again

It’s another one of those nights I spend watching 2014 videos.

I really can’t help it but my heart’s so bent on winning.

I really need to fucking do it right this time.

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Promos are coming up

And I’ve just been thinking about things recently

1. Xiaxue

Really is the epitome of brutal honesty in Singapore, topped off with an unnecessarily loud mouth. Far more concerned with stirring shit on social media platforms than caring about the young kids she’s gonna “influence”, she claims to be the no.1 social media influencer in Singapore while relying on content like “Who bought FAKE IG followers?” to go viral.

Sometimes I really cannot understand the culture you’re trying to propagate here in Singapore. One of vainness and superficiality and “throwing shade” at others? It’s not healthy man. I’ve just never heard of a “no.1 influencer” who tries so hard to start so much shit just so you can prove that you will eventually come out on top of all of it, or have your followers baby you with praise about how much they love your sassiness.

2. Of wealth 

For some reason it only recently dawned on me that while my whole family is trying to be great money earners, I’m really just me trying to view the world in a different light. My father has a masters in business administration and is currently managing this really (successful and) classy beach hotel in New Zealand with my uncle [they just ventured into this]; my mom analyzes the stock market for a living so she helps my dad and brothers invest smartly in stocks; my two elder brothers have become adept in all of these econs stuff from my dad’s hour long lectures at the dining table; and I, proud as I will say, will always plug in and shut off the noises to contemplate about the necessity of becoming so shrewd in money matters.

I mean I do understand the necessity of earning money, and I do understand the potential empowerment of earning more and more money, but I really don’t see the point of needing more than what’s enough to get by – to just live a humble life. I do appreciate that my family is rather well off, thanks to my parents. I do appreciate that my father had the foresight to get into the study of business when today’s world pretty much revolves around businesses thriving. Yeah, I really do, but after you have so much, then what? What meaning is there to earn so much money just to live a better life? Are you really living life for what it is, or is our purpose just to get through life more comfortably? Dig deep and ask yourself that.

I find meaning in understanding the mechanisms that define how society works, in understanding the flaws and cracks that lie deep in its clockwork, in understanding that really bad class differences do exist in Singapore, in understanding that while the money is rolling in, there are people out there who need it more than we do. Sometimes I feel that while my parents have blessed me with such a comfortable standard of living, I never needed this. I don’t need it when there are tons of people out there who don’t have the stuff I have.

It’s one thing to be a man who earns a lot due to his own hard work and diligence, and it’s another thing to be a man who shares it with the people around him despite knowing that he’s earned it himself. That’s the difference between a wealthy person, and a great person.

Sometimes I think about my lit novels and the values they’ve taught me, some of which I feel like my family will never be able to understand. While I think they do appreciate that my interest lies in the language, I feel like they’ve never bothered about the underlying significance of lit and learning more about the language in general – in guiding us to take a step back to study the patterns of society. Like in Mrs Warren’s Profession.., or Gatsby. But then again, who am I to question the ones who’ve spent multiple more years in this world than I have?

It’s just… something happened a few days back. 

So my eldest brother is having his uni study break right now, and he just came back from Melbourne (My parents spent a shitload of money to get him there after he did really badly for As. cue Gatsby, cue social security net with wealth). My grandparents wanted to have a mini reunion with my family for the occasion (excluding dad, he’s still in nz working on his villa). So we went to a nearby coffee shop to have a nice dinner. Some backstory on my grandpa, he fell in the bathroom a few months back and fractured his bones, and had to be hospitalised. He only recently got better but now he has a maid to stay with him to help.

I only found out about the maid during the dinner, when my grandma went to dabao a box of rice and said in chinese that it was for the maid’s dinner. She added a couple of vegs, and after adding just one chicken wing and a two or three fried sotong pieces, my mom went “够了吧,不用给这样多”. I was quite shocked, as the amount of meat I saw going into the box was almost pathetic in comparison to the amount of food we had on the table. My mom wanted me to finish the last piece of chicken wing left on the plate, but I was pretty full, so I suggested that I give the last piece to the maid and explicitly said that the amount of meat she had was really very little.

And yeah, my mom chided me, she said, “This kind of thing cannot give too much, if not we are indulging her. She’s here to work, not come here for holiday.” As much as I love my mother, I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of disgust. If giving a more reasonable amount of food to a maid who wouldn’t have tidbits to munch on if she were to be hungry at night was considered pampering, even when there was extra food on the table, even when we were already filled, then I don’t know what to say. My brother sitting across, drum major of his band, student councillor in jc – I only saw him smile and say nothing.

My conscience has really been shaken.

I am dismayed thinking that I very well could have been brought up with the belief that sharing is bad.

Bliss

I am so glad I came into this school.

Never mind the rigour of JC. 

I’ve received so much more than just knowledge.

Everything; the friends I’ve made, floorball, the soft skills I’ve learnt, the ability to make a decent conversation and sustain it, the not-shutting out people bluntly because I don’t wish to make a conversation, a whole new perspective of leadership, the chance to learn ELL, everything makes me feel immensely thankful.

I just read the very first post I made on this blog, which I remember was written on the night of the day before my first step into ACJC last year – me tapping away on the keyboard with my mom screaming at me to make some lifestyle changes and sleep early for once cos JC was about to start (not that I’ve dealt with that problem yet).

I was so dull then. So lacking of energy, absolutely defeated by life in secondary school. I was looking for a chance to reinvent myself, and discover what genuine acceptance feels like. What going to school and not finding fault with countless people feels like.

So I thank you, ACJC and the people here who have blessed me with the opportunity to look forward to going to school everyday and cuddle in the embrace of people who appreciate my existence. You have given me nothing but love and a precious sense of belonging.

To be able to be blissful, I think I understand it now.

the warm arms of acfloorballers

Heartfelt

Aristal 2017: it was amazing

I went for the NJC dance concert to support Davina.

I intended to turn up as a gesture, to show her that I appreciated knowing her and it would be really nice to stay in touch – as friends.

I bought a rose, and waited for her outside after the concert. I saw her first in the crowd, scrambling around, and I walked up. As usual, she was looking down at her phone by the time I got to her. I really thought I had gotten over her.

I waved right between her eyes and the screen and she looked up.

Her usual slight frown eased into a sunshiney smile, and her eyes……. a delicate sparkle.

The last two years I never felt my heart flutter like it did then.

Journalism

statestimesreview.com/2017/06/28/largest-mrt-breakdown-affecting-north-south-east-west-lines/

NEWS ARTICLES that deliberately stoop to defamation are honestly gross. We all need to be able to distinguish between reporting facts and deliberately making incendiary statements, regardless of the authenticity of the information. “I am just reporting facts and figures, you can’t blame me for this! Much less bring me to court!” no… It doesn’t work this way.

The larger issue: freedom of speech. Roy Ngerng and Amos Yee and Straits Times Review yadda yaddaa… attempts in Singapore made to test the system and its restriction will not work for a reason. Singapore was never built on freedom of speech, and the very foundations of our social order is dependent on this fact. Yes, there will be discontent, but people respect the fact that not every matter requires debate on what’s right or wrong and it goes back and forth and back and forth… And by the time you make a decision you realise society has been divided into two stubborn groups of people who want to be right…. more so than to seek for something they truly believe is beneficial for society. Like clinton and trump supporters. And messi and ronaldo fans.

Article:

“SMRT issued a fake news on 5.56pm claiming that services resumed, but a reporter from TodayOnline checked that one of the affected stations were still closed at 6.30pm. Services only resumed at 6.48pm.

An estimated 2 million passengers were affected by the train breakdown today, which is the largest breakdown affecting most number of stations in history.”

And this news article… Exaggerating facts and exploding figures are good methods to gain support from a naive crowd, not a majority. It doesnt make you fake news, it makes you news that people read and want to block the source because after a long day of work, it’s very unpleasant finding something that aims at giving people more emotion than fact. And when you do this in a country that enforces social studies as a compulsory subject, you can’t get anywhere. contrary to popular belief, social studies doesn’t teach us to like our government. Heck, so many students find out how flawed our government is from learning ss. It teaches us (not including the students who decide to not learn the subject) to assess statements, tell apart fact from opinion, biased from unbiased, credible from absolutely crap 

And this is why, regardless of the facts you report, regardless of what I stand for, regardless of how much i hate being late to school on a thursday morning right before my exams cos the train was stuck at cck for a solid 20 minutes as much as you do getting home later than usual, i feel that you, states times review guys, should shut down and stop stirring nonsense in people’s lives

https://longversion.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/the-journalists-creed/

About God

​I was scrolling through facebook and came across a news article about antibiotic resistances and illnesses when I came across this comment.

“Certain sickness only God can heal provided u hv faith n believe in Him.” sic

Prior to entering acjc, I never believed in God. I was never surrounded by methodist values in my primary or secondary school because my schools never enforced practices for a single faith. I thought God was a ridiculous, made-up craziness that Christians and Catholics preached of. Because there was absolutely zero evidence of a creator, or a majestic being who sees over us in the skies. Science proved otherwise, so I never let up to the nonsense.

But coming into acjc, a methodist institution, was changing, if that’s a good word to describe it. I was, all of a sudden, surrounded by believers. Every school day I had to go through words of prayer. And on mondays I had to compulsora-rily attend this weird chapel thing that was magically boring. Most students sang the worship songs in chapel fervently, but for the rest, the songs were the perfect lullaby. I felt that it was all so pretentious and lame at first, but then as the terms went by, I started to listen more instead of making use of chapel to supplement my sleep.

Our school principal told us, “Even if you don’t believe in God, I seek you to listen and learn about our methodist values.”-somewhere along the lines of this. I listened. It affected me. I gradually felt more and more open to the ideas of a god. They spoke of common virtues that every man should heed by, and of empowerment and enlightenment that every person can go to God and beseek. 

Any man, believer or not, can trust that there is a being that he can confide in to confess sins, discover virtue, cure exhaustion and uncover a source of innate strength. In Christianity, that being is Jesus, whom they choose to revere and see as a being who lives with them, and watches over them as their lives go by. Okay, that’s them. But this way of thinking – I find it truly amazing. Amazing in how regular people can discover strength within themselves to tackle harsh circumstances with something as ridiculous-sounding as belief. I love it, and it inspires me to seek strength from within.

However, there are people who think that God can cure all. I fail to see how this is reasonable thinking. Now, ‘belief’ can empower someone, but not in a tangible way. To entrust God to treat your illness while you sit back and die is not what God would want. I believe God motivates you to find the strength to help yourself, not have him help you. So when believers preach that God can cure all while we sit and pray, I shut my ears because God entrusts me to go out there and seek the cure.

Regardless of my disagreements, I do respect these ideas and practices as they are. I continue to respect the Lord wholly, for I know God stays with me, and continues to strengthen me, as Joshua 1:9 says: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid, nor discouraged, for the Lord, your God, will be with you wherever you go. 

Finalists

​Watching this time and time again and every single time it hits me so hard… 
(As the title shows) It’s the A div finals in 2014 my school worked superbly hard to participate in. Arguably the best team acjc has had. They were 0-2 down to rjc but showed so passionate a fight that they managed to come back to 2-2 in the final period, but finally conceded 3-2 in the last 2 minutes and left as silver medalists.

They were great players, regardless of the amount of experience they had. Sure there were better players who were expected to carry the team on their shoulders the entire tournament, but what was instead so remarkable about the team was that the players who were absolutely new to the sport managed to bring themselves up to the next level to match their better teammates.

The team became amazing. Nevermind that they lost, they were amazing. They left a legacy and a reputation for the college that their juniors have been expected to live up to. It was a special kind of passion that’s hard to be able to even remotely feel now. Every time I watch the match, I feel especially broken, because that feeling seems long lost. I want my team to be able to play on a stage like that, and genuinely make our schoolmates proud even in defeat. I keep questioning, where did the hunger come from?

Too many nights I’ve spent thinking about what can be. But everyone else just feels okay with what is and what isn’t. 

Back then?

So I came across this post on Facebook which was a video explaining why allowing children to be bored is a good thing. Because it allows them to settle into an inner-quietness that helps them create a world for themselves and betters their self-awareness… Blah blah blah…

And then I was reminded of when I was bored as a child. Back when we still weren’t glued to our devices, back when being bored was normal, back when exploring the house to find something to entertain ourselves with was a daily thing….

I remember when I was small, like more than 10 years ago. 4/5 years old, still round and chubby, still whine-y and annoying. Back then, the house had a super spacious living room, where there was a little square area enclosed by two walls, one with a TV, and two adjacent, yellow sofas (those sofas were the best the most comfortable ever but a pity they were thrown). And in the middle of the cosy little living area was our ancient coffee table (we still have it) which stood atop a huge 2mx2m carpet, right in the middle such that there was space left on the four sides for people to sit on. The carpet was beautiful, one of those you’d find at those Indian carpet shops with carpets of all sorts of flowery patterns.

When I was left alone at home and mom and dad went to work, I spent most of every day entertaining myself with the same toys. I had a huge collection of toy cars (hot wheels were always the coolest) kept in this giant box with a green lid which sat in one of the corners of the living room. The cars were always my immediate go-to form of entertainment, and whenever I felt bored, I would always lift the heavy plastic box out from the corner, drop it on the carpet with a thud, and unclip the plastic lid. Digging around in the sea of miniature vehicles, I would fling the lame ones to the sides and fish the cool ones from the bottom, leaving a cone-shaped hole right through the centre.

After careful selection of about 10 cool hot wheels cars, I would drag the box beneath the table. Then came the fun part. See, the carpet was magical. It was huge, beautiful, and the best part – it was an amazing course for my racecars. The carpet would never be totally flat when I played on it. I would drag its edges inwards against the legs of the coffee table, such that the carpet created ripples, or I used to imagine as ‘mountains’ (the top of the ripples) and ‘valleys’ (between the ripples). Once the race course was all set up, I would ready my racecars at a start point, and set them off on a circuit around the ‘carpet mountain’.

During the race, I would make screeching noises as the racecars drifted along the furry terrain. I enjoyed dragging them along as they bumped and crashed against their competitors, flipping a few over sometimes after a hard collision. I also made classic shortcuts; they were routes with the sides paved with unused cars, going underneath the coffee table to provide a more efficient and ‘cheat’ route. After a few laps, the cars would race to the finish line and end with a sleek drift to a stop, and when I pressed down against the carpet, the cars would mark a path with their wheels as if they left a blaze behind them, and then come to an elegant stop.

Today, I’m not sure if I still have the green plastic box in my house. After more than a decade of learning, it feels like I’ve left my entire childhood and its delicate happiness behind me. For years, I had totally forgot about the toys cars until I saw a Facebook video reminding me about it. More importantly, it reminded me about the simple joy people feel when they are left alone to create things to entertain themselves. Those were genuine forms of happiness, not like the kind you feel after purchasing a box of 300 gems in a phone game.

It is rare to be able to feel same kind of happiness now.

CCAAB 2016. Leaders or just people trying to stand out from a crowd? Idk