Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Little Idiots Who've Never Been to the Prairie, Let Alone the Swamp

Lots of people come and see me, and they tell me they want to start a business.

Actually, that's a lie. They come to me, and they say they want to start a company. Big difference.

I've been approached by people who want to start advertising-driven blogs to people who want to begin agricultural businesses.

Now, some of you may not know this - and that's why you keep coming to me with agricultural venture ideas designed to razzle-dazzle city slickers - but I'm a swamp boy, motherfucker.

I know how much money an acre of tapioca would generate in a year (not enough. You get around RM800 per month, after all that back-breaking work of sticking sticks in the ground and chasing away goats), as well as yields for corn (pathetic), papaya (has potential, but only in high-end markets) and lots of other bullshit.

I know how much you need to start a caged fresh-water fish effort (RM40,000 for the cages alone) as well as quail (you need an incubator, which is expensive, as well as the ability to determine the sex of chicks as they hatch), duck, chicken (hormones and flies will drain you dry), goats (various types), cows (only if you have 10 acres or more to spare).

I have even studied on vanilla and other what I deem as 'exotic' shit.

So don't you come to me with some bullshit and expect me to what? I dunno. NONE of these people who approach me with business ideas actually asked me for money. They just want my approval, which is disgusting. I wouldn't give money to them anyway, cause I don't have it and they lack a few things, the most important of which - much more vital than knowledge - is common sense.

For example, when you start a company, you need to have a business plan. In layman's terms, you need to know what you're going to do in order to turn a profit. You need to know exactly how much money you're going to make, from what, when, where and who. The most important question is always, always, always, HOW.

Fuck The Who.

It doesn't matter if you're right or wrong. You will never be accurate with estimates. NEVER. But you need to get going in the right direction.

This is me, one of the most disorganised persons on the planet. So this may be a case of the blind leading the blind. But PLEASE, no more of this stupid business ideas bullshit.

You won't believe the kind of bullshit people throw at me. And for what? For what?

Anyway, fuck the bullshit. Most of these idiots run on emotion and people looking up to them. They don't care about money. This is '80s business philosophy. LOOK wealthy, and wealth will come to you.

That fad is 30 years old, broseph, and you ain't foolin' people no more.

Say, you wanna start a papaya business. Ok. Good. Papaya has a lot of potential. easy to plant, most of the soil in Malaysia is suitable for papayas, and it is fairly easy to market.

In order for you to plant papaya, just cut a stalk, and put it in a soil where there is lots of water. Near the drain of your stupid house is perfect.

Before you plant anything, scout around. Ask hotels, where they get their fruits, and how much they pay for them. It's not hard. Just a few phone calls or a few lattes, and there you go. Information. Find out how much they need, how they will get the papayas (some hotels have a local fruit programme where they hire middlemen to get fresh local fruits. Some expect you to have the lorry. Find out what is profitable for your project).

And here's a vital piece of advice. Don't sell, when it's already sold. If they want to buy your papayas for RM2 a kilo, don't offer them RM1 a kilo. That is just dumb. I don't care if your cost is RM0.50 a kilo, if they offer you RM2, take the goddamn RM2, idiot!

You only give discounts to take out the competition.

And then, never forget the hidden costs. NEVER. EVER. Underestimate hidden costs.

In the papaya example, lorry rental, manual labour, fuel - FUEL! - food, legal fees and whatnot are all costs which you might know little about, because you're just starting.

My suggestion is always keep an estimate of these costs and add 30%. You never know.

You can't just start a company with a business card, dumbass. THINK!

I don't know, man. I am just so pissed with all the bullshit idiots constantly throw at me. They get excited like monkeys on speed when they get a response. An email or something.

"We got an email from the hotels, Amir. What do we do?"

Believe it or not, this happened during midnight. MIDNIGHT!

Look, when you get an important email, asking your response, what do you do? You answer la.

Some people, they don't really want to do business. They just want to do shit so that they can complain about it. How they DESERVED to be right. How WRONGED they were.

You know what? In this wide world of God's earth, NO ONE. GIVES. A FLYING. FUCK!

Sentiment can only carry you so far. Emotion should be saved only for positive things.

And it's true, that old saying. It's nothing personal. It really is.

If the goal is RM2 million even (JUST FOR ME), I will work with people I hate. I will make people I hate RM5 million richer, if I get RM2 million for myself. IF it's confirmed. But it's not, is it? So that's why I only work with people I'm okay with.

So please, next time, when you want to pitch an agricultural business idea or whatever, make sure you're not wasting my time. I wasn't born in KL. I'm not a city kid. Not a Bangsar Boy. When it comes to plants and animals, I know my shit.

And no, I don't have RM500,000 for you to start a small cattle business (fencing costs alone are through the roof, motherfucker!). I don't have RM100,000 lying around in my underwear to start a small caged fish business.

I don't care what you want to call your company. I don't care about your logo. I. Don't. Care. Okay?

It is irrelevant. Branding happens AFTER you've made your first few million. Before that, you can call your company Shit-Breaks or Vagina. It doesn't matter. It really doesn't.

Mad Pierrot

I was watching the ER finale, and they had this woman giving birth and the storyline had her uterus turn inside out as she was delivering the second baby out.

The floor was slick with blood and uterus juice. The doctors brought her to the OR and left bloody footprints.

And people ask me why I don't want to have kids. Thank God I don't have a uterus.

Penis wins!

The Greatest Show on Earth

The stage is set.

The players are ready.

Wardrobe check. Make-up? Hair?

Are the mics on?

Lights!

Curtains up!

May God have mercy on man and machine.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Destruction is Imminent

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Prepare for destruction. Blah blah blah.

YAWN.

Haven't slept yet, so I'm catching some nice shut-eye before going to work.

Cheers!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Masque of Blackberry Death

For some reason, the Blackberry I was given by the Company fell into an inch of water. Long story.

Because of that, I have been drying it using a standing fan for the past five hours. I think in a couple more, it would be ready for reboot.

For the first time in months, I was not checking my phone every few minutes. I get like, 300 emails a day and thousands of messages on BBM, Google Chat, YM and SMS.

My other Blackberry does not have a data plan, and I do not want to swap SIM cards.

Thankfully, I have backed up all data a week ago. Or maybe two. So I am not in any danger of losing any contact or message.

I think I'll reboot it tomorrow. Night. Haha.

Monster

Sometimes, I reflect on what I have become, or what I am in the process of becoming.

After all is said and done, can I live with myself? Can I look at myself in the mirror?

The answer is - YES. Muahahaha!

May God have mercy on man, machine and monster.

Black Magic Human

Someone asked me today, whether I want to see ghosts. As in, ghosts as defined by the Malaysian culture. The hantu raya, the toyol, etc.

Me: For what purpose would this be?

Guy: If you do see ghosts, you will not be you anymore. You will spend the rest of your life looking for ghosts.

Me: For what?

Guy: You will.

Me: Look, I don't care whether ghosts exist or not. In fact, even if they do exist, then they do not answer my fundamental questions. My primary goals.

Guy: What are your primary goals?

Me: How to achieve happiness, and how to make money.

Guy: Blergh.

Me: If I do see ghosts, how do I turn that into a profit?

Guy: Some people say they can create gemstones and gold from mysticism.

Me: Very good. Bring the gold and gems to me, and I will get them a good price. We'll start an industry - supernatural jewelry. Is this real?

Guy: Well, one guy has one gem.

Me: Not enough. We need kilos of the stuff. This is what bothers me. How do we get to manufacture say, a tonne of supernatural gems and precious metals in a year? How many mystics do we employ? Do we give them insurance? What's our target market? What would be a feasible marketing scheme?

Guy: I don't think you can sell this.

Me: Then these things are irrelevant to me. Why would I want to waste my time on it? So that I can be proven right or wrong? How will that make money? How will that be a good investment of my time? I have my own beliefs, and proving or disproving my claims are unimportant, when compared to the potential financial benefits of, say, I don't know - selling keropok lekor?

Guy: But these people have seen things!

Me: Irrelevant. I do not care about the veracity of their claims.

Guy: Do you believe in spirit possession?

Me: Only if it makes me a million bucks.

Guy: What is your explanation for spirit possession?

Me: I have none.

Guy: Do you believe in spirit possession?

Me: My beliefs are irrelevant and inconsequential.

Guy: These things do exist.

Me: And?

Guy: One day, you will believe.

Me: Maybe. And?

Guy: Then you will say that I am right!

Me: You are right. And?

Guy: ...

Me: ...

Guy: You're no fun.

Me: Do I have a sign in front of my house that says 'dead nigger storage'?

Guy: What?

Me: Do I have a sign in front of my house that says 'dead nigger storage'?

Guy: What the fuck?

Me: So there.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Intermission: Destruction

I tried to work last night, but all the late nights in the past month caught up to me and I found myself passed out for the second night in the row, on my bed.

I was tired. Today, though, should be a good day to work. I aim to finish everything I set out to do and if last week was any indication, there is no reason for me not to complete everything by tomorrow morning.

Things are coming to a boil. I see endgames being played out. The last pieces of the grand puzzle I have been putting together almost this whole year is finally forming a clear picture.

Sitting at the Aleph, I see everything. I know everything. Just a few big pieces are missing, and that would be for next week.

I am the Lord of Destruction. I see the seed and the rot. I oversee change. And pretty soon, it would be time.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Read, in the Name of Thy God

For all my noir posturing, I have never been into noir fiction other than Sin City. I've read Dashiell Hammet and a great number of penny-dreadfuls. Pulp fiction was a necessary reading when I was younger, because most of the books my family raided from the Pahang State Library dumpster were old ones. Dusty tomes with no colourful covers.

As a young kid, I was more intrigued, however, with books that had interesting covers. Some of them, were the collected tales of Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot and a great number of Enid Blyton mysteries.

People nowadays so want to write the next Harry Potter, when JK Rowling simply wrote in the style of Blyton with some magic thrown in.

Granted, there are similarities between Rowling and TH White's books. To me, though, reading Rowling - which I consider part of my job but has turned out to be quite enjoyable - is very reminiscent of discovering Blyton as a child.

There is a British fixation with food, in children's fiction, and I believe this is because, as Neil Gaiman wrote in the short story Shoggoth's Old Peculiar, "... the British treat food as some sort of punishment."

When your surroundings are as such, the art tends to either go in two extremes - realistic or as fantastic as possible. And in the world of British cuisine, a well-made afternoon party with scones and cakes and blueberry tea is as fantastic as dragons and liches and good old witches.

In fact, Blueberry Tea is the title of an old Blyton story, about a boy who lies in order to get blueberry tea. Nowadays, all he has to do is buy a bottle of Pokka Blueberry Tea.

Sherlock Holmes' stories are rather dry and in hindsight, quite simplistic. It was the CSI of its time, with Holmes foraging for cigar ash and soil (he supposedly wrote papers on different soils around London and various types of cigar ash), but of course he had no mass spectrometers and whatever.

These tales led me to read about biometrics long before I was to encounter the modern version of it in college.

Before fingerprints, there were experts who tried to convince criminologists that biometrics is the answer, as the size of someone's head, cross-referenced with the length of his earlobes are unique, for instance.

Fingerprints and iris as well as retinal patterns only became feasible many years later.

For some reason, I was also very much into science fiction, though the covers of the old books - which often depicted geometric shapes and unrealistic robots were as potent as valium.

Michael Whelan's covers, though, made for an enticing read.

Here's one from the John Carter series:



And here's one of my favourite Whelan work:



I used to read indiscriminately. Nowadays, my time for reading has been lessened by the fact that I write for a living, which should not be the case.

Gaiman said, "Read. Write. Finish what you write."

I'll be writing tonight, perhaps till tomorrow morning. So for now, I'm going to go off and read.

Conundrum

The minute I explain my genius, I will cease to be a genius.

It's like a magician explaining his tricks. If a magician explains his trick, he stops being a magician and simply becomes a trickster.

And so, no one shall know. No one shall understand why and how. Or even what.

Amir Wolfgang Amadeus Hafizi

I. Am a genius.

I am such a fucking genius.

Genius! Genius! Genius!

Shall I regale you with the tale of how much of a genius I am? I am the greatest genius ever! EVER!

Gather 'round kids! Uncle Amir is going to tell you a story.

Wait.

Sun Tzu said...

Fucklah!

Okay, kids. Go to bed!

The Book of Five Rings

When I was 23, I went through some trainings. They are extremely beneficial. I learned, among other things, to face myself.

At every single juncture, or whenever I feel bad or any type of negativity, I go and face myself. Whenever I face seemingly insurmountable odds, I face myself.

Because in almost anything, the thing that holds me back is myself. My fear. My considerations. My worries. Which are all essentially my fears.

In the years since my training, I have learned and relearned one thing - nothing is unreachable. I can do whatever I want, as long as I want it.

Some people, like to say they want to be rich. They say this all the time. At some point, or perhaps since the beginning, they never really wanted to be rich or whatever goal they say they want. Either they stopped wanting, or they simply never wanted it anyway.

For most people, some of their highest goals, is to talk about their goals or what they could have done. Or simply to complain about what they could have been or done.

I see all this as a waste, really. I am not as talented as some people. In fact, my talents are perhaps only half or a quarter of what some people can do.

I am a barbarian. Rough. Unrefined. I am not as slick as Alan Shore. I'm just me, baby. I'm just me. I know my limitations very well cause I keep on banging to that wall.

I keep on banging to that wall cause that's just how I do things. Sometimes, the walls break.

I come from a swamp, motherfucker. I got nothing to lose.

And when I move, the whole universe moves with me.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Man Who Knows Fear

They shot me yesterday.

With an HD camera.

I was rushing from place to place and I did not have any sleep the night before that, so I was afraid that I would say the wrong thing. Had the normal jitters in front of the camera.

Despite being enveloped in fear, I believe I did okay. Not great, but okay.

I am not Hal Jordan, who has no fear. I am more of a Kyle Rayner - the man who knows fear.

I know fear. I can sense it, be it in myself or in others. Most people are gripped with it.

Me? I'm deathly afraid of failing, but that has never stopped me from doing anything and almost everything. Because I am more concerned with not doing anything at all. My greatest fear, is not even giving things a try. Not drugs or bestiality, but stuff that is out there.

Whenever I have nothing on my plate, I get scared. When I have too much, I get scared as well. The thing is to find the proper balance.

As it is, I'll be working through the weekend for some stuff.

I have things to complete towards the end of the year, and my plans for next year - both for my current job, the paper, and my other stuff.

I just need to close shop for this year.

Cheers!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Insomniac

Haven't. Slept. Yet. Am shutting down after this.

Dog Day Afternoon

It's going to be a long day today. I have a story I need to hand in before 12 noon. By 12 noon, I gotta be somewhere, and by 4pm, I gotta be at the other end of the universe or some shit.

And I haven't slept yet.

Man, I am so fucking cool.

Hard Boiled Egg: The Malt Falcon II

We were screeching down the tarmac... waitaminute. I think it's asphalt. Tarmac is for runways, yes? Asphalt is for roads, I think.

So we were screeching down the road at over 100. The old Betsy was screaming at the seams. Betsy. Betsy Ford? Cockney rhyming scheme? Ya know? Cause I'm trying to be British in a penny-dreadful, dimehorror noir send up? Geddit?

Whatever.

So we were screeching down the road at over 100 in the old Ford. She was driving like a maniac who just escaped an asylum. Though thinking about it, maniacs in asylums are usually sedated. But anyway, yes, she was driving like a crazy person. Her dress was still down to her midriff, and I was still dead.

Once in a while, she'd grab my hand, which gripped the old cannon with my cold dead fingers and threw a shot or two behind her.

"BLAM! BLAM!"

She arched her head back and laughed. Her yellow hair golden in the moonlight. Her skin as pale as well, as pale as... umm... a zombie's? Milk under the moon? What does this signify? Well, her skin was pale. That's what I meant.

Her laughter the shrieking of a banshee in the night... if the banshee had the voice of tinkling little bells and sang art songs on weekends to supplement her meagre teaching income.

"We did it!" she hissed at the wind.

"We killed them all!"

And why are we shooting, if we killed them all? I wanted to ask her, but I was dead.

We reached my office at a little before 2am. She put me back on my chair. Gave me a peck on my cheek. Not Gregory Peck, just a peck. One of those kisses meant as a consolation prize to a blowjob.

She left in a hurry, still topless, and still forgot about the envelope full of photos she left in my trenchcoat. It's a nice trenchcoat, cause we're in Trenchtown. I look so cool in a tan trenchcoat over my suit. I am so fucking cool.

It was 3am when I was resurrected. These days, I stay alive for shorter intervals and dead for most of the day and night.

I took out the envelope. Had a look at the pictures. And shook my head.

Oh, blue eyes.

They were pictures of a young girl. Blowing candles. Playing with a dog. Looks like a collie. I prefer border collies myself. Smart animals. Not like horses. Horses are dumb as shit.

I looked at the pictures again and again. There was no mistaking her. This was the girl who grew up to be Blue Eyes.

Oh, sexy, beautiful Blue Eyes. You could have told me. You could have trusted me, dead or alive. You could have made it clear. That you were wearing contacts all this time...

Off-tangent dead private dick Amir Hafizi will return in future hard-boiled installments with more booze, broads and bullets!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hard Boiled Egg: The Malt Falcon

It's the cycle of life and death.

Everyday, I died. And every night, I'm resurrected. Reborn. Like that Jew guy.

Never has a phoenix metaphor been embodied more fully than me.

So there I was, dead. As a doorknob. Or is it door nail? Door...mouse?

Anyway, there I was, dead like an insect playing dead, only I was dead for real-real. When SHE came in.

"Ya gotta help me, mister!"

She had legs as tall as the model of the Empire State Building which they used in the King Kong movie. The original one. Not the remake. Wait, how tall was that thing? Maybe that's too short.

So anyway, long legs that curve like an anaconda, if it had no bones. But it does. So it's cool.

She was in black and white, with only her blue eyes and blue dress in colour. Goddamn printers.

"Ya gotta help me. Please!"

Her chest heaved up and down and wriggled out of the dress.

I wanted to help her. God knows I do. It is one of the things God knows about, and he/she/it knows a lot of things.

But I was dead, see? I was dead as a ... well, I was dead.

So, topless, she took my body and carried me out of my office.

"Please help!" Her voice was wavering and she was looking through a veil of shimmering tears.

She put my corpse in a car and drove to the city limits. We pulled up to an abandoned warehouse.

"The men in there... they have photos of me. Photos of me that would make me ashamed for my entire life. Ya gotta help a lost little girl, mister."

I wanted to, toots, but I'm dead.

She took my gun - the metal one - and put it in my cold, dead fingers.

There was some noise in the warehouse.

She aimed my armed hand at the people who were coming out of the warehouse.

And we fired. The old cannon sent earthquakes down my arm and into my crotch. Somehow, her nipples found their way into my dead mouth.

TO BE CONTINUED

Monday, November 22, 2010

O, What Fools These Mortals Be

I woke up hearing moans and cries from the other room. Went there, to see my Winamp playing some porn.

I went out to get some food. All tapau, cause a lot of work await me.

Came back, ate some food, and then went to bed. And then I heard the porn.

I got shit I need to do tonight. Things I need to complete. Man, I am so fucking busy.

I even prevented family members from visiting. I need to complete a lot of stuff. A lot. And I don't even know whether it will be enough.

I hope it is.

I got a bit over half an hour before midnight. I think I'll take a nap first.

Tenggen Toppa Amir Hafizi

I spent the last of my energy last night, going to an important meet at 8.30pm. I came back at 11pm, and then passed out an hour later.

Woke up at around 4pm, did some initial stuff and preparations, and slept again from exhaustion.

Woke up at around 11am and started refining everything. And I do mean everything.

Have been writing straight till now, and just fired two emails.

I have one more thing to complete before taking a nap. I don't sleep anymore, these days. I just take naps.

And when I wake up, I got four more deadlines to meet. This is how I spend my days. I wish that I can find just one thing to do and that would be enough for everything.

Well, I just completed some stuff. Now to steal some rest time before I go on another rush.

Lone Warrior from a Distant Planet

It's 5.47am. I have deadlines today. Monday. I thought of doing it earlier tonight, but I can see now that I am too tired to function properly.

I guess I'll just sleep first and continue later. Too tired, man. And some documents I'm waiting for are STILL missing. To those of you who are supposed to send me stuff, please do so. I can't complete some of these things without your input, and I'm sure as hell not going to prioritise our shit if you don't hold up your end of the bargain.

I think I'll sleep for three hours and start fresh in the morning.

Man, I need some down time soon.

How Busy I Am

I went to bed around 11.30pm, planning to wake up at 1am so I can continue my work.

I just woke up. It's 4.30am. Fuck! I overslept! I got loads to do, man. Super speed, on.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ascencion

Since I started on my pop psychology bullshit, I have been meeting more and more people who have come to the same conclusions as I.

They don't have to tell me, and I don't have to tell them. We can all see it in the mannerisms and the actions.

I believe that the world is becoming more conscious.

As Lord of Destruction, I preside over change, and I sense that the world is changing. Karmic wheels are turning, as heavenly bodies gyrate to the music on chrome poles. Er, I mean, as heavenly objects turn on their axis and go around their orbit.

My days are never the same, and for that, I am thankful. Nothing I do is ever the same, and I am grateful for the learning experience.

There is nowhere to go but forward. There is nothing to live for other than the present moment.

And at present, I am tired and I will sleep for two hours before continuing on my hell's march of tasks and work.

Apotheosis! Godhood! I am Unicron.

Will-o-Wisp

A friend came to the house today and dropped off Harvey Birdman and a Tron: Legacy mousepad.

I have an infra-red mouse, but it somehow needs a proper gripping surface of sorts.

I got lots to do, as usual, tonight. There has hardly been a day when I had nothing to do. I'm going to specify one day next week when I shut down everything and just do nothing.

The good news is that I again finished everything I wanted to finish. Just needs a final coat of polish tonight, and I'm ready to transform and roll out.

Next week's deadlines are all taken into account.

My word.

Electricity and electronics, don't fail me now.

A couple of years later, I'll be pleasantly surprised again at my work today. The past doesn't exist, and neither does the future.

I have a meeting in 20 minutes. I'll write more later.

Fuck to Celebrate

I was told by a friend recently to not be direct.

I was like, "What?"

"You wrote," she said, "that you do not allow anyone or anything to affect you. That anything you feel or experience are only things you allow yourself to feel or experience."

"Well," I said. "In ideal situations, yes. That is true."

Friend: You shouldn't say those things.

Me: Why?

Friend: Because it makes people uneasy.

Me: Why?

F: Because it's like you're boasting!

Me: That's not a boast. Boasting would be like this - "I am the greatest ever! EVARRRR!!! I have a bulbous dick!" That's boasting.

F: No!

Me: That's not boasting?

F: What I meant was, there is really no need for you to tell people how happy you are.

Me: I'm not happy. I am contented. Which to me is more useful than happiness.

F: Can you please let me finish?

Me: Okay.

F: You know the rules, right? When you're happy, shut the fuck up. People's egos will be disturbed, seeing how some people - you, sometimes - can exist without pain or drama.

Me: Uhuh?

F: Saying that at the end of the day, everything that happens to you, everything that you feel, is a direct result of your own choices, is like a spoiler.

Me: How so?

F: Because if people ever figure out that they are responsible for their own situations and predicaments, then they will have no pain.

Me: Really?

F: Okay, well, less pain, right?

Me: Maybe.

F: So, people in general are addicted to pain. Showing that you can exist without pain will be difficult for them to accept.

Me: And this is my problem how?

F: Well, when something happens or a viewpoint is seen as being counter to people's views and opinions of the world, they will seek to extinguish it. Look at religious violence. Political clashes. It's all about the fear that their world is not as they thought it is.

Me: But it is. The world is simply as we take it. We do make the choices. Everyday.

F: I know this. You know this. If some idiots know this, they will freak out and start killing you.

Me: Why me?

F: Because you opened your big fat mouth. If people realise that they can escape suffering, they will blame you for it.

Me: And this is relevant to me how?

F: Okay. Regardless of your thoughts about other people's thoughts, what are your goals?

Me: Items A, B and C.

F: If people start attacking you, impeding your march towards items A, B and C, would that make it more difficult to achieve your goals?

Me: Yes.

F: Sun Tzu said, "Keep your plans as black as night, and strike like a thunderbolt of pure light."

Me: I'm not Sun Tzu. I'm not at war. And that line does not rhyme, originally.

F: Amir, it is hard enough to do things with your handicaps. Try not to make it worse.

Me: My handicaps?

F: Yes. And don't tell me you believe in your own hype?

Me: Honestly? I'd be the last person to believe in my own hype. I mean, I don't go out there, giving flying kicks to pregnant mothers and stuff. I should, but that doesn't mean I care enough to do it. I'm just me, baby. I'm a swamp thing. Mixmaster.

F: See?

Me: See what?

F: Stop doing that. There will be enough idiots to believe you.

Me: Yeah. Okay. So. Do we fuck to celebrate?

F: Yes!

Notice

I woke up at half an hour past midnight.

Lots of things to do. Many, many things.

So I'm not gonna do anything else until I finish a few more deadlines.

So there.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Intermission: Impossible

It's 9.20am. I spent the whole night writing. So many things to do. So little time.

I wish there are three of me. One sleeps for 24 hours a day and the other two work round the clock. That would have been enough.

Now, I'm waiting for the elctrician to come and install some earth wiring in my apartment.

As soon as they come, I'm going to go to bed.

Hopefully, it'll be soon.

On How I See Through Everything With My Dick's Eye

Ya know, nevermind.

Aku dan Idealis

Dulu aku kutuk idealis semua. Pasal aku rasa diorang tak cukup idealis. Main cakap je lebih.

Pakai t-shirt Che Guevara. Aku tanya, Che fight untuk apa? Tak tau. Loser nak mampus. Ko main ikut je, ye, bahalul? Kalau Che fight untuk child prostitution, ko sokong jugak ke?

"Tak. Aku minat Rage. Tengok, seluar aku, seluar Rage. Baju aku, baju Rage. Mahal ni. Kasut but aku, macam Zek Deroleka pakai kat konsert dia."

Bukan semua la. Tapi ramai.

"Aku rebel," katanya.

Rebel taik puki bapak kau.

Dulu, zaman muda-muda dulu, aku rasa akulah orang paling real dalam dunia. Yang lain tu semua ikut-ikutan, senggol-senggolan, mari menari, nampakkan puuuukiiii.

Aku gelakkan semua idealis yang ada. Pasal aku tau idealis ni semua nanti jatuh gaung kesengsaraan dan kekecewaan.

Diorang semua nak mengubah dunia, nak berusaha untuk sesuatu yang lebih besar daripada diorang. Comel, kan?

Dan aku fikir, nanti, pada masa akan datang, di kelilingi oleh mayat-mayat idealis yang bergelimpangan di neraka, aku akan berdiri tegak sambil ketawa terbahak-bahak. Aku angkat satu mayat idealis dan aku minum darah mereka.

"Inilah penyudahnya perjuangan suci korang semua," aku nak jerit. Sambil ada lagi yang hidup dok merintih-rintih.

Malang.

Idealis-idealis yang senantiasa menghiburkan hati aku di kala duka - pasal walau macamana teruk pun keadaan aku, diorang lebih pathetic - semua dah mati. Ada yang dah besar. Dah beranak-pinak. Jadi pembiak. Jadi penternak.

Diorang ambik keintelektualan diorang, bungkus, pastu pergi mengembala anak. Ada yang dah tua, fikir nak main puki je. Yang betina, tengah kira-kira puki dia berharga lagi tak? Mampukah bau pukinya yang hanyir memikat jantan-jantan loser yang lain?

Semua dah tukar jadi binatang.

Dan. Idealis yang masih hidup, setelah kena bambu dan ditertawakan oleh ramai orang, termasuk aku, sudah gali lubang, pasak bumi. Mereka tidak lagi berani mengimpikan perkara-perkara yang lebih tinggi daripada persoalan tak kena tangkap, dan membuat serba sedikit apa yang patut.

Ada yang bekerja. Ada ambik PTD. Diorang join jentera kerajaan yang mereka lawan sebelum ini.

Ada jadi ahli politik. Baik ko ambik PTD. Politik tu bukannya... haih. Malas la aku nak cakap. Berapa ramai idealis yang menjual semua yang mereka ada demi menjadi seorang yang popular dan mungkin diundi oleh orang ramai?

Dari awal lagi, aku persoalkan. Ke mana kau nak bawak idealisme ko ni semua? Ke langit? Ke Parlimen? Zaman aku muda. Gemar sungguh menyuluh kesalahan orang lain.

Lepas tu aku gelakkan mereka.

Sekarang, mereka dah takde. Pupus.

Sekarang, aku tinggal sorang.

Akan menjadi ironik kalau aku kata sekarang akulah idealis yang tinggal. Yang aku benci.

Tapi tak. Sorry. Aku bukan idealis, sejak 2003.

Walaupun semalam, ada mamat yang cakap kat aku, "Ko janganlah idealis sangat pasal hidup ni, Amir. Tak ke mana prinsip ko tu. Ko nak bawak ke mana? Ke langit?"

Hey! Aku bukan idealis lah! Aku anarkis! Bukan muzik punk yang tah hape-hape tuh. Pergilah mampus lifestyle tu semua.

Aku penyokong idea anarkis, bukan muzik atau fesyen anarkis. Idea, tau. Idea.

Oh shit.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Flipping a Coin

In the past, there were minstrels, bards, poets and travelling troupes, puppetmen and whatever the hell. These people were the entire entertainment industry.

They were the movies and the songs. In those early, early days, the stories and the songs and the poems were the stars and the performers are only as good as the tale that was told, or song that was sung.

People would come, and give them milk and potatoes and bread and sometimes meat. After money was invented, they were given coins. By passers-by.

Sometimes, in some places, the performers would work for food or lodging. This happened more often than not.

Go do your own research online. You will find this to be true. Some of it.

Today, we have a more complex system, based on that very simple model.

No one talks about vaudeville anymore. Or bangsawan. Or makyung.

Our vaudevilles, bangsawans and makyungs are now sent via fibre-optic cables and electromagnetic signals. Encased in a plastic disc with a thin metal backing which is full of tiny, tiny holes, are DVDs of complex stage performances or many concertos and symphonies.

That, or magnetic discs.

But the system remains the same. People throw a pittance at these works, ensuring they would live to sing or write or read another day.

Seeing things this way makes me depressed. I want to die now.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

30 Minutes Over Broadway: Medic!

My activities today include a medical check-up. Been coughing like crazy, and I have some things that need to be looked at.

Am trying out a new clinic, so hopefully that will turn out good.

Also have a ton/tonne of work to do. Meetings to set. Stuff to write. Documents to finish.

I also need some painkillers for my headache.

One of these days, I'll do a parlour scene and explain to everyone how smart I am and how I set things up to punish evil and reward myself.

Some things, I worked on for the past nine years. Wayyyy before I started journalism or scriptwriting.

I wrote scripts when I was 22. First time. My first real-paying freelance job. One episode was fully paid, which got me through two months of intense survival back then.

I started journalism, stringing, when I was 23 and was made a permanent staff in early 2004. It has only been six years of full-employment, but I feel like I've been on the job for over two decades. Not for the experience, but for the pain. Hahaha.

If I do stay on the job for 20 years, I think I'd die of cancer 10 years before I can get to the 20th year.

Overall, I've seen some shit. In all manner of businesses and work.

Some idiots still try to test me. They believe that elaborate lies can bring me down. You know, 'put me in my place'. I hesitate to tell them that 'putting me in my place' means installing me as the Lord of Hell itself.

Oh well. I got work to do.

Cheers!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hari Raya Carbine

I was woken up by a phone call. Only managed two hours of sleep. Was not in a good mood, but am entertaining guests.

I got no food, so I sent them out to get some.

This Raya is meaningless. And I have tons of work to do. It's crazy, man.

So none of you fucking bother me today. I wish to be left alone. I want to finish stuff.

To all those who were good to me, I wish you happiness, prosperity and joy.

To all those who were jealous of me, hate me for any or no reason, tried to sabotage me or attempted to use me to prop up your stupid ego, for those who betrayed my trust, and those who lied to me, I only wish that you suffer both in this world and the next.

May you all burn in hell. May you never find peace and happiness. May God have no mercy on your soul.

Bad Things, Good People, Nothing

I can only offer you The Truth. Everything else is bullshit.

Sent in a story, cancelled one meeting, went to another, then had a talk. Met some old friends who were celebrating stuff.

We compared notes, somewhat. I can safely say, for example, that this year has been a year when I discovered the fact that letting go and stepping aside can be far more destructive than anything else.

Inaction is sometimes the greatest destroyer. And so I did. It is, after all, not my place to judge.

And so it begins.

May God have mercy on man and machine.

Monday, November 15, 2010

From Hell's Heart I Stab Thee

FROM HELL'S HEART I STAB THEE!

FROM HELL'S HEART I STAB THEE!

FROM HELL'S HEART I STAB THEE!

FROM HELL'S HEART I STAB THEE!

Why won't this damn instant noodle soup pack fucking open? I'm using an Italian knife, by the way. The kind that I never have to sharpen, and is so strong that I have used it for four years already. The company closed down because they made such good, cheap utility knives.

Anyway, second breakfast.

FROM HELL'S HEART I STAB THEE!

FROM HELL'S HEART I STAB THEE!

FROM HELL'S HEART I STAB THEE!

Hatred

I hate it when I have to explain cryogenics.

I hate it when I have to explain pop culture references.

I hate it when I have to explain why I did this or that and how it would still work even if you're an idiot, simply because I said so.

You know what? I don't have to. I chose to. And I can just as well choose another option, which is to let them rot in hell.

Intermission: Previously, on Amir Hafizi

A few months ago, I complained and fell into depression when I realised I had almost nothing to do.

I got out of that depression by telling myself that, as with everything, this too shall pass.

Now, I am beginning to suspect that I have too much to do. Which means that I am nearing my full capacity. I can safely push myself to 100% by taking off days when I do absolutely nothing.

And pushing myself to 400% will result in hospitalisation. I have done so only four times in my life, and have tasted some of the best hospital food Malaysia has to offer.

Things are going well. Even this week, I have several meetings and assignments lined up. The first would be in about two hours. I have stories to write. Things to write. Proposals, et cetera.

I really believe that a 48-hour a day system would work better for me.

The things that used to consume my time were not games or movies or TV series I watch. It's actually drama. By cutting off drama from my life, I managed to increase productivity by 40%.

Imagine all that time and energy wasted on unnecessary emotion and whatever the fuck.

I long for the day when I can do one thing, and one thing only, and that one thing will pay me like, I dunno, RM2 million a year?

For now, I'm like, Multiple Man. If only I can be Iron Bat.

Nocturnal Twilight

They said it couldn't be done. And I did it.

They said it shouldn't be done. Shouldn't be said. And I said it.

They said I need to keep my head low, to avoid envious people. To make sure that my mere existence do not threaten fragile egos. That I would have to accomodate their fears. That I would have to kowtow to their fears.

They tell me not to do things they themselves are afraid to do. Not to protect me from failure, but to protect themselves from possible success. The possible success of other people.

They said, say and will say many things. It is not my duty to sort out their truths and their lies. My only concern is my own Truth, and the lies I tell myself.

Now, if you'll excuse me - and I know you won't - I'm off to settle the final deadline of my day. Before I go to work.

The Imperial March

I woke up at 12 midnight and am now writing. I've been writing for two solid hours, and I have six deadlines to catch tonight.

And I'm naked. Took a shower just now as this is the beginning of my day. Need to get dressed before I catch a cold. Hang on.

There we go.

Also had some leftover pizza. I bought enough coffee to kill me. I'll be burning the midnight oil tonight, motherfucker.

Oh yeah, gotta take my vitamin B pills.

Cheers!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Arise, Serpenthor!

HUUUUARRRRGGHHHH!

I awaken to some unfinished business. I will spend the rest of today and, after dinner, the rest of the night working.

A great many people count on me. If I fuck up, people die. And what is good for me, is good for the universe.

I know exactly what I am doing.

My Resignation

I have counseled many people in abusive relationships. Pre, post and in-between.

In all this time, I have discovered or learned only one thing. Stay the fuck away.

It's none of my business. I just watched too much Oprah. My desire to help stems from my own dementia to paint myself as a superhero. I wanted to be the guy who got applauded on Oprah for doing the right thing.

It's a sick little fantasy. And that comes from the fact that my work hardly ever gets recognition. I'm a writer. The applause for a writer is always in the form of neurological connections, synapses snapping in people's brains.

They have no idea how hard it is to set things up, just so, in order for them to experience a myriad of different emotions, thoughts, feelings. A writer is a composer. Who plays his own piano. Hit the right keys, the right notes, and what happens may be a symphony of chemical reactions in the brain which may be pleasant, or maybe not.

You never see our performance. We are The Invisibles.

Anyway, I'm proud of myself. Recently, a lot of people were going through relationship drama. You know what I did? Absolutely nothing. I think I kicked the habit.

I busied myself with a mountain of work. I sat and meditated. Meditation is now a key component in my daily practice. Call me pretentious, it works for me.

Talking about pretentious, I had a chat about another of my habits just now.

I had an old addiction to revealing to people how little they know of their religion. It was like, "IN YO FACE!" bullshit.

And some of them are just general truths everyone knows, but refuses to acknowledge.

For example, if you fuck, you're going to hell. You drink? You're going to hell. Get high? Hell. Cheat? Hell. Lie? Hell. You don't perform certain rituals? You're going to hell.

Almost everything you do ends you in hell. In most major religions. In fact, in a lot of religions, you may not be doing anything, and you still go to hell.

And I hate atheists. Atheists make me angry. Smug, arrogant ignorant buffoons. They constantly shove their own bullshit down everyone's throats. And they always look down on everyone. That's MY job, fool!

I successfully gave that habit up, with help from some Thai hookers. I love 'em Thai hookers. Wonderfully spiritual people, that bunch.

So here I am, tendering my resignation on that other habit. Getting involved. It is not my right and not my place, and not at all my desire to be caught up with stupid bullshit drama. I can tell you how things will develop in a few years. My instincts have never been wrong in this aspect. But my goddamned instincts always drive me the wrong way when it comes to messing with other people's shit.

I do not want to do that. I'm through. The only games I want to play are:

1. Jagged Alliance 2
2. Super Robot Wars Alpha and Alpha Gaiden
3. Yu-Gi-Oh! Power of Chaos

Other than that, you're on your own.

The Old Woman and the Sea

I was having one of those family council thingies, well, waiting for it, really, when an old beggar woman approached me.

She stank of cheap whisky. The kind of stink where you can tell there was more of the soury tang than the alcohol. Alcohol has a sharp, distinctive odor or vapor. The sour and bitterness of whisky, well, that has a smell too.

She was asking for money, so I said no. If she had asked for a drink, being truthful about it, I might have said yes. I saw her accosting some people the other day in Bangsar. He was a douchebag who yelled at her, so I guess it was cool. What was not is to have these people, out of their minds, running around.

Then again, I'm out of my mind, and perhaps the entire Malaysian political bullshit is also out of their minds. They're still running free.

I do not agree with people yelling at beggars and crazy people. Some of them have a real tough time. Some, are conmen.

After the woman, was a blind guy. He was not blind. I stare at blind people. SOme of them stare back. Big mistake. Authentic blind people also have a peculiar way of walking.

They put their torsos back and their feet forward. They always stay grounded and have a low center of gravity. This is perhaps out of necessity. If you're blind, you tend to fall over things. Keeping your center of gravity low and putting your feet forward while walking makes sense.

Also, some blind people do wear watches, but usually ones with the hands, with the glass cover removed. They feel the hands and can tell what time it is. This guy was wearing a digital watch. Which would also have been fine, cause some blind people ask seeing people to tell them the time using their watch.

This guy, he was walking with his body arched forward, and he doesn't drag his feet. Then, he looked at me, who was staring at him, twice. He held a blind man's cane, but did not use it to get off the curb.

Blind people are also more careful when carrying things. This guy was swinging a plastic bag full of stuff like a pendulum.

My, oh my. All these flaws, and you hope to fool me? You can't fool anybody, fool!

This is my hobby. I judge people. Hahaha. I look for what is said and what is not said. I look for habits and non-verbal signs.

When people talk, it is always about themselves. Everybody lies. I find that lying is very condescending and pedantic. When you lie, you expect the other person to be stupid. Stupid enough to swallow your bullshit.

This is why, out of respect, I have always gone for The Truth. It has always gotten me into trouble, but it is the only way I know how to communicate. Unfortunately, since everyone lies, they all don't believe me.

No matter. It is not my concern.

I enjoy observing. The rich insecurities and awful truths they are all hiding - usually from themselves. Doesn't make me smart. Just makes me watchful.

The old story of the old woman and the sea goes like this. An old woman pees in the sea. "Every little bit helps," she said. And she is right. I can see that. It is both futile and noble.

And there is a play on the word 'bit', which is a corruption of 'bitch' in there somewhere.

In this, I am that old woman, and the sea is a world of people pissing on themselves.

I laugh at the joke this world has become, because being a comedian is the only thing that makes sense.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bestiality Wars!

Previously, on Transformers: Bestiality Wars!

Oppenheimer: With Optimus Primal gone, I am the master of the Maximals!

Amir Hafizi: With a name like Maximals, we all sound like we're sanitary pads. No wonder Optimus killed himself.

Rattrap: Speak for yourself, Transformer-Without-A-Proper-Name.

Amir Hafizi: I have a name. See? It's on the left.

Cheetor: It's not a proper Transformer name.

Amir Hafizi: What? Like, Cheetor? You're either a cheater, or you can transform into a bag of cheese rings.

Cheetor: Watch it, Jackass!

Amir Hafizi: My name... is not Jackass.

Rhinox: So what is your name, then?

Amir Hafizi: I guess I'll just have to figure it out in the next episode.

And now, in this episode:

Amir Hafizi: Hmmm. A name that can sound bad-ass, and tell kids what I do, or what my beast mode is.

Rattrap: What is your beast-mode anyway?

Amir Hafizi: I transform into the most dangerous animal on the planet.

Rhinox: Human? You transform into a human?

Amir Hafizi: Fuck you. This is not an after-school special with morals and whatever. I transform into Mumm-Ra, the Ever Living!

Cheetor: How does that work?

Amir Hafizi: Magic.

Rattrap: I don't believe in magic.

Amir Hafizi: Oh yeah? Then what about your transmetal body? You were washed in light and then MAGICALLY transforms into a Transmetal rat. If that's not magic, I don't know what is.

Blackarachnia: Well, can we see this mummy?

Amir Hafizi: And how do you have sex, anyway? And do robot's boobs jiggle? Is it filled with silicon?

Silverbolt: ... I...

Amir Hafizi: Ah, never mind. I'm going to sleep first. Lots of work to do tonight.

Transformers: Bestiality Wars!

Bestiality Wars!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Malay Male's Family Values

It was an impossible task, but I told my family some time ago that I am no longer entertaining any drama.

"Emotion," I told them, "is only reserved for good things. For any other, negative or neutral, we shall use logic."

I never thought it would work, but here we are, months later, with only a fraction of the drama we used to have, I am beginning to reap the benefits of my earlier decision.

Zero drama would be good. Not everything is personal. Not even family. And though I opened myself up for emotions some eight years ago to have more skills as a writer, it is entirely unnecessary in real life.

I now deal with my family using logic. I do not entertain egotistical, emotional outbursts. I have become more machine than man.

What I am experiencing is peace and serenity. A by-product, for sure, but a welcome side-effect.

I know that whatever happens, I'll keep going forward. Nothing can hold me back now.

30 Minutes Over Broadway: Community Service

I have 30 minutes to get to where I'm supposed to be.

Cheerio!

Swamp Thing: Live Together, Die Alone

Just got back from my hometown last night, when I almost immediately passed out.

I got some shit to handle. My parents are getting older. Everyone's getting older, just that my parents' age are starting to show.

My father, the great intellect, is desperately hanging on to his independence. His 'position' as head of the family. As the guy who always knew what to do, when more and more decisions are being made by other people.

I understand his concerns, and I am not going to be anyone's enabler. I will not allow him or anyone I care about get duped by their own delusions and fixation with their egos. The rest of the world can fuck off and die.

Going back, was also very nostalgic. I remember my own shit, growing up. I come from a very tough community. People survive on so little. They don't have any dreams, most of them. They all scrape by with such limitations.

When I was a kid, I didn't know what to make of them. And they didn't know what to make of me. I never really belonged there. In fact, I don't belong anywhere. Over the years, I have truly learned to be with myself, because everyone else can't be counted on. Everyone has their own shit.

I remember, one school day, some kids came and threatened me with their pet scorpions. Without the stingers removed. They seemed to really enjoy taunting me with those poisonous things. I was scared, because I believed that only I knew how dangerous it was. I wasn't afraid of the scorpions. Handled a few myself. I was scared of their ignorance and what I judged to be their stupidity.

After a five minute standoff, we were drawing a crowd.

So I crushed their pets with a big log. Made sick crunching sounds. One of the tough guys cried. I killed their pets. And dirtied my shirt with the huge log.

One of those kids died recently. He left behind a family of seven, most of them kids. They got no money and no place to stay. They shacked up in a hut beside the mosque, but some people were unhappy. The guy was an alleged junkie.

So now, the village council is taking care of 40% of their rent, in a temporary refuge.

I was approached with plans to build a RM15,000 house for the family. Once I get all the information and the proper plans, it would be time to work at getting the funds.

The only difference between that guy who died and me, who is still alive, was simply luck.

Same environment. Same people. Same culture. Presented with a choice, I decided to be on my own while he decided to blend in. I never did conform. To anything. Or anyone. That led to other choices for me.

Just a few wrong turns, and that would have been me. If I had compromised on some shit, if I went left and not right.

I believe that everything that happens to us is by choice. There is no magic. No destiny. That's all bullshit. You have no one else to blame but yourself. And blaming yourself is stupid.

It is easy to fall into the ego's trap and become addicted to pain. To being a victim. I understand that. Been there myself. It is very comforting.

Unfortunately, that is not the path I chose for myself. And I will not enable any of you to do the same. Some of you, anyway.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Back to the Swamp Again

I come from the swamp, so I'll return to the swamp.

I'm going back to Kuantan today. In an hour or two.

I'm not like most of you fuckers. Fucking city slickers. I is hardcore! Hardcore, motherfucker!

Some guy asked me, "When was the last time you saw really poor people?"

And I said, "Last time I went home."

And he was like, looking at me in disbelief. He could not comprehend the fact that most people in KL today are from rural areas. Only a small percentage are born and bred here.

These people think I'm some sort of Bangsar kid or some stupid shit like that. I mean, I speak English. I listen to hip-hop (AND dangdut, I might add). They think I'm one of those wishy-washy ephemereal people. Muahahaha.

Every sheeple thinks that everyone else is a sheeple. We only use ourselves as a measure to other people. Which is tough for me, cause I often expect people not to lie. I expect other people to be like this or like that. Like me.

But they're not. They are as diverse as whatever the fuck. They don't hold on to the same values I do. No one does. No one holds the same value as another person.

It used to get to me, until I learned about not caring about shit. The fuck should I care? Fuck you. I live my life the way I want to. Everything that happened, happened because I wanted them to happen. I experienced whatever because I wanted to experience it.

Oops. My ride is here. See ya!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Children of the Atom

I am a child of the '80s.

When I was growing up, the Internet was in its infancy and was not available to Malaysians, especially swamp kids like me.

24-hour electricity came to my village when I was six. TV3 also reached the East Coast in 1986.

We were the children of the atom. I had no Internet, no TV, no electricity. So I read books. Lots of them. My favourites used to be the jokes in Reader's Digest, before moving on to their shorter articles and First Person Award stories. Articles which won the First Person Award are stories about a person you encounter in the writer's youth which left a lasting impact on him/her/it.

I progressed to reading the longer articles. Pretty soon, I was nine and reading about Dr Florey's contributions to the manufacturing of penicillin and its uses as a broad-spectrum antibiotic. As the story has it, Alexander Flemming only had a fleeting interest in the golden mold.

I read about Kunta Kinte and the heartbreaking stories of a newspaper being put to pasture in that unforgettable classic love letter of an article, Stop the Presses (For the Very Last Time).

I raided the Moving Library - a project to bring books to the rural areas. The bus usually parks 20 minutes from my house (five minutes by bike).

I read and reread most of the interesting books they had over and over again. Memorising passages was a favourite pastime. I used to be able to borrow six books every two weeks - two more than any regular member of the library.

There was no satellite TV. There was no Internet until much later.

My parents are poor folks. They can hardly afford clothes and food, much less toys. The cheapest and easiest form of entertainment was reading.

In primary school, I watched a total of one movie at the cinemas - King Peacock. It was a Hong Kong movie, as my siblings and I share a love for Hong Kong cinema.

We borrowed a lot of professional wrestling tapes, one of which featured topless women in a seedy league. Some wrestling tapes were recorded over porn. Sometimes, I'd be lucky to catch an orgasm scene at the end.

Most of it, was books. My father worked as a teacher, and he was the most hardworking. So when new library books came in, it would go through my house, where I had the chance to be the first to read them.

Primary school libraries in rural areas stock a lot of folklore and legends. I read them all. There was hardly a book in the small school library which I did not read. But that's because it was tiny. My father had accumulated more reading material than the school library.

There were three or four sets of children's encyclopedias. A collection of condensed books. Ande lots and lots of magazines. I read them all.

I had nothing else to do. I did not share the love of the wild my peers did. I don't go and kill birds. I didn't play with snakes. It's a swamp, so there were lots of those things.

It was hard, growing up. For example, I enjoyed The Book of Natural History and had memorised the names and types of dinosaurs. I ended up telling stories to the other kids. After a while, I got bored. If you haven't read or listened intently to anything, you'd lose the information and I was tired of repeating myself to classmates.

My sense of the world was influenced by a simpler, more noble time. When you knew who the bad guys were, and how you're supposed to act. Honor. Pride. Honesty. Truth. All those things from a lost age.

Those things I read when I was a kid stayed with me. Haunted me. Sometimes, when I go back, I flip a few old RD magazines or reread the encyclopedias and I would smile.

These days, I still read. I spend at least four hours a day browsing wikipedia. I had to close a browser windown just now and it had over 40 tabs.

But I miss the old books. There is a style of writing I don't find anymore. All those old articles were written with a patina of nostalgia, an old-country homeliness, a rare wit.

Articles in my adult life are mostly very standoffish and insecure. The image is more important than the feelings and emotion it evokes. And if it was written to evoke emotion, then they overdo it and choose garish ones like anger and condemnation. Righteous arrogance.

Some people complain about the taste of water or the smell of the modern air. I often miss the days when the stories were far more innocent and earnest.

Lord of t3h Interblags

I now have Unifi. After loads of drama, I finally have the damned thing installed.

High speed broadband, baby! With VOIP and IPTV.

For the idiots: Google, morons!

I must say that I have always been skeptical with this thing, but it seems to work just fine.

Remember, though, that TM does not include everything in the installation package and you might have to go out and buy some shit. It cost me about RM30++ for the extra stuff.

Now, my entire house is wifi and for fast downloads, I can connect my laptop directly to the thing.

What intrigues me is the Video On Demand. I can buy CSI's previous seasons for RM48, which is cheaper than Bangsar's pirate DVD shops. Current season is RM78, though.

Each movie is RM8.

I'm okay with the interface, which is instinctive, but the selection sucks so far. I envision seeing hundreds, maybe thousands of titles in the future.

And more channels. There's hardly any sports, so forget football. Forget EPL.

The battle for paid TV in Malaysia may be decided by EPL and ECL. So far, Astro has the upper hand. For at least a few years.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dis-Unifying

TM nak install Unifi kat apartment aku. Kabel dia pendek macam konek mak dia jugak. Kalau aku suruh technician (yang tak bersalah dalam hal ni) blah, pasal barang TM sendiri tak cukup, TM akan caj aku RM200. Apahal lu? Dah dapat RM11 billion, RM200 aku pun ko nak jugak ke? Pantat pukimak mak bapak ko la.

Chinese Whispers: Legend of the Knights of Bukkake

I just heard from Cheepork, that our exploits in Phuket has been exaggerated and turned into a legend of sorts.

It was spread that we went to Phuket during the Boxing Day tsunami and that we helped save Thais over there, like superheroes. And that we now have 4-5 girlfriends in Thailand.

I was like Gilgamesh, and Cheepork was Enkidu, fighting the Bull of Heaven and such, the way the tale was told.

Well, on Boxing Day, I was enjoying a soiree in KL. I went there a month later, to help rebuild the economy of Thailand.

And while Cheepork and I do not have girlfriends in Thailand, we do have girl friends over there. We love them more than any girl in Malaysia. At least I do. Cheepork needs to get married for career advancement.

Me? I'm thinking. Not about girls or guys. But about stuff. Nyehhhhh. All will happen in due time. In due time.

I spent the past several months cultivating patience. I'm 30 years old. I know enough of the world to realise that I will never be handed more than I can handle.

As it is, I have a lot to write anyway. A lot of work needs to be done.

And if I do it right, the people will talk about legends of me, just like how they embellished my small contributions to Thailand, making us sound like mythical heroes of yore.

The Truth is, we helped by contributing to the economy of the place. We had fun, and we made friends.

And on our way back, we battled a Ctulhu monster. I killed it by shooting lasers from my ass.

Friday, November 5, 2010

May the Light Shine Forever

Deepavali is a special time for me, and I am not Hindu. But that's a story for another day.

I don't have much to say. I studied Hinduism on a whim. Love the God concept, the creation myths and flood myth.

When I was younger, I borrowed from the library a book about the South-East Asian version of the Ramayana. It was called Hikayat Seri Rama dan Sita Dewi.

There are many changes from the original. Hanuman is the bastard child of Seri Rama and Sita Dewi when they were cursed to become white gibbons.

My favourite characters were of course Lakshamana and Hanuman. Hanuman could jump and stay afloat for 40 days and 40 nights. And Seri Rama was so powerful, he could release an arrow and it would go through what, 44? 66? betel-nut trees.

Ravana had 44 heads, with the 44th head a small one inside his ear. To kill him, you need to lob off that 44th head.

I didn't get why Sita Dewi had to go through a trial of fire at the end of the story. I truly didn't know.

I also read about Ganesha and Murugan - the two brothers. A huge statue of Murugan - who oversees infants and pregnant women, I think - is at Batu Caves. Or so I was told.

Ganesha is the God of Wisdom.

Brahma is the Creator. Vishnu is the preserver and Siva is the destroyer. The Hindu trinity.

Krishna is an avatar of Vishnu, unless you are a Hare Krishna and believe Vishnu to also be an avatar of Krishna.

Krishna was a paramour (lover) to the gopis (milkmaids). In some traditions, he was born on Dec 25, to a virgin. Later he was crucified and then resurrected a few days later, witnessed by some women.

Steeped in ritual, a lot of the core philosophies of Hinduism is lost to outsiders.

In school, Malaysians learn of the Bhagavad Gita, the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda and the Atarva Veda. But we never learned the contents of those holy scriptures.

In my travels, I have found some text and readings of the Bhagavad Gita and Rig Veda in English, by Alan Watts.

Some Hindu gurus taught across Europe, and the philosophy lingered.

"The mind is maya (virtual, untrue)," is a quote from one of those teachers.

It embodies the view that our minds can deceive us with many things. Illusions and images and phantom emotions.

That the path to The Truth is beset on all sides by lies and shadows.

Oh well. I'm getting back to work now.

Frazzle Dazzle

So many things are happening at the same time that it can be extremely suffocating at times.

So many deadlines, so much work, that you just want to say, "STOP!"

Which is exactly what I did. Being frazzled is in no way helpful.

I took two weeks off, and it has been a series of meetings to handle both my private as well as professional life.

Now I got stuff to do.

I gotta hand it to people like Alam, who taught me to apply skills in writing to any aspect of life.

I have to thank several people who showed me the business aspect of things.

I also need to thank companies like KRU and Astro, for giving me a chance to prove myself.

I mean, before MySpy, I was an unproven, an unknown, even though I run my mouth at any given chance.

Now I've done Magika, Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa and Ribbit for KRU. It has been a wonderful learning experience, working with so many different people.

Now, where do I go from here?

That question has been hanging over me, like a Sword of Damocles.

I had to sit down just now, and just stare at a wall and let myself drool and my mind goes into savant mode.

Then, I meditated. The pressure, the stress, comes from me setting deadlines for myself. This is how I get things done. This thing ready by when, that thing finished by what time.

But most of these things, do not require my time and attention right now. I know I've done good work, to the best of my abilities. And the people I worked with are all great.

So I'm exhaling. Shoulders relaxed.

I just realised that more than half my deadlines are not real deadlines. Just ones I set on myself. There is still time, as long as I draw breath.

No worries. No rush. I'll get to it when it is time. Things will come, in their own fashion, in their own time.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

How to Succeed in the Corporate World



Hello, Business Majors and Lee Majors!

Listen closely to the jargons in the YouTube video above. This is the kind of bullshit you need to spew in order to land yourself a five-figure salary.

Malaysia is usually about five years behind the rest of the world, so only use jargons that were famous as far back as five years ago.

Start spewing bullshit like, 'blue ocean', 'consumer clouds', value-added, convergence, game-changer, quintuple-play, six sigma, KPI and you're well on your way to becoming a douchebag.

I wanna create some of my own business jargons like:

1. Suck my dick like a vacuum

vague meaning: opponent squeezing as much profit as they can from your department.

Sample usage: "Sir, marketing is sucking my dick like a vacuum. Especially Jerry."

2. Playing with their tits.

Vague meaning: a department or a bunch of people/individual wasting company resources.

Sample Usage: "Mr Lee, I believe that the GM is playing with her tits. In fact, I think the entire marketing department are playing with their tits. I saw Jennifer playing with her tits while Facebooking the other day."

3. Menstruating like a granny on an estrogen drip

Vague meaning: a loss-making division

Sample usage: "Madam chairwoman, I must say that we are menstruating like a granny on an estrogen drip, unless we can find a way to stem the outflow due to our engorged overhead. I suggest we suck our parent company's dick like a vacuum. Obviously, their market research head, Mr Jarvis is playing with his tits."

Political Suicide

A few people asked me whether or not I am going to enter politics, since the entertainment industry is dying.

And I was like, "Dying? What?"

The question came, after I suggested some projects to help the poor in Kuantan. They see anyone trying to do good as vying for political office.

Well, I told them that if I were to enter politics, my issues would be the legalisation of prostitution, the recognition of the marital institution as legalised prostitution (housewives gets an allowance for all the blowjobs they give) and whore universities.

My motto would be: "Two wives in every kitchen. A whore on every dick."

Fellatio and Cunnilingus will be taught in universities and colleges.

As your politician, I am not pro-abortion. I am Gung-Ho-Abortion. Pregnant women will be captured and their fetuses aborted forcefully, after a dose of morphine. I am humane.

There's not enough food or oil or subsidies or oil subsidies for everyone. All babies must die.

If I'm voted Emperor, I will also hold Rempit Competitions. Rempits will be rounded up and forced to compete in Ghost Rider Lookalike contests. They will be doused with gasoline, lit on fire and pushed off the KLCC skybridge. Best Ghost Rider impersonation wins a bike!

Also, to save costs, there will be weekly jousting tournaments for Rempits, also on the KLCC skybridge.

Drug addicts will be rounded up and given 10 times the lethal dose of their preferred drug. So pot smokers will survive, but goodbye crackheads.

I'll hook them up to a self-administering rig. So they're technically suicides and will go to hell, and I didn't kill them.

Racists will also be rounded up and be forced to mate with people they hate. For racist women, tough luck. Racist men? You will be wishing you're racist women before they are through with you.

People who torture dogs will be given the same torture. Dog-lovers who ram this shit down other people's throats everyday will be fed with bullshit until they crap grass.

Homosexuality will be encouraged, but only among men. Lesbians can only have sex if a man is present.

Anyone who addresses another as 'macha' will be arrested and undergo DNA tests, and DNA therapy if necessary, to ensure only 'machas' call each other macha.

All rich kids will be forced to work on death railways.

All ISA detainees will be released, and then executed. And then the trial.

UMNO will be forced to call itself PKBM Baru. PAS is back to PIS-M. PKR will be called Loser Anwar Fanboys and DAP must go back to Singapore.

In fact, fuck the parties. There will be only three political parties - Terran, Zerg and Protoss.

ALL festivals and holidays are cancelled, to be replaced by Festivus. Jedi is a recognised religion, under my rule. Everyone is free to practice any religion, because all beliefs are sacred. Except Scientology.

I will also add the Black Magic Regiment for the Army. All bomohs will be rounded up and their abilities weaponised. We will enter a pelesit into the Olympics.

ALL fax machines will be re-designated as FUX MACHINES and then outlawed. I FUCKING HATE FUX MACHINES!

AFter telling them all this with a serious face, they STILL think I'm running for office!

Okay, new rule: If your IQ is below mine (160++), you die.

Top Cow

Now look what you've done! I can't sleep or rest or even work, until I write about my current Top Five Best Anime List.

5. FLCL

FLCL or FuriKuri or FoolyCooly was done by Gainax. It's about this kid Naota who meets an (possible) alien called Haruhara Haruko. She hits him on the head with a guitar and robots come out of his noggin.

FLCL is a coming of age story as Naota learns to grow out of his brother's shadow. It is extremely philosophical. For instance, the giant iron-shaped factory at the city is actually an alien artifact that wants to iron out all the wrinkles on the human brain.

The robots that keep coming out of Naota's head is perhaps an analogy for creativity. The subject of the creation being worshipped as creator is also posed as the robot gets one loyal fan/worshipper/acolyte.

And what do you make of the scene where a robot with the head of a TV set watches TV?

Really cool stuff, as Naota discovers independence, sexuality and maturity in six much-too-short episodes.

4. Yakitate!! Japan

The best food anime ever done by mankind. It's about Azuma Kazuma who wants to bake the perfect Japan Bread. Pan means bread in Japanese, so he wants to make the Ja-Pan. The whole series is filled with puns.

You need to understand a lot of Japanese culture to get the jokes. One of the funniest shows ever.

3. Kino's Journey

Another philosophical anime. It's about a girl, who is a traveller, and her talking motorrad (motorcycle).

She goes to many different countries and sees parodies and satires of things in our world. For instance, one 'country' is technologically advanced. Everything is taken care of by computers and robots. And yet, people still go to work. Why? Because in order to determine who gets more money, that society relies on stress-levels. Whoever is more stressed gets more pay and gain promotions.

Another country critiques religion. Another, is a commentary on the flaws of democracy. One country discussed the nature of man and machine in a heartbreaking story of love and loyalty.

2. Berserk

I watched Berserk during a phase in my life when I was very, very angry. This series embodies that rage and sense of helplessness I felt, as well as the wanton destruction and violence I turned to, for a while.

1. Cowboy Bebop

The GREATEST. WORK OF ART. MANKIND. HAS. EVER. DONE.

God put us on Earth a few billion years ago so that one day, we would do Cowboy Bebop.

After humans made this anime, we are all marked for extinction, because there is no reason for us to live anymore.

FuriKuri



This is an old anime music video. I saw it in the late '90s. It is number five on my current top 5 list of best anime of all time.

Here's the list:

1. Cowboy Bebop
2. Berserk
3. Kino's Journey
4. Yakitate! Japan
5. FLCL


I saw FLCL while in college, and it defined my existentialist, angst-ridden phase. It was The Catcher in the Rye of my young adulthood. The definitive bildungsroman. That, and Chungking Express. And Amelie.

I vow never to die happy until I do something at least matching FLCL's scope and depth.

I don't care how long it takes, or what I have to do. I'd sell my soul to do something as impactful as FLCL. I'd spend the rest of eternity in hell itself, just so I could do something this good.

And that's just number five on my list.

Accountability

Just got off from a series of meetings. Tired as hell.

Wanted to write a long essay, but I only have time for this little snippet before I take a nap. I need to start writing again at 2am.

Here's the snippet:

Whatever happens in your life, you decided it to be so. You can't blame God or other people or whatever for it.

This is not a burden. This is freedom. It means that you have full control over yourself and your life.

Things, people, they come and go. And one day, you will die. Everyone dies, at the end.

Best thing we can do, is enjoy the moment while we're still breathing. A lot of people throw their lives away. A lot of people are assholes. Fuck other people. Other people have no power over us. They're all self-centered, egotistical motherfuckers. Because they're people.

Me? I'm just passing through. I know more than I should, sometimes. I see the seed and the rot. A gift and a curse.

Any and all attempts to communicate this to other people have resulted in despair. They don't believe me. They never do. And five years later, they come to me and tell me that I was right.

Do you really believe I want to be right all the time?

Well, I have learned to keep my mouth shut. See you when you get there, dumbass.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mob Rule

There is an old episode of Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers where Widget, the blonde-analogue chipmunk or squirrel joined a cult to find a place and a group where she 'belonged'. The cult used an old soda commercial to brainwash everyone into thinking they are part of a thing.

I hate groups and power blocks. I respect individuals and individuality, not mindless, lazy conforming to any mainstream value or popular school of thought.

I've always walked my own path, because I know the importance of making my own decisions. I do consult trusted friends, but end of the day, all my decisions are my own. Cause end of the day, I have to live with myself. There is no one I can blame. There is no one YOU can blame.

Strength in numbers? All my life, I have attacked and whittled away at this 'strength'. It's easy, cause it's not real strength. It is merely a facade. And it is fleeting.

Behind the masks of tribal anonymity, bigotry and hypocrisy reign supreme. Most people can only be honest with themselves. Throw in a group dynamic, and all the lies and role-playing come flying out.

I am not condemning. I do not threaten, merely advising caution.

Everyone have to make their own decisions. I made mine years ago. Everything that has ever happened was due to my own decisions. I'm sticking by myself and my choices.

Let the chips fall where they may.

Crossing the Rubicon

They said it couldn't be done. They said many things.

Well, I'm doing it. And may God have mercy on man and machine.

The Arcadia of My Youth: My Millenium Falcon

For a full 24 hours, my PC died on me. I cradled her in my arms and cursed whatever Internet or electronic Gods that cursed her with the condition.

"Why? Why? Noooooooooooooooooooo!!! N! O! Ooooooo!!!1100010101001010101!!!"

I couldn't write. I couldn't even turn her on. We've become strangers, separated by her eye which glowed and then died down. It was as if she lost all the will to live.

So, problem: She won't get turned on.

Diagnosis: The only two possible answers would be, her power supply blew out, or the motherboard blew a few capacitors. Or both.

I checked any and all capacitors on her board. They didn't burst. So that leaves either the power supply, or less likely, the power chord.

I tested her power chord. It was okay.

So, after Kamil decided today, of all days, to get sick (Kamil is my IT goto guy), I hopped into a cab, cradling her in my arms whispering soothing words and sweet nothings. Just to calm her nerves a bit.

We reached Digital Mall at a bit over 4pm.

I went immediately to the repair shop.

The dude behind the counter hooked her up and told me there was nothing wrong with her power supply. He showed me a reading with one of the diodes unlit. He said he needed two to three days to diagnose her. I said fuck off and die and took her to the shop across the mall.

"My PC can't be started. I'll pay for any components you need to replace to make her glow again."

That got their attention.

Broke my heart to see her opened, lying by her side as they probed her. A simple substitution test showed that all she needed was a new power supply. Like, duh!

I got her a power supply upgrade to 460W, with a surge protector. It would cost me RM149 with an additional RM30 for service charges.

To make it worth their while, I also purchsed a 1TB SATA hard disk at RM178.

It's not really that cheap, but anything to get my precious up and running again.

It would take 30 minutes, the guy said.

So I went down to smoke, waiting anxiously for my precious.

Between puffs, I started to remember how I first got her. I assembled her from different parts, like the Bride of Frankenstein.

The flashback came with Matthew Morrison and Neil Patrick Harris' rendition of Aerosmith's Dream On in the background.



The casing and the processor I bought off a friend.

The hard drive was from my previous PC. Inside the hard drive are files I saved since 1996. All documents I ever opened, saved in my father's 2.1GB hard disk. I never threw any of the documents out, which actually serves me today as I stand on the brink of ultra greatness.

There are a few novels in there, somewhere, scores of unfinished short stories and countless movies as well as animation ideas. All those nights dreaming of doing these things are finally paying off as I draw ideas from a younger, perhaps more imaginative me. There are enough ideas in my hard drive to make creative projects till I die, and beyond.

The DVD-ROM was from my old Pentium III PC, before I got a PIV and now it is still running on my dual-core AMDx2 system. Dual-core, motherfucker! I don't need double quad-core. I just need my AMiDala.

Peripherals. The 15 inch LCD screen was also bought off a friend. So were the speakers. I use an old Philips Cambridge Soundworks, which to me sounds better than Altec Lansing or whatever. I tried RM500 speakers before, or RM1,000++ setups. This old RM100 double speaker and subwoofer still plays the best sounds, even if I have to hit it sometimes and balance a paperweight on the 'on' switch.

I don't like to tamper with what works, and these speakers have followed me around for more than eight years. They still work wonderfully. I am loyal to my machines.

With them, I listen to stuff I got from Napster. Anyone remember Napster? KaZaa? OG P2P, yo!

I even come from a time where 486 processors were in the fastest PCs. I used dot matrix printers to dole out stuff from Wordstar. I still remember old DOS commands. They're very simple, really, and a few years back, I found games I used to play like Gemfire and Uncharted Waters 2: New Horizons as freeware!

Man, I used to sweat to a 14.4kbps dial-up bullshit in fucking Kuantan.

It was 1996, and I was downloading cartoon porn. I still have some stuff from those days, in my precious AMiDala.

Fact is, I know my precious inside out. I know every inch of her. I know how she works. I know what she can do and can't do.

Some parts of her were instrumental in rendering my first 3D animation tests. I made fire, and I made it rain. Using Lightwave 3D.

I compiled an artificial intelligence on this PC. I wrote a software that could mark, graph the progress and tutor students in schools and colleges using ASP and Oracle as a database. That was my final year project. I wrote an Intelligent Tutoring System for Modern Anime Literature.

We did it. AMiDala and I, we created a software that could teach literature. I was offered to go to Portugal and present it at a conference, but I knew that I was headed elsewhere. And wherever I went, AMiDala was there by my side.

I wrote most of my articles using her. Other PCs seemed crass and limiting. Not even my new Netbook was any replacement. She was my sidekick, my companion, my muse and my lover.

She never betrayed me. Never. Well, she's not human.

I wrote all my movie scripts on her. Today, nothing calms me down more than sitting down in front of her and just exhale. I moved a lot these past five years, but she was always with me. She is my home. I can go anywhere in the world, but as long as I have her, I know that I am safe.

So I got back up to the second floor of the computer mall. I went to see her, and saw that she had the upgrade. A brand new power supply and an extra 1TB of storage space, which I am now filling with stuff.

I know that one day, I would have to change her core. Technology moves on. But as she stood by me when no one else would, I would always be with my precious, my love, my life. She is the Arcadia of my youth. She is my Millenium Falcon.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Ever Living

Ancient Spirits of Eeeeevilllll.

Transform this decaying form, to The Malay Male - The Evarrrr Liviiiiiiinnnnnnggg!!!

Haiyeaahhhhh!!! Heyaaaahhhh!!! Yehaaahahahahahaha!!!

Absolve, domine, animas ab omni defunctorum. Et gratia tua illis succerente.

O, Fafnir who art thou in the land of Titans. Bring down the Ragnarok ship of dead men's nails. Water the roots of Yggdrasil with kin's blood, and unleash The Furies. Hecatea, Atropos, Medusa.

I summon the Babylonian harvest Gods. I summon Papa Ghuede - most powerful of all Voduin deities.

I summon Amaterasu and Amon-Ra. Apollo and Chronos.

Pangu, Zhu Rong, Nuwa. Avalokitesvara.

Moonstar of Limboooo! Give me the Might! The Muscle! The Malice, of Monstar!!! And a Massage. Don't forget the Massage.

Living Between the Ticks of a Second

I. Am. The Flash.

You would not believe what I managed today, and that's without a working PC.

I am the World's Greatest. And that chick is not wearing any pants! Ooh!

Muahahahaha!

Maybe I need a massage to have a rest from all this awesomeness.

Tales from the Drunk Side: The Artist Formerly Known as Amir Hafizi

There's been a lot of talk about art since forever. In Malaysia, where the practice of art-making has been there since the beginning, and yet the organised community-wide appreciation of it is still in its infancy, a lot of conmen want to jump out and say that their view of art is the only view.

Damn them to hell.

Damn them all to hell. There are millions of ways to view art.

To me, art is simply communication. It is a means to transmit, to broadcast, which is more varied than normal communication. It's like in traditional musicals, when words are no longer enough to express one's feelings, the characters break into song. You don't simply put songs wherever and hope for the best.

Is beauty art? No. But there can be beauty in communicating an idea or an emotion. A beautiful photo can be beautiful, without telling any story, idea or emotion and there is no art there. It's just an art FORM. Art has both content and form.

There is potential for art in communicating even anger or hatred, sadness or fear. A theatrical performance need not be funny.

Plus, the contents of the art are sometimes only conceived at the point when the viewer or audience or 'experiencer' sees it. Quantum physics. Schrodinger's cat.

I have observed that when crowds here go watch movies or the theatre, most want to demonstrate that they get the message, and it is easiest when the message induces laughter. They are deathly afraid of not 'getting it', some of them, which will reduce egoes to a 'lesser state'. Anything which involves more than one emotion or state of being - a more authentic and common experience in real life - troubles some people.

They are afraid of being wrong, I think. But there is no right or wrong. I have sat stoicly, enjoying a very funny movie without once laughing or smiling. I enjoyed it, thought it to be very funny indeed, but that doesn't mean I have to laugh. I can also not enjoy it. Or enjoy it in a different manner. You can be seriously sad while watching a comedy, or horrified, but still enjoy it. It's like Springtime For Hitler.

I watch some movies because they make me sad. Or rather, I use it to allow myself sadness. Or anger. Sometimes, hatred. Perhaps the simplest example are songs. I don't listen to just one type of songs. I find that limiting.

Some songs, I listen to because it makes me angry. Some, make me sad. Others, thoughtful. I find that certain video game songs stimulate connections in my brain to better achieve certain effects. I use songs to compell me to write, as it stimulates or promotes certain types of connections in the brain. And none of them are classical music, except for Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No 3, First Movement. Also a preference for the harpishcord. Did I spell that right? Who gives a shit?

A more complex act of art-making is when you do not communicate things - ideas, thoughts and emotions - directly, but set things up so audiences experience the message themselves. It's like Lemmings.

Alan Moore is a master at this. He doesn't point to a picture or a bunch of words and say, "Be sad." or "I am sad." He takes you on a journey, and you will feel and think many things. You really feel like Indiana Jones, and that he is a crypt or labyrinth designer. With class.

If Gaiman is a master of art as a form, with his ninja-writing skills of duplicating styles, Moore is a master of content. He knows just how to make you get it.

I believe I have done enough wanking for tonight. Am rather lugubrious at the moment, so I might regret writing this masturbatory article tomorrow. But I shall think about tomorrow later, for tomorrow is another day.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Almanak Masakan Bumi dan Langit: Penghisap Siput

Hari ini adalah hari pertama aku mengasingkan diri dari dunia kepahlawanan (aku cuti dua minggu), jadi aku pergi ke Brickfields untuk mencari Restoran Puteri, tempat asalnya Siput Sedut Penghapus Dewa.

Dikatakan yang SIput Sedut Penghapus dewa mendapat namanya apabila seorang dewa pergi makan di Restoran Puteri. Setelah makan hidangan Siput Sedut tersebut, dewa itu mati. Maka, Siput Sedut Penghapus Dewa!

Mencari Restoran Puteri agak sukar, kerana aku tak ingat sangat jalannya. Terpaksalah aku bertanya jalan.

Aku: Akulah Tok Sukaria daripada Kumpulan Sukaria, yang sebahagian daripada Pakatan Bersepuluh! Aku mencari Restoran Puteri!

Mamat India: Restoran Melayu ke?

Aku: Hm!

MI: Kat sini, semua restoran India saja. Restoran atau kedai Melayu tak ada.

Aku: Ahhh! AKu tau Restoran Puteri ada di sekitar sini, dan aku takkan berhenti mencari sampailah aku dapat merasa kembali kehebatan Siput Sedut Penghapus Dewa! Ahhhh!

MI: Aiyo, brader, boleh tak kalau jangan praktis hikmat kat sini?

AKu berjalan, dan berjalan. banyak dugaan yang berlaku sepanjang pencarian aku.

Pekedai: Kuih Cincin! Maruku! Kuih Cincin!

Aku: Alamak! Kuih cincin, atau kuih gelang atau nama rasisnya, Kuih Taik Telinga K___! Ini memang kuih yang sedap, dan mampu mengakibatkan kencing manis! Ahhh! Siput Sedut Penghapus Dewa!

Akhirnya, dengan bantuan Kumpulan Kelawar Hitam, aku sampai jua ke Restoran Puteri.

Aku: AKulah Tok Sukaria daripada Kumpulan Sukaria, sebahagian Pakatan Bersepuluh! Keluarkan Siput Sedut Penghapus Dewa kau! Huh!

Pekedai: Maaf. Siput Sedut Penghapus Dewa hanya tinggal sikit, dan hanya boleh keluar dengan ditemani Udang Masak Petai Tidak Berbatas.

Aku: Cayalah! Bawak keluar kedua-duanya!

AKu pun makan Siput Sedut Penghapus Dewa dan Udang Masak Petai Tidak Terbatas. Siput Sedut Penghapus Dewa memang tawar sedikit, sambil Udang Masak Petai Tidak Terbatas sedikit masin. Apabila bergabung, maka tercetuslah MahaKuasa!

Aku: Wah! Sedapnya! Hou! Hou! Hou! Cayalah!

Pekedai: Apa dia?

Aku: Rasa tawar, masin dan lemak yang tercipta dan diserap oleh nasi memang hebat! Petai yang masak pula menambah elemen keempat yang memang hebat! Udang tak dapat ditahan, Siput tak dapat diduga! Ini memang hidangan yang mampu menghapuskan dewa! Tidak Menyesal Membunuh Dewa.

Penyerang Misteri: Ahhhh! Pergilah mampus! Tok Sukaria jahanam! Siput Sedut ini bukannya hebat sangat!

Aku: Siapakah gerangan yang berani mencabar aku ini?

Penyerang Misteri: Aku.

Aku: Mou Lan Ciao?

Pekedai: Siapa dia ni?

Aku: Adik seguru Mou Ming (Tanpa Nama) dan Po Jun. Mou Lan Ciao, sebab utama kenapa Mou Ming mengasingkan diri dan membuang namanya.

Imbas Kembali Kisah Dahulu

Terpisah daripada isterinya, Mou Ming bermalam dengan Mou Lan Ciao. Kerana keterlanjurannya, Mou Ming membuang namanya dan berkelanan ke serata tempat. Oh,
isterinya juga membunuh diri apabila mendapati Mou Ming biseksual.

Tamat Imbas Kembali

Pekedai: Habis, apa yang dia nak?

Mou Lan Ciao: Aku akan musnahkan Siput Sedut Penghapus Dewa!

Aku: Hmph. Aku akui. Ada beberapa ekor siput yang masih belum masak sepenuhnya, dan kehebatan Siput Sedut Penghapus Dewa ini hanya sampai ke tahap 80% Kuasa Tahap Kesempurnaan, namun dalam Dunia Kepahlawanan Masakan, adakah hidangan Siput Sedut lain yang mampu melawannya? Lagipun, pelayannya bagus. Oleh itu, aku akan mengurniakan perlindungan kepada Siput Sedut Penghapus Dewa dan Restoran Puteri.

Mou Lan Ciao: Tok Sukaria, kau berani?

Aku: Kalau takutkan Penjejak Awan dan Penjejak Badai, jangan berumah di tepi pantai.

Mou Lan Ciao: Kau...

Aku: Dengan ini, aku isytiharkan yang Siput Sedut Penghapus Dewa adalah hidangan Siput Sedut terhebat di KL dan Wilayah Persekutuan!

Mou Lan Ciao: Ahhhhh!

Aku: Mari aku deklamasikan puisi

Melihat siput-siput dan udang-udang yang bergelimpangan di medan tempur,
Badan bercerai dari cengkerang,
Aku minum teh tarik sambil menyanyikan lagu
yang boleh menyampaikan kesayuan seorang jaguh handalan.


Mou Lan Ciao: Ugh! Tak rhyme pun! Ahhhhh!

Aku: Rhyme, kalau dalam Bahasa Cina.

Aku: Laut membelah pantai, syurga ketawaaaa.
Melihat dunia, bermasalah. Marilah minum, hilangkan duka.
Laaaa lalala la laaaa. La lalala la laaa


Mou Lan Ciao: Ahhhh! Aku takkan lepaskan kau, Tok Sukaria!

Aku: Hm! Cacing hendak menjadi naga. Tetapi, kau sentiasa boleh mencuba.