Thursday, February 28, 2008


where are the malaysian writers? -part 2

in 1990 mario vargas llosa ran for peruvian presidency but lost to alberto fujimori who was later indicted for corruption and human right abuse. mario vargas llosa is a writer that i discovered rather late . someone gave me his famous novel aunt julia and the scriptwriter many years ago and it remained one of my most memorable and best loved books ever since. and this old review of the novel by william kennedy the author of ironweed in the NYT is a gem in its own right. this book was filmed as tune in tomorrow in 1990 , the year mario vargas llosa lost his presidency bid , starring peter falk and barbara hershey which unfortunately garnered only 40% approval rating on rotten tomatoes. i've not seen it but probably will download from ares P2P soon and see for myself how bad it is.

Mr llosa may have written a darkly comic book but he was also a serious politician. it'd probably be a very long time before we in malaysia can come up with people like him. We came close once. shahnon ahmad, our national laureate who infamously wrote SHIT among others was once a PAS candidate (if i recall correctly) . but the good people in kedah choose to elect a nobody instead.

anyway, i love this kind of comic writing . and kurt vonnegut is another author that i can never get tired off. (taken a small dose at a time). and he was not shy of making very acute political comments and have written essays and books on the state of american politics. here's an excerpt taken from here.

In his recent collection of essays, A Man Without A Country, he accused President George W. Bush of gathering "around him upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography". In a 10 May 2004 column for In These Times, entitled "Cold Turkey", he referred to our government leaders as "power-drunk chimpanzees". In another article he slyly pointed out that presidential candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry were "twins" -- "two Nordic, aristocratic multi-millionaires", both Yale men and both members of Skull and Bones Society. What's more, said Vonnegut, here they were running for president "at a time when entire vertebrate species" were in danger of "becoming, hey presto, nothing but skulls and bones".

and in the current race for the US presidential nominations there are tons of very fine writings in newpapers about the candidates , the policies and anything and everything ranging from boring political analyses to the seriously funny. and i just read one good op ed column on hillary clinton in nyt today, which you can also read it here.

but alas, in malaysia one will not very likely come across this kind of writing anytime soon. it's not yet our culture . we are just at par with vietnam or slightly better at best. there is no scope to be critical here. not in the mainstream media anyway. which is where it really counts. this is not to say that we won't have political writings in our maistream media. on the contrary. these few days leading to March 8 GE, there are more political writings than anybody have time to read in our papers. and they are invariably non objective as nicely described in this piece on the internet in malaysia today by aliran. here's an excerpt.

...the media reporting of opposition parties will probably be aimed at smearing their public image and subjecting them to public mockery.

In contrast, the media’s coverage of the ruling parties predictably will take the form of singing praises for the BN. Not surprisingly, it will also include political endorsements of the BN via paid advertisements and news reports coming from certain celebrities, well-known personalities as well as ordinary people who are projected as ‘representing’ the hopes and wishes of the entire ‘imagined community’ of Malaysians. Certain letters will be highlighted in the Letters to the Editor column, giving unqualified support to the incumbent parties.

and that's the thing. freedom of expression on the internet is alive and healthy. it's one bright spot and malysian hope. not so much due to malaysia government encouragement. they in fact are trying their best to DISCOURAGE this kind of freedom of expression by branding bloggers all kinds of names including monkeys. if they have their way they will stop all these , but even they realize that it is impossible to stem the tide.

but i've yet to hear or read anything from local writers (famous or otherwise) on the current election. who are they rooting for? which party? why? what are their take on particular candidates? they may be excluded from the main media, but there's no stopping them from writing in political party papers...harakah, DAP, pkr weeklies for example. and hell, if they are stupid enough to support BN, i'm interested to read them in main stream papers too. but so far, none! quiet as a mouse? how come?

but who knows, may be more and more malaysian writers will find enough moral courage to be brave and true to their conscience and will find ways to write 'without fear and favour' for the masses. and in this respect i salute amir muhammad and all those people that come up with New malaysian essays 1 (NME 1). i've not come round to read it yet but from all reports it's a good book....i'm waiting for a review in our local newspapers...(well, probably i have to wait for a long time) ...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


where are malaysian writers ?

if hunter h thompson hasn't blown his head off and is still alive and if he is a malaysian he'd have a riot writing about the current going ons leading to the 8 march general election here. a very mouth watering ifs but an in impossibility. out of the question.

what is NOT out of the question and perfectly conceivable and not an impossibility is that we in malaysia can -if we want to. we DO have local writers and journalists who are fairly good and can even write the way the late mr thompson did and can be as perceptive and darkly satirical as any writers around. but forget journalists who work in the four mainstream newspapers.(NST, The Star, Utusan Malaysia and Berita harian) these people especially those writing for the malay papers (Utusan Malaysia and Berita harian) have no balls whatsoever and probably half retarded.

it's difficult to think that they are willing to write such tripes and become willing donkeys and mouthpiece to the BN assholes. the method of writing and reporting by this journalists is simple. write anything 'good' about BN and ignore or write anything BAD about opposition. what kind of journalism is this?

i am more than willing to read good, objective piece of writing on anything (preferably with a dose of dark humor thrown in), but as i say, these journo idiots can only come up with limp and ridiculous one sided write-ups. but they are quick to quote opposition remarks -and invariably out of context -if these seem to sound ridiculous and make them look like fools. can't these people use their writing talent to write a little more objectively? instead of such blatant one sided reportings as though these main stream papers are only meant for lobotomised umno assholes (with half of the critical thinking part of the brain sliced off).

but i guess , we are only malaysians. a nation where critical thinking is not encouraged. malaysians are not very high on the intellectual scale of things. a nation whose citizens' concerns is still making ends meet. still right at the bottom of the maslow's heirachy of needs. despite the gleaming and impressive concrete jungles of KL, malaysia is just like a prostitute. the face is properly made up but everything else is rotten and pitiful.

so , malaysian journalists and papers is just a reflection of the state of malaysian intellectual stage. immature! as they say. we deserve what we get. we are so fucking stupid, we can't think beyond BN . and one of the biggest blame lies squarely on the malaysian mass media. they mould the mind scape of malaysians and because they are BN donkeys we are well and properly fucked!

but in this day and age there are ways to get around this. and thanks to all those good bloggers, youtubers and all that , those who are fortunate enough to have access to internets ( rapidly growing thank god) can have alternative views. alternative ways of looking at things. but this is still way too little. and probably the majority of these people mainly surf for porns and stuff anyway! and for every one who has internet there are ten who live in villages that still think malaysia belongs to BN. these people can only be reached by normal media and we need good objective writings and good objective papers. and i'm pessimistic.

and what strike me as strange is this, where are the 'real' writers? the novelists? the literary fiction writers? to use the old tired cliche, their silence is deafening! they, who are so vigorous in talking about all kinds of story arcs, the meaning of dead gold fish in different cultures, the merits of booker writers and and all the other highly intellectual stuff? where are they? these are the people who can write with elegance, eloquently and wittily. if anything these are the very people that can change the mindscape of malaysians . but i don't see and hear anything from this group?

or perhaps i'm just mistaken. malaysian writers are perhaps just like those journalists who treat their vocation as merely another job. no different from being a plumber or a clerk. just another way of putting food on the table. but i'd like to think that real writers are made of sterner stuff than that. i'd like to think that real writers are the conscience otf the country. the mirror to a country's soul. i hate to think that maalaysia is soulless.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


...and about lust

now is the best time to observe what lust can do to people. lust for power. malaysia is in the throes of a general election fever. a silly season by other name. a very silly season in case of malaysia. we can observe all kinds of sendiwaras , wayang kulits. cheap tricks, briberies, blackmails, one sided unfair mass media blitz (by the government parties), and promises. hundreds and thousands of promises made that will not be kept . the only truly positive thing in all this is that we're not that mad (yet) to resort to killings and bombings unlike some other countries in the region. thank god for that!

but for anyone with a slightest bit of conscience and moral outrage left, this time around you should VOTE ANY PARTY BUT BN. kick the bn assholes into the political rubbish bins! be brave! you won't find yourself suddenly turn into a cockroach just because you vote opposition! and if bn is kicked out on 8 march , malaysia will NOT suddenly turn to fucking bangladesh or congo! a change can even probably be good for bn too! and we can even see it now! they are trying their best to get CLEAN candidates and do not nominate obvious assholes like mad taib and that zakaria fucker that built that mansion in klang. but where the fuck can they get clean people in BN? they are all bastards and assholes. forget them!

but it's a traged
y that malaysians are so stupid , so fucking retarded that kicking BN out of the government is so beyond their collective little brains' capacity to comprehend that even the opposition parties admit that the best they could achieve this time around is to deny bn two third majority. what fucking strategy is that! malaysians should be educated that BN is just a collection of crooks and any body can govern as good or as bad as them! so be brave and vote the fuckers out!

oh dear, i'm getting quite worked up and forget my main topic again! but before we go into that, for 'alternative' news to the mainstream media which is nothing but bn's donkeys you'd do well to visit malaysia today for some incendiary reportings of the bn misdeeds, or mal
aysiakini for more level headed news or harakahdaily for PAS specific news or some of the more interesting malaysian political blogs like rocky's bru or screenshots or lim kit siang or anwar ibrahim and some other links in those blogs.

but lust for power is not my main interest. in fact i have absolutely no interest whatsoever in power. i love my anonymity far too much.and although quite a sizeable number of people are afflicted with lust for power the only kind of lust which everybody knows and experience is the sexual kind. sexual lust makes the world go round and careen into all sorts of directions.

lust is one of the primary colors of human feelings. and gods too! one of the best sculptures celebrating lust is bernini's apollo and daphne as you can see here.

and krishna, one of the hindu gods , an avatar of vishnu is famous for coming down to earth and frolicking and having sex with the gopis, female cowherds. now this is interesting. krishna doen't come down and choose say, female literary fiction novelists to have sex with. and i guess that's typical of many humans too. they want to have sex with beautiful females with little brain. and that explains why the lust industry, or prostitution and pornography by another name is so successful and popular! and i've never met any literary fiction writer working as a sex worker before. Although there conceivably could be a few around.

there are books of beautiful erotic paintings of krishna bonking gopis that you can buy if you go to the right bookstores. national museum of india of delhi miniature paintings room have one lovely painting of krishna hiding in a tree peeping at naked gopis having a bath as you can see here. notice that the girl squatting on the right is hairless. simply fantastic! and here's another one that i took of krishna being very naughty . the naked gopis in a pool pleading with him to give back their clothes. devine!

but the most explicit expression of pure lust these days of course can be found on the internet. the porn sites. unfortunately some of these can be pretty nasty.real industry grade grossness and nastiness. stay away from them. like anything else lust can be bad and good. lust can hurt you in a very bad way as a lot of people already know and i am not talking just about the possibility of you guys catching crabs or aids but it can ruin your life in other ways. as chua soi lek recently found out or the other recent juicy news among the hong kong artists and celebrities and this guy edison chen which you can read and see hairy beaver and all here and here....

Thursday, February 07, 2008


all about love

because i don't write my blog post that often and at best roughly at the rate of 4 times a month which happens to be the average rate of an average malaysian having sex (if some condom maker survey is to be believed), i therefore try to cram in as many related points in one post as far as possible. 'related' here doesn't necessarily mean in a logical sense but as far as possible i try to string things of different themes in more or less coherent manner. more or less - as far as possible.

one thing that strikes me as odd and interesting is that most people generally think that scientists are very boring people. people usually visualize scientists as nerds with thick glasses , have buck teeth, lonely people lacking in fashion sense, have problem or feel unease in social gatherings and with no ability or talent to get laid for free. All this of course is only as true or untrue as saying all good writers are old or fat and ugly or all of them combined.

but one thing that i am absolutely certain is this. scientist world is by far the most interesting one that human beings can experience. and the most profound in the objective sense although an average brain addled priest or 'literary novelist' may claim theirs are too. but priests and novelists' world are merely what they think up for themselves and in many cases merely fanciful nonsense.

another reason which perhaps mainly contribute to the perception that scientists are boring and have poor sense of humour is that by and large scientists unfortunately don't know the arse from the elbow when it comes to 'arts and culture'. and unlike the bankers, accountants and lawyers which as everybody knows are the most boring and pitiful creatures on earth who make up for their seriously tedious and boring professional life with plenty of arts and culture and getting laid for free, scientists are just happy in their own fascinating scientific world poking around their labs and come back late at night to their faithful and boring wives and well mannered kids.

it may be true that most scientists never bother about arts and culture and never heard the term 'literary fiction' (which is perhaps a good thing) but to say that they don't have a fine sense of humor isn't quite right. and they even have 'serious' journals to prove this. When i was a student i came across by accident a very funny and fine journal of irreproducible results.(JIR) Another good one which now i happily discover has a very good website is null hypothesis the journal of unlikely science. go and visit these sites. You'll be introduced to a new form of humour. who would have thought graphs can be funny or there's a 'genuine' research on in artificial stupidity or you can even read things like A guide to correct barking abroad: A review ( M. Ware JIR Selected papers 1981).

that's the great thing about science and scientists. unlike say novelists who observe things and write about it in verbose and stylised manner scientists will observe, learn the hows and the whys and write in the simplest and direct manner possible , the antithesis of literary fiction as a matter of fact. and as we know all the advance in technology and the rest of human inventions and discoveries are thanks to this scientific discipline of proving things and discovering the hows and the whys. but sometimes unfortunately it takes out the romance of things.

i always thought that we laugh because we see or hear things that are 'funny' but according to science this is not the principle reason why we laugh. why, science even can show that rats too can and do 'laugh' . in most human behavior and feelings , we are now slowly discovering that these have a lot to do with chemicals and the effect on the neurons. poke a certain spot in the brain when someone say kill the bastard bush and he'll laugh as though that's the funniest thing in the world. and people say eating chocolates make girls go all swoony and romantic. it's a matter of time before scientists will be able to brew the real and potent love potion. (although to be fair we already do have a fairly potent one now. It's called MONEY. But it works some of the time only unfortunately).

and that brings me to my main point. LOVE. everybody experience 'love' at some stage of his life. if you're lucky you'll experience enduring love, but often it's unrequited and more often still it will degenerate into bland nothingness at some stage or worse still turn to hatred. and most perplexing of all is the sacrifice human will do for love. love can not be explained rationally. it's true what people say. love is blind and sometimes the worst dog can have the finest love life in the world.

i sure don't understand what love really is. there is a very old (1977) and very beautiful song from GO Too album by stomu yamashta called ' the mysteries of love' which starts with this fine lyrics love is just a game you don't understand at all but you play it all the same....

one thing is certain. it is the most profound feeling human being can ever experience. love do wonders. the greatest literature , music , arts and monuments are created as a result of this most complex of human feelings. and often too love can be tragic. some of the greatest love stories are about unrequited love like the famous and very poignant layla and majnoun or the more wellknown and equally tragic romeo and juliet . Incidentally very recently i have the good luck to see this beautiful miniature mughal painting in the New delhi National museum's very fine mughal miniature painting rooms (and one of the best in the world) of majnun in near death pining for his Layla as you can see here.

more recent examples that give personal meanings to me include books like the great gatsby and especially Ali and Nino which i have already blogged in december 2006.

and human continue to produce great works of wonders because of love . but probably nothing can ever top shah jehan's expression of love the taj mahal -the name of which incidentally is the curruption of the name of his favorite wife mumtaz mahal for whom the monument was built.

And here's my favorite photo of the taj that i took last month which by accident captured a pair of ring necked parakeets which i like to believe are the souls of the great lovers shah jehan and his mumtaz flying by.

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