Considering how long I haven't updated this blog, a new entry means it's significant enough to have me worked up and excited and passionate and emotional.
And boy, Yasmin Ahmad's Talentime does it.
This is not really a review; I have no intention of putting up a summary and making notes and compiling all the goods and the bads of this superb piece of art. What I do intend is to merely comment on what I felt (and still feel) from watching the movie, and my main goal is to convince all Malaysians regardless of your background to put aside a couple of ringgits to watch this image of a slice of what Malaysia, well Malaysia.
This movie is in itself a depiction of how the different races of Malaysia (well, specifically the Malays, Indians and Chinese) live their lives and interact with each other, and how prejudice, not merely of race, but of other factors as well, destroys your own interest in the matter. Thus as a Malay (conservative spirited, but not particularly conservative acting) my commentaries will be from the Malay perspective, and I encourage everyone else to comment on how the movie affects them as well, as I think what Yasmin may have intended; appreciating the differences between the different groups comprising Malaysia.
Tales of inter-racial, or really, more accurately inter-religious romances have always been a taboo subject. Even I personally dislike them, as religion is (or should be) a significant part of life enough to make people realize that love isn't worth the trouble for the chaos that might arise later. Nevertheless, it does exist, and Yasmin beautifully captures the image and presents it to us so that even if we refuse to accept it (as I will), the least we can do is see why.
Prejudice, oh prejudice. How boring life would be without thee. It's amazing how people just automatically attach stereotypes to people just by what they are and how they look, making them look dumb in the process, of course. Granted, stereotypes exist for a reason, but it doesn't mean your brain has to lock down on the fact, even after the 'fact' has been disproved. Yeah, not all Chinese have five dogs slobbering all over them.
*SPOILERS - SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH UNTIL YOU'VE WATCHED THE MOVIE* I personally liked the fact that Yasmin Ahmad and I fell in the same wavelength when it came to religion conversion. Just because someone converted to Islam doesn't mean they have to change their name; he or she didn't convert into Malay. *END SPOILER*
I was truly entertained by the fact that Talentime gave us a wake up call on a lot of things. How little I know about what issues the Indians have; how a lot of Malays have the bad habit of automatically associating Chinese with being dirty; how people just tend to forget we've got OKUs among us in the population. All sorts of imperfections that we love to forget we have.
Talentime is a beautiful rendition of how better life can be with a pile of tolerance, a dash of understanding, and a smattering of acceptance. Too bad a lot of people are still stuck in their own coccoon of selfishness and simply ignoring the fact that Malaysia comprises of more than just their own race. That is why I truly recommend that all Malaysians watch this movie, not only to support the great talents of Yasmin Ahmad (not to forget all the superb acting from many of the actors) but to also remind us of how small our matters are in the bigger picture.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Considering how long I haven't updated this blog, a new entry means it's significant enough to have me worked up and excited and passionate and emotional.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Happy new year 2009!
It was a wonderful day (night?). After 4 years of not celebrating it in Malaysia (which I actually did not even celebrate annually before I went to Ireland), it feels great to be part of a celebration which is done Malaysian Style. Don't get me wrong, of course it was lots of fun celebrating it in Ireland, but the culture was unfortunately quite incompatible with my values, so I couldn't appreciate it fully.
Anyhoo, we (which was around 13 of my Choir Team family members) initially went to 1 Utama to usher in the new year, but unfortunately the concert was held in Chinese, and unless the entire concert had fun songs like the "See So So See So So" where the language is irrelevant, I doubt I could appreciate the concert fully. Fortunately a few others shared my view and/or maybe they preferred to see fireworks, that we decided to separate from the rest and head over to Mutiara Damansara for the fireworks. For reasons still obscure to me it eventually ended with the entire group heading off to MD on foot, which was actually quite fun, since we had to make checkpoints to make sure everyone didn't vanish.
Anyhoo, over at MD, we basically had two choices, stay at the back for a better view of the fireworks display, or go near the end of the street for the concert. While everyone else lounged about and purchasing stocks of snow spray, I roamed ahead and watched the concert partially. Faizal Tahir was one of the performers. He surely goes to the same places I go.
And a couple of minutes before midnight (according to my watch anyway, which I thought *was* on official national time) The fireworks began. The thrill of watching pyrokinetics that close was great, and it's nice to be in a homely setting for it. Here's to more fireworks in my future (God Willing)!
And then comes the drama. Or rather, a great learning experience.
On our way out the parking at 1 utama, we had an awestriking, flabbergasting, absolutely shocking, death defying collision with another car at the exit, which left a priceless, heart-thumping causing, adrenaline pumping, panic strickening... uh... scratch, on both of our cars. A scratch (and in their case a broken light, which was probably not our fault) that the users of the other car made to sound like we nearly killed them with a purposely hate-filled passion. As I said, it was a scratch that was hardly noticeable.
And to be downright honest, while I inched slowly into the exit (we we turning right to the exit at a crossroad), the other driver (that was driving straight on to the exit) zoomed in with no care in the world, and whose actions clearly said "I ain't givin you way, bitch!" as opposed to the more preferred action of "Oh, he's already inched out far enough that I can't squeeze in further. I might as well give way", or the even nicer action of "Oh, a car is asking permission to go to the exit first, I'd happily give em way". Typical drivers. I've got a better track record than you, maam.
At this point, I'd like to give great thanks to Allah for protecting us from harm, and a great huge big thanks to Ashley for keeping calm, thanks to Nyon for recording a couple of evidence (just in case), Soo Yee for being an awesome debater and countered every argument, point-for-point, Mandy for working hard to be reasonable and trying to calm the situation and Wai Teng for the support. <3 y'all! :)
So yeah, it was a great night overall, and thank you guys so much for taking me on board and sharing the joy and happiness of having friends to enjoy things together.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
(You can watch the videos online at the Official MTV Asia Awards website.)
Instead of me just rambling on and on by myself about the awesomeness of the MTV Asia Awards, why not I compare my opinions with that of a professional (or maybe not that professional. We'll see)?
With reference to this article in Utusan Malaysia, written by Shazryn Mohd. Faizal on the 4th of August, there's plenty of issues that are arguable and debatable.
Before I go on, the above statement of me questioning his integrity as a reporter is only thanks to one statement:
Masalah besar yang dihadapi oleh pihak media tempatan adalah apabila media tempatan telah dilayan seperti kelas kedua dan seolah-olah dipinggirkan.Right. Because media reporters need to be given special priviledges. *rolls eyes* Reporters are supposed to tell the people who did not go to the event what happened, what special moments occurred, how well it went, and their opinions on the matter. None of which, mind, requires special seats nor special passes. Heck, I'm doing a reporting on the event now myself. And we had horrible seats to boot (ugh, I hate standing on the sides of any stage... Sitting on the right side of the stage made us unable to see the podium properly).
Well anyway, YES I was unhappy that only one Malaysian act performed, I was unhappy that the event, which in my opinion was created to showcase Asian music to the world, ended up doing the opposite (showcasing foreign acts to the Asians), and I was unhappy that there was nothing new and fresh brought by the awards.
But why dwell on the bad? One can and should complain to the organizers about the lack of local performances and hope they fix that in next year's event (Jac not performing? At all? WTF?), but hey, one can and should praise the wonderful performances that the artistes gave, too.
The Pussycat Dolls were explosive, and gave an excellent opening to a wonderful evening. They wore less revealing attires too, after last year's (was it last year?) slip-up. Not that it mattered much. They're the PCD after all.
One Republic and Lewis were my personal highlights of the evening. Being lucky enough to be able to hear their (Ryan Tedder and Leona Lewis) voices live is alone well worth the efforts of getting the tickets. Not to mention Leona owes me that much, thanks to my persistent voting for her while I was living in Ireland ;)
Panic! At the Disco, I wasn't too impressed with. The recorded version was good, but when it went life, it turned sucky. Maybe because Brendon kept running off-key.
Another highlight was the performance of Project E.A.R., specifically Marabahaya. Damnit, that song is absolutely awesome. It has energy, sing-along-a-bility and dance-a-bility. Which made me even more frustrated as this song has such huge potential to be marketable outside Malaysia, and beyond just the Nusantara. I can absolutely imagine this song being played by DJs in clubs and whatnot. Damn it, it's not happening right now. Urgh. Come on people, wake up and start marketing this song!
On a personal note, thanks to our fortunate placement, we sat behind the VIP seats. Which of course led to lots and lots of flashes everytime the celebs come back from performing or receiving and award. Too bad near the end the international celebrities failed to return, so we couldn't get hold of (physical term also applies) them. But we got the local ones. Best part was I could shake hands with awesome people like Jac, Ella and Dina. They make superb music that it was an absolute honor to have been graced with their presence (and willingness to pose for a fan's camera). You guys rock!
Friday, August 08, 2008
Too lazy to say anything atm. Spent a couple of hours uploading the damn photos... Will update when I have the mood...
For now, enjoy the pics!!!
Pre-MTV Asia Awards at Genting.
The MTV Asia Awards itself deserves a post of its own.
I thought punctuality was one of my strengths, one that I can offer to my future employees to show my capabilities in the workplace.
Not today, apparently. Sorry Izad. I blame the panic on the hotel thingy.
Anyway, so I arrived late at KL Sentral, which meant we missed the bus to Genting (we didn't book any tickets), which eventually meant we'll be taking the 3 p.m. bus to Genting. Whee.
Considering we had time to kill, we decided to hop on the RapidKL and went to the PC Fair at the KL convention Centre.
Near KLCC we managed to pose with some Jedi Clones (haha, get it?). I want a lightsaber.
I had no intentions of spending much money that day... but oh well. At least (or I dearly hope) it was well worth getting the new headphones, a pendrive and a laptop vacuum (don't ask). On second thought I think they are.
3 O'Clock came, we took the bus, slept on the bus, and arrived at the skyway thingamajig. I'm not sure how long I haven't been to Genting, but I do know (or I think I know) that I haven't been on the Skyway Cable car, ever. or maybe my memory sucks. I faintly remember when I was a child (OMG THAT WAS AAAGES AGO) we usually took the Awana cable car.
Izad, on the other hand goes on an annual sabbatical to Genting, so he wasn't that impressed. Only difference this time is that he went with me instead of his family. Not that there's much difference; I nag just as much.
So we arrived and checked into the hotel (First World, and a cheap one at that. Oh well, at least we got a room), and also met up with our new (but absolutely wonderful) friend, Anas. Knew him when I sold him my spare ticket + hotel room, but I found it totally awesome that we had lots in common (we both went to MCB, for example) and we hit it off beautifully. I met him through an online friend too. So who says you can't make friends online.
And thus, ends my pre-post. Now I'm just figuring out how to stuff all the MTV Asia Awards pictures into one single post...
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Right, I have a lot to talk about this. But the average blog reader doesn’t like to read WALLS OF TEXT. So I suppose I’ll follow the trend of the internet and make a list of “What I learnt at the Daughtry Concert”. P.S. Fate was loving me lots last week. I won the tickets via Hitz.fm again (I’m turning all the radios I listen to to 92.9 fm). And FYI I went with Izad, Aiman and Shahied.
1. The Early Bird Catches the Worm. I got a free daughtry CD for being the first 10 to grab the tickets. Yay.
2. Be Prepared. We went to stand at the front of the concert and considering the awesome position we were at, it’s not something you want to move away from. So eh, no peeing (duh, of course, but mind, I haven’t been to a concert in like, years) and next time, bring water. Lots of water. This has got to be nailed into my brain or something.
3. Be patient. The concert was free, but damn it Sony Erricson, why on earth did you have to grab a bunch of boring performances (and performers) before we could enjoy the namesake of the concert?
4. The performers really need to know how to entertain a crowd. They know very well the purpose the audience was there was to watch Daughtry, so they either have to shorten their performances and make the crowd happy, or make a performance so good we forget that we want Daughtry. Dose two (Leyla? I didn’t even grab the name of the group, damn it), where one half of the member is Sayla (the one with the song “Woopsie”) was part of, and yet they played songs that no one knew about. The least that they could do was sing Woopsie, ya know (understandable the song was only performed by half of the group, but at least it’s something the crowd would totally enjoy). The last group before Daughtry, the DJs (I forgot the group name) made up for the lacklustre pre-Daughtry performances by playing songs the crowd loved.
5. Daughtry rocks. Like OMG, totally. And they knew a good order to perform songs too (unreleased single - unreleased single - hit - unreleased single - unreleased single - hit - unreleased single - hit - unreleased single - hit - hit).
6. I love concerts. And maybe clubs too. It’s the only place where I can sing loudly to a song and dance (even if don’t know how to dance) without getting strange stares. Not that I really care if people think I look silly dancing, but eh, I still have sense of shame.
7. Concerts are not for listening to the music. Concerts are purely for the music lovers to watch their favourite artistes in real life. Why? Because the closer you get to the stage, the more deaf you get. I couldn't hear anything at the front, thanks to the speakers...
8. People are paying too much for alcohol. Really. There should be a war against alcohol, not drugs (incoming flame in 3... 2...)
9. Eat cookies. Wait, what?
I bought (well, technically my mum did. Thanks Ma!) a couple of Clinique products the other day (a month ago), with the intention of grabbing some goodies, like a fancy facial treatment worth RM 80.00 at ForHim William Martins, whereby today was the day.
I was serviced by an awesome Ms. Rina, who totally pampered my face for an entire hour. Well, except for that pinching the oil out of my skin part. That was a wee bit uncomfortable. But hey, the entire experience was great, and my skin felt good. Though unfortunately it didn’t ‘look’ much better. I still had this awful, awful pimple in the middle of my cheek.
I would love to do it again, but considering the hefty price tag (I’m still a student, silly), it’s really not something I’d do at a drop of a hat.
On your right is the image post-treatment. Not sure it showed any visible upgrades, but it sure felt good.
And, I’m really not going to buy my skin products anywhere else. A shop that sells products which was previously female dominated (er, I mean the products were for hundreds of years designed only for women), needs all the support from Men Who Love Their Skin (oh boy that sounded totally gay).
WALL OF TEXT!
I was planning to write a post about one of the subjects I’m learning in uni atm, when I realized it’s not quite public knowledge that I’m now in Universiti Malaya studying Economics, after forgoing my studies over in Ireland. So eh, if I get the spirit and motivation to write about that, I will. After all, Izad said that I should be writing about studying a first degree as an older student, so maybe I should. Not right now, though.
For now, I want to talk about GXEX1414: Hubungan Etnik, or Ethnic Relations.
I have a strong gut feeling that the entire purpose of the teaching of the subject is to prevent one of the more significant pieces of history, the 13th May 1969 incident, to repeat itself.
What I found interesting was the fact that it instead of teaching on the impacts of racism and such, it teaches facts and an expansion of our vocabulary by giving definitions of Racism, Prejudice, Stereotypes, etc. It also teaches the gradients of racial harmony/combinations (I.e. assimilation, amalgamation, etc) and just stating the facts of the economic, political and social conditions of the different races of Malaysia.
It doesn’t emphasize, for example, that stereotyping is a bad thing, or that we as Malaysians should be striving towards better racial relations. It simply states definitions. No brainwashing here.
I suppose that since we’re all university students and all, I guess the purpose of the subject is just to let us be aware of the words relevant to race and ethnicity and know the racial differences, while we as individuals make our own decisions on what kind of prejudices we want to use (in an ideal world, none, of course).
Considering I myself still have prejudices, I’m not one to talk. But the least one can do is not make these prejudices visible. It’s more polite that way. I believe as long as we’re not discriminating (big word with strong meanings), it’s totally fine.
But eh, considering the other day my roommate told me he’s wary of the Chinese on our hostel floor stealing his laptop when he’s not around, I’m not sure the subject is teaching much. For some people, at least.
Greedy git, ain’t I? I had already won two tickets to the MTV Asia Awards (MAA) via Hitz.fm but the lack of physical representation of the tickets in my ownership made me feel restless (I eventually got the other tickets, mind), oh, and Aiman was whining that Izad got the priority to go to the MAA instead of he, considering I asked them both (protip: don’t ask more than one person when you only have one spare ticket). Thusly I went to the MAA roadshow at Cineleisure over at Mutiara Damansara, hoping to get the tickets. Oh, and hopefully spending quality time with VJ Utt at the same time.
Sadly, no VJ Utt.
VJ Taya was the one giving away the tickets, when I realized my black shirt is in no way capable of attracting attention, considering the goody bag (and the priceless tickets) were given away onstage - I.e. you had to grab the attention of VJ Taya and make yourself look silly on stage by pronouncing the ‘t’ in Esprit (one of the sponsors) or being forced to sing along. For the damn tickets, it’s totally worth it. I think it was my intense staring deep into Taya’s eyes, giving an impression of “I WANT THESE DAMN TICKETS BADLY!” that I garnered her respect (or actually, more likely, sympathy). So yeah, I got the tickets. Yay.
Oh, and there was Faizal Tahir performing, and there was a fashion show by Esprit (specifically EDC). But really, who goes to the roadshow to watch Faizal Tahir?
Monday, July 14, 2008
So I've been really-really-really hyped about the coming MTV Asia Awards which will be held for the first time in Malaysia this second of August. With artistes like Leona Lewis, OneRepublic, Pussycat Dolls and more, well, who wouldn't be? (discount the people over 40, they've got different music tastes).
Now I've never been a contest enthusiast. Unlike my sister, I have terrible luck in winning anything based on luck (redundancy intended), so I really had misgivings over me ever going to go there. Thanks to my adrenaline-boosted enthusiasm to getting tickets to the event, however, I spent a lot of effort in entering every possible avenue in getting them much valued (and really overhyped) tickets. I even prayed. Really. Even though I don't think God would approve much of me staring at Nicole's, Melody's, Jessica's, Ashley's and Kimberley's legs for any duration of time. But then again I don't think I'll find them arousing much. Anyway...
It pulled off.
Thanks to hitz.fm (I'm not changing my radio station, ever again), I am now invited to the amazing event this coming 2nd August! And I think it was the first opportunity to win the tickets too (the contest wasn't around last week). All I had to do was listen to the radio, listen to the question and send an SMS (50 sen, mind), and voila, Adam C (which is quite hot I might add) and Mootz (not as hot. Sorry bro) gave me a call and GAVE ME TICKETS. Granted I was nervous. I could not remember what the hell I told them... Quite a blur. And the radio broke down a few minutes afterwards, so I couldn't hear myself on the radio. But eh, I got tickets, and that's all that matters. Thank the Lord.
If you're interested in the MAA (or my activities, if any such people exist), WATCH THIS SPACE! Going to events like this is an awesome opportunity, and I'll try to keep the blog up-to-date.
Till then, I'm pondering whether I should go to the MTV mosh pit auditions...
Friday, July 11, 2008
Well. Sorta. First off it's not my pet per se. It's my sister's. As in she's the one who bought it, bought the food for it, and took care of it for the most part of it's life.
And well, do fish count as pets? you can't really pet it. You don't cuddle it. And... well... most of the time we tend to be eating the poor creatures.
But then again, Oskar (or Oscar, whatever you want to call it/her/him) isn't like most goldfishes I've seen. You see, Oskar is actually a very adorable creature. Sure, not as adorable as a fluffy wittle bunny or a sweet lil' kitten, but Oskar is adorable in its own way.
Should there be a large presence above it that lingers for a moment (We've got sorta like a transparent bridge over the aquarium/pool/whatever you wanna call it) for instance, a human being, well, Oskar would come up below our feet and bob its head up and er... breathe? (give me some space here, I'm no aquaculturist) affectionately. One of those things that make you go "Awwww". So yea, everyday I get my daily dose of Awww of the day just by coming round to Oskar's pool and feeding him, or really just to check up on em.
It's probably coz he's the only fish there. No, don't call the RSPCA. It's not our fault the other fish died.
Oh, by the way, I'd appreciate if someone could help me to identify what type of fish Oskar is... (pardon the newbishness).