Once in a Blue Moon
August 29, 2006

August 24, 2006

Oh WTF Ben Thatcher?

And here's another one from a few years back.

Damn he needs a good kick in the nuts.

Melayu boleh!
August 15, 2006

Let me start off by quoting Utusan Malaysia; verbatim.
"I sound like stupid if I speak in Malay." (Saya rasa seperti orang bodoh kalau saya bercakap dalam bahasa Melayu)." katanya ketika diberi peluang membuat ucapan sebaik sahaja menerima anugerah itu kerana lakonannya dalam filem Gubra.

Berita Harian pulak...
'It will sound stupid if I speak Malay' daripada mulut Sharifah Amani selepas terima trofi Pelakon Wanita Terbaik undang kemarahan Datuk Seri Rais Yatim.

The Star didn't bother.

My English is far from decent. Yet, I do believe that Utusan's quotation could trigger at least a snicker upon any 10 year old whose second, or third, language is English. While this is just one of the many blunders of what is supposed to be our country's number one newspaper, I decided to give a tad of a damn to this one particularly because of the story.

I am not in the scene nor have I ever been a zealous advocate of the works of Yasmin Ahmad. Nevertheless, I've enjoyed her works namely Rabun, Sepet, Gubra and those Petronas ads. And as I was watching these pieces, I somehow learned a bit, if not entirely, the art of the people involved in them. Through their art, I somewhat understood their ideas, the way they think and what they are fighting for.

Let it be known that I'm currently a jobless graduate and my encounters with these movies were casual. In other words, they were some of the tons of movies I watched in between classes and homeworks when I was a student not long ago. And back then, I avoided movies that made me think. So, that was the mindset I was in. The measly amount of time I spent studying had already taken my will to think. Thus, as I enjoy watching movies, the less they make me think, the better.

With hope that the previous paragraph sufficed in portraying how I lack connection with the movies I watch, I would like to still reiterate that I understood Yasmin's movies and the people behind it. To say the least, I may have grasped the ideas she was trying to deliver to us.

My very point is, one doesn't need to have be extra intelligent to understand Yasmin and friends nor would one need to be overtly serious in mingling with her ideas. My average self is a living proof.

So when Nani's statements sparked anger amongst some people, I could only feel sorry. Not only for them, but for everyone, including myself.

How could we not understand her figurative speech and cynicism? It's just too obvious, to me, that we're interpreting her words the way we want them to be, not the way they were really meant to be or the way she wants them to be. Allow me to elaborate.

She said that she'll sound stupid speaking Malay. So she'll speak in English. We didn't take it literally.

She said that if making movies taints the culture, let's make more movies. We took it literally.

Shouldn't it be the other way around?

It hurts to even have the thought of this being the way we think. And I'm speaking as a non-enlightened public. I'm no better than anyone else and I do not expect everyone to have the same thought. But this being a very basic form of understanding and the bulk of us not being able to have a parallel perception on it is just too sad to be true.

Is it really painful to hear the words 'stupid' and 'Malay' in the same sentence? Does it hurt more than a kick in the crotch?

To those who can't accept her first statement (I know you folks run the gamut from Astro's Channel 15 chatters to PhD holders who got nothing better to do), let's just try, to take her words literally.

According to her, she sounds stupid speaking Malay. Thus, she wants to speak in English. Do we want to sound stupid when giving a speech? Do we sound stupid speaking in Malay? Is she saying that speaking in Malay makes you, or everyone else for that matter, sound stupid? I doubt it. None of these questions should even cross our minds. She got the award and it's her speech. It was in all its rights for her to say whatever she wants in whatever language. Moving on.

Let's now not take the second statement literally. By logic, who in the right mind, and in front of a huge audience comprising of SVIPs (that's super VIPs mind you) and the nation's most promising actors and actresses, would herald the importance of making more movies and destroying the culture by doing it? It was a just a bold statement fully polished with skepticism and sprinkled with a spice of anger. No more no less.

I see no reason to make a big deal out of it. She offended no one. Grow up grown-ups.

Photography by Azalia Suhaimi

  • Asrif, b. 1983
  • Subang Jaya, Malaysia
  • asrifomar[@]gmail[.]com
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