Thursday, July 31, 2014

Comics this week

Justice League #32- Good news; this issue written by Geoff Johns is much better than the last few issues. Bad news; it's nowhere near as good as it need to be to regain the series' position as DC flagship title. The problem has been pretty obvious ever since Forever Evil finished; the rebuilding of the league post-Forever Evil has been going at a snail's pace. Geoff Johns seem more interested in moving more characters against the JL than focusing on the team itself. Even this issue was more on Jessica Cruz, the new Power Ring and the Doom Patrol than the Justice League. Johns need to stop  that and get back to what made the series work; the interaction of the team itself.

Red Lanterns Annual #1- Once upon a time, annuals were standalone stories to get new readers onto the series. Then the Big Two moved the reason for the annuals as a "special" usually used to finish off a story arc. Nowadays, annuals are not even that. This issue is the penultimate chapter of the “Atrocities" arc and the finish will be done in the Red Lantern series proper. Yes, it's bloody strange. However, as strange as it is, this issue written by Charles Soule and drawn by Miguel Sepulveda is very good. Filled with bloody action, Soule even managed to put some heart-wrenching moments amidst all the action. The loss of one of the Reds was specially great as his loss will change the Red Lanterns forever. Good issue, but it shouldn't be in an annual.  

Sinestro #4- That's it? After 3 issues of saying how dangerous and great the Pale are, that's it? I must say I'm surprised by writer Cullen Bunn's decision to have the Pale lose so badly and so quickly. As they are, Sinestro may just destroy the whole group in...I don't know, a few panels? 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Israel's Own Goal

Ever since war started between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, one thing has been obvious; Hamas and the Palestinians has been winning the media war. Even the United States, Israel's one constant ally in the world, has now been showing more and more frustration with the Jewish state.

The reason has been simple. Over 1000 Palestinians has been killed in the conflict and most of them has been civilians. Also Israel has been bombing various infrastructures in the Gaza Strip which has been not involved in the fighting. Schools, hospitals and Gaza's sole power station has been knocked out by Israeli bombs and missiles. Of course, Israel is denying everything, often claiming that Hamas has been firing rockets from these positions.

Then came this live CNN report.

CNN correspondent, Karl Penhaul, was delivering a live report from the Gaza Strip when a building just 200m behind him got bombed by a F-16 fighter jet! Smoke was seen billowing from the sixth floor of the residential building soon after and the whole thing was caught live.

Yes, that includes the fact that no one from Hamas was firing from the building! Man, talk about an own goal. Penhaul quickly reported that the CNN crew has been reporting from the position for a few days already and not once had anyone seen any rockets coming from the building.

All live! Well, so much for the idea that Israel is not targeting civilians in the Gaza Strip. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

That Wonder Woman Picture

This is it! "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" may be between Batman and Superman but a whole host of superheroes are supposed to make their movie debut in that film.

As the final member of The Trinity, Wonder Woman has been the hero most fanboys want to look at. The first look at Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman has been met with…well, an unfavorable reception. Fans complain about the toned down colors of the costume and the casting of Gadot as Wonder Woman. One guy say (and this is my favorite) “this Wonder Woman picture looks like skinny Xena without the traditional bright colors of the comic version.”

Now I perfectly understand what fans are saying. Part of the reason is that Wonder Woman’s costume is so iconic that any changes to it will offend a large part of the fanbase. The picture doesn’t fill me with confidence that they will do the character right. How could they when the costume color scheme is nothing but bronze?

However in showing the picture, director Zack Snyder is basically also saying it’s too late to complain. Filming has began and like it or not, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" (with Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman) will hit theaters on May 6, 2015.

So let’s stop with the complaining and wait for the movie. I mean Gadot as Wonder Woman can’t possibly be worse than Ben Affleck as Batman right? Let’s wait for Dawn of Justice...then we can savage them! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Comics this wek

Red Lantern #33- Since taking over the series, writer Charles Soule has been presenting his take on the Red Lanterns. One of his best decisions was to move Atrocities from protagonist to antagonist and the second part of the Atrocities storyline showed what a great decision that was. While Guy Gardner takes some me time and reach out to John Stewart for help; while Bleeze and Zilius Zox tried their best to help Rankorr; the meat of this issue is the wavering loyalty of Skallox. The thing is, you can clearly see why he is having doubts about the upcoming fight. As Atrocitus reveals his plan of attack, you can clearly see why the smart money is on him instead of Guy. I mean Guy actually got rid of Supergirl, the most powerful Red on his side of the divide while Atrocitus...well, see the end of this issue to see what he did. Go, Atrocitus, Go!

Supreme: Blue Rose #1- Welcome everyone to the strangest debut issue this year from the weirdest writer currently in the comics industry (and that’s saying something). When Rob Liefeld first introduced Supreme in the 90s, the character was nothing but an aging, more violent version of Superman; then came Alan Moore! The acclaimed writer retooled Supreme into a series that look back fondly at the Golden and Silver Age of comics. Now writer Warren Ellis is trying his hand at Supreme and to say this is weird is an understatement. This issue is all setup but even by that standard, the issue is strange. Outside some curious name-dropping, Supreme was hardly seen at all. In fact, it’s almost as if Supreme will not be the main character! It’s interesting and the art by Tula Lotay is great but let’s wait and see. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

New IPPT Format

Like most Singaporean guys, I took note of the new IPPT format. Minister for Defense Dr. Ng Eng Hen announced changes to the IPPT format yesterday and under the changes NSmen will now only need to complete three stations; Push Ups, Sit-ups and 2.4 Kilometers run.

According to his Facebook post, Minister Ng says that instead of a passing mark, points will be awarded for each station and the combined points from the 3 stations will be used to see if the person passed or failed. Also there will just be 3 stations instead of 5. This has caused a lot of people to say the new format is easier.

That may be true but I think everyone should wait for an official word from the SAF (Singapore Armed Forces) before saying anything. I say this because I think how “easy” the new format will be would depend a lot on how many points are given even if you fail to pass the stations.

The new passing criteria so far revealed are:
- Do 57 push-ups a minute
- Do 57 sit-ups a minute
- Run 2.4km in 9 minutes and below to pass

Do the 2.4 in 9 minutes and below to pass? It’s a good thing there’s a combine score because a lot of people are going to fail that one. Do 57 push-ups/sit-ups in a minute? I don’t see too many people getting gold for those either.

So before everyone start talking about the Army getting soft, let’s wait till we get the official point system from the SAF. Like they say, the devil is in the details. Doing the 2.4km in 9mins is no joke. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fines Are Not Working

Just earlier this week, Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) slapped a $1.6 million fine on train operator SMRT for four train service disruptions that occurred between October last year and May this year.

Outside this, the LTA also fine SBS Transit, which runs the North East Line (NEL), $50,000 for a disruption in March this year. According to the LTA, all the faults were preventable if “the operators had exercised due diligence and vigilance when carrying out their duties”.

Maybe the LTA were too quick on the trigger because there was another breakdown in the train service this morning.

This morning, trains on the North-South Line (NSL) going south between Toa Payoh Station to Newton Station stopped due to some fault. This has become so commonplace, this is hardly in the news anymore. You can also see this in the reaction of SMRT. They did all the right things; putting up signage at the station, providing free bus services for affected commuters; in a practiced clockwork matter.

This make me wonder just how effective are the fines. The idea behind fining the operators is that this will caused the operators to improve the train service. So far, it is not doing the job.

Trains are still breaking down, transport is still being disrupted, and no one seems able or capable of preventing them. Maybe it’s time for the Singapore government to be more creative and daring in trying to stop the breakdowns because thus far, fines are not doing the job. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Stop Flying Over Ukraine

As the tragedy of MH17 unfolds, the world is now treated to accusations on both sides of the Ukrainian conflict. Both sides in Ukraine's civil war are accusing each other of shooting down the plane with a missile.

One thing is clear however; airlines are STILL flying over Ukraine.

Honestly, when I first heard the plane went down I wondered why the hell was the plane even flying in the area. Everyone knows the Ukraine is in the midst of a civil war so why was a plane carrying civilian passengers in the middle of a hot warzone.

Later I read that the route MH17 was on was a common one and that many airlines fly over the area. This is because the route is the shortest route from Europe to Southeast Asia and everyone uses it to save cost. The Sydney Morning Herald even reported that immediately after MH17's crash, four other airliners followed the exact same route and none of them re-route. These four were from Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Kazakhstan Airlines and Etihad.

I have to ask; Why the hell not? If (unconfirmed) reports are to be believed, MH17 was shot down by a missile so why aren’t airlines diverting their planes? Even right now, heavy fighting is reported to be on-going between the Ukrainian army and the rebels. Reporters at the MH17 crash site even have reported to have heard mortar fire and explosions in the area. Yet even with so such danger and unanswered questions about the crash, airlines are still using the same route MH17 was on!

Yes, the shoot down of MH17 was almost certainly an accident but if it can happen accidently once, it can happen twice. No matter the cost, airlines should avoid the area till the fighting die down. Let’s not risk another MH17. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Review of Begin Again

One thing regular readers of my blog would probably notice is that I do a monthly review of a book, movie or game I had played, seen or read. However what most people probably don’t know is that I only do reviews of stuff I liked.

The reason is simple. Reviews takes time to write and I much rather write about stuff I like than stuff I don’t. This month I had seen 3 movies; Transformer: Age of Extinction, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Begin Again. Of the 3, I am now writing a review of Being Again.

That should tell you what I think of the film. In simple terms, I thought Transformer: Age of Extinction was crap, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was good but not great, and Begin Again was the best of the lot.

Written and directed by John Carney, Begin Again stars Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, James Corden and Adam Levine (in his acting debut). Now when you read that line-up and hear that this is a musical, it is understandable that you will have doubts about the movie. However you need to get rid of them and see this movie because it is really great!

The movie starts when a disgraced record-label executive, Dan (Mark Ruffalo), stumble upon singer-songwriter Gretta (Keira Knightley) performing in a small New York bar and is immediately captivated by her raw talent. From this chance encounter, the duo embarked on a friendship that turns into a promising collaboration between the two lost talents.

Using flashbacks, we discover the backstory of the duo. Gretta and her long-time boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine) were songwriting partners who came to New York when he land a deal with a major label after scoring a hit song on a movie. The trappings of fame proved too much for Dave however and he soon strayed. Gretta left their apartment and took up residence with a close friend who literally forced her to go to a bar with an open-mike night.

Dan is a down-and-out music executive who had lost his way due to a failed marriage and excessive drinking. Things have become so bad that his business partner Saul (Mos Def) fired him from Distressed Records, an independent label the duo had co-founded. After a heated argument with his ex-wife (Catherine Keener) over their teenage daughter Violet (Hailee Steinfeld), Dan then goes on a drinking binge which ultimately brings him into the bar that night.

After a night of reflection, Gretta agree to make the album but they got rejected from Saul. Dan and Gretta then decided to produce the album on their own. Recruiting a team of talented (and very bored) musicians, they recorded the album live during the summer at various public locations around New York City and formed a friendship that bonded them both personally and professionally.

Like I said earlier, Begin Again is a great film. Not only that, it is remarkably refreshing! Writer and director John Carney made a joyous movie about songwriters and the way their lives and their work influence each other. It is a movie about love, family, and relationships, but (and this is important) this is no rom-com. Knightley and Ruffalo make for one of the most unusual engaging couples of the year yet the movie made sure their relationship is strictly friendship.

I find that great! In almost every other film out there, the two leads would get together in the end but director Carney firmly says, "NO". He just refused to pamper to the public and that gave the movie the perfect ending.

Another thing that helped was the performance of the actors. Ruffalo was, as per usual, a delightful to watch. He was charming, roguish, and scruffy, all at the same time. Knightley however was just outstanding.

Quite frankly I never thought the queen of the corset got this in her but she got the vibe of an indie artist down pat. A lot has been made about her doing her own singing in this film, but I thought her acting was what's outstanding. Her singing was just so-so in my view but her acting performance was great. The scene where she sang out her rage and anger on Dave's voicemail was superb. She made me believe she was this character and with all the period dramas I had seen her in, that's not easy.

Also, the two leads were ably supported by their co-stars. Mos Def was especially good in the role of Dan's business partner Saul. In just a few brief scenes, he managed to convey a full range of emotions, from his reluctant firing of Dan to his attempted wheeling dealing of Gretta. Adam Levine (of Maroon 5 and The Voice) was also very good. Dave is a good man who did not manage to handle the fame that came his way, made a stupid mistake and regretted it. Levine played him beautiful.

The only sore spot I can see in this film was a mistake made in editing. After getting the musicians together, the band got to practicing and we saw two new musicians; the drummer and the bass-player. However after that, we got a scene where Dan and Gretta met with a former discovery of Dan, Troublegum, asking for his help. Troublegum agreed to provide two artists for the band but the thing is, the drummer and the bass-player (who we see in the background behind Troublegum) were the two artists we seen practicing with the band earlier. That is a bad mistake.

However, beside that I just can't say anything bad about this film. It's great. Watch it!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Another Crash

With the memory of Flight MH370 still fresh in the minds of everyone, Malaysia Airlines suffered another tragedy when another of their passenger jet crashed. Carrying 295 people, Flight MH17 was on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed in territory held by separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Given the area, it’s no surprise that the Ukrainian government wasted no time in accusing the rebels of shooting down the plane. Of course this is something the rebels denied, claiming they do not have the weapons needed to shoot down a plane at 10,000m. Rather surprisingly, this is something Western officials agree with, many saying they have not seen the rebels displaying such weaponry thus far in the conflict.

With all the accusation and counter- accusation, one thing is clear; Malaysia Airlines better pray Flight MH17 was shot down.

Like I said earlier, everyone still remember Flight MH370. Flight MH370 disappeared en route from Malaysia to China in April and still has not been found. The question of how, why and even where it crashed are all unanswered. However this is the exact same kind of plane from the exact same airline. It would be foolish not to draw some conclusion from that.

Luckily, for Malaysia Airlines, initial report seen to indicate that the plane was shot down by someone. Not to sound crass but that’s good news for them because if it is found that the plane did crash on its own, then it changes the narrative of Flight MH370. Any suspicion or theory about pilot error or hijacking in that crash will take a backseat if it is found that Flight MH17 did indeed crash on its own. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Female Thor

The biggest news in the comic world these few days has been the Marvel announcement that they will debut a female Thor who will headline her own Thor series. Fans are up in arms over the gender change with even Avengers director Joss Wheadon chirping in on the matter.

As a long time comic fan, I will tell this to everyone; It’s a terrible idea but there’s no need to be angry about it because it’s just a temporary change to grab sales.

You guys can blame how well Superior Spiderman did for this gender change in Thor. In Spiderman, Peter Parker’s body was taken over by one of his main villains and the shock value of the move boosted sales. Once the shock value worn off and sales went back to normal, Marvel quickly got Peter Parker back into his own body.

So this Thor change is nothing but a cash grab and I’ll be surprised if it last over a year. I mean Marvel had did this change thing to Thor before with Beta Ray Bill, Thunderstrike and a few others taking over as Thor for short periods of time. None of them struck and with the exception of Beta Ray Bill, even comic fans don’t remember most of them.

So cool your jets on this change. I don’t think this female Thor is going to last too long. 

Comics this week

Magneto #7- After the slow build up, writer Cullen Bunn has been going the action route for the past 2 issues. However that does not mean he has sacrificed what makes this series works; the complex character of Magneto. It's still here but what I especially like about this issue is the fact that Bunn moved the action out of small towns and into the global stage. Magneto has been a global threat and moving him back (slowly) to that stage, China this time, is to me the right thing to do. The shadowy character of Briar Raleigh is also a winner in my view as the question of her loyalty served as a good foil to Magneto. So far; so good.

Ms. Marvel #6- Dungeon Boss: Most Ginormous Alligator Ever; Difficulty Rating: 10; Group Size: Sole. I dared anyone who read the last page of this issue and not find it funny! This issue is funny as hell and writer Willow Wilson has put together a winner here. Hell, Wolverine is almost a non-factor here. That is just how good of a character Kamala Khan is!

Original Sin #6- Finally! After a lackluster #5, writer Jason Aaron get things back on track as Nick Fury reveals his plan to the team he put together. Honestly, I saw it coming but the journey is still fun. I especially like the way Ant Man is shocked that Fury thinks he will be able to do the job of assassinating monsters and aliens just to keep the world safe, and Fury replying that he is more than capable to do it. With Captain America's team now on the scene and Midas on his way there, things looks even more hairy next issue. Not as good as the earlier issues, but much better than #5. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Why Is Breaking Bad Still Up For The Emmys?

The 2014 Emmy nominations were announced earlier this week and while I agree with most of the nominations, there is one thing which make no sense to me. The way it is decided which show qualified for the awards.

Now this is not a knock on the award or it's nominations. For example, I have no problem with Game of Thrones earning 19 Emmy Award nominations; I disagree but can understand why Tatiana Maslany did not managed to score a nomination for her great work in Orphan Black; but I can't understand why Breaking Bad still up for the Emmys?

Don’t get me wrong, it is a great show, but I remember quite clearly that when Anna Gunn won for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series” last year, it was announced that it was the last season of Breaking Bad. Now I admit I don’t quite get the how and why America like to “spilt” their show’s seasons nowadays but I do remember that when the Emmys were given out last year, Breaking Bad was already over.

So why is Breaking Bad still up for the Emmys again? Can someone in America help me understand this? 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Costa Rica; Team of the World Cup.

As substitute Mario Goetze gave Germany a 1-0 victory over Argentina this morning, the 2014 World Cup is now officially over. Germany is now the World Cup champion for the fourth time in their history, and also became the first European team in history to clinch soccer's greatest prize on South American soil.

With the tournament over however, I would like to point out a few things that has come to light in this World Cup;

1)      Germany has now become the best football team in the world. For the past decade, that title belongs to Spain. Spain’s record speaks for itself but with a 7-1 thumping over Brazil in the semifinals and now this victory over Argentina; the Germans have clearly become the new top dogs in international football.
2)      The South Americans are now behind Europe. Yes, I know a lot has been written about how well the South Americans were doing in the group stages and the second round, but when it comes down to the business end of the tournament, the class of the Europeans told. The simple fact of the matter is that Europe has now won a World Cup in South America. Not only that, Argentina is actually the first South American side to reach a World Cup final since 2002 when Brazil won it. For the past 3 World Cups, Europe has 5 finalists and 3 winners; South America has 1 finalist and no winners. Nuff said.
3)      North America has now overtaken Asia and Africa as the most likely continent to produce a World Cup winner outside Europe and South America. America and Costa Rica surprised everyone in this World Cup by having their best tournaments ever. Special praise must be given to the Costa Ricans who shocked the world by topping the Group of Death and for reaching the quarterfinals where they lost a penalty shootout to the Dutch. Germany may have won the World Cup but for me, for keeping the romance of football alive, Costa Rica is the team of the World Cup.

Friday, July 11, 2014

About That Ad...

Okay; let's talk about that ad. You know the one I'm talking about. The much-talked about anti-gambling ad that has been mocked by everyone in Singapore and almost everyone else in the rest of the world. I mean even U.S talk show host Jimmy Fallon got into it.

The ad features a young boy named Andy, who say he will be supporting Germany at the World Cup because his father had bet his savings on them. With Germany the heavy favourites to win it all after destroying Brazil 7-1, Singaporeans say the ad's message has backfired. With all the mocking, Singaporeans are wondering why The National Council for Problem Gambling (NCPG) is refusing to pull the ad.

I think the reason is simple; the ad is working! It got people talking about the NCPG. I mean before this ad, how many Singaporeans even know NCPG existed? Now new agencies throughout the world are talking about them! So despite the somewhat unexpected matter, the ad did managed to do its job. It had helped promote the agency. People now know about it.

So I think it make sense for them not to pull the ad. It is working. It helped promote the agency and its message of the dangers of problem gambling. So I say keep running the ad; it's working. Besides...Germany might lose against Argentina.

(Update: Germany 1, Argentina 0. Good for Andy; too bad for the NCPG.)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Not So Fast

With a 7-1 win over Brazil, everyone and their uncle are now betting that Germany will beat Argentina on Monday to win the World Cup. Like former England international Paul Parker said; only people with money to burn will bet against them.

So let me play the role I loved the most; I'm going to be the Devil's Advocate and say I like Argentina 's chances against Germany. I'm not saying this because they have the world's best player in Lionel Messi, but because I think their style suit that of Germany.

Before the World Cup, everyone (including me) say their defense was their biggest problem but credit has to be given to Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella. He was tightened things up enormously at the back by making his players closed the midfield. Javier Mascherano has been a one-man wrecking machine for them in the middle of the park and Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero, a reserve at Monaco, has been rock solid so far in this tournament.

Simply put, Argentina looks like a more solid defensive team than Brazil. In fact, they almost play like two teams; Lionel Messi and Gonzalo HiguaĆ­n upfront and the rest of the team focusing on defending. That may be perfect against Germany. Toni Kroos will not find the same space he did and it is unlikely they will find the acres of space on the right the way they did against Brazil.

Of course if Germany played the same way against Argentina like they did Brazil, they will win. However, will lighting strike twice? I'm not betting on it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Comics this week

Magneto #6- After slowly building up the complexity of Magneto, writer Cullen Bunn now step up the action as Magneto proved to the world that although he isn't the power he once was; he can still dished out the hurt when he put his mind to it. Not only that, he also killed two birds with one stone by recruiting a new Brotherhood at the same time. Older but by no means softer, watch him go on his quest of vengeance. By the same token; watch out for this series. It might be a sleeper hit.

Rai #3- After a less than impressive sophomore issue, writer Matt Kindt and artist Clayton Crain righted the ship as #3 is up to the stunning standards set in the debut issue. The sci-fi aspect of the story now comes with a mysterious twist as the identity of the dead woman in #1 is revealed. Her identity as well as the revelations that there had been other Rais before this one brings into question exactly what Rai is. All that plus an action packed battle that was simply gorgeous! The beauty of that battle was worth the price of the comic itself. Great! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Whining Brazilians

With the semifinals between Brazil and Germany coming on early this morning, I am one of those who think Germany will win. The reason is simple; I find the Brazilians to be unfocused and worse...a bunch of whiners!  

Yes, their star striker Neymar is out injured and their captain Thiago Silva is suspended due to getting too many yellow cards, but enough with all these whining already; just get on with it! Colombia's Juan Zuniga, whose tackle on Neymar took the Brazilian star out of the World Cup, has received death threats and Brazil has even pleaded with FIFA to waive the yellow card of their captain.

Honestly I have read more about the two Brazilian players NOT playing against Germany than I have about the players playing against the Germans. Compared to all the hysterics of the Brazilians, the Germans seem to be quietly focusing on the game.

So I hope the German win. To my view, people who whined less deserved it more. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

File A Report!

The fallout from the recent Pink Dot event continued as civil activist Vincent Wijeysingha has publicly rejected a request from the Catholic Church to file an official report on an alleged molest attempt by a Catholic priest.

In a Facebook note published on 23 June, the 44-year-old former politician revealed that when he was 15, he came into "unfortunate contact with a priest who would engage me in play wrestling and attempt to touch my crotch in the process”. The Church has responded by asking Mr. Wijeysingha to either file a police report or a complaint with an internal church body which can investigate the case.

Mr. Wijeysingha has rejected the request saying “I have no confidence in church agencies.”

I have to say I am very disappointed by Mr. Wijeysingha stance on this. He was the one who brought up the issue, alleging the abuse, but now that the Church responded, he is running away from the issue. Now for those of you accepting his excuse of having no confidence in church agencies, then how about making a police report! If you read the response from the Church, they gave Mr. Wijeysingha two choices; work with them or go to the police. He chose neither.

To say this was a bad decision is an understatement. This is a very serious allegation, and since he was the one who brought it up, Mr. Wijeysingha must file a police report. Failing to do so would destroy not just his reputation but that of the Pink Dot movement as well.

Like it or not, they are joined together now on this issue. So Mr. Wijeysingha must file a police report; if not for himself, then so it for the Pink Dot movement.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Comics this week

Earth 2 #25- This issue gave us the origin story of Val-Zod, the new Superman of Earth 2. However the main selling point of the issue isn’t him but the duo of Alan Scott and Jay Garrick. After too long, writer Tom Taylor finally got the two off the bench to put a world of hurt to Superman’s forces. Special mention must be given to artist Nicola Scott who managed to somehow exceed her regular high standards in this issue. Her spread of Aquawoman rising from the sea was brilliant with a capital B! I LOVED THIS ISSUE!

Moon Knight #5- Ever wanted to see a martial arts movie in comics form? If your answer is yes, then this is the issue for you. Artist Delcan Shalvey and colorist Jordie Bellaire take point here as the issue is basically Moon Knight entering a building and kicking the tar out of everyone inside. Writer Warren Ellis didn’t do much here but then he didn’t need to. He just got out of the way of Shalvey and Bellaire who punch, kick and dance their way to our hearts. I read that Ellis is leaving the series after #6. That's sad but I hope Marvel keep Shalvey and Bellaire on the series. They are the ones that make this series tick. 

Original Sin #5- After the jaw-dropping reveal last issue, writer Jason Aaron follow it up by giving us…a flashback issue? Now I can understand Aaron wanting to have Nick Fury’s backstory out of the way but an entire issue of flashback? Sorry but a reboot of Fury's past isn’t what I wanted. Hell, I much rather see the old elderly Fury than a young Fury because the young Fury has been done to death. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sell Him!

In this world, money talks. People change their behavior when they see big dollar signs in front of them. That is just a fact of life and Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez is promising to do just that.

Suarez is currently serving a four-month ban for biting Italy's Georgio Chiellini during the World Cup and despite this, Spanish giant Barcelona want to buy him from his current club Liverpool. Officials from both clubs are going to meet to discuss a deal for the 27-year-old and rumors are that Barcelona will pay £50m along Chilean winger Alexis Sanchez for Suarez. On his part, Suarez has publicly apologized to Chiellini for the bite and promised not to do so again.

I’m not a Liverpool fan but I will tell this to the Reds; take this deal before Barcelona come to their senses!

As good as he is, Suarez is just not worth the trouble he brings with him. This is already the third time he bit someone and I fully expect Suarez to bite someone again in the future. Forget his promise; he won’t be able to help himself. What’s more, this deal from Barcelona is sweet! Liverpool bought Suarez from Ajax for £22.7m. They can now more than double their money and get a rising star in Alexis Sanchez!

What’s there to think about? Take the deal.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

White 1; Pink 0

Last Saturday, the annual Pink Dot was held at the Speakers’ Corner. To show their support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, organizers of the event encouraged people attending to wear pink.

In response, an Islamic religious teacher, Mr Noor Deros, started a Wear White campaign calling on Muslims to wear white on Saturday to protest against homosexuality. This call was then taken up by various Christian groups with Faith Community Baptist Church senior pastor Lawrence Khong fully supporting the Wear White counter-campaign.

In this argument between Pink and White, I have to say the White won it handily.

I say this not because Singapore is a conservative society and most Singaporeans, especially the older generation, are against homosexuality; I say this because the Pink Dot organizers did not know how to response to the Wear White campaign.

Take what Pink Dot spokesperson Paerin Choa said about the Wear White campaign. He said that “I won’t say that we’re normalizing it, I’d say that we are exposing people to the truth of what being LGBT means” and that the event is solely about “inclusiveness and diversity”. So far so good, but then he went and put his foot in his mouth saying that the organizers support the repeal of Section 377A (which criminalizes sex between men).

I’m sorry but I have no idea what that means! You cannot say you are just “exposing” people to the community and then at the same time say you want to repel a standing law. That doesn’t make sense. There’s a world of difference between community outreach and repelling a law which has been in the books since 1938. The organizers of the Pink Dot need to have a clear focus on actually what the event is standing for.

Take pastor Khong as an example. Pastor Khong fully support keeping Section 377A, and even released a statement on the eve of the Pink Dot event saying the Pink Dot movement is an example of the “decline of moral and family values". Say what you want of the man but no one can question where he stand on the issue and his ability to move people. I mean the man got over 6,400 Christians to dress in white to attend a special “family worship” service.

The response from Pink Dot? Almost nothing. When push came to shove, the organizers just did not know how to response to the Wear White campaign and that’s why they lost the argument. Better luck next year.