Friday, February 26, 2010


The weather was unbearably hot (it almost made me want to strip off all my clothing and head straight to the nearest river to cool myself) and suddenly without any warning, the rain fell hard. Out of nowhere, this beautiful rainbow appeared. It had been a while since I last saw a rainbow and like a small child, I was extremely excited. Too bad I didn't have a better camera (I still don't) to capture the amazing sight with. I called a few friends so they could share this fleeting moment with me. We were at the opposite sides of town but it made me really excited that we were looking at the same rainbow but from different angles. We were telling each other excitedly what we could see from where we were and I was not aware it was a double rainbow until one of my friends told me so. 'The twin' was not really visible from where I was standing in front of my house. Only after I took the pictures could I see its faint colours on the camera screen (does that man I am slightly colour blind?). Once, it was considered a taboo among the older generation Malays to point a finger at a rainbow. When I was a child, I was told that you could lose a finger (usually the forefinger) if you pointed at a rainbow (I'm glad I followed that advice and I am proud to say that I am the owner of ten beautifully self-manicured fingers). There have also been many folk tales and stories regarding rainbows. I especially like the ones about a pot of gold buried at the end of every rainbow and a prince coming down to earth to find his golden pail. Well, the rain that fell down this evening did not bring much respite from the scorching heat but the rainbow certainly did bring me a lot of joy and happiness. It makes me remember the beginning of a John Keat's poem, Endymion (don't ask me about the rest of the poem since I don't remember) and I have to say that years from now, each time I see a rainbow I will remember one Friday afternoon which coincidentally was Prophet Muhammad's birthday when the sky was suddenly graced by a rainbow's beauty.

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.


One of my favourite singers of all time, Whitney Houston, is under the media attack at the moment. The media has been slamming her performances as not being up to standard. Concert goers have also been reported leaving her Brisbane performance before it even ended. Some of the comments made by the media and concert-goers are quite personal, mean and degrading. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Her voice is not what it used to be but it is totally absurd to expect to hear the same voice that we hear on her CDs from twenty five or even ten years ago. We age and we age differently. I'm sure nobody expects Richard Gere to look the way he did in 'American Gigolo'. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger has gone flabby and old. The same thing happens when it comes to a singer's vocal quality and endurance. In Whitney's case, her past lifestyle has definitely put a toll on her voice. True, she made some mistakes but give her a chance to mend her ways. If we find it so hard to show her the love and support that she needs, the least that we can do is to let her be. I guess it makes a lot of people feel good when they make others feel bad. We are only humans and we can only go so far if we are constantly criticised, ridiculed and never given any support. Ever noticed and wondered why many drug addicts and alcoholics relapse? Well, it doesn't take a genius to answer that. Some people attend live performances expecting songs to be delivered exactly as they are heard on CDs. Live performances are all about the energy and the connection that a performer has with his or her audience. Many songs can be interpreted differently when they are performed live. Attending a live performance means one has to absorb and feel the whole experience and not just the singing itself. There are many performers who opt to lip-sync throughout their precisely-choreographed performances and I don't see anything wrong with that since that is their choice and their way of reaching and entertaining their audience. So what if Whitney Houston cannot sing the way she used to? She has entertained millions and that's a fact. Right now, stop this hating and let's show some loving.

Monday, February 15, 2010


True to my prediction, 'We Are The World 2010' is simply not good (that is to put it mildly). I couldn't feel the song at all and the video is simply unbearable. The only parts I like are MJ's original and Pink's. The rest of the production is mostly crap (just like the rap) and most importantly, some of the artistes definitely did not get into the song (they were more into themselves and each other I think). There's too much wailing which detracts the song from its main purpose and subject matter. The unnecessary and excessive use of Autotune also works wonders to disguise the artistes' inability to feel and embrace the song (which consequently turns me off). The artistes only provided their voices but they obviously did not lend their souls. I would be happy to buy a new remastered copy of the original 'We Are The World' but I wouldn't do the same for this new version.

Sunday, February 14, 2010