Sunday, February 1, 2009

Gloom and Doom

Pages of austere news about deteriorating business conditions the world over continue to feed the newspapers, and even Dr. Paul Chan has been unforgiving in keeping us routinely informed about the depressing global economic outlook – it is obvious that he is trying to tell us something, perhaps even forewarning us. I don’t think he is broadcasting news for the heck of it, or even to intentionally depress and dishearten us. I hope it is not true, but I suspect he is telling us to brace ourselves for some severe cost-cutting measures that are going to come. With all the gloom and doom that is blanketing the world, and Malaysia is certainly not enjoying any immunity whatsoever – despite some initially misplaced optimism expressed by inept and fatuous politicians – we have to do our part to ensure our “employer” remains viable and can even survive in an already harsh environment that can quickly turn for the worse, ever so unpredictably. Unless, of course, we did so spectacularly well in our April student recruitment drive, that the superlative student numbers will buy us some respite… We shall see…

Football news is also dismally despairing. Arsenal again was winless in a match that only managed a goalless draw against West Ham – Arsenal is in dire straits, and my faith in the team is badly shaken. But I recall JRR Tolkien saying “Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens” and I am not about to say goodbye to Arsenal’s chances yet because the road is still long and winding. After all, since when am I afraid of a little darkness? And neither am I about to give up on Liverpool either…

With the match against Chelsea looming and Liverpool knowing they must win, Rafael Benitez explained his team’s current predicament with an interesting twist of faultless logic: “We know in January we have not won games that we could have won. But the positive news is that January has finished”. And for good measure, he added, “We are eight points better than last season. We are two* points from the top. We are in a fantastic position and I’m sure if we beat Chelsea people will talk in a different way. That’s football” (The New Sunday Times, Malaysia, February 01, 2009, p 72).

* This was of course before Man U beat Everton 1-0, thereby distancing themselves further from Liverpool by 5 points!

And I recollect another quote from a William Hazlitt: “If you think you can win, you can win. Faith is necessary to victory”. I must believe. I do believe.

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