Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why I hate the newspapers!

My parents, my peers and people in general ask me why I don’t read the newspapers. “Your general knowledge is terrible,” my father tells me. He enjoys quizzing me on things like who is the minister of this and that. I look at him with a blank face and make a silly guess or I don’t answer him for he is right. I don’t know. “How are you going to know what’s going on in your own country if you don’t read the papers,” my well meaning colleagues ask me. “Didn’t you read the papers about the girl/boy who….” or “did you read what so and so said in the papers…” type questions are hurled my way frequently and I repeat the blank stare or mumble something in response or on occasion provide a stupid excuse as to why I have not read the papers.

I am sure reading the papers for my own knowledge or more like “to be in the know” is vital especially in the field of communications that I am in. It’s oh so important to know about that merger, that acquisition, that new launch, that new regulation passed, the new budget, the state of the economy the person who… and blablabla.

Yet each morning when the pile of newspapers land on my desk I feel sick to my stomach and I dread flipping its dirty gritty pages. Why this sick feeling you wonder? Why is she being such a drama queen? It’s after all just a paper which provides you information about the world and the country you live in and everything else in between right?

Wrong. The newspaper I believe is full of crap! Yes crap! The kind that you can find at the bottom of the dustbin. The kind that you can find growing in your drain. The kind of things you can find collecting underneath your shoes. Now if you take some time and flip through the grimy papers, you will note that every other page has columns or full pages or shudder, even creative buys like blurbs, stickers or callouts offering you to purchase something or other. Ads ads ads! The very things that drives the newspapers to its mammoth growth. *Note: I admire the creativity of certain ads but really, who needs so many ads in their face each day?

Now besides this sickening ads that yell at you to purchase a product that will make you look slim and beautiful with a whole head of hair in 10 sessions so that you become the object of everyone’s desire, or the dream driving machine with some super duper technology that will instantly alleviate your status amongst your peers and make you the envy of your neighbors and nosy competitive relatives or the latest mobile phone plan for your favourite people which could save you heaps of cash monthly, you would expect to at least get some brilliant piece of journalism right? The kind of article so well written you would sit up and take notice. The kind of article with a call to action so strong you automatically feel that you should do something that can change the world or make a difference. The kind of article that informs you and makes you more knowledgeable, that increases your intellect. The kind of article that makes you take a step back to think. Well, sorry to disappoint folks. You will be hard pressed to find an article of such caliber or perhaps it is me again with my high lofty expectations.

Before I continue my tirade about the deplorable state of the newspaper sans the advisements which are merely marketing tools sadly driven by our own needs and insecurities which are also needed to bring down the costs of the printing of the grubby papers, there are a handful of decent articles in the papers albeit more often then not, syndicated articles or weekly columns which do pique my interest and who entertains me to a certain extent. Perhaps I am being too harsh and judgmental about this, viewing things through my own narrow viewpoint, but really when was the last time you read an article which has changed your life or propelled you to greater heights? More often then not, you will find articles that are just what I would like to call “so what?” articles. The kind that you just read so that you are “in the know” or which you can make a half baked comment about but which generally adds no value to your life.

Moving along to the deplorable bit of print called the newspaper. With each page that I turn, starting with the cover story with its big bold headlines that scream something new and “wow”, to the next few bits of news about the country, government, latest collaborations, politics, business, world, sports and features about the latest it girls/guys, hit movies, singing sensations, over exaggerated fashion from Europe and the states which no one can even wear let alone afford and blablabla, I feel like ripping the pages to wrap the vegetables my mother bought from the market or to line the cages of some pet or to just toss it in the bin. It’s just so full of crap!

Have you read the kinds of things our people in power say? It will make you laugh and then cry because you realize that these are the people who hold your very welfare in their hands. Who holds the fate of the country in their hands. The half truths, the stupidity, the twisted words, the promises made and then forgotten, the pretty photo op pictures, the beautifully crafted words inserted with the proper key messages by PR people are all there for the world to see in glorious neat columns of black print. So many campaigns are launched with pomp and glamour whilst fueling and lining the pockets of others. I can hear the applause as the speeches are made as these people stand up and deliver speeches crafted by minds and hands of people you will never know. The promises made and the words said will be forgotten, swept away and discarded – the only evidence is the rows of print that will be thrown away and hopefully recycled.

Very few brave people have voiced out and even challenged the things that have been said while most seethe in silence afraid of repercussions. Try writing a letter to the Editor about something which is controversial and you can be sure that the letter will never be printed or if printed, edited to something that is unrecognizable. Oh of course it is edited, they need your article to fit into the “X” amount of space (usually 2 pages) allocated for the ‘readers say’ however, in the process they just might take out the important bits which are usually the crux of the issue. No surprise there really.

Then there is the news about the crime and the evil in this world – the sections that depresses me the most. I read about the horror of gang rapes while people pass by and watch without doing anything to help the victim. I read about fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers, neighbors and strangers who rape young children who should be innocently watching Spongebob on TV, who rape unassuming young women or even old women who go about their own lives, who are just there are the wrong place at the wrong time - Keep it in your freaking pants or sarongs man! I read about many women who are raped by people in the villages. I also read about males who are raped. The cases are never reported because, shudder men’s egos are at stake here and whowever heard of this preposterous thing… but it happens.

I read about wars. The numerous people that are displaced, who have no food and who have died. The numbers of the dead or missing printed in huge bold numbers. I read about the starving people in Africa. I read about H1N1, AIDS and cancer. I read about famine. I read about natural disasters. I read about the extinction of certain species of animals and plant life. I read about global warming. I read about racism or perhaps the fact “that there is no such thing as racism”. I read about murders. I read about injustice. I read about terrorism. I read about kidnappings and ransoms. I read about bribery. I read about school shootings. I read them all.

Why do I torture myself with such news when my life is already filled with its own share of drama and misery? Who needs this kind of news really? Sure it makes you reflect and thank your lucky stars that you aren’t them but then really, reading the papers in the morning is so freakingly depressing. How is anyone going to have a good start to the morning with this load of crap in your hands?

Here’s another thing. All the news that you read may not be newsworthy and your wonder… hmmm… “Why is this bit of news included in the line-up of riveting articles today?” Easy! It is paid for or has been paid for with advertising. In my line, I beg for coverage for my organization but it’s hard when your organization seldom has the budgets to buy all that ad space necessary to get the best coverage in the papers. So what if your organization rocks or has achieved something really great, you will just get a small column measuring half a slice of bread for all your troubles. Lo and behold if you should a series of full page full coloured ads… you have prominent coverage with coloured pictures thrown in for extra effectiveness all because your news is “newsworthy”.

Maybe I am jaded, or again overacting. Maybe its just who you know that gets you prominent coverage… oh no… perhaps that’s not it. Maybe just maybe I suck at my job and the news that I generate are just utter nonsense. However, I honestly doubt that is the case simply because of several calls and blatant emails that I have received informing me that the said newspaper would not come to my event or cover my event simply because it has been 6 months since we placed an ad with them. Another newspaper, one of the country’s pioneer paper’s even told me that they had boycotted another organization in my industry several months earlier because they did not advertise and did I want the same fate as them. Besides that, don’t forget that so and so is friends with the big boss at the newspaper… a phone call can easily ensure your news will never see the light of day! Talk about newsworthiness. Don’t give me that feces!

So what’s there to like about the papers? Perhaps the occasional weekend pullouts with feature stories and of course the funnies, the classifieds and the cinema listings page. Other than that, I hate the papers. In the ideal world of which I idealistic hope for and dream about, there will be real feats of journalism that will win awards. There will be justice, there will be hope, there will be truth laced in all articles. There will be no fear in the written word. There will be no hidden agendas. The articles will be featured based on newsworthiness not on dollars spent. It will be about the wants of the everyday people. Reviews will be frank and honest and brutal if necessary regardless if you get a free meal or if they are advertising with that publication or if you know the person who owns the company that you tasked with reviewing. The ads will be minimal and not splashed on every other page.

Yes I am ever hopeful. Yes, I am a dreamer.

I wait for that day with baited breath.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fav photos - C&JW

Why the sudden post about you?
Well I missed you.
No one to help me out or hear me bitch
or understand the tribulations of working @ the hovel.
I honestly hate it that you left
but life goes on and we learn to adapt.
See you soons.
Some of my favourite photos of us *grin grin*

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


The light of God surrounds me,
The love of God enfolds me,
The presence of God protects me,
God is always with me - Emmanuel.
I shall not be lonely or afraid.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I just wonder

I wonder how many tears and bruises you need before your heart is truly broken.
I wonder how many times you can listen to the words before they numb you completely.
I wonder how many times you need to say the words so that you can believe in them.
I wonder how many times you need to curl and rock yourself, chanting over and over again that everything is going to be all right before things really do turn out alright.
I wonder about forevers. I wonder about words. I wonder about love. I wonder about how much a heart can hold. I wonder about sharing. I wonder about jealously. I wonder about death. I wonder about hope. I wonder about lies. I wonder about the truth. I wonder about sacrifices. I wonder about promises. I wonder about the future. I wonder about rainbows. I wonder about the dreams I weave.
I wonder...
I just wonder.
For the heart and tongue deceives even the most discerning and wise and we are disillusioned to see the things that are not truly there. Sometimes, we need to wake up, sit up, pay attention and see things as they really are and see yourself for what you are... In my case, nothing really much.
I wonder why it took me so long to see all this and to feel all this.
I wonder...
I just wonder.

Strange tea time craving

After all this writing, thinking and etc.
I have developed a strange tea time craving.
I suddenly long for a slice of orange cake
and a bag of cheese flavored twisties
and a lychee flavoured iced tea.
Talk about totally random food *grin grin*

Just a "Click" away

Each time I click on to a page, I find something more alluring more amazing. It makes my head spin, my eyes dance at the feast of colours and inspiration before me. My lips hunger to taste the delicious treats, my hands to feel the embellishments and the paper, my nose to sniff at the different smells and my ears to hear the different sounds. The images intrigue me. Invoke a dormant piece of me.

I long to shut down my office laptop, delete pathetic condescending emails, slam down the office phone and pull out the plug on annoying people offering and goading me to sponsor their one million and one exhibitions, conferences, funds, causes and etc. and go home to the comfort of my own laptop at home that itches to be set alive to run free with ideas kept on pieces of paper and in books long forgotten. To switch on and fire up my iPod that lies dormant in my bag locked in my side drawer only to be taken out and admired when I leave the hovel.

However, as there is this strange streak in me today, I find my mischievous hands curl up against the mouse and once more click onto the browser that takes me to wondrous places and I take several peeks delightedly like a naughty child at the world of inspiration that is just a "Click" away.


It’s Monday so the lobby of the hovel where I work is getting its dose of polish. The floor looks squeaky clean, shiny in most parts till of course the thousands of feet scuff it and walk all over it, heaping the muck of the real world onto its shiny surface.

I was once again besieged by ridiculousness as I sat down for my daily 9 meeting. Sometimes I think they speak in riddles that I am not supposed or allowed to decipher yet, because I am obviously of lowly rank, with a lower IQ then the ones who graduated abroad with marbles in their mouths – perhaps one day I will be fortunate enough to understand their speak.

A call from my mum tells me that Aunty A whom I have known forever has passed away in her house and no one knew that she had passed on as she lived alone. She had no relatives. No family. My mum is there with other ladies from the church, sorting out the details and things. It’s a shock to us all. Aunty A was a strong women, who had a powerful body smell, a white car which she drove even though she is more than 3 times my age, a neat house and garden near my home, and a head of curly white hair. I hate that everything is in the past tense. I told Cat about it and she is as shocked as I am. It’s sad. Death. The ending of ones life. So sudden. The could haves and should haves which are thought of too late. The last chapter of ones life. The end.

Things then… like ridiculous riddles, feeling small and invisible at meetings and in life in general, getting told that what you do is never enough, getting annoyed with the broadband for being slow, squeaky clean floors, buttons that will just not button properly, marbles in mouths, heavy boxes that need to be lifted, hunger for a mouthful or flourless orange cake and a steaming cup of tea, all seem trivial in the face of death. For in this horrendous gaping empty void of death, there are no more of these things… just nothingness, a void and in the end of that long tunnel, a Heaven where these things that are stressed and worried about now are of no worth or value.

I should be doing more today - my accounts, my filing, my press releases and media interviews… but these things are far from meaningful. They are useless to me at this point in time. I went to the toilet again today - it has recently become my thinking ground, my escape from the stresses of the office of late - just sat there on the porcelain throne for awhile thinking about these emotions that once again course through my veins… and for awhile although confused, sad, angry, torn and all that jazz, I think that its not so bad after all. I am thankful that I can feel these things and that I am alive for one more day.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Peach

Its been too short a time since I last wept. You would think that at this stage in my life, life would be a peach. Well I thought it was a peach. A peach with the perfect shade of orange mixed with reds and browns. Fuzzy, soft and firm at the same time, with the smell of summer, of would be adventures and sweet days ahead wrapped up in that one luscious fruit.

Yet the fruit to best describe where my life is right now would not be a peach. I honestly don't know what fruit it would be... but perhaps it would be an apple. A boring old apple, bruised, rotted slightly, lying on the shelf, hoping to be picked to be made into something more. Perhaps a jam, a preserve or even heavens forbid, an apple pie.

I am weeping again. The tracks of my tears that fall are like the raindrops falling from the Heavens. There was just too much to bear that it had to pour forth, streaking down my face leaving a trial that eventually dries and fades away with time. Gosh, how much rain there has been this year. A very trying year I have to say and it is not even over. Note: Its not to say that this year has been the utter pits, it has been pretty good too...

I don't want to evaluate my year now, not when there is a good 2 months plus left of it. So much can happen in that time I am sure. What I have been doing in bits and pieces is reevaluating my life. Where I am and where I stand with myself. I tend to do this when change is knocking on my door and when I think, should I open the door for change or should I wait just a little bit longer?

My quest for finding me has been waylaid. My dreams and hopes put on a shelf for a later time. There were more important things that needed my attention it seemed, but perhaps that is where my downfall lies, in putting these things aside instead of in the fore front.

Friends of mine tell me relentlessly how stupid I am for allowing people to lay their hands on me or to abuse me with words when people should instead hold my hands and build me up with their words, not tear me down. After all, what is said often enough becomes true sometimes. So, after thinking about it, my fears, my insecurities at not being good enough, or thin enough or beautiful enough stems from these words. These words that hurt met, that kill me, that make sick inside... and the sad part is that they are the ones doing this to me in the end. I am such a glutton for disappointment.

So here I am. On a Friday night, a night which I look forward to the most out of the whole week, sitting on my parquet floor in my room, my clothes discarded in a pile, my bags and books beside me, my bed behind me, Deepavali fireworks ringing in the background, tissues scattered beside me with tears rolling down my checks, wondering what this post is truly about and nursing a wounded heart and a torn soul.

But no worries. Tomorrow is another day I tell myself. My family needs me to move on for them. To provide for them. To give them hope. To make them laugh. To be the 3rd generation banker. To go on and along with the rest of the world. At least I know I am needed by them if no one else... that keeps me going.

The Pastor at Christian Fellowship said today that suffering can make one bitter or better, softer or harder. A very timely reminder of the choices that we can make.

Well, welcome weekend. There is always hope of it being an awesome weekend.

* Angel,
At times like this, I miss you the most.

Friday, October 16, 2009


If nothing ever changed,
there would be no butterflies.
*grin grin*
I keep trying to remind myself that at times change is good...
that it is needed to grow, to beautify, to improve.
It is just hard to let go of something that
you are so used to,
that you have grown fond of...
but yes... I shall try.
I shall try to embrace changes as they come...
Just like a caterpillar embraces
change to become a butterfly...
to emerge as a better, more brilliant
and more beautiful creature
who will soar higher and further on its wings,
so shall I try to be.

2 years @ the Hovel

Happy 2 year anniversary at the Hovel DW!
and yes... thank you God for guiding me and
allowing me to stay alive and sane through the two years.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

IT gadgets

I can't believe it but this year, I have bought so many new IT gadgets.
I welcome my new laptop, my new external hard drive,
my new laptop accessories,
my new mobile phone and my new iPod touch.

Am trying to get the hangout of the new iPod but I feel
too sluggish and tired to do anything.
I have not even opened it from the box
and am just downloading iTunes now.

This is me rambling on and on
as I panic about the state of my savings account
and feel sick thanks to the idiot fever.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Good morning Vietnam!

Its finally over.
The event that took over me
for more than 3 months.
A chapter has closed.

Thank you God for Your help,
Your wisdom, Your guidance,
Your goodness, Your speedy assistance
when I was worried and in need of You.
I praise you and am overwhelmed
by Your goodness.
I don't know how I
can ever repay You for Your
goodness and help.

To all the other friends and family of mine,
Thank you all of the prayers,
the encouragement,
the FB posts,
the SMS's.
I truly felt much better
knowing that there were people caring for me
and supporting me.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Good morning Vietnam!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Being patient with me

Be patient with yourself.
There are no shortcuts to hope and joy.
Growing fruit takes time.

(I must remind myself about this on an on going basis)
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