Nipple-less pro wrestling

I can’t remember if it was in primary school or secondary school, when we were on the football/rugby field, and when sledging was de rigeuer but mostly harmless.

Things like “Your momma must be ugly cos you ugly too” were tossed back and forth. And it took a real sporting talent to come up with a killer taunt/sledge. (The all-time prize goes to Zimbabwean cricketer Eddo Brandes, who when the legendary Australian bowler Glenn McGrath inquired of him with full intent to insult, “Why are you so fat, you fat cunt?”, very quickly but calmly came back with, “Because every time I fuck your wife, she gives me a biscuit”.)

But on our humbler, less talented playing fields, the winner as far as I remember, was this response to a typical “Yo Momma” taunt that sent every player from either team rolling on the grass:

“You… you… you… Your Mother No Nipple!”

OK, I was only reminded of that because of this mildly interesting post about a Pro-Wrestling poster in Florida which has had the nipples of the wrestlers photoshopped out because of a misinterpretation of a law in that state which prohibits the display of (female) nipples.

Link (via, via and via)

wrestle.jpg

Repeal s377A

I’d think of something funny to write about anything, but this isn’t one of the times that warrants any nonsense. I cut and paste for you an open letter to the Prime Minister which I hope you will read, then click on the link to the repeal377a.com site, and then add your name to the list. I also hope you put your real name, occupation and constituency, just to give it a bit more weight.

Why repeal s377A? I reckon, at least, for the same reasons the other provisions of s377 were repealed – such as the provision for ‘marital immunity‘, for when a husband rapes a wife. Repugnant, no?

I urge you, go to the site, sign the letter. Else we risk being citizens of the most irrelevant backwater, and a really small one at that.

Thank you.

The Prime Minister
Mr. Lee Hsien Loong
Prime Minister’s Office
Orchard Road
Istana
Singapore 238823

Subject: Abolition OF Section 377A, Penal Code

Dear Prime Minister,

As a citizen of Singapore, I write to appeal to your sense of fairness and equality, to take the lead to move Parliament and your party on issues related to s377A, Penal Code. I strongly believe that it should be repealed, not just for the benefit of the gay community, but also for the good of all Singaporeans. I also firmly believe that the time to repeal s377A, Penal Code is now, not later.

The reasons why this repeal is so important are manifold.

1. Singapore’s Founding Principles.
2. Constitutional and Legal Rights.
3. International Social Mores and Trends.
4. Domestic Social Mores and Trends.
5. Damage to the Gay Community.
6. Pragmatism, Leadership and the Future.

1. Singapore’s Founding Principles
Singapore was founded on the basis of justice and equality. This is reflected in our pledge. From the start, Singapore as a nation has staunchly upheld multiculturalism, with diverse groups living together in harmony by respecting each other’s differences. This has been the cornerstone of our country’s success. Since then, these principles have been further strengthened. For example:

– In 1966, a Constitutional Commission was formed to study how the rights of minorities can be safeguarded.
– The implementation of the GRC in our electoral system ensures that racial minorities are adequately represented.
– The Women’s Charter was amended to safeguard women’s rights.

Legislating that certain sexual acts are legal for heterosexuals but illegal for gay men is tantamount to our country taking an active step (for the first time) to discriminate against a minority group. That goes against everything we, as Singaporeans, have been taught to believe in and hold dear.

2. Constitutional and Legal Rights
Section 377A contravenes Singapore’s Constitution which grants equal rights to treatment and protection for everyone. This law is unequivocally discriminatory. We believe a gay man should have exactly the same rights as a straight man or woman.

We understand that there are elements of our society that do not see being gay in a positive light. They are entitled to their opinion. But their opinion should not infringe upon the rights of this – or any – group of Singaporeans. This holds true even if those who disapprove of gay people outnumber those who support them. In fact, it is the responsibility of any democratically elected government to protect minorities from the “tyranny of the majority”.

Section 377A violates an individuals’s right to privacy. Especially since what we are talking about is a choice between consenting adults and hurts no one.

Furthermore, the government’s self-avowed compromise of having s377A on the books but not enforcing it will bring Singapore’s justice system into disrepute. The Council of the Law Society states in its report to the Ministry Of Home Affairs dated March 30, 2007, that the law as it stands “cannot be justified”. The Council goes further to argue that the proper function of criminal law “is to protect others from harm by punishing harmful conduct. Private consensual homosexual conduct between adults does not cause harm recognisable by the criminal law. Thus, regardless of one’s personal view of the morality or otherwise of such conduct, it should not be made a criminal offence”.

Singapore has always taken pride in being a country where the rule of law is transparent, fair and clear cut. This reputation has served us well and contributed in no small way to our country’s success and should not be eroded by this aberration.

3. International Trends
The courts of many major countries have held the equivalent of s377A to be discriminatory, an invasion of privacy and unconstitutional. This is not only in Europe and America. It includes the UN Human Rights Committee, S, Africa and most recently Hong Kong. The legislatures in UK, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia and even China have also passed laws decriminalising such acts.

Singapore will be woefully out-of-step with the rest of the world should it move to retain this Victorian legislation only weeks after Newsweek magazine’s cover story proclaimed that “the battle for gay rights is gaining ground across the globe” and hailed the repeal of laws similar to s377A across the globe as “a global civil-rights revolution”.

4. Domestic Trends
The attitude of Singaporeans have become much more accepting of alternative sexuality. Between 2000 and 2005, the level of acceptance has changed from 10% to more than 30%. The latest figure is taken from Mark Cenite and B. Detenber’s article in the International Journal of Public Opinion Research. Furthermore, the Straits Times online census in July 2007 indicated a tolerance level of 55%.

Admittedly, different public polls can often illustrate contrasting views and the sum of all these statistics makes it difficult to get a clear view of popular sentiment. However we believe that the law of our land does not exist to be popular, but to be fair and just for all people. This is a belief we know is shared by many.

5. Damage to the Gay Community

If the current amendment bill succeeds, the resulting law will become a bitter symbol to many gay Singaporean men, young and old. It will hinder greater understanding and integration of these people, who are often responsible, invaluable and highly respected contributing members of society. The only thing that makes these people different from the majority of Singaporeans is that they are biologically-pre-disposed to love differently. It will be a slap in the face to their significant contributions and encourage many more to leave our shores for more open-minded societies. Singapore’s most valuable resource is its citizens. We cannot afford to lose them.

S377A will also affect the status and moral citizenship of gay men in society. The government has openly welcomed gays and lesbians into the civil service. But this law will only discourage equal-treatment for gay employees everywhere and diminish the moral standing these men and have rightfully earned. We fear it will be a seed for further acts of discrimination.

Criminalising gay sex also impedes effective safer-sex messages being disseminated effectively to gay men and other men at risk of contracting HIV. There are numerous studies which have concluded that HIV prevention programs in environments where gay sex is criminalised are resoundingly ineffective. The fight against HIV/AIDS is an important issue which affects all Singaporeans. There should be no impediment to getting this life saving information out.

Branding gays as outlaws will be destructive to the self-worth of those individuals and could lead to an increased incidence of self-harm. Thought should also be given to gay youth who struggle deeply with this issue. This law would only add more trauma to what is already a very difficult period in their lives.

6. Pragmatism, Leadership and the Future
You and our government have always shown a willingness to make tough pragmatic decisions for the best interests of our country. Decisions made with conviction, despite opposition from various interest groups, religious organisations and minorities.

In a recent address at NUS, you talked about this issue and said that “we will not reach consensus however much we discuss it. The views are passionately held on both sides. The more you discuss it, the angrier they become. The subject will not go away.” Having admitted that we are at an impasse, it seems only logical that the way to move forward is for the government to take a lead with the same conviction and leadership it has always shown.

We keep hearing that Singapore society is ‘too conservative’ for this law to be repealed. This is not a strong enough reason to deny a group of Singaporeans equal rights. Far more conservative countries have done away with laws like these and are none the worse for it. We are a modern, democratic and secular state. While there will always be a place for conservative mores, we also need to protect and nurture space for tolerance and open-mindedness to flourish.

You have often said that your goal is to create a tolerant and progressive society for all Singaporeans. We urge you to now demonstrate your commitment to achieve this goal. Repealing this biased law will be a symbolic milestone to signal to fellow Singaporeans and the world that this is the vision of Singapore that we all share.

Yours faithfully,

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Singapore Flyers

I read in the Sunday Times that tickets for a ride on the yet to be completed Singapore Flyer… ok, let me rephrase that, because that sounds like you can ride on an incomplete Singapore Flyer, and your guide for the day might say something like,


“Sorry sir, as you can see, the Singapore Flyer is yet to be complete, so today you will only go a semi-circle”.

“If you come back tomorrow and go again, that makes a full circle”.

So, I read in the Sunday Times that tickets for a ride on the Singapore Flyer, when it is complete, have been sold out for the first three months of its scheduled operations. Fully booked.

Yes! What? How can?

You’d think that being the lean and efficient city that we are, we’d have foreseen the problem and taken steps to deal with it.

But not to worry. We now know that if we didn’t have the benefit of foresight to anticipate congestion, we always have the LTA method of putting up more and more gantries to fix the problem.

So, I propose that the Singapore Flyer project be taken over by the LTA so that they can build two or three more Singapore Flyers to deal with the problem:

Singapore Flyer
Original photo by redpolkadot

Singapore Flyers
Original photo by mattlogelin

There, the BERP Method of Dealing with Congestion. Great thing is, if it doesn’t work after a while, all you need to do is build some more.

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B’ERP


Photo by Peeb1

That’s the sound the gantries make after they’ve automagically deducted your cash money from your cash card. B’ERP.

And there’re more of them, these hungry gates of automagic cash money deductioningering, announced the LTA, makers of these gantries, today. This comes a day after the nation’s gantry makers announced that COEs (automagic payment of cash moneys by car buyer) for small cars have dropped to an all time low.

So, there’s really no worry for prospective small car buyers. The money you are going to spend taking a tour of the country’s fine gantries can be recouped from the money you save buying your new small all-time low COE car.

Current owners of small cars might think, “hey, nabeh, I paid so much COE, I should be exempt from the new charges”. But the gantries, they do not discriminate. And… wait a minute, I’m one of them current owners of small cars!

“Hey, nabeh, I paid so much COE, I should be exempt from the new charges”.

But you know, the Transport Minister says if road usage is not priced, roads will be over-used, resulting in widespread congestion. This is really true. The roads around the ERP roads are said to teem with vehicles hovering and waiting for the ERP time to end in the minutes before ERP time ends. This is no good for the environment! I say put gantries up on these roads too. ERP all of them! ERP ERP ERP ERP! That’ll teach us to drive!

ERP!

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Window or aisle seat?

We know you’re supposed to belt up when you’re in a car, but when you’re part of an organisation that can’t afford a proper passenger van or bus to take you to and from work, you’ll just have to deal with hanging on for dear life:

Window or aisle seat

Yes, plastic chairs on the back of a lorry! And god knows what happened to the guy in the middle seat with nothing to hang on to!

Does anyone know how insurance covers this?

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The things that matter

UNIFEM eventAbout a decade ago, the Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer went into damage control mode after a gaffe he made when speaking at an event raising awareness for female victims of domestic violence.

He had thought it witty on the occasion to coin the phrase “the things that batter” for the event, giggling proudly for a good couple of hours before the fallout and subsequent pressured apology.

Well, he knows now that domestic violence is no laughing matter, and UNIFEM’s concert and bazaar at Clarke Quay yesterday, commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, was meant to raise awareness of this serious issue, although the turnout was a little disappointing because of the weather.

Regardless of your gender or orientation, you should support UNIFEM’s concerns, which range from human trafficking to violence against women. At the very least, you should be aware of the gender-biasness (among other biases) of some of our society’s regulatory frameworks. You may not be able to do anything about it directly, but you shouldn’t say you didn’t know.

Just as I didn’t know until recently that there was such a thing as marital immunity as a defence against the crime of rape within a marital relationship. Now that I am aware of it, I am concerned that the legal reform commission or similar body has not removed this immunity completely, as it should.

So, don’t wait for personalities like Nadya Hutagalung and Andrea de Cruz to tell you their experiences (as they did in press interviews this week) before you do something about it.

Surf stop: UNIFEM Singapore

iTunes is playing an illegal copy of A Matter Of Trust from the album “Greatest Hits Vol. III” by Billy Joel of which I have the original CD.

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(Straight) Anal and oral sex to be decriminalised



Justice & Strength
Originally uploaded by Mr Hyde

The review of this fine nation’s Penal Code is almost complete, and one of the proposed changes is the decriminalisation of consensual anal and oral sex between heterosexual adults.

However, if you object to this proposed change, amongst the other changes which include 19 new offences, you can and should voice your objections at a special page on reach.gov.sg, which will be open to feedback until 9 Dec 2006, after which it will close, and the proposed changes to the Penal Code will come into effect.

I can’t think of a reason why that particular proposed change to the law should be objected to, except that with decriminalisation, the excitement of doing something illicit and outside the law might be taken away from such activity, you know?

Just as gum-chewing was once an exciting pastime up until it was made available in pharmacies – you went from outlaw to sick person in need of medicine. Not cool.

More interestingly, what I did not know, and only found out today, was that there is such a thing as marital immunity for the offence of sexual assault committed by a husband on his wife.

It is, um, encouraging to note that legislators are considering the big, big leap of repealing that immunity in conditions where the wife is legally separated from the husband or has taken out a Personal Protection Order against her husband.

I don’t know if I can be arsed though, to find out if they are repealing or amending the offence of ‘outraging’ someone’s ‘modesty’, which, to my mind, is probably the uniquely Singapore law. I still haven’t the foggiest what it means.

iTunes is playing an illegal copy of One Love/People Get Ready from the album “Legend” by Bob Marley & The Wailers of which I have the original CD.

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Podcast: Early never say

native speaker

You did not inform us that you did not have a television set, so you have to pay the fine. – Media Development Authority Officer

This was the reply one guy got when he told the officer why he did not have a TV, which is why he did not pay his radio and TV licence fee, and which is why he did not deserve to be fined.

Sounds logical to us, what.

This mrbrown show is sponsored by yearbook.com.sg, Singapore’s very own “School Reunions” site.

Podcast: the mrbrown show 23 June 2006: early never say (MP3, File size: 2.2mb, Time: 00:04:50)

Subscribe:[feed][iTunes]

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TODAY: Living in glass houses

glasshouses.jpgRemember, you shot it on your handphone – don’t cry if that intimate snap becomes public domain viewing

THIS is not new: A couple recording themselves having sex on video, promptly losing the recording and then reeling in horror as it is flashed all over the Internet. Think Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst, think Paris Hilton.

Read more at TODAYonline: [pdf][text]

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Continue reading

We are one

Picture 11.pngFunny how the Channel Newsasia text version of the interview manages to mash up quotes from mr brown and myself, then attribute them only to me. (Yes, we are doing a lot of things together, but we’re just friends, ok? Not even a Brokeback Hill here.)

We also spoke about podcasting and how much fun we’re having with it, so they put that into another text article on their site.

Not that anyone’s interested in this matter right now, now that there’s that Nanyang Polytechnic Sex Scandal thing going on. Blardy hell, now no-one will download our podcasts!

Video Podcast: the mrbrown show (video) 19 Feb 2006: Show 2, CNA interview

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