I opened the front door this morning and Cloud, one of the two black cats of the neighbourhood was sitting there at the porch. Friday the 13th greeted me in style.
My first Moonshine event was OK. The bands were good, but unfortunately I couldn't stay long (my apologies, Albert). I'm recovering from another bout of food poisoning and I wasn't feeling too good that night. And there was still all that second-hand smoke.
My friend Sarah had joined me after a chat with her friends. She couldn't stay long either; she'd been up since 6am and I was afraid she'd fall asleep behind the wheel and crash (like an accident site I saw on the way home last night), so I gave her leave to leave.
The girls from Rhapsody were great, as was Lightcraft. Sei Hon was OK, although he did forget some lyrics, and his song about a guy in love with a lesbian also touched a raw nerve in Sarah.
Before I left I had to thank the man who made it happen. Great job, Reza.
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor is irritated because, according to him, the foreign press is unfairly targeting Malaysia about the haze. "On BBC, on CNN, everywhere I look, it's all about Malaysia. 'Stay away from Malaysia; it's the haze season.' Why don't they bash Singapore, Brunei or Indonesia? It's hazy there, too," he rants. "Maybe it's me they're after, I don't know. I know that some people like me, some don't. They're jealous, I tell you. They're jealous of Malaysia."
I don't know about the "being jealous of Malaysia" part, but honestly, the reason I think we're so popular is because of the tremendous noise we make every time our neighbour starts exporting smoke particles from burning trees, grass, palm trunks and the occasional charred orang utan or arsonist. As an asthmatic, I can't be too quiet about this. Especially since this might be turning into an annual event. The air in KL is already bad without the haze.
With regards to our Tourism Minister: It's always the prerogative of the ruling elites to pull out some Western conspiracy theory from the air (and there's plenty of substance in the air right now), so I'd suggest taking his "envy of Malaysia" theory with less than a pinch of salt. Until recently, I've never even heard of him.
Case in point: When I brought this up with Irene during a phone conversation, her reply was, "I don't know either! I don't have time to care or find out! My finances are a mess, my car's a mess, my life's a mess! I have more important things to worry about!"
Same here. I'm beginning to feel kind of jealous of the Tourism Minister. He seems to have so much free time.
Novels, art exhibits, cartoons, plays, and television shows have been the focus of radical Islamic rage throughout the world recently as these born-again warriors of the faith emerged from the shadows where they lurked, at last finding their voice and power after that event known as 9/11.
The latest target of their ire? A glass structure built for Apple Computers. Why? Because it looks like a cube, and it resembles the Ka'ba.
Problem is, nobody's even reported on this when I came across the news bit this afternoon. In fact, some reports are claiming that the "furore" over Apple's Glass Cube, along with other issues, was largely exaggerated. There's even some kind words from Muslims for the design.
But let's give our Muslim brothers and sisters some credit. The majority of them are generally unfazed by any threat to their faith, real or otherwise. When a senior official at a local company postulated that greeting non-Muslims Happy Whatever-Their-Religiously-Themed-Holidays-Are that included invoking names of alien gods was blasphemous, government officials begged to differ. The chief of a local Muslim think-tank went so far as to suggest the fellow be sacked. Hey, live and let live.