Sunday, July 31, 2005

Press The Face: Interview II: Sumiko Tan

No more piles in your mouth! OK, bluff you one. Sumiko Tan emailed recently to turn down my request to interview her because ":) I'm afraid I'm not good at giving witty answers at all, and so it'd be a very boring interview." And in today's Sunday Times, she talks a little about blogs and... oh wait.. oh lordy me, it's a whole column on page 12 of LifeStyle! She says:
...What scares me more is the personal smut that litters the Net, the vicious gossip, invidious hearsay and the big, fat lies you get on some websites, chatrooms and - with blogging the latest communication tool - blogs... ...Little wonder then that the Net has become a repository of all that is nasty and brutish in human nature...
Nabeh, all you bloggers out there! Why you scare Sumiko liddat? See lah! Now she scared until cannot and don't want to be interviewed by me. It would have been fun, and we might have been enlightened by such personal Sumiko details such as how long her hemorrhoidal surgery took. Oh wait, she already wrote about that. Some more got what ah? Maybe about the time she accidentally used Preparation-H as toothpaste? You vicious gossipers, invidious hearsayers and big fat liars! Let that be a lesson learnt! We bloggers cannot so anyhowly burn bridges you know? As Sumiko says,
'Surely one must be guided by some decency and decorum?'
Sumiko says a lot more. A lot, lot more. But not as much as today's New Paper said about blogs. I think because there wasn't enough soccer to cover, the nation's top tabloid decided, hey, you know what? I have a brilliant idea, let's talk about blogs! No one has done it before! Blogs are so, like, you know, new and hot and funky, like, new and hot and funky, like? And I'll tell you, they've prepared for this Sunday's coverage way in advance. There's this New Paper employee called Jean Skye Tan who called and emailed me a week ago with questions that I answered with:
1. Age 36, Occupation: Businessman 2. I've been blogging since April 2004, the earlier entries on my blog being cut and paste from long emails I sent to my friends. 3. There has definitely been a proliferation of new blogs in the last year and a half. Technological advances have definitely made blogging easier, so that could be a reason. It's now much easier to post photos and videos. I don't think there's been a change in text-based content, though. 4. I don't think there was any major turning point in my blog turning popular. I think consistency in content's the key. If people like it, they keep coming back to read, and they'll tell their friends about it. 5. The 'infantile' comment was a long, long time ago. Bloggers hold no grudges. I can't even remember how I reacted. 6. So many blogs out there, it's hard to say which, in particular, has a particular focus. If you were to read my blog for example, you'd find instances where there'd be issues which I care for and write about. So you could say I am sometimes socially conscious. A bit like everyone else in real life. We're not all serious all the time, and we're not all funny all the time. 7. Humour is definitely a way to get someone's attention to any issue. 8. We gaze much further down than at our navels. Toes are fun to look at sometimes. 9. Will we become 'more political'? For mine, politics is defined as whatever issues that concern ourselves and our lives. So you could say we are always political. Bus fares up? Complain. Political what. 10. Of course bloggers are exhibitionists. Blogging is publishing. Publishing is public. 11. Age will not weary us. The disparity in ages is probably because younger people are more native to technology, whereas older people have to 'migrate' to technological advances.
From what was printed in the nation's top tabloid today, it is of course obvious Jean Skye Tan hasn't read this blog much. I don't just talk about grocery shopping! I talk about other things, like the time my business partner got shat on by this huge assed mynah and forgot to go buy 4-D. Damned lazy, these media outlet employees! Ivan Fernandez, another New Paper employee, is also, like, you know, scared of blogs and bloggers, like? In another page on today's New Paper, he says:
'They are faceless. And largely out of focus (huh?)... They hide behind cyber masks, but bare their hearts of darkness'.
Don't say they nair warn you hor! Bloggers are damn danger one ok? Surf stop: Janice Wong's Cyberjournal It's Just Not Cricket from the album "The 12th Man" by The 12th Man

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Blogger Decipher Labs said...

Bloggers ain't that scary la! haha It's a speaker's corner in cyberspace ma. :D

7/31/2005 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger Monkey said...

aiyah the ivan fernandez quote sounds like he's trying to rhyme

7/31/2005 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger Beng said...

Geez... It has never occurred to me that bloggers are so armed and dangerous.

7/31/2005 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger cheahchuwen said...

hey, here's a shining example on why Sumiko Tan prolly got so scared of blog-o-world.

7/31/2005 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger Anthony said...

Wow, definitely a major case of pot calling the kwali blacker-than-black.

8/01/2005 12:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ivan f is the biggest boss at the new paper! hahahahaha. he's the editor in chief. oops. haha.

8/01/2005 02:27:00 AM  
Blogger Tigerkiller said...

I think they're pissed that what they fought long and hard to attain (Readership, publishing articles) is behing attained by a blogger with little of no credits nor qualitfication.

Of course they will feel short changed. It's a taxi-driver-i-own-the-road syndrome. Commonly known as mei da mei xiao.

8/01/2005 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Sheylara said...

It is very enlightening to read your replies to Skye Tan and then to infer her questions from those answers.

She totally did not give you a clue as to the tone her article would take, did she? Although she did put in a token effort to make the article somewhat balanced, it still comes across as biased. I think it would have been more appropriate to put that article under an opinium column, rather than page 4 news.

8/01/2005 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger threez said...


Journalists are actually very sheltered people who have a tendency towards conspiracy theories and paranoia.

Bloggers are the complete negative to journalists -- or actually, vice versa. Because they don't need to put a picture byline in their blog (except by choice!) they are actually really free to say what they want (almost!), and not worry about whether the editor is going to say "You better don't say gahmen lidat" or "What's this piece of @#$%!& — I want the DIRT!"

So between being a reporter (as I was) and a blogger, I like the blogosphere better.

8/01/2005 03:10:00 PM  
Anonymous klimmer said...

sounds like Ivan's been watching too much Apocalypse Now.

8/01/2005 03:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I note this comment of yours:

"Bloggers are the complete negative to journalists -- or actually, vice versa. Because they don't need to put a picture byline in their blog (except by choice!) they are actually really free to say what they want (almost!), and not worry about whether the editor is going to say "You better don't say gahmen lidat" or "What's this piece of @#$%!& — I want the DIRT!"

Erm... Do you know how a newsroom really functions, in particular in our local context? - D W

8/01/2005 11:16:00 PM  
Anonymous HellsBel said...

sarcasm - sorely missed and thank you for providing it today.

8/02/2005 02:12:00 AM  
Blogger threez said...

DW it's actually been about ......... 20 years since I was an intern at ST, but journalism in Singapore is a tiny industry so everybody knows everybody (though I must admit I count as an "Other" because I went into magazines not hard news.)

There are some ST writers who are bloggers ... you should track them down and ask them about newsroom.

what I CAN tell you is that the most exciting news of the day is always WHAT TO HAVE FOR LUNCH.

8/03/2005 12:27:00 AM  
Anonymous desdcool said...

OMG...first time I'm reading your blog and I'm blown away.....still wiping tears from my eyes.

I'm coming back for sure!

8/11/2005 07:08:00 PM  

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