Danny Choo in the Straits Times, Deconstructed

*Picture BALEETED on Danny Choo’s request.*
Few weeks back during the Animax Blogger talk session, Danny attended some press interview with The Straits Times, Singapore’s local and as of yet broadest newspaper brand. I had assumed he would appear in the Digital Life (IT stuff and whatnot) or Life! (lifestyle), so I closely followed both.

Over the past few days I found nothing. That is, until two days ago, when Danny mentioned about the flaming article that was written of him. A search on that day’s Life! section yielded nothing, and Digital Life was a weekly publication that did not publish that day.

Fast forward to today. I just got back home and was relaxing for a bit. There was a thin newspaper beside me, apparently a section of the Straits Times. It turned out to be Urban, the other weekly publication, all about fashion. It was dated 28th November.

No way…

There was only one place in Urban he could be. THEBAGPAGE. A last-page featurette of famous celebrities or sub-celebrities, whoever TST can get their hands on that week, and what they stow in their bags.

without further ado. Deconstruction.

The Bag Page, Stephanie Gwee.

Danny Choo

ask celebrity blogger Danny Choo anything about the over 300 anime figurines that he has amassed over the last 20 years, and the 36-year-old perks up.
“They are so cute. Look at their faces, how can you not love something as cute as that?” he enthuses.

well, hell. That’s a pretty awesome way to put it. She makes it sound like

1. He’s obsessed (highlighting the number of figures and the number of years he’s been collecting, and his diction). I doubt Danny ever put it that way. Now I know what Danny means by ‘putting words into my mouth’.

2. He’s being childish (noting his age, and again his diction).

Ask about his famous father, malaysian shoemaker Jimmy Choo, or his childhood days in a stately home in London, however, and he loses the grin.
All he would say is that he worked as a designer for his father when he was 16, handling tasks like making toe-caps and cutting out the shape of the leather.
He had little interest in following his father’s footsteps as he hated the smell of glue, says the London-born Choo…

Being a fashion publication, it was obviously inevitable that Jimmy Choo would be brought up. Guess the Urban people only view Danny as ‘Jimmy Choo’s Son’ after all. Can’t blame them, but I feel this to be very undeserving to Danny. But really, I don’t understand why the hell he must be put in Urban and not anywhere else I feel more fitting. Could it be because of all the wonderful things in his bag that they just wanna check out?

But, I digress.

I feel that the ‘loses his grin’ part is a bit exacerbated. For all those of you who know about it, there’s a perfectly good reason why Danny Choo would suddenly get so serious at the mention of London (for those who don’t, good luck finding it out). The uninitiated however, upon reading this, would get the impression that Danny holds the fashion industry in disdain. To later find out that it was all exclusively because of the smell of glue would lead them to establish their impression of him as being simple-minded. There was no mention of his other pursuits that time which would have led him away from shoemaking, too. In short, a very biased viewpoint from a fashion enthusiast.

On the otaku or Japanese pop culture of manga…
“I was naturally attracted to the Japanese mangazines with cute girls on the cover,” says Choo…
So much so that he spent three years earning a degree in Japanese and Korean studies from the University of London.

Being an aspiring writer/journalist myself, I can’t help but notice how the writer can record an interview, then report it in such a way that the whole essence and meaning had turned into something different. All you need to do is capture a line that sounds ambiguous, then affirm the wrong meaning through additional yet subtle texting.


To explain with words just how much these 3 words can effectively insert a very strong vibe (of disapproval) into the paragraph would be insufficient. You have to read and understand it for yourself.


AK: Oh yes, I’m sure they’re trying to show appreciation to just how much Danny has devoted himself to pursuing what he enjoys. Yes, a degree’s very nice and all, and UoL’s a pretty prestigious college. It’s all good, all very commendable.

Uninitiated casual reader: Huh? Just so he can watch Japanese anime, read Japanese manga, play Japanese games, he blew off three years studying for a degree? He’s just wasting time for the renowned UoL professors! Why can’t he be a normal Weeaboo like everybody else? Why must he put so much effort into it?

You get what I’m trying to say, right?

… Blog gets two million hits a month…

LOL. They don’t even know what the technical term of a ‘hit’ means. In conclusion, I do agree quite strongly that this article has been done unfairly, but you can’t blame Urban for trying to do a write up on somebody who is better associated with technology. As said before, the only thing that connects between both sides is Jimmy Choo, and on that part Danny has distanced himself quite far away, leaving the interviewers with a rather awkward report on otaku-ism for the most part, something they are not very familiar with, hence resulting in a few unintended (I’d like to believe it to be unintended. ST is a renowned newspaper; they have a reputation to uphold) meanings here and there.

By the way, the stuff they listed out in his Bundeshauptstadt Berlin bag was:

1. Kagamin Figma (naturally)

2. Macbook Pro (very widely known to us)

3. Animax Notebook

4. Namecard holder

5. Casio Win phone

6. Xacti 6-megapixel video camera (Danny, and Gai to some extent, has persuaded me to go for Xacti for the first videocam I buy in future)

7. Anime clock (from KKnM, featuring Sakagami Tomoyo from Clannad. WIN)

8. Wallet

Which reminds me, I owe you guys a review on my Figma Tsuruya. Will do that up soon. Along with the string of LaMB-related posts in line with this blogging competition Animax is holding. I haven’t given up on AFA08 day 2 (drafting in progress), so watch this space.

AK out.


Filed under Rant

9 responses to “Danny Choo in the Straits Times, Deconstructed

  1. nipah

    Lol the half-assed article turned out bull. Words of mass destruction lol.
    Heck yeah I agree Urban is a weird place to feature him. He's known better for his IT accomplishments yes? TST rep just went down a coupla notches. >_>

  2. AK

    Verily agreed my friend.

  3. Panther

    Local media fail. I pretty much decon’ed this the same way in IRC two days ago when I first read it too lol.

  4. Persocom-san

    what a crappy magazine article, no wonder he doesn’t like it..

  5. Anonymous

    What the heck. This is indeed nonsense, and I fully understand Danny’s disapproval of the article.

    Reminds me of a local German newspaper I had the ‘honor’ to appear in in the past. They didn’t even spell my name right.

  6. Danny Choo

    Sorry your post was deleted from dccom. I asked my moderators to delete any reference to this “article” regardless of who posted it. Personally didn’t want any scans of it on the Internets.

  7. AK

    Ahaha, I actually expected that. No wonder I saw no news of it on DC prior to mine. My humble apologies.

  8. tj han

    Wow, I totally didn’t see this article. That’s fucked up as usual.

  9. lolipedofin

    What the hell… so this is the article?? finally read it… Fuck them!

    But i do felt a bit strange that Danny decided to bury this article without explaining it… I felt that by breaking it down bit-by-bit himself, would shed a better light on how the interview actually panned out and his own opinion regarding the matter…

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