Saturday, December 31, 2005

50. Tabula rasa

The unformed mind, before it receives the impressions gained from experience. Untouched by prejudice or any preconceived notions. A direct translation from Latin is 'scraped tablet', and according to the John Locke (the 17th century philospher, not the character from the series Lost), it's the theory that the human mind at birth is a clean slate, and that the individual is free to shape his or her own soul from the sensory experiences they gain as they go through life.

It's the new year, and time for many to start anew with others on a clean slate. Maybe some deserve a second chance. It's the new year after all. Let's just see how this year end goodwill lasts eh.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

49. Happy Thoughts

I really should be writing more due to my long lay-off (which by the way has been extended by another two weeks), but somehow I've gotten myself preoccupied in doing what the common degenerate would do if he or she were faced with the predicament I've found myself in at this most festive of seasons, which is being forcibly stuck at home with extremely limited mobility. I've taken to planting myself in front of the television and errr, staying put for hours on end.

So far, in the two weeks since my injury, I've managed to download and watch two and half seasons of Arrested Development, the two full seasons (including Christmas specials!) for The Office, as well as one and half seasons of it's American version. I also managed the first season of Rome, and watched re-runs of the two seasons of the wickedly hilarious Entourage.

Ahhhh, such bliss...just soaking it in front of what Harlan Ellison infamously dubbed the "Glass Teat". Heck, even as I write this, I've got half and eye on the Merseyside derby (which Liverpool incidentally is leading 3-1 at the moment).

Anyway, out of those series I mentioned, just gotta say that Arrested Development is the funniest show on the telly now, pure genius. Too bad it's just so underrated. The Office is of course the funniest thing that ever was (the US version is not bad, but can't really scale the heights of it's predecessor). And for those of you who haven't heard of Entourage, I recommend you download it.

Right, this is going nowhere. Writing absolute rubbish. Ok, once I snap out of this stupour I've found myself in will try to write something of note. Which won't be anytime soon I may add. Cheers, happy holidays.

Friday, December 16, 2005

48. Kong is King

Rather irritatingly, I've gotten myself immobilised till the end of the year. A ligament injury to my right ankle sustained in futsal. Splendidly too is the fact that I also have a chip fracture on the outer side of the ankle. Apparently, the x-rays show that the bone was chipped on the inner side as well, something that must've occured in one of the numerous injuries I sustained previously. One can just burst out in song.

It's not too bad really. Sure I have to hobble about on a set of crutches two inches too short for me. And I have an uncomfortable cast to deal with for about two weeks, to be followed by few weeks of physiotherapy. All in all, it'd be another 6 weeks before I get to do any semblance of real exercise. Not too bad. Not too bad my bleeding arse.

On the bright side, the injury could've been worse. Like the time I dislocated the other ankle when I was sixteen. Now that was bad. Freaking ankle swelled up to the size of a melon. What came next was worse, oh so much worse. What once was dislocated, had to be relocated. Yes, that's how it works. Ahhh, the sweet sound of cracking bones as they snapped my ankle back to place still fill my ears now and then. The memory just makes me want to cry tears of joy.

Well enough of that self-indulgent history of my troubled ankles. There are more pressing issues that need addressing. And since it's way too late at night (or early in the morning?) to bog myself down in writing anything of note, lemme just take the easy way out by writing a spoiler-filled review of two films that I've been looking forward to most this year; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and King Kong. Be warned.

Rumble in the jungle

Regarding Narnia, I must say that I was disappointed, mainly because I expected greatness. It was pretty faithful to the book but we all know that being faithful doesn't necessarily mean it's good (see the film adaptation of the first in the Harry Potter series). I just felt that there was so much potential to expand on the source material written by C.S. Lewis that the filmmakers just didn't seize. The film may have been about magic, but somehow, there was nothing really magical about it. And was it just me, or was Aslan, supposedly the main heroic character that carries the tale, just a plain bore? I mean, Liam Neeson (in his 169th role as a mentor/father-figure type) played him to be just about the blandest talking lion that ever existed. Jeez, even Simba had more character. Not what the filmmakers had in mind surely.

Of course there were some good bits in the film. Tilda Swinton was deliciously wicked as the White Witch, all icey coolness and beautifully evil. Aslan's sacrifice at the Stone Table was also done well, yet strangely familiar in tone to another film about self-sacrifice by a certain Mel Gibson, kinda like the Passion of the Narnian. And some bits during the final battle between the Pevensie children (the so-called sons of Adam and daughters of Eve) and the good denizens of Narnia against the witch and her horde were quite cool. The kids performances were ok too, nothing approaching Dakota Fanning-like levels, but servicable to the story.

What was severely disappointing however was that the film just didn't rise above overall mediocrity of a humdrum straightforward fantasy tale, even though at times it seemed that it would. And for that, Andrew Adamson's direction has much to blame for playing it too safe. Yes, Narnia's a classic tale with legions of fans, but Peter Jackson was brave enough to take a few risks with another beloved masterpiece, the LOTR trilogy (though some of them didn't pay off) and look how great those films turned out. Narnia is by no means a bad film though, but it's such a pity that rather than not bad, it could've been great.

On a side note, I had no major problem at all with the Christian allegory in Lewis' tale like most non-Christians seem to have. It exists in the books, and it exists in the film. Lewis himself admitted to it, representing Aslan as Christ who existed in another world. In fact, because of this, Lewis' close friend and fellow myth-builder, one J.R.R. Tolkien (a devout Christian himself) loathed the Narnia series as a whole. He despised allegory in all forms, mainly because he hated to see an imagination constrained by the allegorical impulse. It is somewhat ironic that it was Tolkien who successfully converted Lewis to Christianity and that though Lewis was an avid sponsor of Tolkien's mythology, the same could not be said of Tolkien's opinion of Lewis' own fantasy work. The allegory is there for everyone to see if they want too, and I did find it slightly distracting because it detracts from the more fantastical elements of the story.

Now to Kong. Loved it. Absolutely brilliant. Peter Jackson's the man. Fucking hell yeah. Apart from the slow first hour, with an unusual build-up of non-key supporting characters who are discarded later in the tale, the film is excellent, by far the best film I've seen so far this year. We all know how the story goes and how it ends, but it's to Peter Jackson's credit that it feels like something we've never ever seen before. Mind-blowing. Don't take my word for it, go and see it yourself. For once, a film that lives up to it's hype. Just begs the question eh, how good Narnia would've been if only Peter Jackson was the director?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

47. Get With It

Some people you just can't reach...

Monday, November 21, 2005

46. White Fire

We're all just a bunch of mean bastards, the human race I mean. Seriously, the lengths we go, the depths we sink, the utter depravity of our actions just to squeeze out a miserable laugh or two is just downright disgusting. Disgusting, and of course, bloody hilarious. Remember the whole Kerpal and dog-kicking incident prank call? It's become the stuff of legends on the net. Well, this is something similar, this time from our neighbours across the causeway. Click here and have a listen.

On another note, it looks like 2005 is on it's final legs. We've made it so far, just barely, and as we huff and puff our way to it's end, this blog would like to get a jump-start on everyone else by taking the time to reflect on the year that was; the highs, the lows, and the downright bizarre (as Liverpool demonstrated by incredulously coming back from 3 nil down to win the Champions League). Well, what would your one abiding memory be?

This weekend I witnessed something that all of you would count yourself lucky not to have seen. This happened when I was at the usual kickabout session at the public field in PJ. There were less attendees this time round due to the heavy downfall earlier, but there were many other groups doing their own thing, with a few rugby games going on.

Round 6.30 pm, we all felt it. First there was a blinding flash of white light, then a loud ear-splitting explosion. At first we were all stunned, and just looked at one another. Then, moments later we saw a bunch of people running to a part of the field. Kids shouting and screaming. It seems that nature's wrath had come visiting upon us. Some people had just been struck by lightning. I saw two kids, not more than 12 years old, being hurriedly carried away. Another adult was helped to his feet. He thankfully looked ok. The other two, the kids, were unconscious.

Thanks to many helpful and concerned people, they got everyone down to the hospital pretty quick. Then before we knew it, the skies opened up, and the rain fell again. This time furious and hard. As evening shadows fell long and dark, amidst the low grumble of thunder, we made our way from the field. There was no time for words to be exchanged. What the heck could one say at a time like that anyway?

They were just kids man. It could've been any one of us.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

45. No Ordinary Morning

Right, it's 3.41 am now. And I'm wide awake. The reason could be that I'm possibly pondering the important issues facing the world today; poverty, rising oil prices, the Israel-Palestine conflict, Chelsea's recent defeat to Manchester McUnited at the Trafford Superdome. Only I'm not.

Instead I'm thinking, wouldn't it be nice to fiddle round with my blog's design a bit? Golly, it sure would!

It's good that I'm actually off from work for the rest of the week. Good because it enables me to spend time doing these sort of things. Work takes up so much of our time that we can't fully concentrate on the really, really truly important things in life. Like which background template should I go with for the re-design of my blog? Should it be the sparse minimalism of Minima Blue? Or should I go for the bold colours of Snapshot Tequila? Ahhh, choices, choices.

And besides, we all know how work is detrimental to releasing our artistic instincts (those of us who work as pornographers (bastards!) not withstanding of course). I should probably go on now on some anti-establishment rant about how we are selling our souls to the Man just to earn a buck or two. Only I won't. The Man pays my salary, of which funds the numerous vices I partake in, which in turn causes me reason to be happy, and being happy brings a smile to my face. You wouldn't want to see me not smiling now would you? Of course not.

Being on extended leave has also afforded me the luxury of spending inordinate amounts of time on the net, which in turn is surely contributing to the deterioration of my mental health. As yet, I haven't succumbed to doing what those little voices in my head are telling me to do, of which numerous overzealous wankers and obnoxious pricks I've had the displeasure of knowing should be ever grateful (don't be too happy, one can suppress those inner voices for only so long).

I've also managed to catch up on all those great series' (downloaded quite illegally I assure you) that are airing over in the States. So far, Prison Break and Surface look to be among the better ones. And of course Lost is still going strong and getting weirder by the episode. I'm just waiting to get totally disappointed to whatever explanation they have at the end for the entire thing. Until then, you can count on me to continue to tune in with the rest of the you mindless zombies.

Have also watched some films I downloaded (why buy pirated DVDs when there's such a thing called bittorrent eh?), Crash and Green Street Hooligans. Both excellent. Speaking of Crash, will definitely post something on it soon, only for the reason that I can tick racism off my list of topics to pretentiously rant about. Yes, us important bloggers keep a list.

Speaking of bloggers, if you were to visit Kenny Sia's site (which I recommend, the dude's freaking hilarious), you'd find his comments about a famous Singaporean blogger's rather infamous rant concerning her recent visit over here in Malaysia and on toilets for disabled persons. I won't elaborate on what she said, but she sure stirred up a hornet's nest, to the extent she's lost a sponsor or two on her site (which incidentally is very nice and pretty, with bright and happy photos of her scantily clad self plastered everywhere) because a famous Malaysian blogger took offense to what she said and kicked up a shit storm. Needless to say, she wasn't particularly pleased with the entire thing and had her say, just like how he had his. But after all that fuss, the both of them behaved as mature adults do and patched up their differences in a civil manner, thus making the world all bright and shiny once more. Well actually she told him to fuck off and he's been slagging her off ever since. But who gives a shit anyway?

Ok, just an observation here. Now as a blogger, we tell ourselves we have the bloody right to say anything we want 'cos it's our damn blog right? Of course, that's why most of us do it. To bitch, to rant, getting things off our chests. Whatever reasons for our blogging, be it self-gratification (without getting your hands all sticky) or harbouring delusions of grandeur (hoping that one day your blog would be famous and worshipped by millions on the net), it's our prerogative on what we post about.

Fair enough. But of course, when you give your comments with all the bravado in the world, you also have got to take as much as you dish out. Not everyone will agree with your opinion because not everyone shares your ideals and beliefs. It's not because you're right and they're wrong or vice versa (unless of course, they're disagreeing with me, which definitely makes them quite wrong and hopelessly stupid). It's because, well, they're different.

Now, they might post a comment on your blog telling you how great it is. Alternately, they might offer the opinion that your blog sucks major ass and that you're a complete idiot. Or even better, throw in some random derogatory statement or two that has nothing to do with what you posted. Man, shit happens. It's the freaking net for Pete's sake. Too many people with too many opinions and too much time. What's one to do?

Well, for one you could brush it off and ignore them, maintaining a dignified silence (in your mind at least) on the whole affair while everyone else thinks you're just been pussy-whipped to silence. Or, you can respond and defend yourself, which in turn will make everyone think you're an over-sensitive prick with body odour issues. Then again, if you're Peter Tan and Ameer Zulkifli, you can go ahead and make a police report like how they did over some seditious comments posted on their respective sites ( and some weeks back (you might recall that it made front-page news). On that, I don't really have much to say. To each their own.

Now on the other side, say you're the one reading the blogger's opinions. And say don't like what the person's going on about. You could choose to ignore it by not visiting the site which would save everyone the trouble of having to read your comments on how much you disagree but are actually really trying to say how much cooler you are compared to him/her. Or, if you think you're cooler than the writer, you could post a comment on how incredibly cool you are, making the rest of us just want to hunt you down and kill you. Slowly. Again, you could also take it to the next level and try to do what you can to attack the blogger, be it to the blogger's reputation or to his/her pockets (like in the case of the above Singaporean blogger).

Whatever you do, however you respond, it is your right to do so, just like how it is someone's right to express their opinions that so offended you in the first place. There's always a consequence for your actions, always expect it.

My opinion on the whole thing? I just think some people are more gifted than others, as always. Peace.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

44. Good One

This is hilarious. Some of you may have heard this before. Still worth another listen. Check it out here.

Monday, October 31, 2005

43. So It Begins

Thus it begins, the festive season is upon us. Be happy, be merry, say hey nonny, nonny.

So to absent friends, have a good one eh, and to present ones, what are you guys waiting for?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

42. You Just Never Know

Just this week, I witnessed an almost fatal accident. In a morbid sorta way, being party to someone's near death has somehow sparked me to life. Anyway, this is what happened.

Headed back from work as usual, going the normal route, there's this stretch of road that's quite a climb. That's never stopped people from flying up or down at reckless speeds, me included. This is round 9 pm, the roads usually moderately busy at this time. People on the way home from dinner or heading out for a pint. I'm heading up as usual, quite knackered after a day's work, mind preoccupied with the usual disturbing (dastardly?) thoughts. I hardly even realise the car in front of me, or the motorcyclist in front of it. I'm just aware of them as how a normal driver would be aware of the cars around him without even paying any particular attention.

Then, out of the blue, I suddenly realise all is not well. The motorcyclist ahead does a funny sorta jig. A bit of swerve to the left, a jerk to the right. Then he drops in a heap. The bike and him. The car behind him misses him by inches. How do I know this? Because I'm right behind. Everything happens in slow motion. He drops. Brakes screech. The car swerves to the left. I'm behind, by a quite safe distance. So I manage to stop easily. I think fifteen seconds pass between the time he falls and the time I stop my car. So I pull over to the left. I notice the driver in front of me, the one who almost maimed this particular motorcyclist remains in the car. I'm first out. I rush to the guys side, a mixture of concern, curiousity and excitement.

My first thoughts when I see him is pure relief. Because he's conscious. More so because his head is still intact and there are no bits of brain on the road. There's also little blood. But a little blood is always way too much by my reckoning. But his eyes are open. He looks up at me, still dazed, and asks me what happened. I rather stupidly answer that he fell. He looks up at me again, clearly confused. By now the driver from the other car has joined us. She's young, perhaps a college student, and she looks anxious and genuinely concerned. I ask her if she knocked him. She says no. She asks if he's ok, I don't really answer because I don't know. She goes pale. This entire conversation happens right in the middle of the road.

At some point of time, a few cars must've stopped because now we have about 3 to 4 people who's joined us. They ask what's happened, the usual stuff. One of them says he's a doctor. He gives the motorcyclist a quick body check-up, the motorcyclist at this point is still laying sprawled on the road. He asks a few questions. Does this hurt? Blurred vision? Can you feel your legs? The motorcyclist answers that he's ok, but still asks what happened. He's clearly suffered a slight concussion, that's my expert medical advice. I notice that he has quite a few cuts on his elbows. No massive blood loss though. Some of the others move his fallen bike to the side. I observe this all silently. Maybe I should say something.

The roadside doctor decides that he's fine and heads off. A few of us stay back with him. Coincidence of coincidences, turns out one of the people who stopped was a former colleague of his. He calls the guy's colleague. Then we carry him to the side. He sits, still in shock. Many cars pass by and slow down at this juncture.

A few minutes pass and his colleague arrives. When he sees that he's ok, he offers to take him back to Pizza Hut. Yeah, did I tell you he was a pizza delivery man? The guy says he's dizzy so we don't move him yet. An elderly gentleman says he'll take him in his car even though his parked on the opposite side of the road. I offer my car meekly. No one moves for a while. His colleague gives him a mini-massage. We all chat a bit by the roadside. Talking about what happened, speculating on how he fell. He still asks us what happened. I keep telling he fell.

About fifteen minutes pass now from the moment he fell till the time we finally escort him to the elderly gentleman's car. His colleague thanks us profusely. I'm almost embarrassed to be there. Why is he thanking me? I didn't do anything. In fact every one thanks each other. We say our goodbyes, and share warm smiles in passing. Every one goes home.

Something's happened here. I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe it's because I rarely see it. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. It seems that we're not as disconnected and selfish as we think we are. This minor incident has shown me that. Though I didn't get the names of the people I spent those 15 minutes with, I know everything I need to know about them. The most important things.

Friday, October 28, 2005

41. For Every Mountain There Lives A King

Take this fella for instance...

Bad Pun for the Week #1
- It seems that Beckham is a rather popular figure with the other players in Spain. Apparently that has something to do with his nickname over there which is, wait for it, "Golden Balls". Well, what can one say? Everyone just wants to have a little nibble of the Beckham. Cue laughter here. Hee haw, hee haw. Eh? Eh?

Monday, October 24, 2005

40. WTF?

The mind's a monkey. Really. We've seen proof over the weekend that us humans are a complex bunch. Very deep thinkers we are. Daft we're not. Seriously, all one has to do is check it out here or witness it for yourself here as an example of how far we've come since the Dark Ages. The brilliance of the human mind never ceases to astound me.

"If you don't cut your toe nails, then they will grow,"
- Ancient Eskimo proverb (originating from the Iguwawa tribes of Igloo City)

Saturday, October 22, 2005

39. Well?

Get it on before it's too late dudes...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

38. Hail and Farewell!

To the newly departed, friends and foes alike, ave atque vale!

Friday, October 14, 2005

37. Something Wicked This Way Comes

Remember that old novel by Ray Bradbury? The one about a dark carnival of sorts that comes to town and grants you your deepest, darkest wishes, only for you to lose your soul in return? Great stuff there, very gothic-ish with an absolutely brilliant title (kinda like the title of a rock song circa late-60's/early-70s, you just can imagine some high-pitched vocals strung out on drugs going "Yeah, yeah, yeah, something wicked's a coming, and baby, this way it comes, yeah, yeah, yeah" to Led Zeppelin-esque riffs).

Well anyway, crazy at it seems, apparently something similar has come a-visiting upon us unsuspecting simple folk of this urban jungle. Will save this for another day. Well, at least if I have the inkling or inclination to write about it that is. Watch this space.

Now then, back from the fantastic to the mundane. Over the weekend, I stumbled upon two rather interesting blogs (one by an acquaintance and the other by accident) dealing with more or less the same thing, an unhappy break-up (was there ever in the history of the world where a break-up was all nice and sunny? I think not). Ok, so it's not really mundane.

Anyway, two blogs by two different people...different genders, different ages, different countries, different reactions, same pain. We've all, at one time or another, been down that lonely and ugly road before. And we've all dealt with it in our own different ways. Some might've wept like little babies (girls included!), while some might've gone all ape-shit and bonkers, like the ex of a buddy of mine who threatened to kill herself if he left her (he did and she got married, eventually). Others might've just actually tried to suck it in and get on with it, looking at the bright side of things (yeah right, just who do you think you were kidding???). Either way, whatever route chosen, never is it pretty.

Pick one of the following; pain, anguish, anger, sorrow, self-pity, more anger...and mix it up with the rest. That's more or less how it goes.

Of course the internet is a good an outlet as any to vent those feelings out, even perhaps as a form of rehabilitation. Of course what we see is just the surface of those raw emotions, like a snapshot of the deep ocean of melancholy that lies underneath. Yet it is remarkable that people can be so open and honest with their heartbreak to begin with, sharing their innermost feelings for all the world to see (and judging by the regular visitors to this blog, countless perverts and potential serial killers included). Never underestimate the power of a broken heart.

So back to the blogs. Both are extremely honest, displaying in words and images the turmoil the writer feels. One seeks closure, and expresses the familiar feelings of anger and search for answers that we all go through whenever we're in such a position. Mostly the question is how someone we care about so deeply could hurt us so. I think deep down we all know the answer to that.

Now the other blogger goes about it in a different way, with not a single word written in torment or despair. Instead, what she doesn't say in words, she more than makes up for it (peculiarly) through the form of comic strips. Yet what is said in those simple stick figure images are deeply more expressive and complex than any words can ever hope to convey. They're humourous and heartbreaking at the same time, and you just sense how alone and empty she feels. Why? Simple, because you've been through it yourself.

I've noticed that most of the comments left by visitors of those blogs are the usual get-over-it-and-move-on sorta thing. Well-intentioned but irrelevant under the circumstances I think. No matter what anyone says, they can't change how you feel. Only time can heal such hurts. And it's something that you have to deal with yourself. But it is after the healing where the true test lies. I guess heartbreak makes us want to harden our hearts to a certain extent. It's just our job never to let it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

36. Ever After

History repeats itself in disturbing ways...don't believe me? The year's coming to a close, and we've had a terrorist attack and the usual catastrophic natural disaster. Just rewind back a year to see what went on round the same time. And rewind another year back, and another. See a trend? Does this mean anything? Probably not. So why bring it up? Because I can.

Too many opinions with too little and nothing new to say. Ugh, this is pathetic. There's a whole lot of shit happening in the world. And the least anyone would want to do is read about some hack writing and giving his thoughts about it. Ah, enough now. Shush.

Rather than subjugate myself to another harsh dose of suffering that only CNN can provide, I decided to watch Ever After on HBO tonight. Ah bliss. In my reckoning, a damn fine film. To most others, nothing but over-wrought sentimental drivel (didn't Radiohead warn us about all in don't get sentimental, it always end up into drivel...listen to them, for they are wise...).

But if film as a medium is meant to entertain, just as news is meant to inform...then I think it fulfills that objective rather splendidly. Not all films are burdened with spreading some deep meaning message...jeez, for every Kubrick or Kurosawa you get a thousand Michael Bays. For every Dead Man Walking or Grave of the Fireflies you get the endless likes of Aliens vs Predator and Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (and even worse shit like Star Wars Episode I).

Hey, not every film can be the masterpiece that is Team America you know. But watching Ever After has re-enforced my believe that films do not need mind-numbing and complex plotlines to be entertaining (like how Kieslowski's deeply layered Three Colours trilogy was, but then again you get supposedly other "deep" film like Eyes Wide Shut, jeez Mr Kubrick, wtf was that about anyway??). Just see Mr Zhang Yimou's beautifully crafted The Road Home and Not One Less for an example of films with very simple plots that somehow transcend into works of poetry.

If only more filmmakers understood this, yes I'm talking to you George "He Who Created Jar Jar Binks And Midichlorins" Lucas and Michael "Let's Blow Up Some Shit Real Loud" Bay (think about it, wouldn't the world be a better place if Pearl Harbor and the first two Star Wars never existed at all? Think about all those psychological scars that could've been averted if one did not have to endure that scene when Anakin Skywalker, in all earnestness tells Padme that "Your skin is so soft"....yes, I know, it's painful for me to even write this).

So anyway, back to Ever After. A nice and simple old-fashioned storyline. A beautiful score by George Fenton (who also scored Groundhog Day, The Crucible and Shadowlands rather nicely). Nice tight direction by Andy Tennant (who also incidentally directed Hitch). And great and heartfelt performances by Drew Barrymore and Dougray Scott. All these the ingredients of a really watchable flick with an ever-present feel-good vibe to it. God knows we need more films like that to cheer us up now and then eh. Much better than anything CNN can offer. On this present mood that is. Now please excuse me while I go cuddle with my inner wuss.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

35. What A Load Of Rubbish

More bomb blasts in Bali...let's hope and pray that it won't be as bad as the last the time...all these freaking terrorists should be put in concentration camps along with G.W. Bush and his oil loving and arms manufacturing pals...then they can go on and rip each other's eyes out and leave the rest of the world well alone...

Jeez, what do these people stand for anyway? Nada, nothing, el zilcho...these wankers spread this damning message of hate under the guise of righteousness...come on, they're fooling no one but themselves here...

Friday, September 30, 2005

34. Zzzzzzzz?

Wake me up when September ends. No seriously.

Monday, September 05, 2005

33. A Matter of Faith

"Among the tales of sorrow and of ruin that come down to us from the darkness of those days there are yet some in which amid weeping there is joy and under the shadow of death light that endures."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion

Just wanted to say hats off to those out there risking life and limb to help those in need of help. Sometimes we can be so cynical when it comes to people seeking out help or indeed, those out there who are actually helping. Maybe we've become so jaded and distrusting of our fellow humans that we can hardly believe that not all things people do are for personal gain.

Like that old black dude I saw on CNN who still went on his ambulance rounds even though he lost contact with his family. The guy just like kept on going, even when he had to get through six feet of water. And till now, he doesn't even know what happened to his family. Now that's what I call a freaking hero man.

These kinda things always puts everything in perspective eh.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

32. Get Your Freak On

Ok, get freaked over here. After watching, check out the other clips here. Apparently, this whole thing was a big hoo-ha over in Brunei over the past month.

Real or staged? Who the hell knows...either way, it's all makes the skin crawl...

If you're like me, and have a morbid sense of curiousity, you can do your own research. Check out this blog from a chick in Brunei for the goods.

Now then, I can't really say whether there's a supernatural element involved or if it's just a psychological thing, but I've seen something similar happen in my old university before, and man, you just wish you weren't there to see it 'cos the memory sometimes creeps up on you while you're alone in a hotel room when outstation on a job or are driving on a deserted road with no street lights in the wee hours of morning...

On a side note, I wonder why some people suddenly become overly patriotic on the eve of independence day when they couldn't give a shit about anything any other day? It's like, all of a sudden, everyone starts dancing and singing to that Sudirman song and party like their lives depended on it, all the while making a huge mess of everything. Not a complaint here, just an observation.

I dunno, can anyone of this post independence generation really relate to what happened a little over half a century ago? We were never part of that era, and no matter what anyone says, I don't think we can really feel the spirit of that bygone age. All we have are grainy black and white images of long dead people basking in all that nationalistic fervour. Well, whatever has come and gone since that momentous day, let's just say that they're pale imitations. What do you and I have to do with this country in the first place? And can we really sincerely say we have strong feelings for it, other than it's a hella great place to live in? Honestly, think about it. Put it this way, if our country would ask us to die for it, would we? Naw, just thinking out loud here. Don't mind me.

The mind's a monkey. Ah well. For what it's worth, it's also grand to see those out who truly love this country enjoy the festivities. My friend calls them lemmings, that heartless bastard, and kicks up a shit storm everytime he sees anyone of them out there celebrating. Well, now then, that's just way too much hating. But to each his or her own eh. Sometimes, we can just get too cynical for our own good. Peace.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

31. Nothing Is Certain

Except death and taxes. And maybe stupid random posts on this blog.

But that's why we thrive eh? On all that uncertainty swirling about us. We all waltz in chaos to a certain extent, difference is some people enjoy that merry dance more than others. It boggles the mind.

Today on this glorious Sunday afternoon, whilst most people are out enjoying the great outdoors and are basking in the warm sunshine outside, there those few of us who toil away locked up in our little cyberspace worlds, oblivious to anything other than what we see infront on our screens. And we ponder on these dark, deep thoughts of chaos and uncertainty.

Thank God I'm not one of them. Later, have a good week y'all.

Monday, August 22, 2005

30. Such Is Life

"My father is a rich man,
He wears a rich man's cloak,
Gave me the keys to his kingdom coming,
Gave me a cup of gold.

He said I have many mansions,
And there are many rooms to see,
But I left by the back door,
And I threw away the key."
- U2, The First Time

If life were only that simple...I think most people, if given the choice, would keep those keys and give no thought at all to leaving by the back door...heck, I'm honest enough to admit that I would do so myself (I'd probably say: "Gee, thanks a lot dad, now that you've shown me the many rooms, can we see the things that go bling please?").

I guess we're all idealistic and hopeful to a certain extent, as long as it doesn't interfere too much with our quest for wealth or status that is. Well, I personally see nothing wrong in that. In fact, I do admire loads of people out there who've worked hard to get where they are and those who are striving to achieve their dreams. These guys just don't sit on their asses and complain how unfair or cruel the world is, you know the type, those walking around with a chip on their shoulder. Everything takes hard work, and if someone is more successful than the other, most of the time is because they've worked harder. And even if they didn't, and if their wealth is due to inheritance or luck, well, who can blame them eh? Just because one is born rich it doesn't make it a sin right?

I know that Gandhi once said that one of the greatest sins was wealth earned without hardwork, but hey, what's a guy to do? Just say no when his daddy makes him managing director of one of his companies? Of course not.

I know some of my friends who bitch and moan about some of our other successful friends who are either from rich families or somehow were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Well, I can't really understand why that is, I've always believe the measure of a person is how much that person's worth without all his or her wealth, be it rich or poor. Yeah, there is a general assumption that the richer they are, the bigger assholes they become. Not true I think, 'cos I know plenty of assholes who are poor.

What I hate most are people who are dishonest, I'm sure all of you can relate to this. I think we've all come across these sort before...those who come at you with smiling faces yet their always weighing you up and seeing if you're any use to them, or those who befriend you under false pretenses. Even worse, dishonest people who are posers. And luckily, and I'm ever grateful for that, my experiences with that sort have been kept to a minimal (on my count, the last time I've come to know such a person was round last year, and happily, by some fortunate twist of fate, our paths haven't crossed since...and not too sound hateful or anything, but good riddance to bad rubbish I say). I can actually count myself lucky that most of the people whom I can safely call friends are the coolest and most honest bunch of people one could know. Sure, they're not perfect, but neither am I. I think what works best is that we all understand each other, and never overstep our mark.

Shakespeare once said that friendship is constant in all things except for the affairs of love, yet I think I'd disagree on this point. I can safely say that I can trust my close friends even when it comes to that, I know they won't fuck me over just for some broad (and I've known it to happen too, where a so-called friend completely screwed up another friend's relationship by putting his nose in where it didn't belong). And I think that having that trust is good, because every relationship, be it friendship or romantic is built on that foundation. But once trust is lost, than it's not so easily gained (I think we've all seen both sides of that). It's so much more fulfilling to work hard for someone other than yourself, than you know you're truly blessed for you've found someone you're willing to put all that grit and effort for.

Right, back to what I was saying, I think that in the end, the choice that we invariably would make of choosing what we desire in terms of materiality as opposed to say, sprirituality, is not wrong, superficial as it is. Nothing sinful about it, as long as it doesn't involve us cheating, lying or stealing. Money can't buy happiness, but it's a start eh. I think fulfilment comes in when at the end of the day, you know you've put in the effort, and can enjoy the rewards, not on showing off or so you can undermine someone. The only one you have to prove yourself to is of course yourself. And I think it is the noblest of things that one can do is to strive hard to provide the best they possibly can for those they love.

Well, on the flipside, I also see nothing wrong with people who aren't so driven with the pursuit of financial success. Some people are more easily content than others, doesn't make it bad or a sign of weakness. I know that doesn't go with certain people, but hey, like I said, everyone's different. Some people are just more ambitious than others. In the end, I guess it's always up to what we want in life, and if we can be happy. It's always a bad sign if we just get by day to day, content only because we're too scared or lazy to do better, and it's also a bad sign that we're so engrossed with our great pursuit that we forget to live a little.

So to those of my chums who are going off for pastures anew abroad, I wish you guys all the best. Just remember to support the right EPL team when you're there eh. And those of you still sticking around busting your asses of on your present jobs, get rich or die trying, well no actually, but you get what I mean. To you from Tinuviel, you'll be achieving those goals of yours sooner than later, just have a bit of faith in your immense abilities. Just look how far you've gone already. And finally to you dwelling upon the white tower, it'll be only a matter of time before you realise those dreams you set to achieve. But you knew that already. Ah who are we if not for those dreams? Such is life.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

29. Random Thought For The Day

Aww man! Is it just me, or does things seem to repeat itself in really disturbing cycles...kinda like events always somehow replicating themselves in some warped Groundhog Day-like reality, only instead of one day, it can be like every 2 years or so...but only if you follow certain rules or conventions, if you choose to skip them or somehow alter these rules, then the period could double itself...or sometimes even's all about knowing which ones to follow and which ones to break...ok, I'm in no way alluding that we live in some rule-set predetermined universe (ala Matrix) here...or am I??? Yes, my friends, drink on that...ok, that's it, it just came to me and had to put it down in paper...and yes, my heart silently weeps as it observes the deteriorating quality of the posts in this blog...somewhere in Gurgurkhistan there's some poor 3 year-old kid forced into working 20 hour days sewing together soccer balls in a Nike sweat factory and I'm writing about alternate universes here. Typical.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

28. Big Ad

Man, this is hilariously good. Check it out here. Special thanks to Drew for forwarding this to me.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

27. Hope

Sometimes someone does or says something that'll hurt or disappoint the person they love most. That someone would of course immediately regret it and try to make amends, hoping that all that had happened would be forgiven and forgotten.

And most of the times it is, for forgiveness is but a few softly spoken words, usually said because it is so yearned by the wronging party.

Thing is, words are mere words, and never truth. Truth is in the heart, or how the heart changes. Whatever that's happened can never be undone, no matter what comes to pass after. It will always remain like a shadow that's fallen between them, a presence unspoken yet ever present.

And because of this, things can never be the same again, no matter how hard one tries. Perhaps time and space can mend such things, perhaps not. It is left to that who had wronged to keep trying, keep seeking true forgiveness, one that would clear those darks clouds and bring sunshine back as how it was before. Maybe it won't happen, maybe it will, but nonetheless one must try, try and hope, for the cost of losing is too great to bear, and the prize of succeeding is more precious than all the jewels in the world.

"Was it something I said that made you angry with me,
Made you dig a deep river to keep you from me?
Oh, the water is rushing, come to sweep me away
'Less I die of sorrow, I will cross it today.

I would build me a bridge a hundred meters long
To see the other side of what I did wrong.
Well you say you don't hate me, but I guess that I'm scared
That with a river between us, you'll no longer care.

I would build a boat, and paddle agaist all sorrow.
And if I sail down the river, I'll be back again tomorrow.
I would face cold death, run and leap to your side.
And if I fall in the river, I'll be warmed by your sight.

I would beg your forgiveness for the pain that I've fed
And I'd find the source of the river you've bled.
Then I'd close the gates of the dam I built there.
And never again will you have anything to fear.

Well I never knew that your tears ran so deep.
But when I'ved dammed those tears, I will kiss your sweet cheek.
I will hold you close 'till your tears finally cease.
And I'll sing you a lullaby and bring you peace."
- Marc Gunn, The Bridge

Friday, July 29, 2005

26. Play

No, I'm not talking about JLO's turd of a song here. I'm just feeling perplexed that's all. Hence this post. Seriously. I shit you not. Let me tell you why (a sign if ever of worse things to come, bail now to save yourself).

You see, I had a dream last night. Yes, a dream, ahhh, just saying it feels so blissful. A dream it was, and it brought with it a dawning, a realisation of a greater truth. Yes indeed, praise be. It was strange yet wonderful, whereupon all that was sought was found...

Yes, I had a dream...that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lo--err, hang on just one second...

Ok, so I didn't really have a dream. Sue me, I'm no MLK. It justs sounds way better than saying I've had an epiphany. You know the type, a sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something. That'll just sound waaay too bogus even for one such as myself. Don't you know that only shallow and uninteresting people use seemingly deep and profound statements to sound all wise and important? Yes, true. Indeed a fact, it is. Shit you, I not.

Right. So I was talking about being perplexed. And I was talking about having a dream/epiphany/sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something. Let's just say that a truth was revealed to me that tingled upon every single cell of my body and reverberated through the very marrow of my being. Alternatively, it could've been a case of too much gas.

It was the answer to why people do that thing that they do and just can't stop doing. You know, that thing. Correct, I'm talking about playing here. When I say play, I don't mean PS2 playing here or basketball playing here. Heck, I'm not even talking about playing with yourself here (yes, you do know who you are, please wipe those smirks off your faces). I mean play play. As in a game played by players and participated by playees. And as good 'ol Haley Joel Osment would say: And sometimes, they don't even know they're playing (notice how I smartly played around with the words here? Did you see??? By God, did you SEEEEEEE????!!!!!!! Yeeeeeee haaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!). I'm so freaking insane.

Long have I wondered why us homo sapiens feel compelled to play? Especially for us guys. Though not solely and exclusively a man's domain, playing seems more prevalent amongst the hairier of the species. And play meaning if a guy's already hooked himself up with some gal or, power to him, dude yet still feel compelled to check and perhaps sample the market for fresher goods.

And thus it was revealed to me. 'Cos it's just so damn fun. Guys hunt. Fact. It's in our genes. It's in our blood. Since the day when our ancestors clobbered that sabretooth tiger, we've always been one on the prowl, basking in the thrill of the hunt. Though dimmed by the feminist movement and political correctness, the Oprah-ness of our time if you will, it's in our natural instinct to do so. Some suppress it, some unleash it in sporadic bursts. While others, others embrace it and thus revel in it.

It's not an excuse or justification of why they play. It just is. Men will play till the final grain of the sand from the hourglass of time has fallen. When the sun goes down, d boyz come out to play...even at the risk of being found out by their mates and perhaps getting their asses dumped.

There are many types of playing, mind. Sometimes a play's not really a play. Sometimes it is, and sometimes, it could be. So when is a play really a play, and when is a play not a play but could perhaps eventually lead to a play? Let's consign those mysteries to the confines of the deep and dark bottomless abyss of never to be known questions, mortal men were not born to comprehend such deep and scary thoughts.

So do not judge, 'lest ye be judged yourself. Next time you see your pal grinding hips with some hot hoochie mama in a club even though he's six months engaged, think twice before you give him shit while sitting on that self-righteous horse of yours. Hey, it's pre-progammed in his genetic code, he can't bleeding help himself.

But I did say I was perplexed as well didn't I? Yes I was and I am and will continue to be. In men's nature it may be to play. And though knowing the cost, the price that would eventually will have to be paid (cause somehow, your chick will always find out, one way or another) why do they still do it? Is one night of humping worth losing something that could possibly be more precious than anything in the world? Screw the humping, it needn't go that far. It could be less, but with the intention of more. All roads lead to that eventually. Is it worth maybe suppressing that natural instinct in order to obtain something that could never be found even if one was to play till the end of one's days? A fair price to pay perhaps.

Sometimes the right path is the hardest path. But, it is the only path. Yeah, break me a fucking give already. Enough of all that cheesy shit. I think you catch my drift where I'm going with this. No judgement, just completely vexed with the whole thing. And I will continue to be, unless I'm visited by another dream/epiphany/sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something. But somehow, in this case, I just don't think it'd happen.

Dedicated to all the playees out there who're being played but don't know it, and to those who know it but willingly oblige...and to those players busy playing, and to those who want to play but can't, and most of all, to those who want to play but don't...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

25. Footie Stuff

Chelsea vs AC Milan was a good indication of things to come for Chelsea Football Club. The assured passing, the dictating of the tempo of play, the lightening quick counter-attacks from the wings, and the rock steady defence. All this against arguably the best team in Europe. Ok, so the three main fulcrums of the Milan side did not feature (the great Maldini, the brilliant Kaka and the omnipresent Shevchenko), but it was no less a good test for Chelsea in pre-season. Like Mourinho said, the result (a slim 1-0 win) wasn't as important as to see how the team's progressed.

Wright-Phillips, the 20 million pound boy-midget looked good, leaving Nesta for dead once or twice (no mean feat considering that Nesta is one of the few crop of candidates who's close to replacing Maldini as the best defender in the world). The jury is still out on this purchase (especially considering Mourinho's lukewarm success in the transfer market so far, I mean 24 million for Drogba? Come on!). The boy's got potential though, a low centre of gravity that makes him hard to knock off the ball, and is super fast with good ball control to match. He's also a tireless worker which is always a big plus when playing for the man who loves the ethics of good teamplay. We'll see.

Next up, still too early to judge Del Horno. Arguably Spain's best leftback, haven't seen enough of him to see whether he can match up to the other great leftbacks in world football now (Cole, Zambrotta, Evra, Lahm). But he should easily display Bridge, who's looked clumsy and extremely one-footed on ocassion. No doubt he scored that vital goal that knocked out the Gunners in the Champ's League, still think he hasn't been as successful as he could've been. Well, Chelsea is a long way from Southampton, we'll see how he progresses this season.

Looks like the Lyon midfield powerhouse is next, today there were conflicting reports that Chelsea's already bagged him. I think it would be only a matter of time. Again, don't know too much of this player other than his performances in the Champ's League but from what I've seen, he looks mighty good. A player in the Vieira-mold, he's powerful, quick and agile. Looks a good fit for the EPL. Now I wish that all this crazy money dealings for non-proven players would stop. When you have to fork out tens of millions, I just wished it were for someone of Totti's or Joaquin's caliber.

Liverpool's looked good as well, with Gerrard scoring 6 goals over 3 games, not a bad record. He's already looking twice the player he was last season when, in my mind, he vastly overrated and clearly unsettled (just like Vieira). Well, Pat's gone now, and Gerrard's still here. Maybe now he can step up to show the world that he's the best midfielder in the EPL, tough to displace Lampard, but I just think Gerrard's got that little more to his game (if only he'd stop banging those overhit passes!).

And Arsenal? Ah, hard to judge. Hleb is no doubt a quality buy, and Fabregas and Flamini have looked impressive in patches when called upon. But can they replace the great Vieira in the heart of Arsenal's midfield? We'll see, we'll see. Plus, other than Hleb, there hasn't been that many signings on Arsenal's front. But they still have too much quality in their game not to compete, and in Henry, they have arguably the best forward in the world (yes, even better than Shevchenko).

Man U? Well, Man U will always be Man U. Expect Fergusen and Neville to shoot his mouth off about how Man U will win the league, blah, blah, blah and for Chelsea to watch out, etc. In the end, Man U will finish probably 3rd or 4th (depending on how strongly Liverpool challenges). Ah, I just hate them to bits.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

24. Deja vu

There's no denying that the whole London bombing incident has undoubtedly brought up the unwanted spectre of 911 once again in our lives. Even those staying and observing from afar can't help but to feel caught up in the pain and anguish suffered by the victims' families. It seems perverse that in this day and age there's still room for this sort of barbarism. And ain't nobody gonna tell me that it can be justified and what not. When you feel like you're fighting for a just cause, whatever moral right you had with you gets thrown out the window when you start blowing innocent people up.

You know, in a time where hundreds of thousands of people can die from starvation everyday, it's mindboggling to see people resort to this sort of actions to justify their cause. I think so far this year we've seen the best of humanity (the world's reaction to the tsunami disaster) and the worst (the continued acts of terrorism, and I mean this from both sides).

Ok, enough about that now. So last night I was rummaging through my hard drive, trying to get rid of some old files to free up some memory when I stumbled upon an old folder containing some essays I wrote some time back. Curiousity perked, I couldn't help but read through some of 'em, and quickly realised to my horror that I was an even worse writer then than I am now (there goes the excuse of blaming old age for the dimming of my writing abilities).

Ah right, anyway there was this one essay, American Pie that struck me as the most interesting amidst the blandness of the rest (mostly because of the lame title). K, the piece was written way back, just a few weeks after 911 and brought about merely as an observation of the events that transpired after (geez, that sounds so important, ooohhhh, an observation...come off it already!). Ok, so after re-reading it last night, I have to say that it's not the most objective essay ever written. You can pretty much guess which side of the fence I was pitching my tent in if you read it through. Can't say that I still have the same sentiments as I did then.

Heck, I think everybody's just plain sick of all this suicide bombing shit, I have no idea of what it'll accomplish, fuck do these guys think that America would sit up and say: "Geez, they're blowing up a load of people, mostly non-American, in Europe and other 3rd world countries we don't give a shit about. Heck let's just abandon our lucrative oil fields in Iraq so they won't do it no more!". And I'm pretty much sure everybody will be sick off the predictably overzealous witch hunt that'd follow (look no further than the execution of that poor innocent Brazilian dude).

Anyway, here it is in it's entirety below. Pretty strong worded methinks, and pretty much too naive in it's conclusions I guess. But I find it quite interesting to see how I felt then and how I felt now. I think then I was just quite fed up with all the events that transpired after 911, mainly the high handed manner the American government carried itself and the way it felt like it had the moral right to suddenly govern what's right or wrong in the world. Now, well now I'm just plain fed up. Proceed at your own peril.

American Pie

In the aftermath of the September 11 terror attacks against America, perhaps it is time for the world to evaluate whether the strong reactions, be it the outpouring of grief or the desire to seek retribution, can be so easily justifiable.

The unprecedented sympathy and support for the United States could be seen as commendable. E-mails were circulated widely across the globe, even in Malaysia, urging the reader to add their names to a long list of those who offered sympathy and support for America. Those who sent the mails condemned the acts as being unspeakable and barbaric, which they undoubtedly were. They screamed at its injustice and demanded that vengeance was begot.

But is it reasonable to say that if the attacks had befallen any other nation save the ones that had been most vocal, would the worldwide reaction have been the same? If it happened in an obscure Asian country or one that existed outside the predominantly Western definition of a civilized nation, would the world have been so swift to offer sympathy and demand justice be meted out to those responsible? The answer is a resounding no.

By any means can there be any possible justification for the murder of 6,000 innocent people, it is an act to would go down in history as one of the darkest crimes against humanity. But it must be remembered that these acts were carried out by often well educated and well to do men, people who can be looked upon on the surface as being rationale and religious. What could have prompted these seemingly normal men to take such an extraordinary course of action?

Cut back to September 11, 2001, a day that would live on in infamy in American history. It was around 8.45 in the morning in Lower Manhattan, New York as around twenty thousand people were at work as usual in the World Trade Center. Some had meetings to attend, whilst others preferred to be early at work. After all, the week had just about begun, and there were important financial decisions to make. Across the street, Wall Street was abuzz with all the normal rigors and zest of daily trading. 8.45 a.m., on a busy day as usual in the World Trade Center, long the symbol of America’s financial might. The Twin Towers stood strong and proud, beacons to the world of the great American dream.

Then that dream turned into a nightmare. As the world watched in horror; the myth that was American invincibility disintegrated, in a flurry of flames and a cloud of ashes. Within moments, the mighty towers had been leveled, and thousands of lives lost. But that was not the end of what must have been almost surreal to most Americans, secure in their homes and the belief that they were untouchable. The Pentagon, another symbol of American might, too was attacked, albeit in less spectacular fashion than that of the catastrophe that had befallen New York.

The unthinkable had happened, and as the stunned world slowly came to grips with the reality of the terror that had played before their very eyes, so too came the inevitable anger. Osama bin Laden, Saudi Arabian millionaire and suspected terrorist became the prime suspect for the attacks, though he vehemently denied it. The thousands of lives extinguished in the attacks were mourned, and America’s tragedy was played out live on CNN for the world to see. Americans demanded justice and the world echoed it’s sentiment, after all they were victims of these unspeakable terror attacks and they had the moral right to seek retribution.

Thus the enemy was identified and dehumanized, they were fanatical Islamic extremists. They were filled with hatred and anger for all things that were American, which meant, to American eyes at least, that they were against all things good and true. They were the enemy, and they had to be eradicated. As Americans banded together amidst almost jingoistic fervor, the world was given a choice; either you’re with us, or you’re against us. It was as simple as that.

From the point of the hijackers, they deemed it was an attack against those who had invaded first, the infidels who had stepped upon sacred Islamic soil and imposed their presence in a region where they had no right to be in. Outsiders who claimed that they had a right to be there to protect their so called interests, which in reality was the oilfields of the Gulf.

Whilst the forced economic embargo on Iraq had caused tens and thousands of innocent lives to be lost, America easily justified it by saying that Iraq was the enemy, and that the blockade was necessary to quash its military strength and threat to the stability in the Middle East. While Palestinians have long suffered against a regime of invaders who had stolen their lands, American policy was to enter in endless negotiations that have served no purpose but to solidify Israel’s strength and marginalize those of the Palestinians. As the Serbs went on with the systematic murder of thousands in Bosnia, America was largely indifferent. What good is a war tribunal when the crimes could have been avoided in the first place and the innocent saved?

America came to be looked upon as a superpower that was lost and drunk in her own glory, a superpower that showed blatant disregard for the United Nations save it served to protect her interests. The United States’ foreign policy was such that they defined what was right and wrong, they were the judge, jury and unprejudiced executioner. They were untouchable and all powerful, all knowing. They had the right to mete out infinite justice. It is safe to say by this writer’s reckoning, that they were wrong, tragically wrong.

Americans have so long been cut off from the reality of the world and grown comfortable and almost arrogant in their perception that the world thought as highly of them as they did themselves that they had forgotten that in many parts of the world, there was suffering. People were dying and great injustices were done, and America was looked upon as the enemy.

It is too presumptuous and easy to assume that American foreign policy is solely to blame for the September 11 attacks, but it can be said that it did play a major role in it. Not everyone was willing to lie down and sit by while their traditional values and culture was replaced by McDonald’s fast food and MTV. Not everyone believed that America was the benchmark that all nations should look upon as a model of success, a triumph of innovation and that pioneering spirit that could conquer all adversity. For to some, America had come to symbolize all that was wrong and corrupt in Western civilization. That it is okay to lie, cheat and be ruthless in the pursuit of wealth; that extreme capitalism was healthy; and that the American dream was the dream to be exemplified by the world. Unfortunately, after September 11, the contrary has been proven, and it is time for America and most of the Western world to open their eyes once more.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

23. Whoops!

Looky here, seems someone's made a big boo boo. Well, who can blame them when the people they're up against are capable of pulling off shit like this? All this is just so fucking ridiculous. When's it all gonna end eh, eh? You know the drill, violence begets violence, yadda, yadda, yadda...why can't we all just get along? I'll tell you why, we're all morons doomed to blow each other to bits that's why. The human race is just so waiting to be wiped out by tripod-like death machines from Mars, I shit you not.

On a lighter note, looks like Malaysian politicians are up to their usual dramatics. Dodgy underhanded dealing of AP licenses, followed by public meltdowns and the 'ole self-righteous proclaimations in support of a former PM, ahh, the whole works. Well, at least they've got their priorities right in a time when the whole world's going to shit, of our upmost importance is to protect that flimsy piece of cardboard that is our national car. Screw terrorism, world hunger or a locally increase in sexual-related crimes. Afterall, God forbid what would happen should a Honda Civic actually cost as much as a Proton Waja? Oh yeah, and don't forget that we should also destroy any form of inter-faith understanding as we all know that it's deviant to relligious teachings eh. Fuck, bring back the commies anytime man. I'm sick of this shit.

As Radiohead would say "Bring down the government, they don't speak for us". 'Nuff said, 'nuff said.

Monday, July 18, 2005

22. Slumber

The hybernation might just end in a bit. Or maybe not.

Monday, June 20, 2005

21. A Goodish Monday

Something on Malaysian bloggers from today's Star. Interesting, and here I was thinking that no one actually reads other people's blogs, what more that there actually exists celebrity bloggers here in our little Malaysian cyberspace universe. Woo-hoo! I can hardly contain myself. I'm beside myself in joy, infact, I'm so happy that my heart could burst into a million mini rainbows with little blue robins flying about.

And yes ladies and gentlemen, yet more interesting tidbits here on Liverpool's win in the Champions League finals (man, where is all this hate coming from??? Get over it already!).

And, keeping up with today's shambolic theme of unconnected topics, click here for something completed unrelated.

Ah yes, one more thing, did you know that one out of every twenty-five people are actually bonafide sociopaths? Sociopaths as in potential serial killers and eaters of human body parts. Yup, meaning the person standing next to you can actually to out to be the next Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, Jeff Dahmer or Michael Jackson. I learnt that watching Oprah the other day. I swear it's true. Boy, it just fills the heart with a warm fuzzy feeling just knowing that the quiet dude sitting next to you in the bus might actually one day dismember you and eat your liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

Monday, June 13, 2005

20. The Strange Account of Ted the Caver

Ok, excuse the lame title of this post. Just go here if you wanna get spooked out of your wits. I won't say much or risk spoiling it for you, read it for yourself first, then make up your own mind whether it's true or not. I'll leave it to you to do your own research on the net after you've finished (just like I did).

Man, I used to go caving myself, and this account of the events that Ted and his buddy "B" went through sends shivers down my spine. Be sure to check out all the pics he took. It's a long read, but trust me, it's worth it. Get ready to get freaked out.

19. Idle Season

Ahh, it's that time of the year again, silly season is upon us. And what I mean by silly season is the period of time between the end of the football season till the beginning of the next one when clubs are out scrambling to sign the best players (or in Bolton's case, free over-aged has-beens and nearly-beens and never-beens), whence agents are gleefully making general statements on how much in demand their clients are (usually wanted by the biggest and richest clubs one might add, i.e. the Barcas, the Milans, the Chelseas of the world) and how much more they're worth compared to the measly 80 thousand pounds a week they're getting even though they were still handsomely paid when they were stupid enough to be banned for eights months for missing a drug test (cough, Rio Ferdinand), and when clubs underline their ambitions for the following season by naming their stadium after their sponsors or selling their souls to American tycoons and rising their ticket prices by 45%. It's also that time of the year when football fans really, and I mean really, get restless.

Weekends without ESPN or Starsports football ain't just the same. No Super Sunday, no John Dikes with his colourful commentary, no Shebby Singh making an arse of himself. No more Spanish or Italian football to watch from 2.30 in the morning right up till daybreak. Ah heck, weekends used to be simple eh, it was all football from 8 pm (well, 5 if you count the weekend kickabout) right up till the next morning. No need to think of where to go or what to do, it was just planting yourself in front of the idiot box and absorbing those colourful images of sweaty men in shorts chasing after a round ball (as opposed to those darn cumbersome square balls). Pure utter delight. But also really lame when you think of it. Ah well, there's no shame to admitting to shunning social interaction just to catch a good game of football on the telly. Well, I tend to look at it as a good way to save money (not to mention avoid abuse to the liver). I mean, without football to watch on the weekends, one would be more inclined to go out for one of those wasteful exercises in attrition like drinking binges and what not. So watching football could be seen as a means to offer salvation to man's immortal soul, it redeems humanity from sin and allows the spirit to transcend beyond the limitations of it's mortal coil and touch upon the firmament of heaven. Erm, ok. Sorry, got carried away for a bit.

Ok ok, this is a nothing post. Ah heck, idle hands are a devil's playground eh? Why waste the lunch hour away doing nothing when you can actually type about nothing?

Sunday, May 29, 2005

18. The One When Things Really Get Weird...

Liverpool are crowned European champions after a miraculous comeback from being 3 nil down at halftime and being comprehensively made to look as hapless as baby penquins floating in a pot of boiling water by a classy Milan side. Surviving a sure-fire goal with a stupendous double-save by Dudek (of all people) in the closing moments of the match, Liverpool went on to prevail in a penalty shoot-out against a surprisingly nervy Milan.

When you think of European champions, somehow Djimi Traore, Igor Biscan and Josemi don't spring to mind. I mean, Djimi Traore for crying out loud, if there's a name to strike fear in the hearts of goalkeepers and fellow defenders anywhere, while at the same time have opposing strikers rub their hands together in glee, than Traore surely would be it. Yet stranger things have happened. Like once, erm, ah...let's see...ok, it doesn't get stranger than that. This surely takes the cake, the frosting and candles along with it. Maybe Revenge of the Sith being an actually decent film pretty much comes close. And I can count that time when a buddy of mine did a Superman stunt off the top of my speeding car (he only flew like for 3 seconds before he touched down on earth with all the grace of an elephant landing on thin ice after falling off a ten-storey building) as another rather peculiar incident. But nothing tops what went on in Istanbul on that fateful night. The gods must have been of a Scouser-like disposition eh.

Speaking of strange things, it's been a pretty good week for that. Like Carrie winning out on American Idol. Strange not because she won, but strange because I was hoping beyond hope that Bo could actually sneak a result. I guess the US presidential election results have thought me nothing. It only strengthens the sneaking suspicion I have that the large majority of Americans are flag-waving, God-fearing, Country-and-Western-loving, Iraq-bombing, simple-minded folk who really do love their Oprah and are fashionable enough to actually colour-coordinate the distinction between their two major political parties (blue state, red state...seems all rather off-kilter to me). Ok, that's over generalising things. But you get what I mean.

Strange things too are afoot in movie-movie land. Kingdom of Heaven's disappointing box-office performance is however not one of them. I think we've seen one sword-and-sandals pic too many. How much can one watch the same scenes of CGI armies hacking bits out of one another? I think if you've seen one siege scene, you've seen it all, and it's already reached it's absolute pinnacle with the Minas Tirith siege in Return of the King (am hoping that the battle scenes in the Narnia adaptation will offer something new, and from the look of the trailer, it looks promising). But if there's one thing that Kingdom has going for it, is it's underlying message. Although rather forced and slightly contrived, you have to give props to Ridley Scott and gang for having the balls to come out and say something about tolerance, especially in these testing times surrounding the Middle East. It seems rather out of place for characters of those medieval times to be displaying the sort of 21st century nuance and broad-mindedness, but hey, it's Hollywood, anything goes eh. I think what the filmmakers set out to do, and were only partly successful in a sense, was to come out and say: Hey, what's up with all the hate? Aren't we all a part of the same Abrahamic faith? Why can't we just all get along? Ahhh, a message for simpler times, perhaps a little too idealistic and naive. If only the movie was a little more honest in going about it than it would've been great rather than halfway decent.

On the subject of strange times in movie land, this year looks that way in the sense that there might actually be a glut of good films coming out for once. It's looking promising so far, promising enough to come up with an absolutely geeky list of the top ten flicks I'm most looking forward to:

1. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - What a mouthful. But trust me, when it comes out in December, it'll be the buzz words on everyone's lips. Narnia looks set to emulate Lord of the Rings as the next big fantasy franchise. It's no coincidence that CS Lewis and Tolkien were best buddies. Perhaps they swapped notes while they were writing their own fantasy epics?
2. King Kong - It's directed by Peter Jackson. It's about that famously oversized ape with penchant for blonds and an altogether unhealthy obsession with climbing tall buildings. And yeah, there'll be dinosaurs aplenty in this one. Can hardly wait.
3. War of the Worlds - Spielberg. Dakota Fanning. Magic. Tom Cruise, not so good. But then again, giant ray guns, aliens, end of the world. Good. Good. Me must watch. Yes.
4. Batman Begins - Christian Bale looks set to be the kick-ass Batman that we all long suffering fans deserve. No more George Clooney with rubber nipples on suit. No more Val Kilmer with pouty lips. Most importantly, no Joel Schumacher with his gay fetishes and his looney campiness.
5. Howl's Moving Castle - Miyazaki's latest. His studio makes the best animated films in the world (Grave of the Fireflies and Princess Mononoke are still my all-time fav animated films), and this looks set to carry on with the trend.
6. The Corpse's Bride - Tim Burton revisits the same nightmarish landscape as his earlier claymation masterpiece A Nightmare Before Christmas. And Johnny Depp's in it. You just know that this will rock, in a quirky sorta way.
7. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Ok, so it's Harry Potter, and the three films so far have been largely disappointing (to someone like me at least who's never read the books). But there's a dragon in this one, and to me, anything that involves a fire-breathing lizard in it is at least worth a watch.
8. The Fantastic Four - Jessica Alba in tights. Superheroes. Dr Doom. Cool superpowers. Did I mention Jessica Alba in tights? Yes? Ah ok. You get the picture.
9. Wallace And Gromit - The Curse of The Were Rabbit - Ah, the dastardly duo are back. Should be hilarious.
10. Sin City - This adaptation of Frank Miller's gritty graphic novel looks absolutely brilliant. And there's Jessica Alba in it too. Ah, bliss. This film should be to the guys what Steel Magnolias is to girls, meaning it's a kick-ass flick solely catered for the boys which makes no sense whatsoever to the opposite sex.

Noteworthy mentions -
The Island - After the promising The Rock, it went all downhill for the king of quick cuts, shaky camera shots and inane dialogue otherwise known as Michael Bay. He should fry in hell forever for that piece of shit that was Pearl Harbour, but he deserves one last chance at least.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith - Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie try to blow each other to kingdom come. Should be good watching.
Land of the Dead - Ah, another zombie fest from the legendary Romero. Anything with zombies in it is good in my books.
Deuce Bigalow- European Gigolo - Deuce amongst mutant women in Europe. Now this I gotta see.
Nightwatch - The trailer looks way awesome. Worth a look.
The Brothers Grimm - Hopefully, a dark grim fairytale. Enough to warrant attention.

Ah ok, enough already.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

17. Matrimony

Just over the weekend, I attended a wedding dinner for my two close friends. Now I've known these two for a good 5 to 6 years, and were friends with them even before they met. You could say I played a part, however minute, in bringing them together.

They've been going strong for the past 5 years now, strong meaning they're one of those couples who look absolutely and totally in love with one another. And if you think you've seen lovey dovey, heck, you ain't seen nothing yet if you haven't met them. I'm talking mushy-cakes-honey-bunny-baby-sugar-puffs-flowery-candy-with-pink-mushrooms-dancing-on-top-of-rainbows here. Am sure it's nice enough for them, but to those watching, it's like getting a hole drilled in your skull and having melted marshmallows mixed with mapple syrup being pumped into your brain by the gallons.

But besides all that sugary stuff, they're one of those few couples that you can tell share a genuine and mutual respect for one another. And in times of trophy girlfriends and relationships based soley on financial concerns (as in, how much money does he have and how much of it can I get a hold of?), it's really refreshing to see.

So anyway, it came as no surprise when they finally got hitched, for if there was ever a match made in heaven, then it'd be them. And of course I was happy for them. Elated would be too big a word, but it's always nice to see two people who are so right for each other actually getting together. That was until they asked me to give a speech for their wedding nite, and all that moments of joy quickly transformed into heart-crushing horror.

What the heck do I know about making speeches? More so one concerning the union of two people in front of hundreds of their relatives and friends whom, most of them anyway, I don't know? Shit, I was the guy who in school used to read straight from his scribbled script whenever there was any public speaking to do during English 'cos I was too numbed by fear to actually look people in the eye (a pre-requsite for public speaking I've heard). Screw that, I couldn't even read from the script properly cause my bloody hands were too bloody shaky. In fact, my recollections of all the times I've had to speak in front of a group of people are like this: a rising and inescapable feeling of dread, followed by cold sweat that sent chills running down the spine, and then there's the stammering and mumbling, the clumsy prompting and gasping for air, and ending with a whimper with much disappointment and hidden smirks from those involved. Kinda like sex for the first time eh?

So of course, being the responsible adult that I am and a close friend of the bride and groom, I had to find every possible means to weasel myself out of it. Finding an excuse not to speak on your good friend's wedding night is not exactly good form you know, so I had to come up with a valid and water-tight reason. My first thought was that I had a throat affliction that rended me speechless, but since he actually asked me the day before the dinner, it was a long shot that I would suddenly come down with something like that. Since that was already a no go, I thought why attend the wedding in the first place? People miss their good friends' weddings all the time right? Well, apparently not I. It had better be for something credible and absolutely important and unavoidable. Something like attending the funeral of my long lost cousin Gurkha Al Khan from Urghamurgiskthan. But faking the death of a relative is even worse form, you save those for special ocassions only (like taking that a few days emergency leave after a long holiday you just don't want to end).

In the end, I was just too fear stricken to actually come up with anything and quickly found myself swept up with the pleasant turn of events (pleasant meaning being told that you are to speak on the joys and deeper meaning of the true love eternal between the bride and groom in front of five hundred strangers the day before the actual event). The last thing I know, I'm sitting at the reception hall two hours before the dinner, still trying to memorise whatever I was supposed to say. I didn't know how I got there, but I knew that it was too late to turn back now. I was this close from faking a seizure or sorts but thought the better of it when the groom locked me with his cold steely stare. Don't fuck it up, that stare told me. Ah joy of joys.

So, knowing that it was too late for me, like how Darth Vader knew that it was too late to save him and told Luke to bugger off as the Death Star was being blown to shit in the finale of Return of the Jedi, I decided if I had to go down, at least I'd go down in glory (like how Lord Vader took down that dastardly Emperor with him...shit, talking about the original trilogy always gets me so light of the floating pieces of turd on celluloid that Lucas' given us with the new trilogy...Revenge of the Sith better be good, you money-grubbing fat no-neck bastard). But to do so, I had to find the inner strength that we all have within us. Hence, the unnumbered glasses of wine proved handy.

Thus with unnumbered glasses consumed, and inner strength discovered, and face glowing with enlightenment to prove it (it was more of a reddish glow actually), I was all set to go. My ying and my yang was centred. My spirit was at ease with my physical state. And I really had to puke. But nevermind that, puking can always come later. Yet it came out sooner that expected, as when I found myself on stage, with those five hundred people all stoked up by the groom's father's witty speech, those thousand beady eyes looking straight at you, at your very soul, I thought: Witty? Heck, I could do witty! That's when I actually puked out my entire speech. Puked in the sense that my speech came out in a mush of words that had no meaning in the English vocabulary. Sentences were strewn together that sounded like Klingon. New words were suddenly invented. And the founding fathers of excellence in public speaking, from Caeser to Hitler, from Gandhi to Bill Gates (at least the part of him that died when he screwed over Steve Jobs) stirred and wept in their graves. Now that's one for the history books.

So the valuable lesson that we've learnt from all of this? Screw if I know. All I know is that it's all so super when you're getting yourself sloshed and not so super anymore after you've reached your goal (see my previous post on this). But if there is one thing that I can take from the unspeakable chaos of the night, is this phrase that I read from somewhere before (sorry, can't remember where or from who) that's always stuck with me and that I included in my speech. I thought it especially fitting for my two friends. It concerns the nature of love and of true love. It goes somewhere along the lines of how some people tend to believe that love is borne out of long companionship and persevering courtship. And that perhaps it's true in a sense. That the more you spend time and experiences with someone, the more feelings can develop and grow. But that when it comes down to true love, that magical moment of fire and ice that envelops your body and heart in a rapture of passion, the same rules don't apply. True love is like the offspring of a spiritual affinity that is kindled with the mingling of lights from the souls of two people who meet for the first time. And if that affinity cannot be created in an instant, a moment, than it will not be created for years or even a lifetime. Great stuff eh, terribly romantic, can't say whether I believe it or not, but it sounds all so grand on paper.

So, there. Last word to my married friends who are about to fly off to live happily ever after Down Under. May you find shade and water or something like that (now that I know came from Robert Jordan's overrated Wheel of Time series). Bliss :)

Sunday, May 01, 2005


Chelsea...2004/05 EPL Champions...'Nuff said

Thursday, April 21, 2005

15. Malaise

"Man, being reasonable, must get drunk; the best of life is but intoxication,"
- Lord Byron

"Always remember, that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has given me,"
- Winston Churchill

"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems,"
- Homer Simpson

"Dude, you're seriously sloshed,"
- Some guy in a club last night

A brief respite from all things football, thank heavens for that. We can't all be Nick Hornby-like in our footie obsession eh (and what an unhealthy obsession it is considering he supports the Arse).

Right, it’s a Thursday afternoon, and a goodish Thursday it is, a public holiday and those things always come in handy when you're in need of a bleeding hangover to get over. Right now it feels like there's a tiny munchkin bashing a sledgehammer in my skull, he's a nasty bugger him; bash, bash, bash, he goes, evil 'lil git. I've lost all taste in my tongue, I'm suffering from blurred vision, and I'm close to typing like 3 words a minute here. I hear happy birds singing their happy songs yet there are no birds in sight. I'm stuck at some dingy corner at Starbucks, though I know for sure that there are no dingy corners in the Starbucks universe. I feel like the plane of existence has somehow shifted, and I've been thrown into some warped Lovercraftian alter reality where there are nasty tentacled things lurking in the nether regions of the earth, or wait, that could've been those twats circling round the bottle the whole night hoping to scum off some drinks.

Yes, yes, after yet another alcohol-fueled night of revelry and massive destruction of brain cells and the like, I had an epiphany of sorts. Ah, those divine and priceless moments of self-actualisation when the secrets to life as we know it is just one more drink from being revealed. Thus on and on we drink, in pursuit of knowledge that thus will ensure the preservation of the human race. Ah, yes, I'm talking shit now. I do realise that, but somehow, I'm unable to stop myself. Surreal man, it's like I'm floating out of my body right now and kinda hovering over this unshaven red-eyed dude typing with sloth-like ferocity on his laptop. It's kinda blissful really, like my pure subconscious mind has finally freed itself of it's decrepit host and is rejoicing in it's freedom away from the dastardly thoughts that inhabit the waking mind. As I observe my mortal coil below me, I feel like asking him the question that has plagued the minds of men since the dawn of time (or at least since the advent of alcohol), is the price you're paying now this very moment worth that fleeting moments of joy and bliss that you felt (or thought you felt) last night? And am having the sinking feeling that this won't be the last time I'd be asking that poor sod the very same question eh.

But nevermind that for a bit, there are some life lessons to be learnt. Not very relevant, but I have to somehow console my wasted self that last night wasn't all for naught. The lessons for today are:
1. Guys stand a better chance of hooking up with chicks if they're in the company of other chicks (preferably babes) themselves. It's always pathetic to see a bunch of guys standing round a table to themselves without a girl amongst them hoping to score. We all know that unless they look like the cast of Ocean's 11, it'll never happen. And is it just me or are there just too many single guys out there? What the heck happened to the three girls to every one guy ratio?
2. Guys should never ever, and I mean ever, dance with other guys in a circle on the dance floor or anywhere else in a club for that matter. It's just too pitiful. Even in my drunken state, I felt my heart weep tears of sorrow when I saw a bunch of hopeful looking dudes pulling off their dirty dancing moves, with each other, on the dance floor. Undoubtedly they were thinking that when the chicks got a load of them grinding each other they'd all go googoo gaga. Erm, nope. The opposite reaction is more likely. As in gag gag pukerama.
3. It's very rare indeed that girls who go out to clubs are looking to hook up with guys. They're either with their boyfriends, girlfriends, or just looking for a good night out. Alternatively, they may be looking for their next customer. When they're genuinely looking to hook up, it's always with a nice rich expat who one day they believe will take them away to some far off country with milk and honey to live a sitcom-like existence (laugh track playing in the background optional).
4. It's never the same getting high without trance music leading the way. Ah, PvD and Chicane...where art thou in clubs these days?
5. Alcohol drives men to turn miraculously into immortal warriors of heaven and earth who make all quiver in their presence. Well, at least they think so, right up till the point they get their asses kicked and thrown out of the club that is.
6. Drinking to drown your sorrow is a load of crap, it just multiplies it tenfold and leaves you to turn into a weeping emotional pulp. It's never a pretty sight.
7. Driving home when you're loaded is no way to go. Especially when you're going home alone.

One last thing, I would like to say sorry to an absent friend whom I miss very much. Sometimes people do stupid drinks when they're drunk eh, so be patient with them yes? It was just one of those nights. I think we're all allowed at least one or two moments of insanity when intoxicated.

And with that, this writer quietly rests his case for (or against? I can't remember) getting sloshed. Till next time, remember that the first drink's always with water, the second without, and third, ladies and gentlemen, the third tastes like water.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

14. Interlude

Will get on with that rather excruciatingly labourious essay on USA '94 in a moment. But first, let's hear a word from our sponsor. Well no actually. Just wanted to comment on Chelsea's progress in the Champions League and the overall football season so far. Well, since we're on the subject of football anyway. Actually am writing this to kill time as I've somehow found myself stranded in Starbucks cause is bloody pouring outside. Worse still is the fact that I can't go for my Sunday evening kickabout. It never ceases to amaze me how the weather always conspires to prevent a guy from having his one and half hour's worth of exercise for the day. The whole day the weather's just so fine and dandy, and just 5 minutes before you're due to go, slam bang it starts to bloody pour. This rant can go on, but let's leave that at that eh. Also, it's wishful thinking on my part but perhaps by me writing something about football, it'll somehow cause a ripple in the space time continuum that'll inadvertently lead to sunny skies and a happy game of Sunday football for all. Yes, it makes no sense, heck, it's insane actually...but let's give it a shot here.

Anyway, back to more rational things. Am of course elated that the Blues are doing well, a team that's I've suffered much with through the Gullit, Vialli and Ranieri eras. What a game against Bayern. Lampard's been playing brilliant, as is Drogba (still am unsure if he's worth that 24 million pounds though). Am also delighted for Liverpool. Well done. I've always been a fan of Benitez and the way his sides play. And in Xabi Alonso, they have a gem of a player. They really played a horribly inept Juve off the park. Liverpool under Benitez have the potential to do well next season and good luck to them. But not too much luck eh for the semis.

Honestly though, this year's Champions League has been plenty poor fair. Perhaps the absence of Barca have something to do with it, but the games on show in the latter stages haven't exactly been an advert for exciting attacking football. The best attacking sides are out, meaning Arsenal, Real Madrid and the great Barca. What we've seen is more pragmatic approach that's winning out, as supremely demonstrated by the great AC Milan. And even the English teams are doing well, albeit with a more continental approach to games (and yes, I'm left to eat my words after comments made in an earlier post). And look, another important fact to note is that I've been writing this piece for a good ten minutes and it's still bloody pouring.

My thoughts on the football season in Europe? Chelsea worthy winners of the EPL for their girt and consistency, Arse and Barca the most entertaining teams to watch, AC Milan the best team in Europe by a mile (though the best team doesn't necessarily win it eh), Gerrard the most overrated player (Xabi Alonso being the more cultured and effective performer), Real Madrid the team in most decline (the great Zidane no longer has the legs or the will to do his usual magic) and the best players? I'd say Totti (still phenomenal for Roma, not always so for Italy), Shevchenko (best striker in the world at the moment), Henry (he's always up there, genius), Lampard (consistently consistent), Xavi (together with Deco brilliant in the middle for Barca), Cech (soon to replace Buffon as the best keeper in the world), and of course there'd be the defenders; Terry, Puyol, Gallas, Ferreira, Zambrotta and the ageless Maldini.

My hopes for the rest of the season? Well, Shearer to win FA Cup with Newcastle (though I hate the bugger, he deserves that much for practically carrying them all these years). Chelsea to meet Milan in CL finals. May the best team on the night win that one. Gerrard to stick with Liverpool, he owes them that much for all his inconsistent displays this season. That, and the fact that he's no good for Chelsea (would prefer some one like a Totti or a Xavi).

Wait, miracles happen. The heavy rain has abated. The field's probably like a paddy field now. Bugger that, am going anyway.