Friday 1 January 2021

2020 - The Year the Planet lost its colour and reverted to black and white.

 Paul Simon's "Kodachrome", like almost all of Simon and Garfunkel's songs, is quite poetic.  In this particular favourite of mine, Paul Simon writes "Kodachrome makes you think all the world's a sunny day".

                                           Video by Steve Mayfield from YouTube

Before Covid 19, we tend to view our world in gorgeous colours, there was no end to the pleasures and fun (with the aid of high technology) we could wreak on this planet despite the colour of blood in Gaza and Palestine, in Iraq (twice), Libya and Syria.  Of course, hunger and poverty and greed have no colours to titillate or anger us at all.  

Although I have played this song umpteen times on my vinyls,  I realised this morning (after a brief lesson from the spouse) that Kodachrome does not refer to colour negative films, and the resulting  pictures that we get from clicking our non-digital cameras.  That is in fact Kodacolour.  

Kodachrome is for slides , for producing positive transparencies.

I have lived with the spouse for nearly four decades  and it was only today that I learned  the origin of his boxes and boxes of colour-slides of Spain, India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Sarawak, Sabah and New Zealand.  With his hardy and faithful Nikkormat camera he has taken thousands of photographs of Spain, India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Sarawak and Sabah and New Zealand in black and white. 

The Nikkormat - a 1960s solid and heavy (pre-plastic), precursor of the Nikon. It was discontinued in 2010 after 75 years due to falling demand.  

In comparison to Kodachrome which "gives us the nice bright colours",  Paul Simon added this: "Everything looks worse in black and white".  But I still prefer the nostalgic black and white.

Here are some of my favourites from the spouse's black and white collection on Singapore.

Must be the pioneers of Singapore's Malay pop band. This happy scene was taken in a Malay kampung on Changi Beach.

Malay kampung house, Jalan Eunos,1966/1967.  Where have all the kampung houses gone?  Long time passing.

6 1/2 ms Upper Changi Road heading towards Kampung Chai Chee and SATA.

When things are seen in black and white, indeed they look grim and dreadful.  But like the photographs above they can be beautiful and honest.

Wawasan 2020 Malaysia, ridden with Covid 19 has wreaked havoc, grief and despair on almost every facet of our existence.  But we have also seen the exposure of the nascent and underlying frailty of a complacent and selfish people. 

We are confronted day by day with the antics of our Rambo-like politicians, political parties and NGOs. The Kelentong elite amongst our intellectuals, our pontificators, media merchants and moghuls, bankers, movers and shakers of the economy  together with their Zougou and Barua  (lackeys/ running dogs) become more and more transparent just like the revelations of more and more new clusters of  positive Covid 19 cases. 

Such telling times like 2020 can however bring a shaft of reality to remind us to be a little more cynical and critical about the great and good in our midst. Just a few weeks ago we were caught or rather captivated by this news.

How could this be?  One of our very own home-grown Malay-Muslim preachers, bearing the very much vaunted and  respected title of "Syed"?  You would expect this of our Mat Rempit, our young, hedonistic and westernized liberal set, what my dear ole Emak would term as the "Kutu Embun".

Here are excerpts from the South China Morning Post.  The foreign press are really lapping it up: about this disgraceful blot on what they see as the smug and self-righteous Malay-Muslim landscape of Malaysia. 

Here are the faces of the customers of Reality TV Islam; of a "commodified Islam".

And when this is the response of the Minister in charge of Religious Affairs in the PM's Department to  the heinous (though still alleged) crime committed by a Muslim preacher; then the Ummah and the Muslim authorities should stop yelling Murtad when young Muslims turn away from Islam.  And when Islam is mocked and insulted by non-Muslims, they either have to take it on the chin or stop crying "Islamophobia"! 

The gist of his regret(?), sorrow (?), concern (?)  revolves around

1. Now boys, don't do this molesting thing again, at least "in the coming year" - up to 2021 I reckon. "Please be mindful".  For whose sake? The molester or the victim?

2. As for polygamy, go ahead "if you think it is needed" - (nudge, nudge, wink, wink! If you know what I mean eh? if you know what I mean).

NB  The paragraph I have bordered in black suffers from a mistranslation and/or misrepresentation - "May you be given strength and wealth".  It is highly probable that what is translated as "wealth" actually means "murahkan rezeki" .  Wealth is "kekayaan, harta benda", as in material goods and fat wallets.  "Rezeki" is a combination of happiness and prosperity, in earning your bread and butter and to be lucky in money matters as well.

The writer of this article in the Malay Mail is Danial Dzulkifly.  ?????

Below, in Caption 1,  is an extract  from today's Utusan Malaysia which highlights the kind of action that our Islamic Bureaucrats should be involved with to counter such unreligious and immoral behaviour among our Muslim preachers.

Caption 1

If they can regulate a system to monitor and apprehend ordinary Muslims who don't keep the fast during Ramadan, those who commit khalwat, and those who frequent the houses of sin, why can't they find the will and the means to monitor, regulate, charge and punish the sexual predators in their own house?

Overpaid, overfed, overbearing, oversexed and over here.  That was how the Brits described the presence of American soldiers in Britain during the Second World War.

Well, Malay-Muslims now have their very own home grown "overs" who are now over here.  Harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi.  Such an apt Malay proverb.  Wish I could translate that into Arabic and English.

The above extract (Caption 1) came from an article in:

Also read :


How much blacker can 2020 be for Malay-Muslims in Malaysia?  

Let the Malays screw the Malays.  Now that has been racheted up to : Let the Malay-Muslims screw their fellow Malay- Muslims.

In 1789 Marie Antoinette, wife of France's King Louis XVI said to the poor and hungry peasants who had no bread, "Let them eat cake".  Came the French Revolution and nearly the whole lot of the Monarchy and Aristocracy were guillotined.

Our Malay-Muslim version is  "Let them eat meat that has been passed off as halal"  - imported by a meat cartel who were supervised under the watchful eyes of Jakim, Veterinary Services Department, Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department, Customs Department  and  Port Police.

2020 reeks of the odour of hypocrisy, high-mindedness, devout righteousness, and so-called care for the Rakyat and the Ummah.  There is no vaccine to counter this sickness in our midst.  This is life in black and white in Malaysia.  It is a picture that is brutal and honest.  

Malaysians, most of them, are not lacking in education.  But despite that, I fear they "cannot read" or they scorn "the writing on the wall".

I'm fortunate to have my photographs ( gifted by the spouse) in black and white, reminders of what is undoubtedly a  more innocent life and landscape that is not as sanctimonious, greedy and self-righteous as the last four decades.  I have not left my country.  My country has left me. 

Last but not least....

And many more lists will go on right through 2021, 2022, 2023 .................

1 comment:

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