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Mirrormask! April 30, 2006

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
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WARNING: Hier wird vorweggenommen!

Okay, okay, so you'll find the same entry on Clublife. I'm a writer there! Just click on the link 'Welcome to the Club'…and yes, if you're interested in being a guest-writer, please do drop me a holler. I'm sure there's a place for everyone. Who knows, you may make it big someday!

Surely you've heard of neil gaiman – he's the genius behind works like Sandman, American Gods and of late, the movie Mirrormask. If you've ever read his works, you'll probably know what to expect – a spark of grand creative genius, fantastic worlds, a story hidden behind another, the ugly nature of humanity, something which walks on four legs in the morning, two in the afternoon, and three at night, and much more!

Stephanie Leonidas (who is chaiful, i might add) plays helena, a girl who juggles at a circus with her family, a girl who's life revolves around the balls she juggles and hectic schedules. Helena craves for her own life, so to speak – a life where she can fly away from that dreaded circus and never looks back. Then she excites her momma, who then collapses. Things take a turn for the fantastic thereafter.

What if one night you awoke to violin music just round the corner of your house? Just a spectre, a trick of the wind?

Helena, upon investigating, discovers a motley crew of performers practising their art – before shadow and darkness steals everything away, a certain valentine saves her by dragging her away into a dank room occupied by a creature which eats books. They enter the City of Light by insulting a pair of thick books, which, upon verbal abuse initiate their return to the Library.

Helena is a symbol of light and hope – the hope that she can right the imbalance of Light and Darkness caused by 'The Princess' – an unknown, really, at this point of time…all helena has to do is find the artefact

Okay, okay. That's enough of a spoiler already. What happens zwischendurch is for yours truly to know, and for y'all to find out. An attempt to summarise it would look like this.

A window into another world. The Really Useful Book. Giants Orbiting. If you have it, you wanna share it; if you share it, you don't have it. Listen to what your mother said. A Doppelgänger? Gryphons and sphinces. Don't let them see you're afraid. One key, but many locks… The cardinal sin of avarice. Close to You. A letter to the Black Queen. Die Wahrheit kommt ans Licht. A guilt trip. Juggling removes the darkness. Valentine apologises. The Mirrormask…

mirrormask.jpg
And yes, she's hot. Yosh.

Spürst du den Wandel der Zeit? April 28, 2006

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Let me tell all of you a story.

Once upon a time, there was an inquisitive little girl who came upon a wizened old man. The kindly Ancient One granted the girl three questions. The girl pondered for awhile, before asking her first question.

'What's a secret?'

The Ancient One answered: 'When you have it, you want to share it; when you share it, you don't have it.'

'What's love?'

The Ancient One answered: 'Love is perhaps something which never changes throughout time. Love can outlast stone, but she can also divide and conquer. Love heals and afflicts, she laughs, just as she makes one cry. She brings lovers together, just as she builds walls between hearts. Love can be the death of hearts, but to some, she is pure deliverance. Only the thinnest of boundaries seperates Love and Hate, just as only the thinnest of boundaries exist between Light and Shadow.'

The girl then posed her final question.

'What is time? Why can't i see it? How can i see time?'

To which the old man replied, 'Girl, time is like water. She runs through our hands, no matter how much we try to stop her. Time is always running out, and all she leaves us are memories of days long past. There's also one thing, just one thing, that allows you to see time passing, to know that time is – and that is Change.'

Good night. 

Empathy I April 28, 2006

Posted by The Truth in WARNING: Heavy Reading Ahead.
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WARNING: HEAVY READING AHEAD. May cause indigestion, migrane, heart palpitations, unhealthy philosophical reflection, mental instability, drowsiness (DO NOT DRIVE OR OPERATE HEAVY MACHINERY) or tired dry eyes. But you’re a champion if you try to understand it.

Sich in unsere Wegbereitern hineinversetzen, um einen Einblick in die Vergangenheit zu gewinnen.

Basically, empathy here has nothing to do with sympathising with anyone. It's the act of placing yourself in one's shoes, so that you can fully understand the conditions one currently finds him/herself in. The question now is: is empathy possible?

How many times people ask that you try to put yourselves in his/her shoes…but thinking carefully, do you really think you CAN do it? You'd probably sympathise with him/her, but will you react exactly how that particular person in question will react under the same conditions? I doubt so. When you say, 'i feel for you,' you actually mean that you think you understand what he/she is currently going through. You don't understand fully, however, what's going on.

There are basically two ways of examining this problem: philosophically and practically. Philosophically, there's this problem of other minds, that is, given that we are not psychic and that we do not possess the ability to communicate telepathically, is it possible for us to enter the minds of people we know well and perceive things through their thoughts? Wittgenstein and other philosophers considered it impossible, but yet many historians write their histeriographies as if they were psychic and had access to a time machine, that it was possible to enter the minds of people long dead and buried. They weren't even close to us, and yet these historians seek to unveil the truth by assuming that they understand them fully.

The second philosophical attack on this viewpoint of many historians is that communication is actually equivalent to translation. Everything the past communicated to us through artefacts, runic scripts, et cetera, has gone through some transcription by some historian, who applies techniques and mindsets taught today to something which has existed for millenia. All history is contemporary history, because what we are developing is not true history. We're just developing further theories and axioms about what the past ought to have looked like, just as we are probably bending the discovery of new artefacts to fit our image.

Criticism of literary textes has also come to be treated as an obstacle to empathy. If criticism is intended to make a literary text more understandable and at the same time reflect an appreciation of the text, then there also is the risk that criticism comes between the original meaning of the text and the reader. The meaning and intentions behind it are warped. So, to criticise or not to criticise? Perhaps there is a good point: by reducing the variation of viewpoints on any one text, criticism tends to lead to homogeneity in these discursive subjects. Maybe it serves the aims of modern-day education, which is probably to roll bright students full of facts off the production line with as high a turnover rate as possible; but to produce inquisitive minds…erm, not very useful.

Anyhows, let's look at empathy from a more down-to-earth viewpoint. Let's go to schools, where subjects like history are taught using a specific textbook as a model text. Let's assume that this textbook has to do with European history between the World Wars. This textbook probably draws its materials from other sources, like those thick archaic texts you find in university archives or in forgotten bookstores.

Either way, the content is filtered by the author of this textbook according to the examination requirements, which mean that the content is already reduced to whatever the syllabus demands, perhaps that the Germans were able to believe Hitler wholeheartedly because he was a strong, confident and charismatic leader when the Fatherland was at her knees. Anyway, the school textbook only provides one perspective, which all are expected to study religiously. In other words, when a student in Singapore is asked 'How did the Treaty of Versailles contribute to the outbreak of the Second World War?' he/she is not being asked for his/her own opinion, even if there's a true stroke of genius behind it. The context is not that of Europe in the 1920s, but that of the classroom.

To be continued…

The Big Fuck Syndrome April 27, 2006

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Ich habe heute fast eine Verkehrsunfall erlebt.

Yes, that's right. If you bothered to get it translated, that it.

So geht's:

There's a traffic junction when you come out from the PIE at the Jalan Jurong Kechil exit (actually, it says 'Clementi Road' or something like that. pah.) Either ways…

Ich bin bei Rot an die Kreuzung angehalten. Ich wollte nach rechts biegen und danach direkt nach Hause fahren. Als die Ampel wieder grün wurde, durften alle die, die bei dieser Kreuzung nach rechts biegen wollten nur ganz langsam fahren, da es normaleweise auch Autos gibt, die geradeaus fahren wollen. Also wurde die Ampel orange, und dann fing ich damit an, weiterzufahren. Plötzlich ist dieses Auto an die Kreuzung gerast, mich hupfend, obwohl die Ampel schon auf Rot stand. Als er die Kreuzung überquerte, hab ich ihm den Vogel zum Gegengruss gezeigt.

What a FUCKER. It seems that the Big Fuck Syndrome is spreading worldwide soon. Gleich wird's zu einer Pandemie. It's little wonder why there are road rage cases or racist, Fascist attacks on foreigners these days. It's partly because of intolerance, but it's also (surprise, surprise!) partly because of the Big Fuck Syndrome. I mean, that guy was quite young la i think, driving a red BMW. SO WHAT IF YOU HAVE A FUCKING BMW YOU FUCKING CHEEBYEKNNBCCB?! You don't know that whenever approaching a junction like this you should slow down, and if it's AMBER you should have bloody motherfucking STOPPED! If you know the traffic conditions there, there are always fucking long queues waiting to turn right. Knowing the blind-spots, and you still want to chiong the red light?

Who are you to horn at me, dip-shit? You're already damn lucky i stepped on it and got out of your way. Maybe i'm damn lucky that i had the common sense to get out of your way rather than be stunned and wait for your nice BMW to ram me into roadkill/smithereens/a very angry maggot-consumed man, as melvyn puts it.

Yes! It's everywhere! More and more people are imagining that they are Homo Sapiens Ultra Fuckus. Big fucks, huh? Let me tell you where you can shove that. Go on! Go and read samantha's blog…she has another Big Fuck incident to report…all the way from Dresden…If you want to know why sometimes we just feel that people from the PRC really turn us into xenophobic, facsist bastards who think that they are uneducated, and all, go and read her blog! If i were the driver, i'd have sped up. He'd get out of the way anyway.

Damn if i want to drive in Germany and i get bothered by PRCs, i'll have to have a baseball bat and a large inventory of swear-words. In Chinese/Cantonese/Hokkien/German/English/any language i know.

It's not to say that i haven't been acting very Small Fuck lately. I think the MOE is thinking right now, 'what kind of mofo is this scholar? Language scholarship but asking for Philosophie as 1st major and DaF as the 2nd.' Well, i do feel that i can contribute better with this combi. I will be able to teach a lot more. And yes, it's a double major. Which means that they are equal in weight. Does the Magisterarbeit really count?

The application windows open soon but i'm still sitting here waiting. Goddamn it.

ich will die Zeitungen nicht mehr aufschlagen April 24, 2006

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
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Heute werde ich völlig auf Deutsch schreiben. Entschuldigt mich, wenn ihr etwas nicht mitkriegt – Today i will be writing fully in German. Forgive me if you don't catch any parts.

Okay so jetzt geht's los. Ich will die Zeitungen nie mehr aufschlagen. Die Schlagzeilen berichten immer von Elend, Armut, der Politik (weil der Wahltag uns annähert) – Dieses Mädel stirbt an Krebs, während dieser Jung wegen seiner Sexualorgane aus einem Hochgebäude gesprungen ist. Jemand wird wegen seiner Aussprüche gegen der PAP angeklagt (wenn alle schon wissen, wie das eigentlich am Ende aussehen wird) und noch viel mehr. Die Ölpreisen sind wegen der Iran-Problematik gestiegen, und ein Spinner sitzt auf dem Regierungschefplatz der Vereinten Staaten.

Vielleicht soll ich tun, wie Samantha es tut: Sie schlägt die Zeitungen einfach nicht mehr auf. Da kann sie sich alles vorstellen, und wenn sie es will, alles rosa sehen, anstatt mit der Realität zu rechnen, da sie immer dazwischen kommt, und keiner kann etwas dagegen tun. Die Welt dreht sich immer weiter, auch wenn eine Atomkrieg durchgeführt wird, auch wenn ein grosses Verheeren wegen Hochwassers stattfindet, egal, wie heute gestorben ist oder wer heute was geschafft hat.

Und wenn ich in die Zeitungen etwas lese, werde ich auch von denen beeinflusst, was ich gelesen habe. Gestern habe ich über kleine Helden und joan erzählt und noch ein paar Tage früher den Verstorbene ausgelacht, da er völlig wahnsinnig sei. Manchmal schreibe ich etwas Drobes, manchmal bin ich aber so voller Mitleid. Manchmal erzähle ich meinem Publikum etwas Traumhaftes, und manchmal verfluche ich die Welt. Ich schreibe immer mit Leidenschaft, und keine Stellung zu nehmen ist bei mir unmöglich.

Vielleicht soll ich das probieren. Wenn ich mir die ganze Welt vorstellen könnte…

Heute habe ich einen Leserbrief gelesen: Es gibt einen gewissenen Herrn Dr. Huang, der behauptete, dass das kritisches Denken bzw. Philosophie Grundschulkindern beigebracht werden solle. Ist das Schwachsinn? Ist diese Welt von ausgebildeten Narren gefüllt? Oder glaubt man zu sehr an dem Prinzip, dass jeder eine unbegrenzte Potenz haben sollte? Ja, ja, ich weiss, vernünftiges Denken ist eben wichtig. Aber lass doch die Kinder sein! Ich frage mich, was eigentlich wir von unseren Kindern verlangen.

Ich habe bemerkt, dass all diese Fächer Pflichtfächer sein sollen, dem guten Herrn Doktor nach. Was nun? Wird unsere Land, unsere Stadt zu einem Wunderkind-Fabrik umgewandelt? Denkt er, dass es schon ganz verdammt einfach ist, eine Klasse von Grundschulkindern für die Philosophie zu begeistern? Es ist doch viel zu kompliziert! Ich würde mich sehr darauf freuen, wenn Sekundarschülern sogar begriffen können, dass sie alles mit Vernunft tun sollen

Wir dürfen den Kindern nicht alles vorwegnehmen.

Wieso denn spricht keiner dagegen aus? Wir sind alle nach Leistungsfähigkeit verrückt, ohne wahrzunehmen, dass man etwas dafür aufopfern musst. Ich bin mit ganzem Herzen dafür, dass die Philosophie oder andere kultur- bzw. geisteswissenschaflichen Fächer an manchen Sekundarschulen und JCs angeboten wird. Aber man soll zuerst davon sicher sein, dass die Schülern schon dafür bereit sind, etwas so Kompliziertes auseinander zu setzen und wahrzunehmen, ohne vorzuurteilen.

Wir dürfen den kleinen Kindern nur Grundkenntnisse beibringen, und das ist normaleweise bei den normalen Unterrichtsstunden schon dabei, oder? Der Lehrer lehrt den Schülern, was richtig und was falsch ist. Er/Sie kann versuchen, es ein bisschen zu erklären, ohne sie durcheinander zu bringen. Ich beknieste jetzt und bitte Sie, dass Sie die Kindern lassen, manchen für sich selbst entdecken zu können. Wenn man von dem Schulsystem eine Vielfalt von Sichtpunkten, Denken, Kultur, usw. verlangt, dann sollen wir sie von Anfang an so lassen, dass sie sich selber erkennen, was sie wollen. Damit können sie es selber mit Ausdauer und Begeisterung weiterentwickeln. Die Schule dient dieser Weiterentwicklung, indem sie Kenntnisse und Beratung anbietet, nicht kleine Kindern mit zu viele Sachen zu überbelasten!

'Alles, was du wissen kannst, darfst du den Buben doch nicht sagen.'

2. Teil: Kleine Helden April 24, 2006

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Part II of today's entry is about little heroes.

Eigentlich war ich auf dem Weg vom Flughafen nach Hause, mit dem Auto fahrend, wenn ich Kleine Helden von laith al-Deen spielen hörte. Frag mich nicht warum, aber mit diesem Lied fang ich damit an, viel nachzudenken. I thought about her again (siehe unten) and after what jingyang said…i don't know what to say.

I DO think, however, that that song is really…passend? Fitting i mean.

Little heroes are everywhere in our lives, even if you don't see them perform the greatest of sacrifices or anything to that scale. By staying cheerful and trying to be strong despite the illnesses, she ensures that her friends don't worry themselves even more than they are currently burdened. And a positive attitude is something which every patient needs. Little things, but it's the little things that count, don't they?

I don't know. I really don't.

Then i was watching O Live Lait! by Xavier Naidoo, when he goes into this place for terminally-ill kids in Mannheim and talks to this one little boy who had bones removed for his cancer. And somehow he's all smiles and confidence, having a positive outlook to the future. And i just wonder to myself: how do they do it?

Is it an irrational hopefulness that everything will be okay, that one day they will live on, look back, and say 'wow, what an adventure that was,' or is it an aim to live every day like its their last? Or is it an acceptance of how things already are, and that all they have to do is to make sure that their loved ones do not worry, so that they won't worry too? It's all very upsetting when things come to this, but somehow they have the Durchsetzungsvermögen, the very will to see it through to the very bitter end.

It's true that everyone gets a lifetime – be it 10, 18, 56, 94, 120, or 15,000 years – but yeah, you only get a lifetime. Some who are diagnosed with a terminal illness at a very young age feel that their lives have just been a cruel trick of destiny, a twist of fate never intended for them – they become bitter and withdrawn. Yet some others find it within them to take things a day at a time, to smile at every sunrise and to live each day, no matter how painful it is. Some of these very few even know when it's time to let go.

Und diese Menschen sind unsere Kleine Helden. They'll open the doors to brave new worlds, in spite of their own fears and insecurities. They're the ones who dare to spit in the face of Death, to tell her to come back another day, and then continue to live. Sometimes i wish i had wings and could fly, just so that i could take people who may never ever see such beauty again high up above the city, above the clouds, and give them a view of the heavens, a beautiful picture of many glittering gemstone-like stars and la Luna, ever silent. Sometimes i wish.

But my hands are tied. Fate and Destiny have bound them. Why do they bless some, and curse others? Is life really a game of the Gods? Was there a prologue in Heaven to decide the fates of everyone? Is the Book of Destiny already written and set in stone? How are we to know? Are we just pawns of a never-ending chess game? Are we characters in the never-ending story? 

Einer der Letzten, der um Dich weint April 23, 2006

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I was reading The Sunday Times today when they featured this girl, joan, who is suffering from terminal stage cancer. She was from RGS, then went on to RJC, and then further on to a course in NUS, when she was forced to back out caz of her sickness. Currently, she responds no longer to chemotherapy, and in her own words, she is prepared for the worst. It's come to a point when the cancer is now very invasive, causing her spinal cord to come loose; she can barely hold her head up now. The morphine doesn't work anymore. It's only deadening the pain.

But, this episode has brought out the best in many, and also brought others into question. Why did RGS rally behind her but not RJC? A big point of contention. But that's not the focus here. The focus here is on the light she brought, even in her times of darkness. RGS raised 130 grand for her treatment. And even now, perhaps, she fights for her life. Her close friends have appealed for members of the public and acquaintances not to visit her, because she does make the effort to entertain everyone, even if she tires easily. I guess it's when you know that you really have to Leb' den Tag that you will go the extra mile every time, every day – do you know if today will be your last?

undwenneinlied_edited.jpg

A song leaves my lips only so
that you will hear and receive its melody;
through the darkest of nights and the worst of nightmares
to banish your fears with music and light…

dieses Lied ist nur für Dich, schön, wenn es Dir gefällt
denn es kam so
über mich wie die Nacht über die Welt.
Schnellt Gefahr aus der Dunkelheit, bin ich zum ersten Schlag bereit
ich bin der Erste, der Dich befreit, und einer der Letzten, der um Dich weint…

und wenn ein Lied meine Lippen verlässt, dann nur damit Du Liebe empfängst
durch die Nacht und das dichteste Ge
äst, damit du keine Ängste mehr kennst…

in unserer Sanduhr fällt das letzte Korn;
ich hab gewonnen und hab ebenso verloren
jedoch missen m
öcht ich nichts – alles bleibt unser gedanklicher Besitz
und eine bleibende Erinnerung, zwischen Tag und Nacht legt sich die Dämmerung…

It will be a pity when the Lady who no one else can see comes to visit her one day, whispering gently in her ear that it's time to say goodbye. Even so, i doubt she will go with tears in her eyes. But there's a whole lot of living to be done in between, and she's a fighter. So be it. Although she doesn't know me, and i am probably just another unimportant bystander who happened to read The Sunday Times on 23rd April, 2005, and although i'm not a Catholic, here's something i want to say:

You're fighting for your life, girl, where many would've given up. I don't know if i could find the strength to do so, if i could put myself in your shoes and see the world through your eyes. Your will, vitality and fire is something which will probably be immortalised in your closest friends and your family, just as they will probably touch many hearts and minds. What more can i say? I'm sure some things are best left unsaid, for you probably know the truth much better than myself. All i can say is…volle Kraft voraus zu den Tagen die Dich heilen…whenever that may be, but i know that you will fight each and every step there. Good luck.

jemanden (fast) überlaufen, hey Marie! April 23, 2006

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I witnessed someone almost turn to roadkill today. Man oh man.

So i was walking out to the 77 bus-stop this afternoon with my iPod in one hand and my Dunhill menthol lights in the other, and was trudging my miserable way upslope (for those of you who have been acquainted with the area around my house) near the 173 bus-stop when i saw a bus halt in front of me, and this guy stepped out. The thing is, this fucking joker didn't bother to wait for the bus to move on before he began crossing the road.

What's next is gonna sound like it came from a movie, but i assure you it isn't. I'll swear upon my sword, if i have to.

Either way, what came next was very loud horning, a bang, and he just fell to the ground, along with the car's right side-view mirror. The driver got out and tended to the guy immediately – i guess it was a natural reaction, especially since he was conscious, and that there were 2 witnesses to the whole thing, so i don't think he could make it a hit-and-run.

Anyway, my Urteil (verdict) is: it's the pedestrian's fault. I don't know why, but it's the second near-miss i've seen of late. And it's all involving these secondary school kids. Maybe schoolwork is so hard that they're forced to give up some vital common sense to store extra knowledge. I mean, if you can't see oncoming traffic, then don't fucking cross the road! Jeez. If they're stressed by homework or something, becoming roadkill isn't the solution!

And that is very, very commonsensical. But then, sometimes their parents do it too, so maybe they're just following examples. I thought that common sense would always prevail, but i think i've been proven wrong here. JEEZ. Maybe it's because they're non-drivers? I mean, drivers who are pedastrains tend to be more careful. But then again, i have friends who are non-drivers and are still equally careful.

Conclusion? RETARDS.

And here's a shoutout to sweets: HEY YO! That movie was pretty good stuff huh? Anyway…it's nice meeting up…let's meet up once a month for a movie or for clubbing! =D Anyway, i'm glad you enjoyed it…such movies are rare to come by as well…mmm.

And for all of you in Singapore: CATCH Mirrormask BEFORE IT CLOSES. I think it'll only be open for a couple more days, tops. Don't miss it! Especially if you're a fan of neil gaiman.

Wahre Schadenfreude April 21, 2006

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Schadenfreude.Auwa!

What was your first response to this post?

If you laughed, then perhaps you are normal. No, you're not psychotic, and you're not sadistic. Hopefully not. This must look to you like some retard trying to cycle with one hand, with the other holding an umbrella. And yes, it's fucking funny that he fell down, even if it probably did bring him a world of hurt…I mean, how would you feel if your face went splat?

Anyway, this is an introduction to Schadenfreude.

Schadenfreude (ger.) happiness at the loss/suffering of others.

There's a German saying which goes by the likes of 'Schadenfreude ist die beste Freude, denn sie kommt vom vollen Herzen.' – Schadenfreude is the best happiness because it comes straight from the heart. Actually, that's very true, if you think about it. Schadenfreude is more or less like a base emotion…because it comes so suddenly when you hear about what's happened to your neighbour/friend/enemy/competition/et cetera and you think, 'Wow. That fucker really deserved it.' Or you laugh about it, thinking about how stupid he/she must've been.

And there's always that little voice within you that goes 'Thank God it wasn't me.' Yes, that, my friends, is some wahre Schadenfreude for you.

If your first thought was 'ouch…HAHAHAHAH…' then you're normal, but you're a nice person.

If your second thought was 'OMG the photographer must be a dawg to take such pictures,' fuck off, hypocrite or Mister Politically Correct. Political correctness isn't something i'm very tolerant of here. JEEZ.

Was ist mit der Welt los? April 20, 2006

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I was reading The Straits Times when, emblazoned in bold letters across the 'HOME' portion (in fact it's the fucking cover page)

To cut a long story short:

This guy from a good JC, who is apparently good enough to attempt 2 S Papers, threw himself off a HDB block some days back. Why? Why? Because…*drumroll*…

He felt his wiener was too small.

WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT ALL ABOUT?! Okay, okay, so many dudes are worried that their…penises aren't exactly Dongzilla. And well, as Asians, we're naturally…smaller. But that don't mean that we can't have bong-bong! Either way, that's the report, in briefs.

Ahem, in brief. Fucking alcohol.

His parents said he said in January that 'life was meaningless and the only thing preventing him from committing suicide would be love for his family.' Oh man. I think that they should have felt something amiss then. But they didn't do anything or such. In October '05 (when i was still a 2LT…hmmm) he already voiced out worries about his perceived small little brother and well his momma took him to the doc, who said nothing was wrong.

The official stand of the State is that it's a 'tragedy of misinformation' and is a re-iteration of the importance of sex education, for even someone as bright as this above-mentioned fool fell victim to it. And he had a girlfriend, for goodness' sakes. Even with a strong source of emotional support as such, he still decided to take the plunge anyway. Personally, i feel that this is bollocks. I mean, this is clearly a psychological problem and you want to counter it with sex education? There's a limit on sex education between what's educational and what's perverse. I mean, if students are allowed to write in a book about whatever they've learnt and their hopes and fears, that's peachy keen – in fact, that's pretty damned good because teachers then will have an inkling of what's to come and then be able to step in. But flashing a transparency and saying 'the average male penis is maybe 5 inches long' and then defining how to measure the length of it is really bordering on balderdash.

Fyi: balderdash is another word for absolutely idiotic, what-the-fuck-were-you-thinking nonsense.

Samantha (a.k.a. Clublife's Girl Next Door) has come up with the theory that it's a gross case of physical dysmorphia, id est, the feeling that something is wrong with the body, even if nothing is. Simply put, you get a distorted image of yourself when you look in the mirror. The problem is that with such problems, (especially something so private as this) it's natural for the person to clam up. Going to a shrink may not be exactly the most helpful thing, because, as she says, they'll try to fit you into some theory they learnt at university. Which is, also, sadly true, because not many are as open-minded as we imagine them to be. So they may come back feeling even worse, that they are THE social misfits.

The other reaction, the one we get mostly from guys, is one of amusement. Many are of the opinion that this guy is probably a retard to let something like penis size control himself – a classic case of the little head controlling the big one, huh? KTF (he's now Kelvin The Fallen, for reasons beyond my comprehension) claims that he is a loser, and that nothing is worth giving up your life for. I suppose that's true, if you think about it clearly. I would give my life for my specs/men/lover/wife/family in a rush of adrenaline. But that's irrational thinking. So does JJ. But i'd never give up my life over my manhood.

Personally, i think this guy had issues. BIG issues. The thing was that he never spoke up, so everyone assumed it was all right. And that little statement is something which is key to all relationships. (emelyne, i dearly hope you're reading this.) So he was facing a psychological problem, something which caused him to see an aberration every morning when he had his morning piss, and so what if it was something which was really that embarrasing that he had to hide everything in silence? The little lesson here is that…

People are going to assume that everything is all right if you don't speak up.

I think the focus of sex education shouldn't just be about preaching safe sex, celibacy and all; it should also work on fostering an environment of openness, where students are confident enough to talk about their problems. Of course, it's not easy to open up a closed society where sex is more taboo than talk. But let's bring it into a more everyday sense, between friends who are supposedly 'close.'

A lot of times, many words are left unspoken because of the following reasons:

  • Simply too busy that you overlook SMS-es, calls, etc.
  • One couldn't be bothered to.
  • One feels that he/she wouldn't be taken seriously
  • One doesn't want to over-burden the other with concerns.
  • One assumes that the other assumes that everything is all right.
  • Mistrust.

I'm sure there are many more dimensions to this, but the simple fact is that if you have problems you want to share, go ahead and share it. I'm sure there are people who are willing to lend you a listening ear (or two.) Not many of my friends actually deign to share their worries with me, and in turn it worries me. Of course, i tend to assume that many of them are just doing okay, but for some people (like my dear mei) who i feel are already overworked, i can't help but worry. And sometimes the response i get proves me right.

But they are not sharing. I wonder what's wrong. What's wrong with everything? We're plunging into a world of silence. It's sad. Very, very sad.