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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Recipe for disaster

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Last weekend, Walski cooked for a group of close friends, whom Walski and the Mrs invited over. He cooked one of his specialties - Gumbo - which is a Creole/Cajun stew, originating from Louisiana. This time around it was of the seafood variety (although one can also cook up a more meaty variety of Gumbo, if one so wished). Typical of any cooking, making Gumbo follows a recipe.

Image hosting by PhotobucketA batch of Gumbo, from Walski's kitchen last weekend.
This recipe, however, was not a disaster. In fact, it turned out pretty damn good, cher.

As with cooking, occurences in real life, when analyzed, follow recipes as well. Not very obvious recipes, in most cases. But things don't happen without reason, nor do they occur spontaneously. Even though, after the fact, they may appear to have happened without rhyme or reason - leading many to believe that these occurences, particularly the bad ones, are a form of cosmic retribution.

Take for example the tragic and brutal killing of young Nurin Jazlin Jazimin. No one will argue as to the inhuman nature and circumstance of her death.

However, what is arguable is how we, collectively as a society, have dealt with it. On the one hand, you have the idiots in government, like King Idiot Nazri perpetuating this disease of passing blame onto the victims of crime. In this case, Nurin's parents. The same senselessness echoed by the Inspector General of Police, and Minister for Women, Family and Community Development, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

Then on the other hand, you have people calling for the immediate implementation of Islamic Hudud laws, some of them brutal and equally inhuman. Like impaling someone to death, or "sula sampai mati". Now, Walski is not sure in which holy scripture the punishment of impaling someone is prescribed, but there are those who seem to believe that it's God's prescribed punishment. But let's put that question aside for now

Are we then saying that having brutal, barbaric and inhuman punishment is the answer to deter brutal, barbaric and inhuman crimes? Fighting fire with gasoline, or ingredients in a recipe for disaster?
(more disasterous ingredients and recipes, in the full post)

In cooking, recipes usually go bad for one of two reasons. Either because you have too many hands particpating - and yes, the adage of too many cooks is true - each trying to out-cook the other, or because you try to over-improvise and start adding ingredients that simply don't belong. Like adding salt to make something less sweet.

When done wrong, recipes for good cuisine turn out to be recipes for disaster.

May God bless this young girl's soul and give her solace. Image taken from The Nurin Memorial blog, hosting by PhotobucketThe irony of it is that this call for renewed barbarism is for the sake of having a safer and more civil society! What kind of a civil society are we expected to achieve with this kind of thinking?

Perhaps it's emotion. Perhaps it's the knee-jerk reaction of those in anger and grief over the tragedy. Who knows, really.

But let's put on our analytical hat for a bit. Was the crime rate this bad two or three decades ago? Mind you, we have more religion today than we've ever had in our country. Has Islamization actually made us a more moral society? In fact, does religiosity necessarily bring morality in the true sense? And is more religion needed now?

Looking around us, the corruption, the brutality of crimes... the answer seems to be a resounding NO.

Maybe the real answer is that we have put too much emphasis on religion and its external trappings, and not enough emphasis on the important lessons of religion - that of having more humanity, and behaving humanely towards one another.

And it is obvious, to Walski at least, that the reason why we are hearing of these kind of brutal crimes is perhaps because we, collectively as a society, no longer cherish the sanctity of life itself. Instead, we easily and quite callously call for the barbaric taking away of life as punishment for crimes. Granted the crimes may be heinous, and perpetrated by those who don't epitomize the value of life.

Instead, we would prefer to turn to barbarism to "solve" these criminal problems.

Two wrongs, however, do not make a right.

Couple that with the growing rot that plagues our justice system, and the executive branch of government being in denial mode that all is okay, seems to Walski like being the perfect ingredients for cooking a dish called disaster.

And it is one dish that Walski has no wish to contribute his culinary skills towards.