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Monday, January 29, 2007

hollywood syndrome

A funny incident occured just outside my house the other day as I was going out for dinner. This Mat Rempit bloke was riding on his bike tailing his girlfriend (I presume). She was walking ahead and he was trying to get her to talk to him. She nicely ignored him and kept walking down the road - slowly, I might add, while he was nicely trying to get her to get on the bike and go home. I didn't pay much attention to what transpired later as my stomach had more urgent matters to attend to. Still, it wouldn't be hard to guess what happened later.

Classic Hollywood.

Man and woman fight. Woman 'storms' off in a vengeful rage. Man chases woman. Woman ignores man...for a while. Woman is happy with the attention she gets and then accepts apology. Woman and man have great make-up sex.

Still, it makes for interesting analysis. If she was really pissed, she would have stormed off instead of strolling down the road. She would have screamed back and asked him to fuck off instead of enjoying tormenting him. The guy was pretty nice for a Mat Rempit, I might add. You can call this a flaw in character, but I choose to see myself as someone who does not and will not tolerate shit like that. For fucks sakes, if you have a problem, you talk about it (or scream about it) if you have any intention of fixing it. I would construe the actions of the woman in ignoring my words, the actions of someone who has no intention of fixing the problem. Therefore, I would have taken my bike and bailed out of there leaving that stupid woman to find her own way home.

Andrew, Keng and myself were discussing in a mamak session one night about these drama kings and queens. Because, like it or not, we all know some idiot like that. Anyway, they came up with the theory that Korean soaps are written based on the lives of drama kings like these. I challenged their theory and questioned whether sappy Hollywood love stories are written first and then these people try to emulate it. I guess this is one chicken and egg question which we will never get to the bottom off.

In many ways, Hollywood is evil. Once upon a time, the objective of the human race was to further propagate our species and expand our boundaries of society. And for that to happen, the ace specimen of the female species (usually with big bossoms, haha!) would mate with the alpha male (usually the best hunter or greatest warrior). In modern terms, that would translate to poor kampung girl marrying rich man so that she can use his money to make life easy on her poor farmer dad. Arranged marriages are the way to go, no?

But then there is this slightly twisted delusional scam that Hollywood has so conveniently churned up for us - some magical fairytale of love. Shows like Love Actually (okay, not exactly Hollywood but you get the point) are nothing more than pure evil. It brainwashes people into feeling that you can ONLY be with someone if you love them.

What about Maslow's heirarchy of needs? Why is it wrong for a poor woman who has never known the luxuries of life to go out looking for a sugar daddy that would be willing to give her everything she would never have dreamt off? Why is that frowned upon in society? And on the other end of the scale, why do people buy that crap in Love Actually of a Prime Minister falling in love with his maid? But at the same time, most women (those I asked hypothetically, of course) said that they would say no if an Arabian prince - the heir to the throne of his ridiculously oil rich nation asked for their hand in marriage. Because I don't love him. Konon.

Speaking of Hollywood, you know how people on dates (usually first dates) choose a chick flick or a romantic comedy or something along the lines of a romantic genre? And most of the time, its the guys that pick the movies. Well, thanks to Vincent, those aforementioned idiots can now stop shooting themselves in the foot. They think that romantic movies are going to score them some action because hopefully the girl will get all sappy and hence it would be easier to get her to fall in love with them.

Wrong, dumbass.

Comparisons are inevitable everywhere you go. She will compare you with her ex, or her friend's bloke, and there isn't anything you can do about it. At least you are being compared to a real life person which you at least have a chance of trumping. But by getting her to watch a romance movie on the first date, you are essentially shooting yourself in the foot because you would then be compared to a fictional character. It's bad enough that you will NEVER look anywhere as cute or dreamy eyed as the lead actor (with a shit load of makeup I must add), you then have to compete on the romantic scale with the damn script writer.

I reckon, it would be much better to take her to watch a horror movie. The scarier the better. When she is terrified, and if the aura you emit somehow makes her feel secure then you just scored a homerun. Of course, if she is scared shitless, then you are possibly not getting any. Still, your odds are better because here you have fate in your hands as opposed to competing with that idiot in Love Actually.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

sucky heroes

I was reading this particular article in today's NST and realised...we seriously need to re-brand our heroes and villians in our history books.

The article touched on a particular traitor we learnt about in school - I mean, this guy was no Hang Jebat, this guy actually killed a Sultan. Unheard of in those times, but this guy actually did that. The story has it that this Panglima Bintan guy was off fighting for his country, and left his pregnant wife behind.

As I recall from lessons in school, she was sitting in front of her house one day when a palace servant passed by carrying a jackfruit. She begged for the servant to cut a small little piece because apparently her unborn baby was hungry. The servant did so and when the Sultan found out that he was eating off the scraps of a commoner, he ordered her killed. The legend has it that when he sliced open her belly, there really was a piece of jackfruit stuck to the mouth of the unborn child.

Panglima Bintan, upon returning from his journey, found out what had happened and killed the Sultan as he was going to the mosque one day. And because of that, this great warrior was deemed to be a traitor and was cursed by the dying Sultan.

We have a serious issue with the way we seem to brand our heroes and our villians. This guy sought justice (although, in today's world - that was not the way to go about things) and is branded a villian and a traitor. Something is clearly not right.

And then we have our all time favourite Malaysian hero - the great Admiral Hang Tuah. Besides all those nice stories they tell us of him being a great warrior and a brave soul, he was also the Sultan's guard dog. Literally. Our history books tell us that he was a great man because of his loyalty to the Sultan, and it might have well been a great story in those days, but that characteristic of a hero is outdated in modern times.

Look, we are talking about a guy who was torn apart between his love for a woman, and his loyalty to the Sultan. And because he committed that oh-so-heinous crime of falling in love with a woman the Sultan wanted to marry, he was sentenced to death but was saved by the Bendahara who hid him in the mountains. His best friend, Hang Jebat then takes revenge on his behalf by starting a riot (or running amok) and Hang Tuah later comes out of hiding and kills his best friend. Just because the Sultan wanted him to. Just because that was defined as 'Loyalty to King and country'.

Maybe in those days, it was. But history is all about branding. You can brand something in a way you deem favourable, yet keep the facts intact. Hang Tuah was a stupid prick who killed his best friend - he was only good as a robot, a loyal watchdog who does as he is told without questioning anything. They keep telling us that he was loyal - sure, he was loyal to his king, but what about his best friend who, ironically was killed because of his loyalty to Hang Tuah himself? Surely the real hero here has to be Jebat?

Then there are those guys who are branded as freedom fighters. The guys whom we are told fought the influence of the British by organising riots, and even killing British Residents. Remember J.W.W. Birch? Sure, we are independant now, so we have technically won the 'war' and earned the right to call them 'freedom fighters'. But the British would just as easily call them 'rebels' - the same way the police these days call the street protestors 'a menace to society'.

Our history books are filled with the bloody struggles of these 'heroes' struggling against oppression. I am sure that if you refresh my memory just a little, I can recount the numerous tales of these rebels - because we were forced to learn these stories from Form 1 to Form 5. On the other hand, the real heroes (in today's civilised society context, of course) are disgustingly overlooked. We only learn about the peaceful fighters in Form 5, and that is nothing more than a short chapter highlighting the struggles of Tunku, Tan Cheng Lock and Tun Sambanthan.

Nothing much is taught about the lives and struggles of these modern day heroes (diplomats, if you may) , yet we learn a lot about the almost barbaric exploits of 'freedom fighters'. Do you not see the irony? In school, we are taught that it is okay to kill a local British authority (to be fair, they didn't say it was okay, but they never condemned the actions anyway) just because he was British and he 'oppressed' us. Idiots then grow up and think it is okay to take to the streets and cause public unrest to protest price hikes, just because they think they are being 'oppressed'. Is there not a clearer example of 'reaping what you sow'?

I was thinking along the lines of 'our local heroes suck big time', but as I wrote this, I realised that it is all about the way we choose to brand them - the way we choose to sell their exploits to the school kids. If we are taught about these heroes with the hope that we grow up to emulate them, then surely a rethink in marketing strategy is necessary?

Maybe Sang Kancil would make a good role model......

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

the stench of hypocrisy

Okay, forget everything I said in the last post.

Since you guys are really interested, let me humour you. The story goes, two blogger dudes wrote something and NST didn't quite like their articles. So, NST sues them for defamation. Now, this wouldn't be our problem, except for the fact that people are complaining that this is a bad day for blogging and it infringes on democracy and free speech and all that fanciful moo-lah. The problem is, when people complain they are usually biased and have already picked their sides long before they even bothered arguing this matter in their head.

Now, if you spare a little thought and think about it, if you support free speech and democracy, the logical step forward would be to support Papa Smurf. But then surely, the same must apply for NST? Surely they have the right to sue, and as long as they are acting within the legal boundries then what is the problem with all this?

Or, you could be like me and be against this free speech mumbo jumbo. I don't believe these so-called social commentary bloggers should be allowed to spread rubbish through and sort of media. Neither do I believe that anybody should have the right to sue somebody who displeases them. Screw so-called 'democracy'. I believe that people do not know how to act appropriately and hence everybody should be kept in check on a very tight leash.

So you take your pick. You are either for free speech and support the fact that both parties should be able to act as they please so as long as they do not break any laws, or you are against free speech and believe that everybody should just sit down and shut up. The key point here is that you have to choose. There is no half-way house. You can't choose free speech and democracy and then complain that NST are being idiots, when actually all they are doing is exercising their legal right - whether they eventually win or not is a secondary issue.

Which then brings us to the next point of "what the hell is going to happen if NST wins the court case?"

It would actually be a horribly bad thing if NST does win because that would mean that in the future, one of you idiots could actually sue me for offending your silly ass. If and when that happens, who should we blame? The answer is simple. You blame the idiots who started this suing game, and you blame the idiots who crossed the line in the first place.

But be fair - if you must crucify somebody, crucify them all.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

who cares?

Beneath everything that you think of me, I don't actually care for very many things going on around. Just because I blog about social issues from time to time, people seem to have this image of me as someone who really cares about everything.

The truth is, I don't.

I care about the education system because I believe it produces idiots. I care about racial issues because I see it as a means of payback. I was once horribly racist (now just a tiny bit, haha!) and this is my way of changing things. Then there might be the occasional social issue that might concern me, like animal rights (it concerns me because animal rights activists are usually morons) and handicapped people.

And I certainly don't care enough about politics to write about it. I read the papers and know what is going on around me, but that is suffice. Unlike all the idiots around, I don't pretend to know the political cliques of a certain businessman and I certainly don't bother who said what to offend who yesterday. And I KNOW that most of you people there don't really give much of a hoot either.

So why the fuck is everybody faking their concern about bloggers getting sued?

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

trail left behind


"but...how do you choose?!?"
"Two choices...it's not easy, but it is simple."

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

my apologies, hor

There are lots of annoying Malaysian practices that is somehow embedded in our culture to the point where we actually advocate such practices but don't realise how incredibly stupid they are.

For instance, loads of people insist on using water to wash their asses (and subsequently wetting and dirtying the toilet) after taking a dump. It's supposedly cleaner than using toilet paper it seems. Well, you do take showers twice a day, don't you? Yes, you can say that you take a dump in between both showers, but the logic of being clean doesn't hold unless you tell me that you rush to the toilet to wash your ass each time you fart and you apply a shit load of deodorant on your ass every morning because I am sure as hell somewhere along the day you are going to fart and you surely are going to sweat.

Or like the practice of showing up unannounced at someone's house and expect to be entertained because, hey we are very hospitable people and we should do our utmost best to accomodate our guests, no matter how inconsiderate they are by showing up at dinner time.

But lately, I have been annoyed at the tendency of people to keep apologising for everything they do. Here you have a GM (rightly) berating idiots for being unprofessional, but after he is done with his tirade and his presentation, he goes, "dan saya ingin memohon maaf jika tersilap kata dan telah menyinggung perasaan tuan tuan dan puan puan."

But...WHY?!

There is no need for an apology if you did what you thought was right. Why should you apologise for what you believe in? And if you prepared a speech before hand, surely you would know whether the contents are offensive or not? Surely you know your audience and if you had the slightest inkling that anything was offensive then you would have omitted that portion? Or perhaps you did give thought to it, in which case you should have some moral spine to stand up for what you believe in and ignore the politically correct assholes in the audience.

The other day I was the project leader for an assignment and we going at it pretty intensely. It was not till after the assignment was done that this one girl came up to me and apologised for screaming at me. I hadn't, in all honesty realised that she did indeed raise her voice until she brought it up. I explained that she didn't have to apologise for having the passion and the drive to scream when something was going pear shaped. So as long as the screaming is productive and constructive, I would rather such a person than someone who sits in the corner and sulks when things aren't going right. That concept was probably foreign to her as she came up to me yesterday, at the end of the whole thing and apologised to me if she had in anyway offended me in the last 5 weeks.

Well, that was her along with countless other people I worked with over the last 5 weeks. And to each and everyone of them who apologised "sekiranya terbuat silap" I told each one of them that there wasn't any need for apologies and for my efforts, I got a blank stare in return.

I still cannot understand it...

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

respectable

I observed a very interesting scenario pan out this evening and realised that probably the most admirable character anybody can have is the ability to not give a shit about what anybody thinks about you. I greatly admire people who on one hand try so very hard not to conform to the norm, yet on the other hand choose not to change they way they acted because they felt nothing wrong with it.

I knew two guys like that in uni. They spoke funny, they acted weird, and they said things that people never liked. Yet they chose to do it not because they are ignorant to the fact that they are disliked. They did those things in spite of knowing that people hated their guts, and they chose to do those things because that is what they wanted to do. These were guys who invited themselves to parties, people who were actually nice until they said something totally whacked about something. Something inoffensive, yet totally whacked.

And because of the silly Asian culture of not liking to confront 'assholes' like this, people just bitched behind their backs. To be fair, these guys never really gave anybody a reason to tell them off to their faces. They acted liked pricks but they were still friendly with everybody. They lived by the principles that 'if I never insulted you to your face, then surely you can't return the favour'

The reason people like this are hated is because they are eccentric, and nobody really understands this eccentricity. I have always said that eccentricity is the essence of all genius, and these two guys were no exception. They were assholes, yet they had to be respected just because they were that damn good at whatever it is they had to do. And for that, they were paid the ultimate compliment - to be hated, and yet respected by others.

It is easy to be liked - you just needed to use the right words at the right time, and maybe compromise some your possibly non-existent principles along the way. And when you are well loved by everybody around, respect usually comes along with that because people tend to not be able to differentiate between the two. They will listen to you because they like you anyway. But to be hated, yet have people acknowledge that you are the best guy around is a different proposition all together. You get to revel in the fact that people have to suck up their egos just to get your help, and this makes you even more hated.

The most amazing thing is, these people know that and feel absolutely comfortable with the fact that they are not liked even though they have not given anybody any real concrete reason not to like them. They make no attempts to shed their eccentricity, they suck up all the sarcasm that is thrown in their faces, but they ultimately get to bask in all the glory.

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Monday, January 01, 2007

just another day

Its the first day of the new year.

Somehow it seems like any other day. I have been wishing people a "Happy New Year" all day, and I have been getting a lot of greetings likewise. Yet, somehow my greetings do not seem to have the same gung-ho as when I wish people, "Gong Xi Fa Cai!"

For many people, I appreciate the fact that it is a new year with new opportunities to right the wrong, to hope for a better sounding chapter in the story of their lives, and for most - the chance to start things afresh on a clean slate. People ask for a chance of redemption. People pray that nothing bad happens to them. I have no such luxuries. I do not allow myself such luxuries. Not any more at least.

I have made some pretty serious errors in judgements (none of which I am prepared to share online) in the year gone by, yet I ask for another chance to make similarly grave mistakes so that I can once again learn from my mistakes, rise to the occasion and trump everybody on the head. Women come and go. Careers go up and down. I do not ask any higher being to grant me success in those things. All I ask for is a chance to experience the ups and downs of my already twisted life.

Its just another day, my friends.

Cherish it.

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