Monday, October 30, 2006

When the music fades

light & heavy
boiled leaves & bergamot
just being human

the sunset i crave
miles and months to pray
my jury exists one
just human being


*ticks a line on the page*
*clicks a watch on*
*time for cell*

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Pent feelings and scary thoughts manifest themselves
when you're at your lowest of moods.
Then you long for the Encourager's hand to cover you,
to comfort and hide you from what lurks in the worldly woods.
But it gets difficult when things aren't as tangible
as your senses can perceive. It is then we must
continue to give-praise in spite of circumstances;
prevail in the face of steepness;
persistantly worship with all our being.

He never rejects a humbled, broken spirit.
We need not dwell too long in brokeness before
His Spirit reminds us of the miracle of salvation we
already received.

Love never fails.
Still, I need to know.
Purpose. Place.
Is this the yoke I should bear?

I pray;
reveal Your will,
speak Your mind;
for your servant waits.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Chinkapolean Chweem (part2)

The scene: A small gallery with on-going art exhibition.
The cast: GallerySeater, DJ & Myself + some occassional exhibition viewers

not chronologically accurate; but it doesn't matter here:

G: Whoa, my place there, there's this really cute Eurasian girl who takes the bus every morning also. Sometimes, I take the same bus as her.
D: A.... naughty ah you. Never go and talk to her?
G: Aye, don't dare to lah. What can I say to her?
(some cheesy lines follow) Hahahaa..
D: *chuckles* You say, "(insert less cheesy-sounding line)" lah~ Heh heh..
G: You know, there's this thing about Peranakan girls that makes them so Ooh~!
Those I ever met are all very sweet one.
D: Aye, where to find them nowadays...
G: Hey, you sound like you need a girlfriend eh.
D: yea, (in American-accent)ZhangZiYi would be nice. *sigh*
M: Hey guys,
I noticed some of my friends today are attached to Malaysian-borne girls. What do you think about that?
G: Hmm, think they can appreciate a simpler way of life since they didn't grow u in SG?
D: I dunno.. Maybe not as materialistic as local girls?
M: interesting...


D: Eh, you know nowadays, those kids start using the word "scene".
Can't stand it man. Can't they just call it "community" like everyone else?
G: It's not only that;
they're listening to heavy metal and wear anarchy tee-shirts. See some of these kids in our school too. But don't know why they can't appreciate punk-rock. I mean, it's like as if they wear anti-establishment on their shirts but don't know what it really means. It's just fashion to them. Shallow sia.
D: How come last time we kids not like that one ah?
G: Think last time life was simple.
You know that day, I was walking downstairs front of my block. There was this group of kids cycling in my direction. They said, "Uncle! Siam, siam!" You know, I wasn't angry man.
D: Except for the "Uncle" bit? haha..
G: *smiling/fist over heart* I was thinking, "Hey, I feel you bro! Alright~Keep it up & you'll live longer!" Man, I was happy to see kids on bicycles for once in such a long time. Kids nowadays don't play outdoors like we used to eh?
M: I remember playing soccer with my primary school friends.
G: Yea, last time when there was Malaysia Cup, all the kids were playing soccer right.
D: Ya, play at the void deck, the basketball courts.
G: I think those days Singapore had more identity. People seemed more united and everyone supported the National Team proudly. Every kid wanted to be like Fandi!
D: Aiyah, sad lah, how we kena kick out.
G: Ya lah, it was only a few of them who kelong what. Only Alistair, Abbas what. Why couldn't we carry on with the rest of the team? Think they were too hard on Sundram also.

*all sigh*

(caucasian couple, probably British-descent, enter gallery)
Couple: Excuse me, are you just sitting on the exhibits, or are part of the exhibits?
Us: Er yea, we' re supposed to view and appreciate the other works from this piece.
Couple: (amused) Alright then~ *chuckle*


G: Eh now i staring work already. Cannot like last time, anytime also can go for supper with friends. I remember staying out until 3 or 4 with the guys. Sometimes, even up till 6, then go school from there. Haha.
D: Yea boy, supper shiok sia . Now not so often already. Last time always go supper and I got cycle a lot too; so ok. *looks at midriff* Today, aye...
G: I think cos' all my friends Malay one, so we like to hang out a lot. Got that kampung-spirit you know.
M: I used to have more Malay & Indian friends during primary school. We always played soccer together. Nowadays not really in-touch with them though.
G: Oh yea, I notice now more Chinese like to hang-out late also? How come they follow our bad example? Haha..
*all chuckle*


G: You still playing with your band?
D: Yea, I am. Still making our music and stuff.
You know, I hate how the media says "local music"; as in "support local music"
It's like some stigma like that. Why can't they just call ours' "music". Just that.
It's music also what! Just let people hear us and let them think what they want.
G: aye, they trying to encourage people to support local productions. but yea, maybe they shouldn't call it "local music" cos' some Singaporeans when they hear "local", they may think it's not as good as some Western group.
D: Yea, what for compare? Singapore-made music is still music what.
G: Well, it's the same thing in Art/Design-scene what. We don't get as recognised as maybe some Ang Moh's work.

M: My art teacher told me before that he feels Singapore's education system is too focused on math and science. I think today's kids have a bit more choices.
D: Yea, at least the government start recognising something.
G: But actually, that was good strategy you know. When Singapore first got kicked out from M'sia, LKY then didn't have much choice but to develop our security and economy first. So since then, we all till today have to do N.S. to defend ourselves. And also, our schools have to teach what will be good for business.
M: Right *sigh*


Chinkapolean Chweem (part1)

To me,
it was a tragic stereotypical cynical social commentary
cum reality-tv-drama-serial-cross...

Lurking within my subconscious, the ugly pessimistic views of life surfaced while watching Singapore Dreaming. I found myself being challenged, apalled and scared at the issues that were brought up in the film. pain, heartbreak, angst.


Some dark issues that stuck with me:
- overly image-conscious, materialistic nature of some of the characters - a case of misplaced values.
- being the disillusionment/disappointments that dawns upon some of the characters - a case of unrealised aspirations/dreams.
- stereotyped but painfully "real" portraits of average Singaporeans(SGeans) in their vernacular state, so kitsch, so cliched, emotional, in want, noveau-riche*, self-conscious, naive, submissive, whiny.

Still, there were also flashes of idealism, optimism; forward-looking, courageous, tenacious, tolerent, bite-the-bullet spirit that somewhat countered the negative character traits portrayed. We got to have at least some of that make it this far since 1965 don't we?


How does a film depicting 1st/2nd generation SGeans produced/directed by a 2nd gen SGeans connect with a 3rd Gen SGean like myself?
It all stems from my childhood years I suppose, where I spent quite a fair bit of time staying with my maternal grandparents. My grandparents raised me and my younger brother in a 3room flat where a few of their own children(my uncles and aunties) were still living in then.

Clothed in my sky and sea blue pre-school uniform & waiting at the living-room 3-seater**, I remember seeing my aunts(who shared a room with double-decker bed inside) and uncles(who shared the other bedroom with Grandpa) getting ready for work at daybreak. They took turns to use the bathroom or toilet. The ladies had a collection of make-up accessories waiting for them at dresser in their room. Grandpa would be doing his morning exercises at the spacious lift lobby area. Grandma would be laying out the breakfast fare on the dining table. (Milo and half-boiled eggs with Jacob's square-crackers were my favourite! Apart from You2 Tiao3{longish deep-fried fritters that comes in pairs})

Amidst the rush of all those hazy hasty mornings, I recall aunties or uncles encouraging me to "do well in school so you can find a better job", or telling me "I never study further than sec4, so now like that. you must do better ok!", "your papa and mummy work so hard, because they got to support you and your brother(and the house) so you must work hard also"
Better... Further...
Had I been a little older to know, I might have guessed that life was meant
to be lived like the Olympics - faster, higher, stronger.

It didn't make much sense to a boy who only loved drawing early then.
Okay, and maybe his tricycle with the sqeaky-horn too, I admit.
*noveau-riche: characteristic of someone who has risen economically or socially but lacks the social skills appropriate for this new position -
**living-room 3-seater: This wooden-framed sofa was what Grandma slept on at night during those days.