Monday, 23 February 2004


Check out Features #1.
Seven looong hours of either listening to annoying techno music with dodgy artists covering good songs mixed with repetitive beats or listening to Eminem sing about male body parts and where they get stuck into.


My temp job stints have led me to a shop called Minitoons, royal hangout place of the unique to Singapore Ah Lians.

On the up side, my colleagues are very nice girls. The shop is a stone’s throw from where I live and I get to practice my Chinese seeing that whenever I try to speak English to the customers, I either get looks of bewilderment or confusion.

Does not prevent my colleagues from calling me a potato…and I trust that it is not a reference to my body shape, but an allusion to the Caucasians’ choice of staple food.

Wednesday, 18 February 2004

Temping with Kelly Services (thanks Gail for letting me know about them) has brought me to work at strange places.

Have been at Woodbridge - Institute of Mental Health, for the last 2 days, and will probably continue to be there till the end of the week. Fortunately, it is not as Gail has thought - the heat has not driven me mad. Or other circumstances for that matter. I'm still mentally healthy. I think.

Dreadfully boring work though. Data entry. What else when it comes to temp jobs? And I think I'm going to suffer from repetitive strain injury soon.

This evening found me at an interview at the Social Development Unit (SDU - the government's attempt to encourage procreation amongst Singaporeans). Apparently I'm supposed to help encourage and convince businesses to organise events for singles. All part of the Romancing Singapore 2004 campaign. (And believe me, I have something to say about that too - honestly, Singaporeans need to be taught how to be romantic?!? But I'll leave that for another day.)

Whether I get the job is still uncertain since I'm required to work on Saturdays. They really want me on board though. So one wonders if they'll work some magic...

Friday, 13 February 2004

Weeks of unemployment is extremely bad for my mental health. Besides being bored to the brink of insanity, I am now beginning to question my point of existence.

I feel absolutely useless and can find no meaning to my life. Of course, before I cause all of you to panic, I am not suicidal. I’m just in a blasé mood because I have nothing to do.

It’s not just being unemployed that is doing it to me. It’s the whole point of working. I am just not entirely sure why I want to work for a corporation whose sole purpose is to maximise profit, horde up millions of dollars, at the expense of others.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate money. In fact, you can give me all the money that you’ve got and I will thank you sweetly for it.

It’s just the point of it all.

We spend 8 to 9 hours a day slogging away, earning money, but all for a company that, besides promoting consumerism and materialism, is not doing anything to better the state of the world. Yes, it’s helping the economy, but somehow, I feel there’s got to be more to work than that.

I don’t want to work just to earn money. I want to work for something I believe in. I want to work for an organization that actually does something to help the world. I don’t want to promote inane and senseless things that does not help a person’s life. I want something more meaningful than that.

Then I realise that I have a BA in Communications. Mass media. Public Relations. Writing.

It’s all about consumerism. It’s not like a degree in Medicine, or Social Affairs or Development Studies. It’s about entertainment and in entertainment, it’s more like choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea than the simple choice of good and evil.

Can I actually find a job that I’m qualified in, and yet be able to contribute to a better world?

Tuesday, 10 February 2004

one cannot speak good English in Singapore anymore...

Went for an interview today and was told that I may have difficulty getting a job because of my accent.

Hello?!?! What accent? Any accent I have is a Singaporean one sans lahs and lehs...

No Aussie or Brit would ever claim me to be one of their own from hearing my accent. In fact, I'm recognised to be from Singapore because of the way I speak.

So what accent do I have?!?! And why am I discriminated simply because of the way that I speak???

Wednesday, 4 February 2004

Anyone familiar with the on goings of show business would readily recognise that February is a special month.

The Golden Globes, the Grammies, the Oscars and closer to home, the MTV Asia Music Awards, all happen within a few weeks of each other. We find ourselves inadvertently glued to our TVs, or reading snippets from magazines or newspapers about who’s been nominated, who’s won and even who’s who.

Let’s face it. No matter what we do, or don’t do, no matter where in the world we may be, we will know all about the awards sooner or later.

Ironical to remember that as recent as the 19th century, the arena of performing arts was seen in a completely different light. It’s true that Art has been in existence practically forever. People like to be entertained, whether in the past or in the present. And now our version of Greek entertainment comes in the form of movies, concerts and all sorts of popular art form.

The basic premise of the performing arts has not changed, but the status of artistes most certainly have.

Actors and singers used to be penniless, depending on the lords to support them. A parent hearing his child intending to walk down the path of the arts is most likely to either suffer from a cardiac arrest or disown his own flesh and blood. As the performing arts became more and more secular in the 15th century, the association of its participants with loose morals and vice became inseparable. To be a part of the performing arts was highly frowned upon.

Funny how all that has turned around.

The loose morals and vice are still there of course, in many varied disguised forms that I’m sure do not need spelling out. But since the turn of the 20th century, performers have never been more exalted. The actors and singers have now become the new elite, with their huge mansions and diamond-studded lifestyles.

Practically every young person dreams of making it big. A look at the turnout for the American Idol auditions says it all. The arena of performing arts has never enjoyed a better reputation.

Kudos to the entertainment business for flipping the tables. From a despised career, performers are suddenly what everyone wants to be, or tries to be with. The hours spent in queues just to get a glimpse of their idols, the desperation to get an autograph, the tears, the euphoria of making eye contact with Brad Pitt…the almost fanatical worshipping of people who, if born a few centuries earlier, would have been seen to be slightly better than the scum of the earth.

Show business’s marketing strategy should probably be written into a textbook for any aspiring marketeer.

Don’t get me wrong. I am all for creative expression. I thoroughly enjoy a good play or movie. I like listening to different sorts of music and I am a voracious reader. Creative and talented people need to be recognised and encouraged, like all other people in any honest form of living.

But have we gone a tad overboard? Has the tinsel blinded us?

Many follow the lives of the stars with an insatiable appetite. What we choose to see now lies on the outside – what a person possesses, be it jewellery, good looks or his latest girlfriend. What we hold important, what our values are, seems to have changed somewhat.

The Oscars started in 1927 for the purpose of raising the cultural and technical standards of professional filmmaking. But as we watch the Charlize Therons and Johnny Depps walk down the red carpet, what we focus on are the designer clothing, the gigantic and endless number of diamonds, the make-up, their private lives…the superficiality of it all. It’s no longer about talent, but an image. An image that would be bought up by adoring fans all over the world.

Appreciating a creative art form is one thing. Following it to be point of obsession is another.

Recognising and acknowledging talent is one thing. Spending millions of dollars letting everybody know about it is another.

God wanted us to encourage each other in the things that we do. But I’m sure He never meant for us to pat each other on the back for a job well done, to the point where his own creation has taken over His place.

Instead of chasing after God and being like Him, we now look to the exalted artistes whose talents God gave, for direction.

Tuesday, 3 February 2004

Can one catch cancer like one can catch SARS?

First my dad, then my uncle, THEN my great uncle…now my cousin has just been diagnosed with bone cancer.

Maybe my family should get a VIP card from the damn cancer society…
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