We have an expression where I grew up: Boomz. It's a generally positive term as in "Yeah, that party was awesome. Good drinks, good people, good times. You know... Boomz." It had not been well-received because a) well, it does sound rather silly in a exuberant hip-hip-huzzah sort of way, b) older people just don't get it, c) the originator of the phrase was a rather interestingly uninteresting former beauty queen, d) and that Singaporeans (surprise! Singapore!) by and large suffer from "cultural cringe". It's terrible. The obsession that pop culture can only come from elsewhere is a massive tragedy. So instead, we created a culture that is not treated as a culture. Our values become hidden values - beneath the veneer we erect for others is a core of creativity that has sublimated itself as lifestyle. And so, I left that sceptered (and air-conditioned isle) to find out more about culture. By quirk of fate (the dart landed on 'America' as opposed to 'Europe' - vague but challenging), I was bundled off to Brown University in 2006 and have been happier since. There, I learned the art of thinking with great gravitas (also known in non-Ivy League circles as 'being pretentious to breaking point'). Having experimented with the college-age notion of "Save the world", bumbling through theater, blithely ignoring economics and politics and suggesting instead that we do things some other needlessly complicated way, I finally completed switched tone in my thesis year. It's pretty shocking to suddenly realize that the narrative you thought you were writing for a good part of your life suddenly turns out to be very very wrong. But it's also quite exhilarating to realize that it's better late than never. And so, once more with feeling, I plunged into oceans of writing, having stepped up from the wading pools of self-awareness, having taken the plunge off the diving board of lost expectations, and having completely ignored to put on the trunks of metaphor control. I found pop culture; it bit me hard on the arse. Now, you may find some pleasantly-quaint anachronisms and odd turns of phrases. Be aware: I had a pretty solid British-based education and count the BBC as one of my formative media experiences. There could be phrases like chap or bloke or dour or bollocks or damn frog bastard that pop up occasionally. If you could, write that down as un-Merkan behavior. Thanks. I'll try better in the future.