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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Double standards, the power of supposed powerlessness and the powerlessness of supposed power

"All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure." - Mark Twain

***

A (non-Chinese): The lack of PRC's in KL is literally a breath of fresh air. These days I find this to be the most compelling reason to escape Ah Tiong Bahru aka Singapore.

B: ?!! that sounds... racist

D: B - Racist? That is a very strong word to use. He has more Chinese friends then you. He said, PRC, not Chinese in particular. It is a country he mention. Think before you posted before you get lambasted.

E: Not really... Are you not from Singapore, B? I don't think Mr. A means to be racist. Singapore is just inundated with PRCs for a political reason :) but I don't think he is against the Chinese as a race

F: am with you there A. KL is a-ok despite the occasional racial 'bumps'.. cant hv everything going hunky dory all the time btw.. as a malaysian i am proud the country hosts lots of foreign workers coming here to earn a living. if we can make a difference in the lives of others less fortunate, so be it.

A: After being treated like a sub-human by various PRC's by virtue of the fact that I'm not Chinese, I think I've had enough of their rudeness and arrogance and ridiculous sense of self-entitlement (oh but your government wants us to be here, if not your country cannot survive).

It's easy enough to caricature this as 'xenophobia' or 'racism', but I do think the PRC's are a species of their own--it makes me wonder about the supposed Asian concept of 'face' and why it doesn't seem to be a guiding principle at all for such a gauche, shameless, salivating-at-the-smell-of-money people.

B: Why haven't you moved here yet? :) I've been in KL for two years now (I do like KL women so). But the magic fades and I'm starting to see KL has the same shit I was trying to run away from, just in a different bucket. So I love and hate both cities in their own special ways...

I can't really reconcile my reality with your effusive praise for the city. It's a nice change, but I'm starting to think the extent of how horrible it can be beneath the muhibbah surface exceeds even that of my beloved country's — which is something I never thought I'd say.

G: F : Malaysia has "occasional racial bumps"?? Which deluded work do u live in? Oh yes the privileged one...

H: i know things are complicated, but some of these comments are straight up racist, and its worse when that's seen as counterculture/progressive

A: H: I know many decent Chinese people, who, contrary to common stereotypes, are polite, generous, humble, hygienic and kind. None of these adjectives apply to any PRC I've encountered.

B: Just because in referring to PRCs, he only refers to a certain sect of the Chinese ethnic descent, does not make it any less racist.... It is the same if someone told me he likes singaporean Indians, but not Indian Indians. And if you want to split hairs even further, maybe someone doesn't like people from Tamil nadu, but those from andhra pradesh are fine. However one sees it, he is still referring to an ethnocultural subdivision and stating his dislike for them. To me, that sounds like prima facie prejudice that amounts to racism.

A: B: And the answer is? I know my answer is to spend as little time in Singapore as I possibly can--to avoid needless and inevitably frustrating encounters with PRC's; I don't know if this counts as 'xenophobia' to you.

I: this sounds exactly like my mother's defense when i call her out on racism - she grew up in malaysia and had bad experiences with 'all the malays' she met there, so she claims she is entitled to her prejudice. she may have met 99 odious people who happened to be malay, but her words are still arrant nonsense

J: B, IMHO, A is not being racist, he is simply stating a fact. Rather than accusing him of being a racist, have u ever pondered on Singapore's liberal immigration policies on PRCs and the so-called FTs ?? In a short while, we have seen take it's toll not only on our country's infrastructure but the social fabric...U accuse A of racism but choose to ignore the INTOLERANCE of foreigners towards citizens in their OWN COUNTRY..

K: to begin with the introduction of PRC to maintain a chinese majority in Singapore, is a racist policy.

C: I work with a number of PRC immigrants and they have been gracious, friendly and polite. Maybe you've not had the best luck in your interactions with Chinese immigrants in Singapore, but I think you should know better than to paint everyone with the same brushstroke.

B: Funny how many of us will complain about others making Singapore not "our country anymore", and expect immigrants to "be more like us or speak English", but would cringe when the same thing is said to us in London or Melbourne. The immigration policy is messed up. But painting an entire group of people with one brush stroke is uncalled for and ignorant.

Me: The moral of the story seems to be that it's okay to bash some groups but not others

B: If only 64% of the UK/Australia's populations were made up of citizens, I would support people in the UK/Australia saying the first. As it is less than 1/4 of their resident population was born overseas (i.e. much less than 1/4 are non-citizens)

A: B : Lucky for you that you've met the exceptions. I don't have any PRC 'friends' and I pray I never will.

France/Spain 2011 - Day 5, Part 2 - Paris: Père Lachaise

"Friendship is being there when someone's feeling low and not being afraid to kick them." - Randy K. Milholland

***

France/Spain 2011
Day 5 - 21st March - Paris: Père Lachaise
(Part 2)

I left the crematorium and resumed grave hunting. Strangely, Jacques-Louis David had not been on the map I bought, so I'd relied on the much smaller one in the guidebook to locate it. I wasn't able to locate Ingres though.

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Famille Pezon
The guy is riding the lion who ate him

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Famille Leglise
He thinks he's Roman

Next was, if not the most famous tomb, then the most vandalised decorated tomb in the whole cemetery.

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Decorated Tomb

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*lipstick mark*
"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars"
*lipstick mark*
"La vie imite l'art bien plus que l'art n'imite la vie"
*lipstick mark*
"You're one of the few reasons I'm proud to be british"
*lipstick mark*
"Le plus important c'est de vivre, la plupart des gens se contentent d'exister"
*lipstick mark*

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Useless sign: "Respect the memory of Oscar Wilde and do not deface this tomb. It is protected by law as an historic monument and was restored in 1992"

Actually I suspect Wilde would've been happy with the vandalism, as long as it was witty.

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Another view of the tomb

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Missing member

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More grafitti at the back

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This tomb thanks the guy's aunt

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Prince Henry de La Tour d'Auvergne Lauraguais 1921-1999
Given that both the Monarchy and Empire had long been abolished...

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Victor Noir, shot by Prince Pierre Bonaparte
Find A Grave: "The notable protuberance in the victims trousers is regularly rubbed for luck by love-sick ladies, which explains why it always looks well-polished"

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New life from old: André Gill

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"André Guérard. Chévalier de l'Ordre de Saint-Lazare... de la Résistance"
("Knight of the Order of St Lazarus... of the Resistance")
The order was founded by the Knights Hospitaller

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Famille Goukassow

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Georges Bos

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The Piaf family (of Edith fame)

There was a whole series of war graves and memorials.

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"Aux déportes du camp de concentration de Flossenbürg et de ses 95 kommandos"
("To the deportees of the concentration camp of Flossenbürg and its [?] 95 Commandoes")

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Mauthausen memorial: "Pour que leur sacrifice contribue à barrer jamais la route à l'oppression et à ouvrir à l'humanité la voie d'un avenir meilleur dans l'amitie et dans la paix entre les peuples. Souvenez vous"
("In order that their sacrifice contributes to the eternal barring of the way of oppression and to open to humanity the hope of a better age in friendship and in peace between peoples. Let us remember")

Never Again Auschwitz. Never Again Choeung Ek. Never Again Rwanda. Never Again Srebrenica. Never Again Darfur.

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Memorial to the Spanish WWII dead
Given that it was officially neutral...

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Neuengamme memorial: "Ils sont morts pour que nous vivions libres" ("They died so that we could live")
I find this interpretation questionable. It is sad to be killed, yes, but not all deaths are for a good cause.

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More WWII memorials

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[Deliberately?] Overgrown tomb
I think this had a caption of "God reunites". To which my response was: "If you believe in the same one anyway"

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A tomb with ENGLISH on it: of Clara E Peabody, widow of Edward Bancroft (the latter, a name I recognised!)

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My 2 most important takeaways from this grave:

i) "Le souvenir est l'âme de la vie" ("Memory is the soul of a life")
2) "Concession à perpétuité" ("Don't evict me!")

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Marechal Suchet
One of Napoleon's marshals

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Marshal/Prince Murat

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Grave with throwaway chair - which apparently was part of the design

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David d'Angers

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Bare grave
Perhaps the newness had something to do with the design

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Sepulchre Greffulhe

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Jean de La Fontaine and Molière

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"Chapelle"

There was a crazy guy running in the cemetery. With all the cobblestones.

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Chopin


Me being lame at Chopin's grave
(I would've preferred Winter Wind, being less cliched, but I couldn't find it in my phone even though I was sure I'd put it there)

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Rachel, party to the best exchange of amorous intentions in history:

"Où ? Quand ? Combien? " (Where? When? How much?)
"Chez toi. Ce soir. Pour rien" ("At your place. Tonight. For nothing")
(it lasted 6-7 years)

I gave up on Comte, Poulenc, Morrison and Heloise & Abelard since it was already noon and there were other things I wanted to do this day. Besides which, I didn't care for Morrison.
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