Paul Arden | Monday, 23 December 2019
Here in Malaysia lots of people don’t celebrate Christmas because it’s usually seen as a different religious experience. Me personally I’m not religious at all but I’m happy to celebrate all holidays, even religious ones. Have you ever noticed how similar Santa is to God? He knows if you’ve been good or bad, has a huge white beard, climbs down chimneys… I know one thing; I find the whole idea that God sent a son to the Earth completely ridiculous, so I suppose that makes me not a Christian! In fact a God, or even a number of Gods, creating the Universe also seems a bit far fetched to me. However I do believe in the difference between good and evil, karma, things happening for a reason, synchronicity - if that’s what God is, a connectivity that we can’t see, then fine, I can run with that. But all the religious stuff… well I think that’s mostly about control. Control, fear and usually power. After all, religion is run by Man - so what else can we expect?!
That said: I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and if you believe in any or all of the other stuff then I wish you a meaningful and joyous time with that too! It does seem particularly odd that for the past decade or so, people, particularly in the USA, often wish each other “happy holidays’, or “season’s greetings”, because the notion of wishing someone a Happy Christmas may be inappropriate or even offensive? Blimey! What is the world coming too? I’m an atheist but I’m more that happy to be wished a Merry Christmas!!! I blame the Internet for making people a whole lot less tolerant, a whole lot more sensitive and giving people who don’t have anything good to say a platform on which to say it - in fact I don’t blame the Internet; I blame Facebook, YouTube, Twitter - all the pretty much unregulated, unmoderated social media platforms, that are themselves being manipulated by political parties and other entities in order to divide people. It’s also why we don’t allow any politics on the Board!
“Together we stand, Divided we fall”
Herein lies a fundamental problem. In order to unite people the most effective method is to use fear of a common enemy, real or imaginary. We have seen masses of that recently; I’m sure that if you have any British or American friends on Facebook (assuming you are on Facebook; I'm really starting to question it too) then you will have seen highly polarised and spiteful arguments on both Brexit and Trump - particularly pro-Brexit and pro-Trump. Indeed much of politics is extremely polarised right now. Take Climate Change for example; instead of reasoned debate, there is rancour (and more than a little ignorance as well!). Is this really how we want to move into the future? Do people not see themselves as others see them? I think a few people really need to take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror, particularly before posting spiteful views on social media!
To me it doesn’t matter what your political opinions are, your religious views, or your prejudices even. I genuinely don’t believe that spreading them over the Internet is going to leave you in better health! Here we live on this amazing planet with the most incredible fly fishing imaginable. What a pity to go through life without experiencing as much fly fishing as humanly possible!
So for this Christmas I wish you a fantastic year ahead, full of fly fishing. Chill out, fish more and have more fun!!!
Now talking of which, my planned year is thus: I’ll be here in Malaysia fishing for and teaching fly fishing for Giant Snakehead and Giant Gourami. There may also be some Mahseer options. I shall be here until August. Around mid August I shall head to Europe for a month. I shall be attending the World Flycasting Championships in Sweden in September. We will also have a Sexyloops Meet most certainly in Bosnia. Then it’s back to Malaysia for some of the best fly fishing of the season. I’m not entirely sure where I’ll be for next Wet Season; either fishing for Jungle Perch which I’ve been wanting to do, or I might go fishing elsewhere. Anyway the point is that if you want to learn how to fish here, and get some great casting tips as well, then drop me a line and book some time here with me.
We have quite a few additions planned for Sexyloops this coming year as well as a few projects that I initiated last year but haven’t yet fully enacted upon - such as the fly line database! The Sexyloops Glossary idea has now become a Fly Fishing Encyclopaedia which is just fantastic and will keep me very busy for sure! Politics comes and goes, but Sexyloops always remains!
I’m really looking forward to this next year. The Belum Battleship - or “Battlefish”, as Ashly would prefer to call it? - will be launched at the end of January. It’s been very exciting to watch the progress of the building of this ship and it will most definitely move things along quite quickly here. As well as offering a dry cabin and fly tying area it will feature a shower and a toilet. So that is the end of the shovel experience!
Here is wishing all of you a wonderful fishing year ahead!
PS Todays POD is a couple of Christmas cards I send my mother and family back in the UK :D I think they’ll find them amusing!