2019 is all about ME

It is a year of paradoxical contradictions, rhetoric and self implode mantras

pic source: ign.com

I WAS eight when I watched the first Star Wars movie. The Cathay cinema opposite the Chowrasta market in Penang as always was pouring with beaming moviegoers.

Car drivers along the busy Penang Street would slow down and try to catch the giant poster of the movie that had attracted a long queue for tickets like football night at the Bandaraya Stadium. Many times it left an eight-year-old boy awed, face glued to the car sidewindow screen.

Going to the movies then was like a trip to Legoland today for a young boy. Like a football match, there are tickets for different classes. The cheapest ticket would land you meters from the huge screen and a bad neck ache at the end. Sitting at the upper terrace is like today’s date at GSC Aurum.

The cigarette stench and the billowing smoke didn’t bother patrons. Even the pungent smell and rustic chairs of the theatre failed to dent spirits.

It is after all Star Wars, a saga that transcends four decades, a generation or two who were left wishing for a lightsaber as their birthday gift. Others would do with a stick and one’s vocal rendition of the electric hum of the Jedi sword with your mother screaming that you don’t poke someone’s eyes out.

Watching the final episode of the epic trilogy — “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” — is like an epiphany of life realities, of that constant battle between the dark and the good side, of traitors and fighters, betrayers and the fight to resist the whispers of the dark side.

It is a universal theme, truth to be told. But the trilogy, though as common as roti canai to a mamak shop, represents the constant feud between good and evil and the seduction to do wrong as much as the will to do what is right.

To the older generation, the end of the Star Wars saga could be almost tear-jerking. Childhood heroes “slowly” found their resting place. The only consolidation is that the good still triumphs over evil, giving many hope when all is lost.

In two days, we will welcome 2020 and bid goodbye to 2019. If anything, 2019 has been a year of many downs and a few ups. It is a year of paradoxical contradictions, rhetoric and self-implode mantras.

In retrospect, the world that we have known has become more divided than before. Countries are led by isolationists and Stalin-like figures though democratically they are elected. Trade wars, demands and ransoms like the script from a Tom Clancy novel. Countries propagate isolation, self-centeredness and selfishness in the disguise of national interest.

The ME attitude is the common narrative for Malaysia this year. It is about ME religion, ME race, ME political agenda, ME Jawi, ME hate Jawi, ME school etc.

“It is all about me.”

Worst still, such narratives received the support of many. It resonates with the truth.

Quoting Padmé Amidala in the Star Wars prequel: “So this is how liberty dies…with thunderous applause.”

Let’s wish 2020 will offer new hope and a new mantra — “It is all about the country”.

Happy New Year to all of our readers.

Mohamad Azlan Jaafar is the editor-in-chief of The Malaysian Reserve.