There is this over-reliance on analysts to provide choice quotes in many news stories. I was miffed when I read today’s BBC online story that Coke was pulling Vanilla Coke out of the UK market. Coke didn’t say exactly why in the story, but here’s what the reporter wrote:

Analysts say the firm is trying to lure those turned off sugary soft drinks and looking for diet or health beverages.

“This means that Vanilla Coke has been doing badly and it is not working and not having the visibility that there is a decent chance that it will work longer term,” said Manny Goldman, a San Francisco-based beverage industry consultant.

The quote is obviously put there to represent what Coke wouldn’t say outright, but seriously, can the analyst have something more interesting to spout than the blatantly obvious?

What if I were an “industry analyst”?

Said Mr YH Tan, Singapore-based beverage taster with 29 years of saccharine experience : “Vanilla Coke is the bomb. It’s sweet, it’s sugary and it will kill your exercise regime with two sips. I love it, but I can understand why Coke wants to pull it out of a European market where people want more healthy drinks than your Pink Bandung-guzzling Asians. Over here, we don’t worry about getting fat because we work too hard to be drinking Coke all day long and then complaining about it.

“They’d better not pull Vanilla Coke out of Singapore or I’ll quit drinking Coke altogether. Or worse, I’ll drink Pepsi Twist which sometimes comes in a slightly larger value-added can.”

Generational Gap

“I worry that further withdrawal of the body will increasingly depersonalize creativity in our computerized age. It is already a given that many young architects can’t draw, relying on circuitry to do their imaging for them. Nor can many of them model, never having built things with their hands as children, and felt the pliancy and fragility of structures, the interrelationship of empty space and solid mass.” – Edmund Morris, Beethoven’s Paper Trail

Read article here (Word format)

A well written article that I came across in the Straits Times today. Unfortunately, ST cut down the article a bit due to space constraints and the story looked a little skewed as a result.

Much as I like the article, I disagree with Morris on the depersonalisation of creativity. One may come across more kids with little experience of the tactile (or anything traditional), but this just makes it easier for those who had done so to shine ever more in the mass of mediocrity.

History has consistently shown the majority of men are “average” – nothing more, nothing less. Most people will not bother to do more than the minimum in anything that they do, unless they seek a greater pleasure or power.

There is this tendency by the old fogeys to look upon the digitalisation of human beings as a dumbing down or making us plain lazy. This is nothing more than the generation gap, where parents are always aghast at the crap their children are consuming. One day Isaac will laugh at my MP3 collection too.

The Amazing Sitting Mei Mei

The Amazing Mei Mei

The little girl is growing up fast. Unlike Isaac who took forever to balance himself (no thanks to his large cranium and small ass), she’s been raring to get on her feet. At six months, she suddenly decided she could sit up and is now vertically unchallenged.

Hopefully, I can marry her off soon to some nice guy and have more time with my computer games muhahaha.
In the meantime, I’m dying to gripe about some stupid things that people do, but you know lah, me being a journo and this being a blog, I’ve got to keep my bloody mouth shut about the really interesting stuff.

Mr Liu Kang

Liu Kang

Liu Kang (image from NUS webpage)

I never knew the famous artist well, but I met him during his last year of his life when I did a TNP story. It was a difficult interview, my Mandarin was rusty and he was preoccupied with other things on his mind.

I asked him how did he endure his temporary blindness that stopped him from painting.

He said, “Nian qing ren yao kan de kai.” (Young man, you have to take things easy.)

I know it was difficult for him during those dark days, but his words remain with me. “Taking it easy” is one of the most difficult things to achieve in life, but the old painter was telling me an unassailable truth. I guess that’s why I don’t get so fed up with the kids’ wailing these days.

Like Seilin told us over 10 years ago, “Endure, because the day will pass.”

ACS is Snob

When I was applying to get into ACS (this was before there was a second ACS) in 1988, my mum was with me when we met Mr Ying. He is more popularly known as Lao Ying (old eagle) and is considered one of the institutional pillars of the school.

My mum, full of barbed words as usual (so it’s not my fault I speak like this okay), said: “Why is it ACS boys must always wear such expensive and branded clothes? What kind of things are you teaching the kids?”

Lao Ying hardly blinked behind his thick glasses and said loudly: “ACS is a branded school what!”

Spot on, old man.