When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

"A joke's a very serious thing." - Charles Churchill, "The Ghost", 1762


Malaysian girl: hey
what's up with singapore girls

so caught up with materialism and that kinda lifestyle

shopping all the time
being gorgeous n beautiful


tell them to stop having their head up in the clouds ok
i'm sure like LIFE is not all about that


i don' tunderstand how can such smart girls be so stupid at the same time??

oh yah must add want to show off n pretend to be rich, buy branded bags to show off blah blah blah

Me: are you sure they're smart ;)

Malaysian girl: go to top schools etc. not smart meh?

Me: trust me
academic ability and intelligence aren't always correlated

Someone: eh
i dont think it is exclusive to singaporean girls

come on, i'm a malaysian who has lived in singapore all my life. i work in an office full of materialistic malaysian girls - girls who have come here recently, for 1 - 2 years

they are the ones with all the branded bags
when they meet up in KL they go clubbing
the vainest one went to london to carry on being a vainer pot
and to gloat over the rest of us cos she earns pounds

so who is the materialistic one?

but ok lah, they are nice people. but these materialistic characteristics are not unique to singaporeans

maybe singapore girls tend to be materialistic AND mean about it haha
the malaysian ones like to acquire the look, but they are generally more pleasant

MFM: I thought it's a universal female thing

the avg american girl is also more obsessed with looks. they aren't so materialistic though

most american college girls seem to wear makeup to class

Someone: i don't think european women are as materialistic though

actually, i really think east asians are the worst
and americans

european girls are really not materialistic

i think they see branded goods as an extension of a lifestyle, rather than a desire/want thing
well, at least most of them

MFS: singapore is pretty materialistic

no lah
most of the american girls i know
don't wear make up to class

but that's the midwest

people are just more laid back and down to earth and relaxed where i go to college
and their nice too

there are so many nice girls on campus that it puts singapore girls to shame

The Vacuity of 'Hope'

"You don't get anything clean without getting something else dirty." - Cecil Baxter


The Vacuity of 'Hope'

Given how 'Hope' - specifically, 'Hope We Can Believe In' is a very big part of Barack Obama's campaign, I decided to do more than assert that 'the hope and promise of change you always see in the runup and during the Honeymoon period is inevitably dashed by the power of established institutions, reality and the fact that rhetoric is free'.

With the aid of some friends, I have compiled a table showing what a politician promised, what was hoped of him, and what the results were. If you have any corrections or additions to make, please detail them in the comments.

I'm almost hoping for him to win, to see how it all comes crashing down (you already see signs of that with FISA and the reversal on public funding), but then the only thing we learn from history is yada yada, so we are sure to see something like this happening again, rational expectations be damned.


PoliticianWhat was promisedWhat was hopedResults


Abdullah BadawiCrackdown on corruptionA kinder, gentler approach to governing MalaysiaCorruption as usual, the Mongolian BBQ, Son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin messing around in UMNO, Oil-For-Food shenanigans


CaligulaThe return of a Germanicus to the throne of RomeNo more proscriptionsThe first Emperor to reign as a God. More proscription trials. Bread and circuses. A horse as Senator. Almost 2000 years later, a movie called Caligula


George W Bush'Compassionate Conservatism', 'A uniter not a divider', 'Strong but humble' foreign policy, 'Restore honor and dignity to the White House'A boring PresidencyIraq War, Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay; Valerie Plume scandal, the death of bipartisanism, several new creative entries into the OED


Gus Dur (Abdurrahman Wahid)Reform, National UnityA moral governmentMoney picked up by his masseur, $2 million from the Sultan of Brunei missing. Impeachment by Parliament.


Hamid KarzaiRemoving Northern Alliance Warlords from powerA free, prosperous AfghanistanWarlords running around with impunity. Karakul hat sales go up


Junichiro KoizumiPrivatization of Japan postFunky hairstyleFunky hairstyle, "Political Reform without Substance"


Kim Il SungJuche (Self-reliance)The Korean War. North Korea is one of the WFP's largest beneficiaries, and the people eat tree bark. Kim is Eternal President, though he is dead.


Lech WalesaSolidarnosc (Solidarity)A rejection of the Communist pastMudslinging in campaign for office, questionable advisers: closest adviser former chauffeur (and good table tennis buddy), "war at the top": annual changes of government, erratic Presidency, authoritarian


Lee Hsien LoongA hundred flowers blooming; a forward-looking societyContinued censorship, repression of political expression, eg no private screening of DVDs with political themes - your DVD player gets seized even though that won't help police 'investigations'; a 19th century law inherited from the British (377A) is retained. Mee Siam Mai Hum


Lee Kuan Yew'If you believe in democracy, you must believe in it unconditionally', 'If it is not totalitarian to arrest a man and detain him, when you cannot charge him with any offence against any written law - if that is not what we have always cried out against in Fascist states - then what is it?''If I were in authority in Singapore indefinitely without having to ask those who are governed whether they like what is being done, then I would not have the slightest doubt that I could govern much more effectively in their interests'


Mikheil SaakashviliA break with the Communist era embodied by Eduard ShevardnadzeReal democracy in the former Soviet state of Georgia.Intolerance towards people with different opinions', questionable prison riot plots, Sandro Girgvliani Murder Case. Declares state of emergency in late 2007


Morgan TsvangiraiA real shot for the 2008 presidencyWinning the electionWithdrew from second-round by-election amidst fears of more violence


Nicolas SarkozySimultaneously-enacted liberal economic reforms, a 'break with the ideas, habits and behaviour of the past'Standing down to the unions, opposition to the deindustrialization of France, talking about protecting jobs and national champions, marriage to a supermodel


Robert MugabeCommitment to peace and the democratic process of election, an end to anti-black racismA real free Zimbabwe'It may be necessary to use methods other than constitutional ones", Recent elections a one-man runoff done literally at gunpoint, anti-white racism, the ruin of Zimbabwe and the deaths of many of its citizens, the highest inflation rate in the world


Viktor YushchenkoUkraine's Orange RevolutionEscape from the Russian foldIllegal dissolution of Parliament, funding of his election campaign by exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky (illegal in Ukraine); appointment of pro-Soviet Viktor Yanukovych as Prime Minister


Vivian BalakrishnanA stealth liberal and reformer who may in time overturn the conservatism of PAP ruleHalf-truths about New Media vs Old Media (eg 'New media allows wrong ideas to be reinforced'), Fears of bartop dancing accidents


Walter WoonA member of the Roundtable group continuing its critique of government policy in parliamentMaintenance of family bill. Fears about human rights 'religious' 'fanatic'-s. Transformation of Roundtable member to establishment Attorney-General.


Barack ObamaPost-racial America, Change, Hope, No more politics as usual, Bipartisanism, A fairly quick withdrawal from Iraq (16 months was it??)Inspiring America with his dreamOnly ending a 20-year relationship with a racist and deluded pastor when exposed, A not particularly bipartisan Senate voting record (lifetime average conservative rating of 7.67% from the ACU, lifetime average liberal rating of 90% from the ADA), Reverses promises on FISA and public campaign funding, ???; "It's only words, and words are all I have, to take..."

(Updated 27th July, 2008)
"The time to stop talking is when the other person nods his head affirmatively but says nothing." - Henry S. Haskins


Japan trip
Day 3 - 8th June - Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo
(Part 6)

Set of saddle and stirrups

Dragon and Tiger


"People attained the freedom to choose daily commodities for their homes"
Capitalism: consumption as freedom!


Incense Burner in Shape of Quail

Dragon, Phoenix and Kirin

Roar of Tiger Causing Wind
The fur on the tiger looks real. I don't know how they do it (ruffle the silk?)

Dog Chasing (equestrian archery contest)

Juro (god of longevity), Peony and Cat, Cotton Rose and Cat

Traditional performing arts of Japan

Moored Boat

Man and Woman
It took me a while to figure which was which

The Twelve Months in Yoshiwara Pleasure District

Ivory Inro (Medicine Case) of carps swimming up waterfall

36 Views of Mt Fuji: Enza Pines at Aoyama

Hair accessories

Kanzashi Hair Pins

After having finished the Honkan (main building - Japanese gallery), I went to the Hōryū-ji Hōmotsukan (The Gallery of Hōryū-ji Treasures), where lighting was very low.

Kanjo-ban (Banner with Canopy for the Kanjo Ceremony)

Seated Bosatsu (Bodhisattva) with One Leg Pendent (both had this description)

Blurb on Buddhist images

Standing Kannon Bosatsu (Avalokitesvara)

Amida (Amitabha) Triad and Two Priests

Jinsuiko (Incense Wood) from the 7th-8th century
They kept this piece of wood for more than 1200 years. Wth.

Rei (Bell with Handle) from China
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