Thursday, November 30, 2006

Borat: An Essay

I saw ‘Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan’ today with Tjokro Aminoto. Before I go on with my essay, I must set a few facts straight about myself:

1. I do NOT support anti-Semitic statements in any way
2. This Essay is not a promotional tool to encourage one to watch the movie.
3. I am a person who believes in God and I Love Him very much
4. I like getting my hands dirty by being involve in controversial arguments but I believe strongly that each argument eventually falls into only two categories. The Truth and the Lie.

The movie Borat is an incredibly crude, bold and disturbing piece of Guerilla-comedy filmmaking that will either leave you feeling entertained or will cuase you to walk out of the theater. As the saying goes, “Another man’s food is another’s poison”, the same can be applied for Borat. It is definitely not for the weak-hearted or the easily offended. How so? This movie not only exposes ‘taboo’ issues like homosexuality, feminism, anti-Semitism and sex, but rubs salt to the wounds of those negatively reeling from Post 911 attacks, the Iraq war, religion and other controversial issues that even Dave Letterman wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.

Clad with a cheap charcoal grey suit and sporting a thick mustache, Borat’s deep hatred for gypsies, obsession with Pamela Anderson, backwater sexist statements and anti-Semitic character boldly opens a closet full of skeletons. The outrageously funny scenarios are when his prejudices go unchallenged by his American interviewees and as amazing as it sounds, some even happily support it. When Borat walks into a gun shop asking for a recommendation for the ‘best gun to kill a Jew’, the shopkeeper doesn’t flinch or bat an eye lid but recommends a 9mm handgun. An anti-muslim 5 minute rant caught on camera by an American rodeo cowboy and other disturbing insights about the casual prejudices of the average American acts as the films powerful sleigh hammer to conventionality.

Like a spokesperson for everything politically incorrect, Borat breathes genuine originality and brilliant shocks to the reality television landscape filled with weak, mindless, incoherent junk. Baron Cohen who plays Borat is a man of firm Jewish Ethic foundations, happily married and is a forerunner in combating prejudices. Like the Former director of Jewish Public affair Larry Rubin says, “Cohen’s heart is in the right place”. The parts that offended me were the parts that Cohen manipulate truths in order to suit his perception to create further controversy.

In conclusion, whether or not you choose to avoid this film like a plague or happily embrace its stinging satire is up to you. For me, Borat is an unflinching, unrelentingly breathless 88-minute ride that takes you on a crude, gross, rib-tickling exposition of human prejudice.

I've had my say.

The Dugong

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Dead Kangaroo On My Plate


I had the priveledge of picking up Miss Lisa Han from the Airport last week (Sunday). Having roast lamb on a pita bread as a first meal in the beautiful land of melbourne, i do hope she enjoys her visit here in Melbourne. She says she's put on weight, but i honestly think she looks the same. A note to men reading this: Girls always say they put on weight NO matter how skinny they are! =P

Now, on to other things that happen this week.

Last Saturday: We renovated an old homeless feeding shelter. A couple of Urbs people painted, did gardening, sand paper-ing, sweeping, and basically all the other -ings to make the place waaayy better than before! God is amazing and His love for people has rubbed on to all of us. We had a tiring but ultimately gratifying experience renovating the shed. :D We Missed Juni though!

Monday: Went to Great Ocean Road! We drove for hours, walked on the beach, touched the beautiful waves, took some brilliant photos, ate good food, saw the stars and topped it off by watching the sun set from the Twelve Apostles. God is an amazing landscape artist! I will post up some photos in the next post.

Tuesday: Hung out in Smith Street. Bought an Adidas Shoe while my cousin Bought a Nike Cap and a dangerously fierce pair of Hiking Boots from Kathmandu.

Wednesday: Went to the night Market! I love it. I ate Kangaroo Meat!! I ate some Spanish Food and African Food! I ate Dutch Food! Dutch Pancakes! Exotic Corny Dog with weird 'Popiah-like' flour skin! Woot Woot! All in all, its AUD$70.. Waaaaaaa...

Its Been a great 4 days. Its been awesome!! Mind Blowing! As the End of the year approaches, i think it's safe to say this year has been really amazing for me! I'm using lots of '!' marks to show my excitement!

Looking forward to be back in Thailand and Maybe Malaysia!

God Loves ya Mates,

Sunday, November 12, 2006

THX 1138 – Technological Labyrinth & GOD

JB Hi-Fi. I have spent a year here in Australia and I can tell you that the worst, most evil place for a half-broke student in the land down under is JB Hi-Fi. Just ask Joshua or Herbs (Brodie). Joshua gives me a really cheeky grin whenever we talk about it as we reminiscence of the time when we went on an uncontrollable DVD shopping rampage a few months back. Sigh

Anyways, i bought a few new DVDs.

One of them is THX 1138.

THX waaa? Its George Lucas’s visionary first film that started out as his final semester short film project back in the 1960s. A commercial flop and way ahead of its time, the film is now remastered, re-edited and squeezed into a glorious 2 DVD set Director’s Cut.

For those of you who know me well, I AM a movie fanatic. Growing up reading about the fabled THX 1138 and hearing tales of its almost mythical beauty, I nearly cried when I pressed the play button. Dramatization is necessary when one blogs. Marlon Brando’s flinching in his grave.

Anyways, I watched the movie twice in one sitting. Getting up only for a cup of water and for a 12-minute nose-dig break. THX 1138 is an amazing movie. With minimal dialogue, superb technicality, brilliant usage of colors (white) and understated acting driving the momentum of the film, it manages to tell a story of a haunting future that sees economics and technology replacing freedom and love. A brilliant, crisps essay on perfected community, fragmented humanity. Shades of Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ steadi-cam techniques, Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ silent picture stills and Orson Welles ‘Citizen Kane’ heavy symbolism are scattered throughout the movie.

Themes of a mechanized religion, where mechanized priest promoting commerce and instant solutions through mandatory pacifying drugs prescriptions make THX 1138’s future a chilling yet strangely relatable future. In conclusion, not only does THX 1138 live up to all the hype of being an intelligent artistic triumph but proves that George Lucas, is a ‘kow-kow’ genius.

As I prepare for Urban life this Tuesday, I can draw a parallel line to our journey with God and the movie. Being on this journey, we can either chose to be ‘mechanized’, to expect God to move in a way that we’ve been ‘programmed’ to expect OR we can choose not to be satisfied and break free from the box of thinking/limiting how God will move. The bible says in 1 Corinthians 2:9 ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him’.

I believe and expect God to move in my life in a way I cannot comprehend. Do you?


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

To The Pits and Back!

Hey amazing people who read my blog,

Yes. I have not been blogging for the past month. I've been having exams and i've been frequently hanging out and looking cool in the library.

I haven't slept for more than 3 hours a day for the past 3 weeks. The Past 65 Hours, i have slept for 2 hours and 32 minutes. I just realised i have multiple ulsers on my upper, lower lip, tongue, my throat is swollen, eyes bloodshot, having eye-bags the size of mooncakes and i have had nose and gum bleeds due to a lack of sleep. I fractured my left Wrist 3 1/2 weeks ago and cracked my right wrist, Ulnar Styloid too. I am the living proof of one tough sonafagun.

But guess what? My final exams ended an hour ago.

And as i have promised some friends, I WILL blog about my past month.

But not now... Not now...

Because now...

It's time for me to sleep til the cows, chickens and rabbits come all the way home.

The Dugong