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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

moving house

This will be the B*tchingLOG's last post. Say hello to the unimaginatively named "Say what?!?!"

I've been meaning to do this for eons now. The blog title and template design had long outlived its purpose. I started this blog as a 19 year old university student who was too lazy to spend his Easter Holidays writing his final year degree thesis.

At its peak, this blog was sort of famous, although back then it was easier because there were fewer of us. I've had more than my fair share of controversy and silly arguments with other silly people, but that was all part of the fun.

And no matter how many people told me back then that I was awesome, or that they didn't know any other 19, 20, or 21 year olds who were as well opinionated and as aware of current issues as I was - there were also people who couldn't help but tell me how brash and loud I was.

Either way, it didn't matter then.

But it does now. When a reader comes to this site, sees the maroon template and the big bold words at the top, he immediately forms a judgement on what type of blog this is. And I think, writing more serious stuff these days calls for a more serious template (but not tooo serious, of course). One that doesn't scream out to the reader that I am an angry 19 year old.

So why didn't I just change the template and keep the address? Why did I need to move?

Two reasons.

First, I am sentimental idiot that way. I have a toy car the size of a matchbox that changes colour when the room temperature changes. I put that car in my mum's fridge when I was 5. She has since changed 2 fridges but she knows better than to throw it or put it in my room. Somewhere else in a shoebox are my electronic projects and hobbies from school. Somewhere else are clay moulds of my jaws from the time I have my braces fitted.

It's the same with this blog. I spent days and days teaching myself HTML because I refused to use the ready made templates (unfortunately, I don't have such a luxury these days). There was no conceivable way I was going to allow myself to change the template without preserving the old blog somehow.

Secondly, and more importantly, when someone reads the archives of this blog for whatever reason (even if nobody out there reads it, I do) they have to read the earlier articles in the context of the whole blog. You have to read about me calling a girl with 17As for SPM a moron with the large B*tchingLOG font screaming down at you. And you just have to read the great tampon review with the playful maroon background and yellow fonts mocking you. Any other way and it would seem very wrong.

So there we have it, 6 years and 1 month after I started this blog, change your links and let's start afresh:

SAY WHAT?!?!

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

edison hour

Have you heard of Edison's Hour?

It was started by a bunch of American univeristy students in protest of the utterly ridiculous Earth Hour. Edison Hour shall take place during the exact same day and exact same time as Earth Hour, and instead of switching off your lights, we pay tribute to the great Thomas Edison and turn the bloody lights all on.

Last year, I wrote something on Earth Hour and its utter irrelevance especially in Malaysia. It was nothing more than a hypocritical fanfare of showing people that you care when your actions aren't really congruent with your words.

This year, as to further prove my point, I am going to give you some insight into what I do. I work at a small power generation plant and my company has a combined power capacity of slightly less than 300MW. In the last one year, I had been researching and implementing a project to reduce our natural gas consumption (to reduce costs, what else?)

The motivation behind that project wasn't to save the bloody pandas (or manatees). It was purely and simply a commercially driven project. But as Dr. House keeps saying, "Reasons don't matter - results do."

The result of that project is that in the coming year, we will save around 1100 billion British Thermal Units of fuel gas. And to give you a sense of irrelevance, that is enough energy to power up 5.25 million 60W light bulbs during Earth Hour.

Quite simply - you flicking off a few switches is inconsequential in the whole story. And in the context of an even bigger picture, my actions are also irrelevant in the power industry. I am just one guy in a small power plant. There are thousands of engineers like me everywhere in the world, working in far larger plants, capable of reducing our carbon footprint on a far larger scale than the average PR consultant can dare to imagine.

I have moved on trying to educate the general herd on the street. It takes too much effort for too small and impact.

I am talking to you corporate bigwigs - spend your money on other things. Start up scholarship funds to train engineers more awesome than myself. Throw your money into funding Science projects in schools. Who knows, maybe one day some genius will come up with a renewable source of energy that is CHEAP and commercially viable?

This is where Edison Hour really comes in. It probably started off as a mockery (it probably still is) but the essence is right - let's celebrate human achievement! Science has the ability to give us all the luxury we need. Embrace it! Instead of silly banning of plastic bags (you still have plastic containers, don't you?) why don't you start throwing money into researching fully degradable bags?

Why are you trying to send the world back to the stoneage by turning off electricity? Realistically, who the hell is going to dig that idea on a permanent basis?

Get real - if you want to make a difference, stop your charade. Do something that actually matters.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

stuck

I've been meaning to write this since Chinese New Year, but never got down to it. Ibrahim Ali's recent musings and rantings (some would call it ramblings of a lunatic) have actually spurred me on to write this.

Over the new year, I met up with loads of people from school and college. These are people I grew up with in a predominately Chinese environment. If you have been following me long enough, you might have read this before. So there I was, meeting some people for the first time in 10 years since I left school, 8 years since I left college.

We were talking, and inevitably the subject on race, politics and Malaysia in general tend to resurface. This is normal coffeeshop talk that I suppose goes on everyday. It dissapointed me that for many of them the 8 or 10 years of growing up did not seem to change their perspective on race and religion. Here they were sprouting the same insensitive things, bitching about the same issues they were bitching about all those years ago.

Don't get me wrong, I think these people are good people. They are fiercely loyal friends, and I dare say that many of them would gladly take a bullet for me if asked. It's just a pity that they did not have the same opportunity to go out there and mix around and learn another culture. 10 years on and they still have not been able to gain some level of acceptance of other people's seemingly weird and alien culture.

It is as if they are stuck in time warp. While many people have been able to ride off Ibrahim Ali as a madman or a politician saying things for brownie points, the scary thing is that he might actually mean the things he say - the same way my friends actually mean the insensitive things they sprout about the other races.

Is there a point here?

I don't quite know. I guess, all I am saying is repeating my lately often repeated mantra - GO OUT THERE...LEARN A NEW CULTURE. You can't like someone unless you get to know them!

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

新年快乐

Since I started working in this predominately Malay company some 3 years ago, the most common question around this time of the year is, "So, do you celebrate Christmas or Chinese New Year?" In the past one week, I was asked that question 3 times.

I used to get very annoyed. My friend Penthesilea gets very annoyed when people couldn't tell the simple difference between race and religion. She's a Chinese Muslim, and no, she isn't a convert. As you can imagine loads of people (and I imagine some of you out there too) scratched their head wondering how that was possible.

My friends tell me I have mellowed. A LOT. But I still give sarcastic answers when thrown stupid questions. But this is not a stupid question. It's a sad question.

It's sad to know that somebody can spend 30 years growing up in a so-called multi racial, multi cultural society yet never knew that Christmas and Chinese New Year are not mutually exclusive. This is the downright failure of the government's education system segregating kids from the get-go with the different types of school, colleges and universities.

We have no right to pride ourselves with the Visit Malaysia ads proclaiming our diversity as a selling point when in fact our citizens are really not that diverse. We are a bunch of people staying under the same roof but not really talking to one another. It's not that we hate or dislike one another (well, most of us logical ones anyway), it's just that we just don't talk quite enough. And we don't hang out quite enough.

This was meant to be nothing more than a Happy Chinese New Year greeting, and I don't wish to be too preachy. We can't have all this doom and gloom in the New Year now, can we?

So, enjoy your booze, enjoy your bak kua and enjoy the gambling.

Drive safe folks.

Happy New Year.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

circus

We know this: The 3 people arrested and charged with the firebombing a church have pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.

Now imagine this scenario:

These 3 guys, through whatever legal means available to them keep postponing their court appearance through various technicalities. Their lawyers are so good, that they somehow manage to push their court date more than a year back. Meanwhile these 3 alleged crooks are allowed to roam free and give talks to anybody and everybody who would listen to them talk about their cause and why the allegations against them are politically motivated (because well, anything's possible, eh?).

Finally, when they have exhausted all avenues of postponing their trial, they show up in court like a Hollywood celebrity arriving for the Oscars - smiling and waving to an adoring crowd chanting their names. As they are led into the court, they pass a police officer in the hall and have the audacity to ask in a Joker-esque manner, "Dood, why so serious?!"

Imagine if those alleged firebombers did that, would you be outraged? How fucking pissed would you be that they made it into a comedy club circus? I would be majorly pissed! Even if I wasn't annoyed that it took more than a year finally haul their ass into court, I would be outraged that they are allowed to turn a court case against them into a soap opera.

Wouldn't you?!?

Now, think about it and then tell me...does this look like a guy is in court and might possibly spend 20 years in jail?





What I am saying is this: why the double standards? Why is this guy acting like a rock star and why is he being treated like a rock star? Because he told you he was framed? Hmmmm....that's an interesting thought. Would you accord the same treatment to those 3 alleged terrorists if they told you they were the scapegoat someone was looking for? Would you chant the name of an alleged rapist as he waltzed into court claiming innocence? After the trial is concluded, I suppose it is fair game depending on the results, but to put up this show pre-trial?!?

He is a genius at this game. The way it is playing out, no matter what the court findings are he ends up as a martyr. If he wins, he will point to "people's will". If he loses, he will point to it being a kangaroo court. I really don't see anyway the poor kid can come away victorious. (This is all allegedly, of course)

On a side note, it took Najib half a day to force his aide to resign over some ridiculously racist remarks, but this guy is still pussyfooting on Zulkifli Nordin more than a year since the Bar Council incident and the countless other despicable acts later including openly fanning the flames of the recent controversies.

I say, throw this guy in jail, so that other better Opposition party leaders can come in and then we can have a proper check and balance system going on in our country. We certainly can do without the circus we have now thanks to this bloke.

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