Tuesday, March 04, 2003

this blog has become not only a great way to talk endlessly about stuff i like, but yet another fun-filled way to procrastinate! here are the fun-filled ways to not do work at the U of C in coming days:

(1) spend time watching Married by America, FOX network's latest and greatest attempt to prove their ability to sink below all standards of human behaviour. first Joe Millionaire, now this? we're talking scraping the bottom of the barrel here. for those of us who don't live in the US of A: Married by America is a new reality TV series where contestants -five of 'em- go onscreen in their search for a lifemate. the audience -not just the studio audience, but us couch potatoes at home too! we get to play!- votes for the best 'candidate' out of five suitors per contestant, and the chosen suitor and contestant get married! just to provide us home viewers with plenty of entertainment -- just for shits and giggles, as my roommate would say. i got through one hour of the two hour pilot before leaving the room, mainly because my sole motivation for remaining longer, the most gorgeous pair of shoes i have ever seen, was eliminated and 'sent home alone'. i can't believe -or perhaps i can- the depths to which FOX will sink to raise their ratings, and the obscene amount of money they must be earning from this show. they can afford to, as a prize for the couple that stays married [we get to decide that too], (a) buy them a luxury car; (b) give them 100,000 USD; and (c) buy them a house. oh FOX, how low will you go?

and what does that tell us about the institution of holy matrimony in this great country?

and i can hear you asking: why do you watch that crap? (1) there's not much else to do on a monday evening at the U of C; and (2) we watch to make fun of this! which makes me rethink my opinion of FOX viewership. unless i'm willing to lump myself in with the crazy afternoon-soaps-watchers of america, then i have to be willing to admit that perhaps FOX viewership has some level of intelligence, just willing to waste time making fun of FOX. which leads to all kinds of introspective, perhaps existential questions about the nature of the behaviour of 'intelligentia'.

(2) tomorrow morning: 0730, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed -- DRIVING TEST! wish me luck. at the very least, even if i don't pass, i'll be legal. finally. =)

(3) The Univ. of Chicago's Amnesty Intl. and Human Rights Dept. are hosting a panel discussion
"Prosperity, Stability and Civil Liberties: The Case of Human Rights in Singapore Post 9/11".
The event will be held Thurs., March 13th, from 5-7pm, in Pick Hall Lounge.

Panel speakers include: Dr. Chee Soon Juan, Dr. Francis Seow, and Dr. Jeanne Marie Stumpf.

Dr. Chee Soon Juan is a Singaporean professor and the Secretary General of the Singapore Democratic Party and Director of the Open Singapore Centre. He has been jailed several times for his political activism, most recently in this past autumn. He has authored several books about civil rights in Singapore, and was recently an Activist Fellow at the University of Chicago.

Francis Seow is the former Solicitor General of Singapore. In May 1988 he was arrested in accordance with Singapore's Internal Security Act and was jailed for 72 days. Since his release, Seow has been living in voluntary exile in the United States. In the past decade, Seow has published several acclaimed books on politics and dissidence in Singapore and has been a fellow at both Harvard and Yale Law Schools.

Dr. Jeanne Marie Stumpf is Amnesty International's Country Specialist on Singapore. She conducted her doctoral research in Singapore. Currently she teaches at Kent State University in Ohio.

Dinner is also provided from the Nile, a big favourite of mine. watch me show up with my housemate Paul and other singaporeans in tow, and perhaps even make intelligent conversation! at the very least, this will be the first time i've seen chee soon juan in person, and presumably i'll get to make up my own mind about whether he's really a complete clown. or maybe there's something there that i never did see before. we'll see.

all right. time to get on with reading Hiroshima Notes and then get some sleep before waking up at six AM to head over to chinatown...ciao!


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