#23. My Take on the Ah Boys To Men Casting Issue

Hi.

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Yes, I have once again fallen off the face of the earth, but I’m back. WITH VENGEANCE.

No, but really, my comeback post is gonna kinda sorta start on a negative note, but my intentions with this post is positive. 💕

If you haven’t heard, a freelance actor, Shrey Bhargava, has recently come into the limelight for writing a Facebook post about how he feels coming out of an audition for an upcoming sequel of local feature film, Ah Boys To Men. He was even recently questioned by the police because of what happened from that post, which is ABSOLUTELY ABSURD.

You can check out the post that started it all here.

There’s been a whole lot of argument from different people from different sides discussing Shrey’s post, but I’d just like to give my own two cents about this, even though no one will probably bother reading it, but I am just so internally frustrated [read: ***TRigGeREd***] and upset about the whole situation that I just need to let this out into the universe.

And also because, “my feminism will be intersectional, or it will be bullshit”.

Okay, final disclaimer: I used to be an ignorant person who participated in casual racism and other negative behaviour from time to time, but I’d like to apologise for that. I am still very much a very flawed human in society and I acknowledge that I still have so much left to learn.

Okay, final non-disclaimer: Take a shot everytime you read the word “prerogative”.

✨OKAY, HERE WE GO. WOOHOO. SO FUN. (not)✨

1. The main issue isn’t solely about putting on an accent for a casting. It’s about unnecessarily forcing a stereotype into one’s race solely for comedic purposes with no addition to the story.

Let’s put it this way, local Singaporean film, Lulu The Movie, had an appropriate use of an accent. The lead character, Lulu, had a certain accent, not simply because she’s Chinese and “Chinese must have a certain accent blahblahblah”, but because the character is from a specific area so it matches the representation of the character.

But in the ABTM casting, the character Shrey was auditioning for is a local Singaporean. At least this is what I gather based on the given casting lines, which is available to the public.

And I get it, local Singaporean Indians could speak with an Indian accent too, that’s not a crazy thing to consider. If the director wanted his character to have “a more traditional Indian accent”, that is fine. Directors have their own visions for their characters.

But the point where he was asked to “make it funny” by becoming a stereotype of a certain race is the issue here. It’s that this character, the humor in this particular scene, will only be present if an accent is present.

Read the given lines for this character and imagine it being said by someone with a plain old local/Singlish accent. Do you think it’s funny? I personally don’t think so. Shrey wasn’t asked to do physical comedy to make the scene funny, he was asked to portray a stereotype to get a laugh, and that is completely ridiculous.

2. Now that’s out of the way, let’s move on to the most ridiculous argument here, “I make racist jokes with my friends, and no one gets offended, chill out”.

*INSERT JENNA MARBLES SCREAMING NOISE*

It is your own prerogative to make racist jokes and not be offended by racist jokes, but just like how Donald Trump doesn’t speak for all Americans and how Taylor Swift doesn’t speak for all musicians and how Amy Schumer doesn’t speak for all comedians, YOU DON’T SPEAK FOR ALL OF US WHO HEAR RACIST JOKES.

When you’re joking with your friends, it’s in a comfortable environment. You can call your friend a bitch, and no one’s feelings may get hurt, but the moment an outsider calls them a bitch, OOOOOOH DAMN SON SHIT’S ABOUT TO GO DOWN. Am I wrong?

It’s like how we all complain about menial things in Singapore, but the moment a foreigner complains about one small thing, it’s like HU DA FUCK IS U GET OUT OF MY COUNTRY, SON.

Your tolerance for casual racism does not equal other people’s tolerance for casual racism, so please just stop even using this as a talking point.

3. “It is not the production team’s responsibility to fight against casual racism, if they wanted a majority of Chinese in the cast or if they wanted a character a certain way, that’s their own decision”

This is right. It really is their own prerogative, and no one can fault them for that. It’s not their responsibility to be role models in the entertainment industry (though I would admit, it’d be fucking great if they were), but it does say a lot about what they really think about these issues on hand.

In my humble opinion, it comes off as if the people producing the film thinks that Indians can *only* be funny if they act like “a full-blown Indian man”- whatever the fuck that means.

But regardless, yes, it’s their prerogative, but at the same time, it’s also other people’s own prerogative to comment and bring up issues they find in their work and create a discussion about it in hopes that things could possibly change for the better in the future.

4. Chinese Privilege in the local media industry exists. Let’s just talk about the media/entertainment industry here, because Chinese privilege in its entirety is a much bigger topic that I do not have the mental energy to discuss fully right now.

For those who don’t know, I’ve been working in the media industry for almost 4 years, and even though that really isn’t a long time, I’ve seen Chinese privilege apparent all over the industry. Some people in the industry may not like that someone “on the inside” is saying this, but sadly it’s true.

Just like how it’s not J Team Production’s responsibility to enforce 100% racial equality in their films, it’s not a product company/advertising agency/production house’s responsibility to do the same for their campaigns/TV shows/ads. However, I think it is people’s responsibility to at least acknowledge that Chinese privilege is a thing that actually exists.

I personally don’t see an issue with there being more Chinese on TV than any other race. Since the Chinese do make up the majority of the nation, it only statistically makes sense. What bothers me is that because of this, some people somehow have the mentality that the Chinese should be represented more than any other race.

If you work in casting, you would know that there are way more jobs for Chinese talents than there are for any other race. Even the ABTM casting is looking for 4/5 Chinese actors for roles, with the remaining 1/5 to be between Malays or Indians.

Again, it’s people’s own prerogatives for casting whoever they want in the work that they produce, but I believe people should at least acknowledge that CHINESE PRIVILEGE DOES EXIST. And that this is an issue that could be greatly affecting some people’s lives, and that it isn’t something that can just be swept under the rug.

Someone mentioned that they were being hard with their criticism of Shrey’s post because “peace and harmony in the country is not easy and God knows our country went through shit for what we have today”. Well I personally wouldn’t say that people keeping quiet about the issues they constantly go through can be considered as “peace and harmony”.

Perhaps our country is still going through shit fighting for proper peace and harmony, and maybe that not too much of a bad thing. 💕

#22. GPOY!

Hi.

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I think my productivity train in this blog is slowing down quite a bit. I’ve been trying to work on the dating app series, but it just really hasn’t been productive recently, and to be honest, I’m not really that keen to actively figure things out in that space right now.

Since there really isn’t much for me to blog about right now and I was just itching for some creative output of any kind, I thought it would be kinda fun to film a video!

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Now aside from my horrible audition video, which we will never speak of again, I haven’t made a proper sit down video of myself in 6 years. Wow. I didn’t even really realize it’s been that long until I had to look it up.

The video isn’t anything too serious. I really just wanted something to practice filming and editing with, and as I was filming and trying to work on the first cut of the edit earlier, my skills have almost completely deteriorated and I am horrified.

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After filming, I thought I looked pretty cute, so here are some gratuitous photos of myself. Because I just think that I am so cute.

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I’m still working on the video, desperately trying not to cringe at every said sentence.

In the meantime, have a great weekend, kids!✨

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#20. Here’s What You Probably Want To Know About Tinder

Hi.

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A lot of people seem pretty curious with what Tinder is and how it works, but rarely enough to actually download it for themselves. But the moment they hear someone at the table has the app, they get all excited and ask to go through a few couple swipes with some kind of high in their eyes and a twitch in their fingers, swiping without consequence. So for those who dont have that someone at the table, let me break it down for you.

THE BASICS

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You get 6 photo slots, a short bio, and you can connect your Instagram and Spotify account if youd like to. You can set your preferred gender, distance and age range, then you get a line up of potential partners that you can either *right-swipe* (smash) or *left-swipe *(pass).

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If you and a person both right-swiped each other, you match and only then will you get to send each other messages. Otherwise, you both just continue living separate lives parted by the harsh emptiness of online dating.

THE SWIPING

First off, the photos. Lets get real, were all here for the gameplay of swiping and judging peoples photos.

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If someone ONLY has selfies or just face shots or only group photos, that seems like bad news. If they have multiple photos of themselves with dogs, theyre probably a fuccboi, but even then, Id still immediately right-swipe. In the great words of my tattoo artist Olivia Lim, its okay to admit wed be whores if it means we get to hang out with puppies.

Personally, I prefer witty profiles over an actual bulletpoint description. Cheesy pickup lines are great, or at least something a bit more than eat, gym, rave, sleep. These are some that 110% got me to right-swipe.

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And my personal favourite:

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Also, in case it matters to anyone, I find that this is the app with the most “fleeting” connections. I think travellers use this a lot to meet people when they’re in a new city, and I realized that there are more foreigners on Tinder than there are in any of the other apps I’ve tried.

THE CONVERSATIONS

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Tinder has a reputation of being nothing more than a hookup app, and I will not deny that thats a totally fair assumption.

A conversation with a match could really go any which way. Here are a few examples from my recent experiences.

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1. The even cheesier pickup line. Let’s get real, my punchline was so much better than his.

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2. The kinda-nice-but-they-might-be-a-pothead. Nothing wrong with that, but this dude has asked me to get high with him multiple times. I mean, can we at least go for a movie first?! Though I must say, A-plus for a compliment on my brows though! He knows the way to my heart!

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3. The Im-just-using-this-as-a-platform-to-share-my-other-things. I feel like this is the most annoying type of conversation to have, especially when they so obviously dont really care about you as a person, youre just an additional number in a view count. Plus we cant copy links from bios, so Im not gonna go out of my way to type out a link for anyone!

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4. The person who initiates the conversation but never replies. Like omg, why even message me, OR EVEN RIGHT-SWIPE ME, if this is the most that this convo is gonna go. I guess you could argue that I didnt actively pursue it either, but hello? Do you not see that smiley face?!

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5. The obvious lead up to a hookup. No subtlety at all. Probably coming from a fuccboi, but nothing wrong with that if thats your type. I actually dont mind this type of messages too much, cause at least I know what the person is here for right off the bat.

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6. The dirty talker. 110% flattered that he said I have a princess face, that we actually went out after this. (In case you were actually worried, this was a joke from a friend and not just some random stranger).

7. The actual decent conversation. Im not gonna share screenshots of this, just because I find those are a bit more personal than all these weird ones, but yeah(!), there are actual some decent people out there(!) that you can actually have decent conversations with(!) without ending up in a weird proposition for a quick hookup(!).

CONCLUSION

I found that it really isnt a quick hookup app unless you want it to be. I’ve met up IRL with a couple of people from Tinder, and most of it has been pretty positive. People actually look like their photos, they actually talk like how they text, and theyre generally pretty nice based on my experience.

Id recommend it if you just want the potential to meet and talk to /a lot/ of people, but only those youve actually selected and not just any random Tom, Dick, and Harry. Definitely not any random dicks please.

Plus if youre not really into mobile games, but you take a long time on the toilet and you just want something other than Instagram or Twitter, Tinders great for that too.

#19. Why I’m On Dating Apps

Hi.

I’m sure it’s no surprise to my readers that I am single af. Yes, I am a 23-year old panromantic heterosexual who is currently not dating anyone. Another non-surprise is that I use online dating apps.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Liza, why use online dating apps? Why not meet someone through the traditional route? Well…

  1. I work a 9-5 job in very small company, and that doesn’t really open opportunities to meet people. Not people who are around my age anyway.
  2. Even if I meet new people through projects and whatnot, I find it super weird to start anything in a work setting. I suppose you could wait until the project is over, but then that just becomes a weird waiting game, then you over think it, and it’s just not good news for anyone.
  3. I’m not really into the idea of meeting friends of friends. The idea that a friend could be telling things about me to a potential partner (and vice versa) creeps me out. And even if I thought it was fine, my friends have enough problems finding people for themselves. Whoops, is that shade thrown?
  4. If I’m out, I’m there to have fun with friends, not to meet new people. I guess the only semi-acceptable non-awkward place to meet new people would be at bars or clubs, but at the point, do you really see a ~potential future~ from someone you just met at a bar or club?
  5. Let’s get real, meet-cutes in the outside world just aren’t a real thing. Maybe just not for me at least.

So here I am, an on-and-off dating app user for the past 2 years.

First off, I’m not really on those apps to actively find anything legit. Heck, I don’t even really use the apps much now tbh. “That’s what they all say…“, nah, but furreal though. It gets pretty boring quick, and I guess it’s just something to pass time. If I see someone interesting, then great! If not, then that’s just kind of the norm. I wouldn’t even really call them “dating” apps, so much as “I-guess-I’ll-maybe-talk-to-someone-maybe-meet-them-eh-depends-on-how-bored-I-am” app.

I think most people still find it something to be ashamed/embarrassed about, but I think that it really doesn’t matter. I mean, honestly, in this day and age, who the fuck cares? We get our music online, we order our food online, we book our transportation online, most of us share so much of our life online, what’s one more thing?!

I wouldn’t say online dating is a sure-fire way to actually start dating someone, in a sense of starting an actual relationship. I’ve met up with maybe 16 guys over the course of 2 years, and look at me, ma! Still lonely as fuck.

Dating, in a sense of meeting people and going out on dates, is pretty fun in itself though. I like going out and getting to know them, their backstory, what they like. I usually even get a free movie out of it! Dont’ get me wrong, I always insist on paying for my half, but that comes off emasculating apparently.

Now if anything, I’d say don’t look go into online dating with the hopes of actually dating. Just go on it for fun, because that’s really how things should be, no? I don’t mean fun, like oooh sexytime~ fun, but just like, you know, fun.

Don’t expect anything serious. If anything, expect the worst, lessen the chances of disappointment. There’s a lot of people out there who probably aren’t in line with what you’re actually looking for. Unless you are just actually looking for oooh sexytime~, then good for you, a shit load of people are on there just for that.

There’s so much to get into when it comes to “Online Dating” that I’m planning to break it up into separate posts on different apps. Idea credits for this all goes to Elizabeth Boon. She’s been reviewing different dating apps and her stuff is pretty informative and entertaining, but our experiences on it are probably different considering she’s the attractive social media influencer type, and I’m, well, me.

All I can say for now is that just try it! I mean, what can go wrong? If it’s not your cup of tea, then just delete it. If it is, then you’ve just casted your net a tiny bit wider and you’ve got plenty-er more fish in the sea!

See, I told you I’m really good with metaphors.

#18. Tessa

Hi.

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I was going through my hard drive yesterday and found a bunch of my old writing for blog posts or short film ideas, and I’d like to share some of them on here. Be warned, we’re talking 3-4 year old stuff, so things can get pretty cringey.

Let’s start off with something I’m pretty proud of. I love this story, partly because I was very attached to the subject at the time, mostly because I thought I was a genius for writing it. I’m completely aware that it’s not exactly good writing, but still, I love it.

If you watched old school Wong Fu Production videos, you can probably tell that they were a pretty big inspiration for me at the time. I didn’t even really realize this was practically a complete rip-off of When Five Fell until I reread it again.

So here goes. This is a story about Tessa.

Continue reading

#17. Bridge To Terabithia

Hi.

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My brother and I tried to hike up to the MacRitchie TreeTop Walk last Saturday. Keyword here is “tried“.

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We started quite late in the day, so we decided to go by the Venus Drive Carpark and start our route from there. We started at 4.30pm, and unfortunately the gate to the bridge to terabithia closes at 4.45pm, and we got there just a mere five minutes too late and ughhhhhhhh.

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So we ended up making our way down to the Jelutong Tower instead, which was a pretty nice route too.

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We’re planning to go back this Saturday and actually making it on time to get to the bridge. Here’s to hoping no one dies in the process.

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