Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Origins of Muscle-Brained Male Chauvinism?


When will this sort of obscurantist patriarchal crap end?
When women whip off their fig leafs, I guess!

[Thanks to Pat Goh for sending me this excellent cartoon. Whoever the artist is, bravo!]

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

HAPPY EQUINOX, EARTHLINGS!












Jean-Michel André Jarre (born 24 August 1948) is a French composer, performer and music producer. He is a pioneer in the electronic, synthpop, ambient and New Age genres, and known as an organiser of outdoor spectacles of his music featuring lights, laser displays, and fireworks.

Jarre was raised in Lyon by his mother and grandparents, and trained on the piano. From an early age he was introduced to a variety of art forms, including those of street performers, jazz musicians, and the artist Pierre Soulages. He played guitar in a band, but his musical style was perhaps most heavily influenced by Pierre Schaeffer, a pioneer of musique concrète at the Groupe de Recherches Musicales.

His first mainstream success was the 1976 album Oxygène. Recorded in a makeshift studio at his home, the album sold an estimated 12 million copies. Oxygène was followed in 1978 by Équinoxe, and in 1979 Jarre performed to a record-breaking audience of more than a million people at the Place de la Concorde, a record he has since broken three times. More albums were to follow, but his 1979 concert served as a blueprint for his future performances around the world. Several of his albums have been released to coincide with large-scale outdoor events, and he is now perhaps as well known as a performer as a musician.

Jarre has sold an estimated 80 million albums and singles. He was the first Western musician to be allowed to perform in the People's Republic of China, and holds the world record for the largest-ever audience at an outdoor event. [Source: Wikipedia]

Interesting footnote: Jean-Michel's father happens to be Maurice Jarre - a prominent composer of movie soundtracks who won Oscars for Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago and A Passage to IndiaMaurice Jarre married four times, his last wife being a Malaysian from Perak. Maurice died of cancer at age 84 on 28 March 2009.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

EXECUTIVE SOOT & A DOLLAR FOR DOLLAH ~ by Antares


EXECUTIVE SOOT


the funny man speaks through harmless lips. He
operates in the presentperfect sense of his
pastparticiple mind & occasionally wonders why
the future seems so tense. Serious
man almost funny busynessman
working honest hours &
dishonest lifetimes
racing rockinghorses
in the dark. Honest
workingman eats his lunch
crammed between punchclock &
traffic jam. Big
bossman does his algebra
(ma & pa said son you'll go far)
with profit&loss plan. Funny
money man who saves his honey
like a busy bee on dear ol'
Maggie's Farm

[1969]



A DOLLAR FOR DOLLAH


A dollar for Dollah
And two for Maniam
Ah Kow has three
Now he's a Tan Slee


Datuk, datuk on the dole
Why do you do only what you're told?
Shake your sarong, tap your feet
Nod your head and grab a seat!


Errand boy blue
Look what you've grown into
From errand boy to erring man
In just a year or two


Mommy says I'll grow up strong
If I don't hang around the grownups for too long
Daddy says I'll grow up rich
If I don't mind being a sonofabitch

[written in 1970, revised 1994; from MOTH BALLS (Magick River, 1994)]


Drawings by Antares

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Deconstructing the Rukunegara (reprise)


Malaysia's Rukunegara or "national ideology" was proclaimed on 31 August 1970 and thereafter all schoolkids were compelled to memorize and pledge allegiance to it. I was already a father myself when that happened and so escaped the early indoctrination. In fact, I paid little heed to the Rukunegara, which I perceived as a low-grade set of bureaucratic commandments promulgated for the sole purpose of programming future generations of Malaysians into robotic, unquestioning acquiescence with the status quo.

On 22 January 2009 I stumbled upon the Merdeka Blog and was amused to learn that it was "founded on the principles of the Rukunegara." I guess the blog is operated by post-1969 Malaysians who perhaps spent the first 13 years of their life reciting by rote this piece of utter crap every day in school. I felt compelled to leave a long comment on the Merdeka Blog deconstructing the Rukunegara so these young people could see what an outright sham the notion of a "national ideology" actually is.


This is a slightly revised and expanded version of the comment I left...

My friends, perhaps you guys ought to find something more intelligent on which to base your guiding principles than the Rukunegara, which is actually quite a fascinating package of erroneous assumptions blended with flatfooted stupidity.

Allow me to deconstruct the Rukunegara and you will see why I feel you would be doing yourselves a big favor by outgrowing the severe limitations of accepting such a mental straitjacket.


BELIEF IN GOD - This is outright dumb! Every culture has a different understanding of what constitutes the divine and the sacred. For some, the rivers, trees and mountains are sacred; for others, a particular book supposedly containing messages from the Supreme Being is considered sacred; for yet others, a human being with kind eyes, overflowing with charisma, is regarded as God.

It’s like telling us it’s okay to believe ANYTHING - as long as you BELIEVE in SOMETHING! How about all the honest, compassionate and generous humans who happen to be students of Consciousness and who do not “believe” in anything - although they are open to all perceptual and sensory inputs and spend considerable time pondering the universal mysteries?

Isn’t it high time humans outgrew the need to BELIEVE? By being more adventurous we can explore and experience an increasingly wider spectrum of reality options. Experience becomes knowing - and knowing can be distilled into wisdom. Belief is quite unnecessary. Belief and blind faith belong in humanity’s early infancy along with all our ancestors’ superstitions founded on fear and ignorance.


LOYALTY TO KING AND COUNTRY - To be a true King or Queen one must be loyal, first of all, to the physical landscape (which represents the Sacred Feminine or Mother Nature); then to the people who inhabit the land; and then to universal ideals. It doesn’t work the other way around. Why? Because a true leader has to be far more conscious, more knowledgeable, more farsighted and more mature than all the others in the kingdom or queendom. So, in many ways, the leader has to play the roles of Father/Mother, Brother/Sister and Trusted Friend to the rest of the tribe.

Most people are unable to keep their promises, because they are still immature and have yet to acquire sufficient will power and inner discipline. No use making them swear to anything, because chances are they won’t be able to maintain their oath when temptation comes along. So a mature and wise ruler loves and accepts his or her people exactly as they are; sees them as beautiful children with infinite potential to be tenderly nurtured, and therefore vows to be loyal to them unto forever - because the only reason for a King or Queen to exist is to LOVE AND SERVE THE PEOPLE.

Anyone who thinks otherwise (that is, citizens have a duty to love and prop up their monarchs' inflated egos) has completely missed the point and must therefore be the descendant of usurpers. In short, such myopic leaders are genetically unfit to rule, since they serve only their own vanity and are incapable of seeing (and understanding) the big picture.

UPHOLDING THE CONSTITUTION - Well, that was the original intention, but Barisan Nasional with its two-thirds majority has repeatedly amended the Federal Constitution to suit its own devious agenda. Now the Constitution is in tatters and is no longer worth "upholding" - unless we restore it to its original state prior to the advent of Mahafiraun Mahathir.

RULE OF LAW - Hah! I’d like to see those thugs in Umno/BN follow the Rule of Law. They’re so used to Ruling BY Law, they can’t remember what “Rule of Law” actually means! So this one is totally meaningless unless we remove all the samseng and lanun from power, beginning with the scoundrel pictured at right.

GOOD BEHAVIOR AND MORALITY - Bloody nonsense this one! What’s "good” in the eyes of one person may be "bad” in the eyes of another. There can be no OBJECTIVE SET OF RULES that can apply to everybody. Any attempt to impose such an artificial code of conduct can only breed more crime and hypocrisy and therefore more criminals and hypocrites. What must be encouraged, nurtured and supported is the individual’s internal guidance system - his or her IN-TUITION without which humans will forever be like automatons, controlled by external programs. With the IN-TUITION activated, every individual will ultimately become a Self-Governing Entity or Master. The need for external control and law enforcement will simply evaporate.

Some may agree with me in principle but opine that such a process might take generations. I beg to differ. We're in a phase of "accelerated acceleration" in evolutionary terms. What used to occur over millennia, or even millions of years, during the early stages of our evolution as Homo sapiens now happens from one year or month or week - or even day - to the next. If you find that hard to accept, consider this: back in the mid-1950s a letter sent via surface mail from Malaya to Britain could take 4-6 weeks to deliver. In less than 50 years satellite communications and rapid advances in digital technology can deliver an email or the complete manuscript of a book within a matter of seconds. Computer chips today incorporate nanotechnology which operates at near lightspeed. However, our ways of thinking about social interactions, mass communications and management for the most part remain trapped in an analog timewarp.

I rest my case, friends. Thanks for giving me this opportunity to elaborate.

[First published 8 February 2009]