Dim-witted morons thinking they could fool people!

I got this email just now, together with a .zip file so reeking of virus, that even a chimpanzee wouldn’t be so stupid as to open it.

From: Your Facebook Team [mailto:customer.service@facebook.com]
Sent: Friday, 19 March 2010 9:46 AM
To: info@…

Subject: Facebook Password Reset Confirmation NR.81751

Hey info ,

Because of the measures taken to provide safety to our clients, your password has been changed.

You can find your new password in attached document.


The Facebook Team.

Who do they think we are? Idiots? If they were gonna spam / scam people, at least put in an effort, fake a little better. “Hey info ,”?! “THE Facebook Team”?! It’s just gag-inducing! There really is no ends to stupidity. It’s trash like these that makes me grateful for possessing at least a little bit of brain in my skull.

Happy Friday, folks!



Food for thought

I was doing my morning round of news websites and ran across this article: “Wondrous vision of capitalism with a conscience about Muhammad Yunus, the winner of Nobel Peace Price in 2006. Truly inspiring!

Because conventional corporations are an outgrowth of only one aspect of the human being, he argues: “The part they appeal to is selfishness. But humans also have a selfless part, and social business is an expression of that part. The two only make sense together.

“I can make my mark in the world, not just money. At the end of my life, has it been worth living? At the moment, you spend your life stacking up money and goodbye. And that’s it?”

With that, I started a day.


The (modern)-age old question

Two of my favourite columnists, no, actually, my only two favourite columnists (so far), are Catherine Deveny & Danny Katz. Both of whom write for The Age, with much wit, humour, and razor-sharp observations; although in two very different writing styles. This week Catherine threw some new arguments into a much debated question: Why are our children still given their father’s surname, almost always by default?

I don’t have an answer to that. Or more accurately, I’m too confused by my own conflicting opinions, and outraged at some of the appalling comments following Catherine’s article, to give you a straight response. But it did bring to mind the first time I read Totto-chan (a beautiful Japanese children’s book, one of my most loved, most read, most quoted books ever) and learned that the young girl Totto-chan’s father had decided to adopt his wife’s surname, and that Totto-chan would then inherit her mother’s surname. I recalled being puzzled, but very glad. How’s that for gender equality, hey?

In Vietnam women don’t change their surnames after marriage, although she will be called as part of a “Mr. and Mrs. [Husband’s name]”; but the offspring would ALWAYS get the father’s family name. Except, maybe, in the case of single mums. It is how it is and as far as I’m aware, no one has ever cared, or dared, question it! One can only imagine the uproar that may cause in such a conservative society.

People seems to have been doing the hyphenate things for years, but I’m a little doubtful of the practicality of such practice (pun intended). What if two people both with hyphenated surnames have children? Will the kids end up with four surnames, three hyphens, and many, many nights staying up late wondering what have they done to deserve that? So no, the hyphen thing won’t work for me.

Recently the trend, in Australia and a few other Western countries, seems to be that new parents are giving their daughters the mother’s surname, and their sons the father’s. Or sometimes the other way around. I kinda like that idea. Although how applicable will it be to our situation? Will I even want to raise the question? If Mr. Man and I have kids then will it be a little wacky for some to have an Asian surname, the others English? Will it be a tad “separatist”? Will our wee sprogs grow up with identity issues?

I simply don’t know. Ask me back in a few years. Maybe.


Good educator? Or a bitch?

The other day as I was walking into the train station to get to Uni, I saw a young Asian girl standing near the ticket machine looking around for help. (Young as in twenty-something.) I approached her and without asking whether I could understand Vietnamese, she started firing questions at me in the language. Now it was interesting what happened next: I spoke back to her slowly, in easy English, pretending I didn’t understand Vietnamese. She didn’t have much struggle explaining what she needed help with though. And after a mere minute we got her a ticket to where she needed to go.

As I walked to my platform, I was pondering these possible implications:

a/ that I’m a good educator, one who’s strict but helpful and motivational. I wasn’t harsh on the girl, but instead, gently made her practise a language that will help her with life (or short stay) here in Australia. If it was an older person, say my parents’ age, I knew I’d reply in Vietnamese straight away. It’s much harder to learn a new language at that age and I’d have more sympathy if they can’t or don’t want to speak English. But this young girl was more than capable. So it was either an underlying laziness, or a strong habit, both of which she needed to shake off.

b/ that I’m a cow, who also has too much time to waste. Why not just talk to her in Vietnamese and get it over and done with in 10 seconds? Was I trying to show off? (No, because I had to use the most simple words, and it wasn’t like she’d be impressed if I could read Shakespears, which I can’t, by the way. So no, no showy-offy, moi.) Was I trying to (secretly) make a point, that “hey, I got here when I was seventeen, and this was pre-mobile-phone time, and never had any chance to meet a Vietnamese on the street to ask for help, so no, you’re going to have to try and speak English to me this time”? To which the answer is yes, in a way that was my thinking. Maybe I’m too strict, and just a tad arrogant?

Anyhoo, just a tale to tell. You all know I like to over-analyse things like that. Plus it was either musing such useless stuff for the 15-minute train ride, or listening to two teenage girls going “gosh i sooo, like, hate Kyle Sandilands, and, you know, like, he’s sooo awful, and gosh, if they’re not gonna sack him, like, right now, i’m sooo gonna, like, boycott that station.” So there you have it, this blog entry.

happy thursday!


Age of innocence

No. Not about the book. But I thought of that line one day in Shanghai, when A. and I were walking along Fuzhou Lu in the morning. Now Fuzhou Lu is kinda like Russell St in Melbourne, not the top-motch main street, but also quite a busy one in the city center. We saw this little boy of about 5, having some kind of a fight with his Mum. She was trying to hold him back and he was yanking his hand away. Then he broke free, went to a tree, pulled down his pants and peed. Just like that. (And didn’t I just blurb out a little poem right there? Go, me!)

A. and I didn’t know whether to point and laugh, or turn up our nose and scorn. His Mum was standing there wishing the earth would crack under her feet and she could disappear. We ended up laughing quietly. Without the pointing though, didn’t want to get into trouble. But honestly, I thought it was hilarious, and cute too. I mean, stuff civilisation, manners, and all sorts of social boundaries. Stuff concrete, urban planning, tourist spots. Stuff the fact that the government allows all these food and drink shops sprouting up everywhere and yet it takes forever to find a decent public toilet. (Which is my biggest peeve about Asia. I mean, so the “import” end is fine, what about “export”?! Ugh!) Stuff all of that. Isn’t it wonderful to be at an age that, when you have to pee you just HAVE TO PEE? Simple as ever.



I once knew a lady. Not too well but I reserved a certain admiration for her and what she’d achieved. One time at dinner she said, “You know, butchers & other abattoir workers must accumulate a lot of bad karma”, all the while happily tucking into her grilled pork chops (with lemongrass and a dash of ginger, the Vietnamese way). She probably wasn’t aware of this, but she lost something important (to me) that night.

My respect.


The culture of blame shifting

The other day I came across an article on the Herald Sun website, about a 14-yo girl who fell on her face while hanging on to the back of a tram, ON THE OUTSIDE, with a friend. And while I hope she’ll soon recover and the injuries on her face weren’t too serious, I must admit my first thought was, “Now that’ll teach them!”

Well there would have been nothing else to talk about — kids will be kids — until I saw some of the comments. And as expected, there was a dude right there whinging about how THE TRAMS AREN’T BUILT WITH PROPER SAFETY MEASURES! IT’S CONNEX’ FAULT! Yup, do you all want to join me and we can yell WTF? together? On the count of three. One, two…

I mean, seriously, what did he expect? That they put oil, lots and lots of oil, on the outside of the tram to stop idiots from climbing on to it? Or maybe there should be a permanent watchman on each tram? Actually, maybe there should be two, one at the front, one at the back. Or FOUR. Two for the two sides?

I’ve always loved reading Readers’ Letters / Opinion / Comments section because of the diversity in perspective. But maybe to save my sanity, I should stop doing that from now on. Or perhaps ignore the news altogether! Because this whole culture of pointing the finger on anyone else but ourselves is really getting on my nerves. When things go wrong, it’s never our own fault. Someone ELSE did it!

The government seems to bear the grunt most of the time. Everything is the government’s fault! Job loss, financial crisis, parents neglecting their kids, people beating up police, police beating up people, drunks parading on the streets, drug use, traffic accidents, people having too little money, people having too much money. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Even the bushfires were the government’s fault. They didn’t give enough warning (HUH? So The Guy Upstair decided to blow the temperature up to 47 degrees and our Prime Minister missed His call?), their evacuation plan is outdated, their emergency response wasn’t effective. Countless.

Some dumbwit left her baby in a locked car in 40-degree heat and someone would blame DOCS (Department of Children’s Services) without batting an eyelid. Parents failing to discipline their kids but wouldn’t hesitate to blame it on the school. A lesbian couple went through IVF for ONE kid, ended up with TWINS, and decided to sue their doctor for breach of contract, stating EMOTIONAL STRESS! Could anyone tell me, what the freakin’ hell is THAT?

Whatever happened to owning up to your actions? To tolerance? To responsibility? To compassion? To plain old common sense?

Gosh, I’d better go calm down. There are days I wish I didn’t get so easily fired up. Oh, I know, it’s the Internet’s doing! Yup, definitely ITS FAULT!