Tag Archive | "porn"

Take the porn out of Singaporean

Take the porn out of Singaporean

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Then it will be Singaea.

Photo stolen from redsports.sg

Photo stolen from redsports.sg

Dear New Nation editors,

Seeing the word “porn” spelt out every time “Singaporean” is used to described someone from Singapore evokes a feeling that is somewhat bittersweet.

“Porn” is a word that refers to a medium that emphasises sexual stimulation and creates mental images of sensual thoughts.

“Singaporean” has been used plenty of times at the recent Asian Games to describe athletes from Singapore. And when people talk about Changi Airport, the gateway to our country, they will inevitably talk about Singaporeans.

Sports and travel are two of the most visible platforms through which we project ourselves to the world. “Porn” is the word projected when we make a name for ourselves on these platforms, as Singaporeans will be mentioned.

Porn from other countries is well known, for better or for worse.

Whenever Singaporeans are elevated into focus, the image must be one that is in keeping with our cultural and social mores.

A Singaporean is not a porn star. But, with the use of the word “SingaPOReaN”, the eye will make the association with “porn”, even if the heart and mind know otherwise.

Is it in our national interest for “porn” to be associated with SingaPOReaNs?

We should consider adopting the less-used (but not lesser) name Sinkies.

“Sinkies” is, after all, the Internet name of preference for Singaporeans.

Furthermore, “Sinkies” corresponds to the belief that we will sink, unless we float as an island.

It looks better, sounds better and unifies all usage and application.

Or we can always call ourselves Lee Kuan Yewians.

The Straits Times Forum Letter writer inevitably contributed to this letter.

 

Come, let’s get offended together:

Publicity poster for SEA Games 2015 causes offense as it features the words ‘Willie’, ‘Loo’ & ‘SIN’

S’pore shouldn’t use SIN to represent us in sports because it’s a dirty word

 





S’porean man won’t confirm or deny allegations he watches porn

S’porean man won’t confirm or deny allegations he watches porn

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His refusal to dignify the question with an answer is like how Singapore will not confirm or deny if she spies.

watching-porn

A Singaporean man, Kuah Poh Noh, said on Friday he would not be drawn into confirming or denying allegations that he watches porn on a regular basis.

Kuah, an IT professional, told reporters outside his home that his family and friends are aware that he has no intention to harm relations with them, while steadfastly refusing to address the question as to whether his porn-watching habit exists.

“You cannot say, this is five percent true or 95 percent true, that I watch American and Asian porn but not when there are Australians in the video,” Kuah said.

The ensuing back-and-forth on any statement on specific allegations about how often one watches porn constitutes a regular habit would be “never ending,” he added.

“The point is that my friends and family know that I won’t do anything to harm their interests,” the bespectacled man who used to date an accountant because she is more outgoing than a librarian said.

Kuah, who considers himself a religious person, said he works closely with friends and family to prepare the occasional dinner and look after his nephew and two nieces, which makes him a good person.

 

 

 

 

Media Literacy Council to educate S’poreans that porn is not real

Media Literacy Council to educate S’poreans that porn is not real

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This task is much easier to accomplish than teaching people how to read the news.

If porn is not real, then why do some of them have Facebook accounts with real personas?

The Media Literacy Council, which was established quite recently with lofty aims such as educating Singaporeans about cyber literacy, truth and fiction and what not, has changed tack.

Its initial aim to teach Singaporeans about how to read the news and only trust the Government was met with widespread ridicule and jeers.

Therefore, it is now focusing on teaching Singaporeans that porn found on the Internet is not real, a task that actually does not take much effort but they still want to carry out because they need to claim credit for something.

A MLC spokesperson who wants to remain anonymous because he has been jeered quite often already, explained that dismissing porn as fake is much easier to do than try to set the record straight with online news from blogs and websites, which many times, do contain larger grains of truths.

He said: “Porn, unlike political news about Singapore, contains a much smaller grain of truth. So it is easier to do a bit of hand-waving to dismiss its depictions as inaccurate.”

However, the MLC has met with a massive stumbling block with the recent porn blog saga started by Alvin Tan, an NUS law student and Malaysian, who showed that porn stars do have real identities on Facebook with real personas.

The same MLC spokeperson said: “We might have to change tack again. We might want to dismiss anything that comes out of Malaysia. Except its petrol.”

Glorifying a porn star

Glorifying a porn star

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Where the latest book about  infamous Singaporean ex-porn star Annabel Chong suffers and why it needs to be read in the context of other porn writings on the web.

By Belmont Lay

This is an article published in The Straits Times on May 23, 1999. Check out the caption. Who said New Nation editors are the only cheeky bastards around?

Annabel Chong, aka Grace Quek, is featured as a campy braless Wonder Woman-esque superhero treating the entire Central Business District around her ankles to an upskirt whilst arms akimbo.

This cover art is accompanied by a comic ka-pow caption with the exclamation: “Demystifying the legend of Singapore’s most famous pornstar!”

This cartoon caricature of a larger-than-life character is chosen as the cover art of Gerrie Lim’s latest book, Singapore Rebel, a title acknowledged as a respectful nod to rebel filmmaker Martyn See (not that the book has anything to do with him or dissident politician Chee Soon Juan).

And this is a book that is supposed to render an intellectual, argumentative thesis that is Annabel Chong: penetrative, comprehensible and convincing.

And that’s a tall order.

So much has been said about Annabel since her 1995 record-smashing gangbang where she committed 251 sex acts in ten hours with approximately 70 men that it is easy to depict her as a depraved nympho and leave it at that.

But this effort by Gerrie, going back in time and digging through archives of Annabel Chong interviews, is supposed to take you under her skin, so to speak. The book reexamines and explains why she is still culturally relevant and sensational after all these years, and also identifies the perpetual source of angst and rebellion for people like Gerrie and Annabel who can only find a sense of belonging in subcultures that can never be bred in Singapore.

In both cases, it is her ability to feel comfortably at home in the adult entertainment industry.

And be professional about it while sending a highly personal and political message, as I would imagine, back to conservative Singapore.

But is this effort by Gerrie, an author of numerous non-fiction books and articles inside and outside the adult entertainment industry, capable of swinging people’s perception of Annabel Chong?

Highly unlikely.

You see, Singapore’s most famous pornstar is an oddity. Because when you think about it, countless Singaporeans have squeezed past and fallen through our system, but there has only been one case of Annabel Chong.

And when you get on with the book, she becomes more problematic because she poses a formidable challenge to everything we know and assume we know about women, sex, passivity and harlotry.

She is intense, aggressive and dangerous in her approach of making a poignant point through her work in porn. And when she left, she left abruptly, to become a computer programmer, no less.

She is, and rather accurately portrayed I guess, as a major bird-flipper, a hardworking, living, breathing example of an eff-you to all the perceived public and private institutions of uprightness, moral rectitude and normality.

In the cold, sterile and clinical academic approach to objective study of a subject by Gerrie, the vagina is touted as a sheath that protects the penis, a weapon in its own right, and so it shouldn’t get hurt from penetration.

She possesses that sort of daring-do that pushes the boundaries of political incorrectness and possibilities.

But you, as the reader of the text, need to work very hard to get beyond the vulgar display of rebellion to arrive at its political meaning and try to understand what motivated Annabel Chong to be an atypical Singaporean.

And that’s only the beginning of the tricky part.

Next, try not to be floored by some of the main arguments put forth by the book:

  • The act of sex can be used as a parody
  • Sex, when focused on numbers, is ridiculous because the joke’s on you if you’re keeping count (e.g. how do you define one act of penetration?)
  • Sex is empowering for women as not all of them are exploited or feel exploited because there is such a thing as “consensual degradation” and because women enjoy sex and do make more money than men while doing it professionally
  • Plus, Annabel Chong is the female version of a male stud because she can have it all

Oh yes, and lastly, in the cold, sterile and clinical academic approach to objective study of a subject by Gerrie, the vagina is touted as a sheath that protects the penis, a weapon in its own right, and so it shouldn’t get hurt from penetration.

In all seriousness, Gerrie also writes in his book: “She was extolling the virtues of more open-minded thinking through a seemingly grosteque act committed in full public view via the technology of home video.”

Which makes one wonder: Is it possible to take the premise of a pornographic gangbang to such logical conclusions and on such academic terms?

And am I being a close-minded twit for not thinking so?

What Gerrie can proposition with cocksure assurance and composure, you might not necessary swallow whole.

To read the book on its own, and express incredulity, is therefore, intuitive and reasonable. That much you should expect from the average reader.

So this is where you might have to look elsewhere for supporting complementary text to put what Gerrie has to say in context.

And this is also where the book suffers.

Singapore Rebel becomes ineffable and alienating because you cannot automatically draw connections. It needs relations, like other penetrative carnal accounts of porn and why people do what they do, which can be easily accessed on the web (like how you can find real porn!).

 

Take, for example, this piece of writing about Sasha Grey (apparently famous enough to appear on TV for an interview with Tyra Banks.)

Or this one about John Holmes (whose legendary schlong is modestly described as “bigger than a pay phone, smaller than a Cadillac”).

Or this piece by a somewhat unknown ex-entertainment editor of Hustler magazine, who shamelessly and falsely ranked himself as the “Top 50 most influential people in the adult industry” because “deception and lies are the essence of pornography”.

In all three cases, it provides a sneak peak into what drives such characters and the range of personalities that exists within the porn subculture.

They’re all exasperating reads but they should serve as writings worth making comparisons with.

But there exists two other minor points that are recurring bugbears: Gerrie’s book can take the form of a rebuke to conservative minds and there is a sense of aggrandisement of the Annabel Chong phenomenon.

On the latter, I only have this to say: The best way that anyone can think of the Annabel Chong phenomenon is that it remains dormant for periods during remission only to act up once in a while.

Just like a case of herpes.

Making disaster porn

Making disaster porn

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Much of the media’s coverage of Japan’s nuclear crisis is overblown, a direct result of the media’s mission to entertain, and not just report news. The writer wishes to remain anonymous.

Losing hope: A woman cries while sitting on a road amid the destroyed city of Natori, Miyagi Prefecture. Photo: REUTERS

STORIES sell. Stories based on a true event that read even better than fiction, even more so. But a story’s still a story: narrative is king and facts are a necessary embellishment.

Facts: Death toll rises above 3,000 after Japan quake, 100,000 presumed dead in 2010 Haiti quake, libya death toll rises to 84 as Gaddafi battles rebels, China quake leaves 25 dead in Southwest China… We could go on playing with the numbers all day though this meaningless data serve little purpose than to legitimize the factuality of the stories.

While compadres in the western online media have started bashing their establishment again, calling the American news networks distributors of disaster porn, us here in Asia have less of a problem with sensationalizing disasters. But the media’s still milking it for all it’s worth.

Take Channel NewsAsia for example. I’m watching their coverage of the radiation leak in Japan as I write this. It’s interesting how they picked that one specific soundbite from Yukio Edano (Japanese chief cabinet secretary) mentioning that radiation will have an effect on human beings, conveniently forgetting the later part when he mentions that radiation outside the safety zone is harmless.

There’s little room to argue that media coverage of any disaster DOESN’T amount to disaster porn. However, this critique, unleashed with good reason during the coverage of the 2010 Haiti quake and most recently, the Middle East uprising, may be a tad unfair on an industry that survives on advertising dollars and/or the number of eyeballs glued on their content.

A wise, and sometimes wisecracking professor of mine said recently in an email:

“My view is that media corporations see themselves as being in the entertainment business and news is considered one form of entertainment. Beyond the stock market round-ups and oil price charts, they really have little interest in what gets sent out by way of “news” so long as it does not interfere with their bottom line. War, chaos human pathos and tragedy sell, so they will always be a feature of the news, as will celebrity scandal, but beyond that very few outlets delve deep into their subject matter or question the logics of the corporate masters.”

Is it always the fault of the big corporate man though? When even self-proclaimed, government subsidized (read: NOT capitalist-driven) MediaCorp chooses to hawk the coverage of Japan’s worst earthquake in recorded history through a mass mailer, it makes you wonder if it’s just the profit incentive that’s driving media organizations to whore their depiction of human tragedy.

Consumer news is never about giving you what you need to know. It’s about giving you what the media thinks you want to know, or what they think you will respond to.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, MediaCorp’s not alone on this. Microsoft came under fire from online vigilantes after bing.com tweeted:

“How you can #SupportJapan – http://binged.it/fEh7iT. For every retweet @bing will give $1 to Japan quake victims up to $100k.”

As the good ol’ capitalist critique goes: it’s all about supply and demand. Everyone loves a scandal. Now when it’s technologically possible to broadcast your opinions worldwide in the comment box below the article, it’s the most controversial stories that get the clicks, tweets, comments and eyeballs. Not the dry factual stuff that gives you what you need to know to form an educated opinion. That’s wikipedia man which , by the way, still asks for donations every now and then. They’re not the ones that are going to send reporters down to war torn countries to give you the facts straight from the fight zone.

Revenue generating news will always be the quotes or stories controversial enough to get you fired up and talking. “ZOMG! Look at how Larry Kudlow debased human life by comparing the death toll with the economic impact! The asshole!”

Hey, but it got you thinking beyond the body count right? If anything, it may have made him a more sought after economic pundit.

Consumer news is never about giving you what you need to know. It’s about giving you what the media thinks you want to know, or what they think you will respond to. Moralists in particular get a field day with each controversy that gives them a chance to evangelize conservatism substantiated with nothing more than horrific pathos.

For instance, nuclear energy opponents the world over, having been ignored the past decade, are now under the spotlight again. “Nuclear energy should never be considered because of what happened at Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island” so they say. The partial reactor meltdown at Three Mile caused no casualties but cost slightly less than $1 billion USD and 12 years to clean up. Analysts are now saying the cost of rebuilding Japan could amount to $228 billion SGD.

Still, a risk is a risk is a risk. This article gives some context to the current nuclear overreaction.

“Every energy source has risks and economic externalities, whether they are noise and bird kills (wind), huge land requirements (solar), rig explosions and tanker spills (oil), or mining accidents (coal).”

Hypothetically, a nuclear fallout could be devastating and will affect many generations to come. Yet compare the number of casualties from nuclear plant-related accidents to say, deaths from coal mining per year and you get a sense of how disproportionate nuclear fear mongering has become. Yes, there could be devastation from nuclear energy but there already is calculable harm done in terms of worker injuries and environmental costs from coal or oil generated energy.

Speaking of oil, does anyone still remember Gaddafi in Libya? What about Saudi Arabia sending in troops to Bahrain this morning to protect the Sunni monarchy? Nah, not so exciting there. The quake provides more drama.

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