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.