VSS e-Newsletter 30 Dec 2005
VSS eNewsletter 30 December 2005
Happy 2006 to Everyone
The VSS Season’s Greetings Card is a great way to send meaningful New Year’s best wishes. It’s available on the Downloads page of the VSS website:
You’ll find other downloads there. Any ideas for more downloads to put on that page?
The VSS World Hunger is on display at the Volunteer Fair next to Tampines MRT through this Sat. Can’t make it to Tampines? Have a look online at the sculpture and the display panel that accompanies it at http://www.vegetarian-society.org/revamp/html/index.php?module=Static_Docs&func=view&f=worldhunger.htm.
Any ideas for other venues, such as restaurants or cafés, that would like to take a turn to display the sculpture?
There aren’t many benefits of being a VSS member, other than knowing that you are helping to promote vegetarianism. One other benefit of being a VSS member is the opportunity to purchase a reduced-price subscription to the magazine of the Australian Vegetarian Society: New Vegetarian and New Health: http://www.veg-soc.org/html/mag-issues/current-issue.html.
Details on becoming a VSS member can be found at: http://www.vegetarian-society.org/revamp/html/index.php?module=Static_Docs&func=view&f=membership.htm.
Kampung Senang (http://www.kg-senang.org.sg) is hosting a Mini Organic Food Fair on Sat, 7 Jan, 11am-2pm at the Whole Child Nurture Centre at 17J Jalan Hock Chye, 6289.4298. Find out about this Waldorf-inspiring early childhood education centre which serves the children organic vegetarian food. VSS will be participating.
Celebrate Chinese New Year by helping to raise funds for Man Fut Tong Nursing Home (http://www.mft.org.sg). Come to Tiong Bahru Plaze on Sat 21 Jan – Sun 22 Jan 2006, 10am-8pm. Don’t miss Singapore’s largest collection of Handmade Paper Fans, a bazaar, vegetarian food, performances and the God of Fortune’s special appearance (22 Jan). Free admission. Contact: Victor @ 6368. 3301 or c_lovecommunications@....
January 17 (Tue) and 19 (Thu) are the dates for two evening classes about how to prepare raw food. The classes feature two professional chefs from the U.S. Here are brief bios:
Robert Ferrari has worked at both the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills and Newport Beach , California . He has established himself as a premier Raw Food Chef with his innovative gourmet cuisine. Robert has the ability to transform fresh organic produce into stunning Raw Food creations.
Gail Ferrari grew up in the restaurant business with her family. When health problems occurred due to overeating, Gail turned towards eating healthy and healing foods. She became a Raw Food chef after taking her training in Oregon , and has healed herself from high blood pressure and lost 59lbs.
For details: ourplaceinternational@... or Qiuying at 9100.0443 or Susie at 9637.6020.
Here’s one reader’s slightly edited thoughts after viewing the movie “King Kong.”
No mere typical monster movie, the 2005 "King King" is a renewed classic myth for our times, of timeless truths about the human tension and (dis)connection with the animal kingdom. With his film crew, director Carl Denham (played by Jack Black) is an mercenary opportunist in every sense, who chances upon the ominous Skull Island, and discovers Kong (played by Andy Serkis) - an awesome giant "prehistoric" gorilla feared and worshipped by an equally frightful savage tribe - for his sheer "king" size and might. While barely able to stay alive, Carl conceives his supposedly brilliant money-spinning scheme of capturing and enslaving Kong for America , so as to milk him for all he is worth as a theatrical freak-show attraction. He succeeds to some extent, at a terrible price though, as Kong unwittingly wrecks havoc in New York when he breaks free - as any frightened animal would.
Sometimes, the real monster only appears more civilised, even dressed in suits, having nothing to do with size at all, having instead everything to do with the mind set on devious self-serving profiteering. That which is most monstrous is largely invisible - the poisons of the human heart - greed, hatred and delusion. Throughout history, animals have been unwillingly exploited for countless selfish human purposes - for food (eg. meat and animal produce), clothing (eg. leather and fur), sports (eg. racing and hunting), entertainment (eg. performing in circuses) and experimentation... Yes, Kong is just one single animal, fictitious and humongous as he may be, who also stands for countless real and smaller animals, who are continually incarcerated, tortured and eventually killed by humans for our own advantage. Perhaps it takes a "monster" like Kong to contrast and show the hidden monsters in us, ones much more gargantuan than any monster out there.
An unlikely yet credible friendship develops between starlet Ann Darrow (played by Naomi Watts) and Kong, while an equally believably soulful Kong develops a protective and loyal infatuation with her. Not only does the proverbial beauty meet the beast, she learns to tame and appreciate the hero in him. In this rich full-colour update of the 1933 black and white movie, the audience is shown the nuanced human nature of Kong, just as we see the "civilised" yet bestial nature of man. What differentiates us from animals then becomes grey and blurred - nothing black or white. Man or beast, we forget we are probably closer simian relatives than imagined. We might not speak each other's language, but we can learn to look deeply at each other in the eye. Maybe then, can we learn to see eye to eye.
Kong was largely a harmless gentle giant, ferocious only when threatened. No, he does not eat damsels in distress - he was even featured chewing shoots for dinner. Gorillas are, after all, mostly vegetarians! In the jungle where Kong is King, he was worshipped as an invincible god-like being by the natives. With no intention to rule the island, he was by default king, forced to fight dinosaurs, giant bats and insects for his own survival. Out of the familiar context of the concrete jungle that is the city, the film crew explored the jungle to rescue Ann, who was forcibly offered to Kong as a "sacrifice" he never asked for. The film crew had to fend off other "monsters" along the way, which were mostly simply larger than life versions of nature. While fear ensued, surely, respect for nature correspondingly "enlarged"! Perhaps then, we should learn to stand more in the shoes of "lesser" creatures of everyday life. Let us do not onto others that which we would not have others do onto us. Yes, the golden rule should rule.
In an unbridled frustrated rampage through the city, Kong scales the spire of the world's tallest and most famous building of that time - the Empire State Building . Why? Out of a primitive pridefulness perhaps, as he seeks refuge and stakes territorial claim over the land, while unknowingly rendering himself an open target to fighter planes. This iconic cinema image of Kong atop the building symbolises humans’ greatest "monumental" achievement topped by nature. Without much consideration, man kills this majestic creature - he destroys nature, in a fit of angry and fearful misunderstanding, of not comprehending that Kong merely wanted to be left alone with the love of his life, even at the cost of his own life. In a dramatic showdown, he falls to his death after being shot numerous times. Tragically, he was the true victim, who never wanted to victimise anyone.
A policeman tells Carl at the end of the story, "Well, Denham, the airplanes got him." Carl replies, "Oh no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was beauty who killed the beast." But was it really so? Carl did not realise that it was his greed that led to the doom of the innocent Kong. It was man's fault. Kong was only being himself, being natural, while man fared no better than a beast in bringing him down without trial or reason. As mentioned, this is no typical monster movie - it is an elaborate fable warning against the monster in us!
- Shen Shi'an
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