Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I just love Malaysian news. It so brilliantly captures the worst of our society.

"Bruno" is banned. Not really unexpected, but look at the minister's comments. "The board should allow realism to be portrayed" . Well, he obviously has no inkling what this movie is about. "Bruno" is a disgustingly made film with no class and plenty of toilet humour involving body parts. "The board should not also throw the movie out without giving the submitting party a chance to explain themselves for scenes which may be deemed objectionable ". Dude, they were touting it as a sequel to "Borat", one of the most crass movies ever made. Full-frontal penises all over the screen, that's what they are banning. If the distributor is not making any noise, then stop complaining. Either that, or just revamp the system, which is well within your rights,minister.

There's a Polygamy Club now? Really? Yay! "For the one-third of the population that isn't Muslim, polygamy is unlawful." Discrimination, anyone? And it tells the tale of a female breadwinner whose jobless husband requested another wife. Shameless, much? Honestly, be a man. You don't have the balls to feed your family and you want to marry a divorcee with children to take care of her using your wife's money? She should have divorced the guy immediately. Personally, there is nothing wrong with polygamy if practised in the correct spirit. Problem is, it is too open to abuse by horny old men, excuse my stereotyping. Not to mention, in the spirit of equality, a woman should be allowed to marry more than one guy. Why don't we all get married in a huge circle of love?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

*huff* *puff* Is the dust gone yet?


I'm surprised I don't see virtual dust on this pathetic excuse for a blog. Oh well, guess I'm not cut out for regular airing of laundry, dirty or not.

Another semester has officially concluded. Unsatisfactory results have come out, and now the next pre-sem hustle and bustle is about to start.

This has been a semester of trials and tribulations, friendships formed and nearly broken. A semester of slacking and cramming, resolutions and frustration.

Sometimes I feel like a rope in a tug-o'-war match. I'm a uni student, shouldn't I be studying? But what happened to enjoying life? I've become so addicted to living (i.e enjoying myself) I don't want to quit and submerge myself in the sea of attempted scholastic excellence. Yet that comes at a price, as reflected in my grades, and, unfortunately, the piece of paper which I will graduate with will determine my future.

But is my future doomed to be static? Study, graduate, work, occasional promotions, start a family, die? What can we really determine for ourselves, and what is determined by other powers? I'm a humanist, I believe humans can achieve whatever they set their minds to, yet I find myself lacking a drive to excel, and the will to challenge the norms.

Then I ask, what makes you human? The ability to think? But animals have demonstrated an ability to learn, not to mention certain animals are born with an innate sense of how to do certain things, which humans do not have. Take the bee, for instance. It performs a dance to inform its hive mates that there is a rich source of food. Did it learn to dance? Was it taught to dance? If it knew how to dance from birth, does that not mean that it is more intelligent as a species? Does a bird learn to fly, or is it taught? Or was it born with the knowledge of how to fly, yet had to wait till physical maturity to do it?

So what makes a human, human? Emotion? Elephants bury and mourn their dead, what makes our emotions stronger than theirs?

Physical power? Don't make me laugh. Based on physical characteristics alone, "the horse is swifter, the elephant stronger, the butterfly more beautiful" (Inherit The Wind).

So why are we now the dominant species? We breed slower than most animals, we are definitely not the most physically dominant of species, what makes us superior? Our "civilization"?

But civilization imposes restrictions, limits behaviour. Can you walk out naked in public anymore? Not unless you are 5 or have a wish to be incarcerated.

We consider ourselves to have achieved a level of intelligence beyond that of the other billion species that inhabit this planet. But won't that intelligence cause our doom? Fettered by arrogance, conditioned by society, we presume dominance, going s0 far as to claim that the ultimate power created us in His image. So our collective self-destructive instincts lead us into further "development", leading us along the path to destroying the miracle of life granted to this planet, blinding us to the destruction we have wrought, and continue to inflict, upon Gaia and its inhabitants.

No matter how globalised the world claims to be, it is still as fragmented as ever. Dictators rule in several countries, authoritarians move towards democracy, democracies move toward socialism, socialists move to authoritarians, all this traps us in a cycle of governmental confusion. Never at any point in its history, has humanity ever united. Never has there been a universal consensus for any issue, unless it be the existence of gravity.

Our fragile social constructs are moving into virtuality, lessening the ties we have to nature, further fragmenting ourselves. Artificial constructs now rule our lives; money is power, the Internet is our saviour. Why do we need nature? For the gifts that we so arrogantly claim for ourselves and ourselves only. To provide fuel for our artificial means of holding a semblance of society together.

I want to return to our roots, to a simpler existence, to divest myself of the myriad demands of society. Yet I find myself too cultured, too ingrained, too addicted to the various constructs I have denounced as artificial. No longer is Nature sacred, it is a distraction from the new gods of the modern world.

One day, I hope to just..... I dunno, be a tribesman in Africa or the Amazon or something, just live life as it was lived a million years ago, to rid myself of modernity and enjoy a life with less comfort, but more realness.

I certainly wasn't expecting to produce a philosophical post, not when I was bemoning my poor grades. Maybe I should have been an Arts student. *sigh* Unfulfiled fantasies, dreams departed from reality, imagination bounded by ingrained attitudes.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My 18th Valentine's day spent alone, and I don't really care. Somehow that in itself sounds really sad.

Been chilling out, just searching for album art for my iTunes library so I don't get "unknown album" icons popping out on cover flow. I must say Apple's stuff looks good, hogs RAM and still has bugs. Lots of 'em. Both my iPod and my sister's had exactly the same problem, the iPods completely hanged. We (read:I) bought them in November about 2 weeks apart, I had my problem 2 days after I started using it, and my sister just recently had the same problem. The iPod decides to stop responding to anything, and connecting it to the computer doesn't help. Solution? Let it run out of battery and connect it the next morning, i.e. it goes out of commission for a few hours. Don't know whether this problem is endemic to only 4th gen 16GB iPod nanos or not, but it's still a little disappointing (not to mention panic-causing).

Then of course piracy isn't rewarded by iTunes. No way to use the iTunes store service to search for album art, usually there's little or no album info on the file, thus a lot more work involved in getting good album and artist info and album art. And it's especially a nightmare for Chinese songs with unreadable fonts, lack of Wikipedia entries etc.

But I'm pretty satisfied, most of my 2500 song library is up to standard. And I realised I've got 2 versions of Sweet Home Alabama (one the original by Lynyrd Skynyrd and the other a cover ostensibly by Green Day), Dani California by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and All Summer Long by Kid Rock that sample and rework the classic. Plus Terry Jacks' and Westlife's Seasons in the Sun (which incidentally was from a French song Le Moribund which i can't find) and 2 versions of Leaving on a Jet Plane. And 3 versions of Change the World, all of which feature Eric Clapton with different artistes. So many duplicates-lah.......

Then I find that I really only like listening to about 500 of those songs. I've got stuff like 50 Cent, Kanye West, 30 Seconds to Mars, AC/DC and various soundtracks that I barely listen to. And too many Rascal Flatts, Snow Patrol and Black-Eyed Peas songs. A dilemma, here. Though if I need to 30 Seconds to Mars would be the first to go. A Beautiful Lie was rubbish. The guitars were drowned out by over-enthusiastic bass and drums. Throw in a vocalist (Jared Leto) who has a limited range and loves screaming with an absolute lack of melody and you get crap. They can't hold a candle to the Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Franz Ferdinand, Foo Fighters, or even the formulaic Fall Out Boy. Bah. And to think a friend actually recommended this.

I'm pretty happy with my current library, but I think any additions in the near future will be more likely to be older songs. Songs that have evergreen melodies, or are classics in their own right. Songs like Love Me Tender (can't believe I don't have that). I've got a feeling that most new songs are decent, but are becoming louder and louder, with a beat, but with less focus on a simple melody. And anything with potential to be great becomes so overplayed that it loses all novelty and attraction. Like say maybe David Archuleta's Crush. I heard that song 4 times in 2 hours on the car radio. It's okay, but not that deserving. No song is that deserving, simply because no song deserves to be overplayed.

And to think that 2 years ago I barely listened to any music.

Then there's stuff I wouldn't have on my playlist even if you handed me an autographed copy. Stuff like Fahrenheit, . I find that most of these bands sound the same, all have pretty boys/girls who can barely sing in tune, who all have dance choreographers coaching them as opposed to having a smidgen of dance talent. Good thing about Western boy/girl bands, most of them flop and dissolve after the 1st album (not talking about the 90s here, obviously)

And Mandopop is seriously down the drain now. Random people keep coming out of the woodwork with coloured hair and marketing agents. All formulaic and pathetic. Can't anyone come up with something other than R&B or ballads? Seriously, man, you would have thought that people would stop supporting such crap by now. Leehom becoming a rocker? Epic Fail. Rock doesn't mean funny lyrics with a guitar playing in the background. Rock means having a melody behind all the bass, with guitar solos meant to be guitar solos, not for you to sing along to. One of the lines from his new single goes: "What's wrong wiiiiiiith me" Yeah I want to know too. At least Jay Chou has some variety on his albums, with a rock number and a rap number along with his R&B, which is still of pretty darn high quality.

Wow. This must be my longest blog post ever. And I could make it longer by throwing in some recommendations and my Valentine's Day playlist. I think I'll just stick with my recommendations.

Pop/Rock----------- Franz Ferdinand FTW. Beats Gavin DeGraw and Good Charlotte anytime.
Blues----------------Eric Clapton. No way you can go wrong
Mandopop---------- Do I need to say this? JAY CHOU
Mandarin hip-hop -- Da Mouth. Interesting band. No match for the Black-Eyed Peas yet, but decent
Metal--------------- Disturbed's pretty good, not too heavy. Dragonforce for awesome guitarwork, Nightwish for good melodies
Country------------- Keith Urban's good. Rascal Flatts for lighter stuff.
Comedy------------- Weird Al Yankovic. The ultimate shoo-in. Amish Paradise and White & Nerdy are funny as

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Update (at last)


Maybe I should just delete this poor excuse of a blog which is currently only functioning as a dust-gatherer.

I'm just frustrated with a lot. 1st 2 weeks of work was promising, now it just sucks. Got nothing to do AT ALL. Which is why I'm here typing this out.

Throughout these few weeks there have been a few things I have a bone to pick with. Let's see:

1) In a time of economic disaster comparable to the Great Depression, our government implements a stimulus plan. Yay!! It's going to save us all!! Not. Only 70% of the stimulus has been freed up for use, in other words 70% of the plan is actually in cash. And the problems? Most of the stimulus is shady and given to Government departments to implement projects. What projects? Nobody knows. And most likely they will be construction projects which wont help a bit because its not generating the flow of cash needed. The economic problem is mainly caused by a lack of credit, so what's the solution? Obviously to get money moving again instead of stagnating in bank accounts. Reduce taxes, possibly duties as well, give loans to businesses that need them, give loans to new startups, pump our R&D (hopefully our unis are up to scratch), etc-lah. But nooooo........, we get money flushed down the black hole that is the Class F contractors' mouths. And a mysterious 2nd stimulus to be announced.

2) Party-hopping is the in thing now, it seems. Limited to only the upper echelons of society (read: politicians in power), thus depriving us poor citizens of the chance to keep up with the latest trends, is blatant disregard of the principles of proper governance. Who knows who their assemblyman or MP is? Malaysians vote for parties, not people, unless you're a screw-upper like Datuk Seri SV, who helps out the opposition as much as they can. Democracy, my foot. Penalising any member who does not conform to the party's stand means that only the opinions of the party leaders count and everyone else is there to make up the numbers.

3) Victoria's on fire. Hope it gets better.

Work's only good for giving me time to do a few things I never really got down to doing, like downloading the Inauguration Day edition of Spiderman with Obama on the cover. Also I finished writing 2 passages of fantasy, one of which is still on paper, so I can't be bothered putting it down here. Might just expand one or both of them to short stories or even novels, if I get the inspiration. Here's one (written in 5 minutes, proud of that although it sounds like I'm ripping off Philip Pullman):

“The knife appeared as if it was merely some toy of some nobleman’s scion, but upon closer inspection one realizes that it is a weapon with no equal, save Excalibur itself. The handle was intricately carved, runes etched into the ebony forming a grip for the wielder. The blade was silver, with delicate designs running its length, bright as the day it was forged although it was a thousand years old. One’s eye would then be drawn to its edge, so fine it appeared to meld into the air itself. But most of all, one could feel that this knife could slice its way through anything its master wanted, be it god, man or demon. Only one person had ever mastered this weapon, though many had wielded it, and that person was the great hero, Ainion the Fair. ”

There the wizened storyteller paused to draw breath. The sudden lull, in which no sound could be heard save the breathing of the listeners, was short-lived, with a fount of questions from the eager young devourers of tales bursting forth.

“Ainion? I thought he wielded a sword?”

“Did Ainion use this to slay the dragon?”

But above all, “Tell us more!”

Thursday, November 27, 2008


When I came back to Malaysia, one of the first things that I saw in the papers was talk of a floor price for petrol. HOW IN HELL IS THIS F***ING HALF-BRAINED EXCUSE OF A PLAN GOING TO BENEFIT ANYONE??

The obvious problem at hand is the fuel subsidy. It should never have happened, but now that it has, there is no viable way to regain the funds sunk into the subsidy. Now that fuel prices are similar enough to the actual price, it is time to remove it, once and for all. Even a first-year economics student can tell you that a subsidy's side-effects are negative for the economy as a whole as it involves a transfer of benefits, with a little lost in transition.

And instead of removing the subsidy for good, we might even have a floor price. What hare-brained thought of that? If that person is in charge of our financial policy, I would be very, very afraid for our country. A floor price means that whenever the price of fuel drops below that set amount, the government or the oil companies gain the difference. There is no limit to the heights that oil prices will reach though. Whatever benefits a subsidy has would no longer exist. The fuel market would be restricted in a way that benefits only the government or the oil companies. Neither of whom I would trust.

One argument I've heard is that it is to protect the petrol station owners as they would have bought their oil at a higher price. Screw that, I say. With a proper system in place with the necessary regulations, a free market for petrol is not unworkable. Have you heard of Weighted Average Cost? Use that, idiots. Weight the cost of inventory, work out a suitable profit margin, and sell your products. Of course that would only work in the case that THE PETROL PRICE IS NOT FIXED.

Rawr. Idiots.


Well I obviously haven't been taking very good care of my blog have I? Feeling a little guilty now, problem is that I will only blog when I feel strongly enough about something. Even now I'm feeling guilty about updating because I'm not really thinking about anyhting in particular now.

Enough about guilt then. Onwards!

Back home in Malaysia now (Hurray!! :)) Mixed feelings about that though. When I left IH, I had the privilege of being in the company of very, very good friends. Amazing how a year is enough to create such strong relationships, not that I have not experienced it before (thank you SAM). One, I may never see again. One, I will be living with next year. One, I will be gaming with next year. And one whom I hope I will have the chance to listen to expounding upon his subject of thought again. I will miss your company.

Then again I now know why Malaysia is my home. Awesome friends, the safeness of being close to your family........ things that could never be replaced in Melbourne (or can it?)

Which somehow reminds me of the recent anti-yoga fatwa. When I was out today I counted 5 adverts promoting yoga centers, more than any other type of advert, even cars. The delicious irony........

Oh dear God above........... the slowness of the Internet connection here............. 4mbps is the BEST streamyx has to offer, even then its for companies only, the best households get is a measly 1 Mbps connection............ Not good enough, especially when I have been living with a connection 10 times faster and more stable than this (albeit P2P limited= No pirating....... riiiiiiiight)

Need to go shopping!! Melbourne's largest shopping center, 1 hour (by train) away from the CBD and supposedly the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, is nowhere near as large as my neighbourhood shopping center, Sunway Pyramid, and is 100 times smaller than Mid-Valley Megamall. Even if it's just for the feeling of being in a shopping mall, I need to go shopping!!

Just received news that along with three other really great people, I shall be staying in a premium room in IH. Great going guys! Although the bitchiness caused by the competition to get those rooms may not have been worth it for some, not to mention the feeling that some who did get it did not deserve it. Sigh........ enough for now I think........

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Was wondering about my friends' relationships lately. With many of us flying off to every which where, those with relationships were forced to rethink and decide on new status for the relationship. One was flying to the US with a girlfriend going to Australia. Another was going to the US, same as his partner, but to different universities in different states. Yet another was staying in Malaysia while his girlfriend went to Sydney.

Would long-distance relationships work? Two of the above couples seem to think not. Considering the latter couple got together a couple of days before the girl went off to Sydney, I think that counts as a perfect score as the relationship had not been consolidated yet. That outcome will be worth watching.

A fourth friend broke up with his first girlfriend after coming here, then hooked up with another girl while in Malaysia for the 1 month hols. I won't reveal more details here but he seems to be extremely infatuated with his new girlfriend, so much so I really think this will have a lifelong effect on him.

Anyways, a fifth friend thinks that long distance relationships will be a true test of the couple's feelings for each other. To me, that may have some grain of truth in it, however in order to maintain and develop a budding relationship over an extended period of time with no physical meetings is a hard, hard task requiring massive amounts of effort. It may be possible, but the strain of a long distance relationship may in fact push the two parties apart, especially if the relationship had only just begun.

Still, it makes me wonder what could have been.........