Saturday, 25 February 2017


I lived in a suite called 2Red in ISRC last year, and now I'm back, typing this out.

It's queer to think about the change, in the meaning of what it means now and then, and the growth.

It's quiet again. I was trying to decide downstairs with Dominic's intercession, whether I wanted to play caps at the frat, or stay and watch 30 rock with Conor and Alex. Or just do homework. I guess the latter is now my decision.

It was a messy helplessness. I knew I was socially aware but it finally became at odds with my desire to be as honest as possible. So I guess the right answer was I wanted to play caps at the frat because I prefer to do something over watch 30 Rock because I wanted to move, I wanted to do something rather than watch TV. But then I didn't want the caps game to debilitate my ability to study, because I know my schedule is still so tight. All of this is coupled with a general feeling that I want to hang out with people and so leaves out my room, 101, or the library kinda.

So I'm back in 2Red. It's got a lot of life now compared to last year, when I could sit at the window and let the 4pm sunlight stream onto the pages of War and Peace. I'm a social butterfly, and I think in part it's the logical result of two pathologies. 1. That I always seek new-ness, and bringing people together. 2. I like personal space, and I don't like clingy-ness. And I get this bad feeling that people then perceive me to be closer to some groups than I actually am, because I 'choose' them over others - not realizing that in actuality, I hang out little with most groups. And then bring in the problematic urge for deep and meaningful conversations that only take place after having spent time (or alcohol) with them. This is further complicated by my knowledge that friendships here are temporarily solid at best. As the Onion article put it well - something about how just graduated friends promise to stay together are going to break apart as soon as they part. And then another point - I know that in my head I constantly spin a mythical tale or setting of being alone but meeting a stranger and having a deep conversation, or a person that I've never had a chance to yet but do because of the coincidence. I beat myself up because I know this impractical dream is an insult to the wonderful friends I already have but I neglect in part because I'm chasing an all-or-nothing 'romantic' setting.

Maybe I still haven't gotten over all the problems I've had in the past. And maybe I want yet don't want a stable group of friends/person to be with.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Loneliest Dream

It's been a few hours, and the urge to really write out and describe this post/dream is largely gone.
But I remember still, I possessed this intense feeling of loneliness from this dream, which was just largely seeing other people together, many of my friends included (although their names and faces escape me). I was not sure what to make of it. I'm still not, ah well. It's no coffee day.

Monday, 13 February 2017


I've decided to write because it's that kind of atmosphere right now.

I just remembered moments in the army, and even further back to primary school, and the juxtaposition of it really 'shuddered' me. Sitting here, in the fraternity house, doing readings for Peoples of Africa, and remembering that far away heat, in the 10C4I office, walking home alone or just to get bhar chor mee. Fuck man, it's wild. I can remember it all so clearly, but maybe it's Heidegger and Freud messing with me now, but it's so unheimliche... maybe it's the music, and the fact that no one here will be able to remember that but me, or that Captain Andy and friends, at some point in my life was so meaningful, and now it would just be awkward seeing them, or I guess not. But knowing how different my life has divulged from clashing with everyone in this universe is just the strangest feeling or alienation and humanity. This weirdness extends to the fact that Dominic would probably get what I'm saying yet Kester wouldn't. And yet Kester would understand my recollection where Dominic wouldn't.

Maybe what I'm feeling is just, a 'spiritual' kind of loneliness.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017


Told myself I'd be involved with mixers and stuff but quite frankly caught the Jake in a sense that I'm not that interested.

I've had a lot to think about, and I feel like I'm already in post exam phase halfway into the quarter. C'est la vie, ou peut être, c'est l'hiver.

Unfortunately, I think I am a little tired after all and won't write at length. Realism is how I cope but not what I ultimately want. It's hard to accept this pilgrimage status.


I penned that a while ago, but today is a different story. A turn for the worse, unfortunately.

Surprise surprise, another 'frat' guy speaking about recent events. To be clear, I'm speaking as an individual here. I do not generally like to make too many public reactionary political comments (for reasons not relating to apathy), and especially for an issue like this, where I completely understand anybody who might feel my comments disingenuous or tokenist in nature. (And on the opposite end, making a big deal out of nothing) But honestly, I feel pretty strongly about it. And by strongly, I mean extremely disgusted, and extremely frustrated. I'm talking to fellow guys here. (and yes I acknowledge guys get raped too) Here goes the (calm-ish), admittedly preachy, rant.
First of all, while I acknowledge these are still 'allegations', it matters very little to my intention - whether they are found guilty or not, I'm going to use this unfortunately-realistic scenario as a good time to say something.
Actually, that's my second point. I believe the survivors, and I admire and respect their bravery. A lot of people question this assumption, alluding to 'due process of law, presumption of innocence'. It's unreal how frustrating this is, because while I respect it in principle, this is just not something tenable in practice. Many of these cases is one person's word against another. You know who wins then? The privileged guy with more money, contacts, and 'reputation at stake'. I hear people say 'this will open the gates of false rape accusations'. What person would go through all the legal and public trouble, on a lie? Why are we presuming the guy's innocence but imagining the girl to be some 'nasty woman'? What about her innocence? It is already not easy to relive trauma in court, let's not dissuade testimony on what are a minority of guys repeatedly violating HUMAN rights.
Another thing. Why the hell do we have a fraternity (and national HQ) on campus whose nickname at other schools is literally Sexual Assault Expected?! Actually, don't tell me, I know why, and I disagree. Yes, not all guys are bad. Heck, not all the brothers there are bad. But when this issue literally earns you a nickname, and there's been no institutional/cultural/leadership change (you can't just keep excusing yourself that 'oh this happened at another school we're fine', when you are supposed to be the national example/leadership), one has to seriously question their sincerity. Also, do not give these guys a space on campus when other less privileged groups don't.
That's my third point: it's a culture problem. If this was just a guy stealing property and UNLESS the frat was known to tell it's members 'taking people's property is fine, it's obvious the owner was careless', people will more likely believe it was an eccentric individual. But this isn't. We KNOW 'locker room talk' exists, because I've heard it, and all of us heard Mr. '10 minutes of action'. These are guys who treated women LIKE property, probably in part because they've heard brothers imply that they are, and that 'it's fine because she wants it, playing hard to get', or whatever nonsense.
And my last point. To my fellow brothers, to other guys, to myself, don't forget to always say something, and do something. Some people have given me dirty looks today, and I want to say, I welcome them. It's a fallacy in my opinion, that we call people 'woke'; awareness isn't past tense, it's present continuous. We should be 'staying woke'. It's a culture problem, and culture is an aggregation of habits. It's impossible to pretend your character developed in a vacuum, we have to check/remind ourselves always. I've caught myself saying or thinking or believing or feeling stupidly sexist things like 'dang this (female) professor is really annoying' and then imagining if a male professor had said the same thing, I wouldn't have batted an eye. Side note to my Singaporean friends, if you think this culture isn't in our society too, that it's an American hookup culture problem, I strongly ask you to reconsider.