get his affairs in order..wills, debts, bury his pornographic material etc etc. But since he is a gentlemen. He would have the courtesy to go about his daily business in the plantation as per normal….but on the fourteen day one hour before the stroke of midnight – the gentlemen planter could always be counted to put on a well pressed bush jacket and he even had the courtesy to put a towel over his head so as to spare his housekeeper the mess and after a moment of deep reflection – this man would take out his service revolver and that would be that.

Thereafter life will go back to the way it used to be….harmony would flow back into chaos….public confidence would be restored and life would go right on as if nothing had ever happened.

In the age of the gentlemen…there was very little fuss…very little quibbling…things were very clear!

And in this curious manner of social personal conduct particular only to that class of men known as the gentlemen. Though one could say all manner of things concerning this man as to what he should or should not have done. At least he had done the honorable thingy – no one could ever say, he let the side down!

But these days in the age of the great negotiator where everything under the sun can be talked around in big, medium and small circles ad infinitum…..and the only prevailing social code of conduct that trumps all seems to be… It’s every man for himself dummy!….there is no longer any incentive to be a gentlemen….so like the dinosaur, he perished lah.

après moir, le deluge.

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‘When I write regularly about the art of manliness…there are many people who would say, what’s this cuckoo bird talking about? Look he’s got dirt underneath his nails! For Godsake he’s just a farmer! As for his lands. It’s just a bloody veggie patch! So what is he going on and on about!

I don’t mind telling you all this – they make fun of me. They think it’s just a big joke. But I never take it personally.

As these people don’t really know how difficult it is to keep one’s humanity in a harsh place like where I live and work…they think the whole wide world is like Singapore and all differences lies only in the details….so I never get hot under the collar.

But I can assure you life is not like that – not at all.

As if you don’t bother buttressing your beliefs out here…the jungle will get into you and transform you into a very hard and ruthless man who is slightly one percentile point better than maybe a feral animal.

That is what the jungle can do to a man without even him realizing it…spend enough time here and it will whirl it’s way into your head like one of those worms you read about in Africa. I have seen all this, but despite many of the hardships I have had to bear all by myself….I always remind myself I am first and foremost a human being…and the highest expression of that ideal that I know of just happens to be in that form I know as the gentlemen.

I’ve seen the gentlemen give nine tenths of his returns from the land to his wife only to make do with so very little that the ends barely meet. He does it cheerily. So as not to worry those in the home front. He does not complain.

I’ve seen the gentlemen cut a sliver of meat the size of fifty cent coin into quarters and given each piece to four men as they keep complaining there is no food – as the expedition in the jungle has taken a wrong turn and he much prefers to go hungry.

So my point is to remain human one must gainfully work towards that ideal of being a gentlemen and NEVER take that idea for granted…as for the riffraff. He can never do all these things I just mentioned. He only thinks he can. But when push comes to shove, his grip on humanity will loosen. Thereafter the jungle is brutal – it will just swallow him up in one bite…whoop! He’s gone! Thereafter he will be transformed into a feral subhuman just slightly higher than a baboon!

So when I write about the art of manliness it is hardly a joking matter – because Singapore is after all a sort jungle…a concrete jungle filled with all sorts of strange animals as well. You will encounter all sorts of people – many will try to cheat you…others will try to pull the wool over your eyes and then there are those who are never what they appear to be….I am very sensitive to these things, because whenever I visit the city. I can only be acutely aware of the slightest physical, spiritual and mental contradictions that exist all around me. The air conditioned ambient makes me feel as if I am breathing in sharp needles. I can even tell you plus or minus 5 percentile points what’s the relative humidity…I am strangely conscious of how my feet seems to always walk only on flat surfaces that I am rarely accustomed too. I can even register the slightest perfidy in a man’s voice, a mere look that betrays his intention – since death lurks everywhere in the jungle that’s just a survival skill one develops like how the blind can make out ten dollar bills from fifties by just running their finger thru a familiar imprint. I am wary of callous people in the city – who say one thing, yet do quite another without realizing that I can see right thru their insecurity and ego like glass.

As I have to anticipate what can happen even before it occurs in the jungle all the time….you see I am half beast and man….you would hardly know it if you came across me in the city. No! You wouldn’t…..as hard as you may try to seek out that wild streak in me – all you would really see before you is a well mannered, convivial and affable gentlemen….only don’t believe for one moment as mundane and forgettable as that image may be, that never once came about without considerable daily effort on my part!

By this I mean I strive daily to think and only do the right things…to be good, thoughtful, kind, just and where possible to provide relief – I do try very hard. And fortunately most of the time…I succeed. At other times I fall short probably because I didn’t try hard enough or got distracted I guess, but the important thing is I have to keep at it and that’s how I see the whole idea of humanity – it’s not like something one plonks on a shelf and it just stays there….that may well be the case back at the home front in Singapore, but out here in the wilderness…it’s something that you always have to hold on very tightly too…so tight that at times it may even turn your knuckles white and drain whatever strength you have….but that’s how it goes here….otherwise whoosh! It’s gone!

I think if more people sat down quietly and reflected on how I see the whole idea of humanity in the wilderness – I don’t think they would laugh at me….it’s just way too serious..I reckon.’