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Grumman F-14 Tomcat. May 31, 2006

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
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28521139655238l.jpgDawn.

The Grumman F-14 Tomcat was designed as a naval air superiority fighter, incorporating the variable-geometry (or swing-wing) technology which was present in the aborted F-111B project. The prototype F-14A flew first in 1970, with Tomcat squadrons taking part in the Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of Saigon during the final stages of the Vietnam War.

Quickly replacing the handsome but dangerous F-4 Phantom II, the Tomcat soon gained a reputation for being a fighter which was a lot more forgiving than its predecessor, albeit being a huge, ungainly beast which was slow to catch on in the area of looks. Originally a dedicated long-range interceptor, 2 squadrons of F-14s were deployed on each Carrier Air Wing to provide for Combat Air Patrol duties when at sea. Tomcats were scrambled to intercept the long-range reconaissance aircraft of Mother Russia.

web_051230-N-7241L-009.jpg Launch the Alert 5!

F-14 pilots were, for quite a period of time, pure interceptor pilots: supersonic, cocky, addicted to speed, cowboys even, as immortalised by Tom Cruise in Top Gun. With a dash speed of Mach 2.34 in the F-14A, it was, and currently still is, the fastest naval aircraft in history. But make no mistake about it. Despite being a huge crowd-pleaser at airshows, the business of the Tomcat remained deadly serious. All those shenanigans you saw in Top Gun were probably fake, excluding the ACM scenes, where F-14 students flew hops day after day against their instructors, flying smaller and more maneuverable A-4 Skyhawks.

The F-14 Tomcat was the first fighter i was introduced to. Twin tails, big afterburners, a monster at catapult launches, it somehow fascinated and attracted me years and years ago. Who could forget those rolling scissors against Viper? One thing was very clear: thus began a long term love with the Tomcat.

In combat, the Tomcat acquitted itself rather honourably. In 2 confrontations against Libya, when MiGs were sent out to probe American fleet defenses, the Tomcats were able to chalk up a score of USA 4, Libya 0. Tomcats also saw action over the Persian Gulf (I and II,) Afghanistan and Eastern European theatres of combat.

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Aircraft carrier landings are nothing more than controlled crashes.

Towards the end of its illustrious career, F-14s were modified to carry bombs. The resulting 'Bombcats' are, IMHO, an insult to the original concept of the fighter-interceptor. I mean, come on. You have a sleek fighter travelling at twice the speed of sound, only to haul bombs to a target. WTF. Definitely a most 'un-glam' (to put it in a Singaporean way) way to fly a fighter…

Finally, on February 8th, 2006, two F-14 squadrons, VF-213 Blacklions and VF-31 Tomcatters, performed the last combat mission of the Tomcat in US service. VF-213 is currently in the process of converting onto the F/A-18F Super Hornet, while VF-31 remains the final Tomcat squadron in front-line service. The type is slated to be stricken off the inventory this September. On March 10, 2006, 22 aircraft from these two squadrons departed the USS Theodore Roosevelt for the last time in transit to their dry bases, closing a long beautiful chapter of naval aviation.

LastF14,jpg.jpg

Mummy…it's…it's OVERRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!

Sigh. The changes of the times. Of course, Tomcats are still operational in Iran, but…i'd rather not talk about them. I don't know. It was like my ideal fighter. THE fighter. Like the Hornet would never, ever compare to the Tomcat. I'm just sad to see them go…but oh well. Practicality comes before ideals…it must be a very expensive affair indeed to maintain those old, tired airframes.

Will we sacrifice our ideals and passions just because they have become too expensive to maintain?

I MISS THE CHIVAS LIFE May 28, 2006

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
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Man oh man. I MISS THE CHIVAS LIFE.

So i was pubbing with reuben and his friend this evening at The Fullerton (there's only one pub there) and anyway, there we were cussing out the education system, talking about ClubLife, and discussing potential future editors over cocktails and Dunhill Lights (their new box is godly. Damn stylo la!)

And here are some pics…(jeez i haven't brought my camera out in fucking eons. I almost forgot i had one.)

P5270013.JPG Cocktails and lights.

And here's more…

P5270018.JPG
They've got funky lamps there.

Damn i so have to get one.

After our discussion (meistens ging es ums Ausbildungssystem – also sollte ich eigentlich alles verschweigen) we decided to take a walk along Boat Quay back to the Somerset area (yes it's a fucking long walk. But fresh air never hurt anyone did it?) and…we came across…

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What the fuck. I could cry.

I WANT A FAIRLADY Z!!!

We passed by an underpass with a wizened man singing a love ballad to a couple, who began a small romantic dance in the middle of the underpass, während sie anfingen, sich rumzuknutschen…i watched and sighed. It seems so improbable, so paiseh even, but yet it's such a sweet romantic gesture, because even if you've got two left feet, even if an underpass is just about the most improbable place to dance, the very fact that you and your partner are there dancing slowly to a sweet love ballad says a lot. Single hopeless romantics like me would just look, smile and feel empty inside.

Damn. I wish i'd taken a picture. It'd be something to remember, and like that photographer who won a prize for a picture taken in Paris, 1960…all i'd have to do is B&W it and submit it to the MDA. And i'd be like Singapore's Next Great Talent.

Anyway, reuben says you can find him at that underpass on Saturday evenings. Which underpass? Find it yourself la dey…if i ever get a girlfriend before i go to Germany, he is one man i am going to visit. Yes, auf jeden Fall.

I was horribly tempted to go clubbing as i passed by Mohd Sultan…fuckfuckfuck. I miss going there, dancing to those silly '80s hits, loud singalongs, getting mildly physical, picking up ladies, being nice, drinking way too much, y'know, clubbing behaviour.

Yes, call me desperate. Almost getting there already. I'm despairing of having so much to say, but not being able to say it. I'm missing someone close who will hug you, hold you in her arms, and say it's gonna be okay. I'm missing someone who i can hold and whisper that everything's gonna be alright. I miss lots of stuff you can do. Probably i'm missing getting tied down too. Come to think of it, i'm pretty much still a relationship noob here. I've been single for ages. Scandalous, but single. Since 2004…and i don't know if i should call it a relationship or a fling (sorry you…i know you're reading this) – of course it had its beautiful moments…times when nothing else was important but each other.

I miss it. No, i don't really miss the Chivas life, but i'm probably missing the kind of life which Chivas Regal tries to imply in its adverts: the happy life. Kann euch nicht sagen, dass ich froh bin; andererseits ist es auch falsch zu sagen, dass alles im Zusammenbruch geht. So…?

Yes, go with the feeling. The right one will come. Yadda yadda…so what now, warten und schweigen?

Earwax I: Automobile Audio May 26, 2006

Posted by The Truth in ClubLife Originals.
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NOTE: This is an original unedited version of an article which is slated for publication on ClubLife. Do drop by, please (aiya, support-support a bit la) for more on the good life! Any grammatical/vocabulary errors are the author's own, and he does not accepts responsibility for it. He is abhorrentthankful for your feedback.

So here it is, ladies and gentlemen, liebes Publikum, and all our readers from outer space. Many of you have commented on the variety of music yours truly listens to (which is a fucking broad variety, i might add) and on how i seem to have good taste for music choice. Well, thank you all very much for all your support and encouragement. And with my new place as The Editor of ClubLife, and after some careful observation, i've decided to start a mini-series on music.

Music is everywhere in our lives. I mean, let's face it. You've got a huge array of portable music players, car stereos, computers, personal radios, human beatboxes, club DJs and a whole lot more. Music is part of our everyday existence. So!

Today's piece is on Automobile Audio. Of course, your parents probably insisted on listening to radio stations like Capitol 95.8 FM, Symphony FM, or maybe Gold 90.5 or maybe Class 95 (if your parents were more tolerant of modern music.) But truly, what kind of music would you play, if you had access to an iPod-compatible car?

Let's see. If you drive something like a Mazda MX-5 or maybe the BMW Z4, and have a knack for driving with the roof down, then perhaps you could blast techno tunes (try Maria (I Like it Loud) by Scooter v.s. Marc Acardipane if you want to show off your car's capabilities. Revving your engine in tune with the beat is also an option. Of course, to avoid the Bengster image, please read on.

If you're one of those who drive those PS cars (German: Pferdestärke) like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Subaru Impreza WRX, RX-8, et cetera, as long as they are Japanese brands, then you should definitely be pretty familiar with techno tunes. An improvement while still staying true to your roots would be someone like Kate Ryan (yes, you can race to songs like Another Day and Désenchantée) or maybe the Maximum Tune soundtrack (arcade freaks. Bah.) Heavy gothic metal may work wonders for you as well, if you're one who's into hardcore drumming and sad melancholic gothic orchestra. It's a genre called rock opera, with well-known acts like Nighwish or Within Temptation. Good driving stuff. Especially for chiongsters and zhng-sters. Want to take you and your Integra Type R back to the Middle Ages? Then just blast these songs as you race down Old Holland Road.

So much for car types. Now for drive types. If you're one who's reduced to an emotional wrack just by listening to Class 95 on weekend nights (it happens sometimes to me too) then you just need a right dose of emo music to keep those tears flowing and the emotions going. Songs from the '80s and '90s, like Missing You from The Police, old girl-group songs like Viva Forever by the Spice Girls, Chinese songs which make you sigh, like 一路向北 by 周杰伦. How about 痴心绝对? Songs which make you pine over the past and which make you just want to step on the accelerator and moan the way to your destination.

So much for the emo drive. For long night drives, you need something which will keep you awake. So, if your aim is just to stay awake on the tedious journey home, you can try listening to Gavin DeGraw's Chariot album. Not exactly bubblegummy, but you can't say that he's not singing about love. Good rhythm, smart lyrics, and no, it's NOT all rock: you will definitely find some very interesting tunes inside! Try listening to Crush, or Meaning. And of course, there's also that One Tree Hill hit…

Another genre you can try on long night drives is live albums. Listen to people like Sarah Brightman, or maybe groups like The Corrs. Get a live album, like The Harem World Tour, or VH-1 Presents: The Corrs…and so on, and so forth. Yes, there's lots of applause, screaming and, of course, good music. I'm recommending The Corrs to all of you because normally they'll throw in a couple of instrumental pieces which are invigorating to say the least. And Sarah Brightman is for those of you who want to listen to a pop-meets-classic fusion while you drive. It's not bad, y'know…it'll probably make you a nicer driver, anyway. HAHA.

And lastly…the music you can listen to at all times of the day (but better to be first drive in the morning)…good mood music! A survey conducted with 100 drivers on favourite driving songs showed U2's Beautiful Day to be the best driving song around. And if you liked that, you will probably like a lot more songs, like Texas' Inner Smile, Summer Rain by Belinda Carlisle, and so on, and so forth. Just listen to whatever gets you in the mood. This is just a rough guide.

Happy driving!

Abschied Nehmen May 25, 2006

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
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und gestern drang die Nachricht dann zu mir
ich weiß nicht, aber es zerriss mich schier
denn keiner kann mir sagen, wie es geschah
keiner unserer Leute war noch da

du lagst ganz gut, das hat man mir gesagt
warum hab ich dich nie selbst danach gefragt?
du hättest ein Großer werden können
und irgendwie wollte ich dir das nicht gönnen

und ich wollte noch Abschied nehmen
das werd' ich mir nie vergeben
Man, wie konntest du von uns gehen?
jetzt soll ich dich nie mehr sehen…

verzeih mir alle die Dinge, die ich sagte
nur weil mich wieder irgendetwas plagte
verzeih mir und den Jungs, dass wir nicht da waren
vergib mir, dass ich nicht mit all dem klar kam…

was machen wir jetzt ohne unseren Held?
wir vermissen dich, und ich scheiß aufs grosse Geld
du bist weg; was nutzt der ganze Mist?
mein kleiner Bruder wird für immer vermisst…

Y'know, i think it's finally time to say goodbye. She's flown away. Hopefully to a better place, a place without sickness, a place with golden streets, a place where the deaf hear. Was it unfair? Perhaps. She had a bright future ahead of her, but it was tragically cut short. Perhaps not, because like all of us, she got a lifetime, no more, no less.

Who am i? I'm a stranger. Someone sitting on the bus, driving by in a car, walking past you listening to an iPod, the stranger smoking in a pub, someone who you've probably seen before, but never knew. Just as you were probably someone i've seen somewhere. Just that i never got around to knowing you. Fly.

The first day of forever begins today.

May you spend forever in peace, joan.

Zenith and Nadir May 24, 2006

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
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Zenith: (arab.) highest point, a period of great advancement.

Nadir: (arab.) lowest point, a time of greatest adversity.

So there you have it. Zenith and nadir. I get the feeling like i've been varying between both a lot lately. But strangely there doesn't seem to be a transition. It's like i step into a teleporter and whoosh, there i am. There's so much to do, but i'm choosing to put things away for a couple days so i can go distract myself at the factory. Yes, take me away and make me sweat profusely, so that i can just bloody stop thinking about it for awhile. yang wee's brainteasers help some, but they just make me feel stupid sometimes (obviously, because some of his questions are very stupid too.)

But then again, it's good to be finally out and earning some dough. It's a heavenly feeling of satisfaction when the boss gives you 50 quid for your effort. Yosh. Makes all the sweating worth it. I don't know why, but it gives me a temporary high. And then when i come home facing a mountain's worth of application documents and ClubLife barang-barang, i feel like i've wasted a day. One day which could have been better spent trying to reduce the administrative work, but which was spent at the factory sweating, cursing and talking cock.

Sometimes i talk to people and bring about a self-induced nadir. People feel it, i suppose. Or maybe i'm thinking too much again. Perhaps it's my cross to bear, that i live battling the ghosts of the past, of things said and things done. I mean, it's like when i talk to samantha, or anyone i am close to, i tend to think too much and read too much into what people say. I know sometimes i can say really awful things. It's not something to be exactly proud of. I don't know what exactly caused me to be supersensitive (even if i'm still an insensitive barbarian at the wrong times) but it could be the many confrontations i've been having with someone.

They gave me insight, of that i'm sure. But they also made me very, very cautious. I spoke yesterday with her. I owned up. I told her everything, from how i have to think twice before even saying anything, about how things are always getting confrontational between us because of one word, et cetera. But then again, i didn't tell her everything. I know you read this, darling, that's why i'm not going to say what i didn't tell you yesterday morning.

I just don't know why i care so much now.

I just want to be carefree again.

Back to Khatib, anyone? 

Everything’s a Game of Power May 22, 2006

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen, WARNING: Heavy Reading Ahead.
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WARNING: HEAVY READING AHEAD. Nothing challenging as in the philosophical stuff, but definitely something to think about. Avoid if you have a headache. Do not operate heavy machinery.

I just came back from watching the Da Vinci Code. And i must say that although it's very complicated (it's just a labyrinth of scheming power play which any politician would be proud of) with a lot of cleverly used historical knowledge. As Teabing says:

When history is written, murderers become heroes.

How true that statement is. Anyway, y'all will probably have read the book or seen the movie, so i'm not going to give you a spoiler here. The message he's trying to bring across, i believe, is that even organised religion (like the Church) is also subject to power games. Power is everywhere.

Let's see. Taking Opus Dei and The Priori of Sion to be exactly as portrayed in the movie (i hope you know by now that they are not,) then the movie is just about power. One side fights on the side of the Vatican, secretly trying to destroy the Holy Grail just so that there will be no challenge to Church authority, even if the Church is against it, whereas the other is dedicated to protecting the identity of Jesus' bloodheritage no matter what, until the time is ripe for him/her to reveal his/her identity. I'm sure you'd be able to imagine the repercussions of someone claiming the bloodright of Jesus Christ for the Church – suddenly, everything which was attributed to Jesus – chaste, pure, single, immortal, etc., – would all seem an illusion. Jesus would then be a human – an extraordinary human, nonetheless – but still human, neither immortal nor god.

To this end, a lot of ancient history and history of the middle ages are twisted, and must be taken with a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper – obviously, i can believe the blade and chalice theory, but that the Knights Templar were originally founded to protect the Holy Grail, and that they only had access to Mary Magdalene's grave, is hard to believe.

Some actual history for you all: The Knights Templar was founded in the aftermath of the First Crusade, circa 1096 A.D., to protect the many European immigrants who migrated to Jerusalem after it was conquered by the Crusaders. It was not a warrior order of the Priori of Sion founded to guard the Grail. It is equally unlikely that they had access to Mary Magdalene's sarcophagus, even if the Knights Templar grew to become exceedingly rich.

What's true is that the Knights Templar ran afoul of a French king's machinations, probably due to a land dispute, which caused them to be arrested and tried by the Pope. Despite a secret pardon, the Knights Templar ceased to exist in 1314, when the surviving leaders of the order were burned at the stake. The suspicion that the Knights Templar held the Holy Grail could be an accusation used against them by the Pope in passing judgement. Either way, the Pope was weak and the Emperor strong; a very clear picture of power play here – the Vatican could have lost much support if the Emperor decided to stop paying royalties to the Church.

I don't know why, but i feel that the main theme of this movie is all about power and those who are crazy for it. Even those so-called 'holy' organisations are also subject to power. I guess it's a sad but true fact: wherever there are humans, there will always be a power struggle. Utopia is pretty much impossible…well i mean, a utopia which is stable.

Of course, these power games are never obvious – but oftentimes they're not very well concealed. You just have to give it some thought (sit down and drink some teh tarik, go for a fag, discuss it over martinis [dialectic is a good way to discover things especially if you're a tad inebriated] read the Tarot, read the newspapers, read a mystery thriller, go to the movies, talk to a taxi driver – you get my drift) and it should become quite clear to you.

For example. If you give it some thought, you'd see why i don't think it's God's will that missionaries were sent to aggressively (keyword!) promote the Christian faith. Now, mind you, i'm not out to defame anyone's faith. Anyway, i am of the opinion that they were, unknowingly, part of a power play by the Western powers. By making people aware of the Christian God, they reduced the influence of the Emperor as the bearer of the Divine Right (for example, in China.)

In Ancient Rome, philosophy was deemed as an insidous poison of the youth, such that attempts were made to prevent the youth from philosophy. It was feared that they would become weak and inclined to think, rather than remain puritanical and warlike. The lesser they knew, the better.

Power struggles tend to bring out the worst of people. Some politicians, who have spent years and years building their country, and who have done a hell of a good job at it, resort to using lawsuits and other childish means to deal with small misunderstandings and infringements, even after an open apology was made. Many politicians view the opposition as the enemy and dedicate themselves to crushing them. Yes, instead of proving why their policies are better, they spend time trying to prove why the Opposition is unworthy of ruling the government. They fail to understand that they could use another voice in Parlament, and that a 70-30 or maybe even a 60-40 government works. There are even große Koalitionen which actually work. If 50-50 is too risky, then give yourself a small majority and see how it works out. A dedicated government will do what's best for the country egal, aus welcher Couleur sie kommen.

Yes, don't lie and claim to be a first-world democracy. There is no 'first-world democratic leadership' to speak of, for what kind of democracy does a one-party government have? Here is a dictatorship of sorts, but indeed it is an effective one. Not all dictators fall. Here, the dictator is intelligent enough to know that the people must be happy. And so, he takes care of their welfare and development. He carefully forges ties with other countries, waving carrots in their faces which are so fresh and juicy that they cannot resist. But it probably only functions in this corner of the World.

In the meantime, like any political organisation, this dictatorship attempts to consolidate its power by reorganising Wahlbezirke, denying those who voted against them the benefits they promised (es tut mir wirklich Leid, aber Ihren Aufzug wird zur Zeit nicht verbessert, aufgrund der Tatsache, dass Sie nicht für uns gewählt haben.) and capturing the political infidels. (Sie dürfen noch nicht abfliegen, da wir ein paar Fragen für Sie haben…)

I mean, it's pretty much obvious. Everyone knows what's going on, but they don't say anything. Meanwhile, the biggies are content to rest on their laurels until the next election. This is Mankind's only sin – the want of power. From ages long past til now until forever. Greek conquest. The Crusades. Witch-hunting. God is dead. Humans have killed him. Megalomania. Hitler. The A-Bomb. Iron Curtain. Vietnam. The 'War on Terror.' From then, to now. From now, to forever more.

ich bin froh, gleichzeitig auch traurig May 20, 2006

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
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Wow. It's been awhile since i last reported that i'm still alive. Anyhoo, i went back to njc on Thursday caz i wanted to discuss my Motivationsbegründung (that's something like an essay you write for universities…only that this is for my particular subject, which happens to be German.) Unluckily, schraudolph didn't get it so i just spent the afternoon checking out how you conduct an examination. Actually it's not that difficult if the class is small. And considering that the paper in question is a German essay, i don't think you have to bother checking for cheating because…

How on Earth do you cheat for German essays?! Okay, keine Wörterbücher is like the only rule, but you can't possibly ask around because everyone would be probably just as unsure as you are.

Also helped out one of my juniors with her coursework. She aspires to be a German teacher as well. Hmmm. Oh well, liebes Publikum, if any of you are interested in taking up a foreign language, GO AND DO IT. There will definitely be good career prospects for you in the upcoming few years. Anyway, yes, (shameless publicity) if you need help with German, please find me. I won't say i'm perfect, but at least my help is for free.

Yah, fleee wan lah! U donwan ah.

After that i went down to Goethe…needed to get some of my documents proof-read. The person at DAAD (That's Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst for the uninitiated), dorothea actually bothered to help me proof read the Motivationsbegründung as well as correct the language…which was really very very helpful of her.

German lessons later was interesting, but it was sad at the end because it was announced that the next semester would be cancelled because not enough people were taking part in the Oberstufe. Pity! No choice lah. Got to study by myself from now on. I mean, i was really looking forward to a new term, not just because i'd have the opportunity to at least express myself in German for one evening, but because i already wanted to introduce them to the O Live Lait concert…like i told schaumann, großartige Sozialkommentar…and well, i liked classes. Really. C2 was fun. Damned fun.

So i've been happy twice, and sad once already…and there was another surprise in store…ewerhart (yes, ex-LEPers…our ex-relief teacher) joined us for dinner with her daughter who is DAMN (i shall refrain from using expletives) CHAIFUL! OMG chais rule yosh. I did get the chance to talk some cock…but most of the time she was just lost in a book. I suppose if you had to go to dinner with your mom and a huge bunch of strangers, that's probably what you would do yea? But still, yosh. We ate at this pizza place before finally going our seperate ways. Oh and i got quite a surprise…so ewerhart is from Trier, which is one of the unis i'm applying to! HAHAHA oh well the world just seemed to get smaller still.

I think i'm really going to miss them some. Sigh. Oh well, i suppose people come and people go, so perhaps i should remember this as a magical summer that passed too quickly, rather than be pining back always. Either way…

Ich möchte mich mit ganzem Herzen bei euch bedanken.

The biggest surprise was when i got home. I FINALLY HAVE MY FINANZIERUNGSNACHWEIS! Yosh that means that i can go and start my applications proper. Already got my Coupon-Réponse International, and my stuff zapped. Waiting to hop down to the Botschaft next week to get it all certified true copies. It's like i've just discovered a new purpose in life. GO GO GO!!!

At the same time, deep down i'm feeling empty. It's like all these purposes in life is something which is just covering up the emptiness within, little distractions from the major hurt. Still, these past two days have been quite an adventure i suppose. Never done so much stuff outside the factory in such a timespan since what, i ORD-ed? Much of Thursday was positive, bright and sunny, and it would've been perfect, if not for the news that the course would be cancelled. Friday was just…running about. And driving a lot. Man i only got home at 1 a.m. this morning. But hey, i love driving, like i said.

To Class 95's love songs, that is. 

Bist Du am Leben interessiert? May 18, 2006

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
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Ich weiss nicht, wie solche Sängern und Sängerinnen der deutschen Sprache so einen schönen Klang geben.

Ja, lest ihr mal weiter und denkt darüber nach, ob ihr eigentlich am Leben interessiert seid. Zu welcher Zweck leben wir überhaupt? Wo kommen wir her, und wo gehen wir hin?

hör nicht auf, für das zu leben, an was du glaubst
glaub an dich und schöpfe Vertrauen und Kraft aus deiner Familie,
die Nacht für Nacht deine Seele bewacht und dich liebt,
ganz egal was du tust was geschieht, die dich wie eine Hülle umgibt
wenn du dieses Glück hast, hast du fast gesiegt…

Manches Leben läuft schnell; es ist nicht immer hell
es ist schwer was zu sehen, und im Dunklen zu gehen
doch, sei dir bewusst, auch deine Vorfahren hatten schwerste Wege und
wenn dein Herz noch für sie schl
ägt dann weißt du genau
dass ihr Blut durch dich fließt

es macht dich sogar schlau, durch Talente die du kriegst
die sich dein Clan vielleicht vor 300 Jahren durch schwere Arbeit hart erwarb
auf was du jetzt zurückgreifen kannst, zurück in der Zeit – Back in time

du verfügst über Wissen von mehr als 10 000 Jahren

frag deine Ahnen, deine Vorfahren
sie heißen Vorfahren obwohl du vorfährst
sie können nur ahnen, wo du sie hinf
ährst
hast du den Plan, oder bist du verkehrt?

dann kehre in dich, lass dich gehen
du musst deine Seele von innen sehen
du musst die Familiengruft bei Tag begehen
obwohl du nicht tot bist, frag ich:

bist du am Leben interessiert? Hast du dieses Wunder schon kapiert?
kannst du die alten Lieder singen, die tief in deiner Seele klingen?
lasst uns diese Lieder rausbringen – das ganze Volk soll sie singen…

ob alt, ob jung, ob blind, ob stumm –
die ohne Zeit oder die mit Geduld
sieh dich an, schau dich um – auch du bist ein Mensch aus Fleisch und Blut
aber auch wie das Küken aus der frischen Brut
spürt ihr, wie der Krieg uns nicht gut tut?

eine ganze Generation schöpft Mut – die ganze Generation einer Nation
setzt sich den Frieden wie auf einen Thron
die ihr den Krieg liebt – was wisst ihr schon?
ihr liebt eure Kinder nicht wie Tochter und Sohn;
liebt eure Kinder wie Korn, Rind und Huhn

ich sag die Liebe hat damit nichts zu tun –
wer den Krieg liebt erntet von mir Hohn
lautes Gelächter und lauteres Droh'n
in Form von Liedern, die Herzen durchbohren

mögen die in der Hölle schmoren, die Selbstmordattentäter
auserkor'n um ihre Drecksarbeit zu tun

mögen sie nie in Frieden ruhen…

Keiner hat Bock, Krieg zu führen, gell?  

Endorphins for Nicotine, Yummy Mummies, and Strange Dreams May 18, 2006

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
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I finally put on my running shoes again yesterday. To think i bought a pair of Asics shoes just before i ORD-ed, only not to run anymore. Geez. Yesterday, i slipped them on and decided to go for a short run round the estate, despite the looming grey clouds. Yes, i ran. Fucking proud of myself for doing that.

I mean, so far there's been close to zilch cardiovascular exercise in my life. I mean, i still have my tri-weekly strength workouts at the MacDermid plant, where i normally heave 30-kg heavy jerry cans up and down like no one's business. Thanks to that, i'm able to maintain a healthy 12 chinups. Yosh! And no, i don't mind being sweaty all day. I do feel stronger. And yes, it makes every cent of that 50 quid that much more worth it.

So yesterday (i don't know why i'm writing this today actually…ahh. that inspirational essay.) i woke up to an empty house. And if you think the first thing i did was to reach for a fag, you are dead wrong. I surprise myself from time to time…and apart from doing my German homework (well it's self-imposed, but still work nonetheless) i decided to run!

Okay, i'm out of shape. But after the whole shenanigan, i discovered something:

Trading nicotine for endorphins works.

Yosh. Still get high…but it's that kind of oh-my-goodness-i'm-so-gonna-concuss-soon kind of high. But there's nothing to make you higher than a cold shower after that. Wah. Orgas man i tell you. Whoooooooo. The best part is getting up the morning after at 6 fucking a.m. and not feeling that tired after all. It works.

Today, at the factory, i heard that diana ser is preggers. Man. I'm quite upset. Hahaha…i mean…i think there'll be quite a lot of dudes out there who will be quite upset too lar. I'm definitely not the only one who has the hots for her. Or any other celeb mummies…like li-lin or maybe vivian lai. Sheesh. So many yummy mummies out there. Makes you want to go yosh, but then again you catch yourself, wondering if it's right to have the hots for a much older woman. And shut the fuck up, jeron, she's hot. So is li-lin. Peace.
Why not? There are some reasons why i'm glued to Channel NewsAsis sometimes. HAHAHAHA.

One more strange thing happened today. It's as if Dream was trying to tell me a little something…I was having my siesta with jeron and friends after lunch at MacDermid, i had the strangest of dreams. I dreamt of emelyne.

There was an Autobahn in the middle of nowhere. We were sitting in her car, a sporty convertible, zipping at 160 klicks per hour. The wind was in our hair and the landscapes flashed past to the sides. I didn't know where i was going, and nor did she. And then…

And then i woke up. Man. I still can't fathom what it means. A glimpse of things to come..? An urge to be with you? It could be the simplest explanation of all, however, which makes sense…

I miss you. Like crazy.

Now v.s. Then May 17, 2006

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
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I was reading melvin's blog of late. His blog has more or less lent support to, if not fully confirming, what i sensed in conversation with my men:

24th Battalion, Singapore Artillery is a shambles.

It seems that in comparison to our time, everything is falling apart now. Lack of command. Fucked-up specs. Disappearing officers (although i don't think all of them are pulling a Houdini…just some black sheep – i mean, we had our own Houdini as well) but it looks like there's a lot of general discontent amongst the disgruntled masses. I wonder what's going to happen. Maybe one day there will be an uprising and all the officers will decide to pour cauldrons of boiling oil upon them. Haha.

I can't think of doing that. Not now, not ever. I mean, they're my men. I'd like to think that i trained them as best as i could.

So what's the problem?

I can't really place my finger on it, but maybe it's because there's a horrifying lack of a sense of belonging. Not just of the commanders to the men, but also vice versa. Let's put it this way. I think i'm one of the lucky batches to have had the opportunity to train my men. To plan and then execute their training…i think for them, it was just moving on from BMT to another BMT. The same hated 2nd lieutenants who acted like gods. The same 3rd Sergeants who could go about pumping them for the smallest infringements.

Thank Goodness we were different. We didn't train them like at BMT, just as if they were passing through a fucking gingerbread machine, but we trained them carefully, with an eye open as to who we wanted under us. We trained them with the knowledge that they were going to be our men, so we had better train them well. No fuck-ups. I mean, obviously we had our failings too, but i think we did our best. I'm not just referring to myself and melvyn (who has strangely disappeared into the Void of late) but for all officers and specialists in our batch.

I get the feeling that we were that much more give-a-fuck, that much more willing to be personal. That much more willing to exercise command and control, and that much more willing to be there. I bet most of us are willing to meet up with anyone we see from camp just because. I don't think i'll have to derive any profit or gain for me to meet someone – i do it just because. Maybe they don't feel that way. Maybe. I still remembered those talk cock sessions with the men, specs and others during FATEP – maybe it wasn't the most tactical of things, but it enabled me to keep an eye on lemuel while learning about the men.

I think i'm a more people person. But maybe things would've been different if i was fighting – no way i'd have time for my guys. Just look for me in THUNDER WARRIOR. In the shelter from 7 am to god-knows-what-time, only emerging for meals and fags. Yes, that was me in THUNDER WARRIOR. I didn't even have time to go and talk to my guys (except perhaps the day it rained.) because i was caught up with managing the shelter and those incessant phone calls over the comms set. But i DO think it's important to get to know your men. I made the mistake of not getting to know them at an earlier juncture. Perhaps we just appeared aloof and for me maybe a bit too regimental, a bit too strict.

As for the specs, i get the feeling that kuek, kenneth, silly, babycakes, size, yang wee, guilty marc and the sadly departed kim really treated them as their own men. They really tried to live up to the men's expectations and to the standards they set themselves. They truly knew the systems inside-out (unlike their sucessors) and likewise, they taught the men what they knew. The men claim to know the systems better than the specs now. I don't know if it's true, but i wouldn't be surprised.

Now? I don't know. Maybe it's because there really is a lack of ownership. The men came in before the officers. The specs came in after the officers. As officers, maybe they feel that these aren't their men because well…they didn't train them did they? And we can say even less for these specs. Perhaps they feel that their duties do not include PMCS, do not include being an example to the men, and are all about arrowing the maggots and fulfilling DS commitments. Maybe.

I can vouch that none of my specs would just leave any of the men and disappear for a cheery long breakfast while everyone was Action Fronting, or performing maintenance. The way i remember it, you could see the specs and the men at the Specialists' Mess together. Even those who would've felt compelled to stay behind because the others didn't go. And that's what i like about my batch. There was a sense of ownership.

As for my understudies, i do think they're good officers (well, most of them.) but they don't really know how to go about dealing with you all (men, if you guys read this.) i mean, you all come from a very different background from them, and y'all certainly have very different expectations, as compared to theirs. I mean, we saw you the very first day you set foot at battalion line. That's how far we saw you through. I don't know what the conditions now are like however.

I know that the men are mainly very silenced – note that i wrote silenced – because you guys don't have much of a voice and no one pays attention anyway. But it's not like that. It really depends on your commanders – i truly think the old specs gave a fuck…i know i did…that's why sometimes i'm so troubled because i have to change things, just that i don't know how to go about it. That's why i told you all to talk to derek or eric first…because i think BSM wouldn't really understand. I mean, he's from a gun battalion, and it'll take awhile before he understands that you all are not the average hokkien peng who are gunners

Perhaps i was living for lofty ideals, perhaps i believed that leadership by example was truly possible, not just in combat, but in admin – that's why i tried to come for 5 BX for, what, maybe a month or two? Yes…even if my friends thought i was crazy to drag my ass off the bed at 6 in the ante Meridiem. Perhaps i was living for that. Perhaps i just wanted to make sure that no one had an excuse for criticising me – that's why i always did my uniform properly before i even picked on yours.

Well, utopias vis-à-vis reality…i don't know. What i do know is that it's been one hell of a rewarding year serving as your commander. I'd do it again if i could.

Goodness. I miss those Army days. I'm staring at my epaulettes now feeling semi-emo. I can't believe it too.

Good night.