Tuesday, February 15, 2011

You Can But I Can't?

This is just a short entry based on the following question: If liberals expect conservatives to allow them the freedom to practice their religion in whatever form they want, then shouldn't the same freedom be accorded to conservatives?

I am far from a conservative (seriously, I'm not), but I do wonder whether the liberals agenda is not merely limited to promoting freedom of religion, but actually to prevent the practice of a conservative form of religion? (I can't comment much for other religion in other countries. Here, it's quite clear that I'm referring to Islam in Malaysia). And from my observation, it seems like the liberals have slowly labeled even the most basic observance of Islam as being conservative.

Take for example the wearing of a hijab. Some liberals immediately label these ladies as conservatives. I always thought conservatives means more strict obedience, and if wearing a hijab is actually a BASIC MUST, how can it be considered an act of conservatism? It's like saying a cop is a conservative cop for not taking bribes. Cops are NOT supposed to take bribes, so calling someone who is just actually doing what he's supposed to do a conservative (or straight) is illogical.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I do believe that in Islam, a true believer must not only accept that Islam is a way of life and practice its tenets diligently, but also take on the responsibility to promote the Islamic way of life and prevent any acts not in accordance to Islamic principles. This is the base point, and as such, I cannot find fault with anyone who advises me on what is actually something I should already be well-aware and doing.

I mean, if someone comes to me and starts telling me I should be more disciplined when it comes to prayers, I shouldn't snap and be angry. He's not being a conservative or a fundamentalist. He's actually just doing what all good Muslims are supposed to do. Sometimes I forget that. And though I may choose to ignore him, I cannot, with any clear conscience, ostracize him for telling me the truth.

I am in agreement that what we do is between us and God. But we must not be extreme enough to automatically reject any form of advice from those who are in a better position to think about these issues than us. At worst, we should just smile and say thank you. If you're really open-minded, then you should be open-minded enough to accept that there are some people out there who believe in things differently. If you're really open-minded, then you must accept that there will be close-minded people out there. If not, you're no worse than the close-minded folks you are so quick to criticize.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Oh Fasha, Please Reply My Tweet...Not

Sorry & Thank You

I apologize for the long absence from this blog. I'm sure by now readers are quite used to (1) the once a month sporadic blog posts (2) me apologizing for the once a month blog posts.
Then again, I can't be sure because I don't think I've got enough regular readers to get used to anything I do on this blog. Bah. So if this is your first time, I'd like to say...GET A LIFE.

Overwhelmed With Twitter

I did promise last year that I'd blog again more regularly. Unfortunately, at the same time, I installed the Twitter app on my BlackBerry. Lo and behold, Twitter has overtaken blogging or even FB status as my No.1 venting outlet. When you let go of steam (ie. Tweet) every time you take a break, or shit in the toilet, you kinda lose the momentum to come up with well-formed arguments, relying instead on short 140-characters barbs to voice my thoughts on everything and anything. Guess I'm as good at keeping my promises as the next politician.

I'm only following around 50 people, yet I feel overwhelmed reading their tweets. It could occupy your entire hour if you're not careful and prone to clicking on all the interesting links your friends RT. If you don't know what RT is, it's Rukun Tetangga. Yes, my friends are mostly part of them. That's why they seldom get robbed. Because their neighborhood's RT. Go figure.

My final comment on Twitter is this: Why is there a need to follow everyone and everything if your close friends are already busy RT interesting things from these other people? And yes, my Twitter account is protected (by RT, for the dimwits) but if my friends are reading this, feel free to request (@jimiecheng). Yeap. I don't approve all. You can ask my wife.

Celebrities & Twitter

While on the subject of Twitter, I can't help but note that a lot of Malaysian celebrities are into Twitter faster than they were with Facebook Page/Fans. It's amazing to see the number of followers (yes, Twitter is a cult) they garner. Lisa Surihani (@lisasurihani) has about 80,000 fans. Fasha Sandha (@fashasandha1) has about 64k.

But funny things happen when celebrities get into arguments with their followers on Twitter, like Fasha Sandha and recently Ifa Raziah. I don't follow either of them but I do read some entertainment sites so it comes as a surprise that some of our artists are dumb enough to forget that people follow them BECAUSE they're celebrities. Celebrities live by a different code. I'm sorry but that's reality. If you can't accept it, then tough luck. If you can be proud and RT when people praise you, then you sure as hell should be ready when people diss you online.

The End of Facebook?

Far from me to be a sage and predict that, but the reality is that social network has changed a lot in the past few years. Every time one company gets too big, it'll be shot down into pieces. Just ask Friendster and MySpace (Apparently MySpace still has a lot of leftover Malaysians wanting to hook up for easy sex or lesbian company).

My point is that society has no affinity to an Internet brand to engender loyalty. Simply because the social network is fluid, and constantly rising/falling based on society's (hence the name social network) somewhat irrational pattern of behavior couple with technological advances that could make one mode of networking instantly outdated. The only pure dot-com brand that has truly survived since I FIRST started surfing is Yahoo, and even they have seen their dominance totally shattered by Google.

And now Google is being slowly overtaken by Facebook as the default page on people's browser. This see-saw battle for Internet dominance will continue into the near future. Which is why it amazes me that Facebook can be valued at USD 40 billion - for another Internet company that depends ON ADVERTISING for the bulk of its revenue! Anyway, I know things will go belly-up when Mark Zuckerberg is valued more than Steve Jobs (a guy who actually produces something to sell).