Sunday, September 30, 2012

House of M: Justin Timberlake Vs Metallica

Yes, I know I said I'd only continue the House of M series of wanks when newspapers die or some shit, but I just had this need to tell you shit about other shit aside from newspapers and shit.

Once upon a time, if you wanted music, you paid RM40 for a CD or some shit. Before that, it was cassette tapes, and even earlier, some archaic dinosaur formats like vinyl and 8-track and whatever the fuck.

From that RM40 we old people used to pay for CDs, and still do, the real artists who produced the damn shit got like, RM1, RM2 or even 40 cents. I don'r know. Most of that money went to recording labels.

In the old days, labels nurtured talent. Then they perhaps figured out that they don't have to invest so much time and money to do that. They can just take whatever, sell it and make even more money from the transaction between artist and consumer.

And then, Justin Timberlake came, before he approached Jessie Eisenberg, and he made something called Napster. Napster allowed you to sit in front of a computer and share music and shit. Story has it that Justin Timberlake only wanted to move files online from his home to college and created a 'peer-to-peer system'.

See, computers talk to each other using seven layers. ... And then I forgot what my lecturer taught me. But fuck it, right? You don't want to know this shit. There's always Wikipedia.

Justin Timberlake quickly became the Phantom Menace of the music industry. The Metallica dudes sued him or some shit.

Now, Metallica was one of those artists whom I liked, but then decided music commerce and litigation was more fun than actually making music.

When they released their highest selling album at the time - The Black Album - they got pissed off. Even more pissed off and emo than their songs or being rockers. This is of course, based on half-remembered articles and stuff kids talked about, so it is not really something I would say as the guaranteed truth.

Anyway, let's just ASSUME I remember it right and Metallica, or rather their frontman James Hetfield, was pissed off

See, despite the success of The Black Album, they were losing to the biggest act at the time - Nirvana. Kobain just offed himself and grunge was making a stamp - a bigger stamp than Metallica.

The Black Album lost ground to Nirvana's whatever album and Kobain's cross-dressing.

So, they started to become more commerce-conscious. They became businessmen. And they sued Napster, or something.

So poor old Justin Timberlake had nothing else to do but try and make Napster a paid service and shit. He failed, and that is why he was one of those washed up losers - albeit a loser with money - when he approached Jesse Eisenberg in that movie The Social Network or some shit.

However, Justin Timberlake opened a Pandora's box so huge - so big, it rivals the opening of your mother's cavernous vagina - no one could ever close it again.

Two major things happened - people decided they like getting things for free using computers and the internet, even if it is technically stealing, and people decided they did not want a huge, obnoxious intermediary between them and shit they consume, like music. And it was way easier than making a mixtape.

This thing that happened soon went to video sharing, peer-to-peer. Software. Homemade porn. PirateBay? P2P. Even some legit content shops online use some sort of P2P architecture as a base because it works really well.

The creative industry - and by industry, I mean large motherfucking conglomerates - responded with DRM shit. Digital Rights Management which fucks up your life. DRM died a year or two ago, and this brings us to now.

I believe that the future of content trading - the business side of it - will be without big, giant, loud middlemen.

I believe that the days of RM40 CDs are numbered. Or maybe they're gone. I dunno. Last time I bought a CD was at a discount store, where I got the OST for Cowboy Bebop for RM20. Original, CBU, imported from Japan shit, yo!

Nowadays, if I want to listen to any song, I open YouTube or any other similar shit.

I don't mind paying RM1 per song, and if most of the RM1 goes to the artist and not to pay for some ass salad or some shit.

I think the same thing would befall everything else as well - movies, TV series, pictures, news content. Any form of content.

It's funny because it's media content, without the media. Get it?

No recording labels, no TV stations, no cinemas, no newspapers. You pay per piece. Fuck the subscription model. You just go and take what you want. And pay for it.

I tried to scare some filmmakers today, telling them the world is ending. But in truth, it is not. It is simply changing. And maybe for the better. We can make it better. For the artists, the filmmakers, the readers and of course, the audience.

Content can be cheaper, if the medium, and more importantly, the system it is being delivered on, isn't so greedy.

In Malaysia, once you sell content to a TV station, usually that's all you get from that one-off sale. In the States, ONE work you did some time in the '70s  can still pay for your kids' college education today.

Content producers in Malaysia don't usually get any piece of this pie. Nada. Zip. If you write songs, you do get royalty. If you write books, you get some. But if you do bigger projects, you don't get for example, 2.5 per cent of gross, across the board, that was fought by some unions such as the Screenwriters' Guild of America.

I don't see this situation changing anytime soon. It might be 500 years or a few thousand years before our own industries evolve to that stage. But some things are changing. Some media companies are turning their most lucrative mediums - media. aheheheh - into marketplaces. Into the paid Napster services of old.

Ye olde Napster.

I guess when all this is over, Justin Timberlake can still bring sexy back.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Run Run Show: Runnnn! Runnnn!

I read Fadli Akiti's article this afternoon and believe he, along with industry people like Syamsul Yusof, have a point.

What point are they making? Well go and read la. The articles are in Bahasa Malaysia, though, so you Melayu celups can go fuck off or some shit.

I believe they are commenting on the fact that most Malaysian movies this year didn't make money. Leftwings, with 60 prints, made only what, RM20,000? Most Malaysian movies failed at the box-office this year, after a few years riding high on KL Gangster's RM12.5 million success and Ombak Rindu making the kind of social impact I've only seen with Masked Rider Black.

Is the Malaysian film industry really dying? Well, the Chinese-language ones are flourishing. I can't remember shit right now, but Ah Beng and a few others made decent numbers. I can't find their figures on Finas' website, but I heard they did well. Which is my next point - is it time we fully embrace the 1Malaysia concept and include ALL Malaysian-made movies, regardless of language, to receive fair treatment from the governing bodies?

This includes Chinese-language movies, the various Indian dialect movies and yes, even pretentious Malaysian-slang English movies that sound like TV Pendidikan productions?

I say, hell yes! There's no point in being racist, really, and I believe the non-inclusion of non-BM titles to be racist. I mean, fuck the language, man. I'd watch a movie in C++ if I could remember that shit. We should embrace all languages our people speak, except Korean. I have to be racist towards one group of people and I choose Koreans for no particular reason.

But... if you ask me, I don't have the answer for questions now being asked to the Malaysian film industry. I don't have the solution. Some people have theirs, of course.

A producer I know was quoted as saying he believes Malaysian movies should be done in English for overseas markets. One has to only look at Korean satirist and musician Psy's Oppa Gangnam Style and the various Japanese anime productions (a US$3 billion international industry) which shows that it is probably not the language factor that is the main reason.

David Teoh is banking on 'Islamic-themed' movies but can you name me any three of those that made it big a the box-office this year. And David Teoh's Metrowealth failing spells financial doom for many. If he, with all his resources and understanding of 'film commerce', can't make money, then what chance does anyone have?

Spoke to a former filmmaker just now and he believes it is just desserts for some, as they have done some cardinal sins along the way.

He believes that for four decades, the Malaysian film industry has been ignoring the entire society. Some races get sidelined, and a lot of audiences are alienated when some movies were only done with a small part of the community in mind.

Even then, this small handful of people who regularly watch Malaysian movies - maybe 500,000 or so - were being served the same thing over and over again. How many rempit movies have we shown them? How many horror movies we have shoved in their faces?

The chase for quick bucks will eventually lead to killing the goose that lays the golden egg - or in this case, boring it it to death.

I believe what the audience is experiencing right now is viewing fatigue. For over 40 years, it's the same thing. Some advancement here and there, but usually mere novelties rather than revolutionary.

People who believe we just have to make good movies are naive, in my book. But their naivety is important, and necessary. Lots of people I know in the industry jumped in because of a misguided superhero complex. I was - and still am - one of them.

I thought I could do better. Some shit worked, some didn't. It is what it is.

Anyway, we also have those who blame the audience. Some people have said, "Malaysian audience is stupid". I can't stand that. You can't blame people for not liking your shit. You can't call them stupid. You're stupid because you showed it to an audience which would not get your shit.

I believe accusing the audience of being stupid is just an excuse to do stupid work. You can't change people, and you don't have to pander as well. Pandering to the audience is what got us to this state.

One of my friends believe that the future looks to be a few hit movies over the course of a few years, while most will bomb at the box-office. Will this mean movie people will die starving by the roadside?

Well. Who knows? Does anyone give a shit? The Malaysian film industry died before - maybe a few times. There was a period I remember when Yusof Haslam was perhaps the only dude making money from movies.

The balance between making money and making movies is a fragile thing. The definition of a 'good movie' is also subjective.

There are those who say there are too many movies, or that Singapore is not a viable market, or we should follow Indonesia and tax the shit out of foreign movies, leading to a RM20 ticket price for Iron Man 3 and RM10 for Adnan Sempit 3. That will cause resentment. Just like how car prices are being made political because the Government taxes the shit out of them to protect Proton, allegedly.

Like I said, I don't have all the answers. I don't have any answers. I just wanted to rant before going to sleep.

All in all, it has just been one bad year. One bad year means as much as having a few excellent years before this, when quite a few films broke the 8 million ringgit barrier - absolutely nothing.

I believe in one thing, though, facing the possibility of not making money at all, we should all do movies that we like doing. At the very least, if there's no money, you can still get creative satisfaction. And then die like everyone else.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

House of M: For Whom the Bell Tolls

Everyone who have ever predicted anything about the death or survival of newspapers have been wrong.

Newspapers did not die in 2001, after some people did a video and shared it online. Meanwhile those who believe things will never change have seen the downsizing of Fairfax Media in Australia and the hundreds of newspapers closing around the world.

My generation has always been cursed with overseeing the extremely chaotic transitional periods. Periods of verwirrung before ordnung. War before order.

I have always believed that these pivotal moments will be filled with instances of heroism, valor and cruelty. Unfortunately, all I have seen so far have been mostly about fear. Fear of the unknown, blablabla, blablabla.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't know what will happen. I do know that things will change, as they have always been since the creation of the universe. Journalism will take another form. Idiots will still rule the world, and smart people like me will find refuge somewhere amidst a storm of stupidity.

Ah, fuck it. I got lots to do. I am suspending my House of M series, until something interesting happens, like the real death of newspapers, if it ever happens in my lifetime.

Fuck all this shit. I'm making movies, baby! Yeah!

Logik Logistik

Sambil bermain Jagged Alliance 2 - satu game old school seperti XCom - aku  terfikir pasal ekonomi negara, dan peranan pengangkutan serta logistik dalam membentuk masa depan yang cerah.

Jagged Alliance 2, satu game tembak-tembak. Bukan FPS atau RTS, tetapi turn-based RPG dengan unsur RTS. Namun, yang menyebabkan aku bersengkang mata berjam-jam lamanya pada hampir setiap hujung minggu, adalah sesuatu yang amat remeh - menyusun barang dan kelengkapan berperang.

Mereka yang bermain Diablo (1, 2 dan 3) pasti akan faham. Aku pernah mintak kawan aku yang ada main Diablo 2 supaya bagi aku susun barang dia. Berjam-jam aku susun barang-barang dia, transmute potion jadi rejuvenation potion, pelbagai kelengkapan dan senjata yang ada, demi memastikan dia ada cukup ruang untuk menyimpan alatan yang bakal dimenangi dengan membunuh lembu yang dirasuk syaitan.

Jagged Alliance 2 membawa hal ini ke tahap yang lebih tinggi. Bukan setakat inventori yang boleh dioptimumkan, malah ada unsur logistik yang perlu diberi perhatian.

Contoh: Dalam game ini, akan diberikan satu lapangan terbang. Satu sahaja, dan bergantung lapangan mana yang kita bebaskan dahulu. Mengikut naluri normal, sepatutnya di lapangan pertama yang kita jumpa - di timur laut peta permainan. Namun, lapangan terbaik dan paling strategik ada di tengah-tengah peta.

Untuk menawan lapangan ini, harus berlawan dalam lima petak extra, dalam jangkamasa lima jam, atau lima hari, bergantung kepada pelbagai faktor.

Lokasi lapangan terbang penting sebab jumlah minyak yang boleh dikumpul dalam permainan ini amat terhad. Pengangkutan watak juga amat penting sebab watak yang terpaksa berjalan (membawa inventori yang sudah dioptimumkan) akan cepat penat dan mungkin pengsan ketika bertemu musuh.

Ada pelbagai kenderaan lagi seperti Hummer, trak aiskrim dan van yang juga menggunakan minyak. Ini biasanya digunakan demi menawan tapak peluru berpandu yang menyekat penerbangan helikopter.

Logistik dalam Jagged Alliance 2 amat penting dan berguna hingga ada kebarangkalian untuk menang dengan hanya menggunakan logistik, tanpa perlu menawan satu petak pun, atau menembak sebutir peluru!

Aku terfikir perihal Legoland, sebenarnya. Dengan Lapangan Terbang Changi menjadi lapangan terbang antarabangsa paling dekat, apakah nasib inisiatif Iskandar di sana? Lapangan Terbang Senai hanya menerima penerbangan dalam negeri. Kalau hendak Bolehkan Legoland hanya ditampung oleh pelancongan dalam negeri? Berapa kali orang Malaysia nak pergi Legoland?

Walaupun dengan kitaran tarikan seperti Sunway Lagoon, mampukah Legoland bertahan? Mungkin dalam sepuluh tahun pertama, bukan semua 28 juta orang Malaysia dah pergi ke sana, tapi kalau main dengan bini lepas 7 tahun pun dah bosan...

Lepas tu, aku fikir pasal projek MRT - projek infrastruktur terbesar dalam sejarah Malaysia. Aku ada ternampak petanya, dan aku amat teruja sampai hampir terpancut. MRT bakal menghubungkan kawasan pedalaman yang didiami berukera seperti Kajang dengan tempat yang cool seperti The Curve.

Aku yang duduk di Bangsar dan menolak pemilikan kereta akan dapat akses atau capaian yang mudah ke mana sahaja yang ada stesen MRT.

Mungkin, satu hari nanti, aku tinggal di Ipoh atau Kuala Pilah dan naik tren untuk bekerja di Bangsar. Ini projek yang bagus!

Aku mencari pelbagai maklumat tentang projek MRT ini, tetapi malangnya, aku tak jumpa maklumat yang sahih. Ada rakan daripada kumpulan pembangkang yang berkata, kononnya projek MRT ini dibiaya kerajaan dan bukan swasta. Betul ke?

Tepatkah angka yang mereka nyatakan?

Najib ni pun satu, macam projek bangunan tinggi-tinggi yang dia umumkan dahulu - itu projek kerajaan ke? Aku paham, kalau dia baru naik, dia nak buktikan dia boleh buat kerja, tapi relaks la, pakcik. Projek bangunan-bangunan yang lagi tinggi daripada KLCC tu - tu projek kerajaan ke?

Yelah, kalau projek kerajaan, maksudnya dia pakai duit kerajaan - duit kita. Sesetengah orang, takkan puas hati selagi duit tu tak dapat kat diorang. Ada sesetengah jenis pembangkang, main bangkang tak tentu pasal, mungkin pasal mak dia datang bulan dan tak boleh nak melakukan sumbang mahram dengannya pada hari tersebut.

Kalau projek ni semua projek swasta, dengan sokongan kerajaan, aku rasa, GO AHEAD! Projek infrastruktur dan logistik bakal memacu dan memeriahkan ekonomi negara. Aku pun senang nak pergi Ikea. Atau kalau aku nak kerja kat Bangsar, sewa banglo kat Ipoh, dengan awek pembantu rumah Ipoh Mali.

Katil Ikea yang aku pakai 5 tahun tu, memang tahan hentakan. Kalau patah, aku senang je beli satu lagi, naik tren je! Oh hohohoho!

Aku cadangkan, demi kesejahteraan semua, Najib atau kerajaan jangan nak claim credit kalau bukan projek kerajaan. Kerajaan ni kadang-kadang, hujan atau sungai pun dia nak claim credit. Pembangkang pulak, boleh tak sumbat mulut kau dengan bijik kelentit mak kau kejap? Bagila kita ada MRT, bangunan tinggi-tinggi dan pelbagai lapangan terbang antarabangsa pulak.

Aku tau la, sesetengah kita berkiblatkan Singapore. Nampak sangat. Tapi boleh tak jangan dengki sangat? Bukan semua benda kat Malaysia ni buruk, dan bukan semua benda kita kena tentang membabi buta.

Macam dalam Jagged Alliance 2, aku pernah main daripada mula sampai akhir, dengan menggunakan taktik logistik yang super hebat. Hasilnya, aku berjaya selesaikan musuh akhir, Deidranna, dalam masa 2 minggu (in-game time) daripada enam bulan, cara aku bermain biasa, menggunakan resource control.

Percayalah, logistik itu MahaPenting.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Firasat Naga Syaitan Api Traktor Peluh Cangkul Kopi

Semalam aku bermimpi ngeri. Aku bermimpi, aku dibuli oleh krew produksi TV dan seorang pengarah Pan-Asian yang asyik mentertawakan aku.

Dalam mimpi ngeri tersebut, mereka memaksa aku mengambil dadah, mempengaruhi semua kawan-kawan aku, termasuk Daphne Iking, agar membenci aku. Mereka paksa aku buat kerja-kerja yang lahanat. Aku pulak, rasa macam kena penjara dalam botol kaca. Semangat aku tak boleh nak keluar, sampailah aku mengaktifkan Jalan Syaitan Tidak Terbatas. Tapi, sebelum aku dapat mengenakan Tinju Maut Dunia Paus pada mereka yang ketawa berdekah-dekah, aku terjaga.

Hari ini, aku mimpi lagi. Aku mimpi orang yang sama, menghantar hantu yang ganas ke arah aku. Hantu tu memang ganas, sampai aku terpaksa mengatur pernafasan untuk melancarkan Hikmat Pedang Salji - Jurus Paling Ganas - Teratai Merah Terlantar di Luar Pagar.

Aku terjaga, dan muka aku sesejuk salji. Aku tengok dalam cermin -  aku masih kacak dan bergaya.

Setelah memastikan aku masih kacak, aku telefon mak aku. Aku ceritakan dua-dua mimpi aku. Sebagai seorang emak, memang dia risau.

"Kau tau, kes-kes penghantaran hantu dan ilmu hitam semakin berleluasa di sini juga," kata mak aku, dalam nada komik.

"Apa? Perlukah kita menggunakan 'itu'?"

"Belum. Belum masanya lagi. Kalau gunakan 'itu', dunia akan berakhir."

"Cis! Apa gunanya kalau kita tak gunakan 'itu'?"

"'Itu'... hanyalah untuk masa-masa genting. Biarlah dia tidur. Biar sampai sisik emas."

"Oh hohohoho! Jadi, kat sini, hanya boleh gunakan 'ini'?"

"Ya, gunakan 'ini'."

Sebenarnya, mak aku takde pun mengamalkan pembelaan semangat naga. Saja aku tambah supaya kedengaran lebih hebat.

Mak aku memang bimbangkan aku. Tak dinafikan, aku kacak. Dahlah semakin kurus. Aku sentiasa bernasib baik dalam kehidupan. Aku dapat menjadi pengarang suratkhabar pada usia yang amat muda. Dalam dunia korporat, aku pun cepat naik. Walau apapun, aku juga berjaya bekerjasama untuk membuat filem-filem dan menerbitkan karya aku di peringkat tempatan dan antarabangsa. Juga, aku memang kacak. Aku dah cakap belum, aku kacak?

Tidak hairanlah jika ada yang membuang duit, bersengkang mata tengah-tengah malam buta, sanggup diraba oleh conman yang menyamar bomoh untuk menghantar segala macam ilmu hitam pada aku.

Inilah beban seorang yang kacak.

Aku memang tak percayakan ilmu hitam, sebab aku rasa benda tu bodoh. Tapi, kalau ada yang nak berlawan berangan ilmu hitam dengan aku, mari, oh hohohoho!

Aku seru Seri Gumum dan hantu Kubur Tok Panjang. Summon Bahamut Zero! Ko terbalikkan dunia mereka. Kau ratah tulang dan daging mereka. Kau hirup darah mereka. Aku nak kau kacau sampai mereka mati dalam keadaan tak siuman.

Kau ingat kau sorang setan? Oh hohohohohoho!

Dodgy Characters

I'm some ways into my novel, when I discovered that my portrayal of characters in the story - most of them based on manipulative relationships - is not realistic. I forgot that no character is coloured only by themselves. That works only in comics... and I guess books. But I can't do that with this. It doesn't work.

The thing that turns me off from any girl, is the world they come from. This book is full of girls.

You see, no person stands alone. They always come from some sort of group or families, friends, whatever.  Having a relationship exclusively with one person is an ideal which is difficult to achieve. And I hate that.

You have to look at social dynamics and politics and whatever the fuck. Look at a lot of girls who parade their couples around to advertise how their vaginas managed to attract dicks. Men and their trophy wives to prove their virility and as a sign of success. It's all politics. Too tiring. Too complicated.

This is why wrestling works. The stories are simple. Two men (or women) enter the ring. One good, one bad. They fight, and one leaves as the victor. A story you could sell many times over, across many boundaries - geographical, racial, social, economical. And it works every damn time.

Most people, I believe, look at relationships and evaluate how that would upgrade or downgrade their social or political standing. Love is a campaign slogan. Marriage, a corporate merger. It's all about the spin. It's all about image.

Is it wrong? I don't give a shit. I'm trying to write a story. About relationships. And how corrupted they are. But all I have to say, I have already said it before. There is nothing new.

I think I have to think of a new story. Something fresh and exciting. I can still use whjat I've written, but in a different format, with a different goal.

Flu Fighter: Endgame, Corn and McDreamy

I started the long weekend with a flu. Tonight, I managed to get past all the symptoms except for this annoying cough.

I used to be able to chase away viruses from my system in a matter of hours. Now, it takes days. Still grateful that it's ending.

I go into the final day of the long weekend with a lot of things still unfinished. There is still time, of course, and tomorrow is a new day.

One day, if I ever make enough money to fund my escape velocity, I'll quit everything and write stuff all day long. I'll also do some charity work.

Most young kids nowadays have no appreciation whatsoever for hard work or even the plight of those who are less fortunate. Whenever I talk about this, I sound like an old man. However, seeing as how my immune system is not as robust as it was, I guess I am old.

My parents came from the Silent Generation. The kids nowadays, they were raised by Baby Boomers - possibly the worst generation that has created so much destruction on this earth. I'm the Lord of Destruction - I should know.

Things don't come easy. They never did. Think about bread. The process that got us to bread is a long journey. Humans had to identify wheat from tall grass and reeds, harvest it, pulverise it into flour, mix water, yeast, salt, sugar, learn the leavening process, and then bake it at temperatures over 220 degrees or some shit.

Nowadays, you can just buy cheap bread without a second thought. It's easy, right?

You want to watch anything, just a few keystrokes through PirateBay, via some Google thingy and not even the Malaysian Government can stop anyone from getting any content for free, anytime, anywhere.

I love convenience, but without a sense of history of what it took to get us anywhere, there can be no proper appreciation of what went into it.

George Washington Carver battled racism and ignorance so he could promote peanut butter, so you could buy Goober whatever and slather it on your bread. HN Ridley went everywhere with rubber seeds in his pants so that your boyfriend/husband could fuck a prostitute with a condom on and avoid giving you the clap.

Alexander Flemming and Dr Florey brought us the penicillin - maybe the world's first wide-spectrum anitibiotics? I forget. I am old.

And whenever I face daunting tasks anywhere, I always think about corn. Planting corn is fucking hard work. I tried it for a few weeks and I swore, on my own grave, never to fucking plant corn ever fucking again.

I hauled ONE - ONE - bag of cement (that's 50kg, by the way) from a truck and swore I will never haul cement for a living. The thing is poisonous. And it's fucking heavy!

I've never told these young kids how to behave. Nope. Nobody ever told me how to live my life and if they did, I never listened to them. Because they're all wrong.

But whatever. These writings have become the rants of an old man, sinking in a world that has become even more shallow than it was when I started breathing.

Everyone's in a hurry everywhere. There is no waiting around. There is no growing things slowly, methodically, carefully. Everything starts with a bang, and ends with a sputter.

It's all fast food and bullshit, from where I'm sitting. Instant gratification, instant noodles, McSuccess.

Well, I can't really complain without being a hypocrite. Throughout my career, I cultivated speed.

Oh well. Fuck you, next generation. All the problems, all the mistakes we old people have done, it's up to you to solve them. Why the fuck should I care? I'm just going to swallow this bena-expectorant and get some instant sleep. McDreamy!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Maruah Di Tangan Orang Lain: Isu Filem Hina Nabi

Baru-baru ini, ada hal, ada kes pasal sekumpulan orang bukan Islam yang buat satu filem bertajuk 'Innocence of Muslims' atau 'Innocence of Bin Laden'.

Kononnya, filem tu kutuk Nabi Muhammad S.A.W, kutuk Islam dan membuat filem dengan pelakon yang memainkan watak Rasulullah.

Punyalah marah, orang Islam ada yang kononnya menyerang kedutaan dan konsulat di Mesir, Yemen dan Berlin.

Aku harap, orang Islam di sini tak perlu menyerang mana-mana kedutaan. Aku rasa, benda macam ni kita boleh selesaikan dengan cara aman dan tak perlu bunuh-bunuh orang. Itu cara zaman jahiliah. Kita yang kononnya bertamadun ni, yang bersopan, tak payah lah nak emo macam unta kena kembiri.

Aku baru bercakap dengan member aku pasal filem tu. Aku dah tengok Innocence of Muslims dan aku rasa memang dibuat untuk mengapi-apikan orang Islam yang senang diapi-apikan. Aku tak fikir pelakon dan krew tahu filem itu untuk apa, sebab tang nama-nama Muhammad, Khadija semua, dia main letak dubbing. Aku terbaca dalam artikel, masa kat set, watak Muhammad tu nama dia asalnya Master George dan filem tu untuk tunjukkan gaya hidup orang Mesir zaman purba.

Filem tu memang buruk dengan kesan khas yang murahan dan nampak macam dibuat dalam masa 12 jam sahaja. Agendanya pula, aku rasa memang jelas hendak cucuk orang Islam supaya pergi bunuh orang; mengacau sentimen kebencian yang berkelodak.

Kita tak boleh nak mengawal mtindakan orang lain, tapi hati-hatilah dengan tindakan diri sendiri.

Aku selalu kelakar bila orang kat sini bercakap pasal maruah. "Filem ini merendahkan maruah Islam," kata kawan aku. Aku gelak je. Dia marah.

Berkuasa sungguh filem tu sampai boleh merendahkan maruah Islam, ya? Rendah benar ke maruah Islam, kalau pasal filem bodoh tu pun boleh terkelar?

Maruah bukan terletak pada apa orang kata. Bila orang puji atau kutuk, maruah tu tak naik dan tak turun. Martabat pun sama. Maruah yang sebenar, yang jitu, hanya wujud dalam diri sendiri. Bagi aku, maruah itu pandangan diri kita sendiri pada diri sendiri. Maruah Islam adalah pandangan umat Islam sendiri pada agamanya. Bukan pandangan orang lain.

Kita ni, hidup bukan untuk merasa bangga sebab orang puji. Itu riak namanya. Bongkak. Sombong. Itu halatuju hidup yang palsu dan rapuh. Pengakhirannya hanyalah sesuatu yang bodoh.

Maruah kita adalah pegangan kita; integriti kita. Terletak pada kata-kata dan perlakuan kita, bukan pada kata-kata atau perlakuan orang lain - walaupun bercakap pasal kita.

Banyak orang puji aku. Ramai jugak kutuk aku. Adakah maruah aku naik atau turun dengan kata-kata mereka? Tidak sama sekali. Walau dijulang 44 kaki pun, aku masih berdiri atas bumi yang sama. Aku masih menongkat langit yang sama yang aku tongkat sejak aku lahir.

Jadi, kalau kau mahu kembali pada ajaran agama, adakah Islam menuntut kita umatnya pergi bunuh orang yang memfitnah agama kita? Nabi buat apa? Dia hanya menyerang mereka yang menyerang dahulu, dan bila kita cakap pasal serang, aku maksudkan serangan yang setimpal. Tidak adil untuk membunuh orang kalau mereka hanya berkata-kata.

Kalau kau marah, maka tujuan mereka yang buat filem ini sudah tercapai, sebab memang dia nak buat orang marah pun. Dia nak buat orang Islam marah, pastu bunuh orang tak tentu hala, lepas tu dia boleh cakap lagi yang orang Islam ni tak bertamadun dan takde kemanusiaan. Bila ini terjadi, mereka boleh bawak bala tentera, bunuh dan rogol semua orang Islam dalam negara orang Islam sendiri.

Kalau kau bodoh, maka pergilah berarak dan susahkan semua orang pasal filem yang tak seberapa tu. Pertahankanlah 'maruah' kau yang hanya wujud di hujung lidah orang lain, dan tidak dalam diri sendiri.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wanking: KL48 Hour Film Project Team Meeting

Tonight, I hosted a meeting between team members for the KL48 Hour Film Project. The intention was to introduce everyone to everyone and see the kind of chemistry we would have with each other.

Some other teams have been doing stuff together for years or months, and for us, this is the first time we would work with each other.

The meeting was held at my house, so I showed them some comics and gave them soy milk as well as green tea to drink.

It was cool and I think we are all projecting the same kind of energy on the same wavelength. This is for fun and experience, so there was really no room for wanking ambitious bullshit. Though when I threw the idea of working past KL48, I think most of us want to do shit like that as well.

I know what I want - a series of short films good enough for some festivals, and one long-term movie project.

I want to finish a script I've always wanted to do, and I want to shoot the story gradually, over a period of weekends. I estimate there would be over 200 shots and most of them will be without the main actors. Difficult to explain, so I'll just do it.

I think this will take between 3-5 years. I don't give a shit. This is the movie I've always wanted to do. THE movie.

First thing's first, though. The KL48, then a series of shorts, and then other stuff.

Tomorrow, an NGO wants to meet up with me for a series of PSAs. There are possibilities there, but for now, I will focus on getting over this flu.

All in all, very happy with the team. We have chemistry, even though on my end, it's more of bena-expectorant and ammonium chloride.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Flu Fighter: Weight-Loss Version

I have the flu and therefore, I left early today to spend some time resting at home. The meds I took make me  sleepy and snappy.

I am also adjusting my diet to accommodate the flu. When the virus hits, I sneeze and cough a lot, meaning there is a lot of loss of fluid. I am drinking lots of warm water and taking vitamins to ensure I don't lose too much nutrients.

I am suspending the taking of psyllium husk as it expels a lot of water from the body. Yes. Management of fluids in my body is of utmost priority.

I have two boxes of tissue paper - which might last me for two days, and enough supply of cough medication  till tomorrow. Bena-expectorant shuts down parts of my brain, allowing me to sleep. Actifed is a drowsy flu med that also knocks me out.

For food, I am taking oats and bread, for the duration of this flu. High-fiber wholegrain bread dipped in soup means I also get more fluids from there.

My mother sent me a package containing sambal ikan bilis from Kuantan, but they timed it wrong and I will probably only get it on Tuesday. I hope the entire thing is not spoiled. If part of it has mold, I would have to throw out the entire thing because the toxin is already in it.

And for some reason, they couriered it to my office despite me giving them my house address.

Meanwhile, the KL 48 Hour Short Film Project is still on. The location we were supposed to get has cancelled, probably because of faulty wiring. I don't like to speculate, but I doubt we would even need that location anyway. I thought it was a good way to promote the damn thing after it being something that is now lost to my and subsequent generations.

Oh well. Time for Detective Conan!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


While some SDARians (alumni of Sekolah Datuk Abdul Razak, my old school) of my generation tasted victories and placement so rarely and were very aware of this fact, some demonstrated the symptoms of having it easy.

I was discussing Gen-Y with two separate groups of people today, accidentally, and I found myself being the old man of the conversation.

I notice, though, that some 'negative' traits of Gen-Y is also inherent in any other generations. Particularly for those who fear losing. In fact, Singapore is an entire country who themselves built an image of people who hates losing, embodied in their one word - kiasu.

Malaysians are also kiasu, but some manifest it in different ways. I notice that for some kids, growing up to become adults was easy. EVERYTHING was easy. School was easy. College was easy. And then the real world came into being before their very eyes and they get scared and run away.

I saw it in SDAR. And I was one of them. I mean, even before that, primary school was easy for me. I was head of the class every single year. I scored, at the lowest, an 88% average for all exams. Highest was 97%. And here's a fact - I never studied for a single day until I was facing UPSR in Standard Six. A week before UPSR.

I'm not bragging. This is the truth, and the story does turn sour for me much later, trust me. And I was not the brightest nor did I score the highest amongst my peers, across the country, even back then.

I'll tell you one thing, though, when I was in Standard Six, for the final exams, I did not get number one. Nope. Another girl did. After three years since I transferred to that school, she beat me by four points.

So there I was, lost and alone, facing the humiliation, not from my peers, but from my father who just a year ago, when I got the 97% average, simply said, "Hmph. You could do better." He had a terrible temper for such a small man and his only two emotions were 'angry' and 'angrier'. He would not have tolerated my losing the number one spot. For a 12-year-old me, it was a life-or-death situation.

So I took my papers, the answers and the exam questions, and I went to every single possibility of a mistake, and I argued with four teachers. I argued and argued until I got the six extra marks because of their 'mistakes'.

I got number one, but the bitter taste of the victory was left in me for over 15 years. I was approaching 30 before I realised the guilt I was carrying was self-serving. See, guilt is just an egotistical thing to assure you that even though you have done something you consider to be wrong, you are still a good guy.

In SDAR, one of the four top boarding schools in Malaysia, we also had it easy. While some of us were morons, none of us are idiots. We all were heads of our class in primary school. Intelligence was prized above all else. Coolness, too, was prized - and I hated that. We established our own study techniques. We had the best teachers in Malaysia.

Cut a long story short, we proved this point when my batch took PMR in Form 3. ALL of us scored 8As - the best result you could achieve if you took 8 subjects - except I think 7 kids or so. These 'leftover' kids scored 7As and 1B.

You see, they are not idiots, but to us (or maybe just to me), at the time, if you scored 1B, you're a moron. That's the standard.

For SPM, our target was lower because it was more difficult. We aimed for everyone to get either single digit aggregates or everyone to get below 12 aggregates.

SPM during my time was calculated like this - the grades are A1, A2, C3-C6, P7, P8 and F9. Six of your top subjects will be calculated. Say, you get six A1s, your average score is 1+1+1+1+1+1+1 = 6. That's the lowest possible score, meaning it's the best.

If your score is below 22 or 23, that's Grade 1. Above that is Grade 2, and some far away ridiculous number after that, is Grade 3. If you fail even more, you get SAP - practically a general high school diploma.

Our target soon became below 12 aggregates max because some of our seniors got to overseas universities in Europe with just an 18 aggregate score. That was my goal - to fuck off somewhere and never return to this country.

In SDAR, at the time, for my generation, the guy who got Grade 3 or Grade 2 was sympathised but would also cause a lot of shock. There's always one in every batch, so the teachers were just aiming for 100% Grade 1.

My batch? Well, out of 124 kids, I think over 40 scored single digit aggregates. Over 70%, I think, scored below 12 (I can't remember) and a few got Grade 2. We were not the best batch ever, but we didn't do too bad.

I scored an aggregate of 8 myself(4A1s, 2A2s). My father's reaction? "Kau main-main banyak ni!" (You were fooling around/You were not serious). I was beginning to realise that there was no pleasing this man.

We graduated high school in 1997, at the brink of economic collapse. That meant the country no longer had the funds to send most of us overseas. So there we were, a whole generation of bright kids who did well at our studies so we could escape this godforsaken country, stranded by the economic tsunami of 1998.

This was also the time when I finally noticed that my family was poor, blablabla, and this is when I discovered there is more to life than scoring As.

I mixed with kids at UM - kids who just a few years ago, I would watch amusedly from the sidelines as some sort of sentient monkeys and apes. Back then, as a teenager, whenever I saw kids my age who were not as smart as I was, I would feel as if I was at a zoo.

But then I realised that despite scoring a wide variety of results in their exams, these people did not die. They were not expelled into the dark nether regions of drug abuse and rape, as I previously believed the fate of anyone who would score a B or an F9.

No. Not at all. They thrive in this godforsaken country. They developed cunning. Street-smarts. Skills. Charisma. Nature and hard work has given them what they needed to survive, to excel in a brand new world where exams - the epicenter of my universe for 11 years - meant close to nothing.

The game has changed, and if you didn't adapt to it - if I didn't - then we would all die.

I retain 70% of what I learned in school, so I set about the next several YEARS acquiring skills, knowhow and knowledge that I could not learn in school. I am still learning today and will not stop until the day I die.

The most important thing I learned, though, the thing that my schools and my family failed to teach me - was losing.

I never lost before, so it was a new sensation. If I list down everything I ever lost at before this, it would be a whining article. Suffice to say, whatever I am doing today, I have failed at it some time or another in my short life.

Yes. I have failed at everything I am doing. In fact, what unnerves me is not failing - it is doing new things, because new things are just fresh opportunities to fail again.

I read a comic book by Neil Gaiman, called Fear of Falling. It addresses this very subject - the fear of failing, embodied by a story of a man with vertigo who dreams he was climbing a mountain. Very good story.

I deal with this fear every day, when I wake up, when I go to bed every night. And I consider myself lucky. Some people I see are very much afraid of failure that they don't even try.

I see them - and not the morons who couldn't score Grade 1 in SPM - as the new monkeys.

I mean, you must realise that there is no such thing as winning or losing; right or wrong. No, there isn't. Those are just abstract concepts created by mankind, guided by our egos. If you chase after that, your whole life will be extremely depressing and stupid.

I'll tell you that my experience of losing is almost the same as winning. There's a finality to it, and whether the ego expands or contracts. That is all. It is perhaps the same situation, viewed with different lenses, different interpretations and different experiences.

If you can see it that way, if you can go beyond the pettiness of winning and losing, you will be standing at the brink of the secret of happiness.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Somebody pointed out that a lot of my Sekolah Datuk Abdul Razak (SDAR) alumni members, especially those from Gen-X and Gen-Y (growing up in the Showa and Heisei eras) are in the entertainment industry.

Recently, some kids from my old school also won the debate for Piala Perdana Menteri (PPM) and also an international competition for video journalism.

When I heard those two news, I was thinking - finally, SDAR boys won something. We have always been the perennial underachievers. I was part of a group that was best in Malaysia, in 1995, due to our PMR results. We were the best in the country, with all but seven kids getting ALL As in the nationwide examination.

As then-Education Minister Najib was going to announce it, though, a few girls from STF or TKC re-checked their results and managed to oust us from the top spot and we became number two.

It's always been like that. We were the bridesmaids, always. Never been number one. Well, we got some number ones in some years, in rugby and debate or some shit, but I believe we always had this thing where we believed we could never be the best. There was perhaps an aversion to try to be the best, as our mindset has reinforced itself with lots of near-misses.

Of course, I did win the district-level writing competition in 1995 and a duo won a national-level short story thing in 1996. Details are fuzzy as I am old now. I think we won the rugby thing in 1995.

But the thing was always there. We were never good enough, and we never tried to be good enough. It hung like a pale shadow over lots of people's heads.

Malays are a self-sabotaging, self-defeating race. Coming from a school with mostly Malay or Bumi students (there are a few Chinese dudes and one Indian kid who was my senior), I saw how spite, conformity and the fear of being exposed (in many ways) could have an extremely detrimental effect on fragile psyches.

Meanwhile, for those whom much is expected, a lot of us might buckle under pressure. It took years for me to deal with high expectations from people, and I believe suffering from high expectations from the get go, coupled with a self-defeating attitude, is extremely damaging for young minds.

I can't say it for other people, especially my schoolmates, but I can assure you that the self-defeating, negative, self-sabotage is evident in me for a long time. It might still be there, and I deal with it everyday. Some smart people even exploited that trait in me for a time, but divine punishment is great and fair. The universe always seeks balance.

But fuck them. I just want to point out that having a defeatist mentality from the get-go is a recipe for stupid work and I can't stand stupid work. Gives me insomnia.

That's why, in my line of hobby (filmmaking), I can't work well with people who say, "Malaysian audiences are stupid." That's just an excuse to do stupid work. A cop-out. I say this because I filter out anyone from my 48-hour film project team who would say such a thing.

I am the most arrogant man in the universe. Best in the world. I do know arrogance intimately, as well as what it signifies. Arrogance is just an excuse, a front, a shoddy mask for your own insecurities. It is used simply to prop up your own ego, to worship the opinions of other people as the new God, replacing Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah or whatever.

Arrogance stems from insecurities which may have began as losing, not winning, not achieving what is said as your true potential. Such as the SDAR boys of my era, who showed glimpses, flashes of brilliance, but were never great enough to be the best in the world. Because we decided that it was not worth it. Not worth the effort, the heartbreak. And not worth the pain of being taunted, poked and ridiculed as people who tried too hard.

But the new kids, they tried very hard. They gave it their best, and they won. Best in Malaysia, best in the world. Not because they demanded it or they automatically deserve it. No. It is because they worked for it. Brains, talent, passion.

To them, I give props. The students, the teachers, the ones who volunteered to take the school, as an entity, to heights it should have reached, had we enough brains, heart and balls to see it through. ANd being boys, we do have lots of balls.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The KL 48Hour Film Project

I'm joining this thing. It's the KL48 Hour Film project. It's a thing where you go and do a short film over 48 hours.

The project is to get teams to do a short film in 48 hours. If I understand the rules correctly, the genre will be given randomly at the start (along with a prop, a line of dialogue and a character) and all creative work has to be done within 48 hours.

It's been filling my mind after work and during lunch time. I still dedicate the rest of my day to work, though, because I can't drop the ball with my bread and butter. Work has developed quite okay anyway and I think we are making progress.

Anyway, I have found three people who are confirmed to be on my team. There's a dude who has only done corporate videos and proposals - a friend from my days in UM, another old friend who has collaborated with me on scripts for TV shows, as well as a young guy who has all the spirit in the world. The young dude also has more experience directing than any of us. It's also a nice departure from some of us who are jaded about a lot of things.

There are talks of an actor, but I have not met him yet.

Tomorrow, I shall meet a potential actress-slash-editor for lunch. I hope she joins. There's another girl who can do some blase expressions which would be great for a number of stories.

We are compiling our equipment list, to prepare for any number of genres. I have also scouted some locations, briefly. I wanted even to do a short before the thing starts but after reading this:

I am afraid we might be disqualified if we do another short beforehand as it can be considered 'rehearsing' even though we come up with totally different shorts, for different genres. I think it is best to avoid that altogether.

I think I should curb my enthusiasm and simply scout the locations next weekend again. That's allowed under the rules and as first-timers, I want to know as much as I can before doing anything. The locations would mostly be our own homes, and I want to see what we have there. Maybe a bike or a car or some shit.

The random genres, plus the prop and character and line of dialogue means we can't write any story before we even do the thing. I heard from some participants that everything gets thrown out the window as soon as the period starts.

Seeing the quality of work some teams have managed before this, I don't think we have a chance of winning or getting placement, with over half the team being inexperienced in shorts. I think the best we are aiming for is a weekend of fun and the knowhow of doing a creative film project.

This takes a load off our shoulders, I believe, and makes the damn thing even more exciting. If we manage a half-decent effort, I'll submit it to any place that accepts short films. If the effort sucks, then it sucks and we'll just upload it on YouTube for our own wanking.

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bagaimana Berak Dengan Bergaya

Sebagai seorang pengamal gizi serat tinggi, aku ada mencuba pelbagai jenis makanan serat tinggi. Makanan serat tinggi menurunkan kolesterol dan lemak dalam darah serta usus, menolong penghadaman, membantu pelawasan, menyenangkan berak dan menurunkan berat badan.

Di sini, aku senaraikan pengalaman aku dengan benda-benda tu:

1. Pisang

Pisang ada banyak serat, juga tinggi kandungan gulanya. Masalahnya, kalau gula masuk dalam badan, boleh jadi gemuk, atau mengakibatkan pengeluaran insulin berlebihan yang menyebabkan gula disimpan sebagai lemak.

Tidak dinasihatkan makan pisang berlebihan, terutama untuk yang nak kuruskan badan.

2. Oats

Makanan ruji serat tinggi terhebat dunia. Boleh gantikan nasi atau roti, makan sebagai bubur dengan lauk. Sesungguhnya makanan serat tinggi paling hebat yang boleh diamalkan setiap hari.

3. Psyllium Husk

Dedak psyllium ini adalah makanan serat tinggi paling hebat di dunia. Tiada yang setarafnya. Rasanya macam makan oats hancur yang senang bertukar menjadi gel.

Psyllium husk dimakan dengan mencampurkan dua sudu dengan air - apa-apa jenis air pun boleh. Kacau cepat -cepat dan minum serta-merta, sebelum bertukar menjadi gel. Lepas tu minum 2 gelas air. Dijamin berak dengan bergaya.

4. Rolled oats

Hati-hati, ya. Rolled oats perlu direndam selama dua jam hingga semalaman, baru boleh makan. Memang rolled oats boleh dimakan begitu sahaja, tetapi nanti berak keras dan mungkin sakit jubur taik. Kejadian taik berdarah pun mungkin berlaku, sebab rolled oats yang keras boleh melukakan usus.

Kandungan seratnya jauh lebih hebat daripada oats biasa dan memungkinkan berak yang tak kurang bergayanya.

5. Buah-buahan

Buah-buah semua banyak serat, tetapi perhatikan kandungan gulanya. Aku suka pear, epal dan oren. Durian pun ada serat, tapi juga tinggi kandungan gula dan lemak.

6. Sayur-sayuran

Apa saja jumlah sayur kau makan sekarang, gandakan. Kandungan serat yang hebat, juga sumber vitamin dan mineral.

Sayur juga mencegah water retention, dan badan manusia, lebih kurang 70% air, jadi berat banyak dipengaruhi kandungan air yang ada.

Makan makanan berserat tinggi dan beraklah dengan bergaya, menghasilkan taik yang sihat!

Boron(World's Most Boring Man): The Dork Knight Rises

So I started today at the office, wearing baju Melayu because I was going to the company's group open house.

Lots of people said I have lost weight, but in my mind I was thinking of only two things:

1. You haven't seen me naked yet.

2. I have only lost 15kg. Wait till I lose a full 40kg. With this handsome face on an underwear model's body, I'll fuck half of KL.

Yesterday, I weighed myself at the gym before and after workouts and I found some interesting results. After my workout session, I lost a full 2kg. This means that the water, salt and fat I lost in sweat alone was 2kg. After I had a drink of water, I gained back a hundred grams or so.

This points to either pre-menstrual shit, which I don't have, or because of my sodium intake. See, when you have extra salt in your body, the system would retain water just to balance things out.

A quick search shows that drinking even more water and taking foods that are diuretic (makes you pee) will help.

Melons and oranges will help, as do cucumber, lettuce, celery, peppers, onions and carrots. I've been taking all these, but I guess I need to step it up.

With 15kg weight loss, I have broken my record a few years ago when I lost 12kg. I stopped being on my programme because I fell into a deep depression and it took years to get my mind back on track. This time, I don't plan on letting go of anything I have done. I'm going all the way, so fuck all who doubted me. And still doubt me.

Last time I went on a diet, quite a few people tried to sabotage it as soon as I showed some results. They failed to have any impact - it was just my general state of mind that got to me.

I'm not worried about them. I mean, fuck other people. Figuratively and literally. I'm planning my next steps properly.

I think I'll buy more oats this weekend and store them at the office. I might just buy lots of vegetable dishes and eat that with oats, along with some protein for lunch.

Meat, being high in protein, also makes you have albumin, which helps in releasing water. I might stake out a place to have sauna as well.

Will stock up on lettuce and force more psyllium down my throat.

I also need to step up my gym sessions. I've already increased the resistance up to seven levels higher for my cardio and would need to plan for muscle-building by end of the year.

It pleases me to see I could now walk under the hot mid-day sun and not be out of breath after a few hundred metres. My breathing - the core of my kung fu - is also regulated and easier to control. Now, with simple breathing techniques, I can get myself to sweat or calm my heartbeats. And it is done silently. Before this, I was as loud as a motherfucker.

According to some reports, my snoring has also lowered in volume, unless I am tired. I cannot verify, as I don't fancy leaving recording equipment anywhere near my bedroom and would have to rely on testimonials of extremely hot women.

I find that while talking to women, even in air-conditioned places, gets them to strip in front of me. This new body is fucking fantastic!

Diet and exercise, brah! And time. I am on the right path. I just need to keep at it and never give up. As with everything I do. I don't need people to tell me I'm right - I KNOW I'm right. And those who did not listen to me are all dead.

I'm right about everything. I'm so right, even my left hand is a right hand. I got two right feet and my dick curves slightly to the right.

I am so fucking cool.

Half-Asleep Rant

A boss walked past yesterday and asked me, "How was Raya?"
In order to surmise everything succinctly, I said, "Oh, it was fine. I don't really like my family."

She was like, "Huh?"

I meant something that I should probably explain in an article, rather than a comment that can be taken out of context. So I'll begin with anime.

One of the reasons, I believe, anime is so popular with teenagers and young adults who want to remain teenagers is because of the group thing.

The typical anime usually has a group of main characters travelling or fighting together against a deadly foe (Berserk, Inuyasha, Flame of Recca, Fairy Tail, Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, Cowboy Bebop, Martian Successor Nadeisco, Saber Marionette J to X, SlamDunk). Sometimes, they stay in a house (Aa Megami Sama, Tenchi Muyo, Hanaukyo Maids). Or work at the same jobs (With Hunter Robin, Read or Die).

The point is, almost all anime characters have an amazing support system, much like a family or a tight-knit group of cool friends. This formula made the extremely shallow - though admittedly sometimes funny - sitcom Friends a hit in the '90s.

It's a sense of belonging, which is a deep psychological need for a lot of people. A place or a group of friends each with significant roles - something a lot of young people try to find. A crew, and becoming a crew-member, a 'nakama'.

Me? I've always hated the notion of groups. Fucking hated it, without realising that I was in a crew all along. I was part of many teams, with diversely-skilled people, fulfilling a joint objective.

I mean, I sought writing because it is a solitary job. You stand alone, facing the screen and the keyboard, and fuck everyone else. But even novelists - the most solitary of writing disciplines - have a crew.

I've never put too much emphasis on a sense of belonging, though, because I see every place as temporary. I'm a transient. Nothing lasts forever. All structures are unsafe.

Add to the fact that many 'nakamas' eventually would betray the group or betray me. I'm like a radio tuned in to the darkness in people's hearts, like Night Man. Oh hohohohohohoho!

Which is why I can usually be found alone somewhere, with my thoughts or with a book.

Growing up, though, meant my projects would become more complex. The 48 hour film thing, for example, means I am working with lots of different people and connecting as well as contacting a bunch of different characters, for various reasons.

Am not too bothered, as long as it gets done, whichever way things get done. I just wanted to say that even as an anime fan, I am better than everyone else. Oh hohohohohohoho!


Pelik. Semalam aku tulis pasal kena kelentong dengan 'orang tinggi ilmu Islam' beberapa tahun lepas. Bila aku bangun pagi tadi, artikel tu dah tak dipublish, jadi draft sahaja. Masa untuk tukar password?

Emo Mengejut

* This post was mysteriously taken down last night, either by God, a hacker or a ghost. A mystery to me.

Aku terbaca pasal Imam vs Imam dan skandal perselisihan orang yang tinggi ilmu agama. Agama yang dimaksudkan, agama Islam.

Aku awalnya malas nak cakap langsung pasal hal imam vs imam ni, pasal bukan perniagaan aku - none of my business, dan aku rasa firasat aku betul. Nanti aku dicop sebagai anti-agama ke, Ayah Pin ke, apa ke.

Aku cuma nak cakap, aku pun pernah kena kelentong dengan orang jenis beragama ni. Adalah bodoh dan cetek untuk  melabelkan semua orang beragama kaki kelentong pasal satu pengalaman buruk aku. Tapi hakikatnya yang mengelentong tu memang kuat ilmu agamanya.

Aku memang percaya mereka yang mengikut agamanya secara betul-betul takkan melakukan kemusnahan kat muka bumi ini, manakala mereka yang sesat seperti aku, memang kewujudan kami hanya untuk bersukaria dan menonton filem lucah.

Sebab itu, sebagai contoh, orang yang selalu aku panggil kemas rumah aku, penganut agama Hindu yang warak kepada agamanya. Dia pergi ke India untuk membuat hijrah ke Sungai Ganges bersama keluarga, dan sentiasa datang dengan penuh cahaya keimanan pada wajahnya. Walaupun hidup susah, dia tenang sahaja dan tidak pernah gila secara tiba-tiba.

Walaupun aku selalu tinggal duit kat ruang tamu, sampai wallet aku pun kat situ, dia tak pernah ambik walaupun sepuluh sen.

Sebab itu, aku sering memberikannya kunci rumah aku dan dia pun mengemas rumah dengan penuh ikhlas dan tekun.

Di kampung aku pulak, antara kontraktor yang aku suka panggil ialah seorang ateis yang juga warak kepada agamanya. Dia memang tidak percayakan Tuhan, dan aku gelarkan dia Ateis Jati.

Demi menggantikan pegangan agama, Ateis Jati mengamalkan kod moral dan etika yang unggul serta mudah. "Buat jahat kepada orang, dan orang - mungkin bukan orang yang sama - akan buat jahat kepada kita."

Senang gila nak kerja dengan dia.

Mereka ini aku percaya sebab aku faham proses fikiran mereka, aku rasa. Masalah dengan mamat ilmu agama tinggi yang kelentong aku tu, aku tak paham.

Bukankah dalam Islam, Tuhan melarang kita menafikan hak orang lain? Tuhan melarang kita menganiaya orang lain? Kan? Aku bukanlah belajar Al-Quran sangat sebab bila aku nak baca tafsir, semua beruk suruh aku berhenti sebab takut aku sesat, katanya. KATANYA.

Takkanlah seluruh Al-Quran tu cerita lucah laki-bini? Bila boleh main, bila boleh kongkek, liwat tu best ke idak? Apa ke jadah, buku apa kau baca?

Mereka yang berselindung di sebalik topeng keagamaan - terutamanya, tetapi tidak terhad kepada, agama Islam - dan membuat justifikasi serong untuk menjahanamkan orang lain demi kepentingan diri sendiri, pada aku, memburukkan agama itu sendiri.

Aku dulu marah dan geram dengan diorang ni, tapi lepas lama-lama, aku dah tak peduli. Pergilah mampus. Masuklah kau dalam neraka untuk orang munafik.

Neraka Wil untuk mereka yang bersembahyang (tapi kelentong baik punya).

Apa-apa hal pun, betullah kata-kata pelacur Siam di sebuah lorong gelap, sambil makan nasi goreng babi, minum bir.

Dia cakap kat aku, dalam loghat Bahasa Inggeris yang susah nak paham, "Amir, syurga dan neraka, ketentuan Tuhan, bukan hal urusan kita. Kerja kita, tanggungjawab kita, hanyalah menjalani hidup yang terbaik yang kita mampu."

Aku mendapat kecerahan yang lebih daripada seorang pelacur Siam yang makan babi, daripada mereka yang bertopengkan Islam.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I just took some colleagues to watch the movie 29 Februari. Remy Ishak is a big hit with the ladies.

Then I went to meet with an equally aspiring filmmaker, for our KL 48 hour film project thing. I wanted to know what is available in terms of equipment, the kinds of shots he could do, manpower, props, and what we have access to.

I have some ideas as to locations, and will be making some phone calls tomorrow. I hate filling in forms, so I asked my friend to do it, offering in return, some cash for costumes. This also makes me the executive producer of a probably 5-minute short film.

We're thinking of doing a totally irrelevant short, as practice. Maybe two weeks from now? It is to get the team together and see how fast we and our equipment can do things.

I'm sure that anything we plan will be thrown out the window come October, but it's nice to plan things.

Then I went home, was sent a link to another review of 29 Februari, and is now getting ready for bed. I believe that the best response for the movie was two girls sharing a topless pix of Remy Ishak. I think he has done a good job - for the movie and avoiding getting fat.

I need to finish some writing by this week, but sleep and rest come first.

For now, there is the daily porn.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Long and Short of It

I went to Malaysian Shorts today, to hopefully get inspired for another short film project.

The last and only time I watched Malaysian Shorts before this was years and years ago. It was a few years after Amir Muhammad's 6horts - a series of six shorts which featured Pang Yau, a love story for a Chinese 'friend' featuring images of public Chinese people with a very private and intimate story told by the narrator.

The first Malaysian Shorts I saw was quite inspiring in the sense that a lot of the films were not very well-made. The idea is, if you watch something and go, "I can do better", your ego would at least propel you to actually try and do something. And by the time you actually stop and think, eight years have passed and four movies are out.

It is already much too late. Ohh, the DRAMA!

So anyway, I went to the thing at Help University, managing to find the wrong building and by means of abusing the bus which was meant to ferry students and not for corporate figures like me, finally located the theaterette.

I went back up for dinner, met Zedeck and Sharon Chin, then went down again to watch the shorts.
I was disappointed that none of them were extremely bad, and most of them were quite good. In the past eight years, the quality of the short films, in terms of story, storytelling, performance, technical skill, production values, etc, etc.

Leaps and bounds over the last Malaysian Shorts I saw several years ago, and also way better than the 600 or so shorts I saw as a judge at MVA.

Here's the story of how I got to be a judge at MVA.

I went back to the office and told my editor, "I like short films!" "Oh really? Well, go and sit down for three days to watch 600 short films at the National Arts Gallery or some shit. It's for MVA"

It wasn't that dramatic, but at newspapers, you can say you like anything, and they will give it to you in abundance until you can have no more. Until you began hating it, which is why most journalists are jaded. I told them I liked going to SIngapore, and I was sent there for an entire year's worth of trips until I hated it with the intensity of a thousand suns. And 600 shorts in three days was more than enough.

I believe it was 600 shorts, but it may have been 200 or a billion by the time it was over. The charm of earnest filmmaking wore off on me by the 50th entry, and when they finally showed one short that was about a girl who wanted to kill herself but used the soundtrack from Lord of the Rings, I felt something in my soul break.

Well, it wasn't that dramatic. But I was sick of it.

Tonight, though, ALL the shorts had loads of merit. Some were slick productions, while others had more heart. One short in particular - Leman - was amazing in its simplicity and brilliant execution. The comic timing was spot on, and they left enough ambiguity and subtlety to keep people - especially pseudo-intellectuals - deconstructing things inside their heads for hours.

I am not about to review 12 shorts I saw at Malaysian Shorts because I have a job tomorrow, but I can say that due to the high quality of shorts made by Malaysians, I am no longer confident of doing something half-assed at the 48 Hour KL Film thingy and getting placement. In fact, I believe that the only thing I will gain from doing the 48 Hour film thing in October, is experience, and maybe a bit of fun. ANd if I'm lucky, some pussy.

The Malaysian film industry has indeed grown, on all levels. And though it disappoints me that it is not as bad as before to ensure I can waltz through easily, I am at least convinced that some things do get better, in time, like in the homosexual campaign thingy.

Met a bunch of people as well, tonight, and they look like laughs in a barrel. People who don't take themselves seriously, which is always a joy because I am a person who often takes myself seriously, leading to depression, angst and chronic masturbation.

It's a pity I didn't get their numbers, but some are on Twitter, so... what else can I say that would have the same impact as ending it with 'chronic masturbation'?


Monday, September 3, 2012

Panty and Stocking!

This is a damn good anime which illustrates some Japanese appreciation of Western - particularly US - culture.

Syaitan Penulisan

Hari ini, aku luangkan masa sikit, berjumpa kawan-kawan yang  dah lama aku tak jumpa. Aku jugak pergi urut Siam, tapi itu cerita lain.

Sambil whining pasal kerja menulis aku, aku lempar beberapa idea filem. Aku nak tengok apa reaksi orang dalam industri - orang yang aku hormati - pasal beberapa idea aku.

Idea-idea tu semua dah kena reject dengan empat studio terbesar di Malaysia. Aku terlepas sesuatu ke?

Malam tadi, aku dapat feedback lagi. Idea-idea aku, semua idea-idea besar. Jenis yang memerlukan komitmen kewangan, masa dan dedikasi serta skill yang tinggi.

Salah satunya, filem macam Amelie. Cerita tu, sebenarnya aku wanking pasal diri sendiri, masa umur aku 20++ tahun. Filem ni adalah filem yang kalau aku berjaya buat sampai puas hati, aku boleh mati dengan aman. Kalau pengarah Amelie, Jean-Pierre Jeunet yang direct, aku sanggup buat percuma je.

Tapi, filem macam Amelie, filem idea besar? Aku dulu fikir, filem macam tu, amat intim. Aku paham lakonlayarnya rumit. Dan kalau buat kat Malaysia, aku terus-terang cakap, aku tak rasa boleh jual sangat. Buat apa aku nak kisah pasal cerita macam tu?

Tapi persoalan itu mengacau aku sampai aku takleh tidur dan memaksa aku bangun dan menulis artikel ini.

Besar sangat ke idea aku? Susah sangat ke? Perlukah aku buat cerita-cerita lain yang lebih kecil?

Aku amat faham yang kepuasan kreatif takkan diberi kepada aku oleh orang lain, dan hanya aku yang mampu memberikan diri aku sendiri benda itu. Takde buah fikiran, ulasan - pujian atau cemuhan - yang mampu memberikan aku itu. Aku sendiri lebih tahu sejauh mana kerja aku.

Jadi, aku menetapkan azam. Walaupun aku ada banyak benda lain nak tulis, aku akan tulis jugak cerita ni. Aku tak kira. Aku akan siapkan semua kerja aku, semua buku, cerpen, skrip, kerja sebenar aku yang bergaji, dan aku nak siapkan skrip serta lakonlayar cerita ini. Kalau takde langsung penerbit atau pengarah kat Malaysia yang nak buat, aku akan hantar ke mana-mana lubang dan alamat email yang aku jumpa.

Biarlah apa orang nak kata, janji aku puas. Walau ambik masa 20 tahun ke, 30 tahun ke, aku masih akan simpan cerita tu dalam server Google, sebab aku pakai Gmail. Hard disk boleh crash dengan senang. Google kaya kot.

Tapi... mungkin ada jalan nak buat dalam masa lima tahun ni pun.

Ah, mampuslah. Orang Jepun cakap, "Ore no nindou!" yang bermaksud, "This is my way of the ninja!" Lebih kurang camtu la.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Almanak Kuruskan Badan Bumi dan Langit

Aku dah mencatat perjalanan aku menguruskan badan dalam Bahasa Melayu Tinggi (Bahasa Inggeris), tapi masih ada orang Melayu yang tanya aku resipi aku.

Jadi, aku rasa keadaan ini mungkin disebabkan kekurangan bahan rujukan dalam Bahasa Malaysia. Maka, biar aku tulis di sini lagi sekali, menggunakan bahasa ibunda dan bahasa rasmi negara kita.

1. Jalan Syaitan Tidak Terbatas

Maaf, tiada jalan pintas untuk menguruskan badan. Kejap, memang ADA jalan pintas untuk kuruskan badan, tapi kesannya mungkin mengakibatkan kerosakan hati, jantung, limpa, buah pinggang, mata, kulit, sistem ketahanan badan dan banyak lagi.

Kau tak mau kurus lepas tu mati, bukan? Mati kurus, atau mati katak, juga dikenali sebagai 'mati beragan'. Kalau kau tengok filem klasik Air Mata Duyung lakonan Latifah Omar dan Nordin Ahmad, watak protagonis lelaki mati beragan sebab putus cinta dengan ikan duyung. Oh ya, SPOILER ALERT. Oh hohohohohoho!

Jadi, jalan untuk kurus yang sihat dan berkekalan hanya satu - menjaga pengambilan gizi dan bersenam.

2. Tidak Menyesal Memakan Serat

Bersenam hanya menyumbang dalam 15-20% kehilangan berat badan, secara kasar. Selebihnya, mesti dihilangkan menerusi pengambilan kalori negatif. Maksudnya, makanan yang diambil seharian mesti kurang daripada penggunaan tenaga untuk hari itu.

Ada yang mengira kalori, tapi aku memang malas sebab leceh. Apa aku buat, aku rasa lebih mudah - kebanyakan tenaga - maksudnya, kalori - datang daripada gula dan karbohidrat. Jadi, kalau mahu kurangkan pengambilan tenaga harian, harus kurangkan gula dan karbohidrat.

Pertama sekali, fikir dan cari semua bahan makanan yang ada gula atau karbohidrat. Buang semuanya. Ini termasuk gula, nasi, mi, roti, pulut (paling bahaya!) dan tepung.

Gantikan dengan bahan makanan serat tinggi. Kalau nak makan roti, makan roti wholegrain. Nak makan nasi, makan sama ada beras perang (brown rice) atau beras kanji rendah.

Kalau kau nak tau makan macam mana, kau tengok orang sakit kencing manis. Ha, begitulah cara pemakanannya.

Masalahnya, beras perang masih ada karbohidrat. Beras perang hanyalah beras dengan sedikit baki kelongsong yang tidak dibuang. Ulas putihnya masih di dalam.

Roti pulak, walaupun roti wholegrain, ada gluten. Gluten adalah bahan yang memberikan struktur dan tekstur pada roti. Gluten ni, menyebabkan ketagihan, dan membentuk lemak, kalau diikut pada kajian beberapa saintis pemakanan.

Jadi, aku cadangkan pengambilan makanan ruji terulung dalam kategori serat - oat.

Oat ada tiga jenis: oat biasa, rolled oats (oats gulung) dan steel-milled oats (oats kilang besi). Oats paling bagus, steel-milled oats, tapi mahal dan susah nak cari. Jadi, aku biasa ambik oats biasa dan rolled oats yang banyak ada kat kedai.

Oats murah dan mengenyangkan, juga ada beta-glucan yang menyerap lemak, minyak dan kolesterol. Oats , makanan ruji serat tinggi yang hebat!

Cara makannya mudah saja. Aku gantikan nasi dengan oats. AKu makan daging, ayam, sayur, semua dengan oats. Paling best - sambal ikan bilis atau sambal hitam dengan oats. Tapi kena perhatikan jumlah garam, minyak dan lemak dalam lauk yang dimakan bersama oats.

3. Teratai Merah Terlantar di Luar Pagar

Satu lagi benda kau boleh makan, adalah psyllium husk. Kalau oats adalah makanan ruji serat tinggi terulung, psyllium husk atau dedak psyllium, adalah bahan makanan serat terulung.

Tiadalah makanan lain yang dapat menandingi kehebatan psyllium husk. Jap, aku nak makan psyllium husk kejap.

Psyllium ni, pokoknya banyak ditanam di India. Dah lama jadi makanan kesihatan dan Dr Oz daripada rancangan bualbicara Oprah Winfrey Show memang suka mempromosi psyllium husk.

Harganya pun murah - belas-belas ringgit, biasa kalau makan empat sudu sehari, tahan sampai 3 bulan atau lebih.

Kalau nak minum, letak dalam gelas, tuang air minuman kesukaan (asalkan bukan air berkabonat), kacau cepat-cepat dan telan sampai habis dengan cepat. Psyllium Husk akan menyerap air dan lemak, kemudian berak akan menjadi lancar dengan taik yang sihat.

Satu saja syaratnya - kalau ambik dua sudu, kena minum dua gelas air follow-up, kalau tak badan akan kekeringan air.

4. Gerakan Ideo-Motor

Untuk mengaktifkan metabolisme, harus bersenam. Cara aku mudah saja - senaman kardiovaskular atau aerobic selama sejam, diikuti mengangkat besi selama 45 minit. Terpulang pada kau untuk buat macamana, dan dapatkan nasihat pakar.

5. Sejuk Mata Pedang, Dingin Hati

Kalau nak kuruskan badan, hati mesti kering. Kau tak boleh nak ih-ah, ih-ah pasal ni. Kau kena ada perancangan dan harus setia pada perancangan itu sampai kau mati.

98% orang yang turun berat badan, naik semula sebab kembali ke tabiat asal makan macam orang gila. Kalau kau mahu kekal kurus, maknanya kau harus mengamalkan diet pengurus atau diet untuk kekalkan berat badan sampai kau mati.

Kalau kau tak mampu, pergilah mampus.

6. Tinju Maut Pendekar Laut

Ada beberapa kaedah lagi, dan bahan-bahan makanan yang lain. Ini aku simpan lepas aku cuba sendiri. Buat masa sekarang, inilah yang kau cuba buat dulu, pada yang mahu kuruskan badan.

Gunakan kaedah saintifik, dan pakai logik akal. Benda ni bukan magik. Juga ingat - setiap orang ada badan yang lain, dengan reaksi dan kesan berbeza pada benda berbeza. Jadi, cari sendiri apa yang berkesan untuk badan kau.

Untuk aku, aku meletakkan kesemuanya pada pemakanan serat tinggi, senaman dan Psyllium Husk!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Merde Kakaaa: A Message for the Government

Hey, BN Government. Yeah, you. With the money and Toyota Harrier and double pocketed white shirts. I want to have a word with you. Nothing hostile, just from one citizen to his Government.

Recently, you guys pushed the Section 114A which curbs Internet freedom and then there was the Merdeka55 Twitter fiasco, and I just want to tell you - you don't have to do all this stupid shit to fight the Opposition.

I've written about S.114A, so now I will write about the MerdekaBot55 scandal.

You went for a million tweets for the #Merdeka55 hashtag, and some people claim to have proof that 38% or more of those tweets are fake.

Is there a way to find out? Hell yes. Do I give enough of a fuck to determine its accuracy? No. But I can tell you this - the numbers are highly unlikely.

Merdeka 55 announced 3.6 million tweets, by 10,000 participants. That's 360 tweets on average per person, on that day, writing about Merdeka55. 360 is around 15 tweets per hour, on average, if we count the whole day. That's one tweet every four minutes?

In a period of 24 hours (not the 1-4 hours the campaign was on) , every one of these 10,000 people, on average, tweeted every four minutes.

To me, it just doesn't make sense, logically.

And then, Have a look at all the numerous screenshots of various accounts tweeting the same tweet - this is not an RT, mind you - it's the same tweet, exactly the same, down to the punctuation and spelling errors - if any.

Sounds like you guys are using bots. As if you're... you're BOTS MASTER!

Look, you targeted 1 million tweets. People are claiming 38% are fake. Let's be generous and say 50% are fake. That leaves you 50% of 3.6 million = 1.8 million tweets. That's STILL almost double the original target.

My point is - after this long rambling - is that you did not need to lie or fake things.

Najib, Hishamuddin, Rais, whoever - you guys hold important offices. People will organically follow you guys on Twitter ANYWAY, but why is there a high percentage of fake followers on your accounts? Not ALL of you, but some of the top BN Government people have tons of fake followers.

Did you buy those followers? Did some random 'expert' set up your accounts and in order to show fast results, just bought the followers for you?

IF you or they did, I just want to say: you DID NOT and DO NOT need to do that. It is a totally unnecessary lie.

Which brings us to Section 114A and some of your comm strategy. I get it that you want to stop libel and slander. You want to get those racist fuckers, those liars who sometimes go to news portals and leave malicious comments. I get it. I really do. I'd love it if you get them and give them an ass-kicking.

But fighting lies with bigger lies is not the way. Stopping them using 114A is not an effective way to totally eradicate lies, libel, slander and misinformation.

I believe, say some people want to spin some things politically - make it about BR1M, the RM500 incentive thing - and it is REALLY a good thing, right? You don't have to clamp their mouths shut.

Here's how you deal with cockroaches - you allow them to expose themselves. Allow them the podium, the platform, let them have their say. Allow them to expose themselves, and then you expose them as fucking liars. How? With The Truth, of course.

This is NOT The Truth. This is simply R-Truth, a WWE wrestler

Just stand up and engage them properly. Pretty soon, the people will see how much of a lying, racist, holier-than-thou gutless cockroaches the Opposition cybertroopers really are. People are not THAT dumb. They can see for themselves and make their own judgment.

The only thing is to make sure they ARE lying, of course. And that you are not in the wrong yourself.

C'mon, man. What pisses me off is that you don't need all this bullshit. You did not need to fake Merdeka55 (if it WAS faked. Not saying it is, but highly likely it was), you don't need to buy Twitter followers, and you certainly don't need Section 114A when engaging liars online - on their own turf, at their own game - and scoring a simple victory using facts and the truth is much more effective. Especially for a Government that has the resources to do so. You're not an individual, you're a fucking Government.

Instead of paying assholes to try and bully people around like guard dogs online, use a smarter, more efficient way that can win over the neutrals like me. I dare say the neutrals are over 40% of people, and we are the biggest majority. No one speaks for us because we have our own voices.

You want to win the election, right? Get your comm right.