Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Apologist for Feminism?

Was in PS tut, having a 5min break, then generally chatting abt the topics discussed just now, sovereignty, diplomacy and their actors, then onto conscription aka national service. A few girls determined that their duty is to churn out babies, thus they shudnt do NS. Curious, I proceed further, 'Well dont you want to do anything else than just that? Singlehood is ok, making babies cant be the only thing rite? well in some countries, eg, Germany, you can do NS as a civil servant, other than in the military.' THEY: 'Women are weaker, so we shudnt do army stuff.' Guffaws (ME) : 'Come on, how can you say that? (that women are weak) I mean there are substantial number of women in foreign militaries.' THEY: 'Even the difficult stuff?' ME: Ya full combat roles/ activities.' *Break ends*

Of cus on a sidenote, there is some holding back on the roles of women in the military but its slowly changing...besides support role can be dangerous too.


Parental Love / Care borderlines btw Giving Good Advice and Treating ur Child (Age is not a factor) as a total noob!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


How fucked are you now? How fucked are you now? How Fucked are you noowww? You sure are fucked Now.

Source: The Pacific Ep 1, near the end. A soldier singing 'birthday song' to one of his buddies, after they sang the proper one 1st.


Weird habit of talking to strangers now.....haha of cus only to those who looked willing to chat. Guys, girls, uncles, aunties, birds, trees, sun, wind,....

Monday, March 22, 2010


Guess what a search on utube for singapore national day songs turn out....LOL. Anw I think the 'You' means Singapore....

Suggestions to SAF Songs!

Date: 1938
Lyrics: M. Isakovsky
Music: M. Blanter
Translation: Igor Koplevsky

Song about a girl longing for her beloved, who is away on military service. First sang in public by women as they send off their men during WW2. It then became popular among the Russian soldiers. (There are contemporary remix n renditions)

Apple and pear trees were a-blooming,
Mist (was) creeping on the river.
Katyusha set out on the banks,
On the steep and lofty bank.

She was walking, singing a song
About a grey steppe eagle,
About her true love,
Whose letters she was keeping.

Oh you song! Little song of a maiden,
Head for the bright sun.
And reach for the soldier on the far-away border
Along with greetings from Katyusha.

Let him remember an ordinary girl,
And hear how she sings,
Let him preserve the Motherland,
Same as Katyusha preserves their love.

Now the common complaint by local women is that Singapore men are so unromanticsh at times. While browsing utube, I found a good solution! As the guys knw, we sing songs about protecting and serving our country, 2yrs of our time, yadda yadda...etc. Why not one that allows us to sing about our love and love for our nation YAY!!!!!!!!!!!
So this russian song I found sparked off this idea. I mean blah army songs are simply siansational. Im not surprised if NSFs sing more popular songs nowadays.
Maybe this is what is lacking in our nation building? We have our national day songs and stuff. But are singers n writers simply being tasked to write such songs? If they were to write it out of their own will, e.g, like many folk songs that sing abt country, love and family, would it be more appealing? Are some of us nostalgic abt national day songs, (well i can rmbr the stand up singapore song only, not the latest ones) Haha im doing an essay on nation building n SG politics, hence all this, YAY! *flag-waving*. Sadly we know we are never encourage by our papa, mama, to be musicians, artists and such, much less history majors (No good, cannot earn money 1 wor, my prof, he's PR, said a local dentist told the same thing to his daughter, when his daughter claim she wants to be a pianist, and his statement made her cry, sadz). I mean our national songs are all top down, always created for the big day, whereas other cultures are more botton up, a popular song that is raised to a national level, therefore it is so readily accepted and not overbearing, attached to some political nature other than simply being popular. Is there a song that is nationalistic cus the singer wants it to be, not bcus its National Day 201X? Of cus the state will definitely coopt such culture devices to enhance the nation-state. Then again Singapore's multiethnic society is both a plus n minus for nation-building. Perhaps our local music scene will come up with something eventually????

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cross of Iron (1977 film by Sam Peckinpah)

Hänschen klein -Little Hans (Children song)

Source of Lyrics: http://ingeb.org/Lieder/Hanschen.html

DEUTSCH -English Version (Some Translation of my own, using web tools)
1. Hänschen klein -Little Hans
Geht allein -He has gone
In die weite Welt hinein. -Out to see the world alone
Stock und Hut -Staff and hat,
Steht im gut, -Look at that,
Ist gar wohlgemut. -He is in good spirits. (Couldnt find Wohlgemut)
Aber Mama weinet sehr, -But mommy broke down in tears
Hat ja nun kein Hänschen mehr! -Now she has Hans no more.
"Wünsch dir Glück!" -"Wish You Luck!'
Sagt ihr Blick, -Her eyes spoke instead,
"Kehr' nur bald zurück!" -Come back home soon!

2. Sieben Jahr -Seven years,
Trüb und klar -Cloudily and clearly,
Hänschen in der Fremde war. -Hans, far from home.
Da besinnt Sich das Kind, -The child changes his mind,
Eilt nach Haus geschwind. -Now to return home swiftly.
Doch nun ist's kein Hänschen mehr. -But now he's not litte Hans anymore
Nein, ein großer Hans ist er. -No, he is all grown up.
Braun gebrannt -Tanned brown,
Stirn und Hand. -Forehead and hand.
Wird er wohl erkannt? -Will they know this man?

3. Eins, zwei, drei -One, two, three
Geh'n vorbei, -Pass and see,
Wissen nicht, wer das wohl sei. -Don't know who this fine man might be.
Schwester spricht: -Sis says:
"Welch Gesicht?" -"Who is this?"
Kennt den Bruder nicht. -This is not the brother I know.
Kommt daher die Mutter sein, -Then along comes mother dear,
Schaut ihm kaum ins Aug hinein, -Barely sees his eyes so clear,
Ruft sie schon: -She calls out so:
"Hans, mein Sohn! -Hans, my son!
Grüß dich Gott, mein Sohn!" -God bless you my son!'

I think what the director is trying to do is to use Hans as an analogy for humanity, in our worldly pursuits and of our horrid actions such as war, has completely changed, lost our innocence you might say. But in the end, we must or can/should recognise who we are and acknowledge our past and move onward. It is mostly an anti-war film, as the main character, Steiner, an Iron Cross holder, tries to find solace and sanity in war, and he finds it in his fellow soldiers. Despite a friendly fire incident instigated by his CO wic killed his friends, he cannot escape his sense of professionalism, as he lead his CO against an incoming attack, to show him 'where the Iron Cross is grown' But this final act, is probably a desperate one, slowly losing grip of himself and reality

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dude? Wheres my Hub?

Lately I have been wondering why have I not been watching Budget 1998 or read up on articles on the government's development plan for the country when I was in primary school. Financial hub, biomedical hub, science / technological hub. Then I would have read less on history, culture stuff, I coulda have subscribe to the Economist, have Wall Street journals by my bedside. I should have watched Discovery Channel, (wait i did watch that), and made daily trips to Shenton Way, visited SGX instead of Fort Canning or something. Instead I spend all my life reading up on one thing that Singapore do not have : History. Oh wait, Singapore has history (hopefully no one from Hist Dept will stab me). Oh how I envy and marvel academics from the rest of the world. History in Singapore is probably limited to AS1 5th flr (Hist Dept), AS7, the big nice tower at Buona Vista (MOE HQ) and other state bodies. There is simply no interest in history here, on Singapore's history or even the world. Most computer screens are likely to display FB, or POEMS (an online stock trading service). Sure there are some SG forums that show passing interest, but most of the time singapore netizens just complained n stuff. BUT LOOK AT OTHER COuntries, they have clubs, fan clubs, reenactments the works. Granted there isnt much Singapore history (or is there?! of cus there is!) or rather it seems that Singaporeans dont have a sense of history, or more accurate the latest generation of Singaporeans, the Gen X Y Z $(*&(*& or whatever. Im guess our parents and grandparents knw better, but the earlier generations dont really know how to handle history. ANW im digressing from the purpose of this post. DUDE WHERES MY HISTORY HUB??? There is no culture for learning humanities or any great appreciation for academics here, or at least history :(, unless ur an economist. Of cus the govt n civil service hire us, (NOT JUST TEACHERS! the other ministries do as well!) Basically I wish it would be like the US, UK n Europe, India, where academic circles go beyond university campuses.

'Authentic Punjabi Village!' So says the menu....Khansama @ Science Park

chicken manchurian (stuff in the pot) and naan

sev puri, (contains yogurt, then to dip with the sweet sauce, n eat it in one mouthful)

Our parents missed out on National Education

Our parents and grandparents totally missed out on NE, and all the racial harmony stuff. Their strong place in our hearts and minds continued to influence us, their remarks and comments about SG society are impt as well, and I feel, needs to be changed as well. I do not want to live in Singapore for over 90 yrs and not know that coloured briyani rice do not have chilli, n think that ppl only have prata for breakfast. I do not want to live a life that leaves out so many wonderful things out there, just bcus my knowledge is based on fear in the past and based on ignorance. N ppl wonder why, esp LKY's batch, why ppl are so western n stuff? Yes the youth want to do new things, thats youth, regardless of nationality and ethnicity. But ppl often forget that we (the youth) do want to keep our heritage too. We dont forget our past so easily, ppl are inherently nostalgic.

Yes parents care about children n their safety, but we cant live under the 'Dont do this, cant do that' Of course some things are obviously OB (out of bounds), drugs, crime, smoking (well i think smoking is out, your body dont recover from it, unlike drinking, the liver can handle moderate amounts. but our lungs cant handle smoke at all!) I rather risk a limb or two than stay ignorant. Im not suggesting to be super proactive about it, but please, at least be receptive.

Our Education System??

Was having tutorials for Govt n Politics of SG. Always interesting. But the actions of my classmates strike a chord in thinking on our education system. It was my group to present one tutorial, so we made handouts on the main points of our presentation. A yr1 guy remarked, 'Is this the answer sheet?' no he didn't say it in jest, nor was he joking or anything, he was serious and sincere in his question. My tutor and I laughed over it, for this mindset is not allowed in FASS, there is never set answers, we all learn its processes and ways of argument.

Another tut, same module. Another yr1 guy, he was arguing his points, but the class and tutor disagreed with him. Feeling the pressure, he blurted out, 'Dont mark down my points/score!' (tutorial participation has CA % to encourage ppl, but oso cause ppl to hog the class at times). So all SG students are conditioned to think only about grades marks etc, they dont really bother with the quality of education or whether they are learning something akin to their interest. By and large, we are still very much influenced by our parents, trapped in their own societal norms and interests and signs of their times. Professions and careers need stamp of approval. (Cant be muscian, artist, cannot earn money). The government encourages streamlining.

Question, how much talent has been wasted by this streamlining concept? SINGAPOREANS in general cannot accept failure. Ppl seemed to think, perhaps our parents (cant blame the 60s n 70s are not really great times), that once a failure always a failure. There seemed to be no routes for reentrants to our education system. There is a stigma for those who are too old for their education level, eg, 21 yrs old at sec4. True they should have worked harder, but not giving them a second chance? Cant they pick up and try again? Then i recalled my fren's msn nick (well he quoted from someone but i cant rem who, :P) 'The first step to innovation / creativity is to accept failure. (or along these words). Logically, its true, unless one failed at something, nothing will compel you to try something else, to innovate something new. If one never fails, then what happens?

All this is sparked when i was reading something in sch, 'The Singapore Dilemma: The Political and Educational Marginality of the Malay Community'. The book does touches on the education system in general, abt policies, but also on cultural/social issues.



The Fall of the Berlin Wall

People stand up for their future, to decide on their own. I also noticed an interesting religious perspective. Note the part at 5:08min onwards.