Friday, January 19, 2007

The 'V' word

Been trying to blog but the internet at home is really slow. I think it has something to do with my router. My sister in law shares the bandwidth with me so sometimes she listens to those internet radio stations and that sucks up a lot of bandwidth. I couldn’t even log into my blog. Plus, my C: drive is dying of brain cancer. It’s got a bad sector that is slowly growing and every time I try to do anything important (playing Age Of Empires II is important okay!) it gives me a blue screen of death.

Anyway, today’s been a slow day at the office. I had lunch with a colleague who just came back from her Haj. She was there with her husband shooting a documentary. She’s trying to be a better person and I can see she’s definitely nicer now and of a better disposition than before. That’s good. She told me of the problems she had while shooting and I told her that maybe her God put that ‘person’ there with her as a test for her patience.

I personally don’t believe in God putting us through any challenges but the idea certainly tickles me funny that there is someone out there who is a total pain in your butt and his/her sole purpose is to make you a better person. “God put me on this earth to test you, hah!”

I opened my e-mail and there were a few requests for press coverage. One was about a spa and another was for vaginal reconstruction surgery and I could only cover one with the limited resources I have. Now this is the part of my job which I enjoy, playing the gatekeeper. I, as a ‘responsible’ media practitioner have to make sure that the society that I serve is well informed of its surrounding had to make an important decision which to give coverage. Plus, I’m also an asshole and a closet anarchists who love challenging society’s sensibilities. So guess which one is going to get press coverage?... Let’s just say about 1.5 million people out there in a few days time would hear the word ‘vagina’… or something similar on TV soon. “oh, no! did she just said the ‘V’ word on national TV?! The horror!”

Recently I when for my scholarship interview at the British High Commission. Their embassy had no parking within 400 metres. I had to park in Ampang Park and run across two major roads to get there. You would think an embassy so big and getting first dibs at any available land before handing it over to the natives would have reserved more land for itself… but no, they just bought up a small plot (by today’s standard of course) at Jalan Ampang.

The two ladies who interviewed me were extremely nice. Can’t remember their names now, I totally suck at remembering people’s name. It just enters short term memory and doesn’t store in long term unless I use it often. While I was waiting for the interview in their waiting room, I saw a newspaper clipping about Chevening that they hung on the wall. One of the person they interviewed mentioned how the candidates should let go their fears when they attend the interview. After reading that, I thought to myself, “fuck it, I’ll just be myself. If they’re going to give me a scholarship, it’s going to be because they appreciate who I am and not what I pretend to be”.

They were quite curious about what I do at work and asked me how do I decide who to put on the show. I didn’t have any prepared answers, so I told them that I was basically a liberal and I usually have guests that talked about social & legal issues that women didn’t talk about in the open. It’s a fine balancing act between giving airtime to the liberals and the conservatives.

They asked me if I do self-censorship. I said there were already existing censorship laws but it’s certainly more lax now compared to pre-Badawi’s administration. In any case there is a gray line that one cannot cross. It’s kinda like the waves lapping on a beach. The water line is not fixed. Sometimes, I like to run up to the water as the waves recede and run back just before the water touches me. Occasionally, I do get wet.

I told the two ladies interviewing me, most of my critics don’t know that I am a male and not a Muslim. Doing this program has certainly gotten me into situations other guys wouldn’t normally be in. Just a few minutes ago, I was talking to Triumph International and asking if they were interested to donate underwear to the flood victims. The lingerie business is huge in Malaysia. Triumph runs the most glamorous fashion shows. Anyway, I’m digressing. Triumph would be for another blog

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