the mudpond

It's good to let things breathe in your imagination because often your initial response to it is not the best thought-through response. I savour little glimpses of life. Mine and those of people who turn me sideways and around. Friend or stranger. Even a child. (the world looks different from down there) Sometimes an author, photographer, artist. I let things saturate and incubate here. Hopefully, deeper meanings can percolate up and flower.

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

A stray cat.



Jerking the Long (H)Arm of the Law and Up To No Good....

“Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall
Humpty Dumpty had a big fall
All the King's horses and all the King's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again"

Many childrens' nursery tales such as Humpty Dumpty have an entirely different meaning than the one we know. In earlier times, any criticism of the ruling order was considered as sedition or treason and you were likely to lose your head as well as other parts of your anatomy if you voiced them. But this didn't stop people from talking about and commenting on events, you just had to be careful how you voiced them. Hence the 'kids' songs, where the references to the ruling class' policies of the day were encrypted into a language where everybody knew what the words really meant.

Alas, Blogosphere too has its own Humpty Dumpty.

There will always be haves and have-nots and those with a vested interest in silencing voices that could 'cause trouble' and the werewithal to do it.
There will always be those who do not feel what they have to say is worth saying.
And there will always be those who yell out their message but are too far ahead of everyone else to be taken seriously.

Blogosphere needs its independence from the mainstream. It has values, rules and a culture of its own. But it is not set apart. It has borders where it meets other worlds: membranes through which ideas, images and customs all percolate. It is also a new world, where pathfinders and pioneers have much to say. It is also where the landless can stake claims, the frustrated find opportunities. So what matters in the virtual world, this relatively new land of opportunity? Perhaps, above all, this:

Will we use it to let ALL voices be heard?

Related: What's up?
A Chilling Effect
Good man is bad man?



Blogger minishorts said...

And there will always be those who yell out their message but are too far ahead of everyone else to be taken seriously.

Urm. I beg your pardon. I think the case should be 'there will always be those who yell out their message but are too far behind everyone else to be taken seriously'.

5:21 PM  
Anonymous bawangmerah said...

the question is, should all voices be heard? If a voice is disturbing, can everyone handle it?

5:29 PM  
Blogger totoro said...

who's too far ahead?

who's too far behind?

why everyone like to speak in alien languages 1? limpeh dun understand... *sniff*

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bawang merah,

Who is to decide whether a voice should be heard? On what basis do you decide that a voice is disturbing.

Even if you want to shut up someone, there is effectively no way to do so. People will just have to learn how to handle it.

Freddie Chong

10:50 PM  
Blogger percolator said...

I do mean 'ahead'. Blogging demands immediacy and spontaneity = higher tendency for consensus building. As in blog buster drama, there seems (for me, anyway), to be a deja vu sense of 'manufactured consent' characteristic of the MSM - there is clearly, obvious effort on the part of those jerking the law's arm. So perhaps people are hesitant to express contrary opinions, lest they be (implicitly) considered socially irresponsible.

The bane of blogging is the demand for speedy exchanges. It denies the time for ideas to thoughtfully percolate. Those who do (not necessarily for the sake of being different) are, imo anyway, ahead... reading/thinking critically.

What's really being challenged, is the idea that Humpty Dumpty (whether govt, MSM or some jerk) has some pre-ordained right to control what we read, see or listen to – all in our own interests of course – and that the free flow of information is somehow dangerous to us.

Implicit in this view is that we are not able to think for ourselves and come to our own conclusions about what is or isn't 'dangerous'. This is one of the rationale's behind the modern, 'security state', and 'responsible citizen' or netizen, whatever.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Lucia Lai said...

the thing is some bloggers are quite selective. voices that are directed at certain people, they'll deem it seditious/irresponsible, while voices directed at other certain people, they won't bat an eyelid. hmm... sound like our gomen. good lord! bloggers imitating our gomen?

4:52 PM  
Blogger minishorts said...

hmmm since the two of you (lucia and percolater) seems to be so ... intent on making your voices known, why not collaborate and come up with something more substantial then all these beating about the bush.

makes reading a whole lot easier than all this running about.

MY TWO SEN. Not like its worth much.

11:38 PM  
Blogger Lucia Lai said...

it's not only the two of us, minishorts. there's several others like totoro, freddie chong, chez78 and others.

well if you don't find what we... sorry have to speak for myself... what i had said not substantial, what can i do. i had said what i wanted to say clearly and i am satisfied with what i said, and i will say it in my own way (though you might look to it as beating around the bush)... not the way others want me to.

thanks for your 2 cents worth anyway. maybe others feel like you too. (it is worth that much.)

11:48 PM  
Blogger minishorts said...


Now I really encourage you guys to form a blog of your own..
VERY mah fan lah read here read there... if ppl want to hantam you all also you guys have to fly here fly there... no credibility one you know...

what you think? ^_^

2:17 AM  
Blogger minishorts said...

OH BTW... lucia.. just to make things clear. if you're going to talk about who's who on your camp. count me out ah.

I'm a neutral person. YOU DIDN"T SEE ME talk about this issue, did ya?

Besides, i don't think there is such a thing as absolute freedom. Freedom must come with accountability, and a bit of sense helps to clarify the picture.

(Precisely why you shouldn't be flying here flying there... very messy thing you know?)

2:41 AM  
Blogger Lucia Lai said...

don't worry minishorts, i won't count you in at all whichever camp.

yes i understand about the freedom part... no absolute freedom... freedom comes with responsibility and all that blah. i was not talking about freedom only but also something about going about taking actions.

start a blog? what do you mean? that we who are on one camp join forces and start one blog? whatever for? no point i see. i say what i want to say in my own blog and in comments of others, that's enough. after all, for ALL topics, that's what we all do. sure i say it in my blog, then if others opine thier views in their blogs, sure i will fly there and opine mine too in their blogs. that's the way it is... flying here and there for me. noting messy in it i see. that's what i had been doing too for ANY topics. only thing is that this topic seems to be popular therefore stands out and people tend to give more attention to it.

thanks for your views, minishorts. unfortunatly i don't share your views though i might take it into consideration. (huh?)

9:30 AM  
Blogger Spot said...

I had to laugh when I first saw the initial comment by minishorts. Challenging percolator on linguistics? That was too funny, but not worth commenting on in writing at the time.

Interesting to note, percolator, that there was no response to your very calm clarification to her obvious barb. You wouldn’t have seen that kind of restraint had the position been reversed.

The exchange with Lucia that followed was baffling, thus prompting me to comment.

There are people who really ought to avoid casting the credibility stone. Particularly those who clearly fancy themselves (whilst vociferously denying it) as some species of authority on blogging etiquette, as evident from how overly-serious they take blogging and in particular, their blogs, yet are incapable of responding without churlish (I love this word!) pettiness. Talk about putting the plot on milk cartons.

intent on making your voices known, why not collaborate and come up with something more substantial then all these beating about the bush.

Now I really encourage you guys to form a blog of your own..

(Precisely why you shouldn't be flying here flying there... very messy thing you know?)

Minishorts, it’s quite a good thing you chose to come over here, where it’s relatively quiet traffic-wise, to immortalise those gems of juvenility. Your gang (or do I have to say “geng” for your comprehension) mentality really does detract from your undeniable talent as a comic writer (sadly overshadowed by your preoccupation with blogs, blogging, bloggers,).

I really don’t understand why lucia and percolator should form a collective blog to voice their respective opinions? What’s wrong with saying it on their own blogs? Nobody expects, nor sniffily told you to form a collective “XX,-you-suck” blog with the other sheep on the bandwagon before your could write your admittedly hilarious saga of the pink poodle. Yes, please accelerate the process by which you’ll actually become even a teeny bit like Mr. Scalzi.

Where there’s a comment box, people comment. There will be idiots, there will be PMS-excused ranters, there will be worshippers, there will be innocent passers-by. Sometimes a jackass comes along and gets all inflammatory. How one deals with that, is a clear measure of the kind of person one is.

As for being more substantial, the people you’re picking on are articulating their thoughts on a very complex subject, in their own space and in spaces which invite comments. Isn’t that a tad more substantial than “not talking about this issue”? Just so we’re clear, I think it’s perfectly ok to be neutral because the subject IS complex, for which there are no simple answers like “oh, faster faster, call the media, report to the police!” (who doesn’t know that making a police report in this country is about as productive as, oh, trying to reason with you?).

Yes, I’m feeling very unproductive today, but I’m not about to call the press to document that.


11:55 AM  
Blogger Spot said...

Sorry percolator, if that post sparks off any hissy fits. I wasn't sure of how her rules go, whether to address it here, or at her blog, or form a collective blog with lucia, you and whoever not in the opposing "geng", or at my own blog.

It's a pity that those with any real notion of how complex the ideas of civil society and regulation are, are being shouted down and dismissed as being cravenly hiding behind anonymity.

The lack of forward thinking was so evident by the fact that initially, GM's inflammatory statement at Peter's site was deliberately left undeleted while the drums on the high ground were being responsibly and very paradoxically banged on.

Aizuddin is right. Bloggers are responsible for their own property. If in Peter's view the comment was inflammatory (as opposed to just plain idiotic), it should have been deleted (which it eventually was).

And since the argument that what's illegal offline is also illegal online has been trotted out, what should a homeowner do if he discovers inflammatory graffiti on his front door (with the vandal's postal address conveniently attached)? Call the police and LEAVE THE GRAFFITI on the door for all to sympathise? Or was it for justification?

The intent of the inflammatory message (ie to inflame readers, to incite readers to hate blah blah) and consequence of its continued airtime was lost, the moment one succumbed to the temptation of media attention.

So, are we now, based on this GM precedent and Mack's rationale, obliged to lodge a police report everytime we hear a racist comment being made (the police would really be kept busy)? What about a comment made by a blogger in his own post, about China as a country of opium smokers? Or do we resort to huffing "perkauman, perkauman, perkauman?"

It's so ironic that the people calling for accountability in this case are likely to be the same people to get their knickers in twists over blanket censorship of the word "god" on tv. Notice said censorship on Astro lately?

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very interesting.

I always wondered why some ppl in the Mid-East keep telling the world that democracy and freedom is not all that good, and that central authority is the best.

Now I am actually seeing a little of this mind-set being manifested here!

So, there are ppl who actually think that freedom should be restricted, and there should be monitors to make sure that things are ok, and ppl should report to the authorities when someone else goes beyond the boundaries, etc.

People actually want to give up liberties! Why?....Why would anyone possibly want to do that?

After reading some of the postings here and in other blogs, I come to understand an interesting long standing hypothesis - That people after getting so used to not having freedom, become aprehensive about getting it.

Everyone is so used to established taboos about not talking about this and not questioning that, etc. There is a certain constancy, a stability, and predictability. Nevermind whether it is fair to everyone, or that people lose certain rights and liberties. The moment freedom is presented face on, people actually get scared!

It reminds me of experiments with animals (higher mammals, larger brain capacities, mainly apes) which have been caged for all their lives. The moment you open the doors, these animals get all confused and distressed. They simply don't know what to make of the possibility of getting out of the cage. Close the cage doors again, and all is well.

The analogy and congruence here is so unmistakable!

When people have gotten used to not having liberties for so long, they fear that they may not be able to handle such liberties if given back, and hence, people can actually become apprehensive of greater freedoms, liberties, choices, and mobility.

Freddie Chong

1:22 PM  
Blogger percolator said...

Oh don't worry 'bout it, spot.

Funny how I was thinking, precisely about "hissy fits" and how easily people get offended for imagined 'slights', these days. This morning, I was poised to post on that, when... Oopsie! I discovered, I have apparently been 'offensive' with my differing perceptions and opinions.

On an extremely busy (and boring but productive for me!) day like today, I'm content to be amused - in more ways than one. And so far, nothing's been said that I'm inclined to trash.

Time is a tyrant, gotta go now, but please, do feel free to vent, spot. :P

cheers, all.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Lucia Lai said...

spot, you are spot on with your response to minishorts. i love it. hope you don't mind my response too baffling. i'm trying not to be too 'hissy fits'. ;)

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Freddie: "I always wondered why some ppl in the Mid-East keep telling the world that democracy and freedom is not all that good, and that central authority is the best."

No need much to wonder also e.g., why the UN and some nations cannot come to a satisfactory definition on terrorism. They haven't heard of dictionay?! They have no brains? Actually they are deviously insincere.

They merely also just want to serve their "sovereignty and integrity " bit and maintain that above natural and recogniseable justice that transends borders. The shallow ugly self-agenda of prideful conditioning and ignorance.

For people dogmatised to believe they believe in and possess the highest moral as culturally indoctrinated, there is nothing more to understand. They do not have the clear sightedness to understand that for every stimulus, there is a response. That the response is within our control. The lack of control, especially out of blind pride, simply zombiefied like is the lot of the shackled ppl. Their very Creed is the antitheisis of Freedom but who'll stands to lose from freedom apart from their mullahs?


12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Jerks", that's an appropriate name. The unjust people naturally preserve need having their false morality busted.

When Vietnmaese refugee boats were dragged out to sea(and denied)and well publicised oversea, of course that is indeed "sensitive".

Yeah, when those poor Vietnamese fled war-torn Vietnam to Malaysia, they were pushed away into the rough seas but when those Thai Muslims illegally crossed the border, suddenly they were the victims of political circumstances.

Hypocrites and Jerks.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Percolators, bother not about dubbed "offensive". :D

It's a kneejerk symptom of excessive pride to take offense everywhere. In its terminal stage, no appeasement is possible nor deserved for the seething they chose.


12:42 PM  
Blogger totoro said...

woot... suddenly lucia mention limpeh's name. what happen? i tried to read all the comments, but still i dun understand what's going on. now now, can't we all juz get along? :D

totoro - for world piss.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Spot said...

tortoro - there are 2 threads in this comment box. one refers to percolator's subject matter.

the 2nd refers to the illogic of minishorts' contradictory picking on of lucia. and losing the plot.

you're preaching in the wrong comment box. people can have contrary opinions AND get along.

some however, hold the worldview that everyone ought to get along with them and their friends by not having a contrary opinion therewith.

lucia - no, don't mind at all. :)

10:15 AM  
Blogger minishorts said...

why not leh? more fun to read mah... its easier because these two aunties have english that's too high and too difficult for someone with my not-so-educated and not-so-clever mind to understand...

u know lah i don't blogsurf THAT much at all... but I read about these two ,throwing the ball around, and i thought it would nice to see them play in a big play ground of them own... i wasn't challenging anyone at all...

i can't help it that everyone likes to laugh at the nonsense i write... remember? :P

11:16 AM  
Anonymous ong said...

Good debate ! When some `received opinions' has it that anonymous posts are always suspect and lack crediblity the Handbook for Cyberdissidents by Reporters Sans Frontiere actually gave half-a-book of professional-assisted `how-to-blog-anonymously' advisories ! It is said sensibly that anonymity is often needed to keep your identity from probing long arms of the law eg if an accountant want to blow the cover of some bribe-a- project developer boss! And crediblity is built through content management -not by projecting a (brand)name or a face !

So : why not learn to treat ideas as they are and not get too bothered about the messengers -anonymous or not ? In the Goodman vs Badman episode I am baffled by the emphasis on the blogger over the message. If anyone think the message is offensive rebuke the message with your `smarter arguments -or if it is not worth your time -delete/block it. Why build up such a scare over being prosecuted by police ? Actually I think it is preferable to reason with an honest racist than deal with political racists (who think they get votes by being racists, no matter how untenable) -and the former varieties are probably the anonymous ones who posts their thoughts in blogs -but the political variety do it up front in the mainstream press eg waving a kris to scare non-Malays. Wonder why the same people who ran to the cops for the 1st variety of racists somehow are `restrained' towards the latter ! But the point is : why not put some thought to reason out what is wrong with the message in each case to prove that you have indeed a more sensible idea ? Why must we blot out such potentially productive debates in the blogosphere ?

2:07 PM  
Blogger Spot said...

wahlau eh minishorts jie jie, you so crever wan, respect lah. good hor, when pretend pretend be ah lian so ader people will stupid stupid belif like you acherly so gong kia wan.

acherly hor, jie jie, der auntie auntie dey aw dunno only err.. like we aw kind of people wan ah, sibey kengchau wan leh. dey think we so childish and nonsen, but what dey noe hor? we so pretty, so cleber and femes wan, so many sapportes, dun play play ah. we play our england and kana dem until dey heen ah.

Oh minishorts. Transparent as ever. You are, to paraphrase the words of a jackass with a valid point, exactly what you are. A twenty four year old ...girl.

It's the perogative of children and fools to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the emperor remains an emperor. And the fool remains a fool.

No, I'm not mistaken with my "diction" try to appreciate the many levels of irony, dear NarcissCus.

p/s - google it in that spelling. you'll be proud to know that you do show up on the search.

2:42 AM  
Blogger Spot said...

Ong, good points. It's like how some people go balistic when condoms and safe sex flyers are distributed. In trying to stamp out the morally corrupt act of even mentioning sex, what more distributing condoms, they miss, perhaps deliberately so, the fundamental point behind the act - that people ARE sexually active, like it or not.

In this country, the line between what's racial and what's racist has gotten so blurred, one ought not even think of a barge pole. But silencing the voice of the racist doesn't mean that it isn't there. The honest (and may I add, rational) racist is very likely coming from factual experience based on an honest, if ugly, truth. Verified no less by the fact of there being sanctioned political racists.

If we're honest with ourselves, we'd admit that most of us have what racist assumptions/views. The mark of a civil society is where the roots of these assumptions and views are constructively addressed for the greater good of removing, or at least easing, tensions.

But we don't live in a civil society. And that's why anonymity is important, so that things that need to be said, if only just to raise awareness, can be said. Of course, that's opening a whole pandora's box of vitriol, inanity and churlishness as well. But we just have to learn to deal with that. Trolls can be ignored, jackassess can be laughed at and shallow little girls can be patted with amusement.

It boggles, the number of people who still think that responding with profanity and petty character assasination is such a clever thing. Right. Similarly, those who obsess over and go nyeh nyeh nyeh at those who choose anonymity. It's funny how some can drown in their shallowness. Funnier still, the fact that those who have a barkfest over credibility and anonymity are usually the ones engaged in unabashed online wanking.

3:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spot says:
"it boggles, the number of people who still think that responding with profanity and petty character assasination is such a clever thing."

That happens when there isn't much original stuff behind, little substance present. It also has to do with being in the twenties and believing to have gained much knowledge and understanding. "The world is mine", sorta.

Although not necessarily always the case, the tendency is particularly great at that stage. And the the common herd also cheer...but I never believe that understanding is attained in proportional to the size of a crowd.

Understanding(from its essential nature) don't descend on a herd en masse ; it is earned individually. A herd commonly thrive on the hubris of numbers.


12:06 PM  

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