Sunday, October 30, 2011
Today's New Craze- 4 Fs
It appears to me that we in this country (and perhaps others too) face four new craze starting with the letter 'F' - Football. Facebook , Festivities (music, concert, shows) and Films. Of course you can add many others including Food, Fooling around etc. The items may not be new but the fervor and power of attraction are, especially among the younger people.
Negri 9 has just emerged as the Malaysian football champion, a position erstwhile held by Trengganu. It just goes to show that you cannot hope to remain at the top all the time. A little mistake and the position may change. You cannot be complacent and rely on feedback from your fans only. Of course you can regain the position later but lost time can change a lot of things.
The craze for football seems obvious today with the World League, the European League and the Malaysian League becoming the talk of the town. Whether you are in the shopping complex, at bus stops, coffee shops and even in the mosque you can here people talking about football. The National and State footballers are heroes, their names being more popular than some of the less-known political leaders, even among Cabinet members. Let alone World Cup heroes like Pele, Maradona, Becham and Ronaldo. Our football fans seem to know them better than their neighbors. Even children begin to know their names faster than the alphabet. While other sports are also gaining popularity, football seems to have a greater following. At the international level the stars are being traded and bought over for millions by rich clubs, We haven't come to that stage in Malaysia but the price money seems to be going up all the time. And the fans seem to get wilder and more aggressive as the price of tickets go up.
Facebook is of course taking the world by its ears. Almost every computer user (and who is not today?) has his own Wall in FB. Several hours are spent each day chatting or communicating on FB. The world has suddenly shrunk since even friends on the other side of the globe can be contacted almost instantaneously accompanied by live pictures if you like through Skype and video link.
Parents are getting worried to see their children spending more time on the FB than on their studies, husbands and wives getting worried for their partners now could say whatever they want to whoever they want without becoming embarrassed or causing any embarrassment. Some even enjoy reading saucy and weird chats on FB. It can be more fun than watching commercialized soaps on the tube.
Festivities like concerts, music and other live shows on TV and radio have, of course, been popular for decades. A day without listening to some music could be as dry as salad without the sauce. But technology had enabled youngsters to walk (or even drive) around with their ears plugged to a thumbnail pod which contains hundreds in not thousands of music and songs. They seemed lost to the world, sometimes dancing around to the tune even while walking in the street. Otherwise they would be talking into a handphone. People looking from afar would think they are crazy talking to or dancing with unseen partners. Don't try to talk to them when they are not looking at you or you get riled up as do some parents when they ask their children to do something but getting no response whatever because his or her ears are plugged.
As regard films, there is now a great devotion to fantasy films including sci-fi and ghost stories. Triggered by the Harry Porter and Lord of the Ring series followed by the Avatar, real-life stories however interesting and dramatic don't sell anymore. Malay ghost films and pseudo=science fiction with CGIs now conquer the theatres projecting box office returns to double digit millions. Very encouraging but for the fact that they take the young away from realities and into the fantasy world. Ghost stories make fun of the dead and trade on cheap scares. When are the youths and other citizens of the country to be fed with human epics and dramas that develops the soul and character. The malay dramas on TV seem to have no other theme but greed for wealth, husbands' infidelity and adolescent love affairs, That's beside ghost stories as well.
So, where is the focus of the Malaysians, especially the young ones, in terms of striving for progress in life? Is football, Facebook, festivities and films going to be the major concern and attraction or other things that will affect the country's future. Many children today see the sports ( football, badminton, golf, cycling, etc as a desirable future career while becoming a pop singer or filmstar is
a constant dream. Even youths in the rural areas are not interested in producing rubber, oil palm, and planting rice anymore even when the income is most promising. The urban ones with university education are of course interested to become corporate executive without any experience whatever in business and trade. Who then are going to fill in the ranks of entrepreneur apprentice and small businessmen to help propel the country to become a high income nation? The politicians? The professionals?
The technical and blue collar workers?
Perhaps a new human drama is unfolding right in front of our very eyes. But are we focusing on the right thing?