The fundamental difference between the Non-Sequitur and Jyllands-Posten controversies.
The difference is between losing face and having your principles violated.
It shames me that we cannot tell the difference. It should shame you too.
The difference is between losing face and having your principles violated.
It shames me that we cannot tell the difference. It should shame you too.
So. Jeff Ooi’s fucking lost it
Why axe Non Sequitur at this juncture, one might ask? Is it an admission of guilt for having published a controversial instalment on Feb 20, and defiantly re-published it on Feb 22 despite having caused much furore among the Muslim community in Malaysia?
Admission of guilt, huh? So much furore, huh?
I think it should be said out loud: Jeff, you’re batshit. The only people who have made any kind of disapproval known about this comic are the same people who approved of PAS’ police report, or who have a bone to pick on the NST.
And let’s face it, pussy-boy, you have a bone to pick with them. Not because the NST are unprofessional, or that the NST have engaged in plenty of unethical acts against you, but because you don’t like them.
And so, because it is convenient for you, and because you get to kick the Big Beast while it’s down, you ally yourself with twerps who don’t even know what ‘freedom of expression’ means.
Congratulations. You are a blogger.
Forgive me. I’ve forgotten my place. I mean, who am I, after all, but some small-time quasi-pundit who has barely any audience, no advertising revenue, and zero awards from anyone? I mean, that’s what we are, of course, according to you: a big fucking disappointment.
Well, you know what they say; what does the little guy know? I mean, compared to me, Jeff has so many contacts, so many accolades poured on to him, and a prestigious career spanning more than half a decade. Siapalah aku. Why should I dare criticize King Jeff?
But then again, to the NST, who is Jeff? Compared to the Jeff, the NST has literally more contacts, more resources, more people, more money, and a history that spans more than a hundred years. Siapa Jeff Ooi? Why should he dare criticize King Paper?
He made a fucking reputation out of that, by saying he had the right. Chew on that.
Jordan actually made my feelings for it pretty clear here:
I used to think the major difference between my blog and Jeff’s (other than the traffic, which I remain childishly jealous of) was the fact that my blog is all about me whereas his was all about issues. Now it seems more and more apparent to me that Jeff Ooi’s blog is really all about Jeff Ooi, only he’s still trying to disguise it as a blog about issues.
I chalked his behaviour towards his commenters and fellow bloggers (okay, to me, specifically) as, you know, big guy too busy looking at the issues to pay attention to the huwt widdle feewings of some nobody pariah blogger. So that’s why I kept quiet after the initial expression of shock, and went on my way.
Sure, I admit spending less time on my blog—life’s pretty busy, and it’s not as if I disappeared off the face of the planet. If you take some time, folks, you can find my tracks all over the place on the Internet.
But now this shit happens. No way in hell would someone who was really commited to “Thinking Aloud, Thinking Allowed” stoop so low as to seek the alliance with people who are, right now, building an injunction to stop perfectly relevant and not-quite offensive comics from being published.
People have restated the issue, but let me try, just one more time. What the people who made that police report may not know and Jeff has, in his zeal to excoriate and persecute the New Straits Times, has deliberately forgotten1, is that there is a difference between the Danish cartoons and the Non-Sequitur ones.
The Danish cartoons caricatured Muhammad and reduced him to a figure of fear or mockery, an unalterable Other. To reduce Muhammad like that was an insult, but it also hurt, because so many Muslims were brought up to believe in Muhammad as an ideal.
Aisehman ’s argument should be addressed as well, when he says this:
I have blogged on this before but for those who are not aware, there is a frieze that includes the Prophet on a wall inside the US Supreme Court building.
It has been there since 1935, and I’ve yet to come across reports of large-scale protests against it, although there have been calls for it to be removed.
That’s because, smart guy, the frieze does not depict Muhammad in a negative, stereotypical way. It violates taboo, which explains why the calls are there for it to be removed, but protests? Whatever fucking for? It represents Muhammad as a figure of Justice, which is why it is at the Supreme Courts of the United States.
Ironically, his blog led me to this quote, by Usman Bawang:
What kind of message are we sending the Government by continuing to harp on NST’s mistakes (if it ever was).
We all are getting confused about the reasons why we hated the NST in the first place. And now, judging by our response, we are all going to encourage the very culture of journalistic cowardice that we ourselves abhored.
Yeah, fucking irony, geniuses. Is this a question of journalistic integrity, or is the idea of fucking NST up the ass getting your e-penises up and throbbing, waiting to spear the scarred, vile and onerous hole that is NST’s anus?
Let’s get back to the Representatives of Islamdom, who are calling that the NST be whipped in public for, Ya Allah, insulting Islam.
How dare you use my voice to state offense over something I do not find offensive. The particular work, have you seen it, or did you avert your eyes, the way they teach you that ‘good’ Muslims should do?
Did you see Muhammad’s face? Did it imply that Muhammad was, in any way, evil? Did it imply that Islam was a violent religion, or that Islam was wrong, or that Islam is inherently stupid?
Get it straight. Non-Sequitur insulted you and your zealot counterparts on the other side, with your querelous little hearts and shallow little minds, for flipping out and burning shit and killing people in your quest to show the world that Islam is a force to be
Funny, because I am reminded by this little thing Farish Noor, the Great Traitor to Your Religion, said:
The victory of Islam, it should be noted, is not necessarily the victory of Muslims. The victory of Islam is only secured if and when the universal values of Islam are realised in the wider contex…
How can you be considered fighting for Islam when all you care about is how our community is perceived by others? It is not just we who are marginalized; others are as well. It is not just we who are insulted in day by day language; others are as well. The world does not consist of just us and others against us, it consists of small people oppressed by big people, and we are one of those small people today.
How can you claim in one breath to be upset over a cartoon that insults you, not Islam, and yet turn a blind eye to the fact that married women in this country can be metaphorically and literally fucked over, when poverty still hurts the poorest of you, and when your kin do injustice towards others and kill themselves and others over a religion you keep claiming is the “Universal Way of Life”?
How can you, after all this, be so arrogant as to “defend” your religion’s honor? There are bigger things to fight for! Fight for them!
I’m not a hardcore gamer.
I don’t think I ever was, really, when you get down to it. When my brother and I were younger, we’d compete on videogames, and I invariably lost most of the time. I never had what it took to win, and that lack of winning spirit always ensured that I always ended up on the losing side of any competitive endeavour.
I wasn’t hard enough. I was a pussy, soft, a carebear, a sopping wet vagina doomed to a life of being screwed over by dicks. In other words, a loser, a big socialist pinko, a liberal tree-hugging hippie.
I didn’t exactly understand it myself, honestly—it was either a combination of a disinclination or an inability to optimize, to plan the perfect solution, or just to see The Thing One Must Do. It was my biggest weakness, and frankly, it still is.
I liked taking my time, I liked hanging around, I liked spending my time immersed in something comforting, like an overgrown baby missing the comfort of his womb. And I generally hated myself for it.
Look at that. You’d never guess by the way that sentence was arranged, with its wishy-washy qualifier and neutral, conversational tone, of the depth of loathing I had for that failing.
So it didn’t really surprise me when I saw this over at the Escapist:
I believe the seemingly endless popularity of these particular games, in which players take the role of soldiers, spies and other enforcers of government policy, can be attributed to the inherent appeal of a particular ideology. The practical implementation of this ideology can include myriad bureaucratic and cultural details but whose fundamental appeal to the human animal comes down to the notion that might makes right.
He’s talking about fascism, folks.
When you get down to it, the pure mechanics of gaming is about one thing: who wins. There is no room for losers or the honorable in a game—only a winner and the chumps.
You can lie to yourself about the honor of sportsmanship, you can blind yourself to optimal strategies with your misguided injunctions against manipulating and exploiting your fellow man, but all that that allows you, in the end, is a sense of comfort before someone without your delusions comes by and eats you alive.
I hope to dear God that games aren’t like real life, and so far evidence is supporting my claim. Society, frankly, is inefficient. Trains do not, in general, run in time. You are not, one hopes, an expendable cog in a machine. You can still express yourself with relative impunity. Might, for now, does not make right.
Because god help you if it did:
A friend of mine studied political science at Yale. In one class, the professor posted a game scenario: You are the newly empowered dictator of a third-world country. Your people face famine, plague, poverty and unrest. What policies would you enact to solve these problems? (Fans of Tropico, you know how this works.) My friend’s solution? Death camps. Round up the sick, the lame, the infertile, the ignorant, the useless, the unproductive and execute them. Bring the workforce and the job market into sudden alignment. Reconcile the mouths to feed with the supplies of food.
If this sort of strategy worked, even once, it would have spawned a state far more successful than any other, and by the Darwin’s laws of evolution it would have replaced all other states. Death camps would have been the norm.
Instead we have this tangled, paltry mess.
I have a theory. It’s a nasty, vicious theory, and it goes against my somewhat (ha, pussy!) liberal leanings. It goes on like this:
Jack Thompson is a lunatic, but a lunatic with a point.
He talks about games being murder simulators and trainers for a new generation of psychopaths. It’s completely batshit, but perhaps it has a grain of truth. Perhaps games don’t train psychopaths, but instead cause gamers to self-select; the ones with the winning drive go to the top, and the ones without it lose and eventually give up.
Maybe that’s all there is to gaming, and the best players are those with no clear scruples: people who would, without blinking an eye, defraud fellow players of approximately 16,000 US dollars of in-game property... and then brag about it later, justifying their actions as being completely within the rules of the game.
Maybe the best thing we can do to prevent a generation of psychopaths and sociopaths from taking advantage of people again is to not take these games away. Design a game that will optimize the selection of psychopaths and sociopaths, latent and obvious. And then, force everyone to play them. With each other.
Why? Because then, the best, the nastiest, the most vicious will possibly be the most successful people in that game, and you’ll know who they are by their performance.
No point hiding behind complex layers of manipulation. No point behind trying to fool a battery of psychiatrists. No point in suppressing their desires, because there they’ll be, out there in the open, in the top ten rankings.
We gamers have had the training. We’ve learned the mindset. We know the score. We are efficient, deadly, methodical. If only we were in charge – then, oh then, we could show the world how much we care about it.
Maybe if we knew who these people were, we could stop them before they get their hands on other people’s lives and cause some real damage.
I mean, who wouldn’t want to take down the next reptile-brained, psychotic maniac before he sinks his teeth into people’s lives and really cause some hurt?
I just took a look at three of the last significant blog posts I’ve done, and they were dour, solemn and wanky.
This is not good. I belong, first and foremost, to the geek-dork-nerd spectrum: I need to think about feeding that part of my Internet Soul, really.
So here’s the deal.
I would like to run a role-playing game campaign in the near future. The idea is mostly embryonic, and largely impulsive—I’ve yet to think about when to do this, how many people will want to do it, et cetera.
But I’ll let that worry come later. I’ve got other fish to fry.
Okay. Here are the games I have, separated by system and continuity:
Now, there are a couple of games I’d like to get, both in PDF format:
Sadly, these seem to be in the future.
Now, take a look at these games. Ask questions if you want, in the comments, and I’ll answer them ASAP—if you need more description of what each game is like (though honestly, I don’t really know—never did find the players to try them in detail).
All right. Fire away.
I don’t like the kind of questions that popped in my head when I read this:
...I was more upset seeing the ugly side of a foreign-owned private hospital in Cheras, which doesn’t even wink staring at a life dying at its doorstep.
The predictable response to this is readily obvious—anger, shock, disgust. It is the worst thing to happen to one’s child, and the feelings of helplessness and anger and sorrow that the parents of the victim and our feelings are real. Let us not deny that.
I’m going to talk about my own personal reaction to this post.
The first thing that popped into my head when I read the news was this—“How many other people have gone through something like this?”
What drew my eye to this whole post were these parts:
Two nights ago, as I was following TV3’s news coverage on Noh Omar, I stumped onto visuals of DPM Najib’s wife, who was sobbing uncontrollably.
I was told Khairul’s family was known to Rosmah Mansor, wife of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak, as Khairul and her daughter were classmates at the international school in Damansara.
Understand this. I am not belittling the death of that boy. What happened to him was horrible, unexcusable, and a terrible stain for Malaysians everywhere.
But the thing is, if the classmate of the daughter of officially the second-most powerful man in Malaysia can die from simple, criminal neglect, because that’s what it is, how many other people have gone through this, have died because of this?
It should not take the death of the child of someone influential to jolt us out of our fucking sleep. It shouldn’t. It shouldn’t take the death of someone known to influential people to get our ministers to say that they’ll revoke the fucking license of pricks who put profit before ethics.
It should take a crowd of angry people several decades ago to say, “Fuck this. We don’t want to be treated like bags of money with a straw in it.” The market should have caught this error and fixed it.
But it didn’t, so here we are. The system failed. Quelle surprise?
I’ve heard tales of bodies of the recently-deceased held by private hospitals who refused to let the body be treated with dignity and respect, the way human beings are supposed to be treated. Hell, there were dying people, fellow Malaysians, who were, apparently, refused treatment because they didn’t have time to pony up the goods.
How many times has this happened? How many times were the people involved in it ignored, threatened or cajoled to shutting the fuck up and letting this pseudo-hypercapitalistic piece of shit we call the status quo continue? Hundreds of times? Dozens? A few? Once?
It is a tragedy. It is terrible. Here’s something to chew on, though: the story wouldn’t have gotten such big coverage if the boy’s family was poor or not well-connected. Ministers would have said nothing if the boy was some poor nobody from Klang. Nothing would have happened if this was some old guy who died of a stroke because groups of tight-fisted cunts who have the fucking gall to call themselves hospitals refused treatment.
So. Where does that leave us?
Edited: I’ve realized that some of you might have misconstrued a couple of my statements as racist and unnecessary. Frankly, since I didn’t intend it to be that way, I have removed a significant portion of what looked like racist remarks. Remind me if you see any more, why don’t you?