Monday, December 22, 2008

Malay cultural history: rebels with a cause, data #1

Growing up sometimes getting stone-glued to black and white Malay movies, I can still remember how thrilled I was watching the scene below. The sultan got what he deserved; he was assassinated while being "carried on a mobile throne" (di julang) by his servants. The rebel had a cause, unlike James Dean. I think this scene is symbolic and iconoclastic.




The scene (from P. Ramlee's Pendekar Bujang Lapok) of mass revolt against the capitalist class (sampan owning Malay)is interesting as data for a psychological study of power and ideology vis-a-viz historical-materialism:




Years later, while teaching American and World History and Foundations of Western Civilization, I became more and more fascinated with the idea of revolutions and the overthrow of those who ruled by "taxation without representation". I discovered that hegemony is also key to social control and through technologies of controlling consciousness the political-economic elite can gain control over the masses. I explored this idea at length in a dissertation.

But all these revolutions must have a fertile ground -- with the notion of ideas moving or removing nations. I think the key to a healthy and rejuvenating society is to teach about the history ideas through reading of the great books. But if society is stoned-glued to 100 TV channels and fragmented by media technologies produced to weaken the mind and funnel more and more excitable junk, when can the masses focus on engineering social transformations? Tabliod literacy rules. Sound-bite speech acts dominate public discourse. Talking heads walk around like zombies in a utopia run on cybernetics. TV is a great mass babysitter and will create a generation with four eyes and no mouth.

On a larger magnitude Europe saw a major transformation of ideology -- the passing of feudalism and the birth of a new consciousness, sparked by the French Revolution inspired by the writings of the Enlightenment thinkers such as Rousseau, Locke, and Voltaire. In this society, the salon becomes a breeding ground for social transformations and the reconstruction of the ideals of the Renaissance.


Watch 1789 - The French Revolution in How to Videos | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

And much earlier than the French Revolution, in Italy there was the famous revolt of the slaves led by Spartacus:


Watch Spartacus and the Slave Revolt (73 bc) in How to Videos | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Prof

Spare a tot on HOW COME the wimp Majority cud succumb to the whims of the Minority - as in:

> the Swaney Jocks, Taffy Tinker Westbrit & Co cud strangle rich prosperous Raghead Moghul India till it got bled dry - thanks to treacherous headband Sikhs who are happy to be a chee chee

> even the kiasi Celestials cant/wont do much against the Invading Monggols/Japanese in their own Middle Kingdom - since way back before the yuan or the Yuan Dynasty got to be all mighty - despite these kiasu ching chong being 10 to 1!

> and yah, the snitching Dutchmen got to control all of Indonesia - just give these ori Marsh Dwellers a wee bit of land & they'll soon get a hang of it and know what to do

Well..We wont have to wait for any Bosch or Russkie to win any war.. Gog & Magog wud innundate humans 1 to 10 by then yeah! Only God cud save our 'Kept In The Dark' kids then

Heheh.. I m no thinker - merely a dreamer doc. :)

komando said...

Why the trouble to talk ABOUT who is THE tuan?
The Brits divided this land well and good.
THEY WERE THE REAL TUAN's
They divided the people for good and forever.
They had their agenda a hidden one.
That is what happens!
So if all of us is to return back to where our great fore fathers came from I DON'T think this nation can stand on its own
Which Melayu was born here?
Did they not came from somewhere?
Just like the others?
ORANG ASLI - THEY WERE HERE ORIGINALLY, UNLESS WE CHANGE THEM TO "BUKAN ORANG ALSI"!
SO ALL THE NON MALAYS CAN PACK AND GO ?
WHERE?
ARE WE SAYING WE SELL EVERYTHING TO THE MELAYU TAKE THE MONEY AND GET LOST?
WE TAKE ALL THE MONEY FROM THE BANK ALSO?
SO THINK ABOUT IT!
MELAYU IS A MAN MADE GROUP OF PERSONS!
CHECK THE DNA OFF ALL MELAYU's
SEE IF THERE IS NO OTHER BLOOD IN IT!
IF YOU CAN GUARANTEE THAT!
THAN I REST MY CASE!

A PAKISTANI AND A MAMAK IS CATERGORIZED AS MELAYU?
HE JOINS THE ARMY AND GET ENLISTED INTO THE "ROYAL MALAY REGIMENT"!

A MAN FOR KERALA WITH PURE INDIAN BLOOD IS A MELAYU?
WHERE IS THE MELAYU?

THE CONSTITUTION SAYS: "A MALAY IS A PERSON BY FAITH A MUSLIM, A PERSON WHO SPEAKS MALAY LANGUAGE AND PRACTICES ITS CULTURE"

CARE TO CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION PLEASE !

ANYBODY IN THIS WORLD CAN BE LABELED A "MALAY" !

UNLESS HE FAILS THE THREE CONDITIONS STATED ABOVE !

SO PLEASE STOP THE NONSENSE...USE THE BRAINS INSTEAD OF EMOTIONS AND SHALLOW THINKING!

UMNO MALAYS ARE ALWAYS EMOTIONAL !

DR AZLY PLEASE COME BACK AND TEACH HISTORY TO THE UMNO MELAYU's.

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