A friend asked whether I was excited for the new Star Wars movie. It was meant to be inane conversation, but I ended up taking it seriously and it did throw me off.

I grew up in a Star Wars childhood. Read all the novels, consumed, collected, invested; literally had the trilogy playing on the video recorder every day when I got home from school. Until this day I still have a fondness for the Hildebrant brother as a result of their artwork on SW collectible cards.

Then the franchise was ruined with the return of George Lucas. And now, all the hours and memories I’ve invested into the universe is no longer canon.

I appreciate this new freedom, this awareness that to follow the new direction of SW is to re-invest along a similar trajectory. I realise now that the new SW and what it represents has little ROI for me, I already have the nostalgia value and that won’t change.

It’s made me reconsider my relationship with other characters from my childhood — superheroes trademarked and copyrighted, like little money soldiers for faceless corporations. Even beyond comics, sometimes it’s hard to separate the books I’ve read from the films they’ve birthed.

In the end, I told him I wasn’t excited. Sure, i would maybe watch the latest SW film. Wouldn’t make any particular effort. Won’t keep track of set gossip, progress reports or fan theories.

I am more keen on the worlds that exist when everyone has a hand in designing and creating them — in the realms of fan fiction, I suppose. I don’t necessarily want to read fan fic, I just don’t want to live in a world of tight copyrights.

Which makes me feel a bit guilty about the copyright on my own works. I am somewhat assuaged by the fact that I’ve also contributed a fair bit to copyleft, but by design and not by default.

Hrm.

Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single
friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore
unsuitable.
I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours.
Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit
on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.
If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love
you very much.

— Mary Oliver
How I go to the woods

I am so amazed to find myself kissing you
with such abandon,
filling myself with our kisses
astounding hunger for edges of lips and tongue.
Returning to feast again and again,
our bellies never overfilling from this banquet.
Returning in surprise,
in remembering,
in rediscovering,
such play of flavors of gliding lips
and forests of pressures and spaces.
The spaces between the branches
as delicious as finding the grove of lilies of the valley
blossoming just outside my door under the ancient oak.
“I’ve never held anyone this long,” you said,
the second time you entered my kitchen.
I am the feast this kitchen was blessed to prepare
waiting for you to enter open mouthed in awe
in the mystery we’ve been given,
our holy feast.

 

— Feasting
by Elizabeth W Garber

Ivan and Winson

I was a bit intrigued to see the headline that “Gay marriage proposal angers netizens” was being discussed in an online Malaysian queer community. Turns out, a gay couple in Tawau had a marriage proposal video go viral. It was a sweet video, with colourful bouquets, balloons, a bended-knee proposal, a long kiss, enthused friends, a speech I didn’t understand.

I feel so starved for local gay content sometimes, it just felt like there was finally an environment to breathe in that was gay AND happy and romantic and didn’t end in injuries or arrests.

And then, of course, some religious conservatives took it upon themselves to lodge a police report against them.

How small, hateful and black does your heart have to be to look at love between two persons, and so much joy at that, and to not only disapprove, but actually resort to bringing in the authorities? And to justify that with religion? I am so tired of how religion, and in particular Islam, is used as the hammer and shield in Malaysia — to beat others down, and to shield abusive people from very valid criticism.

I mean, aren’t you tired of these hateful homophobes? Aren’t you tired of gay people having to demand for their rights to exist and love? I’m gay and even I’m worn out sometimes by the constant conversation of all the rights we do not have. Just give us equal citizenship, let us love, let us fuck, let us do whatever straight people do. Let us put behind us such a huge burden of hatred and arguments.

To have such a romantic moment in our country also be paired with these unworthy responses. Sigh. We could do better. But some people don’t seem keen to be better.

Nevertheless, I hope there will be more love, more joy, more balloons, more bouquets, more proposals, more weddings, more allies, and much more acceptance. More of the good, more of the love. I feel I always need to have to keep some amount of faith alive, and so I feel we can do this.

I wish Ivan and Winson all the best in their marriage. It isn’t easy being gay in Malaysia, and they have overcome the odds to find each other and find love, and to have so many supportive friends as well. I hope their union brings them a lasting joy, and I offer my solidarity from the Semenanjung side.

 


I was told recently by a scoffing curator that a gender lens was a narrow and limited view, and not applicable in a show. More accurately, not applicable in his all-male show. Maybe he needed me to praise his show and all the other aspects before we could talk about communications over the fact.

I’d wait for him to realise that the limited view in this scenario is not seeing the gender lens (or rather, picking and choosing when it shall be allowed to be applied to your work), but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Sungguh menghampakan, which makes me annoyed with myself, because I should have learnt by now I generally should not assume the better of men in liberal arts circles.


Doing a huge cleanup of the house. How is it possible that I keep ridding myself of possessions and yet the house is full. Shifting my priorities from things I want to get rid of, to things I want to keep. A spring cleaning I could do with more than objects.

I refuse

Refused a salad in the office because the tomatoes were too round and intact.

Apparently, I’m the weird one because I slice my grapes and cherry tomatoes in half before I eat them.

‘You cannot have too much money huh’

Juana, effectively putting a stop to my itchy backside registering yet another web domain.

A friend is now exploring a lesbian relationship.

I told her if they ever had a joint website, the logo would point to their combined aunty nesting power by depicting a plastic bag folded into a triangle.

Today, I received a video of them brandishing folded up plastic bag triangles in their kitchen.

Oh god, I can already imagine their joint website.

Cleaning up the living room is starting to feel like a burden. On the plus side, decluttering is finally moving forward.

It’s probably that damn Pisces moon.

  • Petra: Lainie do you remember showing me a beautiful video of two people dancing.
  • Lainie: You’ll have to be more specific.
  • Petra: You cried watching it.
  • Lainie: Are you sure it was me?
  • Petra: There’s no one else I do this kind of shit with.

Ini fitnah! I do not cry watching dance videos*!

Anyway, it was nice to catch up over coffee to discuss her new place, my latest work, and how I’m not dead inside anymore**.

*Or I do, but not around witnesses. Whatever, Petra says it was years ago and I suspect over a particularly vulnerable time. If it happened at all.

**Turns out I’m still capable of finding other people attractive! My dead dead heart is not so dead, after all. Drinks all around?

Nakkkkk

Handling my friend’s Zoloft pills

  • Me: This looks deleeecious
  • Friend: *grabs* No no no no this won’t get you high
  • Me: Areyusure howyuno
  • Friend: Yes.
  • Me: GDI.
  • Friend: It’s my Xanax pills you want
  • Me: 😀
  • Friend: Also no.
  • Me: 😔

I mean, it’s unethical to rob friends of their medication, right?