Thursday, November 27, 2008

Please boycott DBS for funding anti-gay equality group!

Hey everyone,

I've found out that DBS has organised a Christmas promotion that sends money to Focus on the Family whenever people use their DBS cards. You can read more about it on this site.

The site describes FOTF as "a charity dedicated to helping children and families thrive". Well, that's not the whole story. The group, first founded by the Reverend James Dobson in the USA, has been actively involved in anti-gay initiatives since its inception. (Some source materials below.)

If you're a member of DBS and you support gay rights, I urge you to

1. Shift your account to another bank and cut up your DBS card. Since DBS has merged with POSB, POSB customers might want to do the same thing too. (If you can't afford to shift banks, at least stop using your DBS card till the end of the year, to show solidarity.)

2. Write to DBS to complain, using the following site: For added impact, send them a snail mail. The address is:

DBS Bank
6 Shenton Way, DBS Building Tower One
Singapore 068809

You may wish to use the following template:

Dear Sir/Mdm,

I am writing to inform you that I am considering closing my DBS account. This is in protest of your bank's recent Christmas promotion, in which DBS claims it will make donations to the organisation Focus on the Family for every set of teddy bears redeemed.

You may not be aware that Focus on the Family has played an active role in suppressing gay equality, both in Singapore and abroad. As a person who believes in gay equality, with many gay and lesbian friends, I object to the bank's support of such a bigoted organisation.

In Singapore, Focus on the Family has used its "counsellors" to spread misleading information in secondary schools, using a brochure called "Straight Talk" that spreads lies and negative stereotypes about gay and lesbian people and their "lifestyle". (See

Focus on the Family is also aligned with Choices, a group that attempts conversion of homosexuals - despite the fact that the American Psychological Association sees homosexuality as a normal condition, and sees deprogramming of gay people as more damaging than good. (See

In the United States, Focus on the Family has not only been involved in anti-gay propaganda and conversion efforts; they have also donated large sums of money against marriage rights - and the founder, James Dobson, has been accused by scientists of manipulating data to create statistics to back up his anti-gay prejudices. (See

DBS has tens of thousands of customers who are gay or who are friends and supporters of gay people. For your bank to donate to an anti-gay cause shows shocking insensitivity towards this section of your customer base. I am sure there are many other banks who would prefer our patronage.

Yours sincerely,

(Your name here).

Monday, November 24, 2008

Annabel Chong in Chinese?

My Mum's insisting that she's heard about a Mediacorp Channel 8 serial about Annabel Chong. Or else it's a serial in which the original Annabel Chong is acting in Mandarin.

Do you know anything about this? She says it's called "野玫瑰", or "Wild Rose". Google's not being very useful.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Come see me act.

At 8pm next Friday and Saturday, 28 and 29 Nov, I'm doing a staged reading of filmmaker/Tisch Asia student Wee Li Lin's short play "The Tent".

I'll be playing a straight Eurasian schoolteacher. Patricia Toh will be playing the teacher I wanna schtup.

Come see me enter the wonderful world of pretending! It's free!

UPDATE: This version of the poster is cooler:

Friday, November 21, 2008

I has a new part-time job.

Doing oral history transcription for the National Archives of Singapore! It's boring grunt work, but it's still pretty fascinating.

(Wait, that's completely contradictory, while also being true.)

I'll also be finding out whether the results of the Singapore Literature Prize (why not just call it SLiP?) on the evening 3 December. I already have my evening dress picked out.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Photos from the Sinai Peninsula

Near Mt Sinai, St Katherine's Protectorate.

Bedouin guards, St Katherine's Protectorate.

Monastery Giftshop, St Katherine's Monastery.

Dinner, St Katherine's Monastery Guesthouse.

Backpacking Japanese instant friend, St Katherine's Monastery Guesthouse.

Russian pilgrims, Monastery's Guesthouse.

Cafe, Monastery's Guesthouse.

Our room, Monastery Guesthouse.

Mysterious nook, St Katherine's Monastery.

2:30 am outside our room, Monastery Guesthouse.

Pilgrims about to climb Mt Sinai, Monastery Guesthouse.

Bedouin camel for tourists, Carmel Path.

Pilgrims, Carmel Path.

Bedouin coffee-and-souvenir shops, Carmel Path.

Rest stop, Carmel Path.

Summit, Mt Sinai.

Sunrise, Mt Sinai.

Enlightened pilgrims, Mt Sinai.

Us, Mt Sinai.

Summit of Mt Sinai after sunrise.


Bedouin souvenir hawker.

Emergency Clinic.

Rest stop, Steps of Penitence.



Graft of the Burning Bush, St Katherine's Monastery.

Rooms at Sphinx Hotel, Dahab.

Restaurant behind Sphinx Hotel, Dahab.

Puddy tat, Dahab.

Puddy tat taking advantage of father, Dahab.

Hong Kong kids whom we hitched a ride with to Petra after only occupying the room for two hours, Dahab.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hell hath no fury

Apparently, my mum's pissed that I spend so much time trying to culturally enrich my niece Kimberlyn. She feels I'm not giving her enough attention, since I'm hardly home for dinner. I pointed out that I tried to ask her out to watch "Nunsense" with us, and she said no. She said she's jealous. Yes, she confirmed. She's jealous of a 9 year-old girl.

Sigh. It's hard to ask my Mum out for cultural events because she's 1) always flying off elsewhere or busy with work and 2) she doesn't go for the "funny-funny" stuff, which is basically anything conceptual and/or gay.

Which means that I'm left asking her out to wholesome musicals about dancing nuns (actually, "Nunsense" turned out to be a bit more risque than that).

Sigh. I suppose I could take my mum to Chinese plays. Like "Tian Leng Jiu Hui Lai". But dammit, there's a gay character in there too.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New, updated where I've been chart

visited 34 states (15.1%)
Create your own visited map of The World or try another Douwe Osinga project

Which means I've visited six completely new countries since early 2007. I think they're Israel, Egypt, Jordan, the Philippines and Vietnam. Ooh, and the Palestinian territories! I'm a little put out that they don't count Hong Kong and/or Macau.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Capoeira is gayer than I thought.

Just go look at this blog entry from Queer Me Now. Or don't. Especially if you're a straight guy and/or a minor. It's extremely NSFW.

No, I don't understand why they're doing it, but it seems to be an established trope, called capoeira de gaucho, making fun of people in Southern Brazil, who are all allegedly gay. (Those making travel plans, take note.)

In other news, I sucked ass in the roda today. Unfortunately, that simply means I played really badly. :(

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Until yesterday, my American friend Shannon thought I was a bisexual FTM transsexual.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Seeking an Audience: A Symposium on Singapore Literature in English

Hey, I'm doing a 4:30pm panel, a 6:30pm reading and having a 5:30pm mini-singthru of "Georgette" at this event. It's co-organised by NLB and NTU.

Details from here. You've gotta be registered to attend the early events (and the deadline's passed), but everything's open from 5:30pm on.

Cocktail Reception at The POD, Level 16, National Library Building
* A musical performance produced by Stella Kon
* Reading by Ng Yi-Sheng and impromptu readings by others
* Readings by Joseph Prem Anand and Fam Wee Wei, from Bear Fruit (Creative Writing) Programme

The Symposium is being held in connection with the launch of Singapore Literature in English: an Annotated Bibliography compiled and edited by Prof. Koh Tai Ann in collaboration with the National Library.

Registration has closed on 24 October 2008 and all successful registrants have been notified. We regret that only confirmed registrants will be admitted. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Good news!

1. A number of news sources are calling the American elections for Obama. I'm at an American friend's house watching CNN; they've projected an Obama win in Ohio and Virginia. (These are based on exit polls, so the Bradley effect isn't taken into account...)

OMG! CNN just called it for Obama (also based on projection)! And they're being extra-cautious after Kerry and Gore...

UPDATE: McCain's already giving his concession speech! And he's being incredibly classy... I now understand why Andrew Sullivan thought he could end bipartisanship. The crowd's booing a bit.

UPDATE TO UPDATE: Obama's talking. Oh, I know it's formulaic, his oratory style, but I'm still tearing up. Everyone in the room is crying, *everyone*. (I'm in an American dyke couple's house with their friends, y'see.)

2. Isrizal from the kangaroo T-shirt case tells me his side has managed to strike out the affidavits from the AG. The prosecution will have to bear the cost and the hearing is adjourned till 24 November.

3. My mum just got to meet Prince Andrew in Chengdu.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Three Things.

1. My friends (do I know them well enough for them to be my friends?) John Tan Liang Joo, Isrizal bin Mohamed and Shafi’ie are being tried for contempt of court for wearing kangaroo T-shirts to protest one of LKY's defamation trials as "a kangaroo court". It'll be at the High Court 6B from Tuesday to Thursday, 10 am.

Go and support them. Not sure if I can today, given that I'm a bit sick, but I'll definitely be there one of the days.

2. The U.S. elections are today. Jesus fuckin' Christ. John's of the opinion that both Obama and McCain are equally bad in terms of foreign policy, but I honestly think the US (and any concept of world human rights) will go down the toilet permanently if McCain wins. And you know what? I kinda like America. New York City, at least. Which counts.

(See Gawker for larger image of the above. UPDATE: Obama says his grandmother passed away on Monday.)

3. I'm rather distracted by artist David Kawena's illustrations of Disney heroes as underwear models. Below photo from Hollywire, artist's Deviantart page here, better access here.

(There, I blogged about things according to priority. Happy? Sigh.)

Monday, November 03, 2008

Went back to capoeira today after three-month hiatus.

And it was great! Seriously: I HEART ADRENALINE.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Texts October 2008

Slight Middle Eastern overload here, but not much. It's good to be reading.

And oh yeah - who on earth can actually believe that "Dr. Strangelove" is a good movie by today's standards? It's draggy and clumsy and the comedic timing is lousy. Watched it during my five-movie-marathon on my SIA flight from Egypt.

+Mahmoud Darwish’s “Unfortunately, It Was Paradise”
+Farid Ud-Din Attar’s “The Conference of Birds”

+Michael Cunningham’s “The Hours”
Fred Hoyle’s “October the First is Too Late”
+John Grisham’s “The Runaway Jury”
+Alaa al Aswany’s ”The Yacoubian Building”

+David Hare’s “Via Dolorosa and When Shall We Live?”
+Li Lienfung’s “The Sword Has Two Edges”
+Sophocles’s “Philoctetes”
+Haresh Sharma's "Walking Into Doors"
+Eve Ensler’s ”Necessary Targets”

+Amos Oz’s “Let Us Divorce”
+Chris Berry, Fran Martin and Audrey Yue’s “Mobile Cultures: New Media in Queer Asia”

+C. S. Lewis’s “The Great Divorce”
+Benny and Alice Lim’s “Killer Vampires from Hell” (probably actually by Ralph Modder)

NUS Stage’s ”backtoback”
+Teater Ekamatra’s “Sidang Burung (Conference of the Birds)”
+Langkan Budaya Tartak's "Malam Bangsawan"
+British Theatre Playhouse’s “Blonde Bombshells of 1943”
+Spell#7 and Evan Tan’s “Sky Duet”

+The Israel Museum’s “Unexpected Connections”
The Helena Rubinstein Museum’s “ARTLV”
The Substation’s “Flipside”
+Valentine Willie’s “REFRESH”
+Kenny Leck’s “A Literary Enquiry into the Origins of Our Ideas on the Human Condition”
+Asian Civilisation Museum’s “Asians in Monochrome”

M. Night Syamalan’s “The Happening”
Brian Robbins’s ”Meet Dave”
Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove”
+ Chris Miller and Raman Hui’s “Shrek the Third”
+Wong Kar Wai’s “My Blueberry Nights”
+Singapore Malay Film Society’s “Purnama II & III”
Michael Wang’s “The Carrot Cake Conversations”
+Way too much US election coverage on "The Daily Show with John Stewart" and "The Colbert Report"