Youngest kid of six with an inferiority and black sheep complex, but determined that God saves not just his soul to heaven but the remainder of his manic-depressive life, so others won't say he became a Christian and remained a jerk.
i won't be transparent before i'm opaque. and you'll get to know me starting from the small things: who my favourite bands are. what kind of movies i like. who are my heroes.
I’m convinced that when confronted with sincere, real love, the Jesus factor will become obvious. But let’s not plant the cross before we carry it. I’m not trying to con you.
Some dreams are meant to be achieved. I know that. But maybe other dreams are meant to drive us, privately. Never known to anyone but ourselves.
It is a sadness that, when choosing between crying and sighing, will choose sighing. I'd almost say that melancholy is being sad about sadness itself.
On memory and nostalgia
It saddens me when life moves forward and people decide that certain things are worth forgetting.
I've learnt that the word irregardless is filed as a non-standard word in the English language. That's a lexicographer's way of saying it's not a real word.
Crowds are fickle things. So when we stand in the thousands and cry against the present government, do we know who we're actually crying for?
People always want the best for themselves. But I want to sometimes take second or third or fourth best, just so that the loser down the road doesn't always have to come in last. It must feel like shit to always come in last.
On growing old
Leasehold property make me feel sad. It doesn't matter how old the family photos are that you put on your wall. It's your family but it's not really your wall.
I ask you, if God loves everyone, and if God is also incapable of loving evil, how can there be such a thing as an evil man?
On a daily basis
One line quips, like this.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Last month, Adrian asked his readers: what are we merdeka from? A few nights ago, Vernon asked me: what exactly do i love when i say i love malaysia?
Am i merdeka from the political condescension of british colonialism? am i merdeka from the culture hip americana? or maybe i'm merdeka from the labour of serving white middle-classed guys in sydney. (you know, i'm serving them again this year.)
Or is merdeka really a time when we look properly at our identities and see what being a malaysian is all about. when vernon asked me his question above, i really didn't know what to say. is it the land? the physical scape of soil and rivers and rainforests? or is it the people? is it the culture? if you transplanted all the malaysians onto another land and filled our land with australians, which malaysia would i love? is my national love so shallow that it's gauged by the things i miss when i'm far away? things like ... food?
Who am i as a malaysian? am i a predominantly chinese young man influenced by a hodgepodge of local cultures with a good dash of australian education, american tv and british invasion rock n roll? when i say that i am merdeka, is it nothing but a hollow call riddled with hypocricy because, like the prodigal son, i think i'm independent but i'm really still enslaved to something else.
Look at my last month of posts. surely, i'm enslaved by wrath, by anger by an uncontrollable frustration. what kind of independence day is that? my mouth, my stupid mouth and my fingers don't know how to think before they act, so what am i free from? i'm so furious, i swear i've alienated a few friends already, so why should i feel proud of my national emancipation when i myself am shackled to my all too obvious failings?
So i ask you, should i even bother with the idea of national identity when my personal identity is fractured? can there be a "malaysian" in me if the "fergus" itself is disintegrated? what do i love about malaysia? maybe i don't know because i don't really love myself.
Labels: identity, society
4:42 pm ]
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
What am i doing?
Am i trying to alienate everybody around me? Am i trying to make enemies out of friends? Have i gone crazy?
Look at the last post. What the hell is it all about? Jerry Springer?
Today, i committed PR suicide in my office with one email. You should see what some people wrote back to me saying. I swear, your hair will stand.
Vernon said this weekend that i've become more aggressive. he said it after i told him about how i stared down a bunch of teenage girls who sat behind me in church because they were talking during the announcements.
You know, up until the last few days, i always considered myself someone hard to dislike - i don't give people much room to form unpleasant opinions of me. but now, boy, i've just enlarged myself into the most biggest jerk in the world.
Am i going crazy? I swear, i stand by EVERYTHING i've done. i stand by my testimony below and my sharing of it, i stand by the email i wrote to my office and i stand by my response to those horrible girls.
Or maybe i need to show more grace. You know, if you use alta vista's babelfish translator, and you translate the word "bastard" into german and back into english, you get "hybrid". i swear, alta vista's babelfish translator shows a lot of grace.
But i don't think i'm that kind of a hybrid. i think i've become a good old fashioned bastard, in the worst sense of the word.
12:39 pm ]
Monday, August 28, 2006
I was cross-dressed as a child.
I’ve just gone through the E06 conference at church and in it, God opened up some really serious bandages where the wounds underneath have not healed, most of them even after many, many years. But I’m not gonna serialise my journey here. I’m just gonna tell you one story. You see the title of this post, and the opening line – I’m not trying to also tabloidise my life. Running expose sob stories about childhood is not what I’m doing here. And if I may disclaim before I go any further, I had a happy childhood. Compared to other kids, my parents stuck together, I was shown lots of love and my friends in school were usually great. But I have one story to tell you today about my childhood and I don't want to sugarcoat my life and only talk about happy things.
I was cross-dressed as a child. I must have been about five or six or seven and I was told that I was needed to help try on a dress. It was for a friend’s daughter who was “about my age, about my size”. Active little boys don’t wear dresses. As simple as that seems to understand, I was eventually coaxed into wearing the dress in the name of being an obedient kid. It was horrible. And I felt so shamed.
My perpetrators laughed at me for a few minutes and then told me to change back and then confessed that it was a joke. I think to some of them, it’s still a joke today. But it scarred a very little boy, and when the E06 conference took the bandage off this incident, it was still a gaping wound – fresh as yesterday.
Was God there when the cross-dressing happened? Was he watching? Why wasn’t I protected from this kind of bullying? Just because he’s a little boy, and he’s wearing a dress, it’s cute? It’s not cute. What kind of sick worldview allows the humiliation of children like that?
On the last night of the E06 conference, during the concert, they brought out this little girl on stage. Something like a surprise feature song. She sang Jesus loves me. She must have been about five. And as she sang, something in me broke and I fell on my knees.
I didn’t have the benefit of Sunday school when I was a boy. I didn’t grow up knowing that “yes, Jesus loves me”. So, did he love me then? Did he love me when I was a five year old myself, getting cross-dressed? As the little girl sang, I saw myself as a little boy in a dress, standing awkwardly, ashamed, shamed and stripped of my dignity as I paraded myself. Who was protecting me then?
I heard the voice of God speak to me, in the middle of my sobbing, telling me “son, I felt shamed too. Son, I was stripped of dignity too. Son, I want you to know that I felt everything you felt, exactly as you felt it, and I hurt with you. Tonight, I’m crying with you”.
Who is this God that he hurts with me like he experiences my experiences? Who is this God who goes through hell with me because he loves me too much to let me go through hell alone? He kept speaking to me: “Son, I will protect you. I will protect you. I will protect you”.
In the bible, when Joseph and his brothers reconcile, he tells them “you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good, for the saving of many lives”. If I finish this story now, it is no more than another cheap tabloid story with a sensational plot. But if I believe that God meant it for good, for the saving of many lives, then I am compelled to say this as well.
The day I made Jesus my God, he became my protector. More than that, he also became my redeemer. Today, he is redeeming me from years of hurt and anger from being mistreated as a child. He is returning to me the self-worth and self-image that was destroyed in two minutes of shame. I don’t know what kind of life you’ve had and I won’t pretend to know it. But I know my life. And I want to tell you that I know Jesus knows what he's talking about when he says he knows humiliation, betrayal, shame and hurt.
If it feels like somewhere in the past, a part of you has died, today, maybe Jesus is saying “Do you want a new life?” I want a new life. It’s so easy to say I want a new life, but when your heart is put to a decision to receive Jesus for that new life, suddenly, it’s so hard. But I’ll tell you, go find me someone else, some holy man or god or deity, who knows what it’s like to be humiliated for no reason like maybe you were, and I’ll tell you to follow him instead. Find me some other teacher of life who knows the shame of being stripped and hung out in public to be laughed at like I was, I’ll tell you to follow him. You won't find any other god who knows what it means to be shamed. Only Jesus who knows how you feel, because he too was bruised even before you were bruised. This same Jesus has new life to give you, if you only choose it.
If you do, then pray this with me: Jesus, I make you my God, to protect me from shame, to defend me from harm, and to heal me from hurts. If you are really real, come and be my God. Amen.Please don’t comment on this post. I didn’t tell this story as a dialogue with the world, I told it as a testimony. Please also refrain from using my name if you are testifying this to others who don’t know me. But if they know me, you have my permission to share this with my name attached. Thanks.
Labels: christianity, gender, identity
10:10 am ]
Friday, August 18, 2006
I've been using this place to mouth off about a lot of my gripes recently, and it's not been really nice. I know. It actually doesn't mean that I'm necessarily becoming more unpleasant or less Christianny. Or godforbid a ranter blogger. I have ideas for some pieces i wanna write here, about... you know... epistemology and God's immanence or some other pretentious topic like that, but i've had no time to dig into that stuff, so i've been reduced to unpacking my much pent up anger in little packs here. Not completely unlike the pack of nasi lemak you see here. But i ought to remember. It's all about the ideas. Ideas.
So i insist you humour me in one more rant, and i swear, i'll work some vague semblance of an "idea" into this. My rant is this: i hate it when nasi lemak sellers don't listen to your instructions. Ah... mundane angst. It's true though. I asked for extra kacang today and that damned fellow just dropped like a few more in. I asked for more extra some more and he dropped a small teaspoonful in.
What the hell is wrong with these people? Just pour three big spoonsfull of kacang in and bill me for it! Jack it up by fifty cents, do i look like i care? i just want more kacang!
What my gripe is really about is this: this kid was probably trying to stinge on giving me extra kacang cos he thought i was pushing my luck over a 2.50 breakfast. but that's not true. i don't care if it's 2.50 or 2.80 or 2.99, he can bill me for the extra kacang all he wants. Just follow the instructions because CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT
And the idea underneath all this is this: that some people can be so stoneheaded and provincial in the way they run business, even in a big city. It's very small towned to think that everyone's trying to get more out of you than what you're charging them. But even nasi lemak sellers have to modernise the way they think. Just give your customers everything they ask for and charge them for it. It's really that simple to man a roadside stall.
Labels: food, society
10:16 am ]
Saturday, August 12, 2006
I like to sing in lifts. The acoustics are nice. And there's a certain kind of privacy and syokness about singing there. Sometimes, i don't know if it's so loud that people standing outside can hear. Sometimes they inevitably end up hearing.
Like the other day, after work. I got into the office lift alone and glad as a lark to be going home, started singing loudly, air guitars ripping in after-work triumph.Hang the dj, hang the dj hang the dj, hang the dj
The lift door opens. This lady comes in on level 2. I shut up, redfaced.
Then what do you know? She
starts humming. Right there with me in the lift.Mmm..hhhMmmMm...
And all the while, i was thinking of two things: (a) this lady is pretty cool, and (b) i should keep on singing.Hang the dj, hang the dj...
I sang only in my head.
Labels: eccentricism, happenings
4:53 pm ]
Thursday, August 10, 2006
I'm feeling like a really nice guy today, unlike the last few days, and so i'll cap my little series nicely here at no 5.
People who stand at the end of escalators. Yeah, that's who... people who stand at the end of escalators and discuss where they wanna go in big groups without realising that people are trying to get off the escalator and walk onwards
without having to bump into them. Granted that this category will inevitably catch lots of old auntie-auntie ladies who mean society little harm, and granted also that i'm in a nicer mood today, i think this group can do with a bit more time in repentance - two months. After that, if they still haven't learned where you can and cannot stand in a shopping mall for extended periods of time, then it's watering the fields for you.
Other than that, i think it's been a bloody enough week.
Labels: society, violence
11:12 am ]
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Car park thieves! Come on, be honest. How many of you want car park thieves thrown into the giant human blender?
You know, when you've waited forever for that mother with three kids load her groceries into the boot, strap the baby harness on and pack the other two toddlers into the back seat, and then cautiously reverse out of the car park spot only to have some thubthumping hot rod by zoom into the vacant lot? You know them, don't lie. They saw your signal light the whole time, and they waited and baited and nicked it from underneath you during a split second of inactivity on your part.
And while we're at it, all those people who stand at vacant lots during peak hours while their cars look for them, yeah, those guys should be put on immediate 24-hour surveillance, like a yellow card plus a stern warning all rolled into one. One more wrong move and pffffttt!
No more chance.
Labels: society, violence
1:57 pm ]
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
When two lanes merge on the road, the unspoken rule is that you let the cars merge on a me, then you, then me, then you basis, right? Well, some cars will always try to get away on a me, then me again rule. Many of these cars also tend to be either big 4-wheelers who think they can throw thier weight around because of their size. But short of allowing my prejudices for 4-wheelers get in the way, pun not
intended, I'm inclined to say that EVERYONE who tries to sneak in to a merging lane via some kind of cheating way without waiting for their turn also deserves an expedited route into the giant human blender. Make way - important commuters expect you to give them preferential entry. We're sneaking these monsters in first.
Say hello to the razor blades.
Labels: society, violence
12:56 pm ]
There's a girl at an atm machine. i was queued up behind her. she spent like, forever, trying to work the machine, pushing the buttons, going from one step to another until she stopped - what looked like finished - and left the machine. i took over. i was led through the entire atm withdrawing process right to the end when the machine spat out nothing but a notice that it wasn't functioning. i turned around and saw that girl busy at another atm.
why didn't she tell me it wasn't working??? what a waste of time! she was there, she saw it not work. she walked past me and let me go and use it to discover for myself! how could she do that? where's her sense of social decency???
people like her should go to the giant human blender.
Labels: society, violence
12:32 pm ]
There should be a giant human blender. Right in the middle of the city. Every month, the low-lives and unrepentant scum of society should be brought to this blender, where crowds will gather and watch, like a big ceremony. And as these people file into the giant human blender schute, entire communities will cheer and roar with approval.
Not the most christian thing to have ever been conceived, but the giant human blender will effectively remove from our society its least functioning members - troublemakers, people with no initiative or people with utter disregard for order and system. All these people will be caught by the system via some draconian means and they will be given one month to repent and change their wicked ways.
Guys who regard others in lifts as sex predators out to launch themselves at their girlfriends if they don't "pull them in" shall be put under microscopic attention for 30 days after which, if manners are not improved and decency and respect not shown to fellow lift commuters, they shall walk the short plank down the long blender tube. Many more shall be caught. The world will be a better place.
The remains of the blended offenders will water the fields of neighbouring rural agriculture. We will feed off these parasites as they fed off everyone else. Their pointless lives will eventually see purpose, albeit in death, nonetheless they shall not die in vain - though they lived in it.... my vision of megalomania sounds great. i think i wanna be a dictator.
Labels: society, violence
10:03 am ]
Monday, August 07, 2006
There's a part of me that doesn't
want to begin monday on an antagonistic note, but i'm gonna let that sleeping dog lie and tell you my first candidate for the giant human blender.
you know when you step into a lift and there is a couple in there, and no one else, and they are standing like, slightly apart, but when you step in there and stand in a corner minding your own business, the guy pulls his girlfriend nearer to him and starts holding her like he's protecting her from a sex deviant, yeah, those guys, who should really get over themselves and their girlfriends, should also be the first into the giant human blender.
Labels: society, violence
9:23 am ]
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
What is time?
I mean, what exactly is time? I know what it is in its absolute sense: the duration that passes in a linear passage, from now to later, from just now to now. But what is time in a measured sense?
What the hell is an hour? Why is it called an hour and more importantly why is it as long as it currently is? Why isn’t an hour, say, as long as ten minutes or six minutes or six and a half? Who determined it and what gives that person the right to measure something like time? Was it by divine decree? Or was it just something a bunch of fogeys calculated while stargazing?
And what if time isn’t objectively experienced? What makes us think that the same duration can be measured equally by two people who experience that duration on different terms? In a football match, when there are five minutes left to play, five minutes for the team holding the lead is a very long time; five minutes for the team chasing the game is a blink of an eye. How sure are we that an objective notion of “five minutes”, or any other value for that matter, adequately represents the duration between then and the end of the match?
When I was 21 and in uni, I asked these same questions. I riled about it and announced that I henceforth did not live in ‘time’ as it was (and still is) known and measured, but that I lived semi-outside of it, trapped inevitably in its absolute forward progression, but rejecting it in all of its calculated constraints. I went about for a few days without a watch, and decided to show up at classes according to my whim, or perchance. My more educated housemate at the time kindly informed me that what I was saying was in fact not novel at all, and had already been covered by philosophers and writers long before me. At that time, it made my notion seem silly, my thoughts unoriginal and my ideas about a few hundred years out of sync. I put my watch back on and the watch told me it was time to eat. So I ate. I probably wasn’t even hungry.
But five years on, I’m still thinking about it and I can tell you right now, I don’t give a flying fox if the philosophers and writers before me have covered it, they had their temporo-existential journey and now I want to have mine. I think I deserve it and just because they came before me doesn’t make my doubts about the way we measure time any less valid.
I don’t really know what time is. It’s a completely ridiculous construction designed to segmentise what should otherwise be two halves of a day where one featured sunlight and brightness and the other the absence of said sunlight and brightness. I don’t even know if it’s that clear-cut because the sun sets in stages and darkness does not step in, it creeps
in. How am I to know that the measurement of time isn’t a massive hatch to lock people into regimented routines under a system of tyrannic order? Because from where I stand, it looks every bit like a man-made mode of time-ing, or ‘timing’ things. Like a desperate bid by man to claim control over every last terrain in their experiential existence. When they ran out of space and matter to dissect, they started dissecting time: arbitrarily, into pockets of 24s, 60s and 60s. Well as far as I’m concerned, it sounds like a big lie.
Give me a second. Fifteen minutes of fame. My finest hour. All of these represent time much more capably than what they literally mean and I prefer it this way. What the hell is an hour? An hour is just an hour until it’s over. And mine ain’t over until I say so.
2:10 pm ]
Isn't it time someone with authority decreed that all public toilets be sound-proofed?
I have a natural aversion towards public toilets. I hate them and I'll go to great lengths to avoid them. So much so that i think my body completely shuts out all defecatory needs while i'm out without me consciously willing it.
Over dinner last night with some friends, after my fifth free-refill ice lemon tea, i was asked "Are you sure you don't need the gents?" and i was like, umm... no. really, i don't.
I hate public toilets. they should all have instant-dry floor, mega-power flush and for crying out loud, they should all be sound proof!
And one more thing. All those people who spray water all over the floor, they should have their cups of water rearranged among cups of urine once in a while so that they know it can be hard to distinguish the two under circumstances of duress!
2:10 pm ]