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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Bedtime for Democracy

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The Dead Kennedys may not be a household name for many. This title, however, has been running through my mind of late: Bedtime for Democracy - brilliant title and a sharp, cynical commentary of the state of democracy in the mid 80's America. This was the era of the PMRC, or in Zappa's words, "the mothers of prevention", a media watch-dog of the religious right-wing that caused many indie musicians much grief. All in the name of protecting the young ones from the "evil music" popular among the younger set...

Sound familiar?
(saying nitey nite to Democracy, in the full post)

Almost exactly 20 years after the release of this DK classic, I see parallels here, half-way across the globe.

Music and art have always been the favourite punching bag, to blame for the "evils" besetting society, probably since the time our caveman (or caveperson, to be P.C.) ancestors learned to put charcoal to rock.


To put it simply: smoke-screen! There are many, many and much more serious morality problems facing Malaysia today - corruption, violent crimes, erosion of civil liberties, just to name a few.

But, lo and behold! Black Metal! Yes, it does have a jaded history, and does have evil-looking imagery associated with it.

Convoluted in the argument that lead the Fatwa Council to deem Black Metal haram (forbidden) are alleged Satanic rituals (including goat sacrifice, illicit sex, desecration of the Quran, etc.).

Real or imaginary? Who knows. Apparently they have proof. But of course, Malaysia being what it has become, who needs proof? Material evidence? No need. Public accountability? Ini bukan Hong Kong!!

Well, it's late in the wee hours of the morning. It's dream time for me. And bedtime for rational thought, intellectual discourse, and oh, did I mention, democracy?