Youngest kid of six with an inferiority and black sheep complex, but determined that God saves not just his soul to heaven but the remainder of his manic-depressive life, so others won't say he became a Christian and remained a jerk.


On identity
i won't be transparent before i'm opaque. and you'll get to know me starting from the small things: who my favourite bands are. what kind of movies i like. who are my heroes.

On Christianity
I’m convinced that when confronted with sincere, real love, the Jesus factor will become obvious. But let’s not plant the cross before we carry it. I’m not trying to con you.

On dreams
Some dreams are meant to be achieved. I know that. But maybe other dreams are meant to drive us, privately. Never known to anyone but ourselves.


On melancholy
It is a sadness that, when choosing between crying and sighing, will choose sighing. I'd almost say that melancholy is being sad about sadness itself.

On memory and nostalgia
It saddens me when life moves forward and people decide that certain things are worth forgetting.

On language
I've learnt that the word irregardless is filed as a non-standard word in the English language. That's a lexicographer's way of saying it's not a real word.

On politics
Crowds are fickle things. So when we stand in the thousands and cry against the present government, do we know who we're actually crying for?

On society
People always want the best for themselves. But I want to sometimes take second or third or fourth best, just so that the loser down the road doesn't always have to come in last. It must feel like shit to always come in last.

On growing old
Leasehold property make me feel sad. It doesn't matter how old the family photos are that you put on your wall. It's your family but it's not really your wall.

On philosophy
I ask you, if God loves everyone, and if God is also incapable of loving evil, how can there be such a thing as an evil man?

On a daily basis
One line quips, like this.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Football is the best thing for men to be addicted to.

That was pretty much what Elaine said to me, which led to a very brief yet bloggable conversation. Football, we agreed, was much better than getting hung up on drinking, sleeping around, or doing drugs. What does it involve? About two hours of tv watching, supporting fervently, celebration, disappointment, and perhaps another hour after that of debriefing, destressing and post-match analysis. Once in a while, you have extended chats about games, players and competitions with other fans, and if like me you like to express your football fandom even further, you spend a few hours a week maintaining a blog on it. Little harm done.

But that’s not really true. Football, while in itself seems quite innocuous, is actually associated with a variety of other stereotypical male vices. Drinking, for example, is a reasonable feature of the game. Lots of the time, people who go see games at the pub consume a fair bit of alcohol. Sometimes, beer is sold at games, albeit in paper cups. Drinking then inevitable leads to drunken disorder, brawls and such. In fact, brawling isn’t even a second level footballing vice, sober fans brawl all the time… sometimes over as silly a thing as name-calling.

Of course, the king of all football related vices has to be gambling. I know someone who works with an online gambling syndicate: apparently the Chinese (nationally, not racially) are maxing out multiple credit cards, all accruing endless records of debt, all over the odd epl game.

And then there’s always the more benign of related vices – gluttony is one of them. A 90 minute game consumed at a mamak stall can usually be accompanied by anything from two teh ais all the way to three or four roti, maggi goreng and ramly burgers. And then there’s slothfulness, which is more classically an old testemental “sin” rather than a social “vice” as we know it today, but it can happen too. Sit on a couch for five, six, seven hours straight on a world cup day and watch four games back to back. By the first half of the third game, you’ll probably start to lose feeling of your feet. Provided you were experienced enough to have armed yourself with everything from a variety of food, drinks, reading material (for half time ads) and spare batteries for the remote control, it’s perfectly likely that you’ll be sat in the same chair for up to eight hours straight.

So I guess football has its dangers. Still, it’s better than going out there getting pissed over nothing, getting stoned, shagging everything and going all nihilistic. Football fans are never nihilistic. We have a passion that never burns out.

But there’s something curious about men and football. When engrossed in football, a male person can potentially care for nothing but the football itself. Cue the disenfranchised woman. It’s remarkable, but there is something out there that can actually take a man’s mind completely off the idea of women. At 0-1, chasing the game at home with an hour to go, there’s really nothing a female person can do to draw attention to herself. I guess she could stand in front of the tv, but if you’re like me, and you’re sentimental about radio days, you’d probably close your eyes and listen to the commentary, seeing the game on the wings of martin tyler’s lyrical voice.

Football management games prove to be the leading unhinging of women. As much as there’s a niche of women out there who are dota widows or counterstrike widows, there’s also a niche who are championship manager widows. I for one am guilty of failing to know time and tide when summer ends and the team I’ve just put together goes from friendlies to the league. Food? Shower? Sleep? Women of the world, do you not know that the world cup games take place in and around the time you’ll be wanting your men home and in bed the most? Widows of football of the world, what will you do?

Cue that wonderful thing called education. Do you believe that a lot of world problems can be solved via good, solid and right education? Well, I do. Which is why when Liverpool played Chelsea over a week ago in the FA Cup semi final, Mel (who was a nominal man utd supporter in the 90s) experienced a 90-minute 101 of football fandom. The package consisted of familiarising with players, fine-tuning explanations on the offside rule, tactics, trivia, and history (Liverpool’s, of course. Chelsea has none). In fact, it being an important semi-final against a major rival, she inevitably got the advanced package (a 102?) with added pre match team prayer, tense hand-gripping, audible heart beats, and final 15 minute praying in tongues. As you know, Liverpool won, so the entire session was capped off nicely with celebration and a cheerful send-off. Education, it seems, is the answer to all our prejudices.

Football fandom cannot be understood objectively. It needs to be experienced. Just like how the word “know” in Hebrew is not a cognisant knowledge but an experiential one, so too is the knowing when you say you know what being a fan is about. It’s much better than anything out there in the world, and it certainly warrants dropping everything for. As for football widows, there isn’t any beating the world game, so the best way to handle it is like this: support your man’s team, stay up for the games with him, join the fandom, and if they win, you can celebrate in bed; if they lose, console him... wherever you like.

And as for the rest of us, football feverists of the world unite!

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