Sunday, October 29, 2006

Great. Wayne Rooney just had to go score a hat-trick. I'm not touching any sports-related articles even with a ten-foot pole anytime in the near future. It'll be pages and pages of Rooney Worship anyway, them reporters would probably give him a blow job while they're at it if they could. There is no way he was the reason behind England's World Cup slump(though I don't see how Englishmen can be so confident about it every time a majoc tournament approaches anyway). Next thing you'll know, he'll be England's foreign ambassador, the next artificially "packaged" Calvin Klein model, the man behind JFK's assassination and the leader of the Black Parade.


One of the most enlightening, interesting experiences one can have in life isn't that of falling madly in love, barreling down a hill in loose rollerblades or imbibing yourself with your first mind-altering substances. I've done two out of three. While these activities can be immensely memorable, even if the memory does culminate in an extremely blur picture and an eyeful of stars, they only provide you one side of the picture. Like people like to say, there are two sides to every coin, two sides to every story, two slices of bread in every sandwich, two legs in every pair of pants, two knobs on every door and two paths down every split end. With such activities, you only see your end of the situation, and never get to see it in multiple lights, even with the big disco ball hanging over your head. I think receiving advice can be both entertaining and enlightening.

Obviously, there are people who would go about debating the finer points of the matter with me. I don't deny that receiving advice can be a stupendously mind-numbing affair, when you sit in a boardroom watching powerpoint presentations, with every keystroke being dog-tagged with an annoying noise and graphics zooming and spinning in from diagonals I didn't even know existed. Still, one of the most revealing and hence defining moments of life comes when we seek the counsel of others. Before you even dare to think I'm putting on a pretentious air of some sort, let me just say that this isn't some sort of Sophocles multiplied by da Vinci divided by Yoda to the exponential power of Charles Darwin type of high-level philosophical truth of life ; It's more like something you'd find on a bad blog, a horoscope column of an unreliable newspaper, an insert of a fortune cookie or an insert of the Cookie Monster's lines other than "COOKIES".

Look at it this way. Even though chances are that I'm alluding to an incident where I didn't heed good advice and got sorely punished for it, such as watching that episode of Anamaniacs, you're technically reading advice right now. Or at least, were meant to read advice until the progress of that activity was bogged down by low-level off-the-ball verbosity that served to lead you in circles rather than make you believe there was some higher-order assessment involved. We get an awful lot of advice in our life. What makes it fun is how it almost always is different, since it comes from different mouths with different stories and differently demented minds behind them. Some of it is common sence, some of it is hard-to-uncover truths and the rest is most often completely incomprehensible suggestion.

I get a lot of advice in my life. When you tell people stuff, most often advice is what comes back. Expect me to be quietly vocal about it. Telling someone isn't always the best way out but it beats disposing of the problem where most of my trash ends up(hint:desk). If you give me an essay to do as homework, be prepared for me to whine about it to some length, probably throwing in slanderous comments while I'm at it. If I blindly pin the tail on the proverbial donkey and do decently during an exam, be prepared to listen to me call myself the stupidest, luckiest person in the world. If I hate TKGS girls I will say I hate TKGS girls, but will more often than not say it in a less hostile manner ; There's a thin line between honest and stupid. If you get me a gift some three months late, I will say it's the thought that counts until I get back to my Desperate-Housewives boredom-savaged life of gossip with my peers.

One of the more relevant fields I've gotten advice on is how to "play the field". Apparently, to get the girl you need to do a range of things, including be nice, be yourself, be a bastard, be a jerk, be unapologetic, be spontaneous, keep her guessing, say what she wants to hear(no matter how much she may say otherwise), be stable and be proactive. Any of these may or may not work, as they come from a variety of sources, some current, some reliable and some currently reliable, including an Indian plumber, a 65-year-old uncle, a JC student about to take his A levels, a teenage girl, a former tennis coach who quit JC life to play tennis, an eternally young fellow who happens to be in PES F, an army regular and already-attached females of various ages. Barring the Dalai Lama, the Brothers Grimm, Ace Ventura and Hermoine Granger I think I've gotten most of my bases covered, with things I may or may not have needed to know.

They say when people start to do something, productivity follows a convex curve which plateaus at some point ; For the most part this is true. I just don't seem to have the curve today, and it's not because I've started doing crunches. Which is why I better quit while I'm ahead, and that, my friends, is good advice.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

It seems things are going to get worse before it gets better.

The brain is like a set of gears, cogs that move together to get the entire system to work. Now take a cog out, lock it in a safe, throw the safe into the evergreen Singapore river and laugh maniacally while you pay homage to the trainwreck that is my mind. For other bad analogies, look up "A few cards short of a full deck", "A couple brain cells short of a pair", "Two trees short of an orchid", "A McNuggest short of a happy meal", "A modem short of broadband access", "A few rhymes short of a rap" and "A piece of paper short of being a policeman". "Screw loose" would probably help too, but at this point it may not be just a screw. Nuts, bolts, panels, Hady's singing career and Jose Mourinho's credibility are flying out of the system and off the face of the Earth as well. I would use a graphical description here, but it's rather pointless when your intelligence is the same line as the axis.


Does anyone else think that Paris Hilton's career deserves to plunge faster than a one-legged elephant caught in a whirlpool of Meiji milk? I attribute the terrible illustration to listening to her album for a time exceeding 0.2 seconds. Having listened to all kinds of nonsense ranging from Oasis to Moby to the Pet Shop Boys, and at the lowest point of my life, William Hung, which was at least laugh-inducing, most notably his acapellas, I think I know enough to distinguish good music from a mess of notes and words reminiscient of a Gundam banging on a 2-inch keyboard while the inevitably emo boy inside screams at the top of his lungs about the girl he thinks he loves, only to find out by the end of the episode that he fancies someone else.

I can say that when Paris Hilton dies, she'll be a ghost nomad, bouncing between heaven and hell and being repeatedly rejected. We all know how bad the ironically-named "stars are blind" is, but "turn it up" has to take the cake. Three minutes of digitally remangled singing, accompanied by Paris saying "turn it up" in the background in such a lazy manner that you'd think she was mispronouncing "turnip" over and over again.


I really hope the A's end soon.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I have no idea why, but I've been in a bad mood lately. My typing in Microsoft Word is so incredibly furious and misguided enough to make that paperclip dude collapse in exhaustion and the red and green squiggly lines apply for protest on the basis of being overworked. The stuff out of my mouth has become so foul I probably need a catalytic converter fitted into my mouth by the time all this is over.

Strange part is, it doesn't seem to be happening to just me. Everyone seems to have something to be frustrated at these days. That cashier with the Hong Kong accent, the disgruntled customer with the unestablished gender, the pompous notes that refuse to be studied, the strawberry milk that smudged aforementioned notes, the terrible movie about playstations that you wasted weekend fees on, the list goes on...........and on............and on.

This isn't to say that anger is bad, after all. All it does is cloud the mind and raise an urge to form a fist and strike someone. Beyond that, anger is simply the result of passion. The hot air rises inside you to clear the air, because when heat increases molecules move further about, allowing a clearer view for the eye of the mind, unaffected by the haze.


On a completely different tangent, however, I had the worst bus ride a couple days ago. Imagine the PSI being relatively high, say, a hundred. Now imagine being in an air-con less bus. Imagine being on the second level of a double-decker air-con less bus. that would be really smoky. And I mean, smoky to the extent that you could cook a slice of ham by holding it up against the wind. And I probably would have, if it wasn't for the goddamn rubbish truck slowrolling in front of the bus. Add that to two AhBengs randomly swearing in dialect at the back of the bus, at all kinds of things including(but not limited to) the weather, the AhLians who snubbed them, the cigarettes they never smoked properly, Jolin Tsai, William Hung and Texas cowboys who drew faster than they ever did in art class.

Some minds you can leave alone, happy with the knowledge that it's trapped in a metaphorical box. Other minds are dangerous if its owners let them go where they wish to wander. I think I know what type my mind is. And it's not comforting knowledge, to say the least.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

It seems that A levels are going to be a rather traumatic experience that will end with me ranting about how I should've studied harder. My attempts to study work about as well as England's formation tactics. I need some form of motivation, and the fact is that economics notes don't make very good cheerleaders. They don't stack on top of each other in nice patterns. They don't flash you underskirts. They don't do cartwheels, or think up bimbotic cheers for me, or anything that cheerleaders do these days. All they do is sit there and taunt me.

A hiatus is what I need.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

One final scream ended it all, as the challenger was broken in half, his shattered body lying limp on the floor. The crowed roared. The immovable object continued to reign supreme. The challenger was suspended between aware and unconscious. All he could do was look at the lights above, and tell himself that he had done his best, no matter how shameful it ended up to be. The fact remained he had lost, that he should fade back into the obscurity he had previously occupied, that fantasies are named such for a reason. The scoreboard was a testament to this fact :

Wedge of Cheese 1, Wilfred 0

That's the last time I buy a $1 knife. Stupid handle wasn't even attached properly.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Reference :

OTTAWA, Canada (Reuters) -- Canadian troops fighting Taliban militants in Afghanistan have stumbled across an unexpected and potent enemy -- almost impenetrable forests of marijuana plants 10 feet tall.

General Rick Hillier, chief of the Canadian defense staff, said Thursday that Taliban fighters were using the forests as cover. In response, the crew of at least one armored car had camouflaged their vehicle with marijuana.

"The challenge is that marijuana plants absorb energy, heat very readily. It's very difficult to penetrate with thermal devices. ... And as a result you really have to be careful that the Taliban don't dodge in and out of those marijuana forests," he said in a speech in Ottawa, Canada.

"We tried burning them with white phosphorous -- it didn't work. We tried burning them with diesel -- it didn't work. The plants are so full of water right now ... that we simply couldn't burn them," he said.

Even successful incineration had its drawbacks.

"A couple of brown plants on the edges of some of those [forests] did catch on fire. But a section of soldiers that was downwind from that had some ill effects and decided that was probably not the right course of action," Hiller said dryly.

One soldier told him later: "Sir, three years ago before I joined the army, I never thought I'd say 'That damn marijuana'."


There are so many things going through my mind right now I don't know where to start.

If the "ill effects" of the downwind are what I think it is, and they actually manage to burn the forest sometime soon, it would make for a REALLY interesting fight between the Canadian and the Taliban troops. Then again, I'm not even sure a fight would take place, given how mellow the troops would be.

The only thing more surprising than a forest of drugs appearing in middle of nowhere is finding Canadian troops in the middle of nowhere. Though, if I were a Canadian troop, though, I'd sob happily and cut some of it to help pay the bills at home.

If you sent in teenagers and hippies I reckon they'd clear the forest pretty quickly.


(Back to regularly scheduled programming!)

I received my enlistment letter a couple days ago. While not completely awe-inspiring, I can take comfort in the fact that my post A-level holidays are going to be longer than most people within my gender, and then some outside it.

On a side note, did anyone(or everyone) receive a yellow letter regarding people who serve their NS doing medical service? If the answer is no, I can look forward to a life as a medic under the shade. Which when you think about it isn't the worst job ever. Better the save a dying man than be the dying man.


We sometimes forget how lucky we are sometimes.

No, no, don't get up and leave! Not just yet, anyway. I'm not going to play the harmonica and wax lyrical about the past like an organic hodgepodge relic who does nothing but watch The Black Adder all day, both on TV and in his youth, and then whip out a cane at the speed of light at the slightest suggestion of indifference from generations below. No, I'm not that sinister a person. If I were I'd have plastered pictures of S.H.E and Madonna moving to the tune of Pussycat Dolls music. Speaking of which, is there any artist in the music industry more over franchised, overrated and more irrelevantly marketed than the Pussycat Dolls?

What I'm trying to say here is, we've come a long way, both technically and practically. Remember what studying was like 10 years ago? The only concern you had when you walked into school was what you were going to do during recess. Back when doing math was actually fun. When school legally ended at 12 everyday, and playing truant was never taken seriously. Fast forward to this year. School becomes your life instead of jus a part of it, doing math is about as fun as ramming your head against a grey wall and subsequently realising it's an elephant's buttocks, the list goes on.

In another sense, however, we have it much better than both generations before and after us. While people from JCs of past had to struggle with 10-variable differential equations involving complex numbers, we have a relatively comfortable sylabus. While people of past had NS experiences involving push-ups by the thousands and chicken patties that are burnt black and still frozen inside via mystic chef chef magic, we have NS once again relatively easy, while the system threatens to obliterate NS off the face of the earth once and for all in the near future. And I'd rather have lax NS than no NS. While we had the best kids' shows in Old School Power Rangers and Ultraman, the new generation has to cope with the local crap that Kids Central produces and multiple bad Power Ranger spinoffs. They don't even know who Yogi Bear or Fred Flintstone is anymore, and to them the Green Lantern will always be a black construction worker who has a fetish for birds, which I imagine will lead to scenarios of varying degrees of awkwardness when they encounter Bangla workers(TM). In addition to that, people seem to be getting shorter and shorter by the year, and increasingly stupid as well - J2s should know this.

In a sense, we have it the best compared across time - They say you can't predict the future, but hey, I tried. But as history would prove, people with the best equipment at their disposal will find a way to screw it up somehow. It hasn't happened yet, but the conspiracy theorist, apocalyptic visionary and pariah-cum-prophet in me all see it somehow.

So... make the best use of your time, because to quote Wong Mei Lin,"Time and tide wait for no man and no woman". The fact I'm using this quote had added a much-needed item to her short list of uses that initially only consisted of spotting A level questions.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Today I'm going to talk about relative importance.

Life is a combination of several planes of existance that intertwine with one another, so many that it would take some 3000 different symbols to make a vector equation with them and just writing one point of intersection would take a month to copy down. Us, as people who constantly change, be it mentally, physically or literally changing from a business suit to a horribly coordinated floral-printed shirt and matching shorts, end up spending our existential presence hopping from plane to plane, spending more time on some more than others. As a result of this, obviously we become professionals in some fields and a little more than hairy apes in another. For example, Wayne Rooney is regarded (and I say wrongly) as the best footballer in England, while in the gambling den he loses money like Nicole Richie loses her marbles. Michael Jordan is a basketball Legend and a three-legged elephant on the golf course.

All this points towards the fact that each and every person will be regarded with a different degree of importance in different areas. Caretakers at home are nobodies outside, because they spend an awfully long time at home and next to none outside. Even in our language, we see this. For example, in the sentence "My clock broke down this morning" the letter L is awfully important, changing the entire meaning of the sentence when taken away. On the other hand, you could take away a G from "Gnome" and it would have no impact on the way it is pronounced.

So, this points us towards a direction of specialisation, where we simply dwell in one area and not venture out, since we are after all best at one area of life, so it would make sense to do so, in order to derive maximum pleasure out of our transition. And if everyone did this, they would be funneled into whatever they enjoyed most, setting the world at a peaceful and enjoyable equilibrium. Sadly, much like a bad employee, this almost always fails to work. Because humans are greedy creatures, there is always a hunger for more, to branch out. Which means that as a result some planes become overcrowded as people jostle for territory.

There actually is a more concrete reasoning behind this non-specialisation, and as much as I hate to admit it it's explained by economic theory. The inherent problem of full-blown specialisation is that it's essentially throwing all your eggs in one basket. When Romeo thought Juliet was dead, he killed himself. This, however, is not about the stupidity of Shakespearen characters. This means that once you lose that one thing you've lived for, everything follows suit and goes down the drain. Theoretically one could argue that partial specialisation would be the best of both worlds, but the flipside says that it could be the worst as well.

That being said, total commitment could turn out to be like riding through the clouds on a golden jackalope with a Mercedes symbol on its forehead, or it could be like being a farmer with no chickens, or even worse, a singer forced to cut an album in collaboration with Cher. Sadly, there really isn't way to predict how things will go - the passage of time has proven that whol industries can collapse, I mean nobody wants new Backstreet Boy songs anymore, they should've quit while they were ahead.

I wanted to study lit today. I really did. Problem is, my notes are buried under a pile of redundant econs notes that I've left alone for months now. So, as could be expected, the moment I tried to move it the PSI in my room jumped to an apocalyptic number as the room was clouded in dust, the alarm was sounded, the fire engine made its way here and Taufik Batisah stepped out of that fire engine, the pure absurdity of the situation meaning that everything really is turning a little loopy. Well, that and the odd urge to burst out into song in a way normally reserved for corny Disney movies anyway.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Reference :

ERIE, Pennsylvania (AP) -- A woman used her 4-week-old baby as a weapon in a domestic dispute, swinging the infant through the air and striking her boyfriend with the child, authorities said.

The baby boy was in serious but stable condition Monday at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh, police said.

"Never, never, never. I can never remember anything like this," District Attorney Bradley Foulk told the Erie Times-News.

Chytoria Graham, 27, of Erie, was charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and simple assault. She was held Monday in the Erie County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail.

The infant, whose name was not released, suffered a fractured skull and some bleeding in the brain, authorities said. His head hit Graham's boyfriend, the baby's father, police Lt. Dan Spizarny said.

Authorities removed four other children from Graham's home and placed them with the Erie County Office of Children and Youth, Foulk said.


This is wrong on so many levels. This must be one of the dumbest people in the world. Firstly, What kind of woman would even consider using her baby as a tool of destruction? At 4 weeks old, a baby can't even support its head. It's still at a "don't-breath-on-me-too-hard" stage of vulnerability. Next : How does a 4-week-old baby make a good weapon? It's not sharp and too soft to count as a blunt weapon. Granted, anything swung fast enough is a weapon, but if you can accelerate something fast enough, why use a baby? There'll probably be lag time as the head completes the trajectory anyway. Also : If the baby lives through this and grows up he can say "Yeah, I beat up my old man once when I was 4 weeks old". Wow. And how does anger overcome maternal instincts? Even with post-natal depression it shouldn't be close.

This woman should be spending an awfully long time in prison. I don't care what kind of bastard your boyfriend is, using an infant as a weapon is both cruel and ineffective.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

In this world of ours, the most chaotic of places are those where people can get away with whatever they do. Without any sort of physical repurcussion, it seems, anything goes. The internet is a breeding ground for scammers, trolls and idiots alike, since everything is done from behind a screen. Where police is corrupt, crime runs rampant like King Kong in Teletubby land.

This means that the law is the only thing that holds society together, like invisible strings that prevent the world from shattering into a million Gundam-shaped pieces. However, this also means that humans, if left to their own devices will eventually tear the world apart, and the problem is so serious that there needs to be an overarching force just to keep ourselves in check, which puts a huge question mark over human morality. The only thing short of the law itself being uncivil is people being forced to watch Celine Dion live in concert as a punishment - people would be begging for the noose in the face of that, and those that sing along probably won't be a threat to society anytime soon.

Despite this, however, the law can only reach as far as it can see, which means that justice is at times arbitrary. In fact, I would say almost blind, because I personally believe that it is the person and not the sin that should be condemned. A drug trafficker trying to pay off his brother's gambling debts gets sentenced to death. A murderer who killed defending a relative is subjected to the rod. The list goes on.

What this means is also that the law does not punish evil people, it punishes crime. So, if something is immoral but not against the law, then the scales of Justice are powerless. In other words, the law does not bring out the good in society ; Rather, it simply stamps out certain acts that are deemed bad for society.

For people who get a kick out of being immoral, this means that to skulk in the shadows out of the reach of the law, the amount of acts you can get away with would be, in fact, rather limited. So, to the person flaming me for apparently no reason, I understand that you have nothing better to do, so I won't hold it against you even if you are a raving idiot - after all, you're just a product of society, one of many homogenous products. I'm not saying you're wrong. To get back on track, it should be said that all of us have done something immoral at some point of time - doing something good with a bad motive is immoral too. So, immorality is a part of all of us - The devil on our shoulders does beat the angel at times.


Is it just me, or is school most fun when lessons are optional?
Humans are inherently cowards.

Why do I say this? As we go about our day, most us suppress the evil within us. And we let our evil manifest in other ways that we know that we suffer little to no consequences of. You know what I mean - Women(and sometimes men too) are molested on new year parties and in clubs, fights happen mostly at night with the darkness as a veil, people hide behind computer screens and send viruses almost arbitrarily. All these are just a few of the examples of people doing what they naturally would because they know that they can get away with it. This means two things : That the law is the only thing keeping the world intact, and that it suppresses human nature at the same time.

This isn't to say I condone dressing up in a weird suit and threatening to hurt a lot of people - While people like these tend to make for interesting plotlines, it's also people like this that upset the balance of the world, however much fun it is for them. However, the nature of human curiosity is such that the cowardly evil cause the most frustration to others, because humans naturally have noses the size of the Himalayas - They just have to know everything, and telling them otherwise only makes them stress otherwise - Forbidden Fruit Syndrome, if you will.

Let's take the internet, for example. The reason online gaming is so addictive is because it allows people to communicate with others without having to show the true side of themselves, without having to step out of their comfort zone. This makes it equally easy to get away with flaming, trolling, betraying your online buddies, and so on, which makes it equally frustrating in some respects, thereby causing people to play even more so they can do the same to others or hunt down whoever did it in the first place. I've seen bloggers rant on about anonymous flamers on their tagboard, which never really struck me as very smart - Their obviously arguing with inferior people who don't have much of a life in any respect and who obviously don't have enough respect to give themselves even a fake name. A random e-mail address sending you a virus gets rather irritating because you don't know where it comes from - The chances of it being Deep Blue malfuctioning are roughly equal to that of a very outdone,resentful and frustrated David copperfield sitting in front of Deep Blue, functioning.

There is a part of all of us that is like that,sadly. We just need to accept it.
Thankfully, the haze has died down after the craziness of saturday, when I came home and found ashes in my hair. Not a great way to conclude your day, looking like you just burnt your hair in a freak accident. That being said, I'm still rather peeved off by the haze, for two reasons:

1) The obvious one. Creating streets so musty you could film a D-grade ghost movie in it and probably get away with it, buildings you thought were there mysteriously disappearing, blowing your nose to find your mucus being a sick shade of yellow tinted with grey, the sky being perenially overcast, giving rise to cries of "The haze is killing us!", "The world is ending!", "The sun has gone on vacation!" and "Who turned out the lights?"

Now, what possible argument could there be for burning trees seeming arbritrarily? "Ariable land quick" is one of the lamest excuses I've heard in a while, right up there with using blondness to dismiss stupidity, reconciling sleep time with results, and "The world is out to get me!" in response to "This is your fault!" (I'm not kidding about the last one, my brother has an anal thing going on about never being wrong which has lasted since he was like 7 years old. To this day, I still havent heard him admit it.) It's not like the world suddenly doesn't have a use for lumber anymore. Then again, I wouldn't put anything past Indonesia anymore.

2) Now, with a PSI of 200 we would all be happy people - Since schools would close(good), people would stop going to work(bad for me, good for others - no house to myself anymore), crows would hopefully choke to death(good) and so on. So since they were already wreaking unnecessary havoc on the world, why not push their luck a bit more and give students everywhere a better life? Once again, those damn Indos, practicing moderation at the wrong time.


Studying seems to have taken a tumble for the moment, at the rate I'm going I'll probably sink like an elephant in the Indian Ocean. Which can only mean I'll have to go back to doing a little bit of studying and work my way from there. Which, given my minute attention span, means an uphill battle.


Bring it.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

One of Karl Marx's less well-known quotes mentioned that "religion is the opiate of the masses", referring to religion's ability to release humans from trivialties such as free thought(who needs free thought?) as well as giving man the sense of empowerment that it bestows upon the common man. Since this organised religion that Marx spoke of is merely a modified, sanctioned, souped-up, tricked-out, Super Soaker 3000 form of obedience, we could further desalinate his statement to come to the inevitable conclusion that it isn't religion, but obedience in general, which drugs and clouds the judgment of society. The staggering similarities are immediately apparent - Like drugs, certain aspects of organised obedience allow man to feel a sensation of unshakeable power, as they have in my own experience. Which could explain my skepticism on religion as a whole, but thats another issue for another time. However, much like drugs, mindlessly obeying and going with the majority takes away a person's capacity to think straight. Okay, most people don't even think straight on a regular basis, which is obviously a sign.

Case in point : Killing is bad, almost everyone knows that. There's an economical principal behind it, but that doesn't change the fact that killing is bad. Yet, the Christians of the past who set out on a glorious crusade to wipe Muslims off the face of the earth and then wipe their butts with Muslim hides never felt that what they were doing made them feel powerful and omnipotent. It would be altogether myopic and stupid to say that they had no moral reservations about what they did. Yet, what they, and many others of dubious morality, such as Madonna, Justin Gatlin or William Shakespeare, are monstrous in the public eye. And there is no doubt that they are just as human as any of us, just that they were doing what the organised religion said to do. Similarly, all of us, I don't care who you are, have done something at some point of time to make us feel powerful and raring to race with that ferrari, only to look back and realised that what we did was in fact, rather scummy. Such incidents, in fact, shine light on the darker, unexposed, unheralded side of human nature with regards to the willingness to obey despite potential moral repurcussions.

Similarly, unless we are the most obstinate of our race, we probably would have given in to the expectations of a group even though it wasn't a reflection of what we actually thought ; This is where the "don't underestimate stupid people in large numbers" T-shirts came from. Easier to just go with the flow than tire yourself out constantly defending your ideals and failing miserably. On some occasions this desperation to act or think in a certain way requires one to belittle, smite, stomp on and castrate another person in the process of "proving" myself to the group - A brotherhood test, if you will. The question is, people, as seemingly moral human beings with all the traditional capacity to love, feel, and to experience emotions, betray some of what makes me human in order to gain a sense of power by obeying the group? If the answer is yes, it certainly seems like a troubling response, because one would be hard-pressed to find a human who has not experienced one of these incidents for themselves. Is it therefore, ironically, human nature to betray others for the sake of power? Again, the answer is troubling - this would place such historical monstrosities like Adolf Hitler and Vlad the Impaler in the same category of regular humans. Indeed, there is a bit of a monster in every one of us waiting to be unleashed like Martin Yan's vegetable chopping skills.

Humans are tempted by the power afforded by a group - some humans very obviously affected more than most - however; this temptation, if acted upon, does not place an indelible stain upon their moral standing. It merely adds another layer to the complexity of what we call human morality. Can anyone say whether it is moral to betray another for one's own personal profit? Some might say that it would be immoral not to follow that what gives you pleasure, even if it involves a certain sacrifice on the part of others. Morals are inherently relative; there is no set of rules that everyone, or even the majority of people, can be said to subscribe to. And yet, most, if not all, laws are based on a perceived set of "common morals" that supposedly permeate every human within the jurisdiction of these laws. The minority who do not follow these laws are branded as criminals and deviants - and some rightfully so - but that does not mean that everyone who disobeys one of these moral laws is a brutish criminal. They could have the mentality that personal pleasure is paramount to the individual, and who are we to tell them otherwise? After all, we punish them because it is to our benefit in the end, no matter how we try to argue it for the good of society, that's all bull in the end. The answer is that these deviant attitudes are harmful to the all-powerful institution known as society, and society has a certain power to instill whatever it pleases into the hearts of those that are blind to everything but society in its most pure, absolute form.

Similarly, not all that are crimes are immoral, and all that is immoral may not be considered crime - yet another fault of having a common law. Many people, overly conceited females ecspecially, see adultery as a heinious crime that should have the offendor subject to a lifetime sentence of watching blonde chick flicks. Yet, in some countries adultery is a crime not punishable by law. This is largely due to social pressure again - Higher-ups all have a greater propensity to commit adultery, what with table-climbing secreteries and closed-door "massage specialists"(well, technically yes, since they specialise in relaxing one muscle in particular" so adultery is dealt away with altogether at times.

This reliance on society, and the willingness of people to obey it without question or objection, does indeed reflect an unsavory aspect of the human psyche. It is often disturbing to hear stories of people such as Adolf Eichmann who, had he not been born in the era of German fascism, would likely have risen to be a prominent and well-meaning member of society, and perhaps a celebrity chef or a reality show participant while he was at it. But due to the pressure from his superiors, he was able to commit terrible acts of genocide against the human populace. This begs the question: are we so different? The Milgram experiment shows that most people had few reservations about torturing their fellow humans, and it is easy to assume there were some that thought of their participation in the study as their duty, and it is likely they felt a strong sense of power by carrying out this "duty", even though it was at the expense of other humans. It is equally easy to assume that the people who had this mindset constitute the majority of our society. Certainly those who have the ability to perform their duty quickly and efficiently rise easily to the upper echelons of politics and corporations, and it is primarily these two factors that control and shape our society. So it is a short logical leap to conjecture that that those people who have such a hand in the way our society is formed are the same people who show few objections to situations that pose moral questions. This is simply the way our society is structured, but it is also disturbing to a significant degree.

Aside : This is why "dogs" exist. Not literal dogs, but I think we all know what I mean by "dogs".

What is moral about obedience? Is the fact that it empowers the individual who obeys sufficient grounds for the majority of people to obey without question? Or should we, as humans, be constantly committed to looking out for one another? These questions, as well as many more about the morality of obedience, may never be answered sufficiently. The most we can do is speculate as much as possible as to what it means to be moral or obedient, or whether they are inherently good or bad, and ultimately live out our ideals, albeit within the confines of society. However, we can assert that obedience has an extremely significant impact on people, and it does much to sway a person's individual morals, no matter how resilient or intelligent the person in question is. The willingness to obey seems almost genetically ingrained in our DNA, and can sway our actions far more than we'd like to believe, to the point where it has the ability to destroy our formerly-held set of morals for the mere sake of the power afforded by the collective consciousness of the group that we are obeying. In this sense, obedience can truly be said to be the opiate of the masses - Just like the big man said.

I had no idea what that was about, I'd probably have to read it again just to understand it.


And in case anyone was wondering, I got BCE. Not spectacular, but not as awful as I expected it to be.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I haven't gone to school for 2 days, haven't done any work to speak of for 2 weeks. It looks like the A levels aren't going to be too friendly to me. I'd be like that uncle who always barged in unwelcome in the family of the exams. Then again, it's always been that way, so I've learnt not to complain about it.

Now, before anyone screams, points a finger, screams "CLOSET MUGGER", ties me to a stick and burns me, stabs me with a wooden stake or try to trap me with outdated Ghostbusters technology, I promise that all this is true, and I'm not the god of mugging and slacking simultaneously. And though I don't intend to fail my A levels with spectacularly lousy grades it's more of a product of accumulated nothingness rather than an objective of my part.

On a side note, however, not studying does free up an awful lot of time to do meaningless things like watch MTV, sleeping 12 hours a day, jumping on a spacecraft to Pluto, no longer a planet but a rock with an orbit, save the world, kill vampires and guest-star on reality shows.

Grumble. There have been a veritable lack of issues to speak of these days, and mindless dribble about X cheating on Y for Z and so on is both uninteresting and well-known already, so let me just say that...

Superman speaks Japanese.(yes, this is true.)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Everybody plays favourites. When you root for the underdog, you're still rooting for the one that strikes your fancy. Only the utterly random responses are free from personal preference. We are what we like. I like to make up random rankings in my head from time to time when I get bored - These lists range from Most difficult math topics to Worst EPL striker of all time to Most Absurd movies to Freakiest-looking Muffin ever made, among other more nonsensical goings-on that take place in the labyrinth that calls itself my brain.

In the end, however, you like what you like, and for the most part no external judgment can cloud your taste, not unless you're one of those prissy girls that simply go along with whatever their friends say because individuality is frowned upon where they come from. Don't deny it, you're probably biased in one way or another ; There's a reason a TKGS girl(for lack of a better example) would call one of her green brethren who can lick her elbow "talented" and a "future contortionist" while anyone else is "freaky","weird" and "doomed to circus sideshow-dom". This would, of course, raise ugly questions about TKGS girls, but that is not the point here. The point here is that everyone has a personal bias of sorts.

So what does that lead us to? It means that people tend to make decisions that they like, as opposed to rational decisions or thought-through decisions. There are obviously people who like the smartest choice, but these are the same people who started out supported Man U, then Arsenal, then Chelsea or whoever won the league the last season. Besides, the loopholes can be saved for later. Admittedly, I've made several boneheaded mistakes in the course of my life - 18 years is an awful lot of time to screw around with. I'm not talking about boneheaded mistakes such as "Ah! Why didn't I round it off to 3 s.f", "Why did I waste my money watching that movie?" or even "Why didn't I start training to be an Iron Chef at age 5?", I mean making mistakes that I knew I would regret right after I made them. Granted, such mistakes can be minimised, but everyone makes them at some point of time.

Obviously, all this arises because of favouritism - If I like being an asshole, I'd insult a person first opportunity that arises, which too often doesn't prove to be very smart. The problem with this is that it's a lose-lose situation ; If I let loose and flap my gums I'd obviously be pissing some people off, while holding back would piss myself off even further. While you could call me an isolated case, modern society has developed in such a way that people are trained to see the bad in others over the good - People seem to forget that Michael Jackson produced decades of good music sometimes, instead choosing to focus on things comparatively minute in comparison, happily ignoring the fact that where music is concerned, Michael Jackson is the man(feel free to replace the word man as you see fit). In some ways, it's quite obvious that social conditioning does contribute to favouritism, which would be the answer to the TKGS question, but that's something I don't intend to mention at length.

And social conditioning, of course, is where the bulk of humans get their ideals from. Remember the phrase "Never underestimate stupid people in large groups"? It's pretty much true, because it's almost a given that there will be more idiots than intellects in any given place, and also that its easier for a genius to become a retard than vice versa. This also means that the ideals of the less clever will tend to be more dominant. In fact, History has proven that the masses are also the most uneducated. And the masses are called the masses for a reason.

However, the alternate theory states that things could be the other way round ; Dumb people do not become dumb because they hang out with dumb people, rather, dumb people hang out with other dumb people because they're rather foolish. The main difference, of course, is in the opinions whether people are born the same or whether people can be smarter than others at the point of birth. We all know that IQ tests are pretty much unreliable in proving intelligence, much like practically every exam in the system, so there really isn't any way to prove either side true, kind of like agnosticism for intelligence levels.

So, how does one go about deciding which theory is true, or doing the clever thing and deciding that this really isn't of concern and probably won't take any lives or break any new ground if proven and subsequently not care?

He practices favouritism.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I got 23/30 for econs mcq. I was staggered over. This is a big deal. I was equally staggered over at the sight of my other papers. Not because they were equally awesome, but because the marks were just about equal. Now, if only the essay paper wasn't out of 75....

So yeah, my econs isn't that great.


Strangely, I have absolutely nothing to say right now. It's not like there's anything tangibly bad about nothingness ; Sometimes the absence is more comforting than the presence though almost always less so than the presents. Ecspecially so when you're talking about the presence of Ninja-trained Econs teachers, a bull in a China shop or guest singers on Singapore Idol.

Aside : I'm absolutely sure that the guest performers on Singapore Idol are there for the sole purpose of making the actual contestants look good. Between a bunch of Chinese guys trying to sing Stand by Me, the band doing to Green Day songs what Michael Jackson does to little boys and Rui En butching Iris, it just doesn't get much worse than that. I was most ticked off by the latter though, never mind that she's starkly overrated and really not that pretty, now she has to prove to the whole world(or just Singapore, since SI shown overseas would be accompanied by a laughtrack and called a comedy) that she's about as musically talented as a grey mule on a trampoline. And she still claimed she was bringing out the emotion of the song. Then again, maybe she thought that the song was supposed to bring excruciating pain to the ears of others. (End aside)

I am, in fact, a believer in nothingness ; After all, the most important things don't need a medium by which to be channeled, and everything else is pretty much distraction. There's just something about a void that makes it comforting. To have nothing to look at going forward and nothing to miss looking back, it traps you in the present and makes you live in the moment, which is what life is all about ; Because thinking short term is somewhat reckless and thinking long term lends itself to tunnel vision, it's better to just do what you need to now and adjust later, since plans don't work out 90% of the time anyway.

However, if we filled our lives with only the most important things, and there are actually only so few of them, it does get boring eventually, even if we do know it's important. Kind of like education, see? Anyway, this is where filler comes in ; As a temporary respite to the weariness of life that grows, it also distracts and pulls us away from the most important things, so that when we do return to them we learn to cherish them even more. What these important things actually are, however, differ from person to person. It could be money, love, food, movies, friendship, worship, brotherhood, brothers in the hood or even brother red riding hood.(Does that even make any sense?)

However, things go from one state to another, and way leads on to way ; And somewhere down the line, many, if not all, of us lose sight of these most important things. This can be disguised as changing priorities, paradigm shift or a variety of other things, Elvis Presley, Vanilla Ice or Vanilla Ice Cream among others. And sometimes, when we wake up and realise that we've been neglecting our priorities all the while, it's much too late to do anything about the situation. And as a result, our outlook on life changes as the actual priority shift happens here : Since we've effectively renounced what we stood for in the past, there isn't a reason to go back to it anymore, it would be the same as beating a dead horse till it became fully digested, or eating your own puke. As a more serious analogy, it's like going overseas and coming to find your family dead, leaving you with no choice but to move on with whatever you were doing.

So how does one deal with this? The answer is that you probably can't unless you have built in security cameras in your corneas, because trying to give equal attention to every aspect of your life means that you won't get the full enjoyment of doing any one thing ; A jack of all trades and master of none in some sense. Opportunity cost. A bunch of other economic terms. However, it's the process of actuallt deciding what to leave and what to go with that becomes a bother, and this is where so many people screw up in life and wind up at a desk job cursing their luck every morning and their bosses in the evening when they get to do the honours known as "unpaid overtime". This happens because people fail to realise the full ramifications of what they do. I've said that thinking to far ahead puts you in danger of tunnel vision, which is why that comes in important as people only consider one outcome and not how that outcome affects everything else.

In fact, by now you've already thought of several mistakes that you've made already ; Such as lending money to that guy on the last day of school, helping that old woman cross the road only to realise you were on candid camera or it's inferior little brother Gotcha! or making your movies so predictable that your audience knows the ending while you're halfway through your script(M. Night Shyamalan, here's looking at you.)

Sadly, even if we do realise the mistakes we make, we can never truly determine if the other route would have been better, which makes regret and other past-related emotions somewhat obsolete in today's world.

(Oh, great. I have no idea how to end this post.)

The weird part is, after all that I still feel like I haven't said anything.

Does anything I say make sense anymore? Did it in the first place? Sheesh.