Saturday, July 26, 2008

Concerning Toothpicks

Tonight I have decided to take up the Great Challenge (or rather Great Ones challenge) and write a quick short story. Well, a short story has a minimum of a thousand words and all Ive typed in the past fifteen minutes is only about 500 words so we cant call it that now can we - I vote for calling it a quickie fix or a choti choti story (watching Hindi songs at the moment)
As we write stories, we place restrictions that make it challenging. Waseems restriction is that it must not have profanity or sexually suggestive themes. Ive added to those restrictions and Waseem, for your piece It needs to be less than six hundred words and has to contain at least one pop culture reference.
I haven't decided a name for this piece. i'l leave it up to you guys. Will also need a few more restrictions to give Waseem a real challenge. Suggestions, criticisms, concerns and views are welcome.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jack hated when his heart echoed inside him. It felt as if the sound was trying to escape, crashing against his skulls feeble yet immovable resistance. It made him feel like a hollow chocolate Easter Bunny. His heart would only beat when he thought of his beloved Nadia.

Nadia.

The mere spark of her name impaled him. She was the sole skewer that gave everything in the world meaning. What was a joke if Nadia did not laugh, a sentence if she did not like it, or a flavour if she would not taste it. What were words if they had no impact on her. Splinters of an Oak tree. Even the greatest of trees can be whittled into insignificant toothpicks. Had his love also whittled like the mighty Oak?

He was never the only one in the race (wouldn’t be a race then would it – it would just be a guy running) Maybe he wasn’t her type. He wasn’t one of those ‘Joeburg’ boys with their spikey hair, platform boots and daddys money. He would never wear pink or moisturize his elbows. His stubble would always be destined to be just that, stubble. He saw beauty in the bubble-wrap and not in the glass it encased. Perhaps that’s where he went wrong. He gave trinkets when she wanted gifts.

He glanced at the card again, couldn’t be late now could he. He wanted to be remembered for his contributions, his passion and his valor but often felt that he would just be the guy who always pitched up ten minutes late.

He felt ‘backgrounded’, like the music they play in the News broadcasts every evening. Significant, yet never recognized or commended. How could he let go? Everyone lets go of the things they love, but his feelings were more than love. He needed Nadia. You cant let go of something you need. She was his oxygen. He didn’t realize that everyone lets go at some point. The only thing eternal is letting go. He chuckled as he thought about this. Fart references are like Prozac you see.

He glanced at the card once more. As if he could change the words if he concentrated hard enough. He’d like to think that he had OCD, but the truth is that he was only obsessed with one thing. He’d like to think in terms of Psychology. These acronyms lend themselves well to self-flagellation. Increasingly, he was wondering what was wrong with him. Nothing could be wrong with Nadia, so it had to be him. ‘It is rational deduction after all’ he muttered as he laced his shoes. Perhaps he thought that if he vocalized his concerns he would be find it easier to believe them. Maybe he just needed to scream a bit louder, a bit more forceful and with a bit more conviction.

The card was beautiful. ‘It was so her’, he observed as he read the quirky quips and stroked the outlines. Bubbles in a bottle of coke. His memories were very vaudevillian and seemed to get clearer as the days went by.
With one last glance he put down the wedding invitation and adjusted his tie. Today he would finally be the bigger man. Today he will finally begin to hate. Today he will finally let go.

MJ

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Concerning Jack

I still enjoy the odd nursery rhyme and its wonderful how you could come back to the things you've learnt as a child and see them in a new light. I mean, take this classic for example
Jack Sprat could eat no fat,
His wife could eat no lean,
And so between them both you see
They licked the platter clean
Now when I read it I realise that they were compatible for each other not because they shared the same interests and tastes, but because they complemented each other. Also, how many nursery rhymes have fat chicks in them. My favourite Nursery is still 1,2,3,4,5 Once I caught a fish alive, but ive blogged on this before so I wont go into detail now. This brings me to todays post - How are Nursery Rhymes deconstructed today? Lets give some stereotypical responses to a few. Hmm - lets see.. we need a Black Panther militant, a really conservative Indo Pak Muslim... and one more err, Random Shrek Quotes. Leeroy X, Uncle Iqbal and Shrek
Jack and Jill went up the Hill
to fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown
and Jill came tumbling after
Leeroy X: Yeah, Yeah thats right, the brutha has to climb a muthafucking hill to get his water. The Man just has to open a tap and its magically there. Check this out, Jack was pushed.. thats right.. by the Man. He aint got no medical Aid, just one cracked skull.
Uncle Iqbal: Jack should a not be fetching the water. This is the job of the woman. They scooped the water and Jack did not say Bismillah. Allah punish Jack, He fall and broke his head. We make duaa that Jack get Hidayat and leave the kitchen work to the womenfolk.
Shrek: [after being woken up in the middle of the night] Someone had better be dying.
[cuts to everyone in the King's bedroom]
King Harold: I'm dying...
Donkey: ...take drastic steps, kick it to the curb. Don't mess wit' me. I'm the Stair Master. I've mastered the stairs. I wish I had a step right here, right now, I'd step all over it.
Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full;
One for the master,
And one for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.
Leeroy X: Ooh Boy, this right here is the muthafucking cracker anthem. Check this - this is a slave song from back in the day. Field Niggers answering the Man, saying 'Yes sir Yes sir, You are the Master'. Master of the fucking hellgates, Bitch! You spend a whole day busting your ass shearing sheep, and after that you give him two bags and the last one is for the house Nigger staying in the shed. Grown ass man and they call him boy. What shit is this. i'm about to pop a cap in this Racist mutha.
Uncle Iqbal: Ok, Ok. This one poem rhyme is for the bakri Eid. Allah tells us in Quran that the sheep must be divided one three ways. For You, for youre family, and for the poor. Yes, it is most important we giving the poor. Hazrath Ibrahim he going to be cutting his son but he cutting the sheep instead. Male sheep from Jannat. Maybe one day, Insha Allah if we make duaa, that Jack boy go Jannat too.
Shrek: Do you still know the Muffin Man?
Gingerbread Man: Yes, he's down on Drury Lane. Why?
Shrek: Because we're going to need flour. Lots and lots of flour.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again!
Leeroy X: I know what your'l thinking. You'l thinking im going to say Humpty was pushed by the Man.. Fuck that! Humpty was one white ass Egg. That shell was whiter than a Klans uniform. Let me break this shit down for you brutha man. Humpty is a metaphor. A Metaphor for slavery. Thats right! Slavery - the organised oppression and exploitation of the Black Man. In the words of brother Malik el Shabazz - the chickens coming home to roost, and try as they may, those Southern Rednecks couldnt bring back slavery. So what the fuck are the horses? Didnt I say its a muthafucking metaphor! Horses and shit aint important, the white man just threw in horses to be confusing you and deny you your rights. Fuck the horses. Fillie Bitches
Uncle Iqbal: OK, Again with the Jack boy, same problem, same solution. This one is the job for the womenfolk. What do men know about eggs? Do we cook? Do we clean? No! Our job is to work, and the womenfolk be sorting the eggs. It was in the eggs taqdeer to fall. Alhumdulillah. We dont question Allahs will.
Shrek: All right, you're going the right way for a smack bottom
MJ
Stop! Hammertime
Shout out to my man AK - thanks for getting my back on Facebook

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Concerning Tops

Here's another T shirt Idea. I needed to have a print on a white top so I came up with this last night. Its a bit more subtle than my last concept and I'm not sure how many people will get it, but if you're geeky like me you probably will. I can explain it if need be. It seems after the camp we all are a bit meme crazy. Baiyt (بيعة ) should not be confused with Ahlul Bayt.
Continuing with the Video Game reference I came up with this Poster.

Thoughts? Criticism? Is it in poor taste?
mmm, what you say?

MJ

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Concerning ilm

I'm optimistic about South Africa hosting the next world cup. Now, I'm generally known as the sarcastic one or the cynical one but I really want us to succeed. If only to get a chance to watch the games live. Lets face it - The World Cup wont do much for the economy at a grass roots level, we aren't getting a sustainable transport infrastructure out of it, Tsvangirai has a better shot of becoming President of the African Union than Bafana making it out of the group stage.. but hey - at least I'l get to watch some of the matches live. Is this a horrible intention? I'm not sure.


MJ, Great One and Zain 'The Don' Bhikha

The conference started on Saturday morning and went through to Monday evening. Every moment spent there was enjoyable and will remain with me for a very long time. Firstly, everything was so professionally done. from the name tags, to the programmes and even the personalised exampads. The staff were extremely helpful, and the snacks were also good. This is a dilemma that faces us as Muslims - its the one of being simple versus being extravagant. It helps to be simple at times (Funerals, weddings etc) but its also important to be ...hmm - I dont want to say professional as that would imply that simple is not professional but I guess you guys know what I mean.

Secondly - the speakers were amazing. Ilm SA did a wonderful job. If this was a wrestling event it would definitely be the Survivor Series or Summerslam (Wrestlemania would be Tariq Ramadan, Khalid Yaseen, Yusuf Qardawi, Badawi, Webb, Kutty and a few others) Most of us didnt realise the calibre and quality of some of the speakers (myself included) and only when I later looked up Shaik Salman Al Oudah did I realise in whose presence I had the opportunity of sitting in. The Man has a PHD in Fiqh and is considered to be one of the leading Ulema in the world today.

If I had to sum up the Shaiks main points during the conference (He gave three talks including an open panel) It is this - Islam is the most generic and natural religion in the world, and therefore is easy for Mankind. Two, When looking at any action we must think about the benefit of it - does it benefit society? (He used 9/11 as a case study) Three, we should Unite on the common bonds that make us Muslims because 90 percent of what we have is shared (Belief etc), so why fight over the ten percent. Four, we are a moderate nation. Five, our duty is to give the message and not to convert people. That is up to God.

There was a special Youth Question and Answer session on the Sunday night so I got a chance to pose two questions to the Shaik - the first was 'Is clapping permissible? He said that it is good to clap as it encourages the speaker and while it is better to say Alhumdulillah, there is nothing wrong with clapping whatsoever. Second question I asked was whether Oral Sex was permissible? This question made him chuckle. He then went on to give a rather detailed answer outlining everything between a husband and wife and that a husband must pleasure his wife and that sometimes penetration isnt sufficient etc. His fatwa was that everything between a Husband and Wife is permissible except the two things mentioned in the Quran i.e - Anal Sex and Sex during Menses. He cautioned that these things should be kept private (dont discuss it in the staff room i guess).Please bear in mind that while there are no hadith or Quranic injunctions concerning the impermissibility of oral sex, Fuquha differ on this matter therefore I believe that to each his own. Allahu Alam.

Ive attended a fair share of conferences in my life, and this was one of the best. Well done Ilm SA. I cant wait for the next one.

MJ

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Concerning Recycling

Had this T shirt idea when we were coming back to Durban last night. More stuff of mine is being circulated on e-mail without my consent (Luckily its my Cyanide and MJ stuff so my name is in there) So in future i'm going to embed a little 'concerning MJ' in my pics etc. I dont mind my stuff on the net - i just like being credited thats all. I have no graphic design skills whatsoever so I whipped this up using Paint


Thoughts? Criticism? Is it in poor taste?

mmm, what you say?

MJ

Friday, July 04, 2008

Concerning KOTP (3)

Can there ever be KOTP overkill? Ive pondered this before and I came to the conclusion that I don't care. What you are about to see is a highly subjective piece of footage, manipulated to make the long haired victim appear despotic, cruel and perhaps the yardstick or embodiment of Schadenfreude. But since we are having a 'take the piss out of MJ' week. I'l post it up.
Courtesy of Haamish 'im too hot for the cameras' Harvester. Here is a little piece called - The Revolt of the True King.
Please take some time to flood his blog with requests for an OH and Waseem video.

video

Hairy little Leprechaun does have skill with a Video Edit Suite - I'l give him that much.

Think i'l catch Hancock tonight.

Hmm - I also need to do my conference post. Tonight Insha Allah

MJ

Make Laddoo Not War

(Laddoo is such an ugly word)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Concerning Interpretation

I did a quick Cyanide and MJ comic this afternoon. Was just about to post it when I got an e-mail from a friend taking me up on the Motivator challenge.

Boss Lady (aka Nafisa)


Shes right - I look retarded in that pic - but I love it! (its my current fb profile pic) Hope it'l chase the random invites away. Heres to laughing at ourselves. Ive seen e-mails today of other bloggers who have taken the Motivator thing and have run with it so to say - Some good ideas.


Before I forget - heres the latest Cyanide and MJ



adapted from cyanide and happiness


MJ

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Concerning Plagiarism

First of all, I want to start of by saying I hate Leona Lewis's song - Bleeding Love. I cant stand it, never did and I doubt I ever will. And I know that I'm not alone! Im sure there are other bloggers who feel the same.
The second thing I want to touch on is plagiarism. I got a forwarded e-mail yesterday with the Uncle Iqbal jokes that a few of my readers and I thought off a few weeks ago. I came up with the concept of Uncle Iqbal after researching the whole Vernon Koekemoer phenomenom. This isnt the first time something off mine has been used without credit. My designs in first year (even though they were crude and conceptual at best were used as the foundation of a departments entire logo) I have no problem with people forwarding my stuff or using it in their MSA magazines (overseas - an MSA reprinted a watered down version of my Lord of the Rings piece) or whatever. I dont want any type of remuneration for it. Just acknowledgment. I am flattered that some people think my work is worth distributing. I truly am.
I do have a very specific 'Creative commons' licence on all my writing on this domain. A licence I applied for some time ago. It is a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works which basically means you can reproduce it for non commercial purposes as long as you reference me (preferably by website) and that you do not change the original words. There isnt much we can do, and I should be thrilled that my stuff is making the rounds but it does feel wrong and I dont like it. So how do we stop this - well, theres only one thing we can do I guess - if you get the forwarded e-mails and if you want to forward it just add my name or website to the e-mail before you send it off.
This leads me to the issue of online/virtual persona's. The proliferation of personal information on the internet is rather scary. Just last week I saw a Youtube video with me in it. Yesterday I find out that someone has created a Linked (or whatever the fuck it is) account for me. We all remember the ass-hole who created the clone concerning mj blog last year. Yeah - so I google myself from time to time. We have no control over anything in the digital realm, so in that sense I understand why friends would want to keep a veneer of anonymity. At least once I have also hoped that I could post on my blog anonymously. There are some things in my heart that I will not divulge on a public platform like a blog. But at the same time I always want to maintain a level of transparency as I truly believe the MJ you see in my blog and is the same MJ in person.
On a final note - I want to distribute biscuits soon. Does anyone know of any companies I can approach or of any individuals willing to sponsor? I am going to write to Bakers tomorrow but any help will be greatly appreciated. I guess thats how you can give back in some way - If my writing entertains you or makes you think or whatever - perhaps think of giving a little towards the feeding initiative. Fifty rand will buy 70 Oranges. That way everyone wins.
I love Jashn Bahaara from Jodha Akbar
(I'm balancing - one song I hate with one song I love)
Love and Peace
MJ
I am Nostradamus! Check out the tag on the Concerning Iqbal piece. I had a feeling people will swipe my idea without acknoledgement.