Ultimatum

These are just plain opinions; they can be rejected, refuted, argued against or accepted. These words are not meant to impose my ideals upon anybody , and they are not going against the law of the diversity of thoughts~~

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Suicidal Penguins

When you stop caring for something you thought as important, usually nothing of consequence happens at all. Take for example the preservation of wildlife. Hawksbill turtles and rockhopper penguins never need anybody puncturing their bodies and putting electronic tags in order to survive. They’d do just fine being left alone.  If for example those wacky penguins do go extinct, it becomes a matter of complete irrelevance if I do not know, or I stopped caring.

                    It goes like this; if something does not exist inside our consciousness, they don’t matter at all. If the whole of humanity never ever discovered rockhopper penguins flailing about and throwing themselves off cliffs like bloody idiots, do they ever exist at all? I’m bad at explaining things.


               Have you heard of this? If a branch falls of in a forest , hitting a fat squirrel and killing it in the process, and nobody ever saw it or heard it, did the branch ever fall in the first place? What the hell am I saying. Of course it did, because I said so. It exists in my imagination, in my vision. The fat squirrel really died, unfortunately. In the case which nobody ever narrates the story of the heavy branch and the fat squirrel, did the incident ever happen at all?

               What I am saying is that something needs to exist in your consciousness for it to matter. If it doesn’t, then it does not matter  if it actually exist or not. This conjecture, of course, speaks about the standpoint of human beings. It does not take into account of squirrels, trees or suicidal penguins at all.

                When you fall in love , the subject of such intense feeling occupies a huge part of your consciousness. Even when you wish to write something about daredevil penguins , they got pushed away into the void and you start writing about love instead. Imagine a person’s consciousness as a huge house with a lot of rooms; but there is only one person living in that enormous place; the person himself. As with the case of any normal human beings, when you live in a house, you’d pick one room and live there (if you actually have the choice). You make that room yours, put your stuff in it, and stay in it a lot of time. Then there are places you would frequent; the kitchen, the living room, the toilet, or say, the library.


                        But there are all those other hundreds of room in your house, but you won’t go there much because nothing really interests you, or you have no reason to visit them. Such is a person’s consciousness; it’s a skulking mansion with hundreds of millions of rooms. Things that  matter to you sit in your favourite room; on your table or hung on the wall. Weird penguins probably sit in room number 200000, together with elephant seals and sperm whales. If  you love them enough penguins might creep under your bed.


                    When you stop caring about something or forget them, they either get sent into the most obscure , hidden rooms, or kicked out of the house. They don’t matter anymore. Nor is there any  reason that you forgetting them would bring any terrible or significant consequences. Like I said before, the poor penguins would just continue living as before. There are exceptions, of course, like forgetting to turn off the oven or starving hamsters in cages; those practical things.


                 There are a few problems regarding one’s consciousness taking the shape of a huge house with many rooms. First, you have little to no control to whatever comes inside and stays inside. Here’s a clich├ęd line; in this capitalist society, you see enough of an advertisement , and a brand stays plastered in your mind. Coca Cola and Colgate are plastered forever on the walls of your house. And penguins too, if you listen enough of David Attenborough. It’s not easy to remove them either. You have to demolish the house; have an amnesia or something or simply not think of them.  But then trying to forget, ironically, makes you remember them more.


                Secondly , you have no idea what others’ consciousness looks like. Not the slightest idea what their inner house looks like, what colour is it, how many rooms they have. Most of all you don’t know what’s inside; what is it that he put in his favourite room, or in the living room where he spends most of his days. There can be 10 meter tall emperor penguins with  crocodile tails who wear sunglasses for all you know.


              Therefore a person has no way of finding out what does a person care for, what are his true passions , who does he loves the most. You have no way of saying that a person does not care for another, or that he has kicked you out of his consciousness. Why do we always jump the gun and accuse someone of not caring and forgetting stuff? Perhaps there are too many things in his room that it gets too crowded and he can’t focus on each one all the time? We only have so many eyes and ears, oh lord.

      All you need is ask.

                 Also, if you decide to break away from someone because you thought he doesn’t care, that does not imply that you would be removed from his most important room. At the end it’s a man’s decision whether to keep you inside his mind or not. You have no power over that. You also have no power to prevent him trying to make amends and bring you back in reality, not merely in the rooms of his mind.


                Of course I made all this  up.  That does not mean that it’s untrue. This writing will stay here, and still exist, even if you refuse to read or believe in it, because I wrote it, and I do care. 

      

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Waddle waddle~

Spring is here. Again. I look at the cherry blossoms at the lakeside, and I feel  so  happy, and yet so sad. After months of cold winds, snow, dark days and dead trees, suddenly little flowers peeked from those lifeless branches. As the dark days  of winter turns warm, I say this to God,” What more do I ask from you?”

and he waddles away~

               But another spring means that another year had passed, which means that I am closer to death. I walk among the daffodils and the bluebells, and as the ducks waddle alongside me, I ask this; what have I done for the past year? Did I do  good?
           

           As a student, have I done all I could to learn? If I am a cherry tree, did my flowers bloom as well as last year? If I am a janitor, have I scrubbed all the necessary stains? And if I am a member of the parliament, did I attend all parliamentary voting sessions?
               It is because we know that we are going to die that we look back into our memories and calculate, whether the years of our life have made us into a better person, or whether they only add to our sins. Human beings are created with memories, an ability to remember things of the past. I am not sure whether ducks and cherry blossoms are able to reminisce about awkward things they did in the past, and flap their wings(or sway under the wind) in shame.

             But  memories also make people remember horrible things. To me ,the winter was a nightmare of cold and dead trees, and the university fields were full of dead trees and duck shit. The wives and kids of the  innocent men who were jailed for years without trial under the ISA( Internal Security Act ) would always remember the sins of the ministers and the cops who took away their beloved without justification. Hishamuddin Rais, or Tukar Tiub, when he came to Nottingham last year for the last round of his theatre told my friend that he still remembers the cockcroach that became his girlfriend in jail.


           Was the name Jessica? I don’t know. He said that he remembered the cop who did unspeakable things to him in jail, and as God decided it, Hishamuddin met the guy years later, who was then a taxi driver, in that man’s cab . Such a horrible man, who could stand torturing another, or putting people in jail without reason, turned out to be  a plain and ‘innocent’ man on the outside. I do not how did he felt back then; whether he had the urge to rip the driver’s throat, or whether he made peace with the past.


              Horrible was the ISA, but it is now a thing of the past. Yes, the families of the oppressed are still recovering from the injustice; the pain of separation, and the stigma that society smears upon ‘convicts’, but the ISA was erased from the constitution. When Mahathir said that he did nothing wrong during his rule, victims of his ISA  questions the integrity of his brain, and wonder if Mahathir has finally gone senile.


             After the demise of the ISA, the government’s power to put anyone who said too much became limited. The sedition act was limited , up to three years of jail, and 5000 in fine, and the persecutors must bring the case to court, before they can put you in jail. There was no trials under ISA; the government can practically put you in jail forever, merely under suspicion, because a police ‘believes’ that you are inciting violence or an insurrection.


                 Memories are horrible things, when the young wives of detainees under the new Prevention of Terrorism Act remembers the MPs who were absent yesterday   during the voting in Parliament. These vain little men, who swore in the name of God to protect the people, to bring them to heaven ,  couldn’t do so because they were ‘busy’. When the police round up innocent men and haul them off to jail, you tell their crying kids the names of the ones who let  this injustice happen. You tell their grief-stricken mothers , that the ones who represent Islam, good manners and character could not vote in the parliament for their sons, because they have other ‘pressing matters’. When their parties hold rallies in front of SOGO in their future against the POTA, you go grab the speakers from the politicians, and yell in their faces that they are responsible for this as well.



               The POTA is ISA incarnate; a board of terrorism prevention  appointed by the government ‘decides’ whether an accused is a terrorist, then he’s put in jail, under the name of national security. They can put anyone in jail forever, because the court cannot question the decision of the board. No court in Malaysia (not one, even the federal court) can review their decisions, or overturn the judgement.


                 Just picture this; the government can take your wife, your husband, your father, and even Dr Mahathir to this board, and put them in jail forever, and you cannot do anything. You cannot appeal in court, and no lawyer will be heard. If you are going to be active in Pas in the motherland, then by all means, remember this. Or don’t; it doesn’t make any difference.
                   
                 The civil society has no right to put someone in jail, or confiscate his property, merely for speaking out his mind.


                   First of all, the man and his opinion might be right. And if we put someone in jail because he said something true, then we are the ones losing. Imagine if the sultans of the past before Islam imposed laws against the propagation of religion, and the Muslims from Gujerat, or from China and the Middle East were killed because they spoke about Islam, how horrible would it be? Would we even be Muslims now?


             Secondly, if his opinion is wrong , and we put him in jail , then the civil society will still be at lost. Because a man who is incarcerated , or killed just for talking would attract followers and sympathizers. He is now a martyr, a symbol of the fight against oppression, and people would support his cause, even if he is wrong.


               If his opinion is wrong, there is no way to discover the truth , if he is killed, or put in jail. The only way to decide whether an opinion is right  is to let other opinions refute it and criticize it, the discussion must be let on its own, free and undistracted. This applies to everything; religion, race and ideologies. In the same way that we question our own faiths , to know whether it is true, opinions question each other, and the best argument would win, and only then would we discover the truth.


                  The  judgement of the Sedition Act is too arbitrary. The clauses are vague, and what is considered ‘seditious’ isn’t clear. Intentions does not matter (how do you  decide one’s intentions in the first place?) If the judge feels that you said something seditious , then you are put in jail. What kind of  law puts people in jail because someone ‘feels’ that you are guilty?



               Some people would say that some man’s speech, or drawing, or poetry might incite violence. I say this; an artist, a writer or a poet only express their feelings, their conceptions of society, and the ones who are responsible for the violence are the ones who interpret the writings , who somehow understand that “I must kill because this poem says so”. What responsibility does one hold, when someone else , with a healthy and functioning brain, chooses to be violent – when it is ultimately someone else’s choice?



                 Some other might say that it is the Sunnah of the reformers, of the prophets, to be persecuted for saying the truth. They say that truth will still win out at the end, so the sedition act , and the POTA, or SOSMA, or the ISA is only a process in reaching the truth. The ones murdered, the ones jailed  are necessary sacrifices on this road towards the truth. Like duck shits under the cherry trees; without those nasty things, the daffodils and the cherry blossom wouldn’t have bloomed so brilliantly. Have we forgotten how the Jews  were condemned to hell forever, because they murdered their prophets?


                       Yes, God said that the ones bearing the truth would be persecuted, jailed, roasted to death, tortured and exiled, but that doesn’t mean we should stay put and silent. What right do we have to let this people and their families suffer while we watch, while we defend our beloved politicians? What verse said that we should let this huge injustice happen again?


Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Regarding Stairs

               There was once a guy who loved sitting on the stairs. He loved sitting on the stairs so much that he spent most of his life on the stairs. His name was Takashi Taro.


                        Taro read books and did his homework on the stairs. As a student at a university with many buildings, Taro found delight at the fact that there were as many stairs as there were buildings on the campus. When Taro was deciding which university he would apply to after his high school exam, the first criteria which entered his mind was the  existence of stairs and their abundance.

                  Taro couldn’t help but feel  aroused at the sight of stairs ,and he felt compelled to sit on it and get to know that set of stairs. Once when going to Athens  with a group of friends, they almost missed the flight, because Taro insisted on sitting on every flight of stairs available at the airport.


                     It’s not like Taro loved every form of stairs there is. For example , Taro hated escalators  with his guts , and  swore  to himself to never even stand on one. To Takashi Taro, the escalator is not a real staircase, but a traitor to the family of stairs because it is always moving, while his definition of stairs is one which stays put and silent. To Taro the stairs is a place of peace and self-contemplation. Taro thought it preposterous that a staircase would take upon itself to move people up and down between the floors, while it was originally made only as a static and silent way with  which human beings traverse. The best kind of stairs in Taro’s mind is the spiral staircase, perhaps because that kind of stairs is hard to find, or perhaps because of its unique shape. When Taro finds a  spiral staircase he would make sure to spend time sitting on every one of its stair. Perhaps sitting on each stair gives a different view of the world from the spiral staircase,but only Taro knows the reason why.


               Taro loved sitting on the stairs so much that he wrote a letter to the student union to ask that his classes be conducted at the huge set of stairs at the entrance of the monumental Portland building. His class of almost 200 students would sit on the stairs  like a choir ensemble, while their lecturer would stand at the bottom and preach. He wrote that students should be allowed to enjoy the sight of the yellow trees of autumn infront of the Portland building,  and to watch the grey geese and the majestic swans spooning for food while learning. He added that watching yellow dead leaves fall to the ground  would remind the students that life is short and death is always coming, so  they should study properly.


                 Fortunately  his suggestion was rubbished by the administration, because autumn at the campus is cold as hell, and nobody would ever want to study outside. When Taro asked the Dean himself to let them have their class on the stairs inside the building instead, the  Dean told him to get lost and to never bother coming to his office again.


                   Taro tried to explain to the Dean the benefits of sitting on the stairs and its pleasures, but the old guy got mad and told him to go and screw himself.


                   First of all Takashi Taro did  not understand why other people could not understand the pleasures of sitting on the stairs. Taro finds himself unable to concentrate on his work if he’s not on the stairs. When he  wished to call his family at home or his long-distance girlfriend, Taro would first sit on the stairs and make sure that his feet were firm and comfortable on the stairs.             


                    Unlike chairs and sofas, not many would sit on the stairs, and nobody would ever take his place as the stairs-sitter. But of course sitting on the stairs gave Taro a lot of problems. Sitting on the stairway  , most of all , blocks people’s  way, and you are a  bound to be yelled or kicked at if the staircase is narrow. “Why would you sit on the stairs when there’re so many chairs in the house?” , was a question Taro was sick of hearing everyday. Why couldn’t people appreciate his beloved stairs?


                  An addiction with sitting on the stairs might also exude signs of antisocial tendencies, 
even though Taro had a good composure and  was able to conduct lively conversations with all sorts of people. Taro almost lost his girlfriend when he went to her parents’ house for the first time. While her family was sitting at the living room with Whitehall tea and butter cookies on the table, Taro was sitting at the stairs to the second floor , beside the daughter’s bedroom.  Taro was answering the parent’s questions about himself and his family by shouting from the stairs, which was about ten metres from the living room.


                 Obviously the parents were freaking out about the apparent fact that their daughter was dating a weird and socially-impaired kid. Taro had tried to resist himself at first , but the sight of the stairs covered with velvety red fabric and the railings painted in golden gloss was too amazing to behold. The red carpeting was decorated with flowery patterns of yellow thread.Unlike those dirty stairs at the campus and dusty carpets on the stairs at his friends’ houses, this one was outrageously clean, and the fabric smelled of lavender and of the evening rain.  It was a set of stairs which was one in a million of stairs, and at that moment Taro decided the third reason to marry his girlfriend; to be able to sit on that particular staircase.


                   Taro was lucky that his girlfriend was understanding, and that she was quick to fix the situation. Taro is, even with his strange love of stairs, a nice and responsible man, and the girlfriend was quite happy to ignore his stair-loving tendencies . She said that Taro had a stomach ache, and that he had a problem to hold in his farts, which was not really a lie. She said that Taro had a complex about sitting around people when he has a stomach ache, and that was the reason Taro was sitting on the stairs like Humpty Dumpty  sitting on a wall. That was how his love of stairs almost lost him his girlfriend. 


                    Taro’s habit of sitting on the stairs almost cost him his friends as well.  When the university sophomores set a welcoming party for their juniors at one of the frat houses, Taro sat on the stairs instead of playing games and eating crisps downstairs. Everyone thought that he was just an introverted kid who had  an aversion towards crowds, but his  good nature and his being adept in holding conversations helped sort things out, although he was conversing with others from the top of the stairs. He took a cup of juice and a piece of cake, and sat on the stairs like it’s the most natural thing to do.


                          Things get weird when I first went to Taro’s house and found him sitting on the stairs. He made me some tea and put Jaffa cakes on the table, then nonchalantly went back to sit on the stairs. “There’s a plug for my phone  at the top of the stairs, that’s why I’m sitting here,” said Taro so casually, it made me think that sitting on the stairs is the most ordinary thing to do. His housemates were apparently quite annoyed with the fact that there’s a guy blocking their way to the toilet, but they got tired of him telling them about the pleasures of sitting on the stairs that they just let him be.


                  When Taro came   to my house a few days later, with a  plastic bag full of seedless grapes, I was anxious because my house doesn’t have any stairs. He went in and discreetly looked around for his seat of honour, then let out a  small sigh. That day was the first time I saw Taro sit on a sofa, and he looked so displeased with himself, he kept fidgeting about , and finally sat down on the floor. I put it in my mind then to find a house with a beautiful staircase for the next year.


                    Taro once almost lost his life because of his peculiar habit. It was during the depth of the winter of his first year, when Taro went to the city to find a vacuum cleaner for his stairs at home. That winter was a harsh one, with temperatures going negative most of the time. The roads were slippery with frozen rainwater, and our houses set the heaters on full power. That winter night Taro rode a bus to the city’s old market to look for cheap vacuum cleaners , and he got off at the Old Market bus stop.


                 On his way to the electronic shop Taro saw the steps to the entrance of a particularly ancient building. I think it used to be a old post office in the 18th century,and  now it houses a bookshop. The steps weren’t decorated with marbles or anything, it was just a simple arrangement of bricks, covered with moss and blackened with time. “I felt the stairs calling out to me,” said Taro , a few days after the incident. “They have been there for hundreds of years, those poor steps, but nobody has bothered to sit on them for a very long time.


                        I felt a very strong urge to sit on the steps and to imagine the stories behind its existence. Stairs are lonely beings , you know,”said Taro in a-matter-of-fact tone. “Stairs and roads have similar functions, to connect people from one place to another. Because roads are usually long , people stop at the roadsides to rest, and others build shops and houses and restaurants alongside the road, so roads don’t get lonely as much. Not many people  would sit on the stairs because it blocks people’s way , and thus they function as nothing else but as a way”


                   “That’s why I feel enchanted with stairs, and I must sit on them. You know, stairs do remember every shoes that stepped on them and their owners, every kind of stinky feet, be it human beings, cats or dogs. The steps to that old building had existed for so long that it hold within itself the history of the city itself. I sat on the stairs and saw a black and white image of a young woman in a Victorian  gown with an envelope in her clutches. Her face was brimming with happiness. Then I saw an old man with a top hat in the memory of the bricks, who struggled with his cane up the steps , only to slip and fell on his head, which burst open with blood.”

                   “There were all sorts of men and women who had walked upon the stairs, and all kinds of dogs; German sheperds, daschunds, bulldogs and terriers. It was fascinating.”


                  Takashi Taro went to the city and sat on the stairs. He forgot his initial objective of getting a vacuum cleaner for the stairs at home, and he found himself lost in his conversation with the ancient steps. He only realized that it was late midnight when it started snowing. The shops had all  closed, and there were no more buses for the night. Taro was alone, with the stairs. He tried to call the taxi,  but they refused his call because the heavy snow was making the roads too dangerous  to drive. Taro called me and other friends , but it was so late that nobody was awake.

              It was an old hobo who found him in the wee hours of the morning, almost frozen to death. Why he wouldn’t just walk that night to a nearby house for shelter was beyond me. Apparently the old hobo , experienced with freezing to death while living on the streets, put Taro on his  back and ran all the way to the city hospital.
           

                      That’s the story of how Takashi Taro, the guy who loved stairs almost lost his life. The doctors had to cut off two of his fingers and one of his toes because of frostbite.  Silly Taro, stairs aren’t living beings, and they don’t talk to people.
FIN