Monthly Archives: January 2013

computer games

there’s this inter-school challenge on Garena for League of Legends and for the first stage RI is tops.

so the results are posted on facebook and then the whole picture has lots of comments with ‘wow ri can study but i didn’t know they can play’ and stuff like ‘wah i thought they study only got time play meh’

oh pleaseeeeeeeeee

times like this

well. there’s just too much stereotyping in singapore schools. advantages of an elite education yada yada

aiya. it just irks me that’s all. so you mean if i have good grades, it means i can’t be good at computer games, i can’t be good at sports, i can’t talk to girls, i can only study? ok can. score one for human jealousy, envy, and narrow mindedness… all of which i am also complicit to, by virtue of this post. sobering insights indeed

sportsmanship

this is going to be an angry post.

today i played a Singapore Floorball Association division 3 game. today some… person hit me in the face with his stick. and i am unwilling to give him the benefit of doubt, because i’m pretty damn sure it was intentional. because when i look at him he stared me down and then walked away without even saying sorry. and which fool swings his stick to head height in a floorball game? CONFIRM high stick.

i shouted when he hit me with his stick. picked up my specs. looked at him. ref doesn’t call. his teammates from the sidelines says ‘floorball floorball’. yeah if it’s just a game within the bounds of good sportsmanship why the heck would you do something like that? and yeah i don’t blame the ref these kind of ‘accidents’ happen. but why?

seriously? i have truly lost quite a bit of faith in humanity. why do people play dirty? i don’t understand. why do people intentionally hurt other people? i’m not talking about playing hard. i’m all for playing hard. i enjoy contact, that’s why i play contact sports. i like that physical challenge. when playing sports i’ve given and taken hard fouls, but i never intend to hurt anyone, and i always apologise immediately. i’ve set hard screens, and i’ve taken satisfaction in that, and i’ve sent people to the floor, but i’ve never done any of that with malicious intent. i’m guilty of hacking in basketball and hard fouls across arms, but i don’t clothesline people. i play hard, play physical, but i don’t play dirty. i don’t grab jerseys, i don’t pull shorts, i don’t grab hands, i don’t scratch, i don’t elbow, and i don’t hit people in the freaking face.

where the heck has sportsmanship and gamesmanship gone to? honour? isn’t there a code? aren’t people aware of it? why are they so gleeful when they cheat and get away with all these non-calls? don’t they feel remorse? any guilt? any shame in what they are doing? where is the fun in winning if you had to cheat to win? do you want a gold medal which you knew you won only because you started running from 50 meters when everyone else started at 100? why do people do stupid things like that? is there no more honour in the world? is there no identity? no valuation of self? no elevation of values? no teaching of such values?

this is the first time on the court that i have truly felt like hitting a guy. okay yeah when i get boxed out or my shot gets rejected in basketball i might go extra hard on the next play. set a mean screen. but it’s legal. and i aim to win, i don’t aim to hurt. i might bang a guy out of the slot in floorball but my hands are on my stick and its to let him know he can’t just waltz into my defensive zone. and it’s all legal contact. and i’ve gotten shoulders to my jaw, elbows to my gut, tripped up, whatever. but never before have i felt this anger that just rises up. gorges. i didn’t just want to hit the guy, i wanted to smash his face in. i wanted to wipe that smirk of his face by separating his mouth from his face. my mind went blank from anger. all i wanted to do was hurt him. this is the first time in my life that i have wanted to really lay the hurt down on someone.

and what did i do? i did the right thing. i picked up my specs and walked away. played the game. didn’t confront him. didn’t sneer at him. didn’t have any smart-ass replies (of which i am highly capable of). aware of the fact that i should not ‘sink to their level’ and i should holder myself to a ‘higher standard’ and act and play ‘like a gentleman’ and respect individuals groups and the community with kindness and respect and in so doing uphold the Rafflesian Principle of Honour.

you know what? so what if i did the right thing? it didn’t help. it didn’t make me feel better. it’s not making me feel any better now, at 2am in the morning, a few hours after getting hit. punching the idiot in the face and breaking his nose will make me feel better. big deal if i did the right thing. what good does it do? that i’m a better man? big deal. what is the use of being a better man if there is no comparison, if clearly people have no idea what being a ‘better man’ constitutes, and don’t strive towards that? what’s the good of it, if so many kids and young punks and whatnot across all sorts of societal boundaries everywhere fall victim to the scourge of dirty play? when even pro sports sometimes espouses such things? what happened to fair play and such?

who gives a crap? yeah yeah you say its okay zach you did the right thing. you know what? its really hollow. i also know i did the right thing. but i wish i didn’t. i wish i had punched the daylights out of the dude. to make matters worse the fellow is wearing a jersey with the words ‘Singapore Police’ on them. don’t you have any sense of institutional pride? i’m not flaming the police. i do believe in the sacred sanctity and value of their mission. but doesn’t this player and his team have any sense of belonging to their institution? any awareness that they bear the name of their organisation on their backs, and are a testament to that organisation? what does it say about Singapore if our people play like that? what the hell? there’s a lot of angry bitter stuff i have to say but it will serve no purpose. it truly boggles me how people can do this. is mankind truly that fallen? are we capable of sinking so far? truly man is wretched.

i really don’t get it. why do people have to play dirty? why does the mid-30s dude on my beloved neighbourhood court have to grab my jersey when i’m posting him up? can’t he just freaking fight for position? if i’m stronger and i’ve got more hops, can’t he play smart and deny the pass? do his work off the ball – in a LEGAL manner? WHY DOES HE HAVE TO CHEAT? WHY DOES HE HAVE TO PLAY DIRTY? WHY?! when i play with people who are more skilled and bigger and better and whatever, i know i might lose, but i play hard, and i play fair. so do my friends. WHY ARE SOME PEOPLE LIKE THIS? why? and why is dirty play always present? never removed?

this is truly saddening. i am very perturbed. very sad. disappointed.

basketball and music

So this year I have decided that I will learn to play the guitar. From my sister.

When I said that I will learn from her, she said she will give me a ‘holistic education’ in music. She will teach me ‘all that she knows’. She says I must learn music theory.

Music theory? Whatever for???

I said, that’s like teaching me to shoot a jump shot but making me learn the physics of it. I don’t need physics to shoot a hoop. I don’t need it.

She said, no! You need music theory.

Why? It doesn’t make sense. As long as I know the game, I can pass, dribble, and shoot, I can play. Same thing right? I know the song, I know the chords, I can play.

But noooooo! Music theory is more than that. I said, if I can pass the ball, means I can pass the ball. Sister said, well, if you can pass the ball to me, that’s good. But you know can chest pass! What if someone else comes in and you have to pass to them, and it has to be a bounce pass? You can’t do it. But if you know what a pass is about then you can adapt.

It’s like playing man to man, and zone. It’s different, but it’s still defense. You need to understand defensive principles. So you can play many songs and many schemes.

Ah! Music is more complicated than I thought. Very much so. One can only try.

jedi powers

today while talking to bor ray i said ‘i want to be a jedi knight’.

but using the Force doesn’t solve anything. a good jedi doesn’t use his powers for his own personal ends. a good jedi seeks balance in the Force, and to do good.

this is incredibly difficult.

do consider this scenario: you, dear reader, exist in reality as we know it today. now, arm yourself with a wide variety of Force powers, including being able to influence minds, perform incredible physical feats such as not breathing and jumping insane distances, throw Force lightning, levitate, telekinesis, Force pull, Force push, battle meditation. Add to all these an aura of mystery and the coolness of belonging to an exclusive, elite order, with all the bravura that comes with it. top it off with wielding a lightsaber, a weapon for ‘a more civilized age’, capable of cutting through nearly anything, deflecting blaster bolts, and being cool in general.

now, all these powers make you well nigh invincible, do they not? basically you can get anything you want, do anything you want, without anyone really being able to oppose you. if you can’t do it with diplomacy and mind-control, you can always opt for ‘aggressive negotiations’ with your lightsaber and Force lightning, if you so choose to. Alternatively you can use your Force-enhanced piloting skills to fly your StealthX fighter and rain down fiery death and proton torpedoes from the atmosphere.

but you see, this isn’t what being a jedi knight is about. it’s about self-control, and being able to choose to do the right thing. often it is about not using your powers. i mean it. put yourself in that position. think of all the problems you have. wouldn’t having an array of Force abilities solve a lot of things? but would it be right?

it is even harder to have self-control and self-awareness, when you know that you are equipped to do anything you want. but that discipline and self-control is what sets the jedi apart. often we revel in unleashed carnage and mayhem and we possess some degree of fascination with uncontrolled power (why else do we like all the explosions that come with the bad guy’s rampage in any movie), but true heroism is in having power, yet using it judiciously. think Luke, think Optimus Prime. These dudes!

and it translates to real life? yeah, maybe we don’t have proton torpedoes, lightsabers, or the ability to transform into a totally badass, city-levelling, cannon-toting 30 ton engine of destruction, but we are armed with human willpower and choice. and it makes a difference. we can do things, but are we doing the right thing? man. life is tough. but everyone’s a hero inside – its whether you want to be one or not.