Atchafalaya Swamp

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Roughneck, A Blue Collar Mid-Week Weekly

To make my blogging more regular, and not to piss off the throngs, hordes and masses (I wish) that come here only to be affirmed, yeah, he's too dumb too make views on politics, world affairs or high-finance. 

So I decided on sort of a weekly opinion pieces to break that myth and hold forth about things that matter to me, me and me. It's important that I satisfy my lust first, before I make you cu- err, happy.

It's my free-wheelin' 'n easy take about the depraved, depressed and dangerous times we live in today.

Barack Hussein

The Roughneck wants this dude to win. Conventional Wisdom (CW) says it will happen. But recently, political pundits and
pundeks (to hedge their bets in case the unholy McCain - Palin emerge triumphant) thinks what we're seeing is The Bradley Effect: Barack leads the polls early, and at the very last moment, lose.

And it doesn't make sense.

Why? Because we're humans. Some whiteys are even convinced B.Hussein is Muslim. Whites and Melayus (especially) are at the very core, racist. They tell the pollsters or the public one thing (so their neighbors or whomever will think them as enlightened beings) but in the secrecy of the ballot booth (or closed door UMNO sessions) they'll eventually break down and go for The God-Divined Plan. It's manifest destiny: Only whites, of the superior Aryan race, are fit to lead. Just like the Melayus -
but only Melayus from UMNO. And better yet, UMNO Melayus of Indian, Arab or Javanese extraction. Melayus from PKR, PRS, DAP and GERAKAN are now the new Uncle Toms; oftentimes branded Chinese arse-lickers, sell-outs and traitors. I should know, I'm one of 'em.

So if you think Obama is going to win, think again. Think of the majority race there in the
Unidos Estadas. Think of the times you say one thing but deep in your heart, you mean just the opposite.

But I hope to dear God I'm wrong.

McCain-Palin (The Unholy)

I just a read a damning expose on McCain in The Rolling Stone. Apparently this Vietnam POW was no hero. When shot down over Hanoi lake, instead of just stating his name and rank, he blabbered to his captors that he was the son of a Navy Admiral to get preferential treatment, an offence which should've got him court martialled. But he's J. McCain III, progeny of 4-star Generals. The story littered with McCain having to drop his father's and grandfather's name on many occasions just to scrape through the Navy. He admitted as much, and was quoted as saying, 'My POW experiences make me a good sell'.

To me, he's just an opportunist of the highest order.

Palaat lah. Forget the 150,000 dollar wardrobe. The scathing diatribe by Bridget Bardot is what did me. Palin is a disservice to both women and animals. I agree.

The Economy

Fuhgeddaboudit. The Roughneck, being un-schooled in the white-collar ways, was persuaded (some say, conned)  by his Finance Department this past June to plonk down 10 percent of his hard-earned monthly salary - each and every month in condemned perpetuity - into purchasing company stock at a special employee price of 15 percent less prevailing market rate on June 31st. At the time it was over US 100.00 a share - about US 85.00. Five miserable months later it hovered around US 40.00 a share. That's half its value gone in a space of a quarter. 

Nowadays, I don't even bother to look. 

Smart, eh?

The real
smart thing to do is to buy the shares NOW on the open market, sort of hedging or as a cut-loss measure. But I'm not real smart am I? - on top of being a coward when it comes to high-stakes finance.

But I'm a blue collar roughneck, so I am truly deserving of this folly. But you - with your fancy finance, MBA and accounting degrees - what's your excuse?

Actually I was lucky for a while, right around after the '00 dot-com bust. There was an ex-employee of my company, a University Malaya Physics graduate of the late 70s who went on to do an MBA at Yale and worked on Wall Street before striking out on his own in Milwaukee. I believe he has now traded his red passport for a blue one. So I trusted his brokerage and analysts, gambling (the right word, seen in today's light) up to six-figures of my kids future college fund to play the US market. And play them he did. At one time I held shares in, um, let me see . . . Microsoft, Apple, Tommy Hillfiger, Harley-Davidson, Viacom (MTV, Nickleodeon) - all good. Also, Harrahs and Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser, Sea World) - all bad. Owning shares in the world's largest casino operator and the world's largest brewer is definitely confirming my place where Satan reigns when all I had before had was merely a reservation. Hell, I never even liked Buds. Took me years to divest and samak (perform ablution) on the money. But I suspect I still got one leg in hell already. But hey, I've never been on my high horse, have I?

Indonesia's Pesta Blogger (Blogger's Festival) - November 22

October 27th was Indonesia's National Bloggers Day, an event sanctioned by its government and headed by Muhammad Nuh, Minister of Communication and Information, no less.

The Jakarta Post, in article yesterday, mentioned
Ong Hock Chuan as 'Indonesia's top-three' - along with Enda Nasution (dubbed the "Father" of Indonesian Bloggers) and Budi Putra.

Whoa Ong... congrats, bro.

And bye the bye, in an SMS from
Rocky The Bru, Jeff Ooi, the blogger (not the MP from Jelutong, at least not in that spirit I don't think) will represent Malaysia for the Pesta Blogger event come November 22.

The Roughneck has mixed feelings about this. His country, Malaysia, will never hold bloggers in such esteem. In fact, bloggers there are held with such contempt and revulsion; looked down with distaste and disdain, fit only to be persecuted and incarcerated like that Raja Petra

In Indonesia, they're feted and celebrated. 

Self-styled arbiters of Malaysian morals like its Home Affairs Minister Syed Hamid, whose late father the Lion of UMNO Syed Jaffar, a Hadhrami Arab-Indonesian who migrated into then Tanah Melayu at the ripe age of 30 - knows something we don't?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

No Country for Old Men

Geezer #2 and #3 (sorry, didn't catch your blog, G3)

REGRETTABLY THIS ISN'T A MOVIE REVIEW starring Tommy Lee Jones or Josh Brolin or even directed by Ethal or Joel Coen.

Instead, it stars two old geezers. A
nd directed by me, Mat Salo.

They're tough sons of bitches too, I might add.

I bumped into them this morning, something I hadn't expected to happen in a minor fender-bender-kind-of-way.
Come on, would you rather bump into these old geezers . . . or some purty young thang with endless legs that will put a bounce to your step and a twinkle in your eye? Not too mention a longing, a stirring, in the --uh, never mind. Furthermore, the distinct possibility of these old timers having lost their marbles cannot be overlooked. But let's be fair: Chances are it's probably as strong the prosecution's case against Anwar or RPK. They haven't lost everything I don't think, oh no, not by a long shot. Least of all is their balls. Because they still talk about sex the way my seven-year old boy talks about video games.

One goes by the name of Zorro, and the other is Din Merican, who calls himself a 'once-reluctant blogger' who has re-muslimmed himself 'the Malaysian DJ blogger', whatever that means. He ain't an 'Merican in case you're wondering because his MyKad says he's as Malaysian as you and me. And to prove it he pulled his wallet out for my scrutiny. That's how bonkers he might appear to some.

Officially he is PKR's version of UMNO's Shabery Cheek, minus the drool trailing the sides of the cheek. His detractors might claim that if Anwar pulls it off, this is the man who might be Malaysia's next Information Minister. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. He needs to get elected or gets appointed senator first. All he and Zorro was guilty off this morning was to pounce on me, with no warrant or anything before
proceeding to 'torture' me with Nescafe tarik and chapati in front of Club Shabas...

Now sitting with these geriatric gentlemen got me thinking. What the hell are they doing? Shouldn't they be outside a kindergarten or primary school waiting to pick their grandchildren up or something?

Instead, these geezers took it upon themselves to declare 'war' against the establishment; righting wrongs and fighting injustices in the Malaysian political and civil arena. Plus being an icon and the object of womens fantasies helps. A female lawyer-blogger with a hot bod (you know who you are) once let a hot lovers breath brush my ear, 'We need these old timers to fight for us lah. We can't do it because we have everything to lose. ISA is not cool, okay? We got our kids to think about . . . for them their children already grown-up. They got nothing to lose.'

Coming from a 'hot bod' --lawyer I mean, her logic is hard to refute. But I disagree: there's always something to lose. Mind bending orgasms is one. But why has it got to be so? Why can't normal, clear and level-headed citizens be vocal too? Oh, OK, I get it. I.S.A., cat food and all that.

Think of your little ones and your rice bowl first, right? And the all time number one favorite: What good can one do if one is behind bars or rotting in Kamunting?

I think my friend Sheih Kickdefella has probably heard the same arguments but chose to do what's right. And yes, some pro-UMNO bloggers have accused both him and RPK as 'blogger whores' hired for the sole purpose of bringing down Mr. Rosmah at all cost. Maybe so but you know it ain't so? (Or Bob Dylan would sing: it's all true . . . everything you heard?)

But damn, whether passionately having a discourse about KJ or Mukhriz, or explaining to me the various convoluted conspiracy-tinged 'Get Anwar' or 'Get RPK' schemes, these senior citizens are apt to break into song, usually simultaneously, something even a self-proclaimed amateur musicologist like me find alarming. The tune? It's called 'When The Swallows Come Back to Capistrano'. Before I wrote this post up I was forced to google the song and discovered that:

A) It was a hit by The Ink Spots back in 1940 and went up as high # 4 in that years'
hit parade charts,


27 years later the same song was covered by Pat Boone who took it to # 80. I suppose this must be the version they were singing; and that version was in '67, folks. Remember, these are old geezers we're dealing with here.

Let me reproduce the lyrics and tell me what you read into it. Because I don't have a freakin' clue.

When The Swallows Come Back to Capistrano

Words & Music by Leon Rene
Recorded by The Ink Spots, 1940 (#4*)

D9 A7 D D7 D6 D9 G9 G G/F# E7
When the swallows come back to Cap - is - tra - no,

A Em7 D B7 E7 Edim A7
That's the day you promised to come back to me;

D9 A7 D D7 D6 D9 G9 G Gm
When you whispered, "Farewell" in Cap - is - tra - no,

A Em7 D B7 E7 D9 E7 A7 D Gm D
Twas the day the swallows flew out to the sea.


D7 G Em7 A7 D
All the mission bells will ring

A7 Edim Gdim D C#7
The chapel choir will sing

F#7 Bm Bm7/E
The happiness you'll bring

E7 Cdim E7 A7

Will live in my mem - o - ry

D9 A7 D D7 D6 D9 G9 G Gm
When the swallows come back to Cap - is - tra - no,

A Em7 D B7 E7 A7 Gdim D
That's the day I pray that you'll come back to me

(courtesy of the The Guitar Guy)

Tell me, have they lost their marbles? Or are we the ones that have lost ours, letting these geezers fight the good fight for us while we fear for our next paycheck?

You tell me.

No country for old men? Maybe it is.

These old geezers may have lost their marbles, but at least they're working hard to reclaim them via their consequences-be-damned blogs.

And for that they deserve our utmost respect.

Me and Geezer #1. Who forced me to don his PKR themed Timberland jacket for the photo opp. Does he strike you as someone who has lost his marbles?

*This post is also dedicated to the other tough sons of bitches like Chegu Nazir, Hantu Laut, Ancient Mariner, Bang Bakaq and Pak Zawi . I implore you to check them out in case you haven't. How old is 'old', you ask. Going by Soi Lek's performance, oldies are goodies. His bedroom skills can put men half his age to shame. But for our purposes, let's just say 50. Because that's when the usually start making E.P.F. withdrawals and look forward to playing with their grandkids. But instead, whacking errant politicians, stupid policy-makers and misguided civil servants have become their raison d'etre.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Them I Will Forget / But YOU I'll Remember Always

Them I Will Forget / But YOU I'll Remember Always...

(Some scenes on a Tuesday morning)

Haris, worrying incessantly about RPK's spirit, in Red.

Some words of comfort

Check out the vest (Geriatric Model: B.Khoo)

Single Malters and friends

The Stalwart

Title for the blog is something I stole from Bob Dylan's Workingman's Blues 2. I've been spinning it on my 8 -Gig Ipod or in my car 24/7 - and my spouse isn't amused.

She'd rather have

I can't help myself, it's
that good. And it gets better as I understand the lyrics . Dylan's latest album, Modern Times, which Workingman is Track # 6 -- is a gem. I urge you to get it because the lyrics and melodies reflect EXACTLY of our very own, very Malaysian, 'Modern Times'.

Check out the opening verses of Workingman: (excerpts)

There's an evenin' haze settling over town

Starlight by edge of the creek

The buyin' power of the proletariat's gone down

Money's getting shallow and weak

Well, the place I love best is a sweet memory

It's a new path that we trod

The say low wages are reality

If we want to compete abroad...

After the economic implications of the opening verses, Dylan alludes to politics, and for some reason I can imagine RPK echoing these ...

Well the burned my barn,

and they stole my horse

I can't save a dime

I got to be careful, I don't want to be forced

Into a life of continual crime

I can see for myself that the sun is sinking

How I wish you were here to see

Tell me now, am I wrong in thinking

That you have forgotten me?

No, Pete, because...

Them I Will Forget

But You I'll Remember Always ...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

poster by mob1900.

To all my loyal friends and readers out there: As you bask in the glory of this Eid with your loved ones, please spare a moment to think about what RPK and his family is going through.

Yesterday, his wife and daughter went to visit him in Kamunting and was only allowed to see him in his cubical when other ISA detainees were allowed to spend those precious moments in the courtyard.

That's what I call cruel and unusual punishment.

For what, I do not know. Same reason I do not understand the reasons when Datuk Noraini was quoted as saying 'Theresa should insaf' (about her 7-day detention).

Repent? Rehabilitate? For what?

Maybe, I'm just stupid for not seeing things the way Syed Hamid or Datuk Noraini sees them.

If so, then there are plenty of other stupid Malaysians like me then.

Well... will someone please enlighten me ?

If not, just free the man or charge him in open court.