Tuesday, February 01, 2011

New Year, New Banner

"Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true."

Ring Out Wild Bells (1850) by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

It was after midnight and I was in the company of some roti canai, a cup of teh halia panas and a Malay gentleman I happened to be sharing my table with at a streetside warung. I had my headphones jammed tightly in my ears as a measure to deter unwanted conversations with strangers (I sometimes wear them even when I'm not actually listening to anything) because most everyone, I had long discovered, are terribly inane in their thoughts and speech. At one point, I looked up and noticed that the mouth of my accidental table-mate was moving - and it wasn't because he was chewing something either. He appeared to be making an attempt at the dreaded Small Talk. With a mental sigh, I unplugged myself and inquired as to what he had just said to me.

"When is Gong Xi Fa Cai?" he asked in Malay. I felt my colons flinched. Gong Xi Fa Cai is not the name of the holiday but a common Mandarin greeting of the season which essentially amounts to wishing someone a prosperous New Year. While I'm on the subject, Chai Shen is not Chinese Santa either. And since I'm Chinese, I'm not going to call it the Chinese New Year. To me, it's just the New Year.

"I'm not sure," I replied. "I think it's next week, maybe?"

Look, I wasn't being deliberately obtuse. I honestly had no idea. The New Year can come to me whenever the fuck it wants to - I'll know it has arrived when I receive a text message telling me to turn up at whatever time and date and at whichever venue designated for the reunion dinner. I only just found out that it's going to be two days later courtesy of the Long-Suffering Girlfriend™ who, after three whole years, is still flabbergasted at my cavalier disregard of the calendar.

Small Talk Bloke expressed disbelief at my ambivalent answer, and I think he suspected that I was feigning ignorance. One good thing came out of the exchange though - he gave up on his unrealistic notion of friendly conversation with yours truly. Yay.

Anyway, I got a new banner up as you can see,

Kok Blok
Disklaimer: I do not aktually blok koks.

It's basically the same design. I inflated the slogan and replaced my old mascot, the Bloody Shakespeare (a bastardised Chandos portrait of William Shakespeare), with the Spooky Bard, which I derived from the controversial 1610 Cobbe portrait through a modest bit vandalisation. I also added the ironic Scarlet 'A' of the modern atheist movement. The more literary-minded would recognise it as the same letter which Hester Prynne wore in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. For the unapologetically philistinian, it's what Emma Stone's unbelievably hot character stitched onto her skanky outfits in the 2010 teen comedy flick, Easy A.

And just to remind everyone of how awfully amateur and kitsch the previous one looked like,

Ye Awful Olde Banner
Ye Olde Banner.

Personally, I think the new one's an improvement, to say the very least.

In-house graphic designer,
k0k s3n w4i


Dr.Vishaal Bhat said...

Agree with your assessment that the new one is better! However, seeing some of your earlier posts on designing stuff for the college shows etc.. you can do better :)

février said...

i can't believe you think this new one looks good either. besides the random A, the style and time period of a quick, uneducated first glance doesn't relate at all to the content of your posts.

c3rs3i said...

If Shakespeare and his bastardization (for lack of a better word) are allegorical, I don't get it. But your depiction tickles my lame bone anyhow =). And yes, a definite improvement in aesthetics to the former header. More Elizabethan if nothing else.

ps: I'll be in the hood over the next couple of days. Will say hi if I see a living manifestation of your avatar. Feel free to try your luck too =p

k0k s3n w4i said...

Dr.Vishaal Bhat: if i have all the time in the world, then yes, i can do better ;)

beve: what sort of imagery do you think explains the content of this blog then, o acolyte of art-dom? thematically, i'm kinda all over the place.

c3rs3i: don't read too much into it. it was done entirely on a whim. one of my even earlier mascots was emo hitler, which was basically the führer with an emo fringe. seriously? you are in malacca?

c3rs3i said...

Malacca, yes.

I'm quite content with being portrayed by just my screen name and online persona for now so I'll be leaving the unveiling of c3rs3i to chance, if that's okay.
Being neither defined nor confined by anyone's perception of my age/gender/race/looks/etc is a simple pleasure I like to take when and where I can.

Happy New Year =)

k0k s3n w4i said...

c3rs3i: you are female, chinese and in your twenties - that's how you look like in my head. i somehow cultivated an impression that you studied/are studying/are working in either australia or the uk. i might be wrong on all those counts though, but that's what you get you make people guess at who you are :)

février said...


i think of c3rs3i as the exact same x) but maybe in singapore. meh. thinking about this longer than 10 seconds gets tiresome. so hungry.

c3rs3i said...

In this case, proof is what separates a guess, even one of the highest confidence, from fact. Furthermore, the sole premise of any inferences drawn remains the breadcrumbs of indirect information I have scattered, perhaps unwittingly, possibly intentionally.
I like to think this lack of certainty provides (at least a semblance of) a reprieve from being somewhat pigeon-holed in terms of how I'm perceived.

Virtual reality offers the opportunity for opinions to be expressed anonymously or in pseudo anonymity; My words are taken at face value with no presuppositions to add or subtract any weight from them - haven't found many reasons against the utility of this so far =)

phoebs said...

happy chinese new year!!! :D i like the new banner

k0k s3n w4i said...

beve: ducks? why? never mind. i don't expect logic from you at all -.-

c3rs3i: why, do you think my assessment of anyone's opinion is skew-able by how that person looks like? of course, i won't begrudge you your secrecy. it's why i allow anonymous visitors and disembodied screen names to speak in my blog after all. it's just that since i run such a tiny site, i do make an effort to get to know my readers. i have always looked at a blog as a two-way medium.

phoebs: 'course you do ;)

Liz ^^, said...

I kinda like it !!! Skills mannnn :D

c3rs3i said...

k0k s3n w4i
It's not at all personal.
I just want the weight of what I say to be measured by my words, with no inferences made by drawing from my background check.
I'm of the opinion that people subconsciously (some/times consciously) sort others into stereotypes and subsequently view or interact with them heuristically based on the labels previously stuck on them. Being completely objective, on the other hand, requires a conscious effort.
So, I am, essentially, trying to perceptually isolate, I suppose.

Princess Pearl here is meant to make you work a tad bit harder at concentrating on just my words. Do glance, often, at my avatar whilst reading my comments for a better experience. =)

k0k s3n w4i and février
I see how you'd infer the rest but Australia/UK/Singapore? What's making me look like an export/import to/from those countries?

k0k s3n w4i said...

Liz ^^,: thanks :)

c3rs3i: no real reason. it's evident that you're well educated - i was merely making a couples of statistically probable guesses.