Bread and circus. I found out recently that in the times of the Romans, these two items were the basic reason for the
This brings me to the recent debate between the previous Chief Minister of
If you read yesterday’s New Straits Times you’d notice that there were about 15 or so articles written on the first four pages dedicated to the Permatang Pauh by-election. Only 1 miserable article was for Anwar Ibrahim, the rest was against him. You must also note that there is another independent contestant, making this election a three way competition, but not a peep from this third person. I don’t even remember his name. I know that the New Straits Times is basically controlled by the powers that be, but could you have more journalistic ethics? The biasness portrayed is worse than watching the news on the Government run RTM channels. This also isn’t the entertainment I am seeking.
Watching the Olympics was good entertainment. It shows you that the Communists are fantastically efficient in holding a major event. The opening and closing was fantastic. Never before had you seen a spectacular display of fireworks, acrobats and beautiful people in one location. Never before had any Government been so blatant and dictatorial in creating an image of a nation. For example, the little girl chosen to lip-sing the theme song for the opening was done purely on her good looks. The singing was done by a girl who was slightly chubby and had a gap in her tooth. All of the women carrying banners, usherettes and those with contact with cameras, VIPs and those that had to do PR work had to attend long interviews and those that were chosen had a nose that cannot be wider than the beginning of the eyes, flawless skin and so forth. Even the children who were supposed to come from various ethnic groups came from one dance academy and were mostly from the Han ethnic group. There was talk that there were additional Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) fireworks for those who watched the opening on TV making it seem like the whole of Beijing was lit up. Amazing detail went through everything, making it the best Olympic to date, bar none. I sometimes wonder if that level of manipulation would ever reach our shores. We’d see our local politicians abuse it thoroughly I guess.
So what kind of cheap entertainment can we seek in the Malaysian Motoring scene as we all seem to be suffering from high petrol prices (which has since dropped by 15sen for 97ron) and a 8.9% inflation in July rating? I can’t think of anything except taking a long drive on some nice B road and forget about the political circus happening around us at the moment. There is this nice stretch aside from the Ulu Yam, Genting, Bukit Tinggi roads that I’d like to mention.
Take the NKVE and exit at the Rawang Toll and head towards Kuala Selangor. That stretch will take you through some tree covered hillside roads that are spectacular and surprisingly very low traffic. Tight and cambered corners as well as slightly bumpy roads make it fun (not major potholes). You can make this a complete circle by taking a left towards Ijok and then back to PJ/KL via Sungei Buloh. Even the roads around Ijok are pretty fun as from the tighter corners earlier, from the Rawang tree covered stretch the road opens up to nice fast corners that some rally-specials would love. You will pass some kampongs along the way and you can soak in the simple life of these folk as you drive by. This is a 45 minute – 1 hour round trip, depending on how fast you can go and the traffic on that day. It is not that long, and worth every minute.
Blasting up and down country roads is a nice source of entertainment, away from badly written newspapers, politicking politicians and even totally manipulated imagery of a country. This simple fun would make anyone happy to the soul and it costs a mere tankful or so of fuel and time away from it all. This is a form of motoring bliss and it takes you away from the political circus and the mayhem that is currently happening. By the way, don’t forget to bring some bread along in case you get hungry.