May 28, 2009

Of kisaus

Right, about kiasuness. The fact that pretty much none of these education slaves are in our class does reduce the tension in the mood of 4sc2. But anytime in exam season, you can feel the aura of the kiasu 4sc1's seeping over to our end.Why are they this way? Even the top PMR student admitted that she doesnt watch ANY television, has ZERO computer access, and plays NO sport whatsoever. Are things really this dire, wearing ultra-thick glasses, crying and sobbing away at even one wrongly answered question, fighting for even half a mark, all in the name of reaching for that magical triple digit score?

Parents? Well, what can I say, having grown up from a background of not-so-high-achievers themselves, I wonder if parents who push their children to the breaking point were top trumps in their time.
If so, then it should be made consciously that their offspring should not be under any extreme pressure to keep the trend running in the family. Just because their parents were geniuses should not be made an excuse for their offspring to be just the same.
If not, then why is it that they do this to their children?? Pride and honour? Robbing them of a normal teen life, playing sports and going out with friends occasionally? Thats wrong!

And when you think about it, does this lifestyle guarantee them a secure, successful future? Unless you are a physchic gypsy, the answer is a straight no. So many successful people today have come onto the world stage, without ever being mentioned of grabbing top honours in school. Look at Thomas Edison, he discovered electricity and invented the lightbulb eventhough he was a school drop-out. Even my uncles and aunts were never kiasu or fighting for top spot in exams, and yet now they live such an easy, yet successful life. Likewise, have we heard of successful people who REALLY were kiasu and being #1 in class consistently?

Kiasuness, and this battle for honours will ultimately lead them nowhere. Job requirements never once stated about a minimum requirement of 5th place in the school exams or such things like so. What is important is that you really truly learn what you do in school and apply it in everyday life. If all you do is cram and stuff and squash facts and figures into your brain just to win the race, and then forget them the moment you leave school, then your "hardwork" is actually no work at all.

May 21, 2009

Why Twilight sucks *Part 2*

Courtesy of

1. Bella is a perfect character (“Mary Sue”), which Meyer hides by calling her clumsy.

2. Being clumsy is not a flaw if Edward always catches her.

3. She can’t do anything without Edward.

4. And when he leaves she attempts to commit suicide.

5. Meyer is living out her own fantasies by writing about Bella, who is clearly herself.

6. The books aren’t well written, just because every other word is a fancy adjective doesn’t make it good writing.

7. All the rules Meyer sets for being a vampire are broken by the end of the series.

8. Not only that, she breaks rules set by more esteemed authors.

9. The world population will come to an end because all girls who read this book will think they are Bella and will wait for their Edward to come until they are old. And he’ll never come.

10. Bella almost dies fifty thousand times, but Edward always saves her. This is boring.

11. Edward is too perfect and has no flaws either. Even vampires should have flaws besides wanting to suck human blood because it’s natural to them.

12. The reason the books became so popular is because Bella has no personality and any loser can put themselves in her shoes.

13. If Bella is so ‘plain’, why do so many guys fall for her within the first two chapters?

14. Bella teaches women to let the man handle everything, which pretty much is a huge step backward for women everywhere, who have fought for equality.

15. Isn’t it convenient that her father always leaves her alone and doesn’t question her? Real parents aren’t that way.

16. Lack of character development.

17. Bella is a useless, whining, doll that suddenly has become the idol for girls everywhere.

18. People say that Twilight is better than Harry Potter. Guess what? WRONG.

19. Edward is extremely possessive, border-line abusive, and boring as anything.

20. It’s too cliché.

21. This book contains no real sex, so it’s not really a vampire novel.

22. Read Anne Rice - those are vampires, not the girly men that Meyer has created.

23. You don’t have to describe the character every two pages, we know all about Edward’s ‘perfectly toned chest’ the fourth time she mentions it.

24. Bella reflects upon herself through the entire novel to tell important plot developments. Hey Meyer, ever heard of "Show, don’t tell"?

25. She never uses the word fangs in the entire book series, and it’s supposedly about vampire.

26. Her vampires sparkle. Enough said.

27. Supposedly Meyer never uses the word ‘said’ in the entire first book, instead using breath.

28. There is too much face touching.

29. It’s predictable, and childish.

30. We read the entire series just to laugh at the stupidity of it.

31. Meyer can’t think of original names. The only original name she used was Rennesme, which is combination of two names and doesn’t count.

32. Vampires can’t get people pregnant. SPOILER!

33. Vampire baseball was just a disgrace.

34. People think Meyer is the best writer ever.

35. The plot drags on forever, when it really could have been completed in two books.

36. Wow, yet another ‘original’ plot of forbidden love.

37. Why is it called the Twilight Series if only one book is titled Twilight?

38. It’s too easy to mock. Go on Youtube, how many mocks on Twilight do you see?

39. They use a drug reference in a book written for ten-year-olds.

40. Stephanie Meyer creates some interesting characters ie: Jasper and Alice. She then ignores them, and gives them no development.

41. Every Other Facebook bumper sticker is about Twilight/Edward. EVERY OTHER ONE.

42. Fangirls are so blinded by their love for Edward that they don’t realize the book is terrible.

43. Stephen King agrees that Stephanie Meyer can’t write ‘worth a darn’.

44. It’s stupid.

45. Bella.

46. Bella is Edward’s beard.

47. Meyer wrote four books about nothing, really.

48. Straight men sparkle?

49. It’s teeming with grammatical errors.

50. Bella Swan means beautiful swan, which is horribly cheesy.

51. Edward Cullen is sparkly; crows like sparkly things.

52. Do any guys actually like Twilight?

53. If the first 200 pages of your book rely on the mystery of a character's identity, don't slap "First, Edward was a vampire" on the back cover.

54. There's far too little actual conflict in the story. But this probably stems from having a flawless main character.

55. They fall in love way too quickly and it seems fake because no one falls in love instantly, especially teenagers.

56. They only love each other because she smells good and he’s hot. There’s no other given reason why.

57. It's just not healthy to teach young girls that True Love involves the guy watching you while you sleep.

58. Edward is HOT. We get it.

59. She had only been in Forks for a month when Edward had been watching her sleep for two months.

60. There’s something disturbing about Carlisle turning only teenagers into vampires.

61. All Twilight fans are insane, proved by several responses to criticism such as…

"What is your name, address and phone number, just so that i can track you down ank kill You with my super awesom vampire powers THAT I AQUIRED FROM READING THE SERIES!!!!!!!!!!"

62. And this…

"do you WANT a cult of angry twilight luvers like mysef at your doorstep at night trying to behead you????? you shouldnt voice an absurd oppinion like this on the internet."

63. And this…

"you must have not read much good litterature in youre life, because if you cannot appreciate the quality of this art.....YOU ARE MENTALLY UNSOUND!!!!!!!"

64. Isn’t funny how Twilight fans can’t spell and use proper capitalization? By the way, 61, 62, and 63 are real quotes.

65. The reason Edward can’t read Bella’s mind is because she doesn’t have one.

66. T. Pain would totally win Bella’s heart and beat up Edward because he’s on a boat.

67. Edward hits on the school faculty to get out of classes.

68. We applaud Stephanie Meyer, as she's got to be a rich woman by now, having found her forte in the insane cult of teenage girls who go rabid over her writings.

69. Vampires vs. werewolves (isn’t that a Facebook application and such a original idea?)

70. There's nothing worse than a fan girl going insane over a fictional guy. It's rather pathetic actually, so, um, yeah, get a life and keep reading those books, chickies.

71. This book was not worth the paper on which it was printed.

72. Bella has no goals and no future, her life revolves around Edward.

73. WWJTFD: What Would a Judgmental Twilight Fan Do? Answer: attempt to attack with the ‘cool vampire powers’ they gained from reading the series. Awesome!

74. Even if you like the book, it doesn’t live up to its hype.

75. Edward is a good VILF, that’s it.

76. “And I cried numerous times upon realising there would never be an Edward in this world.” – quoted from Almuvira Anona on Yahoo Answers.

77. A hundred years difference = pedophile.

78. It's a co-dependent relationship stripped down to the bare essentials. Girl: "I can't live without you. I want to change myself to be with you." Boy: "If you leave me, I will kill myself."

79. Stephanie Meyer must really be into pedophilia: first Edward and Bella, now Jacob and Renesseme? SPOILER.

80. New hot couple name for Bella and Edward = Bedward

81. You may think Edward Cullen is smart and fast, but Chuck Norris could take him.

82. Bella’s only deep thoughts are, ‘Edward is so perfect. I love him.’

83. The only reason I kept reading was to see if Bella could redeem herself by getting over him.

84. Jacob, who didn’t abuse Bella and was nice to her, was dumped and she chose Edward. Hmm, masochistic much?

85. Ms. Meyer writes the way I did when I was twelve years old, doodling in my journal.

86. “It would have been much better if Jacob and Edward discovered they were gay: no sequels, no whiny Bella. Amen to that.”

87. Many people have enjoyed the making of this, many have helped with it too…in other words lots of people hate Twilight.

88. You are allowed to have your own opinion, just like we are allowed to have ours. Get over it. Twilight fans don’t seem to understand that though and attack at the mention of flaw in the book.

89. Light Yagami doesn’t approve of Twilight so neither should you.

90. “Cause it’s dumb.” – Random Person on the Street

91. “It’s annoying as hell.” – Random Person on the Street #2

92. Martin Luther would not have not have approved if the book was written during his lifetime.

93. Harry Potter could beat Edward any day with his magic powers.

94. It’s offensive to the entire human race, both male and female.

95. The book was so bad we wrote 95 reasons why we hate it.

May 16, 2009

Why Twilight sucks

Ok, so I know this is a little long, but if you hate twilight with the same passion, you will find this to yours tastes.

Admittedly, writing a review of a book published 3 years ago makes me a little late. However, seeing as how the book has risen to such popularity that it has encouraged Hollywood to pump out a movie based on the novel, I feel slightly more justified.

The Bad: What I really want to convey to my esteemed audience is how awful, on every level, Twilight by Stephanie Meyer is.

So, I’m sure many people are recoiling after that statement. I can already hear the cries of “Well, if it’s so bad, why is it so popular (or “why are they making a movie”)”? I think the real answer lies in the insecure, lonely girls that make up a large part of the demographic supporting this novel. When reading the book, the female population of fans unconsciously place themselves in Bella’s shoes and, at least while they read the book, can feel that they are loved as much as Bella apparently is.

Grammar and usage errors aside, the story and overall writing is atrocious. Here’s a quick summary: Some banal shenanigans make it impossible for Bella Swan, the female antagonist from whose point of view the story is told, to live with her mother. She goes to live with her father in Forks. To make a long story short, her life is saved by Edward Cullen, she finds out he is a vampire and… Boom! They're in love. Madly, deeply in love. It just happens. All within the first few chapters. The rest of the book? Lots of smiling, glaring and boring Q & A sessions ensue, revealing all answers to any questions Bella or the reader may have. No suspense and no build-up at all. Bella apparently poses a threat to the entire non-evil vampiric subculture, so of course Edward asks her to go steady with him. But not until they've spent many, many, many chapters engaged in tedious 'banter' that is possibly intended to remind the reader of Pride and Prejudice ( or rather a fanfic loosely based on a bad film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice). The conversations are dully predictable. Example: Edward: "You are beautifuller than whole lots of things." Bella blushes a deep red colored color. Edward chuckles at the blushing, because, for some reason, he finds it amusing and attractive. Bella than snaps a 'witty' retort at said chuckling, conversation follows. You'll find several points in the book like this one. Then they hook up, and Edward glitters in the sun a bit like a fairy. Only within the last pages of the book do you get an exciting (which is up to interpretation) story that includes an antagonist for approximately 50 pages. The first 400-some pages were as bland as bland can be.

But my main issue is the supposed love between Bella and Edward, the two antagonists of the story. What is Bella and Edward's love (if you can call it that) based on? They have NOTHING in common. On Bella’s part, it's all based on looks, or magic, rather than character. Bella goes on and on about nothing but Edward’s looks and how “dazzling” he is. All the over-designing of Edward's appearance ended up feeling like was the author relishing in her own personal fantasy. Bella is too dependent on him and it's an unhealthy, disturbing addiction. (Stalking is illegal in all 50 states, Bella.).What is Bella to do, say when college becomes necessary? Judging by the hyper spasm she had at the end of Twilight, she couldn't possibly be separated from Edward for more than seven hours, tops. She has no sense of self. Her entire future has been put in the bin due to Edward.

As for the other side of this “love”, Edward only took interest in her since he couldn't read her thoughts. (Trust me, Eddie, I'm looking right at 'em, and there isn’t anything up there worth wondering about.) It's like a paranoid obsession. And Edward, as is the ailment of most beings that are considered more impressive than humans, is vain and finds humans petty and dull. Thanks a lot. But Edward loves Bella. I mean, he lusts after her. I mean, he wants to suck her blood. I mean, sniff her creepily. His love would be more convincing if Bella was more appealing in a unique manner. The author attempts to make her endearing by being shy and clumsy (a cheap appeal to the insecurity that lies in most women), but she fails. Bella instantly makes friends, eliminating the self-ascribed shyness and the constant clumsiness seems to be more like some sort of neurological problem.

There are apparently sequels, but unless they involve Bella Swan and the entire town of Forks being obliterated in a nuclear devastation, I don't intend to read them.

*Disclaimer* - This isnt MY actual review of the book, but since this one was so perfectly written, I had to put it up here.

For me, I hate Twatlight for 3 simple reasons- It's fake, it's unreal, its DISGUSTING ROMANCE-FANTASY!!!!

May 9, 2009

Wesak Day

Today, Buddhists across the world celebrate Wesak (sometimes spelled Vesak) Day, the day that Siddhartha Gautama Buddha was born, achieved Enlightenment and also died (not in the same year mind you).

The highlight of the Buddha's life is his attaining of Enlightenment, or Nirvana. On the night of his Nirvana, as he sat under the Bodhi Tree to meditate, 3 watches, or periods along with corresponding events had occurred:

During the first watch of the night, when his mind was calm, clear and purified, light arose in him, knowledge and insight arose. He saw his previous lives, at first one, then two, three up to five, then multiples of them .. . ten, twenty, thirty to fifty. Then 100, 1000 and so on.... As he went on with his practice, during the second watch of the night, he saw how beings die and are reborn, depending on their Karma, how they disappear and reappear from one form to another, from one plane of existence to another. Then during the final watch of the night, he saw the arising and cessation of all phenomena, mental and physical. He saw how things arose dependent on causes and conditions. This led him to perceive the arising and cessation of suffering and all forms of unsatisfactoriness; paving the way for the eradication of all taints of cravings. With his complete cessation of craving, his mind was completely liberated. He attained to Full Enlightenment.

In other words, the Buddha attained Nirvana when the 10 Chains that tied him to the Cycle of Endless Suffering and Rebirth were dissolved, liberating him from all forms of suffering. The 10 Chains are:

Belief in a permanent individual self

Doubt or uncertainty, especially about the teachings

Attachment to rites and rituals, the infatuation that these rituals will suffice;

Sensual desire

Ill will

Lust for material existence, lust for material rebirth

Lust for immaterial existence

Pride in self, conceit, arrogance

Restlessness, distraction


Along with the dissolving of the 10 Chains, he also reached Nirvana after fulling understanding his two teachings; the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, the latter now being one of the main practices of Buddhists everywhere.

Four Noble Truths-

1) The Nature of Suffering (Dukkha)

"This is the noble truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair are suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering."

2) Suffering's Origin (Samudaya)

"This is the noble truth of the origin of suffering: it is this craving which leads to renewed existence, accompanied by delight and lust, seeking delight here and there, that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for existence, craving for extermination."

3) Suffering's Cessation (Nirodha)

"This is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering: it is the remainderless fading away and cessation of that same craving, the giving up and relinquishing of it, freedom from it, non-reliance on it."

4) The Way (Mārga) Leading to the Cessation of Suffering

"This is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering: it is the Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration."

Just before Gautama Buddha died, he saw his faithful attendant Ananda, weeping. The Buddha advised him not to weep, but to understand the universal law that all compounded things (including even his own body) must disintegrate. He advised everyone not to cry over the disintegration of the physical body but to regard his teachings (The Dhamma) as their teacher from then on, because only the Dhamma truth is eternal and not subject to the law of change. He also stressed that the way to pay homage to him was not merely by offering flowers, incense, and lights, but by truly and sincerely striving to follow his teachings. This is how devotees are expected to celebrate Vesak: to use the opportunity to reiterate their determination to lead noble lives, to develop their minds, to practise loving-kindness and to bring peace and harmony to humanity.

We need not necessarily look upon Buddhism as a religion, although there is no wrong or harm in doing so, as it is just our perception and belief that it is a religion. Gautama Buddha is actually not a god nor goddess, as he is actually a spiritual teacher, and regarded as the Supreme Buddha. We do not necessarily worship him as the almighty, or the creator of the universe, what is important is that we follow and practice his teachings, for it is his teachings which guide us to a better living, making us better humans, and ultimately a life without suffering, not by merely praying to Gautama Buddha everyday for protection and happiness, etc.

I'm taking this 1 1/2 hour or so to reflect on how much Buddha's teachings have made me who I am today. I thank the Gautama Buddha for his teachings which have kept me away from the realms of corruption and wrongdoings, and just thinking about The Buddha, Buddhism and it's teachings are enough to bring me at peace whenever in stress.

Before I end, I wish Happy Wesak Day to all my Buddhist friends and Family.