Alot has been said about "marketplace of ideas" theory. Al Gore put a foot forward in explaining how this concept is under assault in US where to get ideas out to the public, a candidate will need to have to pay to have a 30 seconds slot to air their campaign. Those unable to pay will have their chance to air their views robbed and the public will not have a chance to hear what he/she has to say.
John Stuart Mill, an English political philosopher of the middle and 19th century has a deep influence in US constitutional laws and Mill's essay "On Liberty" has been the catalyst for marketplace of ideas theory where free flow of ideas should not be restrained.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.'s dissenting opinion in Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616, 630," .......the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas, that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon their wishes can safely be carried out."
In Malaysia, to say that we have grounds for this to happen would be the joke of the century. With all the restrictions and punishments ready to be invoked anytime, information flow is only a one way traffic.
It never fails to amaze me every time I witness this. I am also unsure if this is only prevalent in Singapore or its an accepted norm in other countries as well.
Non living things in a queqe. I have heard of a dream one day that robots could replaced humans, but never in my wildest dream that non living objects could replace humans in a queqe. So here we are, Mr Mineral Bottle, Mr Kentucky Buddy Meal Bucket, Mrs Dustbin, Mrs Umbrella just to name a few have been very patient waiting in line.
All for what you might ask? Heard from someone its for a $5 coupon. Times are bad. Guess its very true indeed........
One is a MP for Kota Bahru that won under Barisan Nasional ticket and the other a champion environmentalist who was once the Vice President of United States under Democrat and recently bagged himself a Nobel Prize.
Zaid Ibrahim definately earned my respect when it comes to speaking up against the wrongs of the government. And he earned extra points from me for his critical views as he is on the same side where his critical views is fired at. He has spoke on taboo subjects, off limits subjects among BN MPs such as the decay of the judiciary in Msia, the need for freedom of press, the need for Msia to make do without dacronian laws such as ISA and OSA, the essence and limits of Article 153 and the list goes on and on.
In another part of the world, Al Gore has articulately brought out the worst of mankind and captured it in a documentary An Inconvinient Truth that to me is more terrifying and real compared to Nightmare on Elm Street. Al Gore being a well respected statesman, when he speaks, I'll definately stand up and listen.
So I read both their books. Verdict? Excellent discourse of facts. Most interesting similiarity to me is that both articulated the need for more freedom of information to the people. In Zaid's point of view, empower the people to check and balance the govt. Give the people the right to seek information and let people be part of the combatants against corruption and the wrongdoings of the govt. Al Gore says the same thing. Use and give "reason" to the public to decide. And both agreed that the public should be aware of their own rights. Be it the Bill Of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, all the cases fought in Supreme Courts, The Constitution....etc.
One things for sure is that in Malaysia, we need to do whats's right this time. The Assault on Reason in Msia has already taken its toll on many Msians. I believe its time now to wake up, smell the air and say 50 years is enough.
December 11, 2007Max PavilionSingaporeBalloons don't really belong in a rock concert, but one must find ways to amuse ourselves while waiting for one to begin. The mostly teenage crowd at Max Pavilion were popping a few balloons that had appeared out of nowhere while waiting for My Chemical Romance to come on stage. After an hour past the appointed time, fans were finally treated to a robust performance by the New Jersey based rock band.
An incendiary Gerard Way charged up the atmosphere almost immediately with a Rock God-like pose by lifting the microphone stand up into the air with his two arms. If anyone was curious as to how any rock musician manages to stay fit on tour, look no further. Gerard jumped, punched, danced and sang his heart out to his adoring fans.
With his signature black long locks, Gerard was the consummate performer, and lapped up the adulation from his teenage fan base. Mostly dressed in black, one fan even took the trouble to replicate the coats donned in the video for "Welcome to The Black Parade." I didn't catch any kohl on his eyes, but A plus for the effort anyway.
Gerard acknowledged the support of his fans, and returned the compliments by saying, "look at you motherf**kers, you're beautiful," only to be greeted by much more raucous screams from an appreciative crowd.
At one time, he pushed the sexual agenda MCR has become noted for by asking to "see the boys." Commanding them to take their tops off and wave it in the air like the f**king animals they were, some of the crowd were happy to oblige. Gerard could have pushed the envelope by sharing an intimate kiss with Frank lero again as they once did in a concert earlier in July this year, but that might probably earn a very strict shake of disapproval from the censors who are still coming to terms with Gerard's potty mouth.
At one point, Gerard had yelled out, "We are f**king you so hard, you won't be able to walk tomorrow!" What did the crowd do? They screamed and begged for more.
While MCR delivered the goods with a great performance, and Gerard sang with an elegiac lament that has found great fame with the youths of today, it was the crowd that truly made the concert an eye opener. They sang to their favorites like "Helena," "Teenagers," "Welcome To The Black Parade", and "I Don't Love You."
At the free standing area, the moshing and vigorous jumping by the fans were causing a few bruises. Gerard was concerned enough to warn the crowd to have fun, but to pick each other up if anyone fell. No wonder the fans love him.
To further fuel the adulation, he sang, with a mournful longing intonation, the dirge "Cancer." As he sang "the hardest part of this is leaving you," he ended the concert.
The fans yelled for an obligatory encore, and MCR came back to please the crowd with "Desert Song." The lighters and cellphones were whipped out to provide the brilliant glow of a true rock concert. The night was an unforgettable romance with the lads of MCR, fugacious though it might be. - Gabriel Leong
On tour: The band performing at Stadium Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur Sunday night.KUALA LUMPUR:
My Chemical Romance, playing before more than 10,000 fans, racked up a storm in the rain in their first-ever concert in Malaysia at Stadium Merdeka here last night.
Currently riding the waves all over the world with their Black Parade tour, the American group played for about an hour after local punk band One Buck Short and rapcore outfit Pop Shuvit pumped up the crowd with the opening acts.
Formed in 2001 and reputedly the hottest name after Linkin Park, the quintet of Gerard Way (vocalist), his brother Mikey (bass guitar), guitarists Ray Toro, Frank Iero and drummer Bon Bryar were here as part of the world tour.
The atmosphere was electrifying as they belted out their hits like Famous Last Words, Helena and I Don’t Love You.
The tour has taken them to Japan, Australia, Britain and Mexico.
The boys were late. Here we are, me and my gf and countless hundreds of people waiting outside the venue. Thank God it didnt rained. The show was supposed to start at 8pm. Guess what, it started only at 9.00pm and ended at about 10.30pm. I was certainly not dressed up for attending this gig reason being, its a working day and I am just too lazy to change my outfit.
MCR started off with How I Disappear, and carry on with many of their hits from Black Parade. My personal favourite was Cancer. it was just vocals and the piano and lights off. Gerard did try to build some rapport with the crowd. But anyway think he fell flat. And the speakers sound seems a tad high on the treble. Nevertheless I am impressed with the pianist showing off his skills. The show ended with the single Famous Last Words with everyone jumping like popping popcorns.
Not everyone was enjoying the show though. On my right was this couple with girl certainly enjoying herself while her bf just stood there. At one juncture, she even asked her bf to move away from her so that she can have more room to dance.
Here are some pics taken with my hp. We enjoyed the concert nevertheless. All sweaty, think I am getting a bit too old for this energy zapping concerts. And cant help thinking as well that the concert in KL was more worth it as they had some local acts opening up the show. That beats standing outside the venue waiting for MCR to start off the show.
Our old school friend, Jenny stopped over in Spore and we managed to catch up with her over dinner. Jenny and us goes a long way back. We knew here from secondary school, and when she migrated over with her family to New Zealand and then to Australia, we still kept in touch. The wonders of technology made it happen.
Anyway, I am always imbued with a sense of pride that we are still tight despite after all these years. Mein on the left by the way has gave birth to a cute baby boy, and they are calling him Shawn. Got the news 2 days ago. Congratulations to Teik and Mein. And welcome Shawn to our circle of brotherhood.
Malaysia has been in the news lately for the wrong reasons. The recent Hindraf protest has certainly drawn alof attention from Britain and the Indian govt, not to mention the international press.
However one things for certain, graft has been a constant feature in Malaysia and this certainly cast a dark cloud over the government's resolve in battling this cancer from spreading. Because it seems like the disease has deeply engraved itself in the way of life for every Malaysians.
This brings to mind the first ever temptation that was thrown to Mahatma Gandhi when he was showered with gifts from the Natal Indians. Here is an excerpt from his autobiography.
"The gifts received in 1896 and 1901 were all returned. A trust-deed was prepared, and they were deposited with a bank, to be used for the service of the community, according to my wishes or to those of the trustees.Often, when I was in need of funds for public purposes, and felt that I must draw upon the trust, I have been able to raise the requisite amount, leaving the trust money intact.
The fund is still there, being operated upon in times of need, and it has regularly accumulated.I have never since regretted the step, and as the years have gone by, my wife has also seen its wisdom.
It has saved us from many temptations.I am definitely of opinion that a public worker should accept no costly gifts."
I believe thats just one of the many reasons why the world has looked upon Gandhi as a reflection of purity that transcends time and space.
For a movie that compels me to read its book after watching it, you can certainly say for sure that its certainly left a lasting impact on me. Last year, I watched the movie Hotel Rwanda which starred Don Cheadle as a hotel manager of Milles Collines that saved 1,268 people or to be more exact, 1,268 Tutsis.
So recently I grabbed his autobiography, An Ordinary Man - Paul Rusesabagina. And call it a double whammy, but the book left me feeling how ordinary people with the correct upbringing can change many people lives. And Paul did exactly just that. In the midst of the genocide in Rwanda, he stood out using his skills in the art of persuasion, and his valuable political connections, how he saved many Tutsis from being slaughtered by Hutus militias.
Kinda hard for me to summarize the essence of the story of this 1994 genocide in Rwanda, but what I suggest is that watch the movie Hotel Rwanda, then read the book. It certainly left a very deep impression in me on how one man's courage saved so many lives.