30 January, 2006

malaysia bans ‘black metal’

AsiaPundit is no fan of ‘black metal,’ a ridiculous heavy-metal subgenre featuring men in leather and heavy makeup often singing in falsetto. However, AP objects to Malaysia’s move to ban all things black metal.

GorgorothBlack Metal culture has been declared as a deviation from Islamic teachings and those found practising it could be penalised under syariah law. The National Fatwa Council ruled that Black Metal culture was totally against the syariat (Islamic principles) and could lead its followers to being murtad (apostate). The council issued the decree after deliberating on the matter at its bi-monthly meeting yesterday.

“We discussed the issue at length to understand what Black Metal is all about and its effect on our culture,” council chairman Prof Datuk Shukor Husin told newsmen after the meeting. “It has been established that Black Metal practices are way against the syariat and every effort must be taken to stop its spread.”

First they came for the headbangers, and I didn’t speak up,: because I wasn’t a headbanger…

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by @ 9:38 pm. Filed under Malaysia, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia

s’pore election blogging

Election cycles are generally the most active periods for bloggers in the West. In Singapore, the most Western country in Asia, expect something different.:

SingaporelectionMy guess is that most bloggers do not know that certain laws restricting what can be said over the internet kick in once a parliamentary election is called. Some bloggers will be surprised that some of the things they say about Singapore politics may expose them to prosecution.

The last time there was a parliamentary election (also called a general election) in Singapore, which was on 3 Nov 2001, blogging was not yet a household word. Some of today’s most prolific bloggers were probably not yet out of school.

In 2001, websites offering political content were relatively few, and news about the amendments to the Parliamentary Elections Act, amendments which specifically dealt with internet communications, were still fresh in webmasters’ minds, having been passed only in August of the same year.

Today, blogging has exploded, and unlike webmasters in the early days of the internet, most bloggers are writing without looking over their shoulders at Big Brother. While the Sedition Act is no doubt well known among bloggers due to the publicity about the 3 guys recently charged and sentenced, their offences related to foul language stirring up race and religious hate, not political news or commentary.

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by @ 9:19 pm. Filed under Blogs, Singapore, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia

foreign models in thailand

Jack at Thai Blogs tracks the migratory patterns of foreign models.:

ModelsnightThis is just a snapshot of the life and times of a Foreign Model in Thailand. Of course there are always exceptions, and we are not accounting for half-Thais and other Asians in the industry, though they can (and do) move seamlessly through these circles.

Their migration habits vary, but the majority of Foreign Models come to Thailand for up to three months at a time, as this is the length of time dictated by their visas. The Foreign Model hails from Canada, Brazil, and former Eastern bloc nations, where their “Mother Agency” at home takes note of their vaguely Asian looks and send them abroad. While they are here, they are obstensibly looking for work, on the catwalk and in commercials. A fortunate few arrive as a result of a direct booking, where they are cast remotely and come to Thailand for a guaranteed job, usually shooting a television commercial (TVC).

Herds of Foreign Models can be seen zipping around Bangkok during the day–usually on the Skytrain–portfolio of past jobs (or “Book”) in hand, headed for castings and modelling jobs. Bookers with each agency direct them to these appointments, often going to as many as five in one day. At each TVC casting, the models have make-up applied, their hair styled, pictures and measurements taken, and a short video made, introducing themselves (name, age, height, weight) and performing a short audition. It’s not unusual for a casting to take two or three hours, most of the time spent waiting: chatting with other models, flipping through Thai fashion magazines they cannot decipher, or simply staring off into space. It’s a rough life.

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by @ 9:09 pm. Filed under Culture, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Thailand

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