Saturday, March 30, 2013

The People Vs Amir Hafizi

And so I woke up at 4.30am last night - actually, I woke up at 2am and stayed awake till 4.30am - and then went to Melaka for my trial.

Last year, on March 10, I was caught smoking outside Dataran Pahlawan in Melaka. I did not know that the whole of Melaka is now a no-smoking zone, but apparently it was since 2007.

I asked the plain-clothed Health Inquisitors who ambushed me back then, where can I smoke? They said all covered spaces - and most non-covered ones - are no-smoking areas. Given the seriousness of the offence, I bet that includes everyone's homes as well. But I'm just being bitter. I am sure everyone can smoke in their own homes. I am sure this just affects all PUBLIC places, including roads, streets, whatever.

So people who go to Melaka, especially Singaporeans , please remember - don't smoke at all. If you do, they will haul your ass up to court! Melaka is a no-smoking zone and all Singaporeans must adhere to the rules of the land. This is not Singapore, where everyone can smoke everywhere, with no penalty from the law. This is Melaka, man! Where they don't even sell cigarettes in normal shops. Oh... wait? They do? Nevermind. I am here not to debate a law, but to tell you of my second experience in court after facing a farce that was my PTPTN hearing in 2009 or something.

When I went to the magistrate court in Kuantan for my PTPTN hearing, they did not allow me to speak at all, just nod yes or no to one question. Here, in Melaka, I must give plaudits to the court for allowing all of the accused a chance to talk.

After hearing some of the other accused in similar predicaments - they were also caught smoking - trying to attack the law or the enforcement of that law, as well as the magistrate condemning cigarettes as 'Satan's piss on herbs' I stepped up and entered a plea of guilty straight off the bat.

And remember, this is for an offence - smoking - that carries with it a fine of up to RM10,000 or jail up to 2 years. Even raping an underaged girl will net you less severe punishment, if you bowl really well.

"Would you like to plead for leniency?"

Of course.

"I regret my actions," I began. "In fact, five weeks ago, I have quit smoking." That caught the attention of the court. I was channeling Mark Renton from Trainspotting, but all I said was true. I am on e-cigarettes, trying to quit smoking for good since a few weeks ago.

"With the help of the court, I will conquer this terrible affliction!"

Perhaps moved by my plight or my plea - all of it authentic and real - the court then decided to slap me with a RM200 fine or one day jail. This is significant, because the original compound - had I paid two weeks after getting a summons last year - was RM300.

I thought of going to jail, but these days I just want no more drama. I even rearranged my life so there would be no more drama, discarding any and all characters who gave and will give me any more bullshit and stupidity. Plus, RM200, even though not a paltry sum, is adequate.

Basically, I got a RM100 discount. However, subtract the toll from KL (Around RM40++ both ways), the fuel (RM50) and breakfast (RM20 or so), plus taking the day off, it would have made better financial sense to have paid the compound last year.

Everyone at the magistrate court was surprisingly pleasant and helpful. Though I disagree with what Ali Rustam has done and how Melaka is now smoke-free, I have no complaints with how the justice system worked in my case.

Sure, I am no child-rapist who has a bright future, to be let off the hook, but I believe the fine was adequate for such a small infringement.

As a favour to the state of Melaka and Ali Rustam, I will remind all of you that you shouldn't smoke at all in Melaka. You might get away with a few packs of cigarettes, but they will catch you with one stick and then it's a fucking hassle. Smokers, stay away from Melaka. They want none of our kind gracing their city.

I know that as long as I can avoid Melaka, I will.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Notes on the Run

I bought my e-cigarette from a person working in the advertising industry.

Bought her a drink and I asked about that world that I haven't touched in years.

"It is no longer as it was. It used to be about ideas, but now it's all in the execution. Most times, in other things."

I thought about that, and I think I can relate.

I had a few experiences where I felt like I was a very expensive typist. And other times when I went through the grinder of writing until I could feel no more.

I used to write as many as six feature articles on some days, at The Malay Mail. Features back then were 800-2000++ words. This, at a time when other newspapers ask their news journalists write up to three reports a week. A news report is from 50-600 words or so. Journalists don't count words, in the old days. They count paras - paragraphs or lines.

I come from the Microsoft Office generation, so I count in words and characters.

Anyway, news is a grinder, with few chances and opportunities to express creativity. Those who do find the cracks, celebrate with glee.

Newspapers were basically a speed game. Lost time meant everybody has read everything everywhere. With the Internet, newspapers lost their speed, but newspaper journalists find other, faster platforms for news.

Magazines used to be the place for great, well-written articles. They sometimes still are. However, the speed culture has also influenced magazines.

I have met many editors and creative directors of magazines who preach "BUTTONS! FACT BOXES! 400 WORDS MAX!". Those people believe that readers prefer their information presented - sushi-style. Fuck the flow, the writing style. Just put it out in a shiny red box on glossy paper and people will read shit.

I read the old Reader's Digest magazines as a child. My father has a collection. 1956-1983. Best-written articles from the world's best magazines at the time - Life, Time, Newsweek.

Those magazines had more or less one to three templates in terms of design, so only the writing carried the reader's interest, most of the time. I believe the world's best articles came about during this time because of these limitations.

I will wax lyrical and wank the nostalgia penis in another article, as I recently brought my father's entire Reader's Digest collection to KL.

Anyway, talking about limitations...

I don't believe the grind is all bad, or that real creative writing has no place in the money-driven world. I believe there is a place for everything.

These days, I compartmentalise. There are pieces I do for quick money, or gamble on new technologies and platforms. I don't give a flying fuck about those. Then, there are places where pour everything in. And never shall the twain meet.

I mean, writing on social media is hardly satisfying. Try updating a corporate Facebook account every day for a year, and you will see what I mean. You get rubbed down to a nub and it takes everything to maintain your sanity. But there's money there. Woo fucking hoo.

You do vanity projects - your own vanity - or you write for the sheer fun of it, and it will come out great. It's fun, it's fresh and you get that all-important satisfaction. Not much money there, as around only 15% of fiction writers worldwide earn their living from writing alone. I got that figure from somewhere. Most of those writers, write romance novels under a pseudonym.

Very, very few can make serious money from fiction writing. Boo fucking hoo.

Like I said, I compartmentalise. I'm not married or have kids, but I have my responsibilities. My father needs his meds and he has never acted like he's entitled to my money. If he did, I'm no longer his son. He's cool, though, so I'm cool.

Whenever I write without the pressure of needing it to make money or to fill some space in some whatever, I feel good. I know there is space for it, and I am free to entertain as much I want.

Ask me to manage corporate social media, and I write without expecting any satisfaction from the act of writing itself. The satisfaction comes from something else - engagement, interaction, seeing things grow. It's different.

I can even play the volume game and was once even impressed with my own achievement of over half a million words a year.

But that artistic integrity shit, that buzz, the peace that comes with a piece, well-written, I will always find a place for that. I have let go of many things in order to preserve this, to reserve a spot for it. And by my calculations, it is merely 10 days away. If I don't get thrown to jail for smoking, of course.

And hence, the e-cigarette. I'm quitting smoking, amongst other things.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

No Longer Human

I'm extremely lucky. I realised this every morning, when I get my hair wet in the shower, see my face in the mirror and realise, "Wow! Tony Stark!"

I mean, sure, my e-cigarettes are fucked and I need to get a new one tomorrow; I am facing a court case soon and my butt is still injured from the surgery.

But, talking of butts, I don't have cancer, HPV or any of the nasty stuff they tested for at UH. The doctors at UH don't know what it was, but after testing the stuff they cut out of me and testing it for cancer, HPV, herpes, and a number of nasty stuff, they found negative results for all. Their policy is, if it is not any of the crazy things they test for, they don't care what it is. Probably a skin condition or a viral infection, maybe fibroids, they don't give a fuck. It's not life-threatening or contagious, so that's that.

Of course, if this was House the TV show, I'd be run through a battery of tests.

And the thing is healing. Slowly, but surely.

As for the e-cigarette, I broke one - or somebody did - and I used the other one until it is not functioning as it should. Tomorrow night, I'll be getting a second set, second hand, from a friend. Should do just fine.

A couple of nights ago, I had conversations about 'what it means to be happy', how to troll politicians and people who take themselves too seriously, as well as other literary stuff - especially Japanese literature.

I also listened to two web people who want to do websites. I consulted them, and am happy that all of us are smart enough to listen. You can't imagine how lucky I feel when I can have these kinds of conversations with intelligent people. With humans.

You know, people who are close to me advise me against putting up the good stuff happening in my life for the world to see and read, simply because Malaysians are an envious, spiteful people. If I tell people I am happy, they will try to 'bring me down to their level' - demented, depressed apes.

This is not untrue. I have experienced this before. Malaysians have a self-sabotaging mentality and we will keep on pushing and pulling ourselves down like crabs in a bucket. It's a given and I have made peace with that years ago. Sometimes, I still allow it to affect me.

There are people who actively and consistently choose unhappiness. Why? Because they are stupid. Stay away from stupid people because they are like drowning humans.

I like to talk, and yet some do say I keep quiet about certain things. This baffled me because I did exactly the opposite. I blabbed like shit when it was my responsibility to do so. However, people don't listen. Then they blame me for not telling them what I have repeated endlessly. I do not speak for no reason. I don't do anything without a specific reason.

This is due to ego. Recognising my brain as the Greatest Mind of the 21st Century or even listening to me makes them think they are less, somehow.

And those who do recognise my great intelligence, some of them try to lie, cheat or control/manipulate me because they believe that is proof they are smarter. Better. Let me tell you that needing proof for such a thing means you are an animal. And not a particularly smart one at that.

Anyway, this rant is about gratitude, and my greatest gratitude is that I am me, myself. I am not you, and for that, I give thanks. Though my genius often flings me into despair, it also means I have a great capacity for comprehension and realising the true meaning of happiness.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Readings March

Readings at Seksan

I'll be here. Reading and stuff.

Journeyman Mistakes: Drugged Up Dreams

I didn't go to work today. Just went to the hospital for my follow-up. I also took my meds, which made me a rambling, bumbling sleepyhead like Pak Lah all day.

Slept through most of the day. Woke up to go for a night meeting and then to watch an artsy-fartsy Japanese anime.

I've always loved Kino's Journey, and am njow glad that Aoi Bungaku has entered one of my top 5 anime of all time. Which makes it:

1. Cowboy Bebop
3. Kino's Journey
4. Aoi Bungaku
5. Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou

Japanese literature of the Showa era was heavily influenced by German philosophers and French poets.

Goethe and Nietszche, Nietsczhe, Nit-Shit (the fuck you spell this shit?) and Sartre and whatever the fuck. I am now bordering on depression as I know what and how to write my stories, but I still have two weeks of intense work before I can even dream of continuing any of the stuff that brings me joy. There's a whole lot of real-world responsibilities and inane writing I have to do first.

I have been writing a few novel-length stories and it has been a start-stop experience. Some things just didn't work. I can feel the paragraphs and scenes and sentences I must write now, but I will shelve it for a couple of weeks.

Just a couple of weeks more. It feels like torture, because I make it so.

I have loads of forms to fill. So many meetings. Appointments. Court hearing. Trips. I will plow through anyway with sheer grit and willpower.

Monday, March 25, 2013

And Just Us for All

This weekend illustrated how badly I need a vacation.

I was in a supermarket, bitching about how pissed I am at my malfunctioning e-cigarette (I got the cheapest ones), when suddenly, I was gripped by irrational fears and desire to eat and smoke - stuff anything into my mouth.

So I calmly left my trolley, went to the magazine shop, and bought a pack of cigarettes. I smoked outside, of course, and it was five minutes before I calmed myself.

It was a direct physical reaction, I believe, of cutting three packs a day to intermittent smoking with my cheapo e-cigarette. My nicotine withdrawal was super intense. Coupled with fatigue - I have not had any day where I did simply nothing for two years now - and I felt like this thing rushing to my head.

I checked for diabetes, but that was not it. I just need to get a better e-cigarette. One that works for more than 2-4 hours.

Oh well. Tomorrow, I am going to the hospital for a follow up on my medical condition. I had a cancer scare which is 90% NOT cancer. Most probably just a skin thing. But tomorrow, I will get the results.

People sometimes ask me why I go to Thailand - Phuket especially. Well, it's not because of the nightlife scene. I'm not really a party person - having had my fill of wild parties in my 20s - no. I just like doing nothing for a while.

I go to Thailand and for the most part, I do nothing. This is also why I don't bring people along. Idiots always insist on filling up their vacations with activities and bullshit tourist stuff. I have no patience for that sort of bullshit. Am fully happy just sitting or walking about, with no real purpose.

I fucking hate being rushed, and whenever I go on vacations, I don't rush anywhere. Which is why for my retirement, I envision an idyllic lifestyle of reading and writing, of contemplation and appreciation of myself. I can finally gaze at myself, quietly, and appreciate the handsomeness, the intelligence, the wit - the beauty of what I am.

For that, I need RM2 million. That would be enough to buy my freedom. Lots of people laugh at my goal or dismiss it with derision. I have no great ambition because the desire to change things is poison. Changing things - actually doing something to change the world - is not poison, but the desire is something awful.

Always remember, there is a distinct difference between falling in love with the idea of something and actually loving something.

Oh well. Just a measly two weeks before one of my projects ends. After that, I say goodbye to a few things and embark on a path that could be more exciting and calming at the same time.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Journeyman Mistakes: Journeyman's Journey

Didn't sleep tonight. Just wanted to read and write all night long, like how I used to.

I dug up a lot of the unfinished stories I have in my hard drive. Some of them written many years ago, when I first came to KL and most of  the other kids laughing at me cause I'm weird. Wasn't really bothered. By the time I came to KL in 1998, at 18 years of age, I have had 18 years of people mocking me under my belt.

Anyway, before I continue, here's something I found, amidst all those half-finished things:

The rain came down like sheets of glass, shattering at the pavement into tiny droplets that bounced back half a foot. The homeless, the drunks and the street pushers huddled around garbage can fires that fought bravely to stay lit amidst the omnidirectional downpour.            I watched them from the window of my second-story office, rubbing their hands, shaking. The rags that they wore unrecognizable for the clothes they once were, coats and shirts and dresses and drapes blending into one generic form: rags. Even their faces, if you look at them, had lost some of its humanness. Bad skin, bad teeth, wrinkles everywhere and breath that was as foul as any beasts’. Eyes hollow and sunk deep into their sockets. These people had faced the world and had lost, among other things, their souls. I watched them, like antelopes on the savannah, breathing, existing for the sake of existing. I watched them, in the dark.            The woman. A pinstriped dress under the heavy looking coat. A hat, and a veil. Red lips peeped under it. She cut a path through the huddlers like a finger on a clear pool. The gap quickly closed behind her. She should have known better. The streets are unpredictable. But not tonight. She was lucky. Tonight, even the worst and most desperate of them would not have tried anything. It was too cold and it was too wet. It was much better to gather round a fire than try to mug someone as beautiful (and therefore presumably connected) as her. The syndicate took care of its own. And this woman was probably one of them. A mistress, or a wife, it didn’t matter. You don’t touch them. Only one of their people would off another. Like I said, the syndicate took care of its own.
In Trenchtown, the syndicate was God.

The title of this series of articles is journeyman mistakes - it's a term for mistakes you make in the craft, along the way.

I saw the uneven tenses of these paragraphs, the little flaws and big ones. However, the biggest mistake I made was in not finishing it.

This is a story that was supposed to be novel-length or four comic books long. The last line held a clue. About the syndicate being God. That's all I'm saying cause among other things I've found, I want to finish this story.

The story came about due to an episode of a short-lived animated series called COPS - Central Organisation of Police Specialists. In the episode, the leader, Vest, started life as a private eye since COPS was disbanded. The writers of the show followed private-eye conventions of melodrama mixed with humour.

Trenchtown was a name used by Jack Mckinney in his Robotech novelisations. Trenchtown was Rook's hometown. I found out, later, that Trenchtown was quite a common name, like Kampung Batu Sawar. My family lived in Kampung Batu Sawar, Kuantan, for some time. It's still there. Then I found other Kampung Batu Sawars in Johor, Perak, Kedah - it's everywhere!

The story was also written to try and resolve my thoughts on religion as well as Brian Michael Bendis' crime noir comic book Torso.

I am currently writing so many things for so many different people, the most joy I get is in reliving my dreams of writing these stories. I do some stories for money, and I find little satisfaction in those.

My stories - the ones I abandoned to make way for more adult responsibilities, are resurfacing. I can no longer ignore them or push them to the back of my mind. In just two weeks, if I don't end up in prison, I'll be finishing all these stories.

I remember how the other kids treated me and I thank God I am not one of them. I wouldn't know what to do, if I lived in their world.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Anwar the Buttfucker

I saw some screenshots online of the alleged Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim receiving flowers and getting a kiss from a man. This is supposedly foreplay before the main event of inserting his penis into a guy's anus.

I just have two things I want to say about this:

1. I don't give a shit what Anwar fucks

I don't care. He's gay? Bisexual? Omnisexual? I don't give a flying fuck. I do not believe that a person's sexuality has any bearing on his leadership capabilities and in Anwar's case, he only needs to settle it between God, his wife, his children and those he allegedly buttfucked.

I do have a problem with him, though, because he is a liar and for a person who supposedly champions free speech, he blocked me on Twitter after accusing me of being a cybertrooper. Just because I ask difficult questions does not mean I am a paid BN cybertrooper, or even an unpaid one.

I'm a Cybercop! Called Lucifer:

I was here during the Reformasi years. In his speeches, Anwar said he was going to open boxes upon boxes of evidence of corruption. That was 1998. I've been waiting 15 long fucking years, and there were no boxes of evidence, were there, Anwar? You fucking liar.

I waited for Sept 16 2008, when he said he will show you some frogs who will jump ship - none came. What a load of bullshit!

But, I also have number 2:

2. Anwar's enemies are fucking stupid amateurs

When Datuk T (revealed to be three idiots) released Anwar's first sex tape, they did a stupid bang up job of doing it.

They held a fucking Press conference, to show porn - PORN - at Carcosa Seri Negara. Nothing screams more GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT than holding it at what is more or less the country's receiving room for international guests, or so I heard.

And regardless of countless Anwar sightings either in drag or naked, his people - his supporters - are too blind and stupid to actually leave him. They still love him, and that's their stupid choice.

The story of Anwar as a buttfucker and sex-addict is hardly relevant today, especially with how his sex-tapes were presented to the public.

The second sex-tape, this year, was even more of a letdown before it was released!

First of all, it gets shoved in everyone's face just like the first one, but clumsier. There is no virality to it, there is no curiosity to the bloody thing. There is no thought, passion and love put into the marketing of said video. I am extremely disappointed that the Anwar enemies have managed to do the impossible - make porn boring.

As a connoisseur of porn, especially the Japanese pinku eiga of the '70s and Hong Kong's '90s Category III films, the way these sex scandals are being handled is an insult to intelligence, as well as porn.

Clumsy, inexperienced, and generally just stupid - I am extremely disappointed with both Anwar's enemies as well as Anwar himself. I think it is time we throw BOTH of them out and elect me as the Supreme Chancellor of Malaysia. At the very least, I am smarter than any of you.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Beautiful Brainwashing-Machine

Ever since the Sarawak corruption video came out, almost at the same time as the Anwar fucking a guy in the ass flick, I am observing a unique phenomenon.

Both BN as well as PR supporters are trying to discredit both videos and also desperately justifying everything that they have accepted as real.

It is the equivalent as putting hands over their ears and yelling "Lalalalalalalalala!"

It is times like these that I am grateful and feel myself superior to both camps as I am a neutral. A real one. Indeed, I am better than everyone else.

The veracity of the GlobalWitness video is yet to be determined. Taib Mahmud is reported as implying that the fat woman in the video - as well as her entire family - is not on good terms with him, perhaps further suggesting that these disgruntled relatives are trying to fuck him over, in the ass. Figuratively speaking, of course.

Meanwhile, Anwar was reportedly trying to get people to accept butt-fucking.

Elsewhere, Shahrizat Jalil is answering questions about NFC with what I believe to be answers that are disjointed from reality. It's as if Shahrizat lives on another planet - The Ample-Bosomed People Planet or TABPP for short.

Apparently, on TABPP, ah, fuck it, man. I don't give a fuck.

What I want to point out was that Malaysians subscribe to brands and then follow it blindly. I'm talking about both Barisan Nasional as well as Pakatan Rakyat supporters.

These people idolise some personalities, and that's that. There's no reasoning with them. You can show them Anwar fucking Bank Negara through a drain cover - in broad daylight, while sucking a horse's dick - LIVE, and they'd say, "Looks like him, fucks like him.... I dunno." Even if Anwar is fucking them in the ass, they'd still be, "Feels like Anwar's dick up my ass. Tastes like his dick covered in my own shit, but... mmmmmglurp, slurp. Cough Cough."

And should the GlobalWitness video proven to be true, there would be some apologists and justifiers with ready-scripts and keyboards drawn at fucking dawn, to defend by saying such inane things as, "Everyone's doing it. Why not some nice fat lady at a coffee shop?"

I believe we must to let go of identifying ourselves with the slave role and take our lives in our own hands. We should decide what we want and want to do, and then we do it. Fuck everything. Fuck the masters. But that's just me. I refuse to compromise on my freedom.

Cause I'm an 'Murican!

Bahasa Melayu Tinggi

Ahad lepas, sedar-sedar saja, aku dah berada atas pentas, di depan pelajar-pelajar UKM sebagai sebahagian Jambori Bahasa Inggeris yang dianjurkan syarikat Vernon Adrian Emuang(last aku tengok kat Cyberwave dengan Jeffrey Ong). Jap, cari link.

Nah! Ini dia laman Facebooknya!

Aku sekali dengan penggiat seni ukiran moden Izan Tahir, pelatih Akademi Fantasia, wartawan dan mak Sharifah Amani - Fatimah Abu Bakar, juga mamat nama Azahari yang buat Teach for Malaysia - sebuah NGO yang tak berpolitik dan buat kerja bagus mendidik pelajar di sekolah-sekolah bermasalah. Kalau aku jutawan, aku join Teach for Malaysia.

Aku lupa nak cakap aku dapat 1A untuk 1119, jadi pengacara cuma cakap aku tulis Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa. Sempat jugak promote KL Noir: Red. Hehehehe.

Yang kelakarnya, atau mungkin merunsingkan, bila pelajar UKM asyik bagitau masalah yang sama - member-member diorang cakap, cakap Bahasa Inggeris ni poyo, dan Bahasa Inggeris tak ada masa depan.

Aku nak je cakap, "Fuck off la! Ko cakap dengan beruk buat apa?" Tapi, sebab ini macam forum separa formal, takkan nak mencarut tak tentu pasal. Takkan aku nak cakap, "BIJIK KELENTIT!" tak tentu pasal.

Aku nak mencarut, pasal aku ingat masalah macam ni, masalah tahun '80an. Bukan masalah abad ke-21. Tapi, Dr M pernah cakap yang dia gagal satu je - mengubah minda dan pola pemikiran orang Melayu atau Malaysia.

Orang Melayu, rata-rata takut malu. Kartunis Long (kot?) pernah cakap, orang Melayu ni ada penyakit AIDS - Aku Ingin Dilihat Super. Kalau pasal Bahasa Inggeris, mungkin ramai yang fikir, "Ish, aku tak reti sangat. Nanti aku tak dilihat super. Aku mesti yakinkan semua orang supaya tak cakap Bahasa Inggeris, supaya diorang semua jadi beruk macam aku. Oooh oooh ooh! Aaah! Ahh! AHH!"

Aku merangka kerjaya aku dengan menggunakan Bahasa Inggeris. Pernah ada Melayu marah kat aku, sebab aku buat dia nampak bodoh bila aku bercakap Bahasa Inggeris kat dia. Tapi aku pedulittaik. Fuck off and die, kata mat salleh. Aku taknak berkelakuan seperti beruk. Aku manusia. Yang kacak. Tampan. Dan berkonek kuat.

Kepada mereka yang melabelkan diri sendiri sebagai 'pejuang bahasa', yang sudah tu, sudahlah. Ko nak buat apa, bro? Ko fikir Bahasa Malaysia/Cina/Tamil/Hebrew cuma boleh maju kalau Bahasa Inggeris dimusnahkan? Pukimak kau lah. Mana ada tamadun yang dapat faedah dengan memperbodohkan masyarakatnya? Ko nampak cam ahli politik pulak dah - penghinaan paling teruk aku boleh bagi.

Orang Melayu ni - dan jugak orang Malaysia - antara potensinya adalah daya adaptasi yang hebat.

Kalau bercakap dengan apek jual kangkong, tetiba cakap macam ni, "Aiyaa, apek, ah, itu kangkong manyak busat itu dia punya daun laaaa. Tapi, takkan mau caj sampai lua linggit? Haiyaaa!"

Dengan mamak, "An-neh! Kasi itu teh woh ais satu, kurang manis kalu?"

Potensi pembelajaran dan adaptasi orang Melayu tinggi - tapi sayang, oleh sebab ego dan beruk-beruk pemusnah, maka takuk penghayatan kuasa semulajadi hanya pada tahap Kuasa Tolakan Elektron. Minda orang Melayu, bagi aku, rata-rata minda yang mati pucuk dan terbantut pada zaman tadika.

Itulah antara sebab aku menulis. Aku percaya, sedikit sebanyak, aku boleh membantu menanam idea-idea ke dalam minda Melayu melalui penulisan aku. Bukan pasal aku nak manipulate orang atau nak psycho orang tak tentu pasal. Aku hanya ingin berkongsi, supaya jumlah beruk yang aku berbual setiap hari akan berkurangan, digantikan dengan manusia yang  lebih terbuka dan pandai. Supaya aku tak perlu menerangkan semua benda daripada awal.

Kau mungkin cakap aku seorang yang angkuh dan takbur - aku pedulittaik. Apa yang aku buat - semua usaha aku, aku rasa lebioh mulia daripada menjadi ahli politik yang sentiasa menipu dan merampas hak orang lain.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Unifi Sarawak and Sore Throat

I sacrificed my lunch hour to get back home to receive the Unifi technicians. After a whole week of cursing at TM on twitter, they finally came to rectify the wireless connection problems I've been having.

Since their techs go home at 5pm, and I have a 9-5 job, I couldn't get them to come on weekends or after work. This means I have to fuck my schedule to accommodate them.

I've been using Unifi for over two years now - I was one of the first to get it and I have gone through almost every problem imaginable. I don't know what's wrong, I just know the fibre optics network they laid out - which includes the above-ground stuff - is unstable, from my experience. Especially the wireless connection. My advice, if you're using multiple computers to connect, just don't and move to Canada or Norway where you suffer the cold, but have stable Internet connection. Or maybe Nigeria as the Nigerian princes are always online.

This is a fact I readily accept, as most things in Malaysia just barely work. I mean, I grew up in Kuantan where 24-hours electricity only came in 1986 - six years after I was born. This is a country where large batches of households in Sabah and Sarawak still has no electricity. I know this, because I know some people who make it their jobs to install solar power stations all across the two states, which is commendable.

Anyway, the two techs couldn't fix my wireless connection. It's not their fault - TM has been selling something that sometimes work and sometimes doesn't. The fact that techs come to my house - albeit after a week - is a miracle in itself. I don't think TM even knows what's wrong with it. I know Maxis, which bought the fibre optics trunks, know even less as they couldn't even get my Maxis Home Fibre up for more than 20 minutes.

The techs also had this brainstorm at the end, where they decided, fuck the wireless, and brought the entire modem, router and whatever the fuck, into my makeshift office, and connect the Internet line directly to my PC. This temporary solution is working and I commend them for thinking outside the box.

The first thing I saw when I got online this afternoon, was the BN cybertroopers and right-wing guys being antsy and all over the place. They're worried. Some were scared. So I looked around and found this video:

It's a sting expose where this group called GlobalWitness recorded alleged relatives of Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud revealing the extent of corruption in Sarawak. They made some condescending remarks to the people who live in the rural areas, calling them squatters as well as revealing some simple corporate spins to avoid regulations.

If true, this video is the clearest proof of corruption in Sarawak and is much more interesting than another Anwar video - even if he is sodomising an orangutan in the next one.

This video - if true - will prove a lot of conspiracy theories.

No wonder the cybers were so alarmed.

I had meetings at 3pm and then 4.30pm, and later had dinner with Sore Throat - an informant I consult from time to time.

The problem with this video - as well as Shahrizat Jalil's NFC trial - might push Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to hold off the election date. Najib, according to Sore Throat, is an extremely conservative poker player (not that he plays poker, but if he did, he would supposedly fold at a low pair and only go in at a full house and up).

This was established in 1988 when UMNO split into two and he held off from making a decision until Mahathir's Team A gained the upper hand. Najib went to join the winner, of course.

This could mean he would hold off calling the election until Parliament is officially dissolved - April 28 - and Malayasia would fall under caretaker Government. Despite Lim Kit Siang and other idiots saying we are already under a caretaker Government, Sore Throat maintains that we are not yet under that thing.

If Najib is going for maximum overtime, that means election could be June 28 or some ridiculous date as the very end of the deadline for having an election. If no election by June 27, June 28 will be GE13, according to Sore Throat.

What does this mean? Well, first and foremost, I would have to post-pone any trips to Thailand until perhaps June or July, because I want to vote. Secondly, if indeed GE13 is in June, then it proves Najib has no balls and is perhaps being advised by idiots.

Postponing the election could mean more videos to surface, as well as allow the Opposition's pathetic machinery to grab all these scandals and send them to the ground. If I was the Opposition, I would grab hold of some projectors and go to Sarawak now with a subtitled version of the video above.

I would also make it compulsory viewing for any and all talks, all around the country, as a sample of the BN Government's corruption and their utter disdain for the people. This video might not win them Sarawak, but it might win city centres such as Seremban, Bandar Melaka, JB, Shah Alam, Ipoh, Alor Setar, Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan, the whole of Perlis, Kota Bharu, KK and Kuching.

If I was the Opposition, I would construct clear key messages and go to the whole country with an army of candidates armed with complete Press and information kits for a national policy thing. Then I would advise all the local machinery to add to that package with local concerns, issues, etc, forming a standardised communications thrust.

If done over a period of four to five years, along with any scandal that comes up, the Opposition could gain some ground.

But I am not the Opposition. The Opposition are incompetent buffoons and totally incapable of any intelligent feats other than ape BN if they ever come into power. Including the corruption. That's what I think.

I am also not vouching for the video's veracity, but it could be used as a powerful political tool. As a chaotic neutral, I am merely seeing everything in terms of their communication value.

Oh well. Fuck all this shit. Remember that it was never a battle of BN vs PR, but rather a war between politicians and the people. They, the politicians - be they BN or PR - will try to take stuff from us and we can no longer let that happen.

And Najib, dear uncle, I TOLD you to announce the election in March. Did you listen? Nooooooooo. Nobody listens to me. And now I can't go to Thailand yet and Taib can't sell his land without raising the people's eyebrows.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Journeyman Mistakes: More on How to Write for KL Noir: White

Tonight, I shall tell you what I have failed to teach in two years.

Last night, while inebriated, I wrote about writing in three different whatever. It's more or less accurate, and  shouldn't too far off.

Show, don't tell. You don't have to reveal everything. For example, a girl is much sexier when partially clothed and lose all sexiness when fully naked. The same is true for stories. Don't explain everything.

Unlike audiences of other forms, readers are quite smart, because they know how to read. Have some respect for your audience that they can piece things together and form a movie inside their heads, on their own, with the right coaxing from you, the writer.

Also, since most people - including publishers - don't read everything, you are free to choose what to obscure and what to explain. Usually, don't explain in a fictional work. It is pedantic and condescending.

And that's why - show, don't tell.

However, there are those - Gods of writing - who break these rules. Alan Moore's Letter from Valerie in his masterpiece - the comic book V for Vendetta - for example, uses the first-person narrative while telling - without showing.

Here it is in its entirety:

I don't know who you are. Please believe. There is no way I can convince you that this is not one of their tricks. But I don't care. I am me, and I don't know who you are, but I love you. 
I have a pencil. A little one they did not find. I am a women. I hid it inside me. Perhaps I won't be able to write again, so this is a long letter about my life. It is the only autobiography I have ever written and oh God I'm writing it on toilet paper.
I was born in Nottingham in 1957, and it rained a lot. I passed my eleven plus and went to girl's Grammar. I wanted to be an actress.
I met my first girlfriend at school. Her name was Sara. She was fourteen and I was fifteen but we were both in Miss. Watson's class. Her wrists. Her wrists were beautiful. I sat in biology class, staring at the picket rabbit foetus in its jar, listening while Mr. Hird said it was an adolescent phase that people outgrew. Sara did. I didn't.
In 1976 I stopped pretending and took a girl called Christine home to meet my parents. A week later I enrolled at drama college. My mother said I broke her heart.
But it was my integrity that was important. Is that so selfish? It sells for so little, but it's all we have left in this place. It is the very last inch of us. But within that inch we are free.
London. I was happy in London. In 1981 I played Dandini in Cinderella. My first rep work. The world was strange and rustling and busy, with invisible crowds behind the hot lights and all that breathless glamour. It was exciting and it was lonely. At nights I'd go to the Crew-Ins or one of the other clubs. But I was stand-offish and didn't mix easily. I saw a lot of the scene, but I never felt comfortable there. So many of them just wanted to be gay. It was their life, their ambition. And I wanted more than that.
Work improved. I got small film roles, then bigger ones. In 1986 I starred in "The Salt Flats." It pulled in the awards but not the crowds. I met Ruth while working on that. We loved each other. We lived together and on Valentine's Day she sent me roses and oh God, we had so much. Those were the best three years of my life.
In 1988 there was the war, and after that there were no more roses. Not for anybody.
In 1992 they started rounding up the gays. They took Ruth while she was out looking for food. Why are they so frightened of us? They burned her with cigarette ends and made her give them my name. She signed a statement saying I'd seduced her. I didn't blame her. God, I loved her. I didn't blame her.
But she did. She killed herself in her cell. She couldn't live with betraying me, with giving up that last inch. Oh Ruth. . . .
They came for me. They told me that all of my films would be burned. They shaved off my hair and held my head down a toilet bowl and told jokes about lesbians. They brought me here and gave me drugs. I can't feel my tongue anymore. I can't speak.
The other gay women here, Rita, died two weeks ago. I imagine I'll die quite soon. It's strange that my life should end in such a terrible place, but for three years I had roses and I apologized to nobody.
I shall die here. Every last inch of me shall perish. Except one.
An inch. It's small and it's fragile and it's the only thing in the world worth having. We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.
I don't know who you are. Or whether you're a man or a woman. I may never see you or cry with you or get drunk with you. But I love you. I hope that you escape this place. I hope that the world turns and that things get better, and that one day people have roses again. I wish I could kiss you.
It's preachy and direct, as it should be, because it's a letter written on toilet paper using a small pencil in prison, but it is also beautiful and terrible and heartbreaking and is a testament as to what kind of writer Alan Moore is - a literary demon.

Even while telling, Alan Moore does not tell the whole story, but instead shows glimpses of a person's life, flashes of her mind. It fully encapsulated Valerie's love, her life, her struggles, and remains elegant as well as elusive.

The role, the function of the story, is to give jigsaw pieces to the reader. An idea is an idea, is an idea. It can be a good idea or a bad one. The motives and agenda of the story can be anything. It is in the execution, in the telling, that matters most.

A lot of people who like the idea of writing are lazy. They can also be lazy readers. "Just tell me what happened!" These people are also most likely newspaper readers. Nothing wrong with that, but newspapers and articles perform a different function to fiction. In serious writing - newspapers, articles and technical manuals, you need to be concise and direct, because the function of those things is to deliver as clear a picture as possible, as much information as possible, within a very short period of time.

Fiction writing, columns or even creative articles, functions as an entertainment, so it is different. The process itself, the execution, is sometimes the point. You are speaking directly not to the reader's ego or his/her politics, but to play with their minds and emotions and memories - not to manipulate, which is despicable and disgusting - but to prod and poke and tag and cajole as you would a very intelligent child.

I said I wanted to talk about intros and a lot of writers claim they have problems starting a story. In my experience, it is easier to start than to finish.

Starting a story is simple. There are many ways, and the easiest I find is to grab the reader's attention with an interesting or captivating statement. It must be out there, a strong statement or observation, a push.

Alex had always wanted to suck another man's cock, curious as to how it would taste.
That got your attention?
By the time you finish reading this piece, I would be dead.
Alexa jumped on to the tank and fired 29136 shots from the minigun at Jamal. She knew this was the correct amount because she counted the bullets.
My father was a teacher and he taught me many things. One of them was that Tarzan lived in the ear of a white elephant.

Sometimes, it is better to start in medias res, which is a fancy term for starting in the middle.

For example, the movie Fight Club, Limitless, and a bunch of other films start in medias res of the narrative. They start at a cliffhanger - Brad Pitt had a gun in Edward Norton's mouth in Fight Club and Bradley Cooper was going to kill himself in Limitless. The entire story then goes on a flashback to show what happened to get them there.

Once you have the reader's attention, you can have some exposition - some explanation - but never reveal everything until the very end. The entire function of the story is to get readers to where it started in the narrative.

When establishing worlds, use as little exposition and what I call 'history lesson' as possible. The Health Ministry took over Malaysia in 2050? Shut up and use that fact only as your reference.

Simply go forward with the story without explanation. Hopefully, you would have painted enough pictures to allow readers to understand that this is a world where the Health Ministry have taken over civil liberties, if that is the story you are writing.

If people are too stupid to figure everything out, they are not worthy of your story. And believe me, you don't want to write for idiots, unless there is lots of money involved. Usually, in writing, there is very little money.

KL Noir: White, for example, pays a token amount. It is more than most - if not all - anthologies published in Malaysia. Just don't expect to be a millionaire from one short story in an anthology. This thing is for passion and exposure, and it is fun.

There are ways to make money from writing fiction, and after I have made my first million, I will share with you all the secrets and phone numbers you need to call in order to sell a million copies of your book. Until then, keep on writing and send me the goddamned stories for KL Noir: White, damn you! I need more stories!

The Journeyman Mistakes: How to Write for KL Noir: White

It's halfway to the deadline, and I have received some submissions already for KL Noir: White - an anthology of noir stories set in KL. I'm editing it, for a meagre fee that I hope will be enough to keep me out of prison as I am being summoned to court by the Health Ministry for smoking one stick of cigarette outside a shopping mall in Melaka.

Yes, your editor is a criminal. Isn't that cool?

A few pieces will make its way in the book. Some needs some work and others will be a no.

There are no real tips for writing. Not really. And I don't believe writing can be taught. You either can, or cannot. Some, over the years, would develop an affinity for it, or like me, we learn to fake it, to fashion a facsimile of talent and style supported by a half-decent vocabulary and understanding of how phrases turn.

That is all. That is the secret to writing. You read what you like, you write what you think is good, and you finish what you started. That is all. That is all Neil Gaiman said, so that's all there is to it.

Easy, right?

Anyway, I am rather lugubrious at the moment, so I guess I can list down some really basic advice people give to writers about writing.

1. Write what you know.

Well, if your story is about a cannibal and you are a cannibal, then why not? If you're not one, you can use your imagination as to what cannibalism is like. Is it like smoking? Is human flesh the only thing you like?

Do some research. Interview some real cannibals. Ask questions like, "Who taste more like chicken, the Chinese, or Koreans?" Or  "Are Indians really spicy? What kind of spice?" Or "If you eat someone's dick, is that considered giving him a blowjob? Are you gay?"

2. Show, don't tell.

This is pretty self-explanatory.

1. There's the first person narrative: "I want to have sex with her. Goddamnit, I'm hard already. Must... hide it... I walked nonchalantly towards this dresser, where my erection will be safe from prying eyes.  OHMYFUCKINGGAWD!"

2. the third person (God) narrative: "Amir thought about how he wanted to have sex with her and sported an erection. He moved his erection behind the dresser, where he was attacked by a cat. The cat was hiding in the shadows.."

3. and then there's the limited God perspective: "Amir felt the blood rush to his loins. He tried to hide his semi-hard penis by moving - in a manner he hoped to be suave and nonchalant - across the room, behind the dresser. Unfortunately, he didn't account for the family cat hiding in dark shadowy crevices of the house - a feline who perhaps did not like bulging things shoved in its face, in the dark.

Of all three, number two is the weakest. It's boring and shitty. Go for number three, or if the story calls for it, number one.

The reason is, well, your role as a writer of fiction, is to help the imagination of readers along. You make suggestions, but you don't tell them how to think. You can tell them what to think, because not telling them what to think is like this:

"Something happened to one of the characters some time last night....somewhere"

No, you always tell them what, but you allow the readers to construct their own hows. Don't give away everything.

3. I am sleepy and I don't give a fuck.

We shall continue tomorrow, where we talk about openings.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

House of M: Leaving the House

Have a read:

Art and creation shouldn't come down to just what a bunch of marketing professionals can gain from it. It shouldn't be a game based on, "How do we make people pay us." It should be about a connection between the artist and the audience, whether you're a singer, a painter, an actor, a writer, or an eight foot tall bride handing out flowers on the street.
This is from this blog which is of course, based on Amanda Palmer's speech on TED .

I have dabbled in the corporate world of media, as well as the creative side of it. My heart is in the creative side, so that's where I will be most of the time after April.

Even tonight, I wrote two short stories, which shows me that my passion lies in writing fiction still, after all these years.

Anyway, one of the biggest questions asked in the corporate world is - 'how do we monetise it'? Which means, how do we make money from it? Media is big business and all businesses have to make money, or they die. We don't want that, because their death throes are huge and dramatic and annoying. We should take ownership of media companies and make them do what we want them to.

What Amanda Palmer is preaching is both good and bad news for media companies. Bad news because this means creators - such as myself and millions of other people - will take the bigger share of payment from the public, leaving media companies with a smaller share. This is a reverse from current practices where creators get jack shit and big media companies take everything. The good news is - if media companies are not too greedy, they can ensure their survival by going along with what the world is evolving into.

Media, instead of being a manager of mediums, have become the direct influencers of content. They are salesmen who dictate what can or should be done. If you are wondering why most shows are more of the same, ask your selves as the public and then ask the big companies. Media companies cater to the public, and the more people consume a certain whatever, the more they will make of it.

If you believe what you are seeing on TV stations and cinemas as stupid, insulting or undignified, simply vote with your money and these companies will all follow suit. The artist - a real one - will not give a fuck, but you want them to not give a fuck. You want to support them to not give a fuck, because that is the only way to get honest art, honest creativity which will result in the best creative products.

Artists and creators should be protected while media companies should be dictated by the public. You all have a voice (i.e your money and time and effort), so use it to change your world by changing its content.

In the meantime, Amanda Palmer's vision is wishy-washy, but it is not impossible. Current technology has allowed this to happen and the future, I'm afraid, is here. Whatever it is, it is up to the people to decide.

As a Gen Xer, I can say that the old models are changing. Whatever will come out of it is entirely up to you. We don't need giant celebrities and personalities to tell us what to do. We change our own world, and while the final picture may be more of the same and nothing changes - there is a possibility of a better system still.

The days of big governance is over. The days of big brother has come to pass. Big corporations? I dunno. What follows is a mystery.

Hopefully, we have all made the right choice.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Old Soldier and the Fletcher

And so the soldier returned from war.

He felt the sharp edges of broken stone through his sandal. The wind carried stench of famine and pestilence.

The old soldier walked past barrels upon barrels of foul-smelling black liquid - the wealth of the city.

Walking past an ale-house, he saw merchants drinking wine and taking opium.

He went to the Senate and heard a loud snore from outside its gates of horn.

One man came out. The fletcher who did not fletch arrows. The armorer.

"You-you came back," said the fletcher. He scratched his round head, and then his belly, and his balls.

"Aye," said the old soldier, the dried blood caked and fell off his forehead as he furrowed his brows.

"I came back. Was I not supposed to?"

The fletcher looked down at his fingernails. The old soldier followed his gaze and saw those were not the hands of a fletcher, not the fingers of a man who would pluck ripe feathers and affix them on the back of arrows. There were no scars. This was no fletcher.

As the ones who died beside the old soldier, they were no soldiers.

"We shall have a parade-" The old soldier's palm halted the words of the fletcher.

"I have no need of parades. Had no need of them, have no need of them, and will not have any need for an excuse to drink."

"We sent several legions your way. And my arrows. I sent you ten thousand arrows. Did you - did you receive them?"

"Yes. I received your arrows."

The old soldier squinted at the sun, as he squinted when the quiver upon quiver of the fletcher's arrows flew off target - too high, too low or simply veered to either side of the enemy. He never saw so much blood as he had that day.

"The budget. We were -"

The old soldier's hands were not raised up with palms facing outward. No. They held a bow, with one of the fletcher's arrows fixed on the string. The old soldier stared along the shaft, towards the ball of fire on the arrowhead.

"No! No! There is tar and pitch all over the city! You will burn it to the ground!"

"A city of rubble, filled with fat, round men who send us to war with false arrows and thin leather. A city that  slaughters goats and cattle for food inside these walls and send its sons outside, so the cannibals won't develop a taste for mutton and beef."

The fletcher swallowed.

"Why, old fletcher? For what reason would I remain a sacrifice for you, as you sacrifice the animals inside the city?"

"I will pay you."

The old soldier laughed.

"What good is money to a dead man?"

A small, yellow stain grew on the fletcher's tunic as the arrow flew from the old soldier's bow. The arrow did travel off several yards to the right, but it did not matter. It landed on a pile of barrels, with thick, black, foul-smelling liquid - the riches of the city.

It took two weeks for the fire to burn through everything.

The fletcher's robes were in tatters as he fought for a scrap of meat, amidst the rubble. He saw the old soldier walk past, skipping the embers and the ashes with his sandals to the side.

The fletcher cowered in fear, but the old soldier simply held a scroll in front of him, offering it to the fletcher.

"Next time," said the old soldier, "for a city filled with flammable material, you should have purchased my insurance policy. Old Soldier Insurance, protecting you from fires caused by disgruntled soldiers returning from war."

"What the fuck?" Said the fletcher.

And they rode off into the sunset on a camel.

Remember, kids! Purchase insurance.


I used to play chess. Stopped at 11 years old. Never really regained a taste for the game.

I find it... pretentious. And I'm not very good at it. When I used to play, I play a war of attrition. I take pieces with no grand design, hoping to turn a stream of tidy profits that could prove my advantage.

It was berserker chess, with no philosophy and every move a simple gambit.

Of all the pieces, I have always had special affinity with pawns. Maybe because of their usefulness or their symmetrical nature - my other two favourites being the rook and the queen.

I don't like sacrificing pawns. They stay on the front lines and they absorb most of the damage. I don't think it's fair they get to die first. But they always do.

The only redeeming quality is, if a pawn lasts long enough, and marches forward enough, it can become any piece. Still, a pawn cannot become a king, but it can be a queen.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Chaotic Neutral

A friend asked me just now, "Which one do you hate more. the Malays, or the Chinese?"

And I was thinking, "Have I really come across as being bitter and am I stuck in a Tarantino/Rahim Razali revenge flick?"

My answer was, "I'm not racist."


"Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans, Kadazans, even friends have screwed me over - at least tried to - and they have all helped me as well. I have no preference for any race, religion or club. I am chaotic neutral. A real one."

I will tell you straight up that I am on only one side - mine. I believe that what is good for me is good for the community, society, the country and the world as well as the universe. I am the power of good and the way of the magic.

I often run into people who try to be sneaky with me, lie to me or outright manipulate me using pop psychology, perhaps not knowing that I have read ALL and EVERYTHING on pop psychology. I even joined group therapy earlier in life. I know the techniques, the philosophies, the tells, the common practices and I also have an understanding of the human ego.

This is not me being smart or saying I am. These are all basic knowledge. For humans. It may seem magic to monkeys, but people I enjoy talking to have all these under their belt. At the very least, they have a working understanding of these things.

We don't apply these techniques on people, because it is condescending and insulting, as well as downright evil. We learn them or are aware of these things as Defence Against the Dark Arts.

When I was in school, kids could immediately tell I am smart. So the insecure ones start to lie to me, thinking if they can fool me, they are smarter than me. And so, by the time I was 18, I had 18 years experience in being lied to. I learned how to sniff out the hidden agendas of people. I became cynical and a pessimist. Also, very, very paranoid.

This affected me for years, until I learned to control and live with my mind firmly attuned to the darkness in humanity. It's like being stuck with one radio station - and just one - in the car. EvilFM.

I cannot and will not force myself to feel anything other than what I am feeling at any moment in time. However, I can control my actions and reactions.

Perhaps, being tuned to evil, I give off negative energy? Do I come across as racist? Well, who cares? I can safely assure myself that I am not, so I now don't give a fuck what other people think of me.

How can I hate any race when I have received so much help from all these people? In fact, the most rational, nationalistic person I know is Chinese. The kindest and most trustworthy person I have ever met is the Indian dude who comes to my apartment every two weeks to clean it. I pay him some money for his cleaning services and he - being a good Hindu - would sometimes buy me food. At no extra charge. Never stole a single cent, and I leave my money - CASH! - lying around.

Malays? Hah. Well, I have mostly interacted with Malays and Malays are just like any other race - nothing special for any race. All the fuck-ups and the problems are the same. The core is the same, it's just that everything manifests differently for different groups of people.

Wait, I know what's special - me. I am special because I am not a racist.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Use Your Illusion

While I continue my amazing creative journey and the road to recovery, I am also setting up something to pay the bills as well as fulfill another part of my passion - strategic communications.

Been in the media for 10 years by June or May, and there are some things I still want to do in that field. The past decade have been mostly me taking a tour of all media platforms, from traditional print to new and social media.

I worked with newspapers, magazines, TV, film, new media blablabla and whatever I could get my hands on. If it's something I've never done before, I am most likely to try my hand at it, so as to get a better understanding of how things work - how communication works.

With new media, a lot of people try to use it as they did with traditional media. A lot believe just getting some voices and viewpoints out there is enough. That, to me, is just the first step. To have an effective communications project, there are a lot more variables in play.

Simply bullying or steamrolling your perspective forward is incomplete. The Internet is a chance to practice true democracy and opening things up for multiple voices, no matter how stupid or ugly those voices may be.

The problem with freedom of speech is that you also have to allow perspectives or viewpoints you find distasteful or downright dangerous. Neil Gaiman said that years ago, or something to that effect. A Buddhist point of view - true Buddhism, not the cheap imitation Buddhism we see often these days - works very well.

I believe all I have done all these years has contributed something for my stuff. We shall see where this will take me.

For now, rest and recuperation. One thing at a time.


I'm a lucky wanker, and I say this not with arrogance, but with gratitude.

I have received everything I ever asked for, some in ironic circumstances, others with the kind of serendipity I've read and discarded as mere stories to con people into believing the world is not such a harsh place after all.

Make no mistake, the world is harsh and cold and cruel and its people lying, manipulative monkeys. And yet here I am, standing here yelling fuck the free world.

I look around me with some degree of satisfaction. I have lived a charmed life, and despite many words to the wise and cautionary tales against sharing your joy for fear - FEAR - of idiots and monkeys trying to take you down a few notches, I don't give a flying fuck.

I whine and wail whenever I'm down, so I will shout and yell when I am up. I suspect I am manic-depressive, so I guess this happens often. The trick is to allow and accept whatever you're feeling at any given time. You cannot control how you feel, but you can control your actions.

And I really need to go to sleep now.

TMM: Recovery

After a grueling four day schedule that started last Friday, seeing me travelling on a bus for a total of almost 24 hours, I capped it off with having a minor surgery at UH today and then attending Malaysian Shorts, where the second screening of Bihun - a short film my team did for KL 48 Hour Film Project last year.

None of the team members voted for Bihun just now, otherwise, I am sure we would have equalled 29 Februari's third overall placing at FFM25.

Nevertheless, I am on sick leave for two days as I recover from my surgery. And yes, I went to Malaysian Shorts anyway despite my injury woes because I am such an artist and shit.

The famed Bernard Chauly asked me a question on wanking, which I happily responded to and I viewed what I believe to be one of the best prostitution short films I have seen in a while. This short is called Empty, and they got most of the prostitution bit right, except for one thing - a lot of local prostitutes get the most clients on Fridays, NOT Saturdays, as the married men who make the majority of the patron of the sexual arts would much prefer to spend their weekends with their real families.

The depiction of sex as costing RM30 is spot on - that is the going rate for Brickfields, in one of those kongsi-type temporary whore's nests that appear and disappear faster than a certain famed chocolate chip cookie brand. I regret to inform that I have never subscribed to prostitutes in Brickfields as I am a connoisseur of women and it is somewhat beneath me to sow my seeds and play tug of war with my penis with the assistance of RM30 prostitutes.

Also met John Hafiz at Malaysian Shorts. I have long been a fan of John Hafiz and his band Onani. Ever since Ahmad Kamal Abu Bakar (AKAB) mentioned that Onani would do some form of thrash metal while performing in drag, I was an instant fan, despite never having head any of their songs.

John, along with AKAB and later Pipiyapong are some of the writers who showed as well as convinced me that writing in BM can be cool, thus expanding my range and helping me create an angle for my august creative presence in Malaysian fiction.

In the past four days, I have also formulated some strategic communications, edited a few short stories for KL Noir: White - an upcoming volume for the already-successful  even though recently-launched KL Noir series of anthologies. KL Noir: Red, which also features one of my short stories in it is the number one selling book in Kinokuniya KLCC, across ALL languages. If Kinokuniya opened branches all over Malaysia, I am sure we would be number one everywhere as well - such is the kind of creative power I am attuned to at the moment.

Yes, I am recovering from my ailment, but I have also - since several weeks ago - started my recovery from the gripping depression that plagued me for the past few months. I thank those who helped, and curse all who added to it. I would like to focus on the positive, so for all those people who knowingly or unknowingly assisted me in any way, I thank you from the bottom. Of my heart.

I have set a course for myself. I do not know where it will lead me, as always. However, I always have faith in myself because I am a self-worshipper.

Now, I will go to bed and sleep, to allow my healing factor do its thing.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Miss Information

It occurred to me, while sitting down in a bus for 14 hours in a trip up north just a few days ago, that I know a lot of stuff.

I felt - I feel - this 'lotness of stuff' simply because in comparison, sadly, Malaysians know very little. The amount of knowledge an average Malaysian has is, I believe, much, much lower than an average person in, say, Sweden, or Canada, or the States.

Now, I'm not being condescending. I am being quizzical. Why is it that Malaysians know less? Is it because we don't read books? I doubt that. Malaysians read. We also watch an obscene amount of television and film. Is it the content being put forth? We have what, four Discovery channels? Five? Nat Geo. Animal Planet. We have access to the Internet. TED, Wikipedia, YouTube, Google. So why is it that most Malaysians know so little?

I believe - and this is coming from me sitting in a bus for 14 hours - that this stems from our culture of not sharing ideas and information. We are very stingy when it comes to information - afraid, perhaps, that people will steal our ideas or our knowledge.

And so, those who know little hoard their information jealously, afraid their information will diminish if other people know as well.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the key to stupidity.

Information can only grow when it is shared. I gained ALL of my information by reading, by going to Wikipedia and reading an average of 40 articles a day. I ask questions on Twitter and in forums. I also found some tell-tale signs here.

In local forums, if you ask for information for some things, the 'experts' are extremely reluctant to share their info. You go to the same type of forum - an international one - and you get people jumping over themselves to answer your question, if you ask nicely enough. Sometimes, even if you're being an asshole.

And they don't get annoyed with questions. When I was in high school - and I was with the top 400 kids in Malaysia - some of the other kids would groan if anyone asks a question. Why? Because they're monkeys, yes, and also because it is our egotistical culture to pretend to know or to make it seem as if the information we do not have as irrelevant and valueless. Why is this so? BAM! Another rhetorical question, bitch! Because our culture, our civilisation, has not been an information culture for any long period of time.

We are also very insecure, as a people. This is perhaps because we don't come from an affluent society, a society where we can create and determine values ourselves.

I have benefited from lots of people sharing their information with me. So much so, that I get excited when I can share information with anyone. Does that make me better than you? Well, if you still think that way, you are, I'm afraid, a monkey. An egotistical white-faced gibbon.

See, being better than anyone is not the point. That's just stupid. You don't get happiness from being better than anyone. Look at me - my happiness does not stem from me being better than everyone, and I am better than everyone. I am happy with some peace and quiet and doing things I like, for example Thai girls. Also, sharing knowledge.

Some of my best ideas come from random talks with people. Whenever I share information, I always get more information, and so it grew, until I am the Greatest Mind of the 21st Century.

So please, if you want to know more, if you want to be the best at what you do, whatever it is, share your knowledge and skills and what you know. Always answer questions. No, I don't want your dirty little secrets - I believe there are no secrets because I can read minds and blablabla.

I hope that one day, I can write for a Malaysian audience that is smarter than me. That would be such fun.

Friday, March 1, 2013

February Rain

Been a fantastic few days. The medical test I was dreading came up quite well for me and requires just a minor surgery this Monday, the KL Noir: Red anthology was launched on Wednesday night, and there are other good news as well.

I am still reeling from such positive energy that no pettiness and stupidity actually bothered me. I looked at those things and see them for what they are - whether good or bad, smart or stupid, nothing lasts forever. To struggle so violently for such brief flashes in time - well, whatever.

The wheels of the world continue to turn. The cogs and gears I have set in motion since a few years ago are moving. Creaking, with no oil, but moving nonetheless. Some things, I make up on the fly, while others I have prepared for years and years. Waiting for the right moment, blablabla.

I have many stories. Many ideas and things. I need to sort all these things out. One by one. The big bang of creativity happened a long time ago. I now pick up the pieces and see what can be used.

You won't believe the kind of opportunities that can open up, even though I am, at my most optimistic, a very cautious man.

I would like to say I was born that way, but the truth is, I have failed so many times in my life that I am quite wary with any form of expectation. But that shouldn't hold me back. Never has.

Malaysian writers and creative people have tons of great ideas. One thing they lack is will. The drive to push things through to the end, no matter what the consequences may be. A lot of my contemporaries were worried about feedback, if people were to hate their stuff, their selves, their egos; if they won't be loved. Most of them are never heard or seen from again.

I'm sure they were killed or eaten by bears or something.

Well, I have been reading about the hard life of Thai bar girls - some of whom found real happy endings for themselves - and I think, I have lived a charmed life. If I die tomorrow, I suffer no regrets other than not going to Thailand one last time.