Ask Lord Bobo: Monochromatic lawyers, yoga & good causes

ALBstFrom the Selangor Times Issue 6, 31 Dececember 2010 — 2 January 2011. Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by LoyarBurok where all your profound, abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, sagacious, and other thesaurus-described queries are answered! You can view the entire paper at the end of this post, and download a pdf of the entire paper here.

This week, Ask Lord Bobo answers questions on why lawyers always wear black and white, how yoga is like human rights, and choosing a good cause to support.

Why do lawyers always wear black and white? Why not embrace the entire rainbow? @adriene, via Twitter

Seeing lawyers in their full regalia often reminds Lord Bobo of the Malayan tapir. If you don’t know what a tapir is (shame on you, by the way), it is a solid black and white, large pig-like mammal closely related to the horse or rhino. Its nose is prehensile, and is used as a snorkel while swimming. Solitary creatures except during mating season, and because of its large size, it has few predators. Tapirs defend themselves with their powerful jaws, and can give nasty bites. Yet tapir population is on a decline worldwide. The similarities between tapirs and lawyers will be left to your imagination.

Good lawyers usually have wonderfully colourful yet nuanced personalities, unlike the lousy ones that tend towards a murky light brown to a dirty manure-like dark brown. Since judges tend to envy the freedom of such colourful lawyers to hang out with whom they like, eat wherever they like and frequent whichever spa or karaoke joints without fear of scandal, they imposed black and white attire in the futile hope of stifling their beauty, brightness and creativity. The judges claim that conservative attire is needed so it would not distract from the arguments put forward. But it does not take a lemur to point out that if a judge can be distracted like a guppy from the arguments because a lawyer’s tie is brightly coloured or he/she is decked out in full Mexican regalia inclusive of poncho and sombrero, that judge has no business sitting in judgment over others.

A judge that can so easily be distracted by a multitude of colours except black and white, instead of argument, should be in a fish tank, not a courtroom. After all, the courtroom is a place for serious argument and stylish dressing, not stylish arguments and serious dressing!


Lord Bobo, someone asked me to name ten reasons why yoga is like human rights. I think it is a trick question. Can you help? Yogi Bear, via email

Whoever asked you that question obviously has too much time on his hands. But Lord Bobo is nothing if not helpful, so, in the spirit of yoga, let us now sit in the lotus pose, put our hands together (just your own hands please, His Supreme Eminenceness is not Sting, and this is not that kind of meditation), close our eyes and imagine a rose far, far away… Universal, Indivisible, Inalienable, Inter-dependent… Ohhmm… Ohhmm… Yoga is Life. Human Rights (HR) improves Life. Therefore, HR = Life, and Yoga = HR.

  1. Yoga is for all, not just the Europeans. No cultural relativism please. HR is for every human being wherever you live. No distinction, no discrimination.
  2. Yoga unites the rakyat; it unites the body, mind and spirit of each. It helps people progress as
    people. HR upholds individuality and individual beliefs while defending diversity in culture and language. HR makes people less savage and more civilised.
  3. Everyone can do Yoga. Anyone can be an HR activist. You are never too old to do Yoga. You are never too young to be an HR activist.
  4. Yoga flushes toxins from your body and clears evil thoughts from your mind. HR wards off evil practices and bad people. Politicians are afraid of Yogis (Yoga activists) and HR advocates.
  5. Yoga and HR calm you down; and puts life in perspective. Both demands and gives the bare minimum to sustain life. They help you focus on the important things in life.
  6. Yoga frees your mind. HR frees your spirit. Both concentrate and meditate our energies all the
    same; and allow us to enjoy the beauty of life and people.
  7. Like it or not, you are a Yogi. Like it or not, you are a HR activist even as you write on LoyarBurok. Everyone embraces Yoga and the HR movement/cause when proper guidance is given.
  8. Yoga makes you many friends as its most fun done in groups. HR activism can only be effective if it is done collectively by communities of interested participants.
  9. Yoga revolves around strengthening our spine, while HR is the spine of humanity.
  10. Yoga improves blood circulation. Without HR, we have no blood to flow in our veins.
  11. Yoga exercises and practices must be done daily to be effective. HR principles must be repeated to HR violaters everyday, even if it means naming and shaming them repeatedly.
  12. Discipline in Yoga and HR is important. Both are to be inculcated as part of our lives. Both must be mainstreamed for mass acceptance. Both are long term projects; no short-termism allowed. You who enter Yoga or evangelise HR are in for the long haul.
  13. Every turn and twist in Yoga is a challenge while HR activists must persevere in the face of adversity. You need to have patience and an open mind. Both are painful and long; but the results are edifying.
  14. Once you start Yoga you cannot stop. Once the beast of HR is unleashed, we will start the feast.

Ohhmm… hang on, there seems to be 14 items in that list, not ten. More proof (as if any was required) of Lord Bobo’s extreme generosity. Or perhaps His Supreme Eminenceness has overdosed on those purple bananas again.

I am moved by many causes, how do I choose one (or two) to invest my time in? @lishun, via Twitter

There are so many causes these days, especially with the Internet. You surely would have received at least one Facebook invitation to “like” a cause. If you must choose only one, you should support the “1M Malaysians Reject 100-storey Mega Tower” as it currently looks quite silly with that name and less than 280,000 members.

The first rule of thumb is always to think, think and think some more. Have you asked yourself what type of causes move you the most, or do you really think you’re that magnanimous that everything moves you equally? Are you saying that a HIV-infected baby brings you the same amount of sadness as the prohibition of same-sex marriage? This is not a trick question. Think about this, and conduct a process of elimination to narrow your choices down to one or two.

What most people forget is that joining a cause is not just about making them feel good. It is also about making that cause better by being a supporter. Ask not what the cause can do for you, but instead ask what you can do for the cause. Identify your skills, area of expertise, resources or anything else which could help you add value to the cause.

Also, if you’re going to support something, you better know what it is that you’re supporting. Always ask the founder or manager of the cause you’re thinking of supporting about their mission and values, their deliverables, the impact of their work, and how they manage their funds.

If all the above does not help you, then you should just stop over-analysing it. In fact, stop the thinking and just start the doing. Try out a few causes, for whatever reason. Maybe it makes you look cool, or more attractive? Or is tax deductible? Hopefully, what appears to have started off with the wrong intention may help you find the right one. It is much better than sitting around scratching your head (not to mention that excessive head-scratching leads to hair loss, which is not the reason Lord Bobo wears a wig, by the way).

If you are still clueless, and just need a starting point, do consider supporting Lord Bobo’s new cause: “Leave My Banana Trees Alone and Use Your Own Bloody Plates”.

Although Lord Bobo already knows your question before you even knew you had a question, as a practical display of your true desire to have your query answered, His Supreme Eminenceness has graciously allowed you to communicate your questions by —

  • emailing [email protected], stating your full name, and a pseudonym if you wish the question to be published anonymously (and a good reason for anonymity).
  • tweeting your questions by mentioning @LoyarBurok and using the hashtag #asklordbobo.

The first 100 questions published will receive LoyarBurok’s ONLY merchandise you ever need (worth a lot for humankind) courtesy of Selangor Times. Now, what the hell are you waiting for? Hear This and Tremblingly Obey (although trembling is optional if you are somewhere very warm)! Liberavi Animam Meam! I Have Freed My Spirit!

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Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by LoyarBurok where all your profound, abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, sagacious, and other thesaurus-described queries are answered! It is the ONLY place that His Supreme Eminenceness' thoughts are regularly channeled, via His Lordship's most loyal meditating purple-banana munching minions.

Posted on 3 January 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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