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Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Hip hop versus dikir barat

Malaysian hip hop sucks, doesn't it? Okay, not sucks per se; I think the hip hop here is really good, some of Asia's best. It's the ridiculous fashion sense that makes it look so baloney (this ultimately also goes out to the original P Diddies, Slim Shadies and Nellies on the other side of the planet).

Whazup with the heavy bling bling round the necks? I remember watching a Goofy "popular fashion thru the decades" documentary-cartoon that covered this trend... it was a great roll-eyes gag. And the huge silver crosses? I particularly don't like them; they say nothing good about the wearer. Piety, or perhaps the pretense of it, without humility. All it can best accentuate is the loud-obnoxious-black-Christian stigma. (the latest epitome in recent public memory is JoAnna "Hallelujah" of Survivor Amazon. Heh.) Do you read blogs, Ja Rule?

Local hip hop artists and fans unfortunately appear too much like wannabes, with the big sweaters (in Malaysian climate? Get real) and walking like they've defecated in their baggy pants. They should follow the lead of Teh Tarik Crew, the four-piece hip hop band with such casual credibility. They attribute it partly to their relaxed, unbombastic dress and image, focusing more on music and showmanship. (Nina's a skilled b-girl!) It's no surprise then that they've garnered respect throughout the local underground even from the hardcore-rock camp. Note that this is from what I've read about TTC; I have yet to listen to their whole (debut) album and see them perform live.

Okay, I was all off on a tangent there. I mean to point to just this link... an American guy living here speaks his disapproval of this wannabe-ish hip hop culture and also mentions that Malays have always had a traditional kind of rap: dikir barat. Like the other rap that we know so well, dikir barat lyrics can be ad-lib and a form of social commentary. Asians (including the Indians from which it was inherited long ago) have been rapping for centuries!

| 5/28/2003 08:58:00 PM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Monday, May 19, 2003

Weekend experiment

Alright everyone, get a camera, go to your local Starbucks and snap away! And then see what happens. (via Kottke)

| 5/19/2003 10:32:00 PM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Saturday, May 17, 2003

"Pictures, fun, links, and lots more"

Thanks to editing perhaps, Rob Cesternino looked like the cleverest person ever seen on Survivor. In real life, or at least on a vid cam, he looks like a dork. :) Rob announces TheRobShow.com, coming soon, whatever it is.

Hey it's been almost a week; check out your favorite Survivor sites for Finale/Reunion reviews (you cannot watch the Reunion and NOT read what reviewers have to say!) and last words for S6: Amazon.

Do you hate Jenna, by the way? She comments on TV Guide Online.

Why is there such a big deal with Survivor? It would help to know that this particular season triumphed in ratings. The battle-of-the-sexes theme was a significant factor. So was the well-chosen cast of different and interesting people to root for. And naked chicks. And Rob's incredible presence in the game. Never before have viewers invested so much emotion in the show that the season's controversial conclusion caused quite an angry backlash. As a mark of this still-ongoing commotion, a reviewer attempts to find closure through a final analysis.

We can slam Mark Burnett for the editing that played with our feelings so recklessly, or credit him for crafting great reality TV for us these past few months. I'll be finally getting over this season that has made Survivor famous all over again, and looking forward to S7: Panama/Pearl Islands.

| 5/17/2003 08:12:00 PM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Monday, May 12, 2003

What thef- JENNA?!

Let me get this out first: the suspense of the Finale was scream-in-a-pillow excruciating.

Jenna won immunity; Butch got the boot; the men's plan to become the Final Three foiled. Jenna fucking won again; she had the power to choose and got rid of Rob, her strongest adversary. I was like, NOOoo!! but it came to pass. The most quotable person in the history of reality television was voted out. Jenna and Matt were the Fucking Final Two.

Before the final Tribal Council, we hear commentary from each of the jurors. Rob voiced a profound observation that Jeff Probst probably wished he said first: "The game began as a battle of the sexes and in the end it shall be as it was in the beginning: a man versus a woman." Then he said more, leaking symptoms of a sore loser...

Jury interrogation time. I'll just highlight a few. Rob stepped up (boy he looked so out of place being not in the game!) and asked them why shouldn't the other person win. Matt said Jenna didn't work at camp enough, and Jenna said Matt didn't play the game enough. Is she kidding? She was just the same, that bitch! It was working for her somehow, saying all the right things.

Dave asked something really weird... it must've been a trick question, designed to show who's talking out of their ass (which he said he wanted to find out earlier in his commentary). His question: "What modern influential leader have you emulated in this game? Give me somebody's name I can relate to, to understand your behavior." Told you it was weird. Matt said Colin Powell, for his versatility. Huh? *slaps forehead* Jenna could only come up with her mom, but it was again a good enough response.

The funniest moment of the night came from Heidi, poor thing. She asked if there was anyone in the jury who was more deserving to be in the Final Two. Both Matt and Jenna admitted Rob was. Obviously Heidi didn't expect that from Jenna. Unsatisfied, she stammered, "I just think... is that the only person?" *slaps forehead* Jeff Probst had to tell her to get back to her seat, and I just had to fall of my chair roaring!

Cut to Jeff with the basket of votes hopping onto a jet ski, riding it all the way to New York. Corny. On the set, we have a refreshing view of the jury and the Final Two, all groomed and good looking. The Final Two, a gorgeous pair now, are on one side intensely cuddling and smiling. Shit, is that cool stud Matt, who used to be Creepy Psycho In The Jungle? Jenna suddenly looks like someone you could actually like, with a completely different demeanor once outside the wilderness.

And the outcome: Jenna Morasca won the million dollars by a landslide. Only Butch voted for Matthew Von Ertfelda.

What the hell happened?

I must say Matt did terribly at Tribal Council. He was overly apologetic and said, among other unwise things, that if it weren't for Rob he wouldn't be where he was. Was he deliberately playing the underdog? If so, he went too far. Jenna spoke well and with humble conviction, and it made her look good next to a bumbling, unconfident invertebrate. If only Matt spoke like he truly deserved to win and stood up for himself, he might have gained some respect — and votes — from the jury.

Or perhaps the jury was the problem.

Most of the jury seemed to base their votes on the answers to their questions — to paraphrase, the Final Two's performance in Tribal Council. Rob said he would. Dave's question was indicative. I think that's unfair. I think they should have considered how they were really like at camp all season. I think Jenna hypnotized them (except the jerks who have already made up their minds, of course) with all her talk somehow. After all, she has experience saying what people want to hear as a beauty pageant girl.

Rob, why? Again, maybe it's because of Jenna's answer to your question. When she said Matt wasn't playing the game, you must have believed her so much. You were hating the idea of your initial puppet surpassing you.

Dave, why? Because Matt fell for your trick? I had hoped you thought Matt, the Man's Man, rocked. Or maybe you didn't like him because he rocked. Or maybe you, o rocket scientist, hoped to have a chance with Jenna.

Deena, why? I honestly don't understand why. Because Jenna was a woman? If feministically so (if there is such a word), could you really support the kind of woman she was?

Christy, what the fuck? You swore not to let an evil stepsister win. Your excuse was that you were with Jenna from the beginning and therefore you knew her best enough to vote for her. Very bad excuse; it's not fair to Matt at all! I admired you for your spunk in playing despite your disability, but not after knowing your final vote.

Butch, you are the sanest of them all. Although your dancing in the jungle implied otherwise.

Heidi and Alex, you freaks, so abnormally attached to your princess.

The jury sucks! Which jungle herb were you people smoking?! Can I have some?

At least I had the satisfaction of knowing Rob could've won if he was in Matt's place. The jury at the Reunion admitted it, as they (especially Deena, whose approach to the game was similar to Rob's) valued gameplay. Well, except for a bitter and resentful Alex (who shook his head hard at the mention), who still can't seem to get over being lied to. And of course, Heidi the Jenna-worshipper.

The Reunion is a whole other story to be told; you're better off reading articles and reviews about it on the many Survivor-related sites out there. Jeff Probst, you da man. Probing the cast like a true Survivor fan. Is it a coincidence that your name sounds like what you do so well on Reunions?

I can't believe I'm gonna miss Survivor 6. Damn I really need to get back to my life.

Sites to go over:
- Official home of CBS Survivor 6: Amazon. What you wanna look for here are the very detailed cast bios, and the chat transcripts (scroll down to find them).
- Reality News Online. Look for S6 articles alongside articles for other reality TV shows. Subjects range from every episode to every player to every frickin significant event in the course of the season. Very informative, and typically for writings on Survivor, very funny.
- Survivor Fever: Survivor Amazon. Various articles, resources and links. A lot of stuff here.
- TrueDorkTimes.com S6 cast info. Additional tidbits about the cast and relevant news item excerpts and links. Sweet.
- Survivor Fire. Several articles per episode contributed by several different regulars ranging from a college student to a self-proclaimed Survivor analyst. Insightful, thorough, hilarious.
- DangFun.com Survivor 6 Commentary. A concise review for every episode by a guy called Scott; some good guy-flavored commentary and humor here.
- Jenna-Morasca.com Water Cooler Talk. Another cracking set of episode reviews by some guys (from her hometown, I suppose), evidently biased towards Jenna.
- Survivor 6 The Comic Series. Self-explanatory must-see.
- A running commentary of the Finale episode.
- Survivor World. Amateur fan site at a glance, but you may find the season summaries and the illustrated vote-off countdowns useful.
- Or how about a well-put Season 6 summary posted in a forum board.

| 5/12/2003 10:46:00 AM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Who is the sole Survivor?

I never mentioned how much I am a fan of Survivor. I see, appreciate and enjoy it for what it really is: a social dynamics experiment using human guinea pigs. Put 16 Americans in a remote wilderness; let them be hungry and ungroomed; and just watch them claw, chew and spit each other out. I love that.

Wakeup call: After the first season back in 2000, we didn't get as much. Ever since Richard Hatch's pioneering of the alliance strategy then, players in the following seasons were easily polarizing themselves into tribe-based alliances after the Merge. For the dominant alliance, it was only a matter of picking off members of the other one. Dreadfully predictable. Well hey, there's still conniving and backstabbing, but only within that alliance once it has served its purpose. Not much action. And it was awfully boring watching short-sighted dimwits you wouldn't want to root for (well except for Richard S1 and Brian S5). I'd be ashamed to ever call myself a fan of this game show.

And then Survivor 6: Amazon happened and showed what kind of action we (and the producers) have been missing. The arrangement was brilliant! They split the players into male and female tribes — christening the season its much-hyped epithet "Survivor: Battle Of The Sexes" — and then later before the Merge, they mix up the sexes. As hoped, there was enough sexual tension to cause for the first time a significant deviation from the above tribal alliance habit. Not only that, but there has been more shifts in allegiance in this season than all past five seasons put together. Rock on!

The arrangement also allowed for power players — masterminds — to really shine, because there's a bigger field to play than ever before in this game of people politics. With that pointed out: thank Producers for putting Rob Cesternino, mastermind extraordinaire and Survivor's great savior, in the game! Bet they're fucking glad they had him.

Hell, thank Producers for the whole interesting cast!

Tonight I'm catching the Finale. The hype about it is enormous. I don't ever remember if there were Finale teaser ads in past seasons. The teaser being aired to death since Friday announces the Final Four:

Rob "The Deceiver" — The not-buff-one of the young men; the least handsome, he thinks. But this is the guy to look out for. With a vast insight of the game, a quick mind ever pregnant with strategy, a diabolical almost-undetectable influence over the others, and a goofy-fun-guy personality that stealthily disarms; he plays, he backstabs, and until recently, gets away unscathed every time. I utterly admire his sleight of hand. Amazing how he got this far, a guy with no survival skills, and a geek compared to the other boys who fell before him: dispensable model/actor Ryan, super-buff Asian dude Daniel, power-tripping patriarch Roger, Mr Popular slash suave rocket scientist Dave, and second-in-line for Mr Popular slash darned-Jeff-Probst-lookalike Alex.

No vote cast by Rob was ever in vain. Most recently in the past three episodes, Rob single-handedly orchestrated the demises of Alex, spunky deaf girl Christy (shocker!), and blonde airhead Heidi (good riddance).

I'm rooting for Rob. His wit and brutal bon mots — and some of his less-than-dignified frank drooling for sex — by themselves make him the star of the show.

Jenna "The Alluring One" — Youngest player at 21. Swimsuit model. Pretty. Lazy. Spoilt. Bitch. (Wow, you can put the last four words together to form a perfect sentence.) The One to Hate. Her highlight was when she and Heidi (unnecessarily) stripped naked for peanut butter during an immunity challenge. While it was a pity the stuff was cut on local TV (sucks)... I stared at the outcome with disbelief as whatever little respect I had for them left evaporated. To think they were pissed off at Rob for removing Alex; whining and scolding him for his inferior "integrity"!

Jenna got this far thanks to her Bimbo Alliance; she is the last of the core members. Last of the women anyway. Rob has revealed his desire to have Jenna with him in the Final Two (so that he, having the backstabber reputation known only too well by the jury, would be favored as the winner over the little bitch), but after she broke out his plan to the world in contempt, we can't be sure if he'll go for it.

Butch "Under The Radar" — Roger's bossy asshole act got him the boot early, while Butch's passive nice man character kept him alive this long. He is the Jan of S5: Thailand. Never a threat, either as an achiever in the challenges or as a strategizing player. He is so benign and invisible, there's not much to be said about him... except that he won't be in the Final Two (unless he surprises us with an immunity win), because no one wants to face off with a squeaky clean opponent.

Matt "Unstoppable" — The opposite of Rob: he's got what it takes to survive in a jungle, but he's got no frickin idea how to play the game. He's been a target for the chop many times, being a potent physical threat (he's obviously the brawniest after Daniel). He's pretty much a nice guy, but it hardly shows; he doesn't have a rapport with the others like most of them have with each; and he creeps us out by sharpening his machete all day long. They all say he needs therapy; Rob offers to explain that he's from another planet.

How'd he get this far? Apart from several immunities, he has been riding on Rob's back. Because of Matt's ignorance in the game, Rob initially kept (yes, he successfully kept and protected!) Matt as his puppet voter... As the game progressed, however, Rob began to rely more and more on Matt as his only steadfast ally. Meanwhile, Matt — who looks up to Rob as a strategist — was learning more and more about scheming and plotting from his "mentor." The protege soon started throwing challenges for strategic reasons.

I have a grave feeling that Rob won't win... he suggested it himself when he said he's done all he can do, and contemplated a juryful of his backstab victims acting against him. If Rob won't win, then I'll be rooting for Don Matteo. He is, in a realistic sense of the word, the true survivor. Can he win? Could he be smarter than he looks? What if his creepiness and naivete were all a ploy to get everyone to, like, dismiss him? He does have the intellectual capacity, as indicated by his ability to speak a foreign language; he spoke Chinese with Daniel before, remember? (why, he can even speak Bahasa!) If he really is as brainy and stealthy as he is physically skilled, then he is a model CIA agent.

I've never been this excited about Survivor. I'll post about the teeth-gritting conclusion soon.

| 5/12/2003 04:32:00 AM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Isn't it nice when things just work?

This Honda ad is incredible! And according to the source, there are no special effects... it's all real. You've got to check it out.

| 5/08/2003 08:01:00 PM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Yes, people come to Lionel Set Loose looking for pr0n all the time

Everybody can usually get from their site tracker some interesting searches that lead to their site. Well I've got one just a few weeks ago that really got me wondering: apparently, somebody came here looking for mas airlines porn. I didn't know what to make of it; maybe thinking hey, here's something funny to blog about.

Several days later, I saw on the news how the Home Ministry is currently fussing about rampant pornography in the country (yeah yeah, we've been there forever again). That's when I heard something about a porn video involving a former MAS Airlines steward. Oh...

| 5/07/2003 11:16:00 PM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Thursday, May 01, 2003

My thoughts on X... wait, not yet

This fanboy saw X2: X-Men United yesterday. You can bet a personal review from me would be inevitable, but... but... argh! I am lost for words. The movie is whoa so awesome, yet there definitely still are things to be dissatisfied about. I've been reading tons of reviews from other sites and blogs for inspiration, but I'm still lost. I'm just going to put it off for now, until I see it again. You heard me. I'm planning to see it again.

Why? Fanboy, ya dig. This fanboy wants to be sucked into the story again, and he especially wants to catch the easter eggs he has missed — you know, the little things only fanpeople could notice — like the Beast cameo, and a Stark International logo somewhere, and a few others I've heard about so far. Oh, but I did catch Gambit. Heheh. What a gleeful treat that was.

And I also wanted to see the famous Bobby's "coming out"-to-his-parents scene again... There was a distraction at that time; some damn guy's butt in front of me was taking so long to find a seat for its damn self.

Till then. Hey by the way... ol' Galactus, Devourer of Worlds has a blog.

| 5/01/2003 09:24:00 PM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!