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Sunday, May 07, 2006

 

Sunday sundae - of Wikipedia, Brutus, Sigur Ros & books

Here's another random Sunday writings..

Wikipedia and the Roman republic
I'm currently addicted to wikipedia. Well not that this is the first, but the first time that i write about it. It's like a neverending reading, and perhaps only the non stop blinking DSL light from my TMNet modem could possibly stop it.
From a quote from the Shakespeare's play, Julius Caesar, by Tun Dr. Mahathir during his term as Prime Minister during an UMNO general assembly, to an article in Malaysia-today and a yahoo movie review on 'Hannibal the Conquerer' to the wikipedia web search. Wikipedia is so damn addictive. I could be reading from one topic to another different one for hours. And im so into reading Roman history now. From Julius Caesar, Brutus, the Ides of March, Hannibal, the Great Fire of Rome & Nero (no doubt that the cd burner software 'Nero' got its name from him) to John Wilkes Booth (the so-called American Brutus, assasin of Abraham Lincoln).
It is interesting to note that how people will try to justify certain historical event to relate with issues in present time. But nevertheless, as the popular saying goes, history often repeats itself. One example would be the case of John Wilkes Booth, the assasin of President Abraham Lincoln, who was said to be influenced by Brutus, the assasin of Julius Caesar, hence the name of 'American Brutus'.
Look no further. Wasn't the history of Hang Nadim (not to be confused with Hang Nadim of the Malacca Sultanate) of the 'Singapura dilanggar Todak' legend was being repeated again in the story of Hang Tuah? - the false accusation of Hang Tuah committing adultery with the Sultan's dayang/gundik by one of the pembesar istana, Patih Kerma Wijaya because of jealousy and hatred towards him. and subsequently led to his death sentence by the Sultan of Malacca without further investigations. But thankfully the Bendahara didn't execute the Sultan's order, but hid Hang Tuah in a far away place. And in Hang Nadim's case it was the also the case of jealousy of the pembesar istana toward the young boy, Hang Nadim, because he managed to solve the country's major problem; the ikan todaks when he suggested to use banana sticks as a defense method, and thus, solving the ikan todak problem. The intelligent of Hang Nadim has made the pembesar istana became furious and they worry one day Hang Nadim would risk their positions and also the kingdom, so they persuaded the Raja, Demang Lebar Daun, to kill him off, simply because to them, the boy was too clever. And the Raja blindly trusted his advisors. Same story like Hang Tuah's isn't it. What are the similarity of these two examples? - the Malays are so fond of calling it, the PHD or the perasaan hasad dengki.
Twice, if I'm not mistaken, that Khairy Jamaluddin, the PM's son-in-law, has been compared to Hang Nadim, perhaps because of his young age in his involvement in politics. First was during the 2004 general election campaign in Kelantan, when Pak Lah mentioned the story of Hang Nadim, but didn't specifically name who. But it wasnt too hard to get the message on Pak Lah's kiasan. Secondly, by the Larut MP, Raja Ahmad Zainuddin, in parliament few months back. He defended Khairy when Khairy was being criticised by the opposition leader, Lim Kit Siang, also by comparing him to Hang Nadim. Is Khairy truly comparable to the legendary figure, Hang Nadim? Talking of Khairy, i don't know whether to believe the rumours of him and his association with the Singapore secret service and all sorts of stories about him. ok, i'd better stop now. Maybe i've been reading Raja Petra's Malaysia-today and the anti-Khairy group in KMU too much.
Hannibal the Conquerer
I can't wait to watch Hannibal the Conquerer (directed by Vin Diesel)! I hope it won't be a dissapoinment like the previous King Arthur epic. Here's a short note on the movie;
Based Upon: This movie is based upon the life of the Carthaginian general, Hannibal Barca, who in the third century B.C. (218 B.C., specifically) famously led an army of elephants through the Alps in an attempt to attack Rome. More specifically, this movie is being adapted from the novel, "Hannibal," by Ross Leckie about Hannibal.
Premise: When his father is killed by the Romans, Hannibal (Diesel), a young man from the ruling clans of the city of Carthage on the Mediterranean shore of North Africa, makes an oath of vengeance against Rome. Dedicating his life to fulfilling that challenge, Hannibal becomes a general by the time he's in his mid-20s, and with an army of 100,000 committed to his goal, he sets out to bring Rome down, first by conquering Spain, and then by setting loose a surprise (and famous) attack on Italy by way of the Alps, with an array of forces that included war-trained elephants. This movie shows how far a son can be willing to go to avenge the death of his father. >>
Sigur Ros and latest albums
Sigur Ros is currently the next best thing. You could never possibly get bored listening to them. I know that this is the second time i blog on them, but who cares. i just looove their songs. Whenever you feel like you've been listening too much of 'Taak', there's 'Agætis Byrjun' that you could turn to, and vice versa. Damn these Icelandic guys making songs so addictive. hehe. No, not that I'm complaining :p
On another note, Thursday has released their new album, 'A City by the Light Divided' and i think they sound better than the previous one. Unlike Matchbook Romance, they didn't change their music one bit. and Pretty Girls Make Graves too has released their latest album, 'Élan Vital'. Boy, they do sound like The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, especially in The Magic Hour and I like the intro and the music beat of Pyrite Pedestal. And oh yeah, how could i forgot! Nak beli album baru Siti jugak(original ye)! :p
Good songs and lyrics are like music therapy too, don't you think? or am i confused with the idea of music therapy? Haha, well, nevermind. As long as it feels good to listen to.
Books
Have you ever feel like you just want to finish off reading all the unread books left on the shelve all at once? heheh. but at the same time you keep on buying new books? tak masuk akal. So now I'm trying to avoid visiting any bookstores for the moment. I just feel like at least wanting to finish one book in a week, so that i could complete four books in a month! Whoa.. but so far i've only managed two books on an average. I think i should list down the few books that i wanted to read next as a self-reminder; 'My Name is Red' by Orhan Pamuk, A. Samad Said's 'Adik Datang', 'Tenggelamnya Kapal van der Wijk' by Hamka and VS Naipaul's 'Among the Believers'. There's a lot more if i were to list it here. So let's just stop for now.
Later guys.
Thursday - The Lovesong Writer

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