30 June 2008
29 June 2008
28 June 2008
George Bernard Shaw
27 June 2008
But they do have someone playing Liszt's Sonata in B minor! Argh. I can't be attending just for one piece.
Victoria Concert Hall. Argh.
It did appear from the given the lowest attendance figures in thirty years, the Singapore Arts Festival 2008 was a fiasco. Strangely enough, immediately after the lacklustre figures were released, the local paper, the Straits Times, was piling it on in a big way yesterday. The reports in the paper concluded that the shows were too avant-garde and audiences were put off. Meanwhile, one of the writers in the papers advocated more avant-garde fare which was at odds with their reports. Given that that reporter had free tickets and had covered many of the events over the years, of course, I would not be surprised that she would want something more avant-garde to thrill her jaded senses. For the rest of us who have had to part with hard-earned cash for the shows, well...
With reference to the fiasco, someone had also said that even if she was given free tickets, she would not have attended any of the items in the programmes. Nothing had seemed interesting at all.
Another friend who was in Singapore for a visit had organised an arts festival of sorts in Australia and he had spoken of how, with a much smaller budget, the Sydney programme was able to accomplish quite a bit more. He had said that it was the mentality and the passion that counted.
No comment from me as I had only seen part of the Water Fools performance one Friday night at the Singapore River. The programme had the wrong start time, thus, I missed most of it. The rest of the programming in the arts festival hadn't seem interesting at all. I was amused by the media reaction more than anything else.
26 June 2008
Besides, I hate the arrogance exhibited by many of the Brazilian players. That reminds me of the Manure fans, players and manager. Manure fans are absolutely the worse. They are manure.
25 June 2008
- Luftwaffe: Field and Flak Divisions by Robert Kirchubel & Dmitriy Zgonnik
- Battle in the East: The German Army in Russia by Gordon Rottman & Stephen Andrew
- German Sturmartillerie at War: Volume 1 by Frank V De Sisto
- Journal of Armoured Assault & Heliborne Warfare Volume 20
- Special Ops: Journal of the Elite Forces & SWAT Units Volume 43
24 June 2008
23 June 2008
22 June 2008
21 June 2008
20 June 2008
A moment ago, an Italian with a smattering of English walked into my office. I received his card and saw that he was from Napoli but the card had precious little information as to what his business was. He managed with some difficulty to convey that he had organised an exhibition for the Sultan of Brunei recently and he was on his way back to Italy. As it was, he had three pieces of crystals some kind that he wanted to sell off at half price rather than lug them back to Italy. He asked if I had wanted to see them, he had them in his car. I declined and he was gone. I get all kinds of curious people visiting my office these days.
Two days ago I was walking amidst the shops beneath the housing blocks in Bishan when a man with a huge beard and blue turban approached me and indicated that something pleasant about my face and asked if I knew why. I immediately steered clear of him, smiled and walked away. He must have thought that I was an easy target. This was probably the same fortune-teller that had visited my office some time earlier this year and he was attempting to sell his services again.
A moment ago, I received a cold call out of the blue. A woman with a pleasant voice called and wanted to know if I had received an invitation in the mail a week ago. She was puzzled to hear that I hadn't received anything and remarked that her other 'guests' had received the mail. She introduced herself in a fast slur twice and I did not manage to catch her name or her company's name despite having her repeat herself. She spat out words like a running water hose which was not wrong but when she slurred the names of the company, it was certainly detrimental to the awareness she supposed to be creating. Deliberate or incompetence? Well... Slurring wasn't going to assist the communication of ideas when it came to marketing, was it?
She said that her company had just established itself in Singapore and would be holding an exhibition at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel this weekend to build awareness. A $50.00 gift voucher to some restaurant - she slurred again - would be given after the event. I asked her what this was about and she claimed that it was awareness-building for that mysterious company she represented and there would not be any selling involved.
My impression was that the exhibition would almost probably be that of a new condominium or resort development project either local or overseas. However, it was hard to say, it could well be a scam or some hard-sell tactic of some sort.
She finally came to the point and asked when I would be attending? I told her I would not, hence, she wanted to know why. I posed the same question back to her, 'Why would I be attending?' and she simply could not comprehend. Try as she did, she stuttered and grappled with the question. She was trapped within a mindset and was unable to comprenend that there were people who did not follow her script, people who were not sheep out there. Finally, she hung up.
Woo hoo! Euro 2008 is proving to be exceptionally entertaining in terms of results. Petulant Christiano Ronaldo sobbing like a schoolgirl after a loss? Priceless!
I am celebrating! I am waiting for further good news! Let's hear him depart Manure for Real Madrid!
19 June 2008
18 June 2008
'Day Watch' is an incoherent effects-laden visual feast about vampires, shape-shifters and seers in the vein of Underworld and Interview with a Vampire. This convoluted sequel to 'Night Watch' was based on Sergey Lukyanenko's novel 'The Night Watch' which was split into several parts. Set in Moscow, this dark fantasy had what I perceived to be a Russian tone, perhaps, rendering it somewhat exotic for audiences of a non-Russian culture. Worthwhile watch though tedious at times. 5/10
This overrated Oscar-winning middle-aged male fantasy written and directed by Sofia Coopola featured Bill Murray, he of the one-expression acting, though admittedly he managed more than that dourful Nicholas Cage face in this movie, he smiled, and a nubile Scarlett Johanssen. The premise was two unsympathetic characters, lost in an alien environment*. Yes, pretensions of alienation, oh dear oh dear. Yet, another fantasy of a middle-aged male and a listening sympathetic young female. How typical. With Murray's character making smart alec quips throughout, for instance, highlighting of the Japanese inability to distinguish between 'l' and 'r', and also taking the piss out of them, this movie set a condescending tone in more ways than one. Japan was depicted as an alienating environment of childlike and oblivious others, the outgroup. I would not be surprised if someone thought that this movie reeked of racism. The ugly American tourist anyone? The saving graces besides a nonexistent plot and acting? The direction, the Japanese urban landscape as an unusual backdrop, and parts of the soundtrack. 5.5/10
Lost in Translation wasn't funny, it reeked of pretentiousness and self-indulgence. Bill Murray the deadpan comic genius? He hadn't been funny since Stripes which wasn't very funny either.
I did a swift search of the many reviews online. Most were favourable, however, there were also charges of racism. I could not say that I was astonished.
*Yes, it is alien to me as well.