Join 3,428 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Abnormal Desire
March 2, 2013 2:53 AM   Subscribe

In Malaysia's continuing efforts to persecute and combat the "deviant wave" of homosexuality, after banning a LGBT rights event claiming a threat to "public order" and training parents and educators to spot "LGBT behaviors" in school children for possible entry into a gay rehabilitation centre, they are now producing and presenting Asmara Songsang, a musical where LGBT people live lives fuelled by sex, drugs, and rock and roll...only to be struck by lightning and go straight or die.

The musical is being staged in the Istana Budaya (Palace of Culture), one of the major performing arts venues in the country. It is fully sponsored by the Government and will be toured in colleges and universities across the country.
posted by divabat (30 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Disgusting.
posted by ts;dr at 3:10 AM on March 2, 2013


This is a bunch of guys wearing make up and putting on a show with singing and dancing, right? Don't you see the irony too?'

Well there's nothing wrong with PSAs that seek to inform people about the perils of certain behaviour, but a decadent life of sex, drugs, and rock and roll is just as likely to be the road to perdition for regular old straight people and imagining that it's only "those" people who are at risk is not doing the whole public any service.
posted by three blind mice at 3:17 AM on March 2, 2013


PSA: Live lives fuelled by sex, drugs, and rock and roll in a faraday cage.
posted by BinaryApe at 3:18 AM on March 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


They're making a musical about not being gay. Has anyone explained the inherent problem with this, or is theater culture in Malaysia really that different?
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:23 AM on March 2, 2013 [8 favorites]


Joe: See three blind mice's comment ;)

three blind mice: that trope is pretty much standard for most Malay Lit, particularly the sort you get assigned in school. Kids Behaving Badly (usually some combo of sex/drugs/rock and roll) -> Bad Things Happen -> Kids Die or Repent, Go Back To God. Then this carries over to real life, which translates into extreme hostility towards Kids Behaving Badly (as well as accusations that the Kids are being infiltrated by Foreign Zionist Agents). There are many reasons why I haven't bothered moving back...
posted by divabat at 4:28 AM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


The idea that it takes foreign Zionist agents to make kids behave badly is so alien to me as to almost produce cognitive dissonance.
posted by Archelaus at 4:36 AM on March 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was a Zionist Foreign Agent when I was a kid... Fuck I did some stupid shit back then
posted by saturday_morning at 4:47 AM on March 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


There had better be a Malaysian queer-punk band called Foreign Zionist Agents, or there is no justice in the world.
posted by Jimbob at 4:52 AM on March 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


A Malaysian Summer Heights High? How bizarre ...
posted by yoHighness at 4:55 AM on March 2, 2013


Archelaus: well, why else would kids rebel against the Government? There's no other reason except that they hate Malaysia and they hate Islam! And who hates Malaysia and Islam most? FOREIGN ZIONIST AGENTS, that's who!

("rebel against the Government" can also include things such as making a political rap version of the national anthem, posting the Malaysian flag upside down on your blog, or hosting a "black metal"/alt rock concert on New Years.)
posted by divabat at 5:03 AM on March 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wait. Malaysia has a bug up its ass about Zionism, on the level of its national culture? This is news to me.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:49 AM on March 2, 2013


That is, despite realizing Malaysia's state religion is Islam, I hadn't thought of it as particularly vocal on Israel or Zionism.

Is this featured in the musical? Because that would add to the unintended hilarity. For me, anyway.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:58 AM on March 2, 2013


lives fuelled by sex, drugs, and rock and roll...only to be struck by lightning

Note to self, become gay.
posted by Damienmce at 6:20 AM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammed was a notorious and open anti-Semite. As for the Israel side of things, it was probably at least as anti-Israel as most Arab countries, despite the distance between Jerusalem and Jakarta.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:21 AM on March 2, 2013


Woah. That's pretty emphatic.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:30 AM on March 2, 2013


Jakarta?
posted by Jimbob at 6:31 AM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm sure he meant Kuala Lumpur. It's 1:30am in Oz.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:35 AM on March 2, 2013


Er, Kuala Lumpur and Kiryat Arba? Work with me here.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:35 AM on March 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


I love Malaysia, my wife was born there and we still have family there. This is awful and disgusting, and not representative of the general view of most Malaysians we know. The politicians however, are a reprehensible bunch of crooks holding back the country.

Malaysia boleh? Tidak boleh more like.
posted by arcticseal at 6:53 AM on March 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


There had better be a Malaysian queer-punk band called Foreign Zionist Agents, or there is no justice in the world.

There was once, but they were hit by lightning and died.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:09 AM on March 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Viewings of Psalty and other videos of Christian children's musical performances from this noted archive suggest to me that Christian musical theater has been a career path for closeted evangelicals for some time.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:41 AM on March 2, 2013


Kids Behaving Badly (usually some combo of sex/drugs/rock and roll) -> Bad Things Happen -> Kids Die

you mean like "friday the 13th"?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:10 AM on March 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sounds like the Halloween haunted houses put on by the religious kids here in America.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:18 AM on March 2, 2013


For some reason, I have a really strong memory of my mom playing Psalty in one of our church's several productions of musicals from that series - dressed up in a big foam book costume, with her bright blue face sticking out of the spine and her legs in tights. She says that wasn't her, it must have been someone else.

Maybe my memory is wrong. Or maybe she has blocked the trauma from hers.

As for what's happening in Malaysia - my prayers go out to all the LGBT people there. As Psalty taught me, God is about love (and rock and roll), not hate.
posted by jb at 12:24 PM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Journalists paid by Malaysian government to write critical pieces about Malaysian opposition leader in international press. Anwar Ibrahim has, of course, been the victim of anti-homosexual laws himself.
The government for which Trevino worked also attacked Anwar for saying positive things about Israel
posted by Jimbob at 1:43 PM on March 2, 2013


Jimbob: This from the same people who nearly forced a female assemblywoman from the Opposition party to quit following a "nude" photo scandal. (The photos in question were non-consensually taken by an ex and were of her sleeping in a tank top and sarong.)
posted by divabat at 1:50 PM on March 2, 2013


A review of Asmara Songsang, with more plot detail.
posted by divabat at 11:20 AM on March 13, 2013


anyone have a gloss for "pengkids" and "bapoks?"
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:50 PM on March 13, 2013


tomboys and sissies, essentially. And the name change in the plot is significant: feminine names become masculine names and vice versa.
posted by divabat at 8:14 PM on March 13, 2013


Is the "kids" bit of "pengkids" borrowed from English?
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:53 PM on March 13, 2013


« Older Hey Jude in Minor Scale. Smells Like Teen Spirit i...  |  "If nothing else, "Argo" is an... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments