“But here is the ultimate truth that so many of my un-American, unpatriotic critics overlook: You won’t care. You’ll still like me and support me, no matter how badly things turn out. That’s because you have short memories, and you’ll believe just about anything I tell you, even if it contradicts what I’ve told you before.”
Y’know, maybe we’re all actually fish in a tank, swimming around, schooling, with no real sense of purpose, no idea what we’re doing or where we’re going, because our brains retain only a few seconds of memory. In the greater scheme of things. Beings bigger than us keep us as pets.
My e-mail tells me that my cousin Melissa is also pregnant, due on Christmas Eve. Melissa and the husband, Steve, have already been congratulated heartily (as heartily as one can in plain text format).
So here it is again in HTML:
Melissa and Steve!
I’ve already got a wee two-year old niece in Scotland looking for me to show her the next door neighbour’s messy backyard (and drawing for her, and playing with her food). I wonder if I can also corrupt this other rugrat when it’s old enough.
Here’s the New Age way to shop for jewellery: Star Gems, by Solitaire, ‘Asia Pacific’s Jewellery and Watch Magazine’.
AQUARIUS 20 January – 18 February
You may need to think more about how you present yourself to your beloved. It may sound shallow, but it couldn’t hurt to focus on the surface at times. Also, you have been living too much in your head and it is time to jump out into the world. Impress people with your sense of humour. Kindnesses performed at this time will return to bless you a hundred times over in the years to come. Jasper expresses the divinity that is close to you at this time. For an energy pick-up, choose the Sodalite.
What a load of crock. Not the advice, but how it professes to be specific to a star sign — nothing could be more generic.
“Jasper is an opaque, impure Chalcedony, traditionally thought of as red. It also comes in pinks,yellows, greens, browns, and grayish blues. Association with other minerals give jasper nice bands and patterns. In the ancient world Jasper was a favorite gem. We can find the name jasper in accent Hebrew, Assyrian, Greek, and Latin. Jasper is usually named according to its pattern. picture jasper, ribbon jasper, orbicular jasper, abraciated and etc. Jasper is found worldwide.”
And our chick, she really wants this armpit, is hot for this armpit, is caressing it and tickling it and wrapping her silky smooth arms and legs around it, stroking it, craving it, clearly about to let out a mad yelp at any moment and tear off her skimpy outfit and throw the giant hairy armpit to the floor and mount it and scream out sweet Jesus’s name.
I’ve never thought of armpits as objects for sexual gratification before. However, it appears that I am woefully behind the times! (Warning: none of the sites on this list are safe for work, unless you work at Penthouse or BizArre or something.)
Gaysitez (there’s a bloke licking his own armpit!)
Two links are enough; I can’t look at any more armpits asking me for money while I browse fetish sites. They’re so cheesy (not the armpits, the sites) – look at this sexy armpit while we thoughtfully also include an erect penis or a pair of silicone-enhanced breasts, not that full frontal nudity makes any difference to your looking at the armpit, oh no. Thank the benevolent, merciful Deities I haven’t seen any sites that involve she-male armpit fetishes. That would be something else completely.
AXE is a brand of deodorant, known as Lynx in Singapore. Since I’ve never seen the ads, I can’t say if they’re sexist, but their website is definitely tongue-in-pitcheek.
My favourite deodorant in all the world is Lynx Accelerate.
Thank Terry for the news link, who prefaced it with, “I was able to pull myself up off the floor laughing to send this along.” I bet you didn’t expect me to do this much additional research into the issue of armpit-lovin’, did you?
The tone is very civil, and some realities home in on page four.
People who have lived all life in guanxi and archaic “wide family” structures are centures behind your understanding of democracy /accountability/ use of power (and how to crack on [sic] its abuse) and what is the biggest handicap – and understanding what law is and how to use it in proper way.
The discussion is fairly free, although it appears that posters must not use the words ‘democracy’, ‘Taiwan’, and ‘Falungong’ spelled as they are. Forum rules state that if you stray off-topic and are “abusive, obscene, vulgar, hateful, slanderous, threatening, or which are otherwise in violation of any laws”, you will be ‘banished’.
I’ve just discovered the original Sarong Party Girl weblog! Wahey! I looked up her archives and she has her own Mr. Big. No prizes for guessing where she got that nickname from.
As with everything on the Internet, I wonder if she’s for real. If she really likes being called an SPG. If she really is so open about her sexuality. If she’s a she.
If she’s for real, kudos for being honest about what she wants, who she wants, and why she’s not so keen on Asian men. If she isn’t, she has a great imagination (but isn’t such a great speller – ask anyone, I’m the world’s greatest pedant sometimes).
(Is Bar None really such a great place? I’ve never liked it too much. Too crowded, the band is cheesy, too pretentious. An expat hangout like Carnage is much more laid back and crass – which I find more entertaining, but only when I’m drunk.)
Her tagline, by the way, is
Size does matter. I’ve never seen a 4.5 inch dildo.
There’s nothing wrong with Asian men. They’ve just got a chip on their shoulder about being Asian, because they take such great offence at having to compete with men of other ethnicities for the favour of women. You wouldn’t feel threatened if you believed the other party was no better than you, eh?
(Note: for clarity, when I said ‘Asian men’, I meant Singaporean Asian men. They have a serious bug up their arses about ‘Westerners’ dating Singaporean women.)
There’s a great editorial in the Glasgow Herald today, blasting people who feel morally offended by schoolgirls who wear short skirts:
It seems, rather tragically, that we are so scared of young people that we have to take away their freedoms, rather than educate them better into how to use them. The history of fashion is the story of female emancipation: women have spent centuries liberating themselves from the prison of tight bodices, long skirts, bound feet, constricted limbs.
There is, in this respect, something wonderful about the insouciance of modern teenage clothing. Baggy, tight, explicit, baby-doll, extreme: they do it. Because they can.
If you think schoolgirls who wear short skirts are dirty, it’s probably because you’re dirty. Don’t project the blame on to girls because of your guilty fantasies – that’s the gist of the piece.
I went to a convent school – we wore white blouses under our blue pinafores. They weren’t exactly sexy outfits, but we tried our best by puffing up the pinafores above the belts so the skirts would end well above our knees. These days, it’s trendy to wear the belt so loosely that the girls look like newly-pregnant teenagers trying out maternity dresses. I know for a fact that the teachers and principal despair – why do the girls, year after year, wear the uniform the unsanctioned way?
Because we can. Because it makes (made, in my case) us feel individual, different, trendy, rebellious.
Teenagers will always try to rebel, to see how far they can push the rules. They’re in between being adults and children. They’re learning about themselves. The more you try to set rules to regulate behaviour, the more they will break them. Better to teach teenagers self-confidence and promote a sense of self-worth than try to impose rules that mean nothing.
I doubt that if those wanting school uniform regulations to be more strictly enforced were to go quiet, all hell would break loose. If an adult is keen on teenagers / is a paedophile, nothing except their own efforts will stop them from indulging.
Between five and seven children are abducted and murdered a year, a figure unchanged for 30 years. A moral panic over short skirts is as effective as banning men from admiring girls’ legs.
(I’m as bad. I own skirts that play on schoolgirl fetishes because I think they’re great.)
Singapore ran a terrorism drill on its MRT system over the weekend, simulating an attack like the one that happened in Madrid.
“The Madrid bombing was used effectively to make a statement on Spain’s position over Iraq and influence an election.”
Anyone who says supporting the war in Iraq had no appreciable effect on the dangers countries face as targets for terrorists is too obsessed by politics to see reality.
“But if the terrorists think that if they do something in Singapore and hope that our national position on Iraq would change I think they are mistaken,” said Chen. “But having said that, they may miscalculate and actually do something.”
Singapore’s deputy prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, is due to replace current leader Goh Chok Tong this year, possibly as early as August. No election will be held.
The ‘national’ position on Iraq is the PAP government’s position. Since there’s not going to be an election when the mantle of PM is handed over, and Lee Hsien Loong is PAP through and through, I don’t think even the dumbest, most crazed terrorists would be deluded enough to think an attack would make an ounce of difference.
In Singapore’s case, however, I think our ‘national’ position on Iraq would be secondary to their original intention, to destroy the country as we know it in order to create a completely Muslim region. Support for the Bush administration’s foreign policy in Iraq just provided another reason to make sure we pay with blood.
News has now emerged of a possible direct link between Saddam Hussein’s Fedayeen and al Qaeda. If this is confirmed, this is the sort of evidence the US government needs to share with the greater public / independent commissions, and quickly.
(The cynical side of me notes the convenience in the timing of the release of this information. The optimistic side of me hopes this is really brand new, uncontaminated intelligence that marks a change and drives things forward.)
Update: Billmon posts more information, plus an opinion and news doubting the connection.
Singapore’s latest effort to get people dating, marrying, and producing children: ripping off Love Actually.
Lunch Actually is a dating service. People pay to become members, their profiles are made up and matched, they get lunch or drink dates arranged at participating cafes, bars, and restaurants (who also pay a fee to be included, I’m sure), and all they have to do is show up.
Will I ever see a casual lunch date with my mates in the same way ever again? Will everyone around us think we’re Lunch Actually-ing?
How will they know each other? Do they wear special Lunch Actually nametags that mark them out as people who don’t have the time or ability to find a date on their own?
If someone gets stood up, do they get their money back?
Will Uncle Pok at The Tavern tell my mum if he sees me on a Lunch Actually date? Is there some sort of restaurant-blind date confidentiality agreement?
If the chemistry is too much and the date becomes ‘sex on the restaurant table’, will the restaurant get a bonus?
Most people I know who are too busy to have real dates are also too busy to have lunch or after-work drinks (unless ‘after-work’ constitutes after 10pm). Will Lunch Actually create a new service, Five-Minute Pot Noodle Lunch in the Office Pantry?
A column will get me to flex my writing muscle on a regular basis, not just read the news and post outraged responses to whatever is outrageous today. It should, hopefully, help me to focus one aspect of my writing (I like to think of it as ‘work’) while I play in the weblog.
Think of me as the Insight Giver. Think of me as the Foreigner. When you think of Xiamen, Think of Me.
(I’m not to be confused with Bill Brown, who is the Original Foreigner. The Original Foreigner has a full-time job at the university, otherwise I’m sure he’d be all about the columns, too. I think. I don’t know him.)
No matter how prepared I think I am for the vagaries of behaviour that define life in China, something happens that throws me for a complete loop. Without fail.
Here’s the situation. You’re on a 20RMB bus trip, you’re squeezed on with a buttload of Chinese people. A man in your row opens a can of Coke and it goes everywhere, notably, on the sleeve of a very, very foul-mouthed local. He takes the can away from the offender, Guangxi man, a third man says the can’s tab might hold a prize, the tab is retrieved, it apparently reads FIRST PRIZE, 58,000RMB!
What would you do?
Offer all your savings (10,000RMB) to Guangxi man in exchange for ownership of the tab?
Offer him all the money in your wallet (120RMB)?
Remove all your wife’s jewellery and offer it in exchange?
Greed often obscures all that is good and decent. I found much obscurity on this bus trip, as people were, quite literally, falling all over themselves and everyone else to divest Guangxi man of his winning drink tab and make a profit. There was lots of shouting, money being waved around, and general scrabbling and other unpleasant movements were made in an effort to get close to the winner.
There is a saying that the Chinese are the Jews of the East. I know this means Chinese people are mercenary, stingy, and money-hungry – not exactly high praise. An unfair stereotype, some might argue. If the behaviour on this bus was indicative of the Chinese generally, then it is not a stereotype rather than a statement of fact.
I’m sure the couple, as they got off the bus with Guangxi man and the two men who’d first ‘discovered’ the winning tab, were congratulating themselves on managing to cheat the former out of 58,000RMB at very little cost to themselves.
I was quite taken aback by the avarice displayed on the bus. I am quite taken aback by the avarice displayed on a daily basis. Many locals I have come into contact with will, at a moment’s notice, rip you off in order to make an extra buck today, bugger what happens tomorrow or next week. They will steal toilet paper from work if it means they don’t have to pay for it at home – hence, no toilet paper (or soap) is usually supplied at any place of business. They don’t understand why I don’t turn around and rip other people off to benefit myself. They don’t understand why thinking about other people is part of my world view regarding personal enrichment.
Not that I dislike money, or getting my hands on it. I value legal tender as much as the next person, but I think it should be obtained fairly, either through hard work or dumb luck. No cheating allowed.
(Note: this bus trip actually happened. It is a common scam that people fall for in China. Another one is someone offering lots of US dollars for RMB. Counterfeit, naturally.)
Thomas Friedman is arguing for Arab reform so that the elite in that region will see that the bad guys making their lives difficult are not Americans; they’re Filipinos, Indians, and Mainland Chinese.
… the Arab world will have to look clearly at the fact that China, India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines — all the countries that provide maid service for the Saudi and other Arab ruling elites and manual labor for their construction — have leapt so far ahead with their own development that they are now taking good jobs away from America.
The whole premise of promoting reform by taking on a lower profile and allowing Arab countries to see how far they’ve fallen behind other developing nations is a good one, but I suppose no commentator could forgive themselves if they missed out on blaming these countries for ‘taking good jobs away from America’.
I enjoyed The Lexus and The Olive Tree, but give it a rest. China, India, and the Philippines have something the US hasn’t – lower costs of production (sweatshop conditions or not). Unless the US suddenly lowers its costs and standards of living dramatically, its corporations enforce labour standards in all their wholly-owned and subcontracted factories, or US citizens boycott all products and services that are not ‘made in the USA’, I think ‘good jobs’ are going to continue to be ‘taken away’ and sent where the price is right.
School of Rock is about a wannabe rocker (Jack Black) who spends a few weeks with a bunch of kids at Horace Green Prep. He discovers that they are hugely talented musically, and recruits them to compete in Battle of the Bands, all in the name of getting back at his old band that kicked him out.
Much of the comedy stems from Black’s face, or rather, his very malleable face (Rowan Atkinson, look out). The eyebrow-powered Mexican wave is particularly impressive. I giggled and made faces throughout the viewing.
This is not a smart movie. It is not a movie that makes you screw up your face and wonder what the hell that was all about. It’s a good kids movie with only a little bit of swearing. Nothing worse than what kids use these days, anyway.
And more importantly, it was a far better movie than either Formula 51 or Snowboarder. Neil claims he selected this movie in his mind several weeks ago but never picked it out, so he should claim it and thus break his streak of poor film choices. I disagree: I physically picked it out and said I wanted to get it. It was my choice. Neil continues as King Picker (Plucker? Fisher?) of Bad Films.