Unfortunately, my almost-fall yesterday while walking on the wet pavement may mean that I unknowingly pulled something in my left thigh. When I first started and landed on my left leg I felt some slight pain in the area that took the impact when I almost fell but quickly regained my balance to avoid falling (I might've been hit by a car or something if I'd fallen; I was walking along the side of the road with a car behind me). It wasn't significant enough to cause me to stop playing though, so I'm hoping it's nothing major.
I also developed a foot cramp towards the end but I insisted on playing through the pain for the last 5 or 6 rallies just to push myself for fun, and I totally didn't cave! I'm so proud of myself.
And apparently I was in an 18-shot rally today before I missed on the backhand side. I was SO sad when the stupid ball fell into the net, I swear. The backhand might've been the first shot I picked up, but boy, it's not even as consistent as my forehand nowadays. I think I just need to follow through with my preferred backswing and stop dropping the racquet just before I hit the ball. It's working okay but I don't think it's looking too nice, and I get confused sometimes, not knowing whether to drop the racquet or not.
But in any case, I just wanted to say that I love the new strings and that I had a good session tonight. Halfway through a couple of Indian dudes asked to rally with me and NUS Wall Guy and they were <i>really good</i> and I was totally dying of embarrassment. NUS Wall Guy was encouraging though, but I know that I didn't hit even one good shot throughout the whole 5 minutes (they found an empty court and left soonafter). That's the thing with the new strings - they make me more alert to the quality of my shots because I can actually feel the ball now. It's awesome! I'm very pleased.
In other news, WEI CHUEN IS BACK!! He said he ate a lot in Malacca and that the food was good. Haha I totally told him so! I'm supposed to talk to him about now but he just woke up from his nap (yes, he naps at 9 p.m. and wakes up at 11 p.m.) and er, I'm not sure if he's lucid. Boo. He totally did NOT message me for the past two days and I was very, very sad indeed. Stupid reception or whatever network problems.
It's our 14 months on Saturday. How timely. Saturday is our date night. I love him very much.
Lastly, I installed the Time magazine application in my Blackberry so that I'd have something interesting to do while I'm on the stupid train (I also have the AP - as in Associated Press - application but it sucks and AP articles aren't very interesting to read) and I came across this article: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2012558,00.html?xid=rss-topstories-polar. The headline asks in earnest: "Are the French taking secularism too far?"
My answer to that, as was my answer to this week's cover story in Time magazine that posed the question, "Is America Islamophobic?", is this:
THE ANSWER IS OBVIOUS RIGHT?
Fuck, the kind of idiots that oppose the serving of Halal food in fast food chains in France are just so fucking retarded that I wonder if I should even waste my time setting out why they're utterly retarded. What kind of unintelligent, completely narrow-minded fuckheads would even conceive of something like that? The idea of secularism, its basic premise, is that religion should be a personal choice and that it should not be foisted upon the individual by the state. Accordingly, it is interested in protecting minority rights and their freedom of religion. See, I love secularism and am definitely all for the separation of church and state; but when it becomes so extremist, it's basically spitting in the face of the very idea of secularism in the first place. These idiots in France that are completely sullying the concept of secularism don't realise the harm that they're doing and how off-base and wrong they are. Secularism ceases to be what it is when it begins encroaching into the private lives of those whom it seeks to protect. For example, if there were to be a ban on Halal food served in public restaurants and eateries, the Muslims would be the ones utterly marginalised and even disenfranchised. Yes, it's a religious practice; but it's also a personal choice. Religion is a personal choice. The state does not get to tell the individual what it can or cannot do in the name of the religion that the individual chooses to practice. Church and state are separated because Christians do not get to tell non-Christians to practice Christianity; similarly, these fucking retarded secular extremists do not get to tell Muslims how to practice their religion. If you're not into Halal food, don't fucking order it; just leave it alone. SERIOUSLY, is that so difficult?
I'm utterly unsympathetic towards this crap that some people are trying to pull in France. I count myself fortunate, in light of articles like this one, that I live in a country where the government is more sensible than theoretical. Don't get me wrong, I love the theoretical and I'd love to have a government that has a mind of its own and some degree of principles; but the pragmatism of the Singapore government is actually laudable when it comes to the protection of minority rights. See, Singapore doesn't give a shit about rights per se, but it cares <i>deeply</i> about public order and national security. As such, you'd never see something like this "omg no Halal food please!1!1! It's totally destroying our society!1!!" nonsense in Singapore. And you know what? The French should learn something from us. Seriously.
In fact, I think Singapore is a very secular country. Yet, we have no issues with Muslim women wearing their head scarfs in public and Christian kids wearing their crosses to school and Sikhs wearing their turbans. I honestly don't understand, at a conceptual level, what the fuck is the big deal. Do you see Singapore being torn apart by religion-inspired unrest? Hell no. Sure, the French can argue that their country as it is today is founded on the separation of church and state; but it also begs the question of whether they even understand the very fundamental principle that underpins their sacred philosophy. The basic idea is that the state has no say in how the individual chooses his religion, and how he chooses to practice it. By singling out Muslims and attempting to "secularise" French society, these fundamental secularists are severely undermining the philosophy which they seek desperately and querulously to protect.
Moving on to America now. This fucking protests over the proposed plan to build the Islamic YMCA-esque centre at Ground Zero - what the fuck, seriously? What the flying fuck? Yes, we all know that Islamic extremists flew planes into the World Trade Centre. But do we also know that 1) Muslims died too; 2) not every single Muslim is like that; and 3) in fact, these stupid extremists form the vast minority of the Muslim population world-wide (if the reverse were true, we'd probably be seeing a lot, a lot more terrorist attacks). If freedom of religion were a sacred concept in America, and if Americans were interested in extending this constitutional right to all in America, and if Americans were actually intelligent, nobody would be protesting. How is it insensitive to the victims of 9/11? Why shouldn't they be worrying about how insensitive and insulting it is to the American Muslims who have to put up with this shit? I don't even know what to say about the people protesting against the proposed centre who genuinely believe that Islam is a religion of violence and hatred and, apparently, evil. You know what I really think? These people seriously need to get out more. They need to come to Southeast Asia. In fact, please come to Singapore and see for yourself how freaking wrong you are.
I'm not even Muslim or religious or Malay or whatever and I'm so pissed off by such vitriolic prejudice, bigotry and hatred. The article talked about some idiot pastor in some remote American town who organised a Koran-burning session on the premise that the Koran is unholy or evil and that Jesus would want it to be burned. HOW THE HELL DOES THAT EVEN MAKE ANY SENSE? SERIOUSLY, WHY, WHY WOULD A RELIGIOUS FIGURE, CENTRAL TO THE WHOLE RELIGION, CONDONE RELIGIOUS HATRED? I wish these people would use their fucking brains first before they open their mouths to speak - oh wait, it's precisely because they don't have a brain that they're capable of sprouting such nonsense.
I feel so offended, actually. I don't know why. This issue is deeply interesting to me and I feel really strongly about this. I think the mass media should publish 5 articles about how awesome Muslims are for every article they publish about stoning carried out in Afghanistan based on some screwed up interpretation of the Shar'ia. Actually, I think whoever attempts to write about Islamic extremism should do some research first before they coin utterly meaningless and wrong phrases like "shar'ia law". There's no such thing, by the way. Islamic law doesn't even freaking exist. It's a mish-mash of many, many different school of thoughts that have their own interpretations of the Koran and the hadith and the sunna. "Shar'ia" means "God's law", so "God's law law" doesn't even make any sense.
UGH THIS SO PISSES ME OFF IT'S NOT EVEN FUNNY. I'm very thankful for the Islamic Law course I took in law school. The biggest thing that I took away from that module is that there's no such thing a Islamic law, and so it strikes me funny when the idiot Talibans try to say "THIS IS IN A KORAN" and stone a woman to death for adultery. IT'S NOT IN THE KORAN YOU IDIOT, LEARN TO READ AND GO BACK TO A MADRASAH. If something as supposedly settled as the prohibition of alcohol isn't even that truly uncontroversial, how's this stoning bullshit a matter of fact?
UGH THESE STUPID FUNDAMENTALISTS PISS ME OFF TO NO END TOO.
Okay I'm totally done with this. I have to go to court at 9 in the morning so I'm gonna have to wake up fuck early. Definitely not looking forward to it. Definitely gonna have to work late too, to avoid working late on Friday and working on the weekend at all. I'm supposed to do some substituted service tomorrow...wait, that only entails an email, which should be quite fast since the cover letter's cleared already.
(Ugh, I forgot to switch to HTML. I'm too lazy to remove the HTML tags.)