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19 May 2011 @ 05:11 pm
ok so i follow jap pop culture news regularly on aramatheydidnt and japan_now , and some things which are seriously irking me include posts by haterz. OK, it's a pop culture news community.  Being the internetz, and being followed by mainly people my age, I don't expect like, perfect neutrality or objectivity (well, even though all they do is repost articles from other sources, but even then...) That being said, the main way they seem to express their bias is through the titles of their posts, which the mods seem to have ignored significantly, especially on aramatheydidnt .  And the hater and the flaming kind of seriously pisses me off, even when it's not my fandom or anything.  

In particular there's a certain user who is a self-proclaimed SNSD fan (well, it's kind of obvious *cough*).  Many of her posts have kind of seriously weird titles which no one seems to get (aside from the said poster), such as "GLAWLESS GENERATION" (Glawless...Flawless...Girls' Generation...geddit? =.=) and well yeah fine, i'm OK if you post such things on your blog, but on a community? WTF please. I know I'm sounding thoroughly bitchy here, but seriously, after all the hate over there? NOWHERE IN COMPARISON PLS. In addition, I'm willing to tolerate that itch to change the title if it's biased towards someone (i.e. positive), but when it flames other people's fandoms? Not cool. OK, maybe I'm a bit fired up because she attacked my personal fandom, in a title called "NIPPON KNOWS TRASH", (which is a seriously lousy attempt, worse than glawless generation, at replacing "Nippon no Arashi...") Firstly, the article was on a pretty positive note.  Basically last year, the government commissioned the Arashi members as tourist navigators of Japan, and the result of that was a textbook produced by their Ministry of Education for their Social Studies (or the equivalent, I'm writing this off the top of my head so... ><), featuring the Arashi members.  Being relatively popular in Japan now, I think the government's hope was that they would interest the kids in picking up their textbook.  The book was distributed to about 40,000 schools, and became a crazy, sought-after-like-never-before limited-edition thing which was priced at a bomb on ebay.  The book was never meant for public sale.  However in the light of the Tohoku earthquake disaster earlier this year, it was decided that the book would be downsized and sold to the public, with all proceeds going towards disaster relief.  I think recognising the siao-ness of the craze over the book, whoever came up with this saw it as an opportunity to get lots of $$ and help those in the Tohoku area.  BUT beyond that - given the nature of the article highlighted in the post, I think the title is highly irreverent and frankly immature and childish - not just to the Japanese government or the agency or even Arashi themselves - but even in a sense disrespectful to those affected by the Tohoku disaster.  Those people are living hand-to-mouth, day by day, and you call any small effort to help them return to their daily lives trash? It's like calling the Red Cross trash.  You just don't do it.  

I have absolutely no clue why the poster chose to do this.  If you want to go on about how your Korean darlings pwn Japan, please, save it for omonatheydidnt , where at least there may be more people who commiserate with you.  Don't bring your crap and throw it around just because you feel like it.  

In other words, not pleased.  Not sure how others following the comm feel, but if that poster were to be banned, I would feel a sadistic sense of satisfaction and glee.  The reason why I'm posting this on my personal LJ rather than the comm is purely because i don't want to get caught up in all the bitchiness of the comm right now.  But seriously, whoever that person is needs to thoroughly think through their actions - from coming up with weird titles which just confuse people to putting on this Korean-elitism attitude in her comments, to focusing on the grammar slips of people who are unhappy with what she's doing - it all comes across as highly immature and doesn't add to her cred at all. 

PS No offense to the KPop communty or to the Korean community! I do like SNSD and although I don't really follow KPop, i get the idea that most of the kpop idols/bands/groups are as sweet and hardworking and deserving of the popularity they are getting now, as the japan groups i like. Hope I don't come across as holding a 'jap-is-better' attitude ><
Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated
18 March 2011 @ 11:27 pm
Having passed my BTT on Tuesday, I have proceeded happily to book my FTT.

Interesting facts to note: 
1. My Provisional Driving License (what i need for FTT) is valid for 6 months.
2. My BBDC school account expires on 2 January 2012
3. BBDC has cheerfully informed me that there are no longer any FTT slots available for March 2011-February 2012.


and here i thought i wanted to get it over and done with alr! SIGHS.
Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
16 March 2011 @ 08:56 am
In continuation of the post I made earlier, while the earthquake in Japan has shown the good side to things, it has also brought up an ugly side which I really wish wasn't happening.  I was reading this article: http://www.chinasmack.com/2011/stories/2011-japan-sendai-earthquake-chinese-netizen-reactions.html

and well, if what is listed in the article is true, then I can say that as a Chinese, I'm ashamed of my fellow Chinese.  Thoroughly and completely ashamed.  It's not a matter of nationalism and pride anymore, a disaster is a disaster no matter where you place it, and the malice and arrogance found in some of the comments by the Chinese truly makes me question whether I really want to be linked with such people? Definitely there are some people who are attempting to rebuke those who make heartless comments, yet all this devolves into insult-throwing and swearing all over the place. 

First and foremost: it's a disaster.  Please don't say it's karma on Japan.  Japan has already received much flak for the horrible war crimes she committed more than 60 years ago.  From failing political relations with its closest neighbours (Koizumi, anyone?) to the rapidly aging population to the stagnant economy, Japan has not exactly been the most fortunate of nations these past two decades or so.  In contrast, as Japan fell, China rose, and overtook Japan's place as the no.2 economy in the world.  All very well, but the vindictiveness and malice shown in the comments here is something which shocks me thoroughly, because no matter what, individuals cannot and should not be considered 'payment' or justice for all those lives lost during World War II.

Secondly, bearing grudges for such a long time is incredibly ugly.  An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, as some of them say, but I can throw back the other side of the coin: Love your enemy, and turn the other cheek for them.  Many of the Chinese who have been celebrating the Japan earthquake have gone so far as to call those who tell them to have some compassion that they are not worthy of being Chinese.  Yet, in your vindictiveness and malice, and refusal to show compassion and love for people in times of disaster, are you then worthy of being human? I'm not going to judge people here, but I am sorely disappointed at the comments of people who are supposedly of my race, whom I am grouped together with.  You may never forget the horrors of the war, but are you willing to forgive?

Now definitely not all Chinese continue to hold fast to the mentality that Japan is their mortal enemy.  The popularity of anime and Japanese pop groups in China attests to that.  (that is, at least, there is a segment of the Chinese population unwilling to boycott all things Japanese).  But the ugliness shown here is something which tarnishes my image of the Chinese.  I don't really see the Japanese hating the Americans because of the atomic bombs they dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Now that not just caused the deaths of many innocent people too, but it also had long-lasting effects due to the radiation released by the bombs, resulting in deformed children and so on for many years afterward.  Yet when the American subprime crisis happened, I don't think there were Japanese going: "WOOHOO AMERICA, THANK YOU FOR BEING SO STUPID, payback tiemzzzzz is so sweet".  Admittedly there was an impact on the Japanese economy as well, but somehow, of the many countries in the world, China (and sometimes Korea) are some of the few countries who bear such long-lasting grudges, which often results in stubborn refusal to cooperate and regression rather than progress. And that gives me an incredibly ugly picture of China. 

In contrast, in the past years Japan has really made a significant effort to repair relations with its neighbours, in particular the aforementioned China.  The outpouring of humanitarian aid in the wake of the Sichuan earthquake, as mentioned in the article, was tremendous from the Japanese side.  Knowing all too well the devastating effect of earthquakes, the Japanese were willing to give and show compassion.  The release of the captain of the boat which started the whole Senkaku/Diaoyu crisis, while seen as weakly acceding to the demands of the Chinese by many Japanese (and seen as victory over those vicious, vicious, mean nasty Japanese by some Chinese), to me appears to be a gesture of goodwill, a desire for reconciliation and not to fight over such trivial matters.  Well, to me, anyway.  Many may beg to differ.

And I just read in the newspaper today, from the Life!section of all sections - that Korean stars are donating big bucks to help with the humanitarian efforts going on in Sendai and the other tsunami-stricken areas.  The article mentioned that such donations were rare due to the undercurrent of resentment in Korea as a result of Japan's occupation of Korea, again about 60 years ago.  YET, they are donating! And that's something Korea has learnt, but China seems unable to learn.  Maybe I'm judging by different standards - after all, Korean celebrities and the average Chinese guy are on totally different levels financially and so on - but beyond mere donating, I think the Korean celebrities are showing compassion.  If this happened anywhere else in the world, they seem to be saying, we'd do the same.

Putting the past behind us is something humans often find difficult to do.  Yet we really need to learn a lesson in forgiveness.  Most of those responsible for the cruelties of the Nanking massacre and so on are long dead and buried.  Need there really be unnecessary hostility and viciousness which mars the tragedy of this disaster? In another article, http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110315/wl_asia_afp/japanquakeimagediplomacy, the article speaks of how the Japanese' cool and calm behaviour in the midst of disaster is being greatly admired.  In contrast to the chaos of say, the Sichuan earthquake, the people of Sendai are doing their best to hold themselves together, and rather than breaking down and crying, they're trying to move on with their lives.  The article then mentions how this could build up Japan's image in other countries, by showing them the stoicism of the Japanese people and their mental and emotional strength during this painful, difficult time.  But in contrast then, are the comments of Chinese netizens bringing down the reputation of China? China has taken many years to remove the stereotype of being stubborn, heartless and rude - but these comments seem to just reinforce that very stereotype.  To me, China seems to be the big bully in the playground - bullying for the thrill of power, yet unable to realise the consequences of its actions upon itself.  Hard power is highly prevalent in China, but soft power seems to be severely lacking.  (Case in point: Confucius was a total flop in the boxoffice, while Japanese movies like GANTZ, Confessions and Departures are drawing crowds and even awards). 

Some people may accuse me of being biased, especially since my Chinese is not too spectacular and I can be said to be somewhat of a Japan fanatic.  But in the end the point of this boils down to this: people are people, whether Japanese or Chinese or Korean, and in the time of suffering, we should be reaching out to them rather than mocking them and delighting in their misery.  These comments go beyond mere schadenfreude - it's just plain mean and vicious.  Singapore also suffered greatly under the Sook Ching massacre by the Japanese in WWII, but few of us are going around saying, 'DIE JAPAN DIE'.  

Don't let the blight of the past affect the present and the future, please.  It's time to forgive and move on, to look towards the future and reconciliation, rather than stubbornly clinging to what is dead and gone. 

(In a random note: the Arashi fan community has raised almost $10000! Are we awesome or what! Wish I could donate to them, but without PayPal or a credit card I can't )): Which means I'll probably try to donate through methods like Red Cross here in Singapore)
Current Mood: disappointeddisappointed
11 March 2011 @ 08:09 pm
I suppose most people by now would have heard of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake which just hit Japan today, and the accompanying 10m tsunami which smashed into the coast.  With #prayforjapan trending on twitter, I was reading through all the tweets of the Japanese celebrities i follow, and was oddly reminded of this topic debated tons of times during GP - the social responsibility of celebrities.

When posed with such a question, people are apt to bring up the oft-quoted examples of Lindsay Lohan or Amy Winehouse (or is the most recent one John Galliano? haha) as a show of bad celebrity behaviour - and how because they are famous, they hold civic responsibility as role models to well, not be so wild - and i guess there is a point to that.  But another side to it is that celebrities do not hold a responsibility to be perfect role models - after all, they're human people. The verdict is out on this, but I think we can safely say that fame comes with certain expectations attached.  There's a reason why Japanese talent agencies are so Nazi-like in their enforcement of imeeji, or image, to the point where many idols are forced to hide their relationships and even habits like smoking in order not to destroy a carefully constructed image in the media.  An excellent example of the enforcement of imeeji is the suspension and eventual demotion of a couple of NEWS members some time ago for underage drinking.  They were never allowed to return to their group, effectively destroying their career in an impulsive moment (or a careless slip where they were captured by the media, but anyway).  

But returning to the point about the earthquake in Japan today, I am equally impressed by voluntary demonstrations of civic responsibility on the part of celebrities - in particular the fact that some celebrities recognise that their fame has immense influence and they can reach out to hundreds of thousands, even millions of people with what they do, and knowing that, they do the right thing.  Not because people expect them to, like their agency expects them to not get married till they're 40, but because they want to.  Which goes back to today's earthquake, as I found out through Twitter.  I first heard of the earthquake through a tweet by Utada Hikaru, which simply stated that there was a huge earthquake and the damage was pretty bad.  Following that, what impressed me immensely was the amazing retweeting speed and ability of Shirota Yuu, a Japanese actor, who retweeted (and is still retweeting as of now) tens of tweets from other Japanese users.  And not just useless, mundane tweets, but tweets to help people, such as locations of safehouses, AED devices, warnings to avoid tapwater and pleas of help, like one i'll translate here: "I can't get out of my house without a helicopter.  Please help.  There are also people trapped next door.  Help us, please."   Maybe somewhere, amongst his fans, there'll be someone who knows of a helicopter (or maybe he's flying a helicopter!) and can help that person out there.  Utada Hikaru continued to tweet again later in English, to inform foreigners along the Japanese coastline of tsunami warnings, in case they didn't understand the Japanese.  These two have completely bowled me over with their willingness to help, knowing that their thousands of followers on Twitter will have a far greater, widespread reach than that of fifty followers on a normal person's twitter.  Because of that, they retweet other people's requests for help and information, knowing that their information will find more people, and that will help more people.  

This reminds me of another Japanese celebrity, Sakurai Sho of Arashi, who took up a newscaster job in 2006 and holds a special corner to explain news issues in layman's terms, because he wanted to make use of his Economics degree.  Beyond that, he's also mentioned that the reason why he decided to become a newscaster was because he knew of his influence amongst the younger generation (at that time Arashi's popularity was booming amongst tweens, teens and the twentysomethings), and he wanted to use it to allow them to gain an interest in current affairs. 

And then I wonder about the more well-touted examples of celebrity 'good behaviour', such as Angelina Jolie or Madonna adopting lots of kids and Oprah Winfrey raising tons of money to set up a girls' school in Africa.  And well, maybe Hollywood does blow it up a lot or something, but many of these efforts, while laudable, don't seem to have as widespread a reach as what I'm seeing here with Shirota Yuu and Utada Hikaru.  Maybe it's also because of the power of social media, but these people are using their fame to reach out to people.  Maybe Angelina Jolie can inspire people to understand the plight of orphaned children, but then what is the next step from there? Are people sufficiently moved to donate to help these kids, or adopt them? Is there something they are trying to tell the masses, their fans, with their actions? We can admire them, but can we take the next step from there? Is there a more effective way to use one's fame to achieve a change in the world? Are celebrities expected to use their fame to change the world?

Whatever the answers to those questions are, my response is that while celebrities are not necessarily expected to wield civic responsibility, those who understand the implications of their fame and the power it has to reach out to other people, and then wield it effectively, are celebrities that I admire.  Like the example of Shirota Yuu and Utada Hikaru, and maybe even Sakurai Sho.  Now these efforts will probably never make it into the entertainment news.  Few people are going to read the headline 'SHIROTA YUU RETWEETS'.  But yet these celebrities are doing this because they know they can help people with what they do.  In the West, big-time sensational efforts like epic fundraisers will hit the news, but these little efforts won't.  These celebrities aren't doing it for the fame.  They're doing it, because they recognise the power of their fame, and they're using it effectively. 

That, in my opinion, is celebrities showing civic and social responsibility.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
03 March 2011 @ 03:05 pm
results come out tomorrow! I'm terrified. But I trust that whatever they are, God has a plan for me which is far better than anything I could imagine (:

Thank God for the past two months of DEEP which have really given me the strength to trust Him in a way i never would have previously. 

COME, RESULTS! I'm scared but I'll face you HEAD ON.
Current Mood: nervousnervous
09 February 2011 @ 09:45 pm
wow it's been ages since i posted, i totally fell out of the habit of blogging =.= SIGH my life is seriously so hectic now that my thoughts fly out of my head before i can even think to blog them =.=

kind of sad, really.

i can't even remember the last time i posted, but it's probably something like, oh, two years ago? Tons have changed, and i didn't think i could be busier AFTER 'A's than before it, but whoa this is mad pls.  the kid i'm giving tuition to just called me for help with his English homework, i think i'm a 24/7 hotline now =.= haha ohwell he's a really guai kid so i guess i don't mind :D 

YOUTH VALENTINE'S DAY NIGHT (sounds weird =.=) is a madhouse of rush rush rush, came home at 8.30 today just when i thought today was the slackest day and i could use it to finish writing my Go Forth article (fat hope of that now) and call my friend before he goes off to NS tmr T__T sighhh think i'm going to be sleeping late tonight )): plus i need to do my bible study which looks uber long now )):

(cue shameless promotion here: IF YOU'RE FREE 12 FEB SATURDAY NIGHT FROM 5.30PM, COME FOR VDAY NITE! IT'S AT CLEMENTI BIBLE CENTRE and there'll be food fun games and a talk :D)

eww there are lizards in my house again! I thought they all ran away after the renovation ): ohwellz as long as the monkeys don't comeback haha.

i'm always super fatigued now and sleepy this is a Bad Sign hopefully i don't fall sick ): happy to be back after the reno though my house is PRETTEH and i have a new laptop whose battery life is like, one hour, which is super pathetic =.= but a lot more convenient than using the PC :D our house has less space to dump junk now that the study's been converted into a room for my sister, which i guess is good because then we have less of a pack-rat mentality, but my room's still a right mouse nest T_T 

i miss 1D and i miss harmoc, though i met up with them like a couple of weeks ago, i feel so distant from them now ): previously i always felt really distant from my church friends cos i only saw them once a week, but now that i'm seeing them practically every day (since i'm going to church every day!) it seems so difficult to connect with 1D and harmoc now ):

DEEP has really introduced me to some major awesome games,  like BANG and CITADELS haha they're super super expensive but super super fun to play, they've replaced mono deal in my heart now though citadels always takes forever because people can't decide on their roles =.= haha i really want to play bang and saboteur, super fun :D :D :D

enough rambling i think, nothing i type here can really cover two years' of blogging haha not sure if i'll do this regularly from now on, seems quite tedious and my brain is too fried to think of coherent cheem things to say @__@

BAIBAI, i'm off to tweet, which is only 140 characters (:
Current Mood: draineddrained
16 April 2010 @ 10:08 pm


<a href="http://dictionary.reference.com/audio.html/lunaWAV/A07/A0736700" target="_blank"><img src="http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/g/d/speaker.gif" border="0" alt="asinine pronunciation" /></a> /ˈæsəˌnaɪn/ Show Spelled[as-uh-nahyn] Show IPA
foolish, unintelligent, or silly; stupid: It is surprising that supposedly intelligent people can make such asinine statements.
Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
1. Partyyyyy :D 
2. Cleaning my room/closet (omg totally not looking forward to this though, my mother insists on my rectifying the disasters i have left in my wake while studying, like notes strewn all over the computer)
3. Building model gundammmm (Did anyone go to the Gundam Expo at Compass Point! I now has pretty pretty Gundam 00 to build after Promos *___*)
5. PW OP (the joy of my life, don't you agree? D8) But at least better than WR! :D Plus my group is pretty awesome nao <3

 fishkettle !  When can we go out with jyms  and kylaye ? :D We need to organise something, totally. 

4 days to promos, and 12 days till it ends! ARE YOU EXCITED :D :D 

Current Mood: lethargicsleepyy
24 September 2009 @ 04:22 pm

and after all that, it seems so anticlimactic to go back and study >: WHERE'S THE CELEBRATION.   
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
I hate PW.

Please, for God's sake, for the sake of this stupid thing, GET YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT.  I'm not about to write all 3000 bloody words for the team, you know.

Just because you guys made me the leader doesn't mean you can push it all to me. Do a damn good job first, then send it to me.

I thought we were so much better than this.  So why am I having a nervous breakdown for your sake?  

Who am i? Your slave? Your friend? Your annoying classmate who nags all the time whom you can't give a shit about? Am I even someone you respect?
God, why do I even bother? 
Current Mood: depressedmiserable
Current Music: Gackt - Flower