Sunday, July 29, 2007

19 days now, since my last post, and as always, I see my knack for starting off each post abruptly hasn't vanished. Its been a busy time, and my commitments are starting to catch up with me. Its, of course, a poor excuse to stop updating, and I realise that this hasn't been the first time there's been a long lull between posts. Its something I'm working on, this time-management mumbo-jumbo, and I'd like to think I'm improving in this aspect. But of course, time will tell. Bitten off more than I can chew? We'll see.

Hmmm. Spent a good part of an hour trying to come up something for Iraq's fairytale run to the Asian Cup final. A pretty long post too, nearly as long as my longest posts have been, only that I was only half-done. But when I read it again, I scrapped the whole part. Coming from someone so far removed from the actual harsh realities in Iraq, the whole post seemed so hollow, so pretentious. Who am I to write as if I know what it is like for the Iraqi team to play through it all? Who am I to write as if I know what it is like for the people for their team to win in this difficult time? No, I have no right, whatsoever, to do so.

But if there is one right I have in this, that would be the right to root. And I hope the fairytale continues...

i heard the crickets at 5:54 pm


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

And Federer's done it. 5 Wimbledon titles in a row. Only Bjorn Borg for company for such an achievement. And thats 11 Slams now, just 3 short of arguably the greatest one of all, Pete Sampras. And to do it in an epic five-set thriller of a final to boot. Genius. Absolute genius.

4 more Slams, and a French Open title in that bag, and there'll be no more dispute. The greatest ever.

Man, and I used to doubt this dude.

i heard the crickets at 12:01 am


Monday, July 09, 2007

Fact: The power used to keep your computer on for the whole night can power 100 light bulbs for an hour.

Fact: Plenty of people are more than willing to keep the school computers on, instead of turning them off, for the pathetic excuse of "convenience".

Imagine the number of hours, and the amount of power, wasted. Tsk.

Alright. So here's a simple litmus test to see if Live Earth's been any much use. Look around the school labs over the next couple of weeks, and count how many computers haven't been switched off. That'll will give you a rough idea how many people give a damn.

i heard the crickets at 11:55 pm


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Its been playing on for round about twenty-two hours now, Live Earth that is, and its just under another two that the biggest concert since Live Aid will come to a close. The music's great, I must say, aided no doubt by a fantastic sound system. And you have to admire the vision of Al Gore for a greener, better Earth, or the energy of many of the performers in nine diverse locations across the seven continents, or the creativity of the film makers whose short clips turn up every now and then. Its all adding up to be a great show then, I must say.

But when the dust settles, then the most important question for this concert, and everybody else who cares about what happens to the Earth, will no doubt be asked: just how has this concert changed the world for the better?

I'm under no illusions of course, about the enormity of the issue of climate change, and I laud the many people who have put in their considerable time and effort to do something they feel can help better the world. But would this concert achieve anything concrete? I'm sure this mega-event will, and has, whipped up a huge media frenzy, and its helped get many people excited about doing their part for the enviroment, but this brings to mind another question: will this excitement last? Would all the new "converts", buzzing with energy as they are now, remain as committed to the green cause say, six months from now? Would they continue to find it worth their while to get involved, to work towards a greener world? Or would this be just another passing fad, like Lance Armstrong's wrist bands for cancer just a couple of years ago?

In fact, there's a niggling fear in me that Live Earth could end up the way Live Aid did; a spectacular event, with many people empathising with the plight of those caught in poverty, but nothing more. In short, although Bob Geldof might disagree, a failure. Like Live Earth, Live Aid had bold aims: the eradication of poverty. While the concert did raise a great deal of awareness about the plight of those caught in the vicious cycle of poverty, little has changed for the desperately poor. Rich fat-cat nations have turned up every single year at meetings and summits and what-have-you-not, and pledged aid and support for the less fortunate countries, but little of that aid has actually reached the people who really need it. Just how many people remain below the poverty line, forgotten and ignored by the world? And even though a study last year found that the world is now home to more overweight poeple than the under-nourished, it brings little comfort to those who have no money for food, and know all too well how it feels to starve. How many people then, swept up in the euphoria of Live Aid, still feel empowered to do something for the desperately poor?

But, as the critics would counter, poverty and climate change are two very different issues. Many in the developed world will only see, and feel, for the desperately poor when they see them, be it on the telly or at the cinema. But climate change is something you see, hear, feel, touch, every single day. The soaring temperatures, the increasingly quirky weather, the disappearance of many types of fish once familiar on the dinner table, the increasingly foul air... the list just goes on. Its all around us, and we can't ever run from it. Climate change is something we have to fight now, or we're all going to burn in hell, literally.

Everytime I look at the trees, or the flowers, or feel the fresh breeze early in the morning, I wonder whether I'll still have those luxuries the next day, or the next week, or the next month, the next year. Will my kids have any of these? Will their kids have any of these? This planet may not be a perfect place, but its still a real beautiful world. Lets all keep it that way.

Answer the call.

i heard the crickets at 5:10 pm


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Twice I've written eulogies for the Grand Old Lady, but it was all a little premature. This time, they tell me, its for real. Its sad to see her go, after all these years. The SEAP/SEA Games, school competitions, National Day Parades, and of course football; she's seen it all.

Quah Kim Song, Dollah "Gelek King" Kassim, Eric Paine, David Lee, Fandi Ahmad, "Mr Razzle Dazzle" V. Sundramoorthy, Malek Awab, Abbas Saad, Lim Tong Hai... the list of greats to have played for Singapore in international and Malaysia Cup matches in her domain could go on and on, and yet, even if we do, it wouldn't do justice to the great things these guys did that she witnessed. How could mere words ever describe Sundram's magnificant bicycle kick goal against Brunei in an 8-0 trounching in the Malaysia Cup semi-finals? Or the spirited battle put up by the boys in beating China 1-0 in 1980? Or stunning Malaysian football by prising the Cup that year? No, words won't ever do justice. I wonder then, what it would have been like to have been with her, witnessing those historic events, to feel the emotions that reverberated around her in victory and in defeat. I've not seen enough of her beauty, her majesty. I've not known the taste of sweet glory whilst by her side, only the sting of bitter defeat. And it pains me to know I'll never see another day of glory for our boys with her. I wonder what would have been had I been born a generation earlier, to experience the rush of the Cup, to feel the energy of the Roar at its peak. But alas, it will now be confined to simply being a thought, and nothing more.

Dad's stung too I suppose. Unlike me, he had the good fortune of being around to be with her in her most glorious days. He still remembers queuing up for tickets under the unforgiving Sun, just to watch, and will, the pride of the nation to beat the buggers up north. He remembers her well, of the "DRINKS, KOROPOK, EPOK-EPOK!" guys, of roundly abusing the opposition, and of cheering on our boys. He still remembers those great moments, and although he didn't say it, I sensed the lament in him that final day.

But that was not the only thing I saw, for there was pride too. Pride that his son got to be a part of the National Stadium, the Kallang Roar, the Kallang Wave, even if it was for one last time.

The National Stadium will be missed.

i heard the crickets at 12:42 am


Ginger & Garlic