Thursday, December 23, 2010

Screw this.

It's 7:52. Plans of going home=nil. The whirr of the aircon. Alone again in a two-room office. The hard rain that just died down. Noises from vehicles. The semi-bitter after taste of orange juice. Christmas lights from the department store up front visible from the slits of the window sills. Picture frames in front of me that should convey meaning, but don't. The music player that stopped playing my self-professed favorite person of the year. I want to shrink or implode and let the universe just forget about me. Dammit. Fuck this spontaneity. Fucking overrated.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hell hath no fury like a geek scorned.

Jay | is finding it hard to find a decent copy (Torrent) of The Social Network online. (3 days ago)

Jay | saw The Social Network on his favorite bootleg haven! Jesse Eisenberg, with a precocious-looking smirk, dons the poorly laid-out cover with pictures of the cast during of the gala premiere which is totally unrelated to the film. (18 hours ago via Mobile Web)

View all 4 comments
Rey | Jay, I saw it already. The pirated copy has been around for days!
Jay | You should have texted me.
John | I saw it na. Naka-download ako. Pero halata sa sinehan kinunan. It’s so talkish. I don’t like it. So boring
(Write comment here)

Jay | is slurping ice float at McDonalds and seeing from afar a poster of The Social Network in the Coming Soon portion of the cinema. Can’t wait to get home! (16 hours ago via Mobile Web)

Jay | is watching The Social Network now. (hyperlink) The Social Network HQ trailer (10 hours ago)

Jay | just finished watching The Social Network and feels like it’s still growing in him. (8 hours ago)

Jay | “Hell hath no fury like a geek scorned.” Haha. (an hour ago)

Jay | is fighting the impulse to talk, in feverish jolts, like Jesse Eisenberg.
Rey Perandos likes this.
Jay | I guess that’s the way he really speaks. I liked Jesse way back The Squid and the Whale. And his precocious way of talking really works astoundingly in this film. It’s like don’t talk to me if you aren’t able to catch up.

Recent Activity
Jay likes Jesse Eisenberg (actor).
Jay likes Andrew Garfield (actor).
Jay changed his Profile Picture.

Jay | “You’re not an asshole Mark. You’re just trying so hard to be one.” ~ The Social Network. It’s kind of funny, that no matter how Mark maybe trying so hard to be an asshole, or an asshole, if you’re on Eduardo Saverin’s side, that you don’t entirely loathe him. Somehow, you still root for this guy. It’s like, if you hate him, you hate yourself too. (35 minutes ago)

Rey Perandos, Ever Abasolo and 2 others like this.

Jay| “Sorry! My Prada’s in the cleaners, along with my hoodie and my fuck-you flip flops, you pretentious duschebag! …You better lawyer-up asshole, ‘coz I’m not coming back for 30 percent. I’m coming back for everything.” ~ The Social Network. Love this line. But the reaction shots shifts confusingly from Justin to Jesse that it looks as if the “duschebag” was intended for Mark. Eduardo is Brazilian, but Andrew’s version has no trace of the accent. (30 minutes ago)

Rey | Jay, Saverin is a Harvard student.
Jay | Ganun ba yun? You know, Eduardo is tanga. He’s an Economics major, and he got busted out because of a very obvious legal lack.
Rey| He believed that he was facing their (including Mark’s) lawyers.

Jay | “You’re going to be successful and rich. But you’re going to go through life thinking that girls don’t like you because you’re a tech geek. I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that won’t be true: It’ll be because you’re an asshole.” ~ The Social Network (20 minutes ago)

Ever Abasolo, Rey Perandos and 2 others like this.
View all comments
Rey | Jay, we only see Rooney Mara’s character twice, but it’s really a pivotal character. She basically started it all! Mark shouldn’t have messed with her name. You know, Albright to Albrecht and then call her a bitch.
Jay | I think what really pissed her off is when she referred to her bra size. “She’s a 34 B. As in barely anything there.”
Rey | Hahahaha
Ever | Hehehe. The best talaga si David Fincher.
Jay | @Rey. But really, Erica is important because she embodies what Mark cannot get and will not get, his failure to connect. Ironic, noh? You are like this bazillionaire inventor of a technological revolution that supposedly connects people, but you fail at this basic human relationship tremendously. Btw, Trent Reznor really does an awesome job with the music. (1 person likes this)
@Ever: I think Fincher has put his stamp on it, his attention to details, etc. But he worked on a very brilliant script by Aaron Sorkin. It plays out like a Greek tragedy even.

Jay | Review of The Social Network (2010)
“In the last scene of The Social Network, Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg is refreshing the page of the “girl who got away” every 5 seconds or so to check if she has responded to his “friend request”. It’s an indelible scene, not because it encapsulates what the film is trying to say about his character (creator meets creation), but because we saw ourselves in Mark, endlessly glued to the monitor and trying so hard to “make friends” with everybody, trying to connect the threads of relationships that were never there in the first place. The Social Network is terrific entertainment. You think you wouldn’t get more than technogeek-speak out of these Harvard-bred wisecracks, but the story (never mind if its fact-based or not) speaks to a plenty of contemporary social realities than say your current FB shoutout or relationship status.
See more…
5 minutes go via LivingSocial: Movies | Comment | Like | Rate and Review

Recent activity
Jay likes The Social Network.

Jay | is watching The Social Network for the second time tonight. (a few moments ago)

This is a repost from here. I won a shirt, so sue me. Haha

Sunday, October 24, 2010

No surprises

When I realized that I left my laptop charger on top of a table inside a municipal gym somewhere in Davao del Sur, it was already too late. Or maybe not really that late; the vehicle could turn back, amidst the drizzle, and allow myself to realize once more how disoriented I am. I should be alarmed. I know a charger costs that much enough for me to surrender one more time my desire to buy a new pair rubber shoes, a pair that has eluded me for more than a year now, hell, like forever. How destitute, yes. But I wasn’t alarmed. And I am even more alarmed that I wasn’t surprised I wasn’t alarmed at all, enough to just shrug it off and tell my companion if she can just check with the people there tomorrow if they’ve seen the stupid charger. I checked at a computer store and found out that a universal laptop charger costs 2,700. The Adidas shoes I’ve been eyeing since 1939 costs 2,995. So there, goodbye Adidas. Waking up the next day, my sister pointed out that the stupid charger is sitting comfortably atop the DVD player, one of the most reliable, cheap things I’ve bought. In my mind - Oh - and I wasn’t surprised at all. My usual self would have attributed it to some craptastic supernatural shit. But I took it and put it in the bag as if it was some lost pen I’ve stopped searching and caring for.

I didn’t event surprise myself smoking a joint, something I haven’t done in, what, like an eternity? I had three joints (not marijuana, as the am-slang would usually put it) for the past two weeks and don’t plan to go back at lighting one, but lately I saw what used to be my favorite brand and felt an inexplicable itch. It’s as if the joint and my lips are meant to make some forbidden kind of love. It’s obscene I know, but again, didn’t bother myself at all. Is this from reading too much Ellis? Obviously not because the characters in an Ellis book are either usually drugged out, boozed out of fucked up. I am not some Clay Easton or Victor Ward (Glamorama I am reading now; Less Than Zero I just finished), and don’t aspire to be, but the disaffection kind of transcends from the pages of the book to my own version of fucked-up reality. A few days back, or maybe a week ago, I caught myself staring blankly at the wooden stairs. Or maybe I didn’t really catch myself at all. The distance between the steps, the spaces between the cacophonies of neighborhood sounds, are solar systems, eternities away. You know, it’s really kind of dangerous. The plunge into those unknown eternities can pull you into oblivion that you need to have some kind of earthly force to pull you back. It’s like spacing out from too much dope only ten times scarier, I think, though I haven’t really spaced out because of dope, though, for the nth time, I think it wouldn’t even surprise me at all.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The kids are alright.

Sometimes, I really think my eight-year old half-brother has this split personality. When his temper flies off, he becomes this uncontrollable dynamo of rage, sometimes spitting, wishing us dead, wishing he was never born, or that he was not born having us as elders. He says this with eyes that pierce like Damien the satanic child from the Omen series. I don’t know where he gets this stuff; I hope he doesn’t comprehend just how big and hurtful those words are. Just this afternoon, we had a nasty bout which turned me into the usual monster he thinks I am when I get angry. I spat the curse, which I always, always regret. I didn’t were coming off my eyes, it was just a useless moment of pouring out, a recital of an uncalled for litany of personal hurts for an unintended, inappropriate young and unmindful audience.

As do kids of their age, they get annoying and brutish. His brother, only one year older than he is, is also not an exception. They get into unapologetic fights that really wear me out. They are lovable kids. In fact, they are reasons why I still wanted to stay with my incapable father and stepmother-I want to make sure that at least they do good, even though influence from other gala kids outside and the miserable upbringing is hard to shake off. I love these kids even when they really push the button off me they think I’m just a useless kuya, who sometimes won’t give in to their little whims that I think are just too much for their age. I want to teach them prudence, good manners, which I think we three siblings have always had despite the consequences that would have made us do otherwise. I want to stress to them that we are poor, and that I’m just a struggling nobody wanting to prove something out of the misery of life, and that they should be thankful they have food to eat and that they are able to go to school, in uniforms and all, even though it’s just a public school that never really cared how much they learn, or if ever they learn at all. But then I realize, was I made to comprehend all these realities when I was their age?

I never had a kuya, and even up to now I still wonder what it must feel like having someone to be always at your rescue, rather than the one always being depended upon. It seems like childhood was light-years away. Maybe this is why I get so grumpy at their ADHD-ish behavior. For I cannot remember the time when I bullied other kids. I can’t remember the time that getting into trouble is always no big deal as getting an earful from mama or the proverbial belt-slap from my father. I and my 21-year old brother never really had a genuine bond with him after mama died ten years ago. Perhaps the falling away took some of the familial intimacy or tenderness. Not concern, because I always have been, on their welfare. Now sleeping, with teeth that have been unkempt, bodies frail and thin but surprisingly agile, especially when it comes to play, I feel sorry for being such an ass. How am I to rear kids their age? When not in their usual boxing bouts, the kids are sweet, just hard-headed. Which I think, I often am.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Must be the clouds in my eyes.

It was as if Elton John was breathing in my neck last week, like a devilish whisper the automatically sets your mind into some kind of trance. Daniel is leaving tonight on a plane/I can see the red tail lights heading for Spain. Oh now, I know where this is headed – Spain. You know, like a vamos por todos, etc. No, but honestly, you know those times that a song is just so stuck in your head it feels like the notes have been imprinted in your cranium? It’s not even a last song syndrome (LSS) but a last-sung syndrome. As I can remember, the last Elton John I heard before I was suddenly humming Daniel in a soundless jeep, was Your Song, the proverbial piece of my officemate who incessantly thinks he is Ewan McGregor looking for Sabine, while singing it in the videoke. But really, you know when it hounds you and follows you like dirt in your sweaty skin. As if I’m gonna get through with it already, when I traveled this week to an adjacent city, the oldies guitarist in one of the rooftop grills we ate at suddenly belch an oh-so familiar tune. God it looks like Daniel/Must be the clouds in my eyes. I dunno, I’m not really leaving for Spain right now, nor even flying on an airplane. Oh I know, I have to add this to my videoke repertoire next session. I think I may be getting it now. It’s really hits me probably on the leaving part. I’m like on a letting-go-moving-on mode right now. And waka waka couldn’t be any more timing. I think with the WC coinciding, things are looking good in the near future, not that I equate soccer with anything going on right now but maybe there is. Must be the clouds in my eyes.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Okay, fine.

It’s still a little tough to think about it, and I dunno why I give a fuck anyway because I stopped giving a damn about this game, since like, high school, or probably the time when it really did hurt, the time I accidentally made my left arm a support stick when I tripped which left a bony protrusion in my wrist up to this day, or the fact that I stopped giving a damn about boring PBA games which I religiously followed, or that I haven’t really given a damn about NBA in the first place because I think it should be named Global BA or African-American BA, but damn, that loss hurt. It hurt because they were so close. It’s tough to think because though (from my point of view) the greens were relatively ahead in most of the three quarters, the opponent was just an inch away from them. 83-79. It's a kind of loss that makes me think of these stupid conspiracy theories, eherm, ticket sales, eherm, usual b-ball entertainment. With the last two points from freethrows from someone who hasn’t really been on the floor for like five times throughout the finals, but is reportedly good at freethrows, plus he’s Slovenian. The Celtics really played a good game, it was a good game for them overall. Even though the boorish Lakers fans overpowering the Staples Center (homecourt advantage) refuse to acknowledge. Teamwork was there, and Rondo was smoking, that orchestrator. It was just bad with the fouls, especially during the last quarter. While dominating the first half, I had it in me that sense of doom. It’s like, oh my god, there will be this abrupt decline, the opponent is gonna have their revenge after being pummeled with shots and great defense. And it did happen in 4Q. I’ve always rooted for the underdog, well not really, in this case. The Celtics still hold the most number of championships, but with the Kobe team clinching this one, it’s now 17-16. Maybe because I’ve never really liked the Kobe team, and I feel like I’ve had enough fucking overblown superstar hype with KB. That Magic Johnson relinquishing the greatest player title must have blown Kobe’s liver, I bet. MVP, though given the Game 7’s picture, not at all. They should’ve handed it to Gasol, but no, the overblown superstar will have his fifth. I dunno but its like a play/act, you know. Overblown superstar not really getting into his game in the first half, being walled up by these Celtics guys and all (Scalabrine looks freakishly like Glen Hansard), missing his shots, then suddenly, perhaps the Magic of Johnson, in a crucial jumper he regained his might, rebounding like crazy, clinching his freethrows and there you have it, hero saves the day, and has his moment standing on one side of the court chairs wailing his hands having his James Cameron moment. Oh gosh, there, I think I’ve said my piece and I congratulate the Lakers fans, and Phil Jackson, what a tremendous man. Kobe, someday I'm gonna love you man, but I hate, hate, hate you now. It’s still a little tough, but I’ve moving on to catch the World Cup fever. Go Argentine!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Two Months.

Sometimes we feel the need to take note the absence, the loss. It comes all so sudden, the urgency to fill the gaps, as if it bridges the then and now by the inconsequential details that we pile up feverishly like stones and sand in the shore we know would crumble into unimportance amidst the roiling waves. But we do it anyway. We recall what has been, how it has been, but then realize again that there is nothing but loss – we lost all of it to time. But then, it also reveals ourselves, and we’d like to think we’ve triumphed somehow. But we know there will still be waves to brave, lapses to fill. And time, how pockets are sewn not to accommodate you like coins.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

a critical analysis of political ads for the 2010 elections.

My colleague said that such idiocy in our surroundings does not merit something as haikus. We had a laugh reciting this, I for one, think that this is my first haikus. Well, yeah, haikus maybe too divine for such idiocy that have refused to be pummeled by reluctant intelligence, but there goes the irony, right?

A lengthy piece would be such a total waste of time, so here goes:

These fucking retards

Shameless as they are shameful

Philippines is doomed.

Syempre, di ko palalampasin 'to. Our education has now depended on chipipay bon-bon shakers.

Sex-bomb girls, grind, grind.

Probe the circles, look for eggs

And shake your bon-bons.

To cap it all up, sabay-sabay: Shade, shade, AWWWW!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Oscar 2010 roundup

Last year, it was a couple of hours before I did my usual Oscar roundup. I dunno, it’s the usual cramming, gets me on my nerves. Jolt energy to my fingers. And apparently, I seem to still give a shit about this prognostication. Anyway, let’s get this done and over with. The 2010 Oscars offers a huge format change. The Academy will choose a Best Picture from 10 nominees, something that has not been done since the 30s or 40s. We have to expect something new each year, which began last year, all in the name of ratings. People don’t gather around their boob tubes to watch stupid award shows anymore unless they see someone or something familiar. Everybody’s a sucker for Brangelina. It’s what ups the ratings.

Coming up with 10 seems to make matters complicated and difficult for the AMPAS, but with this year’s race, it actually isn’t. Make it 20, it wouldn’t matter too, because it’s always been the pimpin’. Let’s start with the three likelihoods. I threw in Inglorious Basterds for the big smackdown between Avatar and The Hurt Locker, because it has its precursor, namely the SAG. There are a lot of actors in the Academy, and the Basterds won ensemble. That’s still a lot to consider. Numerically though, it’s The Hurt Locker’s to lose, gunning down, PGA, DGA and the rest of the major precursors. Avatar, well, because it’s the biggest in whatever. Talk about grandiosity, Mr. Cameron. The Globes also gave it a boost. You have hubby and ex-wife battling it out for director. So that’s a big marketing pitch already. I would like to give it to Tarantino, deservedly so, but I wouldn’t hurt if its Kathryn Bigelow. Shaming the opposite in a male-dominated genre is big enough a feat. Plus The Hurt Locker is really intense. Wonderfully lensed and acted as well, so you’ve got Jeremy Renner there. Saw it early last year so I didn’t wonder.

I still wish it would be Carey. For toppling Emma Thompson in that unforgettable scene, I’d give it to her. But it looks like Sandra written all over. Meryl should not have been nominated to save her from this horrendous crime, should Sandra win. Sandra definitely has the ace. She made history by becoming the only actress to really score big at the box office. That could clinch the gold. It’s not even the acting, she was much better in Crash.

It’s also Jeff’s to lose. It would really hurt if it’s given to say Colin Firth who does some really fine acting from among the crop this year. But Jeff in Crazy Heart is so strong, such an affecting performance, which I saw only yesterday and glad that I did. Chrissakes, let’s give it to the dude.

The supports are pretty much cut out to Mo’Nique and Christoph Waltz. Man, I can’t get over that amusing Nazi, and that opening scene, and the “bingo” scene, and every scene he inhabits. And I was terrified by Mo’Nique’s perferformance, the last scene was way up the top of the league. The supports have been inclined much towards the villainous recently, with Javier Bardem the other year.

I’m really interested in seeing the foreign film noms, which are so inaccessibly hard in the “popular” market. I can’t make a prediction, but it looks intense, base on the trailers alone. The techs are pretty much The Hurt Locker’s or Avatar’s, having at least 9 noms. Up in the Air, which was a frontrunner way back when, would I guess settle for an adapted, though I’d really, really want Nick Hornby’s adaptation of An Education to win. If Quentin’s not gonna go up for the Director nod, I’m sure he’ll be up there for the original screenplay. It better be or I’ll smash some Nazi heads, or carve them ala-Aldo Raine.

Friday, March 05, 2010

going for the cutesy.

Okay, like it or not, rigged or not (and I even have my reasons to back this one up), the fact is American Idol is here to stay, or at least it looks like it, proving and pulling once again its enormous strength in its eighth year, despite the Paula cut-down, which I’m sure a lot of the show’s fans actually liked, and the genesis of De Generes, and despite the earlier pronouncement of Simon walking out after this year.

I wasn’t really sure what they’re gunning at especially when the contestants sucked during the Top 24 perfs. I mean, they should know better right? But it didn’t take long, and I realized what it’s all about enough for me to even spot two potential idol winners. Of course that’ll change when they’re 12 or 10. I didn’t notice David Cook until the Billie Jean rendition, and Kris Allen in his version of Ain’t No Sunshine. These songs were performed 9 weeks before the finale, and that’s when I called them, without any ambivalence. Prognosticator? I don’t know. I’ve only watched the show since Cook’s time.

Voice and talent notwithstanding, because you have to have it of course, AI is trying to be all the more current, which explains the seemingly lax and uninteresting/interesting personas. The voice definitely will not play the biggest selling point here; personality, charm and uniqueness will. Having said that, for the guys: Lee Dewyze, Alex Lambert, then Andrew Garcia; girls: Lily Scott, Siobhan Magnus, then Crystal Bowersox, Katelyn Epperly. Your top 7? Beats me.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

the art of ineptness

Over the usual bland Chinese food we always can’t seem to get rid of, a colleague and I were deriding certain people worth deriding. I said to him that it is not really my habit to badmouth people, being the Confucian that I am, adhering to that principle of the good-natured-ness of man with utmost fervor. What I can lay claim to though in the past couple of years as a working, toiling individual is the certainty of the said people’s existence and the apparent reasons why they are worth picking on. It’s not even just picking on, because that connotes bully-ism which I am definitely not. And picking on also connotes that the said people are innocent with no muck in the eye. Because they certainly have a lot of it. I did not imagine that I’d be breathing with the said people until about two or more years ago. Lousy motherfuckers. Such idiocy. Such retardation that shames the actual retards. Such callousness. Such corruption of moral fiber. Unbelievable ridiculousness and self-righteousness. Organized ineptness and absurdity. Gosh, why not summon such descriptions and fake the discomfiture? In the midst of all this mediocrity though, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that I am able to feel jitters when I come to think of the day I’ll imbibe such systemic idiocy.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

that Coen moment.

When I think about it now, I'm scared to think of it as ominous --- me staring at the blank switched-off screen of our puny TV set. I can see myself reflected in the tube but I can't see my face. It's like that scene from the Coen brothers' No Country for Old Men. After taking a gulp of a cold milk bottle, the character of Tommy Lee Jones, a sheriff out on a tricky pursuit of a deranged killer, sits down in the sofa and stares at a blank TV screen. It plays out perfectly now in my mind. It evokes dread. There it is. Dread is more like it. I feel dreadful today. I turned off the TV long enough after an AI rerun on a local channel, but I just sat there in a monobloc chair that could be falling off any minute nonplussed at the many minutes that passed. I was kind of in a blank state. Before AI, Glee was on a rampage. I put it on the cheap bootlegged DVD player hoping to bring a jovial spirit to an already ruined day. I had a fight with father, perhaps one of the nastiest fight, because I spewed forth English words that would make our neighbors squirm with disgust, in case they heard it. Oh it wasn’t at all expletives, but they were sure to hurt. Well I was hurt. So it would make sense that the words that would come out of my mouth would be hurtful. It’s inappropriate not just because the familial norm requires that no parent gets a verbal lashing from his offspring, but also because it’s inappropriate for me to speak in a different language when our socio-economic status does not require us to do so. It’s just not right. Even if I went to college, graduated and have work which gave me a language advantage and that I find myself able to express my disgust and hurt in words I deemed fit, it’s not right. It would put people off. Cutting the drift off that may probably lead to morbid thoughts of pulling out an Anton Chigurh magnum and blowing my brains off, I looked up and saw a cross-stitched image of Jesus. Below it was a prayer frame that like me, like our fragmented familial relationships, withstood the many movings-on and stayed; it managed to stay, like a reminder. I knew it was the wisdom prayer, in which you ask God to grant you wisdom, discernment and serenity upon things you cannot change or control. I should know; I always seem to catch myself muttering the prayer nowadays. I knew that prayer frame, though I can’t see the words as clearly as when I had 20/20 vision. But no amount or delusional fits of musical fantasy from a gayish TV show I find to be wholesomely and amusingly escapist would abate the feeling of dread. I regretted it of course; and everything has been said. But I’m a good son. And they just don’t find it in their hearts to know it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Field of dreams

A day before the birthday, I dropped by Powerbooks-Robinson’s Place hoping to finally find Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland—a long wait. With the hassles (as always) of having to be in Manila for work, it was in itself a big treat. I voraciously read through my idle time at night, at the airport and inside the plane. I haven’t written an entry about a book I’ve read for so long a time, I can’t even remember what it was, but I just have to now.

It is understandable why O’Neill’s ingenuous and unique ode to New York “echoes” the great F. Scott Fitzgerald novel The Great Gatsby: it’s a modern retelling of the American Dream; here shared and narrated exquisitely in the lives of non-Americans Dutch Hans van den Broeck and Trinidadian Chuck Ramkissoon, their convergence revolving on the non-American sport of cricket. Yet, Americans would very much find their own places here in the not-so familiar nooks of New York. It is beautifully written, as evidenced by Hans’s retrospections and introspections full of imaginative vividness, nuanced by a great sense of longing and melancholy, yet also brimming with so much life. O’Neill writes beautiful passages that mirror layers of meanings-the wearing down of geo-cultural barriers, the empty field of dreams which we all are eager to fill with our own grandiose ones, the perpetual restiveness of man, and also, ultimately, love.

"I felt above all, tired. Tiredness: if there ws a constant symptom of the disease in our lives at this time, it was tiredness....A banal state of affairs, yes-but our problems were banal, the stuff of women's magazines. All lives, I remember thinking, eventually funnel into the advice columns of women's magazines."

"But surely everyone can also testify to another, less reckonable kind of homesickness, one having to do with unsettlements that cannot be located in spaces of geography or history; and accordingly it's my belief that the communal, contractual phenomenon of New York cricket is underwritten, there where the print is finest, by the same agglomeration of unspeakable individual longings that underwrites cricket played anywhere--longings concerned with horizons and potentials sighted or hallucinated and in any event lost long ago, tantalisms that touch on the undoing of losses too private and reprehensible to be acknowledged to oneself, let alone to others. I cannot be the first to wonder if what we see, when we see men in white take to a cricket field, is men imagining an environment of justice. "

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Just like the Oscars (which has just announced its nominees today), the Grammy’s list is always an attempt to balance artistry and entertainment, though for the Oscars’ sake, it has been towards the latter in recent years. People tend to get bored of course if they don’t know the faces—the music, the films—that are appearing on screen. (The last year reminiscent of a semblance of true artistic independence in Oscar I think in my opinion was the year of The English Patient and Fargo.)

This year’s Grammy featured high-wire pop stars like Beyonce, Lady Gaga, The Black Eyed Peas and Taylor Swift, all performed and were big winners, (except I think for the Peas?). Beyonce excerpted Alanis Morissette’s You Oughta Know and did some head-banging herself. I did not see Gaga perform but the headdress was defining—I would’ve wanted her to win Album of the Year. The choices anyway were uninteresting (so with the other categories, except maybe for New Artist with MGMT and Zac Brown Band appearing) and that headdress flapping around while she receives the award would be a sight. There was a tribute to MJ ala 3D (done by Usher, Celine Dion, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Smokey Robinson), the artists look silly enough as the camera glide through them wearing these 3D glasses. What made my night though was Kings of Leon’s win over the supposed pop giants. The best speech of the night, too. “We’re drunk, but we’re happy drunks.” But who stole the show? Pink. You need to see it to believe the hype.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Film: 2008

Due to consistent 'public' demand, here is my 2008 favorite films list. I added in honorable mentions because I can't help it.

Revolutionary Road dir. by Sam Mendes
Entre Les Murs (The Class) dir. by Laurent Cantet
Rachel Getting Married dir. by Jonathan Demme
The Dark Knight dir by. Christopher Nolan
Encounters at the End of the World dir. by Werner Herzog
Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In) dir. by Thomas Alfredson
Happy-go-lucky dir. by Mike Leigh
The Visitor dir. by Tom McCarthy
The Wrestler dir. Darren Aronofsky
In Bruges dir. by Martin McDonagh

Honorable mentions: Hunger dir. by Steven McQueen, Frozen River dir. by Courtney Hunt, Wendy and Lucy dir. Kelly Reichardt, Funny Games dir. Michael Haneke, Che dir. by Steven Soderbergh, Synecdoche New York dir. by Charlie Kaufman, Valkyrie dir. by Brian Singer, and Stop-Loss dir. by Kimberly Pierce. This is my 2007 list.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Dusk of another (b)day.

This plane should have taken you to Paris, dimwit. Or Amsterdam, or Munich, or Vienna. No, make it Bruges. Instead, as usual, this took you to hell and back. Where's the beer, loser?

::: A day before my birthday, I was still in polluted Manila but on the way to the airport going back to Davao. As usual, I can’t wait to go home, though when I learned of this official trip a week and some days ago, I contemplated on staying there for the birthday and probably watch The Killers’ concert. The Killers, gosh! Even if I was able to save up, nobody would really accompany me. Besides it’s just plain weird, and stupid to go alone. Imagine a stampede; nobody would really give a shit about my sorry ass.

Finishing the inevitable airport niceties, which I absolutely loathe, I scoured a not-so-comfy seat, picked out Netherland, and read away, occasionally pausing, and looking around. It’s funny how we hate the airport; its clinical methodology and bland faces of strangers, but then the lulls provide enough impetus to drift us into reveries and introspection (I always have this funny story to tell though). It’s probably just me, I don’t know. Some people don’t really give a shit about these sissy things. They go about the perfunctory procedure; they sit, probably buy a food or reading material, and wait for the booming voice announcing the boarding. They enter the tube and sleep, lucid dreams filling up idle time, towards their destinations.

It doesn’t matter if I travel with my colleagues or traveling alone, being at airports give me the same feeling of inexplicable wretchedness, detachment and sometimes, foreboding—which is associated with this paranoia of being up in the air. (During my first flight ever, I clung to the seat like hell, heart pounding, as the plane took off, and silently freaked out whenever the plane shook.) I know my judgment is somewhat unqualified given that I’ve only gone to five or so airports, and perhaps a more comprehensive assessment is that coming from someone whose business requires a great amount of flying (which immediate calls to mind Ryan Bingham, the protagonist of Walter Kirn’s Up in the Air, now adapted by Jason Reitman). On second thought, I don’t really absolutely loathe airports, just the feeling in being one. The architecture can be a thing to marvel, but perhaps only until I see these pieces of architectural prowess.

Going through the first baggage check, I noticed someone familiar who was ahead of me. His balding head, which turned a little bit sideway, confirmed his identity. I knew he took notice of me first while I was towing my trolley on the side. I intend to call him out after the check but I realized he was with a bunch of people, one I recognized. They got their boarding passes in one lane, and mine one lane apart. I held back and try to justify what may appear my reluctant snootiness. I saw him again lugging out in Davao already. While finding my seat at the far back, I noticed a professor of accounting whom I knew when I was working as a student assistant in college. I immediately recalled the name; I realized the last time I met him was also at the airport. Throughout the flight, his named escaped me surprisingly, only to surface again after he politely asked if he can borrow the newspaper. I’m not sure if he remembered my name, but I’m sure I looked familiar to him. I managed a quick glance, but regained my reluctance again. I didn’t see him at the claim area.

This “detachment” perhaps is more related to the “procedures”, the obligatory feel to it renders us like products being manufactured and determined fit for “sending out”. It sucks the life out of us. It sends us into this mechanical state of indifference.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

and so it begins.

When does a decade really end? I was just wondering since everybody seems to be doing a decades-end list or it's in the media saying what a decade it was and all that crap. Supposing we start counting on 1 then the end of the decade would really be the end of 2010. But whatever right? It probably means everybody is hurrying up to finish the years. Hello, 2012 paranoia? But you have to agree with me that was quite a year. Summing it up, it was really tragic. Tragedy and death seems to have overshadowed triumph. But of course the networks would want us to move on or at least sell the idea of moving on. It's sort of corny to do that you know. You have these yearend news reports telling you that babangon ang Pilipino and all that crap. Because in the end, what else is there to really do but move on? I should say, wake up. Because we have been in this perennial stupor for quite some time now. Tsk, even hope is being sold out nowadays. We have to actually buy in to that idea of hope rather than us getting our asses of our beds, thinking humans that we are or to say the least, breathing living things that we are.

Facing the same pc on the same internet cafe when I wrote my yearend blog seems kinda weird. And now I'm writing a sort of opener to 2010. Not that it's actually necessary but I'm bored as hell and nursing this fantastic toothache that has been pissing me off for weeks, on and off. It's a different tooth now and while I was contemplating a removal this January, it would seem that I would lose a whole bunch of them. Jeez, I don't want that, but I swear I would have one of them removed at least this month. That seems to be a resolution of sorts. Well, count me as one of those who find it really corny as hell. I mean, who are we kidding, really? New year resolutions gave a whole new meaning to targets as goals that will end up unaccomplished in the end. Instead of promising to the high heavens you'll be good as a saint, which you probably won't, why not target something so practical like saving 1 peso a day. That seems corny as hell but not remotely possible, you would agree. Oh, I have tons of things I would promise myself too to do this year, like read more, slowly finish watching the DVDs I've bought that have been stored for ages, and yes, save. And one more thing, I will try to gamble a little, not the Las Vegas-type of course because obviously that would make me more destitute that what I am now and given that I don't really have the knack for it, but I would try my luck in certain legitimate means like playing the lotto and its relatives, which I realized are more than one chances of winning. Always prompt me into daydreaming, you know. Which I immediately cut off because as they say, it's bad to count the chicks before the eggs are hatched, or something like that. Oh, well.

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