The name of our beautiful reward isn’t profit. Its name is freedom.

This morning, we watched Ursula Le Guin’s speech at the National Book Awards. I would like to share it with you, because everybody should watch it.

If there is one thing that I have learnt from my life with Bridget, it is that the meaning of life is freedom. Happiness is only one result of freedom.

The reason why it is so difficult for many of us to be happy is because the capitalist condition leaves us indentured to all forms of institutional control. Sometimes, our existence is so messed up that we mistake personal choice for freedom. We think “I choose to go to the gym”, “I choose to be vegan”, “I choose to wear these clothes”, “I choose to undergo cosmetic surgery”. And the biggest lie of all: I choose a sustainable lifestyle. Why is that even a choice? Unless you don’t care if the world ends in a hundred years. And most of us don’t.

The greatest trick of the capitalist condition is to make you think that you make all these choices yourself. THIS IS NOT FREEDOM. This is choosing to lie down or stand up in a prison cell.

Freedom is not convenient. It is not comfortable. It must be constantly negotiated. Freedom is resistance.

… the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art.

Bridget is always quietly seething about the local arts scene and I am always loudly ranting.

Why? Because there is no resistance. Without resistance, the fate of new work is mediocrity. It is a commonly held belief for many artists that once your work goes out into the world, it has a life of its own. Without resistance, you’re jinxed by mediocrity. And that is all.

If you’re an artist of our times and you’re producing work that’s cute and palatable and unchallenging, many times because you’ve accepted money from an institution of control, rethink your vocation. You don’t have to defend yourself against my views, because they are just my views. It is just the little voice inside you that you will have to address in a matter of time.

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Our Migrant Workers: Dare To Compare

bangla_prawnsmigrant workers singapore

 

Another reason we like ‘the people’s supermarket’ or Giant at Joo Chiat is because the radish kimchi is never out of stock and no one expects you to buy flat kimchi in place of the cube one. While on our way trying to locate this radish specimen, we came onto this Bangla worker clipping prawns while cradling his phone of course and three AC remote controllers. Ever deep in conversation he did not notice my photo taking just 2.5 steps beside him. He clipped the prawns without choosing, knowing too well how they will turn out. He walked away right after I took his photo and I stepped in place to have a good look at the prawns, though if I’ve passed it many times. I took the second photo to share with you.

What’s joyful in life?

 

***

Prawn Curry is a traditional Bangladeshi recipe for a classic prawn curry cooked in a chilli, tomato and onion sauce flavoured with garlic, turmeric and garam masala. Now I’ve watched five prawn curry youtube videos and approved of the below. I don’t know for certainty what kind of curry he will make for his prawns. But I followed my heart-gut and know it should be tasty enough to eat with a lot of rice and not necessarily many prawns or good prawns.

This is what I found.

bangla_prawns4 bangla_prawns3

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If you are thinking of Proust by now, I don’t blame you. Maybe because I don’t cook (or marinade) but can ruminate, or because I already think I cook by imagining, but truly how does one be uninspired by joy?

HY says she will attempt the recipe by ‘Zayi’. I am not the only one who has become a fan of the way she teaches cooking. Shouting from a good distance can make the room feel like there’s only me and her. Someone mentioned in the comments “my husband loves your way of cooking”. I have assured HY it is not difficult. She promises photos of a step-by-step insight.

Frozen Thawed Grey Prawns, my friend!

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Antique Diamond Cluster Ring

pera_artdeco_navette_ring2Antique Diamond Cluster Ringpera_artdeco_navette_ring4pera_artdeco_navette_ring8pera_dia_S_ring_22k2pera_dia_S_ring_22kpera_dia_S_ring_22k4cloche_groove

 

 

We have a bonanza at The Jealous Society. But at World Savage, it is considered a mountain on a molehill. In fact we will be nose bleeding through many nights until the year is over.

You know, we are dreaming of a white christmas at Bantam. Maybe Sunway Lagoon!

Please help you help us.

 

1. Vintage Peranakan Jewellery, Art Deco Navette Ring

2. Antique Diamond Cluster Ring, Peranakan Swivel Ring

 

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hump days should not have to feel like

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World Savage, World Savage

Beauty is in all beings that love and are loved.

 

San Lang will be seven on Valentine’s 2015. He has not calmed down. I read somewhere he will by nine.

I wonder if he remembers all the houses we’ve lived in, his friends who used to visit him when he stood by outside the old house, when he could receive ‘visitors’ on their way to work or when they came home, of his brothers and sisters under the pallet box in Loyang.

Every day is Wednesday for him and HE DOES NOT COUNT.

 

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Dark Light, or Special Gifts

special gift ideas Singapore

bathing_beauties bathing_beauties2 special gift ideas singapore gothic art for sale gothic art for sale french_gothic_chalk_glass4special gift ideas singaporeVintage Japanese oil paintingBalloon Man Ornament60s_man_balloon_iron4

 

While light is always relative and gradual, darkness is absolute.

 

Philosophy aside but how often have we felt darkness to be darkness, and light to be a million other things/words?

2014 is a happy year for me, but I still regard winter as my awakening. See that’s the paradox of living. The necessity of creating a winter if you crave one. The imagination of an unending summer if you are deep in routine, habit. Together, we live on, a dream before the nap, and a dream upon wake, truly a-wake when a-sleep.

 

1. Antique Bathing Beauty Figurines IV, V

2. Gothic Art For Sale, Antique Gothic Decor

3. Vintage Japanese Oil Painting

4. Balloon Man Ornament, Small Modern Sculpture

5. Paradise Lights

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Hwee Yee and Bridget

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