Saturday, July 26, 2008

The M and Rs.

It's been sometime now, that I noticed that not all Type Rs are Type Rs as much as not all M5s are the real McCoy. I've gotten used to the idea of hardcore Honda cultists replacing their silver Hs with the red emblem. The metal that embodies a racing dream.

What I thought strange was that I assumed the only barrier for enthusiasts to truly own a Type R is money since the Civic Type R in Malaysia is priced at a hefty RM199k+. Then I realize that it's not a question of not being able to afford the Civic Type R but it's all about propagating a belief. Some may snicker at these poor (or not) cultists who 'fake' their car - turning it into something it's not - but those who know will understand that it isn't all about owning the machine. It's about owning the philosophy.


And what I find even stranger is, you see the same phenomenon on the M series in particular the M5. Couple of times now I've seen the power plant bullet through the highway carrying an M5 badge leaving me behind gasping for breath in its dusty trail. Only to realise it's missing the other exhaust, some gills and the perforated brake discs. I knew it. It wasn't bulleting that fast after all. And hey, is that the M5 badge sitting on the wrong side of the rear?

So what is it about these Ms and Rs that got enthusiasts (the haves and have nots) willing to bear the disdain of those who do not understand the 'dream'? What is this power that performance badges command that got even those who can afford the 5 series to forge their ultimate driving machine? Well, they say imitation is the highest form of flattery. I guess the ultimate simply wasn't ultimate enough.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tekkonkinkreet.

Directed by Michael Arias

Once again, we’re presented with a visually stunning narration of a half fictitious fantasy which is a renown trait that can only come from Japan’s creative furnace. Inspired and based on the comic by Matsumoto Taiyo, Tekkonkinkreet is an eastern-western hybrid anime directed by American, Michael Arias who is the first non-Japanese to direct a major anime but knows no less of the nooks and crannies of the yakuza culture and dark underside of Japan’s downtown traditions than any native.

The story tells of two orphans who roam and protect the streets of Treasure Town from thugs and yakuza with such passion that is sometimes mistaken as malicious. Things take a turn for the worse when a group of foreign entrepreneurs threaten to bulldoze their town and turn it to an amusement park. The orphans, aptly named Black and White, are connected so strongly with what seems like an invisible and spiritual bond that makes us wonder if one could live if without the other. As the main story unfolds, the many sub-plots also take turns to bloom in gradation dismantling obvious meanings, drawing us into experiencing a rich amalgam of emotions that many animated film attempted but failed to do so. This film has an uncanny ability to make us ponder upon and question our own spiritual battle of darkness and light, even to a point where it is strangely disturbing for a composition of the fantasy genre featuring children as main casts. Perhaps the idea was to masquerade the disconcerting truth of Man’s shadow with the purity and innocence of a child so that if forces us to think and rethink of our own closet phantom, layer by layer as we dive deeper into the plot.

Tekkonkinkreet had been greatly applauded at a trail of film festivals worldwide and was the winner of the prestigious Ofuji Noburo Award at the 2007 Mainichi Film Concours.
Get it from: Sun Comic, Lot LG-12, Cineleisure Damansara, T: +603-77221936

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sunday, July 6, 2008

New law for Malaysian speeding ticket?

I've been thinking and comparing Singapore's drivers point deduction system with whatever existing traffic rule we have in Malaysia. A simple reason why probably Singapore's system will never be effective (or as effective) in our country is because of the rampant 'duit kopi' (in international language: bribery). Not that there's none happening in Singapore (I wouldn't know) but what I'm pretty definite is, none as rampant as Malaysia.

Well, then an idea struck me on how to duplicate this point system and yet keep it in a way that has the least inteference from our so-called law enforcers (and this I mean by majority of them. Not all but majority because we always have a few good men. Too few if you ask me). Imagine a system similar to Singapore's ERP and/or Japan's ETC equivalent. Imagine all Malaysians from now on have to pay an extra credit of RM200 into their driver's license account. Everytime one hit the red light or went over the speed limit, a certain amount of money will be deducted from this 200 bucks automatically. It could be really cheap, I mean RM20 for speeding compared to RM300 if you've really been sent the ticket. But what the positive points which I'd very much like to highlight are:
1) RM20 is BETTER than paying RM50 for you-know-what because in actual fact you never really have to pay that RM300
2) The 'beep' when money is deducted from your account will serve as a life time reminder to never speed when you're not supposed to. Ever
3) It really, really, and I mean REALLY makes you think twice about hitting that red light too
4) Equal treatment and equal punishment for all since the system must also be deployed using special set of traffic lights and speed trackers. This reinforces the importance of enforced law and not chance

Anyway, come to think of it. Instead of paying back the 'rakyat' (people) cash for the recent fuel hike, the government could use this system to reward citizens with good behavior. For those who never gotten their RM200 deducted, will earn interest. So in order to make more money, you've got to stay clean. If at the 11th month of your interest-earning period, you decide to go with the wind on KESAS, then so will your money.

Tell me if you think something like that would work here. Or in your country, wherever you are. Cause I think it's a pretty good idea, no?