Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Watching the World Burn

"I want the world to burn," I wrote to my friend.

It was around 2am. I had been up for almost 24 hours, having just returned from a trip to another city to scout for locations for my next film. I had missed the last subway home (it ends at midnight), and, not having the requisite $20 for the taxi trip back to the dorm, I decided to sit it out for once, and be homeless for six hours until the subway opens again.

Under such circumstances, then, it probably wasn't the best of times to be blurting out. Slightly frustrated about my planned film, tired from the journeys back and forth, worrying about the money, and dying from the lack of sleep...it probably wasn't the right time to be reading about racism and stupidity back home. It certainly was the worst time to start to recall the moments when the colour of one's skin and the direction of one's prayer became the defining factor in either 'Yes' or 'No.'

"I want the world to burn. I want to burn all the people in the world, so that we can all see for ourselves that underneath our skin we are all made of flesh and blood. We eat the same shit, we breathe the same shit." Pause. "Failing that, if the fire fails to burn us away, at least we'll be of the same skin colour. I want to change the world, and I will live to see the day when nobody gives a shit about what religion or race we are."

He mentioned something. Something which was insignificant, because it was something I already know. We should ignore the stupid people, they are always bound to be around, we should just move one, religion is not at fault, people is...it was insignificant, because it was the same old things that I have heard a thousand times over. It was the same old thing that had been wheeled out in the defense of the persistently-ignorant, the racist, the malicious. It was the same arguments that I had told of myself of them.

Which is why it had seemed so insignificant at the time.

"No," I said. "It is not enough to merely ignore them. It is not enough to let them even live. These people deserve death for their ignorance. They are the ones driving the world mad, and killing the rest of us."

Who are these people, though? Where the hell do they come from? Do they now know of the defining characteristics of what a human being is? That a person's religion, race, political beliefs and nationality is not the warranty of abuse? That what makes a person good is what makes him good, not the university that he comes from? That what makes a person bad is what makes him bad, and not the religion that he believes in?

It was the wrong time to bring back memories of being bullied because I have a different colour skin. The wrong time to be reading about how my leaders condemn those who merely suggest ways in which to improve one's university, and ultimately the nation and it's stock, and is instead branded as a traitor to his own race. The wrong time to read of student's protesting because the rights of Muslims and Malays are under threat (ten-fucking-percent and that's enough to take to the streets? You're supposed to be the educated ones, you jackasses!!). The wrong time to be reading of people then using it as a whip with which to whack every single UiTM students in existence. "typical....too typical. they don't work hard, get a bad result in their spm / stpm yet they are not worried as they can resort to UiTM. Then they wanted make sure no other races are allowed to enter the university so that their children / grandchildren / future generation could repeat the same thing all over again. How are they going to improve with this kind of attitude?"

As much as they may think that they're the open-minded ones, perhaps they realise not that they had just essentially did the same thing and judged other people based on the things that are not so important. I happen to know plenty of UiTM people, and plenty of them are not idiots. I spent a month with them in Kelantan, on a film shoot, and though they may not represent all of the students, they are efficient, hard-working, and professional. It was more than I could say for some of the film crew that I have worked with in the past.

I know plenty of people who pay tens and hundreds of times more than those who do enroll in public education, and some of them are so damn spoilt and stupid they're not even worthy of licking my boots.

The wrong time to read about a supposed victim of sodomy putting his hands on the Qur'an, and swearing that he was fucked in the ass. And cue my beloved leader ordering the accused to do the same. Had some of them been watching too much of 'The Practice' and 'Boston Legal'? The wrong time to think about all of this.

Just...the wrong time.

Maybe, just maybe...this is not real, that it is a nightmare, and all I need is a good night's sleep (and someone to magically pop up and say, "Fikri, I've done all your pre-production work for you.").

Maybe.

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