Monday, December 22, 2008

Death viewed on a precipice.

I'm going to have a major headache, or flu, or I'm just gonna be bogged down by stupor now, I think, because of the extremest of temperatures I subjected myself into today coming from the highlands of about 15 or so degrees and going off the private bus with a searing Christmas heat of the friggin city. And I’m so sweating right now, vintage James Dean on my shirt is practically licking the sweat falling off my man-boobs.

There was some major joint party that the office has to attend to in those highlands and thank God the scenery made up for it, which was kind of what I expected in a way or I really wouldn't be going. One time I was standing on a precipice -- but there was some kind of wooden fence on it -- and I really feel so one with nature looking at the mountain range, I feel like jumping. I feel like those fancy pieces of colored silk cloths attached on the poles all over the place looking so dandy, fluttering in the cold wind that could chuck an anemometer.

But of course I’m not gonna jump or else I’m gonna ruin the merriment of 100 fucking people because some jerk decided to end his life. And it’s not like I’m gonna die or something when I jump off -- maybe a broken limb or or some ribs, maybe a cracked cranium, I guess -- which is gonna piss them off anyway. My being jaded with life is not so much as death hovering above me like imaginary vultures or so ominous its familiar like the Fishers of Six Feet Under operating a funeral service business in their own house.

Nor does it anything to do, really, with Six Feet Under, which I’m watching again coz it’s the Christmas break (season 2 now) and I dunno if this is going to be an annual thing or something and SFU is not really the type of viewing for the season, but what can I do, I really get a kick out of this show, especially if you learn not to really take it so seriously. Like scenes where children, 30-something children at least, slap the hell out of their loudmouth pathetic mothers and just walk out, snap, like that.

Plus, like me, you could really learn a thing or two, or replenish elementary general information you thought you once knew like Hemingway writes while standing, or that aubergines are edible or weird things you never thought existed like death from autoerotic asphyxiation, which is really kind of funny, but then it’s really lethal, if you know anything about it. Really, that’s all, I just find the show fucking funny and no, it didn’t even occur to me to try that autoerotic asphyxiation shit.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bush-whacked

Hahahaha, a thousand times over. Feck you Mr. President. In a bid for a graceful exit, which will never happen anyway, Bush tries a security accord with Iraq, announcing it on a press conference with premier Nouri Al-Maliki. Instead, he gets a shock of his life courtesy of a pair of size 10 shoes from journalist Muntader-al-Zeidi. For all we know, al-Zeidi could have said, Merry Christmas, you dawg.

Editorial and opinion piece of Conrado de Quiros in today's PDI are all on it. Alas, we won't be seeing shoe attacks in press conferences at Malacañang, as Palace officials say Filipino journalists are more courteous.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Drunken tambukikoy

It’s hard to swallow those two words but what a way to start the end of the year by being just that --- drunken and tambukikoy.

I really hate this time of the year because practically every fucking person is out there parading in the malls, the streets, the bars, just about everywhere you can think of. And for someone like me who’s grown increasingly intolerant of crowds, developing a vertigo of sorts in the midst of a multitude of fucking people, yuletide is the perfect bane. Convenience is the last thing on earth and falling in lines is just about everything that you can do. Good thing though is that I have an excuse to stay at home and catch up on my reading, listen to more music, catch up on my DVD list and laze around. Okay, do some household chores. I’ll try to stay home more often and avoid reunions if I can because really it’s getting too tiring already. Plus the fact that I have a non-existent fucking bonus and non-existent savings which all the more extinguishes the possibility of me replacing my primitive un-classy phone or something that I could totally be happy about.

Miraculously though, last Friday, after the inter-division party (note: the office-wide is another thing, and yes, they come up with these sorts of parties in the office, part of the bureaucratic criteria I guess), I didn’t puked in the table when I could have already, after drinking 5 bottles of that beer which promises you that’s ITO ANG TAMA, probably the result of a drinking hiatus which spanned eons. I vomited at home, but that’s after bawling over my colleague’s propensity to buy chicken skin in the midst of drunkenness, a spilled hot choco which I called Milo and made the girl at the Jollibee (or was it McDo) drive-in counter scoff at me, urinating in the midst of a passageway of the drinking compound, and being too linguistically-abnormal and embarrassingly drunk to be accompanied home.

My colleague’s mother called me, when for the first time she saw me, tambukikoy, or tabachuy, or an adjective similarly-sounding and purporting as saying that I’ve actually grown to unbelievable proportions. Or maybe that’s too humble of me. Let’s just say I’ve completely forgotten my on-off ineffective and pretentious diet regimen so that instead of getting a little smaller, I continue to pig out. Who the hell cares? That fuckable chick who wants a six-pack-ab guy riding her? She can fondle herself like Eva Fonda who’s fuckably-yummy. If living a life means getting to eat what I want to then just fuck the rest.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bordado as peace champion.

I didn’t even notice him when he descended the stairs of the Cotabato hotel. Maybe that was part of the lackluster foray he would have to embark in being a peace champion for Mindanao. An Inquirer writer questioned the cherubic adjective I used. Well, not really question as in the sense of validity because if it were I would automatically submit to him my rash choice of word. I said I wrote for the drama. Which is really true, I wanted to write at least for this one an article that is not newsy-turgid I wouldn’t even have the stomach to read it. But really, Robin Padilla did well and I didn’t expect him to be that down-to-earth and accommodating.

Visiting peace and development communities (PDCs) in South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao for the past weeks has been grueling but satisfying. Some of these stories are really inspiring I wonder they don’t make it in the news. Wait, I shouldn’t really wonder, because this is the perfect antithesis to whatever is published about Mindanao. But then hey, we’re right on track and I think we’re getting there.

Robin Padilla as ambassador for Peace in Mindanao.

Robin Padilla story-tells to elementary pupils of Broce Elementary School of Peace in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Shariff Kabunsuan.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Jayclops' top 10 of 2007.

Update: Top 10 films with few notes via jayclopsiswatching.com.

1. Control dir. by Anton Corbijn
2. I'm Not There dir. Todd Haynes

3. Once dir. by John Carney
4. 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days dir. by Christian Mungiu

5. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly dir. by Julian Schnabel

6. The Bourne Ultimatum dir. by Paul Greengrass

7. No Country for Old Men dir. by Joel and Ethan Coen

8. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford dir. by Andrew Dominik
9. There Will Be Blood dir. by Paul Thomas Anderson

10. Margot at the Wedding dir. by Noah Baumbach

In the running would be: In The Valley of Elah dir. by Paul Haggis, Juno dir. by Jason Reitman, We Own The Night dir. by James Gray, Knocked Up dir. by Judd Apatow, Away From Her dir. by Sarah Polley, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead dir. by Sidney Lumet, Into the Wild dir. by Sean Penn, Zodiac dir. by David Fincher and The Savages dir. by Tamara Jenkins.

I've got to hand the best performance, or better yet, performances, of the year to Philip Seymour Hoffman. Not content on winning for Capote, he proves he's a no-bullshit actor by appearing in 3 films: as a political adviser in Charlie Wilson's War, Ethan Hawke's embattled brother in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead and Laura Linney's self-absorbed brother in The Savages.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cry me to the moon.

If you have read Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 and at the end you feel disjointed, disoriented, if you feel like you have been catapulted to Jupiter, you’re still sane. Thank Pynchon even for not sending you out of the Milky Way galaxy. I feel like reading through a David Lynch film with lesser tendency for migraine. I got the hang that was Vineland after one chapter, but with this one I still feel like struggling after four, but the novel is short with six chapters. Probably because, Pynchon meshes imagined worlds of the rock and roll mania, drug culture, and the conspiracy over the courier system all of which is suppose to mirror the confusion that is America itself. It’s like a reinvented detective story with a more perplexing, labyrinthine and interesting chase, full of sadness and loss and search for meaning. If Pynchon wants us to place ourselves in Oedipa Maas’ shoes, then all the confusion, loss and seemingly perpetual search for meaning definitely hits home.

On one hand, everybody seems to be jumping on the Twilight bandwagon, so I digressed by picking up another vampire of sorts novel by Elizabeth Kostova called The Historian. It’s too early to tell some of the probable highlights of the voluminous book (so no spoilers please) but speaking of digression I think it offers to shed light on the true Dracula, the inspiration of the Bram Stoker novel, who wasn’t a vampire in the first place, Vlad Tepes, or Vlad the Impaler, because, yes, he impales people like lechon. Like skewering them with long pointed wooden sticks and displays them in such a manner as the barbeque vendor displays her freshly grilled, with sauce, barbeque, intestines and lamang-loob. And yes, according to the book, which is partly autobiographical, back in those Ottoman empire days, this happened people.

I just came from the pantry to drink water and walking from the dark hallways of our office (yes, the sun has set and I have to keep reminding myself I’m suppose to be a bureaucrat) and scarily chanting The Beautiful People by Marilyn Manson (with all the larynx-tearing growl), when the guard freaked the hell out of me. So much for stress.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What I need is a good defense.

Oh my friggin' gulay. This definitely made my day. Or my week, which was unbelievable grueling. The top 100 music videos of all time according to Stylus magazine. This is what you call a no-bullshit list. I couldn't really contend on the spots and who's occupying them because I think this is well-deserved. Why it rocks? Because these are videos that went beyond the boundaries of music videomaking, these videos created haunting, sad, classy, poignant images that I think can never be matched. And because they never make music videos like this anymore.

Because it brings back memories of a high-school me glued to the TV set, being mesmerized by videos such as Nine Inch Nails' The Perfect Drug or blown away by Blur's Song 2. Perfect Drug lands in the list but not in the top 20, though I think it should have been there, easily one of my favorite videos. Other faves that were in the list includes Virtual Insanity by Jamiroquai, Criminal by Fiona Apple which is at # 11, Tonight Tonight by Smashing Pumpkins and Just by Radiohead, which is at # 5. I expected Bjork's All is Full of Love and A-Ha's Take on Me. U.N.K.L.E. and Thom Yorke's Rabbit in your Headlights is at # 1.

Some names would be familiar as some of the music video visionaries landed on film themselves: Michel Gondry, Jonathan Glazer, Chris Cunningham and Anton Corbijn, who directed Joy Division's Ian Curtis' film biopic Control, one of my 2007 best. Gosh, I didn't know it was Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Farris who directed some of Smashing Pumpkins videos. Of course, you know, they went on to make that little movie that could, Little Miss Sunshine.

Monday, November 17, 2008

surviving the fear, reality tv-style.

Watching Pinoy Fear Factor, Argentina, South America, World, Milky Way Galaxy, Universe last night. I needed to emphasize that because Ryan Agoncillo, the host, wants us to always remember that they were able to produce a show - another Pinoy franchise of Western reality shows - that they were able to shoot it, in Argentina, which come to think of it is not really a remote possibility. What they were able to do really is to transport half the globe a bunch of fuckable (of course, sex sells) twenty-something lousy retards who flinch and fall and fail most of the challenges (at least for two weeks it has been airing).

But for sheer consumable entertainment, I think I’ll score it a little notch higher than the Pinoy version of Survivor which really sucks like a vacuum cleaner. Having watched many seasons of Survivor hosted by Emmy-winning Jeff Probst, watching Survivor Phils is like watching the same Survivor dubbed in Tagalog. The scheming, the issues, the personages, it’s all the same, and with challenges that are not-so-challenging I could laugh. Even Paolo Bediones, who really sucked in this, rehashes Jeff’s line in Tagalog: “Nagsalita na ang tribo… (The tribe has spoken…)” Sheesh.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Earth-check, loser.

What I’m going to say is remotely significant to what is happening in my life right now but I’m going to say it anyway because I want to and I’m tired of saying shitty things that don’t work themselves out and I don’t have anything life-changing or awe-inspiring up in my sleeves right now, it will probably take more than that.

Well at least I have a new zipper to the slacks I wear regularly which is good news for somebody who has been parading himself in the public without a zipper for more or less 3 weeks. I finally mustered the time to have it repaired. It’s kind of gross but I really couldn’t care less because I don’t usually tuck in my polos and I stopped wearing icky long sleeves which force me to tuck it in. I also realized that I don’t look good anymore when I tuck myself in because I’ve been a slob for months now which explains my protruding gut. But what do you care anyway.

So by some major force of nature, I realized that I have been blogging for two years now. 199 entries, and perhaps a bazillion more to go. This is not an obligatory entry really. I haven’t written an anniversary blog last year as if it is some kind of an annual thing. It’s so happen that I was browsing past entries and I stumbled upon that very first entry two years ago. I realized I’ve been a humongous blabbermouth with all that shitty crap I spew forth in this blog. It’s a wonder that some of those entries that I find meaningful, given that they bring some sort of meaning, are those short, amusing and don’t-give-a-shit entries and sometimes sort of recapitulatory, if a word ever exists. Like this one or this one.

Maybe if there’s anything that’s celebratory, it would have to be that this blog (and I guess you reader) kept a semblance of sanity in an otherwise crazy world and an even crazier, unbelievably shitty life. Maybe if there’s anything that’s worth amounting to, is the fact that I still give a great deal about this life and struggling through it rather than pathetically cutting it short, about straightening things out, and actually calling it a life. I’m still thinking, for crying out not-so-loud. I still believe that there’s something that’s amazingly big and wondrous out there for me. And really, I can’t wait.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Victory

I am way beyond happy. I mean, I'm ecstatic.

Americans made it happen. They put the first black president in the White House, something which had never happened for some 200 or so years. And hopefully after 200 years of independence, I sure do hope, even if I don't live up to see that day, that our country would elect a leader everybody can be proud of. But I don't think it will be 2010, unlike what Binay said in the news last night. We won't be replicating such a historical election in the Philippines. Taking our lot out of our quandary as a nation will go beyond 2010. We need some major CHANGE, people.

Obama did more than just win an election. He took people to voting precints - youth, women, elderly - in a turnout that's historical in itself. Obama didn't encourage them just to vote him. He made the people believe they can realize that change by exercising their right.

Meanwhile, some excerpts from Mr. President-elect's speech: The Independent has the full text or you can listen to it here courtesy of NPR.

"...You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century."

"...But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it's been done in America for 221 years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand."

"...And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.

"...And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

"...This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can."

Photo courtesy of foreignpolicy.com

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

History in the making

Up to date news on the historic 2008 U.S. elections.

Breaking news: Barack Obama, first-termer Illinois Senator is the 44th U.S. President as projected, and the first African American to hold the highest executive position, with 324 electoral votes against Republican nominee John McCain's 124 as of 11:01 US time, according to AP cited in Yahoo News. Click here and here and here for some straight from the pan news.

Update: Listening to Obama's victory speech live at Grant Park, Chicago. "The new dawn of American leadership is at hand," said the historical president in his raspy but charismatic voice. Punctuated by jubilant, resounding cheers of "Yes, we can."

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Dear Ma

I’m sorry for coming here alone, with this simple bouquet and a single stubby candle to light. They will be bringing in the rest of the candles later and an even bigger, if you can call it that, arrangement of flowers. They will have the cleaning materials too so I didn’t hire the insistent boy who keeps tugging me for cleaning services.

The bouquet, with its pink anthuriums and white chrysanthemums look simple enough but I think you will like it. I picked it up while on the way passing by the church. I feel bad today so I came early and I’m sorry for feeling bad. I know, you don’t need to visit me in my dreams to remind me to stretch my patience. I think you know I’ve stretched it too much. And I’m sorry if I snapped, sometimes at Papa, which I don’t mean to. I know you know that I still respect and love him as a father. But things are different now, it won’t always be the same when you were here. All attempts at being and living normal are futile. I always return to that unbalanced, confused state. But I get by. Times are getting really tougher, which you might see in the conditions we are living now. But I think we’ll get through this, or else, you wouldn’t have left us in peace.

Funny, the guard at the office made me teary-eyed. Before going here, I dropped by the office to iron out some things. We talked about things and came to the topic of your death. Funny how they all are inquisitive, these people. But they are the most worthy of serious conversations. He said I never looked like those people who have got the world on their backs. Now, that’s a good sign, don’t you think?

I am looking around and seeing less people than before. While walking the street, there was less traffic. People are busy perhaps, there are no holidays. Some graves are left unattended lucky to have a single candle lighting it, or a handful of cheaply arranged daisies and chrysanthemums to color their drab outline. People look glum too. I saw the same old woman again one grave next to us but she didn’t manage a smile.

I think I’ll be going now - a drop of rain fell into the book I’m reading. I think they will be here soon. Bye, my prayer and longing remain the same.

Your son.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

QPG

I’m being haunted by Nick, Brian, Howie, Kevin and AJ.

Yesterday, I refreshed with the new watermelon float (where’s the green apple float!) of McDo and a large fries over lunch because I needed to get out of the office lest my head explode. Then, while in the middle of nibbling the cream, the boys started singing I want it that way, admittedly my favorite Backstreet song, or any boy band song for that matter. Two more songs played, Drowning and Quit Playing Games.

C’mon, the boy bands really had it their way when it was their time. I remember buying the first BSB album on cassette when I was Grade 6, the one with Get Down in it, which we eventually danced during Christmas parties those times.

After a mañanita for our Chairman the other day, a forgotten Filipino tradition which I only knew about this week where a bunch of birthday wishers greet (pester) the celebrator at the break of dawn with bygone songs, the assigned group arrived at around 6 am in the office with time to kill. So I grabbed a pillow and immediately looked for a BSB song on the net and dozed off in my desk. I dunno why the hell a BSB song popped into mind and so today I am haunted. Maybe it's hounding me to really consider that botched career? Jeez, heavens forbid.

***

Speaking of botches, my Tawi-Tawi trip is one. Goodbye Sheik Makhdum, islands, seaweeds, and lantsas see you next time, promise. So much for finally being at the southernmost tip of the Philippines. Photos courtesy of Ate Sarah.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Caco-phonies

The whole nation is crumbling to bits, millions of pesos can now slither its way to Moscow courtesy of perennial schmucks, plus the much-awaited confrontation with a fertilizer scam pig, err, king, and Anabelle Rama wants fucking yacht for crissakes. Come hell or high water and the miracle of Sto. Niño, give her the goddamn yacht! Jeez, whatever the fuck is happening, I too am miserly stuck in a quagmire.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Middlesex

Back in grade school, we had an infamous schoolmate whom we call Vizconde (yes, after the Vizconde massacre). She always had a ruffled hair covering most of her face and some missing front teeth and I dunno if that made everybody call her that. She also acts weird and sometimes opens up her skirt for us to see her panties. Perhaps what’s weirder is that everybody seem to believe that she has a small penis (or penis-like appendix in her female organ).

The use of she is based on the empirical data that she wears a skirt as uniform and fairly looked more of a girl. I remembered seeing her play basketball with the boys, in her skirt, or takyan, the vernacular term for sipa only with a piece of hardened alloy as base, which was a very popular pastime during recess with us boys.

Vizconde was the first person to come to mind when I read Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex. When I picked up the book, I had a remotest idea that the character already symbolized the title, that the subject matter is one of gender identity crisis, which when u think about it becomes more complex in a hermaphrodite’s case as the story of the novel’s protagonist would imply, when all I was thinking of Middlesex was a city in England or Michigan.

(Interestingly, I'm currently reading Strange Tribe by John Hemingway, grandson of Ernest. It's a family memoir, so personal that it traces the similarities between John's father Gregory's cross-dressing deviance to early hints in Ernest childhood and even in his literary works.)

If Calliope Stephanides, the engaging narrator, is a living person, his/her life would be perfect fodder for the media. Life would be a living hell and she would be the most talked about person in recent history. That’s because we don’t know of any famous, living or otherwise, hermaphrodite whose life is very much an open book. Or nobody, perhaps in Hollywood or any famous personality, would evidently expose his or her genitals as a proof of his/her hermaphroditism and create public morass.

Pages flew like leaps of calendar leaves in a generation – three in fact. For Eugenides cover three generations of the Stephanides family, from pre-war era in Mt.Olympus to the raucous 60s, it captures the very essence of Cal’s search for meaning: profound and immense, sometimes beyond comprehension.

The New York Times says in the back cover that Cal is an amalgam of one of Holden Caulfield and maybe that’s why the narrator is engaging – it seems like Cal is talking right in front of us. Cal’s discovery in every twist and turn of fate is like ours too. Her condition solicits not one of sympathy but understanding and a mesmerizing sense of bewilderment.

But because Eugenides’ epic journey of perhaps everyone seeking acceptance out there is not just one of biological or genetic idiosyncrasies, not just of a search for identity, but for meaning, acceptance and a rightful place in an already peculiar world.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

dark, menacing times

I want to say that The Dark Knight is one of the best films this year. I don’t care if it gets overlooked in the award foray but the second installment of Christopher Nolan's reinvention of the caped crusader is also one of the best things to have happened in comic book hero adaptations. But then, it would be difficult to shrug off a film that is now the second highest grossing film of all time, wouldn’t it?

I watched it four times in the theatre, with one outing a treat. And immense wonder and disbelief fills me every time. The Dark Knight in jayclopsiswatching.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Man of faith.

As with the Philippines, religion in the U.S. pretty much has a say in the course of the election campaigns, more evidently with the Obama-McCain match. Though as to influencing using religion as tool, our lot is more shameless and blatant of recent times. We have our presidentiables attending prayer rallies and also acting as if they too have been suddenly possessed by the Holy Spirit. Make way for the anointed one!

Unfortunately, haters gripe over Obama’s seemingly lack of strong religious foundation or his unorthodox way of Christianity, which can be “politically problematic”. His schism with Trinity United Church and Rev. Wright, erstwhile spiritual counselor (?) and head of TUC has also escalated into a religious bout that has in some way created a perception of a confused leader.

In a lengthy article in the July issue of Newsweek, writers Lisa Miller and Richard Wolffe cited a survey which reveals that around 12 percent think Obama is a Muslim and many perceived he was raised in a predominantly Islamic home. I remember chatting with a friend from Long Beach, California (who I surmise a Republican) a few months back and though I can vaguely note all the details about the conversation which was regarding the U.S. elections, I think it was something about this perception of Obama.

Indeed, Obama has been exposed to Islamic culture because of his stepfather (his father, who is said to be an atheist, left them at 2). His mother, whom Obama referred to as an agnostic, took him and his stepsister to Buddhist temples while in Indonesia andalso attending Catholic masses. In Hawaii where he spent high school, the family would also spend time in the United Church of Christ congregations. His readings also say a lot about his influences: St. Augustine, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Luther King, among others.

Obama has upheld Christianity saying that “the emotional and intellectual” is joined in a powerful sense. He is touched by the Christian story and tries to align his actions with the teachings but traditionalists have often accused him because of his confused, modern brand of Christianity. Obama believes redemption only through Jesus Christ but also he says that the Golden rule is a very important guiding principle for him.

No religion offers one single truth and Obama is well aware of it. His search, his life, his journey is very American.

“I’m on my own journey and I’m searching,” he said. And, “I leave open the possibility that I’m entirely wrong.”

His honesty is courageous. His admittance is audacity. And I admire him for that.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Justice hotdogs

We can argue to kingdom come the merits of the case (but of course I wouldn’t do that because I’m not a lawyer), the sincerity of the act of pardon or the executive privilege which this curmudgeon from the department of justice hotdogs, whose idea of electioneering does not include dispensing cash to barangay officials who deserved it anyway even if it is election fever, said is all but executively and prerogatively exclusive which in saying attributes godly omnipotence.

The grief over the death and outrage over the decision however are beyond the limits of our comprehension but it is for the family to bear for the rest of their lives.

I remember watching an episode of Justice, where Victor Garber and Kerr Smith, talked after a trial over a bunch of hotdogs. Garber’s character said something about the similarities of justice and hotdogs. How we love them served hot and fresh and juicy but we never really got to care how it is being made.

Monday, October 06, 2008

rated XX

Warning. This will prolly gross you out. But I need to let it out like some kind of pent up c-men of a disappointingly long ejaculation process. See this doesn’t happen all the time. I mean it doesn’t happen all the time since fuckable looking girls are hard to come by in jeepney rides recently, I dunno why. Speaking of fuckable though, there’s this scene in Margot in the Wedding where Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Jason Leigh are talking or arguing about being fuckable, or something to that extent. So that’s where I got the word fuckable.

But anyway, on the way home after the booktrip I just talked about, there was this petite girl with really nice plump breasts, not the papaya type which I don’t like, that I think if I cupped them with my hands it would really feel nice. But she’s not petite like it would make me a fucking pedophile; I think she was about my age though, mestiza complexion and all. I could’ve mistaken her for someone I barely knew by face but I dispelled the idea. I must’ve stared at her long and hard enough, though I keep on glancing at my books, that she turned sideways, her hair covering most of her face. That’s when I noticed another chick beside her, much younger, say 16, who’s also equally fuckable-looking. Menage-a-trois: liquidating the cobwebs of my mind, imaginary steamy and ecstatic copulation fogging the glass walls of a vintage car shuddering like there’s no tomorrow.

You have to be careful with a raging hard-on in jeepneys unless you have bag or carry-on luggage to cover up that growing tent up your crotch, or you have to mentally come or hastily think of un-perverse thoughts to pacify Mr. Wiener and not parade himself to unsuspecting passengers. Luckily for me, I always have my khaki messenger bag. That’s its other prurient purpose. Note of emphasis: this doesn’t really happen all the time, really.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

There will be books.

For the past two weeks, up to today, I have amassed a total of 13 books from booksales, 12 since I will be reselling one to a colleague upon his request, which I will then borrow in some distant future. That’s some kind of record for me, which doesn’t mean that I have to beat somebody else’s or even mine, because I haven’t set such a shitty record. Especially with the fact that every time I’m mulling the idea of picking a book I’m wracking my head senseless of the actual nearest possible time I will be able to pick it up, this time actually reading the damn book. And whenever I get into such argument with myself, which is every time, I justify the purchase with the selfish geeky argument that someone will have picked it up in another hour, day or week. Despite the seeming obliviousness of this generation to the wonder of books, one can never discredit the fact that if you decide to let go of that fateful meeting with a rare, yellowed Thomas Pynchon novel like The Crying of Lot 49, somebody who have been itching for the same book would pick it up the next day.

The ones I bought at a local mall atrium booksale over a period of one week are truly gems, because, all of them are sold at 20 pesos: a cover-torn copy of Alex Garland’s The Beach, Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood a new version of which is sold at NBS for more than 500 pesos, Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49, Mark Twain’s Letters from the Earth and John Le Carre’s The Looking-Glass War since I didn’t try hardest to look for The Spy who came in from the Cold. (I have long been meaning to read, make it pick, a Le Carre book because it’s practically everywhere in booksales and they say The Spy is the quintessential spy novel.)

At another mall, which sold books from the price range of 89-189 pesos: The 9/11 Investigations edited by former Newsweek editor Steven Strasser, a compilation book of the 9/11 commission reports and other relevant interviews. Pegged at 189 which is not bad actually if you think about it.

At an NBS in a local mall, where a massive flood of hardbound books caused me extreme excitement and a real decision-making pain in the ass: Ray Bradbury’s The Cat’s Pajamas: Short Stories, Paul Auster’s Travels in the Scriptorium which is also sold in paperback in the same store at 359 pesos, John Hemingway’s Strange Tribe, A Family Memoir, Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews, Alan Greenspan: The Age of Turbulence and The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. 99 pesos each.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Webs of gibberish

Two months ago I read Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho which makes me feel like a geeky loser having read it at such a later time, like the past two months, given the reputation (notoriety) of this novel in contemporary literature. But even if I read it in college or even early on in high school, I wouldn’t have appreciated its depth and the themes which it criticizes. I guess I don’t need to bore you with how the novel seems to suck you in despite its plotlessness and how it titillates you and makes you feel like a perv for wanting to see more of Patrick Bateman’s all too-detailed gratuitous sexual violence in the pages. As they say, some things are meant to be read. Which is why so many, even critics alike were led astray by the novel’s bluntness lambasting it as trash and accusing Ellis of pornography that they actually lost track of the social critique it was meant for in the first place, like commodification and the increasing gap of social classes as a result, the rise of the urban bourgeois, the loss of identity in a seemingly economically flourishing era, etc. Psycho is set in New York and Bateman’s world is Wall St. heaven. The indestructibility and stability of Ellis’ stylishly concocted world will be comical if placed in the vulnerability of the current times. Recession and bailout, hell even sub-prime mortgage, would remotely surface in the superficial discussions of self-absorbed financial execs, Bateman et al. But even if such were discussed, as vague terms, in that particular economic pinnacle, the wide gap would have alienated the blue-collar layman from giving a flying fuck about how economic slowdown would actually allow them to live decently.

Last night, I watch the government’s economic panel sling back answers from supposed intelligible queries and stories out of these landed up on front pages of national broadsheets today. For the past few weeks, we too have been engrossed in the US economic situation attempting to make sense out of it, out of our lives as Filipino citizens (and at least for me not that successfully) but in the end, Juan dela Cruz won’t give a flying fuck (I purposely repeated those two words). John Cassidy in The New Yorker aptly puts it: “As an exercise in crisis management, it is potentially disastrous—and, to the rest of the world, dumbfounding”. But what am I really talking here anyway that none of the thinking people already know? I think it just goes to show that we are still bridging, and that’s why we don’t bridge the gap, it’s because it is always burned. In the world of American Psycho, the insignificant are further marginalized and the economically important continue to slobber with whatever there is to consume.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

the audacity, period.

Barack Obama is not just a big-smiling charismatic Democrat who swayed, well, yes, the world, with such an audacious campaign right from the very moment he stood up on that Democratic convention where he first announced his desire to run for the highest seat in the land. He also happens to be the next big, best thing in American politics, so far. You can perhaps say it’s because of his unique and inspiring background, racially and yes politically. He has lived in Kenya and Indonesia and has amazing roots as community organizer. The Illinois senator has been hounded with his political inexperience, being one of the youngest and a first-term senator. But commonsensically, it’s such a flimsy argument if we’d like to see in every candidate that he’d reach 80 and see political adeptness anatomically evident. To his credit though, McCain exudes a charismatic atmosphere, in that we don’t actually get fumed as much as we see Bush. It’s just that with an unpopular war that’s not trailing off any sooner and the recent economic turmoil, he is the likely casualty of the unpopularity of his Republican predecessor.

Hope and change are such big words, audacious words. Maybe the guy is referencing to the Sam Cooke song A Change is Gonna Come which marked the historical civil rights movement, I dunno. And Barack, whose name sounds with Iraq and a surname that rhymes with that of the Al-Qaeda leader (quite an unpopular name if you think about it), not only has the courage to take up these words but he has the willpower and conviction to realize these seemingly abstract words in an American era still mired in uncertainty. Hope and change are powerful words, something where you can put intellect and brilliance to good use - and it takes audacity to realize them.

photo from Salon.com

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The table that screams

I've been meaning to finish Taxi to the Dark Side, the Oscar-winning documentary by Alex Gibney, which retells the unfortunate story of Dilawar, an Afghan taxi driver who was wrongfully suspected, captured and tortured in the Bagram Air Base in Kabul in 2002. The picture below, the Abu Ghraib table (which according to boinboing.net is furniture as political statement), reminded be to do so. The triumph of this documentary as well as other Oscar-nominated docus like No End in Sight which focused on the folly over the Iraq war is that it once again enmeshes us into the grisly power of US military policy, and US's foreign policy over the Iraq war in general.

The Road to Guantanamo, in drama-docu style, directed by Michael Winterbottom released in 2006, is in similar vein a depiction of the unorthodox methods of interrogation and the inhuman conditions over at Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. These films show us how a crushed superpower unleashes its fury and how political logic, or even logic at the very least, flies out of the window in the midst of uncertainty in the troublesome post -9/11 era.

photo found in boinboing.net via jessicarulestheuniverse.com

Another threat

We maybe digging up below, underneath the Arctic seabed to be exact, not looking (and be blinded) up there where mighty Sun radiates UV rays, to find another threatening culprit to the increase in global warming.

Scientists recently discovered disturbing huge deposits of methane gas emanating from so-called "chimneys" in the Arctic region particularly in areas across the Siberian continental shelf. Increased levels of methane escaping from these "chimneys" is also connected to rising temperatures in the region, which as narrated in this article, has risen to 4C degrees for the past decades.

Picture this: if we have enough "methane chimneys" spread across the Arctic seabed, it could look like a perforated piece of styrofor, and crumbling the entire Arctic region is as easy as blowing air through these holes. Jeez.

Getty photo from dailymail.co.uk

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

And Here. We. Go.

I can smell it. It’s in the air. No, I’m not talking about the commercialized ‘tis-the-season-to-be-jolly’ holidays. To put it simply, the season of the really good movies are here and some of the festivals have announced their winners as well. A lot would call it Oscar mania, but I wouldn’t really want to label it that, as I previously did, because I came to realize that there are a lot of good films left out, the ones that either lacked studio backing or marketing strategy, but standouts. The Academy is a sucker for marketing strategy. Put up a whopper of a poster, and then some. You know, that For Your Consideration thingy that usually appears in bootlegged copies of films. Well, it’s Oscar fever for one because most of the films that would likely end in the Academy’s roster are released this time of the year.

Around September last year, I listed down films that piqued me and what I thought would be potential contenders come awards season. It’s usually safe because most of it I haven’t seen yet, except some trailers and it’s really fun how your amateurish prognostication will turn out.

3 out of 5 nominated films last year I was able to mention: There will be Blood, Atonement, and No Country for Old Men. No Country I didn’t even knew about until it was raved in most of the festivals it screened. I was partial with Blood because it’s Paul Thomas Anderson and Atonement because that time I just finished reading the novel. Wasn’t gaga that much for Atonement, but thought that Blood and No Country are important films because it cinematically depicted the current socio-political milieu, whether America or the world.

I also mentioned The Savages, which earned an Original Screenplay nod and I’m Not There, though it earned just an acting nod from a luminous and unbelievable Cate Blanchett.

Oh and I also finally decided to start a new blog. Well, it's just a move actually, because, well it's one of those things that you know you just have to do. I'd thought this blog, which I wasn't able to update as regularly as much as I want to (in fact it will turn 1 year of being untouched), and for reasons that are only apparent to me, was a bit tight, and with the risk of sounding cheesy, so academic, which I think is not really a bad idea. After all, it's the experience of watching. So I decided that I had to do more than just that, nitpicking; I should try to enjoy more, though I'm not saying that it wasn't really fun. It was an exercise and fulfilling to say the least.

But what the crap. Ok. So here goes.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Doom, as we know it.

Are we really opening up the portal towards the end of all times? Or are we in yet another threshold of scientific revolution, one that could redefine the big bang theory and trace the history of the universe? The day before the 7th year of the 9/11 attacks, the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest atom smasher which costs billions and billions of dollars, was tested, by firing a beam of protons underneath the earth's surface.
The beams will gradually be filled with more protons and fired at near the speed of light in opposite directions around the tunnel, making 11,000 circuits a second. They will travel down the middle of two tubes about the width of fire hoses, speeding through a vacuum that is colder than outer space. At four points in the tunnel, the scientist will use giant magnets to cross the beams and cause protons to collide. The collider's two largest detectors — essentially huge digital cameras weighing thousands of tons — are capable of taking millions of snapshots a second.
Scientists and physicists, both those whose 20-year effort saw the culmination during the first test and other well-wishers, rejoiced in champagne and pajama parties. But another group of people compose of physicists, sociologists, and philosophers identified what maybe possible threats to humanity: "massive asteroid collisions, gamma ray bursts from supernovas that could sterilize the planet, man-made nanobots that could replicate and consume the earth's surface, and out-of-control artificial intelligence".

Though experts say dangers are "vanishingly small", are we ready to take on these, what maybe far-fetched threats? I sucked at high school physics so just by imagining the LHC and how it works, I'm already at a loss.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Last El Bimbo

The Eraserheads' 2-disc Anthology album is playing on my PC right now. Me and about 3 of my colleagues are having an Eheads nostalgia trip. At least this is what those who cannot come to Taguig and be in one with the thousands of hopeful fans can do.

Whenever I hear an Eheads song, it transports me to that day in high school where I stupidly sold to my classmate the Circus and Cutterpillow cassette albums, which by now are worthy collectors’ items. Not that cassette albums are extinct in this Ipod age, but golly, for a kid who grew up in an Eheads generation, those are just definitive.

Ang Huling El Bimbo - Eraserheads

Anyway, now that I’m into it, Ang Huling El Bimbo is my ultimate Eheads song. Not because I used to play it on the piano/organ when I was I guess grade 3 or 4, but even listening to it now, I could almost cry at the sheer genius of it, especially when the guitar starts to bellow and you can feel the miserable end of the girl who looks like Paraluman, the playfulness of fate. It’s almost cinematic. Alapaap, Minsan, Superproxy and Huwag mo nang Itanong would be next in line.

I lost track of the last two albums and the last memorable song for me was Julie Tearjerky, which I really really like and which explains my Facebook status.

You know when you’re really an Eheads kid because you don’t just regard them as one of the most influential Pinoy bands, or that their erstwhile chemistry as a band defined the good ole Filipino camaraderie, or that the songs transcend class and age. The magic is just there; in the pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa of Alapaap, in the do-ro-do-do-do-ro-do-do of Torpedo, in hoo-woo-hoo-woo-hoo-hoo-hoo of Magasin.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Reeks of...

...the ole, unscrupulous smell of jueteng payola. Screw us once, shame on you. Screw us twice, shame on you again. Will we be seeing Cesar Montano as MTRCB chair or what-have-you? Jeez.
photo credit: PCIJ

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

PoliticOlympics

What is interesting about the Olympics is that it is never just about the sports. Take for example, the Georgia-Russia beach volleyball match (I think the former won with Russia saying the Georgian players were actually Brazilians) while tension is still felt in their respective countries (I've read somewhere there were other sports the two batted each other out). Well, of course it is about the Olympics naturally, the biggest, grandest sports gathering of world-class athletes coming together in unity and solidarity through sports, but it's not without any political appetizers. In fact, Olympics is actually about the politics of that host nation.

And it's more resounding now because China is this year's host. And leave they will not with any political statement. Boy did it end blazingly glorious too. The opening reportedly costs a whopping $100M (jeez, imagine what it can do to offset the poverty incidence in the country). Both opening and closing ceremonies are powerful manifestations of what China is and will be willing to do. Aside from the Chinese evolution evoked in such grandiose fashion, the firework frenzy smartly reflects the Chinese culture itself. The visual grandeur of the Olympics has shown us not only the spectacle but the country's economic prowess; the strength of the 600++-strong delegation mirroring the Chinese's mounting political strength. And yes, they championed over The Superpower.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Basket case

Perhaps, that's why we hate them (well at least for NBA haters) so much. Because they are actually good. Unfortunately, their bravado exceeds a hundred times than their court prowess. Ok, so they beat Spain, basketball world champs. So they were redeemed from the 2004 Athens loss. But is this victory actually a bacon brought about by the sincerest aspirations to excel in the sport? To show to the entire world, that even without drafts it can actually prove its worth?

American basketball is one big slam-dunkin' marketing strategy, stupid.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Musharaff parallelisms, etc.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharaff resigned recently due to mounting political pressures and a resounding call for his ouster particularly from the rival party.

Musharaff resigned instead of facing Pakistan’s first-ever impeachment, but with a last defiant outburst of bravado.

"They want to impeach me now. Why do they want to do it?" a downcast Musharraf said in a televised address in which he denied any wrongdoing. "Do they want to cover their failure?"

...while few doubted he wanted a stable, religiously moderate Pakistan, his commitment to democracy was shaky. His popularity plummeted in 2007, when he declared a state of emergency and sacked independent-minded Supreme Court judges who could have barred his re-election.
He also became famous for “dragging” his nation into the US’s war on terror.
...the former military commando's decision to side with Washington after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks earned Western plaudits and an injection of much-needed aid that helped rescue Pakistan from bankruptcy and the status of an international pariah.
Matthew Pennington of Associated Press sums up Musharaff's 9 years in power.

The U.S. however is constantly doubtful of Musharaff's stance, with Pakistan's increasing propensity for terrorist coddling as political experts perceive Pakistan would be the next Al Qaeda stronghold. While political and public opinion have been increasingly unenthusiastic over the war, er, foreign policy on Iraq, US intervention would still likely to protract in the Middle East particularly in Afghanistan and Pakistan, though Iran may still be on on the sidelines.

Iran who has caught the US, er, the world's ire with its nuclear policies (mind you, the laboratories are terrifyingly amazing). Very funny and interesting though is that, Iran, whose President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is my current favorite president name, imported around $12 million worth of bull semen. What are they gonna use it for, hmmm? Jeez.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Glory

Despite the several ruckuses over the supposed fake, CG-ed fireworks during the opening, under-aged Chinese girls competing in the artistic gymnastics and even the shameless lip-synching, the games were fairly enjoyable and nothing quite short of remarkable. (I am enraged over the supposed lip-synching. The little girl who owned the voice was not only robbed of a worthy opportunity but she became a victim of a people beleaguered by an inferiority complex, a crush-US sentiment.)

I watched Wall-E during its opening night here last Wednesday so I stayed home over the weekends and yesterday (except Saturday evening) watching the games.

And gosh, did I already say that Phelps was a swimming god, god! He bagged his 8th gold medal during the 4x100 relay during the last day at the Olympic pool, making him the greatest Olympian by far, outshining Mark Spitz, the Olympic swimmer who reaped 7 gold medals in one Olympic Games in 1972. Though the last round was a dead giveaway, Australia almost stole that coveted medal by a margin. Phelps did really great on the butterfly round, his specialty actually. And gosh, did he cry when that Special Citation was given to him. Meanwhile, an unknown Tunisian with a the first name of the Al Qaeda leader, Oussama Mallouli swam the Men 1500 m grabbing the gold from previous title holder Grant Hackett of Australia.

In one of the most enjoyable bouts over the weekend, Rafael Nadal, with his trademark facial contortion when he serves, once again proved he’s the best in the world. Nadal, in three straight rounds, beat Federico Gonzales of Chile who struggled every set and round over the Spanish who was the favourite to win the gold. Elena Dementieva, who remained composed throughout the match, won for Russia the gold in the women singles division over fellow Russian Dinara Safina. Another Russian, Zvonareva bagged the bronze.

As a kid, I have always been amazed of the Olympics. I used to browse through a collection of Olympics encyclopaedia we used to own as an added treat to the voluminous Colliers which was pawned ages ago. The Olympics series was tattered, forgotten, lost.

Track and Field was one interesting category for me for instance not only because of the excitement on who’s going to be the recent fastest man/woman on the planet, it also offers an array of sports, some of them date back to ancient Athens like the discus throw. This year, the steeplechase category was added which is quite similar to the hurdles except that all athletes are required to jump over a long, single hurdle plus some water obstacles.

I think T&F is officially named now as athletics and boy are the Jamaicans on fire! Fastest man and woman on the planet are courtesy of them Usain Bolt (a very apt name indeed) now holds the world record of 9.69 seconds. Ethiopia, a famished country in Africa has gold and silver to the Men 1500 m. A relatively unknown country Cameroon also has gold in athletics.

The winning athletes are ecstatic during the victory ceremonies, some teary-eyed while their national anthems are being played, donning their precious medals and clutching their simple bouquets, waving to their fans and posing for the cameras. Glorious moments.

Meanwhile in the Philippines, Mindanao is confronted with beleaguered MILF troops who wreaked havoc over the past days on some areas leaving a number of civilians dead and hundreds of evacuees. Caught on tape is the President, furious at the unpreparedness of her staff on an abrupt press briefing. Despite some supposed teleprompter mishaps, she managed to say that amidst the atrocities, “we’re all in this together” in the quest for peace. The whole country now beholds.

Photos thru the 2008 Beijing Olympics site courtesy of: (1) Cameron Spencer/Getty Images; (2) Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/Getty Images; (3) Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gold

Last Sunday I almost tripped the hot soup I was transferring onto a bowl while watching the Argentina-Australia football (soccer) match. I think I must have shouted too. You can feel the anguish and anxiety in the Argentines’ kicks and butts and after 77 minutes of nil Argentina scored their single goal.

I remembered watching the World Cup with Italy-France battling in 2006 in a European owned bar in the city where my former German friend and colleague Peter treated me to endless booze. The crowd was roaring and the intensity of the game was just hot. Even though the Arg-Aus game was not even finals yet the intensity was just there. Hey, it’s the Olympics for Chrissakes.

After watching a grueling performance the other night, where I gaped in awe at the immense weight these women have to endure, I have now a strong sense of respect for the women weightlifters. Chen Yanqing of China is unbelievable. Unlike the Korean who looks almost like a man and who seems like she’s going to deliver a baby any minute, the Chinese’s composure was truly admirable. Even when she’s shouting and doing the final lift, it’s as if she’s walking the runway.

Michael Phelps is an unstoppable swimming god. To date, he is now the person in Olympic history who’s got most gold medals, and I surmise in any sporting event. Uh, he’s only 23, right?

The U.S. Dream Team is doing their basketball rampage. But after crushing Yao and China, they were given a run for their money with the match with Angola. I would like to see Argentina crush these bastards once again like they did in Athens. But the team looks formidable with the LeBron-Kobe tour-de-force.

Georgia, who’s being bombed by Russia now, is in 10th place, and a relatively unknown country called Azerbaijan is in the 14th overall rank. So are other –tan countries like Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan who also have their medals to boot. China has the most number of gold medals, with 17 but US has the most number of medals.

The Filipino athletes who competed already failed to clinch a medal. Hidilyn Diaz, the 17 year old Filipina weightlifter is promising though.

Meanwhile, in the Philippines, the entire nation will behold the oral arguments on the MOA on Ancestral Domain tomorrow.

Photo credit: Beijing 2008 website

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