Altered perception...


Written on 12/22/2005 04:52:00 pm by sikapitan

It has been a hectic 7 days for me, starting from last Thursday. I was involved in Nikki’s unique album launching project, which was an interesting and unforgettable experience. Not least the fact that for the entire weekend, I was surrounded by gays. Heck, even the girls aren’t straight!

I used to be a bit homophobic, and I guess a lot of straight guys out there are generally wary when it comes to dealing with gays. But the weekend sojourn to Bukit Bintang really opened my eyes to the fact that they’re really great to hang out with. I mean, there’s always this awkwardness with knowing that you’re talking to guys who would like to get into your pants, or girls who wouldn’t, but I had a good time.

And hey, after hanging out (not to mention sharing a room) with them for 3 days, I can positively say that I am straight. How many so-called macho men out there could really say that? You never know unless you’ve been tempted right?

At the end of the day, I am glad that I met them, and made friends with them. I can’t say for sure that I have now completely removed my prejudice against homosexuals, but I know with these guys, I have nothing but the most profound respect and could safely consider them as good friends. Period. Not gay friends, just friends.

I took this picture when I was walking along Lot 10. It’s a sad reflection on our society, on our nation, when in the midst of development, poverty still exist. I am not a big fan of beggars, especially those who suddenly appear along the roads leading to a Muslim cemetery during Hari Raya, but in this case I cannot help but give a ringgit every day. He can’t fend for himself; he definitely can’t work…where else could he turn to?

I used to really hate beggars, and the whole concept of begging. I was pragmatic, always thinking that if other people can work, why can’t they? But as years go by, I have seen that in life, it’s not always about choice. Choice is but an illusion, to a certain extent. Society shapes you in more ways than you can imagine. Who your parents are, what are they working as, where do you grow up, which school did you go to, how were you raised…this will ultimately shape who you are.

Which can only explain why, despite the fact that they watch TV, follow the entertainment scene, have seen pictures of people who dress well, and generally seeing other people dress well, mat rempits still choose to wear oversized striped fake Polo with tight jeans, boots and caps. Having a mullet is a fashion catastrophe, and yet there they are proudly looking like the estate version of Joe Dirt. In their mind, that looks good. They’ve been brought up, surrounded by, elements which says that looks good. Who could blame them then?

Back to beggars. I mean, I’m sure some beggars out there really are junkies and losers who would love nothing better than to earn some easy money looking sad at sidewalks. But I’m pretty sure as well that some of them are simply there because they’re motivated by desperation. The desperation to survive no matter what. Life is not always rosy, and when push comes to shove, you have to do what you have to do. What we as members of society should try to do is understand the root cause of poverty, how wealth should be distributed evenly to correct the social-economic imbalance, and ultimately, learn what it means to be human again.


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