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Tag Archives: transmogrification

Born This Way

[Intro]

This is the manifesto of Mother Monster:

On GOAT, a government owned territory in space, a birth of magnificent and magical proportions took place. But the birth was not finite, it was infinite. As the wombs numbered and the mitosis of the future began it was perceived that this infamous moment in life is not temporal, it is eternal. And thus began the beginning of the new race; a race within the race of humanity; a race which bears no prejudice, no judgment but boundless freedom. But on that same day as the eternal Mother hovered in the multiverse another, more terrifying, birth took place: the birth of evil.

And as she, herself, split into two, rotating in agony between two ultimate forces, the pendulum of choice began its dance. It seems easy, you imagine, to gravitate, instantly and unwaveringly, towards good but she wondered, “How can I protect something so perfect without evil?”

It doesn’t matter if you love him,
Or capital H-I-M (M, M, M, M)
Just put your paws up
’cause you were born this way, baby

[Verse 1]
My mama told me when I was young
We are all born superstars
She rolled my hair and put my lipstick on
In the glass of her boudoir
“there’s nothin wrong with lovin who you are”
She said, “’cause He made you perfect, babe”
“so hold your head up girl and you’ll go far,
Listen to me when I say”

[Chorus]
I’m beautiful in my way
’cause god makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way

Don’t hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way (born this way)

[Post-chorus]
Ooo there ain’t no other way
Baby I was born this way
Baby I was born this way (born this way)
Ooo there ain’t no other way
Baby I was born-
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way

Don’t be a drag – just be a queen
Don’t be a drag – just be a queen
Don’t be a drag – just be a queen
Don’t be! (Don’t be! Don’t be!)

[Verse 2]
Give yourself prudence
And love your friends
Subway kid, rejoice your truth
In the religion of the insecure
I must be myself, respect my youth

A different lover is not a sin
Believe capital h-i-m (hey, hey, hey)
I love my life I love this record and
Mi amore vole fe yah (my love wants faith)

[Repeat Chorus & Post Chorus]

[Bridge]
Don’t be a drag, just be a queen
Whether you’re broke or evergreen
You’re black, white, beige, chola descent
You’re lebanese, you’re orient
Whether life’s disabilities
Left you outcast, bullied, or teased
Rejoice and love yourself today
’cause baby you were born this way

No matter gay, straight, or bi,
Lesbian, transgendered life
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to survive
No matter black, white or beige
Chola or orient made
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to be brave

[Repeat Chorus]

[Outro]
I was born this way hey!
I was born this way hey!
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way hey!

I was born this way hey!
I was born this way hey!
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way hey!

Same DNA, I’m born this way. Same DNA, I’m born this way.

2011 Lady Gaga; Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta




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The blood on the streets of Egyptian cities isn’t even dry yet the naysayers and doubting Thomases are already coming out of the wormwood. What Khalaf Al Habtoor’s op-ed piece in today’s Gulf News lacks in accuracy it gains in paranoid delusions.

Al Habtoor initially praises the “young, educated” people who started the ball rolling by calling for a public demonstration on January 25th. He fails to mention that Asmaa Mahfouz, the vlogger who originally posted the call to rise up, is currently under virtual house arrest having been warned that if she goes out she’ll be taken by security services. He also does not discuss that Wael Ghonim, the blogger who started the We are all Khaled Said facebook page, is currently being detained by secret police at and undisclosed location and is presumably being tortured.

Al Habtoor correctly states that Mubarak has “maintained stability” but he does not detail at what cost: hundreds, if not thousands, of political dissenters imprisoned; rampant corruption and a hugh disparity in income distribution. The climate for foreign investment he “cultivated” is one which investors knew they only had to pay a 20% cut to the powers that be.  Al Habtoor disingenuously claims that Mubarak wasn’t aware that those around him were enriching themselves. This is laughable. Recent conservative estimates put the value of his family’s wealth in land, investments and cash at over US$40 billion held in offshore holdings and secret accounts.

While he does detail the recent evidence of lawlessness in Egypt, Al Habtoor does not properly accredit it to Mubarak, a dictator clinging to power with the only tools he knows: police brutality and overt violence directed at peaceful demonstrators. That Mubarak withdrew police off the streets and simultaneously emptying four prisons is indisputable. At the same time bands of thugs (many with police identification or poor people who admitted to being paid the equivalent of US$75 by NDP party hacks) came on the scene and chaos erupted. This was not a coincidence.

It is also not a coincidence that the military were brought in once the police had been beaten off the streets. Unfortunately for Mubarak they lacked the stomach to do the dirty work that he wanted them to do. After several days of watching the protests, however, they effectively turned a blind eye and deaf ear on the NDP thugs and secret police who tried, once more, to defeat the citizens of Egypt and silence the journalists there to record history in the making.  This resulted in the over 48 hours of unparalleled bloodshed on the streets on Wednesday and Thursday of last week.

Ridiculously Al Habtoor states that Mubarak “immediately responded to protestors demands”.  Either Al Habtoor has problems with short-term memory or he wasn’t watching events on the ground in Egypt over the past 13 days. Mubarak only spoke to the Egyptian people from the secure confines of his Presidential Palace on the morning of Day 5 of the popular uprising. By then the initial demands were a thing of the past. Having endured days of attacks by thousands state security police, countless rounds of tear-gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition the ante had been seriously upped: the Egyptian people demanded his immediate ouster. Al Habtoor claims Mubarak has fulfilled their demands. This simply is not the case. Changing one crew of thugs for another is hardly the sweeping constitutional and legal change that Egyptians are demanding. They want basics freedoms and dignity: the rights to assemble, freely associate and elect a democratically representative government. Under the current one party state and constitution they get no such guarantees.

Al Habtoor claims the youth uprising has been hijacked. He fails to flesh out his accusation with any names or substantiation. He insinuates that Islamic fundamentalists will be out to suborn what ever democracy comes out of the revolution. He states that the Muslim Brotherhood should be excluded from the political equation. He fails to realize that in a democracy everyone is equal: everyone has one vote. Halas.

Tellingly, Al Habtoor calls the ignition of democratic ideals in the MENA region a “contagion” and warns of it spreading. He then uses the royal “we” when discussing what he does and doesn’t want. One can’t be sure who he is referring to but it’s probably himself and the rest of the well heeled board members of the Al Habtoor Group since his essay was originally posted on his company’s website the day before being published in the Gulf News. i’m sure the spreading of democracy in the region’s collection of paternalist autocracies shakes the very foundations of their privileged positions.

At the end of the day what matters is not what Al Habtoor wants but what the people of Egypt want or don’t want. It is patently obvious that they want a new constitution, one that allows fundamental freedoms recorded in the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights. The current Egyptian constitution needs to be torn up and a new one written. It is also patently obvious the Egyptian people do not want Mubarak. A return to stability will be best engendered by Mubarak’s immediate departure to one of his posh properties elsewhere in the world.

In 1985 i shared a house on the SMK Lawas, Sarawak school compound with a Buddhist colleague. During that year i was a vegetarian save for the occasional FishHead Curry when ever Swee Hiang scored a spare fish head from the school’s kitchen.  At the end of that year i went into the interior, to Ba’Kelalan to celebrate Christmas. On Christmas day they were serving a communal dinner in the SIB (Borneo Evangelical Church) church in the kampung and a big feature was 5 cm cubes of pork fat (kinda like the Inuit eating beluga fat). i just could not manage the cubes of pork fat…

Fast forward to Christmas 2009 when Santa left a copy of J.S. Foer’s EATING ANIMALS under our Christmas tree in Ajman. i read it over 3 weeks. It then took Kim more than 3 months to read. She’d read a page or a paragraph and have to put it down. While she was reading it we discussed our diet and about the idea of changing it. At the same time, January 2010 we became members of PETA and watched the kentuckyfriedcruelty.com video on the horrors of being a Kentucky Fried frier. Prior to viewing that video i’d buy KFC once a year when travelling. Quick and convenient but, now i know unspeakably cruel. So a year ago i determined i would never darken the doors of a KFC again.

Once Kim had finished reading Foer’s book we decided to become vegetarian. Becoming vegan isn’t an option as Kim’s lupus means she does need some forms of animal protein so we still eat eggs and dairy products. The transition was fairly smooth; we didn’t eat all that much meat anyway in the normal course of a week. Once the decision was reached we just stopped buying meat and slowly emptied our freezer.

Going back to Kuching for the summer was interesting.  Our new diet causing a bit of a stir amongst our friends who wondered what they could serve us for meals when they invited us over. And Kim’s dad’s idea of vegetarian cooking did not preclude sneaking in minced pork or prawns… We actually managed to order a totally vegetarian meal at the Sarawak Club when we hosted a meal for friends and family. Took a parley with the chef but it was successful and even Kim’s mum said it was OK.  We also discovered a delightful vegetarian stall in one of Kuching’s food courts that serves up vegie versions of all the trad hawker food treats like quay teow and laksa so we were in vegie heaven.

do i miss eating meat? Yes and no. Christmas minus the turkey was novel but then so were the pumpkin and mushroom in sage potpies that we served up as the alternative. They were scrumptious. i guess i miss not cooking the traditional Quebecois fare of Tortiere and Cretons also but i can live without them, no problem.  Both Kim and i have lost weight so there is also that bonus.

a short while ago some teenage friends of my teenage son Rauth came for a sleep-over.  They saw this poster on his wall…

they asked him if it was his mum and dad when they were younger…   i kid you not! but then again… maybe they had good reason….  Kim is definitely my Yoko Ono!

“We are the people we’ve been waiting for” is a wake up call for educators and policy makers!  This documentary needs to be seen by parents and politicians, students and teachers.  Are students being prepared for the new reality?  Are we aware of what we need to do to move forward?

Clara Shih says email is now passé.  Young people, like students, are only using email to communicate with their professors and parents.  They use social media to “talk” to one another via facebook wall posts and etc. Is this the case?  EmailUsGraphic

My mother is a Luddite who refuses to learn how to use a computer so we use snailmail and the phone to communicate…

What does all this say about culture and communication?  For one thing email will no longer be the delivery mode of choice for viruses and worms.  Ashley Towns, a Wollongong TAFE student, has created the first iPhone virus.  Is that why we go to school?

transmog0i was originally going to be the next Robert Redford or, more likely, Lon Chaney.  In the end i came to the stark realization that i didn’t have what it took to make it in the theatre; becoming the living embodiment of, “those who can do, those who can’t teach.” Years spent in Community Theatre did not translate to the professional stage, but the training received there and at Uni gave me skills which i utilize in the school setting, so it’s not all in vain.

What ever you think you’re going to want to be, don’t be afraid to metamorphose into something completely different.  University can be a place to explore who you are and what you want to do with your life.  It’s ok to start one thing and end up finishing something else. If you think you know all the answers before you come here perhaps you’re in the wrong place…  While at Uni please… transmog3