Friday, May 30, 2008

Concerning Stories

Ive always loved writing.



I wasnt ever that good at drawing though (except on the walls it seems) but writing was something I was always passionate about. Hand in hand with reading and you could imagine what I was a nerdy little kid I was. My father bought me my first Encyclopedia when I was six (The next year I got my set of ChildCraft) and I used to spend hours reading up on everything I could. Mum had to leave school early ( Not all Muslim girls were educated those days, so I remember that I used to read and tell her every night about the places I visited and the cultures ive learnt. Not that my mum id dumb or anything - MJ's mum is half the reason why I have a semi decent knowledge of current events)

.


But I guess I dont have to tell you guys how much I love writing because i'm pretty sure that this blog will come to over a thousand pages if I had to print it (14 Font Maybe, definitely double spacing, ;)



I read the Matriarchs short story today about the drug dealer, and it inspired me to post my own short story. One I did five years ago when I was in third Year. It was for my Creative Writing Class and I entered it into the University Short Story Competition. Alhumdulillah, I won first place in it. I remember the day so well. They called me to the Library, said I had won and they gave me a WonderBar. In my mind I was like - what the hell! At least get me a decent chocolate if youre going to be cheap (Tempo Tempo Tempo) A wonderbar!



However the next day they had a grand ceremony and I got a cash prize, a scholarship and a bunch of books. Sadly, no tempo (just kidding).



I havent shown anyone this story, and I doubt many of my closest friends (the ones whose links coincidentally are high up) even know about it. It wasnt a big deal for me I guess. I feel like posting it now, but please remember that it was written by a much much younger MJ (before the cynicism has set in). My geography might be a little off with places as well. Also, take some time to read Saalehas short story. I'm sure you will enjoy it and hopefully it will inspire you as well.



The Iron Vest

The hardened ones bear witness to the tears brought by crossing Khan Younus to Ramallah. Tears describe horror much more than any word can conjure up. Then surely travelling to Gazza from Ramallah by the Red Crescent ambulance is beyond shock, beyond tears, beyond words, beyond anything I could have comprehended. All senses are numbed; yet I seem to feel. I don’t know what it is I feel. How does one feel helplessness if helplessness is the absence of everything.

There are no roads, just a claustrophobic emptiness that is seared into the air- No kids laughing, no kids crying. No voices of despair. Just a vast emptiness of debris. I feel as if it was a Palestinian who said that the grass on the other side is greener. What a harsh difference. The settlements to the East. Garlanded with miles of high-electrified fencing – illegal barriers that enclose the thousands of illegal houses of the illegal Israeli occupiers. If I say illegal enough times will someone sit up and notice? Does that word hold any value anymore? We face security points after security point (they call it road blocks – back home in England this would have meant something completely different). As they search, the wind searches too. The Icy wind that no one spoke off. I thought I was entering a dessert, little did I know of the cold. Everything is removed from the ambulance and everyone ordered out – except me with my bulletproof United Kingdom passport. Palestine opened my senses, and in the hustle and bustle of uncertainty, I had time to reflect on my youth, and the choices that I had made in life…

It takes courage to move. To leave the comfort of ones land and settle elsewhere. Comfort, not in the sense of economic ease but in the familiarity of ones surroundings. In prisons, different groups are polarised into what is familiar. Based on Ethnicity, mostly. The difference between prison and the outside world is that here the cages are in our minds. I can’t imagine how it must have been, to leave everything behind and settle in a foreign country. One in which the climate is reflected in its people. We are always searching it seems. For a better life, my father searched in England.

I still don’t know whether he found what he was looking for. It’s too late to ask him now. Pieces of granite don’t speak back and the ground remains silent. He worked at a Paint factory and mum tailored pants for customers at shops we couldn’t afford to enter. Money was the only motivating factor it seemed. . Playtime seemed pointless. If there was no bottom-line, it had no purpose. Competition was limited to only beating the other kids in school (Indian or White). Only a hundred percent would produce any form of recognition from my father. Excellence was demanded. I was constantly reminded about the old days in Pakistan where education was a privilege, not a right. It was I who sat through the papers, but my father who felt gratified. I guess my academic achievements provided some sort of solace for a man without a sense of belonging in this wet, cold country. I never saw it that way.

I was a child. All I saw were white kids, friends (if I could call them that – I wasn’t allowed to play with them due to my parents fear of assimilation. Beating them in class was supposed to sufficient) “Remember”, my dad used to bellow, at me, when I asked for what seemed like a trivial thing like a George Michael haircut (this was before it was revealed that he was gay), “You are not British, you are Muslim”. While not being deeply religious himself, my father was quick to brandish anything British as unislamic, thereby playing the religion card to obscure his own deep-rooted fear that our Pakistani values were being eroded and replaced. English music was haraam but Bollywood wasn’t. Amitabh Bhachan over Sean Connery, even though neither were Muslim.

Islam was placed on the pedestal, only ever being brought down to justify why I would be incurring Hell fire for wanting a Nintendo, or to play soccer. I began to resent it, not knowing that what I was fighting was Pakistani culture and values, ones that were not left in Islamabad. I prayed sporadically, believing that Fridays prayer made up for the rest of the week. I fasted when I felt like, often breaking it at the slight seduction of chocolate. Chocolate in the wrapper does not give off a strong scent, but the faintest whiff was enough for me to abandon a tenet of my faith. My parents expected a doctor. I was to be the justification for the uprooting. Doctor Badat, delusion at its highest degree. I chose to be a political analyst. The disappointment never left my fathers eyes, not even on his deathbed. He had failed it seems.


The rattle of the ambulance clarifies my thoughts; I now see that Islam offers clear guidelines for content living. The pedestal is no more there. Islam is no more flung about as some sort of punishment, boxed in a sectarian cloth, only evident in rituals on a Friday. It embraces cultures, and refines societies. All these years I never hated Islam, because I did not know Islam.


My outspoken guide Rashid speaks fervently of an International Jihad- Jihad. The word carries uneasiness around it. You hear it in hush tones. I put my spectacles back on and skew my eyes to get a better look. My attention once again turns to shattered window, a wound to remind us. Desperately ill patients lie on the roadside in the rain – the wet cold chills to the bone.


Everyone here has a story to tell. Rashid tells me about a 6-year girl with Tuberculosis. The Israeli police refused to let her mother into the hospital as she was considered to be a security hazard. Imagine a six-year-old child alone in a hospital bed, gunshots for lullabies, mortar for sweet wishes. This would never happen back home in England. Rashid himself has his own story.


Two nights ago, the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) grilled him with various ambiguous questions, forcing him into an inescapable corner. The burly Caucasian with the peppercorn hair was getting increasingly ‘twitchy’ with Rashid’s hesitance and bellowed in a dominant manner, “ how could your kind be so barbaric and kill three innocent humans?” Rashid sat straight at this point; his ears pricked up as to capture every syllable and ensnare every word that was barked at him. Holding back a trickle of tears he told me what was going through his mind,“ You kill my family with your deadly missiles, my daughters starve to death because of your unjust and inhuman occupation and you have the audacity to call me barbaric!” he smoothened some creases that had formed on his cloak and thought again. The words ‘your kind’ rang in his head like a kryptonic pulse. “Why didn’t he just say Arab? That’s what he meant”. He straightened his white turban, ruffled his beard with his fingers and resumed an ignorant stance. This riled the interrogator, and he pounced upon Rashid with such force that he knocked him of the chair. The other agent desperately pulled of the first, motioning him towards the door. They dragged the battered man out of the door, into the alley. He would have surely died if this same ambulance had not passed that wretched alley that he had filled. No amount of medication could cure the sickness that he felt inside. However, no amount of mental preparation could strengthen us for our next stop, Gazza.


Gazza reminded me off a beautiful Oil portrait that was thrown to the floor and trampled before the paint dried. There are no roads here, only the spaces left after the tanks have passed through. Smudges of civilisation, nothing more. The destruction was so overwhelming that it felt like the work of Mother Nature. However, no earthquake was felt in this part of the world for many years. So much destruction. No one bothers to sweep up the rocks and debris. It just lies there. Constant reminders of Occupation. I get dizzy as I try to take in all the grey and red from structures that were once houses, buildings that were once schools and I sleep.


On my first morning, I am awakened by the call to prayer, which howls through my bones. While it is still dark, Rashid takes me to see Bilal. Bilal, a scraggy, unkempt individual was known as ‘Al-Khemis’ due to his expansive knowledge of chemicals that would have made an Oxford lecturer blush. The area where his middle finger was supposed to be remained a constant reminder of the danger of working with explosives. I join him as well as other militants (I don’t question terms anymore, they are not Freedom Fighters because Freedom has forsaken them. There is nothing to fight for) for a breakfast they prepared themselves – delicious shawarmas, falafels and mint tea. They are extremely interested in each other and in me, and they want to know what my country is like. They ask if there is anyone in the world who cares about them. Denied the universal right to education and cooped up in villages for months at a time, prevented from universities because of the closures - it is amazing how much they know.


Rashid nods at Bilal, who then turns to his left and pulls out a faded army vest. Due to age or exposure, it is hard to tell what colour it originally was. I take the vest carefully and slowly place it on the couch next to me. I wash my hands, slowly enjoying the joy of water and appreciating its cooling nature for the first time in many years. I know that I may never feel this sensation again. The world might scorn me, but this is something I chose to do out of desperation. I wonder how many people have thought that if we did have weapons, whether we would resort to such desperate measures. (I stop to realise that I say ‘we’, not as a British, not as a Pakistani, but as part of the global brotherhood of Islam. We as Muslims)My body, the gift from God, now is the weapon from God. The vest constricts me like an iron necklace. It feels unnatural. Rashid leads a small prayer and thereafter I am whisked of to Tel Aviv aboard a rickety bus. I am now thankful to my father as my passport allows me to get in undetected. I wait patiently for a group of soldiers to walk past. I think of England, I think of growing up, the question of life being different corrodes my thoughts, I think of my people, I think of my God. I close my eyes and think no more…

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Concerning Iqbal

I was researching the Vernon Koekemoer phenomenon last night, and I realised that it will be cool if we had our own Muslim Chuck Norris. So I created a character named Uncle Iqbal and modelled him initially around Leon Schusters 'Abdullah Rasbanja' from the Oh Schucks series. I played around with this idea last year when I took the piss out off myself with the MJ Facts, but for Uncle Iqbal I want it to be Muslim related stuff. I posted a few on my chatbox, and Legend, Great one and Archtype contributed so I decided to blog it here.
Now - Most importantly - If you are going to come up with an Uncle Iqbal joke, make sure that it is not blasphemous. So dont say stuff like Iqbal reads eight rakaats fardh in fajr or Iqbal is the Mehdi or anything like that. And dont make it offensive to other religions
Heres a few of the best
1. Iqbal appeared on Channel Islam once. Worldspace sales went up by six hundred percent that week
2. Iqbal wasnt involved in 9/11 because Iqbal never crashes
3. Iqbal occupies Israel!
4. Iqbals mum invented the samoosa when she taught Iqbal geometry
5. Iqbal translated once in an Ijtima.. As a result Pakistan became 100% Muslim state
6. After he met Iqbal the emperor was only known as Akbar
7. The tunes from Iqbals naaths are converted into Bollywood tracks
8. Iqbal squared Zam..
9. Iqbal pelts all 3 shaytaans with one stone at hajj
10. Iqbal was denied Visa for entering America, even though he was only travelling to Laudium
11. Iqbal beat up Chuck Norris because his beard wasnt Fist Length
12. Eid is not celebrated unless Iqbal has seen the moon
13. All of Zain Bhikhas songs are written by Iqbal. In his sleep
14. Iqbal only stands for salaatus salaam when he is in the mood, but when he does, you better get your ass up!
15. Iqbal has used the same miswaak since 1964. Incidentally, his teeth are always white even after he eats paan
16. Umshini wam was actually first sung for Iqbal when he singlehandedly defeated the soviets in Afghanistan
17. Iqbal is so rich, he gives Bill Gates Zakaat
18. Iqbal figured out the Da Vinci code by just looking at the cover. He still thinks that Dan Brown is a Jaahil
19. Iqbal ate two baddam - now he remembers everything from birth
20. Iqbal doesnt need a mussallah compass - he always knows which direction to face qiblah
21. Iqbal can eat fish curry for iftaar and still not smell funny during taraweeh
22. Iqbal doesnt drink Sarbat. Milk is immediately sweetened upon touching his lips
23. Jummah had to be moved to Ellis Park stadium because Iqbal was giving the Khutba
24. Iqbal gave Isha azaan once.. The Aussies woke up for fajr
25. Iqbal went to madrassah once.. It got turned into a Darul Uloom
26. People started giving out Jalebi at Khatams because Iqbal has a sweet tooth
27. Gandhi adopted Satyagraha cos he didnt want to fight with Iqbal
28. Iqbal slaughters a bull for Qurbani ... himself
29. Iqbal has met joebanker from mxit in person...and organised sharia compliant finance for him.
30. The smileys on Iqbals mxit wear parda.
31. The other I in CII is for Iqbal
32. People give Kruger coins for Mehr. Iqbal gives Kruger Notes
33. Sanha certifies robertson spices. Iqbal certifies Sanha!
34. Iqbal is a messy eater. Last time he ran his fingers though his beard gift of the givers had enough rice for the burmese people
35. Iqbal gets haj visa. Every year
36. Iqbal AUTHORISES hajj visas
37. Iqbal sweats rosewater
38. Iqbal taught Maths to the Arabs
39. Iqbals wife gave mehr for him
40. Mathew Webb was the first man to swim across the English channel. Iqbal was the first man to spit paan across it.
MJ

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Concerning Beatboxing

Following the discussion that we had concerning music in Islam, I started thinking about it a bit more, and I spent some time going through all the e-mails and links that were so graciously forwarded to me by concerned readers. I still maintain my position but heres something that I just thought about - what about Beatboxing (vocal percussion)? Isnt that just an imitation and in essence a loop-hole (similar to the Israelites Loop-hole regarding fishing on the sabbath? I'l elaborate on this story if anyone likes)
Also - how do you define a musical instrument? Is it one that is made for the sole purpose of creating music? In that case, If I bang on my mothers pots and pans, is that allowed?
Something to reflect over. I'm not giving any rulings as I am not a Mufti.
Just wanted to throw it out there
MJ

Monday, May 26, 2008

Concerning Yusuf

I remember meeting Yusuf Islam for the first time around nine years ago. He was a guest speaker at a fund raising dinner that we did sound at. A year later I met him again when I was the sound engineer at an event he performed at.
Yusuf is one of my biggest role models. There is this aura about him that you cant help but admire ( He definitely has a presence, and the only other time I felt this was when I met Former President Nelson Mandela) I think if there is one person I would like to emulate, it would be Yusuf Islam (disclaimer - before anyone shits on me for not saying that I want to emulate the prophet - let me quote Sheikh Hussein Ye - 'Do not do what the prophet did, do what he told you to do)
Yusuf Islams comeback as a pop star somehow encapsulates my personal feelings on dogma. For those who are not sure concerning my stance on music in Islam - I follow the fatwa given by Sheik Qardawi, but at the same time I respectfully acknowledge the other fatwas given. OK, so why a post on the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens? Watched Stardust on Saturday night (at about three in the morning with the great one) and after Fajr I tried irritating him by playing random songs on my phone, and one of the songs I played was an old Yusuf Islam classic, Wild World. So Waseem goes - we should do remakes of his Cat Stevens tracks - something he can sing today. Seems like fun, so lets try a few. Waseem wants to take a crack at Mathew and Son so i'l look at a few others. Instead of doing the entire track i'l just take a sample.
So heres the idea - Cat Stevens has just converted to Islam, this is what I think his songs will sound like. (I guess you will need to hear the originals to get the tune)
The First Cut Is the Deepest (original Lyrics)
I would have given you all of my shlong
But the doctor went about it all wrong
And its taking almost all that Ive got
But if you want, Ill try to love again
Baby Ill try to love again but I know
The first cut is the deepest, baby I know
The first cut is the deepest
cause when it comes to following sunnats I’m first
When you circumsize when youre old its worse
But I cant just put a band aid on where it hurts
Thats how I know
The first cut is the deepest, baby I know
The first cut is the deepest
Now that i've got Hidayat too
You say you wanna start teaching me whudu
And it's snowing outside, winter season'
Akhi, i'm freezin'
But if you have a geyser, hot water rocks
Hope I find a place to buy leather socks
Otherwise my toes are going to turn into little ice blocks
Oh, akhi, akhi, it's a hard deen
It's hard to get my foot into the wash sink
Oh, akhi, akhi, it's a hard deen
Cant we just skip to that Tayamum thing
MJ

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Concerning Hunger

I watched a documentary a few years ago called 'Muhammad: Legacy of a prophet' and one of the things that touched me the most about it was when a New York Fire Marshall who converted to Islam (I dont like the word reverted) spoke at length about how we as Muslims should serve humanity. Ive touched on this before - how we are supposed to be looking after THE community (collective), and not just our community.
The current Xenophobia crisis is an example where we as Muslims should be at the forefront. I think back to the Rwandan Genocide 14 years ago, and I remember how the Imams of the Musjids gave the Tutsis safety and security. Sure, there are organisations out there who are doing their bit, but is this enough?
Yes - the Nakba is important, yes, there are flashpoints in the world that also need our assistance, but we are citizens of South Africa. This is my land, as much as it is anyone elses.
Are we comfortable with questioning the implicit forces at work? Knowing that our interests will be compromised if we critically analyse the real issue here. Lets not kid ourselves - the real issue isnt foreigners, but Capitalism. I'm concerned about the direction this country is headed in. Privatisation of water being one issue that i'm disgusted at. But we'll save this for another post, let me get to the point.
This week I decided to get involved in a friends project (those who know me intimately know that my long term goal is to get a community centre up and running with video games to get kids of the street. I'm convinced that we can use video games as an ice breaker for teaching valuable skills that can aid these kids in getting jobs (teaching computer skills through video games. The cynical out there might laugh and wonder what Grand theft Auto has in terms of positive influences, but i'l cover that another day)
For now, I'm involved with something called Helping the Helpers, which is a feeding scheme started by Sunrise chip and Ranch (Jonnies Roties - you might have heard of them on Sparks Road?) The owner has subsidised the price of Bunny Chows and I'l be helping with the distribution of the food. If anyone is interested in sponsoring or would like to help me distribute leave me a comment or send me an e-mail. The bunny chows work out to 3 rand each, and trust me when I say that there are fewer things in life as satisfying as seeing the gratitude in the eyes of the less fortunate.
If you dont have transport, no problem - we'l make a plan. I'm currently working on press releases and I am in touch with friends in the media so hopefully you might hear about this soon.
While I believe in empowerment rather than hand outs, for now, I am happy with this. You can also distribute it with the intentions of Esaale sawaab if you like.
Its just 3 rand for a Quarter Beans bunny.
3 rand to fill an empty belly with hot food.
Think about it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Matrix - The Halaal Version

Ive decided to keep the original names and settings, but rather change the dialogue (OK, so Trinity doesnt go with the whole Muslim feel, but hey - its a cool name so i'm keeping it). Also, I seem to be high on Cough Syrup as everything is swirling around me so not sure if any of this will make sense :P i'l just start typing and stop when I see double.
A computer screen.
We are on-line, on MIRC, on the Islam channel.
FootNSync: I heard Morpheus has been on this board.
Sexcchik786: Morpheus doesn't even exist and the Matrix is nothing but a scare tactic that parents use to frighten their kids like Mias farm
M3 ZN: Sexcchik a/s/l mwah
Sexcchik786: Get a life M3
Conspiracy Khalid: The Matrix is a euphemism for the government.
FootNsync: No, The Matrix is the system controlling our lives.
Mo Mo: You mean Shariah?
FootNsync: No, I mean Kajoor!
Digital Molvi: Kajoor Zinbabad!!!
Neo is sitting back, munching on some murkhoo and reading the whole conversation, while shaking his head. 'Chootias', he mutters as he crunches on a particularly crispy segment.
All of a sudden a message flashes up on his screen
Do you want to know what the Matrix is, Neo?
Neo is frozen when he reads his name.
If you want to know, follow the Arafat Keffiya.
Just then someone knocks on the door. Neo thinking that its SAFACT coming to raid his house for pirated software stays quiet. A second knock jilts him slightly but then he hears a familiar voice. 'Hey Akhi, open up. Its Iqbal'.
'What do you want Iqbal?' Neo asks quite bluntly
Iqbal - 'Do you have copies of the latest Sami Yusuf Akhi? We're really into the whole meditaranean thing right now. Gonna light a hubbly bubbly and chill'
Neo - 'Twenty Rands Iqbal, but remember, this is Awakening records and not some Pakistani studio so if you get caught with it, we never met'
Iqbal - dont worry Akhi, there is no copyright in Islam, this is a Jewish concept made to make Jewish companies like Microsoft rich. Why dont you join us? We just about to put the double apple and mint mix in the hookah - my personal favourite
Neo - No thanks man, maybe another time.
Neo then sees a Palestinian Keffiya wrapped around Iqbals bicep.
Iqbal sensing that Neo is staring at the scarf - Oh This. You like it? Latest fashion in Milan I hear. Allah u Akbar.
Neo joins them and they go to the Bombay to Beirut Restaurant to smoke a hookah. At the club a lady approaches him
Trinity - Asalaam u Alaikum Neo.
Neo - Wa Alaikumus salaam. How did you know my --
Trinity - I know a lot about you. I've been wanting to meet you for some time.
Neo - Who are you?
Trinity- My name is Trinity.
Neo - Jis-Laaik!
Trinity - What?
Neo I just thought... you were a guy.
Trinity - Most guys do.
Neo is a little embarrassed.
Neo Do you want to go somewhere and talk?
Trinity - no thanks. I dont walk with strange people, and you arent my mahram. Your life is in danger Neo, there is someone I want you to meet
Trinity takes Neo to see Morpheus
INT. ROOM 1313 Across the room, a dark figure stares out the tall windows veiled with decaying lace. He turns and his smile lights up the room.
Morpheus - Salaams Neo. As you no doubt have guessed, I am Morpheus. Please Behta. Come. Sit. Aaja.
They sit across from one another in cracked, burgundy- leather chairs.
Morpheus - I imagine, right now, you must be feeling a bit like youve just read three hundred rakaats of taraweeh. A little bit disoriented and tired?
Neo -You could say that.
Morpheus - hmm. Acha. I can see it in your eyes. Lets get into it. Do you believe in taqdeer, Neo?
Neo - No.
Morpheus - Why not?
Neo - Because I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my life.
Morpheus - I know exactly what you mean. As children, we do not separate the supernatural from the logical. We are told to learn only that which is given to us in our Madressah Books. Our Jusdaans represent the beggining and end of our learning. But I see that you read. You read therefore you are free Neo
Neo - Free from what?
Morpheus - From the Matrix.
Neo loocks at Morpheus's eyes but only sees a reflection of himself.
MORPHEUS Do you want to know what it is, Neo?
Neo swallows and nods his head.
Morpheus - It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from Haq.
Neo - What Haq?
Morpheus That you are a slave, Neo.
Neo - No Seriously Uncle, whats the Matrix?
Morpheus - Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.
Neo - How?
Morpheus - Hold out your hands.
Morpheus Holds two pills in his hands, a red and a blue pill.
Morpheus - This is your last chance. No going back. You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed with a massive erection that will go away four hours and life will continue. You take the red pill and it breaks the fast that you were in all this time.
Neo - The casings look like thay have bovine gelatin, are these pills even Sanha approved?
Morpheus - Its a matrix, A MATRIX! Just say bismillah and pop one in your mouth, I dont have all day to explain this to you. I havent read Esha yet. Remember that all I am offering is the truth. Nothing more.
Neo opens his mouth and swallows the red pill.

We then see the sequence where Neo's body is released from the pod and he awakens to see Morpheus

Morpheus - Welcome, to the Dunya. We are aboard my ship, the Musafir. It is small, and cramped, but very homely. We are on our way to Zion, the last outpost for free men.

Neo - Why do you call it Zion?

Morpheus - There used to be some Natives carried over from the previous Matrix who used to live there but we occupied the land with our superior weaponry, hence Zion

Neo - Makes sense to me.

Morpheus - Before we do anything, we have to train you. Tank, load up the Jihad training.

Neo spends the afternoon learning wrestling, archery, stone throwing as well as how to fire an AK 47.

Morpheus - Now that you are prepared, we have to see the Oracle. She will guide you

They go to see the Oracle

Neo is seen in a waiting room of some sort, surrounded by kids who have either cancer or have just returned from Umrah. He sees a little boy bending a spoon, and is fascinated by this so he leans a little closer

Spoon boy - Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth.

Neo - What truth?

Spoon boy - There is no spoon.

Neo - There is no spoon?

Spoon boy - Then you'll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

Neo - Yeah, but its sunnat to eat with your fingers so I dont see why you think youre so special following the West. Astagfirullah

Neo is then led to the Oracle, who is in the kitchen busy preparing for Iftar

A Woman is huddled beside the fryer, peering inside through the starining device.

The smell of freshly fried mince samoosas colour the air

Oracle - Smell good dont they

Oracle - I'd ask you to sit down, but, you're not going to anyway. Yar Hamakullah

Neo - Huh, why'd you say th.. [Neo then has a violent sneeze] Aachoo!

Oracle- Thats why.

Neo - How did you know?

Oracle - Ohh, what's really going to bake your noodle later on is, would you still have sneezed if if I hadn't said anything?

MJ

(cough syrup is starting to kick in so i'm going to call it a night.) Stay tuned for part two (there will be a part two Great one)

So - thoughts so far?

Ive taken bits of the script from the second draft of the script and not the final script.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Concerning Movie Quotes

The task.
Take the American Film Institutes (AFI) top hundred movie quotes off all time and apply some of them to a scenario with The Great One, The MJ and The OH. Without adding or removing any words, or placing ques, change the context of the quotes.
(OK, so i thought of it now, but here goes)
Straight after KOTP
Waseem : "I'm king of the world!"
MJ: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."
OH : "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"
"I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse"
"Here's Johnny!"
MJ : "Well, nobody's perfect."
Waseem: "Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."
OH: "Say hello to my little friend!"
Waseem: "It's alive! It's alive!"
MJ: "Houston, we have a problem."
OH: "I am big! It's the pictures that got small."
Waseem : "You can't handle the truth!"
OH: "You talkin' to me?"
"Go ahead, make my day."
"You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow."
"Who's on first."
Waseem: "Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!"
MJ: "Show me the money!"
OH: "You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"
MJ: "What we've got here is failure to communicate."
OH: "My precious."
Waseem: "Snap out of it!"
MJ: "We'll always have Paris."
OH: "Hasta la vista, baby."
MJ

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Concerning Cyanide

I enjoy taking Cyanide and Happiness comics and adding new text to it. (it first started with KOTP stuff, but then I expanded to Muslim stuff. I mostly do this because I dont have any graphic design expertise whatsoever (Life of an aspiring copywriter I guess)


Let me know if you cant read the text, i'l post it up under it. I think if you click on the picture it'l open up on a new page.. (hopefully)


Adapted from Cyanide and happiness.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Concerning Snack Platters

There is one thing that we cannot live without, and obviously this one thing changes from person to person. For me, that one thing is Coke. I can live without my cellphone and my car and my little blue cheapie spur mints but life will be almost impossible without coke. And life without pleasure is not life at all. I was going through some of the pics taken yesterday at Shaista's birthday party and I found one of me staring affectionately at a can of coke I was drinking. Not sure who took the pic (I think it was saffiya) I find immense joy in the smaller things in life. One day it might come back and hurt me in the form of a failed kidney or something but right now its all good.

The party was held at Nescafe in Musgrave. So, what’s the most important thing to MJ when he goes out? That’s right - the food.. So - does Nescafe deliver?

NO!



Ok, I really don’t want people to get the idea that I am extremely fussy and nothing ever pleases me or anything. I love Nandos, I love KFC, I love chicken Licken , I love Spur, I love Bombay to Beirut (sometimes) I love Mochachos, Subway... man, I love to eat. So when I bitch about something you know it has to be bad.


So - for starters we had the snack platter - the idea behind this was really good, but the food itself - yeuck! The Haloumi and chips were tasty. The Steak Riblets however were too rubbery and had a strong meat smell. so did the steak kebabs. The chicken Sosaties fared better but I know many places that serve better (Kikis comes to mind). Also, the dips that accompanied the platter were just weak. Nothing is worse than going to an upmarket joint and getting sauce that you have lying in your fridge. Stuff like Wellingtons Sweet Chilli Sauce . Thats why I like the Buffalo wings at Spur so much - because they serve it with two sauces that you wont find anywhere else (I’m still looking for a place that sells the sauce Spur use - its called Durky Sauce)

Next up we had a Chicken and Feta Pizza with Peppadews. That wasnt too bad. Had a caminettos feel to it. Nothing I'd drive to Musgrave to buy though (I drive to Scooters for their double salami Pizza) I didnt get a chance to try the Tramezzini but the chick opposite me ( I forgot her name) had one bite and immediately put it down so it couldn’t have been that good. The Chicken Arabiata was slightly better, as it had a decent 'pungenticity' (yeah, I just made that up) but Caminettos does it better at half the price. Finally, the Alfredo. hmmmm. How do I describe the Alfredo. I took a bite of it, and immediately this chick looks at me and says 'You're going to blog about it, aren’t you?' I guess its like buying a can of coke at Spar as opposed to buying it at the Hilton hotel. Same product, same taste, same gaseous burp... huge discrepancy in price. But I guess you have to pay the rent.



Having said all this about the food, I still maintain that Nescafe is a very good venue for a first date. It leaves a good impression to the chick you’re trying to impress. Lets just hope that she burnt all her tastebuds in a freak GHD accident beforehand and it'll all go well.



MJ

I cant stop saying Kurt Wagner in a funny accent.

I provided a link to my top fifty games under my chatbox - i'l update it as I update the list (look out for 30 -21 tomorrow)

Friday, May 09, 2008

Concerning Super Heroes 2

So Last week I did my seven worst super hero movies of all time. Its much harder to do a seven best super hero list, and undoubtedly most of you guys will disagree with some of my choices (especially you, you and most importantly you) Its human nature to remember things you hate more than things you love I guess. Because sometimes we take things that we love for granted. I'm referring to Coke here. OK here goes



7. Spiderman 3 - Was I the only one who liked emo Parker? I found this movie to be really good. Two villains, two good guys, two love interests.. and the look on Mary Janes face when Spidey slips Gwen the tongue. I love it. I did not like Spiderman 2 for the simple reason that they spoilt the entire movie in the five minute trailer.


6. Superman - The original , not the shitty Bryan Singer version. Christopher Reeve was an awesome Superman. This movie rocked. Even the theme was good, and I listen to it on my cellphone occasionally


5. Fantastic Four - for me the original had everything that you would expect in a super hero movie. Interesting characters, good special effects and a dash of comedy so that it does not take itself too seriously. The sequel sucked.


4. V for Vendetta - For me, the hook in this movie was its implicit dealing with Islam - let me highlight two points - firstly, Muslims were blamed for the attack (turns out it was government using fear to establish a totalitarian theological regime) and secondly - and everyone remembers this bit - when the guy shows Evey the Quran. I consider myself to embody aspects of anarchism, so I enjoyed those bits as well


3. Blade 2 - Blade is an adaptation of a Marvel comic so he makes the list. The first movie was good but had three fight scenes (club, archive and climax) The sequel however builds on the first movie and adds reapers (typing this from memory so I might be wrong). Blade 3 wasnt that good - too much comedy for my liking and they made a Hunter a puss.


2. Spiderman - I loved the original Spiderman. Great casting (apart from Mary Jane - i hate Kirsten Dunst) and it had Randy Macho man Savage in it.


1. X 2 - My favourite super hero movie of all time. The only other movie that had a better opening than X men 2 was the Simpsons movie. X 2 had everything one could ask for in an Xmen movie. Brotherhood and X men working together to rescue Xavier, Cool enemies like lady Deathstrike and a story line that didn't make it feel like it was 'Logan and the boys'.


Honorable mentions that didn't make the cut - Daredevil, Superman 2 and Iron Man


MJ

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Concerning Assuagement

I really like the Great ones adaptation of that crappy Umbrella song so heres a homage to you oh knifing king
Hey There Jameelah
Sung to the Tune of Hey There Delilah by Plain White T's
Hey there Jameelah
What's it like in Baghdad City?
I'm a thousand miles away
But girl, tonight I feel so shitty
Yes I do
The whole world faced its back towards you
I swear it's true
Hey there Jameelah
Don't you worry about the ordnance
and the cluster bombs are only
for your freedom I assure you
Close your eyes
the threat of WMD’s were our disguise
to capitalize
Oh it's oil I want to see
Oh it's oil I want to see
Oh it's oil I want to see
Oh it's oil I want to see
Oil I want to see
Hey there Jameelah
I know times are getting hard
But just believe me, girl
Someday the U.N will step right in and
We'll have it good
We'll have the safety we knew we would
Our war is good
Hey there Jameelah
I've got so much left to do
Invade Iran, Sudan and the East
To give them democracy
Liberate them all
Even more evil dictators will fall
We'd have it all
Oh it's oil I want to see
Oh it's oil I want to see
Oh it's oil I want to see
Oh it's oil I want to see
A thousand miles seems pretty far
But we’ve got tanks and armoured cars
We’d just nuke you if we had no other way
The world would all be sick of us
and we'll just laugh along because we know
That none of them could stop our show
Jameelah I can promise you
That by the time we get through
The world will never ever be the same
And we’re to blame
Hey there Jameelah
You be good and don't you diss me
Two more years and Iraq will self destruct
And We'll be making history like we do
You'll know it's all cause of GW2
We can do whatever we want to
Hey there Jameelah here's to you
This one's for you
Oh it's oil I want to see
Oh it's oil I want to see
Oh it's oil I want to see
Oh it's oil I want to see
Oil I want to see


MJ

Concerning First Years

Had a discussion with the first years on 'Media and Sport' yesterday. Well, actually it was on the 'Construction of sporting personalities in the South African Media'. I wrote down three names on the board - Carlos Alberto P, Hansie and Luke Watson and I asked them to break into groups and discuss one of them. My original lecture was going to be on Media legislation pre and post democracy but the projector and I seemed to be at odds. I lost this round, but four years of lecturing has taught me to always have a backup plan.
I find that the best way to teach media studies is to use examples that the students can relate to. So when I do a lecture on say Media coverage of the war in Iraq, when I handle the anti war movement I will play songs that the students know. I think the key element for being a media student is to be critical of any text that you come across. Herein lies the problem. Sometimes you become so critical that you lose touch with 'popular taste'(Archtype pointed this out when he disagreed with my gaming preferences - wait till you see my list on mydl tonight - theres no final fantasy there at all)

MJ

Monday, May 05, 2008

Concerning Stan Lee




My thoughts on Iron Man.

A bit of background history - before watching the movie I knew zilch about the Iron Man mythology. Had no idea that the guys name is Tony Stark or even why he built the suit in the first place - I just assumed he wanted to win the science fair or something. All I knew was that he was Red and Gold, and resembled a Birmingham City soccer kit from the seventies ( I looked that up - I know shit about soccer pre 2005)


Everytime I watch a Marvel Superhero movie, the first thing I look for is the Stan Lee cameo. Stan Lee is the creator of most of the big franchises (Spiderman, X Men, Fantastic Four etc) and has a cameo in most movies. Heres some of the movies he appeared in



  • In Xmen he was a hotdog cart vendor (he likes this role I think)


  • Spiderman 1 and 2 he was saving people from broken buildings and stuff (not web slinging like spidey, more like grabbing them and pushing them away from a falling piece of concrete


  • I cant remember if he was in Hulk, and i'l never watch that movie again to verify


  • In Spidey 3 he gives Peter some introspective advice and motivation which could be loosely translated as 'You should tap that Blonde chick'


  • In the first Fantastic four movie he is the bellhop or porter or something


  • In Daredevil young Ben Affleck (Matt Murdock I think) stops him from getting knocked


  • My favourite Stan Lee cameo is from the second Fantastic Four movie when he attends the wedding, but finds out that he isnt on the list. He then tells the bouncer, 'but i'm Stan Lee'. Hilarious

Iron Man does not disappoint as I get a Stan Lee cameo about twenty minutes into the movie (Tony Stark mistakes him for Hugh Hefner) Hang on, I havent said anything the movie.


I liked it.


Its no X Men 2, but I liked it. I think the casting of Robert Downey Jnr was amazing. The guy took the role and gave it a sense of maturity that Christian Bale could only wish he could portray with his Batman. Speaking of batman, Iron Man and Batman share the same backstory - Rich boys with no superpowers but fancy gadgets. Batman is Iron Man with less chance of rust. But Iron Man can fly which is much cooler than any gay gadget Bruce can whip out from his utility belt.


This is the first Marvel movie to use Muslims as antagonists (correct me if i'm wrong) I did some research on Iron Man earlier tonight, and found out that many liberties were taken with regards to the retcon, replacing the communist Chinese bad guy with a Taliban fighter, and replacing the conflict from Vietnam to Afghanistan. It does provide a modern feel to the movie, and does reflect conflict zones. I'm going to explore this further soon. Does the media reflect society or influences it. hmmm. Not very simple.


MJ