This is what some readers said.

To add your comments here, click on [RESPOND] below.
kai: "I applaud your thoughts and your efforts but I just disagree with your means to get to the end. [...]"

What I find strange is the implicit assumption that it's one or the other, contributions of aid or displays of peaceful protest. Why is this? Surely they are two different, but not mutually-exclusive, manifestations of the same sentiment? The protest may be nothing more than a show, but that does not preclude the possibility of it having value. Indeed, its value comes from being a show: it is a show that says, "We disagree with this action because it is hurting innocents, and we are not afraid to stand up and be counted." It operates on a similar principle to voting, though it is arguably less effective; nevertheless, that does not mean it is not worth engaging in purely on principle.

To return to the duality of donating and protesting, your comments seem to imply that by protesting without donating (whether or not this is a fair description of what's happening) is hollow, because the declared aim is not followed through. True enough, but donating without protesting is also hollow; if you believe in something enough to contribute to it monetarily, should you not also shout your cause from the roof-tops? You ask what is served by speaking out, but that misses the point entirely, which is: what is served by remaining silent?

It is not enough to help the victimised. It is also necessary to denounce the perpetrator. Empty coffers would be a tragedy, but only marginally more so than empty streets and silent throats.

This was a direct response to the2ndrule's call for photos in ACTION FOR PEACE, an Internet peace protest against the war in Iraq.
Nicholas Liu
7th April 2003
Hi there,

I just read my monthly edition of the 2nd rule and got notice of the peace protest. I couldn't help but to start thinking on a couple of issues.

There has been various attempts to stage peaceful peace protests locally, in an attempt to show the world that Singaporeans care, and that we don't fully adopt and consent to the stance which our government takes on, I suppose. But really, are peace protests done in good faith, with every partcipant believing honestly that there is a need for young Singaporeans to voice their disapproval or is it really an attempt to put up a show for yourself, to reassure oneself that one has tried to do something for the war effort? Peace protests albeit meaningful to the individual, (demonstrating and reassuring his conscience that he has tried to do something for the world) mean nothing to the Iraqis at war. Would anyone in the Iraqi war thank you for praying for them? Judging from the horrific and graphic pictures shown by the media over the past week, I doubt so. Men are getting slaughtered and even the innocent children are getting caught up in this foolish fight for land and oil. The thing they need is war relief, much more than prayers. The civilians need help to get out of Baghdad, the weaker folks need sustaneance in the form of food and supplies. Clearly balancing between prayers and food supplies, wouldn't you agree with me that war relief is the more needy of the two.

I agree with you that war is foolish and selfish; We all know that War is never staged for altruistic reasons. But will staging such protests help in any way? Maybe you guys feel that staging protests will show that Singaporeans are not that apathetic and that we care. But to people like me, I think it is more a show than anything else. Why not do something more worthwhile which will directly help the war relief effort and help relief some of the burden of the humanitarian workers like war donations? wouldn't canvassing for donations be a better and more realistic way to bring across the message that we are praying and hoping the best for them by sending them food supplies to keep them alive?

The management committee of my varsity faculty recently canvassed for donations which would in turn be given to Red Cross, to be mixed into their war relief fund. I am proud to say that most of my fellow course mates donated to the cause not because they needed to show the world that they cared but because they really really did care. My friend who was in charge of asking for donations told me that there wasn't much prodding needed from these people. At least we all know that as much as we cant be by their side rallying them on, at least our monies (albeit in small denominations) could at least buy them one more bag of supplies to last them for one more meal at the very least.

I am not trying to criticise your efforts nor am I here to slam you guys. I applaud your thoughts and your efforts but I just disagree with your means to get to the end. but of course, in the event that you guys decide to go ahead with the peace protest, I wish you guys good luck.

Just my two cents worth. Dont take offence

This was a direct response to the2ndrule's call for photos in ACTION FOR PEACE, an Internet peace protest against the war in Iraq.
cheers, kai
5th April 2003
Mr. Editor,

This has got to be the lamest excuse for "political activism" ever seen.

Tell me, exactly what is "a peaceful protest on the war in Iraq over the Internet"?

This war "protest" is just another excuse for a bunch of middle class kids to render their pathetic existence that little bit more meaningful.

"If you would like to take part in this peaceful protest, please send a photo of yourself holding a candle"

--- Don't make me laugh.

"together with a short caption on how you feel about the war in Iraq"

--- That's right, condense the complexities of international relations, global economics, modernity and history into a "short caption".

Long live poetry!

This was a direct response to the2ndrule's call for photos in ACTION FOR PEACE, an Internet peace protest against the war en Irak.
Alain de Merde
3rd April 2003
Yeah, guess I am pretty late in only discovering it now by accident after conducting a search on these two words "Singapore Indians" to send some publicity mails for a show at UCC with a theme very related to the kind of contents which are here. 'Opening up' as some people like to put it very lightly though I liken it to 'forcing open the child's mouth to feed him medicine' in most cases.

I have been going through some of the issues, not all, dun't have that much of time on my hands. ;) I am really impressed and delighted to see that there are other "thought criminals" in Singapore. No no, dun't assume I am naive in not knowing there are other "thought criminals". Wat I meant was I didn't know there was so much effort put forward to create a very presentable website for such criminals. I am glad I came across you guys. In Martin Tyler's words, "Absolutely Brilliant".

On a last note, particularly enjoyed the pun in Issue 10's notes to the various sections with a different quotes reflecting help recieved by needy students followed by Mr Dhana's "Nobody is entitled to free service."

Great job and please don't stop!
Suresh Kart
3rd April 2003
Love the Anti-Bushwar placard blurbs in this edition. Keep up the awesome work, guys! Tammy Yap
26th March 2003
Nice efforts! Jason
25th March 2003
hi, i like your puchy editorial. keep up the good work! cheers, Tan Kwank Liang
23rd February 2003
Ooh. Nifty site revamp. Nicholas Liu
22nd February 2003
Hi, thanks for last issue 35 jan 2003, especially enjoyed these two contributions. And the Radio episode 13-by Koh Beng Liang. Keep up the excellent stuff!

FIN. © 2003 Nicholas Liu
Last Parade © 2003 Loo Zihan

6th February 2003
Cool site. Happen to stumble upon this site. Thanks Alfian for the translation and exposing my younger days pix (without permission) No problem bro. For good cause. Good to see some long gone friends names here. Clifford Ess, Where the hell are you now? Alright, keep up the good work guys. will visit more often and will try to write in english now (so that alfian wouldnt have to translate anymore. okayzzzzz. Mohd Rafaat Hamzah
21st January 2003
by the way, you have a fabulous website! layhoon
17th January 2003
illmatic!!! This ish is dat tight! phyreman
15th January 2003
you guys are all cool! thanks for your electric rag! Joshuala,
mgr overload studios,
San francisco, ca usa
19th September 2002
Enjoyed this month's issue. The Ho Ching stuff gnaws at my stomach. But oh well.

Good job.
10th September 2002
Hey editors,

Enjoyed your latest issue tremendously. In particular, Matt Sho's sms lines.

It's a quintessential urban form.
Winnifred Wong
Managing Editor, ETHOS BOOKS
10th September 2002
The Aug 2002 issue of 2ndrule is one of the best this season...i like most of the poems, especially Cycles by KBL and The Four by AL. If AL has a site where he/she puts out poems or stories, do say. i like daily mundane scenes seen thru diff eyes.

keep up the good work.
*clap clap*
visitors from outerspace
9th September 2002
I have just become a sub-scriber--I "dig" this site. :) Yueh Chin
14th July 2002
Hi Mr Editor

I must say that I have thoroughly enjoyed the2ndrule. A big pat on the back for all the team there.

With regards to the latest issue, I would like to say that when I (only finally) realised a few years back that the national academic awards were included Top Student, Top Malay Student and Top Indian Student, I was very much disappointed.

After being indoctrinated for all those years regarding the impeccable policies of the men in white, it was quite funny to realise that on this side of the causeway, the pimps are honest about being institutionally racist.
11th July 2002
Just wanted to drop you guys some comments.

"The Liaisons of Disabled-friendly Girl" was delightfully refreshing. Loved it.

I completely identified with "I Am Not What I Wear". Cool piece of writing...
5th June 2002
Hi Beng,

I really, really liked the soldier game in your last issue (I spent an inordinate amount of time fooling around with it!).


Otherwise, hope all is well.M

Keep up the good work, guys.

Aaron Lee
5th June 2002
dear ed--

pls pass the msg to mynameisalive.

"Untitled" is cool. I like the clearheaded thoughts and funky rythmn.

"Str8 shit" was meant to b str8 down! bro'

30th May 2002

I must say you guys have doen a pretty good job. Way to go.

I want to ask though if there is any way I can contribute? Let me know.

Thanks and keep it up,
30th May 2002

Yes, it's a pain that t2r doesn't work under Netscape. I do apologise for the lack of browser support in this case.

I do however ask for your understanding: t2r is run on a pure non-profit guerilla basis using our own free time. This means that I raw-code the stuff without expensive software when time permits (I use Notepad and TextPad... trial version please). In the pursuit to produce results and make things look "nice", I'm afraid that some things take precedence (before they themselves become obsolete). Since the majority of users (around 97% who visit the site at last count) use Microsoft Internet Explorer-type browsers, I hope you understand why the scripts are currently written to work only on such browsers. Cross-browser (or worse, cross-platform) coding isn't exactly easy, even if admittedly it isn't exactly impossible either.

Once the crux of the site is up for IE, we will look into producing the same content for other browsers. At the moment, users can still read all the issues of t2r on Netscape, as long as it's version 6 and above. It's only the other content that isn't accessible. On top of that, we send out our issues monthly via email. This can be in either normal text, or a beefed up HTML version. No worries, the HTML version works on all browsers as long as you can receive HTML emails. Please email us at
:: ::

I do hope this has gone towards alleviating some of the trouble caused by browser incompatibility. Apologies once again, and a big Thank You for your comments.
Russell Chan

Damn it man, how the hell am I suppposed to view your pages.
I use a Mac and I've always had problems with IE & NS6 is shifty.

I've seen Issue27 and I demand more.
Do something about it or get someone to help write HTML 'properly'.

What about an email newsletter?
What about more basic HTML so everyone can view the work?
What about ... ... ... lemme think!?

First good site I find in goodness knows how long and you won't let me read it!!

Hell yes I'm pissed!

-here endeth the rant-

I will wait at this eddress until I hear that I can read your work.

Clifford ESS

Will saying 'please' help?

Will saying that I have 'opinions' help?

Will insisting that I do not believe in 'paying and paying' help?

Will saying that I need to read your work before the 'firewall kicks in' hel ... ... ...
Hmm, I mean this one. Stopped me in mid-rant when I realised what I was saying.

-OK, OK. Here endeth the rant-


Clifford ESS
16th May 2002
I got this message :
We believe you are using a Netscape (or compatible) Internet browser.
Unfortunately, is not yet ready to support such a browser. As such, we are unable to show you the full site as it would be seen under another compatible browser.

Currently, we greatly recommend the use of Microsoft Internet Explorer v5.0 (or above) to view You can download this browser here.
:: ::

You can also email us with your questions and suggestions at
:: ::
Question: why are you forcing me to use IE??? huh? huh?
Tammy Yap
6th May 2002
hi beng liang shannon ee ing and the others i never got to meet,

i popped into the current issue(apr i think) of the zine after sometime away from it. the zine hasn't been far from my mind since i left it, and now that a little time allows i hope to be able to read more of it in the future. just wanna say keep up the energy and i enjoyed this issue especially the pics by teng qianxi and the great music selection. on hindsight i think part of the reason why i decided to stop writing for the 2ndrule was that i was churning out too much intellectual thoughts (nothing wrong in itself) and too little poetry. there's only so much of negativity i can take within myself and if i can't create more beauty i should leave the writing to someone else. maybe sometime in the future but right now i'll keep on reading. all the best!
pern yiau
4th May 2002

i must have been really behind the times.
when did this site some into existence?
3rd May 2002

1st May 2002
still loving it, even in Brighton - keep it coming Gus Gazzard
10th April 2002
I like your style. Nai Wee
10th April 2002
Hi Beng,

Thanks for your earlier email and now also for following my little suggestion about the anthem. I think I should recommend your website to some of my friends, yeah. They are Singapore -based as well as here in Germany.

Right on, wish you a good time, lots of creative ideas, keep going, dudes !

just me,
6th March 2002
hi danyon,

let me state for the record that I was totally unaware of the significance of the first verse! I do not speak a word of german and I only chose that anthem (out of an entire set of national anthem mp3's I downloaded from some website) because it sounded very camp with all the male voices giving it strong homosexual overtones.

so really, it was totally unintentional that I brought in any neo-Nazi overtones. really sorry about that. I now realise how ironic it must sound now, having an anthem sung by homophobics followed by Boy George's "Do you really want to hurt me?" What message do you think people would get from it?

if you're asking why there's a national anthem at all, I've been having the practice of starting my radio shows with them. the point is to give the mixes a little international flavour, and in recognising that these anthems are interesting musical pieces in their own right.

Koh Beng Liang
4th March 2002

Saw your message on SiGNeL and followed the link to your 2ndrule website. Quite liked most of the stuff.

Have to drop a comment though regarding your playlist. I am a German GWM from Frankfurt, dunno maybe the only German member of SiGNel, not even residing in SG but have quite number of friends there.

Anyway, my criticism is related to the first verse of the German National Anthem. Dunno why you guys chose the anthem at all but okay....your choice. I am far from being patriotic but also not full of self-hatred or whatever. Our natioanl anthem is actually quite a nice tune. BUT, pleeeaaaase donīt put the first verse on your playlist. It is considered a an embarrasment for the country nowadays. The anthem has 3 verses and only the 3rd one is our official national anthem. The first one (although already composed in the 19th century) is a gross example of appalling chauvinism and nationalism. The lyrics describe a German state spreading from north to south and east and west to regions that have NEVER been German territory in history ! So, the Nazis loved that part of course and sung it full-heartedly. Later after the war, this first verse was considered as a shame and since then is no longer sung in public.

Today, here in Germany you only find Neo-nazis, homophobic skinheads and other brain-amputated rednecks singing this part of the anthem on their party meetings or on occasions where they get drunk as hell first to find the next available foreigner who may get beaten up in the streets.

So please remove that part from your playlist, itīs 100% un-cool, believe me ! If you want to take the 3rd verse, ok, itīs motto is different and more appropriate for your interesting and up-beat website: "Unity, justice & freedom ...letīs all strive for that...BROTHERLY hand in hand"

Take it easy.

just me,
1st March 2002
I LIKE, TOUCHE! Cyril Wong
1st March 2002
I've always been a fervant supporter of local writers. However, the recent issue of 2ndrule is nothing less than disappointing. It is as if the writers are writing with a propaganda. If i want a moral opinion, I'll read the papers. If i want to voice a moral opinion, i'll paint a banner.

Cyril is an excellent poet. Undisputable. However, he is churning poems at too fast a rate it is not only hard to swallow but also increasingly lacking of lustre and facetiousness. Another point: although he seems unconcerned about quotidian, asian point of view on homosexuality, and in fact, appears to be fighting for the rights, he should not take every tiny opportunity to voice it. It looks he is being an emotion exhibitionist.

What is worse is rounding a band of young philistine pundits writing on a much explored topic. Even Teng Qian Xi --- arguably the most gifted, if not prominent --- fails to shine.

However, praise should go to Yvonne Tham. Her writing is veridical and shrewd. Good writing should be enjoyable and I did enjoy every word of "Purple".

I hope that my email has not caused any choler nor stirred any bad feelings. Art is about expressing oneself is it not?

AarOn ho
28th February 2002

jan's issue looks pretty good, haven't time to thoroughly read it yet... u noe, when u send me the e-zine, sometimes it doesn't load properly, its slow anyway. so y dun u like send fragments/selections of writings or pics, then we will go to the site and have better quality of visuals, personally, i find it better. one more thing, haf u thot of compiling the good stuff u haf into a book? i really really like some of the pics n writings, n i will definitely love to own a 2ndrule book. getting late got to go, juz wanted to send u my 2 cents worth. nite.
9th February 2002

Hi Beng Liang,

Not too keen on gay-themed stuff at the moment. Too much exposure in Singapore. Many other issues I would rather consider, like the old, troubled teens, out of job people, the environment of ubin, the health threat of Jurong Island, the tackiness of our tourist attractions, the lack of asthetics of our architecture, the forgotten artists of the last generation, taxi driver philosophy, mixed-religion marraiges, who serves the best ice-kachang in Singapore. ANYTHING BUT ANOTHER GAY ISSUE!!!!

I really have nothing against gays. I am friends with many gay and lesbian people. However, with the amount of exposure they get, you think that they are the only abused minority in Singapore. Well, listen up, they are not!

Besides, I am going off to the UK soon and have a lot on my hands to settle before I go.

Ngiap Heng
6th February 2002
Interesting perspective. The articles provide a reprieve from life as we know it.

Keep it up!

Best Regards,
Sharon Oh
2nd February 2002
Hi Aidil!

First thing you need to do is to get yourself some webspace. We currently use for the site, and it costs us only $19.99 per month for 50Megs. If you wish not to spend the money and to use free web hosting services instead (such as, bear in mind that the majority of these services have restrictions on the types of files you can put up, and on top of that have restrictions on the file size as well.

Next thing you need to do is to create your content. I use Adobe Premiere and CoolEdit to mix my .mp3s and .wav files together. Cakewalk is also a good program to use. Once I'm done, I export the entire show to a single .wav file (it ends up about 600+ Mbs for a 1 hour show).

Lastly, I encode the file into a format suitable for web delivery. The software I use is Window Media Encoder 8, available for free from It gives slightly better quality than Quicktime, Real or plain mpeg, when you're encoding at low bitrates. I choose the profile they provide for stereo music through 28.8k modems. Once the encoding is done, I have a .wma file about 8 Megs large for a 1 hour show.

I upload this large file and create a webpage to embed the windows media player into it. Look at the HTML source code of instantcafe and you'll know what I mean. You'll also need to create a small .wax file which contains the link to the main .wma file. You'll have to check out the documentation on for details, but ask me again if you get confused.

Note that the delivery system we use is http, and it's not true streaming like you see on Mediacorp's webcasting of their radio stations. You can't skip to the middle of the radio show, and the sound quality is fixed (it doesn't drop the quality when the bandwidth drops, it will just stall). But you don't need to get hold of a streaming server to put up your music, just a good ol' web server.

What local bands do you listen to? I'll love to add local music to the instantcafe broadcasts, and if you have any of their contacts do pass them on to me. Or tell them about the website.

Good luck on setting up your web radio. Hope to "hear" from you soon, literally!
Koh Beng Liang
17th January 2002
Hi, I'm Aidil.

Happened to stumble on your website the other night and I'm curious as to how do you guys set up the web radio. The thing is I'm an ardent fan of local music and very interested to set up a web radio based on local music. And by the way, the literary works are great.

Leo Aidil
16th January 2002
Dear All with The 2ndRule,

Congratulations for a very fruitful year and all the very best for 2002!

With warm regards
Amanda Heng
1st January 2002

Thanks. Interesting, refreshing. Congrats to the people who put it together!

David Leo
28th December 2001
Thank you for this beautiful and healing writing, Boudewijn Brands (now from the Netherlands and broken after a day of renovating the floor in his apartment). Boudewijn Brands
26th December 2001
i'm really impressed!!! cool writings pple! keep it up! i wld really like to browse the past issues, can u pls tell me how. thanx a lot.

26th December 2001
merry christmas and happy new year to all of you Chandrasekaran S.
26th December 2001
Thank YOU, all you ppl. I happen to be spending today making :"No apologies" dolls- an extension of my naked pictures series.

Alfian, there's an abbreviation in singapore lingo: PDA--Public Display of Affection is discouraged. At a workshop on neogotiation skills recently, we were told the necessity to understand culture--the culture of the peerson you're negotiating with. As an example, the facilitator said: for instance, Bangladeshi's like ot hold hands. Yours truly blurted out--"its not just the bangladeshis , it's my culture too." at which another participant exclaimed in honest surprise--what culture is YOURS!'

We've all forgotten.
Here's my fave self defining lines from Nick Drake:

I was made to love magic
All its wonders to know
But you all lost that magic
Many Many years go.

It's not ego. It's a fact. Nerry Christmas, ye all.
Dana Lam-Teo
25th December 2001
i wonder what was 'Blindness' about..initially I thought it was a comment on war children...the ambiguity the poem presents to the reader is rather interesting; to say the least. reading it the second time, I felt it was a comment on the social materialism of today's youth....reading it again, I found it to be a panaromic view of society here, as it is now, three different generations, the young children of today, the youth and the elderly or perhaps it is about the process of life? I am attracted to the idea of the reflective, found in the different stanzas, first as a 'idiot box' reflection in childhood, a consumerist shopwindowed reflection in youth and a more self-possessing, introspective reflection through the inherent value of the chinese ideograms in maturity and age. Perhaps it is a comment on how alien each age is to other ages. The different senses experienced by the different generations serve to emphasis this. I'm not sure what the poet's initial intention was; but the product is a very thought provoking poem with layers of meaning.:) Sherlx
16th November 2001
I've got no bloody idea who are you?Anyway Singapore is a bit bored..Sorry totally bored..I'm coming home soon to share all the miserable shit!!Pulau Ubin..Butok I'm live in the jungle there alright..haa..haa..Could you kindly tell me who are you? The2ndrule what you mean? The 2nd poo.....

Rotten to the core..Bollocks to the Cunts!
khng rotten
5th October 2001
Thank you so much for the beauty and richness in the words of LEAH REMEMBERS STARS AND MANDRAKES by Teng Qian XI.

The dark,sharp,painful emotions were delivered on words woven together in delicate economy which held my attention and drew me back for another read.

Thank you for reminding me how much the world needs the attributes of poetic style.
Jeanne Werner Gunter
5th October 2001
Dear Sir,

Could you actually be local? I am amazed at the quality of the work produced on your webpage, and would like to take this chance to congrulate you on an excellent site, a site that is a thankful relieve from most of the mindless dribel most other websites produce. It is people like you and those who are featured on the webpage that make me feel that there is still hope for our little country after all, that there are still thinking people out there that have not fallen to the invading marches of the media zombies. Kudos, sir/madam, and well done.

Terence AKA thanthos
Because I am.
28th May 2001
After my first reading of the last issue, I have to say I'm not worthy. All of you are really GOOD!

I especially love 'The Writer's Family' by Alfian Sa'at, he's really good. I've read some of his works in print and in the net. For a 22-year old, I think he's gifted.

I also loved 'Eden' by Brandon Lee. I sometimes get bored reading long poems, but for Lee's work, I got carried away. The length gave me more.

I'll be reading your past issues. Reading the2ndrule made me realize that Singaporeans aren't all Asian Barbies and Kens. In here I found depth that I don't see in printed magazines and dailies.

Thanks again.

25th April 2001
you've outdone yourselves. i read this issue in one long baited breath (in the waning of the office hours), eyes peeled-fresh (any fresher and it would fall off their tree). everything is beautiful, in its own way. Julian Lim
30th March 2001
A. Damn Good. Issue. Alvin Pang
30th March 2001
Hi guys,
Would you please let Judith know that I found her piece a most delightful nugget of satire.
Hsien Min
22nd February 2001
Just to wanted say that i haven't read something this invigorating for long time. Ong Te-Jin
14th February 2001
Hi! Just want to wish all at 2ndrule a happy year ahead and keep the good works coming!
Margaret Tan
3rd January 2001
two tears was an excellent piece. Congratulations! Kurk
28th December 2000
i applaud for the efforts; good or even bad writing, they hasten the process - already too stagnant - of the local literary scene. Free speech? An excellent idea. It was rumoured we live "in a democratic society". Fabian
10th December 2000
Thanks, Ah Beng (heh heh, pardon the lapse of colloquialisms, so much for imperialism/colonialism or -isms generally), for the kind vindication of the baby marsupials...they relayed their most appeased sentiments before ploughing arduously on with their gravity-defying death stunt. Unlike most apathetic cameramen who capitalize on the warped interplay of savagery amongst animals during feeding time (think receding hairline eagle with manicured talons open and poised, swooping sneakily down on blissfully unaware ferret having a cool cola in the safari desert- didn't anyone warn them that shades impede their peripheral vision?)...where was I? Oh yes, unlike those merciless personalities, I couldn't help but intervene by scooping up those worm-like entities and dumping them safely into the mother's extended womb...BUT in restrospect, marsupial foetuses aside, u mite wanna align ur e-mag more favorably with the evolution of the *pink* ass baboon or the color TV for that matter... looking forward to being regaled with more pyschedelia as I while my time away in the SAF internalizing the secondary rules of life. Lest I'm mistakened as malingering, my conviction remains staunchly tt there shld always be at least one civil servant in every family to reclaim the many years of taxes siphoned to the bottomless pit of the military...cheerios!!!! Chong Siao Ling
13th November 2000
Hello Siao Ling,
my statement on baby marsupials was not meant to malign said marsupials (inclusive of, but not exhaustively, kangaroos, koalas, platypuses, etc) in any way. But what I *do* want to point out is the analogy between our situation as a developing magazine and the baby marsupial -- which, right after birth and crawling its way up towards the pouch, can look like a little red worm -- and the hopes that we could develop sufficiently to host pouched babies ourselves.

as for your social circle, well, baby marsupials might be cuter, but then again you can't get too physical with them kangaroos. unless you like getting hurt.

yes in an ideal world character would count above all in relationships. but then I would think it just means that the ugly ones will have to try much harder to get their souls noticed.

thanks for writing in.
13th November 2000
baby marsupials are NOT fact, my most unimposing, albeit, unsolicited opinion ventures tt baby marsupials r cuter than most guys I know...perhaps, the problem hinges precariously on the alarmingly stunted radius of my social circle...but then again thanks but no thanks since gorgeous men are are usually 'noxious...sociologically speaking, society (including dis damsel as well, * :P*, guilty look) doth make concession for 'em good lookin' blokes on account of 'em devastatingly chiselled features...thus inadvertently allowing them to wallow in certain less than desirable traits/ attitudes since they can get away with it and still break a few hearts on their unrepentant way to the proverbial emergency fire exit...indeed, while man looks at appearance, God looks at the heart. For those of us trapped in woody/female equivalent's body, take comfort in the fact that your character is the only real gem that is above the exaltation of overrated false ideology... insatiable ogglers, do not despair, there r always those celestial bodies tt uncloak themselves stealthily unto u in the faint braeking of the night....

twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder...I wonder...

Tehee! [with as much cheek/chic I can muster, oddly reminiscent of Alison's style(Miller's Tale)]
Chong Siao Ling
9th November 2000
I love your webzine. I haven't seen anything so honest in terms of contemporary Singaporean work for a very very long time. We need more people championing anti-apathy and activism. Qian Xi
7th November 2000
The article Judith wrote nearly had me fooled. For a long instant there I really thought they had people out there going about the stop kiasu campaign. I know it might sound entirely naive of me. I just like to say that you observation of society is quite accurate. They very likely will come up with that anti-KS campaign one day.

Beng Liang, the one you wrote about the psychologist. I actually know one couple who have left S'pore for Aust bec of their daughter's studying disability. She isn't stupid. It's just that she isn't adjusted to the system. She graduated from Murdoch with a degree in teaching. Ironic ain't it?

Anyway, I'd just like to say I really like you mag and I read it faithfully every month. You guys are the best!!
5th November 2000
i can't quite pinpoint it but i enjoyed this month's issue much more than the previous 2 or 3. on a personal note, i watched the NDP (on TV) for the first time in... it must be at least a decade. my vacation this summer was a momentous one for me: chock-full of adventure with liberal doses of life-philosophy altering experiences. the result: i saw beyond the glitz into the eyes of my countrymen and cheerfully waved the mobile contingent past. if you were there, i'd think you'd have warmed your hearts to with the smiles on the soldiers' faces as i gave them the thumbs-up. make no mistake, the practices must have been killer --- and a little appreciation went a long way.

here's to more august issues (sorry, couldn't resist).
Derek Kang
23rd August 2000
dammit this issue is particularly excellent...
keep going, guys!
Aaron Lee
28th July 2000
Hi Shannon,

i think local indie arts groups like u guys ought to be supported, ur efforts lauded, lest u be quelled into silence. it's a worthy thing u r doing, i think we all like to think that passion will change our lives, if not the world, a little.

HK is a wonderful playground, liberating, as yet unblemished by draconian rule, which is more than i can say for the country i call home. HK makes Singapore feel like a small backward town. The local press writes such accurately disparaging articles abt singapore, i clap in glee. Quite funny.
Tay Han Nee
7th July 2000
Dear Editors:

My name is Mah Choon Hong, and I currently reside in Los Angeles, California. I am also currently into my Master's program in the Humanities and have as my thesis project: "Globalization and National Identity - The changing face of Singapore literature." I believe the time is rife when Singapore is open to relaxing its hold on creativity and allowing more Singaporeans to express themselves and write about it!

I desire your permission, if I may, to use your website as a secondary resource for my bibliography for my Master's thesis? This would add to your exposure and notoriety, I'm sure! I am currently doing urban literature pertaining to the city of Los Angeles and as a thesis project, I have chosen to write about Singapore's urban literature - Singapore being in a unique position as a city and a nation all in one!

Thanks to a mutual friend Aaron Lee, who refered me to your website, I must say, I am most pleasantly surprised that you guys are alive and kicking! So glad to know we have a voice which is published over the Internet for everyone to share and I wish 2ndrule the best in all endeavors! May you continue to flourish in providing Singapore with its own brand of urban literature. We never had one when I was there over 10 years ago - maybe that's why I left for more room to grow in "the land of opportunities"!

Best Regards,
Choon Hong
21st May 2000
"if you are not confused you are not thinking clearly" joyce
9th May 2000

i'm not in singapore, but i DO access singapore radio stations through the internet.

thanks for the info - always a complex (leaning towards happy and joyful) feeling to receive news from home.

by the way, this singapore malay boy just won a graduate school fellowship, and ended the run of a successful world premiere of a musical, playing the german playwright bertolt brecht.

just want to share some good news with you good folks from the motherland.

Malay Boy
7th May 2000
It's deep shite...
Good stuff, people! I got your URL from a certain Charlaine Lee.
Certainly plenty of food for thought. I suspect I'll be a regular visitor to your website. Keep it going!
Fr: KL
Synapse Man
3rd May 2000
Had a fusion meal at an expensive hotel recently. mix of east and west. most dishes tasted good. but the main course was confusing.
1st May 2000
Hi friends
Thanks for sending me this. I look forward to reading it, and subsequent issues.
Rajeev Patke
25th April 2000
originality cease to function in the post-modern era..."fusion"-a bit of this and a bit of that, and good marketing skills renders something as "origional". Joyce Ng Ching Ling
25th April 2000

On a side note, I'd also like to get to know you, the people behind this. I'm a fan of writing myself, and I'm excited that people *do* write for the sake of writing. I'm also curious about the name... 2nd rule? Of what?

I hope it's not too much to ask to write me back with a little blurb about yourselves. Thanks for brightening my day... nothing like a little urban satire to cheer one up. Looking forward to your mail and future issues. :)
20th March 2000
This could be a good mag. I see potential. Really liked your piece, Eeing, on women climbing the ladder. Made me think, definitely. Ah. Couldn't relate to some of the male angst though. Perhaps will re-read before passing certain judgement.

Hey, as a suggestion, howsabt some cool "mod" pixes to go with the angst? Yknow, some post-modern interpretive photographs (nothing lewd, puh-lease!) to spice up the site.

Ok, enuf from me. Thnx for the interesting read!
Ruth Wan
9th March 2000
P.S. Is 2ndRule the rejection of neo-modernism?

I was wondering if this would survive to the second issue. Since it did, bravo.

If we put life under a microscope we can see that something is wrong, but a list of ills without resolution is like getting diagnosed with a disease and not getting a prescription. Help us regain our sanity, eh? deconstructing the current world order? "Non-violent protest" on one column and "Soap. It's good for you." on the next? Thanks, that helps.

What is 2ndRule, anyway? Is it a movement that evoke changes by fighting the system, as the website says? A newsletter to catalogue urban living, as the newsletter says? A cacophony of screams? A desire for anarchy? A vehicle for 5-minute fame? Something to make us open our eyes, and act? How, in what way?

I wouldn't usually vouch for post-movie radicalism. It fizzles faster than those illegally imported firecrackers that goes a bang!, generate some smoke, and result in a bad odour that doesn't linger for very long. It usually does not survive past the novelty stage. Will this be different?

Right now, I don't seem to be getting a strong enough signal from the two newletters, so lets fall back on the methods advocated in the film. Grass-root appeal. Zombies muttering the party credo robotically. Underground proliferation. And violence - the primal instinct.

2ndRule's version? Snip snip. Throw out zombies, and substitute with intelligensia (frankly, no other will relate to it in its current form). Censor violence, replace with civil disobedience. Retain underground, splice in technology. A nicely tempered product, ambiguous, perhaps very marketable to upbeat risk-savvy Singaporeans in the look for the latest cool thing.

If 2ndRule is just a punching bag for this generation's angst, great. It's a damn good read, mildly disconcerting, but that's fine, because we can laugh at our image on the printed mirror. Then we chuck it with the other lifestyle magazines stacked in the bathroom, like unwelcome debris in the sea of consumerism.

So lets say, at risk of taking it too seriously, it is a genuine movement. Would it work? Sure it might. It's appealing. It's stylish. The timing, so soon after the movie, is a bit off, but that can be overlooked. Targetting the restless Alphas can perhaps bypass the Gamma idiocy that brought about the death of communism, assuming they could give a damn about it. Trickle-down sociology, man. And you got the Technology to make it work. The only problem might be content: running out of things to say or observe.

As for the oft-mentioned Gandhi: Gandhi was a fighter for independence, and his method was non-violent civil disobedience. Gandhi never wanted the split, nor the wretched violence that followed, inevitable as it was. He envisaged a unified, idealised India. The hasty Brits and the Muslim/Hindu secessionalists forced his hand. Violence erupted.

I just hope that ultimately the movement (if it can be called one) would not be lost in its contradictions, or suffer any consequences resulting from it.

I am a product of the System. I am part of the System. I see problems and dissatisfaction in this System, but I know no other viable Systems, short of anarchy and economic collapse. Perhaps the 2ndRule can propose an alternative, and how it can be achieved?

Nevertheless, I hope to see you guys succeed in whatever you are trying to achieve, and I wish the 2ndRule team and movement all the best in the year ahead.
Ooi Su Jin
21st February 2000
every moment that passes brings me that bit closer to the end. that's all it does really. and the lack of objective meaning can be rather comforting. Tan Swee Heng
21st February 2000
I suppose that the email made me think. On one hand, should I really spend my time thinking about this when I have other things to do; on the other, well, it's past midnight anyway, I'll just have to sleep less.

I'd like to ask you to explain some of the lines in the essays but wouldn't explaining them somehow reduce its value? I suppose it depends on what your objective is - enlightening the elite or moving the masses. There is a certain reference to this in Il Postino which I fail to remember at this time. I suppose that I could take more time to appreciate more of the metaphors and similes or other literary tools used but my goal-oriented life suggests spending more time reading about new IPOs on Nasdaq in preparation for my debut.

Seems strange that I should always be preparing for my life. When does it begin? When does it end?

Good work. I'd certainly like to read more. I appreciate the initiative.
Arasnath Kimis
4th February 2000
I suppose that the email made me think. On one hand, should I really spend my time thinking about this when I have other things to do; on the other, well, it's past midnight anyway, I'll just have to sleep less.

I'd like to ask you to explain some of the lines in the essays but wouldn't explaining them somehow reduce its value? I suppose it depends on what your objective is - enlightening the elite or moving the masses. There is a certain reference to this in Il Postino which I fail to remember at this time. I suppose that I could take more time to appreciate more of the metaphors and similes or other literary tools used but my goal-oriented life suggests spending more time reading about new IPOs on Nasdaq in preparation for my debut.

Seems strange that I should always be preparing for my life. When does it begin? When does it end?

Good work. I'd certainly like to read more. I appreciate the initiative.
Arasnath Kimis
4th February 2000