Wednesday, November 28, 2007



recently a book was published locally to a more or less great acclaim (locally) called 'politicians say the darnest things', or is it the damnest thing ? i can't recall too well because i haven't got round to buying it yet. it is by one amir hafizi or is it amir muhammad or could be by amir cosby since i recalled one amir cosby or was it bing or was it bill who had a treacly tv programme many years ago called kids say the darnest thing, and i figured the book and the tv program -apart from having similar title- may also be of somewhat the same format namely collections of (in)famous statements by or excerpts from interviews with politicians in the case of the book and jabberings of kids in case of the tv program, which is basically the same thing as politicians -especially umno assholes- are not much better ( and probably worse) than kids anyway.

and i love interviews of just about anybody - except umno assholes. these politicians are damned tedious because every two minutes or so they will start jabbering about projects and how malaysia will go to the dogs if not for umno. what fucking tripes they can come up with you'll never believe. the wonder of it all is that how come malaysians are so fucking stupid and keep on voting these assholes year in and year out so much so that these umno fuckers think malaysia belongs to them and they just do any damn thing they please. (and i hear some idiots say, do we have any alternative? i don't need to bother answering this retarded question ).

oh my, didn't i get a bit worked up there for a moment eh? but as i was saying i love interviews. and some of the best interviews are those of writers. make perfect sense since words are their tool of trade- so to speak- they are the ones capable of expressing themselves best and in general the most articulate (with the exceptions of politicians of course... but most politicians are liars - especially umno assholes... but enough of that)...

and so, one of my favorite kind of reading is to read interviews of writers in literary pages of newspapers -guardian unlimited, herald tribune, NYT and such like- and not those owned by umno assholes- or magazines such as paris review but these days there's something even better. just google your favorite writer on youtube and more likely than not you'll get some very illuminating and surprising interviews and this is much better than reading - because with videos you can glean a bit more of their personalities from their speech, reading style , body language, nuance , that sort of things. a very illuminating and perhaps a perfect writely pair is this interview of martin amis and norman mailer. A whole 56 minutes of it! and quite a contrast is this rather funny but slightly sad and befuddled kurt vonnegut (one of my favorite writers) with a bad hair day that looked a bit like rod stewart's hair on his bad hair day. the start is classic. when asked how's life ? his answer is 'practically over ,thank god' (he was 83 during this interview) and calling george W a twit and at one stage claiming that you couldn't trust a president that has oral sex in the oval office - obviously confusing bush with clinton. befuddled but hilarious as you can see here. such a lovable man. Rest in peace my friend. i wish there are more writers like you.

a little aside. when i went to indianapolis (kurt vonnegut's hometown) last february one of my expressed goals (expected result -as they say here) was to look for his readings but i was told that he was living in new york and it so happened that despite his claim that he would not write anymore books much to everybody's delight he broke his promise and wrote another book and when i was there his last book was just published. and it so happened that i also went to NY but i didn't see any readings advertised anywhere so i did not get to meet my favorite author when he was alive.

there are so many good interviews out there. and here's another one. a brief but quite illuminating excerpt of orhan pamuk's interview mentioning his favorite authors and here an interview with his translator maureen freely which created quite a ripple recently for translating orhan's books well, rather freely.

but nothing gets my blood boiling more than this sir dick head. here he is reading an excerpt from the satanic verses and the cheek of it is he chose the very passage that riled up my muslim extremists brothers most. the passage about him making fun and denigrating the writing of the Quran as you can see here. and what is worse is the listeners were happily laughing and sniggering along when the fool is making an ass of himsalf. the bastard. it's lucky that my fellow talibans are not the literary sort and never go to readings by him (or anyone else). otherwise...well, things can turn ugly for the fucker.

to give some idea of how despicable his act is to good muslims , it's like how the christians would feel if you were to piss on the bible i suppose.

but in truth i have this love hate relationship with sir dick head. i love his writings and collect all his books, i even love satanic verses from literary point of view but at the same time i can't forgive his despicable act of insulting my religion. what he did was not like say 'life of brian' which is benign and lovable but his satanic verses is pure derision of islam. there is no humour in it. reading sir dickhead is like how people feel banging prostitutes. they love it and hate it at the same time. i'm sure some of you know exactly the feeling i mean.

Saturday, November 24, 2007



tomorrow sunday 25th November, if everything goes as planned, thousands of malaysian hindus will march to the british embassy. their grouse? i don't know what exactly it is but apparently it is to demand restitution from the british government for uprooting them from india many decades ago and use them as ruber tappers in malaysia - labourers- that sort of thing. and according to the forum that was held in seremban a month back it seems that their grouse is more than just that. the march is organized by HINDRAF (hindu rights action force) and they are demanding something like a few trillion US dollars(!) compensation and according to calculation this will make every single hindu man woman and child an instant millionaire if the british government agrees to their demand. well, that'll make our indian friends the richest community on earth. (no country or community as far as i can tell has 100% of their populations as millionaires)

it all sounds rather woolly to me but i support the right of all malaysian citizens to express their concerns in any peaceful manner including street marches and demonstrations. and as such i am sympathetic to their right to march for whatever cause they think is legitimate- no matter how woolly it may be. all right minded people should know and agree that this is a basic right in a real democracy . it's time for malaysia to move forward and behave like a real democratic nation. anwar ibrahim made an interesting plea as you can see here.

but we don't have street demonstration culture, said the chief of police. and goes on to arrest the hindraf leaders for the march. and come tomorrow in all likelihood things won't go as planned. hindraf insist on marching on. but the police have started to make life difficult since friday by having unnecessary road blocks everywhere in kl. it'll be interesting. knowing indians, well they are not malays. we malays prefer to run away when things get tough and fight another day or just go to sleep and forget about things....but indians , with a few pints of toddy in their veins...well anything can happen. lets see.

but this is not my main point here. my interest is why are they so concerned about their roots and history NOW? some of my naughty friends (chinese) wonder why are these people complaining? they should be grateful to come to malaysia! and even now indians come in droves to work in malaysia - as rubber tappers some of them too! so i said to my naughty chinese friends... it's easy for you to say. the british put you in towns and now you become rich towkays and pirate dvd manufacturers... what about us malays? the brits keep us in the village and let us sleep. we should file a suit against the british government too for keeping us you're not, they said. you're now melayu BARU mah! so i said. oh fuck melayu baru. melayu baru is just another name for corrupt umno assholes and they are not typical of real malays i said.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


BERSIH got dirty at Jamek Mosque

the Jamek Mosque, Kuala Lumpur

well friends, i got my first taste of tear gas today. and i can report that it wasn't pleasant. in fact i felt so nauseous and could hardly breath and lost my usual cool self and my head and ran to the obvious place where there was no gas and that means running straight into the row of the policemen/FRUs. but i had a presence of mind to make a very quick turn when i saw those in front of me got beaten up by these policemen and ran smack into the thick of the thick smoke again and in a panic i rushed to the nearest safe place and tried to enter the glass door of a building nearby which was of course locked and i must have looked like a very funny idiot to those watching safely from the inside of the building - retching and taking another back turn and scampered like a rat to safety. but again , i had a presence of mind to imagine that i'm a damned aljazeera photographer or something and managed to snap a picture in the thick of the tear gas smoke -for memory sake.

There were reports that in this initial stage of the mayhem some people were arrested . Malaysiakini reported 29, some PAS sources claimed the number to be 80, and later as high as 245 all togather. But i don't know, i was rather at the back of the crowd and always prefer to run away and fight another day rather than be a hero and because i was not a hero i did not get the water canon treatment with it's acidic and corrosive fumes which was the first act of aggression by these policemen towards the peaceful BERSIH protesters.

There was no cause for any of these rough treatments and it should not take this ugly turn as the multitude of yellows of BERSIH rally participants at jamek mosque were peaceful, well disciplined and definitely not agressive or taunting these FRUs.

when i arrived at around 1.30 pm the mosque and the compound was already full of people and the mass spilled over to the jalan tun perak opposite. everybody was in high spirit chanting Allah Hu Akbar, snapping pictures - yes for memory sake and planning to enjoy a nice walk to dataran merdeka and on to the istana negara. Before the march there was a very clear instruction that the protesters should not do any untoward actions to challenge the police force or do anything to retaliate as you can see and listen here. this is a peaceful march and this is repeated many times.

But even as this peaceful march was being reiterated by Dr Hassan Ali one of the PAS leaders the itchy fingered FRU boys already started their water canon display spraying the marchers on jalan tun perak as you can see here which totally took them by surprise and the acidic and toxic solutions not only drenched the marchers but unsuspecting mothers with little children enjoying the scene.

but despite all that the event is considered a success by all as you can read here
or elsewhere. funny thing about numbers though. in events like this people suddenly don't seem to know how to count. some said the crowd that went to istana negara was 40,000. A PAS friend estimated 200,000 .I guess he included all those buses from various states that were prevented from entering KL and sympathetic bystanders. there is no doubt that umno assholes will interpret this event as a dismal failure as there was nobody to be seen at dataran merdeka.

i'll leave it to the politikus to analyze what all this means and what it portends but i sincerely wish that this will be a new beginning to a better and more civilized malaysia. it's beyond any logical explanation why anyone would disagree with having a free and fair election and everybody play on a level playground.

what would be interesting also is to see how the oh malaysian intellectuals take their stand. would be very interested to know how the literary bloggers (which by definition should be considered intellectuals- of sort) view all these. will they be as commited as poor simple village folks who come all the way from Kelantan say, to support BERSIH, or would they just be content with being silent and only remain excited in their own literary world furiously debating story arcs and the meaning of dead goldfish in various cultures? i don't want to hazard a guess for fear of being disappointed.

when everybody in the western world was busy planning a celebration of his last birthday what gabriel garcia marquez did was to run away and visited fidel castro instead. i'm sure there's a lesson there somewhere for our local writers though me being rather stupid can't really put a finger to it.

well, i think i kind of going off tangent again and i don't want to be rude to myself so i'll end it here for the moment with this excerpt from the book i'm currently reading. It's the emperor by ryszard kapuscinski.

And just think my friend, amid all this flowering development, amid the success and well-being proclaimed by our monarch, suddenly an uprising breaks out. A thunderbolt from clear blue sky! In the palace- astonishment, surprise, running back and forth, bustle, His August Majesty asking, "Where did it come from?" And how can we, humble servants , answer him? Accidents happen to people don't they? So, they can also happen to an Empire, and in 1968 this is what happened to us: in Gojam Province the peasants jumped on their ruler's throat.

Friday, November 02, 2007



i'm watching youtube and listening to Enigma's WHY repeatedly while typing this right now - about books i just bought at payless sales (yet again) today. as i've mentioned before these are books that you'd never buy except in this kind of situation. meaning at sales or flea markets. As you are ambling around at flea markets and you see something that stopped you in your track and you exclaimed, oh that looks interesting?! and pay a few dollars for it and move on. and to me payless warehouse sales is a kind of flea market or boot sale of sort. a lot of crappy stuff but sometimes you find the equivalent of that old cracked bowl that may turn out to be a genuine song dynasty celadon (as i mentioned before).

and today i brought home three hard cover non fictions; Chekov: A spirit set free by V.S Pritchett. The cover flap described this book as ..."It is that rare book that allows the reader the unique opportunity to view it's subject - the extraordinary life and work of Anton Chekov- through the eyes of another literary master. Called by Anthony Burgess "our best literary critic"....a delicious sounding Remakable Unspeakable New York ( A literary History) and Ancestral passions: the Leaky Family and the quest for humankind's beginnings. I think this is quite timely what with the recent Dr James Watson's incredible statement that blacks are of lower intelligence than other races...(the negritos in the jungle of pahang must be very happy to hear this...some poor sods are stupider than them...hmmm). may be this book will shed some light as to why africa, that birthplace of humankind does not evolve and have human race dumber than the rest of us? may be not...but i'm digressing...another time perhaps.

and five paperbacks and all non fictions too except A paris review #91 with interviews of james baldwin and eli wiesel, and with a nice cover of drawings of cats in black . Another travel book by Dervla Murphy Muddle through in Madagascar A private journey by Jonathan Raban Coasting , a book about homosexuality Fighting words: personal essays by black Gay men, another little coincidence as last night i watched a famous 1980 film cruising a crime thriller involving the seamy gay S&M world starring al pacino and lastly alice sebold's memoir Lucky

it's pointless afor me to describe the book as the link above already contains a very good collection of reviews and include an interview of the author in the guardian newpaper but i'll say this. This memoir about her horrible experience of being raped when she was eighteen years old and still a virgin made me stop browsing and i went to sit on the steps at the end of the hall where the sales was held and started reading the first chapter. There was a young girl of fourteen or so all in blue sitting a couple of steps below with her back to me reading phantom of the opera and she kind of distracted me a bit because as she was bent over reading hers raptly her low pants revealed the top of her light blue panties and there i was reading the graphic rape of alice sebold. and the way she wrote it, it seemed like a porn story if i don't know better. at one point this is what she wrote...

"Give me a blow job" he said. He was standing now. I was on the ground, trying to search among the filth for my cloths.
He kicked me and I curled into a ball.
"I want a blow job." He held his dick in his hand.
"I don't know how," I said.
"What do you mean you don't know how?"
"I've never done this before" I said, "I'm a virgin."
"Put it in your mouth."
I kneeled before him. "Can I put my bra back on?" I wanted my clothes. I saw his thighs before me, the way they belled out from the knee, the thick muscles and small black hairs, and his flaccid dick.
He grabbed my head. "Put it in your mouth and suck," he said.
"Like a straw?" I said.
"Yeah, like a straw".

hmmm... like a this a tarantino's movie?
but it's an intriguing enough story and i plan to read to the end. this is not a ghostwritten book but written by a best selling writer writing about her own experience. it'd be very interesting to see how she cope up with this terrible experience. it never fails to surprise me how heroic and courageous some people are. The way she can overcome this and did not spiral down to self hatred and destruction but overcome it so well and decided to tell the story is very admirable. I wish more rape victims are like her.

but reading this means at the expense of so many other half read books. it's a big problem but i'm too far gone. i'm addicted to collecting books .

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