Thursday, January 1, 2015

Good Riddance 2014!

Well, here we are now. 2015. Good riddance to 2014. Fuck off 2014. What a lousy year.

Highlights of 2014 for me were:

1. Had a heart attack on Aug 29.

Almost died, unfortunately didn't. One third of my heart is dead. Life expectancy is usually six months to six years. So, not much time left.

My father had a similar thing, and a similar prognosis. He's still alive after 34-35 years, so I don't know, man.

2. Lost 18kg

Cause of the heart attack, I quit smoking, went on a healthy diet and started exercising almost religiously.

Was possible to do it every day when I was just running my own business, but I accepted a job at The Malaysian Reserve on Dec 1 so I now have less time to go for walks. Solution? I joined a gym.

My workout schedule is 4-6 times a week, either cardio and weight training at the gym, 20 laps at the swimming pool or 6km-12km walks every day.

I now look really handsome and svelte. So much so, most of my old clothes don't fit very well. So I need to go and order another pair of suits once my weight loss reaches a plateau, probably in another 10kg of weight loss.

When I started the gym, my weight went up a bit, and now is going down again. Something to do with building muscle mass.

3. Started a comics company, and then published a comic book

We registered Maple Comics two years ago, but never really pushed it because there was no product.

Now we have one (Kuala Terengganu in 7 Days) that we published (Dec 10) and there are five to seven in development.

This week, we engaged with a professional web developer to do a proper website. The operations will be smooth after that and we could focus on making great comics.

Reception has been good to unbelievable. We sold 25% of the comics in the first week alone and by now it should be 30% hopefully.

Anyway, considering it was a small print run, the numbers are respectable. We hope that when it hits the major bookstores next week, we can score enough sales within the first few weeks to warrant reprints.

If I make enough money from the comic publishing business, I aim to do it full time, somewhere in the future.

4. Quit movies

I retired from writing movies. That's all I wrote. Bye!

The last movie screened was Ribbit.

A few individuals, production companies, and giant media entities tried to get me to write more movies, but I said no to all of them.

I don't see a future for scriptwriters in Malaysian films. The big companies take all the rights and have the gall to say they forked out money, so they own everything. As if the contribution of creative workers alone does not carry any value.

Everything sucks from the administrative bodies, the laws, the filmmakers themselves and the film audience. These three groups - administration, filmmakers, audience - are ontributing to a systemic failure. When you get a blue screen, you reboot.

I hope to watch the Malaysian movie industry burn to the ground, not because of hate or spite, but because it is in a dire need of a reboot. You can't improve the damn thing without starting over.

In the meantime, there is collateral damage. Those who make money to feed their families primarily from an industry that does not support much less reward them will suffer regardless whether the industry chugs along or burns in a fireball.

Oh well. Not my problem.

5. Politics

Up to my heart attack, I was consulting on crisis communications. This is what I do for giant corporations. After the cardiac event, I have decided to only do crisis communications for friends' projects.

Friends as in former bosses and people I respect. I'm easing off it because the giant entities and politicians all have leeches around them who sell them things that don't work - practically bullshit - and those people use lots of not-their-money to pay for it.

I'm the last honest man in Malaysia. Never took a bribe and never will. Well, I would, but it has to be over US$400 million.

A friend who does take money recently questioned my integrity, saying, "If you were offered a project for 5 million and all they want (plus cost) is a RM4.5 million kickback, would you do it?"

"My integrity for half a million? Fuck you."

Seriously, if I want to freeload or embezzle money, it has to be US$400 million minimum. I'm not cheap like these fuckers.

I used to watch these communications' people pushing the narrative on social media and I used to get pissed off cause they're doing it all wrong. Nowadays, I just laugh at them.

In fact, this is my overarching theme - I no longer want to change the world. I just want to laugh at it.