Hic Sunt Dracones

the smylere with the knyf under the cloke

Archive for January 2008

The Cake Is a Lie

with 4 comments

The Cake Is a Lie

If you ever came across the Portal™ game inside The Orange Box, you’ll notice there’s a lot of reference to cake and a poetry reference to both Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Emily Dickinson — which in fact is a parody.

As I’m still in the spirit of “doing the Hudson”re-Hudson or de-Hudson. Here’s a bite in the patois cake.

i.

Si Malaikat Maut dan Kuntuman Bunga
by Cthulhu

Bukan dengan kejam, lagi amarah,
Si malaikat maut datang pada hari itu;
Tapi bagaikan malaikat dari syurga ke muka bumi,
Memetik bunga jauh ke hati.

Note: It’s hard to differentiate between Angel of Death and Archangel in malay term. I used “memetik bunga jauh ke hati” since it has the symbolism of affection, instead of “jauh lari”.

The Reaper and the Flowers
parodied in Portal™

Not in cruelty
Not in wrath
The REAPER came today
An ANGEL visited
this gray path
And took the cube away.

The Reaper and the Flowers
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

O, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The Reaper came that day;
‘T was an angel visited the green earth,
And took the flowers away.

ii.

Kerana saya tidak dapat menahan Malaikat Maut
by Cthulhu

Kerana saya tidak dapat menahan Malaikat Maut —
Dia dengan baik hati berhenti untuk saya —
Hanya kami berdua di dalam Kereta Kuda —
Dan keabadian.

Note: “Keabadian” instead of “kebaqaan”, the former is a proper noun for us mortal, while the latter for divinity. “Kereta Kuda”? Hahaha.

Because I could not stop for Death
parodied in Portal™

Because I could not stop for Death
He kindly stopped for me
The cube had food and maybe ammo
And immortality

Because I could not stop for Death
by Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for Death —
He kindly stopped for me —
The Carriage held but just Ourselves —
And Immortality.

Morbid, no?

By the by, I prefer this version of re-Hudson Cake (by Roger McGough):

Kek Coklat
by Rem

aku mahu satu hayat
engkau mahu satu lagi
sama-sama kita tak dapat
kita pun saling berkongsi diri.

Compared with this:

Kek Coklat
by Natasha Hudson

Saya mahu satu kehidupan,
Kamu mahu sesuatu yang lain,
Kita tidak dapat makan kek coklat,
Jadi kita makan sesama diri.

Cake
by Roger McGough

i wanted one life
you wanted another
we couldn’t have our cake
so we ate each other.

I think I’m having a sugar crash.

+++

Quotable Portal™:

  • “Quit now and – CAKE – will be served immediately.”
  • Cake, and grief counseling will be available at the conclusion of the test. Thank you for helping us help you help us all.”
  • “The Enrichment Center is required to remind you that you will be baked, and then there will be cake.” (subtitles say: “The Enrichment Center is required to remind you that you will be baked [garbled] cake.”)
  • “OK, the test is over now. You win! Go back to the recovery annex for your cake!”
  • “Uh oh. Somebody cut the cake. I told them to wait for you, but they cut it anyway. There is still some left, though, if you hurry back.”
  • “I’m not kidding now. Turn back or I WILL kill you… I’m going to kill you, and all the cake is gone, you don’t even care, do you?”
  • “Who’s going to make the cake when I’m gone? You?
  • Cake Sphere: “One 18.25 ounce package chocolate cake mix. One can prepared coconut pecan frosting. Three slash four cup vegetable oil. Four large eggs. One cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. Three slash four cups butter or margarine. One and two third cups granulated sugar. Two cups all purpose flour. Don’t forget garnishes such as: Fish shaped crackers. Fish shaped candies. Fish shaped solid waste. Fish shaped dirt. Fish shaped ethyl benzene. Pull and peel licorice. Fish shaped volatile organic compounds and sediment shaped sediment. Candy coated peanut butter pieces. Shaped like fish. One cup lemon juice. Alpha resins. Unsaturated polyester resins. Fiberglass surface resins. And volatile malted milk impoundments. Nine large egg yolks. Twelve medium geosynthetic membranes. One cup granulated sugar. An entry called ‘how to kill someone with your bare hands.’ Two cups rhubarb, sliced. Two slash three cups granulated rhubarb. One tablespoon all-purpose rhubarb. One teaspoon grated orange rhubarb. Three tablespoons rhubarb, on fire. One large rhubarb. One cross borehole electro-magnetic imaging rhubarb. Two tablespoons rhubarb juice. Adjustable aluminum head positioner. Slaughter electric needle injector. Cordless electric needle injector. Injector needle driver. Injector needle gun. Cranial caps. And it contains proven preservatives, deep penetration agents, and gas and odor control chemicals. That will deodorize and preserve putrid tissue.”
  • “The cake is a lie. The cake is a lie. The cake is a lie. The cake is a lie.”
  • “The weighted companion cube DOES speak. Superstition, perceiving inanimate objects as alive, and hallucinations. I’m not hallucinating. You are. The companion cube would never desert me. Dessert. So long… Cake. Ha ha, Cake. A lie. The companion cube would never lie to me. NEVER.”

+++

Portal™ – End Game:

Portal™ – Credits Song, Jonathan Coulton – “Still Alive”:

links for 2008-01-27

Written by cthulhu

January 27, 2008 at 3:18 pm

Posted in del.icio.us

Why So Serious?

The Dark Knight - The Joker - Why So Serious?

It’s only death.

Written by cthulhu

January 23, 2008 at 11:34 pm

links for 2008-01-21

Written by cthulhu

January 21, 2008 at 3:18 pm

Posted in del.icio.us

She Takes the Cake

with one comment

Shahrin (or should I say Dato’ Shahrin), your late dad (Ranhill Group Deputy Chief Executive Datuk Zahari) left one memorable yet cliché idiom as me and Rashid (now doing Ph.D in France) had an evening conversation while the rest of your family and friends seemed more interested with the Kelantanese dikir barat next room. This was in 2002, in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. While you’re still studying in Northumbria University. And your age seem more youthful than the media stated 31 years old — since it would be ridiculous for a 20-ish UMNO lad to get a Dato’, innit?

“Jack of all trades, master of none”.

He said but he left out “though ofttimes better than master of one.” The latter seem to ring true with your wedded thespian. She seems to be the cultured type. A professional model, an aspiring actress and sadly a shady poet — suspected with plagiarism.

Jannah Raffali incites a crusade against the literature infidelity. Playing semantics with her name: Natasha McGough Hudson, Natasha Similar Hudson and Natasha Overboard Hudson. And three is enough: Fool Us Thrice, Shame On the Lies.

Sharon Bakar’s entry appears to be a hot bed for both detractor and (devil) advocate.

Sufian Abas (a.k.a. Irman Noor) would say anything to be the literati dawg:

Sufian said…

There might not be a concept of copyright, but surely by attributing the name of the writer to the work he/she produces is somewhat similar?

I mean, if authorship is not important, why not write as anon, then?

Ok, even if we assume that authorship is perhaps for patronage, wenches, ale or things that go bump in the night.

What if, say, for instance, I were to write an epic poem in terza rima about my alleged journey from hell to purgatory to heaven and say that it’s all me. Is that plagiarism?

And isn’t it a bit of a stretch for people now who proudly read the work of Shakespeare yet want Ms Hudson’s work to be taken off the shelf on account of plagiarism?

January 17, 2008 12:02 AM

And the retort:

Anonymous said…

Oh, dear. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing when it leads one to equate Natasha Hudson with Shakespeare and Dante Alighieri.

Yes, Shakespeare and Dante “plagiarised” in the sense that all creative artists at the time did — and in fact many of them *did* do so anonymously, because the concepts of the “author” and of “originality” were all but non-existent then. Poets, musicians, visual artists — they all not only consciously based their work on their predecessors’ work (often as homage), but also freely dipped into the communal font of stories/musical gestures/artistic subjects. Shakespeare and Chaucer and Dante and Milton weren’t inventing plots of their own, because that is not what writers did at the time. And they may even have reused exact phrasing here and there, but the reason we remember them and not all their contemporaries who were all also freely “plagiarising” each other is that they did it better — they took what was considered to be their raw material and made it something *better,* not patently worse.

If someone wants to say the same about Ms. Hudson (i.e. that her “poems” are better than the originals), they should certainly feel free to do so, and then I can laugh at them from this safe and fortunate distance.

In any case, Ms. Hudson’s superiority/inferiority to her sources is somewhat irrelevant, because in this day and age we *do* have the notions of authorship and originality and copyright and so on and so forth. To accuse Shakespeare and Dante of plagiarism is not analogous to the US lecturing people on human rights, however much satisfaction it might give one to throw in their cause-of-the-day into this argument — it’s more like accusing cavemen of adultery.

— Preeta

January 17, 2008 12:55 AM

And the usual oh-so witty riposte commenced. It’s getting weary after a while.

I’m off to Liyana Yusof’s Vox as she “do the Hudson”. It’s visceral and carnal as it sound with a hint of Sapphism (maybe). Ah, you’re so cute with the mistranslation *bites*.

What’s the furore ado?

Take a look at Natasha Hudson’s Puisi Indah Sri Pari-Pari:

i.

Kek Coklat
by Natasha Hudson

Saya mahu satu kehidupan,
Kamu mahu sesuatu yang lain,
Kita tidak dapat makan kek coklat,
Jadi kita makan sesama diri.

Cake
by Roger McGough

i wanted one life
you wanted another
we couldn’t have our cake
so we ate each other.

ii.

Si Kura-Kura Kecil
by Natasha Hudson

Ada seekor kura-kura kecil
tinggal di dalam kotak
berenang di tepi tasik
memanjat di atas batu

dia cuba menggigit nyamuk
dia cuba mengigit kutu
dia cuba menggigit berudu
dia cuba menggigit aku

dia berjaya menangkap nyamuk
dia berjaya menangkap kutu
dia berjaya menangkap berudu
tetapi dia tidak berjaya menangkap aku

The Little Turtle
by Vachel Lindsay

There was a little turtle.
He lived in a box.
He swam in a puddle.
He climbed on the rocks.

He snapped at a mosquito.
He snapped at a flea.
He snapped at a minnow.
And he snapped at me.

He caught the mosquito.
He caught the flea.
He caught the minnow.
But he didn’t catch me.

iii.

Mentega kuning, jelly ungu, jam merah, roti hitam
by Natasha Hudson

Mentega kuning, jelly ungu, jam merah, roti hitam
ratakan tebal
katakan cepat

ratakan tebal
katakan cepat

sekarang ulang
sambil kamu makan

sekarang ulang
sambil kamu makan

janganlah bercakap
bila mulut kamu penuh

Things We Like to Eat
by Mary Ann Hoberman

Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread.
Spread it thick,
Say it quick.

Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread
Spread it thicker,
Say it quicker.

Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread
Now repeat it,
While you eat it.

Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread
Don’t talk
With your mouth full!

There, ICANHAZPLAJIARIZMNAO?

+++

So what style do the illustration on her book like?

A Tim Burton imitation of Edward Gorey in The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories. Shel Silverstein?

From the image caption, it does look like Roald Dahl favourite illustrator: Quentin Blake.

“I was so taken in by Tim Burton’s books and was thinking that it would be nice to have my book feature illustrations too. So I decided to have illustrations for my Malay book Puisi Indah Si Pari-Pari, which has 20 poems in it.”

[Source: The Star – Nice work, Natasha]

I bet you do.

Pithy Empathy

Don’t you all treat the people you love differently? I would never understand someone who just stand and watch the person they said they love cry , and not do anything to soothe that person. I can only surmise they do not love – there’s no love in such person’s heart; only hate and a bloated sense of selfishness.

I think I miss my didi. Are you going for your blue berth already? :) I know it’s strange to feel someone who’s far away as closer to me than those who are around me. Life is never easy…right?

Dear jiji,

I wish all that is written is what I confide in with utmost privy, but I’m a creature of habit, the habit of a tortured wordsmith where his canvas of written mind screaming like the Edvard Munch’s The Scream — suffused with melancholy and anguish.

You’re right after all. Self-destructive relationship is always been the cynosure of my longings. The expectation is known in foresight but I keep on feeding on it. On hindsight, I spew the bitterness and again taste the cynicism as aperitif for the next sour meal.

Falling out of love is very enlightening. For a short while you see the world with new eyes.

Iris Murdoch (1919–1999), Irish-born British novelist and philosopher.
The Observer (London) “Sayings of the Week”.

I’m used to take umbrage on the most innocent act that constitutes the company of them. Where once I was invited to be the third in the company of two. I took that as a mockery in the looming presence of [his]. Mocking the idea of familiarity, as I would jutted there, seated on the urban cafe of capitalism with the prospect of disillusionment. I’m like a jutted and jagged rock on a jaded meadow — weary of the accusation and compromises. Whereas it just a simple invitation, that in retrospect, I would never attend. Why can’t I just leave it be?

Jealousy used to be the blind rage. As ever hidden like Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, the titular character of [his] should never arrived in my simple mind. Whereas in the play, the arrival is awaited . In my mind, there should be in perpetual absence. Even a good-natured pity is hardly welcomed. As I sought the sympathy of her but got the pity of [his], the drugged and medicated mind of a feverish man caving in the state of malaise. As if [his] apothegmaticall word of apothecary — “get medicated, rest well”– giving me an apoplexy. Why can’t I accept the honesty of a dispirited man?

Jiji, did you know one of the character in the play is affectionately known as Didi?

An optimist.

Hence the optimistic approach to my romantic life, I supposed. The last happenstance with her consolidated this newfangled attitude.

A contemporary courting. A prelude to the ephemeral relationship that be.

I need your grace
To remind me
To find my own

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

How apt jiji, Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars.

That’s what she means to me, that’s how I feel as I lay with her. As I cry, her voice soothes me. There’s still love in her heart albeit an altered one — shaped by the sin of my past.

Love or perhaps empathy.

Didi.

P.S. : Jiji, you’ll never heard of this version of the story as I keep my life apart again from a confidante. Isolation seems to be the best policy for me, but I’ll always long for her — the ship of destiny — deep in the blue berth of my heart. I’m berthing, I’m basking. I’m sulking…less.

links for 2008-01-02

Written by cthulhu

January 2, 2008 at 3:17 pm

Posted in del.icio.us