Imperial Command of the Raccoon General

Thoughts and Memoirs of a Ring-tailed and Masked Dominator of the World

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General of the mighty Raccoon Army

Saturday, October 22, 2005


As a guy I've had lots of laughs among the other fella's when we discuss about girls. Their sometimes lacking of the concept of logic and common sense in some of their arguments, or the fact she is suppose to suck you dry or on matters along that line, fills us with tonnes of laughter. Then of course there is the matter on female preference; the things and stuff that girls like, which we as guys can only say "ewww" or "Oh my God" to. And of course, the talk we guys have when we discuss on the matters of the female body.

The hot sexy female body. Sweet.

But that's not the exact matter on which I find myself wondering on. There are others of course. Let's take the fact of our (guys) leanings towards logic and their (girls) sometimes preference on excluding logic all together. Of course, I said to myself, logic is everything. The rules of Physics, history, science, those are what governs the going arounds of the world. Animals, without even knowing science, conform to what logic dictates. But I've been in crisis, in dilemma and in depression for a long while now, and as such I question logic itself. To be truthful, I question as to why we conform so much onto doctrines which we ourselves had no say in its creation. Take for example simple little (cliche'd) advices we get. Heartbroken? Relax, move on. Have a problem? Think calmly, and try to see 'outside the box'. But the point of the matter is when I get.. say.. heartbroken, I WANT to dwell on it, and I want to think about it and yes, I WANT to feel miserable. If it were up to me even, I'd want everyone, especially the person in question to be miserable too. The point is we guys have ego, and also we think of our self-image as well, though not in the same perspective as girls. And for all that we think it's cool to deny emotions. To not acknowledge our inherent emotional weakness. I mean after all, we are guys. We're suppose to be 'the stronger sex', hmm? Well, I can't say being in tune with your emotions is cool, I mean who am I to dictate what is cool? (I still am, for the record, conforming to the old rules and thus... play a game of pretense.. that I am cold and evil, with some leanings to male chauvinism)

I, for one think that we all have images we want to live up to. A code of coolness we adhere to, if you will. Guys have a rather 'explosive' projection of their 'coolness' in that we love things and belonings that are extravagant, like cars, stereos, big houses, powerful computers. Girls on the other have a implosive outlook on whats great, so in most stuffs they like usually enhance themselves, as in projecting inwards, in opposition to guys with their outwardly reflection on self. Oh well, I don't feel like making sense here.

The butt is the sexiest part of a girls body. A girl in tight pants or skirts, with their behinds sort of... extruding... is the sexiest thing ever. I read that somewhere and I have to agree, after all the butt does give more definition to the female form than her chest assets, so to speak. And I think a beautiful female form is all about curves. Not to say that large breasts are no turn on. They are, because we need balance after all. Long necked dinosaurs have long tails to balance their bodies and so... women, I suppose, need adequate breasts to balance and nice firm... oh you get the point.

Well, hopefully that adds some spice.

But really, guys love girls with great bodies. Add that with a pretty face, we're already in heaven. So the question is that if we so focus on looks, wouldn't that mean personality is not important to us? My view is this. Our personality is our own. And for that part, it is human. Our looks depend of course, on our genes. So if we have a flat un-sexy nose, or or lips that are too thick, thats not our choice. So in that, it is in the domain of God, and not us. Best guess based on that opinion which is more customizable. Of course, it's a good personality that makes us stay with any girl. We don't like them overly whiny, or dull.. or too outgoing in that she will give no second thought to shagging some guy at the bar. But the point, is that we can't find that girl with the perfect personality we like. But we can find some with the proper base personality... which we can influence a little on all te other minor details. And for the looks, let's just say that I heard some women resent their guys, because he wasn't their first choice, albeit he isn't much of a looker, so go figure on questioning should looks be of any concern at all.

I like a girl with dark hair. And I like them fair. Blondes are... well, okay...but I prefer dark hair, because it adds contrast. Not to say blondes are dull, I mean blondes, with proper attire can look angelic, being all fair colored and all. A strong sense of light color can be as good as a contrast (and I love chicks in white, not just because of the whole 'get-her-wet-when-she-wears-white thing). And in that, there is another point in itself. We need... well, actually I want, contrast. A girl who is shy is okay, but she is superb if even though shy, she is not hesitant to voice out her mind. A girl who takes care of her looks is fine, but she is superb if she cares for others more than herself. It's not impossible, I think it is more than plausible. The problem is that as humans, both guys and girls always prefer going to one end of the extreme rather than the meticulous balancing of stuff. Thus the prospect of me finding a girl who is outgoing enough not to be dull or not indulge in sweet little things (hugs and kisses and whatever stuff, generally speakig) but shy, or conservative enough not to be doing things like drugs, alcholism, smoke and the grinding any guy at dance clubs, is rather a tricky prospect no? And let's face it, the whole concept seems to be pointing towards a selfish outlook on it, albeit being that the girl would be indulging us, and only us in stuffs we like, but then love is selfish, no?

Oh but women will be women. They will bitch. They will shop. They will be consious about being pretty. And they will want some form of commitment from you. But truthfully, we guys too have at least some of those tendency. Women, can't live with em, can't live without em. Or so a saying went. Truth is, we can't live without them but we can live with them, if we are only willing to try and look beyond the usual conformity. Women are, to me at least, more of a gift to mankind than mankind are a gift to them. Truly, I do love women.

But if there is one thing that experience has done to me, it is this: I am always suspicious of girls who are nice to me. Let's face it, unlike guys who prefer their feelings be known, girls are and most usually will prefer to be more... sneaky. A girl can smile at you but inside her thoughts can range from, "you look cute" to "if only I can run you over with a truck" or even plain "f*** off loser". You never know really. I love them, true but I am suspicious of their motives. It's a weird paradox, but one that I think to be marginally understandable. A lot of the girls I know, when they have no need of me or when they seek positive things like fun and relaxation, my name is excluded from the list. Indeed they couldn't even bother to answer to me fully and honestly to simple questions like "What's been up?" Oh but the moment they have use of me, of my talents, they become almost as playboy playmates would be to Hugh Hefner, in a manner of speaking. After the task is done though, down the rubbish bin I go. Generally speaking of course (which is meant to say that there are those who aren't like that).

But do not say that I am just simply bitter. I admit though I am bitter about being heartbroken and all, but that in itself merits not the entire justification of what I am today. I am a student of war, tactics and strategy as much as I am to history, arts and love. And if you were severely attacked by an enemy, you'd do well to be very careful the next time you might encounter such foe.

But at times I wonder now, who am I to question on matters of the opposite gender and that of love? I am not married nor even attached to anyone at the moment. I've had several crushes for sure, but only two would merit what may be called as a big huge crush. Well, actually out of the two, one of which I admit I have for that moment fallen totally in love for her, but then by the gauge of that... I feel my personal experience is somewhat limited. Indeed, most of what I am can be associated with the word 'limited'. I think even in the blogs and journals of others, there is hardly any mention of me at all, if not just a few.

Anyways, not veering off to far, here's another annoying fact about most girls. They want to be thin. No not just thin. I mean really skinny, almost anorexic thin. What doubles the annoyance is that when we (guys) say that they (girls) look great, they dismiss it almost just like that. Some say that we lie, while others would say we 'don't understand'. Here's what I think. Skinny, as in like Ally McBeal skinny is so not nice. Accept that as a fact. And further more, a beautiful, gorgeous woman should be, as one said, all curves. That said, she should have some meat on her. And then comes the question of the belly. Some guys, and quite a number of girls, would love those flat, and at some cases, muscled abs. I don't. As I said, ALL CURVES. Where is the curve in flatness? And no, I don't mean pregnant belly type, but it should have a slight curve or roundedness to her abs a bit. A 'six pack', as some people say, is a masculine feature, and as much as feminine GUYS are a scary thing, so are those very masculine girls.

Anyhow, the last point is this. I fancy myself, if not totally then at least a part of me, a gentleman. I believe in good manners, and despite how some people champion the freedom of speech, all out honesty and not hiding things inside, there is absolutely no excuse for being rude. I mean that, and I care not even the fact that I have a few friends and family who tended to be direct, blunt and thus rather rude. There is no excuse not to be polite. And for that, I fancy a lady. In conjuction with an earlier point, one which states the balance between liberal and conservativeness, shy and outgoing, it is clear that for my point of view, my perfect girl would have to be a lady, as in she knows when not to be too liberal or social, and when she should stand up for herself and let her be seen. Above all else, the proper manners. And manners do not simply reflect the outlook of a person, as in she has to wear all covered, non body hugging clothes and all. No. I love sexy women too, but you can dress rather contemporarily but still be respectful. As always balance is key.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

On the Matter of Comic Books

Comics. Now that is one thing that has been associated to my interest and myself in person for the longest of times. I am never to boast of being the best artist, nor even a superb one, though I do maintain myself as competent in the art, but the concept of visual storytelling has been one of the things I have done, took part in and forever will be intrigue by since my earliest days of being introduced to the medium. Admittedly my special focuses on the matter have shifted but all in all I am a firm believer in the expansion of the trade, and most notably a conversation with my bestfriend on the matter renewed my aim in it.

But I admit to one other thing. The medium of comics, and inclusive of that are those 'graphic novels', is not only under attack but also under stiff competition with other mediums such as animation and film. But whilst competition can be made positive by means of collaboration, it is the attacks and problems faced by the comic business that matters the most to me in this context. The market for comic book in Malaysia is not as it would be in countries like America, England or Japan. First and foremost, the medium was not derived of our culture unlike America and others, and though I don't consider it anything bad by adopting something not from our culture, the fact of the matter is the medium is underdeveloped and under a bad rap.

The first question to state here is the fact that while there aren't the lack of artists, there seem to be the lack of ideas. More and more I see clones of ideas used by others from Japan of the U.S, characters basedon those from the industry there or stories that are similiar and differing only in minute details like locale and character names or appearence. The problem here is in two places as far as I feel it. One is inspiration. Either the artist are too shy or fearful or lack the confidence to do something that is not tried and test (in this case, I mean their own unique ideas born of their hearts and mind) and thus would do something that mass media has over-popularize, or quite simply the restraint given by factors like budget, company interest, government or most often, local culture and society.

I can't show the way for these people but I do suggest that firstly, we close ourselves to the outside world, listen to our hearts and do what we feel we want to do. Do not just be brave... but rather totally shut out the reasons for our fears. And as for the restraint factor, I can offer this: People, as in plural, are fickle and mob-like. A person can be adapatable and inventive but people as a whole are stupid, conformative and narrow minded, thus following the majority. For that matter we can only persevere and hope that as time goes on, views change. I for one hate it when parents especially say comics as a negative media ad influence. I remember my own parents dissapproving my interest in comics, even though looky right now, I wrote a thesis based on comics that helped seal my way to graduation! But sadly, much as I hate the thing, I can't really object to SOME (not all) of the reasons why that is so. Looking at the comics we either make or translate, you can see why. A large number of our own comic books ad their stories either suffer from plagiarism, non creative storytelling, repetitive and cliche'd themes, lack of depth and quite simply said, lame a$$ stories or jokes. I mean come on, why'd they do it i the first place? These artists and people are like so uninspired and do it not because of their choice, but more like they have no other choice. And worse off are those comics we translate for local reading from outside sources. The language is simply and downright apalling. Do those translators even speak Malay or English? I have to ask that because at times I feel like a Bangladeshi could do better. I do hope, and perhaps it is underway, the level and quality of translated works improve.

So looking at that you can see why comics are negatively viewed by older generations. But there are unjustified views of course, like the fact that these medium promote violence, drugs or sex. Yes, I admit to not only the existence of comics based in those themes but also of reading them, but firstly we have t understand, comics as a whole is simply a media. And like any other media, TV, movies, animation, computer games etc, some are suited for kids, some for slightly older groups and some for adults only. The blame is not on why people make such things on the media but why you as guardians allow those from the improper age group access to those materials. Yeah, that's right, my point can simply be said as this: I don't see it wrong to own.. say... porn, but I do think it's wrong if you allow or did not guard it well enough to enable little kids access to it. So back to the point, it's simply this, you can't judge comic as a whole by only one type of its themes, nor can you blame it for having those themes, because violence or sex, it's all part of the world and I don't think denying it is proper. It all comes down to getting the proper medium to the right target audience, that's all. Besides it's interesting to note that I think comics based on superheroes, folks doing good for all mankind type of themes, probably are more famous and outnumber those for the more... adult and mature themes.

In the context of views, there are certain things I do wonder or question, or both. I am all for nationalism and by all means that was the fact that made Germany rise from the ashes of World War I so it's a great thing, but why is it, here in Malaysia, we are so into it and sensitive about it? Generally speaking the loads of expressive media here are, while not really forced all the time, but nevertheless almost subconsciously influenced, be it by government or society, towards either nationalistic themes, religious themes or social (inclusive of the whole local racial uniqueness and diversity) matters? Why must we always make stories or works in general, that are either of those themes? Why is wrong to want to do total fantasy or sci-fi works? Why is improper to tell stories of say... Ancient Rome or Medieval Japan? Is it simply because those are things that are not us as Malaysians? What about the fact that Hollywood made movies based on Japanese culture? Or Japan making stories based in American locales? Is it simply unacceptable because those are not Malaysians and for that matter we must always champion ourselves only? I chose not to adopt that idealogy because above all else, I am human and so are those people. Don't get me wrong, I am proud to be Malaysian, and thankful that the Axis powers did not dominate the world, or live under the Bush Administration, but for putting my race, my nationality or even religion far above all the other people, and forgive me for saying, that sounds a little selfish, cocky, snobbish and Nazi-like. So understand that when anyone wishes to ask why I do stories or works that tie in to Ancient Rome instead of the Malayan Independence (yes, MALAYAN, because in history we were MALAYA back in 1957 when we achieved our independence, which by the way was only for the western, peninsula of Malaysia only; Sabah and Sarawak joined us in 1963... see? I know local history too!)

To conclude it all I can only emphasize this. Presently the market for comic books and graphic novels are not really lucrative here in Malaysia. But then this is because of public view and demand. So if there's no market for it, then make the market.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Going Back to Medieval Times?

So it is the fasting month once again and as we all know, especially for a majority of this country and I, this is a very religous season. I can't say for certain I am affected by that feeling but then I am not religious myself; yes I am muslim but I am not what one can say as an 'alim', and I know that for a fact.

Stragely enough though I have been thinking a number of times on the matter, though without doubt it is from that book on the Inquisition, as well as the owner of the book himself, my friend Omar, whom I think discusses on the subject of religion (not limited to Islam only) a lot. Anyways, the thing that hits me is that when I hear that Malaysia can be said to be like a proper muslim country. No, I do not think that this claim is wrong, because in comparison to some other islamic nations, we have it pretty good here. The economy is stable, we live in peace and progress is thus far good. Malaysians have a lot of opportunities which some of our fellow muslims don't have these days, and that's really something to cheerish about.

But the fact is that despite our progress, the society, not all but quite a considerable number of them, reminds me of what I read in medieval times. Some of the facts I would state is the fact that more and more 'old men' are coming up with very strict and inflexible view on how religion should be enforced and more and more we should push aside the 'earthly things' in our life. That's not right because the Islam I was taught states that we should balance both for they are all equally important. But these people seem to shun technology and progress and prefer us, especially young folks, to be the constantly-surau-going types.

Despite that the thing that I hate most about the whole thing is how some of such people put paranoia in our daily lives. This issue is mainly about how certain food is non-halal and all despite the fact that the entire country, muslims and non muslims alike, have been eating for years. Like KFC or Burger King. I was really pissed off when my young sister said she didn't want to go to eat at KFC because it is not halal, and the same could be said for almost my entire family's view on Burger King. I mean not only that government has certified this places, but they're also like... everywhere in the country, and if it really was not hala, shouldn't the news be put forward in a more formal and national manner instead of being passed on by narrow minded old men or school children via (probably misguided) teachings and chain-letters like some sort of rumor?

It is this paranoia and the constant suspicion over almost all things out of the routine and ordinary (and in some cases, even the ordinary because KFC and Burger King are rather ordinary no?) that reminds me of the Inquisition by the Roman Catholic Church in the medieval days. Are we reverting back to the mentality of the old days despite our march into the future? For all the good our progress has achieved, it will be for naught if we still think in a backward manner.

And in my case, it's not just a matter of religion that is bothering me when it comes to backward thinking. It's also in some domestic aspect of my life as well. Right now I'm under pressure to firstly get a job and thus money, and secondly to stop my other fun-and-nocturnal activities. Yes, I do hang around with friends till late at night, but thats only because they welcome me with fun, acceptance and understanding, while my family thus far have only been trying to bend me to conform to what THEY think is a 'Utopian Life'. I even remember being told that being normal is cool and that I only need to be unique in my work, but in day to day life i have to be just like everyone else.

BULLOCKS~! That's what I'd say. I've seen their life, and while they are welcome to it, that is not something I want myself to be, and if anything I think we all have the rights to dictate the kind of person we are, and not anyone else, even if they are family. Well, in anycase, I don't have much else to say, so I feel I've vented out some inner frustration, so.... that's it for now.