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A Video on Global Warming : Which Road Would You Take? June 14, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's Philosophy, Environment.
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What this guy says has merit. Spread the word, people. Instead of blogging about that person who hate, or about whether the latest movie star’s fashion sense is atrocious, why not take the time to listen to this video – all the way until the end. After all, it’s only a few mouse clicks away. Just 9 minutes of your time, out of the 24 hours in a day that you have.

Here’s a more direct link to another site: Interesting Argument About Global Warming

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Are you earning your dream pay? June 13, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's Philosophy.
2 comments

I came across an interesting article on MSN.com earlier : Why your kids expect to be rich

In the article, the author wrote :

This poll of 1,000 Americans aged 13 to 18 from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds found that 73% believed they would earn “plenty of money” when they were adults. In fact, the teenage boys expected to make an average $174,000 annually. Teenage girls expected to earn $114,200.

That led me to thinking; what if we were to apply the same survey to the same number of Malaysian kids, from different backgrounds of the same age group? I have a feeling that we’ll find nearly the same numbers, or maybe more.

From viewing the jobs offered on job sites like Jobstreet.com or Jobsdb.com, it’s safe to assume that the basic salary offered ranges from MYR1200 – MYR1800 (USD333 – USD500) for nice, safe, desk jobs.  Perfectly alright – for a third world country.

However, it’s not alright for a country that runs an inflation rate that’s catching up to first world countries.

What do you think? Are you earning the dream pay you thought of when you were 16 years old?

Loss of the Cat June 6, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's Philosophy.
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Loga, the vocalist for Malaysian music group “Alleycats” has passed on.

May his soul rest in peace, and condolences to his family, especially his kids. At that age, between adulthood and childhood – losing a father is one of the worst things in the world, as I’ve experienced; so although I don’t know you, I share your pain.

My brothers all knew Loga (Penang being the small island that it is!); so I’m sure they have their own condolences to send.

Read up the feature about Loga today : http://star-ecentral.com/news/story.asp?file=/2007/6/6/music/17939924&sec=music

Jeff Ooi has some nice clips from Youtube on his blog and links to other articles:

http://www.jeffooi.com/2007/06/sampaikanlah_salam.php#trackback

What Were You Doing on ‘The 20th Day Of September’? June 6, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Amir Muhammad, Drowmage's Philosophy, Local Filmmakers, Malaysian Movies, The 20th Day of September.
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Amir Muhammad’s doing it again. He’s getting set to ruffle more feathers in the stoid set of society lions, and numerous other groups with a new film, this time about the day the phrase reformasi (reformation) was uttered not by a selected few, but by thousands in this country.

Check out the blog : http://20september.blogspot.com . It consists of a compilation of interviews done with a number of people who were watching, passing by, or part of the event that day. Mighty interesting stuff, and real informative too. Who says you don’t learn anything reading blogs?

No matter what people say, you have to totally respect Amir. I remember meeting him once at a screening of Fat Bidin‘s Look-East film, and asked him about the ban on his film ‘Village People Radio Show‘. He wasn’t too thrilled about the ban, but was going to re-appeal. In the meantime, Singapore was kind enough to not give two cents about banning a film that their brothers across the causeway had made noise over, so Amir was looking forward to the day the film opened there.

(I saw stills and a few clips of the interviews done for ‘Village People Radio Show‘. Just like any other documentary, stories from the survivors’ perspective. Nothing to ‘corrupt’ the young minds of this country today, I must say – so why the fuss?)

Back to the original topic  – does anyone really remember the 20th of September in 1998? I sure as hell don’t. I was only 18 then, and if I’m not mistaken, was getting ready to be utterly pissed drunk and smashed at a friend’s birthday celebration that night.

Years later, when I think back, I realize that the reason I didn’t remember what happened to the country was because I was afraid. Back then, if you even so much as uttered a word about what had happened – you wouldn’t know if the person around you was for the issue, or against it.

I remember a close friend of mine, Edzral, who months later came back from Uni (somewhere in Kelantan or Terengganu) for the holidays, and told me how he had joined the Youth group of Keadilan in the Uni.

I flatly told him that I valued our friendship more than anything else in the world – and told him that we would both keep our opinions of the whole issue to ourselves and never bring it up in a conversation ever.

Not because I was for or against what had happened (and neither am I even taking sides now, preferring to not give a damn). But because I didn’t want him getting arrested (it was a very sensitive time then), or me getting into trouble for discussing such things.

Now that times have changed, and with the wide use of the Internet; people have changed too. Sometimes not for the better, but at least, with a more open-mind.

So, I rise up my glass (of water, sadly I don’t try to get intoxicated anymore) to Amir for constantly trying to bring the truth to his films,  and for always pushing the limits. There are few local filmmakers out there who can safely attest to the fact that they are not governed by the sensitivities of the Censorship board, but bound by their art.

So, Jasdevism, when’s your turn?

Here’s some interesting bits I dug out – what does the 20th of September mean to other people outside Malaysia?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_20

Wiki has an paragraph about that special day in Malaysia :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaysian_politics

My England Damn Powderfull leh… May 18, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's Philosophy, Random Thoughts.
2 comments

No, I haven’t gone mad and forgotten how to write proper English. The title is a tribute to all those who graduated from places like the U.S., Australia, and England, but can’t speak a damn word of English.

Had a good laugh at this post by a man who’s apparently only 62% Evil.

Since moving to the city, I’ve learnt a whole new range of lingo. Apparently all the so-called graduates I’ve encountered seem to be good at butchering the English language. Here are some examples:

Situation A: Requesting that the customer repeat himself.
Normal terminology used: “Pardon Me?”
Real-Life Encounter: Hold orn, arhhhh…..

Situation B: Thanking someone.
Normal terminology used: “Thank you”
Real-Life Encounter: Wer’cum (a shortened version of ‘Welcome’, said with a heavy Chinese accent)

Situation C : Requesting for someone to move aside as you maneuver through the shopping complex.
Normal terminology used: “Excuse me.” (in a polite manner)
Real-Life Encounter: ‘X-KIUS!! (must be said in loud annoying voice.)

I’m curious to know … how did they graduate from those universities in the first place?? Their Eng-rand* is damn powderfull**…..

*English
**powerful

Tales from a Call Centre #1: Liar Liar, Pants on Fire May 10, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's Philosophy, Drowmage's rants, Tales from a Call Centre.
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I’ve recently come to a realization that all call centres are full of liars. They’ll lie about when you’ll get your delivery, they’ll lie about the price of the stuff you’re getting, they’ll lie about why you keep getting blue screen on your system – heck they’ll lie just to get you off the phone so that they can log off 5 minutes before their shift ends.

I left the a really good sales job in a call centre because of the very same lying crap. We had a special promotion that fine week for Item X, which could be delivered within a week. With Christmas looming round the corner – the customers were going ape-nuts over the promotion, and clogging up our phone lines trying to place their orders.

I took a call from a guy somewhere in Australia, who didn’t want Item X, but something else – let’s call it Item A – which needed more than a week for delivery. However, Aussie guy wanted it in a week.

“Anything you can do to get it to me sooner? It’s for my son for Christmas,” he asked.

“No, I’m really sorry sir. I can get it to you after Christmas.”

“Are you sure? Can’t you do anything?”

“I can try, but it wouldn’t be fair if I promised you delivery before Christmas, and you don’t get it by then. Would it be alright if we could deliver it after?”

The guy thought for a bit, and made a decision. “I’ll have to cancel the order then.”

I could have made quite a bit from that one sale; IF I LIED.

But I didn’t. “Would you like to reconsider that?”

“No, thanks. I’ll have to go to Harvey Normans’ instead.”

So, I lost a customer, who went to pick up a sub-par item instead to make his kid happy.

My trainer asked me what happened. I told him.

“Why didn’t you just sell it to him anyway?” trainer – let’s call him Stripey, based on his wardrobe – questioned me.

“Er… because he’s going to get hell pissed when he gets the shipment waayyyy after Christmas….” I countered. “Then he’ll call, screaming for blood…”
You’ll never guess what he said to me next.

“If he calls, just put him through to Customer Service then. They’ll handle him, and you still get the sale.”

Biggest wtf moment ever. (There’s more, but I think I need to create a separate blog just for that). How do you justify lying and letting someone else clean up your mess, just for a damn sale?

So, 2 months later, I high-tailed out of there (why two months, you may ask? Because I needed to find another job first, of course) to a different state, and took a Hell Desk job.

But that’s a different story, for a different day.

The Drowmage’s Top Ten List : Cinema Etiquettes For the Movie-Goer April 10, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's Philosophy, Drowmage's rants, Drowmage's Top Ten List.
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Eons ago, our ancestors were nothing more than barbarians, walking with their simian brothers across the dense forest. However, as time passed, they learned to use their cognitive abilities and communication skills, evolving into a species which was considered more supreme than those which had existed for millions of years on this revolving sphere of gas, rock and water.

As societies began to form, and man created rules and social etiquettes to distinguish himself from the lower dregs of society, he considered himself to be a civil being, worthy of a higher station in life.

Yet, fast forward all of that to the year 2007, we haven’t changed much from our ape-like brethren. People drive like they have something stuffed up their rear end (the body, not the car), and create the boundaries between race, religion and even gender, for reasons of power than anything else.

But I digress…

Here’s a top ten list of cinema etiquettes which every movie-goer should have:

1. Don’t talk during a movie. EVER. Nobody forked out money to hear you give away the entire plot in your know-it-all voice, so shut your yap.

2. Don’t grope, kiss, fondle, and all the sick things couples do during a movie. Get a damn room, and if you can’t afford one, chances are that you’re under-aged. You know what that means.

3. Don’t bring in your smelly lunch, covered in six different sauces of undistinguishable origins, and smothered in garlic. Even a hotdog is pushing the limit. I don’t want to smell your food just as the Spartans fight for their glory with blood.

4. Don’t kick my chair. I know how to kick back, possibly aiming for your head.

5. Don’t answer your phone. Heck, don’t even switch it on – because the bright lights from your fancy gadget shining in my damn eyes everytime you flip it open to check for a message from your be-yotch might be the last thing you see.

6. Don’t be late. When you buy your ticket, look at the time stated there. An 11 o’clock show doesn’t mean you walk in at half past 11, saunter down the aisle in the dark looking for your seat and blocking everyone else’s view. Don’t go giving me that whole “Malaysian time” crap; have some common sense.

7. Don’t bring your kids under the age of 3. Hell, don’t bring them if you can’t keep them from screaming on the top of their voices. And what kind of parent brings their kids to watch an 18PL rating “Children of Men” anyway? You enjoy them laughing when people’s heads get shot? Freak.

8. Don’t snore. Don’t fall sleep. If you couldn’t keep your eyes opened for the movie, you shouldn’t have paid for the ticket. Movie reviews exist to tell you whether the movie sucked or not.

9. Don’t keep waving your plastic bag around as you try to dig into it for the last few chips that fell in there – the damn thing makes noise. I’m missing crucial moments here, and that don’t make me a happy person.

And last but not least, (you know who you are) :

10.Don’t ask me questions during the movie. I have no idea why that man shot the other guy, or why the girl appears in two places at once. Do I look like a damn psychic?

Watching a movie in the cinema is a sacrilegious experience and each scene brings you into the story, so having interruptions and nuisances in between can make a very, very, agitated movie-goer.

Next up : Cinema etiquettes for the cinema workers

REAL Singers don’t need American Idol… March 2, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's Philosophy, Music, Music Videos, YouTube.
2 comments

“American Idol” has degenerated into a popularity contest – ever since the year Carrie Underwood actually won. I don’t even want to watch it anymore.

I did some free-surfing in YouTube and found this gem of a song, sung by a beautiful voice belonging to Katie Melua. Never heard of her, but I was enchanted by the song, and mesmerized by the music video… the concept of ‘face-off’ is tastefully done here..

The song is called “I Cried For You”

Check out her website : Katie Melua

See, real singers don’t need American Idol to know they’re good; they just are good.

Hurrah to Jennifer Hudson for winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress! I watched”Dreamgirls” and it was obvious she owned the whole movie – Beyonce (who’s become more of an entertainer, not a singer lately – I miss Destiny’s Child) was definitely on the poster to lend some ‘star-power’. Beyonce fans – don’t throw something at me just yet! and go watch “Dreamgirls”, and listen out for the song “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”. Jennifer Holliday owned that song on Broadway; and now Hudson owns it on the silver screen.

Should a Journalist Have Guts? February 27, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's Philosophy, Drowmage's rants.
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I found myself asking this question a few minutes ago, after reading the most classic lines from a new writer at work who wrote an email to a local filmmaker, asking some questions for an article. (I’m not going to repeat them here, but I’ve got the say I love the filmmaker’s retorts.) It made me recall a few press conferences which I’ve attended last year that made me cringe several times over.

The same thing happens everytime: We all sit, emcee does the introductions, the filmmaker/producer/guest-of-honour/actor talks. Then the floor is opened to the good journalists sitting there, who originally went to watch the free movie and pick up some freebies. An uncomfortable silence occurs. A few minutes pass. Then I give up and ask a question, or someone from The Star asks a question first. Then maybe another 5 or 6 questions (if we’re lucky) gets thrown out, then everyone disperses for the free food or goes off.

The best part is, there are normally 10 -20 other journalists in the fracking room. So why are less than 5 actually doing the work? Someone once told me that it’s because of two things; one is that they want to have an exclusive with that particular person only, so they corner said person after the event. Second, is that they don’t dare to ask questions (shy).

Why are you a journalist if the word shy even exists in your vocabulary?

Tomorrow I get to babysit the noob and ask questions for an event that I’m not even writing about. Not even getting paid, darn it. Apparently the noob may be quite possibly too scared or shy to ask questions (from the apparent rumours at the office).

No more nice Drowmage, time for me to push back. Time to make these shy journalists swallow that word.

Valentine’s Day – The stupidest idea man created is back February 14, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's Philosophy, Drowmage's rants, Valentine's Day.
4 comments

Pink, roses, cupids, fluttery hearts, candle light dinners, empty wallets, stress, last minute gifts, broken relationships, death, loss.

Yup. That about sums up Valentine’s Day.

It’s funny how something which no one even remembers how it came about is one of the most marketable days of the year. According to Wikipedia, there’s no fixed story on how Valentine’s day came about, just a bunch of scattered legends.

But hang on, why does everyone celebrate this day? Shouldn’t they be mourning? After all, some of the worst things have happened on the 14th of February, on this so-called day of love. And lest you feel that you should celebrate this day no matter what, check first if it’s against your religion. I’ve even had friends tell me how they broke up with someone on this day. Or decided to cheat on someone else on this day.

But I like the way Sheih from Kickdefella wrote about Valentine’s Day:

“She has given a child all the loves he needs from their parents. She has sacrifice her needs, her future and above all, her life for our sakes. Well, all mums are made in heaven, and I am glad to know that one day, she will returns to Eden where she deserved it more than anyone I knew.

She, The Superwoman, deserved the roses more that any other woman on the Valentine’s Day. My roses will be for my one and only Superwoman. “

But why wait till one day of the year to show your love to someone? What’s so great? Why treat your loved one in a such a special way, one day of the year – when you can do that everyday?

What is it with women who have this unbelievably stupid need to be showered with expensive gifts this one day of the year?

What is it with men who have this stupid need to gratify these materialistic females?

I say, do away with the whole marketing gimmick, and treat your girl, or guy better every single day. I say this to all the wife-beaters, female trophies, gold-digging females, and cheating couples. If you had spent as much time treating your other half better 364 days a year, you wouldn’t be in such crap and need to spend hundreds on one fracking day.

So say we all.

Drowmage’s disclaimer : This is my opinion on this pathetic day, and if you don’t like it, there’s a nice X button above your browser. And no, I’m not an angsty single woman, I happen to be in a relationship with someone who shares the same view. So there.