Thursday, November 27, 2008

Siri Bercakap Dengan Tin: An Interview with a Dhampire

Amir Hafizi is the greatest man on Earth. His chest is as thick as a redwood trunk, and two boughs of heavily-muscled arms hang from each side, with a minor branch of minor but solid wood somewhere down there.

The Malay Male reporter AMIR HAFIZI had a chance to catch up with the great man and ask a few questions in this bilingual interview.

Amir Hafizi: You smile, but look tired. Rough day?

Amir Hafizi: Same old, same old. But I am a bit tired these days.

Amir: What's up? Your current projects? What can we hope to see in the near future?

AH: Well, a few movies by next year. A book also to be finished sometime in 2009. Or 2010. Am also thinking about setting up the careers of other people. I can see where they can go, and who knows where they'll end up in a couple of decades.

Amir: Wow, so you're like a superhero and shit?

AH: Yep.

Amir: This superhero thing, you often mentioned about it. Is it real?

AH: That I have superpowers? What do you think?

Amir: No, the moralistic side of it.

AH: Well, I think I have Peter Petrelli's power - empathic mimicry - I can imitate anyone's superpower. Given enough time and exposure, of course. So the morality comes with that as well.

Amir: But aren't you like, a moralizing, hypocritical, womanizing bastard with a bulbous dick? Sorry, but since no one is asking the tough questions, I have to do it. I have a superhero complex as well, you see?

AH: Well, a moralizing, hypocritical, womanizing bastard with a bulbous dick? Maybe I am. Who cares? I have learned that I am insignificant enough even to warrant an ISA arrest. That put myself into perspective. I'm basically a nobody. I don't really have an impact on the world.

Amir: So you would like to? Have an impact? On the world?

AH: Not really. That would mean more responsibility. Responsibility weighs down on me like a fat ho. If I matter, I have to make my actions count. With being a nobody, I can do whatever I want. I mean, the stock market is not going to crash if I say 'fuck' to KJ.

Amir: But you have often written yourself as 'the greatest this' or 'the greatest that' and you often make fun of stupid people. Why so judgemental?

AH: Mmm. Truth is, there is no greatest. Muhammad Ali was the greatest, at one time. Then, it was somebody else. And even Ali is not REALLY the greatest. What about Russell Crowe?

Amir: If you don't believe in the greatest, then why claim yourself as such?

AH: The irony.

Amir: The irony?

AH: Yes. The irony. When I first started writing online, I thought of parodying the fact that anyone can be anything on the Internet. So I thought, if that's the case, I might as well be the greatest. In fact, I use irony a lot in my writing. In most articles, I would criticize something and do that exact same thing in the same article. Or say something bad about something, and do that very thing. It's irony.

Amir: Do you think people even get what you're writing, most of the time?

AH: It would be nice to be understood, but I gave up on that a long time ago. I mean, in my brief stint as a journalist, I tried to be as clear as possible. Newsprint costs money, so I was in the business of saving column spaces. To make a point, a thought, as succint and clear as possible.

On the Internet, space is virtually unlimited. I can be as obscure as I want. The rules are different. What works in newspapers do not work on the Internet. What works on the Internet doesn't necessarily work in newspapers.

They are two very different mediums. With different audiences. Sure, content is content, but the forms in which the content is being delivered is different.

That's why writing popular websites doesn't mean you can write properly for a newspaper. And writing for newspapers doesn't make you automatically as equally proficient on the Internet.

Of course, some have done the transition brilliantly. Dr M. Rocky. And all the good people at

Amir: Do you really mean what you write?

AH: I sometimes give people too little or too much credit. I thought they would be able to figure out what I wrote on their own. However, I'm taking the Eminem stand on this.

Amir: The 'Eminem stand'?

AH: Yeah. He raps about taking drugs, killing his wife, his mother, fucking Mariah Carey, carrying guns and a lot of other shit. Does that mean he does it in real life? Maybe. Maybe not. You figure it out. God gave you a brain, didn't He?

Amir: Okay, going back to one of your posts, you now claim to be a Muslim. Is this true?

AH: Oh, that. (laughs)

Amir: Yeah, because SOME people are saying that you're a were-Muslim. You're a Buddhist by day, and a Muslim at night. After you're drunk. Is this true?

AH: Who are these people?

Amir: Just people.

AH: Ah. Well, ultimately, it's up to God. You can label me what you want. I can label myself as whatever. But ultimately, God decides. Who cares? I am intrigued by the original Buddhist philosophies. And I declared myself a Muslim AND a Malay because some liberals of my generation, Muslim liberals, are finding it hard to be a Muslim or a Malay without being apologetic about it.

It seems that a lot of people are trying to get the Malays and the Muslims to be ashamed of themselves. I believe that it is neither shameful to be a Malay than it is to be an Eskimo. That Islam is just like any other religion. Like Scientology and Jedi. Why should it be discriminated against?

This is counter-racism, counter-religionism. And I have to say: Terrorists Win! Even though it's usually none of my business.

I say, screw apoligising for what you are. Apologising for being a lesbian? Fuck that. Apoligizing for being a Hindu? Fuck that.

I find that, sometimes, the biggest opponents to something would be the ones who do it themselves. You fight for freedom, you say, while at the same time you want to repress the freedom of others.

If anyone is going to be that hypocritical, then let it be me!

I must add, though, that I do not represent anyone other than myself. And I DO NOT WANT to represent anyone other than myself. That's too much responsibility. I do not want it.

Amir: Long answer.

AH: Yep.

Amir: So, are you worried about public perception?

AH: Well, I used to be so worried about public perception that I didn't do anything. And then, I arrived at a stage in my life where I did not give a fuck and even hated public perception that I did everything against popular sentiments.

Amir: And now?

AH: Nowadays, I have accepted the existence of public perception. If I play against or for public perception, that is giving way too much power over myself to other people. I do not like it, but I do not hate it either. It is just there. It's like a dog. On the streets. I don't like dogs. But I don't hate dogs either. Dogs are just dogs. But I still hate populists, though. People who pander to the audience. Motherfucking backstabbing populist motherfuckers.

Amir: Are you pandering to the audience now?

AH: Maybe. Maybe not. You have a brain. Figure it out. But please don't condemn me to hell? Pretty please? I'm so fucking scared. Oooohhh. Hell. Fuck you.

Amir: So, tell me about the sex...

(The interview has gone on too long and Amir Hafizi is tired and wants to take a 12-hour nap. We will continue this later.)