Tariq Kamal's blog.

Death of an era.

You know how the feeling of loss can bring back memories?

I remember the last time I felt it. Early January 2002. It was probably the low point of my relationship with Hani. We ended up hitting one of the pitfalls of being in a long-distance relationship — and the inevitable distrust and feelings of betrayal threatened to rip us apart.

At that moment, I was suddenly given the choice to either keep our relationship, or throw it away — to kill or spare it. Either one was, to my knowledge, irreversible. Do one or the other, but don't ever take back that decision.

I chose, of course, to spare it. Regardless of what other people would have said, neither one was the correct thing to do — neither one was a braver choice, or had a difference in terms of risk. I had the right to choose, and I chose what I thought was the right one.

The pain didn't really go away until I came back for the summer holidays, to tell you the truth. To face the causes and sources of your problems may doubly hurt, but in the end all you get is a scar for your efforts, and hopefully wisdom for the future.

That's resolved, as far as I'm concerned. But I had a three hour chat with Hani, and that old ache is back again.

Which is weird, because this time, the topic of the conversation had very little to do with what had happened. We were basically talking about celibacy.

I wonder why I feel this pain. It's not betrayal, or hurt, or anger. It's mourning, but for what?

Maybe that moment when I had to choose between keeping or dumping Hani had something to do with this. I knew at that time, that no matter what I answered, no matter what consequences Hani and I reaped, it was the end of something. Something had died, and I had to choose on something that would take its place.

It's happened again. An era in our relationship has died, and something new has taken its place. It didn't die as painfully as the last one, but death isn't always as painful as you fear it to be.

Maybe all I'm feeling for right now is the urge for mourning, for I've just gone through Death.

Entry link: #era-death

On injustice and the Apocalypse.

Sophie Bangs: But… the end of the World. That's a bad thing, right?

Margaret Case: Is it?

“The World” isn't the planet, or the life and people on it.

The world is our systems, our politics, our economies… our ideas of the world!

It's our flags and banknotes and border wars.

I was at Ypres. I was at the Somme.

I say we end this filthy mess now.

— Alan Moore, Promethea.

Ever wondered about our ideas of the Apocalypse?

This is an image of Major Arcana Card 20, or Judgement.

The tarot representation of the Apocalypse, called Judgement, shows what is now common Abrahamaic imagery for the End of The World — the horn-blowing angel, the dead rising from their graves.

It's always been assumed, almost automatically, that the End of the World was a bad thing. I mean, it's the End of the World. Duh.

The world as we know it would end. A call would be sounded, and the dead arising from their places of rest. Injustice would be righted, inequalities eliminated. For at least some, life would be better, almost infinitely so. It would not only be change, but also upheaval — a paradigm shift, in a way.

The World isn't linked to our lives, our physical existence on this planet — at least, not as intimately as we would assume. Death is not merely the cessation of life — it is a symbol of nearly-unchangeable, nigh-permanent change, the cessation of options. Once dead, something cannot be brought back to life again. That's death — or maybe, that's Death.

No, I'm not advocating that we bring up the Apocalypse among us. But every time I look at that card, I'm reminded of the fact that the World is, in itself, unfair, and sometimes, the only way you can fix it is to kill it, and hope what replaces it is far better than what you had. Sometimes, hope in Death and what Death brings may be what keeps us from despair.

We've had Apocalypses before. Small ones, like the 1997 economic crash — tell me that wasn't an Apocalypse, a reminder of how unfair the world is, and how necessary destruction was for things to start again. We remember Anwar Ibrahim — tell me that wasn't a reminder of how wrong our society was, and how it burned and brought into light the injustice of our system. We have our personal Apocalypses: failed businesses and marriages, love lost and regained, betrayal and its associated pains. Sure, we wished for death. And in some cases, things died — our innocence, a love, our illusions. Don't tell me that some of it wasn't for the better.

Ask your parents, if they're old enough, about May 13 or World War II. Wasn't that another Apocalypse? Didn't they live through it? What did they gain?

Of course people will die. Of course it's unfair. Remember that. Life is unfair. But it sticks by the rules, 'til the end.

Entry link: #judgement

Why, yes, Mister President, Prime Minister…

…of course we'll support your little military incursion to Iraq. We all agree with your veiled threats and your rather ham-fisted efforts to broadcast your platform to the sheep I mean, masses.


Entry link: #idiot-politicos

Temptation is a… well, it's not a small thing.

Was tempted to add myself to Aiz's blog. I mean, it's temptation, but mainly because I don't want to end up writing for an audience. I suppose Hani doesn't suffer from that problem, mainly because she does her blog for (primarily) therapeutic reasons.

I'd like to think that I do, too. But you never know — maybe, after opening myself up to public scrutiny, I'd end up worrying about being accepted by the desires and wants of potential readers (assuming I have any, of course — for all you know, I scared off all the potential readers with my first four entries). Maybe that's another reason why I don't want any of those comment and tracker doohickeys Hani has.

Well, anyway, I wanted to register, and then I saw this at Aiz's Blog Directory List Guide

“The GMBL is reserved for sites that do not post objectionable material. Sites advocating racist abuse, irresponsible speech, and pornography will be politely refused.”

Ah. That settles it. I mean, why can't I post objectionable material anyway? :)

Besides, this site is the epitome of irresponsible speech… ;)

Entry link: #temptation

Spam. Spam. Bah! Spam…

You know, I just went through my hotmail account.

There was a lot of spam. I get four kinds.

Duh. Everyone gets spam. Why talk about it?

Well, I got an email with the title: “Women say size does matter…”. And I perfectly agree.

From what I've heard, the bigger your dick, the worse your performance in bed.

Not the answer you expected, wasn't it? Ask any reasonably-experienced woman (no, that ang moh-lusting girl you know and that Sarong Party Girl you detest do not count. How would they know?). I know it's a stereotype, and it's not confirmed scientifically… but it would seem that a lot of (or at least some) guys with large cocks are in love with their massiveness, and they don't make it up in terms of foreplay, fully expecting their giant penises to blow their partners out of the water.

Yes, I'm shoring up my self-esteem. How did you guess?

Entry link: #porno-con-spams

Something that does have a point…

“Empowerment is not only about getting a free airfare to a UN meeting. It's also about having the courage to say what you think to a government official.”

— A sex worker, quoted in ‘Homeland Prostitution Policy

Heh. Whoever said that has a point.

Entry link: #empowerment-comment

An attempt at pseudo-intellectualism.

You know, there are times when I go read blogs which are more intellectual than others (like Aiz's and Tan's. or even, hell, ESR's). Weird thing is, when I'm in there, I get the need to express my opinion, and so I leave a lot of comments on blogs like that (well, okay. Tan doesn't have a commenting service and I've only done comments on ESR's blog once).

I dunno. I'm opinionated. It just feels like explaining my beliefs is a waste of time, or at least it is when there's no challenge to them.

Hmm. I'm a muslim. I do believe that religion, any religion, plays its part in society. I do, however, think religion is like art (and those other hard-to-define things, like music and erotica).

Religion isn't a set of morals, beliefs and / or rituals designed to oppress anyone. Anyone who tries to say that might be confusing people with the religions they serve. Like… is America evil? Of course not. Are subsets of America evil, then? That depends, doesn't it?

I do think, however, that religion appears more often than not whenever humanity and God come into play.

Hmm. God. That's a tough one.

God. Do I believe in a God? I don't want to commit my answers to the belief in:

…and I wont. With those three, I'll be skeptical.

But the idea of God is always linked to transcendance. The idea of trascending the physical, material world and reaching that something inside of you that everyone might have. The thing they call the God of Mystics.

That I can buy. Yes, when you come down to it, God does exist. Or at least, God can be found. That's what that word wujd means, isn't it? Existence, not by the criteria of whether it's there, but whether you can find it.

Think about it. Brings up all kinds of questions. Is science religion? Are artistic movements like Futurism religion? Is Marxism religion? Philosophical movements? Why aren't they?

I don't know… scientific process can be a form of exegesis (is that the right word for it?) on what could be the greatest thing we can perceive. Perhaps skepticism is supposed to be a mind-set in which you'd attain enlightenment, and that scientific skeptics are mystics, at least in function. Maybe. Someone else could disagree. Consider Hawking, though — the man's a positivist, and there's no indication in his writings that he subscribes to any religious belief personally. But then again, you don't have to be a Buddhist to agree with Tenzin Gyatso

So. Maybe there is a God. The wise men and sages and prophets were right, in a way. Maybe what they couldn't do completely was get their message across.

So what right do we have on imposing our religious visions on others, then?


Entry link: #pseudo-smart

Diary of a Quizilla test disaster.

Now this is how a quiz thing works. I've got a good memory, and the reasons why I put up each answer:

What do you wear?

  • Battle Armor

Well, kinda obvious. I wish I could wear battle armor, since that's always cool on a Manga / Anime character. Of course, mine would be like Tony Stark's, with the HUD and everything.

What do you do?

  • Read

Hmm. Have you guys seen Hani and me in MPH together? Yeah.

What do you look for in a lover?

  • Someone strong, that I can cuddle with.

That's Hani, right? Obviously. Why else would I want her? Strong inside out.

If you could have any of the following super powers, which would you choose?

  • Black Magic

If this is anime-style black magic (less horrible sacrifices to Nephandic Lords and more cool stuff with black witch hats and cats), then I want this. Obviously. Imagine a guy with power armor and black magic, which can do all those other superpowers in a pinch…

Choose a symbol, that best relates to you…

  • A smiley face

…with a smiley on his armor! Seriously would be fun.

So I click on the results button…

A rather startled-looking pretty man, drawn anime-style. Has blond hair (and rather disturbingly, yellow eyes).

You're A Yaoi Boi (Gay Boy)!

Sensitive and caring, you just want some boy-and-boy love! Is that too much to ask?

What Type Of Anime Character Are You?” brought to you by Quizilla

Hmm. What? WHAT? Yaoi Boy? YAOI BOY?

Do I seriously want boy-boy love?

What am I supposed to do, color my blog pink?

Addendum: Hmm. I wonder if Tony Stark is gay. I'm sure there's plenty of Yaoi fanfics on the Internet about him.

Come to think of it, wasn't there a What If? issue where Tony Stark becomes the Sorceror Supreme? He was living with Stephen Strange, who was his butler, or something. Hmm.

Entry link: #yaoi-boy

Now you'll find out why I quoted “Lone Wolf and Cub”


I woke up after a night of emotional turmoil from last night. No, it wasn't just caused by the (perceived) reaction of the blog. It's been around for months, now.

You want to know? Consider — for the past month, I've been avoiding phone-calls from my parents, sleeping very badly, and I've… had plenty of alcohol. Yeah. Hanging out with friends a lot.

I haven't been too happy. Even with the friends and the camaderie, it's been a wearing, exhausting experience. It just came to head last night. I couldn't even string two thoughts together. It was the combined feelings of being hounded, mocked and probably snubbed.

No, no one did it. Just because the actions that allegedly cause an emotion don't exist doesn't mean that the emotions are a lie, or are not real.

And there are reasons why I don't confide to just any monkey. I tried confiding to my girlfriend this morning, and all I got was a rather abrupt conversation, and a brusque dismissal (“Look, I've got to say goodbye to my friend properly. Why don't you call back when I'm done?”).

There's a voice in my head right now, screaming, “What am I? A puppy you can dismiss at will?” Trying to ignore it.

So I didn't call back my girlfriend. At this whole time, I was thinking “This is my fault. I shouldn't have impigned on her time. She's with a friend. It was a small thing. Maybe no one gives a shit about what I blog about, anyway.”

Amazing, considering last night's entries.

She just apologized about 15 minutes ago for being… an arsehole, I suppose (concession to That Angry Side, who wants to use harsher words). Mitigating circumstances, at any rate — No one's at their best when they're sleepy and tired. Yeah, so was her friend. Both were lacking in sleep.

Never confide to sleepy people. They might just take out their crankiness on you.

Yeah. I am indignant, when I realized it wasn't my fault. And yes, I'm trying to control how I feel.

I hope this blog entry didn't hurt you, Hani. I Love you.

Entry link: #Coming-to-head

From the pages of “Lone Wolf and Cub”…

To be honest, I don't want to be introspective. So…

“Maharoshi” Mameshō: You're under arrest, Lone Wolf and Cub!

Ōgami Ittō, “Lone Wolf”: Fame?

Mameshō: Dedication!

Ittō: To what?!

Mameshō: The lives of strangers!

I don't hate the criminal, no matter who he is. I hate the crime… I'm not arresting you because I hate you. You must have damn good reasons for turning killer… But old Mameshō's spent his life protecting human lives and human property, every inch of him!

If I let you off now, there's no counting how many folk'll lose their lives… Take one life to save ten! That's a cop!

Maybe I'll blog again later today. Maybe not. Last night felt rough, at any rate.

The CSS layout's manifested a small bug, at any rate. Can't afford to keep the first entry too short…

Addendum: Fixed it, in a fashion. I'm basically growing a new blog layout :) There's no design involved.

Entry link: #Mamesho-quote

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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