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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Neo-Soul artiste banned by No-Soul country

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That’s about the only headline missing from reports around the globe about Malaysia banning the performance by Erykah Badu, slated for later this evening.

And that’s exactly the headline Walski thinks most appropriately describes what happened yesterday, when the already infamous #yorais announced that the concert would not be allowed to go on.

Rais: Bigger  problem with Muslims if Erykah Badu concert allowed

Datuk Seri Rais Yatim justified on Twitter today the cancellation of Erykah Badu’s concert, which was scheduled to take place tomorrow, saying that if the concert had been allowed to go ahead, it would have created “a bigger and prolonged problem”.

“The ‘Allah’ graphic on the singer’s body will surely create religious controversies among Muslims who do not appreciate such practice.

“The cancellation of the concert is based on justification, if continued, will create a bigger and prolonged problem,” he said in a post on the micro-blogging site this afternoon.

The information, communications and culture minister had earlier today announced on his official Twitter page that the concert has been banned after a photograph revealing a tattoo on the American R&B singer with the Arabic word for “Allah”, or God, appeared in English-language daily The Star yesterday.

(source: The Malaysian Insider)

Assuming it ever had one, this damned country has totally lost its soul.
(a country with an evaporated soul, and more, in the full post)

Sure, we’ve got great infrastructure, complete with potholes, and a an abundance of uneven manhole orifice covers strewn all over our  roads. But gazing at the splendor of the KL skyline only gets you so far.

Walski’s Facebook and Twitter friend, the very prolific Art Harun, had this to say this morning:

We ban a singer with an Allah tattoo. We objected against Valentines day celebration. 40 yr old sex education book - we ban. We assisted in a kidnapping of a visitor to our country. We look with askance at electronic Bibles. And TV3, at 6.50am today discussed bras from Indonesia which apparently could cure cancer. Sometime I think the NFC project is a big prank and all of us are actually the cows.
(Art Harun, via Facebook)

In which case, grazing at the splendor of the KL skyline only gets you so far, if what Art says is true…

What has Malaysia turned into?

Some dare venture that we’re fast becoming another Saudi Arabia – minus, of course, the sand and the almost-unlimited supply of black gold, and unbridled male tribal chauvinism.

Frankly, if you were to ask Walski, Rais Yatim is merely the manifestation of the kind of knee-jerk conservatism that has gripped the nation, which is fast squeezing the very soul out of it. Of course, he opens himself up to ridicule in the process. Someone’s gotta be the #yorais scapegoat, and it’s always better that a dinosaur be assigned the task.

The process of Malaysia transforming from a vibrant secular democratic country into a relgio-hypersensitive despot state didn’t happen overnight, nor did it begin in 2008, as some might think. Although, that said, the process certainly has accelerated since then.

No, from Walski’s observation, the process began in the late 1980’s when legitimacy for increased Islamization was given on a constitutional amendment platter (albeit unintentionally), topped off with that infamous declaration that Malaysia is an Islamic state. Both, for no other reason than short-sighted political expediency. We are today enjoying the fruits, rotten even before they are ripe for the picking.

We have a situation today where anything with the slightest whiff of even coming close to touching the hypersensitivities of “Muslims” gets nipped in the bud. Faster than you can painfully scream ‘castration’.

And while the political bastards politicians play the game of “if PAS can do it, UMNO can do it more drastically” one-upsmanship, the soul of this nation evaporates, leaving the loud self-proclaimed majority in this country wallowing in glee, concerned with the nether regions of high profile personalities. All the while oblivious to the damage their almost voyeuristic obsession creates.

No-Soul vs Neo-SoulNo-Soul trumps Neo-Soul

As far as Walski is concerned, Malaysia has pretty much become a lifeless shell, glittery on the outside, festering and rotting beneath the epidermis. And you don’t even have to peel that much off before the stench permeates, and overwhelms you with flustered frustration.

And then you sit there wondering why the Malaysian diaspora is so unwilling to return?

Another individual, prolific in his own country Pakistan, a college friend of Walski’s, once commented that from what he has seen, Kuala Lumpur is a beautiful city that he would like to spend more time in. But the friend asked this question: “but what does Kuala Lumpur have to feed my soul?

At the time, some weeks ago, Walski was hard-pressed to answer. If asked the same question again today, he’d have no hesitation to say, “Nothing. Like the rest of this country, whatever little we had resembling a soul, we’ve sold to the Devil. In God’s name”.

Seriously… soul, my friend? What soul?

For to ban a neo-soul artist, simply on the superficial basis of an offending tattoo, if we aren’t already, Malaysia is fast becoming a country without the semblance of a soul… whatever life it used to have quickly evaporating into a murky, misty, long forgotten past that can never be reborn.