Dawn Confession

February 28, 2008

In today’s mypaper, local blogger Dawn Yang has launched a tirade against people who gave her flak for “wanting attention”, following her front page mypaper news story which broke the day after Singapore emerged victorious in its Youth Olympics 2010 bid.

Alright, to be fair, she didn’t exactly choose to be front page news fodder – that’s the fault of the editors who wanted to milk the free tabloid for all its worth.

However, Dawn, instead of getting readers to “look at this logically”, why don’t you yourself take a step back and look at things logically yourself?

Admittedly, while this whole brouhaha is a result of a misunderstanding created by the media who decides to mis-paraphrase your entry and put words into her mouth, hence along the way losing her original intent of the story (as what Dawn mentions in her fightback), is Dawn not to be faulted as well for being under scrutiny?

Let’s take a step back and analyse things a little. She claims that “as their writer, I’m (she’s) just doing my (her) job – sharing my thoughts and experiences on the controversy” by emphasising that “no matter how chamring or famous a guy is, a girl should not allow herself to be caught in compromising situations”.

Point taken.

However, let’s look at the contents of the original article. What do we see, but a foray into the kinks & croonies of the MSN conversation of Edison trying to proposition her. (And she claims that it was a few years ago! She actually KEEPS her MSN transaction backlogs for years?!) Though she did not exactly go full-fledged into the story, but what she did was effectively enough to “draw attention” onto herself – she dangled a huge yet unchewable carrot in front of the readers.

There isn’t a need for all the details should she want to drive home the message to “girls out there to be careful and sensible”. And besides, following the plights of poor Nicholas, Cecilia and Bobo, I’m sure that girls out there already know the need to be careful and sensible. Was she trying to imply that she is careful and sensible and that girls out there should view upon her as a role model?

And the timing of the entire issue is improper as well, given how different this front page story looks as compared to that of other newspapers.

Singapore Youth Olympic Games Bid

 “The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has the honour of announcing that the first Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2010 are awarded to the city of Singapore,” announced Mr Jacques Rogge, president of the IOC, a few minutes past 7pm on Thursday. The announcement practically sent the entire nation into euphoria and disbelief as it marks a new dawn for Singapore sport as the nation beat Moscow 53-44 in the tight race to host the games.

This is not the end, but the beginning towards gearing the nation up strongly towards the organisation of a memorable inaugural Youth Games. This includes the construction and refurnishing of several complexes and arenas, so as to provide state-of-the-art facilities and five-star accommodation for the thousands of participants arriving in Singapore for the Games in 2010. And of course, gearing our young blood into preparation overdrive as the country targets some medals to put itself on the Olympic world map (for the first time since Tan Howe Liang took home a silver medal for bodybuilding in 1960, should the nation fail in its bid to win medals this year).

It is indeed heartening to see many of the locals (or at least, those who have been interviewed by the newspapers) stepping up and be willing to volunteer themselves to the cause when the Games fall on Singapore in 2010. Hopefully the excitement will not die down as the nation needs to maintain this momentum on its journey to hold a successful Games.


While the entire nation is basking in glory over this unprecedented achievement in the sporting arena, I believe many would expect the above news to be splashed on the front pages of all local newspapers around the island on Friday.

But no, mypaper bucked this trend by featuring Edison Chen on the front page of the free tabloid. Which makes me wonder how the paper prioritises the issues – does the editor seriously feel that front-page Edison Chen news will garner more readership than the winning of the bid to host the Youth Olympic Games? (If that is the reason, I find it quite stupid as the paper is a free tabloid after all. I will find it surprising if the papers do not  get distributed till they run out everyday) Or is it more of a matter of attention-grabbing?

My personal disapproval towards that isolated incident aside, my impression of the tabloid has dipped tremendously since its rather impressive beginning when the English and Mandarin segments of the paper were merged to form a bilingual paper. While the paper prides itself for being a good avenue for readers to learn English or Mandarin, through their vocabulary segments, with the numerous atrocious grammar errors (and a few typos here and there) throughout the paper, the readers stand to lose out in their grammar in the midst of benefiting from their vocabulary. Interesting trade-off, isn’t it?

Aside from that, the article “Motorists complacent, so rise in Cashcard thefts” on Monday (Page A4) is preposterously written. Reading the article, you’d think that the article is entirely about CashCard thefts right? Apparently not, as the focus of the story meanders towards the amount of money most motorists deposit into their CashCards today, given the increasing spate of thefts, and for non-motorists, the amount of money communites deposit into their EZ-Link cards.

And, with the spate of the Edison Chen debacle going downhill, you wouldn’t rely on precisely this tabloid to stir things up again with a front-page cover of the issue. New (and somewhat surprising) revelations this time arose from local blogger Dawn Yang, who suddenly came front with her encounters with Edison and how he had tried to lure her into some kinky business when they were introduced in the past by mutual friends. Wow, what good timing of matters isn’t it.

Edison Chen

 “Speaking of timing, Edison has been accosted for returning to Hong Kong and addressing the media in the shadows of credited household performer Lydia Sum’s unfortunate demise after her battle with organ failure and other illnesses. (Apparently the Hong Kong tabloids are not that focused on Edison, after all – at least they’re willing to shift their attention to more pressing matters) Though I feel that either way, he gets the short end of the schtick – he comes back early, he gets blasted. He comes back late to let the tide cool off, he meets with the unfortunate passing of Lydia Sum, and he gets blasted.

Which brings the act to the climactic showdown – the press conference. Edison announced that he will be “leaving Hong Kong showbusiness indefinitely”. And there are speculations abounding regarding the usage of those words, which seriously, sound forcefully planned. Many feel that it is all a clever ploy on the part of his ego to evoke some sympathy against his plight and to emerge the unfortunate victim. (After all, Gilian, Cecilia and Bobo have already taken most of the rap for him while he went into hiding; it’s just the way the society currently functions lah. When females consent to sex, they’re at fault. When they consent to being photographed having sex, they’re at fault for their naivety. Little wonder that in an online survey of more than 5000 voters, 62% of the pollers have forgiven the actor but bad blood still run against the female stars)

Leaving “Hong Kong showbusiness” indefinitely just means that he’ll be able to expand his pastures into the wider market of Hollywood, where he has made forays into Tinseltown in The Grudge 2 in 2006, as well as a villain in a supporting cameo in the upcoming The Dark Knight. He allegedly found time to go for auditions, and to clinch a role, in another upcoming Christopher Nolan movie while in hiding. Doesn’t sound as if his career is suffering to me.

What’s my entire take on this? Just let the entire thing blow over and let the stars get on with their lives already! While this has taken the entertainment scene by storm, but that’s just it, entertainment.


February 9, 2008

The entire entertainment industry is a total paradox. While it is supposed to entertain, it very so often imposes itself as a double-edged sword on unsuspecting victims. These victims, sadly, are the celebrities who have been so caught up in all the mind games played so realistically in the market.

It is somewhat ironic that simultaneously, while the world has been coming to terms with the unexpected death of one-time Oscar Nominee Heath Ledger, who passed away quietly in his Manhattan apartment due to an accidental overdose of prescription drugs, and the gripping nature of how many purebred talents were lost simply because they have been unlucky with fate, dying young, we have celebrity icons in really really deep trouble at the other end of the spectrum.

The Britney meltdown, in itself, is somewhat unpredictable. From the moment she shaved her head till the time she went around exposing herself without wearing any undies, you see a celebrity who is way past her prime and seriously needs psychiatric help. Now, with custody of her children granted to her ex-husband, her only source of solace being some unknown photographer, and the gossipmongers working overtime to put her down, things just seem to go downhill. What a pity, considering the early success in her career. Too caught up in her own success that it becomes easy to succumb to a few falls I guess? Let’s just say that the signs were there early on when she married her childhood friend only to annul the marriage within 48 hours, albeit amicably, a few years back.

And she’s just the most high profile celebrity meltdown case out of a list of tens of hundreds who are also in some self-inflicted predicament, checking themselves in and out of rehab like it’s a holiday resort. Look at Lindsay Lohan, Amy Winehouse et al. I suppose the hoi polloi like us will never understand how they could get so caught up with their own fame game.

The Edison Chen sex scandal is another incident which has gripped media watchdogs aplenty (as well as all those horny *chee ko peks worldwide of course). What amuses me is how the perpetrator of the photographs actually named himself as Kira, after the lead character in the Japanese Anime hit Death Note. Seems like he wishes to deal a Death Note of his own to Mr Edison Chen, whose popularity has definitely taken a huge knocking. And seems like he is so damn cocksure of himself that he will never get caught by the Hong Kong police, who incidentally have arrested several suspects but have yet to get to the root of the problem. Amazingly many netizens have stood up against the Hong Kong police for doing their jobs because of the elitism attitude they have exhibited in the attention they have showered on the Edison Chen case.

BUT let’s face it. Celebrities will always be celebrities. The media coverage on these celebrity cases are naturally HIGHER than that of non-celebrity mishaps. Do you think it feasible that the entire organisation would want people to think that they cannot handle a high-profile case competently? Of course they will deal with it as a big case lah. There has to be some proportion ratio between the media coverage and the need to get things done. C’mon, let’s face the facts that in every organisation, things are bound to have some practicality somewhat. Of course they’d react strongly to the case. (I mean, let’s lay things clearly on the table – You have two things on hand, one of which will lead you to a lot of recognition while the other does not. It seems like human nature to me to actually concentrate on the former)

What really baffles me is the sheer stupidity in which Edison actually sent the computer with all those sleazy pictures of himself and other female artistes for repair. It is pure common sense that when sleazy photographs of oneself gets into the hands of another stranger, it spells doom. Even in Singapore, which is a supposedly conservative society which has supposed respect for privacy. (Remember the NYP Incident?) Let alone in Hong Kong, the land of sleazy entertainment gossip magazines. So, case in point: If your computer dies and you know there’re indecent photographs of yourself in it, BUY A NEW COMPUTER. (Yes, I know I’m typing with the assumption that the photographs are real and they originated from his own computer, but face it – all those photo-imaging experts can’t be wrong)

With all these sagas going on, let’s give due credit to the people who actually manage to do their jobs well, stay sane, and not flirt with trouble or controversy. While the media is bound to find them boring, they can, and should, be seen as a breath of fresh air in the polluted entertainment industry.

At the end of the day, it depends on how the artiste involved actually picks up the pieces which determine whether his career bombs or peaks at new heights. Local actor Christopher Lee managed his entire hit-and-run accident jail term well, coming to terms with his ordeal and took responsibility for himself. Will all those artistes have the guts to stand up for themselves?

Meanwhile, let’s take a moment of silence to honour the works of the late Heath Ledger, a great and versatile actor.

* Dialect for pervertic

*Written by aR