This is a post dedicated to newspapers, a frustrating kind and a very inspiring kind.
Nothing is more frustrating than the print media here. Well, that’s not really true, but they are really frustrating. I (TP) have been going through back issues of Utusan Malaysia, which is either the widest or second-widest circulation Malay-language daily in Malaysia. (The other one is Berita Harian, which I will do next.) The fact that it is currently only available on microfilm is just generally frustrating, because microform makes me squint and I hate the punctuated *whirrr* of the machine as I slowly go through issues. But it’s much more frustrating because the content is terrible, just really really bad reporting. The articles that I am reading are from must before the crisis started, so we still have Mahathir and Anwar on the same side, and the economy seems to be booming, so everyone is happy and the government can do no wrong.
Have you ever seen the episode of the Simpsons where Homer starts eating Powersauce Bars, and he thinks that he can climb mountains, and his mountain climbing exports are covered by a Powersauce-sponsored news program, which has news reports like "This just in! Powersauce is awesome!"? It’s like that. "Deputy PM Says UMNO Is Better Than Other Parties". "Malaysian Companies Are World Class". "Tiny Malaysian State The Size of Connecticut To Get Second International Airport". "PM Says Corruption Is Bad For Economy". "Opposition Candidates Looking Out For Personal Interests".
The other newspaper story is inspiring, and it comes to us from the Washington Post and is available online here. It is a story of my cousin Margy (first cousin once removed?) and her movie night. You should go read it. When you’re done, you should browse over to the ALS Association and give a donation to fund some research. If you’re from the US, you should also lobby your representatives to give full government funding to research that could help us understand the causes and possible cures for ALS, even if that research involves stem cells.
Margy, when they put you back to work, you can help me read these damn newspapers.