TODAY: What’s all the podding fuss about?

Meta: It was a busy news day yesterday, at least for mrbrown and myself, when newsrooms in Singapore and abroad began working on the Balaji-No-Podcast statement story. Good thing I’ve got free incoming calls on my mobile. I also found it funny that I had to tell some reporters to keep it short because I was busy doing my own column – which, after some tweaking by the editors, is here, in full, with the first line sporting a strikeout in both the print and pdf versions.

Just to make it clear: I didn’t put that strikeout there, nor write that line in the first place.

And, as always, I missed out on a great quote from a reader, which I’ll put here now, because it says nice things about me and mrbrown:

“…podcasts? Who the hell listens to podcasts? I’d rather put Creed in my iPod than motherfuckingly lame podcasts churned out by a bunch of self-important nobodies (with the exception of the esteemed mrbrown and Mr. Miyagi, of course).”

Wah! Esteemed leh Thank you! We esteemed, we steam ah!

OK, on with the show:

0504HNL004_m.jpgIt seems you can blog or podcast about the polls if it’s not ‘explicitly political’

When you see a headline that goes “Podcasting is not allowed during elections”, it’s as good a time as any for this column to explain podcasts.

A podcast is essentially an audio or video file you download over the Internet and listen to on your own time, either on your computer or on your media playing device, such as an MP3 player.

Now, video and audio files have been around for a while. So, what is it about podcasting that makes it so new it’s off the “positive list”, as described by the Senior Minister of State for Information, Communications and the Arts Dr Balaji Sadasivan?

Read more at TODAYonline: [pdf][text]

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Malaysia Boh, leh…

Malaysia Boh, leh...In KL over the weekend, I might have been tempted to break the law by buying pirated DVDs from the many pirated DVD stalls in shopping malls. But as providence would have it, I was saved by the quick actions of someone who’d tipped off the vendors about an impending raid by the local constabulary.

Even before I could browse through a single clear folder of DVD title covers, the vendors had already packed up every single thing and left, and the only thing I could do with my money was to spend it legally on a good plate of Won Ton Mee at the stall opposite Plaza Low Yat.

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PM Lee not in reverse gear during Videoblogging Week 2006

What? Misleading headline? Orh. Channel Newsasia taught me how to do that. I learn from the best, see?

Podcasting is not banned! I say again, podcasting is not banned! All youse liberal western press mongrel types, stay! Heel!

Channel News Misleading HeadlineThe Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Dr Balaji Sadasivan, wasn’t quoted properly, I reckon, just as he wasn’t when he spoke about HIV/AIDS and homosexual activity.

So what is the legal status of podcasting during the election period? Dunno? Need help? The world must be a terrible place if Mr Miyagi is to be relied upon to clarify matters. But for the sake of the bewildered populace, I shall try:

Podcasting about the elections during the gazetted election period is not allowed, because it does not fall under the positives in the list of positives mandated under the Parliamentary Elections Act section something something.

This effectively makes it a negative, meaning it is ILLEGAL! Comprende? Non? OK. Say you want to walk down the street from your nice flat in Bishan, down the road to Junction 8. You’d think you could without any legal ramifications. But wait! Look up the statute books! Is ‘walking down the street from your nice flat in Bishan, down the road to Junction 8′ in any list of positives in any Act of Parliament? No, right?


You’ll be glad I helped you out here, and I understand how difficult this legal reasoning stuff is sometimes. After all, I did drop out of law school.

But it’s not election period yet, so mrbrown and myself have resolved to podcasting and videoblogging up a storm, and are participating in Videoblogging Week 2006.

Video Podcast: The WTF! Show Preview Number 1 (Quicktime MOV, Filesize: 11.5mb, Time: 00:01:27)


*for the sake of really clarifying matters, PM Lee is in 4th gear, ok?

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Promoting criminal activity should be criminal

Singapore National Flag
No Invisible Man Allowed

On Saturday, whispers were heard (damn loud lah, these whisperers), that some party organised by had been cancelled because the police had contacted the venue owners (MoS) and warned them that if the party had gone ahead, they’d ‘come to the club to shut the party down and take action against the club.’

Apparently, the reason given by the police was that the venue owners would be ‘promoting gay activities’.

I suppose if you drew a very very long bow you could possibly say that that was akin to abetting a crime. And you know we live in a place sometimes known as the land of the long long bow.

Beer promoters at coffee shops, watch out, your number is up next. Drink driving is a serious crime, you know?

You know how terrible you lot are, you aunties in your skimpy tiger beer outfits, promoting your vile and evil nectar so convincingly that I cannot help but partake of it when I know damn well it causes me harm.

This isn’t new, you know? So, I really don’t know what the big fuss is about.

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The Banned Wagon

It can be difficult living in a place where your personal life is governed by, well, just governed. And by personal life, I mean, things that you do in your private sphere that won’t harm other people, and by that, I mean, it follows that it wouldn’t, or shouldn’t, by any means, be a crime.

Now, besides wondering if that was the most tortured two sentence paragraph you’ve ever read, aren’t you also asking, ‘now what made him think of something like that?’?

And I’ll tell you it’s because I was talking to my American business partners the other day, and they told me they read in the news that the state of Missouri (in the U.S., not Sungei Missouri in Kelantan or something), had just banned sex toys. You cannot buy a dildo there.

But as my American partners told me, you can buy a gun there. You know? Things that shoot bullets that kill people, but that you can buy to protect yourselves with?

I couldn’t find any article regarding the Missouri Sex Toy Ban, but found this instead:

Tennessee Republican Eric H. Swafford has a new bill to ban all dildos and to make sex toy possession a crime:

Please, e-mail him to support this much needed law, before we all go blind:

Then, lets get on the phone to Sen. Crowell and Rep. Sater and get them on board with this. Tell them it is about “moral values” and putting the smack down on Satan.

Man, I’ll tell ya, I’m sure glad we live in this fair and free city, where we can buy all manner of sex toys without fear of prosecution.

Surf stop: I’ve started a new category called ‘The Banned Wagon‘, talking about all things prohibited.