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I am Malay
I am Singaporean
I was born on the 19th of February 1980
I am male
I have a band. We play music. Its name is Burning Youth.
I am unemployed
I love Stephen King and his stories, movies, Sonic Youth(hence my band name)
and various other things that I will probably list
as soon I can get them into a coherent, organized, structured and probably, alphabetized order.
My time zone is GMT +8:00

Nevermind

What many people don't realise or speak out openly about is the fact that Nevermind is also a masterpiece of minimalist sonic abrasiveness, raw and bleeding but bandaged up with beautiful, pink, pop melody band- aids, all presented in a highly conceptualised and fully realised package of submerged truths and earnest confessions.

It's what Steve Reich might have done if he had fallen in love with The Beatles and The Kinks.

The evolution of minimalist composition reached its pop tangent apex in Nevermind, it bulit bridges and opened doors to textures and sounds faraway from the average, unsuspecting radio listener, yet at the same time always sounding earnest and heartfelt, with more than just a tinge of sarcasm and sardonic wit dripping from the corners, always bitingly smart.

And something in the way Kurt Cobain sings makes you listen, as if it was your own heart shouting, shouting out what you couldn't articlate yourself, and the pounding drums and bass took lessons not only from The Pixies, Black Sabbath and Black Flag, but also from the primitive beat of quiet hearts, encapsulating and elevating it into a symphony of rock groove heaven. Nevermind might have been the voice of the inarticulate but the album itself was extremely expressive and nothing if not accomplished.

"I swear that I don't have a gun" - Come As You Are - Nevermind

Currently untitled

Well, sorry , but I belive strongly that nu-metal, metal , rock , rap and all of these other 'genres' are just media-enforced labels on manufactured, pre-fabricated unoriginal muzak rip-offs, thought up by record industry executives to increase record sales.


Korn had a vision within the context of their metal band music, with their then unusual (unusual until Limp Bizkit ripped them off, that is,) use of a seven-string guitar to encompass a broader range of low-frequency metal guitar mayhem.(The seventh string was lower than the usual six strings, not higher.) Also, Johnathan Davis, who was mentioned in the write up above as having a guttural growl, was a victim of abuse in his childhood, and he sought to lyricize those turbulent and highly personal experiences into the context of early Korn music, making it an angry, raw, very heavy, twisted and schizophrenic musical experience.


Korn were actually preceeded by a slew of underground hardcore punk bands, originating mostly from America, and driven by the straight edge ethos of Fugazi and Minor Threat and a slightly more metallish and heavy sound. These bands even incorporated some heavy metal-sounding riffs into their music, making it sound highly unique, and yes, they had a form of the rap-shout vocal style in their music too..


The most high-profile of these bands probably was Sick Of It All. From New York, they had a minor hit with Just Look Around, which featured rap-like lyrics that focused on the state of a modern society slathered with hate and prejudice. The song was bass-driven and had a very groovy feel, though it remained quite heavy, as it was played almost exclusively on the low E string. This song was released sometime in the mid to late eighties.


Bands like Rage Against The Machine and Korn were probably influenced in part by the appearance of these bands on the scene, if not by the music itself. Rage Against The Machine and Korn (and some other bands as well,) managed to break through the mainstream and gain acceptance and popularity among the MTV crowd and the mallsters and high-school jocks and cheerleaders and dirt-bike enthusiasts and other social animals of every ilk and stripe.


This was around the time that the term nu-metal started to surface. Rushing to quickly encapsulate the whole new broad range of diverse musical styles that were springing up in the mainstream (read: teenage audience), into an easily-palatable wholesome package, record companies, radio stations and music video channels blessed everything into a sort of unholy union; lumping together all the musical nuances and subtleties they couldn't understand too well into a tightly-cramped, highly restrictive, creativity-stifling box called nu-metal.


What everyone believes to be nu-metal doesn't even exist, at least not in the way most people perceive it. It's just a convinient way to sell music, label it so sales and marketing personnel can package it in a shiny, brand-spanking new sheer-plastic case, that looks so good, but tastes so corrosive and toxic. For metal music, heavy music, any music to progress, somehow these labels that have enabled uninspiring, unoriginal music from uninspiring, unoriginal bands to gain precedence and let these bands take credit for something they copied wholesale from other people, (not very well-copied either, in my humble opinion) must be at least forgotten and ignored, if not universally derided and exposed for what it truly is, a major marketing ploy, that is - god forbid -killing the music.


In essence, probably, the music we hear now, is just an extension of what Kurt Cobain started, for better or worse. When Smells Like Like Teen Spirit exploded onto radio,(read this article for an in-depth look at the impact of Nirvana on modern music and the implications of Kurt Cobain's suicide: http://dir.salon.com/ent/music/feature/2001/09/24/cobain/index.html)it was inevitable that one day heavy, uncommon music, real left field genres like industrial and core music would be thrust into the mainstream. This is just probably a teething phase.



Thank you for reading.

Why?

I've had, on occasion, the most pleasant and wonderful opportunity to ask myself why so many people hate Muslims and Islam so much in general. I thought to myself, do those people hate Islam because they've been oppressed under centuries, nay, millenia of hardline, rigid, militant Islamic rule? Most of the 'oppression' I see that's been going around is from frustrated young people unable to fulfill their sexual wants and mores and/or to express and articulate their deepest thoughts and emotions. Of course, everyone (everyone being, in this case, mature, responsible adults worldwide) understands that life is a series of gives and takes, with the 'give' part being slightly more prominent. But to, in any way, implicate Islam or Muslims in somehow being responsible for this; is like blaming trees for giving us carbon dioxide.

Okay, Islam, or rather, Muslims have been responsible for decades of strife and bloodshed in the Middle East, and the way the female population is treated there has been the subject of much derision. This does not explain the hate and antagonism reserved for all Muslims. Many prominent Muslims have publicly spoken out against the violence, hate and ignorance that stirs in the swirling, tumultous Middle East. Respected, intelligent thoughts have been surfaced by respected, intelligent people; like Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia or Amina Wadud, a passionate and devoted champion of women's rights in Islam. The Quran itself gives views which are decidedly anti-sexist:

Sûrah Al-Baqarah 2. 230
‘And women have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable.’

Sûrah 9:71
"And the believers, both men and women - they are friends and protectors of one another: they enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and are constant in prayer, and render the purifying dues, and pay heed unto God and His apostle. It is they upon whom God will bestow His Grace: verily, God is Almighty, Wise

Sûrah Al-Baqarah 2. 231
‘Do not retain them against their will in order to hurt…’

Sûrah An Nisa 4:19
‘It is not lawful for you to try to hold your wives against their will, and neither shall you keep them under constraint with a view to taking away anything of what you may have given them, unless it be that they have become guilty of immoral conduct in an obvious manner. Consort with wives in goodly manner; for if you dislike them, it may well be that you dislike something which God might yet make a source of abundant good.’

Sûrah al Nisa 4.128
"And if a woman has reason to fear ill-treatment from her husband, or that he might turn away from her, it shall not be wrong for the two to set things peacefully to rights between themselves, for peace is best, and selfishness is ever-present in human souls..."

and anti-violence and aggresion:

Sûrah al Nisa 4.77
"Art thou not aware of those who have been told, 'Curb your hands'...."

Sûrah al Imran 3.134
"... and hold in check their anger..."

Sûrah 42.41-42
But indeed if any do help and defend themselves after a wrong (done) to them, against such there is no cause of blame. The blame is only against those who oppress in wrongdoing and insolently transgress beyond bounds, defying right and justice: for such there will be a penalty grievous.

Sûrah al Baqarah 2.217
Oppression is worse than killing.

Surah Al-An`am 151
“…take not life, which God hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom.”

Surah Al-Ma’idah 32
“… if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.”

And the prophet Mohammed has been reported to have said:

"Do not kill any old person, any child or any woman.”

and:

"Do not kill the monks in monasteries"

Most normal Muslims, including the little that are here on everything, disapprove of and condemn these acts of ignorance and/or hate and aggresion. If all Muslims were like the ones you read about in the newspaper or see on television, the world would, in all probability, be a vastly different place.

Or, maybe it's because Muslims and Islam have been regarded as being boring and staid and uninteresting. This, I believe, is not a problem that is confined to the Islamic community alone, but rather a cross-cultural, multi- racial, global problem. In fact, it could be said that being boring is one of the most universal traits of humanity as a whole. And besides, to hate someone or something because they were boring would be wrong anyway. IMHO.

Maybe it's even because Muslims are regarded as smart-ass know-it-alls, unwilling to see reason beyond their own blinded prejudices and trapped within their own anal, claustrophobic, narrow-minded views and opinions, always believing themselves to be right and not giving a rat's ass about other people. Some Muslims are like that. But then again, so are some politicians. And yeah, some politicians are Muslims too.

So, ultimately, I can't figure out a reason why, logically, anyone should hate Muslims in principle and Islam as well. Maybe, it's just me. If so, I must be living in a world of hate and not been aware of it. That, to me, would indeed be a sad revelation and one that would make living and going on in this world much harder than it has already been.

Thank you for reading.

An open letter from the misaligned, malodorous malcontent

Hello. festering sores and outgrowths of the planet.
take comfort in the undeniable fact you have deserved everything that has come to you up until now.
Fellow miscreants and mishaps and have-nots, do not unduly and
without provocation be caught in a situation where you or someone in your vicinity
can be mistaken as feeling anything that might possibly be construed as, or even slightly resembles
happiness, joy or other similiarly-themed emotional undesirables.
Emotional fulfillment leads to contentment, which in turns,
leads to that murderous, cancerous, malignant coldsore called faith.
mislead as you have been misled.
regret is for the well-fed pigs in their designer filth and sundry.
sorrow and misery is for the unshakeably fashionized, smugly turned out in neat rows,
their butchers' hooks straddling their glisteningly glamourous upper backs.
despair and emptiness is for the child-murderers who poison the consciousness of the mass puppet regime
with stinking, decomposing, fly-swarmed, shit-streaked leftovers of their cabalistic, paranoid elite.
welcome to the real world.