Sunday, June 26, 2005

Guitars and What Not to Tell a Blogger

I finally got my guitar back! It's as good as new and sounds fantastic with new strings and frets. Actually, it's not my guitar. It's my brothers, but since he didn't really take care of it and since I paid a fortune for repairs and cleaning, I'm claiming it. I think that's fair don't you?

As pricey Lee's Music Centre is, their workmanship cannot be denied. They cleaned it and polished it up so well, the guitar looks and feels brand new! I wish I had taken a "before" picture of the guitar so we can see how dirty and dusty it originally was. Poor guitar, stuck in a store like that all by itself.

Not anymore. Plus, now that I got a decent instrument again I expect to play a little more now. I'm thinking about sending the other guitar out for maintenance. The neck needs a bit of adjustment because right now, the action (the distance between the strings and the fingerboard) is a little high. I can do it myself, but I lost the allen key that came with the guitar and I can't get a replacement key because I don't remember what size it was.

I suddenly thought about the general welfare of musical instruments.

I bet in many homes across the country, there are high quality musical instruments being neglected by their owners who are either too busy to play them or too ignorant of their true value. Makes me sad. I bet some of these are classic antiques worth thousands!

Such a shame. I suggest that people who have neglected instruments sell them. Maybe someone else will take care of it more. That is, if they're not attached to them. It's very, very natural and easy to get attached to a musical instrument. Notice how so many people name their guitars and refer to them as "she"?

There was a time when MTV Asia held a contest as a promo for the movie School of Rock,which I thought was a great movie by the way. The prize? A Gibson SG electric signed by Jack Black (!). In my entire life, that was the first time I submitted an entry for a competition organized by MTV.

I didn't win.

From time to time, I wonder where that guitar is right now. Is it being used as it should, in jam sessions and shows somewhere in South East Asia? Is it being kept as a souvenir (which is fine, as long as its cleaned and kept in working order)? Or was it won by a non-musician who has no flair or interest for music and is now rotting in a closet somewhere in suburbia? I hope not.

That's a damn fine guitar. I hope whoever owns it now will look after it.

And while I'm on about music, I really should play more. A few weeks ago, I was hanging out with some friends when we had an impromptu jam sessions. I was rusty as hell and couldn't really keep up. It's embarassing and sad.

In other news, I hear the PPS Bash was a great success. Accounts of it can be read here and here, complete with many pictures.

And in yet more news, remember that post where I wondered how long would it be before the moral guardian wannabes start mouthing off? Well,..


I have said before that blogging is a free for all with no rules, but there is one line that should never be crossed.

No one has any right to tell a blogger what to write or how to write.

That would just kill of the very spirit of blogging. What is blogging if not freedom of expression? Especially for us Malaysians, where freedom isn't as free.

Disagree and express your disagreement with anything you see in a blog, but never ask a blogger to retract or rewrite a post. Never dictate the writing style of a blog. That's just not on.

I understand that some people, especially parents, may be concerned that blogs may not be suitable for the younger crowd. Fine, that is acceptable. However, it is not acceptable to urge a blogger to be "responsible" and to be "decent". Do not ask bloggers to think of kids and other people who may be offended or "influenced".

That's not our job. There are far worse things on the Internet than blogs. Trust me on that.

As far as I'm concerned, the responsiblity to prevent kids from accessing unsuitable things on the internet falls on their parents and guardians. They should regulate what their kids see, not people who blog. Do you see porn sites close down because their webmasters are worried that kids might reach them? No. Why not?

Because it's not up to them to prevent kids from accessing their material, that's why.

I hope the whole thing doesn't blow out of proportion and reach the government. The last thing we need now is blogging control. If that happens, I would not know what to do then.

Unfortunately, knowing how some people are in this country and the way the government works, I wouldn't be surprised if it does eventually happen.

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