Tuesday, October 07, 2014

AN OCTOBERFEST of IDEAS





OKTOBER-FEST of IDEAS #1

-- Selangor beer festival anger brewing?

if one doesn't drink and don't like parties and don't want to have beer bellies ... don't go to such festivals. if one loves live jazz and rock kapak music in a KL jazz-kapak club serving beer and one doesn't drink (like yours truly ... ), for whatever reason, just order iced coffee or teh tarik kaw kaw ... nobody's forcing one to drink. just enjoy the music sober ... music that can be enjoyed sober or half-sober ... unto you your Oktoberfest, unto me mine ... but rock and roll will never die (though we will ...)
simple pragmatic philosophy in a multicultural society, is it not? -- ar

OKTOBER-FEST of IDEAS #2

-- the sunnah of bearding?

if one doesn't want to grow a beard (like yours truly) for whatever reason and match that with a skullcap or a turban and occasionally with a long white or green robe, don't preach that it is a "sunnah"/an act greatly enjoined by religion, and that is the identity of this or that religion. To beard or not to beard oneself, that is not the question ... just let it be ... identity is not a game of perception management .. it is a political act. but I do like to see one grow a beard like those folks from ZZ-Top or Rasputin the Indestructible Monk though ... or even like Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead. Bearding is not an issue ... unto you your beard unto me (with no beard) is mine ... though I may one day grow (a white) one to look like Al Pacino's (aging) Serpico ...
simple pragmatic philosophy in a multicultural society, is it not? --ar

OKTOBER-FEST of IDEAS #3 

-- varieties of Islamic interpretations celebrated?

yes ... one can believe in whatever variation of Islam these days simply because there are a growing many .. Sunni, Shiah, Sufi, Salafi, Secularist, etc. .. who is one to say which is right which is wrong, correct? Unto you your mazhab/school of thought, unto me mine (though my belief will remain private ...) ... each mind is as unique as a single snow flake and each experience of the soul cannot be replicated by another and each one human self-chart his/her own journey .. so who are we to judge?
To each his/her own as long as your school of thought doesn't go around beheading people, forcing people to convert to your belief system, while shouting "God is Great .. God is Great" ... ! In essence keep your faith, but keep it to yourself and papa and mama don't preach ...
simple pragmatic philosophy in a multicultural society, is it not? --ar

OKTOBER-FEST of IDEAS #4 

no-end to the seizure of Bibles in Malaysia?

Just return these books and encourage people to read each others' texts. They are just texts ... you read, you use your mind to agree or disagree ... and to enjoy reading them as written artifacts of world literature. Why this drama of banning this or that word ... just read ... read .. read .. "Read in the name of thy Lord who created thee ... who created thee form a clot ... " (even these many don't know how to read the meaning of these words ...) ... read thineself, read the world .. read anything you wish to read .. even signboards and billboards (which is what I love to do since young ...) . But if yours is not a reading society, unto you your passion in reading, unto me mine ... if you disagree with a book, scripture, billboard .. write a book about it, don't go around parading your ignorance and inability to handle intellectual debate or even worse, banning books or burning them!.
simple pragmatic philosophy in a multicultural society, is it not? --ar

OKTOBER-FEST of IDEAS #5

a council not to be trusted?

how could these ultra-religious people be talking about banning this or that cultural festival and wishing to protest against this or that in a multicultural society, when they have lost the credibility on these counts 1) humiliating women who aspires to become state leaders, political intricacies aside 2) back-stabbing other members of a coalition-for-change parties 3) and worst, welcoming the death of a Malaysia ISIS-soldier as "martyr", sending the wrong message to Muslim youths of this country? Why should one care about these kinds of "Oktober-fest protests" when these people engage in the "Ides of March" and "May Day everyday" in their own religious 'hood whilst forever talking about moderation and morality whilst driving in their luxury cars making tons of money becoming show-biz preachers on prime-time TV? Marx was right about the ecstasy pill of the modern masses in a theocratic state, wasn't he?
does this make sense any longer?
simple pragmatic philosophy in a multicultural society, is it not? --ar

OKTOBER-FEST of IDEAS #6 

defending Islam?

why must one defend Islam when the religion need no defending nor apologizing. If one read good things from its scriptures, then there will be peacemakers; if bad things from reading it, there will be warmongers and head-severers. A text is a text -- it will produce discourse leading to belief, ideology, and action -- whether that action is for cultural freedom, or to shackle a young man or woman into blowing himself up for a jihadist cause he/she too believes in wholeheartedly.
If one believes it is a religion of war and violence, there will be believers playing the role of jihadists of the Islamic state; if one believes it is a religion of peace, there will be production of human beings with such a belief system acting accordingly. In each there is an internal defense or a rationale of what kind Islam ought to be practiced as a "way of life".
In these -- no one should defend anything. The reality is -- Islam is indefensible and needs no apology to humanity. The challenge is to choose wisely.
simple pragmatic philosophy in a multicultural society, is it not? --ar

OKTOBER-FEST of IDEAS #7 

"reading the scriptures"

read well ... read closely ... take only the meaning you are comfortable in taking as elements of a belief system you will construct and live by without relying on authority that may turn you into another pawn in their game of egotism. be ready to abandon anything that you find confusing or simply does not make sense. that's what your mind is for -- a tool for critical engagement with text, subtexts, and the universe. who said all religious texts should not be made open to scrutiny? who said you should not revise these texts so that each verse you read gets closer and closer to your heart's desire, closer to your jugular vein? -- ar

OKTOBER-FEST of IDEAS #8

fifty years of robber-baron fiesta hasn't it been? 

to worry about the image of Malaysia as a "moderate Islamic country" tainted by a cultural festival is missing the point of a bigger Oktober-fest of a nation infested with and debilitated by massive corruption cases unattended to and the culprits go unpunished arrogantly, waves upon waves of witch-hunting fiesta of those speaking up for the betterment of society, a fiesta of money-spending and shopping spree of the rakyat's money by leaders only interested in a political siestas and feasting daily on caviar ... so then: what are we talking about of a "global image of moderation" when the excesses of Oriental despotism is a long historical fiesta of festival of hungry ghosts haunting the nation like a specter of a long-gone spirit of true independence?
Deal with this. That's a good enough Oktoberfest for all of us.
simple pragmatic philosophy in a multicultural society, is it not? --ar

OKTOBER-FEST of IDEAS #9

Need a formula for world class Malaysian universities? 

you wish to compete for top-ranking positions amongst the world's universities? It is a difficult task. Better not compete. Unless we work on these:
The culture of freedom of inquiry,
acceptance of varying viewpoints,
intense scrutiny of ideas,
respect for diversity,
putting critical thinking as criteria for good learning and teaching,
celebrating frontier thinking,
engaging in hybridized and interdisciplinary research and inquiry,
freedom from governmental dictates,
mastery of the language of instruction
hiring inspiring faculty that will push students to greater intellectual heights
and not throwing out and/or threatening to imprison good professors who are critical of society --
all these are the right stuff that make the ground of world-classism in academia fertile.
So-- prepare your ground well, then plant the seeds of progressive thinking.
Are we doing that yet? Is your society governed by these principles, in fact? -- ar

in conclusion 

-- blessed is Malaysia with diverse cultures and wisdom to learn from; even better if these gifts of authenticity, ethics, and possibilities of cultural co-creation are consciously structured into the education system, curriculum, teaching and learning practices in the most inclusive model -- so that each child is accepted as a gift of immense intelligence, hopes, and dreams to be unpacked and nurtured, each culture celebrated, the gap between the rich and the poor closed tight, and consciously engineered to evolve into a truly learning and reflective community and see wealth and power as privileges to help others with less to start with ... how do we create this consciousness into a truly grand idea of our own Malaysian Oktoberfest of ideas?

No comments:

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.