Friday, December 31, 2010

All Quiet on the Domestic Front...

It's the last day of 2010 and all is quiet on the domestic front...

Too quiet, in fact. Without Roger Putra to grace our scenic veranda and to amuse all and sundry with his galloping cute bum whenever he runs ahead (as he must) to the river for his daily dip and photo ops on the rocks.

Roger's wholly unnecessary and meaningless murder at the hands of a demented Orang Asli on 14 December has soured what has otherwise been a very sweet year for me.

For the nation and for the planet as a whole, whether 2010 has been sweet or sour - or a bit of both - depends on what constitutes your sources of information. If you subscribe to the mainstream news media and watch a lot of TV, then it has been a generally chaotic and frustrating year, with rogue regimes stubbornly (often violently) clinging on to power while natural (and unnatural) disasters continue to inflict massive hardship and suffering on the disenfranchised and the destitute.

However, if you've been listening to your heart more than to your head, you might have sensed that humanity is waking up very swiftly and spontaneously.

You might also have noticed that there are vast numbers of amazing children incarnate on the planet right now - some already in their teens, others still toddlers - but all of them represent a new octave of evolution for the human species.

These rainbow starchildren (some might label them Indigo Crystals) arrived fully conscious with minimal karmic or neurotic impediments. Just look into their eyes and you will recognize them as Master Souls - entities from celestial realms who have volunteered to be physically incarnate at this crucial juncture of the planet's evolutionary process.

I met a large number of Indigo Crystals recently at a special gathering in Bali. The youngest, Eilidh (above, right), was only 10 months old. From the moment I laid eyes on her (she was playing in the hotel pool with her mother Elspeth) she focused directly at my energy field and her face broke out in a beatific smile. On the last day of the gathering of healers, shamen, wizards, magicians and starseeds, Eilidh's dad Anthony had her on his shoulder while he walked slowly around the grand ballroom. I noticed that Eilidh made eye contact with every single one of the individuals present - all 115 of them. I felt blessed to be in the same space - indeed, on the same planet - as her.

And then there were Akyuna (16) and Elena (24) who seemed to have arrived on earth riding the same beam of love from beyond the stars. Although Elena got here 8 years ahead of Akyuna, when they gaze lovingly into each other's eyes, they are both completely ageless - just a radiant unified field of divine love. With Akyuna and Elena I never really had to communicate verbally. Every time we bumped into one another, a tender hug was the only currency we traded in - and ear-to-ear grins that spoke volumes about the pure joy bursting from our hearts. Although Akyuna lives in Hawaii and speaks only English and star language - and Elena lives in Moscow and speaks Russian, English and the language of the heart - they communicate regularly via facebook, and all who love these luminous starchildren rejoice in their earthly reunion.

What about Tonatiuh and Taisia? He was born in Mexico, went to Germany for further studies and that's where he met his future bride, the exquisite Russian-born Taisia. The sacred union of North and South, Latin and Slavic royal bloodlines. In Peru at the second part of the 8th Gate Activation in 2009, Tonatiuh and Taisia awakened to the fantastic truth of their earthly incarnations as embodiments of the White Dragons - noble beings of magical and primordial wisdom that have not inhabited these dense realms for aeons.

I returned from Bali to the ecstatic embrace of a starry princess named Nannan (a true Indigo Crystal) who chose to incarnate in China, so she could embody the deep and ancient memories of a hardy and resourceful land that has seen heavenly glory and known the darkest despair, deprivation and sorrow. Her spirit so bold and fearless - yet as merciful as the compassionate goddess Kwanyin and wise as only a rider of dragons can be. Our reunion triggered long-buried echoes of memories from beyond the veil of forgetfulness, stretching across many lifetimes. To recognize and to be recognized is indeed the epitome of true love!

Beyond any doubt, I feel powerfully connected to an ever expanding network of incarnate souls representing all the Primordial Creator lineages - beings that originate from archangelic and angelic realms, volunteers from exotic star systems and wizardly technicians from all points in time and a staggering profusion of probable realities and parallel universes...

They are already here on Earth, in beautiful human embodiment, eating and chatting and laughing and making love with other awakened and awakening humans. Their radiant energy fields are luminescent and vibrant fields of limitless love and unbounded intelligence, transcending the 3-dimensional confines of the Matrix and immune to the primitive, fear-based, scarcity-conditioning and mind-control mechanisms installed in the early versions of Homo sapiens by the Anunnaki and other spiritually immature ET factions.

Each one of us is in the process of integrating our celestial and terrestrial neural circuitry and emerging as authentic masters, like a hundred million Krishnas, Buddhas, Padmasambhavas, Muhammads and Christs that have managed to sneak past the border guards right into the heart of the Occupied Zone. The Revolution we are fomenting is essentially a mental and spiritual one, without recourse to violence.

The Agent Smiths of the New World Order cabal and the evil priesthood of the ancient vampire bloodlines will, as to be expected, lash out in panic, thinking they can quell any large-scale rebellion through the force majeure of the police state at home and their military might abroad.

When physical violence erupts, as it occasionally will, physical bodies get damaged, even destroyed. As far as possible, we shall be extremely cautious when negotiating these dangerous political reefs - but none of us, in the ultimate sense, fears death or incarceration, if only because we have all been through this sort of low-grade scenario time and again. Yes, some of us remember the Inquisition vividly; some of us still bear the emotional scars of a dozen massacres and bloody wars. We have navigated labyrinths and resurrected ourselves from fictitious crucifixions countless times. We're veteran Jedis of numerous Star Wars.

We are fighting this war of enlightenment to liberate the human spirit from the fetters of deadly dogma and dull doctrine; from Neo-Darwinian notions and Malthusian misconceptions that have resulted in grotesquely iniquitous and unbalanced distribution of the planet's majestic abundance. We will not bow or cower before deformities dressed in the robes of earthly power, usurpers of and pretenders to the throne of heaven on earth. All the puffed-up honorifics and titles they bestow upon themselves will not protect them from our scrutiny and our scorn.

They believe they can cork the leak by arresting and harassing a cyber-revolutionary like Julian Assange. But can they cope with ten million Assange clones in Guy Fawkes masks?

Sooner rather than later their own children will recoil in horror at the stupid cruelty of what their parents and grandparents have done to the planet and all her lifeforms - and the psychosis they conceal behind their botoxed façades of respectability. And these children will open up the fortesses and palaces from within to let in some desperately needed fresh air and some pure new blood to renew the view from Pisgah and restore the divine blueprint of heaven on earth.


Thursday, December 30, 2010


Hugo Farrant was chilling at Magick River when he received an invitation from Julian Assange to record a new episode of RAP NEWS in London, all expenses paid. Not long after that the names Julian Assange and WikiLeaks were on everybody's lips. Watch high-end rapper-poet Hugo in action and you'll soon have his name on your lips too...


RAP NEWS from The Juice Media produced by Hugo Farrant & Giordano Nanni

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

THE STORY SO FAR (reprise)...

[Legends, myths and folk tales live forever in our genetic memories - because they carry great lessons that impact on our everyday lives. Look around, folks, you're living in the midst of an unfolding epic drama...]

JOHN THE BAPTIST is a prophet in the tradition of Elijah who lives a simple, ascetic life, preparing candidates for the kingdom of heaven by baptizing them in the river Jordan. He announces the coming of a great Master who will save humanity and redeem us from darkness and moral degeneracy.

John does not belong to the conservative Jewish sect known as the Pharisees, who venerate the Torah (akin to the Koran) and the Talmud (akin to the Hadith), and value outward piety in daily life; nor does he belong to the Sadduccees, an urban elite sect (akin to Mahathir's Melayu Baru) with a more sophisticated understanding of the outside world and who have embraced Hellenistic (secularist) lifestyles and values. John is more aligned with the Essenes (akin to the Sufis), a mystic sect that teaches conscious union with the Paraclete (or Holy Spirit).

As he isn't part of any institutionalized priesthood, John the Baptist answers only to himself and his God. He preaches to all who will listen and fearlessly criticizes the liars and hypocrites who compromise their ethical values in exchange for petty favors from the corrupt and decadent court of Herod Antipas (right), puppet King of Galilee and vassal of the Roman Occupation Government. John openly denounces the moral degradation that has overtaken his beloved land and accuses Herod Antipas of transgressions against the law.

As the traditional "Voice in the Wilderness," John the Baptist's rantings against the government are tolerated as the mutterings of a madman. However, after Herod Antipas abandons his official consort and marries his sister-in-law Herodias - an ambitious, heartless woman who some suspect poisoned her own husband - John the Baptist condemns their liaison as an unholy one, thereby angering the witchy Herodias. To pacify her Herod Antipas orders the arrest of the wild prophet and throws him in prison.

At the royal marriage feast, Herodia's voluptuous daughter Salome (left) dances for the court and so delightful is her performance that the King drunkenly announces that she can demand whatever reward she desires. Salome consults her mother, who suggests that she asks for the head of John the Baptist.

Nonetheless, John's earthly mission has already been accomplished. Prior to his arrest, incarceration and beheading, he had recognized and identified The One who will save the people from eternal enslavement to the forces of evil - indeed, Ha Adon Yeheshua Ha Mashi'akh or long-awaited Messiah - and baptized him in the living waters of the river Jordan. The young Master Yeshua's encounter with his shamanic initiator, John the Baptist transforms him into The Christos or Anointed King.

Yeshua emerges from his full immersion in the Jordan reborn as The Christos, awakened to his own earthly mission, even as a voice from heaven resounds in his head: "You are verily my Sun in whom I am so well pleased!"

John the Baptist is widely acknowledged as a Man of Godly Wisdom and his naming of Yeshua as The One facilitates the Master Yeshua's mission of awakening the people.

Traveling from village to village to explain his vision of humanity's New Dawn, Yeshua amasses a following that grows by the day. Few can resist his penetrating intelligence and charisma, his aura of nobility and innate leadership. The Galileans are convinced that the King has finally returned to reclaim his Heavenly Kingdom on Earth.

However, obstacles abound on the road to Glory, Kingdom and Power...

The Sadduccees fear radical change, having adapted nicely to Roman Occupation and invested their lives in mercantile activities, they cling anxiously to the Status Quo and speak of compromise, patience, reconciliation with Herod, and appeasement of Rome, lest turmoil descend upon the nation.

The Pharisees and Scribes, on the other hand, realize that the Return of the King could result in a diminution of their worldly authority and wealth; possibly total loss of their powers and privileges, gained at the expense of the ignorant masses. For generations they have toiled under the yoke of Roman Occupation, learning to serve time and their own self-interest. Now, along comes a visionary from out the blue whose impassioned talk of the Kingdom of Heaven sends shivers of incomprehension through their weakened spines. They are being asked to make a leap of faith into uncharted territory, to live by aspirations long forgotten and ideals long forsaken... never before has a crisis of such magnitude befallen the nation!

Can this Miracle Worker, this self-proclaimed Messiah, this uncrowned King be trusted? Will he lead us to the Promised Land at long last... or to Damnation and Ruin?

This is a story that has been told and retold throughout the ages. The plot remains the same, as do the key characters. What changes are the time and place, the costume and set design. And, as always, how the story ends - whether in tragedy or triumph - is entirely in our own hands.

{First posted on 25 September 2008. Reposting today because nothing has changed and the story is even more relevant, now that another election is around the corner. I dedicate this especially to all professing Christians who, out of cowardice or plain self-interest, continue to endorse and support the wicked regime of Herod Antipas.]

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The (attempted) murder of joy

For years I have had an ambivalent attitude towards Christmas. It would require a 3,000-word essay to clarify why I tend to feel a deep sense of futility and weariness whenever the “jolly season” rolls around.

Last year I managed to survive the “jolly season” by taking a two-week vacation in Sungai Buloh Hospital. It wasn’t much fun for my folks, I realized, so I won’t do it again. Besides, you only get to experience resurrection once, right? Unless you happen to be a coward with a habit of dying a thousand deaths.

This year I have indisputable cause to feel depressed.

Somebody murdered my dog in cold blood. Roger Putra wasn’t just any dog – he was more like a second son to Anoora and me.

We both doted on the chubby little tyke who celebrated his second birthday in November and was in the prime of health and beauty. Roger was the only dog – apart from his father the late illustrious Mr Wong – allowed into the house. Some nights he insisted on sleeping in the bedroom, curled up beside me on the floor. In the morning I would awake to see him smiling at me – and if I decided to laze around too long, Roger would jump on the bed and make himself comfortable next to me until Anoora shooed him off. Then he would leap over my horizontal body and run outside to lie in the sun.

Roger Putra was the embodiment of joy around here. Whenever I felt irritable, weighed down by the density and abominable quality of some people’s consciousness, Roger would magically appear with an ear-to-ear grin on his face and I would instantly cheer up.

There is a particular rock under a shady tree I enjoy sitting on and watching the river flow, with Roger beside me. I would run my fingers down his neck, looking for ticks I could flick into the river for the fish. It was a daily ritual, almost, that never failed to fill me with a profound sense of contentment. Roger Putra was good medicine for my soul.

Roger's Rock where I often sat with him, contemplating eternity

Today I sat on that same rock and felt him as a familiar presence. My hand involuntarily reached out to stroke his thick fur… but found only thin air. I thought about the man who killed Roger, not with anger but with unfathomable sorrow. What a nightmare it must be for him to even live each day. Only a soul devoid of any self-esteem and zest for life could descend to such depths of depravity and gratuitous violence.

So who killed Roger Putra and why?

A friend had gone for a long walk early on the morning of 14 December. Roger had followed her, accompanied by two female dogs. When she returned an hour or so later, Roger wasn’t with her. My heart sank. “Where’s Roger?” I asked. She assumed he had gone home ahead of her. I was unable to go look for him right then because I had visitors, so she took off again with another friend to try and retrieve Roger. After my visitors left I drove down the trail as far as I could and headed to a spot about 20 minutes’ hike from where my friend has last seen Roger. I called for Roger over and over again, my voice echoing around the hills. At a river crossing I called again and within moments a figure appeared… it was Anoora’s stepfather Rasid.

“What are you doing here?” he asked.

“Looking for my dog, have you seen him?”

“Yes, not long ago, running through the rubber forest.”

“He seemed okay? I’m concerned about boar traps around here.”

“He’s probably on his way home,” Rasid said.

I felt a surge of optimism. My main anxiety had been the jerat or wire snares set by Orang Asli to catch wild boar. A year ago Roger had been caught on one of those horrible devices and it took him three days to gnaw through the wire and liberate himself. He managed to limp home with his right leg almost cut through at the shoulder. Took him a month to heal but he was completely fine.

Mary & Ahau taking Roger to the vet after he almost lost his right leg to an Orang Asli snare

Rasid’s report gave me a surge of optimism. I was praying hard that when I got home a familiar furry thunderball would be charging down the grassy slope through the undergrowth to greet me. Instead, I found both my friends standing at the top of the steps looking forlorn after a fruitless search. Over the next few days I kept going back to where Roger was last seen, hoping to find him busy licking some horny bitch’s bottom, lost to the world. The best case scenario was that he had found a willing playmate in the vicinity and decided to stay close to her – out of sight of Mary’s dog Baggins, who would never give Roger a chance to mount any female found in heat within his territory. Bitches remain in heat a least a week. And male dogs in love tend to forget about food. Roger, I figured, had enough body fat to last at least that long.

A whole week passed and I forced myself to remain hopeful that Roger was merely undergoing his rite of passage into full adulthood. There were times when I felt Roger didn’t like being pampered too much – his male pride, perhaps. He possessed a strong sense of the dramatic and heroic, always standing on a high rock gazing into the distance, beyond the treeline, nose twitching at the scent of monkeys and other assorted fauna. It was as if he was always listening for the call of the wild…

On the lunar eclipse solstice of 21 December, we were at a restaurant having lunch when Karim the deaf mute appeared, intoxicated as usual. He rubbed thumb and index fingers together and showed me five fingers. I opened my wallet and found only four ringgit in small notes to offer him. He took the money and went off, only to reappear a few seconds later. Karim pointed to my van, indicating he would like a lift back. I gestured to a chair and he sat down. Using his hands and inchoate noises from his larynx, Karim managed to communicate that Roger had been slashed by somebody wielding a parang. He saw a little dog run whelping towards the river and collapsing. As Karim acted out his story I saw an image of someone in my mind. I uttered his name and Karim nodded – but only just. A few days earlier I had chanced upon this man at the river crossing and asked if he had seen my dog. He said no in a nonchalant tone and carried on his way. There had been a slightly surreal air to this encounter but I decided not to make too much of it at the time.

It was at that point that the gravity of the situation hit home.

I noticed Anoora had moved away to another table to join Ahau. She heard but didn’t want to understand. Her face was impassive but I saw her breathing heavily and there was a flash of silent fury in her eyes. What had once been a tranquil, relatively crime-free Orang Asli village had now become unsafe. Anyone who can murder a dog in cold blood can easily murder another human being.

The heavenly hologram we live in appears to have been infiltrated by the legions of hell whose headquarters are now located in Putrajaya. Demented sadists and killers abound within the corrupt law enforcement agencies – that much is clear – but to see this emotional plague spread to the fringes of the forest and infect even the Orang Asli is deeply troubling.

Since 1998 the Orang Asli psyche has progressively deteriorated. The older ones with a memory of their ancestors’ teachings have mostly died, leaving a lost generation raised on low-grade TV dramas and subjected to systematic brainwashing through the Jabatan Hal Ehwal Orang Asli which openly espouses Umno’s Us-versus-Them ideology. Being rudely thrust into the cash economy has made the Orang Asli insensitive to their own environment. They not only throw rubbish everywhere like the majority of Malaysian picnickers, but now they, too, have become greedy. Harvesting bamboo for the Chinese towkay is a way to earn more cash – but in recent months the amount of bamboo cut down has increased almost tenfold. The Orang Asli don’t seem to have enough foresight to realize that in four or five years, the riverbanks will erode with so much bamboo being removed so carelessly - and the streams will be badly polluted. This will undoubtedly degrade the entire rainforest ecosystem.

Under the influence of Saruman, the Orang Asli males are visibly transforming into Orcs. The same subhuman species that gravitate towards the police, volunteer militia and armed forces. Devoid of empathy, compensating for their own feelings of emasculation by treating with heartless cruelty anyone or any creature they perceive as weaker than themselves.

Remember Nurin Jazlin Jazimin, the lovely eight-year-old girl who disappeared on the evening of 20 August 2007 after she went downstairs from her apartment to buy something from the night market? Almost a month later her body was discovered in a gym bag outside a shophouse. Nurin had been brutally violated by sexual perverts and murdered. The perpetrators of this hideous violence against a totally powerless child have never been identified and caught.

Nor have the perpetrators of an equally nauseating crime against all sense of decency ever been identified and brought to justice. I refer to those who ordered the abduction, torture, and shooting of Altantuya Shaariibuu, a Mongolian translator who got herself entangled with unsavory characters from the defence ministry over some shady arms deal – topped off by her corpse being blown to smithereens with C4 plastic explosives in the wee hours of 20 October 2006.

And, of course, we haven’t forgotten 22-year-old Kugan Ananthan, arrested because he was reportedly rude to a police officer, accused of being involved in a car theft syndicate, and savagely tortured and beaten to death in a Petaling Jaya police station in early January 2009.

Six months later another young man named Teoh Beng Hock was tortured by Anti-Corruption interrogators, and found dead the next afternoon, having apparently fallen from the 14th floor Selangor headquarters of MACC.

On 26 April 2010, a 14-year-old boy named Aminulrasyid Amzah was shot in the back of his head by policemen on patrol for absolutely no reason at all, apart from the fact that he was speeding and driving without a licence. A few weeks ago, several teenagers were executed in cold blood by the police in an incident shrouded in mystery. The authorities are not at all interested in investigating these cases – only in covering them up and hanging on to power.

The mindless, utterly meaningless murder of my beautiful, brave and beloved Roger Putra has made me feel a deep sense of kinship with the family and friends of all those who have encountered a similarly cruel fate at the hands of the demented, the despairing, the degenerate debris of humanity - many of whom moonlight as public servants, as security guards or soldiers, policemen or even prime ministers' wives.

Who is ultimately responsible for this state of moral degradation?

The King, of course, and all his fellow rulers. When monarchs and icons of leadership fail to uphold equality, integrity and justice – entire nations begin to morally implode and eventually fall into ruin. The Chinese character for king - 王- reveals a great deal about the nature of rulership: the three horizontal strokes represent heaven, humanity and earth, while the vertical stroke which holds the celestial, existential and terrestrial realms together and apart symbolizes the upright, honorable and noble qualities required to maintain balance and harmony on all levels. When the central pillar of justice, compassion and truth is rotten to the core and devoid of courage and integrity, we are faced with inevitable collapse and disaster.

In February 2009 the Sultan of Perak sacrificed honor and justice when he succumbed to greed and connived with Najib to wrest control of the state government from the popularly elected chief minister, Nizar Jamaluddin. Two months later, the Yang Di Pertuan Agong acceded to the official installation of Najib as crime minister, knowing full well that here was a man indifferent to all notions of integrity, burdened with a long history of corrupt practice and profligacy, and ineluctably linked to a high-profile murder. The King failed to heed the warning signs – a petition bearing thousands of signatures had been sent to 141 members of parliament urging them not to endorse the appointment of such a morally tainted figure to the nation’s highest office. Especially one not even popularly elected to the post but pushed up the ranks by political manipulators.

Only a complete idiot or outright villain would plead ignorance in such a matter of national importance. In less than two years of Najib and Rosmah’s enthronement in Putrajaya we have seen the negative outcome of this ill-fated endorsement and exaltation of moral putrefaction. The spiritual cancer has spread fast and not even the rural psyche has been spared.

Since 3 April 2009, evil has permeated like an obstinate infestation of ticks every nook and cranny, every dark crevice across this once fair land. Most people I meet seem to be in despair. The pernicious poison the Wicked Queen of Putrajaya has injected like a black widow spider into the collective psyche has precisely that effect – it demoralizes, enfeebles, and paralyzes.

What is the antidote?

Courage, perseverance and clarity of purpose. The black widow’s venom works fast and will weaken even a healthy body - but it cannot kill and wears off within hours. So, people, despair not. Now is the time to renew your resolve and upgrade your operational software – reassess your life priorities and ennoble yourself rather than succumb to the cowardice of pragmatism. Embody your own ideals and hold your head up high as you make your way through the stench of entrenched and institutionalized corruption. Quit being petty and unnecessarily quarrelsome, especially with your allies and comrades-in-arms. The Mother of All Battles draws near – not only for us in Malaysia but across the political spectrum of planet Earth. The old cycle is over and a new one is ready to emerge, never doubt this.

Roger Putra was the embodiment of joy for me. You have murdered only the embodiment – but not the joy itself. Roger’s spirit will be appeased when those who embody deceit, greed and hypocrisy are finally banished from the realm, hanging their heads in shame and endless regret. That day is not very far off. Be it so.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Solstice 2010: ascension in progress!

Patricia Diane Cota-Robles has been a leading spiritual guide for many decades. I have had no personal contact with her - and, truth be told, find her aura too squeaky clean and wholesome for comfort. I'm a very ancient soul and enjoy a generous pinch of salt with my soul food.

Nevertheless, over the past 15 years or so, Patti has kept me on her mailing list, and I receive her quarterly bulletin which carries updates on the ascension process - much discussed in certain circles derisively dubbed "the New Age movement" by those who fear losing power, position and privilege in the new paradigm of reality - and scathingly dismissed by those with a vested interest in maintaining the hell-on-earth status quo.

Although I would personally opt for terminology with less of a Judaeo-Christian flavor, I resonate with the essence of Patti Cota-Robles's teachings. Regularly cleansing our emotional bodies is a prerequisite of spiritual health. Too dense an accumulation of hardnosed cynicism can keep us trapped indefinitely in the 3D Matrix and its depleting, disintegrative duality.

In the spirit of the lunar eclipse solstice and Christmas cheer, I offer these meditations on what ascension involves - and why an open-minded assessment of these newfangled notions can lead to a massive and spontaneous epiphany within the collective psyche of humanity. That may be our only chance of victoriously navigating the turbulent unknown seas immediately ahead of us.

Maybe it's not such a bad idea to get rid of the human factor?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fuck Yourself ~ A birthday tribute to Zappa


A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules, often with the assistance of unsuspecting musicians.

All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff.

Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.

I never set out to be weird. It was always other people who called me weird.

If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.

It isn't necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice. There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia.

Most people wouldn't know music if it came up and bit them on the ass.

Most rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read.

Music is always a commentary on society.

Music, in performance, is a type of sculpture. The air in the performance is sculpted into something.

One of my favorite philosophical tenets is that people will agree with you only if they already agree with you. You do not change people's minds.

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry.

Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.

The computer can't tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact mathematical design, but what's missing is the eyebrows.

The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced.

Without deviation progress is not possible.

Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.

You can't always write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say, so sometimes you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream.

You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.

FRANK ZAPPA (21 December 1940 - 4 December 1993) was a massive influence on me. I first heard about Zappa and his band at the time, The Mothers of Invention, in 1967 when I spent a year in New Jersey as an exchange student. In 1968, shortly before I returned to Malaysia, I attended a Zappa concert at Billy Graham's Fillmore East in New York City, and had the singular honor of shaking Frank Zappa's hand and chatting with him for about 3 minutes. I also nodded at Jimmy Carl Black ("the Indian of the group") and crossed the street with Ian Underwood (keyboardist with the Mothers) to buy a few beers. We had a nice little chat, though I can't remember what about.

Before he excused himself to pack his gear, Frank presented me with a chocolate teardrop wrapped in foil. I ate it on the latenight bus heading home - and have never been the same. I realized, over subsequent years, that I had encountered one of the Most Intelligent Humans on Earth. Forty-two years after that initial meeting in New York, that still remains true for me. Thank you, Frank. You live on in my heart and in my neural circuitry.

P.S. Upon my return from the US, I actually wrote several letters to Zappa. Imagine my joy and delight when an envelope arrived on 29 April 1977 bearing Frank Zappa's personal logo. Frank would have been 70 today. I'm sure he won't mind my sharing this letter with you ;-)...

Would you believe I have been meaning to answer your letter since I first received it and just now got around to doing it? Well, you'd better ... anyway, yours was perhaps the most interesting piece of correspondence of the year (was it two or three years ago?)

Who are you? What the fuck are you doing over there? Why are you "almost Chinese"?

Hope to hear from you again.

Your friend,
Frank Zappa

P.S. The photo with the simulated green complexion was most amusing.

Monday, December 20, 2010

1Choice for Malaysia ~ by Mariam Mokhtar

Another punchy piece from Mariam Mokhtar I read on Malaysiakini today. I'm cloning it as a community service to those who can't or won't subscribe. Sorry, Malaysiakini. This is for the national good! :-)

Malaysia's upcoming general election offers the country its most significant choice for several decades.

The political tsunami of 2008 was an eye-opener. At the second Pakatan Rakyat convention in Kepala Batas, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang acknowledged the weaknesses in the opposition pact and urged party member to unite and remain focused.

The nation faces enormous challenges in the years to come. The economic demands are tremendous. The next government needs to stabilise the economy and stimulate growth in the private sector. It has to deal with its burgeoning debt, cut subsidies and rein in borrowings if it does not want to risk bankruptcy.

Our probems are not just economic. We are faced with a rising tide of extremism from Malay groups, borders which are porous, a rise in Islamic fundamentalism, a rise in racist incidents, problems in our schools and hospitals, the destruction of the police and judiciary, babies being abandoned, high levels of corruption and a weakening of civic society.

These problems demand a robust solution and a strong government to tackle them. The burning question is: Which party is best suited to lead us out of this quagmire?

PKR recently held elections, whilst BN and the other component parties have deferred theirs. DAP and Gerakan have followed suit. This is indicative of the pressures these political parties face. All want to mount a strong challenge when the country goes to the polls.

The parties have resolved to capture the imagination of the voters and the differences between them are obvious. BN believes that only it can solve the country's economic and social ills. Its slogan 1Malaysia remains just that - a slogan because in practice, certain races are held back by an invisible wall - the ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) concept.

In contrast, the Pakatan coalition believes that it can do a better job. It realises that the public mindset is changing. Race-based politics is a thing of the past. It is convinced that Malaysia is an increasing enlightened nation which believes in justice, the recognition of the rights of everyone regardless of race and that each Malaysian desires to be a part of the nation and be able to contribute towards its future.

The future of Malaysia, according to the BN administration, is to capitalise on mega-projects to boost the economy, just as during the Mahathir era.

In his Budget 2011 debate, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said the BN's obsession with “grandeur” will presage its fall.

He said: “This rush for symbolic mega-projects, supposedly to portray pride for the country, is being repeated now under the present prime minister. Here I would like to question the wisdom of Permodalan Nasional Bhd's order from the government to involve itself in mega projects.”

One of these is the 100-storey Warisan Merdeka skyscraper which is expected to cost over RM5 billion. When completed, it will be the tallest building in Malaysia.

Risky strategy

PM Najib Abdul Razak's plans for mega-projects to stimulate the economy is risky as it fails to consider the country's current economic standing and the need to lower the budget deficit and improve competitiveness.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Idris Jala has said that Malaysia's debt would rise to 100 percent of GDP by 2019 from the current 54% if the government does not cut subsidies.

He said: “We do not want to be another Greece. We do not want to end up like Greece with a total debt of EUR300 billion. Our deficit rose to record high of RM47 billion last year.”

Malaysia's foreign direct investment (FDI), he said, dropped 81 per cent from RM23.47 billion in 2008 to RM4.43 billion in 2009, in comparison with Thailand which recorded an FDI of RM19.01 billion and Indonesia with RM19.08 billion.

Pakatan has warned of an economic crisis due to crony capitalism and corruption; a social crisis due to narrow racial policies; and a political crisis due to democratic fatigue arising from the BN's abuses of power.

Corrupt practices only bring benefits to cronies and hefty losses to the people. Malaysia's failure to attract foreign investment shows a desperate need for change in the management of the economy. Both good governance and a need to improve its competitive edge are vital.

Pakatan has decided to uphold a joint policy and welfare programme to defend the people based on four basic principles:

* A transparent and real democracy
* A high and stable economic performance
* Social justice and human development
* A close relationship between state-federal and international policies

Armed with these principles, Pakatan is determined to make Malaysia a better place. The three parties may have their roots in different ideologies – PAS (Islamic credentials), DAP (social ideology) and PKR (liberal ideals).

Perhaps you would prefer to have a government which relies on the Internal Security Act to stifle criticism, one in which corruption goes unchecked and where the judiciary and police are mere stooges of the state.

In order to make the necessary changes to this country, Anwar and his coalition must have a clear mandate to govern.

The best choice for Malaysia is in your hands. Vote wisely! May all your wishes come true - Happy Christmas!

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a non-conformist traditionalist from Perak, a bucket chemist and an armchair eco-warrior. In 'real-speak', this translates into that she comes from Ipoh, values change but respects culture, is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental pollution-control scientist.