Thursday, April 30, 2009
As a kid, a long time ago, I was brought up in a dog-friendly environment.
My parents and siblings simply adore dogs.
Dogs give us their unconditional love, friendship and loyalty.
They are obedient and ever eager to please.
The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, IS HIS DOG.
A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground where the wintery winds blow, and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side.
He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the sores and wounds that come in encounter with the roughness of the world.
He guards the sleep of his Pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains.
When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in it's journey through the heavens.
If misfortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies.
And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in it's embrace, and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true, even in death.
DOGS guide us to the sunshine world through their eyes.
They teach us to show love to whom we hold so dear, and let them know we care.
LIFE'S SHORT and you may never know what's around the next corner.
They are our BEST FRIENDS - our BELOVED DOGS.
Heavenly creatures, won't you all agree?
And the whole canto pop world clamored for more.
This is a tribute to DANNY CHAN, HONG KONG pop singer and composer extraordinaire.
DANNY died in 1993, after 13 months in comatose.
It had been widely reported then that DANNY suffered from a depression of sorts, and was hurting badly from psychological loneliness and a sagging career in the later part of his life.
He became a recluse, was manic-depressive and resorted to drugs and alcohol.
As a result, he was found unconscious in his residence one fateful day in 1992, apparently from an accidental overdose.
Whether this one is fact or fiction, the mystery died with DANNY.
Time has really flown as DANNY CHAN had been long gone for 15 long years.
These days, whenever his evergreen hit MY TEARS FLOW FOR YOU is being aired over the radio, memories of DANNY would come flooding back.
A sense of DEJA VU. Merci.
It's like some weird kind of resurgence, just like the lyrics from ROBERTA FLACK's famous song:
"I heard him sing a good song,
I heard he had a style,
And so I came to see him,
And listened for a while,
There he was this young boy,
A stranger to my eyes ...
Strumming my pain with his fingers,
Singing my life with his words .... "
Killing me softly with his songs...."
I still recall vivid memories of the early 1980s, when I approached DANNY CHAN, then a fledgling singer and a host of other Hong Kong artistes for a charity performance courtesy of the LIONS SOCIETY OF SINGAPORE.
Whilst the Hong Kong artistes are contented to twin-sharing rooms, DANNY peremptorily insisted on a single room just for himself.
Whenever he had a mood swing, which he often did, he would give the P.R. conferences a miss and went swimming in the hotel pool instead.
At that time, I found him to be as self-centered as he was perplexing, and I had to cajole him for at least an one-to-one interview with MICHAEL CHIANG (currently editorial consultant with the Singapore MediaCorp 8 Days Magazine), then a journalist, at the Mandarin Singapore's poolside.
DANNY even requested that I treat him to a VERSACE fashion show staged at the Mandarin Hotel and he wanted to meet DICK LEE because he heard that from grapevine that they both resembled each other.
Frankly, DANNY was relatively unknown in 1981. But on that night of the charity performance at the now defunct SINGAPORE NATIONAL THEATRE, I was startled by his powerful vocals when he belted out his hit MY TEARS FLOW FOR YOU.
Now it's as though time has really stood still.
DANNY CHAN's soulful evergreens will always remain as a heritage with his fans, invoking a deep sense of loss in many of us, of a great talent that has passed on.
Were I really friends with DANNY? I am clueless.
Eons ago, when DANNY was still around and whenever I was in Hong Kong for project meetings, we would make a point to meet for afternoon teas. Our usual tete-a tete rendezvous was at the Chatterbox Coffee Shop at the MANDARIN HOTEL.
DANNY was the effervescent good looker who loved to mingle with the socialites and the fashionistas and it was not uncommon for our chats to be interrupted by a beautiful "someone" who would just come hither with a "wooo...how are you and what have you been doing lately? That's a nice really striking shirt you are wearing...and..."
Hug, more hugs, smooches ...
Boleh tahan, tak?
DANNY loved to be complimented as a hip haute trendsetter, for his fine dressing.
His pretty boy features made him look good in anything he threw on, including those slick jackets of his - be it worn-in leather, black blazer or safari style. His looks are always stylish, never less.
He was a veteran of style, be it funky, edgy or flamboyant.
The biggest problem with DANNY CHAN was his moods.
On some days when I ran straight into him at the REGENT Hong Kong, he would "feign" the I-don't-know-you routine and breezed pass me without even a simple hello.
Ignorance was bliss then.
Then when I sought to give him back a dose of his own discipline, as I was rushing back to my hotel on NATHAN ROAD, he would cross over to say "hello" to me with a curt "Hi, so you are in town? Let's have tea tomorrow at the old place, OK?"
It was really exasperating to play the "mind-set" with this man.
I remembered fervently that DANNY had a penchant for the LONDON scene and he always wanted to make an annual "pilgrimage" there . I did not know his reasons and I never asked.
But I had an intense dislike for his then manager, an obnoxious albeit pretentious man called K.K. TAM.
K.K. TAM was rude and arrogant, and extremely tactless in his dealings.
And wow, he was lucky in the 80s to have 3 extremely popular talents under his artiste management belt.
They were DANNY CHAN, LESLIE CHEUNG and PAUL CHEONG.
As FATE would have it, all these three artistes succumbed to suicides, under mysterious circumstances.
It's something still baffling to this day.
But nonetheless true.
As I have said, life moves in strange circles.
It's either you believe this one or not.
He is your FRIEND, your PARTNER, your DEFENDER, your DOG.
You are his LIFE, his LOVE, his LEADER.
He will be yours, faithfully and true, to the last beat of his heart.
You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
In adversity, we know our friends.
I agree with the statement that if, at the end of life, we can count on at least two people, who are friends willing to do anything for us at the drop of a hat.
And who stand ready when we are hurting or need help.
If so, then we are indeed fortunate.
We can talk with FRIENDS about every facet of life - joys, trials, unhappiness, tragedies.
We can make ourselves vulnerable to them, knowing that they will always think and act in our best interests.
Since FRIENDS and FRIENDSHIPS are so valuable, how can you acquire more?
If you go out in life looking for friends, they will be hard to find.
However, if you go out in life striving to be a friend, you will find them everywhere.
Woe is a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances in life.
Make new friends,
Keep the old,
Those are silver,
These are gold.
Age will mellow and refine,
Friendships that have stood the test of time,
TIME and CHANGE are surely best -
Brow may wrinkle,
Hair grows gray,
FRIENDSHIP NEVER KNOWS DECAY.
So value true friendships that come your way,
They bring rays of sunshine into your LIFE.
Friendships are like nutrients
That nourish our lives.
SO LET'S CELEBRATE FRIENDSHIP!
With the current global financial crisis that is hurting us deep into our pockets, it's little wonder that anybody can be driven to the verge of a mental suicide.
Especially for the average-type businessman.
How do you brace for challenges in tough times?
How do you stay resilient during this worldwide economic crisis, right up to year 2010?
Can you foretell what tomorrow will bring?
Or if your survival strategies will bear fruit.
How do you harness peace of mind when you are feeling queasy?
Pray and hope for a few minutes of solitude, of bliss?
BLISS can be momentary, but really, who cares.
It may be packaged in small doses of self-indulgence.
Close your eyes and allow your imagination to take flight.
You're escaping from reality.
You may be transported to an aesthetic realm, where worldly problems are temporarily cast aside.
You may experience intense pleasure, but unless you try, you'll never know.
Like anything else, just go with the flow.
Hmmm ....heavenly bliss.
YOU LIKE RED CHERRIES?
They are luscious, they are red and inviting, they "seduce" you to taste them.
You may read sexual connotations in cherries, something of the birds-and-bees kind.
Perhaps not, if your mind is as clean as a sheet.
You cannot be such a quirky virgin.
Let's say when you are very much alone. shrouded in total privacy, and all you hear are birds chirping and the bees humming merrily, then it's about time.
TIME FOR SELF-HAPPINESS, errr .....MASTURBATION.
MASTURBATION is for real and all medical journals attest to this.
It's part of growing up and in some way, a part of growing old too.
It's solitary sex, self-gratification leading to fireworks of your mind and then mental bliss.
After that, there's a great calm, you feel drained of energy and the realm is ever-so-peaceful.
You are gratified.
EVERYONE masturbates, at one time or the other.
It's as though your own genitals need some form of exercise.
The teenager works at it during puberty, maybe out of curiosity.
The adult masturbates whenever they are gamely stressed.
Self-release from a troubled mind, without a doubt.
Modern living in a stressed world rocking amid the throes of recessionary blues can be very trying.
Fellow blogger ANDREW1 has his clear directions in mind when he writes:
"It's always been a fascination,
I've have never lacked for motivation,
Always finding the inspiration,
A wonderful form of relaxation,
Much more fun than meditation,
Starting with some stimulation,
You get that feeling of elation,
As it begins the elongation,
Followed by the levitation,
Then waiting in anticipation,
Of enjoying the final sensation ..."
Wow, naturally comes the "fireworks" of explosion!
We all hope to be spared from this dreadful feeling arising from the global financial crisis.
Hush away, blues!!!
If anything else, it only deepens your "horniness".
But HELP is just round the corner, haha.
Go on - REACH OUT with your HANDS!
Now, GO CATCH THE SPRAYS!
But don't ask me how to do it.
Did I not hear somebody says, "A penny for your thoughts"?
You're transported back to "home-ground", back to reality, to where you belong.
Don't be brutal.
It's just another personal RANT, after all.
I have uploaded something LIGHT-and-FUNNY for you here on a similar subject. Check this one out.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I am crossing sensitive boundary again with this designed-for-adult-only-RESTRICTED ZONE.
The subject is SEX, ZEN and their implications.
My target audience is celebrities, film makers and ad people who know how to appreciate the finer things in life, besides wealth.
I am not here to titillate anybody or to pique controversy.
It's either a matter of good taste, bad taste or art's taste.
To each his own.
It's something we all know, yet nonetheless is food-for-thought here.
And if any nice person is offended by my content and pictures here, please write to me and I will gladly oblige to delete all and sundry here.
Blogspot admin guys also, please take note.
Because I know that the pictorial will surely make your heart skip a beat if you do not allow religious beliefs to cloud your judgement here.
Often, I like to sip my tea and let my thoughts take flight.
I had recently finished re-reading a naughty 1928 book LADY CHATTERLEY'S LOVER by D.H.LAWRENCE that was banned once upon a time for its explicitness in sexual content.
It explores unbridled sex and sexuality during the Victorian days, and it was deemed a bold approach to what was strictly taboo then - sexual intercourse in novels.
A genre like LADY CHATTERLEY'S LOVER would be deemed "tame" these days.
We move on with the times and technology. Somehow things change.
SEX is food for our souls.
Even the celebrities and world leaders are at it. Pretty normal these days, huh.
Yet, when it comes to the topic of THE BIRDS and the BEES, how far can we go?
For sure, the birds chirp merrily and the bees buzz happily.
And when we undrape the human form, is it obscenity when it comes to exposing the full genitalia?
GOD has created genitalia for the genders.
What is Art? And what is not when it comes to SEX?
How do we play by the rules?
SEX is metaphorized as the BIRDS and the BEES.
BIRDS are like men with penises.
BEES are like women with vaginas.
MEN impregnate eggs.
WOMEN give birth.
SEX is therefore the key for survival of both.
"Let's do it ! Let's fall in love !"
For virgins, SEX should be performed rightfully with the one you love.
In ASIA, our values tend to be more traditional than our Western counterparts where SEX is observed as a rite to be consummated after marriage. Yet again, with the advent of the internet and art house films, morals change.
There's often a lot of pressure to lose one's virginity, that is, having sexual intercourse for the first time.
So let's say that daddy and mummy get married, have sex, live happily ever after and propagate the family tree.
Therefore, the proper SEX exists for:
MARITAL PLEASURE (every normal being is at it),
UNITY (the intimate fusion of two naked bodies bound in physical and spiritual love) and
PROCREATION (the man "deposits" his sperms inside the female during sexual intercourse, and it will take 9 months for the "peach blossom" to bloom).
Other than these?
Go guess - but just don't come up with something ridiculous, OK?
Now take a breather and enjoy a comedic banter with famous stand-up comedian CHRISTIAN FINNEGAN on his satire 'THE BIRDS AND THE BEES".
Loosen up, folks !!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
" WE ARE ALL ALONE." LESLIE Cheung the LEGEND. What Price LIFE? " LIFE isn't measured in MINUTES. It's the MOMENTS that really COUNT."
LESLIE CHEUNG might have nosedived to his death from the 24th Floor of the MANDARIN ORIENTAL HOTEL in HONG KONG on April 1, 2003.
Yet until today, he had left behind many unanswered questions.
Despite relentless coverage by the paparazzi, his private persona had always been shrouded in mystery the way he wanted it.
And right to the present, the world is still gaping in consternation and clueless at his choice of abrupt departure on April Fool's Day 6 years ago.
1. Did he intend his hasty retreat from mankind to be a cruel case of life imitating art?
2. Was he suffering from an incurable disease as some cruel speculations say?
3. Was he suffering from manic DEPRESSION?
4. Was it an impending break-up with his boy friend of many years that drove him to this mindless act?
For this ACTOR-cum-SINGER extraordinaire, the secret was buried with him.
LESLIE CHEUNG's entertainment career started in 1977 when he wowed the judges at the ASIAN MUSIC CONTEST organized by RTV (currently know as ATV).
He was Hong Kong's prettiest boy hunk, a self-declared bisexual and his life mirrored a thousand facades.
He is an ASIAN cinematic legend taken after JAMES DEAN for both the good looks and chameleon moods.
We will always remember the charisma and the angst that he portrayed often in his songs and films.
LESLIE CHEUNG is one powerful, daring and seductive performer who will take your breath away.
An actor's lot is beseiged with pain and angst, within and without - reel and real.
He also taught us that when you are in this world, everyone is living a role.
No one is what he seems to be.
Not even the closest one next to you.
And that in life, ever individual has a game to play.
There's always a way out of anything.
Except the past.
That was his vision.
And when you finally realizes the truth, it may change your opinion forever.
WHAT PRICE LIFE?
LIFE isn't measured in minutes.
It's the MOMENTS that count.
Count your blessings.
Because whatever you may have today, it may not be around tomorrow.
SO ENJOY THE MOMENTS WHILE YOU MAY.
This 16-year-old girl named RACHEL WILSON, she penned a sad peom to herself. I was all at once stunned by the clarity and realism of her words:
You said you'be there for me,
But when I really opened up to you,
You just don't wanna see,
But when I have these thoughts and breakdowns I ring
and you're never there.
I can't sleep at night, can't sleep anymore,
My constant pains, my constant heart sores
all the thoughts of death I have, and suicide,
I tell you about them,
Why do you expect me to hide?
I THOUGHT YOU WERE THE ONE I COULD TURN TO
WHEN IT GOTTEN TOO MUCH,
Well, you could fool me,
My feelings you don't wanna touch,
I WILL JUST STAY AWAY,
I GET IT - CRYSTAL CLEAR,
But one day suicide will take over,
Then maybe you will realize my FEAR.
Yah, there's a stark difference between DEPRESSION and SADNESS.
When you are depressed, you do not feel like being with anybody.
You either sleep more than usual,
Or you can hardly sleep at all.
Your appetite is either non-existent or increases dramatically,
Your energy level goes way down
And you've a hopelessness about LIFE ...
As difficult as it is,
It is also important that you get out of the house and seek help.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
My mentor, an Executive Film Maker befriended LESLIE in 1978 in Hong Kong when he was just starting out as a a rookie.
He remembered visiting LESLIE on set at the RTV's when he was filming his first cantonese drama series called DESTINY.
LESLIE was then under the tutelage of K.K. TAM (who was simultaneously managing DANNY CHAN, another Hong Kong singer).
But it was under the ace leadership of FLORENCE CHAN some good years later, that LESLIE's career really soared.
The rest is history.
I have downloaded LESLIE CHEUNG's rendition of Rita Coolidge's WE ARE ALL ALONE from YOU TUBE for your listening pleasure here.
Not many of his fans know that LESLIE's first record was an album of ENGLISH covers.
And there is a rare gem here, a radio recording of LESLIE CHEUNG being interviewed in ENGLISH.
TIME HAS REALLY FLOWN.
AND MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THESE.
LYRICS of " WE ARE ALL ALONE ":
Outside the rain begins,
And it may never end,
So cry no more, on the shore a dream,
Will take us out to sea,
Forever more, forever more,
Close your eyes and dream
And you can be with me,
'Neath the waves through the caves of hours,
Long forgotten now,
We're all alone,
WE'RE ALL ALONE,
Close the window, calm the light,
And it will be all right,
No need to bother now,
Let it out, let it all begin,
Learn how to pretend.
Once a story's told,
It can't be but grows old,
Roses do, lovers do,
So cast your seasons to the wind,
And hold me dear, oh hold me dear,
Close the window, calm the light,
And it'll be all right,
No need to bother now,
Let it out, let it all begin,
All's forgotten now,
We're all alone,
Oh, WE ARE ALL ALONE.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Have you been scared silly by a roller coaster ride?
Imagine you are strapped inside an open carriage of the ROLLER COASTER.
And you begin to wonder why you ever step in.
But it's too late.
As the machinery starts- and the carriage is shooting you to a dizzying height, you are right up in the air screaming your lungs out, flipping upside down along the way (more screams ...).
You feel delirious, your heart's in your mouth and the flipping occurs another two or three times along the route and stops just when you feel gonna puke.
THIS IS LIFE, spiced with thrills and spills.
You experience severe ups and downs, pains and joys, sorrows and heartbreaks.
As they say, LIFE GOES ON.
So you have to pick yourself up and let yourself go.
There's no point reminiscing the past, dwelling on what's over, and trying to pick up the remnants of what's been left behind.
YOU WERE THE ONE WHO MADE THE CHOICE, whether it's the RIGHT one or NOT, it's a learning experience.
All of us want to be successful.
Yet TRUE SUCCESS is about being HAPPY, living a FULL and RICH life with GREAT FRIENDSHIPS.
Not forgetting about throughly enjoying what we do.
You can help grow the economy in an innovative and creative way, helping and caring for those who are less fortunate than yourself.
IT'S ABOUT LEAVING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE THAN YOU HAVE FOUND IT.
AND HAVING A SERIOUSLY GOOD TIME WHILE YOU ARE DOING IT.
Life can be like a ROLLER COASTER,
Just when you think you've had enough,
And you are ready to get off the ride and take the calm, easy merry-go-round,
YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND,
Throw your hands in the air,
And ride the ROLLER COASTER all over again,
That's LIVING LIFE A BIT ON THE EDGE,
THAT's BEING ALIVE.
LIFE can be really tough, sometimes.
There'll be sunshine for sure.
Followed by the rain.
Storm? YES, and you' ll be smack right in the mid of it.
Life can be edgy if you are unprepared for the unexpected.
But no sooner than you can utter "hey presto", you espy the warm rays and the glow.
You're back to neverland.
You're back on common ground.
Life can brutal with the pains and the joys.
You can be maimed and bruised by horrific experiences, but life goes on.
A wry smile, a gentle smile, a mirthless smile, a broad smile or a sparkling smile.
Any kind of smile.
It lightens you up even if you feeling intense and desolate.
It "clears" the weather and brightens all and sundry around you.
A beaming smile can usher in the early spring with the songs of birds in accompaniment.
Try it. It's worth your dime.
LIFE IS NOT AN EASY ROAD FOR MOST,
IT TWISTS AND TURNS WITH MANY FORKS IN THE ROAD,
AND ALWAYS, AND INEVITABLY, WE ARE GIVEN A CHOICE.
DO WE TURN TO THE RIGHT, OR TO THE LEFT?
DO WE TAKE THE HIGH ROAD, OR THE LOW ROAD?
DO WE TAKE THE EASY PATH,
OR THE DIFFICULT ONE?
DECISIONS ARE NOT EASY FOR THOSE STRUGGLING FOR DIRECTIONS.
When things go wrong, try to focus on something or somebody you love dearly.
Here's a beautiful poem:
How can one smile such sweet smiles,
When one is so saddened by sorrows for miles,
How can I smile the same smiles,
When life brings me nothing but tears.
I wondered for so long,
What reason you had to smile that long,
To keep smiling though troubles come,
And still remain sweet and silently overcome.
I feel happy when I see you smile,
Even if I am sad or lonely,
Your smiles bring me somewhere,
I don't even know where.
I guess life's like that,
We need not a reason to smile,
For a SMILE is the REASON itself,
To rejoice and open-heartedly give thanks.
In trying times, count your blessings.
There's a myriad of sad souls out there who are worse off than yourself.
They are the homeless, the orphans, the beggars, the aged who are starving in the winter of their lives.
Spare a thought and lend a hand to do some charity.
AND THE WHOLE WORLD SMILES WITH YOU.
And if you cry?
Well, you cry ALONE.
CAN YOU FEEL THE SOUL IN A BEAUTIFUL SMILE? Here's COCO COLA's very endearing SMILEY TVC that will bring rays of SUNSHINE into your life. KUDOS to the Ad Agency for this heartwarming storyboard that will surely bring CHEER to tide us over this gloomy yuletide season.
Monday, April 6, 2009
THE WORLD IS GETTING TO BE ONE HELL OF A ROTTEN PLACE TO LIVE IN.
GLOBAL warming, conflicts, political strife, inflations, economic recessions, power struggles, terrorism, civil wars, greed, cruelty....
HEADLINES like these scream for attention, from the media and internet every day, making us quiver with disbelief.
We go to temples and churches to preach our sermons, and then leave afterwards to plunder our own mankind, thus creating a paradox of ideals.
Will the world end one day?
It's anybody's guess.
Anyway, let's do our part to infuse some cheer in this senseless world of slaughter and mayhem.
SO MANY GODS,
SO MANY CREEDS,
SO MANY PATHS THAT WIND AND WIND.
WHEN THE ACT OF BEING KIND,
IS ALL THIS SAD WORLD NEEDS.
Maybe there's a kinder world up there, over the rainbow...A WORLD WITHOUT WOES.
Only time can tell.
Friday, April 3, 2009
STAYING IN TOUCH WITH OLD FRIENDS?
YES, it'd be good to reach out, every once-in-a-while and connect.
It's nostalgic to take a walk down memory lane.
It's great to rekindle old ties.
FRIENDSHIPS may end, or drift apart if you allow them to do so.
It's therapeutic to embrace old friendships, and to know how our buddies are faring,
Are they happy?
Are they successful in their careers?
So first stop - SINGAPORE.
This close chum of mine lamented that this beautiful island has no place for baby boomers as they are deemed to be "has- beens". (As though people don't grow old).
Particularly during this dreadful time of recession.
He's in his 40s, and has been jobless on and off, for some years, despite being a true blue professional.
He has an MBA degree, is highly qualified, and had even enjoyed a stint on a corporate consultancy project at the NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE before.
He has had a glorious career way back then in the 70s and 80s, and a boon of experience to give.
But no - what a shame .....
Now into his 40s, he has arrived at this age deemed "too old" by any standard in sunny SINGAPORE.
What is this, man? Come on, have a heart!
He has to compete, tooth and nail, with the "springies" (younger generation).
He had been offered rock-bottom salaries, (take it or leave it), to add insult to injury.
He feels unwanted and bruised and left hanging on a string.
He even contemplates now of working part time as a taxi driver to supplement his income. Arghhh .... a MBA degree holder driving a taxi?
Is this what organized SINGAPORE is all about?
Treasuring the young, shunning or "dumping" the old?
YOUNGIES ARE SPRINGIES?
OLDIES ARE PASSE?
Hey, time does not stand still and everyone grows old sooner or later (akan datang).
YOUR TIME WILL COME.
Mature professionals should be treated the way you'd want your parents to be treated, yah?
Just take a look at the Singapore's STARMAKING SYSTEMS and their promotional formulae.
SINGAPORE has only one gigantic film factory that monopolizes the churning of prime time soaps or dramas.
The FOCUS is primarily on YOUTH and EYE CANDIES.
You can't deny that it's strictly 100% "YOUNGIES ARE SPRINGIES" policy here.
Support media such as the 8 DAYS and I-WEEKLY single out their hot favorites in terms of SPRINGIES to grace their weekly COVERS.
It's always either FELICIA CHIN, JOANNE PEH, JESSICA LIU, JEANETTE AW (Management knighted her as the new AH JIE recently) or FANN WONG over and over again, for goodness sake. We adore these gals, but we can't be eating sardines everyday, right?
We are not talking about pret-a-porter, avant garde or high fashion stuff.
We want to be grounded with doses of reality.
We PREFER to know more about ZHENG GE PING or CHEW CHOR MENG and not the myriad of stale pretensions about FANN WONG (too much is an overkill. She's laughing all the way to the bank, thanks to you).
These beautiful SPRINGIES smile ever so joyfully for a few more years, and who knows - MAYBE their MANAGEMENT might get tired of them when their endorsement deals are on the wane, and then they might be unceremoniously tossed aside to make way for NEW FRESHIES.
It's a results-oriented world and shit happens all the time.
Reality bites, and one can't really see beyond the crystal ball.
I say, we are bored with an overflux of "prettiness". We want content.
Where are the thespians such as XIANG YUN, HUANG BIREN or HONG HUI FANG?
Too old to grace 8 DAYS covers?
Go take a cue from the ever successful HONG KONG weekly tabloid MING PAO where mature stars still shine and grace their covers most of the time.
MING PAO is NOT a fashion magazine by POSITIONING and hopefully, neither is 8 DAYS or I-Weekly, so there!
The paparazzi there respects veteran actresses such as LIZA WANG, LOUISE LEE SI-KEI, NANCY SIT and DO DO CHENG, to cite a few - and more often than not, have them gracing the covers.
And HONG KONG TVB are relentlessly aggressive in their GLOBAL MARKETING (kudos to them), and DVDs of their DRAMA SERIES are available in every corner of the CHINATOWNS, all over the world.
SINGAPORE DRAMA SERIES? Well, you'll be lucky if you can unearth a couple of noteworthy titles in Malaysia - if you search hard enough. Unless you are talking about the pirated stuff.
It's a pity as some of the SINGAPORE drama series are wonderfully written - and can give HONG KONG TVB a run for their money, anytime.
It's obvious that the Station is trying to emulate HONG KONG TVB but still has to work harder at it.
Now, which star is bankable outside of SINGAPORE?
Except for making an advent into MALAYSIA collaborating with NTV 7, not everybody is appreciative of the SINGAPORE drama fare, or the attractive bevy of stars, except for Miss FANN WONG who garnered fame ironically through JACK NEO's movies, and not from the Station's dramas.
Hey, we don't buy magazines just for the pretty covers.
CONTENT is the name of the day.
To understand, take a look at the prime time slot- CHANNEL 5 and 8, during commercial breaks.
We took time to sit through some prime time soaps in SINGAPORE, but as compared to MALAYSIA, THAILAND and even CHINA, it's hard to espy any noteworthy brands of TVCs on air, during these breaks - but mostly, a juggernaut of the Station's own TRAILERS promoting forthcoming programs or dramas. Not enough advertisers?
Wonder what the Station is going to do to raise AD REVENUE during this troubled time?
The AD AGENCIES generally have LOWER budgets in the LION CITY for TVC productions, as compared to the allocated budgets in MALAYSIA and THAILAND.
Consumer spending? YES.
Of course, it has also to do with the SIZE of the respective MARKETS.
It is a case of chained reaction. You don't give me what I want, then there's no point to advertise in that particular channel.
Besides, it's a move to DIGITAL MARKETING these days!
What else would you expect?
The PRIMARY audience who watches the family drama series are mostly the aunties, uncles, mothers and grannies.
Would they appreciate watching TVCS targetted at the young audience?
Maybe so, maybe not.
And the talents?
Well, it would not be hard to guess that it is "spring chickens all the way"!
NO OFFENSE HERE, but we are treated to the same alluring faces all the time on prime time soaps and it is a darned case of "over-exposure", not that we do not appreciate eye candies.
Night after night, month after month, year after year, it is the same nubile dames or the next-big-thing dudes (DAI YANG TIAN for one) who preside over the goggle box, so much so that the viewer will not hesitate to switch over to the satellite channels for want of "fresh air".
The recently concluded LITTLE NONYA, a blockbuster which we all love, claimed to have broken all grounds and records in SINGAPORE (where else?}, bestowed heaps of compliments on their YOUNG LEADS but faintly ignored the thespians without which the show would not have made it to the top of the ranks.
Where are the REAL stars in that series such as LIN MEI JIAO, DARREN LIM, LI YIN ZHU, NG HUI, YAO WENG LONG, CYNTHIA KOH or XIANG YUN?
Don't they feel a tad left out in the publicity blitz directed at the SPRINGIES?
Wouldn't blame them for their "grief" to justify this act of insane ignorance.
While ignorance is bliss, it's a sensitive issue of RESPECT here, this one.
A case in point would be, as the CORE group of writers and producers/directors of the station are getting younger by demographics, it makes sound sense that these youngies are generally more comfortable working with actors of their age group.
My marketing guru used to teach me, before we embark on any project, to repeat this REMINDER over and over again in my mind -
WHERE IS THE MONEY COMING FROM?
Sound advice, lah.
Let us learn from this comely poem:
MAKE NEW FRIENDS, (newbie actors)
Keep the old, (established ones)
Those are silver,
THESE ARE GOLD.
Like new wine,
AGE WILL MELLOW AND REFINE,
Friendships that have stood the test of time
TIME AND CHANGE - are surely best,
Brow may wrinkle,
Hair grow gray,
Friendship never knows decay.
For amongst old friends,
Tried and true,
Once more we our youth renew.
But old friends, alas, may die,
New friends must their place supply.
Cherish friendship in your breast,
New is good
but old is best,
MAKE NEW FRIENDS,
KEEP THE OLD,
Those are silver,
THESE ARE GOLD.
So actors, actresses, clerks, salesmen, professionals out there, you have a right to despair.
The world is always UNFAIR.
We've to learn to be solid and sordid.
BLAME IT ON THE BOSSA NOVA.
Listen to the 1963 upbeat song by EYDIE GORME and let your hair down.
Come on, de-stress yourself.
Move to the RHYTHM, dance to the BEAT!
Cheers, cheers, CHEERS!