Thursday, February 23, 2006

Long Time No See, Eh.

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?

The Only People Who Make It An Issue

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.

A matter of convenience

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.

Small fish

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.

Don’t play the game the way the big boys play it

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.

The issue

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.

Butbutbut we’ve done this before…!

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.

Losing the cause for the fucking fight

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?

Oh, and in case you think you can get away so easy…

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 feared‘respected’.

Words of wisdom from a “munafiq

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.

Fucking perspective, bitch!

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!

Fütnotes.

  1. You’d think I’d leave Jeff the benefit of the doubt. I don’t think so, Mister Press Freedoms. Top
Anonymous helen said...

Good post. I got nothing to say when in fact you had so eloquently said it all.

Keep blogging. :-)

7:38 PM  
Anonymous l33thaxx0rw00tyo said...

Merajuk lagi? [What the hell hit me?]. Sabar ye bang...

8:57 PM  
Blogger Arth said...

this is some major issue you guys are talking about here. I read but i feel it's better not to say anything.This is not my war but i do agree that the cartoon was an insult to the Muslims and Islam. i am artist and a cartoonist myself but i know whr to draw the line...

Freedom of speech,Where do people set the barrier? Now, the whole world is in a total chaos due to foolish and irresponsible people...

9:04 PM  
Blogger T-Boy said...

helen: Jordan said it better. I just said it swearier.

guy with incredible amounts of l33t in his name: Yeah, well, you know, I never did say I had Jeff's kind of principles.

arth: See, this is something I can elaborate.

Yes, the Non-Sequitur cartoon can be seen as 'insulting' Muslims, in very much the way a comedian like Jon Stewart 'insults', say, Tony Blair or George Bush Jr.

But the kind of people who consider any of the three insults are arguably thin-skinned and overly sensitive.

I agree that insults to Islam are stupid and counterproductive, as all they do is add fuel to the fire that currently simmers in the relationships between the Muslim world and the non-Muslim world.

Certainly people have a right to make them, but it does not mean that what they say is right, or justifiable—as a matter of fact, a large part of what they say is racist and fuels bigotry.

But the Non-Sequitur cartoon, which you can find here, pokes fun at, not insults, Muslims and the other people who blow this controversy out of proportion to what it essentially is.

So it pokes fun at not only Muslims, but Westerners who loudly trumpet out how Muslims are so wrong as to block "the free expression of opinion". Yes, they're free expressions of opinion. So's peeing in a public swimming pool.

But nonetheless. The cartoon in itself is gentle, does not outright imply who is the wrong party in here, and reminds people that, when you get down to it, the reactions the artist has seen overshadows the offense that was commited.

Muslims, on the other hand, must learn to take these kinds of satire on stride. They may not necessarily approve, but to tolerate gentle ribbings (and the occasional savage attack) by their fellow citizens is the price we pay for living in a multicultural society. Besides, it's not as if we cannot fight back with our satire—we already do, whenever we lampoon Western politicians and Western society and the like. I don't see them complaining.

The thing about freedom of speech, though, is that it does not give you the freedom of consequence. The Danish press, New Straits Times, Sarawak Tribune, Guan Ming Daily and now, yes, even bloggers like Jeff Ooi, are getting lessons in that.

I hope they fucking learn.

11:32 PM  
Blogger johnleemk said...

Jeff Ooi has officially gone batshit, as you said. He has let his hatred of the NSTP cloud his judgement. All he seems to care about now is revenge and furthering his personal vendetta against the NSTP. Sigh...

12:06 AM  
Anonymous helen said...

Rephrase then: Damn good post! I got nothing to say when in fact you had so farking said it all.

:-)

1:21 PM  
Blogger dalsh said...

OMG, well said, dude....VERY well said...I'm abroad currently,but I keep up with all the m'sian political bullshit through the internet...have always abhored everything biased that our country has taught us, and I'm happy that there are people out there (i.e, you) who are actually voicing things out! I'm suddenly all pumped up to SAY something too! :) hehe...semangat, siut...

12:29 AM  
Blogger BP said...

"...that's all we are, a disappointment"

Ah, so I'm not the only one who picked that out.

So were we all dumb to give such a non-issue so much air time?

12:19 AM  
Blogger T-Boy said...

johnleemk: Yeah, well, I suppose it's the FSM's way of saying that you shouldn't depend on anything other than beer volcanoes ;)

helen: Ah, thanks.

dalsh: Just read your latest blog post. Don't agree with a lot of points in it, but that's fine; I can't expect everyone and anyone to disagree. May comment later, see how.

BP: My first impression of that article was, "Wah, suddenly I have to answer to him for what I do in my spare time, is it? Since when?"

Were we dumb to give the issue so much air time? I don't know. It was certainly unwise, and somewhat symptomatic of the way the online community here reacts to issues. Does that make us stupid?

7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:10 PM  
Blogger T-Boy said...

Mister Mouse: I wanted to reply to your comment, but I suddenly realized -- hold on a minute, you're not even commenting about this particular post; you're commenting over the fact that I got my pwecious widdle feewings huwt by the Big Mean Bwogger, Jeff Ooi.

And like I said in that particular post, if you want to talk about it, you have my email. So, talk. I promise I won't forward your email address to the cops if you've offended me.

You'll just get blocked, and I'll subscribe you to horse porn mailing lists.

So why did I respond guy with incredible amounts of l33t in his name? Well, firstly, he was teasing me, and I responded in kind.

Secondly, for fuck's sake, I'm some guy on the Internet; I don't get paid to be consistent or fair.

A lesson that every reader of blogs should bloody learn is that you get the quality of service that you paid for.

11:21 AM  
Blogger johnleemk said...

Have you seen fellow Malaysian and Wikipedian __earth's comic take on this, T-Boy? It's hilarious.

2:40 AM  
Blogger T-Boy said...

johnleemk: Huh. It's essentially an MS Paint webcomic. Okay la, but, you know, I've seen better.

6:12 AM  
Blogger xaph said...

This post validates my love of your blog. You are direct, man. And at least you spit the truth out.

1:35 AM  

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