TV SMITH's Dua Sen: Bloggeroo Banzai
TV Smith's Dua Sen
TV Smith's Dua Sen. The politically incorrect irregular columnist combines his idiosyncratic observations and tangential commentary into a blog...


by TV Smith

As the 'editor' or compiler of Malaysia Central's Blog Directory, I'm often asked about the criteria for inclusion or exclusion. The answer is simple; if you're a guy, you'll get in almost immediately. Seriously, while the girls outnumber the boys by a big margin, the 'chosen ones' are the fresh (updated) blogs, while the excluded are the stalled blogs and those with little or zero opinion except 'cut n paste' or links to somebody else's articles.

When I first came across blogs with fancy 'skins' and multiple frames, I was shell-shocked and outraged. Almost every rule of web site usability and navigation was ignored with the use of garish colors combined with the tiniest of fonts. My browser's scrollbar changed colors involuntarily and the mouse pointer hijacked, mutated into unfamiliar shapes. As much as I loathed these designs, I gradually accepted the fact that blogs are totally different animals. They follow no rules (but their own) and a blog is freeform expression in both speech and dressing.

In the advertising industry, there's a popular phrase, 'slice of life', which often refers to commercials created around those unrealistic realistic moments of our everyday lives. In contrast, the blogs here are much truer living slices of everyday Malaysian lives. From social commentaries to detailed diaries of hormone-charged teens, these blogs offer the outsider a peek into the lives of its writers, many of who remain, understandably, anonymous. Perhaps, by the same token, the observer too, finds the two-way anonymity and voyeuristic approach appealing.

Anne Charmaine's Secret Garden is whimsical and theme-less. It's simple and interesting random commentary from one the few bloggers on the list, with a job. Not that the other bloggers are lazy or unemployable; half of them are, after all, still in school, college or uni. Anyway, another blogger with a job and with seemingly plenty of time on his hands, is Dr Liew, with his real-life emergency room anecdotes. In one creative (and frustrated) moment; he aptly renamed the much maligned broadband service as Stream-My-Ass. And there's Starwing who made a career out of rebutting (with great logic) every news release and explanation from that infamous ISP. Becky's Slay The Virgin, seemed to change design every time I visit, but continues with her almost microscopic account of her daily ups and downs. Mostly mundane (to post-teens), but if read often enough, can be as addictive as soap operas. There's plenty of teens (and pre-teens) grappling with major issues like exams, homework and sexuality out there. Hani's Honey almost lurid account of sexual (self) gratification and post-orgasmic reflections draws the crowd. But more poignant is her self-debate on the viability of self-imposed celibacy and the inner conflicts with her religion.

If teeanage angst is not your glass of teh tarik, maybe adult or middle-aged angst is. The Farrelly Brothers will be proud of Woody's The Muse Is In. She discusses bodily functions like peeing, menstruation and backseat sex or anatomical variations like breast and penis sizes, in a nonchalant but humorous style. Jeff Ooi's Screenshot, combines journalistic savvy and well crafted pieces on topical issues with an 'insider's' angle. Oon Yeoh's Transitions, a current affairs journal peppered with running battles with MalaysiaKini readers makes an interesting daily read.

Malaysians residing abroad present equally interesting slices. Suzen's Seow Por faithfully narrates her new life in a Melbourne university. At one point, stories about her tummy noises seemed to be the recurring theme, though. Another student in Australia, Mayeze's Waiting For You wrote a rather amusing account of her homecoming. Her seven week sojourn, unfortunately, revolved mostly around Sungei Wang and Kota Raya. Cik Kieli's London Experience is written mostly in Malay, while Akuma's Inner Turmoils, rants and bitches about being gay (and Malaysian) in San Francisco.

Take a peep: a Malaysian kaleidoscope;

© 2003 TV SMITH
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