Thursday, March 12, 2009

Intermission: T3h Inter-webs

I bask in the glory of having defeated Perasan Rakyat. Next, I'll be demanding a tithe.

In the meantime, I can't help but think of what happened to the spirit of the bloggers who in 2007 and 2008 were so gung ho about erecting a better Malaysia.

I said it then, I am saying it now. The problem with people is that they tend to seek the easy way out. Everyone does it. The danger is when you actually believe the easy way is the best way.

To elaborate, I have written for newspapers. I have written for websites - blogs and otherwise. I have written a book. I write for TV and movies. I also edited comic scripts. I did and am doing animation. I also did one stupid song when I was 16.

In my very short but varied career as a writer, I can tell you that writing about things is not the SOLUTION to anything. In fact, NO ONE THING in this universe is a silver bullet to anything. Except for silver bullets to werewolves. And antibiotics to syphillis. Okay, that too. And possibly pain-killers to pain.

Anyway, here's my beef. Writing about things will NOT change things. I mean, it does, because perception changes the world, but NOT IN THE WAY YOU'D THINK if you take that statement literally.

It's not magic, man. Simply wishing for things do not make it happen. It simply puts you in a frame of mind which could help you in discovering things that could help you achieve things.

There is a practical aspect to it. Not just philosophical mystical mumbo-jumbo. I do not believe in magic.

Inspiration and perspiration go hand in hand. The problem with today's society is that it is an extremely lazy society. I have met lots of people who have ideas but with no gumption to follow through on their ideas to the bitter end. They want other people to do it, to sweat over it, while they stay at home and wank. That's the ideal many people are running after.

Do I blame them? No. It's what people do. I mean, it is kinda nice. In most cases, though, it doesn't solve anything.

That's why when people in Malaysia talk all about, you know, expressing yourself online and then making a change to the world, I said fuck you, bitch. The Americans with their freedom of speech bullshit has been at it for over 400 years. And their system is STILL not perfect.

Nothing is.

It is a factor. But not THE most important factor. Not the ONLY factor. People not only vote during the GE. They also vote with their money, and their actions. ALL their actions. It is not just writing about things.

I can write anything. I will have sex with Jessica Alba next week. I will take over the Government come March 16th. Or possibly April 1st.


Does that make it true? Does saying it make it real? Nope, but sometimes what we say entitles us to the repercussions of it all. You can accept blame for a crime you did not do and you can be punished for it. Trust me. I did that once, accepting the blame for some stupid shit somebody did. Cause I'm a superhero and shit. And you know what that person did? Nothing. I guess she was being smart. Hahaha. Oh well? What can I do?

Anyway, the culture of online writers in Malaysia is that there is a HUGE number of older people on the Internet. I do not know if this is unique to this country, but usually, I used to go on the net to argue with 14-year-old Americans and Israelis. That was from 1996 to 2005.

Then all these old people showed up.

Though I must say that the psych profiles and the average maturity levels have remained at 14 years of age. The Internet has a way of lowering IQs.

For some people, the Internet is a means to recapture old glories. No, not the flag. Real, actual old glory.

People want to feel important and appreciated. Some are lonely. They need some sort of human companionship. And being online is the fastest way for some to experience human presence. Yeah, I know. Sounds like an oxymoron, but there you go.

Some, want attention. Others, justification. Me? I want to pick fights. FUCK YOU, PR! And to observe.

Does this make them less than the superstars jumping up and down a stage? No. Does it make them more? Nope. It just goes to show, that the world is filled with people. And that people will be people.

The difference between these bloggers and the mainstream media is that mainstream media can easily agree on not destroying each other. Too much money is involved. Online personalities and communities seemed to be designed to destroy each other. The only currency valid on the internet is Restecpa. And stupidity.

It is a stupid and silly thing but hey, people do stupid and silly things.

Back to my earlier point. Websites, blogs, the internet - they are not magic. They are tools. It is a medium with similar, but different rules.

Whereas mainstream media is confined by space - newsprint, airwaves costs money but bits and bytes are virtually free and unlimited - the internet is not so.

Have a look at the newspaper websites. From the New York Times to the New Straits Times, their approach has always been putting whatever they print online - lock, stock, barrel.

They take little to no advantage of the medium at all.

I was once approached to give ideas to revamp a newspaper website. However, I was too young, too green and the questions thrown to me were not so 'there'.

They asked whether it would be feasible to get photographers to take pictures and put them online for as low as RM1 or RM2. And they asked about photography forums and websites.

I told them no in many ways and found out reasons how it would not work.

Having that kind of rigid angle of approach, you will be able to accomplish little, if anything at all.

The most ambitious and to me, revolutionary, idea came from a close source. I will not share his plans, as that could ruin things.

Suffice to say, that if everything goes well, as I understand it, we will actually have a more democratic and inclusive system of governance. And rather than alienating the people and separating Government and People, we might have, in the future - I am cautiously optimistic - a platform to work together and actually harnessing the knowledge and opinions of millions of people for good use.

Fuck paying RM20 million for a study, you can get the right and knowledgable experts sharing insights for next to nothing, for the betterment of everybody.

If this thing was up six years ago, then the GiMPs could have had their say in things and would not have to cause a riot and kill and rape and maim people, just to get their message accross.

That, I must caution you, is the idea. As I understand it. I could be wrong. It will not solve all our problems, but it would be a good start.

IF it works the way they want to. And IF people work towards that goal.

Big IFs, but hey, I don't believe in certainties anyway.