Cat calling to no one


Written on 8/29/2004 04:17:00 am by sikapitan

It’s close to 4 a.m on a Sunday morning, and I’m knackered after exerting myself a bit too much today, having two sessions of futsal in a space of 4 hours. Don’t fret, dear readers, for this is not going to be about futsal or how I enjoy the game but more on a social situation that manifest itself during the afternoon session.

There we were my team and I, waiting out turn to play, when suddenly I heard loud singing from one of my mates who then started making weird noises. Thinking that he had contracted some form of Bird Flu, I looked around to find someplace else to sit. Alas, my wayward gaze landed on a member of the opposite sex making her way back from class behind our seats. I heard the weird noises again, mixed in with “Dik baru balik” “Senyum la sikit jangan muka masam” etc2. Obviously, the girl just walked past us. That isn’t the sad part, though it’s pretty pathetic in my humble opinion. The lads then had a good laugh about it. If being a bunch of cat-calling lame-ass morons isn’t sad enough, they had the gall to be proud of what they did. They’re good boys, for sure, but sometimes I just cringe when I see some of the things they do in the name of fun. It’s degrading not only for myself, but also for other guys who can’t be bothered with disturbing other girls and more seriously, for all Malay men. It’s pretty depressing to hear what some of my friends from other races think about the typical Malay man. Bawak motor, kacau pompuan, rock kapak, mullet, and fake levi’s from Golok (though I must say they look pretty authentic). Look, here’s a tip. Girls don’t fall for those lame-ass tricks, and if they do, they’re probably not worth it. Get your act together; you don’t like other guys disturbing your sister like that now do you? Is it any wonder it’s hard to get an Amoi for a date? (Just joking dear, or friends of my dear, or anyone who just want to spoil my relationship with my dear:)

And what is it with guys and their obsession to talk about the opposite sex’s body parts? Let’s not go into details, but I assure you ladies that we’ve got some pretty sick people in our midst. Even the normally reserved young man would perk up (isn’t that an ironic choice of word) when a voluptuous female walk by. That is in their nature, and nothing said or done will ever change that. But why must they spoil the serenity of appreciating God’s creation by saying what everyone else in the room already realizes. Yea, she’s hot. That’s far enough for me. No need to go into details as to how her…never mind. But this is not a criticism to them, more like a commentary on modern men. Could it be our men react this way after being bombarded by sexual images everyday while still living in the “beautiful on the surface” Asian culture and society? Could it be that the reckless use of female and their body parts to sell products or the various shows depicting women being “comfortable” with as few clothes as possible have degraded their kind as merely an object of desire rather than a living being? Go figure.

Cinta Collateral
I waited in anticipation for this movie to come out. I skipped the normally long opening day and weekend queue, preferring the calmness of Monday evening to catch the show. The story takes place one night in Los Angeles, when a cab driver, Max (Jamie Foxx), by a stroke of luck (or misfortune, depending on how you view it) picks up Vincent, a seemingly inconspicuous businessman who is on a whirlwind business trip. However, by a freak coincidence, Max discovers that Vincent really is a killer when the person he killed drops down the window and landed straight on Max’s cab. So begin the terrifying ride through various locations housing Vincent’s targets.

What one notices at first is the mixed-up camera work employed by Michael Mann. Most of the time the shot’s controlled and straight-forward, but it’ll suddenly turn all gritty and shaky (NYPD Blue style) when there’s rising tension. The script is also noteworthy, simply because of some memorable lines, especially by Vincent. Guys looking for an action-packed rampage with bodies flying in the hundreds and massive explosions will be disappointed. This is not your typical Mission Impossible trip. The sub message being said by the film deserves notice. The tension is gripping without being overbearing. The acting has got to be commended, simply because of the main actors taking on roles unfamiliar to them and reveling in it. Foxx is good as the confused, lost black man who’s trying to make it in the world but too afraid to make the next move. Normally associated with smart one-liners and smug arrogance, he managed to play down the brashness and instead appear humble and lacking self-esteem. However, the biggest surprise to me was Cruise’s Vincent. Tom Cruise is not averse to playing bad guys, but in this movie he takes it to the next level. He’s got to be one of the machoest bad guys ever seen. And the steely eyed gaze, clenched jaw, cold, calculating demeanor works for Vincent. However, like all action flick, it suffers from a rushing storyline, holes in the plotline and typically, unrealistic elements, though it managed to stay away from the hero flying in the air. It’s worth my 9 ringgit. Have been watching some great movies this past month, so don’t disappoint me Puteri Gunung Ledang (anything with Dian surely can't dissapoint me, can it?)

I know it’s a bit outdated, but guys and girls, if you don’t have Coldplay’s Parachutes, go kill yourself (though I do believe that if you have it you’re more probably prone to suicide- lagu nak bunuh diri la katakan). Excellent soundscape, and makes A Rush Of Blood To The Head even better because you can see the musicology they’re trying to achieve. Oh yeah, go check out Dry Your Eyes Mate by the Streets- Brits answer to Eminem though he’s less serious and has that all important British witty lines. Au revoir

Village Idiots


Written on 8/25/2004 11:05:00 pm by sikapitan

Is fear a creation of thoughts or is there a more reasonable reasoning behind it? Could it be that our fears are partly due to society’s ideas and conditioning? That is the premise of The Village, M. Night Shyamalan’s latest offering. The talented director has always been a social commentator of some sort, and his latest feature film makes no attempt to run away from this perception. There have always been depths, layers, twists in his movies. However in this movie, the twist is not all that unexpected, but I believe that this is due more to the expectation of a twist rather that shoddy storytelling. Success can be a double-edged sword. There is no shocking scene like Bruce Willis discovering there’s a huge blood spot at the back of his shirt in The Sixth Sense. Instead, the twist is delivered in stages, slowly revealing itself as the audience breath in the brilliant cinematography the film offers.

The fact that the director chooses FEAR as his central subject is to illustrate the state of the world today, where we live in a global village surrounded by FEARSOME beings that are in reality a creation of our own. The script is deliberately DeLiBeRaTe, with old-school style written all over it. If only some critics would take the time to appreciate the honesty of the way English was spoken decades ago, they wouldn’t have commented on it. The interplay between characters is intriguing, always supplying tidbits on the characters, expanding their personality, revealing their past. However, since this more of an ensemble, the character is not as developed as in his previous films, where the main protagonist’s soul is laid bare. In this film, there’s no main character, rather each character takes its turn. The acting is top-notch, especially the newcomer who played the blind girl.

Make no mistake, this is a scary film. An avid follower of the Hitchcock method of filming, Shyamalan managed to induce tension and suspense without the typical Japanese/Korean/Thai horror hybrids. Simple acts can create suspense if coupled with the right camerawork, lighting and soundtrack. Let this be a lesson to our filmmakers: There is no substitute for ingenuity. The Village is no Sixth Sense, but it’s worth every ringgit.

It has been a while since I’ve written a review. Hope I haven’t lost my touch, if there was one to begin with. Next entry would include a review on Tom Cruise’s The Collateral. Au revoir.

Cab drivers are nice too!


Written on 8/21/2004 12:09:00 pm by sikapitan

I wish to extend a big thank-you to the cab driver who managed to somehow recognize the Indon who abducted that little kid. It’s strange how I managed not to remember any names or intricate details of the whole story even though I read it. I suspect most of us just read the news for the sake of reading, and remember the ones that interest us. And this being a casual blog and all that, I didn’t bother to search for the names in the papers. I know it’s pathetic. Now let’s return to the cab driver.

I know we Malaysians do not think much of our cab drivers. Seriously, the general consensus is that they’re ‘bloodsuckers’. Let’s not mention the other names they’ve been called. I used to take the cab back when I was in high-school a lot, and frankly speaking I’ve never had an unpleasant experience. Maybe I’m exaggerating. There have been times when I called the cab company for a taxi, and no taxi appeared. Sometimes they just don’t bother to pick you up if you’re not going far. But just watch how they all rush in when the call comes in from someone who wants to go to KLIA. Another problem is when some don’t use the trip-meter, or there appears to be some discrepancy in the way the machine adds up. But they’re pretty much reliable and dependable, though a bit expensive in my humble opinion. However, if a conversation comes up, I’ll most probably remember the one who drove too fast, or the one that charged me 10 bucks just to get to Pyramid. That’s human nature.

I don’t remember the name of that nice kid who was very clever, but a little bit on the shy side. I definitely remember the one who kicked my friend in the nuts, or the one who shit in his pants. We remember their flaws because it somehow makes us feel better about ourself. And it’s just our tendency to remember tragedies. Isn’t that why most of the popular songs are about tragedy? Oops. It appears I’ve gone off-track, as usual. My point is that I really do believe that some rotten apples have spoiled the image of our cab drivers. I hope that more and more people realize the valuable contribution they’ve made to us. The media should also play a role in improving their image instead of concentrating on the defects. This would help them aspire to be better. I wouldn’t bother to be a good, honest cabbie if I know that whatever I do people will always think of me as unscrupulous. So help them see that we value their effort. Then perhaps that cabbie who picked you up next time would smile instead of scowl.
"Free wake-up call service"
I didn’t realize that there’s been uproar recently over some letter published in the Bar Council’s bulletin that in essence, criticized the right to call to prayer (azan) over a loudspeaker in residential area that’s populated by non-muslims. To me it’s a valid comment that must be taken into context. Individuals are clever, rational beings but when they get into a group they tend to be emotional and irrational. This is especially apparent when it comes to religion. Notice how the ‘Islamists’ in our country quickly condemned that letter as insensitive to our religion. I believe the writer is justified in seeking to highlight a problem that’s plaguing our ‘friends’. I’m sure he’s not the only one who feels that way.

It’s precisely because of the emotional reactions to any comment or even enquiries into our rights and practices that we Muslims are not understood by other races. I am not a devout Muslim (that’s another issue entirely) but I do know that Islam is tolerant of others. For example, it is a requirement for us to read the Koran, and it’s even better to read it loudly, but if in doing so we disturb a sleeping person, it is ‘haram’ (I could be wrong, dead wrong so please correct me if I am). I believe that in essence, Islam does not encourage us to annoy others. To do so would even be detrimental to us as it would alienate us from others. Perhaps it IS unfair to erect a mosque or surau in the middle of a residential area AFTER the buyers had bought the houses without them knowing of plans to erect such structure. How would YOU feel if suddenly there’s a temple in the field beside YOUR house? But hey, I’m no ustaz so don’t take my word on any of this.
Vodafone v. Proton
Another round of EPL this weekend. I look forward to Man Utd against Norwich simply because I need to see them win and no disrespect to the Proton-sponsored club, this is one hell of a chance! However, the pressure’s squarely on their shoulder to win, and I suspect that this might be tougher for Man U than most imagined. One thing I’m going to miss this weekend is Akademi Fantasia. Did you read in the newspaper (a Malay daily I think- I didn’t read it but I overheard someone talking about it) about this girl who has fever because AF is over and she’s like missing it so much? The addiction to this show and other types of reality programs is disturbing. But that’s a story for another day. Until then, Glory Glory Man United!

oH MaN, I LoVe It WhEn I'm Right


Written on 8/15/2004 03:15:00 am by sikapitan

Zahid Zahid Zahid! Congratulations to a man destined to be a star. Just remember that you read me predicting he’ll win right here in Undergrounduate Central a few months back(Heaven in TVland ) . He doesn’t need Akademi Fantasia to teach him how to perform and sing but without it, would he be discovered? That’s a question we must ask ourselves before we start criticizing the show. There are two sides to everything. On one hand, it is almost sad that the only way young talents can grow and be popular nowadays is through these reality tv-shows. On the other hand, it is even sadder to see young talents NOT being discovered because they can’t find a way to BE discovered. You can be a good singer, even a great one, but you’ll forever be singing at night pubs (just like Zahid) unless you have the connections to be discovered. Some get lucky, like Ezlynn, but most will just chase the dream. These shows give them a platform, although generic in nature and too polished to be raw, that would showcase what they’ve got. I hope and wish that young talents can get the chance to be a star WITHOUT going through these shows, but I also find it a pity that talents are not recognized just because they came through these shows. Don’t be an elitist. If it’s good, it’s good no matter where it came from.

Football season’s back!!! The perennial pretenders, Liverpool and Newcastle, drew their admittedly tough away games to Tottenham and Midboro respectively. I saw snippets of Liverpool’s game (in between breaks during THE concert), and my frank opinion is that they look the same side as last season. Their continued over-dependence on Steven Gerrard as a source of inspiration would make them vulnerable in his absence. If this continues, I can’t see any reason why any of the top three should be worried. Tottenham was impressive in the second half, especially the prodigious talent of Jermaine Defoe, whom I predict would pair up with Rooney in the England squad of the future. Newcastle, despite having to deal with conjunctivitis infections, managed a draw against a new-look, expensively assembled Midboro squad. Respect should be given when it is due, so hats off to Nicky Butt for an impressive opening game in the black and whites. But as so often with Robson’s side, their defense failed to contain a surprising lackluster Boro midfield. I watched this game with Freddie at our regular hangout and I have to say – football’s coming home!!

Now if these two separate paragraphs sounds alien to some of my readers (Fleur, I suspect, would be disappointed to discover that yes, I’m just the jiwang melayu jock), I apologize. Sometimes it’s just nice to write something that I’M passionate about, instead of just commenting on something that’s beyond me. It’s selfish, I know, and I pray to god that this site doesn’t turn into a personal diary, where love poems are written and “I bought a pen today” is the normal entry. It’s just that sometimes, there’s nothing more satisfying than writing on something you love and if that includes a talent show where talent is secondary, then so be it. Au RevOir

Olympics and Anuar Zain


Written on 8/12/2004 01:59:00 am by sikapitan

The Olympics is just a few days away (minus the football prelims) and I’ve been bombarded with ads about the spirit of Olympics by such luminaries like Nelson Mandela and Christopher Reeves, people who have really endured suffering. But they’ve got to spoil the whole dignity of the ad campaign by putting in Avril Lavigne. The only suffering she’s gone through is wondering whether her next single would be a hit or at worse, if her pimple would be gone before that all important performance. I know they’re trying to connect with the younger generation, but it’s just incomprehensible how they equate Skatergirl with the man who freed S. Africa from apartheid or a modern-day icon who have to go through living his life in a wheelchair. She’s not even athletic, unless you consider pretending to skate to be a sport.

And talking about trying to spice up something boring, RtM has just gone through some changes to make it more hip and happening. I think I’ve written something to the effect that RtM has become irrelevant, so I guess somewhere there must have read it (kononnya) and has decided to do something about it. Or it could just be that the “new” people in the “body-that-control-Rtm” like young pretty things. In any case, this is something that should have been done years ago. I’m not saying that they should use only pretty girls as newscasters. I’ve seen their 8 o’clock news program and it still sucks. There seems to be something quaint and antique about the way RtM goes about its work. They seemed stuck in the 1980’s where the phrase digital sounds as foreign as some Yiddish word. Don’t just change the people, change the way you work. As long as its government sponsored, there won’t be any initiative to get away from the 5 coffee breaks a day attitude.

Oh yeah…as my regular readers and friends know, I’ve been staying up late a lot lately, and thankfully I’ve had the pleasure of being accompanied by some great music. I know this isn’t your typical male thing to admit, but there’s a song here that I really like. I don’t know why, it’s not the lyrics but the whole damn thing. It’s infectious I tell you. Screw you Joe for introducing me to Anuar Zain (just kidding).

Kembalilah Kekasih
Sendirian ku di halaman, bulan dan bintang menyaksikan
Perpisahan dua insan tiada rela
Diabadikan bunga merah, menjadi lambing perpisahan
Percintaan dua insan tiada tara

Kini hilang di pandangan, jernih berkaca
Sayu kedengaran, suaramu

It’s quite a struggle to write this in Words because it keeps changing insan to insane.
The thing that I like the most is his delivery. Usually he goes all over the place with that vibrato of his, but this time he’s pretty subdued. Download la kalau hangpa jiwang cam gua. Au revoir.

“Aren’t you…..” (muka berkerut, narrowing of eyes- pretending to remember)


Written on 8/09/2004 03:53:00 pm by sikapitan

I was at THE reunion yesterday. It was confusing at first because I really didn’t recognize anyone and it’s safe to say nobody recognized me either, I think. At first I was a bit disappointed that not many from my class was there, but then I realized that if the place’s brimming with ex-PRIMARY-schoolmate, I would experience sensory-overload and crash my already overworked brain. I’ve got some feedback from my last entry, especially from the ladies, who are pretty much critical about the physical aspect of reunion. I couldn’t help but notice that some of the ladies (actually all laa) went to all the trouble of getting dressed-up or dressed-down (it’s an effort to be casually good I tell you).

As the event wore on, I started recognizing faces. What’s amazing is that I don’t remember their names but I can remember exactly how they look like 9 years ago (has it been THAT long?). I remember you, over there, who showed your fancy ninja turtle moves when we were in standard 3 and you, over there, who played ‘conquer’ with me in class. I’m really sorry to those that I can’t really place their name, and I know that I’m not the only one with this problem. I’m sure most of you don’t remember mine as well. So what do I get from going? Forget about meeting girls (half the guys are there for that reason and that reason only- hehe..wa tau sapa lu orang:P), my gf’s friend was there with me as my chaperone:P (so does that mean if she wasn’t there I would have….no laaaa..just kidding). Nor did I manage to learn anything new about anyone, or get some business contacts, or discovered that I actually have a half-cousin from Kelantan. My stomach wasn’t filled, in case you’re wondering, and I didn’t manage to win anything. So what did I get? A reminder that life’s unpredictable, that you never know who you’ll be and be with. A flashback to innocent days, where we can dress how we want, talk how we want and fart all we want. So kudos to seedake and the whole bunch that made this possible. I respect the effort and dedication to making this come true. I simply wouldn’t have bothered.

Why the long wait?
Yeap, it’s been a while ladies and gentleman. It’s been so long that I guess no one’s bothered to drop by. No problem, it’s my bad. I’ve been stuck in ISO hell for the past one and a half weeks. Huh? Well, apparently, in an attempt to be some ISO compliant, my faculty must submit mid-term reports and assessment (meaning tests and assignments) before a certain date. What this means to me is that a week before holidays I’m stuck with a shitload of work. Last week was the worst, with 4 tests and 2 assignments all due in the same week, and being a procrastinator, I’ve managed to cram everything up my ass at the very last moment. I managed of course, but at the expense of my social life, which isn’t much to begin with but exist nonetheless. Already short-tempered in nature, I was ready to bite the head off anyone who dares to enter “the zone”. Sorry if I pissed off anyone- but they don’t read this blog anyway so why bother, right?