Atchafalaya Swamp

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Best Seat in the House

I'VE GOT A CONFESSION TO MAKE: I MUST BE MAD. Music mad. While disaster spirals all around us, all I could think of was the concert. Thanks to my brother in law Adrian who was assisting the FoH (Front of House) sound engineer I had the best seat in the house, sitting behind Donal Hodgson (the brilliant Grammy-winning recording engineer who engineered and mixed Sting's latest effort), Sunil (in charge of the mixing board) and Kumar who ran the lighting.

I am proud to say that both Sunil and Kumar are Malaysians; Sting and Hodgson were impressed by their reputation and decided to use their services. Sunil’s day job is technical director for Media Prima’s 8TV but he confesses to make more ‘on the side’. The other Malaysian in the team, Andrew Warren, co-owner of the sound and lighting outfit, along with Jay Neil, both of whom I had the pleasure of meeting.

Actually I had known Andrew far longer. A few years ago when I lived in Bandar Sri Damansara (where his offices are located) I sort of barged in his office to chat. I've been known to do this sort of thing for no reason. Actually I saw crates of Meyer sound equipment (hi-end sound reinforcement gear for concerts, and I profess to know a bit about studio gear) being carted off a small truck into his office. I was intrigued so I walked in and accosted the guy. Yeah, just like that. In the course of our conversation it turned out I had also known his father Tony Warren (during my 'pub-crawling' days) who was -and still is - a popular entertainer in the Klang Valley pub circuit. He says dad still performs occasionally at the Selangor Club.

Being of the curious sort I satrted pelting him with questions: how did you get into this line of work? Both he and Jay are graduates of SAE (School of Audio Engineering) and were among the first employees of Petronas Philharmonic. Being pioneer Stage & Production Managers with the spare-no-expense oil giant has its benefits: they were sent to London's famous Abbey Road studios for additional training. Abbey Road is where the The Beatles recorded their classics, in case you didn't know. After six years in Petronas they decided to hang their boots and form a company. And the rest, don't you just hate this cliche? - is history.

Their roster of satisfied customers reads like a Who’s Who of contemporary music: Diana Krall, Yellow Jackets, The Chieftains, Freddy Cole, Lady Smith Black Mambazo, Michael Jackson, Ricky Martin, Scorpions, Michael Learns to Rock, Deep Purple and now the former schoolteacher Gordon Sumner aka Sting. Not to mention local Media Prima sponsored events and even taxpayer-sponsored excesses like Citrawana of which I’m not certain if the rakyat ever got their moneys’ worth. But I’m not going into that that .

But that night, the day before Muslims celebrated Eid actually, was indeed special. To my untrained and damaged ears (from spending too much time on a drilling rigs) Sting's tenor soared beautifully, and the backing 8-member Stile Anticos choir was simply exquisite. The human voice couldn't impossibly be better. Why I say this is because Sting and The Stile Anticos are superb musicians. In this day and age of desktop recordings and digital studios most of what you hear on CDs (Britney Spears, Kanye West etc), especially the vocals, would have gone through a sound plug-in in the recording phase called Auto Tune. It automatically correct pitches in instrument or voice. Not with these incredibly trained musicians, no sir. There were no other instruments to clutter the mix so it was mostly human voices to the accompaniment of the lutes and arch lutes of Edin Karamazov and Sting.

Ah, the 'lutes. Indescribably resonant; every harmonic scrape of Sting's and Edin's fingers against the fretboard was clearly heard in the mix. The lute, by the way is closely related to the Arabic oud, and is also related our humble gambus. Adrian pointed me the mix console showing an -11 dB range ... Whoa, what superb dynamics! Every breath, every rasp from Sting's soulful tenor rang clear. But KL Convention Center's Plenary Hall probably played a part too with its excellent hall acoustics, that's probably why this venue was chosen over, say, Putra World Trade Center.

Maximum seating is around 2,000 for the hall but I think the crowd was less than half of that. Most of your secondary school concerts probably had more people attending. Sting isn't doing this for money; he had just finished a year-long Police reunion world tour that grossed almost half a billion dollars in revenue. I was at the Police concert last February
where I saw Sting, Stewart Copeland and a fit 65-year old Andy Summers jumping around like teenage hooligans, playing to packed and enthusiastic audience of 10,000 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. So that's twice I saw Sting play live this year. I'm embarrassed to say that the ticket costs there ran into four figures when converted into our money. But for music mad people like me it was worth it. Or so, I deluded myself into believing.

For the most part I’m reviewing the sound, not the music itself because my vocabulary is sorely lacking when it comes to accurately describe subtleties and nuances of classical 16th century music. The album, Songs from the Labyrinth was written by John Dowland, an English court musician in the late 1500’s. It was pointed out to Sting twenty years ago by guitarist Dominic Miller (his regular guitarist on his solo albums) who even commissioned a lute to be made for Sting as gift. Sarajevo-born Edin Karamazov, considered one of the world’s greatest exponents of the instrument prodded him further into re-discovering Dowland, whom Karamazov described as “the best songwriter and lyricist in the English language”. And that got Sting hooked.

The lyrics are indeed beautiful, and all songs we hear today can be traced to Dowland. It’s very contemplative and melancholy and deals with pain, loss and alienation. Sounds familiar? What’s true 500 years ago still rings true today.

I suspect many in the crowd were disappointed, especially if they came to listen to Sting play ‘Roxanne’. For the encore he did make a small concession and played a very stirring acapella version of ‘Fields of Gold’ and ‘Message in a Bottle’, accompanied only by the choir and lute. When he strummed the first few bars of Fields, all of a sudden the clapping became more enthusiastic. I shook my head in disgust; not because I don’t like these songs but this isn't the forum for it. It appeared that he wanted to appease the ‘Oh-Sting-playing-tonight-just-let’s-go’ crowd coming to hear him play ‘Englishman in New York’. But I don’t blame him; he’s an entertainer after all.

For many who came to enjoy classical music (me included) was duly rewarded. And no million-dollar hi-fi system can ever replicate the superb dynamics of a live acoustic set. Best of all the sound and lighting engineered by Malaysians for one of the best artiste in the world.

And to Andrew, Sunil, Kumar and Jay, you guys make me swell with pride. And thanks for the best seat in the house, guys.

From Left: My brother-in-law Adrian, Sunil and Kumar

(photos taken with my son's cheap compact Minolta)

Note: During the sound check earlier in the afternoon Sting came down to their mixing console to listen in. All three confessed to being tongue-tied and star-struck. Who wouldn't?

I conveniently stole Sunil & Kumar's Sound Engineering, Lighting Design & Stage Notes from their console which was given by Sting earlier. Interesting to note what Sting likes to have in the dressing room.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Blog Bash - A Bit Player's Perspective

MAT SALO, Tokasid, Shah Cakapjer, Kerp and Dato' Jaffar had some months earlier decided on an end of year blog bash, a bash to end all bashes - a tit for tat response to last week's wildly successful Indonesian Pesta Blogger, an event spearheaded by their information minister and sanctioned by its government. Fuuyooo. Since bloggers in Bolehland are vilified scum (as decreed by Syed Albar, Razak Baginda & Co) so a private initiative was deemed necessary. We do not believe, in the near-term at least, the Malaysian government care to sanction such an inane gathering of unlike-minded individuals...

But what do we care? The point is to gather a diverse group of losers, has beens, washouts and sprinkle it with a dash of winners and wannabes and see what comes out of the mix.

Also, it was to coincide with Chegu Kata Tak Nak's visit to KL to grade exam papers, or so we were erroneously told. It turned out he was here to audition for the inaugural Bloggers Idol...

The upshot was some bloggers finally came out of the woodwork, and truth be told, some were sorely disappointed that their heroes and heroines turned out to be, well,  - your boringly average Mat and Minahs.

The men are mostly thick in the middle and sometimes thick in the head, with receding hairlines, graying and are notoriously poor dressers to boot. Take Mat Salo. He came in a tee shirt which Lady Elviza promptly commented, 'as one size too small'. This was deliberate on Mat Salo's part you see, a rather sly attempt to accentuate his biceps but unfortunately had the unintended effect of emphasizing his belly. That man needs a stylist, yessir. Yeah like a fish needs a bicycle. If you really must know, MS has never owned a comb nor uses deodorant. The bar soap (always industrial strength Dettol) when he showers also doubles as shampoo. Furthermore he has a distaste for underwear (the local variant known as spender), and considers Lynnard Skynnard's Free Bird as the greatest rock ballad of all time, surpassing Led Zep's Stairway even.

But the women? Oh the women! They were all beautiful, just as God had intended them to be. Especially Raden Galoh, who 'escaped' from the cancer ward this morning just to be with us. She looked so radiant and happy, showing us it's certainly possible to stare death in the face, and with her strong unwavering faith, still come out smiling. She still has a long way to go but for our sakes dear God, we need her around just to show us mere mortals what life and love is all about.

And Acciaccatura too. Her strength lies beyond our human scope to comprehend. So is Pi Bani, whose selfless devotion to helping people with HIV/AIDS is legendary.

Tok Mummy, Nuraina Samad, Wanshana, Jeejah Mantra, Fauziah Ismail, Galadriel,Nurbaiti and celebrity lawyer-blogger Elviza were all present to give us the much need glamor, glitz and sex appeal.

But I haven't made an exception to the men have I? There are, of course, always exceptions.

Former High Court jude Dato' Syed Ahmad Idid was among the first to arrive. He is not a blogger but a guest of our fellow conspirator Dato' Jaffar Lamri. Unfortunately DJ himself could not attend due to an urgent family matter so unfortunately too for the learned judge, he was forced to have ME instead as his Host from Hell: listening to my stupid jokes while I blew smoke in his face. 

For those of you with short memories (and for some, shorter ahem) Dato' Syed is the Last Malaysian Hero. He was a High Court judge from 1990-1996 when he made the startling allegation of corruption involving twelve of his fellows in the judiciary. This was about ten years ago during the reign of CJ Tun Mohd Eusoff Chin and Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah. Not forgetting too the CEO of the Land at the time was Tun Che Det. The 'flying letter' episode had caused him to be investigated instead, forcing his resignation and losing his pension in the process. That's why it is so important that we get our lawmakers to pass our own Whistleblower Act. 

Ten years down the road the good judge was still subjected to another degrading ordeal: listening to Mat Salo's 'oilfield thrash' stories and inhaling second-hand smoke from his endless Dunhills. My apologies Dato', for being a such lousy host. I understand Your Honor frowns upon judges to mingle with riff raff  like me. But for you to bear such indignities in silence speaks volumes of the man you are, Sir. Thank you.

Of course the other exception was our guest of honor Chegu Kata Tak Nak. To me he looks even better in real life that tweaks in my Nikon settings could never do justice. Well, some people just have it. And this good chegu has it in spades.

Even Dato' A. Kadir Jasin showed up and slapped some fifties in my grubby hands. It's for the pot, you see. Thanks for coming, Dato' AKJ. And I do envy your waistline, Sir!

Other notable attendees (ALL were notable, mind you): Mute Audio, Al-Husseyn, Pak Idrus, Pokku, Bunga Telur Ballyshoes and not forgetting (arguably) the best (living) Malay writer (on Malaysian shores) in the English language: Mat Bangkai.

Finally, PAS Central Committee and Shah Alam Member of Parliament YB Khalid Samad (Yes, Minister Sharir Samad is his brother, believe it or not) came by. In the picture you can see Chegu KTN and him having a go.

As soon as the crowd faded off, A Voice showed up to dish some dirt up on our next generation of Ultra Malay National Organization leaders. Thanks for coming bro'.

Hope you like the photos. They were in-camera shots, hand-held in available light without the benefit of flash. Apologies to the ladies if the wide angled lens err, just made you go 'wide'. Yeah right, blame the equipment, never the photographer.

I have also deliberately not attached names to the faces in the hopes that you'd be able to tell anyway. (Truth is, I'm just a fat, lazy slob.)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pacha's First Solo

VIP Guest: P.104's London-born Kelana Kaya MP Gwo-Burne at Pacha's solo ...

Some inspired guests : My niece (left) and her best friend. Hmm, isn't that Nuraina's niece?

Pacha, The Artist.

Bali Meranti's real life lesson in Art Appreciation ...

IT IS THE LIFELONG DREAM, THE RECOGNITION, THE CULMINATION of any artist to host their first solo. What more if the artist in question found her calling very late in life; she was in her late twenties before she picked up that first brush to canvas.

That artist is my sister, Pacha. And the exhibition's titled "Pomegranate and 1000 Birds".

Entirely self-taught, she bagged Bank Negara's second prize for her Imperfect But Beautiful in 2004 that won her a silver trophy and an RM8000 cash prize.

She is married to Adrian Edris of Ahmad Izham Omar's Monkeybone label, who manages artistes like Faizal Tahir, Suki, Norayu Damit and Shila. Adrian's also currently involved in 8TV's One In A Million and Kami -The Gig. They have a daughter, Bali Meranti.

Please do come and visit the Gallery. The Exhibition will run until December 12.

For more stories and pictures, please come visit my other blog.

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.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hang In There, Sheih!

UPDATE: (Saturday, 20 September 2008)

Common sense has prevailed. Both Theresa and Sheih has been released.
God Bless Them.


hearts and prayers are with you. Your sorrow becomes our sorrow too. Please be strong and patient. Insya Allah he will come home soon...

Poster by mob1900

You've Got A Friend

In a pensive mood ...

Band O' Bloggers

With DAP MP for Jelutong

Sandwiches ain't the only thing you're gonna get from Zorro!

With PKR MP from Wangsa Maju

With Blogger Numero Uno

With PKR Selangor Exco member

©2007-2008 mAtsalo iMages

Saturday, September 13, 2008


That's right, dude, give 'em the finger!

photo © 2007-2008 matsalo.com

Dear Leader,

I'm sick and tired of this. I'm embarrassed, ashamed AND OUTRAGED that you have chosen to
in-VOKE rather than re-VOKE the I.S.A. !

I'm sick, sick, sick . . . sickened to the core!

Believe it when WE


Why use the ISA? Or are you just looking for a convenient scapegoat? Something to thwart and detract the public? If you got proof, please just charge them in open court. Don't hide behind this sorry excuse!

And lastly, please DON'T INSULT THE INTELLIGENCE of us ordinary Malaysians.
Doesn't it occur to you that Malaysia is a democratic country and we citizens are masters of our own fate?

Posters by mob1900. Mansuhkan ISA badge by Mr. Smith.
--Thanks, guys.