RantTwo

How does one say ‘river end’ in Teochew? HOUGANG! Google Maps just told me that Hougang is indeed at the end of the Serangoon River. Stop laughing, there is an actual river in Serangoon. Google said so. But why do I suddenly care about Hougang?

Well, for starters, I hear they are having a by-election there. The last time Singapore held a by-election was December 1992 so its been quite a while. That’s right, the last time there was a by-election I was talking gibberish and wandering around Singapore aimlessly in diapers.

I was also eagerly awaiting the arrival of my baby sister in 1992. I had already drawn up the master plan to fling her against a wall and break her teeth so that in 16 years, she’d get braces to correct the disability that i gifted her for her 2nd birthday. And for her 18th birthday, she would receive beautiful teeth like me. Today, I can update one and all that the plan worked like a charm.

So as you can see, nothing much has changed over these 20 years. Now back to Hougang, the MP who was elected last year had been a very naughty boy, earning himself expulsion from his Party and Parliament. Btw, read his Wikipedia entry, daaaaaaamn this guy is NAUGHTY! Looking at him, who would’ve thought! So now there’s about to be an election between PAP’s Desmond Choo and WP’s Png Eng Huat to settle the question that everyone has been asking once and for all. Upgrading or no upgrading!

There’s bound to be reams dedicated to in depth political analysis in the local papers and political blogs. But, i pride myself on being a genius, a political savant so I will stick my neck out and predict the outcome without wasting as much time, energy or paper as those people. My justification will also be equally succinct, because at the end of the day, who really wants to read long winding analyses on politics?! Drum roll please………. I say Hougang is Thor territory!

One question which I see the pundits asking often is, “Will the election be based on municipal or national issues?”. Basically, this strikes me as a trick question to determine who people are more likely to vote for. Since polling is very restricted in Singapore, especially during campaign season, there are no agencies which do in-depth surveys and polls to determine this for sure.

As an aside, why does Singapore only seem to have 2 political analysts always quoted in the media, Asst Prof Eugene Tan from SMU and Gillian Koh from the IPS? Get some more people please, I would like to see different names. Most of the time, analysts seem to say stuff which just seems obvious. The other day, i read the following in a paper, “These differing views are the contesting parties’ attempts to set the agenda and characterize the by-election…but ultimately it is the voters who will decide which are the issues that are important to them.” No shit, Sherlock.

If the election is based on municipal issues, the PAP will probably win. It is undeniable that if the residents of Hougang were voting for the candidate they think can better deliver much needed facilities to their constituency, PAP will win hands down, confirm chop seal. They will finally get the upgrading perks that they have long been denied. I have always thought its quite a dirty tactic to not let opposition wards get similar amenities as other wards, but that’s politics for you. The boss decides, we have to accept it.

If based on national issues , WP will probably win. I believe when the media speaks of national issues, they are referring to things like transportation and housing. So what has changed from the last election nationally, when the PAP obtained their lowest ever vote share since independence, to suggest that Hougang-sters are going to vote for the PAP? The only thing I am aware of nationally which might have affected people since then, is the transportation system which seems to have declined in quality. So the answer to my question is, nothing!

I think about the election from a very simple, non-scientific perspective. Hougang has been voting WP for 20 years, so they do seem to have an attachment to the Party and might ‘forgive’ them for Yaw’s indiscretions. In a bad election year, the PAP obtained about 35% of the vote there. 65% voted WP. So there has to be a net 30 point shift for the PAP to win. I really don’t think that is going to happen. The 35% who voted for the PAP will probably stick with them, but some of the 65% might be pissed off enough to shift to the lightning column. So in all likelihood, the Workers’ Party will hold the seat, just by a smaller margin than last time around.

Of course, there could also be some sort of rallying effect which results in the WP’s vote share increasing. The Party could very well go to the people of Hougang and say with humility, “Look, our guy screwed up and we’re really sorry. We did not try to cover up for him, in fact we were as unaware of his problem as you were. When we got the idea that he was not going to come clean, we sacked him and immediately called for an election which was not granted. We could have tried to weasel our way out and cover stuff so that we get to keep the seat, but we did not. We are willing to risk 1 of our 6 seats so that you have another chance to choose. Look, you know us and we know you. We’ve served you with all our heart for 2 decades, with a lot of difficulty. Sorry, give us another chance. Most importantly, this guy is older, not so horny also. ” Now this would be funny if it happened!

At the end of the day, politics is all spin. Whoever wins, one thing is true in Singapore.

PS: Hi sister, this counts as a post about you.

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Public Apology

As requested, I am publishing the following public apology.

To whom it concerns,

I write to you in times of great difficulty and with a heavy heart. Let me first apologise for the tardiness i displayed. Let me also be clear that I was not late for our meeting on purpose. I would never deliberately do such a thing for it would result in an undesirable consequence, a reduction in the quality time I get to spend with you.

Factors beyond my control contributed to my arrival 15 minutes after the scheduled time. It would be of great help if I first explained my thought process regarding travel time. I estimated that it would take 10 minutes to the train station and 35 minutes via train to reach the desired venue. Factoring in waiting times, i would have needed to leave my residence at 2 pm so as to reach the destination at 3 pm.

Prior events to my leaving greatly impacted the course of events and are largely the reason for my tardiness. I was watching a clip which shed light on concepts like the intricacies of race relations in America.

I believe that you expect more reasons to explain my latecoming yesterday.

I assure you, there are none. I was watching a video on Youtube and it was funny so I left late and arrived late. You had also demanded a 500 word apology. I admit that i don’t give a copulate about your demands. By now, you should have realised that the entire thing was a joke and i feel no remorse for making you wait, not one iota.

So, if i’m late again (and i will be), deal with it.


Dear SAF

Sir Alex Ferguson,

I’m writing to you from half a world away on the day where Manchester United is about to lose the title. What? Something stupid might happen and QPR might hold City? Well, if that happens something less stupid might happen and Sunderland might hold United. So get off the crack pipe. I know you think you’re playing mind games, but i think mind games are overrated. Teams crumble not because some opposing manager taunts them, they crumble because they have insufficient mental fortitude and can’t deal with pressure. Or in Utd’s case, insufficient footballing skill.

It’s all your fault really. You’ve pampered us too much. An entire generation of Man Utd supporters have grown up with you, so we don’t really know how it feels to lose often. We’ve become so used to winning that when we end up in 2nd place on goal difference and 20 points ahead of third place, we think the world is going to end and the media hypes it like an empire just crumbled. You’re a victim of your own success.

I look at the table and just feel happy seeing Liverpool level with Fulham. They’re closer to Wolves than Utd. Seriously, we can have another 10 games where Utd loses all 10 and Pool wins all 10, and WE’D STILL BE AHEAD!

Anyway, why is everybody is so critical of Utd this season? As far as I’m concerned, they’ve done great. Losing the title on goal difference? Why not? That would be embarrassing for City more than Utd. Yea we crumbled like a Famous Amos cookie, but c’mon who’s surprised! Okay I am, but whatever I’m not going to cry over the crumbled cookie! No other team can finish in this position when half the team,especially key personnel, has been injured for long stretches throughout the season. Just imagine Kompany and Toure not playing for as long as Vidic has been injured. This season is proof positive that you are the best manager in the BPL, period. You’ve made an average team with no game-changing player push an all star team to the final day of the season.

Now wipe your tears, you’re not as perfect as that paragraph makes you seem. 37 games have been played but you screwed it up big time in 1 particular game. I’m not talking about the Shellacking at Old Trafford, i’m talking about the Surrender at the Etihad! You wasted 90 mins of my life, when I could have been sleeping or preparing for my next paper! A lineup which set out for a draw was always going to lose, especially when you play Park for the first time in months. That day, you surrendered the title and showed the state of your own mind. You were afraid, mindful that you were up against a team with superior players in every position and a vastly superior bank balance.

Of course, if something stupid does happen today and we win the title,I will write you another letter praising your mind games and tactical nous. Like how you purposely made the team crumble and let City back into it, just for kicks. *Snicker*


RantOne

So it looks like Mitt will win the Republican nomination, barring an act of God or an implosion of unprecedented magnitude . It’s set then, Obama VS Romney. In a contest between Mitt and Barack, who would/should win? And does it matter who wins?

Since I’m not American, their domestic policies on healthcare, immigration, environmental issues don’t really bother me. I read about it and have some opinions but I don’t really care. What bothers me is their foreign policy. Specifically, who wins this election would determine whether America is going to resume freely jumping into conflicts pre-emptively and unilaterally.

I have a big problem with any Republican winning. Main reason being, they (and their buddies) would enthusiastically jump into a swordfight with the Iranians. They would side with the Israelis, no questions asked, in all issues. All 3 Republicans sound like they cannot wait to get entangled in another war. I do like Ron Paul, but he’s just not going to be elected.

I am not saying that President Obama will not go to war. It’s quite possible that he will. I just believe that in him, there is a deliberative, thinking man who will not jump unthinkingly into conflict at the behest of America’s greatest friend and ally. War is not a small matter. Presidents declare war and send thousands to conflict, all while travelling in a flying fortress. Innocents die. That’s not good.

In Romney, I see a man who will do as told, a man who just seems trigger happy and is a shameless liar. I have no doubt that if elected he would jump into Iran, Syria and any conflict near sources of black gold. I just don’t like him, it’s a visceral reaction. I do accept however, that if i had to imagine what a President looked like. Romney would be it. Luckily, its an election not a casting call.

I understand that politics is a dirty ‘sport’, but listening to this guy is disgusting. A stiff rod who lies brazenly with nobody calling him out. Listen to any speech of his, fact-check what he says and you will get what I’m trying to say. If the economy declines, it’s Obama’s fault. If it improves, it’s Obama’s fault that its so slow. His penchant for flip flopping reinforces my notion that he will say anything to get elected. In fact, there are entire websites dedicated to exposing his changes on every major policy position.

Seriously, a leader should appeal to your good senses and inspire you. He should make you feel like you’re going to get through something together as a country, no matter how hard it is. He should not be scaring you into voting for him with lies about his opponent. The gist of all the Republicans argument can be summarised like this: Vote out Obama or we’re fucked beyond all possibility. America will never be the same again, he’s going to take away your guns, apologize for America worldwide and install himself as your Supreme Leader. He’s made shit so bad all by himself and only I can fix it. My way of fixing it is exactly the same as these 3 other guys but wdv…VOTE ME.

I AM definitely biased towards Obama because I have a crush on him, i admit that. But I dont have problems with the Republicans because of my bias. I would love to see honest, factual policy based disagreements with Obama, not hyperbole (OBAMA IS A SOCIALIST FASCIST COMMUNIST BLACK PANTHER RADICAL WHO WAS BORN IN THE DESERTS OF KENYA!!) and lies of the highest order. It’s for the betterment of a country if there is a serious adult conversation about the issues affecting everyone. There was a candidate called Jon Huntsman whom I liked. He may not have prescribed policies I agree with but he seemed decent, intelligent and genuine. Consequently, his sanity proved to be an insurmountable handicap.

The thing about American politics which has disgusted me the most is the reception that Congress gave to Bibi. Support him, fine, that’s your prerogative. But the manner in which he is adulated while they insult their own President just seems tasteless. For example, at AIPAC, he gets a rockstar reception and the President gets polite applause. That’s like going to a home game and watching the home fans support the away team, just in a much more serious setting. You may not like him but the Office of the Presidency deserves some respect.

And so, i rant.


Tale of a Savant

“Nowadays Tamil songs where got meaning?! All nonsensical lyrics. Can’t beat the sixties..”

I hear this line from my father ever so often. For a long time, it was hard to argue with him. With songs celebrating women coming of age, how could I? Resistance was futile. It was, until one November evening.

I remember that day clearly, the 16th of November 2011. A date which will go down in history as the start of a musical revolution. A lyricist to rival the great lyricists of times gone by, a singer whose voice inspired millions worldwide. While the musicians of that bygone era usually specialised in one field alone, this genius of our time could both write and sing. A musical savant, if there ever was one. Dhanush.

Why This Kolaveri Di. These words rung loud and clear across the globe like no song ever before. The song was written in colloquial Tanglish, the love child of Tamil and English. Like all hit Tamil songs, it was based on the theme of love, love failure to be specific. However this isnt just any hit Tamil song, it is THE hit Tamil song. But why? Why did such a simple song written in just 20 minutes, the time it takes to score 4 goals against Arsenal, become such a hit?

Some say the music transcends barriers, I say the feelings that this piece of art elicits are due to its lyrics. As Sean Paul would say, ‘And me lyrics ah provide electricity’. Relatable, humourous,catchy. These are the ingredients needed to create the perfect little girls attributes which have made it such a hit.

White skin-u girl-u girl-u
Girl-u heart-u black-u
Eyes-u eyes-u meet-u meet-u
My future dark

It may seem like Dhanush writes simplistically about how his desire for a fair skinned girl ruins his life as he did not anticipate her less than ideal character. I say, there is a much deeper meaning here. We are not giving him enough credit! He is cleverly referring to Indian society’s obsession with fair skin. With products such as Fair and Lovely, Fair and Handsome dominating the cosmetic market, he is making a statement. Fair not necessarily equals good.

What’s that? I’m overanalysing? If so, just refer to the first stanza of the song.

Distance-la moon-u moon-u.

Moon-u colour-u white-u

White-u background night-u night-u

Night-u colour black-u

Just like in countless pieces of literature before, the moon is seen as an object of beauty. It seems unattainable due to the large distance involved. However, the lyrics imply that while everyone concentrates on the beauty of the moon, it is surrounded by darkness, usually representing evil. This reading is supported by the lines about the white hearted girl being evil. So tell me now, AM I OVERANALYZING OR IS THIS SONG GENIUS?!

Guy gets spurned by girl, guy gets drunk, guy sings,46 million people watch. Who would’ve thought it’s THAT simple?


Birth.

Thirty six weeks ago, I embarked on a journey. A journey which was supposed to add one more name to humanity’s list of literary greats, a journey which was supposed to revolutionize recording of the written word, a journey which was intended to impact lives in a way they had never been before. I laid the foundations for a record of the human thought process, a canvas upon which to paint my mural of the world, a blog.

Here I am, nine months later, the egg which i laid then has finally hatched. Perhaps it is a coincidence that it took me as long to bother to start blogging as it would to gestate a child. Honestly, there can be no doubt that its a coincidence solely due to my incompetence and sloth.

However, the time has come for people to realise that it is possible to write long blog entries saying absolutely nothing of importance, as i have so skilfully just demonstrated. Yes, the feeling you are now experiencing is normal. I just wasted your precious time and I will not reimburse your losses. =D


Genesis

This is it, then. My rant-dom. A place where dissent will be quashed, disagreements will be heard and duly ignored and disobedience will not be tolerated.