New Year’s Irresolute Resolutions

As someone who thinks that resolutions only mean setting myself up for failure, I am not one to make them. Then again, I am not the same person I was yesterday. Much less when I was a mere leech, flashing about staunch erroneous beliefs with odiously unearned self-importance.

That is not to say I am happier with the thoughts of now-me than that of the younger stranger I was before. Only that I see beyond the reflection on the mirror and understand who I really am. Unfortunately, it is someone who relishes solitude (loneliness?), revels in insecurities, and never sidesteps but plunges deep into the slightest of gorges.

Reading back on that, it does sound like I am about to take a blade to my larynx. But here is the thing – that was me, and isn’t. Not right now anyway. This piece of writing is me running a finger through the grime.

This is about starting with a slate that is not exactly clean, but polished. It is still one that will bear blemishes, reminders of how the past is just that – in the past right where it belongs.

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2016 and the Incongruence of Life Advices

2016 is officially four days old. Is it just sentimentality, or does time truly hasten with age?

In 2015, I have made more friends, watched more films, and officially graduated. I have also been fortunate to meet Enforcer, Anthelion (again, after seven years) and Miljenko Matijevic.

Work started (being an adult) and I unfortunately have not seen as many films as I would like to. Or written much about them for that matter. If I had to come up with a favourites list, it would run like this:

5. Bone Tomahawk
4. The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
3. The Martian
2. Mad Max: Fury Road
1. Ex Machina (Look at the picture! I am terrible with surprises.)

For the record, I have indeed seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens… and I will risk my life to post my pedantic views in the coming week. Of course, there is The Hateful Eight, which I will only get to see and praise later this month.

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Happy 2015!

It’s 2015! Where has the year gone?

2014 was a particularly good one for me. Meeting Paul Di’Anno and 2Cellos were especially wonderful. (I got to ask Stjepan Hauser if he could play some Led Zeppelin on the next album!)

Meeting Paul Di’Anno

While travelling for the first time – ever – topped it off.

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Not forgetting, graduation is in the cards this July. So I have that to look forward to.

On the film end, the year has been kind with some very fine ventures. I had missed tons of potentially brilliant titles, some as of yet unreleased. Joining the long watch-list are The Theory of Everything, Locke, The Double, Whiplash, Snowpiercer, Nightcrawler… and that barely covers half of it. Now, to catch up…

With way too many ‘Best of’ lists out there and so many films unseen, I have decided to forgo posting my own. InterstellarGone Girl – you know which are the obvious choices that should be on your watchlist. 

But more reviews are of course, a-coming. I am really excited to write about some fantastic films I had seen over the past few weeks, including The Babadook and Predestination. So, let’s hope the new year gets busy, but not too busy.

Happy new year to all! 🙂

Countries don’t divide people. People do.

A group of Hong Kong residents have placed an advertisement in a popular tabloid calling people from mainland China ‘locusts’. The term is an insult commonly used on the web by some of the city’s residents to refer to mainlanders.

(x)

Blatant xenophobia has worsened in recent years. Internet forums amplify anti-Chinese sentiments, labelling them as a ‘nuisance’ and a ‘disease’. Other nationalities, including Malaysians, had all at some point been equal victims of the blame game. A slew of personal experiences posted online, places the blame for the actions of some Chinese individuals on an entire country.

In Singapore, we often speak up against racism of other ethnic races. Some of us have ourselves, suffered discrimination in one form or another. Yet today, there is only silence and condonation when the attack falls upon the foreigners.

It is easy to blame an other, but is it untrue that our place of origin cannot define us as a whole? Even if we are culturally different, our birthplaces can never make us less than human.

“All penguins are the same below the surface, which I think is as perfect an analogy as we’re likely to get for the futility of racism.”

– Russell Brand

Continue reading “Countries don’t divide people. People do.”

How to lose the Web and alienate users.

Piracy has plagued the entertainment industry for many years, and there are no real solutions hitherto. The ongoing battle saw the demise of file-sharing giant Megaupload as similar sites ostensibly took a step back.

But as time passes, it is clear that the takedown did little to stop downloads through other means. That is even if Megaupload founder Dotcom may face a jail term of up to 50 years, a charge more severe than criminal cases that cause bodily harm. (x)

We are now seeing sweeping legislations in ACTA (Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act). Yet few are as concerned about these as they should be. The Internet is a free space for expression and the acceptance of such legal intervention piles onto the surveillance culture.

As such controls govern and bound the Internet, free information is at stake. Our online privacy faces a huge threat. To find the right solutions, the real problem needs to be identified. We must take a closer look at downloading as an issue on the whole.

Continue reading “How to lose the Web and alienate users.”