Thursday, 12 January 2017

Loneliness of the long distance runner

Just as I finished posting the previous entry, something happened.

But I was in a cyercafe with wife, and due to Razia Sultan on TV3, we had to go back.

Basically I found this.

"I’m struck by how, except when you’re young, you really need to prioritize in life, figuring out in what order you should divide up your time and energy. If you don’t get that sort of system set by a certain age, you’ll lack focus and your life will be out of balance. 

I placed the highest priority on the sort of life that lets me focus on writing, not associating with all the people around me. I felt that the indispensable relationship I should build in my life was not with a specific person, but with an unspecified number of readers. 

As long as I got my day-to-day life set so that each work was an improvement over the last, then many of my readers would welcome whatever life I chose for myself. Shouldn’t this be my duty as a novelist, and my top priority? 

My opinion hasn’t changed over the years. I can’t see my readers’ faces, so in a sense it’s a conceptual type of human relationship, but I’ve consistently considered this invisible, conceptual relationship to be the most important thing in my life. 

In other words, you can’t please everybody. 

Even when I ran my bar I followed the same policy. A lot of customers came to the bar. If one out of ten enjoyed the place and said he’d come again, that was enough. If one out of ten was a repeat customer, then the business would survive. 

To put it the other way, it didn’t matter if nine out of ten didn’t like my bar. This realization lifted a weight off my shoulders. Still, I had to make sure that the one person who did like the place really liked it. In order to make sure he did, I had to make my philosophy and stance clear-cut, and patiently maintain that stance no matter what. 

This is what I learned through running a business."

Haruki Murakami - What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden vocalist) got the idea for this song from this novel.

The tough of the track
With the wind
And the rain that's beating down on
Your back
Your heart's beating loud
And goes on getting louder
And goes on even more 'til the
Sound is ringing in your head
With every step you tread
And every breath you take
Makes you run never stop
Got to win got to run 'til you drop
Keep the pace hold the race
Your mind is getting clearer
You're over half way there
But the miles they never seem to end
As if you're in a dream
Not getting anywhere
It seems so futile

Run on and on
Run on and on
The loneliness of the long distance runner

I've got to keep running the course
I've got to keep running and win at
All costs
I've got to keep going be strong
Must be so determined and push myself on

Run over stiles across fields
Turn to look at who's on your heels
Way ahead of the field
The line is getting nearer but do
You want the glory that goes
You reach the final stretch
Ideals are just a trace
You feel like throwing the race
It's all so futile

wearing spectacles under a hot sun while drinking coconut water

Today is wife's off day. (She's working at Texas Chicken). Since I'm not working then, we had to make the best of our day by not looking at each other dumb-ly while watching Didi and Friends at 8am.

And so both of us went out. The idea is simple. We are to be at any place that is air-conditioned.

Morning, we had our date at McDonalds. Never thought cakoi drizzled in chocolate and drowned in hot soya drink is surprisingly, not good, but magnificently great.

She had iced milo and RM1 ice-cream. She played Hay Day on her phone while I read the news.

Then we both laid our asses at the cybercafe. The plan is to sit here until 3.00pm which we will have our lunch, prayed and went back home so that she can watch on TV how Razia Sultan crying at her dad the Sultan being dead and her step-brother doing some coup de etat.

Wife have a great talent, she is very good at Street Fighter / Tekken that somehow, the kids at the cybercafe stood up behind us watching her defeating Ogre and winning the game.

I went out few times to buy some coconut water and listening to Surf Rock.

And since I forgot to bring my pen-drive along, I will just save some links of good reading at this entry.
That's the whole idea behind this entry. 

About Bernard Baruch:…/……/bernard-baruchs-10-rules-of-inv…/…/teachings-from-an-inv…/…/why-was-bernard-baruch-known-……/fo…/1996/04/15/211503/index.htm…/

My unfulfilled wish is to buy/own a Bernard Baruch book entitled My Own Story. So far I haven't got hold of that.

Just a story.
Had a conversation at Facebook Messenger with one of my cousin. When I asked her where she's working now, she seemed disturbed to answer.

I told her, that a good relative or friends, should not even bother about your salary or your job. Just good to know that you're good is all we want to know. The rest of other info are just for the sake of warm conversation, so that we can feel warm with you.

That's the great insight of Bernard Baruch in his quote "Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."

"Often quoted response to Igor Cassini, a popular society columnist for the New York Journal American, when asked how he handled the seating arrangements for all those who attended his dinner parties, as quoted in Shake Well Before Using: A New Collection of Impressions and Anecdotes Mostly Humorous (1948) by Bennett Cerf, p. 249; the full response was "I never bother about that. Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter." 

Good reading pdf

Pedagogy Of the Oppressed - Paulo Freire

Actually the above link leads me to a massive collection of great reading.

This is the Shout Magazine. It is actually in BM. But the English version is here. That cousin of mine,  the one behind the Bernard Baruch story, was involved in the translation effort of the magazine.

Good links for reading 

This is reading for old time sake 

That's all. 

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

The surfin bird mentality


Firstly, I want to apologize for those who read this blog.
I sincerely do.

I realised that the blog is too clusterf***. Too many links, too many digression here and there without proper arrangement to make it readable.

The English grammar sucks. And the idea sometimes is blurry for some, they didn't get it.

And I think that this blog is bloody boring.

Your readers are self-absorbed little punks.

They don’t mean to be, but they are.

They’re busy and stressed and searching the web for ways to just escape. They don’t want to learn anything when they’re in escape mode. They just want to feel something other than boredom or fear or inadequacy.

So all that content you created to teach them something?

Yeah, they look at it for a few seconds, discover it requires actual thought (the horror!), and start hunting for the Back button.

That affiliate review for the supercool product you really do believe in and would happily sell without a commission?

Eww. You’re just another one of those evil con artists trying to scam them out of their money.
I know, it’s not fair. You deserve better.

But it’s the truth.

The sooner you accept it, the sooner you can get past it. Because hiding underneath all that self-absorbed punkishness is a person who desperately needs you and will love you until the day they die — if you can actually help them.

And you can help them. You just have to know how to grab their attention first. So let’s talk about that.

But in the same time, I felt fortunate and cool about it.

Number 1 : People are tiring

Sometime ago, I had a boss which I respected so much, because he was a quiet guy.

His level of quiet-ness, is that if you are to drop by at his desk and ask him question, he will just continue looking at the computer screen and ignore you.

I was amazed when I first saw this, normal people will just diss it, but then I saw the practicality of it.

After years of working with this great man, I realised, he was just focusing on his job and putting priority to complete his task first.

There's a book entitled 101 Ways To Clean Up Your Act by Dianna Booher. Application of my boss philosophy is found in Way 83 in the book, which I will type for you.

Way 83 : Ignore responses that can be directed elsewhere

Flattery will get you every time. 

"You're always so helpful, would you mind checking something for me? I know you attended the XYZ meeting last year and heard Ms Smith's briefing on the new inventory system. Would you review your notes to see if..."

While it's nice to be so 'helpful' and efficient, the flattery always costs you time and effort.

Now that's not to say that you want to be unnecessarily rude, uncooperative or unhelpful. It is to say you can present alternatives to people. Do they want the information from you - if you can only get it 'in a few weeks'? Or would you prefer to phone Ted, 'who has the same information at the fingertips'? When your helpfulness is presented in that framework, the other person will usually opt for the quicker alternative.

On other occasions, you simply don't have to respond at all. If the request requires time-consuming paperwork, simply stall until the requester seeks the information elsewhere.

You frequently make those decision about your own needs. For example, you have a question about a contribution to your individual retirement account. You phone your stockbroker's office, but she's not in. You leave a message. She doesn't return the call that day. The next morning, in a hurry for the answer, you decide to phone your accountant to ask the same question. Instant answer.

You're happy - and think nothing less of the 'unavailable' stockbroker.

Likewise, others may ask you to provide information because you're convenient. And if you weren't so cooperative or convenient, they'd go elsewhere for the same information. Speedy help for them, less paperwork for you.

I'm getting older, time is shorter, so I made a point in my life then, that I will actively choose who I want to be with, not because I have to.

I made it harder for people to comment the blog, because to me, comment is cheap, even though I comment on other people's blog, and that is because I'm a hypocrite.

I made sure the people in my Facebook page is less than 100. I do not include lots of people, and a Facebook friend request is not necessarily approved.

The idea is when it comes to people, choose actively.

Jim Rohn did say this.

You want to be happy, you need to be a good person. Choosing the right people you spend the most time with, is an efficient way achieving this.

You might not like this idea, but for me it's practical. I don't feel cruel somehow, because getting hurt due to people is more hateful.

Number 2 : Why so insecure?

A few days ago, I bought few books, one of it was  a green RM10 book entitled "Xanthes : Speech".

Anyhow, this is the paragraph that got my mind running.

Actually you can read it online here.*.html

My idea is, since talkative people who wish to be loved are hated. then why be so goddam insecure about wanting to be loved in the first place?

I remembered about myself getting married, it was a successful effort, and I attribute it to two things, Number 1 is my 'not-giving-a-damn' attitude about rejection, and Number 2, knowing when to shut up.

Persuading the women was less hard than persuading the father of the bride. And I remember shutting up most of the time when I didn't know what to say.
In this link, read about "Adopt an Abundance Mentality"

However, I didn't mean that this to be an excuse for you to be sloppy.
If you're sloppy and have this attitude, you are damned.

I paid heavy price for my sloppiness, so beware. Be the best you can be.

Number 3 : This blog is free.

In the beginning, you read this.

They’re busy and stressed and searching the web for ways to just escape. They don’t want to learn anything when they’re in escape mode. They just want to feel something other than boredom or fear or inadequacy.

But then for all the time and effort spent, what is the return for writing the blog?

Everybody have their own reason and logic for spending time and effort writing. Passion, desire, wanting to have lots of friends, etc.

For me, it is just a collection of ideas I had in my mind which I want to keep.
And writing in English is a good practice.

But the problem in giving free stuff is that, people put less value in free things. Think of the water-diamond paradox.

The worst shit that happen is that when people insist you write or draw according to their whims.
As if you owe them their attention. And their attention is required for you to pay your bills.

They forgot even prostitutes are paid.

I'm not a prostitute, so why should I bother?

Summary : I simply have that surfin bird mentality.

In my university days (2001-2005),  one of the Action-First Person Shooter games that I enjoyed was Battlefield 1 : Vietnam.

And the soundtrack was good old rockin of the 60's.

One of the soundtrack that is normally associated with the Vietnam was is this Surfin Bird from the band The Trashmen.

Especially when the song was beautifully inserted in the war movie Full Metal Jacket.

The comments in the Youtube describes the association of this song and the Vietnam war.

This song basically describes the war: chaotic, loud, and random with no real point.

Vietnam was one of the worst wars, but it had the best soundtrack.

This song was released in 1963 at earlier stage of the Vietnam war. It is actually a rendition of the song by a black-group The Rivingtons.

It was the first Gangnam-Style kinda song. No message, no thinking, just pure babbling driven by the surf rock drum beat. And it was a hit.

The surfin bird mentality is just doing something you like with no apparent reason and not giving a shit about others.

Especially when working life is stressful, the place is stressful, every goddam thing that exist around your sight is stressful, and you just wanting to be self-absorbing little punks like those hopeless American soldiers in Vietnam. wishing that you can get away once in a while.

This is here because it's goddam funny.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Nineteen Eighty Four

In life, usually there are two parts of a story.

People always views things as either pro- and -cons. But for me, why limit your view?

Basically Buridan's ass is a situation where you are presented with two different options. Yet each option has its own seems beneficial to you that you unable to choose which one is the better one.

The paradox predates Buridan; it dates to antiquity, being found in Aristotle's On the Heavens.[2] Aristotle, in ridiculing the Sophist idea that the Earth is stationary simply because it is circular and any forces on it must be equal in all directions, says that is as ridiculous as saying that[2]

...a man, being just as hungry as thirsty, and placed in between food and drink, must necessarily remain where he is and starve to death.
— Aristotle, On the Heavens 295b, c. 350 BC
The 12th century Persian Islamic scholar and philosopher al-Ghazali discusses the application of this paradox to human decision making, asking whether it is possible to make a choice between equally good courses without grounds for preference.[2] He takes the attitude that free will can break the stalemate.

Suppose two similar dates in front of a man, who has a strong desire for them but who is unable to take them both. Surely he will take one of them, through a quality in him, the nature of which is to differentiate between two similar things.

Now, having this knowledge about Buridan's Ass, I invite you to read two confronting writing about P Ramlee.



P Ramlee: A tragedy that no Talent Corp could have saved

Question: Di Mana Kan Ku Cari Ganti? 
Answer: Not in Malaysia 

Those who watched the heart wrenching P Ramlee documentary on the History Channel on Oct 31, 2010 must have gone to bed with a heavy heart. 

It transpired that Malaysia's one and only film icon had died penniless and shunned by the public, including his own colleagues. 

And the way it was done appears to have uncanny resemblances to what's happening today in Malaysia, almost 45 years after Ramlee returned to Malaysia. 

The documentary, narrated by British actor, Timothy Watson and was 12 years in the making included precious interviews by some of his friends, actors and actresses who had passed on. The underlying tone was one of profound melancholy. 

Ramlee, borne out of poverty along Caunter Hall Road at an Achenese community in Penang , had to endure the brutal Japanese occupation whose schools incidentally inculcated a certain discipline in him. 

In his formative years then, this discipline proved crucial as a founding platform for his eventual brilliance, creativity and innovation in film and music. 

He subsequently gained phenomenal success at Shaw brother's Jalan Ampas studios in Singapore. His success at Jalan Ampas was the apparent result of the studio's incredible milieu of experienced film crew, choreographers and directors which the Shaw brothers had assembled from India, Hong Kong and Indonesia. 

With the load of management and finance off his shoulders, Ramlee was able to thrive and focus on his talent of creating music, acting and eventually direction, screenplay and editing. 

The Shaw brothers invested and created such a conducive environment at Ampas that Singapore became the Mecca for the Malay film industry for an entire genre of actors and actresses from the whole of the Malay Archipelago from Pontianak to Penang to Medan. 

Apart from Ramlee, Ampas provided careers for other actors and actresses like Nordin Ahmad, S Kadarisman, Ahmad Daud, Normadiah, Saloma and Saadiah. 

But this talent could not have been developed without the expertise of directors such as BS Rajan, L Krishnan and Phani Majumdar. Directors such as Majumdar already had something like 15 years experience in directing films in various languages in Calcutta and Bombay before they came to Singapore. 

It was on this wealth of experience that the Malay film industry flourished. 

Majumdar directed Ramlee in ‘Anakku Sazali' which won Ramlee Best Actor in 1956. And when Majumdar returned to India, he discovered another great Indian actor, Feroz Khan and directed Khan in his first big hit ‘Oonche Log' in 1965. Yes, it was happy times then at No 8 Jalan Ampas and Boon Kheng Road. But it had to end. Or so it seems. 

Things appear to have taken a turn for the worse during the confusion of the Malaysia-Singapore separation of 1963 when Lee Kuan Yew had trouble reigning a tight leash on trade unions involving Lim Chin Siong, and his own PAP leaders led by Che' Awang and Devan Nair. 

Ramlee appears to have been an inadvertent victim of the unions' unreasonable demands leading Shaw brothers to call it a day at Jalan Ampas when they couldn't keep up with unions' demands for higher pay. 

Other views suggest that Ramlee was poached and enticed to return to Malaysia which he did in 1964. Wrong step it seems. All promises in Malaysia were not kept by his new masters. Sounds very, very familiar here. 

Merdeka studios was poorly equipped and its rookie staffing meant the legend had to multitask which ended up eventually in him churning out shoddy movies. All 18 movies he directed in Malaysia flopped. Sounds like the same stories we hear from some of our Malaysians "trying" to return home from overseas. 

Ramlee lost his glitter, his money and his fame. His partner and colleague, HM Shah, tried to form a company called Perfima to enable Ramlee to relaunch his career and produce his dream of colour films. 

But Perfima apparently ended up in the hands of inexperienced and connected cronies leaving the talented Ramlee then, as in now, even as a Malay, blatantly unrecognised, ignored and out in the cold. 

The documentary brutally exposes how Ramlee tried in vain to set up P Ramlee productions, but was again shut out by this country's media and entertainment industry including RTM. 

He had to sit in the canteen at Ankasapuri while Saloma had her own show in RTM! He could not secure any government aid, grants or ‘Private Financial Initiatives' despite his passion for Malay music and culture. 

He tried to reinvent himself and sought a bank loan - but was rejected! With his wealth of experience and in his early 40s then, he should have easily qualified. 

Poor Ramlee didn't know that in Malaysia it is the "know who" that counts than the "know how". If he had known George Tan from the Carrian Group then, Ramlee may have received a few million from BMF without even having to pay back. Or he should have "nurtured" some connections like how some luminaries have. 

Ramlee by now, tragically stressed out, overweight, disheveled, completely down and out with passion and spirit broken, had to now do almost any job he could including running mahjong tables and singing at weddings and other functions to put food on the table for his family. He had to live on rice and eggs. 

It was truly ‘Air Mata di Kuala Lumpur' for Ramlee. A court summons a day prior to his death for being a guarantor finally tipped the balance and did him in when he suffered a massive heart attack and he died on May 29, 1973 at the age of 44. 

On the day he died, there was no rice in his house. And Saloma had no money for his funeral. The man and legend, P Ramlee paid a very heavy price for returning to Malaysia. The country just did not have the infrastructure, manpower and expertise to accommodate his enormous talent. 

He would have been better off in Singapore even with the unions there. He would not have gone broke in the club and wedding scene there and perhaps Singapore TV could have given him a break as compared to our own RTM. 

All the belated accolades and titles were meaningless as far as the man himself was concerned. He died hopelessly broke and broken. 

The documentary is not only an eye opener but a very good case study for anyone contemplating returning home to Malaysia. 

Whether you are a scientist, engineer, accountant, doctor, etc, beware of the conditions enticing you to return. 

If your kid is an aerospace engineer, a naval architect or a transplant surgeon, it's a no brainer that he/she should not return at all unless you are absolutely sure the country has the infrastructure and skilled manpower to support these fields. 

Don't believe in these stories that you should come home to "help" and "develop" your areas of expertise. That's not going to happen. That sort of thing will only go to the chaps who have the connections. 

Assess any offer carefully and do not trust anyone including this government. Make certain all agreements are enforceable in Singapore and the UK. 

In retrospect P Ramlee, with no formal education but was able to compose more than 360 songs and 66 movies, probably returned to a society that was not developed nor had the brainpower and skills to match up to his vision. 

In short he was just surrounded with a whole lot of officials and journalists with serious hangups who were not interested in the industry itself. There was no driving force like the Shaw brothers. 

And the prevailing attitude at that time and probably even now was and still is a third class mentality. In an environment such as this, no one with creativity, innovation, skills and brains can ever hope to survive let alone thrive. 

It's better they stay back where they can develop and nurture their talent. If a star as bright as Ramlee could be extinguished with such impunity, the rest are nothing. 

Ramlee and his entire family were wiped out financially despite his immense talent. But he remains still till this day, the Malay Archipelago's cinematic legend. With apologies... 

Hancur badan dikandung tanah
Budi baik dikenang juga
Biar alam hancur dan musnah
Jasa mu tetap dikenang juga


B. IDEA 2 :

Don't politicise P Ramlee's decline

To begin with, lets get something straight - P Ramlee should not have wallowed in poverty or died penniless. 

However, The Ampas Man in his letter ‘ P Ramlee: A tragedy that no Talent Corp could have saved ’ seems to have forgotten that such tragedies are still happening everyday to famous artists all around the world. 

The author seems to have conveniently forgotten that P Ramlee signed contracts with Shaw Brothers who produced his films and any royalty from his body of work would have been subjected to the original terms. 

Recording companies own the rights for most of his songs, and till this day, that's how the music royalties work. Isaac Hayes, Goo Goo Dolls, TLC, Toni Braxton, Jerry Lee Lewis, Marvin Gaye, Run DMC are but some notable examples of multi-platinum artists who have declared bankruptcy or were in financial trouble. 

The great composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died penniless and left behind a huge debt too.
Some may have rightly noted that the fortunes of our stars (and their profligacy, where applicable) should not be guaranteed by the government, especially since it is also your money as well (if you are a tax payer like myself). 

However, to insinuate that P Ramlee made a wrong move to leave Singapore and blame all his subsequent box office failures on the Malaysian government (and the lack of local expertise and "talent") speak volumes of the author's lack of knowledge, understanding and misguided imagination about the history of modern cinema in Malaysia. 

The Ampas Man must have forgotten how the Malay cinema, or cinema in the Malayan region operated at that time. 

During the studio era (1947 - 1977), Shaw Brothers and Cathay-Keris "virtually controlled the whole industry" and "the distributive/exhibition sector in Malaysia largely remained monopolistic because the same companies distributed local and imported films and also owned the cinema chains throughout the country" (William Van der Heide, 2002, p117). 

Kahn (2001) pointed out that "Shaw Brothers prevented the productions of other companies from showing in peninsular cinemas which they effectively monopolised" (p 101). 

Van der Heide (2002) even went as far as to claim that "the success of these films, was undoubtedly the result of Shaw Brother's stranglehold on the exhibition sector that they had bought up before the war" (p 133). 

It was pure business when Shaw Brothers crippled Seruan Merdeka at the box office. In the 1950s, the typical pattern was "for films to be produced by Chinese capital (Shaw Brothers), directed by Indians, with 'Malay-ised' versions of Indian and Chinese plots, and acted by Malaysians speaking in Malay" (Kahn, 2001). 

P Ramlee was aboard MFB (Malay Film Productions) during this period (1948 - 1955) and rode on its formulaic popularity. 

It was not until P Ramlee's arrival in his directorial debut (Penarik Becha, 1956) that truly marked the beginning of the rise of "Malay creative control" (Van der Heide, 2002). This happened within the studio system. Merdeka Studio came into being in the early 1960s and is the first production company headed by mostly Malay Malaysians. 

To say that it had no talent is an insult to the likes of L Krishnan, who was with Shaw Brothers and directed the first film P Ramlee starred in. L Krishnan was also with Cathay-Keris before joining Merdeka Studio in KL. 

To quote Wikipedia, "It had a meagre beginning, but once the top stars started their exodus from the two Singapore studios, its growth surged dramatically. ...The Shaw Brothers dispatched some of their Singapore film directors, among them L Krishnan, P Ramlee and Salleh Ghani, Jamil Sulong, Omer Rojik, S Kadarisman, Sudarmaji, Naz Achnas, M Amin and Jins Shamsudin, to make films at Merdeka". 

What really killed the studio business was the increase in production cost (including colour film), regional competition (Indonesian, Indian and Hongkong) and the influx of foreign films, not to mention the advent of the idiot box (television). 

Shaw Brothers actually took over Merdeka Studio itself in 1966, but local films had already lost its competitiveness by then. Shaw Brothers would close its studies in 1968 and Cathay-Keris did the same in 1972, as the local Malay film scene shifted to Kuala Lumpur into the hands of independent (bumiputera) filmmakers. 

Please, it wasn't a Singapore-based or Malayan-based problem. Raj Kapoor would soon make a storm with Bobby in 1973, and together with Bruce Lee in the Big Boss, 1971, they all but wiped out the demand for local films who already had trouble keeping up. The Malaysian government bought the Merdeka Studio in 1985 to house Finas. 

Rather than harping on the past and making non-existent connections, we should look carefully at what has been happening to the local film industry. 

Recently, local films started to make money because the audience and demand grew. However, most of the quality is uneven because it is still a relatively risky investment (unless you have strong financial backing). 

The late Yasmin Ahmad has shown us with the Orked trilogy (Sepet, Gubra and Mukhsin) that we have many capable filmakers (or dabblers, as she used to say) with beautiful stories to tell. Today, independent Malaysian filmakers are making a comeback against the rising tide of box-office driven spiel made by some local production houses that, to borrow Hishamuddin Rais's expression, "bonsified" the Malaysian audience. 

If The Ampas Man read anything about the current Finas board controversy, he would realise the problem that P Ramlee faced back then is still around today, which is financing films and struggling for creative control - a norm of the industry worldwide (Hollywood included). It is true that P Ramlee's films after 1964 with Merdeka Studio was not as big as his past successes, but times changed and he did enjoy a good run. 

P Ramlee's creative successes were with comedies and melodramas, and perhaps it wasn't easy to find financial commitment to bankroll his subsequent films. One thing we do know is that after Shaw Brothers and Cathay-Keris closed shop, Singapore's local filmaking industry did not really quite recover (please don't give me Jack Neo's films as examples). 

If history of film-making in Malaysia has anything to offer, it is the lesson that we need to groom local talent to produce quality films. Some movies sell better than others, but performance at the box-office is not the one-all indicator of success. You want a thriving, vibrant and inclusive local film industry; you need to invest in it. 

P Ramlee, like Sudirman after him, are all great Malaysians beloved by many. 

Stop abusing our memory of him to further narrow and parochial political games. He could have been a politician, true, but luckily he remained true to his art and profession. 

Instead of taking the opportunity to shine the spotlight on the local film-making and music industry in Malaysia, The Ampas Man unfortunately decided to make P Ramlee a case study to disparage the Malaysian government over the recently launched Talent Corporation. 

Whether it is for brain gain or brain circulation, please leave P Ramlee out of this, thank you. With Malaysians (or ex-Malaysians?) like these, who need enemies?  
Now think critically between these two writings.
I can come out with 2 ideas at the least;
1. First, it is clear that the second writing, was somehow politically motivated in some sort. 
As the first writing never imply anything about politics, rather than implying Malaysia is a bad environment for art-scene, the second writing is guilty to imply the ideas generated is due to narrow and parochial political games as what is written in Idea 2.

2. Personally,  is the sentence "He would have been better off in Singapore even with the unions there" to be historically correct?
How about Aziz Sattar, S. Shamsuddin, Ahmad Nesfu then?

If you carefully read the first idea, what happened was there was a union strike, and this caused Shaw brothers to actually close the studio.

S.Shamsuddin didn't go back to Malaysia because he was Singaporean-born.

If you carefully weigh this fact and add a salt of empathy, imagine yourself as P.Ramlee who was a Penangite.

Now your company is closed, you are un-employed, and somehow there was an offer at KL.

Wouldn't you take it?

When you are unemployed with your current company closing down, would you consider this sentence to be correct?
He would have been better off in Singapore even with the unions there.

Hence, is it best not to form opinions based on a single writing. It is because it might not be the whole truth.

I write this because everybody wants something to say including my own damned self.

The situation in Malaysia now is divisive, the same environment you've seen during the US election between Trump and Hillary.

And so, in a politically divisive environment, know that both the pro-govt and pro-opposition wants to win your vote, and will do anything to win it.

The way to do it, is to embed on your mind certain assumptions or ideas that somehow will lead them to the votes.

I'll be pretty honest. There are people out there whom got paid to do writing for politics. And the writing isn't just directly about politics. There are in-direct writing that serve the purpose.

Conditioning is not there to fool your conscious mind. It is to stimulate your on-conscious mind by embedding certain ideas over and over.

Advertisement is there due to this idea too.

I felt that the negative perception happening in Malaysian social media is somehow stimulated, directly or indirectly due to politics.

One trick in writing normally used in order to illicit preconditioned ideas into your brain is by the idea of  attribution.

As you've realised at both writing, both used historical facts. The historical fact is both the same (it should be, historical facts should be consistent), yet, it derives different conclusion.

The idea is, you attribute correct facts to the preconditioned idea you want to embed to the reader.

Psychologically, we are more keen to accept the preconditioned idea, since the facts are true, then the conclusion ie. the preconditioned idea will be true.

The best defence I could think of is,

1. Read it for the facts and not the conclusion.The conclusion might be bias and attribution error might be found there.

2. Read and read and read. Read critically.

Knowing this, start to think, should you get upset over all this? I don't think so, you live and you can choose what you read.

Your body will weaken and die away. What you really have, is really, your mind.

Is your mind really free or is it controlled?

Do you want your mind to be oppressed indirectly?

Lose small minds and free your life.

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Sunday, 8 January 2017

phosphorescence moments

This is a very lovely pop song which I like immensely.

I remembered singing it with guitar to someone special when I was in Dubai, I think it was around 2008-2009 before I came back to Malaysia for good.

But, this song has a very dark subtle lyrics. I didn't remember from which book I read or where I read, somehow during the 80's, the marriage of New Order's frontman, Bernard Sumner and his wife, Sue Barlow, was in bad shape. Drugs and alcohol (not necessarily the husband), money, the music industry, the band, was taking its shape on their marriage.

And somehow they got divorced in 1989.

I felt pretty sure this song is what Sumner must've felt towards his wife.

Every time I think of you
I feel shot right through with a bolt of blue
It's no problem of mine
But it's a problem I find
Living a life that I can't leave behind
But there's no sense in telling me
The wisdom of the fool won't set you free
But that's the way that it goes
And it's what nobody knows
well every day my confusion grows

Every time I see you falling
I get down on my knees and pray
I'm waiting for that final moment
You say the words that I can't say

I feel fine and I feel good
I'm feeling like I never should
Whenever I get this way
I just don't know what to say
Why can't we be ourselves like we were yesterday
I'm not sure what this could mean
I don't think you're what you seem
I do admit to myself
That if I hurt someone else
Then I'll never see just what we're meant to be

Every time I see you falling
I get down on my knees and pray
I'm waiting for that final moment
You say the words that I can't say

And about that someone special,

Even though I liked her (I'm not sure how she felt), both of us knew the relationship would not work.

We were totally different.

Different race, different background, different nationality and from what we were back then, we knew we couldn't make the relationship work.

But those moments when we were together, like eating ice-cream together at the shopping mall, are just moments of words that I can't say.

I wanted to write, about other things, for example about a 12-year-old kid who did shit with a friend in my Facebook page, and how kids nowadays are very impolite.

But I did not.

One of the reason is because kids are kids. They have their own wisdom of fools.

When I want to write about it, I couldn't help but feeling negative and sarcastic.
Then I decided to take a responsible step not to write and spread that negative energy.

And I remembered the last fight I had with my wife.

We were in a car, to McDonalds at Subang Airport.

We liked being at that McDonalds at Subang Airport, she would have that RM1 vanilla ice-cream, I will have my cold drink (and sometimes ice-cream) and we will sit in the air-conditioned area in hours.

Sometimes we chatted about things. Sometimes we played phone, I will scroll FB and she will play Hay Day. Sometimes I just read and got my mind away in Pluto while she, played Hay Day or talked with someone else on the phone.

Whatever happened in McDonalds, or didn't happened, we are there together.

And the fight we had in the car, was someone overtook me and I felt pretty pissed off, and started to scream profanities at that shitful driver.

That fella was driving me nuts.

But at that moment, I was angry. But what was important, I forgot something.

After few minutes, I remembered what I've forgotten.

That is, I was driving to McDonalds Subang Airport with my wife. I was going to get happy. And I was going to get her happy too.

I forgot about it and then I felt crappy guilty about it.

I didn't say sorry immediately, like most husbands, I guess, (because it will make us look like fools if we apologize immediately), I took my sweet time to mend it up again.

I remembered doing back head-over-shoulder while queing at the McDonalds. It was stupid because of course the woman felt embarassed.

But then I hold her hand. And never letting go.

She felt awkward, but I guess, somehow, she knew it..

It was just those moments of which I couldn't say.

I knew she felt okayed after that when she went on to take the sauce. That look on her face that all is fine and good.

Then we sat there and had our time.

Whatever happened in McDonalds, or didn't happened, we were there together.

The rest of the entry are just things I want to remember and enjoy throughout the week.


1. Use the 2-minute rule

When you're faced with a stressful situation, spend two minutes thinking about how you'd accomplish the seemingly impossible task ahead of you.

2. Avoid the 'don'ts'

Your language makes a huge difference in your attitudes and your behavior, Wittman writes. Try to omit the word "don't" from your speech and your thoughts, so that you're less focused on the potential negative outcome and more focused 
on the positive.

3. Think like CRAP

That's Clarity, Relevance, Accuracy, Precision. Here's how it breaks down:
Clarity: What's the target?
Relevance: Does this obstacle help me or hurt me in hitting my target?
Accuracy: Exactly how far away is the target?
Precision: Can that assessment be more exact?

4. Take responsibility

Wittman advises keeping a running tally of every time you make an excuse or blame someone else.
If it happens more than three times, you know you've developed a habit of making excuses

5. Specialize

"Multitasking is the bane of the Average Minded," Wittman writes, "doing a lot of things at once but never being great at anything."

6. Identify your emotional driver

Wittman writes: "If you don't know what you are willing to fight for and why, the chances are pretty high (100%) that you will quit fighting when it gets hard."

7. Craft an identity statement

At the very beginning of mental toughness coaching, Wittman asks clients to tell him who they are. They usually talk about their job, or maybe their role in their family. But Wittman encourages them to dig deeper.

8. Desensitize yourself to your fears

Wittman said that when he started his own business, he was terrified of making sales calls. Specifically, he was afraid of getting flat-out rejected.
So he took on a project for which he had to make 50 cold calls every week. The idea was to systematically desensitize himself to making those sales calls — and eventually, he was able to do it without panicking.

9. Use criticism as motivation to improve

Whatever you do, Wittman writes, "DO NOT internalize critical comments that put you down." Remember: When you're in charge of your own thoughts and feelings, no one can make you feel bad about yourself.


From that above it somehow becomes this.

This is here because I want to figure out the tab.








Photos from