Showing posts from August, 2010

I Write: Loving Relationships

So recently the video by Rihanna and Eminem went big and caused a lot of discussion all over the blogosphere, but browmfemipower's post is the most compelling and is the one I would highly recommend anyone to read. It's challenging to read, because it doesn't speak to me. It's painful to read, because in a way, I'm one of the people she's pushing back against. But these are reasons why it is absolutely necessary I and everybody else have to read it. She doesn't want people linking to it because she gets shit from people who just can't grok with what she writes, because if you want an alternative perspective, she will give it to you, and it will be shoved into your mouth without benefit of the silver spoon that you're probably used to.

To Comfort the Disturbed, and Vice Versa

This is my third guest post at Jeff Vandermeer's Ecstatic Days. Which was supposed to be my second but it took a long time to write it. Original post here.

A few years ago, when I was a wee one in the social justice blogosphere (ok, who am I kidding, I still am), I read a quote that went, “Read six disturbing things a day.” A little after this, I ran across a saying, a kind of motto, that ran thusly: “Comfort the disturbed, disturb the comfortable.” 
The motto is a modified version of a longer saying about newspapers, “Th newspaper does ivrything f’r us. It runs th’ polis foorce an’ th’ banks, commands th’ milishy, controls th’ ligislachure, baptizes th’ young, marries th’ foolish, comforts th’ afflicted, afflicts th’ comfortable, buries th’ dead an’ roasts thim aftherward” credited to one Finley Peter Dunne.
What I really like about fiction in general is that it does both. The SF/F genre has even more potential for comforting and disturbing, because of the slightly-beyond-reality el…

On Enthusiastic Consent

This was originally written for Jeff Vandermeer's Ecstatic Days. I can't remember what the impetus was, but I'm pretty sure it had something to do with Feministe. It's been linked all over - Jim Hines linked to it too! Original post here.

Sometime back my brother went for holiday in Phuket (not so extraordinary, I’m afraid, since Thailand’s right next door to Malaysia), and he told me he was hoping to put the moves on a woman he found attractive.
“You got condoms?” I asked.
“Don’t forget to get consent.”
“Of course!” said he, indignant that I could think otherwise.
“Enthusiastic consent.”
“Oh yes yes yes,” he replied eagerly.
“Actually, one-up that: enthusiastic participation.”
“Hmmmm…” he turned thoughtful, as if it was a whole new level. Which it is, and a step further from what I want to talk about today.
(I got the concept of enthusiastic participation from Hugo Schwyzer a few years back.) The concept of enthusiastic consent has also been expounded at length in the wo…

A Quick Introduction to Malaysian SF/F

This post was originally posted at Jeff Vandermeer's blog, Ecstatic Days, at which he very kindly asked me to guestblog for a bit! See the original post plus comments here.

We Are A Sick Sick World

Okay. Kek sei. Seems like every time I want to wind down in preparation for something stressful, something pops up that I just cannot ignore.

Recently,Hiroshima held its annual memorial ceremony to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb, and for the first time, the U.S.A. sent a delegation to the ceremony. But Japan is angry! Because U.S.A. has offered no apology for the bombing. Over 250,000 people, civilians, died as a result, from the bombing itself, or from the radiation aftereffects.

There are some people who actually believe that just because Japan committed many war crimes itself during WWII, that Japan deserves no apology for the heinous death toll inflicted upon its civilians[1]. Still others believe that because Japan refuses to acknowledge its warcrimes, such as theRape of Nankingand theBataan Death March, because there is no outrage over this silence from Japan, that there is no reason to honour Japan's dead.

OK look.

Japan has fucking issues. I have issues…

A Brief Response to Recent Insensitivities

I already said my piece over in the offending LJ but I can't let this go. This bothers me so much. For the longest while, I was just all ":O IDE" but I've been sitting on this, just getting more and more angry, so if I don't get it out, I think I might burst.

Writing a book is in no way anything like a deathmarch. If you think writing a book is anything like a horrible event in which actual people have been forced to suffer and still feel the historical ramifications of, you may want to check your ego.

And if someone tells you that the term is deeply loaded with haunting histories and shouldn't be trivialized to describe something like writing a book of fiction, maybe you should just say sorry and never use the word ever again, instead of defending the use with ridiculous excuses like "mythologizing language".

I know it is incredibly difficult to drop certain words entrenched in our vocabularies (I still sometimes substitute Judeo-Christian exclamat…

On Spaces for Kids

While I was taking in my mom's blanket from the clothesrack outside, I noticed the kids playing on the porch of the semi-detached house on the corner of the street diagonally across from my family's house. It'd been so long since I saw children playing there, I was a bit startled in the back of my mind. The first owner had been Encik Kamaruddin, who I remember most because he owned rabbits (back then, the brick wall was a wire fence, so we could peer across the drain at the rabbit enclosure). The house has always been owned by Malays, although for a while, it was rented out to factory workers. 

Subang Jaya, old Subang Jaya especially, was built for raising families. Most of the houses here are built to suit lower-to-rising middle-class families, and growing up, I knew a lot of nuclear families.