Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Public Transportation Zombies 2: Calm or Dumb.

Yesterday I was almost involved in a tragic disaster involving the light rapid transit (LRT), except that it was more of a bummer. For non-Malaysians, LRT is something like Mass Rapid Transit (MR) that you get in Singapore, except that it’s smaller, more compact and look about as safe as going nudist in crocodile farm.

What surprised me was at that moment, that lasted maybe about two minutes, was how calm Malaysians were. I was in the train as it left Datuk Keramat station heading towards Damai station, seated, reading a collection of Sherlock Holmes pastiches and I heard a slamming sound and instantly the train shut off its light and air con, slowed down and stopped at the next station.

The train door did not open, and I looked back at the crowd in the station, waiting for our train, which looked just as calm as us passengers in the train was. And then, they started moving backwards with still the calm look in the face. Something was wrong. Someone opened the little inlet above the train’s window and immediately smell of burning plastic seeped in. I heard a voice mentioning something about fire….and there was wisp of smoke from the other end of the train. oh-oh, time to panic?

Remember all the disaster scenes involving trains in the movie? Yeah, I was thinking about the scenes in the Batman and Spider-Man movies specifically. Good to have superheroes around, except over here in Malaysia we only have Cicak-Man and Anwar Ibrahim.

While thoughts involving physicists like Michael Bay* and Ron Emmerich* was on my mind, the other passengers were just looking about and looking very blur. Imagine the same scenario in the US for instance, there would be guys yelling “let me out” or girls screaming, “Oh my god” every second, children crying and Nicholas Cage or Will Smith doing something heroic. Here, a dude was trying hard to force open the door, when I noticed that the next coach door was open and people were walking out calmly. I ushered the folks in my coach towards that direction, leaving the door-opening-dude still at it like his entire manhood depended on it. It probably did.

As I walked out I was cursing everyone involved with making train right up to James Watt**, the rest of the folks just stood around, again looking, well, calm in a puzzled way until the announcement came from the PA system, with voice that sounded like a choked goose, saying that the trains will not move and the service will continue “momentarily”. Instantly, everyone was talking to their mobile phones and making their way down to the station and outside…very calmly. Mind you, there was smoke around though we don’t know where it is from. They say, when there’s smoke there’s fire. According to the passengers yesterday, “when there’s smoke, should I call or just text message to save money?”

This brings back to the article I wrote way back when I actively started using the train. Here’s my comment on the passengers, which I described as the scary part: “As the train moved, lolling and bobbing over the track, the passenger, and I am not making this up, were just there still, taking the lolls, the bobs, the bumps and the thumps, their eyes empty as a vacant lot, the expression as still as cave painting and with apparent care for fellow passengers as cats would with spinach”.

Now, here’s something that could have happened that would make scriptwriters wet their pants and us shit in ours, they were just calm. Not cool calm, as their subsequent mating with cell phone showed, but like they just don’t know and don’t care. Should we take it as a blessing or should we care about it. What if there was fire in the train and we couldn’t get out and as fate would have it, Bruce Willis is out of town? Would they just look at each other vacantly and start thinking about cannibalism?

I don’t know, I have not been involved in real public transportation disasters yet. And I sure don’t want to hear the PA system making announcements with Vincent Price’s voice.

*theory: Bang! Boom! Kapow! All die except the hero and his chums.

**invented the tea boiling kettle.

The Public Transportation Zombies (first one)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

‘tis The Season of Sex Scandals.

What has footballer Ashley Cole, golfer Tiger Woods, Singaporean filmmaker Jack Neo, so-called Indian godsmen Swami Nityananda and Shiv Murat Dwivedi have in common?

That’s right, they make shitload of more money than you and I and the dog named Boo. But what else do they have in common? If you don’t know the answer, chances are you are still trapped in that cave and decided to continue living on bat poo.

For those who know, can link them together with one word: sex scandal. I know, those are two words, but trust me, with its frequency of its feed with the hungry media, soon it will become one word: sexscandal.

Future definition for sexscandal: “stuff that ordinary people do that never makes it in international media.” Right now, I shall stick to two words.

Why do I intend to write about this issue in this family oriented, wholesome, fibre-filled blog site, where I am more comfortable writing about spider eggs on banana leaf lunch, or other intellectual stuff like that?

Because I am baffled by the reaction towards them by ordinary folks who never been an inch near all these personalities, let alone having had banana leaf lunch with them. At best, the most sensationalised scandal we get to know from someone we know usually involves romp with underpaid maids or, at worst, circulating clips shot with mobile phone. Usually the apology should be reserved for poor cinematography, but that’s something else.

You see, what these big shot personalities do in one’s bedroom, golf course or ashram, is their own business. But what bugs me is the response to it. Why are the fans, followers and readers getting outraged by that? Why do the affected personalities need to apologise for an act that consist of lots of loving and very little violence unless you talking about sex involving unusual props.

The natural answer is the feeling of being cheated, betrayed, loss of trust….all of which almost meaning the same thing. But this applies to the personalities’ legal partners, whom they are cheating. Similar feeling applies to the followers of the swamijis who may or not been preached about virtues and sins related to sex.

Could it be that folks want them to concentrate on what they do the best and leave the rest to the professionals. Let the gigolos take care of the mistresses instead of the horny sportsmen, let the actors take care of the actresses instead of the lustful swamijis. Let the Charlie Sheen service the prostitutes, instead of sex-crazed politician. In short, leave sex to the sex industry, yeah that includes film industry too.

Which brings us the recent spate about Jack Neo, the successful Singaporean filmmaker. Somewhat I feel that the news of his affairs and so-called sexual harassment should not embarrass Singaporeans…because hey, apparently there is sex in Singapore.

Neo is right smack in the industry that not only offers glitz & glamour, but plenty of booze, dope and lots and lots of sex. Those entering the industry knows that. Those watching the industry from afar knows that. Those who are thriving or hanging on to the last threads in the industry are there mainly knowing very well that if not for the fame and great sex they are getting, they would probably be selling Hokkien mee in food courts.

Speaking of entertainment industry, what about those rock star whose exploit we read everyday with a grin on our face, shaking our heads at “those crazy dudes” and still buy their CDs, download and share their mp3s and watch their concerts. It doesn’t matter that Bonham had an orgy with snapper fish (not shark as the legend dictated) or if Morrison whipped out his dong during a concert. Both are dead and we still love them.

Same applies if Bono was found liplocked with Elton John, or if Mick Jagger was filmed fondling a mountain goat. We will dismiss as just another rockstar antic and continue spending time and money on their outputs. And avoid mutton for life, maybe.

Sex scandal, in fact, is not a plague in entertainment industry, it’s a side dish, if properly done could be the main course that can sell personalities. Most C-grade celebrities, say, like Paris Hilton and that Kardashian bitch, came to prominence from what could have been an intentionally leaked sex tapes. In short, what causes downfall of great sportsmen, politician and men of god, is the very sun that gives energy to these pathetic pseudo-celebs.

What’s norm for film industry patrons and rock stars, is the way of the future for famewhores and douchebags. What you don’t want to emanate from first class stars who are not in the film or music industry, feeds the publicity-seeking worm working out from the dirt there are in. In case of Kardashian, her entire family is living off television fame thanks to her enormous butt.

I suppose ordinary folks had relegated sex scandals to those who have nothing to do with reality. Sportsmen are role modes and at times, financial investments, politicians affect your daily life, and religious leaders dictate your moral values. They are part of your real life, not fantasy. Seeing them getting illicit blowjob in between just ruins your day.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Election 2008 Aftershock pt 2

So, it has been two years since the March 08, 2008 election which saw promises, especially one where Malaysians who are politically matured will help guide the elected officials to steer Malaysia into greatness. Malaysians. Political maturity.

Okay, I can’t help it; I am stifling my laughter here. Malaysians political maturity is about the same as whining three year old outside a toy shop. Malaysians are about as wise as self-cancelling Yoda when it comes to politics.

What had happened the last two years since the so-called political Tsunami? Shit. Lots of shit. Stupid knuckleheads roamed the cyberspace and stupider knuckleheads are roaming the corridors of power. Just read the retarded comments accompanying those online news portals. I am not sure whether to laugh or knock my head senseless onto the keyboard except the keyboard looks pretty solid.

For example, you might get news about an old gent who broke his ribs after slipping over a banana peal and knocking his head onto a stop sign, and here are the typical comments you get:

“typcal of Bee En party to import bananas so that innocent citizen can slip and fall…hypocrites”

“Who put the stop sign there? Why must we stop? The government just don’t like progress that’s why! “

“I thk da ol man is fr PKR. F*** BN, DSAI rulz!”.

Note the ascending (or descending depending) level of retardedness there. The scavenging low-life usually comes the last.

One thing is for sure, the current Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has certainly wisened up, learning from his predecessor that dozing on power will only get creeps climbing up his pocket attempting to rule the country and its people, most of whom have memory power of Gecko lizards.

His 1Malaysia policy, which I myself criticised as old shoe with new polish, is slowly picking itself up with the guide of supporting folks who had enough of bickering among the opposition party members, and realised that electing an amateur cinematographer might be a mistake after all. Still cynical about that policy, I wont’ be surprised if it is going to be the single redeeming thing that is going to help Barisan Nasional (ruling coalition, the BN everyone speaks of) in the next general election. They will be running on 1Malaysia slogan while the opposition parties coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, which is extremely good in opposing anything so much so that they can’t’ agree with each other, goes with “We Thought We Were Actually One” slogan.

By now you are probably thinking, “Waitaminute, Rakesh. Are you pro-BN?” Haha, I am actually pro-I-don’t-give-a-shit. Or maybe I do, but I am not taking sides. I am always a skeptic. My brother and I agreed that the whole Hindraf thing was just a spur of the moment stuff and it won’t be matter of months before they split. It did not only split, but was blown to smithereens. Indians cannot function as a unit, it’s evident everywhere, just look at the number of political parties and “rights” organisations in India alone. For Malaysian Indians especially, three is not only a crowd, but a reason to start another NGO.

There would probably be two more years before the next general election. Najib is already working on winning the hearts and minds of the Malaysian folks. The opposition allies are still whining, bitching, spitting and making thousands of police reports. When the time comes, they cannot expect another Hindraf to hinge their strength on. They won’t have sleeping prime minister to bitch about. They will bring on the same old Mongolian conspiracy, with some weak arguments on policy that they themselves would not have handled well considering they can’t even run a state properly.

Barisan Nasional on the other hand would still harbour creepy zombie parties like MIC and PPP that will definitely turn off many voter. In my case, they make me puke. It still has Khairi Jamaludin, who, no matter how much he has improved his image, still has the shadow of his father-in-law and the alleged doings during the former PM’s reign. But then, Malaysians forget easy, so it may not matter.

A lot more younger folks will vote the next time, and unfortunately many of them have sworn off mainstream medias (serves them too, looking at how terribly pro-ruling party they were and still are) and use the Internet for source of information. These wikipedia trusting, Malaysiakini loving youth are going to suck on to kind of journalism that doesn’t believe in sources or evidence and continue to vote on triggered emotion. What kind of emotion these two coalitions are going to stir at the next general electionis beyond me. But I can see that the opposition was the kind young teen kid that you have given a car too and he came back with dents in it.

BN, on the other hand, is that kid you sent packing coz he didn’t do a good job but is back, never mind he is still limping from all the kicking you did, but still wants to show you that he can wash the car good. Would you let him in? We’ll see.

Comments after 2008 Election.

Note: Well, more of a sour note. As my wife and I was driving out of our area, whereby you pass a Taman which is primarily inhabited by Malays. There is a park opposite, and you see families with kids, and at one of the little hut thingy with concrete seats, sat about four or five Indian guys drinking. Not coke or Soya bean mind you, but liquor. About twenty minutes away opposite them is a humongous mosque. The sight of the boozing buddies in front of the mosque, and in the park where families and kids were hanging around made me mad as hell. That they were left alone says a lot about religious tolerance in this country. I bet these are the ones who would go online under the cloak of anonymity and talk about the government’s fascist attitude towards minorities, religious intolerances and shit like that. Ban the booze and, boy, are we Malaysian Indians gonna be united or what?