Friday, 15 July 2011

God save the Queen* - Queen

A picture is worth a thousand words! What does this say to you?

My fren said "British humour?"

*Featured on what some regard as their best album ever, A Night At The Opera.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Absence of fear* - Jewel

They thought that the only way to deter us was to instill fear in us. They use threats and force against us. They tried to frighten us but it only made us more fearless - they must hate to admit it but their tactics backfired.

They carried out their threats - but this only served to embolden us. They used the media to make it loud and clear that they will do watever it takes - even violate human rights and break the law. This resulted in waking up those who slumbered and push aside those who were sitting on the fence.

It was like a scene from a zombie horror movie on the morning of 9th July 2011 in Kuala Lumpur. Streets were deserted, roads were barricaded, helecoptor hovering above, emegency services on standby.

Yet, when the time came, Malaysians rose up - Malays, Chinese, Indians, young, old, handicapped, whole, they all came forth and stood their ground.

The bullies lost. They did not know what to do - after all, they are not paid to think, just to carried out the brute force. Yet, the people in yellow did retaliate alike - i even read how some of them shook the hands of these policemen when the day was over and the objectives achieved.

The people in the government must really be afraid now - what can they do to stop us from fighting for equality and fairness? What can they do to carry on their corruption and abuse of power? They must be thankful for the selfish short-sighted people who complained about the inconveniences suffered, who feel that we are doing alright and we should nto complain but just to submit quietly as we have done for more than half a century, who are enjoying life and do not want to move out of their comfort zone.

But the message has been made loud and clear. We will not be pushed around and frightened by strong-handed tactics anymore. This is because we have something worth fighting for - and nothing they can do can change that.

We are not afraid.

They should be.

(All pics taken from Al Jazeera website)

*One of my fav song of hers found in her 3rd album which i feel is her best ever!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Ironic* - Alanis Morissette

Don't be too hard on Najib. After looking at all the photos online, i must say that as a result of how he handled the Bersih rally last weekend, he is arguably the most successful PM in uniting the various races of Malaysia - even if he did not mean to do that.

Pics taken from various sources online

For the first time in my (long) life, i actually see some hope for unity among different races in our country.

Well done, Mr Prime Minister! But you still have to go - sooner rather than later.

*Her classic song, still sounds so good!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

That's not it* - Jasmine Solano

I remember the last time Bersih had a rally, there was this person who complained about it - cuz it caused him to be late for the musical, The Phantom of the Opera.

This time round, i read from Facebook a friend (yes, she is a friend on FB) complaining about the Bersih planned rally cuz she could not go into town without a massive traffic jam to do retail therapy!!!

Well, everyone has the right to express their view but IMHO i think they kind missed the point here. What Bersih is doing is surely more important than a musical ( a really one at that) or traffic free roads or shopping.

Let us remind ourselves of the objectives of Bersih. They are calling for inter alia an overhaul of voter registration lists, tougher measures to curb fraud and fairer opportunities for opposition politicians to campaign in government-linked media. They are not even calling for the overthrow of the present government. If the next government is elected fairly and cleanly, then well and good - doesn't matter which party is the one that wins.

But the response of the government has convinced a lot of people today that they are not fit to take charge. Even things like human rights have all be thrown out of the window (see here).

The following two pics are taken from Facebook - of this elderly lady who should be an example to us all - coming out to stand up for what she believes in for the sake of the younger generation.

But the response to her offer of flowers was to be drenched by the water cannons.

There is another fren who said that he will not vote for them - simply for causing the massive traffic jams and inconvenience. Well and good too! But i hope also that they do not get the votes not just for that. There are bigger matters here, more serious and long term issues.

p/s - this post is not meant to condemn those frens who expressed their feelings on fb. They have the right to do so - as i have the right to voice mine here too.

p/p/s - except for the last 2, the pics are obtained from Al Jazeera.

*Her debut single.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Drifting apart* - Alien Ant Farm

We had a time of sharing last Friday during our cell group meeting as i thought it'd be good to do so since we have just finished the first half of the year. Always good to pause and reflect, esp since life seems to go by so fast these days.

One of the things shared was the regret of neglecting people around us - we tend to get so busy these days, and at times, there just dun seem to be enough time to do what we want to do. We'll be happy if we can just finish doing what we need to do.

I agreed with the sharing and confessed the same too.

2 incidents today even drove the point further home.

First, i was at the airport today - and i suddenly recalled the time when i had to leave to the UK to do my Masters. As i took the escalator down and walked towards the passport checking terminals, i could hear my nephew shouting loudly at the top of his voice "BYE BYE SOOK SOOK", again and again.

It was such a bittersweet moment for me back then - i was so touched by his gesture and at the same time, it broke my heart.

As i thought about it today, i realised that since i got back, i have not been as close to him as i used to be... =(

Secondly, i received an e-mail just now from an old fren who is overseas now. It was also bittersweet - because i have not heard from her for so so long. And while it was great to finally hear from her again, it was unfortunately not good news as she wrote to tell me that she will not be able to make it for my wedding.

I remembered again the time when we used to be pretty close. It was also before me going off to do my Masters. She had promised back then that she will sing for me during my wedding.

Even when i was away in the UK, we had kept in touch! Her text messages and snail mail (yes, she was prolly the only one who snailed me a few times) were always something which brightens up my day! In fact, i wrote one post just talking about her text messages (see here). When my father passed away, her text message to me was one of the few things that kept me strong.

It hurts me now that we have drifted so far apart.

We shared a lot cuz she was one of the few faithful followers of my blog - so she kept in touch with what was happening to me. Wonder if she still comes here to visit anymore...

Drifting apart need not necessarily be bad. Sometimes, it just happens. Life takes us on different paths and new people come into our lives - sometimes pushing out older frens.

At least for my nephew, i know that it is not too late and i can still try to be close to him, all the more as he enters into his teenage life soon. For my fren i mentioned above... i dun know. Our paths seem to go further and further apart. Maybe i can still try to keep in touch... but like a tango, it takes two to make it work. At the moment, there dun seem to be 'one', let alone 'two'!!!

But i'm certain that if in God's great scheme of things our paths meet again, we shall be good frens again. If not? Then we can be thankful for the frenship we had - we will spend eternity with God in heaven anyways!

*Featured on the MLB 2005 video game.

Monday, 4 July 2011

For the first time* - Kenny Loggins

The new World no. 1 in tennis has just won the wimbledon title - for the first time in his life. And surely, it can't be the last time!!!

Congratulations, Djokovic!!!!!!!

I've been a big fan of his - he has always entertained me, with his antics and fooling around, and now, with his wonderful tennis! I was rooting for him to win the finals! This may not be a popular view - but while i think Nadal is a wonderful player, i personally dun like the way he plays. Nadal is effective - and i daresay to a certain extent, he wins "ugly". He just wears down his opponent until they run out of ideas while he just keeps going on and on and on - and eventually winning the point! No doubt he deserves all his successes.

But i watch tennis to be entertained. The purist may scoff at me - it is indeed entertaining to watch Nadal go like a machine and bulldoze his way thru. Just like in football - i admit that it can be entertaining to watch teams win albeit "ugly". It takes great skill and discipline.

But for tennis, i wanna watch flair. I wanna see style. I wanna be surprised. I want to be entertained. That's why my favourite woman tennis player of all time is Martina Hingis (altho i'm a big fan of Steffi Graf). Her strokes are like a work of art!!! So beautiful, so graceful and so effective. And no surprise that my fav man tennis player is Martina's fellow Swiss, Federer.

I've been so busy that i have unfortunately missed most of the matches in this year's Wimbledon. The only match i watched was Nadal-Murray. I fell asleep. Watching 2 men slugging it out from the baseline can be a cure for insomia. For me!

Whereas in the other semis, Djolovic and Tsonga were flying all over the court (literally) and sending the crowd onto their feet!

So i was glad that Nadal did not beat Djokovic down into submission. In fact, Djokovic took the initiative and change things around a lot!

It is also good for the game that Djokovic is now in the reckoning - not just a two horse race between Ndal and Federer 9which was getting a tad predictable edi). I look forward to more exciting tennis in the future!

Oh, i'm also glad that in the women's singles game, another winner was crowned - for the first time too! Well done Petra!

Still, if Li Na put away that match point in the second round match, i think she would have added this to her French Open victory. Ah well... should have been, could've been...

Now for COPA America - beofre the EPL resumes! =)

*Found on the soundtrack of One Fine Day.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Children of the night* - Richard Marx

Alien movie! Alien movie set in London!!! A definite must-watch for me!!!! So off we went, after a very nice dinner at my "brother's restaurant" in Ipoh.

I loved it! It is so British!!!! (some dude - must be American - on IMDB said he stopped watching after a few minutes cuz he couldn't bear their accents!!!). And altho i was never a South London person (east-end boy i am), it was so nice to be transported back to London - even if it is the lessor known parts.

The quick review - good acting from the newbies, exciting, thrilling and funny too!

But i wanna talk a bit more about the movie - cuz it is more than just a typical alien invasion movie! You see, the main characters - can we call them the heroes? - were actually a bunch of teenagers who were foul-mouthed and goes around robbing and mugging people, picking on seemingly weaker victims.

To be honest, i din like them at all - and was a little dismayed when i realised that they were to be the main characters of the movie. How can i like a movie when i dun like the main characters? Yet, as the movie went on, more is revealed about these kids. No, they are still the rowdy gangsters - but there is more to them than that.

I've lived at the East End before, and i've visited the south too a few times. To be honest, it can be a little scary going down there. It is definitely not a place i'll be taking me mates and family if we go back to London!!! You'll see the hoodies there, and i would have felt most unsecured if i meself weren't an immigrant - and prolly looked just as scary too! Lol!

This movie however takes us deeper into their lives. You see the surroundings they are in, you see the conditions they live in, their family life (or lack of it) - and while i cannot condone what they do, i must admit that i sympatise with them.

If i were to grow up in such an area, i would prolly end up like them. How many teens there will grow up to be someone "respectful" in the eyes of the general public? If they do, it would prolly mean they left the area and moved to Kensington or Chelsea.

But in the south of London, we see the kids running around at night, unsupervised. We see a lack of role models - so the children look up to these muggers. We see that a sense of accomplishment, of moving up in life, is when the resident drug dealer gives you some stash to sell on the streets! We understand to a certain extent why the young people grow up with a hatred towards the authorities. After all, they feel neglected, sidelined, discriminated.

In a light-hearted scene, a nurse tells one of these teens about her boyfriend who is a volunteer nurse helping children in Africa - and the teen asks - honestly, i'm sure - why does he have to go all the way to Africa? Are there not children here who needs help too?

Witty - but it struck a chord. It is true to a certain extent, isn't it?

I feel so sad for these children - this is the life they have. If i was fatalistic, i would say that fate had dealt then an unfortunate start in their lives. And i am so thankful for the good influence and the opportunities available for me since young.

It was heartening tho to see that despite what they do, they have a great sense of loyalty to each other, responsibility and courage - more than others who may think they are better people!

But what can we do to help them? I really dun know. When i studied criminology last time, we considered if growing up in such an environment will result in them being criminals. It would probably be the result - although not necessarily so. Perhaps giving them education, showing them love, giving them opportunities, etc, all these may help? Who do we blame? The parents for neglecting their children and thus perpetuating a vicious circle where they will grow up to be similar parents? The givernment for not doing enuf for them?

Of us, the society at large for making them who they are but judging them, ostracising them and dsicriminating against them?

*The last single for his album Repeat Offender.