Saturday, December 03, 2005

Pirates and Scissors

On evenings that I find myself relatively free, I occasionally cruise around the town hunting for the locations of pirates. Certainly not the swarthy, swashbuckling types equipped with swords and eye patches but the more mundane kind that we find here. The rough, fast-talking, dyed-blond Chinese boys ( why are they usually Chinese btw? :) ) who lean over overcrowded tables to advertise their wares. And as much as I'd like to play with their ample wares, I usually ask only for their stash of pirated discs.

Sure, such piracy isn't as common as it is in other bigger cities such as Kuala Lumpur but Malacca does have its share of notorious pirated dvd stalls. Not that easy to find anymore but still they are still around - in various secluded nooks and crannies that I shall not divulge in case some overzealous cop is reading this. Due to the recent crackdown in such illegal activies, the pirates have become more than a little paranoid and their shifty, furtive eyes frequently scan their environs, waiting to make a quick getaway in case the boys in blue come on their witchhunt.

But I actually hope they manage to survive. We do need them after all.

It's not the price - although I do find the prices a little steep for my taste. But what I object most is to the censorship - and it seems that the government has finally come to realize that one of the reasons we all flock to the bootleg discs is because of the heavily censored movies shown here. As all of us know, the censorship board in this country have talents ( to slice and dice ) that would do Edward Scissorhands proud - and I have certainly ranted about it before. For some inexplicable, the censorship board here persists in the assumption that Malaysians are innocent, simple country folk whose naivete is only rivalled by a convent of cloistered nuns in the inhospitable Himalayas and even worse, so terribly weak in their principles to be swayed easily by the slightest hint of immoral sex, gratuitous violence and undemocratic politics. Still their editing certainly has warped values and at times, it seems they would prefer us to watch gruesome scenes of victims being butchered mercilessly rather than a gentle kiss between two consenting adults. Obviously Make War not Love is their motto.

Okay. Deep breath.

This Big Brother mentality certainly gets on my nerves sometimes. As much as I would like to support the artists ( who I assume are already making enough driving in their pimped Cadillacs and living in their Bel Air mansions ), I would also prefer not to have an overzealous guardian watching over me - and editing out portions that they deem unfit for viewing.

Brokeback Mountain

And if they had their way, I certainly wouldn't ever have a chance to watch Brokeback Mountain. A film with two cowboys in love? Good heavens. What could possibly happen if the film was shown here? In the simplistic minds of the censors, they immediately extrapolate nightmarish visions where all the men in the country are irrevocably turned to their dark gay side giving in to their animalistic impulses after watching the two cowboys canoodling in the mountains. Wild, immoralistic decadence would prevail over their so-called traditional values and civilization as we know it would slide slowly into hell.

Seriously. Does that actually come to pass? As much as I'd enjoy the titillating fantasy, I don't think any of my straight friends are likely to switch sides and leap into the sack with me if they were to watch two guys kissing. If that actually worked, I'd be far too busy trying to convert Chris Evans to my side.

I, for one, am waiting to watch Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal find love in the mountains - and lately, hunting down pirates in dark lanes seem to be the only way to go.


Darien Markess said...


Whats that?


savante said...

Rubbing it in, dammit! :)


Anonymous said...

They're usually Chinese because they're the only ones that can't speak English, can't get a job and are thus forced to do this for a living.

Sue said...

I am just really glad that you will be able to see the movie, piracy or not.

Legolas said...

That is a totally awesome movie (because I love Ang Lee, he's fantastic). Will definitely get it from the secret service agents! Is it out?

hrugaar said...

You say you usually ask only for their stash of pirated discs. Does that mean that there have been occasions when you've asked the dyed-blond Chinese boys for something else? Oh Paul, do tell. :o)

savante said...

Whoa, they're doing it cause they can't find other work! Hope that's not entirely true, anon.

Hope that's true though, sue. It's not out yet, leggy, but I'm keeping my eyes peeled.

Nothing to tell, ru. Never tried anything with any of 'em.