Monthly Archives: May 2016

The Appeal Of Anti-heroes

antihero

The above image is from USA Today.

Why do we find anti-heroes appealing?

Well, for starters, they don’t set impossible standards for us to follow.

I wrote a blog post before, comparing anti-heroes and goody-two-shoes heroes, and here’s the relevant bit that contributes to this discussion.

“In most Japanese anime/drama/manga, the good guys never kill. And the bad guys are those who do. Whatever their reasons may be. I just finished watching an episode of Kindaichi where the “villain”, and I am reluctant to call him one, killed off the people responsible for trapping his father and himself in a cave for 12 years. Of course, his elderly father died during the early days of their confinement and the boy had to live on rats and water. For 12 years.

I thought his revenge was well justified. And too tame since the culprits were killed rather quickly without time to truly repent for their past misdeed. But since this drama had to fit in with Japanese ideas about crime and punishment, the righteous avenger became the “villain” and quietly surrendered to the cops in order to repay his “debts” to society.

I couldn’t help wondering. What debts?” Read the rest of this entry

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It All Starts Physical

Recently, Savvy Tokyo published an informative article about bullying in Japanese schools. Statistics about bullying were provided and the author wrote about the different forms of bullying that can hurt a child. She did her research well. As a former victim of bullying, I like reading helpful articles like this. Because it means victims are not ignored or forgotten.

As a former victim, I would also like to offer some insights on one of the points raised in this article.

While it is true that fist cuffs or physical bullying make up a lower percentage of bullying incidents compared to teasing and other subtler means, we must not underestimate the power of physical prowess.

Throughout the 4 years in secondary school when I was getting bullied regularly, I was only ever beaten up a few times. Once I was punched and kicked. The other time I was burned with a lighter. And there was this one time when I was dragged out of my classroom by force for “investigation”. The teacher managed a weak “no…” before resuming his lesson. Like one of his student wasn’t just dragged out of the classroom by students from another class. Read the rest of this entry

If You Lose Your Phone At A Singapore Mall

Don’t place all your hopes on the security guards and the mall’s CCTV network.

Recently, a mother who used the Level 4 nursing room at Westgate left her iPhone 6 in the room. When she returned mere minutes later, the phone was already gone. The story of her loss was posted on All Singapore Stuff‘s website and Facebook page, where it attracted numerous comments from well-wishers.

One sympathetic well-wisher advised the distraught mother to approach the security team at the mall. That’s actually good advice because security guards are usually the ones handling Lost & Found items. But the well-wisher also advised her to request mall security to playback the CCTV footage in the vicinity of the nursing room and to retrieve a copy of the footage so that she may upload it to the internet. Well, with thousands of internet-users viewing the video clip, someone is bound to be able to identify the thief. But should we get our hopes up?

Speaking as a security guard myself, I have to say no. Read the rest of this entry

My First Ever Poll!

And I apologize for my previous post, What’s Wrong With Guards Gone Wild!?, where I said it will cost me money to put up a poll on my blog.  I just didn’t study the WordPress dashboard hard enough.

So there you go. A poll. And let me just tell you this:

Your vote matters.

Teck Y. Loh

Writers Don’t Always Show

Sometimes they just tell.

Don’t believe me? Well, then check out this interview with New York Times bestselling author, Lee Child. You can’t go wrong listening to the advice of a New York Times bestselling author. 🙂

Personally, I just go by my gut feeling. If I feel like showing would work better for a particular scenario, I show. But I won’t hesitate to simply tell if I feel that showing would get in the way of storytelling.

My book, Guards Gone Wild!, is a collection of short stories about my adventures in the private security industry. As such, it contains scenes where I diligently perform routine security work. If I show in detail every instance where I greet a visitor to my building, Guards Gone Wild! will become a lengthy (and boring) textbook about security work.

On the other hand, certain scenarios must be shown in detail to add colour and depth to the story. Such as fights, for example. Read the rest of this entry

What’s Wrong With Guards Gone Wild!?

mallcopcover3

As the title for my book, I mean.

Recently, I had a meeting with a friend to discuss the possibility of using crowdfunding to raise fund to publish Guards Gone Wild!, a collection of stories about my adventures in the private security industry.

During the meeting, my friend had a strong reaction to the title. He said Guards Gone Wild! will make my book look sleazy. He also told me I will receive criticisms from others, including publishers, over the title.

That came as a surprise to me. Because I had already decided on using Guards Gone Wild! as the title since September last year and have been tossing it around here and there ever since. No one complained about sleaziness or whatever.

On the other hand, my friend felt rather strongly about the sleaziness of my title of choice. Which is why I would like to do a poll here. To see how many people actually consider the title to be too sleazy and if that might affect sales of the book. Read the rest of this entry

History Of Maid Cafes

maids

The above image is from this eBay page.

The earliest “maid cafes” in recorded history first started operations in ancient Egypt, during the Twenty-Second Dynasty (c. 945–715 BC) when the cat goddess Bast was revered as a protector deity.

Historians and archaeologists now believe that, based on evidence found in mural paintings, the priestesses of Bast adorned themselves with “cat ears” and “cat tails” fashioned from reeds during temple ceremonies. Cats, believed by ancient Egyptians to be guardians of the underworld, were thought to possess semi-divine authority over malignant spirits. And Egyptologists believe that, in donning “cat ears” and “cat tails”, the priestesses were trying to assume the mantle and authority of cats during rituals to exorcise evil influence and spirits.

“And if you look closely at the priestesses, in their cat ears and tails, you see the remarkable resemblance to modern cat girl maids plying their trade in Akihabara,” said Dr. Otaku from Todai (Tokyo University) Department of History and Social Sciences. Read the rest of this entry