Wednesday, January 30, 2013
a) a man soaking his hand into a glass of room temperature water right from a boiling water would feel a cooling sensation while another man soaking his hand into the same room temperature water right from a bucket of ice will feel warmth. they both may argue about what they feel of the water but it does not change the fact that the water is; room temperature.
b) for a start, taste. taste is perception on facts and should be separated. for instance, calling a movie 'tak best' and therefore it is not good is a fallacy. a movie can be 'tak best' but that doesn't make it a bad movie. similarly to you may not understand a movie but that doesn't make the movie stupid.
c) cinema screen is bigger than TV screen. that's a fact. hence by the size itself, the mediums are differentiated. why is then the cinema screen is bigger, simple logic, so you could see better, so you could see more. so, if you don't see more on a cinema screen, at least more than what you see on TV, a cinema screen is pointless. now think about it, how many films you've watched of which if translated into TV does not make any difference in terms of what you see and then ask yourself, what's the point?
d) visuals on the cinema screen alone is not enough for it to be considered good. the narrative needs to be supportive of the visuals, otherwise it is plain masturbation. no one wants to see that. good narrative is based on two things - structure and reasoning (logic). structure will usually address audiences' attention to the plot while reasoning will get them invested. grab the attention, get them invested and sink them with visuals right till the end. that's how i see a film should be.
e) on logic. a movie creates an alternative universe in which it is a different world than the reality and as such logic in reality can't be applied. as such, a movie can be about a man who can fly which does not make sense in real world but if explained carefully would make sense in a movie. don't be confused by that.
f) enough about movies, i've been meaning to write about the 'Allah' issue. i will not impose my personal view on this but i do see the need for everyone to go back to facts instead of burning books, accusing people or proselytizing and other things which are just conjectures, attention seeking and void of facts. in this regard, going back to facts means only one thing, is Allah unique and not interchangeable, is it generic and can be translated or is it not. many other arguments that made this issue complex, for example, one may argue from anecdotal evidences that such is 'culturally' accepted which is... well fair but the way i see it, many people call toothpaste 'Colgate' or cocoa drink 'Milo' and both are 'culturally' accepted. but still that doesn't mean the toothpaste is 'colgate' and the cocoa drink is 'Milo'. right?
g) so that's that for now. i guess, whenever you are confused, remember room temperature water. least you could do is drink it.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
couple of decades ago, i was that boy in school who asked too many questions. music, geography, jasmani, math, science you name it. some of my questions are beyond logic too, which is why i guess my teachers thought i was playing the fool. but i assure you, i was not. i wanted answers. like once, in an art class i drew a purple coloured durian and was called up by my teacher to which i asked "what is the point of me drawing an actual durian when i can take a photo of it? now i can't take a photo of a purple durian can i?" - stood on the chair after that - with one hand holding the paint brush and the other holding the purple coloured durian.
that boy has grown to become a man, and that man still have many questions. having too many questions and asking them are great, because your life becomes a process of finding answers. flip side of it is you won't have that many friends, some will actively avoid you, some think you're boring while some put their guards up, becoming defensive. but then again, you can easily filter people - those who are worth having conversations with, you stick by them and your life is enriched.
people fear change, that's natural. questions may lead to changes in a system, changes in the way we do things, changes in the way we think, it could even change you - hence people fear questions. personally i think, since we were kids, especially i speak of the malay society, we are trained to fear having questions, we can't question - the 'saya yang menurut perintah' doctrine. and as questions lead to reasoning or logic, lack of questions will then lead to lack of logic, and such is compounded that the whole nation becomes a nation lacking logic.
well... that said, if you think asking too many questions is harmful, i turned out alright, right? so... how now? (that was another question wasn't it?)
Sunday, January 06, 2013
this piece was written and performed by me - early 2012 at 'Actor's Studio' Lot 10. happy new year guys.
Haritu aku lepak dekat nasi lemak bangsar. We were smoking and eating and drinking until then he brought up a topic about the end of the world. He was telling about how the mayan calendar which will stop on 20 December this year. Basically the Mayans wrote that the world is created in cycles and we are in our fourth cycle which will end soon. And these cycles are called Baktun.
To which I replied, “Heh?”
You see my friend is an atheist and me, I’m a believer in general, so most of the time when we talk, he’s mostly about “I don’t believe in God, I believe in science” to which I would reply I too believe in science… well to a certain extent.
He asked me… whether or not 20 December 2012 is a credible date for an ending. He didn’t believe it much mostly because you know “Discovery Channel…” so… whether or not December this year could be an end… is pretty remote of a possibility. I think for most Muslims it’s just anecdotal in a way, like we would laugh it off… Like we believe that no one knows the date for the end of the world, so in not knowing the date then that means the Mayans can’t know the date. Which means, December this year CAN’T be the date. But then again in defining not knowing the date, one must also not be able to know when is not the date… so saying that December could be… you get the drift. He didn’t.
And then we went on talking what would I do… you know trying to imagine say… the final moments of our lives here… I am not very good at imagining things. I don’t know why I was reminded of the stray dogs at that point. Masa aku kecik dulu aku selalu pergi kelas agama which happened weekly. Every week I had to go through a back alley with many stray dogs straying which eventually became one of the many excuses to skip classes. One day I was confronted by my Ustaz on why I always missed classes who at the end of his lecture gave me a short prayer to protect myself from the dogs. The following day, with vigour I walked through the back alley and long story short the prayer didn’t work as I expected. When I told the Ustaz about the incident, his answer was that I did not believe enough and he also managed to tell me not to ask too many questions. The dogs in alley were gunned down a few weeks after – I guess the prayer did work – to a certain extent. The dog story was pretty much what was in my head when I tried imagining about the end of the world.
I said to my friend, but then again… the end of the world would depend on the definition of both end and world. To which he replied… “heh?” yea its true you know… I’ve met someone who claims her world ended when her boyfriend dumped her so that means the world means relationship and an end means a full stop in the journey of the relationship. No? He said… “yeahh… maybe, but you know I’m not into all this philosophical bullshit and stuff”. I remembered when I was a kid, I saw my mother crying when my father passed away… I thought at that point… it could possibly be an end to our world. But over time, I guess like what the ,mayans wrote, it’s an end of a cycle.
After that, I think we went on arguing whether God exists or not… to which we agree we are not imposing each other which only means the argument had no ending. Suddenly atas meja tu, one damn lipas crawled on it, we both screamed, fuck that was embarrassing and then we decided to go off.
That night I couldn’t sleep, thinking about the end of the world and then I started stuffing pills. Zolpidem, Mirtazapine, Benzodiazepine and even cough medicines but I was still awake. Lepas tu masa aku sibuk menguap dan periksa muka aku dekat cermin, I made two observations… one aku rasa muka aku dah tak simetrikal, second my hair is falling off. I’m going bald.
And then instead of worrying about the possibility of the world ending, I started worrying about my hair. So as usual, when I’m worried, I would call my mom. Mind you it was 3 in the morning, so our on conversation was pretty brief.
“Hello, mak, rambut orang nak botak dah, how?
“Mana ada botak… you have high forehead, Chinese people think you are smart, you ikut your father tu”
“Oh okay… mak do you believe it when people say this year is Kiamat?”
My mother then laughed and said “Don’t think so much, drink water and go to sleep, if you’re not I am, Assalamualaikum”
And then she puts down the phone. I sat on my bed for about 5 minutes. And then I remember my friend asking me… Imagine the world is ending and you have about 5 minutes… what would you do? Well I guess… Most likely… I’ll write a monologue. And it will be called “How I learned to stop worrying about the end of the world and love my mother…”