Monthly Archives: June 2011

Comic fodder

I will be the first to admit that I’ve never really followed the local news as avidly as I do now. I’ve never bothered about politics or the Malaysian government who appears to have lost all form of brain function, but the issues that have been arising of late have been so ludicrous, so preposterous, so blatantly reeking of corruption and outrageously misplaced corollaries that even one as determined as myself to shut it out can no longer ignore it.

As a follow-up of last week’s post, here’s what E! talk show host — and one of my favorite comedians — Chelsea Handler had to say about the Obedient Wives Club, which has since also been called the Club of Obedient Wives, or COW. It would also be wise to remember that whatever Chelsea sees, Chelsea rips apart:

Bad Girls’ Club

There’s a class in Malaysia called “The Obedient Wives Club.” Apparently they offer sex lessons to help wives “serve their husbands better than a first-class prostitute” so that their men won’t stray. What…a step backwards. I’m sure Malaysian women can’t wait to learn how to get hornier for their husbands after he gets home from a long day of riding his bicycle back and forth to work. Although I’m pretty sure if you sign up for an Obedient Wives Club class, you’re already obedient. The thing that pisses me off even more than the fact that this class exists is that when I first read about it, I thought it was an exciting movie to my favorite Bette Midler vehicle.

However, given that the news of the COW has been circling the drain that is Malaysian journalism for more than a week now, it’s only natural that yet another travesty of Malaysian politics and media propaganda would surface, just in time to ruffle the already disgruntled feathers of the public:

Tourism Ministry: RM1.8 million spent on Facebook pages

KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — A whopping RM1,758,432 was spent on developing six Facebook pages to promote Malaysian tourism, the Tourism Ministry said today.

Deputy Tourism Minister James Dawos Mamit said this today in reply to a question from Anthony Loke (Rasah-DAP).

Each Facebook page cost RM293,072 — Cuti-Cuti 1 Malaysia, Citrawarna 1Malaysia, Karnival Jualan Mega 1 Malaysia, Festival Pelancongan Seni Kontemporari 1 Malaysia, Kempen 1 Malaysia Bersih and Fabulous Food 1 Malaysia.

No doubt the figures presented in the article would be enough to make some forget that Facebook is, in fact, free. And while people are wondering why the government is throwing away good money on something as useless as Facebook, I’m more curious about why it couldn’t come up with a better lie for where the money has been spirited away to. Watch the Ministry of Tourism move faster than New York Representative Congressman Anthony Weiner to retract this galling statement in the coming days — and try to fend off the brutal lashings that the public has been giving since the news was released an hour ago.

Quarter-life crisis

I’m sitting in the SS15 Starbucks, trying to kill time while waiting for Afham to decide if he will be coming back to my house for the weekend. I’ve never really liked coming to this Starbucks, because SS15 has become a nightmare to drive around and look for a parking spot in, and this outlet is perpetually teeming with students because there are three colleges on its doorstep. But it’s still better than going to a mall just for Starbucks, pay for a parking spot on top of my frappucino, and only be allowed to sit there until the mall closes. So I put up with the SS15 Starbucks, at least for the remainder of my time living in Subang Jaya.

As I sat down with my coffee and set about turning my computer on, I overheard snippets of a conversation amongst a group of girls at the table behind me, which went like so:

Girl 1: After finals week I’m going back to his hometown to meet his parents.
Girl 2: *gasp* Waaaaahhhh…! He must be super serious if he’s bringing you to meet his family!
Girl 3: You guys talk about marriage yet?
Girl 1: Not yet la… But maybe after graduation la. Two more years only what.

I lost track of the conversation after that because my mind immediately focused on what Girl 1 had just said. In my head I did the math: if she is graduating in two years, that puts her at about 19 years old right now, 20 at the oldest. And it suddenly me feel very, very old.

I told my boss two days ago that I was thinking of quitting my job (yes, again, after only two months, but that’s for another post) because I’ve realized, after three years of being in this profession, that I don’t want to continue being in this profession. I told him that it was one of those instances where you look/wake/sit up and suddenly realize that you don’t want to keep doing what you’re doing because you’ve lost any love you ever had for it and you feel like you can no longer be good at it (at the risk of tooting my own horn, I did actually love what I did once, and I was actually good at what I did). Then, sensing my boss wasn’t quite convinced, I added that I would like to figure out what I really like or want to do or what I can really be good at by the time I turn 30, and considering it took me three years to figure out that public relations is not it, 30 really isn’t that far off.

My boss’s matter-of-fact response to my little outpouring was: “You’re going through quarter-life crisis, aren’t you?” My immediate instinct was to deny it vehemently, until I read up on it and realized that I might, perhaps, be suffering from a bout of quarter-life crisis. It would certainly explain why I’ve been facing such severe job dissatisfaction, desperate to break out on my own and make something of myself, and dreading every day that brings me closer to infertility (I must note here that I am not dying to have children; I am simply trying to guarantee the option of having them should the need arise — and ensure they turn out free of health problems caused by their mother’s irresponsibility). It would probably also explain why I keep reminiscing about my life in the U.S., bemoaning the fact that I am here now and likely to be stranded here.

And it may also be why panicked mildly when I listened to the college girls’ conversation about marriage. Girl 1 is either growing up so fast that she has already entered the marrying frame of mind, or not growing up at all because she has entered the marrying frame of mind without thinking about all the responsibilities that come with it. Whichever it is, it made me feel extremely old because I am approaching 27 with nothing to my name but a career ballgame that I’m trying with all my might to strike out from, and a relationship that has only recently started maturing but is weighed down by requests to fast-track it to the next available level.

But what really baffles me is that this syndrome even exists. What happened to the days when everything was set in stone — go to college, get a degree that will be useful as opposed to interesting, get a job that will pay the bills, and find someone to spend the rest of your life — and maybe procreate — with? When did life become so complicated and competitive that midlife crisis decided to clone and rename itself and hurl it at an age group that hasn’t lived long enough to know how to deal with it? And, perhaps most importantly, if a phase like this starts so early in life, when on earth will anyone ever be truly happy with themselves?

After telling another colleague yesterday that I had handed in my notice of resignation and having him also declare that I am going through quarter-life crisis, I wearily shrugged and said, “Maybe I am.” But then I figured that if it took a crisis (of sorts) to make me realize I needed to stop doing what everyone else thought I should be doing, then maybe quarter-life crisis isn’t too much of a bad thing after all. If nothing else, it gives me one more thing to blame my increasingly bad temper on.

Domestic Sluts for Dummies

“Malaysia to international news is kind of like Bai Ling to fashion commentaries. You can always count on us to look ridiculous. #defahmi” – @sophiagoh

The above Tweet by Becca’s sister, Sophia, is in reference to a whole other debacle, but by the same accounts it applies to this article that I came across while reading yesterday’s Sunday Star. This is just an excerpt, so for the full article — and greater heights of disgust — you may go here.

Obedient Wives Club to offer sex lessons

RAWANG: Sex lessons to help wives “serve their husbands better than a first-class prostitute” will be among the classes provided by the Obedient Wives Club (OWC) to help promote harmonious marriages and counter social ills.

Its vice-president Dr Rohaya Mohamad said it was time sexual prowess took a front seat in marriage, beyond that of the traditional “good mother or good cook” roles.

“A good or religious wife should also be good in bed,” she told reporters after the launch of the club’s Malaysian chapter at a golf club here yesterday.

She said a husband who was kept happy in the bedroom would have no reason to stray, seek out prostitutes or indulge in other social vices.

“The family institution is protected and we can curb social ills like prostitution, domestic violence, human trafficking and abandoned babies,” she said, adding that she believed these problems stemmed from unfulfilled sexual needs at home.

I can totally see this being turned into a book someday, purely for collector’s memorabilia purposes:

I hope I wasn’t the only one who felt incredibly offended by the headline, let alone the entire article. Clearly, the founders of this ‘club’ have (a) never been cheated on by their husbands, which is unlikely, (b) have no clue that they are being cheated on, which is more likely, or (c) have unparalleled self-confidence possibly brought about by the certified knowledge of exactly what they think will keep their (and other) husbands interested. Whatever the reason they had for thinking that an institution of this sort would even be tolerated, let alone successful, they have not been privy to the most basic, primal fact about men: no matter how good-looking their wives are, no matter how effective they are in bed (or anywhere else), they will cheat on them when the time and place proves most opportune.

And they have clearly never heard of the former Mr. Halle Berry, sometimes known as Eric Benét.