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

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 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 via

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

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

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