Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Deutchland Uber Alles!

Dear blog...Today... if but for an hour or felt the way it should... Seig Heil.

Friday, August 28, 2009

What am I doing this Merdeka?

I am going to stay at home, disgusted by the racist scum, and regressive filth that plagues this country. Nations gain independence. Evidently Malaysia is NOT a nation, so are we even independent?


Monday, July 13, 2009

Where are we going from here?

(I swear to defend the Motherland!)

Hmm, an interesting topic of conversation cropped up in the midst of an early monday morning griping session that I was having with a friend of mine over MSN.

March 8 2008 re-ignited a certain passion that I have had for Malaysia, one that I hadn't felt since my commie hating days as a police cadet (Yes!I was a right winger for a brief period of my life I'm SORRY!) Essentially what I felt the day after that election was hope. A kind of hope that has been very rare hereabouts for quite some time. Hope that just maybe we weren't doomed to become a failed 3rd world nation that saw the rich ripping what little flesh that was left off the rest of us so that they could go on living in their Istana Zakaria's, Toyo's, Diraja's what have you.

(For the Motherland!)
Anyway, it then came down to the question of 'Why bother staying? Why imagine that things might get better in the face of so much evidence to the contrary?'

Well...In all honesty I am not adverse to living abroad at all... hell I'd bloody well enjoy it. But at the same time I can't help but feel that there is a certain tragedy over uprooting for 'greener pastures' as they call it.

The thing is, I'm am rather torn on the subject. The optimist/ marxist in me believes that people can change, and when faced with an obvious thesis of injustice, malpractice, corruption etc the anti-thesis of change is inevitable... So says the historical dialectic, and so shall be. However the conundrum that is then faced on the personal level is, do you really want to be a part of the dialectic? Inevitable it may be but the option of not being around when it happens (and therefore avoiding whatever "struggle" as Marx would call it) is in today's world a very real and very attractive opportunity... So yea...I am not against the idea of uprooting.
(Soldiers of all nationalities, fight for your Motherland and for Victory!)

But then we got into a few more specific challenges that are involved, and top on my list was..well.. the racism.

Now... there are a large number of decent white people in the world. Seriously, there are. But racism is part and parcel of living in the white mans world. Chink, paki, nigger...whatever... you WILL eventually be the target of some misguided fool's vitriol... (Even homeless people aren't beyond racism as i was informed of today :S) and this friend of mine was looking at Australia as her new residence... White supremism central of the eastern hemisphere!

In fact, there was once a time back in uni that whilst merrily on my way to the local Greggs for some kickass english jam donuts, a bunch of bored white chavs driving around in a dinged up Pinto, loudly declared that I was of the 'Paki' descent and that I should return to whence I came from.... It was only while I was walking back to St Georges Hall, happily nibbling on my jam donut, did it actually click that they were referring to me however, and I was quite perplexed as I had no idea why anyone would want me to take a trip down to Brighton =P

But yeah, "take a step back and ask yourself why your being so hard on the white man Nahri?" might be the question on your mind right now. So allow me to explain.

While I have no problem whatsoever with the white people, I do make the distinction that the fundamental basis of the overbearing success of the white establishment, has been its ability to hinder the growth and prosperity of any other establishment by using whatever means necessary from its repertoire of economic, military, religious, social AND psychological instruments. (See I'm not racist, I'm just a good little communist) This is a historical dialectic.. The color of your skin had nothing to do with it.
(To the West!)

HOWEVER! While expressions of racism may not be as blatantly in your face, or occur whilst you are enjoying a jam donut, as it might over in merry old england, the expression of racism is very evident here. Worser still, its been bloody institutionalized by the insidious legislators who pass law, the atavistic enforcers who uphold it, and the plainly imbecilic.

Truth be told... I probably will never appreciate the true extent of what a non-bumi in Malaysia feels, for as my friend pointed out to me this morning, despite my convictions that the bumiputera system is unethical, un-constitutional and downright irrational from an economic perspective... that option does remain available...

(Death to the fascist German invaders!)

To elaborate on the subject, allow me to quote from the literary masterpiece of "Be Cool" (In brackets by me)

"Have you lost your mind?!               
I mean, how is it that you can
disrespect a man's ethnicity      
when you know we've influenced
nearly every facet of white America (pick any society),
from our music to our style of dress,
not to mention your basic imitation
of our sense of cool...                
walk, talk, dress, mannerisms. (FOOD!)            
We enrich your very existence, (Ang Pau's, Mamak's, Char Siew!)         
all the while contributing
to the gross national product          
through our achievements
in corporate America. (think of the Malaysian-chinese contribution to the economy)   
It's these conceits that comfort me           
when I'm faced with the ignorant,(UMNO)
cowardly, bitter and bigoted (UMNO)         
who have no talent, no guts,  (UMNO)           
people like you who desecrate (UMNO)
things they don't understand  (UMNO)             
when the truth is
you should say, "Thank you, man,"  (Everybody)              
and go on about your way."

But I do hope that the non-bumi's of Malaysia can appreciate that there are individuals such as myself, who suffer as greatly as they do from the irrational sufferings of racism as they do.

You see, for the most part of my life I have never really fitted in with the societies around me. As a kid born in Terengganu who then went to primary school in Penang, the colloqual differences were just a bit overwhelming for a 5 year old to appreciate, and then as a young Penangite living in Langkawi getting used to the level of attention given to religion was (not to mention having to get used to a co-ed school...not all was bad, far from it =P), and then finally when I came to KL from Langkawi... I reckon I suffered a far more serious case of culture shock than when I went from KL to Reading :S

(Our cause is just, victory will be ours!)

The advantage of this upbringing however is that I never really got into the habit of seeing race and skin color as a principle factor in choosing who to befriend, or what to think.

So it is actually very hard.. very very hard to deal with people who go "ah, but your Malay, so at the end of the day you just wont get us" from a Chinese or Indian dude because dammit man! I went through childhood not getting most people!So what the hell's your problem?!! Even when it comes from close friends who I know don't actually mean anything by it, it just stings... Because for people like me, and frankly I do not know if there indeed are others like me, choosing the 'Bumi' path isnt even an option, because it is the thesis to which I owe the anti-thesis that is my very existence.

And hurt it does. Believe me. In fact, its gotten to the point that not to long ago, someone who I cared for a very great deal actually told me that the only reason that it would not work out between us, was because it said 'Islam' on my identification card... Now, people who I confide in have told me that "It's her loss" and that "That mean's she isn't worth it, you should move on" but before you pass judgement consider, what trouble's her is not me the individual, but a thesis that has been in effect for over 50 years, one that has seen Malaysian's grow increasingly divided over the years and one that has inevitably led to a great sense of communal frustration and yes, anger, for being limited in terms of opportunities and possibilities in a country that does not exactly call you one of its own! so who am I to cast all that aside on a whim?... :(

THAT my friends, is the tragedy of racism... and of this country...and I say country for we are not a nation... and it literally makes a bunch of random racist white chav's look like a minor inconvenience you blog about for the amusement of others.

So yeah, Australia? Go for it!
(For our victory!)

P:S:- Isn't Soviet art from the Great Patriotic War frickin awesome?!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rockaway 2009: A gathering of misfits or an image of things to come!

Due to the mind blowing awesomeness of the inaugural Rockaway, I am actually rather stumped as to where to begin...

Enjoying rock means a little bit of this...

As rock concerts go, Rockaway was far from the best organized nor was it the best choice of venue /setup etc etc.

A heck of a lot of that...

But as a festival..a rock festival... I felt that Rockaway actually attained that level of rock nirvana that has actually rarely been attained.

A LOT of behind the scenes stuff like this...

Rock is something beyond a mere musical genre. Rock marked the social transitions of the modern era. Rock is the expression of political, social,economic and yes, in several incarnations religious, undertones via other means. Whether its about sticking it to the man, to crying out the virtues of free love to just telling everyone to Shut the fr@ck up!, rock was at its best when rockers had something to rock about!

Listening to a lot of "hear me go raaaaaaaaaaaawwwrrrrrrrr!"

Now don't get me wrong though... Having a cause to rock about isn't a necessary pre-requisite for brilliant music. Over the years and as the world calmed down a bit from the 50's,60's and 70's and entered the strange and rather gay world of the 80's and 90's, rock was valued as melodic entertainment for the sake of melodic entertainment, and rightly so. Television and MTV of course also had a heavy hand in it, popularizing rock to the point where rock (and all other popular music for that matter) became synonymous with fashion trends and glitzy glamor.

In today's world rock is often the playing field of the middle to upper class. Coldplay, Oasis, The Killers...this stuff doesn't come least not in this part of the world in anycase... and yea, yes the bands love, LOVE to make music... but still...musics an industry.... absolutely nothing wrong with that...

Its about a whole lot of this...

BUT then every now and then you have a sweet little gem like Rockaway. A FREE rock festival featuring some of the best indie musicians the country has ever seen! Bands like Estranged, 7 Collar T-Shirt, Car Crash Hearts and of course One Buck Short who threw the whole thing together. Throw in a crowd that's been repressed and disillusioned by the strictures imposed by our oh so wonderful society, and is just bursting to break out in sheer...Fun?! And we find ourselves with something amazing...something primal...something bigger than the moment yet drives you to appreciate the existentialism of existence... Something purely and genuinely rock.

Yea, a little bit of weird stuff...

Crazy rant this probably seems to be, fact is you just had to be there to appreciate it =P Here's to a Rockaway 2010!!!!!

Oh and of course, some wacky people to enjoy it with...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What pisses me off?!

Running out of Tamiya XF-63 German Grey! That just fracking pisses me off!!!

Without it I cant do this

Or this

Or that

Sure as hell cant do that....

and I'd only be able to do this in my fracking dreams....

Running out of XF-63 sucks big time! And the Tamiya store in 1Utama better have it in stock this time...last time round it took em 3 months!

Frack it!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Terminator Salvation

Unfortunately Salvation was not at hand...

Jeez...where to begin with this one. Okay...lets begin with the beginning. Now with T1 and T2, the thematic exploration of fear and humanity facing insurmountable odds against cold, calculating machines of death was set from the word go. T2 in particular kicked off with that iconic Terminator foot crushing a human skull in the nuclear ash remains of a kindergarten, followed by a short but very intense battle scene that showed that though the humans are beginning to the gain the upper hand, the cost in lives is great, and the battle hard fought... (oh and that awesome scene of how the Terminators were built)

            Cyberdyne Systems Model 101...Arnie when he's not wearing any makeup

Um..yeah...I know I'm a machine and all that but being on fire is just not funny!!!

In both T1 and T2 humanity, what was left of it, lived dark desolate lives where every moment was lived in fear of the next, where machines would infiltrate the few remaining human safe houses to eradicate them,  where hunter killers were on a constant search and destroy pattern that made moving from one spot to another a matter of life and death, where Tech Com soldiers had to face Terminator Tanks, HKs, T101's and whatever have you with nothing but trusty plasma rifle, beat up technicals, the odd rocket launcher and friggin PIPE BOMBS!, where a good looking stud like Kyle Reese ain't ever gotten laid before meeting Sarah Connor!!!!

I reckon you get the picture...

So how's does Terminator Salvation begin?... with a crappy animatic going close up over the words 'Terminator Salvation" aaaaaaaaaaah!..... Booo!

Now...the first half of the film was actually rather bearable..Okay fine, you gotta introduce us to the Markus And then we have a resistance strike against a Tincan Radar/Research lab... cool, we finally get to see how the resistance takes on Skynet!....okay missile strike followed by A-10's and a heli air assault... cool...(although hang on, A-10's?...helicopters?...Missile strike???!) Seemed to me that we were watching a hollywood production of what the Marines would be doing in contemporary Iraq, not the desperate hit and run efforts of an ill strength and poorly equipped resistance movement non?

But yeah okay, I'll buy it for now...its 2018, perhaps Skynet has yet to muster the resources needed to swarm over the nuclear ash remains of kindergartens.. okay fine... But what about Jon Connor? What has become of that little child/punk? (By and large I'm just gonna ignore T3 btw..) Has he faced countless endeavors and challenges? Has he been forged into the leader of humanity as we all know he is supposed to be? Has he suffered from having seen thousands of people die under his command?.... Well its almost like the scrip writer said to himself... "Meh, I reckon the audience will just assume so, so I'm just gonna write Jon Connor up as the dude who jumps of cliffs and helicopters without hesitation, sneaks into the enemies lair all on his lonesome and is a general pest to the bad guys...Did that just sound like a synopsis for batman?...hmm...

Wow...if I described everything that was wrong with that film I could go on forever so here are the things that annoyed me the most

- Missiles, A-10's, Helicopters
- Missiles, A-10's and Helicopters being used or blown up like nobody gave a damn.
- Resistance aircraft being parked out in the open on a clear sunny day.
- Resistance people running around in the open on a clear sunny day.
- Not being able to get to know any of the characters cept Marcus...and yea, his story kinda sucks/ is predictable (Yes it WAS an insidious plot by Skynet and yes the human heart IS mightier than the!)
- Resistance people milling about like they didn't actually have anything important to do. (That surgery scene at the end...seriously, if the HK's suddenly pop out of nowhere you aren't going to be able to pack it all up in 30 seconds flat....)
- Kyle Reese...the hero who started it all, the a teenage runt who fights well...(Erm..we knew that from a film that came out like some 20 years ago!!!) and what is the story with that little girl who follows him around?
- Skynet Central...seemed to have been defended by all of 2!.. a story that was built on the strength of its characters..Kyle Reese, Sarah Connor, John Connor, The T2 T101...always it was a story about what drove these characters and why (and through all the action, how)... I mean, when Arnie lowered himself into the molten steel at the end of T2 because he knew it was the only way to prevent Armageddon, and gave Jon Connor the thumbs up while he was doing it!! I had fricking tears in my eyes okay!!!

                            Goodbye 'Uncle Bob'. You were the best there ever was and probably ever will be!

T4, like T3 before it...failed to accomplish that depth of characters and gambled that the audience would simply be woo'ed by the context of the situation....'2018, post apoc,resistance,skynet,hot A-10 pilot, wohoo!'.....monkeys.

Go back to basics if you have to Hollywood! Otherwise as far as I'm concerned, the Terminator franchise still terminated at the end of T2.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Episode IV:A New Hope

Major Luke Skywalker moment...Mark Hamil most definitely did NOT have a six pack though... nor do I unfortunately... :(

Well...after going through literally half a dozen interviews and several offers, have finally had the good fortune to come across a company called TQPR that has most of the qualities which I find endearing in a PR agency,as a company and in its people.

More importantly after having a very good chat with them and completing the most well thought out writing test I've ever encountered they believe, as I do, that we will be able to build a healthy working relationship together...and they offered me a job =P

So as of Wednesday, 3rd of June 2009... I shall once again be a part of productive society >_<
(And have the money to build my Imperial Guard Army!Muahahaha!)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Some new toy's

Ob's stürmt oder schneit, ob die Sonne uns lacht,
 Der Tag glühend heiß, oder eiskalt die Nacht,
Verstaubt sind die Gesichter, doch froh ist unser Sinn,

Ja, unser Sinn,

Es braust unser Panzer im Sturmwind dahin!

Wenn vor uns ein feindlicher Panzer erscheint,

Wird Vollgas gegeben und ran an den Feind.

Was gilt denn unser Leben für uns'res Reiches Heer?

Ja, Reiches Heer?

Für Deutschland zu sterben ist uns höchste Ehr'!!

Mit donnerndem Motor, geschwind wie der Blitz,
Dem Feinde entgegen, im Panzergeschützt
Voraus den Kameraden, im Kampf steh'n wir allein,

Steh'n wir allein,

So stoßen wir tief in die feindlichen Reih'n.

Mit Sperren und Minen hält der Gegner uns auf,
Wir lachen darüber und fahren nicht drauf.
Und droh'n vor uns Geschütze, versteckt im gelben Sand,

Im gelben Sand,

Wir suchen uns Wege, die keiner sonst fand!

Und läßt uns im Stich einst das treulose Glück,
Und kehr'n wir nicht mehr zur Heimat zurück,
Trifft uns die Todeskugel, ruft uns das Schicksal ab,

Ja, Schicksal ab,

Dann wird uns der Panzer ein ehernes Grab!!

Yeaa...too high on paint fumes to write anything that makes sense right now.... =P

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Battle for New Media (A discourse on PR Practices)

In The Control Revolution: How the Internet is Putting Individuals in Charge and Changing the World We Know (1999) Andrew Shapiro declares that the "emergence of new, digital technologies signals a potentially radical shift of who is in control of information, experience and resources"

Ten years later and the paradigm shift from traditional to new media is staring us in the face. In the US major newspapers have closed shop completely while back on our shores, publications like the NST, Malay Mail and even the venerable The Star are seeing some rough times ahead as readerships plummet (and justifying those expensive ad placements gets tougher and tougher...).

As we move into an era where grabbing the attention of smartalec young punks(who are also tired of being told by the press as to what's happening and seek to find out for themselves via alternative sources) with access to the internet becomes increasingly challenging, getting onto the 'New media' bandwagon isn't just some fancy new trend that PR practitioners should try out every now and then... it is the bygone conclusion of what the future of communications will be. The fact of the matter is that as the years go by, PR practitioners will have to rely on using more mediums (i.e:-publications/blogs/social networks etc) that actually attract fewer readers than can be expected from the traditional papers of today. PR Campaigns and efforts will become increasingly more stakeholder/target audience specific with far more detailed, perhaps the word is elaborative, key messages.

Today,many PR practitioners have tried to engage the new media in much the same way as they would with the old...Let bloggers do a product review, invite them to our press conferences, make them feel like they are a part of the 'recognized media establishment'....and frankly its worked. That companies and PR practitioners have seen the wisdom in recognizing such individuals has led to the success of many online institutions...The Huffington Post,, etc etc... institutions that I dare say have had a significant impact on that which matters to businesses.. Brand identity and ultimately sales (or if you ain't a company that sells something, whatever objective it is that lays at the root of the business plan)

We are however at a crossroads. Some PR practitioners, having witnessed how effective the new media has become as a means of communicating to the consumer, have taken the liberty of going into the realm of "New media advertising". The daemon I speak of is the paying of a blogger to do a positive review of a company's product. *Pause for dramatic effect*

Now in my estimation, that which separates the power of PR from advertising is that PR aims to elicit an actual emotional connection between a brand and the consumer whereas the purpose of advertising is to highlight the features, stylishness and overall uber seig heil'ness of a product or service. PR is about establishing the perception of dialogue between consumer and brand. Advertising is a monologue by the brand.

Credibility is thus a critical factor that separates a successful PR campaign from a poignant one. Dont get me wrong... Businesses embark upon PR activities to profile the brand which ceterus parebus will enhance the financial success of said business. But there is a difference between the company that embarks upon a CSR campaign to help develop the local film industry and the one that embarks upon a CSR campaign to get its logo in the papers. The former develops an emotional connection between its brand and those people who would be appreciative of that brand identity which results in the identity of that brand being communicated positively to others by the individuals involved (which thanks to the efforts of PR practitioners such as ourselves shall include members of the media =P). The latter spends money on purchasing schoolbags so that a photo of the GMD handing out goodies to school children can be pasted onto the papers for a day. Different attitudes driven by the same motive. One however has an edge over the other in that its motive is hidden due to the overarching perception that the brand does genuinely see the propagation of film/the arts/ cancer awareness/ the godlike machoness of nahri as being of significant importance to the consumers who partake in that brand!

Similarly, paying bloggers to write positive reviews equates to the same 'latter' attitude towards PR as described above with the added problem that you are doing so in an environment where interactive daemonization of such activities can and does occur! (Hello, comment box!)

(Having said that, different approaches work with different segments of society, so don't take this as a total knock on the efforts of above-mentioned latter approach.)

Coming back to the topic of new media, I would like to use a project currently being led by a respected practitioner and friend of mine as a case study. Said individual...okay'la, nobody really bothers to read this stuff so I'll say Jonathan Tan of FH Communications *Woot!Woot!* was tasked by his client to develop a Facebook group that would proliferate the 'coolness' factor of the brand by engaging those individual's of generation G (yea I coined that one up myself Generation Geek i.e Lost,Heroes,Star Trek,Battlestar Galactica, Comic to Film films are all today considered COOL!) who are interactive, adventurous, conversant and sociable...(ie the sycophants such as ourselves who hook up onto facebook everyday la..)

Now here is a little project that has accomplished the following:
- Attracted 4,135 fan's in a span of about 3-4 months if I'm not mistaken
- Gotten participants of the page's events to blog about what they go through
- Created a genuine emotional connection (not its not love you twats its excitement!) between the brand with its existing and potential customer base.
- Created the perception of credibility by establishing that the brand is not only committed to its brand values and identity, but that it also knows how to have fun.

Which of the above is something that does not elicit the interest of generation G?

Now the traditionalist will argue that 4,135 is a puny number compared to the 500k and beyond figures that traditional papers attract...  But if you were to make a cost benefit analysis of the two...I wonder what percentage of the two figures(and methods used) would have developed a genuine liking/commitment by consumers towards the brand... In addition that participants then blog about their experiences exponentially adds to the number of people who become aware of the company's activities. Viral PR mein kameraden.(Note also that present trends in social networking indicate that the 4,135 figure is likely to continue to grow whereas readership trends of present day newspapers suggest that the 500k figure is likely to decline)

This is where some statistical research would do the industry a lot of good. If a correlation between PR activities and company sales figures were actually charted out, we'd have some empirical evidence....

Ultimately however, I believe that we as PR practitioners need to approach new media cautiously. Yes, they are often eager to jump onto the band wagon and no its not that we dont want them to make some money out of their efforts.. but consider this. 50 or so years ago, the hoola hoop became one of the worlds best selling phenomenon's....and by and large its success hinged on one simple thing. It was one of the first toy's to be visually introduced to the consumers via Television. The hoola hoop wasn't the most fantastically brilliant toy ever developed (The Warhammer 40k Space Marines hold that honor =P)!! It was one of the first things that people saw on television which made them go "OMFG I WANT ONE BECAUSE THOSE PEOPLE ON THE TELLY ARE HAVING SO MUCH FUN GYRATING THEIR HIPS WITH IT!!AAARGH!" Emotion+Perception=Bingo! 

But try advertising the hoola hoop today and see what happens...You'd be bitch slapped half to death for wasting peoples time fool! and why is that? Well because after 50 years of going through ad's that seek only to make money out of the consumer people just got ja..ja..ja..jaded!
So whaddaya reckon is going to happen if we go on the path of paying every blogger that was the tasty little tidbit of the month to write something positive for a client? I reckon

A) it may take 2 years, it may take 20 years, it may take longer...but eventually people arent gonna trust the medium/blogger/brand anymore. So are you as a PR practitioner developing a sustainable business model?

B) it adds a cost to our business. One which justification for is not yet proven. How many bloggers do we have to pay to get our message out?How popular are these bloggers and for how long do you reckon?How long will we be able to pay them cheaply for?How long will it take for bloggers to behave like today's mainstream media?By god...there are thousands of them to boot.... Let us remember that a significant reason why blogging became so popular is that people, whether right or wrong, became totally sick with the 'mainstream' media
   Now the counter argument to this would probably's business you don't worry about what the worlds gonna be like 20 years, 5 years, or 2 years down the road, you worry about how to most effectively get the job done now. Hmm, I got to say that there is a part of me that actually agrees with this line of logic. I guess the question that we all need to ask ourselves is are we here to build a sustainable business that gets us money by default of the quality of the services we provide...or are we just here to make money? :S

So... the new media...Are we going to take advantage of all that it has to offer us...Or are we going to forcibly turn it into the 'new mainstream media'?.... that was a long rant. Now for the line that spurred this entire line of thought ;P

"All of this has happened before...All of this will happen again...End of line." - Battlestar Galactica Razor

The gods fracking awesome Battlestar Galactica

I Love You Major Kendra Shaw!!!!

I Love You Too Number 6!!!!

.........Why do you make me have to choose?!!!! 

Monday, May 4, 2009

This is how you tell someone to fuck off

"Dear Nahri,

I hope this finds you well.

We would like to thank you for your effort to attend the interview. We have reviewed your qualifications, competencies and interest and though we find you impressive but it does not match our current needs. However, we see a potential in you for policy related opportunities. Your file is kept in KIV status and should there be suitable openings, we will contact you.

We wish you good luck in your future endeavors.

Thank you for your kind interest in WWF-Malaysia once again."

Fucking panda shaggers...and your fucking grammar sucks too you fuckwits!

Anyway some back story to this.

The day after I had the interview with Syed from Media Bond I had a first round interview with WWF Malaysia for a 'Communications Officer for  Protected Area's' position. Now reading through the initial forms they'd sent for me to fill up before the interview I got the sense that these people might be a bit too tree hugger'ish for their own good, and the way Earth Hour had been wankered off matched anything the GLC's of my previous experiences could pull off when it comes to lost opportunities.

Still, it was the WWF...which was one of several non-profits that I've actually been hoping to try my luck with for quite some time now. Getting into the interview I have to say that I wasn't really impressed by how it was being run, nor was I prepared to have to write a 1000 word essay in half an hour... (an essay?Come on?! Who writes essay's in the course of running a project?!Ask us to write a press release or even a fricking article you cunts!) Needless to say, my 'essay' turned into a rant on how I thought the WWF needed to rein in her objectives to something approaching 'within the realm of possibility' and to stop wasting their time and money on faggoty Yasmin Ahmad commercials starring the ever annoying Pete Teoh!

Anyway after the essay writing a group of us were sat in front of a panel of WWF peeps (one was the GM,another a Comm's Manager, the third the HR lady) aaaaand...can I call it a chat? Should I?...Now I'm all for the informal feel of a chat rather than strict interrogation style interview...but come on your looking to hire somebody? Liven up! Anyway after a series of round-robin questions that sounded somewhat like "So do you know how to use so and so software?...and you?Yes?and you?Yes?And you?No..thats okay it doesnt really matter if you do or dont" I asked the GM a few questions about the direction of the job...what WWF objectives were, where did he see the Comm's strategy going moving forward etc etc...PR 101 stuff... Not entirely productive but I learnt a bit.

Second panel though, had me turned around completely. We met two of the Communications Officers (One was a technical expert on the protected area's the other the outgoing Comms officer) and these two girls really knew their stuff. Learnt a lot about what the day to day duties were expected to be and about the Protected Area's themselves, and simply put, I was sold. Here was the chance to run Comms work for something that actually really deserved to be put out to the world... with the chance to explore some of the remotest area's of Malaysia laid out on the table...and they were trying to say that you didnt have to if you didnt want to like that would have been the preferable option!!

What riles me up the most however is that... I never got to have a one on one session with anyone from WWF...and if that first round session is what they are basing their recruitment choices on I dare say that they really haven't given much thought on who they're hiring, or what they should be expecting from the people that they choose to hire, or even on what an effective communications strategy would do for them for that matter! As a brand they have soo much potential to further enhance their cause! and to do good work for a GOOD cause for a change would have been the mind blowing satisfaction that I've been craving for!

But that's life isn't it? The right things don't happen with the right people at the right time... and then we whine about why nobody gives a fuck about conservation and preservation anymore!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Well... what now smartass?

Right...all things considered yesterday's interview went well (this was like a couple of weeks ago). I believe that Syed was a man from whom I could learn a lot from, appreciated where I was coming from and genuinely held a passion for the profession (albeit with a strong degree of realism/jadedness poured into the mix as well)

As it often is when you have a chat with a person who's been through much of what you've been through and has progressed 20 or so years on from where you are, I could not help but re-analyze the circumstances that has led to the predicament I currently find myself in.

Having said that, it didn't turn out on an entirely positive note for me as I walked out still without a job... While Syed indicated that I'd most like be able to fit into his organization all fine and well... time just wasn't right for him to be taking on someone 'at my level' just yet :S

Which brings me to the conundrum of figuring out just exactly 'what' my level is?

I left H&K with the full knowledge that though I was entirely capable of running my own accounts, I was not being put in a position where that belief could be put to the proper test. I was not going to get anywhere babysitting GLC's through small time CSR gimmicks signing poignant MoU's with local Uni's for the greater glory of the Bumi, I wanted to be thrown into the thick of professional private corporations...of businesses with business sense where I could prove that PR would produce a direct correlation with the success of the organizations business plan (be it in sales, brand/cause awareness etc). I WANTED to prove that I was a kickass Senior Exec who's ready to move upwards.

...Instead I now find myself in a situation where people either A.Dont want to hire me coz they think I dont match their self proclaimed 'exceptional standards' B.Hire me but turn out to be ABSOLUTE nutjobs or C.Dont want to hire me because they cant afford to at this point in time.

I am genuinely perplexed here. What ever happened to people should hire me because I can fucking get the job done and well to boot!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Well... square one is a fun place to be non? :S

Right.... Didn't get the Text job so took on the Waves job....Management of Waves job ran things in ways that were totally conflicting with my own principles on work/humanity (Damn you Marx, you make things hard for me!!!) so have left Waves job... Now will be going for interview on Thursday for new job...

Been a roller coaster month thats been mentally draining (not to mention financially troubling...)

Oh well...hasta la victoria siempre!... either that or out the window :(

Friday, March 20, 2009

Earth Hour. What is all the fuss about?

Vote earth, your light switch is your vote!

Call me a cynic but if thats the case Earth Hour marks everything that is wrong with elections.

Now don't get me wrong. A billion people turning off everything for an hour, particularly if they are the billion people in the world who are the worlds greatest energy consumers, WILL no doubt lead to a significant reduction in power consumption and all the greenhouse effects that that process entails...for one hour. But WHAT are we voting for?

Some would argue that success of the campaign isn't based on how much energy it saves, which is significant..for one hour, but on the ability to foster a greater sense of awareness amongst people and perhaps more importantly to impart a sense that we can make a difference as individuals. An absolutely noble and justifiable intention by my reckoning. But the irony is that the success of the campaign essentially also reiterates what the fundamental core of the global warming problem is, our apathy.

A billion people turn off their lights together and thats apathy?What am I on?!

Earth Hour is a cultural phenomenon..its cool...and everybody's going to be doing it. (So was the Free Love movement of the late 60's and early 70's... up until people found out about STD's...) with the reduction of green house emissions (that one hour) being a default result, rather than an intended one.

We individuals believe that we are making a difference because hey, even oil conglomerates like Petronas are getting onboard by turning off the twin towers for an hour! Thats cool and saving the planet right??!.... now if the Americans would just sign up for the Kyoto protocol too we could all hold hands and sing kumbaya...

The fact of the matter is, Earth Hour fails to save the planet (overambitious KPI so what did they expect! =P) because by becoming a focal point for people to express their undying support to the cause, for an hour, does it really instill a sense of concern for the planet and an appreciation for what we can do on a day to day basis? Or is it JUST a massive "Turn off your lights when you leave the house" campaign? (Which you do one hour in year and pat yourself on the back about for the remaining 8759 hours)

On top of that, how many people would have Googled Earth Hour to learn more about what it is? (I just did =P) Did you know that every time you make a google search you are essentially using up as much energy as it takes to boil two kettles of water? (This came out in a research study that was posted up by the BBC...will add the link if I can find it) Heh, how many Twitters out there do you reckon will be saying something like "I'm turning my lights off for an hour".. are they thinking about how much energy is going into making that critically important message?(Especially if your using your handphone..thats you and 60,000 other people if your Ewan Williams) Does anyone fully appreciate what their carbon footprint really is?

Are we really voting for anything with Earth Hour? Will the governments of the world look at how dark the planet becomes for one hour (it wont actually as the lights out will be staggered due to time differences) and go "omfg aaargh we must reduce our carbon emissions!"

Or are we just letting out one massive collective, "Gargh!" Meaningless but feels pretty darn good...

So what will I be doing at 8.30pm on the 28th of March 2009? Yea I'll be turning everything off for an hour and looking for a good spot to take a picture of blacked out KL. (YES I KNOW IM USING PETROL BY DRIVING INTO THE CITY) Because Earth Hour might not help in the long run, but it would'nt hurt either... besides lost causes are what we Marxist live for =P

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Is doing the right thing the right thing to do, or is it plain reckless?

Well, hit a bit of a bump on the road towards getting a new job.

Was told by the company that I really wanted to join up with that things were being pushed back a bit due to some internal matters, and so I'd only be able to go for my second interview some time in early April (and that I was not to hold my breath with early April at that)

This of course placed me in quite a spot because A) My offer with this Government Linked Company pretty much expired today(or yesterday rather) and B) There isn't any guarantee that I will be getting the job that I want because B.1) I'm still going to be up in the running against someone else for the job and B.2) There's no guarantee that they wont just decide not to hire :S
I'll admit that B.2 worries me a hell of a lot more than B.1 but yea...

However, I think what has gotten me so worked up and insomnia-tic for the past 48 hours was that this little setback made it very clear to myself, just how precarious my situation actually is...and that it can spiral out of control for reasons I have no control over. Facts are that it is a recession and that as good as I think/know I am my accomplishments in the past nine months are hardly worth screaming about when you put them next to what the heavy hitters in PR are doing...and I am a firm believer that its not who you are or what you are or what you think that matters, its what you do.

So why go through with it? Why suffer such insecurities for something with an uncertain outcome when security and safety is at hand with the GLC offer? It pays more, it IS a promotion to the next level and on paper, it should be the logical progression!

Well I truly believe that this job at Text, is a shot at redemption... because there I will be tested to the fullest and will have to raise my own bar to match the standard. I will opposed to the GLC where I will most likely be one of the few individuals who pull their own weight...
and yea...I miss being amongst professional PR practitioners who aren't in the industry as a semi-retirement option from journalism (This topic is deserving of an entire blog entry in its own right..shall touch on it soon)

Well in the meantime, I have sent out a few applications to other agencies... But yea... ever gotten the feeling when you knew something/someone was absolutely right for you..but whether you got it or not was .just. beyond. your. control....Am having a serious case of that right now :S

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Space Marine Army list - LineBreakers

My preferred design philosophy when making an army is simple. Get close to the enemy, pause for a second to shoot em up, and then charge in to mop up whats left. I also prefer to design general take on all comers  list as I personally find it to be a lot more satisfying =P Space Marine's of course, are perfect for this type of play.

Now so that everyone can have an out frame understanding of what I will be talking about, I'll just share what my current list is, and then go into a little bit more detail later.

Captain Laertes (Vulkan He'stan)

1st Tactical Squad -1 Sergeant 9 Marines
Sergeant with Powerfist and Combi-Melta, Flamer, Lascannon
With Rhino as dedicated transport

2nd Tactical Squad - 1 Sergeant 9 Marines
Sergeant with Powerfist, Flamer, Lascannon
With Rhino as dedicated transport

Terminator Assault Squad - 5 Terminators
3x Thunder Hammer with Storm Shield
2X Paired Lightning Claws
With Imperial (Because CSM's dont have it!haha! =P) Land Raider Redeemer (with Multi-Melta) as a dedicated transport

Sternguard Veteran Squad - 5 Veterans
1 Veteran with Combi-Melta, Sergeant with melta bombs
With Razorback armed with Twin linked Lascannons as dedicated transport

Landspeeder Alpha with 2 Multi-Melta's
Landspeeder Beta with 2 Multi-Melta's

Scoring units 2-4(occasionally 5 if I swap a Landspeeder for Scouts)
Kill points 11-13
1500 pts

Captain Laertes (Vulkan He'stan)

The capabilities of Laertes (or Vulkan as he would be known to the Codex world) are fundamental to my tactics and are simply beautiful for they will last beyond whatever untimely demises might befall him. The fact that he allows you to treat all flamer,heavy flamer,melta and multi melta weapons (including his own heavy flamer) as twin linked exponentially improves both your close range anti-vehicle and anti-horde capabilities. 

On top of that he's a pretty mean force to be reckoned with in close combat and is the ideal partner to thunder hammer/storm shield equipped terminators as his WS6, I5, S6 attacks (with a mastercraft re-roll to boot) stands a good chance of inflicting wounds on monstrous creatures (which the Termie's can then polish off) or whittle down the number of models in an enemy unit, ork boyz come to mind, which also reduces the number of retaliatory attacks that will be delivered onto your terminators. (and then the Termie's can polish them off too =P)

The Venerable...10 Marine Tactical a Rhino.

Unarguably the most flexible unit in the hobby. A full Tactical Space Marine squad is survivable, can dish out a respectable amount of damage, is particularly effective at crowd
control when facing a horde list, and can be split into combat squads depending on  how you wish to take on a mission.

As great as they are though, if unsupported by the rest of your army you will often find yourself in a situation where your Tactical squad(s) are either A) Outnumbered Troop for Troop.. especially by horde list such as Orks,IG and Tyranids or B) Outclassed by the somewhat more specialized Troop choices of the other armies...CSM's (Eat plasma fire!!), Genestealers (omfg aaargh!),Grey Knights (holy omfg aaargh) and even Tau Fire Warrior's (Plasma fire buffet!!) are but a few that come to mind.            

Ultimately you may be facing 40 guardsmen with inferior capabilities to your 10 Marines...but it has to be remembered that each and every one of those guardsmen DOES have the potential to kill a Marine...So dont be in a rush to go charging out in the open with your 3+ save power armor or you'll end up with as many dead marines as in a Soul Drinker novel!

Careful deployment and maneuver of your Tactical squads is crucial, hence the amount of tender love that Marine players often give to the ubiquitous Rhino. Essentially the Rhino gives the Marine player the ability to get his rapid fire shots or bolt pistol/flamer and charge combo in before the opponent does. In that sense Rhino=Initiative.

I personally also feel that the Power Fist is an essential bit of kit in the 10 marine squad, particularly when playing Leagues and tournaments, as the last thing you want to see is a 10 Marine squad being locked in close combat by a dreadnaught or Monstrous Creature for the duration of a game. (Ideally of course, one should not allow one's precious Tactical squad to BE charged by such a menace in the first place. Unless you have something to finish off what your power fisted Sergeant started whaling on)

Redemption is at hand!

Aaaah...the Land Raider Redeemer. Now, this is a tank that all players should at the very least respect... if not fear.

Simply said the pro's of the Redeemer are , 
- the S6 AP3 Flamestorm cannons that will create vast holes in anything but the most elite units of any army. 
- the durability to be expected of any Land Raider
- the assault ramp that gives you an 18" threat radius for some seriously heavy hitters

Some have even begun to argue that the Redeemer is the best Land Raider chassis around, and vis a vis the Crusader...I shall agree =P

The Redeemer does face problems against mobile armies however (Beware the Eldar and Tau), and a poor deployment of it against such foes will often result in the inability to use the Flamestorm cannons to its intended devastating effect. While yes, it does come with an assault cannon and a multi-melta, the inability to bring those flamers to bear, for this list, could mean the inability to take down sufficient numbers of the enemy to assure a victory.

Thunder Hammer Time

Now, many veteran marine players will look at the 3 Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield and 2 Paired Lightning Claws setup and go "What the deuce?Why not just take em all as TH/SS'ers?!" 

Again, this is a personal preference based on League necessity. Like Captain Laertes, the paired lightning claw termies are there to reduce the number of retaliatory hits that will inevitably be brought to bear on my TH/SS terminators by the massed number of Gaunts or Ork boyz that are out there. It also assures me a chance of causing wounds against other I4 units particularly in the off chance that the opponent is packing something like a Chaplain, Librarian or something similar(yes, unfortunately the killing of Brother Space Marines is quite a common occurrence in the 40k universe) and perhaps more importantly gives me the option of NOT attaching Laertes to the Terminators without having to worry about them being bullied by models with quicker motor skills, just in case there is more than one really badass enemy HQ or units that I need to be engaging in close combat with.
More on this in a moment.

Veterans of the First

If it were only because of the Hellfire Rounds, I would always recommend the Sternguard...and they have three other types of kickass ammunition to boot! Almost as flexible as the Tactical squad (and I say almost only because they cant claim objectives unless under the command of Pedro Kantor, but thats another list altogether) Sternguard veterans are useful for everything from crowd control to taking down Monstrous Creatures such as Carnifexes,Wraithlords and Necron Stargods... which they might even accomplish in a single rapid fire volley if your lucky.

Like the Rhino's of their less experienced Tactical brothers, the Razorback is there to give them the initiative, and is a respectable anti-vehicle unit in its own right. When faced with armies that have multiple MC's that need to be taken down quickly I sometimes will attach Captain Laertes to the Sternguard rather than the terminators. I would then deploy Laertes from the Razorback to move into position for a charge while the Sternguard deploy separately to provide a rapid fire volley. This is a somewhat tricky maneuver to pull of as it often relies on your opponent doing what you want him to do in one of his turns (whilst simultaneously not taking out your Razorback) but has proven effective for me in the past as it allowed me to take out two very nasty units in a single turn at an early stage of the game. (One with the terminators and redeemer, and the other with a massed hellfire volley from the sternguard followed by a coup d'grace by Laertes)

Melta Delivery Service

Landspeeders. Two of em. With two twin linked multi melta's each. As a fast vehicle you have an effective 2D6 melta range of 18" with an effective S8 AP1 threat range of 30"!... And you can even deep strike them.

Furthermore at 80 points a pop, I don't mind all that much about deep striking one next to enemy land raider for that one hit wonder opportunity.(One twin linked Multi-Melta will still make most opponents cringe when its in the magic melta range) However I generally avoid using them in such all or nothing methods(unless my opponents deployment gave me no other choice) as I find that the Double Twin Linked Land Speeder is equally as good at catching an unwary opponent totally off guard with its 30" threat area (Potentially murder 2 terminators a turn each) as it is at cooking tanks...80 points...marvelous.

My only regret is that half the time I have been forced to swap out a speeder for a sniper scout squad as my second landspeeder was lost in the warp while in transit from the UK, and its presence in a game depends on whether I can borrow one off someone else! (A permanent replacement will soon be appropriated hopefully)

LineBreakers - an overview

This list has served me very well over the past 2 or 3  months that I have been running it, with only one significant loss to a thrice accursed Eldar army. (Fast tanks, Farseer's and Phoenix Lords verdamnt!!)

It has to be aggressively played though, as with a maximum of 4 scoring units (five if I'm playing the scout squad) this is not the army list that will forgive you if you don't get your heavy hitter's out and dealing damage early in the game. Armies with numerous elite close combat units (Blood Angels, Black Templar) can also prove very challenging, and represent one of those situations where the effective maneuvering of the Tactical squads and use of the Redeemer will prove decisive. 

Annihilation missions can also prove to be pretty tough, as Rhino's, Razorbacks and Landspeeders aren't the most survivable vehicles around. Still if one can use them effectively early in the game (killing enemy tanks and getting closer/into good positions) the surviving units often do stand a reasonable chance of making sure things stay in your favor.

All in all, I find this to be a fun list that really makes you work for the win. Fall for the myth of Marine invincibility and you will suffer dearly, but strike swiftly and hard (control the flow of the game by forcing the opponent to react to your plans rather than vice versa) as a true Astartes should and you will appreciate just how high on crack the Marines can be. Hard work for the win, but victory becomes all the more satisfying because of it.