theology

My name is JORDAN. I'm from Singapore, complain a lot and study Egyptology because I aspire to live in a cardboard box. I also hate babies and am actually a really nice person, if you grovel long and hard enough.

This blog is highly addictive.

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Ahrned
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Atlas Obscura
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recommended reading
End-of-week madness!
Ethiopian grain-tossing
Exercising my face
Geog CT2
H2 Stalking
How to be an a*****e blogger
How to avoid dying in BMT
Gardens by the Bay: A Polemic
'O'-level Geography revision
Not A World Heritage Site: Part 1
Not A World Heritage Site: Part 2
Ruling My Kingdom: Egypt 2014
Steffi the Bimbo
The Administration & Service Scholarship
The Scourge of Humanity
The Trina Tan saga
The Umbrella: A Tribute
To Hell And Back I
To Hell And Back II
TSD @ the beach
VCNX & Twitspeak: A Comparison
Zombie Apocalypse Survival Plan

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credits
Base codes: here.
Vintage paper texture: here.
Skin edited by: Amanda Esther Gani.

disclaimer
This blog contains bitchy content, and is thus rated PG. If you are offended by the content of this blog, please tell your friends and family about it. Hopefully they are not as stupid as you. ^^

Since this is my blog, I will not delete any entries upon request unless you give me a mind-bogglingly good reason which somehow manages to override my infallible authority. Excuses like "It embarrasses me!" are not good reasons. Flaming me online will only serve to give me more publicity, so thanks in advance. If you do something stupid in the external (i.e. offline) world, and I catch sight of it, you hereby hold yourself fully responsible for the online ridicule you will most probably get from me. It is an honour to be featured here, and it was your fault in the first place.

You are free to interpret the content of this blog in any way you want, but don't get all worked up and angry when you've misinterpreted it and are threatening to sue because you've "detected" unacceptable comments in my entries. If you're really that stupid, just shut up because you know you're wrong.

This blog is highly addictive. I strongly recommend that you take regular breaks while reading it. Use this time to eat, drink and engage in other life-sustaining activities. This will ensure you do not die prematurely (not that it's a bad thing), and will also give your mind time to absorb, comprehend and appreciate my greatness, enriching your reading experience.


This is a casual personal blog whose readership consists largely of people within the author's offline social circle, and whom are well-acquainted with him. The ideas expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the true, unadulterated or unexaggerated opinions of the author. Please contact me personally if clarification is required. I advise you to familiarise yourself with my blogging style (by reading my archives) and me as a person to avoid misinterpreting my motives, tone of voice and character. This will save you from spewing unnecessary vitriol.

Buy your tickets now!
Tuesday, 2 August 2016, 10:50 pm
RAFFLES ALUMNI CHINESE ORCHESTRA
AND
VICTORIA CHINESE ORCHESTRA
PRESENT


《心声 • 新声》
ASPIRATIONS

SUNDAY, 7 AUGUST 2016, 7.00PM
SINGAPORE CONFERENCE HALL
$12

Programme:
《青年序曲》
Overture of Youth

《军民团结心连心》
Soldiers and Civilians United in Harmony

《动感弹拨》
Ebullient Plucked-Strings

《八音》
Eight Tones

《月儿高》
The High Moon

《梅花操》
The Plum Blossoms Story

《然界畅想》
Caprice of Nature

《我们飞》
We Soar

This joint concert features works representative of each orchestra's strengths and goals. Spanning a range of musical genres, ideas, and periods, it includes large-scale classics scored for a full orchestra, as well as new and innovative chamber works crafted to display the distinctive qualities of the Chinese chamber ensemble and its various instruments.

Built upon the memories and visions of both orchestras and their musicians, ASPIRATIONS has something for everyone, and promises an exciting evening of diverse experiences. See you there!

Please direct all enquiries and ticket orders to:
enquiries (dot) vaco (at) gmail (dot) com
(Be sure to say you were recommended by lime-sorbet. You won't get a discount but I'll get an ego boost - even better.)

I could've had a child in the time this blog has been dead...
Sunday, 3 July 2016, 11:46 pm
HELLO EVERYONE! This is the longest hiatus I've ever taken (I think it's my first proper "hiatus" actually, LOL), and I'm not even sure when my next update will be - frankly, my life has become extraordinarily boring and there is nothing to blog about when I'm in Oxford. I know that some of you have resorted to begging for updates on my coursework, but trust me when I say it's not good blogging material. =.= When interesting things do happen, I'm usually just too exhausted by the time I get home to type up a blog entry, especially when I spend most of my time outside class typing stuff up - essays, notes, translations... after all that's done, I just don't have the energy or motivation to write anything anymore, even if it's a frivolous entry.

I've also found that I speak and think a lot differently when I'm in uni. It's a totally different environment from being in school in Singapore, a very different environment from local unis, and actually quite different from other UK unis. I'm just not in the right frame of mind to write lime-sorbet material when I'm in Oxford, and by the time term ends and I come back to Singapore, I'm too tired. =.=

But first, just a brief summary of what happened in the past 8 months or so. I was part of the VACO group which went to Taiwan for a concert and exchange with the National Taiwan University of Arts last December. A couple of videos are available on YouTube, and you can keep in touch with us through our Facebook page and Instagram account (@victoriachineseorchestra) - we're now a registered group (like, legit. We filled in the MHA form and everything LOL)! I also made a hilarious Italian friend called VALENTINA ARONICA in Hilary and Trinity - although it's just not worth pic-spamming my blog with Snapchat screenshots this late.

I was stuck in Oxford during the Easter break, and spent my time volunteering at the Ashmolean and doing some original research and cataloguing work on unpublished ancient Egyptian objects in the HMC archive, which was really fun - what's really exciting is that I submitted a proposal for their exhibition, which will likely occur in September in conjunction with a conference on Egyptology in the college. Oh, and I also went to Copenhagen for a short break - saw lots of museums and stuff like that, the usual. -.-'

THERE'S JUST TOO MUCH WORK.

ANYWAY, this is a very non-bitchy entry and I apologise. In case I don't update for a while (again =.=), I'll just say upfront that I'm currently not doing much with my life. I'm spending most of my time lazing around watching Ultra Rich Asian Girls on YouTube (please watch it. Chelsea is hilarious and CocoParis is just... ARGH), doing preliminary research for my dissertation on the serpopard motif in Early Dynastic Egyptian palettes, and preparing for VACO's first major concert of the year - a combined VACO-RACO (Raffles Alumni CO) concert at SCH on 7 August - which I'll probably/hopefully post an advertisement about in a couple of weeks' time.

I just thought I'd update because I've recently been rather irritated by the explosion of Tumblr activism and "social justice warriors" (a term which I personally prefer to use contemptuously and disdainfully) on social media more generally. Yelsel and I went out the other day and ranted about it and I thought I might as well put it up here since I haven't been an opinionated, politically incorrect rebel in a while. Also, I need an outlet for the cancerously hypertrophic vocabulary of mine which hasn't yet found an outlet in Egyptological/Assyriological essays.

ENJOY! ^_^

1) I reserve the right to call you "ugly" or any other non-positive adjective. I can agree that more should be done to separate concepts of "beauty" from particular body types (e.g. the super-slim ideal), but sorry - people can be ugly regardless of whether they're thin or fat or one-legged or three-headed. I am not "fat-shaming" by saying a fat person is ugly. I'm just saying they're ugly. Perhaps their size contributes to their ugliness - after all, I'm judging physical appearance as a whole, and the sum of your parts is as important (if not more so) than the individual components making up your appearance. Size may play a greater or lesser role in that overall judgement, but still, if I think you're ugly, I THINK YOU'RE UGLY. PERIOD. If you are offended, so be it. Deal with it. You become a stronger person doing that than by trying to hide your personal insecurities behind the veil of "political correctness".
Also, it is simply not possible for everything to be "beautiful". Expanding a definition does not eliminate its opposite. It merely shifts their boundary. It is a pointless, Sisyphean endeavour. Give up and stop trying to accomplish your ultimately selfish objective of making the world a better place by analysing it into oblivion - Pointillism is as much a recognition of the whole and structure than an awareness of its atomised constituents.
2) Not everything should be linked to race/gender/whatever politics, even if it can. As above, many cases are legitimate. But not all. Take, for instance, the Red Cross poster advocating safety in and around swimming pools for kids. Apparently, people were "outraged" because a greater number of black children in the image were engaging in "undesirable" behaviour (like running around the edge of the pool) than white children, which they interpreted as suggesting that black kids are inherently less well-behaved, or less capable of engaging in correct behaviour, than white kids. COME ON. I haven't made a Thiru reference in years, but that is truly a remarkable display of spectacular stupidity.
3) Humour that exploits politically sensitive or incorrect topics (my favourite MadTV sketches, for example) is not necessarily a form of aggression or "micro-aggression". Such acts recognize the existence of such sociocultural phenomena, and manipulate them for the sociocultural purpose of mass-distributed (via the media) entertainment. It is perfectly possible to laugh at archetypes, stereotypes, cruel jokes and dark humour whilst simultaneously recognising their real sociopolitical significance and implications. Making visible and exploiting disconnects and anomalies does, after all, appear to be a key element of much humour in general.
I highly doubt that anyone would find it genuinely funny if they saw a real-life Dorothy Lanier exploiting the plight of the homeless or hurricane-stricken for her own selfish ends. We interact with society and culture in different ways depending on context; it would be foolish and simplistic to believe that an act or event unacceptable by virtue of its political incorrectness in the realm of everyday interaction or serious political debate is by extension universally unacceptable. In other words: the dots remain the same, but the lines which connect them, and the constellations created as a result, are innumerable. Don't be an idiot who can't see past the end of his nose - you're committing the same mistake on the intellectual plane that the racist and sexist bigots commit on the social one.

I will not comment on movements like Rhodes Must Fall (RMF; currently a big and visible issue in Oxford) because I have not yet made my mind up on them (as much as that revelation may shock my more sociopolitically involved friends and acquaintances). They are intensely complex issues which involve a multitude of social, historical, cultural and political sources from a variety of spatial, temporal and sociocultural contexts, and in a range of forms (textual, visual-iconographic, historical-discursive, experiential/phenomenal).

What I would say at this point in time is that I do not believe that "experiential" evidence (e.g. personal anecdotes) on either an individual or communal level are necessarily weightier than other forms of evidence, even though I believe that such testimonial evidence is completely valid, given the nature of the debate as one centred upon a web of personal, communal, social, cultural, and political identities both past and present. While I therefore do not necessarily disagree with people who stand shirtless outside the entrance of All Souls College with "All Slaves College" slathered in red paint across their chest, I do disagree with people who disrupt college Governing Body meetings. (I do, however, think that the highly visible, striking, spectacular and aggressive displays such as the "All Slaves College" thing are not necessarily the most effective at promoting debate, even if they do a good job at revealing particular ideas.)

Call me ignorant, naive, privileged, blind, or simply objectively incapable of empathy due to the particular environments I've experienced and/or am limited to experiencing. I have always adopted a "gather as much information as I can, formulate a complex and comprehensive argument, then nuke my opponents" approach in all my endeavours - in essays, in meetings, in computer games... - so I would describe myself as currently being in a state of pre-, rather than non-wisdom with regard to these issues.

PLUS, I LIKE TO AVOID "REAL-TIME", VERBAL CONFRONTATION. THAT'S WHY I BLOG RATHER THAN TALK TO/DEBATE WITH PEOPLE FACE-TO-FACE. That kind of extemporised, spontaneous interaction is too susceptible to emotional interference and weakened clarity of expression. It is also subject to the influence of the passage of time on the involved parties' reception and treatment of the content of speech - rate of speech; the frequency, distribution and length of pauses in speech; etc. - as is pretty much the case with all verbal interaction. I would rather free myself of the dynamism and unpredictability of speech and express my ideas using a more permanent and review-able medium.

But anyway, BYE FOR NOW. Looking forward to reading your celebratory ululations at my return on my tagboard.

Unroll the red carpet, for your king has returned
Sunday, 18 October 2015, 7:57 am




[Basically me.]


I'm back among the dreaming spires and survived 1st week! Choosing Akkadian as my second subject was not a very practical option because I now have 14 hours of class a week (with 4 hours each on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays), and my second subject is taking up more time than my main subject, WTF. =.= Meanwhile, Chloe chose Coptic and is breezing along with five fewer hours of contact time than me. T_T

Oh, and my first assignment? An essay and presentation on cuneiform alphabets, specifically Ugaritic and Old Persian. I was quite interested in Ugaritic before term started and jumped at the opportunity to do something related to it, but I clearly overlooked the fact that the site was discovered by some old French dudes. That's coming back to bite me in the butt because I've read more French in the past two days than I'll ever read in the rest of my life. Quite impressed with myself, actually. Mark of an Egyptology student: being able to speed-read five scholarly books written in French in a single day, while not knowing any actual, functional, everyday French. Throw me into France and I'll probably be killed by a flying baguette within two hours.

Ok enough nerd-festing. Here are some pics of my new room in college! I reorganized the furniture a bit:



[The view from my window! Much better than last year's view of the Arlosh Hall's wall. Then again, I grew quite fond of it. It was like having my own personal pyramid complex right outside my window, and it glowed really prettily in the evenings. BUT ANYWAY, I now get to watch the Oxley-Ching building unfold before my very eyes. I should shout across to the construction workers one day, lol. At least these ones don't blast Beyonce while they work (the ones who worked on Conway Hall last year did it ALL THE TIME).]

[My room! Double bed! Big! But not en-suite this year, sian. And I have a painting of sardines hanging on the wall above the radiator now.]

[This is how it originally looked.]

[Before I rearranged some furniture.]

[And rearranged it some more... (This was before I took out the other bed, though.)]

[The windowsill makes for a good mantelpiece.]

Back to nerd-festing. Here, look at my GENERAL REFERENCE WORKS from the HMC library. My bookshelf isn't even half-full so I feel very insecure:

[Carrying these back from the library probably burnt like 10,000 calories.]

Also, I got my scholarship, and with it, my fancy-schmancy, swishy Scholar's Gown! Basically, I'm entitled to dress like a Dementor twice a week. The effort needed to get this sucked the soul out of me during Trinity so I might as well recoup my losses by sucking the souls out of everyone else during formals:

[I'm pretty sure I shouldn't wear these when I'm travelling in lifts, escalators or moving vehicles because it'd probably get caught in something and rip off my limbs.]

[Swooping down from Azkaban to test your knowledge of Egyptian kings.]

[Dapper AF, amirite. Yes I am.]

Random picture time:

[Laughed in real life when I saw this.]

["Hey do you wanna go to Tesco?" "Why leh?" "I feel like drinking wine." "Ok lor." *30 minutes later: this*]

[FAIRYTALE BOP. Snow White and his Seven Dwarfs stole the show. Don't even try to argue against this. You cannot win, because they already did.]



[An original penicillin culture from the 1940s, in the Museum of the History of Science.]

[Apparently the Museum used to be an alchemy lab?!?!?!]


[The blackboard that Einstein wrote on when he lectured at Oxford. Pictured are some equations he wrote (yes that's his actual writing) to explain the apparent expansion of the universe.]

[Old microscopes.]

[Old chemistry equipment.]

[Old cameras.]

[More old cameras. Basically the museum is just filled with old stuff, can?]



[I am this pot.]

[The mother was in town so I brought her to formal and Ming Kit helped us take this badly lit photo with bad hair and skin.]


[I hope you didn't turn to stone when you cast your eyes on my gorgon friend.]

[Had one of our Akkadian classes in this room I didn't even know existed.]

[Felt like we were high-level management of some big, influential company. Lol but we're Assyriologists, that isn't gonna happen. Ever.]




[OUMSSA Welcome Back Drinks, AKA "come stand around and shout at each other".]

I also went for Freshers' Fair again, intending to join a few more societies since I don't have any exams this year, but I basically walked straight through because nothing appealed. Plus, I hate it when people are staring at me, shoving brochures in my face and asking me to join their shitty, boring club which I have absolutely no interest in. Like, the sign on your booth is gigantic; if I was interested in your society I would walk there myself using my perfectly functional legs. So yeah. Gonna be no-life again this year but it sure beats having an inbox flooded with annoyingly effusive emails from all the groups. =.=

And I'm down with freshers' flu. Or REFRESHERS' FLU, this time. =.= Just like last year, I'm coughing like a bitch and I dunno how long more it's gonna last. I'm probably annoying the hell out of everyone in the adjoining rooms but it's not my fault that the English weather is so crappy and that we're all wading through an invisible miasma of germs from all over the world thanks to all the new students. This is probably what it felt like when the Europeans started spreading the flu to all the tribesmen they found. =.=

Anyway, losers, I have better things to do than continue telling you all about my wonderful amazing life here in the damp cold of jolly old England. It's 12.48am now and I should go to sleep so I can get up, go for brunch and cough into everyone's food. I already suck at meeting new people and having a voice that sounds like Elvis gargling gravel doesn't exactly help. =.= If I'm not in a condition to talk in the morning I'll just stuff my face with bacon and use that as an excuse not to interact with my fellow humans.

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