take a picture off the wall.
written: 12:07 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2005

Just a quickie entry before I continue reading "Andrew Phang SLR article extracts".

There's been a considerable amount of readings on Singapore's aspirations towards an autochthonous legal system, cutting off legal ties with England, things along those lines. The recurring argument cited for this need is that our Asian values are different from their ang moh values.

And so I'm thinking, Man, if I'd known of something like that last year I would've written a Killer General Paper essay on absolute versus relative values! (Well, the one that I did supposedly earned me a 38/50 but I still maintain that it was a piece of shite essay with arguments based largely on conjecture.)

That aside, I do wonder how "Asian" our society is, and how much we differ from English society. Quote from the Chief Justice (speaking of whom I only found out recently that there's only one Chief Justice in Singapore - I am the brilliant law student): "Our approaches to the law must reflect our own Asian values, such as consensus and respect for authority and the group."

If that's what it means to be Asian, then I suppose I'm not really Asian. I wonder if these "Asian values" are really what society wants, or if they are imposed upon society which is made to believe that it is what it wants, because throughout its entire life it has known nothing else. I'm thinking of Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" and the idea of conditioning, how you grow up believing the values you've been taught since infanthood.

So I suppose what I'm saying is that it's hard to tell the difference between what you consciously opt for and choose, and what you "choose" because it's such a normal part of your life that you no longer think about it anymore.

There's also this whole issue regarding the rights of the individual versus the rights of society, an issue that, I think, keeps us from repealing Sections 377 and 377A of the Penal Code (seriously - until I read beyond the sexual offences portion of SLS Part 2, I will keep harping on and on about that topic, all ad nauseum and everything).

But how do you determine what society wants anyway? By majority rules? But aren't the minorities a part of society too?

There isn't a point to all these paragraphs. I just felt like writing.

In other news, I got an A- for that Contract essay I did a while back, one that I was bitching about as per usual. My life hasn't ceased to surprise and amaze me.

The sad thing is, I kind of stopped giving a damn after Consideration so I'm still going to screw up the Contract test anyway. Ask me anything about Misrepresentation, Mistake and Frustration (which truly frustrates me because I keep making mistakes), even Offer and Acceptance and my answer would be, "Huh?"

The funny thing is, I read over that essay just now and I didn't really understand what I wrote.


I added an edit to the previous entry but Diaryland ate it up. I shall rehash it in brief:

Jay Chou won the Best Newcomer Golden Horse for his stint in Initial D. I would put aside the dubiousness of that honour and take into account that the Golden Horse is supposed to be Taiwan's version of the Oscars, except: 1) the Oscars aren't exactly credible to begin with; and 2) the 42nd (I think) Golden Horse Awards also named Aaron Kwok as Best Actor and Shu Qi as Best Actress, and did not award Wong Kar Wai's The Hand the Best Short Film Award.

Now, I haven't seen The Hand - damn censorship and our Asian society - and I haven't seen that Aaron Kwok movie and I don't intend to watch it. But Wong Kar Wai is WKW, and you can't go wrong if you're WKW. Even when he came up with something as befuddling and slightly pretentious as 2046 he was still damn good at what he did, and hell he does it so much better than most directors. So, I don't know, I was a bit shocked when I found out his short film didn't get the award.

Second, TVBS News had a short segment on the GHA before the ceremony itself and it played an Aaron Kwok clip from the movie, in which he displayed the sort of Melodrama that a real, credible actor will never succumb to. Seriously, talk about OVER THE TOP! It wasn't just "a bit much", it was too much and too overdone and I watched Chang Chen's clip and that was so much better.

Yes, it's just a clip, but since when could Aaron Kwok act anyway?

Shu Qi...well, I suppose the fact that she won for her role in a Hou Hsiao Hsien film kind of mitigates the other fact that...she's Shu Qi. Whatever.

And the most hilarious thing? Jay Chou won Best Newcomer but he didn't get the award for Best Original Song. Hence, I'm convinced that the cosmos are currently being realigned as we speak.

So I love Jielun and I still think he's great but the more I listen to November's Chopin, the more I think it's below the standard of his previous albums. It doesn't feel like a Zhou Jielun album; it feels like a pretend-Zhou Jielun album, and it gives me a funny feeling, one that I can't, for the life of me, articulate. The songs are still good, and they're better than 99% of the shit you see on MTV, but as Jay Chou songs they're seriously lacking.

And the title of the album is also severely off-putting, after its implication dawned upon me. November's Chopin?! So your album was released November 1...and by logical extension, you're calling yourself Chopin? My dear Jielun, your ego is currently screaming and drowning out your music. And you're also responsible for the whole bunch of classical music-illiterates jumping on the Chopin bandwagon. I saw someone with the nickname "jay_chopin" running amok on jay-chou.net, and needless to say, I felt seriously disturbed. And that stupid poll? "Who's better, Jay or Chopin?" SERIOUSLY PEOPLE.

Maybe he should set his priorities straight. Is it Music or is it Others? Without the music he's pretty much nothing, for it was the music that shot him to fame and got him where he is now in the first place, and it will be the music that keeps him there. And sometimes I truly wonder if he's insisting on the Jay Chou style because he believes it's the Jay Chou style, or because he thinks it's the marketable sound that the fans want. If he's catering to the fans, forget it, because I want to hear authentic Jay Chou, the musical genius that made me depart from my "No Chinese Pop" trend and consequently made me squander about S$300 on concert tickets.

It has to be worth it. I need know that I'm not obsessing over someone who's just run-of-the-mill, someone whose heart isn't in what he does. I'm all for him sticking to his sound but not when he's churning out sub-standard melodies that lack the Jay Chou essence that made his other albums as palatable as they are.

I'm trying to pinpoint what it is exactly that's wrong with the album, but I don't know, I really don't, all I know is that it gives me a weird feeling, almost an alienating feeling, and that's all I have to go on with. The album is good, but it's not fantastic, and he's been nothing but fantastic ever since he burst into the music scene. I mean, "Feng" has a nice, suitably-minor key melody but the bridge section and the over-the-top orchestration do nothing but undermine the strength of the melody.

Maybe it's the details, maybe it's the oversight on his part, maybe it's the way he was distracted with other projects. Whatever it is, this is the first time that a Jielun CD got worse with subsequent listens and so I'm pretty disappointed.

Okay I'm done. Back to the Andrew Phang thing.

Still loving Earlimart's song and still needing to go to HMV like now now now.

before sunrise // before sunset

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