Tariq Kamal's blog.

Look! A rare entry! Gosh.

I'm so angry right now.

Angry at the fact that I have to either deal with Pitas, Livejournal or a a blog that is in essence, all over the place, and angry at (again) the stupidity of my countrymen.

American Express teams up with your favorite aspects of life to bring you a personal credit card that you can be proud to use. Whether it be animal related, sports associated, travel related, among countless others, there is a card out there to suit your needs.

But I'm mainly angry with the stupidity of my countrymen. The blog thing will be dealt with, with me either getting on my butt and finally fixing it up at bebudak.net, or me giving up and moving to Blogger. Stupid CSS and HTML.

Anyway. What am I so angry about? Well, for one, this.

No, no. Don't look at the articles, look at the godsdamned comments.

Look at them. Marvel at the Moral Strength of our countrymen. Marvel at the Word of The People, the vox dei. Malaysia, Bumiku Bertuah.

If it wasn't for Jeff Ooi, who reminded us that the main issue and main obscenity with the Norita trial is not the transparency the Malaysian press on the lurid details of the state of Norita's fucking cunt, but the appaling lack of transparency everywhere else, we'd still be talking about how fucking shocked we are.

We're fucking morons! The main requirement for a completely democratic society is people who can think and value disparate opinions, and who are mature enough to realize that, you know, modern society does allow for and condone women and men to fuck they way they want to fuck, with who they prefer to fuck, not who your fucking parents chose for you, you know, he's only slightly asthmatic but—. People who can look at the details of what kind of fluids are found in Norita's vagina and then shrug, or shake their heads, and then turn to more important matters, like what's happening about our horribly screwed-up education system, or who those 18 Big Fish are, and what the fucking quality of air is like in the Klang Valley….

I've been hit by a revelation! We don't deserve a democracy! We don't deserve a free press! What we need, what we really, really need, is a caretaker government that closely monitors our information, nurtures us and allows us to grow the fuck up, because we're so fucking easily distracted by the length of some woman of loose virtue's pubic hair! We're like a kid with ADD who was raised by really religiously strict parents!

You loathsome abominations!

Entry link: #stupid-countrymen-bumiku-bertuah


Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaai!

Watch this, you bastards (in Japanese).

One of the ways of getting into my good graces is by getting me Beat Takeshi's Zatoichi in DVD, with English subtitles.

Now.

Entry link: #Zatoichi-trailer


A stillborn letter.

I was going to send this to Murtad Malaysia's Webmasters, but I decided not to. I want this posted up here, warts and all, though, so you can see it. I'm sure it's bound to generate some controversy. Especially that bit about “destroying Islam”.

I'm a very recent visitor of your website, and I'm just 
writing this to say hi. I'm just going to record my feelings 
about the whole issue, and my feelings I experienced when I 
read your website.

I'm noting beforehand that my words here are purely 
personal. They're an indication of how your website has 
affected me, not any attempt at anything. I thought you'd 
want it, just in case. I'm an insecure old bastard, that 
way.

Actually, I find it very hard to read the testimonials on 
your website, the ones made by Islamic apostates, or perhaps 
former Muslims -- I find the latter term much less 
offensive. It's not a matter of readability or language, but 
something emotional and visceral.

I am, nominally, a Muslim. Not a very devout one, not a very 
passionate one, but a Muslim, nonetheless. I don't agree 
with people who insist that Muslims need to do n certain 
things or consider themselves kafir, or whatever. I actually 
disagree with a lot of 'pious' and 'learned' Muslims. It's a 
recurring theme in my life. But it's me. I'm a Muslim. It's 
a part of my identity.

Ironically enough, even Murtad Mama's statement that "Of 
course, it would be great if [the complete destruction of 
Islam was] possible" is agreeable to me, in some cases. 
Certainly not all of her statements I agree with-- Murtad 
Mama does sound like she has been hurt by my fellow Muslims, 
and I don't blame her for her feelings. 

Yes, it would be wonderful if that creaking edifice that 
many call 'Islam' was demolished. It's chewed up people, 
it's intolerant, it has been violent, it's made the same 
sins against humanity that Judaism and Christianity has 
made, and has not yet found its bearings in our age.

But there's more, and I do not wish to share it with you. I 
suspect that attempting to will be interpreted as 
evangilizing, and I hate evangalists. So no.

I am frankly disturbed by your website. I do not know why, 
but two possibilities expose themselves to me, both equally 
plausible:

1) I am in denial over my religion, and it is that evil, 
soul-burning edifice that former Muslims make it to be. 
Either that, or I am in denial over my intolerance of former 
Muslims. My emotional side is silently afraid of this 
possibility. Scratch afraid -- terrified. I have endeavoured 
for years to not place Islam up in a pedestal -- it is a 
human religion, after all. To realize, perhaps, that I have 
been doing so, and I am predictably wrong about it is a 
disturbing prospect.

2) I am disturbed the NECESSITY of such a website. To 
realize that my fellow muslims act to suppress and oppress 
people, to spread hatred and inconvenience because of 
someone's CHOICE. The thinking side of me favours this 
explanation, as I have found that that even when someone is 
my brother in religion doesn't mean I want to hang out with 
him and treat him for dinner, because he is, in my own 
words, an objectionable, offensive twat.

I don't even know why I'm telling you this. I certainly have 
no right to barge in and tell you what I feel, but I'm doing 
so any way. Forgive me if this offends.

--
Tariq Kamal
kawaii hentai he-bimbo

There you go. Email me if you like. Just don't expect an answer if you're a twat. Even if you are a Muslim twat.

Entry link: #murtad


How much would you give for a good, cheap, reliable male contraceptive?

Would you stick a needle into your vas deferens (for now), and suffer a bit of scrotal swelling (maybe)?

Would you kill heads of pharmaceutical corporations?

Fuck yes. We're fucking overdue for something like this. I'll kill the bastard who tries to stop me from having a say in the contraceptive game.

Well… I'd kill anyone who tries to stop me from having condomless sex with my life partner and not getting her pregnant when we're not ready. But that's not the point.

Check this out. It's beautiful, if it's true.

Spread the word, you male bastards. It's your fucking sperm. Do something about it.

Entry link: #RISUG


Whoah.

Holy Hastur.

I want this

This just makes the game a whole lot more interesting. You know.

Entry link: #rez-rez-rez


Being Male, and Hating it.

A lot of guys grow up feeling like they were born in the wrong gender. Why? Because they hang around women, and listen to tales about idiot and arsehole husbands, boyfriends and so forth.

Naturally, they feel the pain, shame or anger these women feel. Naturally, they feel ashamed of their gender. Naturally, they have little to no positive male role models.

Naturally, they hate their own fucking gender. Not enough to want to change into something else, but enough to always, ALWAYS feel guilty.

I was one of those guys. I still do feel that way sometimes, you know.

That's not right. Granted, there are men who are arseholes, and there are men who are idiots. But that doesn't mean that men have the monopoly in idiocy, bigotry and offensiveness.

And there are always the golden picks from the trash: The Mark Husseins, the Randolph Tans, the Aizuddin Danians.

And yes, there's plenty of trash to sift from. I know how many of you women can never trust guys again because all you've got are shit choices and arsehole dickheads. But it's not our fault as men. It's our fault as fucking human beings. It doesn't absolve one group from the responsibility of behaving like a human being, not some god-damn ape that walks on two legs.

I'm through picking sides, this time. You can have your damn squabbles over the whole issue of “Equality”, “Hypocrisy” and how Men are Bigger Shits, and Will Always Be, Damnit.

Get some fucking perspective, folks.

Entry link: #hate-male


My dislike of ‘Kepimpinan Ulama’

I don't believe in the leadership of the ulema.

Those words, easily spoken, are perhaps the most dangerous words I have spoken for quite some time.

I don't think the ulemas have any intrinsic right to the revelation of God.

I don't see how it makes me any less of a Muslim, however. My vision of Islam is far different from Menj's views, and also different from “Aiseh Man's”. I wish to fragment Islam, and I wish to have my kind squabble endlessly over the finer details of politics and dogma.

Because Islam was never designed to be a homogenous religion. We can stand together as Muslims because that's what we are, not because we revere Ali and his descendent Imams, or any of the four Great Ulemas. We can stand together as Muslims because that is what we are, because we made a declaration in front of God, and our trust in one man.

Do you know how amazingly hard it is to do that? To put your trust in one man — not a logo or manifestation of God, not the accumulated identity and tradition that is several thousand years old, not the promise of freedom from physical entropy, not the promise and ideals of peace among your fellow man…

But from the words and deeds of one man? Never mind his actions were inspired, and his destiny was marked by hands greater than our own. He was one man.

One man who could fail, who risked death, who saw too much and tried to impart on us what he saw, before he died. One man who saw his people united beyond political strife and tribalization. One man who crafted a whole identity out of chaos and tribal unrest.

To idolize him would be to insult him. To follow his every word and action would be to degrade him. To worship him would be blasphemy. To admire what he did, and to strive to better him … may never be enough.

One man, whom we owe our Unity to. We may unite under Allah's Power and Grace, but we will always be under Muhammad's banner. No matter what we believe.

Entry link: #piety-and-the-ulema


The worst thing that could happen to a guy.

Warning: Strong adult content. Do not go if you are under the age of consent in your country, are offended by pornographic material, or are fairly certain that watching pornographic material will get you into trouble.

If all of the above does not apply to you, go ahead and go through this link.

Y'see, if I was like poor Reginald, and I was given the choice of living with that problem and being a eunuch, I'd choose eunuchdom. Any time.

Entry link: #Bad-penis


I blame you.

Life would be so much easier if I was the only person on the planet.

I blame it on you people, of course. I get indoctrinated, from a young age, that when people say there's nothing wrong, something is definitely wrong, and it's my fault but they're too polite to tell it to my face.

I don't know why, but I suspect it's because everyone likes fucking with me.

Women are the worst culprits, though not the sole ones. You women make demands by not making them, and then you watch all your slave-men fall down to your feet, trying to fulfill nonexistent demands and whims. But then when someone gets upset, and someone gets angry, and it's definitely not my fault, all I can do (all I'm supposed to do) is just stand there like an idiot, opening and closing my mouth for lack of anything to do or say.

Or maybe fall on my sword, to please my mate. Women are evil, bloodthirsty daimyos pretending to be nice. Nasty.

I swear, someone thought it up because of the happiness and joy they get from looking at me do an impersonation of a fucking fish.

Entry link: #blame-blame-blame


Survivor: Game demos

Two games. Two demos.

Game one: Tron 2.0. State-of-the-art. Massively hyped. In production by massive corporation.

Game two: Starscape. Old-style graphics, with enchancements. Though nice-looking, the graphics are at least a year old. Completely unknown — stumbled upon it in sleazy webcomic site. Made by small company, as shareware.

Game one: I had to download Tron 2.0 from Gamespot, who in their infinite wisdom, make you install spyware to download the demo. Uninstalled “download manager” and disinfected PC soon after. I don't give a shit what your company says, but if it comes into my PC stealthily and stores demographic information without my knowledge, it's fucking spyware. Don't give me that crap about it being in the EULA and that you don't ‘log personnal information’. Who reads that sort of shit other than lawyers? Not that it matters. Have fun with “Teezo Cunninngham” from the Turks and Caicos Islands, you fuckers!

Game two: Old-style FTP. Game installed in two minutes.

Game one: State of the art. So fucking state of the art it refuses to run on a PC that doesn't have Hardware TnL. Ooh, guess what, I don't. Well, fuck you, Tron.

Game two: Runs for about twenty minutes, quits, telling me to buy a copy. That's acceptable shareware game policy, and they told me beforehand. So I let them go. Snazzy music, and I love the imagery. Ooh. They accept Switch!

Guess which game I'd like to buy.

Entry link: #survivor-game-demos


The Assholes are the World's Elite Group.

Would that I were to be given the choice to be blind, deaf or mute, I would always gladly chose to be mute.

Never mind what Hani says about how wonderful my ideas are, or how wonderful my voice is. There are times when I feel like being able to speak is far bigger a curse than it is a blessing.

I remember a time when, due to an extended bout of the 'flu, I lost my voice. People told me how wonderful I was, because I was unable to speak.

Heh. It is funny. I mean, I come out of the self-imposed blogging shell, and I scuttle back in, because I couldn't bear to hear “shut up, Tariq.”

People want to be heard. They don't want to hear, do they?

I mean, it must be great, being the center of attention. It could be mild bimboishness (which some people would say vapidity and shallowness). It might be because of the pain in our lives, and how we are generally ignored by the rest of the world. Or it might be because of our general misanthropy of our own kind, which is what I do here.

I keep forgetting that. We want others to stop talking, because we want them to listen to our plight. We want other people to be nice, so we can get away with being nasty. We want other people to stop riding the Asshole Pony Ride, because we want a ride on it too. There can only be a certain number of assholes in this planet. And we want to be that certain number.

Hence the title.

Entry link: #assholes


Well, Aiz…

Raja Petra Kamaruddin has never been one of my people.

I don't particularly care for either party, to be honest. UMNO and BN has never been my particular cup of tea, and the Opposition Parties have never inspired me that much. Nature of Malaysian politics, you know.

To be honest, I've spent so much time around non-Malay friends that I feel a little alienated around my fellow Malays. I've heard more and read more than the average Malay — I can say this with confidence.

Yes, that was an idle boast.

I want some time to think. Maybe some people to talk to. The letter is… interesting. But only mildly.

Addendum: It was Raja Petra Kamaruddin, not Raja Petra Aziz. Oops. Okay. Thanks, Mabs, for spotting it.

Entry link: #keadilan-letter


Another damn entry caused by Aiz about religion.

I was expecting people to demand my head for uttering, what essentially is, if I was in Malaysia, blasphemy. Kinda glad no one overreacted.

But I can see the point of xyad's article — except that I still don't buy it.

In theory, of course, a secular society does not discriminate between those who hold different religious beliefs. It doesn't have to, because it understands the separation between individual belief and public policy. A secular organization, it is said, is the best thing that can administer a group of people of differing beliefs.

xyad alleges this isn't the case; that religion and non-scientific belief are derided by ‘skeptics’ and ‘atheists’, who apparently consider a secular society “their” society. Which I don't think is true, if it ever was.

I don't know which group annoys me more — fundamentalist religionists or fundamentalist materialists. Needless to say, I am neither. I hold to my religious beliefs, as well as holding the validity of science, in what I'm sure a lot of people call “doublethink”.

I'm sure it is, assuming that science and religion are opposite sides of a spectrum and completely exclusive to one another. Which is another misconception.

I suppose you could say I went through a lot of doubt early on in my life about my religious belief. I went through the “god is a science fiction plot device”, imagining that God created Man out of magical cosmic principles. In theory this would have worked, had there been evidence to support it. But there wasn't, so I had to abandon it, eventually.

I did go through a quasi-atheist stage in my life, where Allah SWT was there in my in my lips and mind, but never in my heart.

To be honest, he's still not in my heart, but I now know why.

It is said that religion is a journey, which starts from the beginning of your life, and with an uncertain destination. The uncertainty, the fear of being wrong, the difficulty of going through that journey without a guiding voice that can allay your own fears…

Fundamentalism is, essentially, a child's toy. A child's toy, because you cannot expect a child to understand the crushing difficulty and the intense emotions involved in religion, nor to understand the significance of everything and it's place in the world's order. The Qur'an was never meant to be anything more than a guidebook that says:

Your journey starts here. Go through this doorway, and try to find, to your best ability, those little clues I dropped for you. Try to not get killed, and try to not forget Me.

Yours sincerely,
God.

It's a shame that the child's tool, and the guidebook, is paid more attention to than all those little clues and insights God dropped for you to see. It's a damn shame to see the literal words taken and quoted, often out of context, for everything you do in life.

It's a shame to ascribe more meaning to a guidebook than you should. The guidebook is there to guide you, not dictate every aspect of your life. God gave it to you to help you get started, not opress you.

Addendum: I just read xyad's article thoroughly now, and I can understand the crap Zeba Khan had to go through to finally choose the way of life she did, and her decision. I'll just say it's a damn shame, even though I sympathize, because there was, and there will always be, a different perspective. Don't take what she says as gospel truth, people. It's not there for that.

Entry link: #damn-you-Aiz


From Aiz's blog.

Unpleasant truth number 1 — all people suck.

Unpleasant truth number 1, refined — 90% of people suck.

Unpleasant truth number 2, which supersedes number 1 — people don't suck, you want to suck and they won't let you. Which probably might be worse.

Unpleasant truth number 2, refined — 90% of everyone wishes that everyone else doesn't suck, so that you can get your own way (and of course, be an unpleasant person in the process, which is what sucking is).

So, no. People generally don't suck. We do wish other people were nicer, and more polite, and less vermin-like though, because it would bring to us an amazing and wonderful evolutionary advantage.

Yup, that what being sapient means. The difference between us and wolves and rats are that wolves know better to cooperate with one another, and both of these non-sapients don't wish that this all wasn't so.

Addendum: You can reach Aiz's entry, which this blog entry was based on, by going through this here link: Aizuddin's blog. Pitas trying very hard to be a pain. Raft of errors and bugs from pitas server-side software screwing my entry up. Idiots.

Entry link: #people-dont-suck


Hmm.

Even on pitas, blogging is a pain.

Which is why I've been thinking if there was some way of automating the process.

Look at it this way — any current content-generating system we have right here and right now can and may be obsolete any time in the future. This isn't too bad, for someone like me — shrug, and either continue using what I've always been using, and spend a little bit of effort and port it into a new system.

That last bit worries me a little. How many of you have your pages in essentially a proprietary format? As in, your markup's either raw HTML (oh, messy), or a weird-ass text file? How would you link stuff? Would you use HTML? I wouldn't. And yet, HTML is useful for marking up some things, like formatting elements with strong and div tags.

So… XML might actually be a solution.

I'll have to write this up, with a test schema so can people can see it first. Be back later :)

Entry link: #thoughts-on-xml


I fell down the stairs and smashed my arm through a glass door, so please excuse my tardiness.

I'm back.

I've been gone for almost a month now, and by god, what a month. I fell down the stairs and ended up with seven stitches on my right arm, I got new shelves added to my room, my PC took forever to fix…

There's so much to say. But I'm in no mood for it, though.

Mainly because I have two games waiting for me on my bed — Neverwinter Nights and Morrowind. Mainly because I got a text from Nick the Bartender, who has told me that Chellen, his girlfriend, had her handbag and phone stolen.

Incidentally, Chellen was the girl responsible for my haircut. Hani, you know who to thank.

There's so much to say. So little of it I want to blog about, however.

But, I am back.

Entry link: #back


The Great Blog Wars

I'm sitting in the Uni labs right now, and I've just had a nice, but very tiring walk through Trent Park on a hot summer's day. Sadly, I've been told by my terminal that I need to be an Administrator to install Textpad. If I don't sound any more charitable to you, than you can take a bread-knife and cram it up your anus.

I've been offline for several days, now — one of the things I dislike about that is the fact that I get cut off from the online communities I belong to. I believe I currently belong in three — RetroMUD, agww and the Malaysian-YCCian blog circle. Of the three, the one I seem to be the most active about is agww, but thanks to Hani and gang, I maintain a tenous link to the world of blogging (the word ‘blogosphere’ grates my nerves. Never use it in front of me).

Someone's been fighting, by the looks of it. Heavy words, too.

I tried coming up with a definition of blogging that didn't exclude everything I called a blog. I do think that blogs are more than online journals, and the inclusion of those ‘criteria’ Aiz and company seem to espouse seems arbitary and elitist. I don't give a damn what you say, Aiz, but Nina's been calling herself a blog long before you did. She has the right to that name, at the very, very least. Calling it online journaling is an insult, and people feel that. Names have power, and taking those names away from the people who claim them is a little like theft.

A blog, as I finally figured out, is a technical term for a medium that the WWW supports. It is essentially severeal entries strung together serially, in some form of order, typically chronological…

That's it.

What is an entry? Well, it depends. It can be anything — photographs, poetry, comics, profanity, opinions, news articles… anything. An entry may contain anything it likes, and needs not have links, titles, or even timestamps, although timestamps may be used, if people prefer, since it aids in archival and storage. As such, blogs are often read serially, and their structure reflects that. Serial structures, as opposed to hierachical. Nothing more, nothing less.

But that's it. No mention of what the content needs to be about, nothing to say about embedded links… no mention of discipline, integrity of any kind. Just a set of entries, created in series, over the Web. And even that rule can be stretched, as long as the serial structure remains, or some resemblance to it.

Anyone who says more is at the very least, misguided. Blogs, like almost any form of media, have genres — photoblogs, comic-blogs, blogporting, blogjournaling, opinion-blogs, whatever. To say that blogjournaling is not blogporting is correct. To say that blogporting is Real Blogging and all else is not is foolish, to say the least.

My opinion of blogporting is that blogporting in itself is a sterile, dull task. In its purest, you get something like the google blog, which is dull beyond words. Once you put a human face and human aspirations behind something, however, it gains a shine and luster beyond anything else; people start identifying with the writer, and that usually is great.

And no, I didn't read Dinesh's response. I learned to tune out profanity-laden responses on my 18th birthday. You have soc.culture.malaysia to thank for. I don't care how good your observations are — if you can't bring them out civilly, be assured that I will never read them, even if you are Jesus Christ. I've never been terribly polite or respectful, but I am uppity and civil. Or at least I try to be.

Entry link: #fight-fight-fight


Hey, another Aiz-like entry!

Screenshots.

…okay, I'll try add my commentary on this. I keep ribbing the guy like nobody's business. Honestly, as far as I'm concerned, his only sin is really only being occasionally dull.

‘Screenshots’ is… disturbing. Very. It's probably the effect of its perspective — and the fact that everything is seen as if it was from above. The Sims, made in real life.

That's all right for the pieces titled “The Sound of Music” and “The Godfather, part II”. But about a picture of Ted Kaczynski's cabin? Or Rodney King and Reginald Denny? Matthew Sheppard's Death? Di and Dodi's Death? Quang Duc's suicide?

That's not just it. They're not just in a birds-eye view, but also done in a sterile, emotionless style that actually hit me harder than I expected. I think it was because the lack of emotion or resonance itself allowed me to fill in my own emotional responses.

Entry link: #screenshots


I'm doing an Aiz…

Got this from here:

This ongoing inability to deal with nationalism abroad has three immediate consequences. The first, and relatively minor, is the high level of resentment that U.S. insensitivity generates, both among foreign governments and their people. The second, and definitely more serious, is that such insensitive policies tend to backfire on the United States, especially when it tries to undermine hostile regimes abroad. After all, nationalism is one of the few crude ideologies that can rival the power of democratic liberalism. Look, for example, at the unfolding nuclear drama on the Korean peninsula. The rising nationalism of South Korea’s younger generation—which sees its troublesome neighbor to the north as kin, not monsters—hasn’t yet figured in Washington’s calculations concerning Pyongyang’s brinkmanship. In these cases, as in previous similar instances, U.S. policies frequently have the perverse effects of alienating people in allied countries and driving them to support the very regimes targeted by U.S. policy.

Finally, given the nationalism that animates U.S. policies, American behavior abroad inevitably appears hypocritical to others. This hypocrisy is especially glaring when the United States undermines global institutions in the name of defending American sovereignty (such as in the cases of the Kyoto Protocol, the International Criminal Court, and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty). The rejection of such multilateral agreements may score points at home, but non-Americans have difficulty reconciling the universalistic rhetoric and ideals Americans espouse with the parochial national interests the U.S. government appears determined to pursue abroad. Over time, such behavior can erode the United States’ international credibility and legitimacy.

Am still reading it. Go see. It's good read, at least.

Entry link: #aizzing


I ramble on too much.

It's nearly six. I haven't gone out all day, although I should.

Read something in Oon Yeoh's blog. I want to comment on that before I do go out.

Change is often rather unpleasant for anyone who goes through it. Let's get that particular piece of data out, before I continue any more. Change, as I remember Scott Adams saying, adds new information into your universe — new information you don't know. Therefore, change can increase your relative ignorace about your world. At the very least.

Among the worst changes you can ever hope for are those that prove you wrong. Such is the nature of people, over the fact we hate to be proven wrong. But we are, often, almost every day. And so it is with the War on Terror.

I'm rambling.

My first reaction to Oon Yeoh's particular entry was straight-out dislike, really. Here was someone with an opposing view. He might prove me wrong.

I don't like the War on Terror. I think it is an inelegant act, and that you can do more harm with it than good, especially if you don't follow it with a thorough clean-up. But he made me think. And he made me blog. Gotta respect a guy who does that.

I think the biggest misconception about the War on Terror is the fact that it isn't a war at all. It isn't. There are no sides. Osama bin Laden isn't a warlord bent on our destruction, and Al-Qaeda isn't an army. Look at their structure. What are they?

Cells in different countries, not knowing what the other cells do. Leaders in hiding. No mobilized armed forces. Weaponry usually made in situ, and not manufactured. It's not a war.

They're criminals. It's a crime.

We haven't been treating it like a crime. Instead, we bought the message that those criminals gave us. ‘It's an idealogical clash’, we say. It's an Us and Them conflict. It's an apocalyptic vision, straight from the Quran and the Book of Revelations. Declaring that, instead of using a pair of secateurs to trim your plants, you're gonna use a chainsaw instead. Or a flame-thrower.

Honestly. You guys are idiots.

September 11 was a crime-scene, like the bombing in Bali and Morocco. 3,000 people died in one, and hundreds have died since. It's a terrible crime, but it is so not Pearl Harbour. But instead of dealing with it like a crime, we've been dealing with it as if we're going to war, like the Apocalypse Made Manifest. We aren't. We shouldn't.

You are right in saying that the Arabs love spectacle. But you've kind of exposed the War on Iraq for what it is — a PR act. It does nothing more than that. As a matter of fact, it might do worse. Botched PR attempts usually do, really.

Don't believe me? Simple fact, people: Saddam and ben Laden are ideological enemies. Not friends. Not even acquaintances. The only link they have is that Saddam would shoot anyone belonging to Al-Qaeda if any one of them stepped into his territory. Hello. And there doesn't seem to be any WMD on Saddam. Weren't we talking about this before the War? No? So does that mean that the Gulf War II is, as we programmers call it, a non-functional requirement? Window dressing, for you other mortals?

Nothing wrong with window dressing. What are you doing other than that, though?

We do have two countries under great unrest now. There's little that has been done to alleviate or even investigate the causes of September 11. We have no idea where ben Laden is. We can't even answer that simple question. What do the Americans want him for, anyway? For questioning? No one will say.

It's a war. A war, war, war, fucking war. We won, won, won, fucking won. Yay, yay, yay, fucking yay.

Except… what now? What was it, eternal vigilance?

Back to the fucking status quo. Doesn't anyone want to use this stupid attack to make the world better? What are you guys, idiots?

Entry link: #war-blog


Doing things “properly”.

This is in response to this article.

I'm feeling decidedly uncharitable.

Being excluded from the blog category because I do not regularly update is one thing. It's something I can improve by myself, and if I don't, well, it's my damn fault.

But being told that I'm not a ‘real blog’ because I don't do what other ‘real bloggers’ do is a slap in the face, and to me stinks of an over-blown sense of self-importance. I did it because at times I have a lot to say, and I don't want to say it unless people choose to listen to what I say.

Yes, blogging as a cure for trolling and flaming.

“Nobody needs to come. Nobody needs to care”. That was always my motto during this particular round of blogging. I'm doing this because I feel like it, not because my friends are doing it.

I'm not providing a service. My blog is a luxury — to myself, and to others. There's a reason why I haven't moved away from free blog services — the main reason is because I don't see myself providing anything but an opinion. That's all. No journalism, no, ‘Hey, look! This is cool’. No reviews, no critiques. Nothing but opinion. And the occasional swearing.

Sorry. It (the article) just raised hackles. I honestly don't give a tinker's cuss on what the original blogs were like: to me, blogs evolved genres over time. I might be writing what's considered an opinion column — Aiz and his ‘proper blogging’ cohorts might be doing something more akin to ‘proper journalism’. It's just that one of it was what I do. Being told that I couldn't be…

Well, look. I spent thirteen years being told I was not ‘cool’. My gut reaction now is the same as it was then — to tell you to go to hell.

But that's my gut reaction. My objection over Aiz's statements are purely personal, because it did feel like a personal attack on what people like me do. I'm sure he doesn't mean it.

I'm expecting a flame war over this. I don't look forward to it.

Entry link: #proper-blogging


When you remember the reasons you left home in the first place.

Went to soc.culture.malaysia today. I'm glad I didn't post there.

Geez. I spent my first days in the Internet Community there, when I was younger, and a damn sight more foolish. God, I just couldn't stand being there now. Granted, the regulars who aren't flaming idiots are generally nice and intelligent, but what kind of newsgroup is one where you have to spend a couple of days kill-filing all the idiots in that ng to actually have a decent conversation with someone marginally intelligent?

And I mean marginally intelligent in that you'd bloody listen to what I say and not take offense, or become defensive. Granted, I do it, but there's no reason to act like me.

Entry link: #scummers


Machines that do not bend to my will are whores.

In response to the New Yorker in Hani's Blog

I didn't mind the ‘mixing around with the various races’ bit.

It was the ‘rich snot’ bit that got me.

And no, I'm not rich. Interestingly enough, I'm middle-class crass.

Seriously. I'm like, the child of the suburbs — the kind of person I despise.

And I lack in sleep. Buh-bye!

Entry link: #sleepy-metacomment


(Gapes in shock)

I just had a talk with Tina Frappaolo, who acts as the University Programme Regulations Officer, I think. I keep confusing her title.

How did it go? Well…

Tina: …well, what it basically means was that you were supposed to hand over all of the coursework for all four modules on May 2nd.

Tariq: (gasps) But, wait, biCSS said I had no module registrations…

Tina: No, because most of your modules were registered last semester. Of course biCSS wouldn't show those modules — you had none registered this semester.

Tariq: (gaping and panicking) Oh. My. God…

Tina saw the panic, at any rate, and suggested I re-defer those subjects until December this time. Well, at least I know I shouldn't have gone back, even if it helped me a little.

Man. What a life. I don't think I want to screw around any more here. I should get this all done, at any rate. At least I don't owe them any money, thank God.

Yeah, I know. If I had been hardworking earlier, I'd be working right now, and back home, not pining away for my girlfriend.

Geez. I've heard it before, and you know I'll be ignoring whatever ‘should have’s you throw at me. I just wanna get this done so I can shut people up.

Entry link: #oh-my-god-uni


This is just creepy.

wolverine

You are Wolverine!

A loner by nature, you feel uncomfortable when around those you don't know and even those you do. You are awkward when it comes to relationships, but fiercely loyal to those you love.”

(from the Which X-Men character are you most like? brought to you by Quizilla)

You know, this just throws a creepy ‘jailbait’ pedophillia-kind of aura around my relationship with Hanishe got Jubilee, who's like a teenager in the comics and a ten-year old girl in the movies.

Creeeeeepy

Entry link: #wolverine-quiz


That horrible little poem!

There's this horrible little poem I've known, ever since I was 12:

In Sri Cempaka I learn good values,

To be disciplined, hardworking and wise,

And that it is nice to be clever,

And just as clever to be wise.

I know. It's a particularly bad example of poetry. It was emblazoned on the back of my high school's exercise books. That, and this other quotation that I've forgotten.

Why bother bringing this up? I dunno. It got me thinking about the nature of commerce and education.

I spent some of the afternoon listening to a friend of mine bitch on how a university didn't cater to the needs of its minority students (it had a Chinese-Malaysian student majority, with Indians and Malays being a really small minority).

I realized that this old school-friend (who was in the same class as I was in high school) had no clue that his university was essentially a business — albeit a very badly-run one (at least in this regard).

I suspect when education is combined with business, you get some common denominators: the focus changes from giving students an education, and starts focusing in maximizing profits.

This can be beneficial in the short-term — school starts improving test-scores of students, to attract investors and new enrolment. But detrimental in the long-term — like a pressure-cooker atmosphere:

Schools start compressing program times and modules if they can, up to the point where your inter-semester break is two weeks, followed by 15-week semesters of intense assignments.

Remember, this was in the tropics — we had NO summer breaks, and virtually no other holidays, save for one or two day holidays, and for holidays like Eid. We had third years students cracking from the pressure, that I know.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing. I don't know — I stopped my public education at the age of 12, so I have no comparable example. I suspect that if I continued in a public high-school, I'd be less educated and stupider than I am now.

But don't mistake privatization of schools to be the solution of all your problems, either. I was in a private school for about five years, followed by a private college for another three, and now I'm in uni (been in it for almost two years, now). Each had its own sets of rather unpleasant problems.

Were they all bad? In retrospect, no — I can even say this about SSC, though I can't say it without wincing.

So what would I do, then, when I have children?

God knows. Certainly not send them to school here (in London). I'm even having second thoughts about Malaysia, though me and Hani think our children (all you romantics, go ‘aww’!) need to be put in a public primary school in Malaysia, to at least ground them a little.

But still. It's like, you can't get a good all-round education, like in Hogwarts.

Entry link: #schools-business


Not enjoying self in London. But back.

If I kick my stupid PC hard enough, I can get it to shut down automatically.

It's not something I'm exactly proud of. As it is, I only blog when things run smoothly — as soon as techical glitches crop up (like my motherfucking PC), I realize, ‘fuck, I've got better things to do with my life’ and go do something else.

No, I suppose it's not fair. But as it is, I've only received… what, a couple of emails, tops, about how great my site is, and absolutely no hate mail, so I presume it's not important in the scheme of things. So I can let it go for other things.

Hani wants a blog, though. So I guess I have to comply.

There hasn't been much I can say, really — London is the usual messed-up shit-hole it had been before I left for home. Oh, I know there are a lot of good things in this city: but on the whole I prefer hating the wretched place over loving it. Call me perverse.

On the other hand, I had a frightening relapse of that SARS-like flu I had in Malaysia for a week or so — cue a couple of days of really bad fever, followed by coughing fits, which I still occasionally have. So long as it's not pneumonia.

I dunno. I've got this little idea dancing around my head — nothing major. Just this one thing that's been poking around since I was a teenager in high school, where my self-esteem hovered somewhere between abysmal and… shite, what's worse than abysmal?

Whatever. It's a — like most ideas from that time period — the super-heroic kind of idea. Couple that with the teenager's risible, infantile and vile self-centredness.

Go on, I'm sure you can guess.

Oh, and yes, my blog has no style-sheets. Look, I'm lazy, okay? Go, be a mob or something and drag the owners of boomspeed.com and kick them to death on the streets or something equally unpleasant. Don't start gunning after me. You knew you were gonna get slapdash work the moment you entered this website. What the hell were you thinking anyway?

Damn. I haven't gone to RetroMUD for more than a month, now. You know, I honestly should. People might actually miss me.

Hmm. Yeah, as soon as I fix this infernal contraption.

Entry link: #after-hiatus


Previous archived entries

Who is this guy?

Tariq Kamal was born on November 1981, on a day in which he wishes was a day of infamy, but unfortunately it wasn't, much to his frustration. He's a Malaysian, and is at the same time proud and ashamed of that fact. He's a comics and computer geek, who sometimes can't be arsed to catch up with his stuff. He's also occasionally misanthropic, and looks at Tarot Card 20 with a mixture of hope and frustration. He's also very impulsive — hence this weblog, which he will probably neglect like his last one.

He majors in computer science, and has shoulder length hair that Hani adores and everyone else finds disturbingly and rather disgustingly retro. And you would too, unless you like the kind of long, wavy black hair that romance novel heroes have. If you do, mind, Tariq doesn't have the pecs of the six-packs. For crying out loud, he's a CS major.

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Disclaimer: It never really is the full story. Take note, that almost everything in this story only illustrates one facet of the whole issue. None of this was written to provoke offense, and the purpose of this website is so that I can shout and scream and rant and gush without anyone getting hurt by it. Our sympathies if you are hurt or offended, but there's little we can do about it, and we have decided to not take any responsibility for any pain or offense taken.

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