Friday, August 31, 2007

Napalm death - interviews and 3 live tracks

Napalm Death

Be there or be fookin square!

The big (& certainly most noteworthy) event of the Merdeka festivities is NOT the fireworks, the parades or even the shocking victory of M'sia U-23 footie team over Myanmar. It's the much awaited return of seminal grindcore band Napalm Death who will be performing at Ruums Club, Jln Sultan Ismail, 5pm Sat, Sep1, 2007. (Tickets - RM50 from Tower Records)

This very noisy & extreme outfit are not yer typical satan-worshipping, virgin sacrificing heavy metallers. Rather their music/noise tackles issues of capitalism gone mad, global warfare & various other content of non-sulphuric origin.

Napalm Death is one of the most extreme bands out there & have been in existence since 1988. Expand yer mind & bleed them eardrums!

PS: For more info, please watch the short films above on the band & grindcore scene.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

warning for namewee

The face of terror . . . or stupidity?

As we gear up fer our nation's highly anticipated big five-O, here's another bunch of wankers in the mould of Awang Selamat (see previous posting). It's ok fer certain parties to postulate violence and bloodshed but should anyone else dare speak up . . .

This is no laughing matter as many tend to forget Malaysia has supplied its share of grim reaping extremists. Anyone remember a certain Dr Death aka Azahari Husin. This unassuming engineering lecturer at UTM was responsible fer the JWMarriot as well as the Bali bombings. Worse of all, he was also behind the church bombings at Pekanbaru and Medan on X'mas eve, 2000. Can you imagine, these Jihadians sent explosives wrapped as gifts!

Sure, many will dismiss these fookin arseholes (in the above video) as infantile fantasists but the fact remains there are enough retards out there to think they are doing God's work . . . and defending tanah Melayu (note, NOT Malaysia).

PS: Many of me Muslim friends have also expressed utter disgust at these fookin pricks.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Freedom of speech?

Continuing on the theme of me last posting, I would like to clarify how I have slowly changed my world view. It is largely thanks to fooking wankers like Awang below whose rantings are par fer the course in the Malay newspapers - who says freedom of speech is dead in this country, eh?

Incredible that shite like this passes fer "social commentary" on a daily basis in certain national newspapers. And the authorities say bloggers are guilty of sedition . . .

My fellow Malaysian, read & weep
. . .

From Utusan: (This was posted on the mywordup community group email)
SEJAK beberapa hari lalu, akhbar ini menerima banyak reaksi orang Melayu yang melahirkan rasa marah dan resah terhadap beberapa isu yang dibangkitkan oleh pihak tertentu. Hanya beberapa komen pembaca daripada sekian banyak e-mel dan SMS yang diterima, dapat disiarkan. Hujah dan nada reaksi itu semuanya mahu kerajaan jangan tunduk kepada tekanan dan tuntutan. Awang sendiri tidak suka isu-isu sensitif itu terus panas dan berpanjangan. Mungkin elok ia diredakan, lebih-lebih lagi dalam semangat menjelang sambutan Hari Kemerdekaan negara ke-50.

Apa pun, gelombang reaksi orang Melayu ini tidak boleh diambil mudah oleh mana-mana pihak. Ketika ada tanggapan kononnya orang Melayu kian leka, sebenarnya terserlah 'kebangkitan' masyarakat Melayu dalam isu-isu terbaru ini. Awang rasa ini mesej yang cukup jelas. Lagipun wajarkah kita mahu musnahkan apa yang telah dibina selama ini?

Setelah orang Melayu membuktikan pengorbanan dan banyak beralah untuk keharmonian masyarakat majmuk, mereka cuma mahu dibalas dengan pegangan kuat rakyat semua kaum kepada perlembagaan negara dan kontrak sosial. Awang – Mahu kekal harmoni.

AWANG terkejut dengan tuntutan Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF), sebuah NGO kaum India yang mahu hak istimewa orang Melayu dihapuskan dan mendakwa kaum India dipinggirkan oleh kerajaan BN.

Pada Awang, NGO itu sudah melampau. Sedarkah mereka bahawa nasib kaum India di Malaysia jauh lebih baik berbanding negara lain termasuk di India sendiri. Awang cabar HINDRAF supaya berhijrah dan tinggal di negara lain, yang mereka fikir lebih baik.

Tindakan HINDRAF hanya akan mengundang gelombang kemarahan masyarakat bumiputera yang sudah begitu banyak beralah untuk kaum minoriti atas nama kontrak sosial. Sedarkah bahawa masih ramai orang Melayu dan bumiputera yang miskin terutama di luar bandar. Mereka setia menyokong kerajaan sejak merdeka lagi. Kalau diikutkan, mereka lagi berhak membuat pelbagai tuntutan. Ingatan Awang, jangan sampai orang Melayu hilang sabar dan akhirnya memudaratkan semua pihak.

Dakwaan HINDRAF tentang isu kuil juga, sama sekali salah. Di negara inilah, terdapat begitu banyak kuil seolah-olah orang India merupakan kaum induk. Mahu apa lagi?

Awang – Membara dalam diam.

PS: Unfortunate truth is that too many Malaysians share this fooking wanker's sentiments of "don't like it, please get lost" . . . sigh . . . The Third Reich lives on . . .

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The other side of the coin

Contrary to popular belief, I am not a foaming-at-the-mouth, hardcore racist. I know some of you may think so, especially with some of the views expressed on this blog; but rest assured I prefer to leave the bigotry to the experts at the United Malays Nazi Organisation.

I can proudly say I easily pass the muhibbah litmus test which is how many people (of other races) can you count as friends? Now, I am talking bout real member ketat ok. Not some passing acquaintance or colleagues you are forced to share space with. Yes, my friends include Punjabis, Keralans, Ceylonese (ok la, little racist Indian joke here - these people usually have no friends that's why I put em first!), Hakka and quite a few Bumiputras. Most of the latter I met while at University and these guys are sociable, easy-going, open-minded, extremely hard-working intelligentsia (yes, take a bow Messrs Kiaq, Wan, Sasha & Pure - real identities hidden to protect possible future UMNO membership - just joking!).

Was talking to some of them bout the current predicaments facing our nation as it prepares fer the big five-O as well as chewing the fat on some of me recent postings. In relation to the destruction of Hindu temples, Kiaq tells me of the problems facing Muslims in many villages around the country. It seems fer a person to be on the Mosque committee, he has to be an UMNO member. Sorry, but no ties to the opposition if you want to carry our religious duties on behalf of the local community. Kiaq contends that similarly the integrity of these mosques/suraus have been compromised.
Agreed, but what I want to point out is that this problem is an internal issue whereas Hindu temples being torn down by a self-proclaimed Islamists govt is quite another. (Note: PAS in Kelantan has not only preserved all its tokongs & kuils but has even allocated state funds for the building and upkeep of these places of worship.)

But point taken on the fact that everyone is affected by some form of political hypocrisy, Muslim or otherwise.

With regards to the NEP and the betterment of Malay businesses, Pure tells of the hardship he has faced in the construction industry for the last few years. 'Living nightmare' is how he describes it. While he is not expecting any handouts he is fookin pissed off at how a select number of cronies get bailouts and other assorted freebies from the govt. He can't see the light at the end of the tunnel simply because of the few greedy pricks who are hoarding everything fer themselves while the masses struggle on.

I fer one believe if that the NEP was properly administered to actually help underpriviliged Bumiputras (including the Eurasians, Orang Asli etc), most citizens wouldn't complain. Right now, it is mainly benefiting those at the top of the food chain and that's what causing a lot of resentment (from all races, mind you).

Pure also recounts some tales of reverse racism. When he first started out on his own, he told me how he would go meet clients . . . in his not-so-luxurious Honda Intergra. He told me the predominantly Chinese clients wouldn't take him seriously. He was forced to go & buy a Benzo fer some bling factor to wow his potential clients. It went against his usually prudent financial principles (but at least he got to impress his future wife with some flash wheels, so worth it lah!).
He also recounts how he recently had his loan restructuring plans turned down by a bunch of Chinese bankers but when he sent a Chinese contractor friend of his to renegotiate - approved!

It would seem it has become a game of tit-for-tat among the races. You give out special priviliges to your kind, we hold back certain benefits etc.

What we as a people need to rediscover is the sense of brotherhood. This Merdeka, instead of the empty symbolism of covering yer car with hundreds of flags; why don't you get reacquainted with yer fellow Malaysians of various ethnicities. A Bangsa Malaysia can only exist when we start being friends again instead of members on the opposite side of the NEP fence. On that Hallmark (& slightly sacchrine) note, I bid you all a happy Merdeka celebrations . . .

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A question of accountability

Many kudos to the good people at The Sun. This free edition daily is fast gaining a reputation fer some serious ball busting reporting. First to break the Istana Idaman story and now giving plenty of attention to our govt's (nearly) five billion Ringgit bailout of the Port Klang Free Zone debacle. (What is it with Port Klang anyways, I know it has a reputation as a bit of a cowboy town but this is fookin ridiculous!!!)

What concerns me is the issue of accountability. FACT: you can get away with murder & more in this country, just by knowing the right people. But now with such seriously damaging headlines & a general election round the corner (it is, isn't it?), you would have thought BN would attempt to save some face by hanging out some carcasses to dry. Yes?

Unfortunately, it is a resounding 'No'. Case in point, just how has King Zakaria been punished fer his illegal structures. He still holds a good number of high positions in various associations & better yet, his palace stills stands tall while the authorities busy themselves with the more pertinent matter of destroying Hindu temples.

With the PKFZ issue, the silence from the corridors of power is deafening. Looks like its the old ostrich trick - bury yer head in the sand until threat goes away. BN are still counting on the infamous apathy among Malaysians to see them thru another general election. The venerated Tun once quipped that "Malaysians have very short memories" and how fookin sad & true is that?

Who is going to answer for this latest scandal. Who are these " interfering politicians with vested interests"? Who from the Transport Ministry is going to answer for the (unauthorised) letter of undertaking? Which persons in their official capacity in the PKA going to fess up to knowingly purchasing land with encumbrances? Such is the culture of NON-accountability in Malaysia, these questions may never be answered & the culprits will just move on to their next swindle.

In this fair land of ours, we all kinda know what's gonna happen next. Issue gets dragged on fer several centuries, committees set up to investigate the matter . . . perpetrators slip away under the giant blanket of 'kisah lama, tidak apa lah'.

The only slim hope is fer ordinary rakyat to turn up in full force at the next polls & show their dissatisfaction. There are enough issues to concern people of every race, religion & strata of society to seriously question the governance of the current administration. BN are so desperate they are resorting to playing the race card at every issue & going after HARDCORE CRIMINALS like Namewee to deflect attention. Meanwhile, those who are guilty of siphoning off public funds go on doing what they do best . . .

Monday, August 20, 2007

Styles Over Substance

Fookin' ell man! Yet another wonderful sporting spectacle was ruined last nite by an over zealous referee. Fer the philistines among you, Chelsea escaped from Anfield with a valuable point thanks to the wanker ref, Rob Styles, awarding a late penalty for a foul that never fookin was.

When are FIFA gonna learn? Time fer TV replays. I am not just saying that in light of last nite's game but am a firm believer of the use of technology. I do NOT subscribe to the view that refereeing mistakes add to the human drama of the game. What bollocks!?!

Allowing the ref to view an incident on replay would, if anything, save time as players will refrain from surrounding him bickering bout the fookin decision. And why is Rob effing Styles still a premiership ref? He also awarded a non-existent penalty on the first day of last season against Sheffield Utd . . . v Liverpoool (don't ever say I am biased, blinkered etc). Costly mistakes from him on too many occasions.

Let's face it, the modern game is played at a lightning speed and gamesmanship is rampant. Refs are only human and will make mistakes. In fact, I am surprised they don't make more (especially linesmen & the near impossible task of offside calls). Isn't it time we give them a helping hand?

PS: Rob Styles's performance also raises the unavoidable suspicion of bribery (us Malaysians are masters of it & expect it as a matter of fact). The officials are after all the least paid members on the field of play but wield a disproportionate amount of power in determining the outcome.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Sedition & All Apologies

Am sure most of you have heard that rapper Namewee's apology has been declined. In fact, the full brunt of the law will be heaped on this young patriot's shoulders. Datuk Nazi (to give him his proper title) has said that our Taiwan-based "gangsta" will be punished under sedition laws fer heaping shame on scared cows. In fact, the people at YouTube must be quaking in fear as he wants action to be taken against them as well. Am sure he wants them to tutup kedai ala Operasi Lalang but hey . . .

Since me last posting on this issue, I was surprised to hear comments from some of me mates who thought Namewee "had gone too far"or "anthem is untouchable" etc. If you watch the video you will note that Namewee sings the chorus to our national anthem with full-on passion & penuh perasaan. It simply highlights that he actually gives a shit & is proud of his roots but to paraphrase the Bard, "something is rotten in the state of (Malaysia)".

I find it hard to believe some citizens not aligned to the ruling United Malays Nazi Organization actually think he has committed a serious offence. What about the wonderfully enlightened MPs who made the "bocor" remark regarding a female colleague? How fooking backward & disrespectful is that? How do you think they would have reacted if it was an opposition MP who made that remark?

What about the fact that the youth wing of aforesaid UMNO would put Hitler's original thugs - the brown shirts - to shame? They continually resort to mob rule to challenge and intimidate all and sundry. Once upon the 80s, a certain UMNO youth leader was holding aloft banners that had the keris soaked in darah Cina. His reward - accession to DPM.

With that sort of precedent, no wonder so many of today's young Nazis are falling over themselves to brandish, kiss, fondle, stroke etc the keris. With all this happening around us, yet some Malaysians feel Namewee has "crossed the line of good taste".

Fookin 'ell people, where is yer sense of perspective?

Fer Pandi Lovers Only

Its the weekend & here's a little something I would like to share with other amateur chefs out there. This is me fave spicy pandi (oink! oink!) curry recipe. Great as a side dish to accompany a few beers while you take in a weekend of great footie. Please do drop me a line if you have any suggestions on how to improve this dish; or if you did try this, how did it turn out?

1) 1kg of pork to serve 4 pax (500gm ribs / 500 gms fatty meat) cut into bite size pieces 2) garam masala (* preferably homemade - see below) 3) turmeric powder 4) chili powder 5) fennel powder 6) curry powder 7) 1 bundle lemongrass 8) white vinegar 9) 4 potatoes chopped into cubes 10) 2 tomatoes quartered 11) 1 bundle curry leaves 12) Ghee for frying (does make a huge difference in taste!) 13) 4 large onions 14) 1 whole bulb of garlic 15) 2 cm piece of ginger 16) spices - one stick cinnamon, 6-8 cloves, 6-8 cardamon pods, 3-5 pcs of star aniseed, 1 tsp of coriander seeds 17) 4 green chilies and 1 large bundle of coriander leaves (chopped for garnishing)

Garam masala: simply dry roast / fry a cinnamon stick, 8-10 dried chilies, 5 tbsp coriander seeds, 2 tbsp cumin seeds, 2 tsp cardamon pods, 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp black mustard seeds, 2 tsp black peppercorns, 1 tsp cloves. Once they begin to crackle and give off a pungent aroma, remove from heat & grind into a fine powder in pestle & mortar (or blender). Well worth the effort as this will add extra oooomph to many dishes as it can be stored up to 3 months in air tight jar.
1) Chop off the stems & roots of the coriander leaves and wash thoroughly. Do not discard stem & roots as they impart great flavour. Put stem & roots in blender along with lemongrass, ginger and garlic and blend into a fine paste
2) Wash & drain meat. Add 3-4 tsp of garam masala, 2 tsp of salt, 2-3 tsp of turmeric, lemongrass/garlic/ginger/coriander root & stem paste and mix well into meat. Also add a splash of vinegar. Leave to marinade in fridge for at least a couple of hours
3) Heat 3 tbsp of ghee in wok and throw in spices. Then add sliced onions and curry leaves. Stir fry for 5 minutes. Add potatoes and tomatoes and continue to fry.
4) Mix 3-5 tbsp of chili powder (more if you want it really spicy), 1 tbsp turmeric powder, 1 tbsp fennel, 2 tbsp curry powder and 2 tsp of salt in a bowl. Mix well and add water to make a paste. Add this paste to the wok and fry until fragrant.
5) You can now introduce the marinated meat into the mix and fry everything for another 5-10 minutes on a medium heat. Make sure the meat is well coated with curry paste.
6) Add a bowl of water & let simmer on low heat for 30-45 minutes. Dish is ready once meat is tender and the juices have evaporated/thickened.
7) Garnish with coriander leaves and green chilies. Serve with FOOKIN ICE COLD BEER just before kick off! Enjoy!

PS: This is the one thing me wifey thinks I am good at! One sure way to score brownie points with yer other half me thinks!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Patriot Games

In case some of you are all not that connected to the local hip hop scene, a Taiwan-based student known as Namewee has thrust himself into the spotlight with a little ditty which samples a funky Negaraku into the mix and highlights the inequality and corruption of the Malaysian way of life. It has caused a whole lot of chest-beating amongst the self-righteous and indignant leaders of our beloved nation and has led to yet another witch hunt among the Malay media (if anyone is inflammatory, tis them). Unpatriotic, Kurang ajar etc . . . This is almost akin to the impact caused Stateside by NWA in the early 90s or better still, Jimi Hendrix mangling The Star Spangled Banner into a twisted vignette reflecting the Viet Nam war and Civil Rights Movement at Woodstock.

Why the huge fuss? Fer starters, its making a lot of people uneasy simply because they cannot just remove the offending tune off youtube. Unlike the old days when The Star (when it was a real paper) and various Chinese press were shut down willy nilly at a simple flick of a wrist signing the Home Ministry order. TV, radio, media, everything was under Big Abang's watchful eye. But now "trouble-makers" such as Raja Petra and other like minded souls can roam cyberspace with impunity, free from the giant axe of censorship. The powers-that-be are reeling from every small knock simply because they have been living in an out-dated cocoon fer too long. Scenario almost akin to the overthrow of brutal Romanian dictator Nikolas Causcescu - coup started with just a few brave souls booing (previously unheard of) at a public rally. He was so shocked to hear it he was completely unprepared and days later was toppled and executed.(Note - I am not suggesting anybody be executed, no matter how fooking tempting that may sound).

Secondly, here is a young man FREELY speaking his mind over a catchy (albeit dated) back beat. Let's face it, the sentiments he is expressing is nothing new and most non-Bumi citizens will agree with Namewee. The inequality in every facet of life from public education to govt contracts are biased towards a certain group of people. Nothing new. Underpaid and overworked police officers resorting to bribery to make ends meet, again, old fookin story. But for him to actually SAY it in a PUBLIC forum is a serious shock to the system.

Of course, some overly-sensitive soul clutching at straws has to use the tired old "insulting Islam" line. What does he actually say? It is that the call to prayers heard five times a day is just part of Malaysian life. He is implicitly implying if non-Muslims can accept this, why can't Muslims accept the practices of other religions?

For nigh on twenty-odd years, the venerated Tun has built a culture of intimidation and fear with his three-lettered Acts. Now in this wonderful digital age of ours, obscure rappers can become household names even in a country with less than 5% Internet penetration. This is largely thanks to the paranoid ramblings of the aforementioned Malay media and govt leaders. Keep it up, wankers, you are helping the cause no end.

In me humble opinion, Namewee is a so-so only rapper lah but he is a TRUE patriot fer having the balls to speak his mind. Would he had done so if he didn't give a toss about the land of his birth? Would he have struck such a strong chord among so many people if his sentiments were indeed kurang ajar or off the mark?

Please do not think any lesser of Namewee for having to issue a public apology as he has already made his point. And good on him fer not jumping on the DAP bandwagon when it is clearly not his intention to run fer office. Look forward to hearing his next little gem. Aren't you?

PS: Namewee, if you are reading this, was that a real turd in yer video?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Wake up & smell the vinyl

Aaaah. Nothing gets me as excited as the smell, feel & sound of fresh vinyl. That whole process where you painstakingly admire the artwork, carefully scan the inner sleeve before putting stylus to wax is indeed a ritual many have forgotten about. Worse, in this digital age of downloads, some punters out there aren't even familiar with the concept of a long player never mind the lost art of record collecting.

Sure, there are those who frequent the Sunday bazaars (Amcorp mall being the most popular) in search of lost treasures while some specialist stores (Ricecooker shop at Central Market annexe) still stock these shiny black discs. But by and large, vinyl is in danger of going the way of the eight track cartridge - teetering on the edge of hi-fi oblivion.

Many visitors to my home have expressed their surprise that I still play and slavishly collect vinyl. A well-travelled friend of mine who himself has loads of CDs asked whether the turntable & records were my dad's (Nanda, that'd be you). I politely told him my dad isn't a fan of Slayer, Entombed or any of the other noise merchants that populate my collection. I was a bit surprised that this bloke was ignorant of the fact that records were still in vogue given that he fancied himself as a bit of deejay! Another friend's (then) galfriend loudly exclaimed, "Oh wow! A gramophone." She was referring to a fairly new Rega Planner 3 which cost a quite a fair bit! Oh well, at least she knew that it was a piece of equipment that reproduces music.

Which brings me to another tale I heard from my old friend, Joe Kidd, the Peter Pan of Punk & also the owner of the aforementioned Ricecooker shop. Had not seen this guy for a good few years & was feeling bad bout not dropping by his new enterprise. Anyways, he regaled us with how he had released one of his Carburetor Dung tunes on 7" vinyl which was available thru mail order. One such order from some far-flung corner of the planet was returned with a note, "How do I play this thing?" Fookin thick piece of shite or what?

But what got me senses all tingling was the sight of a couple of stacks of fresh, unopened, virgin vinyl at his shop. With sweaty palms, I caressed each record while examining the cryptic band logos and the never heard before record labels. I HAD to buy one & requested for some grindcore - Joe pulled put a suitably obscure title - Disfigured Corpse's Mega Ultra Intergalactic Core 2000!

Rushed home, peeled off the protective wrapping and put needle to the groove! I may be an overweight, balding middle aged guy. But I was fooking headbanging away as soon as the first power chords came pummeling out of the speakers. Disfigured Corpse - remember that name. Great grindcore from the nether regions of . . . the Czech Republic! For 40 minutes, I was Mosher No1 all over again. It was fooking fantastic!

To all the record collectors out there - keep on keeping on! The legacy of the Long Player must be kept alive for future generations. Do you want yer children to grow up listening to just top 40 shite or do you want em to be well informed citizens armed with an in-depth knowledge of Floyd's Wish You Were Here and Led Zep's Physical Graffiti?

A final note to some of me "former" record collecting brethren - Pure, Kiaq, Surin, Sasha, Idzuan - do not let yer records die a natural death for reasons such as kids, wifey, work!!! Never forget these shiny wonderful things are a direct connection to our (rebel) past & is also a guaranteed fountain of youth! Remember, rockers (& record collectors) don't grow old, they just get arthritis . . .

PS: See y'all (most of you anyway) at Napalm Death gig for a blast from the fooking past!!!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Caught in between a rock & a hard place

I'm really stuck in between a rock & a hard place on this one. So much so me scrotum is permanently twisted into a knot. You see, I pride meself as the purveyor of all that is cool & great in pop culture. Just like how Jeremy Clarkson dismisses certain cars as being uncool simply because the tail-light is two cms too long or because the engine note is a touch fruity upon acceleration. (It isn't just the Kelisa that has run foul of his cool-o-meter, certain Beemers & Ferraris have as well).

With moi, its more to do with film & music. Examples of the former - in the 'good' category of recent celluloid, Pan's Labyrinth; "a wonderful fable that sucks the audience into an enchanted kingdom like a bag of magic mushrooms". Bad, no make that effing terrible, Fantastic Four: "marvel team relegated to poor one-liner gags & over reliance on Silver Surfer coolness." Get the point?

Now, I am even more dismissive of other people's CD collections. I am the eternal critic, a Lester Bangs wanna be. American Idol's Daughtry? "As far as charisma-free grunge-lite goes, this definitely tops the table. If you want tune-free earnestness, go listen to any Pearl Jam album after 'Ten'." The problem that has gotten me balls in a jam is that my significant other wants to go for the . . . wait for it . . . Jackie Cheung concert. Noooooooooooooooo! (echoing into a deep, deep abyss)

If there is one thing I hate, no; despise , no; abhor . . . aaargh . . . you get the point, is fookin Canto-pop. Ok, I may be half-Chinese and have nary a spot of hair on me chest but that doesn't mean I have to put up with this shit. I don't fookin care Jackie effing Cheung is a "Hong Kong legend with xx number of albums". They are all shite! I do not care that he will change his costumes 500 times during a show and will be backed up by 1000 dancers! I am not gay!

The problem is I can't just put me foot down and say 'no' like a macho man. You see, me other half has been kind enough to follow me for certain gigs in the past by artistes she doesn't quite fancy herself. She points out the Al DiMeola show a few years ago where she fell asleep during one of his 20 minute extended jams. She also agreed to go for the recent Shakti gig even though she is not a terribly fond of John "Mahavishnu" McLaughlin's output (especially the fusion years which I use to torture her whenever her bastard man u wins). And she also agreed to go watch Napalm Death for a second time, though she's quite ok with this lot of heavy meisters.

She is after all, for better or worse, my wife. Though I don't recall the priest saying anything bout a Jackie Cheung concert. I am dreading the day. It will take hours to park & get good seats. It will take hours for the show to end. It will be hours before the pricks who have triple-parked move so you can leave. And on top of that, I will have to listen to two, maybe three, hours of quality-free muzak designed for fluorescent-stick waving teenyboppers.

If say 'no', it will forever blot me record book with her & I can forget winning any argument or have any chance of currying favour with her. On the other hand, if I go, at what cost to me mental health, and more importantly, to me status as a denizen of cool?

Talk bout lose, lose situation . . .

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

New L'pool supporters club & blog

Calling all Kopites. There's a new LFC fan club in town and you can visit their brand new blog at . Their mission is to round up all the seriously hardcore Reds for some boisterous viewing parties and various other related activities. Do check it out.

Monday, August 6, 2007

An ode to Bak Kut Teh

Everywhere you turn these days, there's no escaping it. 50 fantastic bargains to celebrate our independence. 50 this, 50 that but do they really say anything about the state of the nation in that half century.

Case in point, one of the popular English Radio stations have been juxtaposing soundbites in between songs & DJ banter on 50 reasons why Malaysia rocks. Now, how sad is it when they have to struggle to fill this list to the point nasi lemak is mentioned three . . . yes, three times in various guises. First, as a the delicious meal that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Then it appeared in the form of the "Great nasi lemak Antarabangsa of Kg Baru fame" & lastly, the wonderful sambal belacan that makes nasi lemak so tasty. C'mon, give me a break.

Why is it when they are struggling to fill the 50 slots, do they bypass a true Malaysian original. Believe it or not, many of us are not aware that the humble Bak Kut Teh is of local origin, more specifically Klang. And no, it was not brought here by our Chinese ancestors from some ulu village in mainland China. It was developed & perfected here.

This steaming broth of herbs & pork is beloved by so many of us that it should, nay, MUST be mentioned. My mum pointed out a travel show on one of the Chinese-language channels showing busloads of tourists from as far as Japan, China, Hong Kong and even neighbouring Indonesia stopping in Klang just for a taste of this famous dish. It filled me with joy & pride to hear these foreign visitors wax lyrical bout how the humble spare part soup is their favourite delicacy during their visit to these shores.

Another wonderful example of food bringing people together is notice how many Indians love Bak Kut Teh. It is indeed quite a strange phenomena even in Malaysia. Say what u want but many people still distrust the cuisine of other races. As Indy Nadarajah & Alan Pereira joked in Menopause, "What can Chinese people cook - white mee & black mee, what else is there!"
And truth be told, many Indians do hold that view, so I always find it amazing when you see old conservative aunties in their saris slurping away on a bowl of bak kut teh at yer neighbourhood gerai.

Furthermore, this is a very Cina-punya dish with its strong mixture of herbs which makes it even unlikelier to appeal to the Indians & other non-Moslem races. But it does, in a big way. I recall once after a beer session on a sat nite, a friend was craving for some pork rib tea. Only place we could find open at that late hour was the infamous Mungo Jerry Chow Kit outlet. You know what, the place was packed to the rafters with after hours drinkers keen on slurping down some sobriety. . . And my friend and meself represented 1.5 % Chinese diners as everyone else was Indian. Fantastic! How's that for Muhibbah food!

Bak Kut Teh is just one of many things which are not being recognised as Malaysian simply because of some sensitivity or another. But it is just an example of a deeper underlying problem. The Chinese contribution to our hard fought Independence is fast disappearing from history books (school books almost for sure). Even monuments built to honour the war dead are under threat for being Communists symbols.

Our diversity should be a reason for celebration, not seperation.

In the same way, as a Hindu I am not offended by other races' fondness for Daging Rendang, it should be the same vise versa.

All this talk is making me hungry, BKT anyone?

Poor crowd for Community Shield

Well, there you have it, one all draw and a three nothing pen shootout with Van Der Saar the hero. But nuff bout that, what I found perplexing was the huge amount of empty seats all round the new Wembley. Losing interest so early . . .?

Its a shame as money raised from this game is used in various community projects. And given this was the curtain-raiser & quite a full on encounter between these two foes, I am indeed surprised it was not a sell out.

Perhaps it is a clear indication to English FA, the fans are getting choosy bout when & where they shell out their hard earned cash. If they are not careful, the once electric atmosphere at English grounds could go the way of Seria A - where bums on seats rival M-league attendances.

Perhaps the fans thought that both teams would be tired after their respective treks round the globe selling the brand . . .?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Why we love this game

Finally, the season is upon us! It has been a long time since the start of a new EPL season has been so eagerly anticipated by so many. Mancs are as usual supremely confident after a summer of heavy spending while many Kopites are hoping our first "superstar" signing Torres can lift us into serious challengers. Even Spurs fans are talking about a top 4 finish while the Gooners are hoping Arsene can work his magic again. In rare show of belief, Magpie supporters are actually believing that a former Mackem can transform their misfiring bunch of misfits. Therein lies the magic of this wondeful game. For all its foibles and rich, overpaid stars indulging in a manner that would shame Capote, football has the power of hope and to put a smile on yer face.

As for those who don't understand our obsession with this wonderful game, please read James Lawton's moving article in The Sun two days after Iraq won the Asian Cup. He said the world was transfixed by the smiling image of the Iraqi boy who for a moment could revel in his team's victory & actually forget that his country is embroiled in a civil war.

Lawton also quotes Ian St John who said one of his enduring memories was dancing in the streets of Buenos Aires after Argentina had won the 1978 World Cup on home soil. Again, for a moment the people could forget that they were living under a military dictatorship. Thousands of dissidents, journalists & other "undesirables" had simply vanished from the face of the earth. But for a few hours, it was heaven on earth for the Argies.

What a wonderful respite from the fear & turmoil of their everyday lives. Crying shame we Malaysians don't have such a team to transport us away from the daily grind of corruption, greed and racism that seems to dominate our society. If anything, our team only reinforces all that is wrong and negative about our society.

Just ponder on what Albert Camus once said, "Everything I needed to know about life and more, I learned on the football field."

PS: Kopites, take note - our Reds will take on Feyernood at 1:55am Monday morning on Ch80 (Astro). Hopefully it will not be as sluggish a display as v Shanghai FC on Sat. Am hoping Rafa will start with what should be our staring XI in an adventurous 3-5-2 formation : Carson (yes, I prefer him to Pepe), Carra, Hyppia & Agger as the three central defenders / L-R Riise, Mascherano, Alonso, Gerrard (playing in hole behind strikers), Yossi / Kuyt & Torres.

Please feel free to post your dream XI. With such a large squad this year, we have the option to chop & change players & tactics even more often. Let's hope we can at least mount a challenge this season rather than be left out of the race by Nov.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Hindu temples as wrecking ball targets

Hindu temples as wrecking ball targets As a concerned citizen & a Hindu, I am asking what can be done to stop the wanton destruction of these places of worship? This issue more than anything has got my goat as it reeks of religious zealotry.

Yes, many of these temples are built hapharzardly and sprout up sometimes in inconvenient locales which hinder development. But in many instances, this is not the case. It is just the powers-that-be flexing their political muscle. Are we Hindus being targetted simply because we are a minority? Is it the BN's way of saying, "look at what we can do to you if you do not toe the line"? Is this what the DPM means when he proclaims the country an Islamic nation?

Even the famed Bukit Gasing Sivan temple is facing all sorts of obstacles in trying to complete the long awaited and much needed renovations. It is a world famous site & it is mind-boggling that the leadership of the MIC can't do anything given that they are regular worshippers at this venerated temple.

When will this campaign to destroy Hindu temples end?

Uncle Bernard & other smug man u fans

In case, you hadn't read Zorro Unmasked's comments, he complained about being lectured about footie at a partisan Liverpool hangout. Just to set the record straight, Zorro aka Uncle Bernard, was also present at said pub (Broadwalk Bistro) during Charlton v mu a good few years ago. He was making all sorts of cheeky remarks about poor old Charlton especially when his "mighty" man u were 2-0 up.
"Like playing against school kids la, boring la . . ." and he downed his beer and left. What a shame coz the Addicks came back with two goals.

Now I admit there are always some punters who will challenge yer comments and I can't control that. But let's face it, Uncle Bernard, you were allowed to speak yer mind on more than one occasion & you never let the chance slip to belittle the opposition. You had no problems rubbing in the salt into my open festering Liverpool wounds after one of my team's shambolic displays under Houllier!

Sorry, to say la, Uncle Bernard, I think you are a really nice guy & all, but on many occasions you were the arch-typical smug, conceited man u fan hiding behind the veneer of old age!
Pubs, being sacred & all, should also be free of that smirking, lookin'-down-on-others attitude, right?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Napalm Death Gig!!!

Important notice - seminal grindcore merchants will be in KL for their second concert on Sep 1, 2007 at the Ruums club, Jln Sultan Ismail. 5pm. Tickets are only RM50, so do make the effort. See it as yer duty in helping Malaysia become a more hip destination for counter culture acts such as napalm instead of the insipid shite such as The Pussycat Dolls (what a bunch of great musicians)!

A rollicking good time is guaranteed for all who dare attend!!!

Remember Rock n Roll Ain't Noise Pollution!

There is hope!

Welcome to me first posting & I must admit I have been inspired by me dear matey Tony Yew aka muststopthis. As Led Zep once said, "This is a song of hope", and I have been pleasantly surprised, nay, completely shocked by my friend's rantings on his blog & his social/political activism of late.

We go back a good few years & it was during his one of his initial belly-up business deals he decided to lend his expertise to my then fledgling pub/restaurant (for which I am forever grateful). It was during this time and many debates over one-too-many beers that I learnt of my friend's views on the state of our nation.

You see, once upon a time, mr muststopthis was yer typical apathy-ridden Malaysian. Dare I say it, he was even a staunch believer in the system. To give you a sample, Tony used to recount how he had journeyed the world over during his time with MAS but "nowhere do they have it as good as we do here in Malaysia".

When I used to point out the countless faults of the BN administration, he labelled me a "radical leftist"!!! He even blamed my dad (who is a lifelong unionist) for instilling an "opposition mentality" in me."Why bother fixing something when it ain't broke" was a typical Tony Yew sentiment. Worse, he would resort to the "we can't do anything to change things" argument to underline his couldn't-give-a-shit attitude.

During yet another debate about the validity of voting PAS at the elections, Tony looked at me as though I was suggesting incest or something even worse. He failed to see my point of checks & balances and that the whole purpose was not to give BN a landslide which is an open invitation to treat the rakyat with impunity. The smaller the margins, the more leverage we as non-Malay voters would have in bargaining with BN. Sorry, Tony, but I hate to say it, I told u so - look at the mess we are in today.

Status quo was Tony's middle name.

Forward nearly a decade & something had radically changed. Not only was he concentrating on the injustice of his wife's case but he began to take notice of other pertinent issues. His latest involvement in trying to prevent the demolition of a Hindu kuil in Melaka is a case in point. I am terribly proud of this guy. If he can make a 180 degree turn on his world view, it gives me hope that more & more Malaysians will do the same. Really, I mean, once upon a time, I had written this guy off in terms of his political views (or lack of it). But he has shown that it is never too late, or impossible, to see the light.

Stand up & take a bow, Tony, you are living proof that there is still hope for this nation. If you can change, anybody can!

Apathy can be defeated! muststopthis is proof.

PS: I suppose it is too much to hope your terrible taste in music has improved . . .