gambitch - now available in blue Our constant efforts to reinvent ourselves reveal how much we fear our own images.
Saturday, September 11, 2004
In entertainment news this weekend: Singaporean singer Stefanie Sun (some alliteration there!) has won two awards in the Singapore Hit Awards ceremony held on the sunny island this weekend. The Mandarin pop singer, who has apparently hit superstardom in her homeland as well as Taiwan (ah yes, that hotbed of Mandopop), was especially hailed for her awards success despite having announced late last year that she would be going on a one-year hiatus. As such the awards supposedly prove that she is still fondly remembered among her fans.
I'm no Stefanie Sun fan - in fact I hardly listen to much Mandopop now - but I seriously think there is something very wrong here. I'm not the only one, incidentally, as a Singapore tabloid also reported on several rival fans having issues with the big award. We've all got a common complaint - that by virtue of her hiatus she should, in fact, not even be considered for the award at all.
The problem is, when is a hiatus not a hiatus? Stefanie Sun has been persistently in the news for the past year, getting involved in all sorts of 'other' things. She has performed on stage in charity shows, I think she was doing some product endorsements too, and then she got picked to become some goodwill ambassador for a humanitarian organization. Okay, so she wasn't always appearing in the news, but Stefanie Sun on hiatus remained some sort of phantom lingering around the entertainment scene. When other singers disappear for a spell, they're just quietly doing their own work or maybe having a dabble acting in trashy dramas. It's not even announced that they're on hiatus or something. Stefanie Sun has to be a different breed.
In a period where the pioneer Singaporean Mandopop stars before Stefanie Sun have either faded away doing other things (Mavis Hee, for instance) or have announced their retirement from recording albums (like Kit Chan), it is a little appalling that the youngster (I am older than her) seems to be the one collecting all the plaudits and other, probably worthier, people have been ignored. Certainly I think Kit Chan deserved a special achievement award for her role as trailblazer for the likes of Sun. But this is an age where heroes are forgotten and crappy nobodies can rise to superstardom on the back of fan insanity. Maybe that's why I'm not a Mandopop fan. gambitch [
Friday, September 10, 2004
I had actually written an update on the latest episode of The Amazing Race 5. Unfortunately, to use normalspeak, Blogger ate my post. That's what I thought at least, because a publication error turned up and there was something about a connection timeout. I was quite sure I had lost my post, because it never showed up on the blog. (Edit: After the first publishing of this post, it turned out that my post was in the system's memory, and everything printed out fine.) All this goes to show how the blog system works in ways that users sometimes don't understand. The wonders of computer code, eh?
There's this Yellow Ribbon campaign going on in our fair shores right now; something about giving ex-convicts a chance to re-integrate into society. It's one of those extensions of this series of advertisements trying to persuade people that people with a criminal record can still be productive members of society, and shouldn't be shunned by the rest of us (as they are now). Most importantly, it is about giving them jobs and making sure they don't feel any discrimination in their workplace.
I'm all for social engineering, but it's harder to make people do certain things compared to others. The fact of the matter is that we've come to a stage where people believe they can make up their own minds, and are less inclined than before to swallow government offers wholesale without question. The Yellow Ribbon thing is one of those projects that, I fear, will largely fall flat on its face. It might persuade a few people to receive ex-cons with open arms, but those who are open to that thought are probably the kinder ones among us anyway. The truth is that the average citizen, no matter how high or low his level of education, social status or upbringing, is heavily disinclined to have anything to do with an ex-convict.
How many times have we seen or heard of people here making a conscious effort to keep away from relatives who have criminal pasts? I've heard of many mothers who have pulled their kids away from their second or third uncles and told them, "He is a bad man, he went to jail before." Ex-convicts currently receive pity and support from a very small group of people - their immediate family. In this age of nuclear families, that sometimes excludes even their own siblings, especially if they don't live under the same roof. Their aged parents might give some support, but how much value is there in that? Some supposed friends would give ex-cons a wide berth from the instant he is tried and convicted. Never mind the total strangers.
When we talk about crimes, there are only a few types of those that matter. Sexual crimes are a danger, because it's close to impossible to find a workplace where nobody would be afraid. (Try placing a convicted rapist for a job in an old folks' home. Even if the residents are too old and have nothing to fear, those already working there may feel a little uneasy having a colleague like that.) Any crime that involves some form of stealing or robbery is a danger too; nearly no employer would trust an employee who may just take things away and cause the company losses, even if all he took away was a box of pencils. If you've committed arson or otherwise damaged property, no one wants you either as they're all afraid you might burn the office down. As for white-collar crimes like CBT... Well, your only real hope is flipping hamburgers at McDonald's, and that too only if you never get to handle the accounts. The thing is that most of us believe that if you're capable of one type of crime, you might well be capable of some other type of crime as well. Also, the likelihood of committing a crime seems higher when there is previous history of having committed a crime. Or, in probabilistic terms:
P(will commit crime in future | has committed crime before) > P(will commit crime in future | has not committed crime before)
P(will commit crime in future | has committed crime before) -> 1.0
At least, that's what an average person believes to be the case.
People nowadays are more independent-minded. They will disregard whatever the higher-ups tell them if there is no compelling reason for doing so. Frankly, even if the state offered financial incentives for people to hire ex-cons, nobody would be in a hurry to hire them, not even owners of independent (as opposed to franchise) convenience stores. People just don't care. Is this the state's fault? No. If anyone is to be blamed, it is the people and the way they think. Sometimes it's said that, as a society, we have not moved forward. But in saying that we must implicitly mean that there is something in our own roots that made us shun ex-cons.
I don't know what the situation in Western societies is like. I haven't lived there, so I don't have information from the ground. But I vaguely remember the story about a woman caught for adultery, and Jesus Christ had said then, "If any one of you is without sin, let him to be the first to throw a stone at her." (John 8:7, according to the Internet at least) I'm fiercely anti-religion, but I'm fine with moral principles in themselves, and I think this story had conveyed a moral guideline. I'm not sure if Western society has followed this principle, but if it had, then Western society must have been enlightened in being more forgiving to ex-cons. This isn't about the West being superior just because it is the West. This is about a certain group of people who have fortuitously attained an enlightenment that should be equally accessible to all mankind, whether or not the various groups have interacted with each other (and for better or worse, there has been interaction).
Unfortunately, this isn't going to be something that will be changed overnight. If people have deep-seated reservations about hiring ex-convicts, a couple of state-run campaigns are not about to make them change their mind. In fact, practically nothing could change their mind - unless they're tried and convicted of something and forced to deal with what it's like on the other side of the fence. But that's not going to happen now, is it?
It's the same thing with all the recent talk about making babies and giving women better maternity breaks. The government can coax and cajole by offering an extra month of leave, and try to make it up to employers by offering all sorts of financial relief. But is that supposed to work wonders? I doubt it. Employers have their concerns, and for the most part they're valid. We're entitled to disagree, but just because we disagree with something, it doesn't mean it must be wrong. The fact is, at least for smaller companies, the kind of difficulties they face aren't something that can just be ameliorated by government grants. Firstly, the government grant is not huge enough to cover everything, and we have to accept that that was never the intention anyway. Secondly, staff aren't easy to replace at an instant. There is a market for warm bodies (since lots of people have problems getting employed), but do they have the skills and expertise to walk straight in and take over from the mothers? And how easy is it to lay them off when the mothers come back?
One boss who was interviewed by TV crew said with little hesitation that he would sack any woman who became pregnant (to look a little better, he did say he would consider if the employee was a very good worker). Women might jump and criticize the man, and I can see why. The thing is, I can see why the man said what he did too. Would any boss of a small enterprise obey the government and treat pregnant employees very nicely if it had to come at the cost of the company's bottomline? Eleven ordinary bosses out of ten would say no; it would take an extraordinary man (or woman) with strong principles to make all the appropriate adjustments with nary a complaint.
At the end of the day, I'm a skeptic. People nowadays aren't easily programmable robots who will blindly follow whatever the government says. This much is true, and most people have no problems recognizing that. The problem is that, while most people are almost unreservedly happy about this, I see problems. Sure, it's good when people can make up their own minds and prove that their brains aren't just taking up space. On the other hand, you can't deny that there will be problems for the state when it can't do things that it wants to do because people won't follow the grand plan.
It's not easy resolving the contradictions and tensions. I don't pretend that it is. It's not that easy running a state after all. Which is why I have sympathies for the government sometimes. I have sympathies for the people too. But in a situation like this when there is no easy solution, what can we do besides sympathize? gambitch [
Thursday, September 09, 2004
In the latest instalment of My Friend Made It On TV, one of my ex-classmates appeared on a televised forum about love, marriage and having children. I'm less enthusiastic about this gig, partly because I'm in no hurry to get hitched, but more importantly because I don't want to do something merely in answer to a government call. I need better primary reasons than that.
Anyway, the latest leg of The Amazing Race 5 turned out largely as expected as far as endings went. Kami and Karli were eliminated, as I had guessed earlier (see comments in the post before this for details). It was a bit of an educated guess, because I was aware from Race Insider e-mail reports that they would face a little problem at the airport. My reckoning was that this would set them back a bit, and that turned out largely accurate.
The strange thing was that the twins actually threw away a decent chance at snatching victory over Chip and Kim. When the two teams met up at the Yield, Chip and Kim picked Clean, which was obviously going to be fast. Why on earth the twins decided to go for Dirty I cannot understand. Dirty, which involved going through a pool of hard, clayish mud to find the clue, was obviously going to be pretty slow. Kami and Karli should have just gone for Clean and try to either overtake Chip and Kim on the road, or outsprint them in a foot race. There must have been at least a chance to do either. Why they picked the Detour they did was beyond me.
Colin and Christie are in the lead again, and it looks like they're finally learning to ease up. Okay, so the trailer points to a different story in the next leg, but at least Colin is learning to accept that every now and then, Christie is right and he is wrong. They've been doing mostly the right things in this leg, and I would imagine that things will continue in this positive vein for them. However, you never know, do you?
It's rather phenomenal that Linda and Karen are going from strength to strength. Like they said, they're doing great for moms. Maybe that's really underestimating them, but let's just see how the next leg works out. They might actually make the Final Three, which will be quite something. Definitely it will confound all the critics - this one included - who had predicted that they would crash out early. Still, I'm not betting on them picking up the million, but who cares for now?
Brandon and Nicole aren't exactly coming back from the dead, but they were lucky that teams only had $45 for this leg, and that they were mostly navigating across New Zealand by car. The only real spending they had was back in Kolkata, and that too only for the taxi ride to the travel agent and then on to the airport. So they've been saved, and they get more money in the next leg. My guess is that they're really going to need that money, and they're going to need more blessings from God (they're really devout Christians now, aren't they?).
As for Chip and Kim, I think finishing fourth is going to be a real shock to them, especially when they realized the Bowling Moms somehow overtook them. It's not that hard to explain, really. They had problems navigating the roads in New Zealand, and the mothers, who arrived only minutes later, didn't get lost quite as easily. It's going to be interesting to see how they come back. The fact is that Brandon and Nicole left the mud pits at the same time when the twins arrived, and given how close the twins were to Chip and Kim, it's probably safe to say that the gap between third and fourth are about 25 to 30 minutes. Of course, since the sun had set by the time the twins checked in at the Pitstop, there's the chance that the airport equalizer will come into play.
The moment of this leg of the race? That has to be when host Phil Keoghan introduced the Roadblock. It's quite a big thing to see Phil back in his land of birth, so it's something to see him introduce stuff back in New Zealand. So he goes on to introduce the Roadblock, which is simply having to roll around in a Zorb, and he describes this as "... something people do in New Zealand for... well, basically for a cheap thrill." That was absolutely priceless. Anyone who's a real TAR fan has to let out a little laugh when Phil does something like that, especially back in his home country.
The next leg is interesting. After jetting to Auckland, teams now have to detour back into Asia as the next stop turns out to be the Philippines. It should have been expected, only because they're probably running out of countries to visit in Southeast Asia. They've done Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, and I suspect they might well have stopped over in Indonesia in the first season. I've to go through the archives to confirm that. The point is, it sure took them a hell of a long time before they finally decided to go to Manila. It's interesting to see what the next two legs will offer. The second last leg could be on some Pacific island, or they could finally go to China, or, even more surprising, we might well catch a sight or two in Canada!
Well, we'll have to see what the next leg brings. Until then, it's all about waiting. gambitch [
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Funny that this should be my 251st post on this blog. Okay, boring statistic out of the way.
As part of my attempts to seek more diversity in my diet without having to spend insane amounts of money on takeaway food, I have been learning how to cook pasta for dinner. Well, I haven't really been learning that much - my mother cooks the pasta, and I prepare the sauce from those jars you can buy at the supermarket. For better taste I also added grated mozzarella, diced carrots, corn, ham or luncheon meat, etc.. I'm not a great cook - I can't be, when my mother is the one cooking the pasta itself. Still, the pasta and sauce combo turns out quite fine. Which is easy given that I'm more gourmand than gourmet.
Because of the fact that I've been beginning to have pasta for dinner every now and then, my mother said today that she thought I was going to become a gweilo. For those who don't understand, the term gweilo originates from Cantonese, and it refers to Caucasians. While slightly more polite than the Chinese term that literally translates to "foreign devils", the meaning is actually the same. Anyway, I didn't think that this was necessarily true. Neither does my dad, actually, and we have a point - just because I have pasta for one or two meals a week, it doesn't mean I've become a foreigner. If that were the case, lots of people here who frequent Italian restaurants or pizzerias must also be gweilos.
As a further point, if I knew how to make sushi I wouldn't mind the occasional homemade sushi dinner. And if I knew how to make some of the myriad Chinese dishes, I wouldn't mind cooking some of my own Chinese dinners. But the fact is that I don't know how to do either of these, and pasta is easier to prepare than sushi or fried rice coated in egg. Okay, so I'm the stereotypical male in that department, but I don't really care about stereotypes. Besides, my mother's cooking has been pretty good, filling and delicious so far, so I'm hardly complaining.
That said, there is nothing inherently wrong in dietary cosmopolitanism, or at least the willingness to experiment with foreign foods, as long as a line is drawn. I still like local fare, and I wouldn't swop inexpensive and good home-cooked meals for spending money and eating out. I'm more gourmand than gourmet, as I said, plus I generally dislike spending too much on food. When you've been brought up on two-dollar lunches and have been perfectly happy with those meals, expensive food just feels less attractive.
Once upon a time, I had thought about writing a few plays. I'm not intending to be a professional playwright - I doubt I'm that good. But my previous involvement in theatre has made me think a little about writing a couple of plays, partly for fun, but also partly to try to play with some ideas and observations. Getting them performed in public, while nice, wasn't high on the agenda. Part of that was simply because I didn't quite know how to get these scripts acted out. I can't just walk up to a theatre company and say "Here's a script, could you put up a play based on it?". It just doesn't work that way, does it?
Tonight I've been thinking a little about one of those ideas I had. A play about thirty minutes long, maybe forty, or maybe even shorter. It's actually a one-scene play, which means that the bulk of it is done in a single, long, continuous scene. Maybe it's because I'm lazy, but the play would only have three characters, one of them a cameo. The other two characters - and here's where it gets a little more interesting - are a pathetically poor writer (playwright?) and a teenage prostitute. Yes, you read that right, a teenage prostitute. It's illegal, but that's as far as it goes. It's meant to be a half-funny (but no explosive laughs) social commentary through the dialogue between these two characters.
I'm not sure why I have never got down to writing the lines for the play. Maybe it's because I know it'll probably never get acted out; I'm too old for one of those Young Playwrights contests, and I don't have the connections to get my work straight through to the theatre companies here. Or maybe it's because I haven't nailed down how I want this thing to develop. I have a bit of the opening scene (no contradiction there, a bit of setup is required) and an idea of the ending scene, I have a few gag-lines, but that's about it. Then again, maybe it's because some of the premises for this story are just a little bit too unreal. It's obviously better if whatever I wrote had a bit of realism in it, but to do that I would have to do some research, which is less fun than it sounds (try doing a documentary of the lives of prostitutes!).
Sometimes it's not a matter of going out there and following the Nike slogan. Reality is rarely so simple. It can be, but it refuses to be. gambitch [
Monday, September 06, 2004
The kids know nothing about economics.
This was one of several statements made by me during a coffee meeting with a friend. In truth, we knew about this long ago. It's just that some truths are confirmed by their verbalization - that is, you have to say them to make them truths. Otherwise they're just reasonable guesses, and those don't go very far.
But back to the first statement. These kids in "the profession" don't know their economics. That's a statement of fact more than it is a criticism, or for that matter a scolding. I'm not the type to scold, and I'm not in the best of positions to scold. But it is a fact I don't like. Part of that dislike stems from the pursuit of excellence that I have talked about before; true excellence in "the profession" demands that people don't just make themselves knowledgeable in a small number of fields, but must instead seek to know as much of the human world as they can. An absence of knowledge in economics is thus something I don't like.
In the name of full disclosure, I must firstly state that I am not an expert in economics. I never had a formal, organized schooling in that subject, and I have yet to read a standard economics textbook. So my own understanding of economics is a bit poor. But my time in "the profession" has taught me a few things about economics, like telling the difference between Keynesian economics and neo-classical free market theories and practices. It's still a long way from those who have actually done a proper course on the subject, but it's better than nothing, and I think I can at least get a layman's understanding of the subject when I'm told something, which is not half bad.
To be fair to the schoolchildren, they are way too young. They're only 14 or 15, and despite the scary thing about young people maturing earlier, one area where they can't expect to mature as fast is their ability to understand the world. Sure, they shop for clothes, cosmetics and music CDs earlier than we did when we were their age, but understanding the inner workings of the greater mechanics is another matter. Average kids their age can't be bothering themselves with things like global trading of steel or bananas, or the general problems of bankrupt Third World countries. And if average kids aren't doing that, then these bright young ones can't really be faulted for having their moments of averageness.
Still, the fact remains: These kids know nothing about economics. Sure, it's not part of their syllabus, but most of the things talked about in "the profession" is not part of any normal school syllabus either. School does not teach people to read the newspapers, or The Economist, or Jane's. If these schoolboys are capable of talking about education, or technology, or crime and punishment, then there is no real reason for them not adding economics to their vast pools of knowledge.
Sure, economics is boring. I remember from the old days that people used to have a moan when they had to take up something this heavy. Everyone seemed to prefer talking about prostitution, or drug use, or homosexuality. Nothing like the vices to wake the people up, maybe. But being boring was no excuse for these things not to be considered for discussion. As much as it was a bit of drudgery, they still had to be talked about. Nothing prepares you as much as practice, that's what I'd say.
I know that some of you boys and girls mentioned in this post might actually be reading it, and you're wondering where to start. Here are a few areas:
- the general notion of intellectual property; associated topics include TRIPS, Microsoft (which is getting a bit old), the music recording industry, patents, etc..
- while on patents, the AIDS drugs problem and other related medicine issues are something to look out for too
- the Bretton Woods treblebill - WTO, IMF, and the World Bank, and the concepts of development aid and loans, as well as free trade
- economics and the environment, and the whole concept of sustainable development; issues like whaling sometimes come along...
This should be a start. It's not exhaustive and it doesn't pretend to be. It's only meant to show that economics doesn't have to be scary. It also doesn't have to be abstract - some of the stuff talked about here can directly affect us. So it's not really something too foreign.
There's an abundance of material out there, so happy searching! gambitch [
Sunday, September 05, 2004
I was awakened by an odd dream. Odd, because while for the most part the scenes seemed quite real, none of it is actually any part of my real-life experience, or indeed linked to it.
I don't quite remember where the dream started, but my memory of the dream vaguely began somewhere in a supermarket (a place I am becoming more acquainted with in recent months). The only problem is I don't quite remember being in this particular supermarket before, but that's hardly important. What happened was I was somehow talking to this guy who works there (as what, I don't quite know), and somewhere in the forgotten conversation I began wondering about what tomato soup tasted like. (Incidentally, in real life I had just bought two cans of tomato soup, so I could do a bit of experimenting with pasta.) Quite immediately I was served a can of warm tomato soup, with two punctures on the top of the can. The only reason I think it was warm and not piping hot was that I didn't have a problem taking a small sip through one of the punctures. And the only reason it was warm and not cold was that I wouldn't usually have drunk a can of cold soup. All this is my way of saying I suspected my senses weren't all intact in the dream.
Anyway, still in the dream, I had a taste of the tomato soup. And I think I said it tasted a little similar to carrot juice. The guy working in the supermarket (I think it was him who signalled for a can of warm tomato soup to be brought to me) was left speechless for a few seconds before agreeing with me. I'm not sure if the moment of speechlessness was some kind of lag while my brain was processing that thought; I'm no expert on dreams. But it does feel a bit odd for me to say that tomato soup tasted like carrot juice. It feels particularly odd when, in real life, I have never actually tasted tomato soup at all. And indeed, for quite a while, I hadn't tasted carrot juice either.
In a previous life I used to drink a fair bit of carrot juice, partly because I believed it was good for my eyes. It wasn't until a friend told me that canned carrot juice wasn't really that good that I stopped drinking it so regularly, and in fact in recent times I've rarely had that much carrot juice. I'm less conscious about my health and diet than I should perhaps be, but I guess I can't be that bad if I have thought of drinking carrot juice, and if I do drink juices of other fruits like pink guava and lime, rather than Coke, I think that says something too.
Anyway, I digress. On my way out of that underground supermarket (I distinctly remember taking an escalator) I realized that there was nearly no crowd outside as opposed to inside the supermarket, which did feel strange. Anyway it didn't warrant too much attention. I did remember picking up an advertisement brochure from somebody and having a bit of a look at it, although what the ad-sheet said I can't quite recall. It must have been something, though, maybe for some Japanese digital watch or other tech gizmo. Still, I can't quite recall the text, and I don't think I'll bother trying too hard to recall it.
So anyhow, I got myself into this car. I wasn't with anyone else (I usually am not with anyone else anyway), but for some reason I remember taking the front passenger seat, and the car moved. The strange thing was, I was not shocked or anything. Twilight Zone this wasn't. There I was, in the passenger seat, with no funny gizmos strapped on, and the car just drove. Cut scene to some minutes later, and the car got itself onto the highway. Everything went fine and the car drove smoothly, while I slowly sipped the (still warm) can of tomato soup - probably the ultimate free sample from a supermarket.
Then it happened. A sudden traffic jam sprang up, and I panicked. I shouldn't have, really, but I did because I suddenly realized the car had no driver. (For those who are wondering, in real life I have no driving licence; maybe that explains why I didn't take the driver's seat.) So, strapped down to my passenger seat, I somehow tried to reach for the wheel and the brake to no avail. At that moment I thought to myself, "That's it, I'm gonna crash this car. This is bad."
Strangely enough, just when I thought things were going to go bad, an opening appeared in the crowd of cars, and as I miraculously managed to steer the car into the gap, it just kept opening up. So, still not in the driver's seat, I somehow avoided contact with any of the cars on the road. The car made its way into a slip road, I think, and still panicking about the possibility of a crash, I was frantically trying to bring it to a stop. I didn't have too much trouble doing that, as the car hit a kerb, made a bit of a wobble and finally coasted its way into a private housing estate, turning a little to the left before coming to a gentle stop in front of a house (strangely, the gate was open). I soon realized why the car stopped - it was out of gas.
Just as I was grumbling about being stuck in an estate I didn't even know existed, I suddenly realized I was on private property. The house was actually part of a larger estate that had its own gate as well as individual house gates. There I thought, "Oh no." I don't know why, but I got out of the car and tried to see if it was damaged. For the first time in my dream, I actually saw the exterior of the car. It looked funny, because it was painted in army-ish matt khaki with stripe-like blots of dark green. It looked like a second-hand car, and it was a bit hard to tell if the exterior had taken any dents because of the angle of the camera.
A thin, old Indian man with white hair then came out and was demanding to know why I was on his grounds. I don't know why, but my first response was to tell him I had no driving licence and this was unintentional. You try telling that to any man and he's sure to get even angrier. This man did; he threatened to report me to the police for driving without a licence. I didn't know how to reply to that, since I wasn't really driving. But I was the only one around apart from the Indian man and his family (who were gathering just outside the house), and this sure wasn't their car. I remember being lost for words and cursing to myself for that dumb response. And that's where I suddenly woke up and the dream got interrupted.
I'm not sure what this dream is trying to say. I don't think I want to continue this dream, that's for sure. Sometimes when you get awakened halfway into a dream, there's a thought of going back and continuing with it. Not with this one, that's for sure. At least not until I actually get a driving licence in real life.
Anyway, as I write, England are winning their World Cup qualifier match against Austria. Great cheeky first goal from an extraordinary free kick from deep inside the Austrian box. The way Beckham was shaping it up, none of the Austrians could have thought he was going to pass it sideways to an unmarked Frank Lampard. Easy one for the Chelsea man, one of the few I have great respect for (which isn't hard considering he was already a noted man at West Ham, and was bought before the Russian revolution that is Roman Abramovich).
Oh wait! Gerrard makes it two. Very nice goal. I don't love Liverpool, and I don't love Gerrard, but it's a good-looking goal and as a watcher I'm happy to see those.
I'm going to try to go to sleep again after the game's over. I didn't mean to wake up to catch this game, but I guess I'm not complaining too much about how this is playing out. gambitch [