January 2009


 

“Milk”

Outstanding performance by Sean Penn.

A very cute James Franco. Even with that ridiculous hairdo and moustache.

One thought-provoking film.

My film of the year. And yes, I know that the year has just started. It’s just that this particular film has just set very high bars for the upcoming ones.  

Harvey Milk who?

That was my initial response when I first heard about this film.

Prior to this film, I have never heard of this person ever before.

Now, I will never forget Harvey Bernard Milk (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978), the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

A man whose life perhaps began only at the age of 40 when he first started to get involved in politics and gay activism, the same life which was unfortunately forcibly ended some eight years later by a gun.

If he was not murdered then, would he be remembered any differently today?

If he was not murdered then, would he have made a real difference in today’s world?

Afterall during his 11 months in office, he was responsible for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for the city, a task seemingly impossible back in those days and would still be deemed as remarkable in the present. Would it have affected the current Proposition 8 differently?

Well, we will never know. But I know that if I had been Milk, my life had not been wasted, even though it might not have ended the way I would have preferred. I might not have accomplished all those that I was planning for myself, but at least I had touched lives, I had made a difference for some. Perhaps I had let some people down, but I had not let myself down. Maybe this is the type of life I am searching for myself – you don’t always go with the flow, sometimes you get yourself hurt for standing against the currents, but you know and believe in what you are fighting for, and in the end perhaps this is all that matters.

Sometimes even I ask myself why I feel and stand so strongly for homosexuality when the most crooked part of myself is probably my little finger and I do not have any close friends or relatives who are gay (unless they are still closeted). Why does my blood boil instantly when others make discriminating remarks (even if they are out of pure ignorance or stupidity and mean no real malice)? Why am I all out to slash throats and spill blood when I hear “sin”, “burn in hell” or other religious or non-religious related comments? Why do I take something like that to heart when it doesn’t seem to concern me in any way? Why do I seem to make my own life difficult by taking a stand different from the majority?

I think it’s because I just have to do the right thing. Every single gene in me is compelled to adhere to things that I feel are morally right. That doesn’t mean that I try to be a saint. I have no use for the name or reputation of a saint. I cuss, I swear, I flash the finger, I have really evil thoughts like setting your hair on fire if I dislike you strongly, but I also have principles that will literally kill me if I bend any. Hence even though it can be painful standing my ground sometimes and having everyone else bump viciously into you as they go in the opposite direction, at least that doesn’t kill me. I cannot pretend to speak the same words as everyone else and nod my head just because everyone else is doing that, when everything that I have learnt teaches me to look and think beyond ancient beliefs, myths, religions, popular beliefs and everything else.

If homosexuality is not wrong, then I’m on the right side. I used to think that the majority should be correct. If there were 99 people saying that it was A and only one insisting on B, then A should be the correct answer. But now I know that sometimes the seemingly negligible 1% can be the correct one, no matter how ridiculous it may sound.

 

“Milk” – a must-see.

  

Ahhh…MIA for two whole weeks….what was I up to?

Now let’s see…

I spent last last week preparing for that Friday’s D&D with some of my colleagues. Bollywood *yawn* was the night’s theme. The theme’s sooooo last year but well, apparently we were the only company in Singapore who had never held such a theme previously. Hence to fulfil the organising committee’s wish, practically everyone graced the event in some fancy Bollywood costumes. Departments were divided into teams and each team was supposed to present a five-minute musical based on the category assigned randomly. Ours was probably the easiest one – “Fatal Love”. We spent a hundred bucks (for the props only) and three days buying our costumes and the props materials, making the props and rehearsing. It was extremely tiring, we stayed back late in office, starved ourselves, but the result certainly compensated for the pain. Our team came in FIRST and we walked away with two thousand dollars worth of shopping vouchers. Our lead actress was also awarded with the Best Actress and Best Dressed awards! Our department truly had a glorious and victorious night!

However I also ended up being severely ill since last last Wednesday and not only spent the weekend in bed, but also had to take MC for three days this week. Yes, it was really bad. I had NEVER been so sick in my entire life. I do get the usual cold from time to time, but never to the extent that I would need to see my GP. I can’t even remember the last time I suffered from a fever but this time round, the fever haunted me for more than four days. I was even too weak to get off my bed to see my GP initially.

But well, nothing’s important now that I’m more or less as good as new. Having the unusual opportunity to stay at home and do nothing but rest for three days this week has also given me plenty of time to think. However, I think that my brain is still fried from the high temperatures, I can’t seem to be able to organise and articulate my thoughts as yet.

Anyway I actually take this sudden and serious bout of illness as a good start to the new year. Now that the worst is over, I can only expect the better. 😉

Like I’ve always said, I have a very poor sense of humour. I find a million things in the world tickling to the bones. I saw this old-school English comedy “Mind Your Language” on the new Kids’ Central channel, okto, and was immediately captivated by it. YouTube hosts all 29 episodes and I’m already more than halfway through.

Yes, it’s a really old TV series that was first released in 1977 and had three seasons over the following two years. It’s even older than me, but I enjoy the show thoroughly! It is set in a school for adult students in London, focusing on the English as a foreign language taught by one very good-looking and charming Mr Jeremy Brown (portrayed by a currently very dead Barry Evans), who had to deal with a motley crew of foreigners. These students could not speak much English except for a few (but they spoke with funny accents) and that’s where most of the humour comes from.

Another interesting aspect of the show is the interaction between the students of different nationalities and backgrounds, e.g. between the Muslim Pakistani and the Sikh Indian, or the Chinese and the Japanese. In modern times, this show would never have been made in the first place because it is as politically incorrect and racist as ever possible! However in its day, the show was popular because of its light-hearted take on multiculturalism which is something that I still appreciate some thirty years later.

Here’s a hilarious clip from the first episode with one of my favourite characters Ali Nadeem. Mr Brown asked him to make a sentence starting with the words “You are”, a misunderstanding occurred and laughter ensued:

I normally don’t do New Year resolutions.

I mean, why make promises that you can never keep and then make yourself guilty as hell when you eventually give in and break one?

A promise to thyself is still a promise, and for me, promises are always meant to be kept. I’m a woman of my words. I do not break my promises. Which is exactly why I seldom make promises, especially towards other people. I’m too scared of the possibility of breaking a promise to be making one in the first place. 

On the other hand, I’m not the silly type who goes around making others making promises to me. I’m too scared of the possibility of them breaking their promises to me to be asking them make one in the first place.

Now that was confusing, wasn’t it? Well, I vow to confuse! And I always try to stick by that vow of mine. 😉

Alright, back to the serious matters. I just made a friend promise me something and she agreed. Why did I do that? Because I know that she will keep to her promise as much as I will. Because I know that if I do not make her promise me that, she will not take my advice seriously. This led me to think. Since there are people out there who treat me sincerely enough to dare to promise me certain things out of their own will, why can’t I do the same to myself?

Hence I am making a grand total of TEN New Year resolutions this year:

  1. Try to read a book each month.
  2. Buy a book each month if I can accomplish the abovementioned.
  3. Allow myself to buy a new CD each month.
  4. To do the abovementioned, need to cut down on the new clothes and shoes.
  5. No more bags. At least until the next bonus.
  6. Take less cabs. Trains are not monsters on tracks.
  7. Save money so that I can go on a tour and then bring my family on a tour (the latter is a two/three-year plan).
  8. Meet up more with the forgotten friends of the past. But I need to first remember who these people are.  
  9. Smile more, which means that I need to mean it first.
  10. Which means that I need to learn to open my heart to the outsiders more.   

The first eight sound simple, I know. I wanted things which I really want to do, and certainly things which are not entirely impossible. Which is why there’s no “exercise more” or “run a marathon” or “eat healthy, drink less” bullshit that I know I can never stick to. No 100% guarantee of success for the rest but at least the odds are pretty high. The last two are more difficult but ironically, and pun not intended, likely if I can set my heart to it. Even though I’m still not convinced myself that I need to do these, I’m pretty positive that these will do me nothing but good. At least, that was what my friend said.

In addition to these, I’m also promising myself not to be so hard on myself (not that I certainly would feel so but it wouldn’t harm to have this backup plan) if I fail any of the abovementioned.

Oh wait, that’s 11.