‘There’ll never be another Elvis,’ said the old man to the impersonator. But there needn’t be, not when he is survived and granted eternal life by his works, influence, and legacy. Why would we need another Elvis when he is the one and only? The king never died; he is unsurpassable; long live the king.
‘Tell me that you want those kind of things / That money just can’t buy / I don’t care too much for money / For money can’t buy me love’: these are the words of wisdom sang by Paul McCartney on The Beatles’ 1964 hit ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ which he wrote with John Lennon. They send me soul-searching every time I hear it, and I hear it a lot because A Hard Day’s Night is one of my favourite albums. Continue reading
america, books, charles dickens, christmas, cinema, culture, england, family, film, food, harry potter, history, holidays, j. k. rowling, life, memory, movie, music, nostalgia, pop culture, reading, television
I am Chinese, my family is small and we are not religious. We don’t do gifts and parties, nor do we transform our home into a tricolour tinsel and cedar wonderland. I never even believed in Santa, thanks to my mother’s casual ‘Santa and magic and stuff are not real, it’s all made up’ when I was very young.
For Christians, Christmas is the birth of Jesus. For the non-religious, it is about Santa, reindeers, and snow. For us, it is a time to eat together: we mark the day celebrated by many with food and family, the pillars of Chinese culture, and I would not have it any other way.
But Christmas itself—be your take on it Christian or capitalist—is not Chinese, no matter how I celebrate it. Christmas in my mind is a kaleidoscope of Anglo-American sights and sounds. Continue reading
In the timely yet cruel way the world often works, it just so happened that three weeks before legendary singer-songwriter/poet Leonard Cohen’s passing UK indie duo The Last Shadow Puppets, comprised of longtime pals Alex Turner and Miles Kane, uploaded Turner’s cover of “Is This What You Wanted” onto their YouTube channel. I already penned a piece on Cohen’s death so do pardon my focus here on Turner, a legend in the making with and without Kane. Continue reading
I heard it on the radio this afternoon so it must be true. When I got home social media confirmed the news, but unprecedented election outcomes in the States stunted the outpouring of grief for this legend of modern music and poetry. Much of the world is still reeling after Continue reading
Listening to Lana Del Rey on summer nights: a wearable mood / like slipping on a cloak of indulgent sadness / a shift of persona, swift as Mystique / a sinking and falling into place, like being swallowed into the depths of a dark rose, petals spiralling into infinity / memories unfolding, genuine or embellished, shrinking and blooming like youth on rewind / FIN.
I find Chopin’s music incredibly soothing, gentle, and elegant. And in all that which is the aforementioned, there is Grace and Beauty. Grace and Beauty are capitalised here in allusion to the old poetic tradition, where vital intangible things like Death and Spirt are given the capital treatment.
And speaking of Death, I happen to live for la petit mort, Continue reading
How would you like to be left at a concert by your very best friend? Aside from feeling utterly gutted, I was sick with guilt and worry. What was I doing dragging her to something she wouldn’t enjoy, and how was I to live with myself if something were to happen to her on her way home, alone at night? To further complicate things, that live performance ended up being the most emotionally intense musical experience of my life. It was, paradoxically, the best and worst night ever. This is a raw and honest open letter to my best friend about that night. Continue reading
Architects design buildings, which are then built and maintained by builders, plumbers, and electricians. These buildings provide necessary living and working spaces for residents and professionals who, in turn, contribute to their society and economy. Politicians govern, lawyers defend, doctors save lives, businesses of all shapes and sizes provide essential goods and services. Scientists, physicists, engineers, and astronomers brought humanity to the moon. The world as we know it will not cease to exist without art and its practitioners but without moonage daydreamers, boy wizards, star-crossed lovers and those whose passion or profession it is to observe, think, analyse, and create, Earth is merely that which orbits the Sun, a celestial body where the passage of time is marked by births, deaths, and unexamined lives.
So here’s to poems about nature and beauty, songs about love, books that changed the world, and paintings that bewitch with their illusions of light and movement; here’s to films that enchant and inspire, to great teachers and their scholars, to thinkers, poets, writers, artists, composers, musicians, directors—to anyone who immortalised their human experience in art form.