One of the countless trite truisms attributed to that late, unlamented wart on the face of the human race, ‘Mickey’ Mao Tse Tung/Zedong, in his Little Red and now mercifully dead Book of alleged wisdoms, was the painfully self-evident proposition that ‘power grows out of the barrel of a gun’.
But fortunately for those of us who drawn the line at shooting our critics and opponents for fun, in the long run the power of the gun is no match for the might of the pun.
Or so we political punslingers have to try and kid ourselves, as we have no weapons but our wits or ammunition but our words. Unlike our comrades-in-arms like Zunar and other cartoonists, who can go for the jugular and the jocular not only verbally but also visually, or, in a word, punographically.
But as difficult as it is for me, a mere punster, to muster as much fire-power as the picture-packing punographers, I’m determined to keep trying to match them, in ingenuity if not imagery.
Because these days the kind of power that grows out of the barrel of a gun seems to be increasingly in the hands of political and/or criminal psychopaths, or, if you prefer, psychopests, psychoparasites and psychopredators, and it’s time to declare open – or better yet opun – war on these people.
People like, to instance the very latest to make the international news, Indonesia’s head of military, General Gatot Nurmantyo.
In an act of apparently personal paranoia or else simple power-madness, and without prior consultation with or permission from the Indonesian president or parliament, Nurmantyo has withdrawn his Kopassus special-forces troops from participation in joint training exercises with the Australian Defence Forces.
This is no problem for me personally, as I recall as vividly as I’m sure Nurmantyo does, that Kopassus personnel comprised the hard core of Indonassassins that Australian soldiers kicked-out of East Timor back in the 1990s following years of Indonatrocities there.
But what’s really got my punning instincts going is the background to this story. As reported by the ABC News website, Nurmantyo recently raised concerns in a speech to a group of Indonesian university students that “a food shortage in China could lead to millions of Chinese refugees coming down the Malay peninsula to take over South-East Asia.”
When he shared these concerns with authorities in neighbouring Malaysia, the general continued, the Malaysian defence minister told him that he was frightened of the prospect because he would not be able to stop them.
However, claimed Nurmantyo, “I told him that I am not scared. If they ever come to my place, they will come by sea. Once they cross the ocean, I will butcher 10 cows in the middle of the ocean. The sharks will definitely gather. After that I will shoot at them, just by using small weapons so the boat will leak, and they can all be eaten by the sharks.”
This proposed counter to an influx of Chinese to Indonesia, where, some of us recoil to recall, up to half a million of their countrymen and women were murdered by the notoriously corrupt and otherwise hopelessly hindernesian Suharto regime, seems weirdly psycho-sadistic to me.
In this regard, General Gatot’s gruesome plan is as reminiscent as all get-out of the programme instigated by President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines (Philippains?) encouraging his police force and freelance vigilantes to do the dirty on drug users and dealers by gunning them down or dropping them out of helicopters, as he claims he has done personally.
But, to back-track a few paragraphs to the mention of the Malaysian defence minister’s alleged fears that he wouldn’t be able to stem the invasion of his country by hungry Chinese hordes, I have to admit that as far as Malaysia is concerned, I’m pretty well all punned-out.
I’ve tried lampooning the country’s appalling state resulting from almost 60 years of misrule by the criminally corrupt Umno/BN coalition by variously labelling it ‘Maliesia’ to highlight the regime’s fraudulence and falsehood; ‘Malarsia’ to mark its repeatedly jailing Anwar Ibrahim on trumped-up charges of sodomy; and ‘Moolaysia’ in memory of scandals like the National Feedlot Corporation scam and the throwing of a severed bovine head into a Hindu temple.
And I’ve also tried getting a rise out of the pathetic, apathetic majority of the Malaysian populace in the face of these and other such outrages as the massive 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) swindle by sending-up these peoples’ favourite ways of evading responsibility for their political plight, eating and shopping, by coining the terms ‘Mealaysia’ and ‘Mallasia’.
But, unlike my term ‘buy-elections’ that I proposed way back in 2007as an alternative and more truthful description of the regime’s rigged and otherwise corruption-riddled alleged bye-elections, and my rather dull but deadly-accurate characterisations of Umno as Scumno, Dumno and Chumno shortly afterwards, none of the later ones have really caught on.
Partly, no doubt, because they haven’t been sufficiently punny or funny, but also, I strongly suspect, as more proof, as if we writers needed it, of the proverbial wisdom that a picture is worth a thousand or even ten thousand of our words.
Especially if the picture, visual, graphic or whatever you choose to call it is accompanied by such supreme Zunar-style puns as ‘Putarjaya’ for ‘Putrajaya, ‘Sapuman’, ‘Man of Steal’ and ‘Donald Dedak’ for the PM or MO1 who robbed 1MDB of countless billions and intends to leave it to the Malaysian people to pay the bill, and ‘Pirates of the CarryBN’ for MO1’s accomplices and apologists.
In short and in closing, here’s wishing more power than ever to all punsters, punographers and other opponents of the armed and otherwise dangerously powerful bleeders pretending to be leaders, homicidal maniacs dressed-up as messiahs, and political twits trying to trump reality and fool and rule the rest of us with their barrages of air-headed, or, if you prefer, hare-brained tweets.
Source : DEAN JOHNS @ Malaysiakini