May 31, 2010

TOC Down?

Filed under: Uncategorized — theinkhorn @ 11:57 am

Chief Editor of The Online Citizen, Andrew Loh, announced yesterday that TOC would be taking an indefinite hiatus. Andrew had just gotten back from a blogger’s tour in Germany. The sudden revelation has already sparked rampant speculation. As one user put it, TOC either have a money problem, or a people problem.

It is unlikely to be a money problem. TOC have always been open enough about their finances. They aren’t shy about asking for donations, and they don’t hesitate to discuss their financial situation. Readers have offered financial support if required, but have received no response so far, further indication that money is the least of TOC’s worries.

What’s going on then? People who’ve been around long enough will probably have some idea. Perhaps not the entire story, but certainly a few paragraphs. All that remains is confirmation that ants have snuck down TOC’s pants and caused a bit of a ruckus.

Even then, one wonders just how much, and for how long, TOC can stick around. A very good point made by another reader states this:

“TOC has done a lot already.
The problem is singaporeans’ mentality will only reach maturity in at earliest in 10 years time.”

He hits the nail right smack on the head. We are still stuck at the mental age where homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to get married, public displays of affection are fervently and passionately condemned on forums, and we giggle every time we see peepee parts. We claim to want freedom, liberty, yet it is evident that we don’t understand the responsibility that comes with it. We refuse to hold ourselves accountable for anything, instead choosing to formulate ridiculously thought-out defenses. Maturity can only come if we open ourselves up enough to receive it. For that reason, never reject an idea. Never turn down a view.

But of course, that’s too much to ask isn’t it.

May 20, 2010

Small Penis Syndrome

Filed under: Uncategorized — theinkhorn @ 1:07 pm

There is a disease, a condition, that has been plaguing this country for as long as we can remember. An illness so dangerous, finding a cure would be almost miraculous. Many of us suffer from it, but not many will admit it. It is also believed, by me at least, that if we can cure this disease, we can solve most, if not all the problems we face today. The unfortunate condition our country suffers from, ladies and gentlemen, is Small Penis Syndrome.

Yes, our country has a tiny tonker. A wee winkle. And I suspect it’s the Marina Bay/Sentosa region. It would certainly make sense; it’s the Southern region and every weekend we use it to take a wank. Every decision, every word, every muscle the country has ever developed has been, in part at least, due to our self-perceived inadequacy. We’re like a short guy with a small “staff”; we have to really buff up so people don’t take a piss at us. Hence the economic and financial muscle, the harsh, no nonsense stance, the more or less nonsensical and illogical laws, and the weird people hanging around.

It explains everything we’ve ever done up til this point. Like the short guy with a dwarfish dong, whom I shall now refer to as Ernie, we would feel the need to overcompensate our lack of… manhood, by attempting to overachieve in other areas. Ernie would work out, make sure he had some serious bulk where people could see it. Arms, abs, chest, quads, calves and arse.

“People won’t mess with me now,” he thinks to himself as he continues to work on the stairmaster.

Ernie leaves the gym after 3 hours, sore and aching, and ponders his next move.

“I know. I’ll go earn some money. Deck myself with bling so people can’t mess with me.”

And off he struts, making sure to walk with his legs wide open so that it looks like he’s packing jumbo junk. He goes home, turns on his computer, and begins to sell his comic book collection and action figures on eBay. He also decides that since he’s selling stuff, might as well put his dignity, morals, compassion, and common sense up for sale.

“They only weigh me down,” he mutters. Bids start at $1 and all four are snapped up in just a few seconds for a staggering $4.20.

Ernie, absolutely chuffed at the money he’s made, then decides to get some bling. After all, nothing says powerful like money. And nothing says rich like diamonds. He goes to the store and purchases what they call a Helix bracelet. Pretty and expensive. He also decides to get a few tattoos. For starters, a wanky band around his right bicep.

“People will think I’m tough, and I don’t take shit from anyone,” Ernie sniggers as the tattoo artist puts the finishing touches on.

He also decides to get the words “Monsieur Dirigeant, Poignarder” tattooed on his chest, a grammatically incorrect phrase that translates literally to” Mister Ruler, Stab”. “People will think I’m sophisticated, yet dangerous at the same time,” Ernie’s rather pleased with himself now.

Finally, the sun begins to set and the night takes over.

“I need to hang out with some cool people. Like foreigners. Expats. That will make me look really cool, like I’m liberal and influenced by western ideals. But, I’ll approach with caution so people will think I’m still holding on to my Asian roots”.

He goes to a bar, and begins chatting to some Caucasian patrons. He’s having a good time, but they don’t look pleased. Ernie excuses himself and heads to the bathroom.

“What do you think?” The American asks the 2 Brits.

“We are not amused.”

“Ja.” The Swede agrees.

“Let’s bugger off then.”

Ernie returns to find that they’ve left, but not before finishing the drinks he bought for them. And his own. They’ve even put a few bottles of beer under his tab. Ernie now realises that he has to find some company soon. From the corner of his eye he spots a group of asian patrons, except they’re speaking broken English with various South-East Asian accents. “Oh what the hell…” he takes a deep breah and walks over.

The next morning, Ernie wakes up in his bed, a Vietnamese lying beside him, a Filipino on the floor and the two Thais in the corner, surrounded by a fort made of beer bottles. His testicles feel swollen and his arse is bleeding. He calls up his only friend to tell him about the night. He anticipates sympathy, or at least a reaction that is not of indifference. Instead, all he gets is a “Please see your MP. I am but a deaf frog in a well, without a care in the world.”

“Come on! I was arse-raped…!”

“I’m afraid I can’t talk right now. I’m heading to a new country. Er… City. Er… Country. Er… Nevermind.”

And so, Ernie, arse-raped and rejected by his only friend, sits gingerly on his couch and begins his self-reflection.

As a country, we have attempted to build a defense for ourselves by forcing upon our young men 2 years of national service. We have attempted to build up our financial muscle, constantly referring to our GDP as the most obvious sign that we’re doing the right workouts. We’ve exchanged our humanity for petty cash and a tough guy label. We’ve adopted the MDP to prove that we don’t mess around. We’ve offered ourselves up to foreigners, only to find that the smarter ones have sucked our resources dry and left us hanging. So we settle for the ones who can barely communicate and in the end, all we get is arse-raped. And when we try to seek help from the ones we think will do us good, we get turned down, rejected, trod on.

All because we have Small Penis Syndrome. Too high a price to pay, don’t you think?

May 19, 2010

3 Attempts In A Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — theinkhorn @ 12:04 pm

There is something terribly wrong with this country. I don’t think there can be any doubt to those aware. Yesterday, we had two suicide attempts reported. One successful, the other not, but passed off as an accident. The first was a man in his fifties, fueled possibly by desperation and the uncertainty of his family’s future. He launched himself out of his flat on the 7th floor. The second, reported as being an accident by the mainstream media, yet witnessed as a suicide attempt, involved a man in his thirties and the MRT tracks, so often the deathbed of many in recent years. He failed on this occasion. Now, treat these two individuals with indifference and contempt if you wish. I’ve found that we very rarely sympathize with people anymore. It doesn’t take much mental effort to brush of suicides as an attempt to escape the harsh realities of life, or life in Singapore, especially if the people involved are middle-aged men. But I dare you to enter the mind of a child, driven to the brink of ending his own life.

Around 1 am last night, I received a tip-off regarding yet another failed suicide attempt. An 8 year old boy, had thrown his bag and a stuffed bear down four stories, and was ready to follow suit. Fortunately, he was spotted by a female resident, who then managed to stall him long enough for other residents to break into the flat and grab him. According to the information I received, when the boy was asked why he wanted to jump, he said that his mother had done the same. Further probing revealed that his mother had committed suicide the year before, and he was being raised by his father, who was at work at the time. The boy was taken by the police, supposedly to his father’s workplace. Their whereabouts are currently unknown.

What demons could’ve lured this young lad, whom I understand from my source to be a bright and sensible individual, towards the traps of death? According to the boy, his father had earlier called him “useless” for failing an exam. While I am bewildered by the lack of sensitivity, I suspect there may be a deeper issue than that. When faced with the reality of losing someone close to us, we undergo the 5 stages of grief. However, the progression of those stages vary from person to person. Some of us race down to Acceptance. Others brisk walk, but find that they have to turn back. And then, there are some who dwindle at Denial, who feel safe with Denial, who cling on to Denial for fear of the other stages and the horrors they will bring.

Yet, before we jump at the father’s throat, keep in mind that as much pain as a child losing his mother has to go through, a man losing his wife feels no less. Both individuals have had to go through trauma that, quite frankly, is premature. The boy will receive professional help, according to the police.

I wonder though, if they will offer the same help to the boy’s father, or if a charge of negligence is all he will receive.

May 11, 2010

Against The “Trade-Off”

Filed under: Uncategorized — theinkhorn @ 11:06 am

“People assume you can have this safety and security without this framework of the law; that you can change it, and yet your safety and security will not be affected. But there are always trade-offs. The difficulty the Government has sometimes in explaining this is that the trade-offs are not apparent. The damage to a large number of others is not obvious.”

These, ladies and gentlemen, are the wise words of your Law and Second Home Affairs Minister, Mr. K Shanmugam. This is what he had to say in reply to a question regarding 21 yr old drug trafficker Yong Vui Kong, who currently awaits the verdict of his appeal against the mandatory death penalty, which will be delivered this friday. It seems rather odd though, that a mandatory sentence should be allowed an appeal.

A trade-off. The certain destruction of one life to prevent the potential decimation of 10, or 100, or 1000, or perhaps only 3. The definite and deliberate murder of one man, to ensure that the possible, because that’s all it is, the probable death of others doesn’t happen. Mr Shanmugam has effectively disguised the mandatory death penalty as a means of prevention, and has justified it by labeling the process a trade. Why don’t we start making people take care of our homes and families 24 hours a day, 6 days a week, pay them almost nothing but claim to offer them food and lodging? Hey wait a minute…

A 21 year old boy who possibly didn’t even realise what he was delivering, who hasn’t had a proper education, who’s never had the luxury of time or money, whose only concern was making a better living for his mother, a boy who’s never understood the privileged lives many of us lead is going to die, simply because we allow it. Simply because morons like Mr Shanmugam think that if people begin using, the fault surely has to fall on people like Yong. The mules. The supply lines. The exploited. We never think to fault the source because they’re too elusive, and we never think to fault ourselves because it’s always easier to be irresponsible and point fingers.

Come this friday, we either advance, or we stall. We either realise, or we ignore. I know which side of the war I’m on, and why. Do you?

May 5, 2010

Filed under: Miscellanous — theinkhorn @ 8:48 pm

They tell us that suicide is the greatest piece of cowardice… That suicide is wrong; when it is quite obvious that there is nothing in the world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person.     – Arthur Schopenhauer

There are few things more heart wrenching than the demise of a young, talented individual. A year or two ago, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid. I probably would’ve shrugged it off, went home, had a fag and a beer, went to sleep and did it all over again the next day, without even the slightest consideration that the possibility of tomorrow never arriving stood real and tall. Today, I find myself riddled with sympathy, shame, and most surprising of all, sorrow.

I did not know this young lady, and perhaps I never would have. I did not share any memories with her, I certainly did not hit on her (I’m pretty sure), I was not aware of her existence. I did not change her diapers, I did not make her meals, I did not send her to school, I did not have any conversations with her, I did not think about her… None of that. But I don’t need any of it. No biological bond, no relationship, indeed, no logical reason to feel anything. But this, and this will probably be the only time you’ll ever hear me say this, this is the one occasion where logic is redundant.

We grow up believing ourselves to be invincible. We hurl our inhibitions out the window with a simple “meh” and tell ourselves that we’re living, that we’re learning to live. All that matters to us in the present, is that we don’t regret in the future. All we think about when we close our eyes and prepare for R.E.M is what to do tomorrow. But what if tomorrow never arrives? Would you still dream? Say we wake up the next morning then. It doesn’t quite matter does it? That possibility of not opening our eyes never materializes, and we live to fight another day. We live another day.

If we are to the universe the equivalent of an electron to a blue whale, why then do we feel that sort of invincibility? Why then do we experience delusions of immortality? Why then do we always convince ourselves that it is not right for a beautiful young individual with all the potential and all the opportunity in the world to lose the fight? The unfortunate truth is that it isn’t right, but the universe knows no right or wrong. No correct or incorrect. No benevolence or malevolence. When it comes down to us against the world, against time and the tides, against the monstrosity we call life, we submit, because we know, or we believe, that our control over life only extends so far.

Well what if you’re wrong? What if the extent of your power has been severely underestimated, incredibly miscalculated? What if you realise, one day, that every weed you trample on, every switch you flick, every cab you flag down, every coin you toss into a busker’s hat, every step you ever take, what if all of them count. What if all of them ultimately decide where you end up? What if something as simple and trivial as a butterfly flapping its wings could cause a tornado?

If there is anything you should take from this, it is not that Melissa is frolicking about somewhere in a spiritual plain, smiling down at you from above. It is not that she made a mistake exercising her control over life, her life. It is not that she would want you to be happy. No. If there is anything you should learn from this, if there is anything you should take from this, it should be the realization, the cognition, and ultimately, the acceptance of the power you possess. It should be the willingness to accept your own mortality, your own vulnerability, and take control. If even one of you summons up the courage, Melissa’s passing would not have been in vain. If your intentions are to honour her memory, and if those intentions are fueled with nothing but love and adoration, then start exercising that control.

While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.     – Leonardo Da Vinci

For her friends, family, acquaintances and indeed Melissa herself. To you finding in each other the greatest comfort. Readers may offer their condolences here.

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