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Review: Sidung Burung

No, I do not speak Malay – but thanks to clever subtitles, I am able to at least provide a cursory review of this production, staged by Teatre Ekamatra at the Esplanade. The english title of the play is “Conference of the Birds“, adapted from the original Persian text of the same name. Continue reading


October 25, 2008 Posted by | Theatre | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tale of Two Deaths

 Originally posted on Sayoni Speak

On a boring bus-ride home, I was just musing that last week was the week to die.

I am not being morbid, really – at that time on TVMobile, the un-switch-off-able source of entertainment that subjects you to the terrible soap operas whether you want it or not, they were splashing news about Suharto’s death. Not that no one saw it coming, because I’ll bet you they were working on the eulogy and the news-report the minute Suharto was committed to the hospital.

And of course, a week ago, Heath Ledger was found dead on the floor of his SoHo of a drug overdose. Heath Ledger, as we all know, was the handsome hunk who played the gay cowboy on Brokeback Mountain, and did a wonderful job of it. While his young and sudden death is tragic, it is not something I particularly cared about, Brokeback or no Brokeback, until this. Continue reading

January 29, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Reasons to Lay off the Religion Sauce

Bishop of Tenerife blames child abuse on the children

In today’s news, the Bishop thinks that it is our fault that as children, we get felt up our skirt by a smiling uncle who always brings you some sweets during reunions, or when we are brutally raped by a drunk father.

Yes, it is possible that in some cases, the children consent to, and may even enjoy sexual activity – but as adults, your task is to not take advantage of that consent. Your task is to know that the child is not in a place to make a decision like that, and step away. You don’t get to blame the children. And you certainly don’t get to say things like that in a pulpit and get away with it.

Woman artist gets death threats over gay Muslim photos

Seriously – you think the death threats are going to do wonders for your PR? First Salman Rushdie, and a poor defenceless woman? You get offended – you complain to the authorities or speak to the artist in a civilised manner about how her art is destroying your religion. You don’t issue death threats, or kill people.

It isn’t going to help all those moderate Muslims in the world live their life normally, when you abuse the Holy Qu’ran for your own purposes. Or impress heathens like me with your civility and love of peace.

January 9, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fundamentalists in Action

To this day, I don’t fully understand why Anj chooses to attend the mega-church that she does, a church known to be homophobic. Especially when crap like this happens.
Forget religious beliefs. Forget whatever the Bible says – could the pastor not have done this with more respect and manners, if he truly wanted to “save them” from going to hell? How much effort does it take to sit them down, offer them a glass of water and talk to them in a polite manner? Does the pastor know that he is liable to be sued in battery and false imprisonment by the virtue of his actions? There ARE laws in this country, and he is not above that. Being God’s messenger, or whatever he considers himself to be, does not give him the license to behave to people like this.
This is a plea to all gay christians – come out. Come out today, and show everyone you can reconcile your faith and your sexuality, and you are as much a human being, as much a Christian as everyone else. I am sick and tired of this religion getting in the way, all the time. I am so over the bible-quoting of fundamentalist Christians, especially when it is completely irrelevant to me. I am completely done with the vocal minority in the Christian community using the Bible to oppress everyone else and assume there is no other religion besides Christianity which is remotely relevant or deserving of respect.
If the pastor calls you into his room and asks if you are in a relationship, tell him yes, and ask him to mind his own business.

January 1, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Great India Temple Tour

Henceforth referred to as the TGITT, or The Tour That Shall Not Be Named, which is probably too much of a mouthful.

I swear on my newly-wed wife Evangeline and her 13-inch screen, that I had no idea this 12-day trip was going to turn into one long temple visit. More precisely, 13 long temple visits, though I wasn’t spared the kindness of pacing it one temple per day at least. I was annoyed when on the very first day, they visited a city temple, and our family temple near our old home, but thought that was the extent of the devotion.

How wrong I was.

The next day, we visited Sri Padmanabaswamy Temple, known for its reclining statue of Lord Krishna, visible through intermittent doors. On our way to Alapuzha, we also made a stop at Attukal temple.

Continue reading

December 30, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

A White-washed view

What the Bible Says – And Doesn’t Say – About Homosexuality
Rev. Mel White, noted pro-GLBT Christian author

I am not used to seeing a well-reasoned and well-substantiated argument from a Christian point of view, so this is notable for at least some ounce of logic and historical accuracy, and respect towards science.

P.S. Got this from Anj’s blog.

December 27, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

J Kirby fires the parting shot

I am fast becoming a big fan of J Michael Kirby, judge of the High Court of Australia. In his long article about religious freedom related to the Lina Joy issue [in Malaysia], he makes a passing comment about Ms Thio’s remarks in parliament related to the 377A issue. [I am not posting the relevant except here, go read it yourself. Here’s a clue, Ctrl-F “Dr Thio”]

Actually it is more than passing – he quotes her speech quite a bit, and makes a remark so acid that I have to wonder whether there isn’t a hole burned into the paper.

*bows to His Honour* Thank you, thank you, thank you.

November 22, 2007 Posted by | Law | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

More politics than science

When I posted Intelligent Design aka Christian Chauvinism, I expected to be slammed by Christians, not pseudo-scientists [who quote from books, but don’t make a point]. I am no scientist. My belief in Evolution is in same class as my belief in Big Bang, the existence of extra-terrestrial life, and Global Warming. All are so-far unproven theories, but with overwhelming scientific evidence, or simply rational thought [in the case of extra-terrestrial life] pointing to it. And of course, I don’t ignore that there is evidence pointing the other way too – but isn’t that the great thing about science?

It is not my job to research any of these theories I believe in – that’s for other people to do. Neither is it my job to convince other people of it – again, that’s for scientists to do. My belief rests not on blind faith, but well-reasoned logic in looking at both sides, and coming to a conclusion on which side I consider to have more merit. If tomorrow a respected scientist comes up with a paper that has absolutely (ideally) undeniable evidence that permanently debunks any of these theories, then the said belief will be destroyed without further notice. I put faith in evidence and proof, not rhetoric [which is what the proponents of ID rely on. All I’ve ever heard them say is “Look at all the things around us! There is no way this was a product of chance!”]

When I posted that entry, I was genuinely outraged not because I felt my scientific belief system was under attack, but because of the political ramifications of the said event taking place at a respected university. I consider it an embarrassment and an affront to have a speaker [rev Dr Dave Geisler] whose qualification is not even a basic degree in science, but a Doctor of Ministry in Apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary try and discredit Evolution as valid science.

Really – what is at stake here is not science, but politics. Politics of science, maybe, but politics nonetheless. What is under siege is not the theory of evolution, but the secular values society is built on.

Otherwise, really… I don’t give a damn about whether you believe the world was created by a mushroom.

October 12, 2007 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , | 10 Comments