Showing posts from April, 2009


lyrics from the folksong 青春舞曲 should read 我的青春小鳥一樣不回來. It was 2002. I was in Hong Kong for a work-related visit. I don't remember where exactly in Hong Kong it was or what led me there, but there I was, in the audience of a kind-of remembrance event on the passing of Singapore theatre practitioner Kuo Pao Kun. A mic was set up in front of the small auditorium. The carpet and curtains were a deep dark blue. There may have been a lit candle (but memory plays dramatic tricks). A group of Hong Kongers were in the audience. There were some speeches in Cantonese. Recent discussions about LKY's legacy, civil society (ah, the AWARE saga) and an arts NMP brought back memories of this experience in Hong Kong, as well as those very brief, by-the-way encounters with Mr Kuo. I wonder if younger folks on this island will remember and study his works? Because it was reading Kuo Pao Kun's Papers and Speeches , Volume 7 from his Complete Works (ed. Quah Syren, World Scientific Publi

from another island

image by J, in a Taipei pub/cafe On the way to the cinema last evening... J: What's the film about? Y: Er...something about migrant workers in Taiwan. J: Hmm, why did we decide to watch this? The tickets are really expensive! Y: I don't know...I think we got tickets because it's a Taiwanese film! It's been several years since we last caught the opening film of the Singapore Film Festival. The last time was probably Makhmalbaf' Kandahar in 2002. I remember that the opening and closing films were screenings I always looked forward to - Wong Kar Wai's Happy Together , Edward Yang's YiYi and A Brighter Summer Day , Ann Hui's Ordinary Heroes , Tsai Mingliang's The Hole ... films by established directors that cinema operators at that time did not want to take a risk with (but now do). This year, we were initially skeptical about Rich Lee's Sincerely Yours (Chinese title reads: Qilutiantang ~ On the way to heaven). Was the SIFF budget s

weirdo x eccentric

The first "comprehension" assignment/test I had to mark as a full-time teacher in a Junior College more than 10 years ago now (!) was based on a piece of writing on the differences between weirdos and eccentrics. Not unlike comparing nerds and geeks. My memory fails me somewhat ( Tym ?), but I think the writer was saying that the key difference was that the latter (i.e. eccentrics), despite displaying behaviour that was not comprehensible to most of society, nonetheless posed no threat to society. In fact, they were tolerated, even appreciated, for their inscrutible interests and quirks. Odd but even charming or intriguing - from a distance. Weirdos, on the other hand, deviate from the norm in ways that society do not necessarily value.Odd and somewhat unfriendly, even frightening or just smelly. The short piece made sense then, but now that I think about it, I wonder if the differences are not as simple as this: eccentrics are wealthier. This is my 6th trip to Hong K