Sunday, September 09, 2007

In Which Country Was Originality Buried When It Died?

"The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot."

Salvador Dali


How many people appreciates the humble genius that is Ricola's pop-top packets? I do, but I only ever buy them for the box. The mints feel just like wads of latex in my mouth.

Ricola

Aaanyway, on a rather different thread;

I'm a stickler for originality, and it is reflected in my taste in books, movies and my personal aversion of using clich├ęd phrases and expressions in my own writing. And I realise I am probably living in the single most unoriginal country in the world.

Our Jalur Gemilang is practically a clone of the American Stars and Stripes. So we got a moon and a durian, and they are both yellow - big flippin' deal.

Our national anthem, the Negaraku, is the subject of a scandal involving some old Hawaiian song supposedly written sometime in the 1940's called Mamula Moon - both of which share the same melody.

Our national language is Malay, 50% of which are probably words stolen from English. Maybe Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka figured that since the English word 'amok' was adapted from the Malay word 'amuk', they are justified in pilfering every single entry in the Oxford English Dictionary to stock ours. Ever wonder why I got a 3B in Malay for my SPM examinations? That's because I simply refused to work for a good grade in such a pointless subject. I gave up on the it ever since I realised in the Fourth Form that the word 'significant' had been Malay-fied into 'signifikan'. What. The. Fuck. And all we were ever taught about it was how to write overly ornate Malay essays rife with so much purple proses that they are about as handy to read as Klingon. Nobody bloody talks like that!

Our national car logo instantly reminded me of the 1980's Thundercats cartoons;

proton thundercats

I only needed one look of the Proton insignia and immediately recalled a tiny detail in a cartoon I watched when I was in pre-school. That says enough.

At any rate, I think our country is tired of copying from other folks - because we started plagiarising our own stuff. I was in The Curve last weekend and they had a car exhibition there. At first, I thought the car on display was our ol' Proton Gen-2 but once I got closer, I overheard somebody saying that it was the new Proton Persona that I've been hearing so much about when I was still in India.

I have to ask:
What's the ruddy difference? Did they add a cup-holder to the Gen-2 or something?

Persona, in Jungian psychology, is defined as "a personal facade one presents to the world". What "facade" is our new national car "presenting to the world" then? That we are all bloody brain dead?

Not to mention that
'persona' is yet another English word pumped straight into the cold, dead corpse of our national tongue.

I'm a Malaysian who is far more impressed by the ingenuity of the packet design of a Swiss candy box than I am of the span of creativity of my own country.

Oh, and happy belated 50th birthday, Malaysia! You're a big boy now!

So grow up.



A member of the unprivileged caste of the Malaysian citizenry,
k0k s3n w4i

8 comments:

bevE said...

LOLCATS!

cynic.

=P

dakota fanning purdy. =3

InnShan said...

true true.
lack of originality.
how can v advance like this?

Zzzyun said...

haha i used to wonder why our msian flag looked so similar to the USA flag. lol.

pinksterz said...

your post is similar to kennysia too. some part of it lah.

isn't that urm, considered as urm, copying? =P

k0k s3n w4i said...

@beve
incoherent.

@innshan
on the tailcoats of others.

@zzzyun
everyone wondered about it at sometime or other i suppose. the resemblance is unmistakable.

@pinksterz
I was just waiting for someone to say something like what u did.
If you noticed, I am actually talking about originality, and my disgust with our country's lack of it. And him, about patriotism, and generally saying that originality didn't really matter and ridiculing people who thinks otherwise. We are disagreeing actually.
At any rate, i didn't hear about the Mamula Moon scandal from him. I heard it from my batchmate's blog more than two months ago; LINK
:D ...... THERE! Hmph

pinksterz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pinksterz said...

and you might as well keeping the comment readily drafted somewhere in your notebook!

hmph.

InnShan said...

About the national anthem:
Actually, i knew it ever since my primary schooling time.
My friends and I wondered why the State Anthem (Perak) tune is the same as the national anthem.

They say, the national anthem is choosen from Perak State Anthem because of yada-yada-yada...

But from the history, i discovered during my research..some Raja (i think it's Raja Abdullah) loves some song from certain place (i remembered they named it Bulan-sumthing..). That's why he composed the song for Perak using the Bulan-sumthing tune.

Haha...i tiru u..he tiru me..
The Boleh Land..