Saturday, June 18, 2005

Two Women.

Women! O Man, Have I Got A Story To Tell You.

Well, actually, not really. This entry got me thinking, actually, about the women I'm surrounded with.

Most people who know me know that I spend an inordinate amount of time with this particular blogger. I mean, come on, it's quickly evident if you meet up with us or something. And it's typically an ‘us’ — it got to the point that this sarky bugger calls us “T-Unit”.

I'll have you know that it's TH-Unit, excuse me.

Anyway. Pick Yin wonders if she could be classified as a ‘difficult woman’. I don't think so. If you have a problem with intelligent, independent women, you'd have a problem, yes, and frankly your problems won't stop there. But is being frank, intelligent, independent a problem?

Hani's been described, even by herself, as someone difficult. If anything, actually, Hani's not. She's probably a lot less difficult than Pick Yin is, because if there's anyone who is uncomplicated about life, it's Hani.

Mind you, I'm not accusing her of being simple, or stupid. She's not. I'm saying that she's complex, sure — you'd probably not scratch her surface the first time you meet her. Yes, even though you feel like you have, because Hani broadcasts her attitude towards life and her opinions loud and clear — no pussyfooting around her.

That's the uncomplicated part of Hani — you could probably condense her philosophy to life into a handful of fairly straightforward directives, and you'd realize that she'd follow then almost all the time. Yes, Hani's American.

Anyway. Pick Yin? She's a lot more reserved than Hani is. Of course that means you've got to get past that layer of reservedness that she uses. It's a very Asian thing, very Malaysian — I'm not embarassed to admit that I couldn't remember her the first time we met.

But I got to know her, and she's been one of my better friends in the blogging community. She and Hani have one thing in common — both are frank, both are honest, both are relatively uncomplicated. Both do not manipulate overtly. In my dealings with the both of them, I have never felt like a fool. Not once.

You have no idea how rare and precious that is to me. Most women here, I've noticed, labor under the delusion that they must be… something else. They're not satisfactory enough; they must become more demure, more kind, more loving, more beautiful, more fair, more sexy, more polite, more moral… whatever. But suffice to say that they themselves are not enough. Yes, even those who are ‘liberated’.

I've never had a problem with either Pick Yin or Hani. If both were equal, I'd marry either one, or both (haa! Cries of horror from the audience! SCANDAL!). Hani's got the advantage of knowing me better than Pick Yin does, and we both trust each other implicitly. There's a reason why we're called ‘T-Unit’ by waggish fellow-bloggers, but that's another post altogether.

But it's a close call, relatively. Besides, I don't think Pick Yin looking for matrimony anyway… ;)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Things You Say.

Let's start this particular session with me saying first-hand that I don't think Mack is dishonest.

That's off my chest. I don't think his opinions of the latest flavor-of-the-week is in any way right, but I just realized that ‘dishonest’ is inaccurate — as a matter of fact, using it is sort of provocative and confrontational, and not conducive to talking.

On the plus side he commented on my blog. Before anyone starts passing out the ad hominem attacks, do note that you're several months too late.

Anyway. So what did I really mean, then, when I commented on his post about the whole fiasco? Hmm.

I believe, as I still do believe, that he, and a fairly significant proportion of other bloggers linked and related to the Malaysian and Singaporean blogosphere, are highlighting the wrong thing.

It was never about the nudity, ladies and gentlemen. Face it, you and I have access to nude pictures from the Internet on a daily basis. It's not impossible to find; they've been around since the Internet was able to carry pictures. Just because the naked woman [NSFW] we see on the Web could be the same woman we see on the street every day does not make a difference. She's not brave or unusual — brave or unusual would have been if she had bared all in the fifties, or the Victorian Age. Nudity, ladies and gentlemen, is old hat.

What is of concern is that she bared all in a public commons. Sure we can find pornography on the Web. Sure we can find tasteful nudes on the Web as well. But before we're allowed to sample the delectable delights, we must go through a time-honored ritual: the “This Material is For Consenting Adults Only, No Minors Allowed Past This Point” Page.

It's there for a reason, folks. You use it to warn people who can't take freeform nudity into their consciousness. You use it to warn them that the thing you're going to see isn't exactly something that isn't exactly kosher. It separates the border between a public commons and a private gallery. It informs users about what they see, and gives them a choice.

It matters not that it isn't art — while I'm sure you can bend the rules for Venus de Milo and David, but those are cultural icons. While the SPG is many things, a cultural icon she isn't yet.

That's what the press is highlighting. They're not after bloggers this time, lads and ladettes. They're after a woman who couldn't be bothered to warn her users that what she's posting may not be palatable to some. And look at how we're portraying it. Another David and Goliath metaphor? Aren't you guys tired of that same old yarn?

It's something that crops up every once in a while, in the wonderful world that is Malaysian blogging. Once in a while, we must find justification in ourselves and our work by portraying ourselves as oppressed and marginalized by Daddy Media. Once in a while, that's true. Not this time.

A blogger made a mistake, and is paying the price. The press plays unfair because they reported and editorialized? Wow, can they ever do anything right?

Sometimes things aren't as clear-cut as it may seem.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Hey. Do You Know What You Are?

You're a blogger. And, possibly, if you're like me, you're a young blogger. And if you're not like me, you're a young female blogger.

How much shit does a young female blogger go through, on her daily tromp through the Internet?

I mean, really. I got a friend, who's American. She's a fan of Digimon, loves Japanese miniature dolls, and has a membership with OkCupid. She also gets, you know, the occasional creepy missive from some young buck who wants to have sex with her.

She doesn't blog. She's also a teenager.

And this is just a teenager; we're not talking about some woman who decides to, you know, for personal reasons, expose herself in a public medium [NSFW]. Which she is perfectly entitled to. Hey, it's your body, do what you like with it.

I can't possibly imagine Hani doing it, for example. She's got her mother, whom she lives with, who is conservative in many ways. You tend to restrict yourself in many ways when the lady you might offend controls your purse-strings and your freedoms.

But Hani's been famous for being seen, once, long ago, as one of the tell-lots exposé blogs on the Internet. And there were no pictures in that one of her nude. There were plenty of requests, hey, sure. Young bucks who want a quick lay. Or geeks who wanted to be friends. Some of them made for quite good friendships; safe ones, with no scandalous behaviour in public or private.

That's not what her mother, or the parents of any young lady who blogs, might see when they get a load of this.

Oh, great. And you'd think that blogging would be respectable by now.

The best part was that you know, readers who came in her blog would have immediately, without being warned, seen her naked self on the blog. No NSFW tags. No warnings. Nothing. Just a post, and then TITS! YAY!

If you were a young, hot-blooded guy. It's a different story if you were, say, underaged. Or at work. Or not attracted to women. Or surfing the Internet when your father's walking behind you, looking over your shoulder. Or if you're a blogger, and your father comes to you and says, “Ah Jay, do you do these things on the Internet? Are you mixing with these kinds of people?”. Or if you're a blogger, trying to look respectable in a field that has a reputation of being full of attention-whores.

No, no, no. Nothing rosy, I'm sure. No one was hurt, sure. No tears were shed.

Oh, tough. We live in a conservative society, with moral axioms seemingly cast-iron hard except when expediency and discretion bend the rules. Oh boo hoo hoo, your father doesn't understand you. Oh boo hoo hoo, people are judging you, calling you names. Oh boo hoo hoo, stupidity reigns when you suddenly decided to disregard the society you live in for what might now seem like a case of poor impulse control. Let me play the world's smallest violin.

Times like this, I always bring out a favourite axiom of mine.

“There is a line between being slutty, and being stupid.”

Guess who was stupid.

Edited: I added in a [NSFW] tag on a potentially offensive link. My apologies to everyone who weren't informed prior — the pictures were not visible during the time of posting due to bandwitdh overrun on the site.


Let's see….

Oh look! Tits (which means that, obviously, it's Not Safe For Work!)!

Oh look! Moral panic!

Is it six to eight months already since the Internet's last scandal with the press? (Hey! I'm there! Fighting with some guy! … How embarrasing.)

I tell you, like fucking clockwork. Sheesh.

Edited: Added warning. Yes, I know! Practise what I preach, ne?

Slam, Bam, Thank You Ma'am.

Take a box of these. Refrigerate them, since they're bound to be melty in this weather.

Make a cup of Milo, the way you like it.

Bite off opposite corners of one of the aforementined confectionary. Put it in the cup of Milo.

Suck up some Milo with it, like a straw. Wait for it to just fall apart. Pop it into your mouth. Realize that you should have put in a lot less sugar.

Repeat four times. Feel sick. Call friend, who was asleep from trying to do her MyKad application all day. Listen to her swear at you.

Lie down and wait out sugar-induced headache.


Noticed that I didn't want the Blogger icon on my blog. Not that I disliked it, no, no. I just didn't think it suited the blog.

Tried some things. Decided to be boring.

So I've got a new favicon. Used IrfanView and The Photo. Crop, crop, resample, add border, add border again, done. Not that big a deal to make, actually.

Edited: How interesting. It doesn't work with IE.