defeatism or reality? // 180209

Maybe part of growing up, maturing and realising the realities of life turns you into a cynic. But I say, it turns you into a realist (if you're not born to be daft, green and shallow for life). It's a pretty fucking depressing state of realization to be in, really. After going through enough shit yourself you become aware of many things that earlier you were, a) too ignorant to notice, b) too immature to understand, and c) was just plain stupid to know.

You know that going through gruelling hours of academic work (half of which you despise to death, of which you know doesn't have much real use in the real working world), making your parents work (harder than they really should) to pay for your overpriced tuition fees that increases every year (not to mention the cost of living that rises at the mercy of the ever unpredictable, almost erratically fluctuating economy), and ending up with a piece of paper that you know is only a passport to the working-class world (and of course as a major self-esteem boost for you and your parents). And you know for a fact that you didn't really learn jack shit in class to prepare yourself for the real world.

You know that the first few years of working is far from easy; financially, psychologically, emotionally, physically. It takes up a lot of your time and energy, because you need to prove yourself to the bosses that you deserve to be kept in their employment roster (plus them bonuses). You can hardly save much money because it's extremely hard to put aside money when you're beginning to know how it's like to earn your own money (and also because the overall cost of living slashes your salary by at least two thirds). You start getting credit cards because that's the easiest way for you to enjoy life (without realising that you actually cannot afford them and will only incur perpetual debts that would in all probability snowball and smack you in the face real hard in the end).

You know that you need to work extra fucking hard and at times cut corners (cheating, bribing, etc., at the expense of taking a swipe at your personal principles and moral consciousness) to get to a position that has some semblance of financial security (but you know the only constants in life are death and taxes). And you know it'll take a long time, say, 10 years to get to that position. And you know that the average employee (over 95% of Malaysia's population are employees) retires at the age of 55 years old and on an average will have savings of a few hundred thousand ringgit (but only if he or she was annoyingly diligent in keeping every single spare cent) and an EPF of RM1 million ringgit. And you know that once you added in the factors; cost of living, inflation and medical care at the age of 55 years old, that that kind of money can only realistically last you for the next 3 years. 

You know that societal convention says you need to find a life partner at a certain age. By that time you'll be, say, 28 years old and probably in a position to afford a decent sized wedding and marry (hopefully for the first and last time) the person that you (presumably, because we're all blinded by love/lust/fear of being alone now aren't we) love. But because your dearest soulmate lives in Far Far Away far in that deluded pretty head of hers, she'd want a fucking grand wedding. Because, I mean, splurging on expensive stuff (nauseatingly overpriced branded items, blings, and other pretty useless things) and getting VIPs to witness the officiating of your marrige is the only way to make you feel special, no? Or it's got to be big enough that she can, for once in a lifetime, feel like a fairy tale princess (oh the joy). And it'll definitely be grand enough to set you back financially so bad that you'd probably need to get a personal loan. Thus, adding more debt to your name. Because you have no balls to say no. And it definitely won't help if there's a monster-in-law in the picture. Never mind that the money could've instead been put to better use, for example, paying for the car and house downpayment which would be a heck of a lot more sense. Who says you need money to make an occasion special and "grand"? If that's the rule you live by in life, well, all the best!

You know that raising children is possibly the toughest job you'll ever had to do. Because, I mean, you're dealing with the physical, physiological, emotional, psychological, and financial well-being of an extremely vulnerable, defenseless human being. The overall financial costs would be over the top insane. The trauma of going through the ups and downs (if ever you'll have a child like me) would be unbelievably unbearable. You know that the world is going to hell and you do your best to raise your kids to prepare them for the worst to come. And sometimes, the worst do come in the end. Sometimes children grow up to become complete screw ups, sometimes they lose intimacy with their parents and distance themselves (because they already have their own brand spanking new family), sometimes they don't turn up the way their parents hoped that they would've, sometimes you make mistakes and fuck them up for life, sometimes they become drug addicts and stabs your wife to steal her gold chain and pawn off to get some cash for a day's fix. You know, stuff like that.

You know that the planet is dying, that global warming is rearing its ugly head dramatically more so than a decade ago. You can foresee a future where the entire polar ice caps have melted, rising sea levels dramatically, freshwater would become scarce, the entire ecosystem of the world becomes completely messed up, animals habitats become disturbed and more species going extinct, the entire country of Maldives and a large part of Holland and many other major cities will go underwater, the ozone layer becomes depleted and the atmosphere gets royally fucked up, greenery (you know, the thing that gives us air to breathe) dies away one by one because there are more toxic gas and free radicals in the air than a symbiotic balance of oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen to sustain life on this planet.

You know for a fact that there is enough technology, resources and financial capabilities to power the entire world using renewable energy. You know that there is enough sustainable design and technology, and that it can work. You know that at the current consumption rate, the world's oil reserve could only last, optimistically, for another 40 years. And that there are other clean, renewable energy alternatives (hydroelectric, solar, wind, wave, geothermal, etc) that collectively are much more than can power the entire planet inexhaustibly. In 2006, a geothermal energy study from MIT found that there is currently 13,000 KJ of energy in the Earth. Upon improvement of technology, over 2,000 KJ of energy would be attainable. Since the overall energy usage of the entire planet is 0.5 KJ, that figure translates to over 4,000 years of clean power. But at the same time, despite overwhelming facts and figures that point to the fact that the planet is coughing blood and that there are other viable, cleaner, cheaper alternative solutions, there are many proponents that are saying that global warming is "natural" and that it is the biggest "hoax" mankind has ever concocted. And curiously enough, most of those "experts" are from the U.S. government.

You know for a fact that you are completely powerless. That you cannot question your religious institution. That you are ruled by corrupt politicians that are driven by money and power. That you are living within a political system that is foolishly outdated and an economic system based on selfishness and greed. And you know that the current system we live in perpetuates elitism, bigotry, corruption, hatred, prejudice, poverty, hunger, and war. You know for a fact that the mainstream media is controlled by influential politicians, and that a large majority of the so-called "news" are either filtered, intentionally designed and engineered, or are just based on negative, sensational news (irregardless of the fact that they might be morally wrong to publish such stories).

You know for a fact that the entire world's economy is controlled by a handful of people from a handful of privately owned companies. That there exists a group of people, so powerful that they can topple entire governments in order to serve their own needs and to further on their agenda. That companies such as General Electric, Walmart, Exxon Mobil, Ford Motor, Daimler Chrysler, are economically more powerful than Poland, Norway, Indonesia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Finland, Greece, Thailand, and plenty others. And that interestingly enough, over 50 (or 29, whichever number you prefer) of the top 100 most powerful economies in the world are U.S. based privately owned companies.

You know that the economy of the world is controlled and influenced by the U.S. government, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization. All of which are, curiously enough, linked very strongly to the Jewish lobby of the U.S. government. And of course you know that 96% world's media corporations (Walt Disney, ABC, CBS, NBC, Time Warner Communications, New Yorker, Vogue, Mademoiselle, Glamour, Vanity Fair, Gentlemen's Quarterly, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Random House, Simon & Schulster, Time Inc. Books, Western Publishing, etc etc etc.) are all Jewish owned. And the West actually got pissed off when Tun Mahathir said that "the Jews rule the world by proxy". Pfft. Makan cili, terasalah pedasnya.

You know that the Federal Reserve Bank (a government entity with private components) that supplies money to the U.S. government are owned and run by Jews. That the creation and function of The Fed is an extremely suspicious and questionable matter, to say the very least. And you know of its close ties to the U.S. government, to certain highly influential politicians, to the banking cartels, and of course, to weapons development mega corporations (read: Halliburton).

You know, of course, for a fact that money rules the world. At least in today's world. Those who control money (or rather, monetary politics) controls the world. And thus, you can conclude that the world's socio-economic well-being (or demise, for that matter) is in the hands of a handful of mega corporations within the media and the banking cartels. Those mega corporations, together, are more powerful than the world's religious, political and military institutions all put together. You know that in the end of the day, the world is a business. And that in that business, you have no say, no control and no power over it.

You realise that there is only so much you can do. And on a grander scale, that is really almost next to nothing. And if you think I'm just being a nihilist, ultra-leftist, deluded, ignorant jack ass, just... well, Google-lah. The evidence is everywhere.

So, what do you do now that you're aware of all these terrible terrible lies/facts/random nonsense? Well, based on my extensively detailed research, there are a couple of doable solutions and plausible options:

1. Become a hobo, embrace frivolity, drink every day and die under a bridge.
2. Become a hippie, live by the beach, smoke weed every day, and die with a smile on your face.

The choice is in your hands. Just take it and go.

"The world is run by one million evil men, then million stupid men, and a hundred million cowards. The evil men are the power - the rich men, and the politicians, and the fanatics of religion - whose decisions rule the world. These are only one million of them, the truly evil men, in the whole world. The very rich and the very powerful, whose decisions really count. The stupid men, who number ten million, are the soldiers and policemen who enforce the rule of the evil men. They are the standing armies of twelve key countries, and the police forces of those and twenty more. In total, there are only ten million of them with any real power or consequences. They are, often brave, I'm sure, but they are stupid, too, because they give their lives and blood as mere chess pieces. Those governments always betray them or let them down or abandon them, in the long run. Nations neglets no men more shamefully than the heroes of their wars. And the hundred million cowards, they are the bureaucrats and paper shufflers and pen-pushers who permit the rule of the evil men, and look the other way. They are the head of this department, and the secretary of that committee, and the president of the other association. They are managers, and officials, and mayors, and officers of the court. They always defend themselves by saying that they are just following orders, or just doing their job, and it's nothing personal, and if they don't do it, someone else surely will. They are the hundred million cowards who know what is going on, but say nothing, while they sign the paper that puts one men before the firing squad, or condemns one million men to the slower death of a famine. This formula - the one million, the ten million, the hundred million - this is the real truth of all politics. Marx was wrong. It is not a question of classes, you see, because all the classes are in the hands of this tiny few. This set of numbers is the cause of empire and rebellion. This is the formula that has generated our civilisation for the last ten thousand years. This built the pyramids. This launched your Crusades. This put the world at war, and this formula has the power to impose peace". - A.G.

sesi istana budaya butterfingers: the aftermath // 160209

Witnessing a historic showcase; the first time ever a rock band was allowed to perform at Istana Budaya, Butterfinger's farewell gig (before Emmett migrates to Canada) and the last time they played together with the full original line-up (Emmett, Loque, Kadak, Loco) while taking an indefinite hiatus, their very first unplugged showcase in their 12-year career in the indie music scene, and the very first time they played an all-out 4 sessions in 2 days showcase playing hit songs from all 6 albums. Watching one of my most favourite bands of all time belting out some of my most favourite songs (some of which I've been listening and playing on the guitar on repeat since I was 14 years old) backed up with a six-string orchestra and a percussionist (who also doubled as a ukelele player). Attending the afternoon slot, Transcendence 10-Year Anniversary, to cover for an event write-up for Junk Magazine (my first ever real article for an actual magazine). Attending the final slot of the final day, Mari Hidup Kembali, as Butterfingers' official back-up photographer for the event. Hanging out with Emmett, Loque, Kadak, Loco, and the rest of Butterfingers' crew. By just being there to witness and experience the entire episode and all the little things that transpired in that fateful weekend. The weekend that I'll remember for the rest of my life.

Fucking. Priceless.

p/s: one more thing I probably won't ever forget; the time I babysitted Isabel while Emmett was having a meeting (the fact that I'm not a big fan of kids, I think I did pretty okay).

big love to trashy tabloid media // 110209

It's bad enough that the Malay race have been getting unrelenting whiplashes for the past decade or so. It's bad enough that Malays in general carry a tainted reputation dipped in controversial issues like Malay supremacy, special rights, and so many others. It's bad enough that the Malay generalised image are synonymous with laziness, narrow mindedness and several other questionable "moral values".

Now, think about this; Mangga, Hai, Harian Metro, Kosmo, Mastika, etc etc. What comes to mind? Well, what else can it be other than uncivilised, shallow, immature, degrading, morally unsound, trashy tabloid media. Far inferior to its counterparts, E-News for example, our beloved local gossip media is at least 50 years behind. Or quite possibly even more.

I flipped through a few of those aforementioned magazines and newspapers, just to check out a couple of articles they wrote about the latest craptastic news reporting on the local indie scene. And oh my god. I sat there and actually, literally, felt embarrassed. It was so fucking kampung I can't believe people actually get paid to write such trashy nonsense. And that people actually pay and bring home such literary abominations. A lowly bastard spawn of the Western gossip media, the local versions fail utterly miserably in every possible aspect. Absolutely, astonishingly, miserably. 

Talking to a few friends in the local indie scene, I gathered information that in the past few years that the local indie music scene has been picking up and supported by the mainstream media so have there been a rise in tabloid reporting of complaining, bitching, and degrading of many famous indie artistes. Don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those condescending idiots who support any and every local music just because it's, well, local. But, really, don't turn to a whiny Nazi child and complain, bitch, degrade, defame, spread lies and exaggerated untruths for no plausible reason about the people at the front lines that are actually doing something to contribute positively to the scene.

And that's not the best part yet. For those who aren't very tabloid media savvy, here's a pinch of the truth for you; if you don't treat the reporters like they're the Queens Of The Fucking Universe, they'll merajuk and write nasty things about you thus exposing you to a very real risk of tarnishing your image and damaging your career. If you were finger banged as a child, had acne so disgusting your bestfriends stopped talking to you, almost failed school but managed to get into a local college through either your mommy's cronies or selling your undesirable body, later miraculously passed, graduated with a certificate or a diploma, and got a job at a local tabloid media (because no other place wants you), you'd feel pretty shitty about yourself. So, what better way to boost your self-esteem and inflate some artificial ego by being a tabloid reporter and getting superstars eating out of your ass?

I mean really, how fucking low can you get? The saddest part is the fact that a very, very large majority of the tabloid reporters are Malays. The kampung tabloid media are Bumiputera owned with a large majority of Malay employees. The artistes that they write about are predominantly Malays. The people, sorry I mean morons, who fork out their hard earned cash to buy such nonsense to read (because what else would low-life scums do in their free time, no?) and later spread around useless gossips are predominantly Malays.

In short, you have narrow minded capitalist bigots writing lies to sell a flawed and immoral product to idiotic, shallow consumers who don't actually need them. And the majority of them are all Malays. And you wonder why the Malays are in such deep shit.

twentyfuckingfive // 090209

1. I believe a very, very large majority of people who believe and practice religion are ignorant idiots.

2. I believe a very, very large majority of people who talk politics are ignorant idiots.

3. I am very desensitized. You can take a shit while slitting your wrists in front of me while I have a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine and I'd be completely fine.

4. I will try absolutely anything once.

5. I have Indian, Chinese, Parsi, Arab, and Acheh blood. Half of my family are staunch Muslims, the other half are mostly Christian Chinese. Most are Protestants, some are Roman Catholics. I have Caucasian relatives in England and Australia. My ancestoral lineage can be traced back to ancient Parsi, to Darius the Great. Maybe that's why I'm so fucking confused most the time.

6. I'm a semi-perfectionist, slightly obsessive compulsive and not narcissistic enough to give a damn about what people think of me.

7. I don't fancy kids much. I prefer kittens.

8. I can never make up my mind. Never. Ever.

9. I have a to-do list that I intend to complete before I die. That includes to watch Sigur Ros live, drink snake's blood, live in India, get some dreadlocks, and backpack to South America.

10. I want a fucking tattoo.

11. I cuss too much. But that's because you're a fucking douchebag. Fuck off.

12. I'm drawn towards everything degenerate in life. I love stories of despair, lost loves, broken hearts, violence, drugs, and everything in between. Because only stories such as those carry real emotions, depth and truth. Others are just plastic and plain boring. Boo.

13. Sometimes I get spontaneously annoyed at myself when I'm being Mary-Poppins-nice to people. Especially strangers.

14. I love Itallian cuisine, hate using my hands to eat and think spicy food is more torture than an actual process of mastication.

15. I wanna be Hank Moody. Dream of Californication, baby.

16. I can imagine literally anything and everything that are out-of-your-mind impossible to imagine. But I can't see myself getting married and having kids.

17. But I believe in the concept of falling in love, soulmates, and all that mushy Hollywood crap.

18. I get easily tearjerked watching sad movies. But I've never physically cried. Hmm.

19. I hate horror movies. I'm a self-confessed pussy. But I love mindfuck films. And that's because I'm an idiot.

20. One day, I want to write a book about my grandfather's life, his childhood, his family with so many Greek mythology-like drama and nonsense, his passion for gardening and fast cars, his experiences serving in the army during the Occupation, and his relationship with his former photographer turn Nazi foot soldier bestfriend who's aunt was Stalin's personal assistant, and his present day ever so fiery nihilist comments on Malaysian politics and the education system.

21. I love reading. Especially memoirs. But I forget easily. So, most of the time I'd read a book at least twice.

22. I hate celebrating my own birthday. I think it's stupid.

23. I'm a walking hard-on. I like girls. So sue me.

24. The most interesting conversation I've ever had was with a 40 year-old father of three heroin addict of over 10 years who worked as a hotel manager and owned a multinational advertising company in Maldives. It was one of the most precious friendship I've ever had.

25. I think I just wasted 30 minutes of my life doing this. Fuck. Oh, and I hate the internet.

In my defence, I did that 25 nonsense whatever-you-call-it after hours of fruitless effort, or lack there of, to find something that's actually... not a complete waste of time. For ye strangers out there, lo and behold, welcome to my world. Or head for that matter.