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Tuesday, 26 February 2008
"So you think you're so smart eh? ", I gave the petrified little mammal a smug half smile, as I squatted down to study it, sitting as quiet as death in the trap, then resumed, "That is why you're the rat and I'm the human", I remember telling the rat that sat completely still in the trap. "Playing dead eh? You're probably smarter than half of our incumbent government actually".
My daughter and I have to agree though , that the rat looked absolutely cute and if it could cook just like Rattatoille (or however you spell it), we would have made it our chef, or perhaps the maid. Well, considering maids are mostly like rats anyway, they are sneaky and nibble everything thinking you don't know they are nibbling more than they should. ( It's the progressively increasing BMI that was the dead giveaway actually, no need for Sherlock Holmes to solve this mystery of the missing caviar).
We fed it, then let it free. Funny how I find the feeling of strangling my late husband to death more satisfying than killing a rat. No. I did not kill my husband, much to my regret. He died from an accident, before I could get my hands on his neck and choke him to death. It's because he was so good at keeping secrets about his philandering activities,blame it on mid life crisis, and that I only discovered it after he had died on me. I swear I could have just strangled hi m otherwise, then sang "Regrets, I have a few....but I DID IT MYYYYYYYY WAAAAYYYY".
Okay, obviously the rat had an effect on me. No, I was talking about the actual rodent. Excuse me, I've got to self medicate.
Monday, 25 February 2008
Food for thoughts:
Meat. You eat meat you die of heart attack.
Chicken. You either die of some side effect from the hormones they inject into the chicken, or from the embarrassent of the emerging of third breast, due to excessive hormones.
Fish. You die of mercury poisoning
Vegetarian. You die from no desire of eating.
Either or, we die......
Saturday, 23 February 2008
Its election time again. They have set the polling date on March 8th which is a Saturday. On Friday 22nd the ministry of education announced that the school holidays will start one day early to make preparations easier. Already I see my fellow Malaysians going nuts from all the ubiquitous political talk which fills every media and every opportunity for talk. Emotions, as usual, is running high particularly in areas where there is a straight fight between the ruling coalition and the particular opposition parties (Pas in Kelantan, DAP in Penang and KL et cetera). It is almost impossible to say or do anything without having your intentions interpreted within the framework of political intentions.
Malaysians get tend to get intensely emotional when they talk about politics. The question is why? I think it has to do with our beliefs and our expectations. We believe that to be able to communicate properly, we need to be able to talk in the same language; in these times however, we may use the same vocabulary, phonetics and syntax, we do not speak the same language. Our metaphors, our semantics, our discourses are different.
Then there is the question of our expectations.
We say, “I believe in the truth”, what we really mean, “What I believe is true”. We tend to think in absolutes but we forget that we have free will. We want to believe that we are good and based on this belief, which may sometimes be misguided when seen from another's point of view, we want to define what is good for others too: when they do not agree, we get upset. Also based on this belief, we believe that, “no one good would lie”, but we also tend to believe that whatever opposes our “truth” is false and a lie; consequently we believe that those who say them are not good people. Which is why we get upset when others support them or their political parties.
To convince others of the truth of our words we evoke some form of authority which we borrow from religion, statistics, science, logic, academia or where ever else we can get it. We say this is to give credence to our words but we deny consciously or subconsciously applying our interpretation of these authorities to suit our messages: we deny that we enslave that authority to our own purposes and not the other way around.
We believe what we say is relevant to the issue, the people and the times. What we really mean, sometime, is, “What you say is irrelevant”. Here again, we see the authority to define what can and cannot be brought into discussion or debate. We then get upset when the other party fail to see the relevance of our words or acknowledge our right to include or exclude contributions to the discussion.
We also believe that we act in ways that are proper and respectable but what we really mean is, “What I say / do is proper” and by extension “What you do / say is improper”. Consequently, we get upset when others label our acts as improper, “politik kedai kopi”, and other less than flattering labels.
So, what do we do to keep our heads level? The key is in how you react to what others say or do.
The first principle is non-identity: They want you to believe, “What they say is what really is”: what they don't want you to believe what they tell you is simply what they want you to hear and believe. Their only tool are words they use and the relationship between the words they use and the ideas in your head. Like logicians, we believe that we are primarily concerned with the truth but this is politics and the main concern of political campaigning is not truth but what you can be made to believe is true. So, how do they go about using words to get their ideas across?
First, there is hyponymy: situations when the meaning of one word is included in another. For example, when you say “human” concepts like man, woman, boy, girl, adult and so on are taken to be included in the meaning of the word. When we mention “cat” we often mean the domestic cat but in the meaning of the word we can also find other members of the cat family, tiger, lion, cheetah, jaguar, lynx and others. The trick is to manipulate the meanings that are associated with the particular words or terms that we use and in doing so equate people (usually your opponents) with concepts with which they do not want to be associated.
Next we have manipulation of incompatibility of concepts and words. One common kind is antonymy: cases where the meaning of one word / concept if not compatible with another. The incompatibility can be,
Complementary – either / or situations where one necessarily excludes the other: hot / cold, up / down, good / evil, telling the truth / telling lies.
Gradable – concepts that exclude one another but are related by definition or domain; hot / warm / cold, novice / learning / experienced / seasoned.
Relational – concepts that exclude the other because they belong to different domains: words that are not related. This is mostly used to indicate the other person does not know what they are talking about.
There are other relationships used but they are usually harder to notice. Among them are,
Homonymy – same name / word different meanings.
Polysemy – one word many meanings
Generality -one word, many unrelated meanings: different meaning in different domains.
The second principle is the principle of Non-allness: situations where they want you to believe, “what I say is all there is to be said about the subject” and they do not want you to remember that there are always at least two sides to the story. This tool is often used with a great deal of emotive language because emotion tends to force the mind to work with that it has been given and not look for more items to work with. Common linguistic tools used here are as follows,
entailment – truth of one sentence implies the truth of other sentences they use. To achieve this, politicians tend to first try to get you hooked. The bait is authority. They evoke some form of authority which is easily acceptable. Once you find the initial argument palatable, they begin to steer the argument in any direction they want with you stringing along on the hook on their line.
Contradiction – the truth of one sentence implies falseness of the second and then the others. To do this our politicians begin the same way as the above: they get you hooked first. Once you are hooked, they will then manipulate the argument of their opponent to show how they contradict the “truth” that you have agreed to and hence are necessarily false.
These two tools sound incredibly simple but they are exceedingly effective. From personal experience, remember observing how some politicians can work the crowd to a frenzy using only these two simple devices. Don't just take my word for it, watch videos of speeches by Hitler, Sukarno, Martin Luther King and Castro, and you'll find them using these devices to achieve impressive results, in some cases they drove nations to war.
The final principle is the principle of self-reflexivity: the things they say tell you more about who they are and what they stand for rather than the people or things they are talking about. Here again you would need to observe the politicians using the tools I mentioned above, once you realize that they meaning and the message they are constructing are results of the choices they make you will begin to see the thinking that drive them to make those choices.
The final question is, who do I believe? What party do I vote for? I cannot answer these questions for you. The burden of choice is yours to bear. All I can show you here is how they try to manipulate you, the things you hear, the things you believe and ultimately the things you do: the box in which you mark your X.
Friday, 22 February 2008
YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.
Thank you Hazidi for posting the Obama's speeches. (prior to this article). Both my computer and it's operator, namely me, was having problems embeding this video.
It would be good if you could listen to some of Obama's speech, before reading this article.
If the the United States of America's political speeches are rhetorics served to the gullible citizens dying to hear empty promises, than by God, it's fine dining. It's especially so with Obama's speeches. Not only he manages to say things that touches a human heart, but if you follow his career towards candicacy, somehow you know that he means it. There are some parts in his speeches that pinched my tear gland and by god!! I am not even an American!!
The first thing that got me attracted to Obama (err...in a non chemistry aspect of it), was when I saw him on Oprah (go on men...sigh and roll up your eyeballs). I understood that he made a strict policy and it's implementation, unto his staff, including himself, that forbids them to travel in private jets. This was to ensure that there is no exclusivity between the Senator's office, and the public, hence, politicians are in touch with the public to decipher their problems etc.
Wow. Imagine Samy Veloo riding a motorcycle, hanging on to his "toupee keledar" on the roads of Malaysia, should such policy be implemented amongst the ruling party in Malaysia. I don't think he will survive the pot holes ,nor his tolls, really.
Call it mental block, or whatever that turns you on, but Obama and Hillary Clinton especially, not only will tell the voters what they will do if they are elected, but they tell you how exactly how they are going to do it, and why their method is better than the rest, in such a nuance form. Can you imagine Badawi delivering a speech of how he is going to solve the racial issues emerging, due to disagreement on implementation of the NEP, without threatening ISA onto opponents' faces?
ISA inevitably means, gone into the black hole....syyyyyyyyyyyy.......whereby anyone who get sucked into it, will come out with "yes-sir-itis"a disease that seem to make them agree with everything the incumbent government say, never mind that they look mysteriously malnourished, bruises dismissed as idiopatic thrombocytopenia (although if someone dare check their blood count, the platlets would be normal ) during press interviews. Never mind Badawi, imagine Nazry delivering such speeches. Frankly, I personally think Nazry should be giving speeches to the retards. (and I am not trying to be condescending to people who are mentally challenged from birth for at least they did not work hard to become one)
I remember when I was acting pengarah in one of the district hospital. The Pengarah had gone of for some kursus, and my my, I definitely lived up to the "act-ing" part of the acting Pengarah's job discription. Incidentally, the Wakil Rakyat came over to seek treatment, and the nurses were asking me permission to usher him in. I told the nurses to calm their hormones and politely tell the Wakil Rakyat to wait in queue, since his case was not that of an emergency.
What was I thinking? Well, in my mind, just as the name had suggested,he was the representative of rakyat, therefore it is his job to know and experience the rakyats' problems. So, I held my breath and let him queue. Two hours and a treatment later, the Wakil Rakyat went back, surprisingly without any hassle, although he did not seem at all happy. Two months later, two extra doctors were posted to the Out Patient Department.
The Pengarah did not make any comments after that. What was made impossible to us when we requested for extra hand was made possible with the absence of the Pengarah, who had not fought enough for the betterment of our hospital. She was busy kissing asses to please her superiors in cutting budget, and had lost sight to what her job was, at the hospital; that is to make sure patients' efficient and comfort treatment. Who cares if the hospital have a beautiful fish pond, when they could have two extra doctors minimizing queueing time . Impossible, I remember we were told, when we brought the matter up to her attention. Turned out, Impossible was nothing.
Back to Obama, if you follow his journey towards becoming a Senator, then the candidancy, you'd envy America for having such a candidate running for presidency. In my opinion, Malaysians need one Barack Obama to revolusinize Malaysian politics. But Hazidi begged to difer, saying, "Obama will never be able to become a politician in Malaysia, because he cannot "speak Kelantan".
I hope Obama will become the next American President. Someone told me I should be more interested in who will win the Malaysian General Election. I told him, we all know who will win in this election, although I cannot say if the Barisan National will win 2/3 majority in Parliment. On the other hand, as in true democracy, no one can actually predict who the next president of America is going to be.
Should Obama win, I believe he will pull out the troups out of Iraq ergo, ease the resistance from the funda-mental muslims in that region. When Badawi wins, he will................I still can't think of anything this man had achieved for the past three years that is significant enough to mention, nor to come up with a prophecy based on his past record of "?achievements", so I'll leave this just here..waiting.....just like this.......until he actually does something worth mentioning.
Walski, in his blog (you should check out his blog, it's brilliant. http://asylum60.blogspot.com/) wrote this :
Tunku Abdul Rahman , Father of Independance
Tun Abdul Razak, Father of Development
Tun Hussein Onn, Father of Unity
Tun Mahathir Mohamed, Father of Modernization
Datuk Abdullah Badawi, Father-in-Law of Khairy.....
Happy Voting everyone. You know what you need to do...
I remember a line from Obama's speech that goes something like this ( I thought I'd better quote him rather than make it sound as if it came from me, for fear of being branded as practicing plagarism!!) :
" We need a politician who do not tell you what you want to hear, but a politician who tells you what you need to hear"
"Change does not happen from the people on top to the bottom, but from the people at the bottom to top".
As in the context of malaysian scenario, ah well, doesn't hurt to have wishful thinking.......
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
The damn little mammal still is not taking any of my baits. It must be a military trained rat, smart enough to detect booby traps. It had nibbled into the kitchen cabinet and as I peeped, there is a hole that lead into a space in between the cabinets. Damn!! Now I understand why they call it "chip board".
The smell of it's bowel activities are becoming obvious to my nasal receptors. Double Damn!! It confuses me where the urine and shit comes from, when there is no food in the house to consume, I made sure of it. Tripple Damnation!! Oh God no...don't tell me wires are suppose to smell like that when they become shit....fuuuuuuuuck......
Saturday, 16 February 2008
1. How some malaysians who are born and bread locally, ended up talking in African American dialect, when they are neither African nor American, nor have they been in any one of these countries.
2. How you can obtain any form of information or directions to get from point A to point B when every 4 persons in 5 that we bump into at supermarket, petrol station and on the road are immigrants. This however, is not applicable to well known landmark such as Lorong Haji Taib, as I suspect any Tom, Dick and dick knows how to get there.
3. How our Malaysian cuisine never seem to lack excessive oil, when the world is facing oil crisis.
4. How someone can ask questions like, "Tengah makan ke?" to a person sitting in Kedai Mamak trying to digest the roti canai.
5. How the sequence of the Precints in Putrajaya are not in sequence.
6. How someone can look, sound and smell like someone but may not be that person
7. How the Malaysian signboards makes you think that you have an onset of Alzeimer's Disease.
8. How the DBKL allow the tree to overgrow, obscuring these signboards
9. How come the Muslim men are fond of following Sunnah of marrying up to four but none of the wives are at least 10 years older than them, unlike Muhammad marrying Siti Khadijah.
Last, but not least.............
10. Interview of our Prime Minister Ahmad Badawi conducted by the CNN. For those of you who have no idea what I am babbling about, go on, click on the you.tube to view the video yourself.
There you go. Things that make you go eeeerrrrrr...............
08th March 2008, here we come!!!
Wednesday, 13 February 2008
Come to think of it, Valentine's Day become suddenly meaningful to me, not because it's meaningful per se, rather because it didn't use to be special, when I was with someone and the same day turn out to be annoyingly significant when I am single again. In fact, we, my hubby and me, never bothered acknowleging Valentine's Day as we could not really make out what it means. I mean, when you're in love, everyday is valentine's day. You don't need to have one day you declare to be special and go all out to get roses that will cost three fold its normal price just to prove your love.
I remember that it was one of those ordinary day, when my hubby came up to me one and presented me with what he claimed to be "the most unique flower on earth that no one could ever thought of presenting to their loved ones". I was overjoyed with his words (then again he could describe hell in such a manner that it made me look forward to actually go to hell...no, he was not a diplomat), and adoringly sniffed the bunga kantan wrapped in beautiful buquet paper and gave him one of that kiss that was potentially lethal and contradicting family planning.Valentine's Day is like a day to more like reiterate rather than remind the singletons that they are singletons. I am reminded everytime I turn on the TV or radio. It makes you want to find that cupid and slap it stupid.
It's a day when it means nothing until it means something. It's like playing tennis, you always have something to complain about your tennis mate, until you end up playing with the wall. Dang!!
Ah well. Happy Valentine's Day to the people who are lucky enough to qualify to celebrate it. And for those of you singletons out there, remember how Valentine's Day use to not mean anything when you had that special someone. That will at least get you through tomorrow. But for those of you, who are singleton, and Valentine's Day use to mean everything....oh, stop whining and grow up!! Otherwise, get drunk or sedated. It's only until tomorrow until the whole world will shut up about it...Thank God Valentine's Day is not like fasting month, and that it's just one day.......
Tuesday, 12 February 2008
Anyway, as I have said, a rat somehow managed to crawl through the bathroom windows, left claw marks on the dusty glass (it doesn’t take a Hercule Poirot to figure this mystery out). It’s ability to squeeze itself through a small slit awed me so much, that I cannot help but wonder how much of squeezing can it take in my bare hands until it gets squashed finally. Well, you cannot blame me for having my killer instinct switched on especially when I have to share some of my foodstuff with the creature that invited itself in. Hmm…the rat reminds me of some relatives, they have the art of inviting themselves in at the very time when you desperately need your privacy.
My Chinese friend insisted, that since it is the year of the Rat, it has to mean good luck. I however, beg to differ, pardon me for being rude, but how can a creature of destruction bring prosperity when you know you need to put aside some cash in expectation to counter the damages that soon this only-cute-in-cartoon-form little creature may inflict.
The darn rat was so efficiently sneaky, I named it after my late husband. In the first few days, I caught it’s activities by listening to it. Somehow, the rat must have learned it’s way around and for a few blissful days, it's retinence prevails so much so, I thought that it had found it’s way out.
Then there was that incident of us bumping into each other. I only wished someone had invented a machine to measure shock level, so that it would satisfy my curiosity of who is more shocked at the other’s sight. I do know however, that both of us mammals proved to have good cardiovascular functions as none of us died of a heart attack. Hmm…perhaps I should suggest to the Cardiology Medical Board, to add rats to our Stress Test, adding alternatives to using chemicals and having people run on tread mills. Maybe we could use rats to stress patients with BMI >30km/m2, who cannot run the tread mill not because they have a heart condition, but because their bones cannot carry their flesh.
Of course I put the mouse traps out. I know we Malaysians are tolerant people, hence the incumbent government, but a rat in the house can really jerk your primal instincts, especially when you know there is no rule against killing this species. Doesn't this fact makes you wish you live in a cowboy era? You don't like how someone's armpits smells, you just pull a gun and squeeze the trigger. Kaboom! He's history. The darn rat, did not take up the baits, and I was beginning to wonder whether I have a rat that is like me when I’m in love, living solely on love and air….
I released my cat, (who probably thought that it’s cute seductive “I’m adorable please let me in” eye lashes flicker finally worked on me) into the house only to find me cursing at my mistake of introducing the hopeless cat to Friskies. (N.B. at the time of this writing, my daughter corrected me by reminding me that cats have no eyelashes. Forgive my mistake as I am a doctor, not a vetenarian, all my patients have eyelashes.). The darn cat totally reminded me of a king, purring with contentment and blur with obtuse. It just looked at the rat just like it looks at me, a gaze in disdain. At that moment of temporary insanity, I almost strangled the cat instead.
What have we humans done?!!! We have taken away the predator trait of a cat. Ergo, they no longer have interest in eating up rats!! We’ve destroyed the biological control system and probably the ecological system just by inventing Friskies!!
Someone suggested I poison the rat. My pupils dilated at the thought of killing a creature of God. No, I told myself, I’d rather kill the corrupted politicians and bureaucrats who are aware of what they are doing in the quest towards self-gain, instead of the rat that causes destruction unintentionally. I wonder how such creatures can look at themselves in the mirror. You know which creature I am referring to, as rats don’t possess mirrors.
I don’t mind squashing a leech or a mosquito though. Now those are bloodsucking parasites worth squashing. I know you think I’m talking about the lawyers, but no, I am not referring to them. Please take note that they have huge difference between them, the lawyers and the mosquito/leeches I meant. Well of course it’s the fancy briefcase…duuuh…
Actually, I hate to say this but doctors are fast competing with lawyers in this bloodsucking arena. With all of this furious competition going on, it’s no wonder the vampires are fast facing extinction. It doesn’t help that they are not granted license to suck blood legally. But at least the HIV victims have one blood sucker less to worry about.
All this talk isn't solving my problem. I still have a rat in the house and I do not know how on earth to get rid of it, in a non- Mafia sense of it of course. But, in true Mafia spirit, I shall have to “go to the mattress” , it means in layman term, “solve the problem before the problem solves you”. (hmm..i found something else that rhymes..."dissolve the government before the government dissolves you"...oh, just a thought that crossed my mind)..It is amazing how a little rat reminds me how human are so very much alike animals, you can't blame Darwin for his version of the evolusion theory. (ask for my version, it's got to do with all this hair i've inherited!!). I guess this happens only when we fail to apply our “aqal”, something that differentiate between us humans from the animals. It’s even more amazing that some humans just feel comfortable practicing its similarities.. I wonder how these people sleep at night. Oh wait. I forgot about those sleeping tablets people often beg me to prescribe. There you go, one more mystery solved.
In the meantime, I’m most likely to get nightmares whereby the rat becomes 5times larger, take off his hat on the way out to venture new horizons, after chewing on me as I have finally ran out of food in the house, then curteously bow to me saying “Thank you Ma’am, it’s nice gnawing you…”