Saturday, November 29, 2008
  Of a tourist attraction and death of a countryman
So I am done with my mid-semester tests, which explains the long absence of posts here. Let's see, what happened in the span of nearly 10 days. A Filipino magician/flourisher Jenil paid Singapore a 3 day 2 night visit as a detour for Lee Asher's Malaysia lecture, it was a nice experience to receive a guest and play host, especially if it's a flourishing exchange. So basically, I had to slow down my usual pace of going through things and explain how travelling using public transport is done, what kind of food we usually have, how to order things, and general information about a glorious place called Singapore *ERP annoyances and crowded trains*. It's nice to explain such things to a visitor, it makes one appreciate the country and the systems slighty more. Tour-guide tendencies aside, I hope Jenil doesn't feel too odd when the rest of us speak Singlish or Chinese or when the food here doesn't suit his taste. It was a chaotic visit, as he only got to getting the bus ticket to Malaysia on the final day here or so. Really last minute. Regardless of that, it was a pleasant experience.

Now, for the grave end of the spectrum of discussing about my country. Lo Hwei Yen, a Singaporean has been brutally slain (at least that's what said from the press) by yet another group of religious extremists (sigh) in Mumbai on Friday night. Unsure of how and why she was killed, all I have to say that it is most tragic and unfortunate. I am sure the close ones of the deceased wouldn't want to find out the details of how she ceased life either, for it will bring greater pain and less possibility of a closure. But why she was chosen to be killed was a paramount question. I know that she was a very difficult position between choosing for her life or informing the government of Singapore, because she had known of the attack before it's been publicised (the terrorists asked her to tell the Singaporean government not to inform the Indian authorities, quite a retarded and logically flawed statement made by the terrorists, in my opinion). And, the terrorists wanted her to either stay silent or die. I guess her deeply rational lawyer-instincts made her inclined to do the righteous thing and forgone the thought that she might most probably lose her life in the midst of justifying her lawyer-instincts. I don't know if it's appropriate to refer her to the title of a "martyr", yes because she died in a terrorism siege and did the righteous thing according to what the common folksmen of Singapore has been saying on the streets. No because we are entirely unsure of what really happened and those Jihad-mad loonies might have just killed anybody who appeared to be an annoyance in their captivity.

I was just reasoning with myself about those Jihad activists, didn't their thick unpenetrative cranial matter hinted to them that since repeated attempts of such holy activities usually ended up in utter failure and comtempts of mankind, maybe, just maybe(!!), they are doing it in the entire wrong way and that they should just give up about an Islamic world with Allah (or whatever they wanted to campaign for, couldn't care less for their terminology and taglines), pack up and head back home and try lead a normal life. "Pick up a hobby, go to the library and read more, go on a trek, socialise with old friends, I heard it works!", that is my advice to them.

The only crime is stupidity. Get away from organisations. Question oneself. Use your brain ah! =(
Thursday, November 20, 2008

I am being referred to have a resemblance to this man. I take it as a good sign.

I especially like how he described his philosophy. Very succinct.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
  Opeth - The Night and the Silent Water (Roundhouse Tapes)

Look, people, just look at the intensity and the virtuosity of the music towards the last minute. It's beyond words.

Now, I wish they could play The Apostle in Triumph live. That will kick alot of asses.

I am very much affected by Alden's Opeth tendencies and I guess that is a good thing. Lol.

Sunday, November 16, 2008
This weekend was an especially laid back one, since I practically stayed at home and let my body and mind rest. With the surplus of time set aside from staying home all day, I decided to dig out my father's CDs which I listened to when I was a child - Les Miserables musical soundtrack, Carpenters.

It gave me the most insanely warm and fuzzy feeling as I listened on. Images of my childhood came flooding back; my old home at Serangoon (of which I remembered that I always refused to sleep on my bed since it is near a wall next to the staircase - I hated the shuffling of feet at night, it's creepy). Times with my siblings when we played at the simple (by today's technological standards) playground downstairs that has sand on the ground, and I always prefer to play with the sand instead of the playground paraphernalia, because I can write/draw anything I like on it and partially because I suck at climbing around those bars and all that jazz, and I fear falling down. =\ Which explains my reluctance to learn how to ride a bicycle. Still am now. Haha. I also recalled the low knee-height wooden table that my mother always force me and my siblings to learn reading and writing on, she is a great mother really, to buy those assessment books and get us to do it daily. My sister was resistant to that method of learning, and she'd always use her pencil to crave or vandalise the table with words which I had difficulty comprehending back then, I remembered one word she used was "idiot", and I remembered being very impressed by that word. But nonetheless, as a young adult now, I am really grateful of what my mother did, whose efforts resulted in all three siblings being in the prestigious EM1 stream, doing Higher Chinese, receiving the government's academic monetary awards almost yearly and in junior colleges. I will definitely do the same to my offsprings. Haha!

My father used to have a whole set of Children and Adult encyclopaedia sitting on those sturdy wooden shelves, and I remembered being a very bored pre-kindergarten person, who decided to flip those encyclopaedia one day and I thought it will be cool to read up on Golf because my father was into that hobby back then. So, when he and his golfing friend were conversing some days later about the clubs, I said something like "Isn't that a Wood? And that is the Iron?" That was the very first time adults were genuinely, heavily impressed by me - a mere 3 or 4 year old who was supposed to keep quiet when adults are talking. It was awesome.

Now, to less erudite pursuits of my earlier years, I recalled an extravagant incident amongst my playmates who congregated at the void deck every evening for games and plain old stupid running around and catching. One of the playmates (of whom I did not recognise as part of the clique) by the unflattering name of Curry Chicken or Chicken Curry (we can never decide which one was the grammatically correct); so this Chicken Curry stole my relatively new 4 wheeled bicycle (I refuse to learn the 2 wheeled bicycle) and somehow days later, I found it lying in a big drain all destroyed. I was furious, and me and my other playmates decided to exact revenge on that Curry Chicken. We set up a ruse to lure Curry Chicken into a empty electrical storeroom at the void deck, then I slammed the door shut and locked it with a padlock. I remembered leaving him there overnight. *Grin*

One of the fears in my childhood included an Indian guy with weird eyes and a deranged grimace who persistently loiters around the wondrous MaMa shop near my house, which effectively deterred me from patronising the shop and henceforth, the procuring of tidbits. Maybe that's why I grew up with a neutral attitude towards commodities like chocolates and potato chips. So yeah, this guy will look at me or any other kids for that matter when he is walking by and that freaked the fuck out of me and when I am near him, I will curse under my breath for my bad luck and uttered to myself, "Holy fuck! Do not get any closer to me! Fuck! No! Hell! Fuck! Fuck!" Of course, those highly sophisticated cusswords did not exist in my vocabulary back then.

I also remembered the times when I followed my mother to the market, with my brother in the pram and me just tottering at the side of my mother, while my sister is off to primary school. My mother would ask me to wait outside the very terrifying looking market (in my child eyes it appeared to be very vast, eternal and very very wet indeed) while she went to choose the fish and vegetables. Afterwhich we will go to the Bean Curd shop for Soya Bean drink and bean curd, I still recalled it to be extremely delicious and a real royal treat. Now, I really want to head back to reminisce them soon. There is a McDonalds there too, but entrance into that place was a sparse occasion because it is considered an luxury and even if we get to eat it, it will be sharing 1 meal among the siblings. As a result, I always dreamt of having one whole meal to myself. My mother would also get donuts from a nearby bakery on the way back. Those donuts are orgasmic, it's always warm, fluffy and properly sugared (the ones I eat nowadays are so lackadaisical).

I attended a Christian private kindergarten of which I remembered we did nothing except to play water, play sand, and say nonsensical words before mealtimes and hearing "Amen" being said everywhere and everytime. It was weird. I wasn't impressed by the academic standards displayed at the kindergarten, since I have peeked at the traditional PAP kindergartens and I saw numbers and alot of words on the blackboard, so naturally, I expected something similar of that vigour. Evidently not. We had to play water, play sand and say nonsensical words instead. =\ I have to give them credit for the satisfactory marconi soup though.

Next, during my stay at YangZheng Primary School, I recalled being a quasi misanthropic fellow in Primary 2 because I sat next to a window that has a bored out hole with ants crawling out and that grim imagery made me quasi misanthropic. Haha! Coming to Primary 3, there weren't a proper form teacher so the class wasn't exactly serious in learning. I took advantage of that situation and topped the class, it was again, awesome. I remembered getting full marks for Mathematics, freaking impossible! Haha! This attracted the school authorities to offer me a Prefect status, but I nonchalantly rejected it. I also remembered playing monkey bars with the boys during recess to the point of getting blisters on my hands and fingers. Which explains my tendency to get into masculine hobbies now - card flourishing and metal music.

Weekends in my childhood were mostly spent with my family at the beach, and my mother would prepare a plethora of food and we would go on a picnic because it is cheap. We could run around the shores, bury each other's feet into the sand, dig a lagoon hoping it would work (mostly it didn't), play badminton when there is strong winds, go find fallen coconuts and wreck them by trashing them around, and tempting the tame Singaporean waves to devour our puny bodies and being really silly. My father filmed some of the outings down, trust me, upon viewing those VCDs, I feel like stabbing my younger self to death because I sounded so disgusting. I remembered being a proficient runner in childhood as I could easily outrun my father, brother and sister. I wonder where did those athletic genes have gone to? Maybe my father, brother and sister weren't serious in those footraces. Haha! One interesting beach encounter was the discovery of a Jamaican 1997 card calender on the shore of Pasir Ris beach. Jamaica all the way to Singapore. That's amazing.

At this point, it's getting hard to retrieve any more details as most of the memories are getting increasingly vague and foggy. Unfortunately.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
  One more amazing outfit in my wardrobe
Today, during Patient Care practical lesson, we had to learn how to put on those kickass callous looking surgical gown and all that jazz. It was a great experience because it makes one feel like a doctor almost immediately. Ignoring that aspect, I have to say it is not as simple as you would see it on TV where they just slip it on and off within seconds without any hassle. It really requires a certain level of thinking regarding on which side/which corner of the gown or the apparel to touch and the sequence of dressing up and removing. Especially for the gloves and the cuff of the gown, that part is tricky. =\

To identify Ling: Look for a \m/.

Now, that I have acquired a set of the gown, my mind is concoting several ways to use it to sinister uses *photoshoot* *flourish videos*. That will be interesting. I just need some red liquid and some scalpels. Muahaha! No, I kid. =P

But I have no idea but the process of wearing that gives me a special sense of calmness. :o

Amongst other news, looks like Ling has got to remain phone-less until tomorrow evening, for the incompetent repair service is going to take 2 days. My third service within a year! I vowed to myself that I will not procure a Zero Dollar phone the next time, there are bound to be problems.
  I Will Derive!

To all the mathematics denizens out there who read this blog, you will love this!

That just made me want to do some maths now.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008
  21st century isolation
So my handphone decided to play dead on me 2 days back, or the network provider. Either one. Rendering me incapable of sending out text messages. Agonising it is, to keep looking at the screen, hoping the damned messages will disappear from the outbox, every few hours for 2 days. So, being unable to send out messages, I logically would recieve none in return as well. I spent 2 days in handphone-silence, feeling myself getting out of touch, then gradually making me feel burdened and unburdened at the same time. Burdened; because I am now crippled by this inability to communciate in a fast manner. Unburdened; because I can now stop investing the time and effort to even look at the phone if there are new messages, it feels odd, something like taking a mini mind-vacation off the tasks of committing my thumbs to the keypad.

Thus, the title of this post - 21st century isolation. You are surrounded by people, but you are silent, you communicate with your mobile instead. Once deprived of that tool, the isolation kicks in full swing, you go batshit (I told myself not to, instead to just see how this could give me new insights), the people around you gets non-existent. You are isolated.

While heading home just now after a long day in school (I cannot say it's gruelling because nothing is more gruelling than JC, so long would contend), I was dragging my body home listening to Burzum's Det Som En Gang Var on a damp leaf-strewn lonely dark stretch of road. To add to the 21st century isolation I was experiencing, I was feeling really inhumane. That is pretty cool. =P
Friday, November 07, 2008
  Satyricon Live in New Delhi, India

This is not fair. Totally not fair.

Satyricon! India?! Satyricon? INDIA?! First they have Iron Maiden, and now of all things, black metal - Satyricon?

Ling is fuming. *makes guttural noises*

Oh wait, I shall treat this as a good thing as bands are starting to play in more far-fetch areas *Asia - Singapore* instead of always touring for 6 thousand times in the Europe and 10 thousand times in America in a year. I kid about the figures, but yeah, they are definitely over performing in Europe. Vika told me bands could come to the same country for more than 3 times a year for a concert, that's why she got bored of gigs. Blasphemy! Gigs are like sacred moments! Hmphmh!

Ah wells. I don't really like to mix with kids who thinks they are "satanic", "aryan", "pagan" , "br00tal" who own 258732 band t-shirts. Come on, you are a fucking Chinese in Singapore. Just listen for the aesthetic quality. =\

Oh, I got reminded that there will a congregation of metalcore kids tomorrow at Fort Canning for the Taste of Chaos tour thing. *mental note: avoid that place*

In other pleasant news, Rammstein just announced that they have started recording their new 6th studio album. Es ist gut! I will never need to worry about Rammstein, they are one of the most consistent bands out there (other contenders of my opinion are Pain, Immortal and Falkenbach). Can't wait!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Suede - Positivity

You say what you want to say
Your diamonds are drops of rain
Your smile is your credit card
Your currency is your love

And the morning is for you
And the air is free
And the birds sing for you
And your positivity

You play where you want to play
On the main streets where the creeps all prey
And you can feel like you're in dynasty
You could be what you want to be

And the morning is for you
And the air is free
And the birds sing for you
And your positivity

And the cars crash for you
And the sunshine is free
And the sirens call you

Yes, the morning is for you
Yes, the air is free
Yes, the world spins for you
And your positivity

That is a song of which I listened to for a brief moment during my lower secondary school days, hooked it up again recently. It's been a long time since I felt so calmly inspired by a song, since John Lennon's Imagine. It feels good to feel inspired again.

It tells you happiness and a positive attitude all depend and derive from a change of our habitual perception of the world, which is usually a negative one.

So, what has a song got to relate to me? Well, I am slightly overwhelmed by the speed of pleasant things that are occurring to me recently, ranging from human relations to flourishing to an inherent individual level.

Number #1 - Apparently, MTV really like card flourishing, they are going to feature the classic Jam Time video (of which I have submitted due to their request) as a Video of The Week at MTV Best Show Ever. This is awesome enough news, let alone that they are going to send a limited edition Swatch watch for that video submission. Haha!

Number #2 - Card flourishing related again. I might appear on Okto channel doing flourishes in a Live broadcast show.

Number #3 - I really enjoy the company of friend(s) *Drasula* I have now.

The first 2 occurred in rapid succession in just 2 days. O_o

Now, Ling, you are a mere mortal and please get back to Earth now.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
  An evaluation.
I have acquired the latest opus from Cradle of Filth - Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder, with anticipation and apprehension. Anticipation because Dani and Paul had revealed that the album would sound like their older songs from Dusk and her Embrace to Midian, that is a very bold thing to declare, knowing how mighty are songs of their from that era. So I'd really hope that at least this new album would provide some respite from the terror that Thornography had spewed out in 2006 and instil some reborn hopes for this filthy crew. Apprehension is the part that I fear that the vestige of Thornography would re-appear in this album and that Dani's lyric work would be laborious and the general lack of inspiration lyrically and in terms of the lyric booklet design and captions therein.

Anticipation and apprehension aside, I give the disc around 5 listens back to back, looking for little details and sparks of auditory genius. I got to say that tracks like "Shat out of Hell", "Tragic Kingdom", "Honey and Sulphur", "Sweet Maleficia" and "Midnight Shadows Crawl to Counsel..." sounded like the vestiges of Dusk and Her Embrace and Cruelty and the Beast combined, minus the lyrical genius that Dani used to express so well in his younger ages.

Tracks like "Darkness Incarnate" and the title-track - "Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder" are the ones that caught my attention as they had the sheer searing amount of dazzling, blinding energy that I used to so relish in their songs, like "Queen of Winter Throned", "I Thank God for The Suffering", "Tortured Soul Asylum" or "Amor E Morte" and the likes of the gems in their younger years. Though they possess the escalating amount of energy, it is never enough to match up to the predecessors, for currently, somehow, the album lacks a certain something, which I have yet to decipher. Maybe it's the energy of the youth, that passionate impulse. Trying to recapture that when one is nearing midlife certainly isn't an easy task. I got to give them credits for the job though, to build up a conceptual album and trying their best again, for the filthy fans. The title-track had elements from Cruelty and The Beast and Midian, too.

One thing I absolutely loathe about this album is the excessive use of the oral narration by Pinhead Doug Bradley, I mean, "Come on, I have ears to discern the atmosphere of the music, I do not need a damn e-book over here." Once or twice is enough, but for almost every track? =| Maybe Dani likes Doug Bradley alot. I also think that the new female vocalist should not be there, why take the trouble to replace when Sarah Jezebel is doing such an awesome job? I do not get it. One more point, the lyric booklet artwork is fucking ridiculous, that even I have no choice but to chide it. Those artwork are worthy for a damn children's colouring book. *stabs my eyes, then performs a hara kiri with a fish* Can't they just use their old artist who did Cruelty and the Beast or Dusk and her Embrace? Those could convey the decadent emotions so much better than the current one. =| I do not get it, again.

I also miss the band portrait in the lyric booklet with an almost signature-like caption for it, like what in Midian's - "Heaven's Mutant Children". I also miss the little thing they have in Cruelty and the Beast where each member of the band is introduced as a serial killer. I really like Nick Barker's description - "Gradually perfecting his art on various parts of the body over the years, this infamous skin-beater now thrashes his victim from head to toe until she is flayed alive; wearing her skin to dinner almost as an erotic afterthought." Not to forget Dani's description - "A reowned blasphemer, this libertine now goes as far as to deflower then crucify young virgins, leaving them to suffer the agonies of the damned as carrion for the ravens and other less picky nightcrawlers..." Just look at that, humour and creativity in a single go. In addition, Dani's lyric work now looks to laboured and tedious, they no longer possess the fluidty they used to have. I used to be able to feel the madness of the music and the content emnating from the lyrics itself... I guess I have to declare that nothing from them will never again reach the madness of their albums - Dusk and her Embrace to Midian. Let my memory rest in their better days, then. The Queen of Winter, Throned will forever be throned.

Then again, I have seen and heard so much over the years, nothing could really make me go "wow! That's fucking insane!" like how I felt when I first started my forary. Maybe it's me, maybe old timer fans should just stop reminiscing and allow bands to express themselves in whatever they desired, for music is an artistic endeavour. Then again, which artist would allow a backslide when they have reached the peak of their career and attaining such high standards? I am lost. I only have to say that impulsive creativity wanes with age... at least for this case.

I just hope new fans would start out like myself, do a proper study of the band's history and weed out the bad and absorb the good, get inspired by Dani's lyrics in the Golden Age, get inspired by the historical/mythological aspects of the albums, expand on their individual knowledge, learn new words from Dani's lyrics, whatever. For that is the only fruitful outcome.

Geesh, do I feel old? I am only 19 years old, and I am starting to get bored of things. The only thing I seem to get intense emotions from is relishing my memories... Which led back to my quasi-question/conclusion that "Geesh, do I feel old?"
The human destiny is forever limited by the idiocy of bureaucracy and the excesses of social expectations. - LingNemesis, 2007 C.E.

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Metal-Listener. Card Flourisher. Aspiring Philosopher. Selective Mugger. Ubermensch-to-be. Inspired by Dharma. Nihilist. The Almost Misanthrope. Yogini. Film Enthusiast. Into everything Occult and the Esotercism. Anti-Pretentious Social Situations. Anti-Religion. Anti-Normal. Observer of This Fucked-Up World. Autodidact. Philomath. Capricorn Cusp Aquarius. Leo Ascendent. Taurus Moon Sign. Economic Left/Right: -1.88 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.05.

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