pray for us sinners now

nice picture. reminds me of taking 157 every morning a long time ago, and staring out the window is everyone's fav activity before ipods were invented, after which filming mental self-mtvs is preferable... but nowadays i take tibs buses more often and we rarely have those old style seats in the picture. pity.

it is 6.24 am and the world wakes up to a new morning, in singapore, at least. i am filled with despondency and dread, this particular morning.

i went to sleep after watching a movie which i watched after i couldn't go to sleep. i couldn't sleep still so this is why i'm awake. oh look, there goes jesse again, with his characteristic lack of humour, in telling everyone why this world is so fucked up, oh how vanilla, why not revel in how fucked up the world is. or where's your characteristic peace hope love joy message? is having a fucked up world even bad to begin with? we certainly could all do with the variety.

it's not a message i like to spread, you know, i mean, get a job, get married, find love, be happy, even be famous and god damn succesful while helping people. but maybe it's too much in a day. admittedly, not even in my life. if people fucked me up or spat on me i could still understand well maybe you hate me or maybe i'm not a very nice person or maybe you're anal retentive. but i'm a boy living in singapore and thousands of people would smuggle drugs to be in my shoes.

maybe it's the fact that people change toilet seats in a school with a gay teacher because they're scared they'll get aids. and people writing about bloggers spoiling s'pores image cause tourists will think we r sluts when they read our blogs. whatever. and now that fucking people fucking swallow 63 pellets of drugs to be in the states just to have a proper life. hey, it's a message of hope. note that i knew shit like that happened already. i read more than enough. i just hate to be fucking reminded.

and it's not like something can't be done. you could be fucking president of the un, or some ngo, or build houses in nepal. they're all worthy causes. even working a decent day's wages is, or writing some fantasy novel that people across the world like. you know. tell yourself you're doing something better, and that's something you like. i'd like that, yes. and i know the world is getting better but we're all fucked up and we're going to hell in a basket.

i know it because i knew it since i was 11. first i knew people die. that wasn't so bad you get over the vomitting feeling because everyone seems to deal fine and really it isn't that bad when you know everyone shares the same fate. i knew it when i was 13, when i realized there a few hundred people my age growing up wanting to make something of themselves. i knew it maybe even at 14 or 15 when adolescent hopes for love and the combination of hormones made many people my age rather angsty and edgy. and growing up and being adult i thought well maybe i don't need to know now because we are all responsible, think for ourselves and need to make this world better. but i should have known that just because you want to make the world better doesn't make it a better place. it's still fucked up the same. tough huh. deal.

i knew it through all the times people die and when i fell off at Sapa from the rocks i wasn't really very sad. but of course you're grateful and likely so. and i know it even now, here and then, when i think it's good to be great, that maybe the more pwoerful or eloquent or famous you are you can do more, that just by saying a few words you could get some people to donate to africa and it would make things much better, but when a sex tourist is doing more than you to equalize incomes in the 3rd world, you know you've got a long way to go. add that to all, what's the bloody use of having a blog to begin with.

and you know even if you had enough love for them all they would still nail you to the cross. my god how that must have hurt. and for the lesser ones of us who have even less, well, we can stand by, offer our love to those we think deserve it, or just simply love. and it's 1 person, and we can think, yes, and if the world pairs up like that at least they won't be fucked up alone, there'll always be someone watching your back, good, oh but even then can you sleep at night.

and of course there's always the morning and the world becomes more bearable again. well, the figurative morning, not all nights are so miserable. but when people remind you of how screwed up the world is, how trivial your success is, your progress, or even your greatness. my god. sense of wonder. amazement.

and then you see that staying and quitting was never an option, the world was here to begin with and we must all be grateful for it. unless you're like the few who chose to take matters in their own hands because maybe there was some place better where they didn't have to worry about it all. yes but then they're definitely quitters for not trying to make it all better. but i can definitely understand, they only ever wanted the best for themselves. selfish buggers.
I finally have a topic worthy of French oral exam-like dullness, which is fantastic.

I fed the fish today, mainly because they looked rather ill-fed and I have enormous compassion for animals in captivity. I dropped a few pellets but they swam around uninterested. Ok so they weren't hungry and I wasn't the Messiah dropping manna from heaven. Refusing to admit my messianic failure, I knocked on the bottle to make that stirring sound. Eat stupid.

Now, I always go on about fishes having memories of only 20 seconds and how the whole pond seems new to them after a while and they're really not that bored but how do I know I'm not a fish. And fish, after all, do remember certain nooks and crannies of the pond and all, or how would they know where to put their eggs? and they remember the sound of feeding. but i always love how simple their lives are, or i think they are.

Fishes aren't furry, and not easy to love. They're even tragic animals, if you listen to what Ted Hughes had to say. Yes, when the poor Sun was hoodwinked into putting his sons and daughters in a sack and drowning them in the water. I'm no animal lover, I can never imagine how an animal could possible be happy with me (maybe a dog), or maybe I just don't have a touch and everything I've ever owned, actually, just a hamster, dislikes me and gives me the impression that it'd rather be rutting with someone of the same sex thank you.


Oh yes, and the lovely background noise of Wimbledon and the BBC accompanies me as I work through the night. chugachugachugachug.
I thought you should know something. I've had a blog since 2002, and I haven't written in it everytime. And when you see all those gaps in there you must be thinking, well, then, gosh yeah life probably isn't interesting every day, there probably isn't something to blog about everyday.

But there, a bit like the overused story about there being only 1 pair of footsteps on the beach when there's 2 pairs almost every other time, is the realization that all the stories and the writing dry up precisely when I am at my most emotional, or when things seem to be going by at such a speed in life. When I'm busy, doing something, or when I'm emotional, or even when I'm in bloody Vietnam, when things are happening, you don't see anything on this blog.

I know now why people like deserts. I loved the Mojave and the Sonoran when I spent those weeks at Flagstaff, Arizona. In the desert you can hear everything, with all the clarity in the world, loin de bruit. You see when you are clouded, yourself, with all the thoughts and the worries of the world, how can you be a mirror to life? How can you listen without your own voice butting in? And how do you understand emotional landscapes so different from your own, when you talk to yourself with the same voice that you've known all these years?

How do you stop asking, "Who am I?", until it echoes ceaselessly across the canyons? Can you speak of the secrets that have been entrusted to you? And how do you say, laughter is how I speak to you, and humour brings us together, but maybe I speak to myself only in flowers and puff?

I suddenly have a theory that my father was always trying to shield me from philosophy. When he steals my C.S Lewis books on philosophy, when I steal his CDs containing tracks like "Cut By Wire", mm, Mary Black, there's so much to wonder if we have so much in common, that we're really people who dig this shit, and that we shut the world from outside us. And then we pass, and we argue about how best to take photos, what I should be doing, but maybe besides all that there's maybe a shred of truth that sons think like their fathers, but maybe sometimes they end up doing different things.

I hope really to be distracted, to talk about something greater other than myself, and yes sometimes really I do have a passion for issues, that feeling that I'm right, but the thing I've always hated about issues is that you carry a burden for people, one that sometimes they'd rather not have you touch, because this world is a proud one, no?


heaven knows
no frontier
and i've seen heaven
in your eyes


10 years of that life should suffice to turn Cinderella into a junkie

"je vais vous raconter l'histoire d'une petite qui s'est un peu laiss�e aller sur ses contes de f�es."

"i'm going to tell you a story of a little girl who let herself go a little bit too far in her fairy tales."

rock is a bit pass� now no, considering maybe we've all supposed to have grown out of adolesence and the worldly emotions which rock & roll brings to us... and having been to that cd shop yesterday i realise lounge and really nice chill out music is what people listen too nowadays. i must admit i also do listen to a lot of rubbish, and can afford to browse more sections of the cd stores nowdays.

anyway it's the summer solstice, yay, not like it matters, when the days are long and the nights are short. it's midsummer, and yes it was bloody goddamn hot when i was out with michelle last night and it's a time for dreams and pixies and assorted Shakespearan rubbish. but honestly, i do feel i've been a little more creative over the past few days and i hope it keeps up and maybe i can finally do something. It's also the French music festival in France and they brought a bit over here to the Alliance.

Yes... anyway the phrase at the top was used by the French rock band T�l�phone to introduce their song, Cendrillon or Cinderella as we love to call her.

Well you know rock always had that edginess with it, to push the envelope and everything, and well, perhaps i don't fit the best description of the lifestyle but i've always loved rock because occasionally it tells a moral tale or two, even when the frontman of some band overdoses on drugs. always lessons to be learnt.

i've taken the liberty to translate it to english.

Cendrillion (Cinderella)

Cendrillon pour ses vingt ans (Cinderella, for 20 years)
est la plus jolie des enfants (was the loveliest of all the kids)
Son bel amant, le prince charmant (Her handsome lover, the Prince Charming)
La prend sur son cheval blanc (Took her on his gallant steed)
Elle oublie le temps (She lost all track of time)
Dans son palais d'argent (In her palace of silver)
Pour ne pas voir qu'un nouveau jour se l�ve (And so she'd not wake to a new day)
Elle ferme les yeux, et dans ses r�ves (She'd close her eyes, and in her dreams)
Elle part, jolie petite histoire (She left, what a nice little story)

Cendrillon, pour ses trente ans (Cinderella, now 30)
est la plus triste des mamans (is the saddest of all the mommies)
Son bel amant, a foutu l'camp (Her handsome lover, has now gone missing)
Avec la belle au bois dormant (with young little Sleeping Beauty)
Loin d'elle emmener ses enfants (Far from her, her kids were taken)
Elle commence � boire (She started to drink)
A tra�ner dans le bars (Trailing through the bars)
Emmitoufl�e dans son cafard (Wrapped in her shitty misery)

Maintenant elle fait le trottoir (Now she walks the streets for men)
Elle part, jolie petite histoire (And she leaves, what a nice little story)

Dix ans de cette vie ont suffit (10 years of that life should suffice)
A la changer en junkie (To change her into a junkie)
Et dans un sommeil infini (And in an infinite sleep)
Cendrillon voit finir sa vie (Cinderella would end her life)
Les lumi�res dansent (The lights dance about)
Dans son ambulance (In the ambulance)
Mais elle tue sa derni
�re chance (But she killed her last chance)
Tout �a n'a plus d'importance (And all that's not important now)
Elle part (She leaves)
Fin de l'histoire (End of story)

Notre p�re qui �tes si vieux (Our father, who's really old)
As-tu vraiment fait de ton mieux (you've really done your best?)
Car sur la terre et dans les cieux (but on this earth and in the skies)
Tes anges n'aiment pas devenir vieux (your angels never loved growing old)


"jesus he prayed at gethsamene
thinking of the life he never led
in an old small town in galilee
owning a few rooms with double beds

where mary magdalene would tend bar
have a few kids, i'd tell 'em not to cry
and father i guess my death's not very far
but if only i could pass this chalice by"


friday night running, to sunday on my knees

Hello. It's the weekend and I am happy.

I am happy because I get to meet friends and listen to nice, folksy, guitar chords and popular music over cheap beer or whatever gets you going.

It occurs to me that I have a newfound love for sugar (which is bad considering diabetes runs in the family)... I've never liked sugar in main courses though, neither lard, nor anything jelly like or fatty in nature, nor too much salt. But the amount of desserts I've been consuming lately has been enough to provide me with enough sugar-induced adrenaline and calorie rush to keep me burning through the night.

And I've been thinking a bit that all my messages have been all rather sugary and chocolate factory like. Like you know hope, eventually, one day, wow, we should all keep our heads up and do the right thing. Which is strange because sometimes I feel I could easily dismiss the world in all hopelessness, but I guess it's precisely that which lets me laugh at it, and maintain a certain bit of good humour.

That's all easy to say, but when you're on long plane/train rides with shit all to think about you can really be very hard on yourself, even when you're looking at the scenery, or lack thereof, outside. At that to slightly higher levels of cosmic radiation or lack of oxygen or simply cramped seating conditions and you have a recipe for extreme grumpiness. That's why it's really good to listen to the same few chords with a bunch of friends who remind you that you're in one piece after all.

Sugar forever!


Another thing

I've settled most of my admin and caught up on reading the past few day's newspapers. I notice the media's new obsession is "finding" stunning new revelations on people's blogs and telling us "see this is what s'poreans are."

I don't know how right it is, but I did read sarongpartygirl.blogspot.com and I think it's an excellent piece of writing. It's a shame the spotlight turned to the pictures which frankly aren't that objectionable. No it doesn't deserve to be "Singapore's best blog" or some other perfunctory title like that, but I like it because it is honest, refreshing and original, and serves a niche audience. No matter if you disagree with the morality of the entire thing let us be aware that this is someone who has, through her writing at least, reasoned reasonably well and although we may not lead the same lifestyles she was never trying to convert anyone.

I guess blogs are dangerous because they can show you the real variety of life people lead, and how well they write, without the hassle of finding a publisher to affirm your talents or your supposed popularity. I sometimes have a problem with overtly exhibitionistic people until I tell myself that, I guess, each person takes their own pride, whether in being a good person or being a succesful one or simply a hot, sexy one, and after watching peacocks display their feathers in a garden, you have to accept that sometimes the world plays by such rules.


Je vais aller en Chine.

For those who are looking for me, I will be in China. Until I return, then.




I know that I am looking for something. I know it because sometimes when I see something on film, or I happen to be observing something (and seldom, or is it me just trying to be romantic, when I'm in the midst of something. I love brackets though. You can dump whatever you want in them and anything does. Except for the poor reader.)

God knows how much my life has been influenced by art. I'm not an artist. I don't caress ivory keys, or pluck brass strings, and my aptitude in drawing shows in the middle alphabets of the English alphabet in my record card. In fact, I was just trying to write some verses the other day about my whole ineptitude in the entire thing (before deciding that writing about nothing was indeed inept, if not futile). Well, for the heck of it, because I felt I hadn't made one in a long time.

But take away all that. Take how you felt when you read the Bible, or the Little Prince, or any book or film which subconciously became a canon for your moral imagination. Take a song, how it made you feel, take a hymn even, take some ambience and you have something with which you can scaffold a belief.

And then I realise at this moment that when people say "art for the sake of art", or it being some matter of technique or refinement (sure, be good at what you do), and start seeing themselves at artists, that sometimes they get too carried away and well isn't that supposed to be the case, they're artists, let them be.

Of course I say all this because I just watched a film. Because of the English domination of the computer world (do you see any Chinese characters on my keyboard), coupled with my laziness to try to input Chinese characters, or rather, correct them from changing into gibberish in html (yes I guess I've tried it before, and would you please write in shorter sentences, you know talking to yourself isn't healthy, i love commas), I am unable to write "Zhou Yu's train" in its rightful pictographic characters. I can only tell you that it involved trains (duh), which I so dearly love, whenever I travel, and beautiful Chinese rural landscape, and even a bit of industrial one. It involved Gong Li, who inspired the title of this post. It involved a poet, who as most poets choose to see themselves, and rightly so, is a dreamer. Now, as we all know, dreamers are horrible at living. They end up with screwed up jobs, get sent to Tibet (well its not bad, the air is fresh), and are utterly irresponsible towards their loved ones. But they are excused because they write beautifully, and he ends up with the hot chick. And he is not bad at making love, if the cinematography is meant to led you to believe he is.

But no, it's not that simple. Because the woman in love with the artist is also artistic, is she not. She recognises that he is crazy, and to love a crazy person, well, then you must be crazy too. And she does everything to get him published. Maybe there is nothing artistic in being a potter (well she does draw some lovely designs on porcelain glassware), but let me tell you, it is really artistic to take the train two ways for 24 hours every weekend to make love. And it's in the attitude, I guess, to run to find a lake on a whim, to take a train to see nobody simply because it reminds you of the journey that you so love, and just to long, not to be fulfilled.

difficult stuff, huh. and of course there's the really good guy who is a vet and gets by and is really nice, but he'll never win her heart because unluckily, he didn't come first. but i like him, but do you think he cares? how childish it is to love one person your whole life? and there are people like that? and what do they do then. they love? what is it to love?

and i just needed to say, i know, i am looking for something. barring st anthony, i'll take some time, thank you. but it's my time. and i love the train journey, not the station, really. there's nothing better in this world than hope.


Break time!

It occurs now that whenever I have some spontaneous break time, in my house, at least, i'd like nothing better than to have a drink, warm, cold, whatever, lounge around and listen to BBC on the telly. Or some other channel, you get what I mean. I don't get up and play a computer game or heavens, even start to blog, for fear i'll get distracted from some new all-consuming passion. and that's why i'm starting to love the joys of planned leisure... oh, yay, shopping time, or 'whatever' time.

After spending long periods of time staring at the screen and writing, the last thing you want to do on your break is to stare at the screen and write. That's why blog entries are fewer and further between.

Which reminds me I haven't finished my Indochina or Bali narrative. And maybe because I've been in Singapore and shopping for mundane things like crockery. I guess I'm really looking forward to just leaving and studying.