Friday, September 30, 2005

God is bad for you

It has officially been proven. God is bad for you.

It took them this long to realise this? I knew all organised religion was bullshit by the time I was 10 years old. Whether or not there is a God is entirely another issue, but it doesn’t take a genius to realise that organised religion brings you no closer to the truth than taking drugs does. It only creates conflict and problems of the worst nature. The world would definitely be a much better place without religion.

You don’t have to look beyond Al-Qaeda to see that.

Abolish all religions, and you will have solved three-quarter of the world’s problems. No more evangelists looking to save us from hell. No more terrorists bombing innocents in the name of Allah. No more of these “moral dilemmas”, in the name of some obscure text written thousands of years ago, which has little bearing on today’s world.

Yes, I am a freethinker, however did you guess? And it hasn’t harmed me in the least. Just because I don’t believe in the religion I was born into, doesn’t mean I’ve become a promiscuous slut, or an axe-wielding mass-murderer. Instead, the mass murderers, strangely, are the religious ones. Think John List.

It has been proven time and again that when it is a theocracy, or when the state is connected to the Church (or temple, or Mosque, or whatever), the rule borders on the tyrannical and oppressive, especially in the case of women. One look at the Middle-Eastern countries will tell you that.

The problem, I think, lies not within the religion, but the people, and how they interpret and follow the words of their founders. People being people, will interpret the words in the way that suits them the most. The writers of the books are no better: they are human too, and have their own prejudices relating to that time period.

Note: I hope this is not considered seditious or anything, because, clearly, I am not attacking a specific religion, but the very concept of organised religion, using the currently existing religions as an example to illustrate my point. I’ll say the same about any new religion that arises, or even the one I was born into.



Thursday, September 29, 2005

Google Inc

Google is looking to expand to space. Serious. Even NASA admits that Google is all-powerful. Eric Schmidt, you totally rock, you know that?

Next on Schmidt’s agenda: Heaven.

Ballmer, you’ve totally got your work cut out for you. Maybe you can take some hints from Mini Microsoft.  


Wednesday, September 28, 2005


No one who has spent a year in Singapore needs to be told that our Gahmen is extremely fond of scissors. Censorship seems to be their favourite past-time, after having resolved the problems of providing people with basic needs such as food, shelter and education. *cut, cut, cut*

At this point, the only uncensored medium in Singapore is the bloggosphere. But even that is being encroached upon, by use of the Sedition Act, by schools punishing their students for posting comments about teachers etc.

But what ARE we coming to, when the government feels so insecure that they have to punish a film-maker for making a documentary about an opposition party member?

Yes, I am talking about the Martyn See incident. It is censorship in its most blatant form - and day by day, it scares me how much Singapore is becoming like China. One day, we'll all be required to wear red bands, bow down and sing praises of the Great Lee Hsien Loong, or his descendants.

I am not a political dissident, in any way. I really admire what Lee Kwan Yew did for Singapore, bringing a third world island to near First World status. I admire the way the economy has been maintained despite our small size. I really do wish some other countries would take a leaf from Singapore's book and learn to run as efficiently.

What I don't admire, is the one-party political arena, and the strict laws of censorship at every level of society. Granted, we are a multi-racial country, and we need to prevent racial/religious riots, as well as protect the needs of the minority. As an Indian, I recognise these laws have been made for our benefit. But this reason has been overused, in fact, abused, to curb all freedom of speech.

How absurd is a law, which prevents any sort of political films, or even a reference to the political situation of Singapore? As an amateur film-maker myself, this really gets to me. In that case, we should be prosecuting Lee Hsien Loong for speaking in front of the cameras, and the newchannels for filming it. And of course, every patriotic Singaporean who has a tape of the NDP should be fined.

I urge all of you to sign the petition for Martyn See's release, and the review of the Film Act. If we don't speak up, they'll never hear us.

EDIT: There is also a call from Amnesty International against this prosecution. Yes, it is THAT big. You can read about this in Singabloodypore

Update [29/9]: There is even an appeal by SEAPA to let Martyn See go. This gets bigger by the minute.



Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Sorry, Ms Tan – You no spinster, oh-kay?


Sept 27, 2005
Schools act against students for 'flaming' teachers on blogs

By Sandra Davie and Liaw Wy-Cin

FREE speech may be the buzzword on the Internet - but libel is unacceptable everywhere.The message has been sent out loud and clear, with five junior college students being punished for posting offensive remarks about two teachers and a vice-principal online.The students, all girls, were made to remove the remarks from their Internet diaries, or blogs, and suspended for three days last month. Their parents were also informed.The case is not an isolated one. Of the 31 secondary schools and junior colleges contacted, 18 said they were seeing more such incidents as the number of bloggers surges.

Seven secondary schools and two JCs have asked bloggers who criticise or insult their teachers online - 'flaming' in Internet jargon - to remove the offending remarks.

One such remark referred to a secondary school teacher as a 'prude' for disciplining a student for wearing a too-short skirt. 'Frustrated old spinster. Can't stand to see attractive girls,' the blog read.Tanglin Secondary science and PE teacher Tham Kin Loong said: 'I've had vulgarities hurled against me, my parents and my whole family in some students' blogs.'The 33-year-old added: 'Most of them do not realise the legal implications of what they are writing in such a public domain.'If teachers wish to prosecute, they may have legal grounds to do so.
Singapore Teachers' Union general secretary Swithun Lowe said the union is ready to back any teacher who wants to take legal action. It has offered legal help to a few members, but they did 'not want to affect the prospects of their young students'.Lawyers say students can be sued for defamation, even if a teacher is not named. 'As long as someone is able to identify the teacher, and it is an untrue statement that affects his reputation or livelihood, then the student is liable,' said Ms Doris Chia of Harry Elias and Partners.An injunction can be taken to get the student to remove the blog and issue an apology, she added.

But none of the schools contacted by The Straits Times has banned blogging. Rather, many English and General Paper teachers encourage it to improve students' language and writing skills.

The recent cases of two young men and a teen charged with making seditious and inflammatory remarks about Muslims on the Net have led to teachers discussing the dos and don'ts of blogging with students.

Three words: get over it!

As a student blogger, it completely puzzles me to see this article. Granted, there are a lot of student bloggers, and quite a number of them do have occasional references to teachers. Some of them are even quite unflattering.

So what?

What the school has to keep in mind is that such the audience of an average student blogger reaches to mostly, what… a few friends? That’s hardly cause for defamation or libel, especially considering, most of the time, the students are of one opinion about the teacher [especially if they have peculiar habits and mannerisms, or are just plain evil to the students].

Livelihood threatened? Yeah, okay. Get a grip, really. How much can the words of a 16 year old affect your career? And really, it is not as if we don’t gossip about teachers offline.

We students have no voice as it is. Any feedback we give is censored, strained, seasoned and presented on a golden platter to the authorities with all the ugly bits carved out. Blogs are our last avenue, a place for us to air what we really feel. Why are our teachers even looking at this space – don’t they have papers to mark instead of worrying what the students are saying about them?

Mr Wang has really funny response to this article (and I have to thank him, for the article, because STI requires digital subscription to access the articles *rolls eyes*)

Okay, if any teacher is going to come across this blog, let me say this to you: This probably wasn’t in the job description, but I can assure you, that being a teacher is avenue enough to invite gossip, especially if you have some weird/annoying/hilarious mannerism. When you stand in front of that classroom, that Lecture Theatre, you are putting yourself on display for the school. No way around it. It is absolutely natural that students will talk about you, we being human. Might as well accept it, and get over it.

EDIT: Mr Brown has a really good suggestion on how to deal with student bloggers.

Maybe teachers should start their own blogs and flame their students back. Better yet, have a yearly Interschool Teacher-Student Flamewar Blogging Championship. Like a WWE of blogging.

What will we see? “Samantha came to school again with an ultra-short skirt AGAIN. That girl is really getting to me!” or “Shawn forgot his homework, and was very rude to me. Boy, you better watch out that you don’t get detention from me!”

, , ,


Monday, September 26, 2005

Steel Safes

I read the previous post, and I realised how angry, and defensive I sounded in there. But it could not be helped, considering all the things I was reading about bisexual/bicurious women, especially what the article (on Jen Sincero’s book) said about us – just passing straight women “trying it out”, or seeing it as something cool, or a tool to attract men.

Because, there is nothing cool about discrimination.

I do remember being “bicurious”, long long time ago in the distant past (okay, a year ago). What I experienced was not titillating girl-girl kisses in a nightclub, or a drunk one-night stand with a lesbian. Rather, it was intense, quiet confusion about my own identity, as I struggled with the fact that I was in fact, in love with a girl in my class. As I held her hand one day, it couldn’t be plainer that for the past two years, that was what I wanted to do, even though I denied it constantly.

Today, thanks to a few of my friends, I am very much comfortable with who I am. I love being bi, I love being me. But the problem remains that I cannot possibly “come out” in school and hope to live the semblance of a normal life, hence the steel safe (closets being too vulnerable)

Blame it on the Gahmen, who alternately turns a blind eye to all things queer, or starts accusing us of spreading AIDS. What kind of mentality does a stance like that create in its people? To this date, no one has ever explained to me exactly what family values I am destroying by loving other women. Well, if I am going to be destroying them, I should at least know what they are, right? Mr Wong? Any answer?


On a happy note, after I posted “I’m that girl”, someone read it, and resolved the conflict between us. Or rather, the silence, the abject lack of conversation and mutual invisibility. I am so glad that dark cloud is past. Thanks, Mercer Machine, for starting this meme!




Alright – the time is ripe, it seems, to enlighten a few of you on what bisexuality really means. And yes, that goes out to all of you lesbians out there as well. The recent book by Jen Sincero throws light [in my opinion, dark] on the issue of mostly straight girls sleeping with other girls. And the occasional, hetero-male erectifying girl-girl kisses by people like Sandralicious doesn’t help. And oh, let’s not forget, bisexuality is up among young women.

Bisexuality (from Wordnet)
1: showing characteristics of both sexes [syn: androgyny, hermaphroditism]
2: sexual activity with both men and women

I am bisexual, and proud of it, as proud as any lesbian of her sexual orientation. I love women, I love men. The question about who I love more begs to be slapped. I am not a passing bicurious woman who wants to experiment doing it with those of my own gender, or worse, a straight girl who wants to get attention from men. And no, my dyke sisters, I am not a lesbian in denial.

I don’t know how or why I am bisexual. Or whether my orientation is a result of the fluid nature of female sexuality. What I do know is, I am open to settling down with a man or woman.

We bisexuals face a lot of discrimination, both from the gay and straight camps, because we don’t conform to the idea that a person can only be attracted to a person of one sex. Alvin Tan, from Fridae, has a really good write-up on bisexual bashing, which elucidates very well the problems we face. The stereotypes for us abound: the married woman with a lesbian lover on the side, whose heart she will eventually break. Or the married man with several male f*** buddies. It is not to say that such people exist. They do, unfortunately, giving the rest of the bisexual community a bad name.

Lesbian eyes always roll when a bisexual woman gets a boyfriend, and I do believe the same goes for bisexual men and his gay friends. At the same time, our straight friends believe we’ve been “straightened out”. The gross misunderstanding was highlighted clearly when my friend asked me, “How will you relate to other women when you get married [to a man]?” To me, that is as stupid as asking how a straight women would relate to other men when she gets married. If values of monogamy are to be held, then in both cases, it is up to the woman to control herself even if she attracted to someone other than her partner, no matter that person’s gender.

And I’d like, now, to officially clear the misconception that bisexuals are always in love with two people at once. If such a situation happens, it is, once again, no different from a straight woman being in love with two men at once. And no, we don’t all have threesomes – some of us actually hate it. Guys, take note: just because you have a bisexual girlfriend doesn’t mean it is license for you to have threesomes. Personally, I’d dump any boyfriend of mine who asks for a ménage-à-trois. And yes, I’ll bitch-slap any guy who assumes I’ll be amenable to one, with his girlfriend [the sole exception being that your last name is Pitt, and your girlfriend has an adopted son named Maddox]

Kinsey’s studies show that sexuality is a continnum, not a categorized shelf. You can’t just label people gay and straight, as if there was a clean line in between these two groups. The Kinsey scale says, in essence, you can regard everyone as essentially bisexual, with varying degrees of gayness and straightness. It is a spectrum, not an RGB colour divide. In the end, what does it matter whom we choose to love, as long it doesn’t harm anyone else?


Friday, September 23, 2005

I Am That Girl

Update: Since I changed my commenting system to Haloscan, all the previous comments were lost. So sorry! At least now I’m trackback enabled. *sheepish grin*

Note: Usually I am not such a trend-whore, but something as meaningful as this could not be passed up. For those not in the know, this is in response to a meme started by MercerMachine, titled “I’m that guy”. Tomorrow has an extensive trackback list of all the people who participated.

I Am That Girl

I’m that girl. Yes, that girl, whom at 8, felt older than the rest of the world. I’m that girl who climbed trees and played soccer and cricket with the boys, yet loved her Barbie Dolls. I’m that girl who was always on the outside, no matter where she went.

I’m that girl who is always so resistant to change, yet when it actually happens, she adapts like a chameleon. I’m that girl who played alone in the playground of her new flat, because she didn’t know anyone in this new country. I’m that girl who made a hobby of going up and down in the elevators of HDB blocks, because it was all so new to her.

I’m that girl who then grew up and fell in love with you. I was the one who would make all kinds of excuses to be with you, even though she didn’t know why. I’m that girl who thought you were beautiful even when you were drenched, exhausted, and had a pimple on your nose.

I’m that girl, who told you her love by the seaside, waves lapping up on the shore of Sentosa, knowing you could never reciprocate. I was the girl who then watched you walk away from me, after you most politely rejected me because…. I was a girl.

I’m that girl, who said no because she didn’t want to break your heart with the pain of distance. I’m that girl who still loves you from afar.

I’m the girl who cried for you when you told me about what your father was doing to you. I’m that girl who cut herself, in order to feel the pain that her own words caused you.

I’m the girl who worries about you, battling breast cancer. I’m that girl who loves you both like sisters, yet dare not say a word for the fear of being misunderstood. I’m that girl who sees you come online, but act like I haven’t, because too much has happened.

I am the girl now, who watches your every move now, every facial expression and gesture. I am the girl who flushes every single time you speak to me. I am that girl, who gets irrationally jealous when others get near you, boy or girl.

I’m that girl, who lost you when I told you I was bisexual. I’m the one, who loves men and women, but presents only one side to the world for the fear of losing more of you.

I’m that girl, who started this blog to express the other side.

Yeah, I’m that girl. So who are you?


Monday, September 19, 2005

Racial Harmony

In light of the Sedition incident involving the two bloggers, the racial harmony, and the freedom of speech on the internet in Singapore has come under intense scrutiny and analysis, by everyone from the SPH reporters (case study in irony) to bloggers. The point is clear: the gahmen is watching. [But this is a post for another day]

It seems that all those years of cramming racial harmony and national educational down the throats of those two young boys have been wasted. But we knew that, didn’t we?

It is agreed by practically everyone who has taken a good look at our society: racial harmony is rather superficial in Singapore. It extends to giving half-days off to Indian students on Deepavali Eves, and making sure you pronounce their names correctly. It extends to wishing Malays “Hari Raya Puasa”, without the slightest understanding of what it means.

Today, I took a box of mooncakes to school to share with my classmates. I had three boxes which my father received from various companies as goodwill gifts – no way I’d be able to finish them.

As I sat there, at the canteen table, watching my Chinese classmate cut the mooncakes, it really struck me this was what racial harmony was. As she distributed the quarter cylinders to other Chinese people, their amazed thank yous with a glance at the colour of my skin, were music to my ears.

The funny thing was: none of us, me, and everyone who feasted on the mooncake quarters, were Singaporean.


Saturday, September 17, 2005

New Project

I’ve decided to embark on a new project – it has been a pet dream of mine for some time now.

My last post on beauty is just an extract of the continuing debate within myself, about the nature of beauty, and about accepting myself and my physical appearance. Beauty has become westernised, and commercialised. According to the beauty industry, you can’t be beautiful without fair skin, long lean legs and a tiny waist. You can’t be pretty without applying a ton of cosmetics everyday.

And that’s not to mention sexual racism. Everyday in Singapore I face this: the notion that Indian women can’t be pretty, because we don’t have as tiny waists, as fair skin as Chinese women. The colonial mentality left by our British masters still remain – that white, always, is beautiful.

Therefore, I wish to show the true nature of beauty – without high heels, lipstick or breast implants. I wish to show that fair skin is not the marker of beauty. I wish to show the world that we are all beautiful human beings, no matter what our race.

Therefore, I declare my stream open, dedicated to featuring Indian women, of all ethnicity. I am starting with rural women – their beauty remains the most natural of all, the richness of their culture shining like sunlight through an open window.

I am sourcing photos from the web now, but soon I hope to start shooting some on my own. There will also be a section for celebrities in ethnic shots. I am also trying hard to get portraits/paintings of Indian women – any help is welcome!

My stream


Sunday, September 11, 2005

Beauty - The Chase for the Unattainable

It seems lately I’ve written much on beauty (elsewhere), but only today, that I realise this. Beauty is, in essence, a chase for what you don’t have. Now, that may seem like a simplistic, “duh!” definition, but hear me out, as I attack this age-old debate from a different angle (though I am not sure it is entirely original).

Aesthetic perfection has always been one of the major goals of humankind, no matter how advanced we might get, as a race. It is the essential to attracting mates – a very anthropological response, as appearances serve as a marker of how healthy one is. Male peacocks with large, colourful plumage naturally get more peahens. Why? Because, the larger and more colourful peacocks have higher levels of testosterone. But the higher the level of testosterone, the weaker the immune system. Hence a male with high levels of testosterone is prized, as he is strong enough to survive the side-effects. This is easily analogous to humans. Compare a tall, well-muscled, tanned man to a scrawny, short one, and the choice is clear for the woman, as the former is more likely to give her healthy children.

Now, the chase for beauty has evolved into something much more than its anthropological origins. Daily, women slap on layers of make-up, tweeze their eyebrows and wax their legs, crimp/straighten/curl their hair, all in an effort to look good. And not just so that one can look attractive to one’s potential mates. (if that was the case, what are married women doing?)

Let’s take a look at Jane Doe. Jane has blonde hair, pale skin and a rather flat chest. What does she do? She dyes her hair brown (having heard one too many dumb blonde jokes), suntans religiously and when she has saved up enough money from working night-shifts, goes for breast augmentation. Oh, let’s not forget, she has taken to wearing violet contact lenses, and has permed her arrow-straight hair. Now let’s look at Jill Foe. She has black hair, ebony brown skin and 3D cups. She dyes her hair blonde, slaps on skin-whitening products and goes for breast reduction so she doesn’t look so fat. Not to mention she straightened her curly hair, and wears hazel-coloured contact lenses.

These two women have done everything possible to look different from how they are. My examples may be extreme, but doesn’t it reflect, in some amount, the chase for beauty around the world? Caucasian women tan themselves to the point of skin cancer, while “Fair & Lovely” products fly off the shelves in India. Singaporean Chinese (and maybe mainland Chinese as well) women turn their savings into D cups.

One can blame satellite media for this, as they beam visions of “perfect beauty” all over the world, saturating us with images of how we are “supposed” to look. It is not even a point of being ugly – it is the point of having to look like someone else. Because, according to the titan called cosmetics industry, being you is never enough.


Saturday, September 03, 2005

On Why I am a Cynic

cyn·ic  n.
  1. A person who believes all people are motivated by selfishness.

  2. A person whose outlook is scornfully and often habitually negative.

  3. Cynic A member of a sect of ancient Greek philosophers who believed virtue to be the only good and self-control to be the only means of achieving virtue.
Seeing as how I am not an ancient Greek Philosopher, I’d have to identify with number 1 and 2. A skeptic. A person who sees only the price, not the value. Often confused with the brooding pessimist. Hated by romantics and ridiculed by optimists, for our brutally practical outlook. And naturally, shunned by just about everyone who doesn’t want to hear the truth (which comprises fully the non-cynical population of the planet).

Cynicism has its roots amongst the ancient Greeks. (By Jove, did they invent EVERYTHING good on this planet, including toga-tops?) An inborn human trait, it would seem, to criticize what needs to be criticized. We live and die by Murphy’s law.

I borrow this quote: "[A cynic] is an idealist whose rose-colored glasses have been removed, snapped in two and stomped into the ground, immediately improving his vision." (

Once, long long time ago in the distant mists of my childhood, I believed. I believed in God. I believed that everything that happens is for the good. I believed that one day, my prince charming would sweep me off my feet, riding in on a white horse. And I believed that the world played fair, rewarding good and punishing evil. I was in a safe idealistic cocoon, within the neat lines of black and white, right and wrong.

Then life happened.

You know, the usual. The discriminatory remarks from the other kids, due to the colour of my skin. Watching people die just because they happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Reading about women being raped and brutalized mercilessly. The world didn’t play fair, honey. It just played.

Even the concept of love wasn’t spared. I admit freely, I am a sucker for love songs as much as the next girl. Yet, the girly, dreamy notion of love stops there. After a couple of crushes, I learnt that outer beauty was indeed more important in our society than any amount of inner beauty. I don’t believe in love at first sight. Lust at first sight, maybe. But never love. And most of all, I don’t believe in true love. Because true love by definition is selfless, all-consuming, focusing only on the object of your affection. Human beings are constitutionally incapable of loving that selflessly, because all love is inherently selfish.

But tell that to an infatuated, moony, teenage girl, and she is likely to hit you.

People dislike cynics because we represent the obstacle to their comfortable illusions. They don’t want to believe that true equality doesn’t exist. Or that the hard-earned they donate to charities hardly goes towards the intended cause. Or that the war which their countries have chosen to wage is doing more harm than good, and not for the reasons their leaders have chosen to tell them. Most of all, they hate us for being so darn right every single time.

Cynics of the world, unite.


Friday, September 02, 2005

Top Ten Things I hate About Blogs

Presenting to you, the top 10 things I hate about the blogging world.

10. Songposting - for goodness' sake, honey, if you want to songpost, write your own
9. Blogs of attention whores who have little to call attention to
8. Bloggers who TyP lYk Dis
7. Bloggers who think that mangling grammar is cool
6. Bloggers who use their blogs to bitch about everything and everyone else around them
5. Blogfights - the cyberversion of catfights... some human habits die hard....
4. Deep angsty blogs by teens ranting about their dismal life - seriously, lose the angst. You are not the African kid starving to death because her mother died of AIDS.
3. Reveal-all bloggers who love to traumatise their readers by giving every detail from waking up to masturbating at night
2. Celebrity bloggers who are totally puffed up about their own importance

first but not definitely not the best....

1. Xiaxue's blog

whose blog happens to have most of the elements I mentioned above.


Le Debut... Finally

I sit in front of my computer one depressing morning, reading all the blogs I've bookmarked. I really should be studying, I think. Exams are around the corner. I look at the exam schedule and put it aside, being the ultimate procastinator I am.

I have never been tempted to start a blog all these years. Why now? I am not sure. Maybe I am getting reckless and suicidal due to the stress. Yeah, that's it. I've always said having a place where the world can see your thoughts is dangerous. Yet I click the big orange buttons page after page to start a blogspot blog. If you discover why, please let me know.