Monday, October 24, 2016

2016 Finalists for the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

Images courtesy of contestants in the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2016

Saturday, October 15, 2016


From "Joan Danvers' College Years" (

A TV talkshow host* once asked me point-blank during a panel discussion if I were an anarchist.

“Of course,” I unhesitatingly replied, which took him aback. He quickly changed the subject. I guess the talkshow host, like most people I meet, was unaware what “anarchy” actually means.

My Oxford Concise Dictionary tautologically defines anarchy as “a society or political system founded on the principles of anarchism.” And how does it define anarchism? “Belief in the abolition of all government and the organization of society on a voluntary, cooperative basis.”

The Concise Oxford Dictionary is a bit off the mark here. It fails to distinguish between internal and external government. There’s a vast difference between self-imposed discipline and discipline enforced upon us by those who claim to know what’s best. The true anarchist is a self-governing entity who attains freedom from external dictates through rigorous integrity and transparency. As Bob Dylan wryly observed: “To live outside the law you gotta be honest.”

And how does one become honest?

Very simple. First you have to replace the concept of a judgmental and punitive parent-deity with an essentially loving, non-judgmental and extremely friendly notion of divinity - sort of a best buddy and trusted confidant(e). The problem is that souls evolve at different rates – and at this point in time the grossly immature ones appear to outnumber the ones who have made it through to self-governance.

(Incidentally the word “govern” comes from the Latin gubernare - “to steer or rule” – borrowed from the original Greek word kubernan, which simply means “to steer.”) This makes anarchism a difficult, if not impossible, ideal.**

Which explains why the word “anarchy” has been commonly misinterpreted as “disorder and general unruliness.”

In truth, anarchy is the final state to which monarchy aspires. How so? An enlightened ruler’s essential function is to be a shining example of dignity, nobility, and self-control for his or her subjects to emulate (just as a real teacher would be fulfilled to watch his or her students graduate as teachers in their own right).

Governance begins with monarchy and evolves through a whole gamut of isms before it finally achieves anarchism – the glorious state wherein “political parties” are defined as grand public celebrations at which everybody eats, drinks, and makes merry – and the human race transforms into the human dance.

As children we learn to lie in order to avoid punishment from grown-ups who would never understand why we do the things we do. Remove the punishment and – voila! – the crime disappears. But... but... but... I can hear the vociferous objections from the peanut gallery.

My old pal Socrates postulated that one sure way of telling true from false authority is simply this: false authority inevitably resorts to coercion, while true authority has all the patience in the world, since it emanates from the timeless realm.

Politics is fond of posing as a self-improving system of governance but we all know it actually boils down to who calls the shots. People mistake FORCE for POWER. If you disagree with me, I’ll nuke you! That’s FORCE of the crudest order. If you criticize my management style I’ll throw you in jail! That’s FORCE too, even if it takes the form of a threat.

So how does TRUE POWER reveal itself?

It encourages and inspires. It loves and loves. Note that the words "encourage" and "inspire" have powerful etymologies. Courage derives from corage, to give heart; and inspirare means to “breathe or blow into” (and that’s how we get the word spiritus).

To inspire is to fill others with spirit, semangat. That’s the proper definition of TRUE POWER. Love as a verb, not just a noun.

In short, politics as it is practiced on this planet is largely a grotesque travesty of real (and royal) values. Look what’s happening in America (“Home of the Brave, Land of the Free”) – electoral fraud and skullduggery got Dubya the presidency twice... then came Barack Obama and little changed... now American voters are over a barrel with two unelectable candidates! When business jumps into bed with politics guess who gets thoroughly screwed?

Taxpayers of the world, start governing yourselves! George Harrison once sang about the ones “who gain the world and lose their souls.” Well, do you fancy being governed by the soulless? I bet not! However, no need to rush out into the streets to get water-cannoned, tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, bludgeoned, finger-printed, incarcerated and tortured.

Evolution, not revolution!

Deactivate your reptilian fear programming in the privacy of your own mind! The fewer fears you cling to, the more you’ll be able to empathize, understand, and love. When you mature as conscious souls, you’ll find you actually have no enemies. You’ll outgrow the need to scapegoat, to pin the blame on somebody else. You’ll no longer create demons to appease, obey, or be tormented by - or a Big Brother to protect you from your own shadow self.

For a start, wean yourself off your addiction to that lethal dose of daily news from the mainstream media – you know who controls the programming, don’t you? The stuff is psychically toxic, designed to slowly, imperceptibly poison your sense of well-being like arsenic mixed into the paintwork.

When you finally locate the innermost core of your being, you’ll find your sovereign self regally seated on your own throne. You’ll know the meaning of dignity, integrity, nobility – and, above all, compassion. As each individual attains this blessed state of divine sovereignty, the brutal stupidity of politics will be expelled like so much stinky flatus by the transmutative power of internal, chromosomal, genetic change – the only real (and royal) change there is.

*That TV talkshow host, incidentally, was a smooth-talking young fella named Khairy Jamaluddin, who subsequently married the Prime Minister's daughter and became an extraordinarily rich shit-stirrer in Umno Youth (the Malaysian version of Mussolini's Blackshirts).

**Attaining true anarchy may be "difficult, if not impossible" - but do bear in mind that prior to 8 March 2008 most Malaysians believed that depriving the Barisan Nasional of their parliamentary two-thirds majority was well nigh "impossible."

[Published in VIDA! January 2005 © Antares; first published in this blog, 17 May 2007, reposted 2 November 2008]

Friday, October 14, 2016

WORLD'S WORST JOBS IN SCIENCE (well worth reposting!)

Found this posted as a comment on some blog I visited recently. It wasn't at all related to the blogpost and the commenter chose to remain Anonymous, so I don't know who to credit. Well, if the original author of this entertaining piece chances upon this, kindly notify me and due acknowledgment will be given!


Their work is noninvasive — for the apes, that is... "Have I been pissed on? Yes," says anthropologist Cheryl Knott of Harvard University. Knott is a pioneer of "noninvasive monitoring of steroids through urine sampling." Translation: Look out below! For the past 11 years, Knott and her colleagues have trekked into Gunung Palung National Park in Borneo, Indonesia, in search of the endangered primates. Once a subject is spotted, they deploy plastic sheets like a firemen's rescue trampoline and wait for the tree-swinging apes to go see a man about a mule. For more pee-catching precision, they attach bags to poles and follow beneath the animals. "It's kind of gross when you get hit, but this is the best way to figure out what's going on in their bodies," Knott says.


It's a job that separates the boys from the men. Okay, okay, their real job title is usually something like "cryobiologist" or "laboratory technician" - but at sperm banks around the country, they are known as semen washers. "Every time I interview someone I make sure I ask them, 'Do you know you'll be working with semen?'" says Diana Schillinger, the Los Angeles lab manager at the country's largest sperm bank, California Cryobank.

Let's start at the beginning. Laboriously pre-screened "donors" emerge from a so-called collection room that is stocked with girlie mags and triple-X DVDs. They hand over their deposit, get their $75, and leave. The semen washers take the seminal goo and place a sample under the microscope for a sperm count.

Next comes the washing. The techs spin the sample in a centrifuge to separate the "plasma" from the motile cells. Then they add a preservative, and it's off to the freezer, where it can stay for 20 years. Or not. Thanks to semen washers (and in vitro fertilization), more than 250,000 babies have been delivered in the U.S. since 1995.

"The hardest part is explaining it to friends," Schillinger says. "But we do have stories." Like what? "Like the donor who was in the room for the longest time. We had a big discussion about who was going to check on him. Turns out he thought he had to fill up the entire specimen cup."


The smell is just the start of the nastiness. Almost 1.5 billion tons of manure are produced annually by animals in America — 90 percent of it from cattle. That's the same weight as 14,432 Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. You get the point: it's a load of crap.

And it's loaded with nasty contaminants like Campylobacter (the number-one cause of acute gastroenteritis), salmonella (the number-two cause) and E.coli 0157:H7, which can cause kidney failure in children and painful, bloody diarrhea in everybody else.

Farmers fertilize their fields with manure, but if the excrement is rife with E.coli, then so will be the vegetables. Luckily for us, researchers at the University of Georgia's Center for Food Safety are knee-deep in figuring out how to eliminate these bacteria from our animals, their poop and our food. But to develop techniques to neutralize the nasty critters, they must go to the source.

"We have to wade through a lot of poop," concedes Michael Doyle, the center's director. "If you want to get the manure, you've got to grab it. Even when you wear gloves, the fecal smell tends to get embedded in your skin." Hog poop smells the worst, Doyle says, but it's chicken poop's chokingly high ammonia content that brings tears to researchers' eyes.


Odor analysts are common in the research labs of mouthwash companies, where the halitosis-inflicted blow great gusts of breath in their faces to test product efficacy. But Minneapolis gastroenterologist Michael Levitt recently took the job to another level — or, rather, to the other end. Levitt paid two brave souls to indulge repeatedly in the odors of other people's farts. (Levitt refuses to divulge the remuneration, but it would seem safe to characterize it thusly: Not enough.)

Sixteen healthy subjects volunteered to eat pinto beans and insert small plastic collection tubes into their anuses (worst-job runners-up, to be sure). After each "episode of flatulence," Levitt syringed the gas into a discrete container, rigorously maintaining fart integrity. The odor analysts then sat down with at least 100 samples, opened the caps one at a time, and inhaled robustly. As their faces writhed in agony, they rated just how noxious the smell was. The samples were also chemically analyzed, and — eureka! — Levitt determined definitively the most malodorous component of the human flatus: hydrogen sulfide.


In the early 1980s, Virginia Tech profs Tracy Wilkins and David Lyerly studied the diarrhea-causing microbe Clostridium difficile in sample after sample after sample of loose stool from the disease's victims. They became such crack dysentery docs that they launched a company, Techlab, dedicated to making stool-analysis kits.

Today, Techlab employs 40 people, 19 of whom spend their working hours opening sloppy stool canisters and analyzing their contents in order to test the effectiveness of the company's kits. You'd have to have a pretty good sense of humor, right? Well, fortunately, they do. The Techlab Web site sells T-shirts with cartoons on the front (two flies hover over two blobs of dung; one says to the other, "Pardon me, is this stool taken?") and the company motto on the back: "Techlab: #1 in the #2 Business!"


Researchers who want animal sperm — to study fertility or for artificial insemination — have a suite of attractive options: They can ram an electric probe up an animal's rectum, shove an artificial vagina onto the animal's penis, or simply do it the old-fashioned way — manual stimulation. The first option, electroejaculation, uses a priapic rectal probe to send electricity pulsing through the animal's nether regions.

"All the normal excitatory signals that stimulate ejaculation, like touch, sight, sound and smell, can be replaced with the current from the probe," says Trish Berger, professor of animal science at the University of California, Davis. "It's fascinating. Of course, this is a woman talking."

Electroejaculation generally requires anesthetizing the animal and is typically used on zoo dwellers. The other two methods — the artificial vagina, or AV, and the good old hand — require that animals be trained to the procedure. The AV — a large latex tube coated with warm lubricant — is used primarily to get sperm from dairy bulls (considered the most ornery and dangerous of bovines). The bull gets randy with a steer; when he mounts the steer with his forelegs, a brave technician, AV in hand, insinuates himself between the two aroused beasts and deftly redirects the bull penis into the mock genitalia, which he must then hold tight while the bull orgasms. (Talk about bull riding!) Three additional technicians attempt to ensure this (fool)hardy soul's safety by anchoring themselves to restraining ropes attached to a ring in the bull's nose. Alas, this isn't always absolutely effective: Everyone who's wielded an AV has had at least one close call, and more than a few have been sent to the hospital. The much safer "digital pressure" is used mostly with pigs, who are trained from an early age to mount a small bench while the researcher reaches around with a gloved hand and provides appropriate pleasure — er, pressure.

Photo from Animalize Taxidermy


Natural history museums display clean white skeletons or neatly stuffed animals, but what their field biologists drag in are carcasses flush with rotting flesh. Each museum's taxidermist has his own favorite technique for tidying things up. University of California, Berkeley, zoologist Robert Jones swears by his strain of flesh-eating buffalo-hide beetles and has no problem reaching his bare hand into a drawer to pull out a rancid shrew skeleton swarming with thousands of these quarter-inch bugs. Jeppe Møhl at the University of Copenhagen Zoological Museum deposits sperm whales and dolphins into vast empty tanks and lets nature take its course. And then there's the boiling method, useful for chemically preserved samples that bugs won't touch — an approach favored by archaeologist Sandra Olsen, who has done her own skeleton work. She recalls a particularly vivid experience boiling down hyena paws: "It felt like inhaling the gases would literally kill us." Nah. It merely gave her a lung infection.

[First posted 3 December 2007, reposted 15 December 2013]

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Abrahamic Agenda (revisited yet again)

Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son to appease Yahweh.

I have pondered long on the history of the Abrahamic Agenda on Earth.... how one human being implanted with receptors to receive commands from a different dimension was able to spawn three major belief systems that have had such contradictory consequences (inspiring both great art and miracles as well as endless conflict, ecocide and genocide).

In the 15th Century CE, the Roman Catholic Church was at its most hideous and malignant - actively ferreting out "deviants" and "heretics" and arraigning them before the bloodthirsty Inquisition (actually an ancient cabal of "priests" who were secret practitioners of human sacrifice and energy vampirism). The cruelest tortures were inflicted on those whose property was coveted by these perverse agents of the Roman Church - and after a mock trial, hundreds of thousands (if not millions) were burnt at the stake, drowned as witches, or left to rot in foul dungeons.

Well, ironically, the current era happens to be Islam's 15th Century... and we witness the same bunch of power-hungry fiends preying on humanity by pretending piety. Today, the pervert priesthood is mostly found in decadent regimes like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, and Malaysia and whether they call themselves ulama, ustaz or ayatollah, they seem addicted to the psychological stranglehold they wield over unquestioning believers.

Like their Roman Catholic predecessors and counterparts, these psychic predators trade mainly in fear (of hell) and guilt (usually sexual). I'm sure the majority of so-called Christians were decent human beings capable of reason and common sense - and yet, why were they afraid to speak out against the diabolical Inquisition? Why did they not revolt against the clergy? Simply because the clergy had convinced the masses that they (the priestly caste) represented God's Will on Earth - that's what is claimed by the Pope, hence the regality and splendor of his professional raments.

The same applies to the so-called Muslims in Malaysia. I have absolutely no doubt that the vast majority of Malaysian Muslims are completely reasonable and even compassionate human beings - yet why do they keep quiet and allow a few self-appointed "religious" fanatics to inflict the cruelest, most barbaric forms of punishment and mind-control on the ummah?

Ultimately, these issues have little to do with spiritual experience or religious practice - they are essentially political black ops designed to keep the masses constantly in a state of anxiety, self-doubt and moral cowardice. Imagine if a cabal of ulama were to decree that anyone caught masturbating would have his or her genitals surgically removed - would the ordinary mosque-going Muslim burst out in whoops of uncontrollable laughter and tell these crazy ulama to get a life or eff off? Or would they react by keeping a deadly silence and lowering their eyes, hoping nobody would single them out for questioning?

Meanwhile, truly outrageous crimes committed by the ruling elite pass unchallenged, uninvestigated and unprosecuted...

This is precisely the strategy UMNO is using in their desperate attempts to thwart Anwar Ibrahim's political destiny. Little do they realize, in so doing, they are only strengthening Anwar's mythic status as a folk hero - in the tradition of erstwhile messianic figures like Moses, Yeshua (Jesus) and Muhammad.

I have no vested interest in any particular belief system - whatever resonates within my cellular consciousness as "true" I will accept as inner guidance, inner teaching (intuition)... and having observed the power of semantics and semiotics on the mass psyche, I can only conclude that all humanity would be far more integrated and harmonious were it not for the divisive effect of religious dogma.

[First posted 15 October 2011. Reposted 13 December 2014 & 12 April 2015]

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Sensational News: They Have Arrived!


[Courtesy of Demetrious Addonis, first posted 23 November 2010]

Admit it. This was much easier on your eyes than a glistening gob of spit aimed at bad government.

Sunday, October 9, 2016


The unmistakable stench of goblin and orc pheromones continues to linger...

Self-portrait @ sixteen: perhaps I 
accidentally invented the selfie?
I was only 16 when I met Azizah at a "grownup" party where couples were slow-dancing and drinking alcoholic beverages. My classmate Suhaimi had invited Johnny Khoo and I to the party. As a fifth form student in Batu Pahat High School I was still a Walt Disney kid and as naïve as Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

One afternoon I saw Suhaimi sitting alone in the school canteen, busy rolling a balut (reefer). "What's that you're smoking?" I asked. Suhaimi winked and said conspiratorially: "We call this ganja." I had no idea what he was talking about so Suhaimi explained that in English it was known as marijuana. He pronounced it "mari-jew-anna."

I was horrified. "Suhaimi, you're my buddy and I care about you, so please listen to me and stop this dangerous habit before it destroys your life."

Suhaimi grinned and nodded amicably but didn't bother arguing with me. Nor did he offer me a toke on his glowing reefer. Two years later when I had my first joint I thought back to this early encounter with "illegal substances" and felt like a complete twit. What a namby-pamby twirp Suhaimi must have thought I was! But he was kind enough not to mock me and I'm still grateful for that.

courtesy of Sabrine
But I digress. Coming back to the party where I met Azizah: I remember her grabbing me by the hand and dragging me to the dance floor. Though I felt awkward and shy I managed to pretend to be cool and sophisticated. I was on cloud nine dancing with the vivacious and extremely friendly Azizah. To top it all she was very pretty too. Before we parted she told me she lived in the Gunung Soga government quarters. She even gave me her address and invited me to visit anytime.

About a week later I found myself driving around the Gunung Soga area with Johnny in tow. My dad, bless his soul, trusted me with his car even though I was too young to possess a driver's licence.

"Hey, let's see if we can find Azizah," Johnny suggested. It only took a couple of turns around the neighborhood to locate her house. We walked up to the front door and boldly knocked. Azizah opened it and broke into a big smile when she saw us. She began chatting with us but made no move to invite us in. A moment later we understood why.

A heavyset bloke sporting a policeman-style mustache suddenly emerged from a bedroom and sauntered to the front door. Azizah appeared a tad nervous as she introduced her fiancé Azlan to us.

Azlan gestured to Azizah and she gave us a weak smile as she disappeared into the kitchen, as if to fetch us some drinks. Her fiancé's hunky body blocked the entrance. "How do you know Azizah?" he asked curtly.

"Oh, we met at a party and she invited us to visit," I began... but Azlan wasn't listening. He took a step forward and kneed Johnny in the groin. Johnny reflexively got into fighting stance but I put a hand on his shoulder to calm him down. "Let's leave. I don't think we're welcome here."

That was my first experience of testosteronal overdrive, territoriality and the Malay male. It was such a rude and unpleasant shock I quickly blotted the incident from memory.

Thirty-three years later I was reminded of Azizah and her possessive lover Azlan when I saw Huzir Sulaiman's dramatic monologue, Election Day, wherein he played three housemates named Francis, Dedric and Fozi. The narrator is Francis (a freelance copywriter who could be either Indian or Eurasian) and the plot revolves around "the beautiful and enigmatic Natasha" (a rich girl who is neither seen nor heard at any point but for whose affections all three housemates end up vying). Dedric is a Taiwan-educated Tian Chua type human rights activist and Fozi is a fashionably bohemian architect and one-time PAS member in Perak.

At the start of the play Natasha is Fozi's girlfriend and she has just left the house after a spat with him. The action takes place on Election Day, 29 November 1999. As the drama unfolds we discover that Dedric has a crush on Natasha and thinks Fozi isn't worthy of her. Cleverly interweaving acerbic sociopolitical commentary into his narrative, Huzir concludes his one-hour neo-existentialist drama with a chilling revelation: one of the three housemates is actually a Special Branch officer who manages to set up the other two guys for arrest and detention without trial so he can get the girl - and possibly a promotion for services rendered towards the maintenance of the status quo.

Natasha in Election Day represents the ultimate reward: the land itself, a trophy bride to show off to the whole world and in whose fecund and erotic soil the conquering hero can plant his seeds.

Was Huzir Sulaiman cynically implying that the old adage - all's fair in love and war - holds true and that only the completely amoral stand a chance of winning the game?

Anyway, as I began to recall that long-forgotten run-in with Azizah's jealous fiancé Azlan, many complex issues emerged for me to ponder. First of all, why did Azizah invite me to her house? Okay, assuming she found me rather cute and was keen to befriend me, why didn't she warn me about Azlan? Those were the days before cellphones and SMSes, so it would have been a bit harder to plan secret trysts, even if she had passed me her home phone number. Yet Azizah struck me as a free-spirited, fun-loving girl who enjoyed a wide circle of friends and didn't see anything wrong with befriending other guys even if she already had a steady boyfriend or fiancé.

Perhaps Azlan and Azizah had very different views on this subject. I wonder if she eventually married the fellow - and whether she would have been happy being under the thumb of such a control freak who obviously believed it was fine for him to have four wives, but strictly a no-no for a woman to have four husbands.

I made an effort to imagine myself as someone like Azlan, who would shoot first and talk later if he felt his boundaries threatened. A man of action rather than contemplation who probably dismissed people like me as lily-livered bleeding hearts just because we're capable of a measure of empathy - and are therefore more likely to welcome the unexpected rather than barricade ourselves against the unknown.

If I were Azlan and one day found a couple of strange men at the door asking to see my girlfriend, what would my response be? First, I'd ask her if she knew these guys and whether she wanted to see them. If she acknowledged them as friends and was happy to welcome them to the house, I'd probably regard them as my friends too. They'd be served tea and cakes and after a bit of conversation I might find I enjoyed their company and vice versa. Even if they initially had plans to date her, they would probably be glad just to be accepted as family friends.

After all, if I'm fortunate enough to have a really hot girlfriend or spouse, she's bound to be a big hit with almost every guy she meets and they would all wish they could make out with her. And if I didn't attempt to put her on a short leash and respected her sovereignty as a conscious and mature individual, I'd trust her to always be honest with me.

It's absurd to force your partner to vow NEVER to be attracted to any other. However, it's not difficult at all to swear eternal love to somebody - as long as it's not exclusive, since one never knows what inner changes one will undergo over an extended period.

For instance, you may believe you're absolutely besotted with somebody when you're 17 years old, only to realize four or five years down the line - or perhaps even after four or five months - that it was a purely superficial attraction, and that it's time to move on. Even so, one must always be grateful for love and good times shared. It's a very positive thing to continue loving the ones you have mentally and emotionally outgrown or detached from - like your own parents or former teachers, for example.

Do you see what I'm getting at? Azlan is a metaphor for Umno's values of pseudo-nationalism, ultra-ethnocentrism, and erotophobic bi-polarity manifesting as an obsession with sex and power. Azizah symbolizes Malaysia.

As a traditional, patriarchally programmed Malay male, Azlan/Umno believes it is his God-given right to possess and control Azizah/Malaysia. The thought of somebody else - what more a pork-eating Chink? - wanting a share of his prized possession Azizah is enough to trigger a violent knee-jerk reaction.

All very basic, really: without wasting his breath by going into a discussion about the matter, Azlan instinctively knew what Johnny and I were after - his girl! - and since he was a much more mature guy than either of us fifth-formers, he simply turned into a bully-boy to dissuade us from ever approaching Azizah again. Just protecting his own interests, that's all. Nothing personal.

But there's the rub. Azlan saw Azizah as his property - not as a living, thinking, feeling, evolving, autonomous entity. Johnny wanted to punch Azlan in the face but I felt it was prudent to just walk away from an unnecessary fight. It wasn't as if either of us was seriously in love with Azizah. We only wanted to explore the possibilities of befriending this feisty, friendly girl. All very innocuous stuff, really, and it was stupid of Azlan to react so brutishly.

By obeying his own primitive, unthinking, territorial imperatives he had shown himself to be merely a humanoid biped not much more evolved than a gorilla equipped with basic linguistic circuitry. If he had had the good sense to break into a broad grin and quip: "So you guys want to chat with Azizah? Well, I'm her manager and it's going to cost you 50 bucks an hour... each! Actually, I'm engaged to be married to Azizah in three months and if you turn out to be nice fellas, we'll invite you to the wedding."

Well, such an approach might easily have won Azlan two new friends. Instead, he left me with a permanent bad taste about unwarranted jealousy, petty-mindedness and the sheer stupidity of being a habitual control freak. Indeed, I'm convinced that people like Azlan - unless they mature and mellow rapidly enough - won't qualify for admission into the heavenly realms, because we can't have such coarse and loutish souls clogging up the free flow of good feelings in those rarefied frequencies.

Nevertheless, Azlan's violent behavior was undeniably effective. I never attempted again to contact Azizah, though for me she will always represent the beauty, nubility, hospitality and infinite promise my country holds for me - and everyone else who regards her as home. And ever since that time the name Azizah has always held a mysterious appeal for me.

Azizah would be past 60 by now, probably a grandmother several times over. I fervently hope she wised up and dumped that reactionary Umnoish boyfriend of hers and married a Mat Salleh instead. In any case, I wouldn't be at all surprised if one of these days a vibrant, vivacious and extremely attractive young woman named Zamila added me as her Facebook friend, and I later discovered her paternal grandma Azizah was born in Batu Pahat and lived for many years in the Gunung Soga government quarters...

Halfway through writing this post it occurred to me that the syndrome I've been discussing is certainly not defined by ethnicity or nationality, nor does it entirely apply to the male gender. It so happened that in this early encounter with "the territorial imperative" the antagonist happened to be a Malay male. He could also have been Italian, Mexican, Japanese, Albanian, Filipino, Zimbabwean, Chinese or Portuguese. Possessiveness is a fairly common trait amongst females too. 
Ego insecurity and jealousy are hardwired into our reptilian brains - the most basic, most ancient and primitive component of vertebrate cerebrospinal neural circuitry. In most species the territorial imperative serves the long-range objectives of specific genetic programs in a Darwinian selective process. 
Stands to reason that under the harsh, hostile conditions of a prolonged Dark Age, the masculine, warlike qualities would become prominent survival features. However, in an Enlightened Age, this truculent, hooliganistic, shoot-first-talk-later behavior swiftly becomes countersurvival.  
Brain supersedes brawn and heart overrides gonads as sentient beings evolve. In effect, the Azlan syndrome is really a residual behavior accumulated over thousands of years when physical might improved procreative odds. In an era when metaphysical vision becomes more relevant and significant as modifiers of human evolution, the gorillaman faces abrupt extinction as the godman takes his place as prime progenitive preference.
Just as Umno has yet to integrate the deeper existential implications of its massive losses after the 8 March 2008 election, a large portion of humanity has yet to acquire the more advanced software that will enable us to constantly be aware of the Big Picture - the larger context of our interactions with other aspects of our constantly expanding selves. Those able to swiftly redefine themselves and their own ego boundaries may be classified as "Cultural Creatives" or civilizing agents.
[First posted 9 May 2009, reposted 10 December 2011 & 23 August 2015]