Friday, March 28, 2008

We've only just begun

Changes and upheavals, new blood and substitutions. Our daily morning coffee & newspaper treated us to hardline debates, public finger-pointing, innocuous mud slinging and genuine proclamation of determination for a better future. Those kept interest of our national political evolution or saga depending which side you're on, have their toes in line and tummy tucked for times are changing.

Hey days are gone like the credit boom, but in difficult times come opportunities. For better or worse? That is our million dollar question. Democracy allows the little voices to be heard as intended when this political system was conjured by ancient Rome, and 2008 dragged us out of our proverbial couch to make our country wary our needs & wishes. Steady ascension since independence intoxicated us, muhibbah and tolerance as our best virtue delayed our political fitness, now a stronger opposition will check & balance any government decisions.

There is still a daft minority whom left me disappointed that doesn't believe in the game that politicians play, those not bothered as reasoned their livelihood illusion will remain intact regardless of this momentous effort for this wind of change. I will draw a line in the sandbox and shout out to those hardly impetuous, bimbos & plastics to not plead ignorance. Like most, I doubt the untested but somehow the little voices of conscience & fight in my head will silence.

Mornings now are crisper, my coffee with a copy of newspaper bearing political volatility charm enriching my national pride. Time is now to prove your worth of salt, time to show your quality. If you felt intimidated by those verses from joe's previous blog, try Carpenters' per this blog title.

Friday, March 21, 2008

150. Forward

"The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it,"
- The Fellowship of the Ring (Film)

And so is has. The world moves on. As we must as well or stand the risk of falling under the doom of Tolkien's Elves, wise and fair, yet foolishly stubborn, clinging on to a world that was no longer their own. Their time had come to pass, yet they remained unwilling to let it pass, and go beyond the sea as was their calling.

Things change, the world moves on. Times are different now from what it once was. And it's time that Malaysians move on too, and embrace the future beyond. The time of rampant and blatant corruption has come to pass. The winds of reformation are blowing, and they blow strong. Those who wish to linger in the past are doomed to be swept aside. Racial politics has no place in this brave new world. You are only as good as you actually are, and not who you are, not who you know.

"He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery,"
- Harold Wilson

"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another,"
- Anatole France

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

149. Once

If you haven't seen this one yet, then you've probably missed one of the best films of 2007. Low key, low budget, no big stars, and shot on handycam. But the sincerity and passion for the material on the part of the filmmaker and it's performers shines through. Wonderful, magical and refreshingly devoid of all the sentimental trappings of Hollywood. Check out the great song from the film here or here.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

148. Trouble

It seems that trouble is brewing in paradise. Funny how the path to hell is always paved with good intentions. The people shall watch recent developments in the North with great interest.

Monday, March 10, 2008

147. A Five State Salute

Thus the people have spoken. Resoundingly so. So well done, but let's not forget that promises have been made, and we will wait for them to be delivered.

But what a night it was. Chelsea v Barnsley? Who gives a shit. Even if the Uncle Fester-led fools crashed out. There were bigger games afoot.

Watching RTM, TV3 and 8TV continuously talking about BN's wins in Sarawak was like watching a scene from the Twilight Zone where everyone is caught up in some space time continuum loop and doomed to repeat irrelevant things over and over again while the whole world passes them by. But of course they knew what was happening, they knew, those dastardly bunch. You could tell by a twitch here, a nervous glance there, rising terror and panic concealed behind hollow eyes.

Across the nation, the opposition became the government, and the government became the opposition. And thus, old-school BN lords and masters like Samy Vellu rode off in the sunset, with pockets full of Maika Holdings gold and head full of transplanted ass hair. Older, yes but none the prettier. Renowned dangdut singer Shahrizat sang her last repetitive tune, offering one last gem of a quote when questioned by the press on her defeat: "Some issues should have been taken more seriously." Sure they do, like how on earth can anyone be taken seriously with a haircut like yours?

Also bowing out with a whimper was Gerakan leader and ET-lookalike Dr Koh Tsu Koon, losing out to a dissident Indian professor in a state dominated by the Chinese. His party too joined him in defeat, being wiped out by the DAP. And the dominos fell, one by one, leaving those weened on sucking the life out of the people speechless and dumbfounded, responding like fish out of water gasping for sweet life.

Information minister and part-time comedian cum linguist too fell by the wayside, depriving us with priceless entertainment value through his interviews with the foreign media in his trademarked broken English. Who could forget these immortal words: "YA! It's a illegal protest because we have erection in Malaysia. It's no-no point on having a protest! We are allowing to every erection...every five years never fail! We are not our like, like Myanmar, not like other country. And, and you are helping this. You Al-Jazeera also is helping this, this forces. The, you know, these forces who are not in passion, who don't believe in democracy!"

So even as the members of the People's Front rejoiced in victory, the mood was rather glum elsewhere. In the UMNO party headquarters, the situation was grim as party leaders gathered with ashen faces to deliberate over their recent setback...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


One of the more popular topics over the coffee machine among blokes here is which team do you support. It's hard to be in London without declaring your affiliation to a local football club. I never felt magnetized to follow a team and get drawn into footie banter on Monday mornings or place 50 bucks that my team would finish top of the league while in KL for reasons not imperative now.

Every addicted footie fan got a shot up their arm in different ways and will probably feel very proud to share how & why he/she supports his/her club. The common & familiar stories are family tradition (1,589trillion cases), betting fiends (987billion cases - legal wagers only), inspiration (399billion cases), cute footballers (Beckham, Kaka and now growing Bentley fans) and finally, jumping on the bandwagon (0 reported case).

(On a side note, a research tried to explain why is there such a huge following of the game aside of it being a simple game. Us, primitive beings are inclined to coalesce to a group or a tribe for a sense of belonging. Or go read Lord of the Flies.)

With Pele's beautiful game going global, fans abroad are more involved than ever. Game 39 for EPL was proposed but got a technical KO early, nevertheless on some certain level there is some truth (outside of financial truth) that the FA is trying to bring the game to their beloved fans' doorstep. Changes will inevitably happen, perhaps this could be a harbinger of a truly global game. Imagine Liverpool v Chelsea playing in Bukit Jalil Stadium, wot!. Imagine Wigan v Derby County at Stadium Shah Alam, who?!

Alright let's get the first kiss out of the way, I support Arsenal FC.

Where, what, who, when, how? Living room back home, Fever Pitch by Nick Hornsby, Joe lent that book to me, 2002, have you watch Arsenal play lately? That was the hook, the free stash, the introductory free coupon. I never felt comfortable coming out from the closet as an Arsenal fan, for all the grief and jokes for being an Arsenal fan (haters!) and with their good title runs over the years, it's doesn't bode well with me to be labeled a bandwagoner.

Late 2007, employee no.14 of Arsenal FC swapped his business suit for Barcelona's. The exodus of the Invincibles complete while Burns roamed. The heartache, the trial & tribulation, the sinking feeling of being a NY Knicks fan which weighed heavily down on me were starting its first cloning phase to Arsenal. Jinxed I thought. But tonight the first British team to get a result at San Siro, an emphatic one at that!

Monday, March 03, 2008

146. Falling Slowly

Heard of the song Falling Slowly? No? Well you should. A really great song that, with an Oscar to boot for those doubters amongst you (though I’d probably have to qualify that by saying that the Oscars aren’t exactly consistent in awarding the truly great as opposed to the probably ok, case in point the snubs to Pan’s Labyrinth and Closer for best picture in recent years, and in the case of Pan’s Labyrinth, it didn't even get nominated in that category, and didn't win best foreign film either! Bloody hell).

Well anyway, yeah, Falling Slowly is a great song. And those who wrote it and performed seemed like genuinely nice people. Probably just like you and me, with hopes and dreams, and probably with some personal demons as well (who doesn’t have those, right?). Basically people who’ve been through shit, probably are going through it right now, but still hopeful of better things to come and maybe even turning things around for themselves.

Now, listening to some of the lyrics of the song, my mind can’t help but wander to the recent developments at Chelsea. Well we all know that Avram Grant is not a Jose Mourinho, that’s pretty darn apparent. Whilst Jose was a GQ model masquerading as a football manager, Avram's more akin to an Uncle Fester pretending to be a mental patient who thinks he's a football manager who dresses like a mortician. The only similarity is that they both play functional football which hardly makes for a spectacle for viewers. The only difference is, Jose mostly won when it counted (except for those heart wrenching losses to Liverpool).

Avram just doesn’t cut it. I’ve always had my doubts about him, and they were pretty much proven after watching Chelsea’s limp display against Spurs in the League Cup Final the other night.

What a truly wretched performance it was; they were out fought, out passed and out thought by the underdogs and deserved everything they got, which was nothing. Chelsea under Mourinho more or less performed the same way countless times, but they always managed to scrap by, through sheer strength of will. Chelsea under Avram seem to be pale imitators, basically directionless and plain lucky to go unbeaten so long (which is more or less attributable to the quality in the squad rather than any exceptional coaching).

Yeah, so Chelsea’s like that verse in the song, the bit about games that play themselves out, will never amount to anything other than they’re meant. Because that’s how exactly Chelsea are like now, playing meaningless games with themselves, deluding themselves that they’re more than they are. Chelsea are not a big club. True, they have the money and the players, but they don’t have the pedigree or football to back it. They don’t take the breath away like a Barcelona or a Milan. They don’t have that one genius that brings the fantasy that Roman so clearly wishes (sorry Joe Cole and Shaun Wright Philips, you’ve never been and never will be marquee players).

So on and on, they play this song and dance, Avram fooled Roman into thinking that he would bring fantasy football to Chelsea. Avram fools himself into thinking that he’s actually brought fantasy football to Chelsea. Terry and Lampard fool themselves every day into thinking that they’re untouchable to the team. And worse of all, I fool myself into thinking Chelsea will one day play with the flair of Gullit’s and Vialli’s teams with a winning difference.

So Chelsea are truly falling slowly, into a quagmire of dreariness. They fit in with the more downbeat aspects of the song, and have nothing of its hopefulness.

But even as I write this, Chelsea did manage a halfway decent performance away against Fulham. Scoring 4 goals away from home ain't too shabby it must be said.

And what of Arsenal? If there's one team I wouldn't mind taking the title this year it would be them, only for the fluid football they play. But alas, it looks like they're choking once more as they did a few years back. The sickening injury to Eduardo notwithstanding, Arsenal's young men have looked bereft of the ideas and the attacking innovation they wowed spectators with when they were in scintillating form throughout most of the season. The pressure of the juggernaught that is Manchester United is taking its toll no doubt. Let's just hope that the two leaders fall to bits and the Blues somehow rise from the ashes and take it. Though probably it would be best to see them end up trophyless, resulting in Avram getting the sack and Roman getting egg on his face, and all the rest of us rejoicing. Still, there's this bit in me that's always hopeful. But hope don't float, or does it?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

29 Feb 2008

A leap day. A special day. An Olympic day. A day to remember.

I wanted my birthday to be 29 Feb to be a leapling when i was a kid just to be different.

Last time it was 29 Feb, I was happily counting beans in one of the big 4 back home. Today I'm moving floors in my bank in London.

What about u?