Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Final, Pt.3 Turn Off The Tv ( by Dr Azly Rahman )

Reality of TV

Without advertisements and governments there won't be media. Those who owns media gets to own the means of colonizing other people's mind, including the minds of the producers.

Producers have to kowtow to the dictates of corporations and governments. Owners of TV stations have controlling interests in the government and vice versa. This is the picture of the interconnectivity of the production of truth and the truth of profit-making.

They are mental slaves in the production house of ideologies; whatever these ideologies may present themselves. They produce for environmental polluters, beer companies, credit card companies, electric companies, cartoon companies, and cigarette companies.

I am sure we know the relationship between advertising slots and TV programming. In the long run, these create good consumers and fewer good citizens that can think critically of the fate of society.

TV is can also be a good master and servant to governments; the more corrupt the government the more corrupt TV programming becomes.

All TV stations are ideological; they do not present the truth - they can never claim to present objective points of view, because these truths are funded by corporations and government. The biggest lie can get funded by the biggest corporate or governmental liars.

TV in a democratic country cannot necessarily be democratic. It is based on presenting seemingly democratic opinions but yet they are all well-crafted to make the audience feel that they are being presented with truth. Non-issues become issues. Villains become heroes. Anti-heroes die a million deaths. Reality is mediated by invented realities.

But is all TV useless?

Malaysian Reality Show

The best Malaysian TV is yet to come - full-length ‘live’ telecasts of the Malaysian parliamentary debates. This can be good for the nation. If we can have a machine to vote for the most presentable politician weekly, we would be on our way to teaching our children what political accountability means. Political accountability can contribute to higher levels of civic consciousness.

Weekly tallies of good intellectual performance, coupled with good track record to no-corrupt acts, and good non-tax-evasion record - all these will help TV viewers enjoy the political game-show and decide on which politician should stay or be axed out.

I think our elected officials are ready for Malaysian Parliamentary TV. It will be a good way to educate Malaysians, especially the younger generation, of the political process, of participatory democracy, of the ethics of politics, of the power of the political intellect, and of powerful rhetoric.

That will be the promising world of good TV. That will be reality TV, Unlike the news reporting we get these days. News reports are massaged truth. Documentaries are longer versions of massaged truth.

TV stations hire more and more good researchers to produce better and better massaged truths.

Al-Jazeera is a station of propaganda of the Qatar government. Fox News is the station of propaganda par excellence of corporate America. The same goes with Malaysian TV stations. They all produce massaged truths. They broadcast points of view that are politically correct. These are propaganda stations that destroy our journey through the stations of the soul.

The human mind is made to be fragmented by these alternate truths. In the long run, the mind creates the self that reproduces itself into a walking and talking "worldview that is shaped by propaganda".

With private and public TV, we are sucked into the world of false consciousness, of make-believe, and of other people's stories.

So essentially the human self cannot escape from being enslaved by ideologies. TV producers, owners, politicians, educators, parents and teenagers must learn how to recognise false consciousness and massaged truths.

But one must first switch off the idiot box and pull out the cable.

Parents, teachers, educators, TV producers, community leaders, politicians - I interrupt this essay with an important public announcement: read books, discuss big ideas, have meaningful conversations, destroys screen idols.

Buy books

To help children increase their capacity to think, I would suggest we unsubscribe to cable TV, switch off the channels, and begin a programme of TV-detoxification. This might be akin to a rehabilitation programme for TV addiction.

The new daily diet must be of books - good books of the various traditions and disciplines.

Reading is a special psycho-linguistic activity that helps the mind create images out of sounds, syllables, words, concepts, sentences, phrase, alliteration, personification, onomatopoeia, and other strategies designed to make the mind active - the very stuff that helps the brain create and imagine.

It trains the brain in a different way. It does not, like TV, make the brain docile and ready to be raped and subdued.

When the brain is subdued, the mind becomes colonised, and the body becomes a location for consumption. We become consuming bodies that are produced by TV advertising. Satellite owners will benefit. The aim of TV is to sell dreams, turning the life of economic beings into nightmares.

First tier media giants - AOL-Time Warner, Walt Disney, Bertelsmann, Viacom, AT&T, SONY, Vivendi Universal and Rupert Murdoch - will benefit. Hollywood and Bollywood will benefit.

Buy your child 100 books instead of subscribing to 100 channels. Have quiet reading times instead of living multiple realities created by TV. Get them to understand what it means to have their own stories, and to be makers of their own history rather that be turned into consumers manipulated by TV.

Kids grow smarter around books. Teach them what TV is trying to teach. Or better stilll -- teach them to speak up against injustices and how to transform the world. Teach them to become radical thinkers, armed with poetry and passion, reason and revolution.

But first, turn off that TV. For, the world created by television is too much for our children. They will grow old having four eyes and no mouth.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Elegy : Handwritten Tragedy

Dancing by the window,
Tiptoeing in vain,
Chilly winds of May,
Kicking everything in,
This theory of pain,
Is driving her insane,
Driving her insane,
The sound of your windpipe,
Bursting within,
Inspiring restraints,
Wolves each in hindsight,
Unleashed in packs,
Tell me why is it this way?
Even the blind could notice,
One seat fifteen to deliver,
Struggling to step over,
We're all paranoids,
Terrified by shadows,
Creeping in our beds,
Market the youths,
All the unnecessary truths,
Fads makes them amused,
Trapped in fun filled guilt,
Make them brainwashed,
Overwrite the codes instead.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Part Two: Turn Off The TV ( by Dr Azly Rahman)

Cruel choices

TV provides cruel choices. One is glued to the set, armed with the remote control. Especially with satellite TV with those many channels, children become glued to the idiot box. Observe what will happen to society when we have more and more channels.

The brain cells get excited at the end of every good TV programme. If it's a game show, the self glued to the TV gets transported in time and space to participate in the illusion of winning and losing. If it's a soap opera, the self becomes the actor or actress in the story in the process of the imitation of life.

TV programmes provide hundreds of choices daily for one to engage in alternate-reality games.

In TV-land, democracy is about creating more and more money selling advertisements that will turn all of us into TV freaks and addicts of the idiot box. It is not about developing one's skills in stepping outside of society and looking at it like a crystal ball.

TV-land is the land of make-believe that is created to turn viewers into bodies that consume and continue to be consumed. It is a land of cut-throat culture industry that first positions humanity in front of the TV, bombards it with trillions of sound bytes and multi-coloured electronic images, and transforms it into wide-eyed consumers that will consume conspicuously. This is the strategy of those who owns TV stations and cable broadcast satellites.

Brilliant! But the goal is to profit from advertising, in the name of having choices in a democratic world of mass consumption, TV provides such democratic choices. Cable TV provides the most choices in the presenting of propaganda.

‘TV is producing us’

TV creates human beings. American idols create idols to be worshipped. The Malaysian Idol, a transmutation of the American programme creates the human self that is to be made into an idol to be further worshipped via tabloid, radio, and TV.

TV can turn the kampung boy or girl into a demi-god who will then be transformed into an idol - an icon, a walking and talking billboard, a symbol of protest, a sign and symbol of this or that, a spokesperson for this and that organisation that will pay the most, a mascot for a political party. All these are creations of the well-trained media brains behind TV programming.

Want to be a famous politician? Control the media. Have it glorify you. Want to last long? Control it for more than 20 years. Have it make you into an idol or an icon. Learn from despotic rulers.

In the creation of Malaysian Idol, people love to see others humiliated in the name of creating that one particular idol. The nation enjoys that; like the Romans enjoying the gladiator thrown into the arena. Then the movie star or the music star is created, TV addicts and TV freaks read junk tabloids to keep up with news of the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Children will forget the hero within themselves. Their hero will be outside of themselves. To be - is to be like somebody else.

One cannot live that lifestyle but one can certainly be identified with it. TV is thus watching what human beings watch and therefore recreates human beings that are consumed by these images controlled by people who want to turn us into consumers.

Politicians who control the media (print or broadcast media) are also controlling the process of producing propaganda. But first, the politician must buy the media so that he/she will be recreated, just like the Malaysian Idol is created.

See how the modern media works? Sublime and subversive. Imagine what 100 channels can do to the human mind. Imagine what they can do to society.

Those watching American Idol get stoned on other people's fame and fortune, just like those who watch Wheels of Fortune do not realise that they watch the game show to forget that they may be in a wheel of misfortune themselves.

TV is a clever mass producer of dreams. Dreams can be in English, Malay, Chinese, Tamil, Urdu or Arabic. Whoever is clever and has the skills to create, can become dream-merchants peddling dreams. Electronic dreams are sublime. They wash away sorrows of the real world.

Bollywood is an industry. Malaysians especially have been conditioned to love Hindustani movies because they have been around since the early days of TV. Many Malaysians are of the south Indian stock, and therefore Bollywood helps Malaysians get stoned glued to TV in the modern age.

Bollywood sells well. Soap operas are a great hit with Malaysian housewives because that's the time to be glued to advertisements. Soap operas make housewives and house-husbands cry a lot because of the power of subliminal seduction. Soap operas sell soaps so that consumers can have fresher dreams daily, in a world corrupted by realpolitik. But the best part is to turn viewers into happy and stoned consumers. While housewives and househusbands shed real tears, the producers and TV station owners shed crocodile tears.

Is this the meaning of life? Aren't we supposed to destroy idols and the Neon gods - and rediscover the ‘Self’ within?

to be continued..inshaAllah

Friday, April 24, 2009

Part One :Turn Off The TV (by Dr.Azly Rahman)

a brilliant piece from Dr.Azly Rahman

watch the programme, the higher the ratings, the more expensive the advertising slot.

We are watching too much TV. We have way too many channels that disseminate a variety of propaganda, sell dreams and illusions, create false consciousness, discuss non-issues, fragment the self, and numb our creative and critical senses.

Our children are bombarded with thousands of images daily as they sit passively in front of the television set. Their brain cells are slowly being turned into miniature advertising billboards.

These billboards become field of dreams and consciousness, turning the self into whatever the producers of propaganda wish them to turn into. These brain cells are conditioned by the nano-technology in smart TV programming.

TV is a powerful weapon of mass deception. TV is the mother of inner battles in all human beings. It is slowly killing the mental capacity of our children to sustain reading and to engage in critical reflection. An uncritical mind is a fertile ground for mental colonisation. A mind, essentially, is a terrible thing to waste.

Print and broadcast media are powerful tools of propaganda. While many Malaysian parents struggle to have their children read well so that they may not be perpetually confused and brain dead, TV is rigorously producing more and more programmes that will make children have four eyes and no mouth. Their mind cannot sustain good reading.

How many TV channels are there in Malaysia to help baby-sit the children? How many hundreds of programmes are we watching weekly to turn us into scatterbrained people?

How many different lifestyles of the rich and famous are we exposed to, so that we may learn to become replicas of the stars of Hollywood and Bollywood? How many universities in Malaysia are teaching critical media analysis?

Selling them junk

The owners of the satellites are smiling from the heavens looking down at Malaysians opiated and stoned in front of the TV set. The mantra is this: Feed the masses with all the ads and sell them junk through TV programmes. Sell them dreams so that they will buy and buy and let the media control and create their lives.

Whoever controls TV gets to control storytelling. Whoever controls the station controls the means of producing mass propaganda. Whoever controls the government controls the means of controlling the minds of the people. It is a mind-control game.

We learn from TV programmes. We learn to have choices of what to buy and what to believe through the propaganda. One is made to have choices to believe what kind of information is to be funneled into one's brain and next what kind of reality to believe, based on those presented by TV.

Malaysians complain that they only read half a page of a book a year on average, but why not complain that more and more TV stations are sprouting racing with one another to produce more and more sophisticated junk.

Producers have their ideological biases in what they produce. They answer to profiteers. Whatever sells can and ought to be mass-produced. The more people watch the programme, the higher the ratings, the more expensive the advertising slot.

Producers are not interested in producing ‘truth’. They think they are depicting ‘reality’ and therefore we see ‘reality shows’ to exploit human gullibility.

What is Malaysian TV producing? Better programmes or better propaganda?

One is bombarded by split-second images that hits the brain and colonise the mind.

Watch a 30-second commercial when you're tired, and you will discover that you are not watching TV, but the TV is watching you and washing your senses with subliminal messages that makes propaganda artsy and scientific be continued...inshaAllah :D

Monday, April 20, 2009

Di Ambang Maut

I would say yesterday was a close shave,

Aku hampir2 tercabut,
Akan nyawaku yang murahan ini,
Murah sangat dengan dosa,
Mahal sangat dengan pahala..

(ok ok, i wont write a poem,sheesh)

Aku dalam perjalanan pulang ke rumah selepas menghantar rakanku,
There's two ways to get back to my place,
Sama ada aku guna jalan belakang,
Or the other road,

I always am reminded of how people will always mention " whatever it is your heart's telling you at the right moment, stick by it!! "

But I didnt listened, just like everybody else

Maka digunakanlah jalan belakang,
So, to get to my housing area,
Ada lah satu simpang tiga ni,
And the road at that particular time, 1.07am, wasnt busy.
So as I was approaching the traffic light,
On the other side of the road,
Aku nampak motor yang telah menghancurkan divider jalan,
And also I saw a body lying unconcious on the road, ALONE.

Just imagine, takdak orang langsung attend to this guy,
So I startled myself and I hurried myself to corner without
looking at the traffic light (which,yes,was already red)

Memang aku salah, aku mengaku,
Tapi the only thing that was going through my mind at that time
is that, the guy needs medical attention, and that no one is there
to help him off the road, just in case anyone else bangs him, he's done for.

So as I rushed into the corner,
Another car was coming the other way,
It wasnt there just now,
But when I needed to make a stunt, it's there.
Aku hampir hampir head's on collision dengan that car,
Both cars screeched their own brakes and almost got in each others way,
I went off and stop and quickly rushed to the guy's aid,

Badan dia macam terlipat sikit,
(I'm sorry for not having pictures but just imagine it, ok?)
The guy was apparently unconcious and I tried to check if he's still alive,
Indeed ,thank God he is still alive, I felt his pulse,

By that time,
Org dah mula ramai,
Biasalah orang Malaysia ni,
When it comes to accidents kan, mesti penuh berjela,
Tapi tadi awal2 takdak pun.

So as more people started to crowd themselves to death,
I decided it's time to move before I myself would take a place on the

p/s: Saya bersyukur kerna maseh bernyawa dan bernafas dalam lumpur maya yang tidak lama lagi akan membuatkan kita semua tenggelam.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Elegy - Conundrums of Today

These charlatans,
These old dissemblers.

Running about,
Pigs without its snout.

Loud, my they were loud,
Preaching towards the clouds.

Wanting to wait,
Desiccating of Euphrates,
Miasmas to never not dissipate,
Because this world they love to hate,

Is coming to its fate.

Liar Liar,
Your pants ain't on fire,
They're covered in your saliva,
Mouthed out from your biretta.

This condescending truth,
Its written proof.

Ever since they'd been cast out,
They're committed to perplex us,
They'd promised a bout,
In order to keep us out,
A place we would gleam about.

Disregard your hindsight,
Your body takes a fight,
This soul in a plight.

Stoop down below,
Shallow, very shallow,
This seeds you haven't sow.
Ploughed later to bestow,
A better tomorrow.

This promise I rather you keep.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Kemarin, Dalam Sejarah


I strapped my helmet on and glanced at my watch, it was exactly 7.35am.
I was to make my way to the Hospital.

Antara hobi2 pelik saya ketika menunggang motorsikal adalah menyanyi sorang diri,
Well it keeps me awake and alert, so I'd sing every time I'm bored.

On the way, jalan pun macam lenggang, pelik, because every Friday, in Penang there will be masses of cars, as though there's a conundrum amongst the drivers and that they want to flock the roads in Penang indefinitely.

As I was bored, I started singing,
"And it's just like you, Won't ever stop crying, Not the real thing, Not the real tha, Ehuk hak hak hak"

A freaking bug got into my mouth, tak la warna mcm ni, but it stunk, greatly.

Left me with an unpleasant taste in my mouth.

Well, that thought me a bloody lesson.

Dont drink& Drive they'd say?...I'd tell them "Don't sing whilst on the motorbike" for now.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Pee Pee As Emm Aii

What if I'd tell you I'm on the fence for this one?


I'm all confused whether this is one of the many political struggles happening within the country in which I'd rather not comment about or is it a movement that wants whats best for others.
Well for whatever it is, PPSMI has it's pro's and cons.


In my honest opinion, PPSMI, in spite the claims of it helping students get to grips with English better, is totally FALSE.

The fact that the students are scoring their science and math subjects respectively doesn't mean that they have total control of their English.

No,no,no no no. NO, it's not that simple, for what they have mastered is science and maths, nothing more and nothing less.

In all honesty, if they plan to produce students with exceptional English speaking abilities then the thing they need to address is how did they present English education to these students and in what way could they improve the teaching system.

Frankly, I think so far it has failed, because we continue to produce if not a lot surely a healthy number of students who could write grammar error free articles but when asked to present and talk, would still be struggling to conjure up the words they would like to say.

Well not everyone is bestowed with the gift to be able speak proficiently, that is why we need to roughen up the diamonds, make em' shine.

also states that a lot of the talk from some quarters students who enter matriculation or higher institutions would undergo "English Medium Shock" as not entirely true.

I'd like to think it didn't really affect any of us, but the fact that it did really disturbs me, greatly.

If we continue to assume that everyone could go through their schooling years learning in Bahasa then could quickly grasp the idea of learning their respective courses in matriculation/university level in English with new and different terms, then sooner rather than later we would find out that NOT everyone is picking up.

My stand is that they need to reassess the situation and improve an awful lot in context of the English education, in order to have students who are capable in understanding,writing and speaking proficiently in the near future.

CLUSTER Schools& Their Roles?
The cluster schools are given freedom to alter their ways, and I think its high time they do so, what with the amount of money given by the govt they should be able to produce students who are best at both sports and studies.

And they could start by rectifying the English language situation.
They should allow the teachers to reach the students and allow them to be self-motivated in order to allow the students to get better grip of English, in the speaking sense.

Teachers should instill the motivation and emphasize on how pivotal English language could be for students, open up their minds and make them realize the very fact and the harsh reality of the world today. On how English language could be the difference between getting a job or facing unemployment.

With the cluster schools setting a shining example, I'm sure the other schools would follow suit and try their very best to improve the students.

I'm not taking any sides here, but I think cluster schools do have it's' advantage since it's been given the freedom and the responsibility to produce the cream of the crops, the students who are all rounders and are able to excel in almost everything.

Which ever way they would like to go its up to the people responsible to not allow the students to be mere lab rats in their experiments. I believe that all it takes is a little patience and a sense of determination along with critical thinking to allow us to understand and implicate whats best for future generations to come.

p/s: the writer has no affiliations with any political organizations or movements. peace :)