Wednesday, November 29, 2006

battle at Iwo Jima

I love this picture. I came across this in some encyclopedia in the library some time in college, I think, and I didn't imagine that a movie will make a subject out of this stunning portrait of war. (Anyway, who does not feast on war?) Although it's very American, this photograph of the flag raising at the island of Iwo Jima during the WWII taken by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal carries a very universal theme on war - something that transcends every nation of this world.

Flags of our Fathers opened yesterday in Davao theatres.

deck the halls

Deck the halls with carcasses of animals. I want to get fucking shot in Iwo Jima.

What a fuckin' way to welcome Dec. 1. Payday is pfft and will resume till God knows when. And so I can't avail of the Midnight Sale in the mall. That pair of discounted shoes might well be in some other else's hands. The landlady will be knocking at our dilapidated door collecting our monthly water and electricity bill and I'm just gonna give her a blank stare. "Please don't evict us, in the spirit of Christmas for chrissakes..."

I'm so depressed of the news yesterday that I answered 3 surveys from coolquiz in a row. I want to burn this fuckin' office.


corn cob on the loose.

Doesn't this sound more like a basketball superstar? Anyway, the caricature is cool.

Your Porn Star Name Is...

Magic Johnson

i should learn French.

How apt. I would really really infinity really love to learn French and maraud in Paris. I think it's the perfect place to learn new things about/and for yourself. Huh, I'm sounding like Russel Crowe in A Good Year.

You Should Learn French

C'est super! You appreciate the finer things in life... wine, art, cheese, love affairs.
You are definitely a Parisian at heart. You just need your tongue to catch up...


yeah, right.

At some point, I find the results disagreeable. But hey, the survey only assessed you on certain questions, so it may not alway be true. Nevertheless, here it is. (Thanks to Girard for the link.)

Your EQ is 107

50 or less: Thanks for answering honestly. Now get yourself a shrink, quick!
51-70: When it comes to understanding human emotions, you'd have better luck understanding Chinese.
71-90: You've got more emotional intelligence than the average frat boy. Barely.
91-110: You're average. It's easy to predict how you'll react to things. But anyone could have guessed that.
111-130: You usually have it going on emotionally, but roadblocks tend to land you on your butt.
131-150: You are remarkable when it comes to relating with others. Only the biggest losers get under your skin.
150+: Two possibilities - you've either out "Dr. Phil-ed" Dr. Phil... or you're a dirty liar.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

maxi's long hair

Ang haba talaga ng buhok ni Maxi.

Aureus Solito's directorial debut has wowed the world. I browsed through and found out that the film is nominated for Best Foreign Film for the 2007 Independent Spirit Awards. Critics loved it, in fact Rottentomatoes rated it 92%.

Way to go.


morning appetizers

I wonder why goody-goody Leo (who's suddenly turn all bad and macho in The Departed) has got the hots for supermodels. She's currently dating Bar Refaeli. She's Israeli and I think I must've seen her in some porn. Hmmm.

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Leo previously dated Gisele Bundchen.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

bond, james bond.

According to one site, that quote from Ian Fleming's favorite mercenary ranked among the top 100 movie quotes of all time. Of course, there was, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn" from Casablanca, and Tom Cruise's attempt at slapstick, "Show me the money". But I'm not going to talk about that.

I watched Casino Royale over the weekend and I can say that just about ended the hullabaloo on James Bond being blond. Contrary to the die-hard Bond-natics who said that casting Craig would end the franchise, the rehash proved satisfactory and enjoyable. I can't really judge or battle to wits with those that have watched Roger Moore or Sean Connery but I agree that casting Craig was a great bold move for the franchise. And he can act too, you know. I've seen him in Munich. I find him better than Brosnan, who I think was more delicate compared to Craig's brusqueness and physicality. His brutality makes killing more fun. You just want him to kill, kill, kill. But what the fuck's with the swagger?!! It destroys everything.

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I just think that the action scenes were too elongated though. The chases seem not to end. You wonder when the bad guy (with monkey-like agility) will be captured or when that out-of-control gasoline truck's gonna explode. When Bond jumped off the truck body-flat on the ground, I swear he could've smashed his skull. But not yet, coz he's got a damsel to rescue. Eva Green was amazing. Just the mere stare of her green eyes evoke innocence, longingness and mystery. And her character's got a classy name: Vesper Lynd.

I've enjoyed more there clever battle-of-the-sexes exchange, each word like a dagger piercing through their own masculinity/femininity. And Dame Judi Dench of course, the undying M ("Thanks to your over-developed trigger finger!"), whose commanding presence overwhelms each scene. I was surprised to see Paul Haggis (Crash, Million Dollar Baby) co-wrote the script. Which explains.

I was glad I watched it in the second week of its running. The theatre was not that packed. I chose the long-overdue The Prestige the other weekend, which I enjoyed immensely. It disappeared in its final act long before the people who watched it ever guessed the answer to the movie's tagline: Are you watching closely?

The characters Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) and Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman), rival magicians, exuded the same bravado and machismo of the more modern Bond. Obsession can be fatal, so the movie says. I think Christopher Nolan over-indulged in twists though. I could've developed a headache if I thought more about it on the way home. But nevertheless Jackman and Bale delivered well. There must be really something about Bale's lisp or whatever you call his manner of speaking (he's Welsh) that draws attention.

I wonder if they could make the next James Bond a magician. That would be way over the top. And people wouldn't see it.

photo: googleimages


Sunday, November 26, 2006

a civil action

My current OS is Linux-powered. Thanks to the viral susceptibility and 'uncurability' of my previous CPU, I'm trying to familiarize the features of the newly installed system. From what I know, I cannot put status messages anymore in my YM since the IM function is general. I cannot seem to copy/paste pictures with the mere right click of the mouse.

The screensavers also appear at random, meaning I dunno how to change the settings. One minute it has a futuristic motif, the next one would be cascading petals with a predominant pink background. Just this recently, I was browsing thru a voluminous toolkit from the British Embassy, when the screensaver randomly flashed chemical formulas (with the electronic configurations at that) of hallucinogens, explosives (trinitroglycerine or something) and other harmful (I assume) substances the complexity of which escapes my short term memory.

Quite a striking coincidence, since the compounds bore similarity to TCE or trichloroethylene, a carcinogen that causes impairment of the immune system. TCE came into focus in the book that I just finished reading over the weekend. It's A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr.

Based on a true story, the book is a well-thought, well-researched 'chronicle of litigation' of one of the biggest environmental cases in America, which involved 2 large corporations operating in Woburn, Boston. The companies were charged of discharging chemical waste, of which TCE was the main component, and polluting the community's aquifer particularly the wells where community water was being derived. This pollution caused what the scientific reports referred to as 'leukemia cluster'. The deaths of children and adults alike in Woburn spanned almost two decades.

While an exciting courtroom drama in itself, the novel is also an analysis of the US judicial system, and how in a big case like that of Woburn, things can get too political. It takes into account some legal subjects not that commonly seen or wrote about in courtroom dramas both in films and books.

The denouement is not that satisfying because as fairy-tale legal thrillers go, you'd wish the victims to be really triumphant and the culprits really get punished. What I liked about it much though, was the main protagonist, Jan Shclichtmann, transformation and self-rediscovery. I'd definitely recommend it for my would-be lawyer friends.

Steven Zaillian (who wrote Gangs of New York and The Interpreter), directed the movie version starring John Travolta. I also found this website tackling on post-trial issues, this time one of the defending camp. Click here.


Monday, November 20, 2006

cast away

I have been a devout fan of Survivor, though I fail to watch I guess a couple of seasons. But once I get to watch the first episode, I will sit through its entirety. There's nothing like the game of Survivor. It's full of twists and there's something new every season.

Lately, the series have incorporated the concept of 'exile island' where a winning team in a challenge (usually reward) gets to pick someone off from the losing team to spend a day secluded in the exile island. The 'exiled' gets to battle of his/her wits because the night can be pretty unpredictable -- storms and 'nightcrawlers' alike. There was also an interesting turn during the Vanuatu Season where a single-person team pitted against the other 9-member team. The cast away, Stephanie, proved to be a real survivor, and popular to boot as well.

This season the cast aways have to outwit, outplay and outlast in the Cook Islands. The catch this season was revealed during the first part where the group was divided according to ethnicity: Hispanic, Caucasian, African-American and Asian-American. After a week, the 4 tribes were assimilated to form two tribes, this time not based on ethnicity.

During one of the earlier tribal councils with the already assimilated group, the host, Jeff Probst asked Jonathan, an originally Caucasian tribe member (who most likely will assume this season's ultimate villain) if ethnicity is still an issue with the tribe, whether in aspects of belongingness or whatever, and he said no, that it isn't a factor and definitely wouldn't be a contributor to who's gonna be voted out.

Halfway through the season already, the assimilation process took a different turn albeit not explicitly revealed. On one of the reward challenges, Jeff posed a shocking twist: the contestants were given the chance to switch tribes. With 10 seconds, Caucasian-Americans Candice and Jonathan stepped out of their tribe's mat indicating their want to transfer. It was later revealed that this move of the two is for the reason that they want to reconnect with their orginal tribemates, Adam and Parvati. It was also revealed (I didn't think it was on the show though), that Jonathan wanted to have an all Caucasian-American final four.

So what's with the ethnicity-is-not-an-issue shit? As the show later revealed, the bond between ethnicity, the bond among the four original tribemates implicitly prevailed. And Jonathan might want to pursue the final four indeed. This took toll on the other tribemates who eventually became outcasts. And of course, Jonathan's maneuverings paid off as this caused Jenny, the second Filipino-American aside from Brad Virata, to be voted off after the shocking back-to-back votation. The season promises more revelations in the next episodes.


Whether in truth (reality TV after all is not 100%) or in fiction, the Survivor series is a good case for sociological and behavioral study. While it can be pure entertainment for some, the interplay of power among individuals in the game can prove to be more interesting and intriguing than the twists and challenges. It's also interesting to observe how behaviors can immediately change in a matter of 24 hours and how this can entirely change the fate of the game.This aspect makes watching every episode more worthwhile.

It would have been nice to seen either Brad or Jenny in the final two. But just you wait until Survivor Asia comes, the unlikeliest of hero may arise. Haha.

Here are some links to get to know more about Survivor:

1. Survivor: CBS

2. SurvivorFever

3. Survivor Skills


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

charity case

Browsing through the week's and last week's news I came across a PDI headline story, which amused me at first. Foreign chambers of commerce have submitted to Malacanang a joint statement ending the political killings around the country or risk losing aids and investments.

It's normal to hear business network associations giving their statement and position to anything that will surely have direct impact to the country's economy. But just you wait until the next paragraph read - a similar petition was signed by local officials of signature clothes such as Gap, Polo Ralph Lauren, Liz Claiborne, Van Heusen, and yes, even Wal-Mart, the largest chain convenience stores in the US. Human rights violations affecting the fashion industry.

The Philippine's must have assumed such a notorious stature after being branded by Amnesty International as among one of the countries where human rights are treated as a banana peelings. The extra-judicial killings must have really taken its toll on the economy that even the big foreign apparel names ditch out their very own petition/letter.

Unresolved human rights violations, compunded with the more troublesome issue on the recent GRP-MILF peace talks and the sporadic terrorist attacks is the perfect anathema to foreign aids/investments. Working with a business support organization, I realized that just a single incident of violence could cause havoc in the international arena that embassies would then start to release travel advisories. Not just a decline in tourist statistics, incidence of conflict create a ripple effect leading to the reluctance of investors and/or aid donors.

But ironically, the presence of conflict and the perennial poverty are reasons why Philippines - Mindanao in particular - attracted so much foreign aids - it's like carrying a streamer of 'feed us, please!", a one big example of a charity case. Admittedly, the government cannot move on its own and so they need these aids from countries like Japan, Australia, Germany, The Netherlands and of course the US and A (wink wink at Borat!) to even make a slightest indicator of what socio-economic development is.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

those days

The oldies are creeping up my skin. Right now, The Beatles are doing their thing. Sir Paul McCartney and George Harrison are chanting their ticket to ride, but we don' care! Yeah. What's happening to me? Hehe. I'd love to hear Buble cover When I saw Her Standing There and Twist and Shout.


The other night I finished the tedious read of D.H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers, which was published in 1913. The writer is British and the some dialogues are hard to digest especially when it came to the father's character. The novel was touted to be controversial during Lawrence's days considering its sensitive topic - the bond between mother and son and how it eventually affected - ruined - the son's life and ability to love. It's also the story of the battle of sexual powers of both the mother and father in their struggle for the children's arrogation.

I immediately picked up Jonathan Harr's A Civil Action, which is so long overdue. I bought it December last year but I can't seem to succumb to reading due to its thickness, but I made considerable progress already.

Monday, November 13, 2006

quotes arrested

I'm sharing some few lines from six episodes of Arrested Development which I watched last night.

Suit yourself.


Lindsay: (To the activist who has made a home of the remaining unbuldozed tree of the Bluth estate) You know, we're not the only ones destroying trees. What about beavers? You call yourself an environmentalist, why don't you go club a few beavers?


Narrator: Tobias recently lost his medical license for administering C.P.R. to a person who, as it turns out, was not having a heart attack. (flashback of the actual incident)


Michael: (After hearing his mother she is designating Buster as the head of the Bluth Company) Buster? The guy who thought that the blue on the map was land?


Lucille: (Looking at Buster) He's a beautiful boy...they don't appreciate him. It's his glasses...they make him look like a he's self-conscious.


George Sr.: (Regarding Buster) Maybe it was the eleven months he spent in the womb. The doctor said there were claw marks on the walls of her uterus. But he was her 'miracle baby'.


Michael: I can't believe she got that driver's license renewed. (referring to her mother)
Gob: She didn't. I dummied her up a new one. Not my best work, though. She wanted to look 48. I nearly airbrushed her into oblivion. Ended up checking "albino" in the form.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

ode to the old (pt 2)

I started to appreciate the oldies when I listened to Michael Buble. I think that was in 3rd yr or 4th yr college. Most of it were Sinatra and though the songs were given a Buble touch, the tune was practically similar. They weren't bad after all, in fact, the songs were cool, classy and makes you think that the latest crop of pop stars are close to pfftt. You'd wish you could relive those days of tap dance and signature microphones and heavy-piano performances.

I dig Buble's version of A Song for You by Herbie Hancock (not quite sure if it is his original). That was the last song he performed in his concert in LG Theatre in LA (yeah I've been there haha). The same song was performed by Christina Aguilera -- with Herbie doing the piano himself -- during the previous Grammy's. Other covers I liked are Presley's Crazy Little Thing Called Love and Ray Charles' You Don't Know Me.

Another artist that does amazing covers is Jamie Cullum. His jazz covers of Lover, You Should've Come Over, What a Diff'rence a Day Makes and Singing in the Rain is kinda like a rebellious jazz bordering on pop but nonetheless it's infectious to listen to. He also takes on Radiohead's High and Dry and even Pharell's Frontin' and made it his own. But All at Sea, which is about his experience doing gigs 'on board', is my all-time fave.


Last weekend, I downloaded the soundtrack of Almost Famous, Cameron Crowe's semi-autobiographical tale of a young adolescent who went on to cover the biggest what-could-have-been in the 70s rock and roll scene. The movie is a complete paean to everything that is 70s-rock-and-roll -- drugs, chicks and of course, great music.

While the story won Crowe favorable admiration among critics, the soundtrack on one hand was touted as the best compiltation of 70s memorabilia. The choice of songs and artists were so apt that it could almost earn Crowe a second profession being a musical director. I think he pretty much worked on the soundtrack as much as he did with the script. Both are densed with the same tenacity and rebelliousness. The AF soundtrack is a compilation of artists that span the decades of 50s, 60s and 70s. You can find Simon & Garfunkel, The Who, The Beach Boys, David Bowie, Elton John, Todd Rundgren, Cat Stevens, Rod Stewart and Led Zeppelin. Stillwater's Fever Dog makes you wanna have a dose of crack.

If I were a 40- or 50-year-old-something, listening to it is like one exercise in exorcising the demons of the great decades that were.

ode to the old

As kids we usually detest the sound of our father belting it out to the tune of Matt Monro or Tom Jones. We unearth copious cassette tapes of the same artists and other oldies superstar in our parents' old cabinets. To their bygone era, these figures were luminaries. Their music defined decades.

To the normal contemporary young adult who is not baduy (or at least that's what they think they are), listening to It's Not Unusual or My Way is the closest thing to hell. Just a single line from oldies songs are so revolting that we normally change the radio dial so fast as if it were a Coke cap.

But what I think made this generation unappreciative of the oldies are right in the very heart of Pinoy pop culture. The phenomenon that redefined Pinoys. A foreigner can easily identify us with this -- the Karaoke or more recently, the videoke. Everyone just loves to hold that mic and if the song requires, dance like it's the last night on Earth. The power to shine and be the next Pinoy Pop Superstar (with the irritating squeal) can be so addictive, the videoke gimmick can be likened to a druggie's version of pot session.

Though there are already KTVs and sing-along bars just about everywhere, the masa would prefer the hulog-hulog portion -- a videoke slot machine -- 5 pesos and you can attempt to outshine everybody with Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On. But just you wait until that pot-bellied drunkard got hold of the mic and let loose his balladeer side. You've just heard the most abominable version of the famous My Way or Bridge Over Troubled Water.

For me, hearing the street-versions of the old songs make me hate them. But in the end, you can't really deprive these people of the cheapest sort of escapism.

Friday, November 10, 2006

morning walks

Before i take a bathe every morning, I usually drop of my 5-year old half brother to a community school located on the next block, the next street after ours. It probably takes us 2-3 minutes before we get to my brother's classroom, where his classmates are already hop-hopping in their seats and their teacher (who's also a neighbor of ours) tries her best to calm them down.

Even before we pass through the school's makeshift gate, I buy him something for snacks which usually consists of an orange juice and a biscuit, or anything that wouldn't cost much but would already allay a kids want for munchies. Today it's Koko Krunch. (I also bought the same, which I'm eating now.) Around 7am we pass by the streets already full of children playing Chinese garter or some other street game. Even before the morning class, these kids, with their battered uniforms and worn-out shoes -- some with looks as if they were not groomed and given attention to by their families -- already reeks with morning sweat.

But the sight of these unattended kids won't make up for the squalor that's inside the school. It's typical of a public school, just the same as with the kids outside -- unattended. Though some parts of it are cemented, the main stairs made of wood is already deteriorated that the moment Batista climbs through it, he would surely have a bad fall. A lot of unmended chairs are just stacked up and left rotting as well. Some of the kids went here and there carrying some pail of water, raking up detritus, watering the plants, etc.

Before reaching my little brother's classroom we pass by several rooms with elementary classes. I often hear children reciting in chorus the passage Ma'am has given them or sometimes, I would also see Ma'am filling the entire board with chalk, while the children are copying the same. Some classes are just on their way for yet another morning dose of Jumping Jacks.

Education, the only legacy we can leave our children. Now, at least I can make sense of the statistics. I see it every morning.


I arrived early at the office today. 10 minutes before 8. Official time is 8:30. At this early, some of us would walk to the nearest Select store outside the office building either for the missed breakfast or something to much on snacks. I accompanied Rio this morning to re-load her cellphone. I didn't buy anything but rummaged through the racks of magazine for something new. Unfortunately, Newsweek and Time cost 110 pesos.

Newsweek's front cover is the losing war in Iraq and soldiers coming home. Time's was about the US election, and why it's not everything but George Bush.

On the other hand, you might want to catch this short video clip of George 'Stutter' Bush in The Christopher Walken show. This is hilarious. Hail America!



I'm so fucking bored. Lately, I've observed I'm talking too fucking much. But what the hell, what the fuck is this blog for? Oh fuck it. Everything's fucked up.

Whew. I might just have to go buy myself some muriatic acid as mouthwash for those expletives. On a previous blog, I've reposted The F Word's history and applications. But you might be laughing at great heights once you've heard this audio clip with pretty much the same content with just a few add-ons.

Song in background: The Vagina Song by Weird Al Yankovic.

Oh geez. Father priest, how many Hail Mary's am I going to recite with rock salt on my knees?



One of the lessons from our Into to Journalism course in college that stuck to me was the news values -- ironically the element of oddity is enumerated among the roster of news values, simply put, the weirder the news story goes the more likely it will devoured by readers. We have such eye for the unusual that a boxed feature story at the bottom of the front page featuring a revolution in underwear 'that makes you look bigger' beats the crap out of the headline about the recent Moody's ratings on RPs economic performance.

The other day, though it was not a news story featured on the front page, the headline photo of Imelda Marcos really caught my attention. Clad in her usual adornments, she posed for the camera ala Cleopatra. It gets atrociously funny when the caption says she's opening up a fashion line for the younger generation to have a taste of what-has-been during the Marcos era. Why not!??! It's just that it's grotesque.


I had always thought witchcraft and magic were cool. I had even tried some of the magic spells and incantations but I guess I don't really have that knack, or better yet, the blood for it. I watched The Covenant last night without really expecting much than pure fun...and evil *evil laughs*. But it was remotely entertaining and felt like watching a heavy-metal video with combat scenes. It sucked big time in the ratings but surprisingly it debuted at the top of the US box office some weeks ago. And, it's not really common to watch boys toy over their powers as if it was some vanity project that would girls swoon.

It's The Lost Boys meets The Craft, and the movie derives much of its teen angst and energy on the two films, but I didn't feel anything 'cool' at all. Having powers were supposed to be fun and classy and cool. Though there's really nothing new about the subject -- bloodlines of the sons of Ipswich migrating to America after the witch hunts in France and England -- the writer could have concocted a more interesting take. The combat scenes are too lazily edited and relied heavily on the ear-shattering rock music background to create some impact.

Plus, there's too much skin shed off without the necessity. The producers should have re-titled it as "Half Naked Bodies and the Witching Hour". The director obviously capitalized on too much flesh -- girls conversing in their room either with just panties on or stripping to their undies and oil-slathered buffed-up guys butt naked in the school shower (what's the PG 13 rating for?). The guys talking on the phone shirtless and sweaty and a scene where the villain haughtily kisses the protagonist's cheek is smokin' with homoerotic undertones.

The movie would have been way cooler, not good, if not for the hackneyed script and overused one-liners top it off with actors whose acting revealed more cockiness than mystery. (The main actor, Steven Strait, was the long-haired rebel wierdo in Sky High, and you wouldn't recognize it was him.)

Then, it would really have been cool to be among the sons of Ipswich.


arrested development

I am so waiting for payday.

Last night, I accompanied my friend who just flew to Pampanga early this morning for a call center work there. While walking along the 2nd floor of Victoria we passed by a pirated DVD store who was playing a Jackie Chan movie in their TV set. I saw DVD copies of the The Queen (an early Oscar favorite) and a slew of movies that are yet to be shown here like The Covenant and World Trade Center. But what delighted me was finding a copy of Lost Seasons 1 and 2 and Arrested Development Seasons 1 to 3. Im such a huge fan of these shows though I do not have the luxury of watching it all the time, especially AD which is on cable. I used to download the latter's some episodes and use to catch it on cable when I'm in a hotel during travels. I saw the exact DVD cover when I was gallivanting the Jones Circle in Cebu, but I just couldn't shed off my money because I did not bring any extra aside from the allowance. Luckily, it's here now in some pirated CD haven.

I recall this one funny episode (after all, what is not?) wherein one character Tobias Funke (To-ba-yas Fyunk-kay) is being pounced on by her materialistic bitch of a wife (Portia de Rossi) on what a dumbass he is for giving up a job to pursue his acting career. The next scene was cut to a close-up of Tobias' business card. He had two professions analyst (of what?) and therapist but which he combined to form as AnalRapist. Now, go figure. I laughed my heart out till tears were shed.

I think what made AD such a cult classic in the US, aside from the uproariously funny narrative (the narration courtesy of Ron Howard) without so much as to lifting a finger, is the unconventional use of camera and editing style. The episodes are densed with brief flashbacks. Most of the scenes are shot hand-held, giving it documentary-feel. It's like chronicling the mishaps of an American family who has only one member whose mind has not gone totally deranged. Despite being Emmy-awarded and critically-acclaimed (America has so much love for the inane, asshole attitude -- look at the success of the Jackass series both TV and movies, and recently the movie Borat, whose subtitle is enough to lure you into curiousity -- Cultural Learnings of America for the Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan -- even gave it 96% FRESH rating), I've read in a mag that it was axed for some time.

I can't help but to allude to yet another example -- two of them actually -- which made me wonder if tackling dysfunctionalism in America in TV and movies is really their cup of tea. Specifically, dysfunctional families. Perhaps, it can be attributed to the fact the American Beauty and the cult HBO series Six Feet Under is under the helm of the same writer (Oscar Winner Alan Ball). AB is one of my all time favorite movies and Kevin Spacey is just so fuckin' awesome in every scene, with his nonchalant no-bullshit attitude. There's this one hilarious scene in the shower and he says "Look at me. A 40 yr old man (or something like that) masturbating in the shower. This is the high point of my day. Everything's downhill from here."

The dark theme and writing was carried on in SFU, and this time the show's eccentricities is highlighted in the family-run business of funeral services. I only happen to wath the first three episodes so I can't speak so much about the development of the narrative. But still, basing on those episodes alone, the theme pretty much centers on a dysfunctional family's attempt at being normal.

Which makes me think. Is America's cloak of superficiality hiding the arrested development of even its own families? Or perhaps is it just simply telling us that despite the milk and honey, their world is not so close to perfect?


harsh times

According to the local dj this morning it's 49 days before Christmas (was it this morning or the other day?) As I stared droopy-eyed into the computer's screen, I reached my pocket and found 66 pesos. It's still more than a week before the next payday. I'm thinking of the neighborhood office's staff who lends money at little interest. How much will I need to get by?

I should be giddy-up with that remark of the dj and his playing of a rehashed version of a Christmas song. But it's still too early to be thinking of the yuletide even though the weather and the radio waves signal that it's just around the corner.

Yesterday, the owner of the room we're renting coaxed me into this 'autoload networking' thing, in which I have to subject myself in a shabby, overrated, forceful salesman's speech (salesman's pitch) to enlighten myself on the overwrought procedure. With respect I said yes, though immersing myself in some networking scheme is the last thing on mind, a last-ditch desperate effort to stay affloat during these financially tumultuous years. And yet, isn't it a decent thing to do, to engage oneself in tactics and gimmicks to keep oneself sustained?

As far as I can remember, I have been engaged in legit 'sidelines' even when I was in college. I used to do reaction papers, essays of various topics - from the mundane to the ones I really need to research, and I can recall doing a film review/critic a coupla' times for fellow mass communication division-mates. I went to Ateneo - which I left just a year ago after graduation - and I guess up to now it remains to be some rich kid's - or perhaps in most cases, the parents' - stigma of a fairytale-landia of a school. Well, the school doesn't have a problem of lack of parking space like ADMU does, but its still some rich brat's dream come true.

But the misplaced elitism doesn't at all envelope the school nor the student spirit. My father cannot afford to send me to a school such as Ateneo and never did I dreamed of it either. I worked my butt off as a student assistant and during the first year of my stint as an SA, I met fellow SAs and students who didn't even resemble the closest character of an asshole or a spoiled bitch. I remembered writing a feature story on the student paper about SAs and how they managed to get out of the usual Atenista shadow through tirelessly toiling whole day -- studying and working - just to get through college.

Yet it was hard as I neared graduating with all the expenses and stuff that my father cannot afford to subsidize. Someone was supporting my daily stipend, a sponsor whom I got to meet the day of my graduation. But somehow, harsh times force me to do extra work to earn some needed extra cash for school expenses. There's this one professor who really trusts my choreographing skills (despite me really sucking at it and only able to orchestrate simplistic moves) that he manage to call me up everytime there's some affair in their office that they need to perform. I recalled checking some of the teachers' papers and exams during tests.

My bosses and my co-workers at the division I'm working in were extremely considerate and helpful. There was one time I stowed away from a nasty fight at home and being welcomed by a professor in their own home for two weeks.

My classmates and friends were extremely helpful as well. They proved to me that they're treasures in their own right come harsh times. (Sniff) And some of my mass com teachers who really stood by me and understood what I was going through, completed the bunch of streamer-holding support group that I had.

I had to attend the graduation despite the doctor's diagnosis of an early pneumonia. I barely had a bathe for two weeks. Sweat-drenched, with ruffled hair and creased polo, I went up to receive the medal and bowed while flashes of the whole five years or so of my college life passed in front of my eyes. It was one of those moments wherein it could stretch on to forever.

Landing in a job a month after, I realized that harsh times are here to stay. You are faced with the cruel realities of life more than you could ever think of. A year and five months, overworked and underpaid, it seemed that all my rantings went oblivious as it was drowned among the screaming uncertainties of the 7.8 million who's in the same situation. And you'd wish that you will always have that gut to swallow it in.

I look at both ends of my peripheral vision. At the left, its an oversized multivitamin. In the other end, is an empty, dried-up glass.


red carpet

It's prolly because of the late office proclamation that it's National Youth Day (what the?) or the vibrations sent off by the dreamcatcher whose pendant rests comftably in my grown tummy.

I've given it days to contemplate and so here I am. So Friendster, sue me. NYD or dreamcatcher-less. This comeback deserves Hollywood red carpet. * evil laughs*


It was not so long ago, I've returned to blogging thanks to the ever-accessible Friendster blogs.


Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family, Choose a f—king big television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose a three piece suit on hire purchased in a range of f—king fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the f—k you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing f—king junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, f—ked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose a future. Choose life . . . But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin’ else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?

Renton, Trainspotting