Insightful and touching talk by Panti Bliss. The part about missing out on the chance to do ordinary things without them turning into statements – for the better or worse – really resonated.

“I don’t want them to notice. Because then our small, intimate, private, little, human gesture has been turned into a statement and I don’t want it turned into a statement. Our little private gesture, like Schrödinger’s cat, is altered simply by being observed.”

As gods look upon

When Singapore Night Festival came round this year, I wasn’t particularly keen on going because I found previous years rather uninteresting. But at the eleventh hour, a sense of claustrophobia propelled me to drive into town to get a breath of fresh air and check out what is on display.

Most of the exhibitions were run of the mill. Projections on the SAM, fire throwers at the NMS. However, one exhibition left a deeper impression on me than I expected possible – Divine Trees by Clément Briend. When I look at the ethereal projections of peaceful, divine, almost transcendent faces, I feel a unprecedented sense of comfort.

Hidden until viewed from the right angle, navigating the trees where the visages have been projected on is an adventure in itself. Conceptually, it also suggests that belief in the divine is but a matter of one’s point of view of reality. Some times, the projections spill beyond the trees and the faces looks as if they were attached to the sky.

I imagines, when people talked about gods looking upon them from high, this is what they had in mind.

You know that we’re confused, but will you watch us drown?

‘You know that we’re young
You know that we’re confused
But will you watch us drown?
What are you so afraid to lose?’

Andrew Garfield stars as a transvestite in Arctic Fire’s recent release of We Exist from their album Reflektor. It is a simple and empowering and particularly needed for a segment of LGBT society that’s often misunderstood, often overlooked.

The narrative follows Garfield’s character as he shaves his hair and puts on a dress, tears streaming and frustration brimming. He visits a bar that appears to be gay friendly, but is eventually pushed around and violently struck down by a pack of men. Suddenly, he is transported in his mind to an emptied bar where he’s free to dance and be who he is. At the end, he walks into a live concert by Arctic Fire and mounts the stage to face the crowd in glory.

Bottle. Ice. Apple Cider Vinegar.

The warm weather often leave me hot, thirsty and bothered. By the time I step home, my first instinct is to cool down with a cup of cold drink. For this moment, I stocked up on cartons of milk and juice. Yes, they were semi-skimmed and Florida’s Natural, but getting into the habit of guzzling drinks like these is a one-way road down to fat-dom, and with little health benefits.

I realised recently when guzzling yet another glass of my sweet nectar that I don’t actually taste anything while I was taking huge gulps. The pleasure came solely from it’s temperature, not flavour. In fact, the only time actually tasted anything was at the end of a series of gulps, by which time, the overbearing creaminess or sweetness usually left a cloying aftertaste.

This couldn’t do. As a result, I decided to bin the milk and juice and go for a lighter-tasting fair. I’ve found the perfect solution that helps cool me down and also provides certain health benefits.

A bottle. Ice. Apple Cider Vinegar.

It’s perfect, yet nothing new. I’m sure anyone who has ever searched for health foods would have come across apple cider vinegar. Touted as the miracle juice, a cure all for many illnesses, there are many health benefits to this sweet-sour concoction. Nonetheless, it’s important not to over drink it. Two to three tea spoons for a bottle of water should do the trick.

If you’re not too health conscious or would like to add more variety, I find that adding a dash of cordial (I LOVE elderflower) or squeezing some juice usually helps. In fact, you could even mix fruit juice (of the Florida’s Natural variety) with water and it tastes perfectly fine. I noticed when working in the UK that several of my colleagues did that regularly. Turned out to be a great idea.

A walk in nayture

Instead of running overseas, I thought I might start by exploring parts of Singapore I haven’t been to. Today, I took my first trip on the NEL all the way to Punggol to visit the Punggol Waterway Park. I think the park has been open for a few years already, but because I haven’t had reason to visit north-east Singapore, I haven’t had the chance to visit it.

The area is  extensively built up with HDB blocks and populated with picture-perfect young families – the quintessential Singapore suburb, I suppose. It would have been stifling if not for the park, which I really enjoyed, although a rather sinister undertone pervades its brochure perfection. More ‘nayture’ than nature.

I suppose its the best we can expect and always expected. Enjoy the pictures!

Loves and their differences

The religious right are at it again.

This time, one TOUCH Family Services (an affiliate of TOUCH Community Services, which was founded by Faith Community Baptist Church pastor Lawrence Khong) tried to organise a ‘pro-family’ event at Padang on 28 June. The venue was rejected, which led to a fresh round of outcry from their supporters about religious persecution. Playing at victim is never attractive – especially if one could never lay claim to victimhood.

It should be no surprise that the choice date of 28 June is also the day of Pink Dot, one of the few increasingly successful and popular pro-LGBT events. It should also be no surprise that the event was initially named Red Dot, which was eventually replaced by #FamFest. Both choice of date and name either show an unprecedented dearth of imagination or thinly-veiled, even by the standards of the dense, antagonism.

But how dare one even suggest that?

The organisers insist on portraying themselves as ‘pro-family’ in a way that people of all religious or non-religious persuasions obviously are. But therein lies the hypocrisy. Not to mention that family models vary between religious denominations and across religions, the bumptious assumption that their definition of family should apply to everyone else is simply revolting. And by way of selling themselves as ‘pro-family’ (as opposed to ‘pro-their-definition-of-family’) to imply that pro-LGBTs are in some way family wreckers is plain wicked.

There’s no persuading people otherwise, who live in an echo chamber of their own bigotry. Riding on our nation’s conservative history to define a family as comprising a husband and wife, and go on to insist that any attempt to redefine this model is inherently anti-family – that’s just shameful bullying. It may be tempting not to dignify claptrap such as this with comment, but the number of featherbrained dogmatists susceptible to these suggestions makes it risky not to speak up.

In fact, if #FamFest were to happen, I’d recommend all pro-LGBT folks to join the event and show this country how pro-family we all can be. And the religiously sensible and loving can also step up and show that one doesn’t need to reject how others live their lives in order to be spiritual and pious.

After all, there’s no love, but loves and their differences.