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It’s Over Before It Began June 27, 2007

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
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Philostammtisch tonight.

And she said: ‘I like you and i treasure you. You’re a lot more mature than others your age. But i don’t see a partner in you.’

Is it something i did wrong? So now we’re dating, but we’re not going to go anywhere with it. Yeah, it’s over before it began..? Should i try again? Should i try to convince her that i could be one? God. I don’t want to be another one of those emasculated best girlfriends.

Sigh! What the fuck! And if you are reading this, please don’t apologise. It’s not your fault, and i’m not mad at you. I’m just mad at the situation.

Obviously, i need more night walks.

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Why I Walk the Streets June 24, 2007

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
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First and foremost, listen to The City Lights by Umbrellas.

Why do i walk the streets every Tuesday night, while Trier sleeps? Why do i walk the long, long road home? Why do people walk at all, when they could have bidden all adieu and left while the buses still run?

Why do i walk? I walk because i’ve been thinking. Thinking about someone who i can’t get out of my head. Thinking about what i am getting into again. Thinking because i will never go be able to go to sleep, after spending an evening with that someone. Even if we don’t really say much. Even if there probably isn’t anything to talk about. I just walk on, iPod in my ears. Walking and walking, while the city sleeps and all is silent.

If you see me at midnight
Walking the streets
You’ll know it was me for I cannot sleep
I’ve pushed away the dreams
And spoiled the quiet
I’m propelled by fear
And not the righteous…

I don’t know what i really think of when i walk. When i think of that someone, my thoughts go out of order, and is that not a good reason to walk? For sleep does not come to one who thinks, whose dreams are painted too many colours, a play with too many characters, a broth with too many cooks – who would want such dreams? And so i walk on, probably wishing that someone was here, but knowing that she’s not. Maybe i have something to tell her, but normally i don’t know what i can say.

Once, i walked this someone home and we passed through a deserted, pitch-black passageway, her own secret garden. And she pointed out some Glühwurmchen, pulsating in the dark – and perhaps the question she wanted to ask, but which she left in silence, was – have you been in a place like this?

So have you been to a place like this?
To see your breath as it paints against the sky
The fever is near
I wish you were here

It was dark and romantic – an odd combination, no? But that was what it was. And we just walked on. And on, and on. I wish she was here to walk with me, but more often than not, i walk alone, just being alone, singing the songs which i’ve heard a million times, wishing that somehow somewhere there was an imaginary audience, giving applause no matter how off-key it was.

It is said that singing for no one is a sign of madness, and singing to the Moon is courting danger. The wonders of modern technology.

And when i do think, i think ambitious – i used to think about what i wanted for my future, but these days i think more of that particular someone, wondering if she’s sitting at home, whispering to no one that she’s all alone. But all these belong to the world of dreams and illusions – further from reality than the Sun is the Moon. She has a kind word for everyone, but will she have one for me?

Think Ambitious.

I’m thinking ambitious
I’ve got this feeling things will be alright
So go break a leg night
Been given the green light
So go entertain them
They’re waiting for you
They’re waiting for you

And when i return to my doorstep, i feel that everything is going to be just fine. Why do you walk the streets at midnight?

Is It Worth the Wait? June 16, 2007

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
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Maybe. Maybe not. There’s a story hidden behind these 2 sentences, but i’m not going to tell it. Not now. Maybe when the time is right, i will.

It’s raining again and whenever it rains i’m tempted to pick up the phone and write a message to someone. Bright and shiny? More like dark and not-so-shiny today. Dark can be shiny! Think gloss black. heh.

Die Suche nach Tanja Gräff June 13, 2007

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
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I don’t know how many people in Germany read this. Aber wenn Du Deutscher bzw. ein deutscher Studi bist, dann pass mal auf, denn dies liegt uns allen im Trierer Raum ganz nah am Herzen:

Die 21-jährige Studentin Tanja Gräff aus Korlingen wird seit Donnerstagmorgen vermisst. Sie hat am Mittwochabend, dem 06. Juni 2007, am Sommerfest der Fachhochschule Trier in Schneidershof teilgenommen.

Tanja Gräff ist 1,73 Meter groß und sehr schlank. Sie hat dunkles, rötliches Haar. Sie war bekleidet mit einer blauen Jeans, einem braunen T-Shirt und weißen Turnschuhen. Sie trug Ohrringe, einen Rosenkranz als Halskette und eine silberfarbene Fossil-Uhr. Besonders auffallend dürfte die von ihr mitgeführte, selbst genähte Stofftasche mit einem bunten Hawaii-Muster sein.

Sie wurde zuletzt gegen 4 Uhr morgens auf dem FH-Gelände neben einer Bühne, wo die Coverband spielte und wo sich auch ein Hot-Dog-Stand befand, gesehen. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt war sie in Begleitung eines unbekannten Mannes, Mitte 20, maximal 1,80 cm groß und von normaler Figur. Er soll laut eines Zeugen kurzes, dunkles Haar und auf einen kurzen Wortwechsel mit dem besagten Zeugen hin schroff reagiert haben. Sehr wichtig wären Zeugen, die sie mit diesem Mann bzw. nach 4 Uhr morgens gesehen haben. Auch Photos vom FH-Sommerfest sollten an die Kriminalpolizei weitergeleitet werden.

Nähere Infos findest Du hier. (Einfach auf den Link klicken – hier findest Du eine vollständige Vermisstenanzeige.) Freunde von Tanja Gräff verteilen seit dem Wochenende Flugblätter in Trier und Umgebung, sogar schon im Luxembourg und Frankreich. Die Polizei hat seit Samstag vergebens in Trier gesucht, und jeder Hinweis wäre hier von Nutzen. Nach Angabe sei Tanja eine sehr zuverlässige Studentin, die nie vergass, sich regelmäßig bei ihrer Familie zu melden, also dass dies überhaupt passieren konnte, dass Tanja mit Absicht verschwunden ist, würde man nicht einfach so akzeptieren. Sicherlich steckt hier mehr dahinter!

I am Singaporean XXX – Prophylaxia June 11, 2007

Posted by The Truth in I am Singaporean, Vol. I.
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I am referring to this entry on The Online Citizen regarding the dismissal of Alfian Sa’at.

Well, well. I found it very perplexing at first as to why an award-winning local playwright would be summarily dismissed from his relief teaching position, and with such great haste as well…until i read about his socio-political leanings, and the fact that he has written plays centering on the theme of homosexuality and criticism of the government. This is also seen in MOE’s refusal to engage Alfian on the topic: when pressed by Alfian, MOE replied with vague, ambivalent answers, answers which, if Alfian has reproduced the letter fully, do not answer his most pertinent question: Why was he dismissed?

Alfian’s correspondence can be read here.

Nor are the replies to the other parts of his questions replied fully. Take part 3, for example. When asked why he was terminated so abruptly without any chance to tie up loose ends, MOE replied that only the best make it, yadda yadda. That sets off smoke alarms in my head.  It reminds me of the sophistical doctrine of ignoratio elenchi, the irrelevant thesis. And what’s more, the alarm and the abruptness of his termination reminds me of what one would to do a malignant tumour – to operate immediately. And i must say that the students DO NOT benefit one bit from this change – the decision is purely political, in my opinion. After all, education is something which moulds the future, if i remember correctly, and people like Alfian Sa’at? Dangerous! He is like a cancer on the smooth educational landscape of Singapore!

Thus, rather than let him go on (even if he was very talented and diligent), they axed him. Gone. No more. With this, he has also been dismissed from a governmental board, barring him jobs in the public service. It’s actually a smart move by the MOE, IMO, if all of us weren’t in on it.

So, what happened?

I would say that once again this reflects the institution of fear which plays such a big role in the Singaporean political scene. What fear? The PAP may have once feared that liberal political values would cause them to lose their grip on power (and thus their million-dollar $alarie$). However, even if they do not fear this anymore, this fear has filtered down to the lower levels, at the level of the public service employer. I don’t think, for example, that the Minister is in on this. And when you fear something, the concept of prophylaxia becomes a very, very useful tool.

You see, dear reader, prophylaxia does not require an actual problem to solve – it is more like prevention via intervention. Alfian was probably perceived by some lower-level person in MOE to be a political threat or that he may (gasp!) spread liberal anti-governmental information amongst the student population, which, of course, will not do in Singapore, so this person decides to axe him. And because of the hierarchy, orders from the top are orders. Let Alfian Sa’at teach on and pollute the minds of countless Singaporeans? No way, José!

And all this, even if he may not be actually doing it.

I sympathise with his predicament and this further shows where education is going in Singapore. Education in Singapore is, above all, learning to worship our ministers and our very, very efficient government. Please pay your taxes and the Gahmen’s next pay raise. Also, please work until you die. This is education. People who are even perceived to be alternative are axed.

I wonder if i am going to get axed soon. Must pay bond some more. Tmd…like that i won’t come back liao loh!

And further down, this just made the Lees eat their own words when they preach about a vibrant society based on meritocracy. What meritocracy can you talk about when the good are axed just because they are alternative? What vibrance can you talk about when the key to everything is toeing the party line? Is it that the vibrance is only within a party-allowed room, and the elite are those who believe whole-heartedly in the system?

Then, Singapore is NOT meritocratic. Singapore is NOT vibrant. Nannying us and showing us the One True Way is not going to bring us further. How can anyone dare to speak up in an environment of fear, when your past can cause you to lose your job? How?

Anna Nalick – Breathe (2 A.M.) June 6, 2007

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
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2 AM and she calls me ’cause I’m still awake,
“Can you help me unravel my latest mistake?,
I don’t love him. Winter just wasn’t my season”
Yeah we walk through the doors, so accusing their eyes
Like they have any right at all to criticize,
Hypocrites. You’re all here for the very same reason

‘Cause you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable
And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button, girl.
So cradle your head in your hands
And breathe… just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe

May he turn 21 on the base at Fort Bliss
“Just a day” he said down to the flask in his fist,
“Ain’t been sober, since maybe October of last year.”
Here in town you can tell he’s been down for a while,
But, my God, it’s so beautiful when the boy smiles,
Wanna hold him. Maybe I’ll just sing about it.

Cause you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable,
And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table.
No one can find the rewind button, boys,
So cradle your head in your hands,
And breathe… just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe

There’s a light at each end of this tunnel,
You shout ’cause you’re just as far in as you’ll ever be out
And these mistakes you’ve made, you’ll just make them again
If you only try turning around.

2 AM and I’m still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, it’s no longer inside of me,
Threatening the life it belongs to
And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you’ll use them, however you want to

But you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable,
And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button now
Sing it if you understand.
and breathe, just breathe

There was some things i was tempted to tell someone last night. So, so tempted.

Just breathe. And breathe.

I am Singaporean XXIX – On Blind Faith. June 2, 2007

Posted by The Truth in I am Singaporean, Vol. I.
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I am referring to this special exposé released by the Online Citizen. It’s about how millions of dollars are unaccounted for in the public service. I will not go into the details of this report, because you can read it for yourself. Rather, what i am going into the potential repercussions this report can have for Singapore, and why it is relevant to you, as a Singaporean. If you’re not, maybe this will shed some light upon what Singapore is really like.

The report was not given much emphasis by the Gahmen and their mouthpieces, for very obvious reasons. They fear it will undermine public faith in them, and they fear that it will harm their superhuman image and their ability to introduce legislation at a snap of the finger, with the reason of ‘it’s the best for Singapore. We know and you don’t.’ To put it short, it’s a big loss of face. And in a place like Singapore, where face is very important, that’s one commodity the politicians cannot afford to lose. Really. I’m sure that the States Times is swamped by letters regarding the AGO’s report, but they aren’t published. The States Times publishes articles and letters on the immediate aftermath of the whole thing, but the deeper repercussions are not published. Is it because the people are too dumb to comprehend? Is it because any undermining of the people’s faith in the Gahmen means that Singapore is going down?

Ever since the Singaporean Dream took off, there’s been this blind, arrogant faith in the Gahmen. I’m not saying PAP or whatever, but it’s just a blind faith. Blind faith that our politicians are infallible. Blind faith that they do the best for Singapore. Blind faith that whatever they do is in the interests of Singapore. So, we pay them more and more, we let them raise our taxes, we let them whore our country to millions of foreign talents, who may not actually be top-notch people, people who will pack their bags and leave at the next job opportunity. We all believe it’s so perfect and beautiful, and when you ask a Singaporean what makes the Gahmen so good, you can expect ‘efficiency’ as a reply. True, there’s a lot of bureaucracy here in Germany. But is the ideal behind the Gahmen good? So a government is efficient. But does an efficient government increase the salaries of its ministers because of its efficiency? Is the government efficient because we’re too cowed to say what we really feel? Is the government efficient because there is no effective opposition?

So we place our blind faith in something which is temporal and short-term, and we use it to rationalise our votes. If that’s the real reason for the blind faith, then Singaporeans had better not read the Auditor-General’s report. It’ll cause their faith to shatter and cause them to wander the streets aimlessly. (an analogue for you: what if one day the Bible was proven to be a fake?) But of course, i am exaggerating. And this blind faith also has a certain influence of the objects of this faith, namely, the ministers/ministries.

It makes them arrogant and careless, it makes them believe that they are invulnerable, that all they have to do is turn on the charm and watch the coffers fill. It makes them believe that serious mistakes are ‘setbacks’, and that nothing is wrong, so they don’t have to fix anything. After all, we have the people’s mandate, don’t we? We are going to decide what direction Singapore is going to take, and like it or not, they are going to follow. That’s what blind faith does. It’s like a civilised version of fundamentalist religion. Because of our blind faith, if we were told to work until we die, so we work until we die. Gahmen knows best. If we were told to pay more taxes, we just pay more taxes. Gahmen knows best, and jail got no life. Everything we read in the States Times is taken to be gospel truth, while it may be whitewash.

Why is it like fundamentalist religion? Replace Gahmen with ‘god’, replace States Times with ‘holy text’, and replace jail got no life with ‘i don’t want to go to Hell.’ Just that we are civilised and Gahmen won’t tell us to go and die. Not yet, that is.

This report shows that our gods are human, that the Gahmen is human too. Mistakes happen, and in their arrogance, they were never discovered nor reported until they were discovered by the auditors. It shows that blind faith is not the right kind of faith we should have towards our Government, indeed towards ANY government. A rational, cautious faith is one which we should have towards those above us, not a blind faith and a belief that whatever happens, they will bring us through. This kind of faith is worse than any ‘crutch mentality’ the Gahmen tries to ‘protect’ us from. (isn’t it weird? They don’t want us to have a crutch mentality, but they DO want us to have blind total unquestioning faith in them!) They don’t want a material crutch mentality, but an ideological one would do very well, thank you very much. As long as Singaporeans cannot see a Singapore without the PAP, they’ll remain in power until kingdom come.

We have to open our eyes and start thinking. After receiving 66,7% last elections, such errors still happen. I’m not saying that the PAP regime is facing the twilight already, but i’m saying that we, as a people, should make it very very clear that the Gahmen is answerable to US. To do that, we need to cast off the shackles of blind, unquestioning faith and perceive our surroundings for what they are. Blind, unquestioning faith can cause the Gahmen to take us down a very slippery slope from which there is no recovery. Think they won’t ever? Think again. Think we don’t have to start questioning and thinking because LKY is still MM? Think again. Arrogance is built up over time. Why give it more time to expand unchecked?