Sunday, March 29, 2015

Lee Kuan Yew and Legitimization of Pragmatism in Politics

To be universally respected as a national leader is not an easy task, especially one that has governed during the turbulent times of global rivalry.  Yet, with the conflicts interests of Soviet-American bipolarity in the past and Sino-American duality in the present, Lee Kuan Yew shrewdly managed to make the island city-state liked by both sides, but somehow managed to extract beneficial economic externalities from balancing opposing ends.  Singapore, as a global entrepot with little prejudice in its political agenda on the international stage, greatly benefited.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Asian Cuisine’s Perplexing Partiality of Vegetarianism

The author, being a skinny man that he has been for the past God-knows-how-long, has never really been too careful on the foods he eats.  The logic is that, given the lack of body fat, high intakes of fattening foods should not be too problematic as long as certain precautions are taken.  And the author has been doing some of that, mostly avoiding fried snacks like potato chips and carbonated sodas, while keeping alcohol consumption to a social minimum.  Yes, there is lack of exercise, but he never thought of himself as terribly unhealthy.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

In a World without Absolutely "Truth," Finding it is Useless Effort

The author is a relativist when it comes to moral values.  The exact same act, done under different circumstances and background, he believes, can be either positive or negative.  Stealing is a prime example.  From time to time, there are news of poor, desperate people stealing out of basic need to support their families, sometimes to finance needs that can very much mean life and death for the benefactors.  While debates with regard to such news have focused on why society has not helped such people (for which the author believes is a government role), it also put forth other thoughts.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

外國幽默的引進與中國綜藝的興起

説實話,著者并不非常喜歡關注中國電視。多年來,基於對官方社會主義意識形態的顧及,國營的中國電視基本上被單一、格式化的節目充實。新聞常常充滿政府領導活動的陳述和黨國政治在國外最新手筆的宣揚。而其餘時間完全被誇大中國歷史强盛的連續劇和有關一般普通民衆不會很關心的議論節目所占領。相似在臺灣、日本、韓國等地盛行的大衆娛樂和綜藝節目不但是寥寥無幾,還會經常被官方拿來以“無聊、低俗”之名批判。當然,官方的反對并未減少大陸年輕一代對此類節目的情有獨鍾。

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Overly Simplified Politicization of Soft Power

On the massive central plaza inside the sprawling Korean-owned mall that is Lotte Shopping Avenue, there was an event involving what seems to be an exchange between Korean and Indonesian high school students.  Yet, the event was nothing fun and games.  The students were drawing massive South Korean national flags, with additional one-story high color posters hanging on the walls behind the central plaza.  The posters, with large English texts and cartoon drawings, claimed "Dokdo: islands of Korea!" "Donghae: the East Sea of Korea!" and "Celebrate the Life of An Jung-Geun!"

Finding Jakarta's Hidden Sex Tavern

There were two young female DJs in the middle of the nightclub.  Pumping out electronic and house music for hours at an end, she was in the clubbing mood herself, completely ignoring the gaze of the massive crowds thronging around her DJ table and perhaps even forgetting the fact that they are in a mega-club in which the clientele did not really dance.  Instead, a massive elevated performance platform, lighted from the bottom, surround the DJ table, showing female dancers at work.  The mostly male clientele looks on as the dancers display energy and surprisingly good choreography.