Atchafalaya Swamp

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.