Sunday, September 13, 2009

Civil War: Which Side Are You On?

I have a few white friends, living in Malaysia, and a few more outside.

What I love about having white friends in Malaysia is that I can do to them what people from other races do to me.

Me: Easy for you lah! You're white!

White Dude: Whuh?

Me: You're white, man. All you have to do is go into a bar and women will start playing 'Hump the White Gods'. And just go to any company. They'll pay you RM100K just for showing up and lending your white-ness to the affair.

That was fucking racist, I must admit. And the looks on the faces of my white friends are just priceless.

I know that it doesn't really work that way. Just the same when people tell me that it's easy for me, cause I'm considered Malay.

I mean, I've been waiting for my UMNO money for 29 long years. I even started a company, because I heard it's easy for Malay companies to get free money. Hell, I was even a card-carrying UMNO member(my father registered all of his mutants), until some idiot stole the card. Probably thinking when I become an Opposition politician, or get imprisoned, they can use it to blackmail me.

I don't know. I am writing this because I have just finished reading Marvel's Civil War series of comics.

It was about a tragedy with irresponsible use of superpowers resulted in the US Government passing a bill to forcefully register all super-humans. Anyone who refuses to register will be arrested.

It was really a study of America's civil liberties issues as well as the balance between liberty and freedom, and should the two ever exclude each other. Right-wing versus left-wing.

It split the Marvel Universe in two. Iron Man and his peeps on the side of pro-registration and Captain America against the act.

It ended with the assasination of Captain America after he surrendered to the authorities. SPOILER!

There were some really cool comics sequences involving two journalists covering each side.

I'm always a sucker for comics talking about journalists. Cause they paint them so mighty and holy. The kind of journalists you read about in the 50s and 60s.

I have a comics story I wanted to pitch to Vertigo. I don't know if ever I get that chance, but it's about Clark Kent using only his powers of journalism to topple down Lex Luthor. In a world where there was no Superman.

Four issues. No super-powers. Oh well.

Anyway, the journalists in Civil War - Ben Urich and Sally Floyd managed to interview Captain America, before he died, and Floyd, who was on Cap's side in the beginning, asked some really good questions.

Floyd: How many times have you logged into MySpace?

The point she was making was that Captain America was out of touch with the NEW America. He doesn't even recognise the country anymore. How can you defend something you know nothing about.

Which was an argument they used on KJ. He spent so many years overseas, is he in touch with the people?

Floyd and Urich's investigation on Tony 'Iron Man' Stark also revealed him as a war-profiteer. Like Halliborange. I mean, Halliburton. Defense contractors.

Which leads me to my point.

Anything - ANYTHING - that seeks to divide us into neat little labels - Malays, Chinese, Indians, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, punk-rockers, vegetarians, thinkers, tinkerers, Bajau Lauts, PR, BN, PIS, whatever, are done by forces that seek to profit from us all.

You MIGHT be able to turn a profit from peace. There is ALWAYS profit to be made from war. Personal, tribal, or otherwise.

If at least two people are fighting over what's right and what's wrong, any idiot can come in between them and tell them anything, sell them anything, that could turn a profit.

Imagine if there was a real war between Malays and Hindus. Any shitty political party can come to either side and say, "I'm on your side." and they get the all-important support. The Almighty Votes.

Fights, wars, they cost money. Full-scale, they use bombs and tanks and fighter-planes. On the smaller scale, they use writers and blogs and posters. And yes, even the purchase of a cow's head. Or Malaysian flags in Indonesia.

In any event, in any conflict, follow the money. Somebody profits somewhere. They might be good people, or bad people, depending on whose side you are on.

At the end, there is always profit to be made from the flaring of egos and the creation of the 'other'.

Spiritually, philosophically, their egos benefit. When there is anger, hatred, a feeling of being wronged or victimised, our egos all benefit from having experienced more things that define them as being different than everyone else.

Not saying it's good or bad. It's just is. To say whether or not something is good or bad, right or wrong, is to enter into judgement of it. Maybe it is, maybe it's not. It's up to you.

A million Jews die. To some, it's a tragedy. To others, a divine retribution. To another group, statistics. Numbers. History.

A person just stabbed you in the back. To some, it's evolution, others, treachery, betrayal, blablabla. To an astronomist, and somebody living a world away, inconsequential.

We judge everything at every moment. We do. Good. Bad. Orgasm. Not saying we should or shouldn't. Just be aware that we do. Just be aware and mindful that it is us making that call, and not something else that feeds on negativity. The eternal victim. The forever righteous asshole. The arrogant lying bastard. Which are, in turn, judgements as well.

Be aware of the power, and the choices we make. For it shapes the world.

I'm so cool. JUDGEMENT!