Monday, November 24, 2008

Degeneration M: Born Again Malaysian

Sometimes, these days, I feel like draping the flag around myself and jump off rooftops to fight crime.

Though I was told recently that that would be a desecration of a national symbol.

This thing - this spirit of nationalism - it is not cool. To be cool, you have to pretend not to care about shit. You need to be able to laugh off everything with other idiots and losers. You need to be untouchable. Wow. That's really cool.

Then, I am not as cool as I thought. Because I do care. I do give a damn. And it goes beyond writing "I care" online.

Or wear t-shirts. Or the National Clothes. Or buy a national car. Or speaking or writing in the National Language. Those are the forms. The 'kata' (the Japanese martial arts 'kata', not the Bahasa Malaysia 'kata'.)

It is also not banning forms of exercise or supressing other people's culture. Or restricting the freedom of women. Or lesbians. Though truth be told, I would love to restrict the movements of some women. In bed. And in some cases, get them to make more movements.

Yes. I'm horny. So what? Fuck you. Suck my dick.

I am beginning to realize that in order for me to find a place where I can have all the freedoms I want and live the way I want to live, I would have to carve it from the ground I walk on.

No matter where I go, I carry home with me. Be it in this country or the next, or Montreal or New York, or even Bangkok or Phuket.

This country is the sum of all those things. All the efforts and struggle and peace made by various people.

Parameswara and Ninachatu and Hang Li Po. Ptolemy and Cheng He. Tok Janggut and Mat Kilau and Dato' Bahaman. Sir Gerald Templer, Sir Henry Gurney, Sir Harold Briggs.

I have a soft spot for HN Ridley, or Rubber Ridley, because people called him Mad Ridley but he went on and established an industry which put food on the table of millions of Malaysians. Including my father. He used to tap rubber before going to school.

Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdul Razak (my grandfather's cousin), Tun Hussein Onn. Tun Dr Ismail. VT Sambanthan. Tun Tan Siew Sin. Tun Dr Mahathir, Pak Lah, KJ. The good, the bad, the fugly. Grumpy, Sleepy, Dopey.

All these people. The sum of their successes and their failings. Their mistakes. Their greatness and their weakness. And here we are.

Now. Where do we go from here?

For a time, I thought it was to leave this bloody stupid racist country. With its stupid people. Judgemental fucktards. And fat women. With big hair. And Femi-Nazis married to MCPs.

But when the time came, some time ago, I choked. I had two offers to go to Switzerland and Germany.

And carve an international career.

But I didn't go. I couldn't. I stayed.

Chris Rock said, the most romantic thing a man can say to a woman is this: "I ain't goin' nowhere."

It means, he continued, that the man DID consider leaving. Went out and talked to his lawyer. Saw a few places, and figured that he'd be miserable anywhere, with anyone, so he'd stay and be miserable with you.

I don't know why I stayed, actually. It baffles me to this day. SOme people would be happy to see me go. If I was an approval seeker, a populist, I would make their dreams come true. My parents were okay with it.

But I didn't go, did I?

Even if I were to go one day, I am sure I would return.

And recently, seeing as how our politicians and politics have failed us, I am compelled to stick around as much as I can.

In family psychology, it is postulated that the most important job for parents is not simply to put a roof above their children's heads. Or clothe them. Or get them to school. You're supposed to do that, yes, but most importantly, the parent has to be there.

This is the Presence. Being present is one of the most important things you can give someone. Or something.

I know we will go through a tough time. In fact, in my lifetime, there will be more tough times ahead. The stock markets crash every eight to 10 years. Eight of the 11 (not including Obama) past Presidents of the US were Republicans. And Republicans screw up so the Democrats would clean up. It is a cycle.

Despite everything, unless we find oil on Mars, and thus prove that dinosaurs discovered inter-planetary travel with their pea-sized brains, petrol prices will continue to rise. So will diesel. And polymers. Coatings. Plastics.

But there are things that a multi-talented man such as myself can do. There are things only I can do.

And with great powers, comes great responsibility. And lots of people to annoy.

Things to build. Cities, real or imagined. Stories, movies, books.

They will never appreciate me. In fact, some people will try to destroy me. But I still do my work. I still do what is right.

So, for now, I ain't goin' nowhere.