Quite contrary

When your opinion is contrary to a newspaper reporter’s angle on a story she’s doing, there’s a high chance your opinion won’t be seen in print:

Hi Mr Lee,

I’m doing an article on the influence of local bloggers and I just have a few questions.

Local bloggers like yourself, mrbrown and Wendy Cheng are treated like mini celebrities, in that your readers are loyal to you and are influenced by your opinions.

– do you think this is a purely local situation, because of Singapore’s size?
– could you tell me one or two instances in which you realised that you were able to influence people?
– do you ever get special treatment at events, eg VIP passes?

I hope you can get back to me really quickly! Thanks so much for your help, I really appreciate it 🙂

-jennani

Regards,
Jennani Durai
The Straits Times (Digital Life)

Hi Jennani,

Thanks for emailing.

Let me qualify your statement and question: No, I am not treated like a celebrity, mini or otherwise. But there are other bloggers who can be seen to be. Xiaxue, for instance.

– do you think this is a purely local situation, because of Singapore’s size?
No, there are bloggers in the US who are celebrities. Singapore’s size helps make it seem as if it is easy to bump into a familiar face.

– could you tell me one or two instances in which you realised that you were able to influence people?
Yes, a few other bloggers started misspeowling words like I did. Other than that, my (very few) opinions count for naught.

– do you ever get special treatment at events, eg VIP passes?
I once told a bouncer that I had 2000 visitors a day at my website, and he told me, ‘so do we, get back in line’. So, no.

Let me know if you have other questions. Xiaxue and mrbrown are on the cc list. So, consider them asked as well.

Cheers,


Kwai Lan some more lah! Press cut you out totally den you know!

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: Jericho – k.d. lang – Hymns Of The 49th Parallel, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

Song to the moon

When I used to get all bogged down with dunnowhat, I’d drive to listen to the waves crash on the rocks, accompanied by Dvorak’s Song to the Moon, from the opera Rusalka.

But it’s a long way from Clovelly, and East Coast Park just doesn’t do quite the same thing, so what’s a feller to do but to go down Dunlop Street and spend a whole afternoon at Blu Jazz, where one finds that someone else also thinks the Song to the Moon rocks. Well, not quite, ‘cos Rusalka’s like, y’know, opera?

So, anyway, Blu Jazz rocks. Well, not quite, ‘cos Blu Jazz plays like, y’know, jazz?

But the food’s not bad, and so’s the coffee, and I’m thinking it’s a great place for to hang out at even if you don’t have grand company like I did today.

Cafe Blu Jazz
71 Dunlop Street. Good food, good music. BYO Chio babe.

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: Song to the Moon {from Rusalka} {from Driving Miss Daisy} – Lesley Garrett – Diva, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

We own this language and it owns us back

Aunty Lilly got all excited on Sunday and yelled up and down the terrace house, waking Uncle Albert and my cousins with:

Ben’s face come out newspaper! Ben’s face come out newspaper! Ben’s face come out newspaper!

My grumpy cousins grunted their replies, hoping she’d leave them alone so they could go back to sleep. But Aunty Lilly, all essited and more repetitive than the karang-guni man, persisted:

Ben’s face come out newspaper, you know?

Aunty Lilly won’t know what it’s all about if you told her this pidgin called Singlish is to be strongly discouraged. Or that schools will have to buck up and teach proper English, they say. Or that simply passing English exams at Cambridge GCE O and A levels isn’t good enough now.

Just when (linguists and linguistic hobbyists please correct me – yes, Daryl, you) this pidgin was on the cusp of turning into a creole, a veritable language of its own. And they’re kewwing it! The fuckers!

Just when we’ve almost acquired a real mother tongue and a national language that’s congruent with our migrant heritage. Nabeh, our forefathers (limpeh) came here, appropriated everything and made it their own, ok? Ban Singlish and you might as well ban chicken rice, kaya toast, hainanese coffee, satay, mee siam, laksa, rojak and ice-kachang. While you’re at it, this purist binge, you might as well tell everyone the real reason for the crescent moon on the national flag. Not the ‘young nation’ and the Jackson Five spiel.

Aiyah, dunno lah. All’s I care about is that there are etymological gems like the following floating around:

During ‘live-firing’ range training in the Army in National Service (another national institution, hey, why not ban this too?), soldiers who are really, really bad shots are called ‘Bobo shooters’, by their instructors and comrades.

Now, I used to think that the word ‘Bobo’ came from the Hokkien rude root word, ‘Boh’, meaning ‘don’t have’, ‘don’t got’, or ‘nothing’, but an old Army hand recently left a comment in my Army team blog and explained otherwise:

BOBO is an adulterated version of WOWO. WO stands for ‘Washed Out’, i.e., hopeless in shooting (like our national soccer team), can’t get a single hit.

During those days, there were the english educated and the chinese educated. There were even the Hokkien platoons (where they can’t even converse in Mandarin). There were malay, tamil and other language speaking soldiers.Those days ===> 60s and 70s.

We wore name tags with different coloured backgrounds from 1975. Green for English, orange for Mandarin, red for Hokkien, yellow for Tamil, blue for Malay and purple for others (like Teochew speaking). The background colour is for your main language. It would be green if you are english educated. Then, if you could also speak mandarin proficiently, a little orange colour is added to the right end of the tag. You could add several colours if you speak several languages proficiently.

Back to BOBO. As the chinese helicoptered (derogatory term to describe the chinese educated by the english educated) usually mispronounced english terms, they pronounced WOWO as BOBO. We used to joke about it but somehow the term appar to stick since. Trust me. I enlisted in 1973.

Orange for Mandarin. How cool is that?

Surf stop: wurh.com (because easy to remember URL)

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: Lookin’ Through the Windows – The Jackson 5 – Number One Motown, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

Makin’ the Sunday Times

Blogs are come alive everywhere, crawling off the primordial cybersoup and onto dry paper:


Story about Tomorrow.sg and the Blogger Conference, Sunday Times p38.

SundayTimes
The Email Interview, Sunday Times p40.

And not forgetting this week’s Hot Blog: my name is faith
iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl – Nina Simone – The Essential Nina Simone, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

Mr Miyagi makes the sports pages

It’s not every day you get featured in the sports pages of the newspaper. Unless of course you’re a sportsperson. Or someone who’s just lost a lot of money betting on soccer. Heck, I don’t even blog about sports. So that’s really a first.

Mr Miyagi makes the sports pages
Stevie Wonder talks about Singapore politicians

Surf stop: wuyuetian
iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: What a Difference a Day Makes – Dinah Washington – Compact Jazz Sampler, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.