Blogger strike (2)?

Posted on July 7, 2008


By Helen Ang


Marina was the alpha blogger who perhaps inadvertently initiated this laying down of pens by a handful of other bloggers with her post “I Think I’ll Just Go On Strike”. It happens with opinion-shapers and trendsetters … what one says is picked up.


MARINA’S RANT: “… I can’t get any of it straight anymore. Who did what to whom? Who has been plotting to do what to whom? Who hates who, who loves who? Sorry, I don’t know anymore. I’d rather watch CSI frankly …”

THE PLEBLEIANS SAY: Geez, and we were glued to ‘Dynasty M’sia’, one of the world’s longest-running TV series clocking in a record 22 years. In fact, it’s still being re-run and Bolehwood gossip is that the producers want to bring it back … a revamped version.
Hey, when one has got an audience-gripping formula, why change the plot? Like, that cliffhanger storyline 10 years ago can be recycled a decade later. Heck, they can even mosey over to the prop room and dig out that old stained mattress.
We wonder, did the Ranter go on strike too the last round during Reformasi because she couldn’t figure out “Who did what to whom? Who has been plotting to do what to whom?”
MARINA: “While everyone bickers, admits, gossips, analyses, rumourmongers … I have a life to lead. I have a daughter who’s turning 9 tomorrow and who has very set ideas about how she intends to celebrate it.”
PLEBS: Yeah sad, that’s what happens when education standards fall steadily over the past quarter of a century. Pity the Eat Cake masses can’t afford to send their kids to Garden School – this dumbing down of the populace turns out a bunch of bickerers, gossipers and rumourmongers incapable of analyses.
MARINA: “I have columns and papers to write, a conference and a fundraiser to organise, people I need to talk to and decisions to make.”

PLEBS: The not-so-erudite nor highly literate hoi polloi now decide to go say ‘Hi’ to farmer Revert’s buffalo in the boondocks. Who needs to constantly make difficult decisions in life anyway?

MARINA: “At the same time, I have a home to run, kids whose studies I need to keep a watchful eye over, a husband who also needs attention and a small circle of friends I run to for support. I am just busy. With a capital B. So I don’t have time to keep up with all these shenanigans.”
PLEBS: Unlike us factory workers, taxi drivers, hawkers, check-out and service staff, clerks, hospital attendants and menial labour who don’t work all that many hours a day and are on oodles of free time, with a capital F.
MARINA: “The other day I went to fill up my car’s petrol tank and thought there was something wrong with the counter showing the price at the petrol pump because it kept going on and on and didn’t stop until it got to a ridiculous sum. … That is the price of petrol these days.”
PLEBS: Waah, filled full tank ah? But still, the price of petrol sucks, don’t it? Now if only we could auction off Putrajaya, Petronas Twin Towers, the F1 track and all those other edifices, and non-brick and mortar goodwill like MPO, Sauber, and kept the subsidy to keep inflation down, instead of suffering the fuel-hike kick in the behind? Aah, Petronas the goose that lays the golden eggs. Rumour, gossip, uncorroborated stories are asking, what did they do with the eggs?
MARINA: “At home I find myself doling out money more frequently for my cook to buy groceries. Are we eating more or do things just cost more?”
PLEBS: Thought the Dynasty set for seven generations. Since there’s admittedly too much gossip and rumourmongering going around, reality must be just as the Ranter claims. Ouch, shopping for groceries is such a pinch for former First Daughters and Datuk Padukas, we’re sure.
MARINA: “I find myself rushing by the windows of boutiques so that I won’t be tempted to go in and buy anything unnecessary. The only indulgence I allowed myself recently was lip gloss which somehow cheers me up.”
PLEBS: Go shop in Kota Bharu. Lipstick cheaper there due to recently reduced demand.
MARINA: “I have to buy air tickets often because we are a two-country family and I also have to travel for work. These days what you pay for the surcharges and taxes would have bought you a seat on a pretty long flight not too long ago.”
PLEBS: For some, the world is their oyster; for others the world is under a coconut shell. So what does the oyster say to the coconut? ‘Oh, woe is me, such a coarsening of the political discourse that I see. How it offends my fragile sensibilities.
MARINA: “So I think I will just go on strike. From reading the news. From being interested in what politicians are up to. From the so-called analyses of what’s happening by people who don’t really know anything.”
PLEBS: Spot on. People still don’t know anything from the Sodo Mee gravy spill the first time around. And like the proverbial Lady Macbeth’s blood-stained hands, no amount of detergent can wash off them old gravy stains.
MARINA: “The waiter asked me if I was who he thought I was … And he said, “I know you because my cousin has HIV.”
PLEBS: Nobody denies that Marina has done excellent social work in highlighting AIDS issues. Would she care to extend her volunteerism in other areas besetting the country, like corruption, draconian laws in a repressive state, miscarriage of justice, intimidation by instruments of state, the systemic breakdown of institutions of state …?
After all, if there wasn’t the bigger rot — “all these endless statutory declarations, police report after police report, statements hither and thither” — would not have raised such a stink, would they?
Bottomline: Marina blogs that she wants a strike from the unceasing speculation. “I don’t know anything at all and I’m quite happy to admit that. And I don’t care to offer an opinion either.”
Being so close to the epicentre of power, surely she can ask, unlike the plebs who indulge only in unceasing sepculation reading “the so-called analyses of what’s happening by people who don’t really know anything”.
Why be so happy to remain in ignorance when all it takes is some questions to those in the know? Ask daddy lah about the first bowl of Soto mee.
MARINA’S RANT IN CONCLUSION: “I just have more important things to do in my life.”
PLEBS: So has WCW who blogged, “I think the majority of us are pretty sick and tired over the events of the past few days. There is only so much lies one can take. We should not let ourselves to be used, or led to believe to anything, by these power crazy politicians. It doesn’t matter whether they want to grab power or stay in power, the bottom line is that we all have lives to lead. Not lies to lead. There are more urgent matters that require our attention.”
Rather than rant about the strike, and then some, and spinning on the so-called ‘strike’ in his 3-month old blog, he’s got the paper carrying Marina’s column to run, no?
Posted in: Digressions