The news I read from the recent Sunday editions of The Philippine Star have been so full of negative items that I’d wonder why I’m still addicted to buying it regularly. Maybe it has something to do with my obsession to write more that I made it already a habit to read, read, and read no matter how unpleasant the news is. And Sundays for me is the perfect time to do just that.
When I feel frustrated or depressed, however, by what I’m reading I immediately scan the newspaper for the comics section. Works all the time as once I’ve set my eyes on it I would spend time reading every strip and shut my mind away from the senseless current events. Sometimes I would even think that the comics section has more depth in it than what they put in the headlines. Ti abi.
Among the comics I’d always read is Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin’s role-playing games or daydreams always fascinate me. I think that his imagination, frustrations, and alibis appear to be the toddler equivalent of mine. I also like how he interacts with Hobbes who in his own world appears alive but in fact is only a tiger plush toy. (Isn’t that schizophrenia, by the way?)
My fascination with this creation by Bill Waterson sticks in my head like some subliminal Rock ‘n Roll message that allegedly dictates an act to its listeners. Proof of this came apparent when I passed by a book fair stall in our company. I was passing time and aimlessly looking at the books when I noticed a familiar cover that’s almost out of my periphery—a Calvin and Hobbes book. It’s a bit old but I got interested in it anyway. And just after a couple of minutes browsing its pages, I bought the book (There’s Treasure Everywhere) on impulse and went away smiling as if I just made a killing from an auction.
And so tonight, it looks like CSI: NY may have to step aside. And maybe I’d try reading the book with Hobbes.
Well, since I’m now talking about the Philippine Star’s recent irritating con- ten, this Sunday’s edition has actually a lot of interesting stuffs that I can’t help but re-read it on Monday and re-read it again today. Here are some of those worth sharing. Of course, let’s start with the good news.
A Story from Francis J. Kong’s article, Feeling of Fear:
During Napoleon’s invasion of Russia he was accidentally separated from his men. A group of Russina Cossacks spotted him and began chasing him. Napoleon ran for his life and slipped into a little furrier’s shop on as side alley. Gasping for breath, he saw the furrier and asked the man where he can hide. The furrier pointed him to a pile of furs in one corner. Napoleon immediately crawled into it and the man covered him with more furs.
No sooner had he finished when the Russian Cossacks burst in the door, shouting “Where is he? We saw him come in.” They tore his shop apart, poked the pile with their swords but didn’t find him. Soon, they gave up and left.
Later Napoleon crept out from under the furs, unharmed, just as Napoleon’s personal guards came in the door. The furrier turned to Napoleon and said timidly, “Excuse me for asking this question of such a great man, but what was it like to be under those furs, knowing that the next moment surely be your last?”
Napoleon drew himself up to his full height appearing insulted and angry. “Guards, take this imprudent man out, blindfold him and execute him. I, myself, will personally give the command to fire!”, he ordered.
The guards grabbed the poor furrier, dragged him outside, stood him up against a wall and blindfolded him. The furrier could see nothing, but he could hear the movements of the guards as they slowly shuffled into a line and prepared their rifles, and he could hear the soft ruffling sound of his clothing in the cold wind. He could feel the wind tugging gently at his clothes and chilling his cheeks, and the uncontrollable trembling in his legs. Then he heard Napoleon clear his throat and call out slowly, “Ready…aim…” In that moment, he entertained a feeling that he couldn’t describe welled up in him as tears poured down his cheeks.
After a long period of silence, the furrier heard footsteps approaching him and the blindfold was stripped from his eyes. Still partially blinded by the sudden sunlight, he saw Napoleon’s eyes looking deeply and intently into his own. Then Napoleon said softly, “Now you know.”
And here are some interesting tidbits:
*A bust of our national hero – Jose Rizal, in case you forgot – is a shrine somewhere in Juneau, Alaska. It was built in honor of the contributions of Filipinos in that community who in 1904 assisted in the installation of the first telegraph cable linking Juneau and Seattle. (From What I saw in Sarah Palin’s neighborhood by Julie Cabatit-Alegre)
*Richard Gomez is now writing an article (this must be the first as far as I’m concerned) about photography. (From What makes me click by Richard Gomez)
Frankly speaking, he’s got good shots but sadly, this article had a bit of grammatical error. And knowing Lucy Torres as one prolific writer, she must have blurted out some curse in embarrassment after reading that. I’m quite sure though that this is just an editorial fault.
*From Movie sets of evil, its author Scott R. Garceu, made a good article on instances (or coincidences) when actors and actresses of horror movies got into actual terrifying, if not deadly, incidents in their lives after shooting the film. Some that captured my attention are the cases of Bruce Lee, Jr. and Heath Ledger who both died even before their respective movies were finished. I guess it must have something to do with bad makeups? Hmmm.
Lastly, here is some of the bad news:
*It’s been a number of weeks already that I’ve been trying hard to appreciate the articles of Joey de Leon. I know that he’s an artist-songwriter, singer, painter, etc – like Jim Paredes. I’m therefore expecting to read something worthwhile from his Me, Starzan column. I hate to say this, but it seems like I’m starting to see another Juliana Palermo who wasn’t able to match her perfect curves with her writing style. I think it’s about time the editorial staff of Star convenes to purge more sense from Mr. Joey de Leon. His recent article ”Starzan Punta Ilog, Hugas Itlog!” isn’t just appropriate for Philstar’s niche.
*Whoever wrote “Baby can you drive my car?” which made it to Starweek’s front page – must have been cramming to get one good article that however good or catchy the title is, it fails to expound on the topic. And besides, I find the cover photo confusing versus the title — it shows two motorcycle riders and more motorcycles in the background. I’m starting to suspect that there’s trouble brewing among the Philippine Star’s editorial staff.