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.
Monday, March 31, 2008
ON OPINION, RESTRAINT AND ALWAYS BEING RIGHT
Today, i offended my friend. i never meant to. but inadvertently i did.
by inadvertently, of course, i mean that i misplaced my honesty, i was sensationally insensitive and i lacked restraint when holding an uncompromising position.
the fact of the matter is that some of the values i hold offend people. i don't know how i grew up like this, but i've emerged from my teens and twenties as someone who needs to hold a strong opinion on almost everything. now having an opinion has never been a bad thing. even the opinions themselves - though some may argue otherwise - are not in themselves the problem.
the problem is that i've not learned how to keep my mouth shut.
and so today, at a fairly overdue age of 27, i've learned how important it is to be restrained about some of my values. i'm learning today that sometimes, the conversations i want most to participate in are the ones i should avoid the most. i'm learning today that i can afford to let comments move back and forth in front of me without me having to tell people what i think. even when asked.
because when 19th century american presidential candidate henry clay was told to dumb down his hardline position on slavery, he said "I would rather be right than president". but today i have this to say: i would rather be related than right.
i would rather keep some of my relationships than defend an idea that i think is correct. today, i'm deciding that, and so i am consequently deciding to show more restraint. cos there are few things more unpleasant than a self-righteous jerk.
Labels: friendship, philosophy
3:10 pm ]
Friday, March 28, 2008
MORNING. IKEA CUP. KARLOF.
bouncedown. hardboiled. day off. yellow sun. ringing phone. a letter. two letters. talking. music. jazz. ambient electronica. clocks. pies. keys. cars. the american desert. the malaysian press. headlines. breakouts. clearouts. clearups. fungus. bread. garlic spread. butter knife. mango. surrealism. luis bunuel. david lynch. pt anderson. boogie nights. pornstars. videotape. itunes. downloads. sendspace. rapidshare. apples in stereo. johnny cash. thunder. hum. rumble. flyers. swallows. a duck. a witch.
5:02 pm ]
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
: dude, i'm going to ask u a very stupid english question
"in Japan there have been no reported court decisions"
it shd be "has" right?Fergus
: ehehehehe. nolah dude. have
cos japan got lots of islands so it's counted as pluralErnest
: like philippines also have
cos it ends with s
: dude, i cant think str8 right now
it's really has right?Fergus
Labels: dialogue, language
2:25 pm ]
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
TOMORROW IS TUESDAY
Last night, on my way home, i wondered if the weekend was coming soon. and then i remembered.
tomorrow is tuesday.
10:32 am ]
Monday, March 24, 2008
ON REDEDICATION AND SENSELESS GUILT
Why do i always feel the need to rededicate my life back to Jesus? everytime there's an evangelistic service, and there's a call for salvation, it's usually followed up by a call for rededication. in my brain, i say of course i don't need to rededicate - i'm not exactly backsliding. but in my heart, in the primordial place that festers guilt, i always think i do.
so i ask myself - what do i need to be doing before i feel like i am christian enough? where should i be serving before i feel like i can hold my head up in church? am i confusing a relationship with jesus with a visible display of obedience? am i bastardising service when it's absence makes me feel like i'm not earning my keep in His kingdom? when i see other people serving, i feel terrible. i know it doesn't make them holier, but it makes them more involved. and involvement is good, right? the church says that, right?
there's barely a line between a church exhorting people to serve and a person feeling bad for not serving. i want to stop thinking that i need to go back to god, like i'm a heathen. my head knows i have god. the rest of me should just knock it off.
Labels: christianity, guilt
9:55 am ]
Monday, March 17, 2008
FINGER ON THE PULSE
I'd like to say that i'm proud to belong to a church that has its finger on the pulse of the real world. i'm proud of my pastors for tackling national issues when national issues are at hand. i'm thankful that they are unafraid to wear their malaysianness on their sleeves amid a congregation full of potential migrators. and i'm super duper glad that my church leaders dare to be radical and are fighting tooth and nail for the plight of the downtrodden.
in the wake of march 8, everyone's talking about relevance. i want to honour my pastors for being on the cutting edge of relevance. and along with them, i want to honour every member of the clergy who right now are engaging with the things that presently matter most to malaysians. i think that one needs to simultaneously have so much abandon and restraint to be able to lead each person into every morning, and lead a whole ship into eternity.
it's been a long time since i've felt so excited about belonging to a church. but these days, i know my church understands what goes through the veins of its people. sometimes i wonder if my pastors have their ears pressed against God's heart or ours. other times, i know it's both.
Labels: christianity, society
2:44 pm ]
ON PERSPECTIVE AND THE ELECTION
On the morning after the elections, i woke up to the thought that abdullah might have to step down as prime minister. but a few conversations and a lot of nonsensical press later and i'm retrieving that thought. put differently, if mukhriz mahathir is on one end of the spectrum, i'm not there with him.
i want my leaders to take responsibility for their failures as much as the next guy. but what world do we live in where winning an election by 62% is considered a failure? are we so accustomed to landslides that our perspectives have been seared? are we going to judge abdullah by the autocratic standards of the past or get used to the actual standards of real democracies? on the morning after the election, i was reminded that most governments would be happy with 50.1%. it's a very sobering thing to hear.
take australia for example. kevin rudd won the last election with an 8-seat majority in a parliament that sits 150. that's like a 12-seat majority in malaysia's parliament. they're calling that a big win. bn have 58 seats more than the opposition. they're calling for the prime minister's head. i'm not an abdullah supporter but if he needs to resign, it's for all the promises he never tried to keep. not for election results. in as much as one is related to the other, when it comes down to apportionment of blame, there's still a big difference between the two. he failed the people but he still didn't lose the election.
and while i'm on this quasi political rant of sorts, can i just say that i'm tired of reading bn leaders say things like "we need to sit down and see what went wrong". for crying out loud. you are what went wrong!
the only post-mortem you need to conduct is the one on why you've been a jerk for at least the last four years.
but i digress. yes, i was talking about perspective. bn leaders need to get some perspective and stop trying to find scapegoats in their post-mortems. and abdullah's detractors need to get some perspective and stop knee-jerking just because they didn't get another landslide. and if we want to go down the road of great democracies, then maybe mukhriz mahathir should shut up and wake up to a post-8 march malaysia. because our country is different now. you got your simple majority. learn to be happy with it.
11:37 am ]
Sunday, March 16, 2008
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAN
She's always been ahead of me.
in kindergarten, she taught me how to count 11 to 99 in malay. when i reached 99, i didn't know how to go on. and then she taught me satu ratus.
when we grew up, she learned many years before me that there was a lot of appeal in society's rebels. today, i really dig people who go against the grain of normalcy. but she was digging that - at least in boys - from a long time ago.
and then she ended up in europe before me too. she even got to rotterdam before me. she missed me. she was at least one year too early. or maybe i'm one year too late.
yesterday, she underlined her constant aheadness of me by turning 28 a good three months before me. she's always been about three months ahead of me, plus minus here and there. and so, to the truest muarian nostalgist i know, here's to a splendid year of homecoming.
Labels: friendship, tributes
3:03 pm ]
Sunday, March 09, 2008
ON PATRIOTIC SONGS AND THE ELECTION
Inilah barisan kita
Yang ikhlas berjuang
Siap sedia berkorban
Untuk ibu pertiwi
Sebelum kita berjaya
Jangan harap kami pulang
Inilah sumpah pendekar kita
Menuju medan bakti
Andaikanlah kami gugur semua
Taburkan bunga diatas pusara
Kami mohon doa
Semboyan telah berbunyi
Menuju medan bakti!
8:00 pm ]
Friday, March 07, 2008
ON ALLEGIANCE AND THE ELECTION
Two recent events, when juxtaposed, made me see this elections differently. the first was the priviledge i had to drop by at a dap ceramah this week. the second was worship in church.
at the ceramah, people rallied around their political leaders, honking their cars as the next headliner arrived and when lim kit siang turned up, about five thousand people were chanting his name. the mc introduced him as a "champion" who'd been "fighting for so long". his sheer presence at the ceramah lent the entire proceedings weight. i heard this morning that last night, ten thousand people gathered at pantai as anwar ibrahim led a predominantly malay crowd to pledge support for malaysian chinese and indians. politics, as you'll know, has never been short of heroes.
but it was on the sunday morning before that that i stood among other christians in church and sang "hosanna, hosanna, hosanna to the highest". and as i sang that, i remembered a time when lots of people shouted those same words. it was on palm sunday.
mats were spread and the jews of jesus' day hailed his entry into jerusalem. though he entered on a lowly donkey, they hailed him for it nonetheless. maybe they missed the point that he was making, because a few days later, this same crowd that shouted "hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest" had changed their worship number to "kill him".
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? are we just crying because we share a mutual adversary or are we crying because we are lending our voice to the man in front? i worry.
i worry that on the 9th of march, or the 10th, or the 11th, people will lose interest. i worry that once the supposedly new operating system of bn is released, that everyone trudges back into normalcy and accept a life where programs hang and documents disappear. i don't want to be a fairweather lover of malaysia. it's very fashionable now to say you want to stand up for justice and equality. the real test happens on ground zero every day for four years after the 8th of march. i don't want to give anwar ibrahim my hosanna today and then curse him next year. if i give you my hosanna, i really give you my hosanna.
i know we're all excited about tomorrow. but herein lies my personal commitment: to be excited about tomorrow's tomorrow.
Labels: christianity, politics
2:33 pm ]
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
ON MAC v PC AND THE ELECTION
There's this hillarious series of mac ads on youtube
where the two computers, personified as a couple of guys, have a dialogue that eventually illustrates mac's superiority. in many of the ads, mac seems quite happy to cede some territory to pc. he tells pc that he does spreadsheets well. it's funny. and then, in one of the ads, pc brags about all the things he can do and mac says he can do all the stuff pc just bragged about as well, because now you can run windows on mac. pc, of course, wasn't pleased.
those ads made me think about this election. there are some things we know about macs and pcs. pcs do gaming better. they do spreadsheets better. surfing for torrents is better. and ms dos lets you get your hands nice and dirty. macs do lifestyle things better: compiling photobooks, cutting home movies, recording music and building quick websites.
transpose that to local politics and indulge me in this fascinating parallel. bn are supposed to do stability well. they're supposed to do economy and national security and business well. the opposition are supposed to own the other ground: anti-corruption, human rights, and social justice. when abdullah said four years ago that he was gonna take down corruption, it looked every bit like... the untinkable. populist dominant pc running mac os as well as windows. of course, we know that pc could never do that. as for bn owning the opposition turf? nah.
so will the political mac ever run windows? who's gonna be the one to stand for all that they do best and plunder the other for what they're supposed to do well too? will the bn government stand up for social justice? or will the opposition deliver a solid economic plan?
when abdullah tried the whole anti-corruption thing, we all saw that it wasn't his forte. last week, i stumbled upon this
- an opposition party economic plan. i wonder. will we ever find out if it's all hot air?
Labels: mac, politics
4:06 pm ]
Monday, March 03, 2008
ON PRAYER AND THE ELECTIONThere are plenty of people who pray for peace, but if praying were enough it would have come to be.- Jewel, Life uncommon
There's an election rhetoric going around super-spiritual pentecostal type christians that i'm not entirely excited about. i'm gonna tread this one carefully but tread nonetheless i will.
if you're the churchgoing type, can i ask you, have you been hearing a lot of calls to pray for the nation? i have. nothing wrong with that.
they usually go along the lines of "Pray until something happens".
i've also heard those that go on and on and on about "God, expose the wicked", "God, install a righteous government", "God, remove the unrighteous".
i've even heard one that went "Voting is important, but praying is even more important".
now i don't know about you, but too much of this prayer drive thing makes me a bit concerned. why should it? lemme see.
i believe that there's a reality in malaysia about a certain kind of voter. that kind of voter, i believe, is everywhere, and they look something like this: they want to do good. they want to uphold good values. and they dislike white collar immorality as much as the next malaysian. like all malaysians, they also want stability, security, a healthy economy, booming business, and enough peace and racial tolerance just so that life can look normal on any given monday morning. but when someone reduces the voting choice down to voting for righteousness versus voting for stability, this malaysian is more likely going to err on the side of caution and vote for stability. and i repeat, this malaysian is everywhere.nothing wrong with that.
except that when the church is the one driving the call for righteousness and godly values, when the church believes it's been called to provide the nation's benchmark for morality, the over-emphasis on praying simply allows the aforedescribed malaysians to stay within their comfort zones and just pray
. i know you don't mean it that way. but it's easy to hear
it that way. it gives people a passport to just pray and do little else.
but to those who say "pray until something happens", i have this to say. pray and make
to those who say "God, expose the wicked", i have this to say. someone had to flip their camera on before lingam got caught on video. if you really want the wicked exposed, do the exposing.
and to those who say that voting is important but praying is more important, i think i know what you're getting at, but be careful that your priorities don't stumble already apathetic and fearful people into further inaction.
pastors. when you talk about evangelism, you always tell us to do something about it. you never just tell us to pray. how different is it now that we're talking about social justice?
Labels: christianity, politics
12:45 pm ]