Saturday, May 16, 2009

I survived a direct hit but not my phone line...

Shortly after 8pm on May 14th a thunderstorm erupted in full fury. Minutes later the phone rang and I picked it up. It was an old friend who needed a bit of solace. Five minutes into our conversation there was an explosion in my ear and the receiver flew out of my hand.

Lightning strike! Damn... the land line was down... and every time something like this happens I experience the evils of hegemony and monopoly - political as well as economic - impinging on my personal reality. If there's anything I've learned from this electrifying incident - NEVER, NEVER USE THE PHONE DURING A VIOLENT THUNDERSTORM!

Okay... so I'm offline for as long as it takes Telekom Malaysia to fix the problem. One would think, with telephony having been around for 130 years routine breakdowns can be sorted out within a few hours. Not in Bolehland where Telekom Malaysia has had an absolute monopoly on land lines from the very start - and with Mahathir privatizing all essential services by handing them on a golden platter to Umno cronies - the national telephone company is about as customer-friendly and service-oriented as the BN administration.

I won't bore you with the details. Let's just say that 50 hours after I got a friend to lodge a breakdown report, nothing has been done - although I did get a call from a TM technician informing me that lightning had struck the communications card at the nearest switchpoint, and that he would apply for a replacement.

Apply for a replacement: that means informing the outsourced spare parts agent in Rawang who will then issue a request for a new card from their Shah Alam warehouse. Which could take several days, going by past experience.

Great! I'm suitably impressed. Anyway... this is essentially to inform you, dear Magick River blog reader, that I'll be taking an enforced vacation from blogging till my land line is fixed.

Screw Telekom Malaysia. May TM go down with Umno and the S.S. Barisan Nasional... the sooner the better!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Live 1988 at London Wembley to celebrate Nelson Mandela's 70th birtday. Dire Straits at their best with a bit of help from Eric Clapton.

Mark Knopfler - guitar/lead vocal
Eric Clapton - rhythm guitar
John Isley - bass
Guy Fletcher - keyboard
Terry Williams - drums
Alan Clark - piano/keyboard

I would support any move to replace our present royal houses with charismatic and truly talented musicians.

Why? Well, musicians have an innate sense of melody and harmony, excellent pitch and rhythm, they're experts at inspiring and uplifting rather than bringing people down... and the vast majority are savvy enough to get off the stage before their audiences start yawning.

Apart from that, I find that most musicians get along fine with each other once they get jamming, regardless of what sort of music they play, and wherever musicians go in the world it's real easy for them to make friends and communicate with other musos.

Our new rotating "Sultans of Swing" can get together a few times a year to do a spectacular nationwide tour to keep all Malaysians dancing and celebrating life and jumping for joy.

This is my personal tribute to Malaysia's true kings and queens. Well-loved performers like (to name but a few at random) Amy, M. Nasir, Ning Baizura, Ramli Sarip, Paul Ponnadurai, Rafique Rashid, Julian Mokhtar, Amir Yussof, Sahara Yaacob, Ella, Jamal Abdillah, Khatijah Ibrahim, Zainal Abidin, Sheila Majid, Sharifah Aini, Ito, Michael Veerapen, Josie Thomas, Francissca Peters, Zainal Razak, Jaclyn Victor, Andy Peterson, Gary Gideon, Albert Sirimal, Vijay David, Azmyl Yunor, Joe Kidd, Poe... the list goes on and on but I'm sure you get the picture!