Wake Up Call?

We are exposed to news items about crimes, natural disasters, wars almost daily and the frequent exposure to such events mean that we don’t as much as bat an eyelid when we see headlines about many world events anymore. We feel sad but just think of most events on a very superficial level unless we are personally affected by the events.

Man murdered by spiteful ex-wife. “Sigh, maybe they had an acrimonious divorce..”

Earthquake strikes 100 miles off Indonesian coast, 50 dead. “What to do, their location is like that. Happens often there..”

Shooting in Washington mall, 3 dead including shooter. “Another shooting? Lucky not so many died”

Woman raped by drunk man while walking home from work. “Aiyo, so poor thing. hope and pray she’s fine now..”

We experience sad emotions in passing and carry on with our lives and we view these events only as ‘news’. There is a deep story behind every single one of the victims of these crimes but rarely are we ever told of these stories. We see numbers, statistics, death tolls.

However, once in a while, a story breaks which forces us to remove the rose tinted glasses with which we normally view the world. Something about the story is so jarring that we sit up and try to fully absorb the magnitude of what has just occurred.

Consider the case of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, where more than 230,000 people lost their lives. Earthquakes are part and parcel of life along the Pacific Ring of Fire, but the high death toll and damage during this particular event really shocked people. The event resulted in the establishment of an Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System to help warn of future tsunamis in the vicinity so that people could be evacuated.

For a more recent event, think about the shooting in a Connecticut elementary school where 26 people were killed, including 20 young children. Shootings occur on a daily basis in the US and mass shootings occur on an unfortunately frequent basis too. However, this event in particular was heartbreaking to many because the majority of casualties were children, They were young children who could not possibly have defended themselves against an assault rife wielding adult, little children who might not even have fathomed the seriousness of the situation they were in. The aftermath of prior shootings followed a predictable pattern where there would be mourning for a certain time frame, memorials, some calls for gun control which eventually died off. This time, even gun control opponents have accepted that some control like an assault weapons ban might be beneficial to society as a whole. A bill will be introduced on the first day of the new Congress, but it remains to be seen if there is political momen tum then to push some measures through.

Recently, something occurred in Delhi, India which shocked the world. A young lady, Damini, and her friend were going home after watching a movie. They boarded a private bus thinking it was public transit and were assaulted by the 6 men on board. She was gang-raped by the 6 men and the duo were beaten up with iron bars and thrown off the bus after being stripped. Apparently, she also had her uterus ripped out by one of the men. She died in hospital after some time.  India is ranked as the fourth worst place to be a woman in the world and local police are quoted as saying that there is a woman raped every 18 hours there. So crimes against women in India are disgustingly common, but this crime has elicited such extreme reactions due to its savagery. There are protests, commissions and Indians across the social strata have weighed in with their reactions calling for more protection for women and harsher laws to punish future criminals.

I realise that when we read about some crimes, the depravity with which it is executed causes us to feel more affected than we normally would in such a situation. Crimes against women occur everyday all over the world, but when faced with such a brutal crime people cannot just sit back and treat it like an everyday occurrence. When we read about natural disasters, we are more stirred when we see a larger death toll. When we say that it’s a good thing that not many people died in a certain earthquake, we tend to forget that each death means the world to someone somewhere. This does not mean that we are bad people, it is just that the frequency of bad things happening really does tend to desensitize us to everything but the worst of events.

When events such as the above-mentioned occurs, a solemn responsibility falls upon us, especially upon those in power. The responsibility to ensure that such things are prevented from happening again as far as possible. The responsibility to ensure that those who pass away do not do so in vain. The responsibility to take however much effort to ensure that victims are remembered more than the perpetrators of crimes and their lives are commemorated as much as the criminals are punished.

Memorials, protests, calls to action via social media are all good but concrete steps should be taken to prevent future tragedies when the problem is Man. If something can be done to stop bad things from happening, it simply should be done. These events do not and should not happen often, but when they do, they should serve as a wake up call.


Dear American Voter

Dear American Voter,

I have been following your political process intently since the 2008 election, when a junior Senator from Illinois was elected President. You may know him as your current President, Barack Obama. I enjoyed his soaring oratory and felt that of the two major choices on offer then, he would make the better President by far, though he had no executive experience.

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It has been four years since I was cheering in my living room for his election, perhaps more ardently than some Americans. I was elated that I could finally listen to a thoughtful, even-tempered and calm man speak as America’s President for the next four years. I will readily admit that he has not been a perfect President, not by a long shot. I do not agree with all the actions he has taken but that is not what I would like to discuss here.

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In the past few weeks, I have been watching the presidential debates to see how the Republican candidate, Mr Romney, measures when put up against the incumbent. I had been following the Republican primary process and it did seem inevitable that the Governor would eventually clinch the nomination. Most of the characters he was running against did not seem like serious candidates for the highest office in the land. As widely predicted, Mr Romney won the primary and was nominated to face Mr Obama. I had also read that Mr Romney had a reputation for being a ‘flip-flopper’, i.e., someone who changes their policy positions for political gain. Then again, politicians tend to do things for political gain so that was not surprising.

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Mr Romney’s campaign, however, seemed to lie with reckless abandon. He repeated widely debunked claims about welfare reform, healthcare, foreign policy wherever he went. His campaign also refused to release his tax returns and specific plans on issues like tax policy. I was even more surprised that the press did not seem to think of all this as disqualifying traits for a President. It has even come to the point where it is accepted as common knowledge that he is not going to release his returns, a tradition which has been honoured by candidates from both parties from decades. Your candidates for unelected office have their tax returns prodded but you’re okay with one of the richest presidential candidate ever refusing to release them? What’s the point of having so much political media when they do not do their actual job but instead spend their time inviting two opposing points to argue pointlessly without end? The political media spends all its time waiting for a gaffe from any politician, so that they can analyse it, A GAFFE! Anyway, let’s focus on the debates, where most Americans would have seen the two men together for the first time.

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In the first debate, the Governer was widely seen as being the victor although the substance of his answers left much to be desired. The President seemed unprepared for Mr Romney’s abrupt shift on almost every policy he had been campaigning on for more than a year and seemed reluctant to call him out. Fact checkers had a field day with Romney’s comments the next day, but nobody seemed to care much about the fact that they had just been lied to on national television. Mr Romney confidently rattled off his talking points and dominated the debate stylistically next to a tired looking President. All that mattered was that when people were paying attention, he said whatever he felt would get him votes even if they contradicted his recent positions.

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The second debate saw a much more energised President taking the game to Mr Romney and dominating in terms of style and substance. It was yet another debate filled with a case of severe Romnesia. The positions that he had taken throughout the campaign suddenly seemed to count for nothing.If it got him votes, he said it. For example, reiterating that his tax plan would lower rates on everyone but by closing some undefined loopholes affecting only higher income people, the plan would be revenue neutral! All the cookies with none of the fat!

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The third debate was a rout and the President easily crushed Mr Romney on his home turf of foreign policy. In fact, it didn’t feel like much of a debate as the Gov. implied that he agreed with every action the President had taken vis a vis foreign affairs. He just felt that he would have done the same things better and with more leadership. It was weird to see a peace-loving Mitt, since his foreign policy advisers are mostly neoconservatives from the 2nd Bush Administration. His previously hawkish stance on foreign affairs disappeared before our very eyes. He whitewashed his views for the war weary American public when they were watching. Watching this debate, I saw a man who didn’t really care much for foreign policy and was content to rattle off whatever came to his mind. In my opinion, this is a disturbing trait to have in any President, especially the Commander-in-Chief of the planet’s most powerful military with access to advisers who brought us all 2 wars. Mr Romney did not project an air of confidence that he had a sufficient grasp of world affairs beyond what he memorised for the debate. He seemed flustered at times when discussing matters in detail, matters he might not have a prepared talking point for. This cannot be an acceptable quality in a President who will be dealing with foreign affairs on a daily basis, whose decisions tend to affect world events greatly.

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I readily admit I am biased towards President Obama but this does not mean I cannot see positives in the Republican point of view or candidates. There are were sane candidates like Jon Huntsman, but sanity seemed to gain no traction with the GOP. Mitt Romney captured the nomination by attrition, outlasting the other nutcases who each took turns to be a joint-frontrunner. Mr Romney repositioned himself as some sort of moderate Republican just in time for a national television audience, perfect time for an Etch-a-Sketch.

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It would be possible to respect Mr Romney if he was a severely conservative politician, even if one did not agree with his views. The problem is that it is impossible to know what exactly his core principles and views are, he has been all over the map on every issue possible It seems like he will literally say whatever it takes to get elected, prior statements be damned. Behind closed doors, he tells his donors that he does not need worry about 47% of Americans then on television, he tells everyone that he loves them. When he ran for office in Massachusetts, he had one set of principles, in the GOP primaries, he had a different set of principles, in a room of donors, he had a different set of principles and now he has yet another set. Simply put, he panders to the audience in front of him at any one time. But if you had to take a guess as to which was his actual set of beliefs, would it be the sets that he holds when in public view or behind closed doors?

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How, why would you vote for such a person? Is it because he will get your economy back on track? The truth is that the current guy seems to be doing that, albeit slowly, with no help from the other side of the aisle whatsoever.The current guy who has been bastardized by the right at every opportunity, yet still remains dignified.

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Why would you condone what the Republicans have been doing for four years by stonewalling legislation which could have boosted the economy? Why would you reward the intransigence of  party which decided to block everything the President would attempt, even before he was inaugurated? Why would you elect a man who does not seem to have any core principles and lies brazenly to your face? How can you blame all your problems on the President and not acknowledge the severity of crisis he inherited? How can you expect him to fully dig you out of a hole that was decades in the digging, within 4 years? How can you believe Mr Romney’s unsubstantiated claims so easily? Is it a desire to see Mitt as President or a desire to just get Barack out of the White House?!

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If Obama was a Republican, I honestly believe that you would have re-elected him by acclamation and saved the hundreds of millions wasted on campaign spending, just for taking out OBL. You have a thoughtful,caring intellectual you can trust in the White House and desire to replace him with an entitled lying shape-shifter. When the world looks at you seriously considering replacing President Obama with Mitt Romney, we are astounded and cannot believe you would do such a stupid thing. Then we remember who you elected twice.

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An observer from Not-America( yes, there is such a place)

State of the Rantdom

*blows cobwebs off blog*

** eeeew, get that spider off my leg!!!**

My subjects, forgive me for failing to update you on the status of the Rantdom! The upkeep of the Rantdom is proving to be a challenge, one which I, as your self appointed leader, have been meeting admirably. Nary a day passes by where I don’t face a challenge which seems insurmountable. The world is a dangerous places and a lesser man would long ago have wilted under the pressure I face on a daily basis, but I persist. I refuse to yield to the pressures of this office for I have been put here to serve a greater purpose. I would like to take this opportunity to address some issues pertinent to our Rantdom.

It’s been a long time since I last wrote something here. It’s hard to do my schoolwork on time, it’s harder to find time to write something coherent here. I suppose the time I spend on public transport could be used for this, but whatever. So many things are happening all the time and it’s hard to keep track of all this chaos, but if I can’t keep track of all this, who else can?

My chief of staff has alerted me that large numbers of people have spent copious amounts of time waiting in line for a ‘new’ consumer product. I hear that they have been convinced by men in plain t-shirts that this product is the best thing since their previous ‘new’ product. Since my subjects seem to have so much energy and money, I have decided that Saturdays are no longer off days. Henceforth, the Rantdom operates on a six day work week and minimum wage will be reduced.

So the iPhone 5 was finally ‘unveiled’. Quotation marks because almost all the specs had been leaked many weeks prior to the launch. I dont understand how the Tshirt Technocrats at Apple think that they can clamp down on leaks so effectively. They have made a consumer product which is so eagerly awaited and still expect to be able to conceal the vital details until launch? The only way they can do that is to make every single aspect of the phone themselves and allow the factory workers no contact with the outside world for a year. Considering their nature, I would not put it past them actually. But kudos to the fruit heads, they’ve made a sexy phone which I probably will get. And for anybody who wants to compare the specs between the S3 and i5, i really dont give much of a fuck about the specs. Its a nicer looking, nicer feeling phone with good enough specs for me. It’s a smartphone, i just need to call message and use the Net. If i want to watch movies, I do so on a television. Even then, I would never queue 12 hours for something which i can get one week later without queueing for as long. Apple is a cult, I swear.

My advisors have also informed me that there is a crucial election occurring in North America, forgetting that their current President is my good friend. I truly believe that compared to the mendacious, bellicose buffoon who is opposing him, he would be the better choice for the next four years. I understand that leaders should try to refrain from inserting themselves into external elections but I cannot stand idly by in this case. It is not in our interests to have another pre-emptive war in the Middle East which will more likely be the case if his opponent wins.

Now it’s time for an update on the American presidential elections. Current forecasts seem to indicate an Obama win, but there is still a month to go and there are three debates which might have a large impact on the race. Hopefully, nothing much changes and I can spend the next few years continuing to follow the political scene there. I still wonder how the Republican ticket is actually still in the running when they have run an entire campaign based on lies. (36 different posts all chronicling lies!!!!) All politicians spin to an extent but I didn’t think it was possible to run for the position of the world’s most powerful leader by lying, race-baiting and dog-whistling all the way. And it takes some nerve to project that your opponent is actually the lying scumbag. It’s annoying since the media does not even call them out for their consistent lying. I used to enjoy watching US political talk shows but i just find them nonsensical and pointless nowadays. There will be two sides arguing about every issue by spewing talking points and a moderator whose only job seems to be alerting them when it’s time for a commercial break. Their electorate seems to be even more polarized now and watching these shows is just a painful waste of time, so I spare myself the torture and just read about the events instead. I am certain that Romney would go to war with Iran and do as Bibi beckons, so I really hope he does not win. I am not saying that Obama is perfect but with the crap he inherited and the unyielding opposition he faced, it’s great that they’ve actually managed to replace the jobs lost in the recession. I really think that if Obama was a a white Republican guy, this would not even be a contest. If Barack Obama is the worst President ever, who is actually a secret Kenyan, socialist, Muslim, racist usurper hell-bent on destroying America, why did none of the more prominent, promising Republicans run against him to save their country from certain doom?

My fellow citizens, we have come a long way from that stormy May evening when I embarked on the journey as your leader It feels like just yesterday that I took my oath of office and affirmed my commitment to serve the Rantdom . Every night before I go to bed, I never fail to think about the incredible responsibilities that i have been entrusted with and at times I feel burdened. During those moments, I think of what Lincoln once said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”. I have been tested more than I ever imagined I would and consequently, I have grown as a man, as a leader and as a Ranter. I hope you will continue to support me as we move forward towards a better day and brighter future, together. Thank you.

Sometimes I am in awe at my ability to write so much nonsense in a seemingly incoherent manner. If only there was a way to harness this ability for good instead of evil. There used to be a time where I dreaded being told to write 300-500 word essays, now i write thousand word essays for no rhyme or reason. Maybe one day in the distant future when I read these entries again, I will laugh at my youthful idiocy or cry thinking about what I wasted my time on. It’s much more likely however,that I will be astounded by the insight I showed at such a tender age and researchers will use this as proof that genius manifests itself in many ways. Hopefully, it will not be that long till I next come around to tend to my Rantdom.


Naming Ceremony

Let’s play jeopardy!

Dilemma, Conundrum, Predicament. Answer: Words which cannot be used to describe my decision to quit my temporary job.

They are also words which cannot be used to describe my decision to resume my job as a full time daydreamer. However, I soon remembered that this job does not pay well and I still have to put food on the table for my wife and kids. Thus I decided to freelance as a Business Branding Consultant. I managed to obtain two Branding Contracts,for an educational institution and construction company. This post shall serve as both the written record of my brainstorming process and justification for my remuneration.

The contract for the educational institution,specifically a tuition centre, states that the name should be one which suggests that the students are winners and should have belief in themselves. I have also been allowed a liberal amount of artistic license by the organisation.

My belief is that names should be catchy, yet relevant. One possible name could be Genius Factory. The good thing about this name is that it is different from the normal tuition centres and sounds catchy. However it seems to suggest that the centre churns out students like a production line. The word ‘factory’, also has a negative connotation when it comes to education, students would not want to go to a place where it seems they will have to endure rote learning( that’s what school is for!!).

Some people have favourite colours. I feel like a geek for saying this but I have a favourite word. Savant. I learnt this word some time back watching a show on Discovery Channel and I’ve loved it since. It is actually a medical condition but one of its definitions is ‘learned person’. I think ‘Savant Avenue’ is a damn cool name for a tuition centre. Sort of like ‘Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters’ from the X-men comics. It also seems like a play on the phrase Seventh Avenue, there’s a Sixth Avenue but no Seventh Avenue. The name suggests that the Centre is a place for gifted youngsters, not necessarily book smart but with hidden talents which can be tapped.

Heuristic: (of a method of teaching) Allowing pupils to learn things for themselves. Now does not that sound like a cool word! Heuristic hub, that would be a catchy name because students will automatically wonder what that word actually means. In essence, the name just means that different teaching methods will be used in the Centre, but it is a bit of a tongue twister.

One could also use short phrases for the name of the Centre. Ideally, the phrase should have a motivational effect and not be too long. One possibility is “Unleash your potential’. This would dovetail with the Centre’s stated aim to motivate and help any student to be able to study well. ‘Limitless learning’ would also have a motivational feel to it, suggesting that students should not limit or set boundaries for themselves. “Awake.Aspire.Achieve” would be quite a nice name for the Centre. It would be a succinct way to express the Centre’s mission.

This is a shortlist of the various names I have managed to come up with for the tuition centre so far. Obviously, there were a few more ideas but I have deemed them unworthy of mention or memory. Personally I feel that the name of a tuition centre should be short and sweet. AND COOL, it has to be cool!. Importantly, if there is an intent to expand in the future, the name should be like a brand. Children should be attracted to it and feel proud to say they study there.

The construction company has only one condition, any possible name should have a Singaporean flavour. It is a joint venture between two of the big players in the local construction scene,each with very ethnic names. So for this new company, they would like to have something which everyone can relate to.

The first name that came to my mind was Chilli Crab Construction. Stop laughing, this is the problem with asking people to come up with something Singaporean. From young we’ve been trained to think of Singapore as a

1. Clean and green garden city

2.Tourist Paradise

3. Food Haven

So naturally, I think of Chilli Crab, Chicken Rice and Roti Prata when told to think of Singapore. Though catchy, it seems like quite a stupid name for a company, sort of like a joke company.

Secondly, I thought of Red Dot Construction. Red dot is a term which has become synonymous with Singapore, thanks to the efforts of foreign leaders trying to belittle us. It has a local flavour which is not particularly unique to any ethnic group too.

Thirdly, I thought of SingaBuilders. I don’t think I have to elaborate why this name has a local flavour, its quite obvious. Maybe Heartland Builders would be a nice name, it has a soft, non-corporate feel to it. The fact is, most Singaporeans do live in the heartland and the name makes it seem like the company builds homely places.

For now, that’s all the possible names i can think of. Hopefully, one of the names from the shortlist will pass muster with the powers that be. If not, I will understand and get on with my life.

My fees still apply nonetheless. I’ve got kids to feed,dammit!


Eccentricity

Weird things have been happening over the past few days and this has got me thinking. I read a fair amount of weird stuff but the regularity over the past few days has been alarming, even for a person who has been labelled ‘WEIRD’ as often as me.

“You’re so weird.”. I hear this sentence often, often from the same people but i still think normalcy is overrated. By that I mean, why would I want to be normal, so normal that one wouldn’t have any reason to ever think about me?! I also think that when people refer to others as weird, they do not understand what is actually meant by ‘weird’. Being weird is actually a very serious matter. However people tend to be liberal in branding others as weird. To be normal would be to conform to regular standards and not have any characteristics that overtly make us seem not ordinary/ run of the mill/BORING.

For some context, let us first look at the definition of weird.

adj. weird·er, weird·est

1. Of, relating to, or suggestive of the preternatural or supernatural.
2. Of a strikingly odd or unusual character; strange.
3. Archaic Of or relating to fate or the Fates.

So the only possible relevant definition would have to be the second one. Even then, to have a strikingly odd character is not the same thing as doing weird things. For example, I take long walks alone around my neighborhood( Sentosa Cove) at odd timings for no specific reason. That cannot be considered sufficient reason to brand me as a Class A Weirdo. That would be an idiosyncrasy, not so strikingly odd that I should be investigated. I also talk to myself a fair bit, ok, a lot. That would be another idiosyncrasy, plenty of people talk to themselves.

My point is that I don’t think it’s nice to call people weird over simple behavioural quirks that they possess, some think of it as a personality trait. That doesn’t mean that I’m so politically correct that I think we should not call anybody weird. Being a hypocrite, I have labelled people as such and I still do, but as I get in touch with my eccentric side(s), I realise how bastard-ish that is. In fact nowadays, anyone who does things out of the ordinary is seen as being weird. Just to be clear, let me share a few examples of what I consider actual weird behaviour. Behold and Lo! Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C and Exhibit WTFOMG.

Now the first example is sad, because the man was shot and killed and his now faceless victim is in critical condition. The second example is scary, like one of the commenters said, “You can’t say this guy didn’t give a shit”. The third is really creepy but the fourth wins the Batshit Crazy Award for Weird Behaviour.

Show any guy the above 4 stories and the one which will affect him most, will definitely be the fourth one. I’ll bet my balls, oh wait no. Any story which involves a guy getting hit in the nuts, getting his thing cut off by a spiteful wife, getting hit in the nuts will always elicit a painful reaction from all men wherever they may be. It’s truly the only situation where a guy actually means it when he says, “I feel your pain”.

By the way, above-mentioned thing slicer and slicee actually got back together many years after The Slicing. And the slicee became an adult film star after being sliced, turning adversity into opportunity!

“John, you did a lot of things to me that were very painful,” Miss Gallo said, claiming he had forced her to have an abortion.

“You drove me crazy. You drove me insane. No woman should go through that I went through.”

“I didn’t really understand how sensitive you are,” Mr Bobbitt, 42, from Buffalo, New York, replied. “You take things really seriously.”

That, my friend(s), is a prime example of how a woman manages to get out of any situation looking like she did nothing wrong. Both of them may have done crazy things but the man(with half dick in this case) always ends up saying sorry.


RantThree

So as widely predicted, the Hammer Posse won control of their hood. The Lightning leaders won 145 more votes and the Hammer Posse lost 1403 votes. If only they allowed betting on elections, I could have made out like a bandit.

The outcome was never seriously in doubt, but this election reminded me of how biased the media seems towards the Government. It is quite funny because everyone can clearly tell that there is bias and not much effort is made to veil it. I do not read the Straits times regularly but I was watching Channel NewsAsia’s coverage of the by election results on Saturday night. I only watched the program for about 15 minutes but it was sufficient to cement the impression I had of the media.

They had one reporter in a Hougang coffeeshop where the WP supporters were gathered and another in a room of PAP supporters. The anchors first talked to the reporter at the coffeeshop where a thousand WP supporters were reportedly gathered. Let’s just assume there only were a few hundred because the view they showed was not very representative. So the hundreds were chanting and making a lot of noise for the WP. Then our dear anchors switched to the room of 20-30 PAP peeps. The reporter starts with “I hope you can hear me over the noise in the room” and the anchor ends the interview with “It was really hard to hear what she had to say over the noise in the background”. The PAP room also looked so choreographed with everyone wearing white on white, tudung also white.  Laughing out Loud, give me a break…

Hougang really strikes me as a place where the people love their elected representative. in fact, it strikes me as the only place in Singapore where that is the case. You only see spontaneous gatherings of citizens there and in Potong Pasir. I think they take their role as one of Singapore’s few Opposition wards very seriously. No lift? Nevermind can exercise. 1980s looking buildings? Wah retro seh. No wet market? Blackmail no work. Maybe that’s why it seems to be such a stronghold, they have an emotional connection to the Party in their area. When you read stories of Low Thia Khiang going for the wakes in his constituency and the team walking around without much fanfare, you know that the constituents trust and like them personally as they do not seem to have airs about them. In the PAP constituencies, there is a big entourage following the MPs around machiam Lady Gaga.

Desmond Choo seemed like a really nice and sincere guy who would have done much for Hougang if he won.  But i think that he was sunk by his bosses talking nonsense. Singaporeans don’t really care about issues like internal party politics that much. For people who always talk about how much they are doing, how superior they are in all aspects, they tend to do a lot of mudslinging over trivial issues and make it a campaign issue. Mudslinging pisses people off, especially when its over nonsense like the NCMP scheme. If you want to sling mud, do it well using issues that people care about, then the mud might stick.

Maybe if they planned it such that the bosses sling mud, but Desmond takes a public and vocal stance against them, he could have won more votes. The newspapers could have devoted pages to how strong willed he is, and that he is risking his political career by being vocally against the leaders. That is not such a hard situation to envision. He could be seen as independent and willing to stand up to his party leadership. If he got elected, he does not really need to care about national issues, just get Hougang the municipal facilities they desire and he will be considered successful. He could also be considered mavericky and can be used by the PAP as an example that they welcome people with strong opinions within their ranks. They can also say that people like Desmond serve as a check on the PAP, so no need so many Opposition faces. Just wayang lah, it’s how well you wayang….

The WP has been around for a really long time, so in terms of branding they are as popular as the PAP. Out of all the parties, they seem the most likely to be able to challenge the dominance of the ruling party and I think it all depends on how they handle Aljunied GRC. If they run the place well, other GRCs will consider voting for them as they know they can be trusted. The PAP has always made the constituents believe that they are the only competent party around and if WP plays its cards well  to shatter this view, they could be much more successful electorally. Who knows, 1 or 2 more constituencies may fall from the lightning to the hammer columns, then Parliament will get interesting.


In a parallel universe…

Imagine if they remade The Avengers in Tamil….

The first thing we have to settle is the lead actor. Tamil movies need a hero, there may be ‘multi-hero’ movies but usually there is only 1 A-list actor per movie. If The Avengers were made in Tamil, Iron Man would have to be considered the hero. Why? He has a snazzy outfit, the wittiest lines,a hot chick by his side AND saves the world be almost sacrificing himself. Thus all the requisite boxes are checked. So who can possible headline such a big budget project? Rajnikanth duh, no questions asked. With him, the film will break even easily.

In fact, for my next venture I will have him sitting in a chair reciting the phonebook for two hours. I will film this with my iPhone camera and I believe it will be the movie with the highest return on investment ever, such is the Man’s pull.

His hot chick who appears in 2 scenes will have to be imported from Bollywood, Katrina Kaif will have to do. Just so we can use her for an item number to hype the movie up some more.

Now we have to move on to the rest of the team. Captain America will have to be replaced by Captain India, Vijaykanth, without a doubt, By the way, what is Captain America’s superpower? He basically seems like a gymrat in a corny costume. Hawkeye would be played by Surya. Easy decision as they are both muscular, short guys. Only one person can play Black Widow, Tamil cinema’s resident femme fatale Lakshmi Rai.

We are left with two characters, Thor and The Hulk. Oh wait, I seem to have forgotten about Nick Fury! We will require a character artist to sound serious in the scenes that he appears, Nasser gets it. Thor is a big blonde demi god who plays with hammers and lightning. Hulk is a big green monster. It is here that i utilize my trump card, Kamal Hassan. Since he can act any role and own it, I shall give him Thor. Who better to perform a demi-God than an atheist?!

Head: Hulk has to go to the biggest actor in Tamil Nadu , even if it happens to be female.

Heart: Don’t be a bastard, head!

Head: Don’t be a pussy, heart!

Me: Both of you, shut the fuck up, i’m trying to think!

After much deliberation, i have decided to cast Simbu, sorry STR, as the Hulk solely due to the fact that he managed to get his shirt to rip open with a body that wasn’t all that massive. As for Loki, I will import a random actor from Telugu or Hindi cinema who looks like a badass and can shout really loud.

It’s set then, we have the main cast settled. Now we have to desi-fy the plot. A movie based on a fight over a source of unlimited energy is not going to make a lot of money in India. So the Tesseract is now a dangerous weapon,Bomb-X, that the bad guys have stolen from the Government and the Avengers have to destroy it before the bad guys use it.

Why Bomb-X? As we all know, anything with an X in its name just sounds sinister and high tech.

So the basic plot line is that bad guys are trying to steal this bomb from the Government to blow up some place and the Avengers will have to stop them. The bad guys will succeed in their theft right before the intermission and will try to blow some place up, and will be stopped by the Avengers in the climax. Along the way, Surya will develop an unrequited romance towards Lakshmi Rai, but since he is a supporting actor she does not love him. She will love Rajnikanth, who already has Katrina Kaif. In the end, she will realise Surya’s love and settle for him. The movie will end with our main hero’s soliloquy about the dangers of such weapons and the need for peace while dismantling the device. Yes, I stole adapted that part from Enthiran, sue me.

I think this movie could make tonnes of money and I have already managed to get gcFILM to agree to be the producer. Since it’s their maiden venture, they will spare no expense to make this a hit. The movie is due to hit your local screens in end-2013. As it will be filmed in 3D, please watch it in theatres not youtube.

PS: As soon as the movie is released, you will hear Tamilians saying, ” What wonderful special effects, better than Hollywood movies. Thalaivar rocks again!”. Ignore the first sentence.