The Cost of Modernisation

A social-cultural in-depth comparison of Singapore and Penang, two former British ports that were governed differently, one governed for prosperity, and the other, governed for simplicity.

In a traditional shophouse in Penang, a middle age man in a singlet is preparing food at the counter, customers walked in to inspect the hanging chickens, pointing to the parts they wanted. The middle age man’s wife recorded the orders on a flimsy paper. The customers sat down, their sons delivered the hot and piping dishes – fresh chicken, fragrant rice and boiled soup. An elderly man was seated at the corner of a shop on a small desk, fanning himself with a straw fan.

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Traditional Shop houses in Penang

This is a common sight in Penang, businesses are handed from one generation to the next within the family, a trend that has not changed despite the effects of globalisation. In Singapore, high rents and the social pressure to succeed has lead to the next generation in resenting in taking over their family’s traditional business, opting to work in an air-conditioned MNC with opportunities to advance their career in a nice white collared shirt.

Steven, a Singaporean, shared that his uncle, who operates a successful oyster omelette store, with the original recipe handed down from his grandfather, will be closing down his business this year. His uncle’s only daughter, who is afraid of cooking oil splattering onto her complexion, does not wish to continue the family business, which has been operational for over 80 years.

High cost of living had lead to lower birth rates in Singapore, with fewer people tying the knot, as women in Singapore have almost equal opportunities to men in when it comes to education, health, economic participation.

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Singapore – Marina Bay Sands Casino

 

At the expense of economic advancement in Singapore, couples are delaying marriages, having to work for a longer period of time to put down a deposit and take out a thirty year loan, and staying with their parents after marriage to save cost, and only moving to their own homes after their 30s. The average age of women in Singapore having their first child is at age 29. and, usually they only have one child, with an average fertility rate at 1.25.

 

In contrast, the lower cost of living in Penang makes it easily for someone to own their home before the age of 30. Most women have two kids (based on Malaysia fertility rate at 2.1). 93% of Malaysians own a car. The lower cost pressures had made it easier for people to live in a more relaxed pace of life – with home, car ownership before age 30, with two kids in the mix.

 

The cost of modernisation in Singapore is at the expense of livelihoods, resulting in the next generation in delaying home ownership and marriage. Singaporeans had traded their lives, for progress. But in the progress of what? What more is there to be proud of when the basics of the traditional social structures are breaking down in the name of progression?

 

Singapore can learn a lesson from Penang. To stop, sit back, prioritise, fan oneself with a straw paper fan, and continue the legacy.

The Limit of the Curve

Modern psychological classifications (depression, ocd etc) are a way to limit higher potential and intelligence. It is a billion dollar industry in attempt to kill off the outliers (highly intelligent people). Our fears and anxieties are borne out of instincts, that society tries to curb. When channeled correctly, these “mad” people are the ones who create and design the future. There is no mental disease, there is only societal disease. The next time someone calls you crazy, say thank you, because it is a gift to be labelled as crazy. You are just ahead of the curve, like the Joker in Batman.

Anti Fragile (2012) had taught me that the more we expose ourselves to fears, and if we are able to overcome it (repeat trauma, repeat danger) the more resilient our mind adapts to the fears. As a result of which, our threshold for fear/pain goes up, in line with our capacity to handle our emotional control. As long we don’t die in the process of repeated exposure, our minds become more resilient. It is nature intended responses. This is evolution. This is human ingenuity. The moment one decides to take chemicals and pills, is the effect of numbing the system to adapt and respond to external stimuli. The next time you want to take a pill, try talking to a friend or counsellor, try revisiting the events and places that caused the fear. Use all the pain/suffering into channeling it into something great, like further studies, career etc… sometimes the intensity of our deepest fears is the key to the foundation of our happiness.

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Our minds work by conditioning, and experience. Our primal responses is to fight or run from danger. In the modern world, there is no such threats. Your computer is not going to eat you up. There is no need to run away from cats. As a result of which, we have this excessive energy in our biological system

When you run away from whatever the apparent danger is, the Amygdala stands down and goes back to quietly watching. If you ran away from a mugger, that’s a good thing. But if you ran away from a grocery store, or a dog on a leash, that’s a bad thing. Now your Amygdala will be conditioned to see the grocery store or the dog as dangerous, and will make you afraid next time you see one

http://www.anxietycoach.com/exposuretherapy.html

In our modern day world, where threats are not present, our flight/fight response is detrimental to our everyday lives. What is there to run from when we already have conquered the animal kingdom and destroyed nature to fit into our human need for conquest and ego? We have dug deep into the earth for minerals and oil, conquered the heavens with planes and satellites. There is no limit to human greed.

At this stage of evolution, we have to learn contentment and relaxation. How to live in peace. How to enjoy the little things in life, and stop trying to conquer. Stop trying to achieve perfection. We are already at the peak. At no other point of human history, we are so interconnected. Just a flight to the end of the world, internet to connect us across borders. No need for letters or ships. The world is flat, and the limit of the curve has been achieved. Any more progress from this point is just going to kill us. Unless, we help the bottom of the curve, then the curve can progress to the next level. There is no point going higher, when the bottom is just so miserable.

In every major city I had visited (considering I have visited Shanghai – Taipei – Toronto – Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur – Los Angeles – Las Vegas – Melbourne and Singapore) in the course of two years, I noticed a similarity throughout cultures and people – the soullessness. The deadness. The capitalism. The hunger, the feeling of being eaten alive by the economy. The fear of being left behind in this global economy. The luxuries, the poor. The strong, and the weak. These are at extreme ends of each other.

The emotional numbness. The currency for exchange (security for sex), the eyes of lost souls trying to reason, what is this change about? Why had technology made us so disconnected. Although connected with the world, we are disconnecting with the people immediate to us. This pheonomeon is what I had noticed over the past five years, since Google and Facebook came about. Everything is easily available on the internet, information flow is widespread. The truth is slowly being revealed on wikileaks, all the lies we had been fed from state controlled media. As we are fed more of the truth, we only discover more lies. That is when, we don’t know what to believe in anymore. After all these while, all that we had been taught to believe in schools and society, we are starting to realize that we all have been deceived by capitalism.

Since the truth is no longer, the truth we believe it to be. One of the ways to make sense of reality is to live in it according to our own moral code. The Victorians probably got it right, on how a gentleman and lady should behave. The ancient Chinese probably got it right, on dividing social classes based on imperial examinations and educating scholars on the four legs of art along with Confucianism. However, the world is converging. All these ideas are starting to link together. Like what Steve Jobs said, “put the dots together.” Whatever we preexisting know of the world – through history and media – is converging into a singularity. There is no difference actually, its one and the same. We just “think” there is a difference, when in actual fact, a rainbow gives the illusion of seven colors because it filters into our eyes as such, however, there is only one color – white. In this world of different perceptions, it is hard to see what you see, and hard for me to communicate in my writings what I see as well. Your interpretation might not be what I had intended for this article to be.

The limit of the curve, has only started.

The Sexualisation of Women in KPOP

After filming a re-endition of Gangnam Style using KPOP moves, I realised how heavily sexualised the dance is, and how it objectifies women into plastic surgery barbie dolls… or dancing objects I would say.

I love shopping for tech gadgets, and I love shopping for electronics. I am a geeky babe. Yes, I am. The thing that never fail to surprise me  is that on every screen I turn, I see a bunch of Korean Girls dancing away… in every LCD monitor. On closer inspection, I noticed how heavily staged their productions are, the thick make up, the extreme short skirts and long legs, the flawless skin. I could imagine them doing soft porn with some of the dance sequences. It is that… suggestive.


Picture of KPOP Sensation: SNSD, Girls Generation

Using that concept of sexual suggestiveness plus wild cutesy dancing, a blend of wildness and innocence, it is quite a lethal combination, especially to the unsuspecting male viewer. Honestly, although it is highly marketable, it is something I am quite upset knowing that our media had objectified women into superficial objects of pleasure, transforming the next generation of female teenagers into empty plastic bodies of bimboticness.

I would rather the media market someone of substance and beauty. Maybe the days are long gone with sensations like Ayumi Hamasaki and Gackt… Japanese artists I have grown up with during my teenage years in forming my own identity.

Here is my rendition of Gangnam Style .. which I am not very proud of but o well, inspired my write up for this article.

Pain and Freedom

Once, I had a kitten, it had a striped grey and black body with white gloves on its paws. His name was Tiger. One day, Tiger ran out of my home before it turned barely three months old. When I caught it home again, it was a month later.

It was sickly, I suspected that it ate rat poison during its voyeuristic expedition to the outside world. I knew he did not have long to live. A week later, spent its last moments curled up in its basket, and passed away…

I remember its curled up body, resting in the softness of the fabric in the basket… freed from pain at last.

. . . .

Like animals, humans too, have a tendency to curl up when we are in pain.

There is an armchair in my home that I regularly curl up in, since I was a child. When I have a toothache, or tummy ache, I would seek out the comfort of the familiar smell of the armchair, and curl up like a ball, my head popped onto the leather surface like a hospital patient. The leather smell eases my anxiety, and diffuses my pain by absorbing it into the wood structure of the chair, it felt akin to hugging a tree for comfort, the smell of eucalyptus leaves… a respite from the harshness of realities.

“Don’t you ever sell the set of Italian carved leather arm chairs” my dad instructed when I turned 18 years old. “They are part of your inheritance, to be used for many generations.” I nodded, how can I ever give up something so dear to my memories? When I was a playful child, I would put my legs on the arm of the chair itself, and rock it while watching television. “Put your legs down from the chair!” My mother screamed from across the room. “It is so unladylike.”  I would stick out my tongue and continued to defy her commands, till she physically moved my two tiny legs down and closed it together, to sit like an obedient child. “Sit like a lady.” My mother says, before I sped away to the next chair and defy her wishes again, and prop my legs up on the arm of the chair like tom boy, or “ah lian” as she calls it.

. . .

When I stayed in the states for a month, there was a similar armchair in the serviced apartment I rented. I would spend hours in the safety of the huge chair, consuming books hungrily from my iPhone. I did not want to leave the armchair; the summer heat was unbearable, people had a hot and fiery temper, and when I tried to do my daily chores; I was harassed sexually by strangers. After all its Las Vegas – an inhospitable place for humans, rather, it is literally a desert that only cactus and scorpions can survive in. The armchair provided the best comfort I could reminiscence about my home, where I can feel safe, where I can read endless of story books… absorbing my mind in the world of fiction, an imaginary world where there is no pain or suffering.

By reading novels and putting myself in the shoes of the character, I am no longer part of the world of pain and suffering, but in a new world of mystery and intrigue. A world that I can imagine and create in my mind, and define the rules and order… I could choose where I want to be; I could be Alice, the White Queen or Red Queen. I can be a vampire slayer or a seductive vampress. In the armchair, I am comforted by my soul, I am in touch with my imagination… I feel no pain no more, a world of no responsibilities… a world of endless freedom, a world where the skies and earth do not meet.

The world that Tiger tried to find, but could not find – till he curled up in the basket and left for the imaginary happy world.

Ms Popkins – How to Attract a Boyfriend or Girlfriend

Good afternoon class, my name is Ms Popkins. My ancestors migrated from Britain to Singapore a century ago. I am happily married to a wealthy husband with two daughters, ladies as young as your age. To attract a good girlfriend or boyfriend, you have to behave like a proper lady or a refined gentleman. I was invited personally by the general manager of this prestigious country club to conduct this talk. Today, we will go through the finer details on etiquette and grace on how to attract a suitable partner.

1. Ladies: Wear lingerie and no pajamas at home

Young boys in my class, if you ever call your girlfriend at night, ask her, what is she wearing. If she is wearing pajamas, dump her. She is not going to be able to excite you if you ever do get married to her. If you find one that wears chemise lingerie at home, marry her immediately without hesitation.

For you ladies in my class, NEVER wear baggy t shirts or pajamas at home! That is too low class, you understand? You have to excite your man, in the bedroom, and what better way than to serve him dinner in a corset and lacy g-strings?

2. Ladies and Men: Learn Social Dancing

What is a better way to meet respectable ladies and gentlemen of your caliber, other than social dancing? Learn social dancing only at respected places too, mind you. You can try the university alumni and country clubs. Don’t date someone below your standard, always date someone who is a challenge. For men, always date the best dancer or the most beautiful woman on the dance floor. For ladies, date a man who is able to lead properly and asks you for a dance, ignore the rest. Go for tango, milongas, drink socially, dance merrily, learn waltz, cha cha, and soon, you will meet the man or lady of your life!

3. Ladies: Learn how to apply make up and behave properly

My dear ladies, you remind me very much of my daughters, and one thing I remind my daughters to do is to apply make up before they leave the home. You should always apply make up without fail, never leave your home without make up, you understand? Even a simple lipstick or blusher will do. If you go out pale looking, you will never attract the boy that you want. What if you meet him at the super market? You always have to go out prepared! Rain or shine. Never leave fate to chance!

If a man does not choose you, and yes, the gentlemen in my class will concur with me, it means you are not putting enough effort in your deportment. If you behave like a rough, unruly hooligan, he is never going to like you! You have to spend equal amount of time refining your manners and behavior, along with the time you spend putting make up in front of the mirror. This should take an hour each day without fail. Practice talking to the mirror, notice your hands, they should always be cupped together in front of you! Don’t wave them wildly, unless you want to shoo them away. Be gentle, be kind, be pleasing, never interrupt his speech, always agree with what he has to say. If you have a different opinion, keep it to yourself, till later, once the ring is on your finger. The key is to get him to like you, to be a listening ear for him, and always keep a feminine presence and never undermine his masculinity.

4. Men: Treat your lady, like a lady

To the boys in my class, if you want a lady in your life, you have to start to treat your mother well. Although I do not have sons, I have nephews, which I have taught them from young, on how to treat Aunt Popkins right. They are now, refined men – one of them works as a personal banker, another, works as a general manager. With good manners, they have climbed their way to the top of the social ladder with ease.

To make women comfortable with you, always offer to open the door, move their chair, and please them. If your woman is not happy, it means you are not doing a good job, you should work harder! If she is unhappy, it is because you had made a mistake, and you should aim to rectify it before she disappears! I know its hard for you lads to express your feelings, but you have to learn, how to get in touch with the poetry in your soul. It is a sure winner if you learn how to write poetry for her – if you are ever lost for words on your feelings towards the girl that you like, pen it down in a letter, slip it into her handbag, and magic will happen. Trust me on this, boys.

5. Ladies: Treat your man, like a man

Ladies, I know the feminism movement is gaining popularity, but it is a very dangerous thing. You should never call yourself a feminist, or support feminism, it is outrageously evil. Women should depend on men, we need men for security and support. If he does not go out to hunt, who will pay the shopping bills? You should always allow your man, to take care of you. If he offers you am opportunity to become a socialite, a status that can only be conferred on high class women, take it immediately! Do not degrade yourself to be a working class woman, it is a low status that shows that the man is not able to support your upkeep as a lady.

Once you are elevated to your new status as a socialite by your man, mix with other socialites only, ladies of your society. Organise parties to increase the influence of your husband, buy clothes that are fashionable for high society, patronise luxury hotels to have high tea with other tai tais. By preserving your social status, you preserve the social prestige of your husband, and he will love you more for that. Could you imagine, if you rot away at home doing house work, and becoming old and haggard in the process? Never allow the deterioration of your beauty and influence over him. Hire a maid, or two maids. One for housework, and one for children. When your children are of age, send them to boarding school. Don’t let them become distractions to your marriage life. Once they are in boarding school, rekindle the romance, go out for more dates, and let the sparks fly.

6. Ladies: Invest in Lelo, Men: Invest in Cars

Ladies, if you have not heard of Lelo, its about time you gained enlightenment on the pleasurable aspects of the female anatomy. You should not ever consider degrading your body to one night stands or trysts with the opposite gender. Your chastity is a virtue, and the most heavily guarded secret in the woman’s world is no other than Lelo. If you do not know what it is about, google it. Aunt Popkins is a old fashioned woman, who supports technological advancements. Lelo has been the best investment I have ever made, especially when my husband makes long business trips. I do buy these gifts regularly for my other socialite friends as well, and we do share our saucy intimate details to gossip about during tea time. *laughs wickedly*

For men, you testosterone fueled men, invest well into cars. If you are not into cars, watches will do as well. Cars are preferred as driving is an outlet to release all those pent up aggressive emotions at work you experience, before you land into your ladies lap in the bedroom. German made cars impress the women, but sports cars are a turn off. A well groomed lady prefers cars that are driven by a man in a safe manner, no reckless driving, no alchohol, and definitely no BJs. *looks at boys in the class*

– – – – – –

This is the end of my introductory lesson. For the ladies, you can continue to sign on with my make up and etiquette classes to secure your chances of marrying well. For the men, focus on making good money, to increase your chances of being considered by the women. Thank you and good evening.

7 Kinds of Women I Admire

How much potential a man can release in his life, is connected with the woman he chooses as his companion. She can bring out the best or worse in him, she can help him to create a beautiful world together or if she fancies,  she can destroy him with a touch.  This is the synergistic concoction on what makes or breaks a relationship.

This piece is written in relation to the 7 Kinds of Men I Like, I figured that I have to create a list of 7 Kinds of Women I Admire. If you counted it right, all the men listed, had a woman, except one, Aizen. That is why he lost to Urahara. With a woman, he could have become a god. Too bad for his egoistical nature, lording his superiority over everyone. Straight men who do not admit they need a woman are just immature and foolish, thinking they are chauvinistic and everything. But, no, the truth is, if you want a fulfilling life with meaning, you got to find the right mate who shares these ideals with you. She will help you to become larger than life, trust me on this *winks.

Unlike men, women just have to be themselves. They have to explore their own nature, especially the depth of their emotions. A woman is guided by her emotions and intuition, which evolved from the sheer evolutionary need to protect her family. Lets explore the characteristics of the seven women that I admire greatly.

1. Eva Green as Vesper / Angelique

Eva Green is on top of the list as she is intelligent, witty, sexy, and has a hard stare that makes men cling onto their dear life if they dare, disobey her. She portrays her roles in a very thought provoking manner with a depth of emotions, that has no boundaries. A plus point is that she is a french actress. Lets look her the roles she has acted.

Vesper in Casino Royale (2008), in her corporate office attire and conversation exchange with James Bond, in the train carriage, is probably the most engaging movie dialogs of all time, with double meanings, and hidden subliminal truths.

She goes undercover as a treasurer to secure the funds for James Bond in Casino Royale. She mentally levels him into winning the tournament, even appearing in her plunging neckline dress on purpose in front of him to distract/motivate him in his game. She chides him for not wearing up to his part, by sizing him up and buying him a suit fit for a millionaire. A smart and intelligent woman, she is able to bring out the best in her man’s career with her womanly charms.

After a romantic lovely time with James Bond in Venice, she steals the tournament winnings, and uses it in exchange for his life, so that her boss, Mr White, will not kill Bond. She also knows she has to sacrifice her life for his, hence she drowns herself in a locked metal lift, and plunged it down into the depths of the river, ending her life, her love pure and true.

In her recent role as Angelique in Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, she is able to give Johnny Depp aka Barnabas a hard on while burying him in a coffin, alive, with her lingerie on his mouth. She is incredibility twisted in her expression of her love (i mean, who will turn their lover into a vampire, and send all the little girls he likes in the process, off the cliff?). In the end, she dies from a broken heart, from unreciprocated love.

In her roles as Vesper / Angelique, they both do the same things – they challenge their lover to be stronger, to show them who is more capable – she or him. To prove to her his love. To join her in a force – as a partnership – to achieve something beautiful and beyond this world. This is what men crave most in a woman, for someone, to lift them up and feel like a man. She does her job perfectly as a woman – as an equal to men. She is 100% a real woman in my list.

2. Zhang Zi Yi

In the movie, House of the Flying Daggers, Zhang Zi Yi as Mei (rebel leader daughter) falls in love with the one she is supposed to kill (the police captain), her old flame finds out and is filled with jealously and hate. Her new and old lovers battle it out in a field with four seasons. She threatens to kill her old flame if he dares use his dagger to kill the new guy. He tests her love by pretending to throw a fatal shot. In bid to defect the shot towards her new lover, she removes the dagger in her chest, to save her victim’s life. She bleeds to death. Her love for her victim/lover, is now eternal.

“Can’t you see, every step I have taken, since I was a child under the bridge, was to bring myself closer to you?” Sayuri

In Memoirs of a Geisha, Sayuri (Zhang Ziyi) does everything she can to be closer to The Chairman, a man who secretly helps her to become a geisha legend, and in the process, almost losing her over to his business partner. She tries to spite his business partner into not becoming her Donna by sleeping with an Amercian Colonel, however, The Chairman saw the scene instead, and walks away. Sayuri, knowing it is no longer possible to reconcile her love with The Chairman no longer, resigns to her fate as a geisha, who needs a Donna to pay for her upkeep. However, The Chairman appears at the final scene as her Donna. Their love prevails.

Her riveting performance as Mei/Sayuri shows that a woman is able to do everything in the world, just in the name of love. Even if it means killing herself, numbing her emotions till she becomes an object of desire, or just, living each day – just waiting and waiting, she is still a believer in a love that will return back to her, even if she is dead or alive.

3. Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman is incredibly talented from a young age and it is apparent in all the movies she has acted in. I loved her rendition of Black Swan (2011), a ballerina who has to discover her inner demons to transcend into being who she is – black and white. For an actress to pull off this role, requires much soul searching and understanding of oneself, which is very tough and painful. It is like digging out a box of hidden dark desires and secrets in your heart, pulling it out, embracing it and becoming the darkest essence of yourself. I am quite surprised that she is able to maintain her sanity after this riveting performance. Psychological and deep, she gives it all her, and I have to give her credit for one of the best performances of all time. That is what I greatly admire in her, the strength of character as a New Yorker. The modern 21st century woman, who is able to stand on her own two feet, release. and gain inner acceptance of her fragility.

4. Angelia Jolie

Angelia Jolie gives her best definition of her love in Mr and Mrs Smith. After “killing” her husband with a lift bomb, she goes to the restaurant where they got engaged, drowning herself with a glass of champagne in tears. He appears from behind, alive, and she is glad, her expression clear to see.

I admire Angelia Jolie for her empathy with children from third world countries, although her rainbow mix of adopted children is controversial, she does philanthropy and contributes greatly to charity. She is incredibility confident in her body language in all her shows. She does not compromise herself, her poise is always calm. She speaks in a low voice, jabbing right at the heart strings. She is able to put up a fight with ease. Her aura is so magnetic, i think most men would stumble onto their knees within a few minutes of her presence. That, is femininity at its best.

5. Marion Cotillard

In Inception, she appears as the deceased wife in the dreams of the main protagonist. She haunts him, repeatedly, as a shadow, and in the process, making him compromise on his missions. In Love Me if You Dare, she dares her lover in a series of games, to prove their love for each other. She ruins his wedding, and dares him not to meet for 10 years. 10 years later, she appears out of the blue. She is with a football star, but who cares, she still loves her old flame. They dare each other to be buried in concrete. And he accepts.

Marion is able to portray a wide spectrum of emotions from extreme hate and anger, to tender love, that men can only dream about. She comes from Paris, the capital of love. No wonder her intense passion burns on screen and is felt in the hearts of the viewers. I can feel her pain, and it softens me to see her cry. In the ending scene of Batman Rises, she, as the daughter of Talia al Ghul, finishes her mission as her last filial act to her father. Her emotions are so true, and I remember her scenes with perfect memory.

6. Yoruichi from Bleach (comic)

Yoruichi from Bleach

She is a descendant of the one of the four noble families in Soul Society. She does not want others to call her a princess, and she hangs out with other nobles and peasants, she does not care about social divides. She treats everyone equally.

She helps Ichigo discover his Bankai (bringing out the best in people). She trains his friends to become stronger. She is a mother figure with a hot body, and has a streak for randomly appearing nude in front of Ichigo (14 years old) in the most unlikely of circumstances to tease him.

The most attractive attribute she has is that she is able to SAVE other people. She is no damsel in distress, she is the Flash Goddess. She saved Urahara and Tessai before they were imprisoned. And single handedly carried the bodies of 7 Vizards and the necessary equipment to reverse the effects of the experiment. She is just. wow, inhuman. That is why she is in fiction and I totally admire her guts.

7. Priscilla Chan (Mark Zuckerberg’s Wife)

Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg

Although not much is known about her, without her, I don’t think there will be a Facebook. Thanks to Priscilla Chan, the silent motivation and encouragement, Mark had to do what he had to do, to appease her. This is all based on my suspicion and hypothesis. Mark is the youngest billionaire on earth, and I don’t think it is all possible without someone as solid as the woman he is with. The plus point is that she is a Chinese girl. He definitely made the right choice in his mate.

7 Different Kinds of Men I like

What does a woman want in a man? I am not sure about other woman, but I am pretty clear on what I look for in a man. Today, I will share my preferences on the men that I admire and like in fiction and real life.

1. Robin Thicke


Robin Thicke arrives in the driveway in a Rolls Royce. He is back from a day of equestrian riding. He kisses the hand of a woman in his home, with a riding crop in one hand. He seduces and embraces her with his deep love song. He bites onto her pearl necklace and they go up the spiral stairs into the room. This lethal combination of love, romance and sex is tantalizing. Poise, confident and suave, he scores.

2. Wang Leehom

Wang Lee Hom - Unrequited Love

Sentimental and soft, his fingers gently playing the piano. He sings of love, and unrequited love. Of a love so pure, it transcends all reason. In his artistic expression of love, he can love unconditionally and kindly, his happiness dependent on the happiness of the one he loves. What is more beautiful than a love that has no reason?

3. David Mack

Left: Daredevil Cover by David Mack. | Right: David Mack as himself.

He is probably the hottest comic book artist who knows how to be suave. Formerly the artist of KABUKI, he is now working with Marvel in New York. He has a genius for bringing out the fragility and strength of his characters at the same time. His theme centering around the topic of vengeance, love and power. He is humble, down to earth, and you could probably chat with him at the bar. He is an sociable artist who has not gone bonkers or lost faith in the human race. What is so attractive about him is that he loves Asian girls with weapons. He wants to fall in love, but is afraid, his past clear to see, the death of his mother affecting his conscience. The savant of the 21st century comic world, David Mack is one hell of a ride.

4. Urahara/Aizen

Urahara and his sword, Benihime

These two are characters in Bleach, a Japanese comic series. I put them together, as a real man need a real enemy, for him to unleash his full potential. A man, is judged by his enemies.

Urahara – A prodigy who excels in sciences, and set up the technological division, creating gadgets to save Soul Society, using his brilliance in manipulating Ichigo and his friends to do things they are not aware of. He is a master puppet master, and a genius at the sciences. For a man to excel in science and human relations is no mean feat!

When he became a captain, he was unsure of his abilities. Spurred by Yoruichi, his childhood friend, he grew to be more assertive and confident, only after donning a green stripped hat and fan to hide his expression when he is up to tricky business. He calls himself a “handsome, perverted, businessman.” Very hot for an Asian dude.

He also has a heck for appearing last minute to save people lives. Or appearing outside Ichigo’s window at perfect timing. He is a mental person who can mentally screw someone without making a move. Perfect.

Aizen – The Villain with Balls

Aizen – An illusionist who betrays and tricks everyone into thinking he is Mr Good Guy who likes reading books, to leader of the Espadas – Aizen. He found the best of the crap in the hollow world, to work for him, by just showing them his power. His leadership is highly attractive, his suave and calm mannerisms not giving much away, His analytical mind, analysing every detail before he makes a calculated move. A scientist himself, who created half the Hogyoku as an attempt to get closer to the Soul King.

He wants to take over the world, and design it the way he wants to be. He wants to be a master architect, by becoming god himself, and rewrite the rules after thousand of years of the former status quo, abolishing Soul Society itself. Aizen reminds me of Sun Yat-sen, founder of democracy in China. What he is trying to do takes much courage and balls. Furthermore, he is not doing it for anyone, but himself. Most men are too weak to do things without a woman’s support. But Aizen does not care, instead, he stabs his vice captain, Momo, in the process, severely detaching himself emotionally from all the “beings” around him. He probably sees him as inferior to himself. Probably he has too much ego or is too smart for his own good, without much EQ to balance his IQ out. What is why he lost to Urahara. He did not have the power of love.

Urahara “The power of love is stronger than steel”.

5. Batman and Joker in The Dark Knight (2008)

Christian Bale in Batman Rises

Batman, a billionaire in the day, a bat at night. Boy, he seriously have some psychological issues. Never mind that, at least he is trying to get rid of the city of evil with his own flesh (although not necessary because he can hire people), power and money. Meeting the Joker did seriously bring out the best in Batman, in making some decisions to become stronger as a man in the subsequent sequel when he was trapped in a dark circular prison pit. However, I was quite disappointed he did not kill Joker on the first and second attempt, just hanging him in mid air, with Joker laughing hysterically away. He needs to be cold blooded and ruthlessness, to carry out his acts of good, which he is unable to do. That is why he is fifth on my list, he still needs to be stronger.

Heath Ledger as Joker

Joker, what can I say? He is psycho, yes, he is brilliant, yes, does he have a point? Yes! He just wants to play with Batman, and “he is ahead of the curve”. That humans will kill each other when the chips are down. Sick and cynically twisted, yes, and that increases the hotness value of mystery and intrigue around this fascinating character. I would gladly study him as a specimen in the asylum, he could enlighten me on some realities of the human race. That is how he transformed Harley Quinn, a psychologist, into his circus companion, as Harlequin.  Fascinating specimen.

6. Christian Grey – CEO of Grey Enterprises

For reasons quite clear, he is on the list. He is a billionaire who is able to fly a helicopter, suffers from an obsessive need for control, spends his leisure time fantasizing about dominating submissive women. I found the two chapters of the story written from his point of view, very engaging. It is nice to know what goes on in the heads of power hungry males. A mixture of testosterone and logic, or just primal lust. His weakness for women as a goddess and the very reason of his existence and being. Not that I think Anna Steele is THAT of a woman, but he is just a beast around her. And he is not afraid to show it. I think there are more confident women around who can give him a better time, and a ride of his life, who can contribute to his business expansion, mind expansion and sex expansion, whatever. I just don’t think Anna Steele did match his capabilities, hence he is number 6. He should have found a woman who more of his match.

7. Brad Pitt in Mr and Mrs Smith

Brad Pitt makes it on the bottom of the list because he is with Angelia Jolie. That is, the one and only reason. He makes Angelia Jolie feel like a woman, with his wits and masculinity, he overwhelms her. But she wants him dead. And he makes it out alive.