Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Malay Diarrhea: Victim Stories

I have been observing child-rearing practices in this country since, well, since I was a child. Which was not long ago. One important element are the victim stories.

It used to be that I watched the common practices with righteous indignation, a righteous outrage at the stupidity of it all, and the patterns they make.

This past Raya - and I'm still accepting guests tomorrow and taking my father to the hospital the day after - I have had a chance to view things from a fresh perspective.

Fresh, because I had just recovered from a mental burnout. Two days before Raya, I found myself unable to access certain parts of my brain. It was fatigue, and I suspect some sorts of delayed nicotine withdrawal.

Anyway, yes, the way people teach their children and the kind of people they grow to be have always fascinated me. Not because I want children. I do not subscribe to the thought that starting a family is an achievement. Having kids is a triumph only if you are a virus.

I mean, like Chris Rock said, even roaches have kids.

Nope. My interests were purely observational. I wished to determine how we beget so many idiots and unconscious people in such a short amount of time.

The key ingredient, I believe, are the victim stories.

At a very young age, kids are taught this:

"Ooo, kesian diaaa..."

Which translates to "Ooo, poor thing."

Sound familiar? It is prevalent in almost all cultures, just more pronounced among the Malays, because Malays have more kids, in this country. A friend from a milk company, amidst glasses of yellow liquid, told me that the Malay population grew at a standard 4% the previous years while the other races remained stagnant at 0%. I do not know the veracity of this data, because Malaysians DO NOT share information. Which is another grouse.

How can we be a more learned society, when we do not share information? Knowledge and experience should be shared, if we want to see a better world around us. Otherwise, we will be overrun by idiots. However, that's another story for another day.

This "Ooo, kesian diaaa...", despite seeming insignificant, is actually very important.

It tells the child that the fastest and best way to get what he or she or it wants, is to be pathetic.

You be pathetic, in pain, suffering - essentially a victim - and you get what you want.

These are the same people who would later grow up and try to pass off as victims at every juncture. I do not know about other races, but whenever I hear anyone trying to make themselves seem like the aggrieved party over something or a situation the responsibilities of which lay in all parties, I hear the "Ooo, kesian diaaa..." phrase.

The kids, upon hearing this, would take it a step further. Any child would go and complain, haplessly, about his or her siblings who victimised him or her.

Or, they would go the other way and start victimising the other children.

Look at our stories of war heroes. I have the utmost respect for Leftenan Adnan, who fought till the very end to defend his country - this country, and the brave soldiers at Bukit Kepong who gave their all to kill the damned Communists.

However, the context these stories were put in were quite...pathetic. The Greeks treated Leonidas, who led 300 Spartans against the Persian Horde in a suicide strike, as a success story.

William Wallace was drawn and quartered, true, but his fight was worth having your entrails removed while you're still breathing.

Horatius at the bridge. Peter of Holland, who held back the ocean with a finger in the dam. Robert Bruce of Scotland - after failing countless times - was taught tenacity and diligence by a spider.

Abraham Lincoln went through so many trials and tribulations before triumphing as one of, if not THE, greatest presidents ever in the history of the United States of America.

The tale of the Ronin - the masterless Samurais in Japan who waited for years to exact their revenge on a cruel daimyo.

Even in Islamic history - the first war was in Badar or Badr, where a force of 300 farmers and slaves and merchants fought 1013 elite Quraisy soldiers was a tale of overcoming the impossible.

And yet, when our people, the Malays, tell our young the stories of Leftenan Adnan, the focus was on, "Ooo, kesian diaaa..." NO! Leftenan Adnan did not give up nor surrender. He didn't give a shit. He knew he was going to lose.

Leftenan Adnan: Fuck it, man, I'm taking down more than they're gonna take down - me.

He did not need pity. He died a man. The Japanese hated him so much, they took his body and had every Japanese soldier present bayonet him in the face.

What a way to go. If I go to jail for something I wrote, and died there, after one assassin shanked me to death, then it would have been a great career as a journalist.

And what of the tales of other heroes? Tok Janggut in Kelantan, Tok Gajah, Mat Kilau and Datuk Bahaman in Pahang. Datuk Maharajalela, Tok Sagor, Seputum in Perak. Mat Salleh in Sabah. We have enough to form our own League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

And yet the stories we keep telling our kids are sad ones. Or rather, the context of the stories. Stories are just stories. We do not know whether they are true or just make-believe. But we can infuse any spirit we want to.

"Ooo, kesian diaaa..."

Fuck that shit, man.

And hence, our society is weakened and destroyed.

I put such a strong emphasis on this victim thing, because whenever anyone tried to help victims, they start lashing out at people. As a superhero, this makes my job a lot harder.

Victims exhibit unconscious and insecure behaviour. They constantly seek sympathy and pity. Take it to the next level, and they start believing their own victim stories, and turn into self-defeating piles of bullshit.

These people would worship pain and suffering. Pain becomes a currency. Suffering is an indication as to what they could and SHOULD have. And they are all emotion and no reason.

In the anime Kino's Journey, the titular character went to a land so technologically advanced that all the work is done by robots and computers. And yet, people still go to work. What do they do? They check the calculations done by computers - an impossible task.

When Kino asked one of them, they told her that since all is taken care of, the only way for people to determine who deserves MORE, they measure stress levels. Hence, whoever is in more pain, deserves more.

Absurd? Well, that is the kind of world we live in today. The world ruled by the ego.

"I have suffered more than you, therefore I am superior."

"I felt more pain than you, therefore I deserve MORE."

"You wanted me to do this? I did not want to do this, because it will hurt me. I'll show you! I'll do it and suffer and try to make you feel guilty."

"Respect my pain! For I am the ultimate victim!"

I shut up when people acknowledge my pain. I have learned that much, at least. I mean, we are humans, we do suffer from things. I had a very bad migraine during my burnout. If people were to punch me in the face or stab me in the back, then naturally there would be pain. Acknowledging it is one thing. Glorifying it is another.

Do we really want these people to control the country?

And when they grow old, they become needy old people. Unconscious, sleep-walking old people who only know how to suffer and try to make other people's lives miserable as well.

Pain and suffering, again as currency. And at the heart of it all, the victim stories. The stories we tell ourselves.

I am not saying that this is outright bad or that another option is good. This is just how I see things.

I mean, being a victim could very well work for you. You might make millions, billions, by being a victim. If you are happy with that, then by all means, go ahead.

My only intention is for people to be aware of what they are doing. Whether I am right or wrong is inconsequential. In each of our universes, everyone else is inconsequential.

Be a victim. Or don't.

If you can live with yourself like that, then by all means go ahead. If you can't, then by all means don't.

I merely believe that sooner or later, people will be fully self-aware. Perhaps it is the moment before they die, when everything becomes clear. Maybe sooner. There is no better or best way. There is only each person's way.

Oh well.