Bluing

June 19, 2016

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It’s a lost technique known to only very few who are all sworn to guard it with their life….the art of rendering leather transparent or to capture light – to give leather a three dimension effect….

A well dressed man

June 13, 2016

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‘I have my Saville Row bush jacket. YSL cravat. I even have my Rolex oyster. Now the only thing that’s missing from my assemble is a pair of shoes with decent antiquing….can’t you see it’s a national disaster in the making!’

When a sage loses sight of the truth, he becomes a unruly person. When an unruly person overcomes the God of his delusions…he becomes a sage.

Study and research this well….as the world is filled with so many delusional people who may lead you astray with their many deities of nonsense!

From time to time I do come across men such as myself…it’s a vampire thing I know they are like me. Do not ask me to describe..there are no words…one just knows…you see there are not many of us.

Those they exist go thru incredibly lengths to hides their past from the prying eyes of the world…most people boast about their glorious past…but not this category of them…they much prefer time to crush into dust.

Nonetheless to the practiced eye, one can tell, as the dark continent has a way of leaving an indelible mark on a man…it is like a birthmark….unlike people who once turned the life in Europe or any other country in the moment of their youth. We rarely ever talk about our past with any feeling approaching endearment. I imagine there is always great pain associated with it that is best never mentioned. If there such a thing resembling a past, it’s a remnant…a residue that has been forcefully eviscerated like napalm…nothing exist of it, not even such a thing as a faint memory…it’s gone forever snatched away by the chastening passage of the wind. It could be the way this man looks at the world with a causal indifference or even a quiet lingering sadness of remembrance if things past….it’s usually very hard to tell as most men who have discovered their fortune in Africa are unimaginably wealthy, so it’s not unusual for them to go to great lengths to hide their unsavory past with a patina of respectability complete with copper clad credentials….when two such men come together. They don’t ever talk. They should. But they don’t. They don’t even look at each other for any length of time..as to do so is to stir the dust the past…and they don’t ever want to do that – they don’t even exchange silent nods of convenvicia like the way old soldiers so often do….they just sit there…each lost in their own world and marooned in the island of their past lives.

Like I said, it is a vampire thing.

When one is young. One must be diligent in accumulating happy memories…..as all the money in this world can never buy these things.

This guy is looking squarely down the barrel at ten stiff years behind bars….say what you like but that’s the bare minimum…say what you like…jail time in Singapore is as tough as it can humanly get. Even for someone who is twenty it’s back breaking, for a guy pushing fifty, it’s maybe twice or three times harder on the mind, body and spirit.

But the curious thing is he ain’t sweating…why?

That’s the part I have great difficulty wrapping my head around!

Neither is he planning to bolt either….which to me is mucho strange and incomprehensible. Might he be planning to do a runner? Well that would make perfect sense to me….but he doesn’t seem to be going down that road.

After all, he’s already fifty and if he decides to spend ten years in the slammer – it’s probably going to be his best years down the drain…after that his best years are well and truly over.

So what is it that gives Kong Hee such indomitable strength to face the brutal facts of life behind bars…what am I missing here? Is there a narrative that is going well above my head that I am not aware of….is there perhaps a place where a man who is going to be incarcerated can seek refuge in called sanctuary?

Or maybe….just maybe…..there is such a thing as a God after all?

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‘All my life. I have searched for God. Please understand…I genuinely want to believe. I don’t mean search for him in the way you would look for something you once lost….but I have really searched for him beyond the dictionary meaning of the word search….I am not like most people who would just join others to do things that they have to believe in just to belong…to be part of…I don’t give two hoots about fitting in…I could just as well stand on my own like one of those deserted shark infested islands smack in the middle of nowhere….I may not be jumping with joy, but if I had to do just that and say to everyone on this planet…there is no God! I see no problem doing that. My point is I wouldn’t mind doing that….not at all.

But this Kong Hee business puzzles me no end….it bothers me enough to keep me awake in the dark – everyday I go thru what he’s doing in Facebook and I don’t see a man whose afraid….I see a superman….and I ask how is that possible?

Could it be…there is such a thing as a creator after all…is that possible? Have I been blinded all these years by my false pride and arrogance to such an extent that I can no longer see the truth for what it is?….even if it stands right before me!

After all what else other than the grace of God can give a condemned man such fortitude sagacity and will power to bear the unbearable….except maybe the grace of God.

What the hell is happening here…I want to understand, but I don’t understand!’

As I predicted. My business rivals have deployed women to try to blackmail…..yesterday when I was dinning all by myself in the palace of one thousand pleasures which is a sea food restaurant….two scantily dressed ladies who I have never seen before approached me.

They proceeded to offer me whisky and after dinner one of them suggested that we should all adjourn to a nearby Inn for what one of them described as – ‘a good time!’

So naturally I began to jump up and down with joy exclaiming ‘whoopee!’ All the while asking what they planned to cook for me….they were both taken aback by my response, when I asked them both what they were going to cook for me. One of them even told me in a surprised tone, ‘not that kind of good time.’

To which I feigned abject disappointment and that was the end of that caper…..thereafter they both left dejected all the while complaining, ‘what sort of crazy fellow expects us to cook for him!’

Break out!

June 9, 2016

Businessmen who are very experienced and well versed in the art of war will have absolutely no doubt appreciating how dangerous I am….if they didn’t know then…. They will know by now…they’re dealing with an assassin creed…..if they are one or even two levels beyond the rudimentary understanding of the art of war. They may also suspect that my new found strength is also my curse and in truth….I am very very vulnerable.

Only the phantom mirror continues to mask my real intentions and the extent of my weaknesses….but it is conceivable, they know…after all, they have been outclassed and professionals have been contracted to fix me.

The professional will not be like those egomaniacal bumbling idiots who I am accustomed to crossing swords with – he will go back four possibly even six years….he will assemble very carefully and meticulously a detailed picture of how I have managed to accumulate my wealth. He will play this image in his head again and again and at times he will even say cryptically to himself, ‘yes….’ He will even mull over every single detail, no matter how benign and mundane of my strategy to endeavor to get into my mind…..his goal is to predict my next move…if he is smart, he will try to force my hand…if he is smarter, he will wait….it’s very hard to say.

So far they have tried everything from flattery, women, liquor and greed….my security cannot be breached…..it is solid!

My recent land acquisition to the North is nothing short of a surprise attack….no one expected it. Planned and executed meticulously, it was designed to shock, demoralize and render all attempts to exert command and control futile…..I do not know the completeness of this outcome. But even by the most conservative estimates…the effect must be devastating on my business rivals….they must be reeling.

Now I am like the pocket battleship, Bismarck one hour after sinking the Hood. Everyone expects me to sail full steam for safety….that is the logical thing to do….but I will do a U turn and prepare for yet another strike!

So far I’ve broadcasted enough disinformation and dead ends to fill a telephone book – it’s impossible for them to fathom my next move…there is a lot of speculation…postulating and conjecture….but nothing definitive.

No one…absolutely no one would ever expect me at this stage to cut my engines and wait and prepare for another show down…that is precisely why I need to do this NOW.

This time it will be a wipe out!

Business is war!

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‘The highest acme of war is to do the unexpected….by this, allow your enemy to ALWAYS believe he is in full command and control of the outcome and if possible even create the conditions to make this great lie possible…it must be seamless and everything must appear to be as such.

Once this is accomplished…the trap is set.

The enemy will be lulled into a false sense of confidence….he will let his guard down and even take refuge in the idea he is secure and untouchable.

That is the moment when one should strike like a cobra….understand this! There can be no decisive victory without surprise!

Study and research this well…the art of war.’

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Dignity of Labor

June 8, 2016

When a man takes pride in his craft. You will find that he speaks about his work as a living thing. He is always excited and animated when he talks about his work….this is only natural. As he is deeply in love.

Be mindful….be gentle.

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That is fine! Ideally, you should strive to get along with others…but if it’s uphill and it’s a bother..it’s fine to sit it out quietly all by yourself in one corner….But never try or want to get along with others so much that you end up buying into their emotional baggage, politics and struggles till you lose sight of why you even do, say and think the things you do.

……keep the goal always in mind….keep a sense of scale and perspective.

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‘Confidence is not just someone who everyone feels at ease with. Neither is it about how many people in a room takes to you. Or even whether you can string a sentence without mangling your vowels – at one level of understanding that may well be confidence. But the highest level of confidence is when one is perfectly as ease and even in one’s element when one is standing alone…there is no pressure to perform…no need to impress others or to even feel the need to make conversation….as the self has disappeared completely.’

These days as a consequence of our high efficiency and ultra productivity fixated age, craftsmanship has all but shriveled up and died…the death of the craftsman doesn’t really hit home at first. That I expect is quite normal as most of us are really marinating blissfully in the mass production age of iPods and plastic galore.

I am now in Penang. I plan to restore a very old prewar building – there is a slab of ancient granite that requires shaping…I asked the contractor, are there still any crafts man who know how to work stone with a chisel and mallet. He looks blankly at me, as if it’s a joke…..but I am dead serious.

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‘It shouldn’t come as a sunrise. Not at all. To believe. The best and most satisfying work ONLY comes when we feel and can believe that what we do daily as world nourishes our spirit and dignity.

Dignity means associating one’s self-worth with the enterprise of labor. When we don’t work with dignity our work becomes “separate” and “detached” and “divorced” from us, the individual…the self and the spirit…it is a form of death that I have written about called zombification. This is when work no longer has the capacity to nourish the human soul and becomes toxic. Toxic work can only debase and dehumanize.

To work with spirit is the opposite of toxic work – it is the ability to transform one’s work from a dead to a thinking thing that is not only alive, but also has the capacity to nourish every aspect of the worker. When work is able to feed the human craving, then it is very natural for the craftsman to seek edification and higher meaning in his work..then and only then is it possible for him to take responsibility for its results…before, during and after…to me this is the true spirit of craftsman….someone who is alive and excited, instead of just going thru the motions with roughly the same brain power as tying shoe laces

When we don’t work with dignity or spirit our work becomes laborious – working without dignity is to be divorced from one’s values. Work without spirit is shallow, insipid and a grind.

When work is evacuated of all dignity and spirit…often there is no quality, corners are cut and excuses galore. As since work has become a loathsome thing….one can only see it as a chore instead of infinite source of joy and personal growth.’

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Thru the years I have always been a very aggressive advocate who encourages firms to grow beyond Singapore.

I used to have breakfast in Encik Azme shop in Bedok during the weekends after cycling around east coast with the brotherhood.

I am here to bring in the crowd…I hope I don’t only attract flies.

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‘The ethos to go where no mind dares to go….is not new to us. We have been doing this as far back as fifteen to twenty years ago. At it’s inception it was a very controversial philosophy as it went diametrically against officialdom – but that is only because many of them never ever felt the need to engage us meaningfully to ask further what was really behind this philosophy. Hence they could really only perceive it as a form of rebellion, hence Goh Chok Tong’s rant about stayers and quitters…not that we were ever bothered about what he had to say. That may sound arrogant IF you didn’t realize what really motivated us to do what we did was driven by a very sound rationale to improve our lot. Like I said, it’s a very powerful and compelling philosophy – and if you go to South America, Africa and the Ukraine today and touch base with many businessmen who may have once taken to this idea like fish to water. You will find that many of them will speak very passionately about this idea of going where no mind dares to go. In fact I get asked this almost 99 out of 100 times…what does going where no mind dares to go mean? And on virtually every single occasion, I have told others…that is for you to discover…many people are very disappointed with my answer, but I feel it’s important never to impose limits on this conct, hence it should be open ended and if possible, the scope for improvisation as to what it really means should never be corseted- that is because we don’t see the idea of a man going beyond his comfort zone and venturing out into the yonder to discover his el Derado as quitting. Not at all! I don’t really know myself how self discovery and broadening one’s mental and experiential scope can ever be equated with quitting. If there are any quitters at all, it is those who opt to stay super glued to their comfort zones…that is why for many years my philosophy was considered a romantic throw back to the age of discovery, it was even ridiculed and those who subscribed to it were even labelled as brain washed people, but I don’t believe that to be a very accurate account either…if there is one compelling reason why I feel this remains the most robust business model for one to gainfully seek sustainable wealth creation it is because it requires one to severe the umbilical cord from Singapore. Paradoxically this remains the most reliable way for a businessman to actually accumulate the core competencies necessary to grow his business in an innovative manner….there is no other way.’

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Being your own boss

June 6, 2016

I don’t think, I ever consciously made the decision to be my own boss…not at all. That’s to say, I never came up with ten bullet points why it made more sense to go into business for myself than to work as a salaried man….all I really desired was to be able to work without the hassle of politics or the need to pretend to be someone who I am not and to have the freedom to think and do what I feel is right and true.

In other words….I was sick and tired of pretending to be someone else.

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‘The modern compact between firm and worker is a very sick deal. There is no other way to describe this arrangement. Wonder no more why so many salaried men are increasingly asking, ‘why is it so hard for me to derive a sense of fulfillment from work?’

In my opinion, it is no longer possible for one to derive a deep sense of satisfaction from being a salaried person in this age…this is because the modern compact is not about emancipation or self discovery or even respecting one’s self esteem or actualizing one’s life goals…how can it be when the first lesson one learns in the modern working regime first requires the modern worker to be dumbed down….and this you do by subconsciously buying into the corrosive idea of how one should and must define individual and organizational efficiency…success…what to do etc etc….only after this social conditioning has been successfully programmed is it possible to drive him or her as hard as is humanly possible. In return the worker is given just enough money and trinkets to enjoy his or her leisure time like a hamster running on a wheel that goes nowhere, but never really enough to allow him or her to exert any real sense of directing their future.

Once one begins to see modern working life in this corrosive sense – then it becomes very clear that work and everything that we associate with it….must be a very sick thing. Then it becomes very clear why working for oneself is not optional…it’s a necessary if the goal is to lead a purpose driven life.’

The ghost of Africa

June 5, 2016

After so many years…From time to time, I still wake up covered in sweat. For a while, I don’t know where I am…..I can still smell the acrid cordite…human flesh burning….napalm…it was so many years ago.

Then I realize it was just a nightmare from another life of another man….a forgotten man.

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Days before the skies of the desert turn ochre red. Window frames warp, doors creak, floorboards begin to curl at their edges, nails begin to loosen and catch against flesh, wooden spoons split, lips crack and when it seems as if one is content to only breathing in flaming needles. That’s just around the time, when the indigo people of the desert would stand in one long line and look northwards – they don’t say anything. They don’t move very much. Like birds gathered on a line in a frosty September morn. They just look on knowingly into the yonder….then slowly the winds begin to pick up and the skies begins to darken a tobacco brown…..the harmattan.

For days thereafter the winds howl incessantly like a widow mourning her secret loss. City folk scurry beneath the eaves of protesting flapping wind swept corrugated awnings covering their faces. From time to time they pause, look up searchingly to make up whether the sun is still there or might it too be swallowed whole by it’s violent approach from the North. A wind once considered so evil that a mad Sultan declared Jihad against it and marched out into the swirling desert to meet it with war elephants and a column of pike men in full armor only to perish. The red wind the sailors in Coite de Noire know as the sea of blood. The ever wandering Beduins call the kinsam, 50. As it last 50 days which they all greet with two rents from their antique Lee Enfield rifles with the salutations, ‘Allah wakbar’ – as it billows it’s last dying whispering hush across the sea of Guinea. Soon a few gusts of air and a thin rain presages the final approach of the…..the harmattan. Now mystery is furiously at work in the preamble of the twilight, the sands swirling and fingering into every nook and cranny, appearing as if by magic to cling to the secreted, spoiling well oiled machinery, mucking clothes and rendering everything a bitter after taste. Everywhere and everything is touched by the ochre red of infinitesimal of omnipresence. All the while, the constant rattle of window panes, the sobbing of rooms, the tears of rawed eyes having borne witness to prophecies…the harmattan…yes…I remember her….the red wind….the wind of winds.

Written by Darkness 2016

The issue is not whether they are guilty or innocent. Or even whether some of them deserve such stiff sentences…to be perfectly honest with all of you…I don’t know the answers to the above questions.

What I am particularly interested in is HOW will these people make the mental, physical and spiritual transition from a free and easy life to jail…say what you want but Singapore prison is no joke. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s a violent and crime ridden cesspit…I am sure it’s not given Singapore’s organizational efficiency….but it’s certainly a radical change from the lives many of these church leaders are accustomed too.

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‘These are not ordinary people like me and you. No they are not…for one they believe (real or imagined), theirs is a highly blessed and favored life…to put it another way. They actually believe, they are special…very different from me or you. For me if the shit hits the fan and I have to go thru a very rough ride…I will probably just suck in and say, that’s life. That’s it. The end.

But not for this people. There is always a biblical and even supernatural idea of why they MUST all go thru this for the greater glory of God’s kingdom on earth. So to me, these people are very different, if they experience hardship,they actually believe, there is grand design to all this…it’s not random…it’s very deliberate and part of unfurling narrative – so to me, it’s very hard to visualize how such people will take to life behind bars in Singapore.

As hard as I try to imagine….I cannot.

I can’t. As time will probably move so excruciatingly slowly in prison…if it’s a five year sentence, it will probably feel like ten if you’re lucky and have a well developed reading habit or find yourself sharing the cell with other believers and if it’s ten…by the time one comes out, the best years would have passed right by.

I don’t for example even know what some of them may be doing to prepare themselves for this harsh reality of life as a jail bird…are they perhaps sleeping on floors instead of cushy mattresses now? What about trying to get by with four soggy slices of planta bread and watered down tea for breakfast or just a hard boiled egg and cabbage and plain rice for lunch?

How might they be mentally and spiritually preparing themselves for this transformational change….that’s really what I am interested to know.’

Whenever crooked people deploy intimidation, fear and bullying as a means of soliciting compliance…agreement and consensus. Then I know almost intuitively..deep down, these are very fearful and confused people…neither do they have a coherent counter strategy and worst of all…all they are doing is broadcasting their intentions to others.

Only very stupid people would ever do this…broadcast their intentions to the whole wide world,

This is not only stupid, but you could even say it is No No in the art of war – as logically if you really want to attack someone…you should never tell them what’s in your mind…keep them guessing as that sucks up men and material…but once you let your intentions be known…then there is no mystery any longer to your designs and without the element of surprise….how can be no decisive victory?

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‘As a general rule of thumb wherever possible I always strive to work towards detente and peaceful coexistence with others even should I not see eye to eye with them. Even should I fail on that target.. Wherever possible I always try to provision a face saving way out of the crisis…war is never personal with me, it’s strictly mathematics in motion.

As I happen to believe, it’s bad for business, bad strategically and bad for society to push people to one corner…for example many PAP apparatchiks like to call Dr Chee a gangster…but what they all seem to do quite consistently is fail to audit what they did to him and his family…and the same happened to many people as well.

I am sorry I only live once so I will have to speak my mind – my point is push people to a corner and they’re likely to feel frightened, desperate and since they have nothing whatsoever to lose…it’s conceivable they too will push back and when that happens all bets are well and truly off…as beyond that point anything and everything is possible….Now how smart would that be?’

His majesty is still sartorially splendid as ever…..https://kingofdhaka.com

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‘HRH is performing a public brotherhood service to all gentlemen – so please take the trouble to visit his blog religiously to pick up sartorial diamonds.

I don’t want to mention names, but it gives me no pleasure to inform all of you that there are still certain elements in our fraternity who insist on being a perpetual embarrassment to all of us.

As not only do they seem to insist proceeding thru life wearing gunny sacks and pasar malam clogs….but worst of all these walking disasters actually believe they look presentable.

Not realizing that when they disregard my gentle and brotherly reminders to dress cleanly and presentably…they are actually sabotaging all of us…yes! These are saboteurs! As not only do they continue to show a casual disregard for their appearance, but since they also don’t seem to mind disrespecting people and institutions by their willful neglect to pay more attention to their dress IQ…these people are letting the side down by wearing dirty shoes and no bothering to coiffure their hair for business meetings….please set aside some time to think about this seriously.’

Heavy handedness

June 2, 2016

Being heavy handed to a point where the punishment is disproportionate to the alleged ‘crime’ – often wins one no friends amongst sane and well read people…I am so sorry, you can do anything to people, BUT it is impossible to stop them from thinking….deih thamby it is what it is lah!…they will all just dismiss you as a pariah.

Pariah!

Pariah!

Pariah!

Understand this! No one wants to be associated with pariahs…they are despicable and there is nothing worthy that one may ever hope to learn from such lower life forms.

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‘Only an incredibly deranged and chronically insecure person who has absolutely no sense of how to conduct pay out analysis would ever consider using atomic weapons to control pest. Such a person is either so indescribably crazy or out of touch with modern times that he would probably have no difficulties whatsoever making Amos Yee look like the Pope.’

If I make an effort to be truly honest and genuine to myself…then, this is a very hard question to answer satisfactorily. As who I am is NOT merely a function of who I think I am to you or others….that could really only hold true if the world isn’t trying to plant a flag on my head all the time. But in reality, the world and everything of it goes thru me like the Atlantic streaming thru a hole that is ploughing thru the sea….so this idea that I can somehow remain untouched by the world cannot be true at all. And if that is the case, who I am? Is really a question that I am not able to answer at all.

I don’t think it is wrong for a man to come to terms with this reality….if anything it speaks of his maturity and his ability to see himself alongside the world very clearly and truthfully….if more people can mistrust themselves…I for one don’t believe that is such a bad thing. Not at all. As with this realization, it can only keep us grounded.

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‘I believe every man and woman is a natural born explorer. And it’s natural for one to peer into darkened interiors and to even question that which we do not completely understand….anyone who says this is wrong needs to seriously get their head examined. As the greatest will of power you can ever commit yourself too that even surpasses the act of getting married or deciding to have children or commit to buying a house and calling this or that other place home along with telling everyone else this is where you wish to die….is to first know who you are.

Because everything else comes ONLY after you have successfully answered this one and only question – other things may come, but if you don’t take the trouble to dedicate yourself to seeking an answer to this one question…then it would all be meaningless…as to go thru life without ever knowing the answer to this question is not so different from living a life that is devoid of consciousness.’