I've been back a week now, and I've been thinking. Well, that's not entirely true. I've been playing video games, jamming some jazz, watching DVDs, and hanging out with friends, and truth be told, thinking hasn't been entirely an equal member of the time-sharing program.
But what little bit of thinking I've done has been about ideas. Not necessarily producing them, mind you. More along the lines about how ideas make us, and ideas break us. Take this thing about these idiots in Parliament who made offensive remarks about a female MP's menstrual cycle, which is along the lines of the whole Don Imus whoolabaloo in the States. Was it sexist? Yes. Was it vulgar? You bet. But was it also political? Now, that's an interesting question, and I don't know whether it was political, but it was certainly ideological.
The whole deal about getting an apology - and then the half-assed nature of the one that was finally given - in my view wasn't about getting remorse, but a certain sense of getting even. And mind you, there's nothing wrong with that either, but let's see it for what it is. I doubt that anyone really would expect actual contrition, or on a higher plane, a zen-like rehabilitation and redemption from the same gang of buffons that had the "close one eye" scandal a year ago - no, the point really was that justice comes in the form of an equal amount of embarassment by forcing the culprits to simply say that yes, that was a really dumbass thing to say, and I was a dumbass for saying it.
And the reason why the two MPs, Bung Mokhtar and Mohd. Said Yusof, found it so difficult to just say exactly that was that in their minds, admitting one mistake is like admitting that everything that they've said and thought was also wrong. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the real dumbass root to the problem, and which reminds me of people who think that dinosaurs are a myth because Noah didn't include them in his ark, as if one thing that wasn't literal in the Bible made all the values held therein cheapened. You make a mistake, you admit it cleanly, and you move on. But if you make a mistake and keep trying to pretend it doesn't exist, people will just keep wondering why you were never potty trained, and the stock prices for laundry clips goes up a notch.
Another thought at the back of my mind is, if someone you know wears yellow polka dotted pyjamas stands on one foot in the middle of Main Street singing Gregorian chant in swahili, and then calls you a wingless coconut, would you really take his word for it?
Of course not. But the point is would the average voter be more insulted by:
1. Someone wearing a suit, a tie and sitting in the middle of Parliament uttering that which is just about as useful as Gregorian chant in swahili, or
2. Someone in yellow polka dotted pyjamas standing on one foor in the middle of Main Street elaborating with eloquence on the complexities of geopolitics?
Probably the former. Which sort of explains why monkeys get elected to office to begin with.