Sunday, May 6, 2007

The Cell Block D

I bought Noam Chomsky's Failed States (the sequel to Hegemony or Survival) and together with the two Ed Brubaker's Daredevil stuff. Brubaker managed to provide justice and spirit to the storyline which ended as a cliffhanger by previous writer Brian Bendis.

Premise: At the end of Murdock Papers, Matt Murdock was sent to Ryker's Island penitentiary without bail awaiting trial following accusations by the FBI and media that he is the costumed vigilante called Daredevil. This first part forms the first half of "The Devil Inside and Out" with the first half being the "Inside".

A word of warning: This 12 issues of the entire series literally ties up whatever started by Bendis and Alex Maleev in Out (32-40) and continues on to now, with exception of David Mack's Echo Quest (vol 8). Therefore, it is best to cover the entire run beginning with Out to Murdock Papers before continuing. On the other hand, I would recommend you to buy just the hardcover version (Vol 4) comprising of King of Hell's Kitchen and The Widow since the bonus issue #65 (the 40th anniversary special) is only available in HC.

Here we discover why Matt Murdock was sent to the penitentiary without bail. It was deliberately a part of the upper political administration machinations of making him crossing each other off with either the previous villains he captured as well as the Kingpin.

Taking a queue of key sequences from the Bond movie You Only Live Twice, Ray and the Prison Break TV series, Brubaker manages to put Matt Murdock over the edge and on the verge of a mental breakdown only to have someone with other ideas coming in for the bail and having someone covering his ass in the form of the prison warden. The prison warden is crossing swords with FBI director Leland Drummond (a nod to Leo Drummond from Grisham's The Rainmaker). At the same time, the people on the upside including the help of his Bugle reporter Ben Urich scrambling to find who impersonating him while Matt is incarcerated.

Plenty of double-crossing, twists and etc..Brubaker mentioned that Daredevil was always a noir story and he succeeded in creating a story that puts Matt in a different stage of life. In other words, he does justice to the story that was started by Bendis. But with one exception, Bendis' storyline is much more wordy so Brubaker managed to keep it simple and cohesive. There was always someone out to get him out in the form of his guess.

Failed States

Billed as the sequel to Hegemony or Survival, the book literally examines the things that the Bush Administration as part of its doctrine commits once President Bush was re-elected to office in November 2004. Chomsky is a fan of Bertrand Russell and literally points out what it appears to be a repeat of a possible accidental nuclear war in the future with the given current world scenario.

The thing is that I only covered a bit of the opening and as more parallel goes, I might be going back to this book posting here.

Uncle Zam's Blogger Classification Program

Yesterday on Bernama, Uncle Zam, (Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin) proposed the classification of professional and non-professional bloggers. Personally, the idea of having this kind of classification is hollow. It is just nothing more than having a registration exercise as his deputy Shaziman Mansor proposed laste month. In a recent survey of freedom of expression, Malaysia is ranked 141 of all the countries in the world in terms of freedom of expression. When sorted between Asian nations, the country ranked 28th of 140.

Suppose if Uncle Zam decides to start a blog like fellow man Datuk Shahrir Ahmad - and since he is the one who started out the blogging issue in the country - where will he belong? I think it's in the non-professional side. Where would I be? I blog almost everyday. But we have come across problems created from classification. For instance, there was complaint by some people that the examination entry slips whereby religion is classified by only "Muslim" and "Non-Muslim". They think that it is a surplus where you have the "race" field included in the slip!

Source article is here.


My fear here is regarding the mentality of certain people who are unwilling to be open to other ideas introduced in the other side of the world. Singapore MM, Mr Lee Kuan Yew based some of his methods and ideas of administering Singapore during his PM tenure (1965-1990) during his time in England - which brought great results. A perfect scenario referring to my statement above is that referring to the current mentality of the Censorship Board - LPFN - which absolutely bans any local films made that might contain incorrect political content fearing unrest. A local made film that examines what we are and gets banned - you can forget about having that thing competing in film festivals or even competing this for Best Documentary feature for Oscars! When we watch movies on the cable network ASTRO, scenes literally that has guy saying "$#!%" are automatically muted on the spot or perhaps a sudden cut.

We could be left behind and perhaps we might not achieve the 202o target should the mentality doesn't change. Yesterday, I went to KLCC, the notice whereby photography is allowed in the center foyer and not elsewhere? Why? What is the reason behind it? Is it because the management just do not like it? Is it because there are some displays sensitive to flash-lights? Is Suria starting to become like Louvre museum? If there is none, this reflects the wrong mentality of those pencil-pushers there. Just tear that damn notice down there!

1 comment:

  1. Way to go - DD and Chomsky in one day! Wow! :)

    I hate the stupid classification. What is "professional blogger"? Someone who writes stuff approved and sanctioned by the government (or in agreement with the non-views of successful middle-aged non-thinkers)? Then what happens to the rest of us "unprofessional bloggers"? Simon was telling me the other day about the internet being an anarchist tool. Of course, it is anarchist (non-governmental). Therein lies the power of it all and those in power are terribly afraid of this. Putting stupid labels like "professional" and "unprofessional" bloggers is just another step to police what is, after all, an anarchic landscape. Granted, many bloggers can be pretty irresponsible and juvenile. The way to deal with them is not to police the blogosphere but for those who do speak the truth to do so online. Marina Mahathir said it best several weeks back in her column - get the ministers and tycoons on the blogosphere. Allow them to state their side of the story as well! Too bad too many of them are involved in too many other stuff (whatever those "stuff" are is anyone's guess) to be tech-savvy! Haha!


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