Circus Now Showing on TV

“A nation that forgets its past is doomed to repeat it.” – Sir Winston Churchill

“Ang hindi marunong tumingin sa pinanggalingan hindi makararating sa paroroonan.” – JR

I was coming from our last graveyard shift this week and upon waking up from a 4-hour deep slumber courtesy of the rain and cold weather, I switched on the TV and was surprised by what I saw. I must still be dreaming. Did the cable channel provider changed programming?  Am I on the History channel? Did my remote control conk out?

While trying to make senses of what’s on the tube, the Live caption on the side of the screen made me realize that what I’m watching is indeed happening real time. Standing in front of the camera is Sen. Trillanes flanked by some personnel, a priest who became famous for running, and a lady thanking the media for their perseverance to stay despite the tear gas bombardment–she doesn’t have to say that, these guys will stay like leeches even if a bomb is about to explode.

This scene greeted me from my wonderful siesta like a post-sleep nightmare. Here we go again. Fill in the blanks: EDSA (type number here).

Besides being pissed by what is actually happening hundreds of kilometers from where I am, I recalled of a then angry Jim Paredes’ post Equal Right to Lawlessness on his blog site wherein I placed the commented: “Jim, so what’s next? Edsa 4?”

 Just like Neo who suspects that a déjà vu occurs when someone is tweaking the Matrix, me thinks that someone out there is calmly running his fingers through the rim of a rum glass, massaging his bearded chin just as this event progresses and most likely while doing a revision of his master plan–conspiracy theories entertain me.

I hate to say this but it looks like we are a bunch of people with 64kb memory–we forget too soon.

***

I’m tired of seeing on TV a cliche of events that would humble even the plot of the telenovelas:

  1. People get angry at the President
  2. TRAPOs gather
  3. People + TRAPOs oust the President
  4. TRAPOs hug and attend mass with bishops.
  5. New President
  6. (Repeat # 1 if necessary)

Only in the Philippines.”

Why?

This is because I am now concluding that behind this Trillanes character is a bigger group (or individuals) so eager to topple the current regime so that they can serve the Filipino people. After all, I believe that this senator (sadly, yes) is a coward and should have never been voted in the first place. But again, we tend to forget.

If we rewind what this ex-soldier and coup-plotter has done, we will see that he’s cowered in hotels to make his point–or the lack of it–known to everyone. (I think it is about time that all hotels run a memorandum to close its doors once they see this man coming in.) So far I could not recall that he’s made a good impression for Philippine hotel economy.

Of course to prove that Trillanes is mainly out there to stir the Edsa spirit, tagging along with him are a number of characters to summon the majority–the so called masses–of the short-minded Filipinos and a bunch of media newscasters willing once again to insult if not to challenge the intellect of the resilient pinoys. Interestingly, Jim Paredes has a blog about it also: 23 tools to brainwash and influence people through mass media:

 

  1. Repetition is key. Repeat important messages as often as possible.

  2. Repetition is key.

  3. Repetition is key.

  4. Bypass rationality by any means People don’t need logic to accept information. Belief is emotional. Always remember: WAR=PEACE.

  5. Remember –- two half-truths make up a whole truth….

So yes, repetition is the key. We all know that tiny drops of water will eventually make an impression on a hard stone. Unfortunately, this is being used for the wrong objective.

So while I’m a few hours away from my birthday, I might as well grab the opportunity to entertain myself with the circus on TV. Who knows, the next time I click on the boob tube a new clown is already out there to serve our beloved nation. Mabuhay!

 

 

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I Met A Hottie

The anticipation of storm Mitag affected this week’s day-off. I got more bored, got lazier and missed the company of my wife more. To compensate for all the negativity and longing, I got out of my normal routine and tried to look for something worthwhile doing.

That’s when I met someone I haven’t seen for a long time, and if I remember it right, I haven’t touched her for years. Well the time and opportunity was perfect–-my wife was out, I was alone. And with the eagerness to deviate from something so predictable, I picked her up in excitement. She’s still got the curves and she turned hot so easily. Great, just my type.

Being separated for quite a while, we got some getting-to-know-each-other moment but fair enough we got along pretty well soon. As I lay my hands on her, she responded immediately and did what was expected of her. Hana is her name and we miss each other a lot.

We did it three times in a row and the last one was the best. I was getting the hang of it already but then my “session” with Hana has to end.

Time flies so fast that I didn’t notice that all three shirts are done. And our Hanabishi flatiron has to end its job.

***

Blame it on the rain as they say. In this case, on the storm that gladly didn’t pass through our place. It is nerve-wracking to wait for the 100kph storm, but looking at the bright side I get to notice Hana who has been collecting dust right under our computer. I just don’t know if when I’ll see her again, but it seems that we’ll be frequenting to see each other as I just realized that I love the sight of a well-ironed shirt. Ti abi.

Beowulf: The Future of Animation

After coming back to Honda Cars Alabang like a restless car buff ghost haunting the place until he gets what he wants, I dropped by Ayala Town Center to catch a van going back to Cavite. Curiosity however guided my feet to pass by the cinemas to check out the movies. Three cinemas were showing Beowulf but I remembered someone on multiply.com had a bad review of it so I scrapped the idea of buying the tickets.

With Bread Talk delicacies on hand I proceeded to the van terminal and was looking forward to be at home an hour after lunch and maybe watch PBB or have my regular siesta. Disappointingly, the vans were all empty and the dispatcher mentioned that the first trip will leave by 2 PM which left me no other choice but to go back inside the mall and convince myself to check Beowulf despite the threat of a possibly bad movie. But the expected didn’t come. My siesta clock shut off and there I was in front of the big screen, eyes wide open.

From the very start of the movie until the end I can’t believe everything is 3D animation. I’ve mentioned this before that time will come when we can’t differentiate an animated character to a real one and I think it is now starting to happen. The cast and crew of this movie did a great job. I don’t know the technology behind such realism but whatever it is, it is the start of the future of animation.

Anyone watching this film would notice the resemblance of the animated characters to the real actors behind the face and voice. Just after watching Meet Joe Black, I immediately recognized John Hopkins is Hrothgar. And there’s Unferth whose accent and stare revealed he is John Malkovich. Of course, people who have seen Angelina Jolie would immediately know who those pouty lips belong to even in animation. She plays the seductive Grendel’s mother. I don’t know the rest of the actors behind the other characters but I’m sure the resemblance could be spot on.

I doubt though if Ray Winstone (Beowulf) has all the battle scars on his body. But this is another thing that I find fascinating about this movie. It may have cost a bit more to produce such quality of animation than using prosthetics or make up but the advantage weighs more than the cost. For one, the producers had the pleasure of doing whatever they want for an actor or character to look like. Beowulf could definitely set the trend.

The story may have some flaws but the experience of watching the awesome animation totally compensated for all of it. It was soooo good that I think viewing it on IMAX could be more thrilling and fun. Wait, forget fun, for this is not for the squeamish or weak of heart. And just a word of advice, do not bring and eat pizza or even Bavarian donuts (or any food that drips) if you’re picking this movie. Trust me, you’ll regret it. I just hope I’m not going to have nightmares tonight.

 

A Lovely Death Story

“How I was born I do not remember, How I will die I do not know” – Russian Proverb

Just last week while channel surfing I passed by HBO and saw Meet Joe Black about to be played. I can’t remember when we watched this in the cinema plus I have forgotten what this movie is all about. That’s typical me. Trying to figure out what I missed, I was glued on our couch again but with my thumb on the remote’s channel button waiting to press it any moment I get a hint of a boring story.

While watching I tried to recall past films about death. My mind replayed horrifying faces of the Scream mask; of a man in black hood with the ever familiar scythe; of heads rotating past 360 degrees; of men and women in death beds; and of bloodied soldiers dying in the battlefield. Those films portrayed death for what it is–morbid and scary. Interestingly, I set aside the remote few minutes after Meet Joe Black started. The scene opened with the character Bill Parrish abruptly waking up and having a confusing conversation with someone he can’t see, not sure if he is only hearing things.

More intriguing things followed and I  would sooner realize that this movie would separate itself from any other films that portray death. Maybe its about casting. Death (known as Joe Black) is played by Brad Pitt, the prospective “victim” Bill Parrish is Anthony Hopkins and his lovely daughter Susie Parrish is Claire Forlaine, whose twitching lips and sharp probing eyes would catch my attention every now and then. Or maybe its the subtlety of the story despite the topic of death that stands out the most.

A mixture of emotions were running in my head as the film progresses. There’s the uncomfortable thought that sooner or later we will all die anyway. Then there is comic relief in the idea of meeting your angel of death and with him trying to calm you down to prevent a heart attack so as not to ruin his vacation here on earth. The writer also made a perfect pun of making Joe Black an IRS agent–there’s nothing more certain in life than death and taxes, remember? And there’s also the idea of getting in love with death. It’s absurd but for the first time Meet Joe Black made me find dying worth the wait.

The last moments in the movie aren’t predictable either. Instead of the boring death bed farewell, there were grand fireworks and partying. There’s Bill anxious yet firm in the midst of anticipation of leaving his family, business and aristocratic lifestyle and subsequently facing the unknown. To cap the story, the last conversation was perfectly chilling. “Should I be afraid?” Bill asked. Then Joe Black answered, “Not a man like you.”

‘Tis The Season To Be Jolly

 

“Don’t be afraid to be weak Don’t be too proud to be strong

Just look into your heart my friend

That will be the return to yourself” – Enigma. Return to Innocence

The ‘ber’ months begin once more and September sets the holiday mood. Different ages react differently to this transition however. For most adult this is the start of expenses pouring in as everything seems to get listed in the needs section of the budget list. The wants list becomes empty for the time being. For most children, however, this is just the season to be jolly. Period.

I could still remember my excitement as a kid when our calendar flips to September. It was as if the calendar would play the song Santa Claus is coming to town on cue. The Santa Claus I would soon discover as ordinary adults who get restless when the ‘ber’ months arrive. Twenty years later, I would become one of them.

It feels like it was only a couple days ago when someone reminded me to start buying gifts to avoid the rush. Just like any broken vinyl record the thought of Christmas shopping skips and repeats. Sadly, the rush doesn’t skip. It just repeats. It intensifies even. The farthest I can remember panicking at this level was since I started having my own pay check–now I wonder if paydays be celebrated or cursed. My wife and I normally kid each other usually around every January to start buying Christmas trees and gifts. But before I know it, the ‘ber’ months are here again.

Now we’re staring at November. The mall sales are getting more frequent. The bonuses are coming in (or shall I say passing through). The yuletide songs are as common as jeepney noise.  The dreaded traffic worsens.  The horrifying thought of the inaanaks knocking at the front door getting realized as December nears. It’s funny but now when someone says “Christmas is just around the corner” this to me is like a windtalker’s code that someone is out to get me.

So have I become the Grinch? During this season most adults are anyhow. Well it must be the cycle of life. Some call it karma. The act gets repeated but the recipients change. If before I was thankfully receiving crisp bills, now I’m…I’m not giving one. Beside, the crisp bills now are of less value. Hehe. Every time I’m in this situation I think of an old Filipino song (by Asin) with the following lyrics:

Itanong mo sa mga bata (Ask the children)

Ano ang kanilang nakikita (What they see)

Sa buhay na hawak nila (In the life they have)

Masdan mo ang mga bata (Observe the children)

Sila ang tunay na pinagpala (They are the lucky ones)

Kaya dapat nating pahalagahan (We should appreciate them)

Dapat din kayang kainggitan? (Shouldn’t we envy them)

Although this is not a Christmas song, this describes how having the innocence matters. It’s about taking the simple meaning of the season for what it is. Children love Christmas for Santa Claus. (If they love it for Christ’s birth, the better of course. But that’s where our adult explanation comes into play and that’s another topic worthy of a long discussion.) So if only us adults could see this significance even just during December, then I think this is only when we could wholeheartedly join the children in saying, “’tis the season to be jolly.”

Hello Wifey, This poem is for you…

Being you…

Enhances my identity

Being caring…

Makes me appreciate your presence more

Being patient…

Teaches me to be one.

Being understanding…

Encourages me to know compassion.

Being funny…

Just tickles my funny bone.

Being strong…

Makes me stay as one.

Being loving…

Makes me love you more.

Being a late greeter…

Gives me the excuse to write this one bad poem. Happy Birthday!

I love you!

***

This is a poem for wifey’s 2007 birthday which I hurriedly composed since I’ve been busy at work packing precious processors instead of packing a birthday gift.

The Chain Game

 

I’ve always talked about the benefits we’ve been getting with the continuous improvement of how we communicate with one another through the Internet and computers. Everything from the basics to the complex things we do years ago has evolved though along with it comes its own pros and cons. The split-second rate of how we get in contact with each other has greatly affected the exchange of information and reactions. To the gullible this is a life changing moment.

Let’s talk  about seemingly innocent emails that ask you to forward it to others. Like an unending terrorist threat, this one affects everyone. No one is free from it. It is how you deal with it that makes the difference. I really don’t why these emails exist. Maybe these were circulated in good faith, to inspire, to motivate or to spread good news. Or could it be plain prank? So have you got one recently? Did you forward or did you delete?

Until now I still get those on my inbox and most of it were neither from susiexxx@horny.com nor from pass2survive@faithinme.net but from my friends. And it always surprises me every time when one who has been sending me pornographic pictures (not that I entertain these types) would later send me an email requesting me to pass on to every contacts I have a slide show with the Immaculate Concepcion’s picture on it just because some celebrity died after ignoring it. Ti abi. I believe in change and conversion, but this does not count.

chain20mail_zpste4pwgft
One of those that got through my inbox.

The reasons behind such instantaneous forwarding requests–pass this to 5 people in 30 seconds and you’ll see your life change–in my opinion may be the following:

Very shallow faith. Ever wondered if someone from the heavens did actually track if you send the religious email to everyone.

Lack of simple logic. Who in his right mind from Microsoft or Intel will give you $10000 cash or the latest computer just by forwarding an email.

Getting even. “Damn, I got scared with that. Might as well send it to others”.

10 GPBS office internet connection. Kung sabagay, why not. Can relate?

I’m not a quick deleter and I normally read emails especially if it does come from the people I know. I’m not even saying that all chain letters are bad. Most of it actually makes sense. So what I always do is to read the mail and if I think it is good enough, I “share” it to my friends but without the part that I know might get someone anxious or scared thinking that he’s just been asked by someone from the high heavens to pass it to others or get ran over by a truck on his next trip to work; OR that perhaps a CEO from Nokia is shaking his head for a recipient’s stupidity of passing off a good deal by ignoring the request to forward the enticing free N90 email to friends. Well, that’s not me.

Wait. I just got an email from Paris Hilton. Hey, that’s indecent proposal but it just needs me to forward to 3 friends in 10 seconds.

“Dear Mo, Mojo and Andi, please forward this to picture and you’ll get the time of your life…..”