The current political landscape must have intrigued most Malaysians by now. But how to make sense of all these?
I would say, as I have said before, instead of just consuming news from minute to minute ( and suffer heart attack), now is the best time to invest yourself by… reading! Here I would like to recommend a political fantasy novel– A Song of Fire and Ice, by George R. R. Martin.
Actually, A Song of Fire and Ice is not exactly a novel– it is a novel series spanning over 7 books. The series was so popular that it was made into a HBO TV series. The series, although started way later than the books, nonetheless concluded before the books do. So, if you are impatient to wait, you can hoop over to the TV series.
A Song of Fire and Ice contains all the political 101 elements that are necessary for you to understand what is going on now: backstabbing, succession, power grabs, desires to do right, altruism, self-sacrifice, convenient or inconvenient compromisation, frenemies/enefriends, uncertainties, you win or you die…..
George R. R. Martin employs POV ( point of view) kind of writing style in the novels, which makes the writing pretty challenging, and reading difficult. In the books, the readers are invited to put themselves through the perspective of different characters, and to see things via their lenses. It’s difficult to not get confused when reading, but it’s also the best way to understand the motives of each characters, build empathies for them and to see them for all the colorful characters they really are, instead of just painting them as blanket white/black. This is a good way to understand the politicians; they are not really necessarily good or bad, they are just …. human.
Anyway, as bleak as the current situation is, we should be thankful that there is absolutely zero chance of bloody coup happening in our country. Unlike not so long ago when the dynasty change or power grab would most certainly result in warfares, these days were long gone. We can still go to work, raising a family and watching footballs like nothing happen.
And so, we shall treat the current drama as it really is, a drama that has negligible direct impact on our well being. Spending too much time on it diverts our crucial attention from the things that really matter to us: our families, our careers and our self-improvement. So why not just grab a cup of coffee and start indulging yourself in A Song of Fire and Ice?
You will definitely emerge wiser from this.