TV Smith's Dua Sen. The politically incorrect irregular columnist combines
his idiosyncratic observations and tangential commentary into a blog...
by TV Smith
Local satirist TV SMITH of Dua Sen
(www.mycen.com.my/duasen) dives into the smoky
depths of an Internet café
and discovers no one is visiting his website
theyre all too busy killing each other...
air was smoky and the constant explosions around
me deafening. I made my way through a dark and
narrow alley, wary of sniper fire. The soldier
nearest to me was gunned down suddenly, his blood
splattering onto the shrapnel-filled ground. Cries
from the wounded were ignored as surviving combatants
continued to exchange machine gun fire. As I nervously
surveyed the surroundings with my night-vision
scope, a putrid pall of smoke hung over the bodies.
Where is Prebet Raja?
I am not filing a report from a war zone nor am
I doing a review of a copycat local movie. I am
describing my search for a young combatant in
a dark, noisy and overcrowded Internet cafe. After
a recent Hari Raya gathering, I went along with
my young friend Ali to look for his missing best
breathed a sigh of relief when we finally spotted
Raja in a corner. He seemed to be alive as I could
detect vital signs in his wrist. Locked in a fierce
battle with some hooded terrorists, he didnt
even turn his head by a millimetre as he shouted,
Chill out, Uncle TV! It was hard to
hear above the din and his shoulders, but I got
out among militants wasnt exactly my idea
of a relaxing Sunday evening, but it was an eye-opener,
nevertheless. As at most Malaysian Internet cafes,
only a tiny fraction of the customers were engaged
in the dying art form known as surfing. A few
renegades were seen playing some motor sports
games, but, generally, Counter Strike rules
(for those who arent into games, thats
the reigning first-person shooter
might find a few brave e-mail users or a handful
of female chatters. To be fair, the environment
was never designed for normal web activities.
You end up rubbing shoulders with the user next
to you, literally. The monitors are about 5cm
apart, at most. Not the kind of situation where
you get to read or type an intimate personal message
unless you choose a font size smaller than a pygmy
you are actually planning on doing some research
or note taking, it might be a good idea to bring
your own torchlight. Most of these places are
dimmer than the dangdut pubs in KLs
Jalan Raja Laut. Non-smoking rules are slackly
enforced and canned beers are even available at
some of these outlets.
subsequent discovery of hundreds of other similar
places in the Klang Valley confirmed my suspicion
that I am the only one complaining about the furniture.
The bigger ones have over 100 PCs with rates as
low as RM1 an hour. If you are still using dial-up
at home, its definitely cheaper to surf
should call these places gaming parlours
or something similarly intuitive. Anything but
that most misleading misnomer, Internet cafe.
Still, they are a good social barometer of our
times. Forget about the K-Economy or even the
MSC, networked gaming spearheads our IT drive.
Oddly, the heightened interest in para-military
activities by our youth is not reflected in their
response to the recently launched National Service.
is disturbing is not the fascination with fantasy
violence and pixel bloodlust, but the scant interest
shown in other programmes like the browser, for
instance. I understand nothing beats the thrill
of seeing your friends reaction as you gun
him down. I am staying behind, Prebet Raja!
This article also appeared
in the December 28 issue of StarMag (The
2003 TV SMITH
Link to this article: http://www.tvsmith.net.my/duasen/161203_prebetraja.html
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to TV Smith's Dua Sen: http://www.tvsmith.net.my/duasen/