Thursday, February 19, 2009

With Great Power

Comes great responsibility. That's what Spiderman says anyway. 

Does great responsibility come with great scores? Maybe. I once heard from a friend that 'life is like a spinning wheel. Sometimes you're on top, sometimes you're on the bottom.' And the wheel may spin slowly enough that you get delusions of grandeur, believing that the good things are sticking. 

But i believe we all have our tops and bottoms, and the difference is in how you react to them. Some people hide their sadness that they always seem to be problem-less. Some people are depressed all the time. Some just don't care.

Enjoy the view from the top, but don't lose your head. :)

I got a surprising 9.0 for IELTS last week.

Now people are asking me to do club reports. Great responsibility.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Race for House-Captainship

Its house-election time. For my house, the system is as follows: 4 guys and 4 girls are nominated. You can nominate your friends or, if you are ambitious enough, you can nominate yourself. And tonight the votes commence. 2 guys and 2 girls with the highest votes are then crowned as the new captain and vice house-captain.

And there's another part to it. The ones who nominated must also campaign for their friend.

For me, it is a fairer process because:
1. In this simple college world, the format was only revealed yesterday. Thus, captain wannabees would have imperfect knowledge and would not dare risk bribing for nominations because, simply put, they don't know how nominations would happen anyway.

2. In 1 day, there is slim possibility a nominee would get to play money politics to garner enough votes to win. And in any case, because it's decided by 'highest vote', not 'majority vote', there is uncertainty about the number of votes needed. Plus, everyone gets to vote not one, but 2 guys and 2 girls.
What if your rivals are not that popular? Then the 'highest vote' will be relatively low. Similarly you'll need lots and lots if your opponents are Dr.Mahathirs. Maybe you can bribe everyone, but again the '1-day grace period' makes this almost impossible. Bribe-free nomination, bribe-free voting. Hey, maybe a 'United Malays' party can learn something from house elections *bleep*

Of course, i'm making a lot of assumptions, and this fair-er situation is possible in our carefree college world, where on-the-spot voting systems could be created, and if everyone votes, it doesn't pose a logistical nightmare (there are approximately 100 people in each house, compared to the millions in a certain 'United Malays' party). Votes belong to the people, and one way or another the people should decide, not a few elite delegates *wink*

p/s: Vote for Abdul Haq =)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I think that integrity is a word seldom heard anymore

Take an organization. Any organization. And it will probably look like this:


A pyramid. And this is true for almost any organization. There are a few elites on top, and there are substantial numbers of subordinates/foot soldiers who make up the base, all aiming for the highest peak. Let's call today's particular pyramid 'Politics'.

Analogy: If you pour a liquid on top of the pyramid, eventually it will flow, or trickle, to the bottom. Pure logic. How fast it trickles depends on how thick the liquid is. If it's clear, like water, it will quickly flow. If it's a dense, viscous substance like crude oil, the flow is much, much slower. But eventually, everything reaches the bottom.

The liquid permeating our pyramid is a deadly toxin called 'Corruption'. It begins at the top, the result of a twisted little game of 'Quotas and Delegates', and slowly, but surely, the toxins are trickling down. Like the saying goes, 'Monkey see monkey do'. 

It does not need to be that way if the levels of the pyramid are segmented. Then the lower levels could just chop the top off and prevent the flow. But if it was an inseparable, single-minded piece of block, just count the days until the base is corrupted. Then the whole pyramid cracks, and crumbles. 

Monday, February 9, 2009

Barber Shop: A Recession-proof Business

A visit to the barber shop this morning triggered a chain of thoughts in my mind. Are barber shops recession-proof? There's a strong likelihood that they are.

Otherwise, everytime there's a recession we would see loads of people looking like hippies. Most of us rational people keep our hair neat.

A barber may not earn a lot, but at least it's enough to buy him the things he needs. And he gets a steady flow of customers through good and hard times. Unless his customers start looking like Kim Jong-Il.

I like going to a barber who knows his trade. It sometimes feels so good, you just want to doze off. And at the end of it, you get a nice 'head spin' and you feel your neck cracking. And you walk away feeling awesome.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lights, Smoke, Music, Action!

More than a week since i updated this thing, thanks to THE BIGGEST event in kyuem, 'Bangsawan' (literally translated as Noblemen), a form of Malay theater characterised by olden-days Malay language, arrogant Sultans, a dance number, fighting scenes worthy of a Bollywood movie and most importantly, huge amounts of stress levels.

How big is big, you ask? To get a clearer picture, these are the sub-groups involved in each production (from a uniquely Sapphirean perspective ;)):

1. Directors' circle

-From conception to completion, The Directors were always present, working their asses off to make this whole thing work, coming to practises long before anyone and only going to bed after everyone is in deep sleep. If i were in their shoes, i'd faint. Respect giler ar. =)

The Directors. Sounds like a group of trained assassins.

2. Actors' and extras circle

-Of course, a theater wouldn't be a theater without acting. Featuring 'mantop' performances by last year's Best Supporting Actor and an equally credible cast *ehem2*, the actors had to endure constant constuctive criticism in an effort to match Istana Budaya performances. Not to mention enduring a 'psychotherapy' session that was...enlightening ;)

p/s: don't worry Herman, we know you were supposed to receive the Best Actor award this year...the judge couldn't tell a supporting actor from a main one.

3. Dancers' circle
-Dancers must be superhuman beings. I mean, how could you dance while balancing bowls on both hands? The answer is shrouded in mystery (and a thing called 'finger supports held by super glue'), but needless to say, its the dancing that counts. And their dancing was fantastic and flawless.


They won 'Best Choreography', together with the fighting scene guys. No further explanation needed.

The author, once a part of the team before acting duty called

4. Prop circle

-Recreating a scene from the 60s (1760s, i mean) is no small feat, and with two large backdrops to paint, plus a ship and a palace to build, the prop people got their hands full, like, most of the time. After my short scene finished, i joined the audience and overheard somebody say 'weyh, laju gila Sapphire tukar props'...Nice work guys =)

5. Costume and make-up circle

-It may not be so clear in this picture, but that costume was like old Malay 'bling-bling'. You could see it from a kilometre away on a moonlit night. Ok, maybe i exaggerated, but it was really shiny, and the costume people did an elaborate job of finding something to make everyone look good..=) If you look closely in the picture, you can see the cursed version of Tenggang, looking like a rock star.

In the opening scene, the sultan, his daughter and his son-in-law all wore Sapphire-ish.

6. Technical circle

-What's a good story without winning technicals (lighting, OST, etc.)?

Yeah..brag all about it ;)

And the secret weapon for Sapphire:

7. 'Pit-Stop' crew

- Between scenes 1 & 2, i had to change into different clothes. So i hid behind the curtains and..stripped, while 3 or 4 people put me into 4 pieces of clothing. It was done in more or less 1 minute. I feel like a race car. Thank you 'pit stop' crew! B)

And there you have it. 7 wonders of the world that make up a thing called 'Bangsawan'. And we won only one prize less than the champion. Good job everyone.