Sunday, July 24, 2005

how does it feel, living in the 21st century?...

artwork by stanley donwood...

dearest friends,

how does it feel, living your life in the 21st century? are you plain happy, or just sad?... are you comfortable, or do you have panic attacks?... "God wants you to be a winner..."... the government will deliver what they promised... don't they speak for us?... i can't behave like this... phew... that wasn't me... i am back in control... i will conquer the world... what's this?... voices?... in my head?...

appreciate all your comments/impressions of the art-piece above... remember, they may reduce you to a piece of news, fit you nicely in labels, easily understood... but they can never take away our stories...

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Suck up to the cool
No, I don’t want to
behave like drones
bees working a mega-project
the millennial house of cards

My T-shirt smells of money
I did not earn
plagiarizing piracy
A copy of a copy
Kid A… An amnesiac…
I am the next person
beside me
beside myself

Pejorative comments
a transcendental argument
“God, you don’t exist…”
if only
Nothing nothings
there is no love
I don’t know
I cannot decide

Pile on the pressure
watch the fires burn
my acidic tongue
your manic laughter
nocturnal submission
our world of abstractions
our egos crumble

Suck up to mortality
and forget yourself…
Keep your soul
God rest
all your restless souls...

Sunday, July 10, 2005

22,787 civillian lives and counting...

last count of Iraqi civillian deaths at 22,787...

lest I forget the bigger picture ...war is horrendous in all its forms, whether it's the terrorist attacks, the 'war on terrorism' or the 'war for iraqi freedom'.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

a rescuer's account...

One just could not fathom how devastating the bomb attacks actually were, until first-hand accounts by people working on the ground are released to the media...

The rescuer's story

Saturday July 9, 2005


Sergeant Steve Betts of the British Transport police was one of the first rescuers to reach the Piccadilly line train between King's Cross and Russell Square on Thursday. This is his harrowing account:

It was pitch black and we had torches. The tunnel where the train was was about 150 metres down the track round a corner and there were still a few wounded coming towards us as we approached. As I walked down the track, I heard someone cry out for help but I could not see them. I called out back and looked around but it was very smoky and dusty and they did not answer.

I got into the train and it was quite obvious that this was something horrendous. There were people with limbs missing, huge open wounds with their organs showing and people were crying out and moaning and asking for help.

I thought, this is the worst thing I have ever seen. I am not very good in enclosed spaces at the best of times and we had to climb over bodies and body parts to try to help people and see who was still alive. I thought this is the end of the world, right here in this carriage, but you have to do your job.

I found a man and his leg had been blown off below the knee, there was another body next to him. There was also what I thought was a pile of clothes but as I passed to try and get to the man, it moaned and asked me for help. It was a woman. She had all her limbs blown off. I think she died on the concourse.

We had not yet got into the carriage where the bomb had exploded but we had to get in there to make sure no one else was alive. That was a scene I cannot describe.

The roof had collapsed and we had to almost crawl in. There were body parts everywhere, there was not one bit as far as I could see that was not covered with organs or blood or bits of body. I was squashed in by chairs and dead bodies as we searched for anyone alive. I could not help standing on things but I had to carry on and do my job. It was like collecting a lot of shop dummies and then cutting them up, pouring black paint over them, and filling the carriage.

After a couple of hours, I came up. The station was pretty quiet by now but someone asked me for directions which made me smile and that made me feel more human. But, as I stood there I felt lonelier than I thought was possible, I just wanted to see a friend or somebody new and give them a hug.

Friday, July 08, 2005

long before 7/7...

Interior of a Piccadilly line train on it's way to King's Cross...

A photo I took, when I was alone in a tube carriage, during my last visit to London at the end of April... The horror of being trapped inside in the aftermath of an exploded carriage is absolutely unimaginable...

carnage at tavistock square...

Thursday, July 07, 2005

London pain...

Watching the on-going news reports and images on the terrorist attacks in London today was particularly emotional for me... I spent the last 4 years of my life living in this city and have wonderful memories of the many ways, London was my home away from home(ipoh)... The bus exploded near Tavistock Square, one of the regular routes I used to travel on, almost daily when I had classes at UCL near Russell Square... It's almost unreal to realise a part of me being connected to these locations, now so full of wreckage and tragedy... This is a sad, sad day... I just hope all my friends are safe...

Friday, July 01, 2005

"Clocks", "X & Y", and the mess we're in...

I first heard of them when I was out shopping for an acoustic guitar in one of those guitar shops in Tottenham Court Road... I didn't know it at the time...the raw sound of fingers sliding on strings along a guitar fret, the slow melancholic music conjuring images of a dimly-lit living room, the orange flicker of fire in an old English fireplace, cups of tea on a low glass table in the middle... Such were my sentiments when I heard music from Coldplay's debut album 'Parachutes' back in the winter of 2001... It is still one of the best 'mood-piece' albums I have heard in a long time.

"Clocks" seem to be the soundtrack of my life, over the last year...Somehow I can never grow tired of that haunting riff, the notes from Chris Martin's piano drawing me in, helping me capture life as mediated through music. It is an existential moment best represented in musical form...No words, prose, logic or art could do it for me...

Yesterday, I listened to their new album "X & Y", probably for the second time. The first 3 tracks of the album immediately resonated with my current state of being...uncanny, effortless connection with the soul... I love Coldplay for their sound, their humble, honest lyrics, and their social conscience, using their rock persona in campaigning for a greener, fairer and less poverty-stricken world.

I have my doubts about Mr. Geldof's efforts, Live8... I admire the sincere activism of these artistes, but somehow social justice could very well have been co-opted by Profiteering Corporations... In the end, world poverty and social concern is just another option in the life-style choices of citizens in the developed West and the developing world... But, I do hope Live8 would make a difference and that the G8 would cease to be a 'talk-shop' and really make poverty history.

I can't help but feel how much we are connected, implicated in the whole way our greedy world economy is set up, small Xs and Ys in a matrix of consumption and accumulation. I want out... Perhaps, God's people could be a real, concrete alternative... I hope revolution is on the way... The seeds of simple kindness are already sprouting, often hidden from our eyes...

A song from "X & Y" that speaks of how I feel about the things that matters most to me, these days...

"Fix You" by Coldplay

When you try your best but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

When the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
and ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

High up above or down below
when you're too in love to let it go
If you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

Lights will guide you home
and ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears streaming down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears streaming down your face and I

Tears streaming down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face and I

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you