Saturday, January 31, 2009

Philosophy 118: 23 January 2009

These notes were taken from my class with Dr. Reyes for Philosophy 118 last 23 January

.:An Introduction To Husserl (1859-1938):.

Compared to Nietzsche and Marx, Husserl and Wittgenstein are more technical than experiential. As such, we have a hard time finding an insight into the matter at hand since there isn't a ready jumping point for us to organize our thoughts from.

Husserl was born in Czechoslovakia, as part of the Austrian Empire. As a mathematician, he ended up philosophizing about the question: if we say 1 + 1 is 2, whose authority dictates it to be necessarily 2?

Before Husserl, the traditional philosophical method is metaphysical or ontological. There was a certain hierarchical structure of minerals, plants, animals, and man for Aristotle. Aquinas added the elements of angels and God beyond man. You start from observation of being, and then through metaphysical inference, you can conclude about the very nature or essence of the matter.

Each of the first four elements, for Aristotle, is composed of “matter”. The kind of “stuff” that can be organized in a more or less complex manner. The organization allows it to support a lower or a higher form. Minerals support only those that tend to go down (earth and water) and those that tend to go up (fire and air). Plants can support nourishment, growth, and reproduction. Animals, on the other hand, have all these, as well as sense perception. Man, would have all the previous in possession, but because of his form, he would also possess reason, language, and humor.

All four segments of being can degrade or upgrade, depending on the situation. When man dies, he erodes into minerals. Yet when man eats a salad, the plant becomes incorporated into the man as well.

For Aquinas, the extension to angels is that they are pure form. As such, each angel is a form in itself. God, on the other hand, is pure Existence. All Being is a combination of form and matter (essence) with existence. As such, God is not with essence, but pure Existence.

But is this the study of reality itself? Is a metaphysical inference of a particular being truly an analysis of reality? Do we know anything about a cow when we say that its reality is its “cowness”? Or is this not merely pedantic wordplay?

For the scientists, the study of reality is, if not taxonomic, purely atomistic. You know the reality of a cow not by metaphysical inferences, but precisely what a cow is made up of: atoms, particles, waves, molecules, and so forth.

At the onset of Nazism, Husserl understood that this is not what the reality ought to be. He is calling for a return to consciousness. What distinguishes man from other beings is consciousness.

For Husserl, at the center is consciousness, and everything else is from the point of consciousness. After all, man is consciousness seeking meaning, an absolute. The metaphysicians were alarmed by the seeming anthropocentric tendencies of this approach, yet Husserl merely pointed out that has this not always been the case?

But what of being in itself? Is it not the case that someone always has to acknowledge what this being manifests itself to be? When a metaphysician says that they access the viewpoint of absolute consciousness of being in itself, how did they access such an absolute consciousness in the first place? Is this not dangerous? We cannot access God's point of view. Any aspirations to this is an act of self-delusion.

When a phenomenologist says there is “no being as such”, it is an acknowledgement of the human consciousness' limitations. Let God worry about *His* own consciousness, let man worry about his.

.:Quotable Quotes:.

“If I give a class a slew of F's, I end up asking, 'is this class really that stupid?'”

- Dr. Reyes

“You know, man, you, I, are made up of some of these chemicals (points to Periodic Table). Given the opportunity, I can break up your body and analyze it into chemicals, and if we sold the chemical components of man, it would be worth about two hundred pesos of chemicals...”

- Dr. Reyes's Late Chemistry Professor Colleague

“But man embraces woman! Why do we need to change the subject name?”

- A Dutch Jesuit protesting the change from Philosophy of Man to Philosophy of the Human Person in the Wake of the Feminist Movement

Friday, January 30, 2009

Boring Weekend...

.:Card-Hunting:.

Spent the entirety of Saturday just sitting around in Galleria, looking for cards. It was the Conflux pre-release, after all. Nonetheless, had dinner with Ed and Sire in Friday's afterwards, and all in all, a fairly fun, albeit low-key day, to say the least.

.:Finally, A Show...:.

I believe this is my first show for the year, aside from the one I had for the Triggerman. It's a bit on the slow end lately, so I'm hoping things would slowly pick up as the days go by, but I did fairly well performing in West Greenhills, and the amusing thing about that is the waiters know me so well there that they always double check to make sure that I'm not bending their silverware. Lol.

In any case, I ran into Fooch, a magician from MAGFI. The way he acted and the way he looked strongly reminded me of Penn, actually.

Ah, well. Here's hoping next week proves to be just as interesting.

.:... Because Last Weekend Was Really Fun...:.

... since it was spent with the JGL as we had a Skype party with Sacha. Much love to Tita Harvey for having us over there last weekend! It was a blast! :)

Alma Mater Love...

.:Don Bosco Technical College...:.

It's been nine years since I graduated from Don Bosco Mandaluyong, but I love that place like anything.

Dropping by the place yesterday, I was strongly reminded how great it is to be a Bosconian, as I spent some time with my teachers back in the day... heh.

I'll recount it on another day.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Today's LSS...

.:Today's LSS:.

... really captures everything.

Apologize
by One Republic, feat. Timbaland

I'm holding on your rope,
Got me ten feet off the ground
I'm hearin what you say but I just can't make a sound
You tell me that you need me
Then you go and cut me down, but wait
You tell me that you're sorry
Didn't think I'd turn around, and say...

It's too late to apologize, it's too late
I said it's too late to apologize, it's too late

I'd take another chance, take a fall
Take a shot for you
And I need you like a heart needs a beat
But it's nothin new
I loved you with a fire red-
Now it's turning blue, and you say...
"Sorry" like the angel heaven let me think was you
But I'm afraid...

It's too late to apologize, it's too late
I said it's too late to apologize, it's too late

It's too late to apologize, it's too late
I said it's too late to apologize, it's too late
It's too late to apologize, yeah
I said it's too late to apologize, yeah...
I'm holdin' on your rope got me ten feet off the ground...

Monday, January 26, 2009

On NTC And Ala-isms: Making Mountains Out Of Molehills...

This'll be long. Really long.

.:On The NTC Hoopla:.

Moments like these, I feel terribly ashamed to be a blogger.

Really, I do. While some great bloggers have done so much to put what used to merely be an online diary on the map, some people just seem to have a knack for running around like Chicken Little, screaming at the top of their lungs that "the sky is falling".

Instead of just taking the time out to read things over carefully, they pick some choice words from something, take it out of context for dramatic effect, and use this as an excuse to bring out the pitchforks and engage the groupthink bloggers have started becoming notorious for.

I'd be the first in line to admit that I've picked the wrong side of an argument more than enough times for me to care to count before. I guess that's precisely why I've slowly learned to temper my opinions with a minimum modicum of research before jumping to conclusions and condeming anyone.

In any case, this is what got me in a tizzy lately... NTC's new memorandum circular, which makes an attempt to, quite clearly, deregulate the current crop of value-added services in the telecom industry.

If you read closely enough, the intention is clear: this bill is aimed for value-added services like ringtones, picture messages, and so forth. This bill is mainly for the cellphone industry, since the NTC has jurisdiction over Telecom companies, but currently, is not quite empowered in the realm of the internet. Furthermore, the bill is not meant to burden the content developer, but in reality, is meant to empower the content developer by changing the current profit scheme that favors the content provider more than the developer. The obvious catch is to ensure this happens, the developers must register. Most developers seem to be optimistic about this, so what's the beef?

The beef arises from people who insist that since telecoms now offer net access, the content accessed therein is now subject to this bill. This, on the surface, appears to be a valid assumption. Assuming that this was the true and malicious intent of the bill (Perhaps in retaliation over the Pangandaman and QueSci issues? R-ight.) in question is not.

What we needed was to ask the authors of this memorandum regarding their intent, and I thank LengMeiMedia for doing precisely that. Really, guys. If you have more questions to ask, would this not be the most prudent course? Mr. Cabario specifically stated that if you don't ask compensation for your content, then you are not covered by this proposed bill. The compensation here is stated as "from the public", such as when you pay 10 bucks for a ringtone download. As such, sponsored posts don't even fall under this, since you don't charge your readers for these posts.

The bill is concocted in cooperation with the Securities Exchange Commission. This is a glaring signpost that this is about businesses, and they will, as such, be duly licensed. A personal blog is not a business. However, a valid question that remains to be asked of Mr. Cabario is how this will affect online content, particularly pay-per-view sites.

I don't even see what the worry is, on the part of bloggers. Do you see any stipulation how you can be punished if you don't register? There is nothing in the bill that can punish you adversely. The law, if enacted will prevent developers from developing content for a provider, but since they have no control over your provider since they're not a Philippine entity, then you are obviously not covered by it. They can't fine you or anything, but simply prevent you from being carried by a provider, but since they can't touch the provider in question, then there's nothing they can do to you.

The bill in its current form is in need of revisions, obviously. This is fine. Nobody gets it perfect the first time. If we have concerns, then we are very much free to ask questions from the NTC (Just look for their e-mail. It's on their site, I'm sure.), and I believe they will respond promptly enough. If you want a more personal approach, address the issue when the hearing is rescheduled.

But please, save the histrionics for some other time. The sky is not falling. If Mr. Cabarios's e-mail was any indication, at worst, they simply overlooked the online issue, and all we need do is clarify this, rather than crucify the government just because it seems to be the cool thing to do.

.:In Defense Of Ala Paredes...:.

Lynch mobs aren't cool. Really, they're not. Ask Tracy Borres. I'm sure she'd tell you it's not. It's so easy to ride the wave of an angry virtual lynch mob online, what with the anonymity or in the case of named people, apparent online power they possess, but in the end, we've devolved into an online culture of "shoot first, ask questions later".

Brian Gorell has never been the paragon of journalism. Let's face it: whether you like the guy or not, fact-checking was never one of his main strengths. That's precisely the reason why he posted a very scathing allegation regarding the Philippine Blog Awards, but never bothered to post a retraction when I personally sat down and explained to him via e-mail how the system worked, and even gave him more than enough contacts to verify my clarifications.

I didn't lash out at Brian despite the unfair light the post shed on the organizers of the PBA. I will try my best not to lash out at him this time as well, despite the fact that this is the second time I've seen him mouth off and bring someone down just because he felt like it. That, to me, is two times too many.

Define "hypocrisy". Is "hypocrisy" really about not doing enough for your fellow man? Or is "hypocrisy" about not doing enough for your fellow man while insisting somebody else ought to? Ala Paredes may be a lot of things, but a hypocrite, she is not. If anything, she was telling it like it is. Throwing the first stone is soooo passe. And people getting up on their high horses, trying to insult Ala for speaking her mind is just plain ignorance of what her initial post really was about.

In Nietzsche's critique of religion, he made a good point on the seemingly unreasonable stress on the "goodness" of suffering prevalent in religion, especially in folk Catholicism. Maybe it was because of Job, or because of Christ's sacrifice, but people seem to think that God ought to be a bloodthirsty God, and anyone who is suffering in this life is automatically good.

Newsflash: it's not.

There are rich people who are good. Plenty of them, in fact. Job was one of them, remember? Contrary to what your regular soap opera would tell you, the rich are not all capricious, craven monsters who look down on anyone not in their tax bracket. I know a lot of rich people who are as humble as humble can be.

On the flipside, there are poor people who are not good. Just because they are poor does not excuse them from stealing or killing. A crime is a crime is a crime. I'm sure we all love seeing rich and powerful criminals get their comeuppance (Mayor Sanchez, anyone?), but I don't see why someone gets a pass for being mean or cruel just because they're poor. Maybe I can cut them a bit of slack, and I wouldn't sue a beggar who gives me the finger the way I would sue, say, a senator who threatens to murder me, but in no way can I possibly say that what the beggar did was right. Sorry, but wrong, mean-spirited act is wrong and mean-spirited.

If this is me being the economic class equivalent of a "color-blind racist", then so be it. "Easy for you to say, you were never poor," some people might tell me. I'll admit that I'm not poor, but neither am I particularly rich. Not when I have to support myself. But really, just as I do get annoyed with elitists who have this odd sense of entitlement, I also do get annoyed with mendicants who have this odd sense of entitlement.

I live in Katipunan, so I know exactly what Ala means when she says that some mendicants can be incredibly pushy. I've been kicked, cussed at, and so forth, all because I refuse to give alms. Is this to say I don't give anything to charity? Well, actually, no. I've done multiple charity events over the past few years, as I strongly prefer to help a particular organization than an individual, because I have no idea if the 5 bucks I give to a mendicant would go to food or to rugby or to some syndicate.

Unlike Ala, though, I haven't been socially guilted into any kind of act of generosity I perform. This is not to imply that Ala only ever does charity out of guilt. Clearly, that's not the case. In my case, though, I do consciously make an effort to do my part, and I go through the proper avenues because while it's never enforced, mendicancy is actually illegal. I am full aware of what "white man's burden" means, and I wasn't handed a Messianic complex by my Theology Of Liberation experience or my immersion. If anything, it galvanized my solidarity with people, regardless of socio-economic class, which simply means: either way, you get no special treatment. You are treated with respect until you exhibit rudeness, and by then, you are treated with disdain from thereon.

That's precisely why I am very haughty with people trying to sell me stuff from Danvil Plans. They invade my personal space and proceed to ask me to buy insurance, never mind that my career as a magician who performs dangerous stunts tends to invalidate most insurance policies out there. These people simply won't take "no" for an answer!

That's precisely why I am very disdainful of certain politicians who use their power to attempt to quash the truth of an issue that concerns them. You did something wrong, now effing man up to it.

That's also precisely why I am incensed by the Katipunan taxi boys who will run in front of you to flag down a cab you are already flagging down, and then insist that you give money to them because they did something any able person with at least one hand can do. One of them even shamelessly asked me for money for "flagging down" a cab I was already boarding. As in he ran like the wind to get to me, tap the cab, and pretend he stopped the cab for the benefit of lil' ol' me. Except I was already inside the cab by the time he did that.

Argument ad misericordiam doesn't fly very well with me. Just because someone has more, they are not excused from towing the line. Neither can they be excused for having less. Mitigating factors? Perhaps. Absolving factors? Never.

Ala was perfectly free to express her opinion on the massive sense of entitlement some mendicants have exhibited towards her. To crucify her for her opinions which are founded on a personal experience is just ridiculous. So she went to a club and dressed up. Is this such a terrible thing? Since when did we disdain having a good time? Ala expressed her opinion, and she had a point. Whether or not you would've done the same thing if you were in her shoes is not quite the issue (I somehow doubt everyone who lashed out at her would really give their mask, though.). The issue is a beggar was being pushy, and she was well within her rights to refuse.

Social responsibility is not an excuse for mendicants to be mean-spirited to people who wouldn't give them what they want. There's an old saying that goes "beggars can't be choosers", yet we are witness to a bunch of them who are. I would rather do something charitable because it came from my heart, rather than because I was guilted into it by social responsibility and spurred by some smug sense of entitlement to alms and dole outs.

So to everyone who wants to condemn Ala, or bemoan how her dad "failed" in raising her right, why don't you read her words more closely and understand that not everything is black and white? Not all poor people are angels, the same way that not all rich people are spawns of Hades. Before you get on with the lynch mob spurned by some out-of-touch pundit who doesn't even know what the issue really is about, maybe you should look long and hard at yourself. Why are you angry that someone pointed out the elephant in the room? Is it because you don't have the nerve to tell it like it is?

Because seriously, as my blog has been saying for the past six or so years, though sometimes not everyone may like what you have to say, what matters is that It's True, It's True!

.:The End Of This Tirade...:.

Yeah, I went a helluva lot longer than I hoped to, but I think the point is clear: bloggers are indeed powerful. Some people in traditional media are understandably concerned about the sheer instantaneous strength of new media, and while we aren't really journalists, it's unfortunate, but some of us have been elevated to the status of opinion leaders. I wouldn't call it a privileged position, if only for the fact that it's quite a responsibility, but yes, there are plenty of bloggers now who could, with a single word, launch a thousand ships.

I know this would probably fall on deaf ears, but don't you think it's time we learned that with this great power comes great responsibility? How often do we jump the gun on an issue just because we have a pre-set opinion about someone or something, and even if facts would end up painting a different picture, we'd still split hairs, backpedal, and grasp at straws just so we don't lose face? How often do we judge a person without even sitting down to think if the person actually made a valid point? How often do we fight for free speech, yet insist somebody shut up on their own blog when their exercise of free speech clashes with our opinions? Isn't it sometimes a good idea to ask questions first before we bring out the pitchforks? Why is it that it seems the only forms of exercise certain bloggers have lately is flying off the handle and jumping to conclusions?

These are all rhetorical questions, I hope. Perhaps I've opened up a can of worms for some of us. I know I have for me. I know I have a lot more to learn, but with these past two issues, I realize that jumping the gun is not always the smartest course of action.

Boo-Yay: Politics

.:Booooo!!!:.

Obama can learn from Arroyo, says Palace official.

Learn what, pray tell?

Look, this press release just reeks of self-aggrandizement to me. To say that one of the most promising presidents of all time needs to take pointers from GMA, whose approval ratings are consistently made of fail. I am not the harshest critic of GMA around, but to compare her to Barack Obama (Notwithstanding his haters.), and assume that she can teach Barack a thing or two?

Whatever they're smoking there, they better pass it along, because that's some pretty strong stuff right there. There's a phrase we tend to use for people like this, and I believe it's ANG KAPAL NG MUKHA. We are very much on the "wrong side of history", kiddies. Take notes.

This is one of the most brazenly self-serving statements I've ever read. For the life of me, I can't even understand what they were thinking when they came up with this crap.

.:Yay!:.

It's amazing how powerful a statement was made when America finally installed Barack Obama as their first black president. While some detractors would call this "tokenism", it was clear from the get-go that Barack has an inexplicable kind of charisma that just draws people to him. What is unfortunate is the inevitable crop of copycats who will inevitably attempt to duplicate his success by duplicating his buzzwords and catchphrases.

Will Obama end up being one of the greatest presidents ever? Only time can tell, but for now, I am looking at it with much optimism. After eight years of Bush, the U.S. can stand to have something different now...

In the end, I really think that comparing this guy to GMA is just ludicrous. They are as far apart as can be, and one can only hope that he is worth the hype that has been trumpeted about him to near-mythic proportions...

Posting Next Time... As Usual...

.:Too Exhausted:.

For a non-happening weekend, I'm pretty bushed.

Oh, well. My apologies for so many delays in my posting. It's ridiculous, I know.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Finally, Normalcy...

.:Well, Sorta...:.

Truth be told, a week filled with job applications on my part has definitely been high stress for me, in my book. Nonetheless, despite all of that, I'm still middling there as I go through various stuff I have to do.

I am soooo behind on blogging about the NTC thing, and the whole "Obama should learn from GMA" thing as well. Both discussions are palmface-inducing, but for nearly opposing reasons, truth be told.

Class today was fun, and as always, I took notes, so that ought to be rather interesting, all the same. I'm really exhausted, and with my grandfather going through chemotherapy as he attempts to deal with his second bout with cancer, I am understandably frayed on the edges lately. It can't be helped, unfortunately.

Expect more sensible blogging when I figure out how to make this stuff click, and, yeah, when I figure out how to manage my time better. Too many distractions going on around me as of late, and I am too weak-willed as I try to cope with my latest heartaches.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Marked For All Time...

.:Today's LSS...:.

The whole day, this song was stuck in my head. Can't get it out. Agghh.

One Last Cry
by Brian McKnight

My shattered dreams and broken heart
Are mending on the shelf
I saw you holding hands, standing close to someone else
Now I sit all alone wishing all my feeling was gone
I gave my best to you, nothing for me to do
But have one last cry

Chorus:
One last cry, before I leave it all behind
I've gotta put you outta my mind this time
Stop living a lie
I guess I'm down to my last cry

Cry......

I was here, you were there
Guess we never could agree
While the sun shines on you
I need some love to rain on me
Still I sit all alone, wishing all my feeling was gone
Gotta get over you, nothing for me to do
But have one last cry

Chorus:
One last cry, before I leave it all behind
I've gotta put you outta my mind this time
Stop living a lie
I know I gotta be strong
Cause round me life goes on and on and on
And on.....

I'm gonna dry my eyes
Right after I had my
One last cry

Chorus:
One last cry, before I leave it all behind
I've gotta put you outta my mind for the very last time
Been living a lie
I guess I'm down
I guess I'm down
I guess I'm down...
To my last cry...


.:Sometimes, We're As Good As Our Last Act...:.

People have a tendency to remember bad impressions and forget about good. If you don't believe me, think about the many times where all it takes to spoil a friendship is one mistake, no matter how many good turns you've handed out before it got to that point.

Because really, all it takes is one mistake. Doesn't matter how many times you make it on time. The one time you're late, they now think that you're *always* late. Doesn't matter how calm you are. The one time you lose your temper, you are labeled as a firebrand. Doesn't matter what you've done your entire life. Doesn't matter how hard you've worked to earn your keep, the integrity you've built up and established. Your one moment of being "out of character" becomes your defining moment, and believe me, it's one of the worst things you could ever experience, to be judged one way when you know in your heart you're the exact other way.

I guess I got to thinking about this when I realized thanks to WWE.com that up to now, the name "Chris Benoit" is taboo.

Never mind that he was one of the best entertainers of all time. Let's forget everything else he has done and judge his life by the tragic double-murder suicide that he perpetrated.

That whole mess certainly has left a bad taste in my mouth to this day, and I still am on the fence whether or not this is the right thing to do. Up to now, the WWE pretends Benoit never existed. Even on their Royal Rumble page, they purposely left out the 2004 recap, since Benoit won that particular event.

In the end, it's also a good time to ask ourselves... what kind of legacy have we been building? Are we going to squander it all away at the end of everything?

Think about it.

Today's Lighthearted Dose Of WTFery...

.:In A World, Where People Freefalling Off Helicopters Can Survive...:.

... this summer, Jason Statham is Chev Chelios, and he's back in the same crap you've seen over. And over. And over. Again.

It's called "Crank 2", and I'm so first in line to watch this baby!

.:I Don't Watch TV Much...:.

... so this is new to me.

Nonetheless, That's a pretty funny version, to say the least. I ought to give that a try one of these days. Lol.

.:Still Alive?:.

Yes, I am. Did you think I'd crumble? Did you think I'd lay down and die?

TGIF, Indeed...

.:Welcome Our New African-American Overlord!:.

We kicked off newly-inaugurated U.S. President Obama's inauguration party at TGIF Bonifacio High Street tonight, courtesy of Yehey and TGIF, and boy, what a party it was!

When I got there, I immediately noticed that one of my former clients, sir JC, was the manager of the branch. From the get-go, I was rather in my element, since not only was I with other bloggers again, but there were a whole bunch of other people I happened to know, including the branch manager, and a few jocks from Magic 89.9, namely Suzie, Big Daddy Jake, and CJ the DJ.

In any case, as we can always expect from TGIF, we were treated to a smorgasbord of scrumptuous and delightful food, and even an awesome bartender exhibition to cap off the event. There was no agenda or anything: just a chance to sit down with people, talk to them, enjoy the food and company, and celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama.

Much love to TGIF for having us bloggers over, and if any of you guys want a great time, make sure to drop by their many branches. Their food is awesome! I especially love their liempo and that very cheesy pasta they had with shrimp...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bitter Ocampo...

.:They Say It'll All Get Better In Time... Don't Bet On It...:.

I was supposed to be asleep seven hours ago. Instead, here I am, still awake, and completely dumbfounded.

I'm still walking around wounded, and I still am trying to survive despite the pain I'm going through right now. I know that I have to take it one miserable day at a time, but the realization that I was in it alone is just a bitter pill to swallow.

I know I was far from perfect. I know I still am. But I just thought that things wouldn't be this way. I just thought I had things pegged to be better than that. Instead, here I am, just wasting away, asking myself why I gave my everything when I know I shouldn't have. It's like I never learn. I give so much of myself, and now, more than ever, I am empty, because I kept on giving and giving even when it was hurting me already.

I know it won't be easy for myself. Perhaps on the flipside, it would be. That's always been the case, anyways... I pour my whole heart out, and in the end, I discover, much to my chagrin, that I was such a fool.

I let myself be played, and this is what I get. Congratulations to myself, then. I sure showed 'em, huh?

Here's to hoping I don't wake up again once I hit the sack. I'm angry, I'm hurt, and fuck it, I'm bitter. Pardon me if I feel entitled to feel that way right now.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Videoke Madness...

.:Though The Neighbors May Hate Me Forever And Ever...:.

Well, after several forays into Singsnap, and a frustrated attempt at breaking into The Sims Onstage, I guess it was just a matter of time before I tried figuring out how to edit my own audio tracks so I can upload them over Supload or even YouTube if I'm so inclined.

Oh, I know I'm not a good singer. I really do. That's why I'm still not going to give direct links to my songs here, lest I inflict unnecessary wailing and gnashing of teeth upon you. Unfortunately for my neighbors, they have no choice but to deal with my attempts at recording music. Mwahahahaha.

Yep, I've had several complains from neighbors over my singing recently, since we don't exactly have soundproofing here. Oh, well. Whatever, right? I guess that's all there is to it, and I really have to acknowledge the fact that the reason why I became a professional magician was so I would never have to sing or dance in public.

And yet here I am, making a total fool of myself by recording these "hits". Mwahahahaha. Shamelessness at its best/worst.

On a serious note, though, I do intend to have voice lessons when I have the money for it. Nothing fancy. Just to be able to properly carry a tune whenever I'm asked to sing and all that. At the moment, I'm better of being a rapper, given the fact that while not perfect, this song is arguably my best recording so far, next to Rick Astley. Heh.

Time to hit the sack, then. I have inflicted enough suffering for one day. Lol.

Film Review: Yes Man

.:Film Review: Yes Man:.


In a world where you can only say "Yes"...



Now, everyone knows I'm a big fan of Jim Carrey. I loved him in "The Mask", and I'm especially partial to his portrayal of Andy Kauffman in "Man On The Moon", among other stellar efforts he has put in. Whether it's a comedy or a serious role, I tend to expect myself to watch, because I really love the guy. In fact, my favorite movie up to now is "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind", and his presence in the film was a major reason for that...

Having said that, "Yes Man" was definitely a very good comedy flick featuring the comedic genius of Jim Carrey. Admittedly, the premise of this film was rather similar to "Liar, Liar", but hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. From the very slice of life situation of a routine, boring life that's going nowhere to the sheer excitement that can be gotten from saying yes to practically everything, this film takes you on an emotional ride that makes you laugh, makes you think, and makes you appreciate just how amazing the universe can be when it flexes its muscles.

By now, you know the general premise of the film. I don't need to spoil it for you, so I can just go ahead and write this with reckless abandon. A movie that explores what it means to say "yes" to anything and everything. It's so easy to say "no". It's so easy to stay in our comfort zones when something comes from out of nowhere and intrigues us but scares us at the same time.

What holds us back from saying "yes" to these things? Is it habit? Is it fear? Is it uncertainty? Whatever your reasons may be, this film will ask you to question these reasons, and dare you to say "yes" to the things you would never even dream of doing. You only live once, after all, and this film is testament to just how amazing life can be when you live a little instead of making a spectator sport out of it.

Despite the shortcomings of the film and despite the fact that it isn't as laugh-out-loud funny as Carrey's other films, I have to say that this is a must-see if you're a fan of the man, as I am.

Critical Evaluation: B-
Fun Evaluation: A-

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I'm Drained...

.:I Don't Know What Else To Say...:.

I've been trying to blog the whole day, but it's like trying to draw blood from a stone.

So instead of going to bed early, here I am again, typing in the dead of night. Addiction to Yugioh GX Tag Force 3 has taken up most of my time, not to mention the fact that I've been so occupied with a lot of stuff as well, and my only respite is the fact that I don't have classes until Friday, after our oral exams with Dr. Reyes this past week.

When you look back at the years that have gone by, my worst blogging year was 2006. This was the year I ended up losing someone who was once very dear to me.

If god willing, I survive these coming days, weeks, months, years, or lifetime, then I suppose 2009 will not be very far behind as far as terrible output is concerned.

I don't know what else to say. Really, I don't. My life the past few weeks has been rather uninteresting, to say the least, and other than the Campus Aircheck Batch 5 reunion, there was next to nothing I could look back to and feel exceedingly happy about. Especially not now that I seem to be just overwhelmed with an unbearable feeling that I've really underachieved for the past five years...

.:That Sinking, Lonely Feeling...:.

While I have worked hard, and am underway to finishing my Masters, I think it's too much to expect that this means much to me in the long run. I feel that I've had too many dalliances, especially in the past couple of years, all based on the passing hope that investing too much in a career at this point would restrict my flexibility to migrate if a certain situation called for me to do it.

Well, now, I seem to be paying for it dearly. I feel that in the five years since I've finished college, I've completely underachieved, and have next to nothing to show for it. With all due respect to magic and the art, it has nothing to do with four years of education in College, nor does it guarantee me a long-lasting career, what with the unpredictable waxing and waning of the demand in the market for people like me. My choices in the media industry haven't been stellar, either, having picked the wrong option twice, choosing WAVE over QTV-11, then choosing a particular station over another and having the format die on me mid-stream.

So now, I don't have much to show for it, and I'm a tad affected that this is the case. I don't know how much I have left in the tank to make it through...

.:Best. Cover. Ever.:.



Even if "Mad" may just soon be a song in the distant past for me pretty soon, this was definitely one of the best versions I've ever heard...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Philosophy 118 Compiled Mid-Term Reviews... Good Luck, Everyone!

This might confuse you a bit, but I'm sure having both reviews in one place would be more helpful to you than having them separate...

These notes were taken from my class with Dr. Reyes for Philosophy 118 last 12 and 14 January

.:On Philosophy:.

The type of Philosophy at stake is contingent on the methodology that is used by the thinker. This explains the stark contrast between the econo-political Marx and the indivualistic, aphoristic Nietzsche.

.:Review: Nietzsche:.

Nietzsche is admittedly all over the place by design because he believes that there is no way that one could systematize Philosophy. Being is not final, or immutable, or eternal. In fact, true Being is “becoming”. One has to capture Being as it flows, thus believing it impossible to truly freeze a moment in philosophical thought, lending to his writing style of brief, aphoristic sentences. He is not prone to writing long paragraphs the way most other thinkers do. This is the same as Heraclitus's belief that you cannot cross the same river twice, such that “everything runs”.

These are the seven main epochs of Nietzsche's thinking:

1. Birth Of Tragedy: His first work is not his best, but BoT implies for once that man is not fully rational, contrary to what Aristotle may believe. Nietzsche speaks of Apollo (the god of light and reason) and Dionysus (the god of the underworld, wine, passion, and instinct). While this may seem to be merely an analysis of the Greek tragedy wherein order and passion need to find a balance, it would appear that this discussion is also allegorical in regard to one's balance in life as well.

2. The Critique Of Morality: Though a Christian morality was in place, it was, in the case of Europe, merely falling into conformism. It is a mechanism placed to guilt, shame, and terrify the person into acting morally. There is none of the inner voice or inner spontaneity that should be the driving force of morality, rather than a mere sense of conformism brought about by what the group dictates, not what our own conscience tells us. It becomes, as such, a morality of mediocrity.

Furthermore, Nietzsche tackles the issue of the hidden agenda. For example, people are condemned for being immoral or obscene, and so forth, yet their condemnation arises from their own dirty mind. The human person becomes a means to an end.

For Nietzsche, morality ought to hinge on your own conscience. You should be courageous enough to become what you really are. Sometimes, you have to go against the group. The man who is strong enough to stand up for what he believes in is the Ubermensch, the superior man. This is the mark of a truly moral man.

3. The Critique Of Metaphysics: Metaphysics attempts to capture the totality, the ambit of being. One can see this in Platonic thinking leading towards the world of Eidos. However, reality as man knows it is never quite final and eternal. It is not being, per se, but becoming. There is no way to build a system when reality will not stop for you to form an idea about it. As such, metaphysics in the classical sense becomes merely a kind of escapism, in order to justify an order that does not exist in the present reality. It is a futile attempt to ground everything when doing so is simply infeasible.

Nietzsche likens this grounding to a kid who tries to stack blocks, that, in the end, merely collapses on itself.

4. The Critique Of Religion: There is an excessive stress on hierarchy and dogmatic formulation, authority, and the like. Religion seems to lose its meaning, instead of becoming a pursuit for God, merely an exercise in following authority. Furthermore, there appears to be an unnecessary stress on eschatology, to the point that the life we have now becomes devalued. Because of our focus on the next life, the here and now becomes immaterial to us.

In emphasizing the grandeur of God, the value of the human person similarly gets diminished. Sartre, for instance, insists on the dignity of man over the grandeur of God. Because of the diminished value of the human person, suffering seems to be elevated to a level where it becomes so important that we, instead of wishing to ease suffering, would rather pursue suffering.

At this point, Nietzsche declares “God is dead,” insofar as man has lost his bearings and act as if there is no God in their life, to begin with. Life becomes nihilistic for the religious people who have murdered their own God. Instead of reforming religion, Nietzsche proposes that we should note an Eternal Recurrence, insofar as we see a birth, a decay, and a death, from all epochs of time that we see.

5. The Critique Of Language: Contrary to the Heidegerrian belief that “language is the house of Being”, Nietzsche believes that the particular language in play represents a whole world-view. Depending upon the language one speaks, one sees a set of meanings that another language could possibly not see. Language does not reveal. Rather, it limits. It isn't about the truth of one's own language, but rather, its ability to be creative, even inspiratory. Language must be one that drives us to action. For instance, we may write about history in a clinical manner. Language should be harnessed to step beyond this, and make such historical declarations as inspirational than not.

6. Will To Power: Nietzsche did not write “Will To Power” himself. This was merely a compilation of dated notes written to himself that his sister published after his death. He intended to rename this book as “Versuch einer Unwertung allen Werte,” translated, “Attempts Towards a Transvaluation of All Values.”.Because of his sister's Nazi influences thanks to her significant other, the compilation was given a slant towards the German super race.

For Nietzsche, it is clear that there is truly a will to dominate others that occurs in nature, from the plant kingdom to the animal kingdom, and it most certainly is present among humans in society. Whether you say “I love you” to someone, or whether a beggar asks you for money, there is an implicit attempt of domination upon another. Authority figures are notorious for this, but the common man himself certainly has the will to dominate the other.

What happened at this point was that Elizabeth used this to justify Nazism, which allowed them to insist that the German race was meant to dominate, to the point that they would even breed offspring from the most handsome men and most beautiful women in Germany at the time. The irony of this is that Nietzsche was a harsh critic of any totalitarian regime and prioritizes the individual over it, so a proposition like this would seem rather counterintuitive. After the death of Elizabeth, philosophical experts and commentators who came upon Nietzsche's material realized the slant that was not originally a part of Nietzsche's work.

There seem to be people whose preoccupation with destruction not for the sake of dominance, but destruction for its own sake. Freud would term this as a “death wish”. There seem to be some people who just don't seem to care about anything but destruction per se. Whether it is destruction of the self, of property, or of others, they are just preoccupied with destruction. This is called “the will to nothingness”.

If you read through his notes carefully, Nietzsche underscores that though the will to dominate is common, and thought the will to nothingness can be so consuming, the power lies not in either of these, but in the ability to master the self. Self-mastery, self-control allows you to liberate yourself from your self-slavery. This is called “the will to self-overcoming”.

It would appear that the will to dominate is merely a way to compensate for one who cannot overcome himself. There is true strength and true power in the will to self-overcoming. The will to dominate is a sign of weakness, not of strength.

7. The Aesthetic Phenomenon: Nietzsche did not cover this idea as much, but there was clearly an intent from Nietzsche to compile his ideas under this banner. If he were to believe in a God, he believes that it would be a dancing God. Why is that?

“Only as an aesthetic phenomenon is the world and the existence of man eternally justified.”

In the traditional scholastic tradition, there are three attributes to being: it is what is true, what is good, and what is beautiful. Imelda Marcos and her abuse of this notion to the point of cliché immediately comes to mind. Paul Cladell, for example. is a French intellectual who was attracted to Catholicism because of the beautiful music he heard from the church one day. There are those who would give their lives for what is beautiful.

For something to be truly valid, be it morality, religion, or an object, perhaps the “saving grace” is the aspect of beauty. That which is beautiful must be embodied. Despite the religious emphasis on the ugliness of the human body as imperfect and finite, Nietzsche emphasizes that beauty is nothing as an abstraction. It must be incarnated. For him, the human body is the greatest vehicle of beauty.

Nietzsche believes this is an opportunity for man to drive himself towards self-fulfillment and redemption, as one strives towards the aesthetic.

Acronym Mnemonic: BMo-MeRe-LaWA

.:Review, Continued: Marx:.

The best thing to read exclusively from Marx would be “The Economic and Philosophical Manuscript”. This came before his collaboration with Engels, which yielded “The Communist Manifesto”.Marx, prior to Engels, was more philosophical than purely radical.

Marx divides his thinking into the Critique and the Prophetique. Marx critiques politics, religion, and economics. His main point of contention here was about how people perceive something contrary to how the thing truly is. This is called “the false consciousness”.

The Prophetique is concerned with Marx's development of a “philosophy of work”. This runs contrary to the Greek notion that philosophy is a matter of leisure. Only those who have leisure can philosophize. In the contemporary Judeo-Christian world, people believe in “ora et labora”, that is, prayer and labor. Marx believes that neither should not be the case, but rather, the only essential quality of man is work.

Marx speaks of the transformation of nature, as he believes man should be able give a goal to nature, and elevates himself above nature, from fighting it, to harnessing it, to transforming it, to automation, and so forth. He can only pose himself if he does what he ought to do. For Marx, a man without work is a man who does not achieve his humanity: a complete parasite. Man is a social being, and the individual is thrown under the bus, as such. For Marx, work is the humanization of nature and the naturalization of man.

He then goes on to recount the history of work: from the nomads, to the feudals, to the merchants, to the industrial age, and the eventual production of the proletariat class. Why is the proletariat considered “messianic”? In their being purified of the false consciousness, they would be capable of a revolution that will truly change the system. At the same time, they are truly workers. From there, a transition will happen where the State will organize things until it simply becomes obsolete, and finally, we arrive in a classless society. In a class society, the things we have and do not have determine the “deficiency” of our humanity. It results in dehumanization, as such. In a classless society, people work according to his talents, and people's needs are provided for. There is no need to look down upon a person simply because nobody is entitled to anything more than they need.

Key words for Marx: false consciousness, alienation, history, praxis, role of the proletariat, classless society, the place of the individual, atheism, Marx's theory and philosophy as a violation of his own praxis, or that it is also clouded by false consciousness.

Mnemonic Acronym For Marx's Themes: FAH-PRC-PAM.

.:Quotable Quotes:.

“What is Philosophy? It is what Philosophers do.”

- Dr. Reyes

“Wow! Isagot mo lang yan sa Comps, yayakapin ka na ni Fr. Ferriols! A+!!!”

- Marcelle, side comment in response to Dr. Reyes's comment

“So the soldiers, during the activist era of Ateneo, raided the library, and they were pulling out all the red-covered books. Apparently, they were given orders to seize all copies of the 'Red Book'...”

- Dr. Reyes

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Philosophy Updates For Tomorrow...

.:I Got It Covered...:.

I got it covered, guys. Tomorrow, you'll get to see the results. :)

In the meantime, I must start reviewing for the exams already. Hopefully, my notes thus far have helped.

Philosophy 118: 12 January, 2009

These notes were taken from my class with Dr. Reyes for Philosophy 118 last 12 January

.:Review: Nietzsche:.

Nietzsche is admittedly all over the place by design because he believes that there is no way that one could systematize Philosophy. Being is not final, or immutable, or eternal. In fact, true Being is “becoming”. One has to capture Being as it flows, thus believing it impossible to truly freeze a moment in philosophical thought, lending to his writing style of brief, aphoristic sentences. He is not prone to writing long paragraphs the way most other thinkers do. This is the same as Heraclitus's belief that you cannot cross the same river twice, such that “everything runs”.

These are the seven main epochs of Nietzsche's thinking:

1. Birth Of Tragedy: His first work is not his best, but BoT implies for once that man is not fully rational, contrary to what Aristotle may believe. Nietzsche speaks of Apollo (the god of light and reason) and Dionysus (the god of the underworld, wine, passion, and instinct). While this may seem to be merely an analysis of the Greek tragedy wherein order and passion need to find a balance, it would appear that this discussion is also allegorical in regard to one's balance in life as well.

2. The Critique Of Morality: Though a Christian morality was in place, it was, in the case of Europe, merely falling into conformism. It is a mechanism placed to guilt, shame, and terrify the person into acting morally. There is none of the inner voice or inner spontaneity that should be the driving force of morality, rather than a mere sense of conformism brought about by what the group dictates, not what our own conscience tells us. It becomes, as such, a morality of mediocrity.

Furthermore, Nietzsche tackles the issue of the hidden agenda. For example, people are condemned for being immoral or obscene, and so forth, yet their condemnation arises from their own dirty mind. The human person becomes a means to an end.

For Nietzsche, morality ought to hinge on your own conscience. You should be courageous enough to become what you really are. Sometimes, you have to go against the group. The man who is strong enough to stand up for what he believes in is the Ubermensch, the superior man. This is the mark of a truly moral man.

3. The Critique Of Metaphysics: Metaphysics attempts to capture the totality, the ambit of being. One can see this in Platonic thinking leading towards the world of Eidos. However, reality as man knows it is never quite final and eternal. It is not being, per se, but becoming. There is no way to build a system when reality will not stop for you to form an idea about it. As such, metaphysics in the classical sense becomes merely a kind of escapism, in order to justify an order that does not exist in the present reality. It is a futile attempt to ground everything when doing so is simply infeasible.

Nietzsche likens this grounding to a kid who tries to stack blocks, that, in the end, merely collapses on itself.

4. The Critique Of Religion: There is an excessive stress on hierarchy and dogmatic formulation, authority, and the like. Religion seems to lose its meaning, instead of becoming a pursuit for God, merely an exercise in following authority. Furthermore, there appears to be an unnecessary stress on eschatology, to the point that the life we have now becomes devalued. Because of our focus on the next life, the here and now becomes immaterial to us.

In emphasizing the grandeur of God, the value of the human person similarly gets diminished. Sartre, for instance, insists on the dignity of man over the grandeur of God. Because of the diminished value of the human person, suffering seems to be elevated to a level where it becomes so important that we, instead of wishing to ease suffering, would rather pursue suffering.

At this point, Nietzsche declares “God is dead,” insofar as man has lost his bearings and act as if there is no God in their life, to begin with. Life becomes nihilistic for the religious people who have murdered their own God. Instead of reforming religion, Nietzsche proposes that we should note an Eternal Recurrence, insofar as we see a birth, a decay, and a death, from all epochs of time that we see.

5. The Critique Of Language: Contrary to the Heidegerrian belief that “language is the house of Being”, Nietzsche believes that the particular language in play represents a whole world-view. Depending upon the language one speaks, one sees a set of meanings that another language could possibly not see. Language does not reveal. Rather, it limits. It isn't about the truth of one's own language, but rather, its ability to be creative, even inspiratory. Language must be one that drives us to action. For instance, we may write about history in a clinical manner. Language should be harnessed to step beyond this, and make such historical declarations as inspirational than not.

Philosophy 118: 09 January, 2009

These notes were taken from my class with Dr. Reyes for Philosophy 118 last 09 January

.:More On The Classless Society:.

Proletariats, having been purified of their false consciousness, we witness a group of people who are free of this false consciousness, thus possessing a true vision, the power to truly produce, as the workers. For the first time, we realize praxis. Thus, the proletariat alone can wage the revolution of revolutions, where in place of a reversal of roles, we instead see a true liberation from the social problems of capitalism.

Before this final stage, it is necessary for the state, as an intermediate step, to take control of the common means of production, such as factories and agricultural land. Only after that do we come to a classless society, where there will be no more need for the state, as it withers away because it loses its function. Soon, the country would be run by economic managers.

Science and technology will solve the problems of scarcity, and will assure humane work, allowing machines to do such dangerous work as coal mining, and the like.

Belgium appears to be a country that approaches a classless society.

Marx longs for a society where man recognizes man. There is no poor, no rich, no master, no slave.

.:The Weakness Of Marxist Thinking:.

Marx does not recognize individual problems. Marx emphasizes the absoluteness of the social, and the meaning of one's life and one's death, and individual suffering is thrown under the bus. For Marx, none of these things are important.

.:Marx And Atheism:.

In Marx, his critique of religion is not merely a critique against the abuses of religion, but on the absurdity of religion itself. Religion makes sense only when not all the world's problems are solved. Once they are solved, the function of religion becomes obsolete. Liberation theologians have attempted to reconcile Marxism with Christianity, but despite their similarities, they are rather in staunch opposition with each other.

.:What If?:.

… could it be possible that what Marx is espousing merely another false consciousness?

… is not proposing a theory for Marxism in violation of praxis?

Marx's response is that his vision is valid because he *is* a member of the proletariat. As such, his praxis and his philosophy are grounded not entirely on theory. He is consistent with himself and with what he espouses. He believes that what he has to say is as evolutionary as what the concept of praxis ought to be.

.:Quotable Quotes:.

“My God, I come from a country where there is still hunger, and here I am driving in a highway paved with eggs as an act of protest.”

- Dr. Reyes

“I woke up one day and half my face was paralyzed. You might know this as Bell's Palsy.”

- Dr. Reyes

Philosophy 118: 07 January, 2009

These notes were taken from my class with Dr. Reyes for Philosophy 118 last 07 January

.:More On The False Consciousness:.

In a sense, this is a “reality” that is not really real. As such, Marx was one of the three masters of suspicion: along with Nietzsche and Freud. This false consciousness is especially prevalent in society, as it has learned to tolerate many injustices that exist in the world.

.:More On Alienation:.

From generation gap to other types of dehumanization, alienation becomes systematized in the industrial age.

.:More On History:.

It was only in contemporary philosophy that historicity became a factor. Prior to this, there is a prevailing belief that Being is once-and-for-all. Once you have grasped Being, you subsequently grasp the reality. But Marx saw this was not the case. Reality is not static: what is the reality for the caveman progresses into what is the reality for the modern man.

.:More On Praxis:.

You cannot have action that is free of thought. Thought without action is, on the other hand, useless. As such, only in developing thinking can a course of action likewise develop. As such, there is an imperfect grasp on “truth”, as it is only a truth that is appropriated and appropriate at the particular moment. Some theologians echo this belief by calling a person to action based on what God would need from you at the time.

.:The Role Of The Proletariat:.

The proletariat stand for a new low in human existence, as far as poverty and exploitation are concerned. Capitalism is the only point in history where this was made possible. The proletariat is treated as a commodity, no longer as a human person. As the worker is brutalized, does this extreme suffering lead to a new consciousness? For Marx, it produces a purified vision of what man is for the proletariat. Furthermore, they see what the end of history should strive towards.

.:The Classless Society:.

For Marx, classes are formed solely because of property. Because you come from a class, the insidiousness of classes is that your very humanity itself is affected. That you have gone to a cheap public school all your life already dictates how you and other people look at you and on your very humanity itself.

As such, Marx believes in communal ownership instead. In Marx's classless society, furthermore, there is no need for the state. This community would be completely voluntary, but there would be no need for personal ownership, since one gets whatever they need, and one works according to their talents.

.:Quotable Quotes:.

“During 1972, there were leftist students and faculty, and at times, some students would picket certain classes, choosing mainly American Jesuits.”

- Dr. Reyes

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Reunited And It Feels So Good...

.:The Campus Aircheck Batch 5 Reunion Preview...:.

It was quite a night, really. We had Cathy, Cherry, Gracey, TJ, Matt, Jiff, Janna, Deedah, Tabel, and Vice, and yours truly, and it was definitely an awesome time had by all of us. We even had Mr. Koji Morales, aka Joe Spinner, as a late attendee to the party... technically.

But guess what, dear aircheckers? Given the success of the first attempt at a reunion, it would appear that this is going to be happening again pretty soon...

So here's hoping to more opportunities to spend time with my batchmates, and more power to all of us. We may have been a short-lived batch, but Campus Aircheck Batch 5 lives on through us, as we maintain a bond that not even a station reformat could ever hope to break. =)

To the people who didn't get to go, just know that you were missed, and you missed a lot. The things we talked about, from gossip to whatnot, was definitely nothing short of awesome fun for all involved.

Thanks to Janna for being the gracious host for that night, and we'll all be seeing each other again, soon, for sure. =)

.:Bored To Tears Today...:.

I'm still on the fence whether or not I should go to TSC tonight, truth be told... oh, well.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Turn Of Events...

.:Pow-Wow:.

Meeting up with Elbert and Jonas and Jester and even Sire last night proved to be very fruitful, and I might see my magic career taking off to unexpected heights... or lows, for that matter. Lol. Hopefully, this does yield something very interesting for me, although I'm pretty sure that 2009 is going to be an exciting year regardless.

The conversation between me and Jester and Sire for the rest of the night turned out to be quite an eye-opener. While I am quite savvy when it comes to marketing and business, I am admittedly terrible at the nitty-gritty parts of the work, which I often rely on other people to accomplish. That Jester is excellent at handling the nitty-gritty while being just as brilliant concept-wise as I could hope to be is rather impressive in my book.

Other more... controversial discussions will have to wait another day, though. Heh.

.:Why I Still Haven't Written My Other Post On The Valley Golf Incident...:.

After my first post on the matter, I was very stoked to write a more detailed one, and even use it as a springboard for another Lyrically Speaking Scribble. I am by no means an activist, but this particular story did strike a nerve and I felt myself compelled to action.

My stance on the other side hasn't softened, truth be told. Child abuse is still child abuse, and excessive force is still excessive force. That much will hopefully not be too difficult to be proved in a court of law, if things aren't... manipulated somehow.

I don't agree with what happened, and I feel for Bino and how he was injured needlessly in a fight that shouldn't have escalated to this point at all. However, I can't help but get this sinking feeling that I've been had when I took only one side, hook, line, and sinker, and as more details about the incident pour in, you tend to understand that both sides are to blame for the fracas, albeit only one would appear to be legally liable for it.

What happened was deplorable. I still stand by the belief that the Pangandamans should pay for what happened to Bino. I also feel that out of delicadeza, they should relinquish their positions, because it is in bad form for them to be in power when they act the way they do. I am in no way condoning what has happened here.

Despite that, I feel that key details left out in the initial post about the incident led everyone to believe that this was a one-sided affair, and that the dela Pazes were practically saints-in-the-making. Based on what people who personally know either side have to say, though, it would appear that this is clearly not the case, and this beating was anything but unprovoked.

If only for that kind of misrepresentation, I find it rather prudent to sit on writing another scathing post about the incident again. While I didn't put my foot firmly in my mouth since I stuck to certain issues, I'm rather disquieted by the convenient details left out in either narrative.

In the meantime, to paraphrase Jesus Christ Superstar, I'm sure the Pangandamans are singing, "Must die, must die, this issue must die..."

Color me unsurprised.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Campus Aircheck Batch 5 Reunion Is Tomorrow!

Oh, yes. I'm definitely stoked about it! Stoked, I tells ya. =)

Film Review: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

.:Film Review:The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button:.


"Curious"? Try "bizarre".



To say that "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button" is quite a strange movie is an understatement. While it shares many key similarities to Forrest Gump (Feather = Hummingbird. Box Of Chocolates = You Never Know What's Coming To Get You. Daisy = Jenny. Long-@$$ Movie = Long-@$$ Movie. Etc.), this film does stand on its own merits, apart from such comparisons, and the short story it was very loosely based on.

The movie follows the life story of the eponymous Benjamin Button, played by Brad Pitt, albeit relayed mostly in flashback via the interaction between Daisy, played by Cate Blanchett, and her daughter, Caroline. The story is preceded by a tale of a blind clockmaker who made a clock that went backwards to ease his pain over his son's death in the war, which set the tone for the very unique life bestowed upon Benjamin, who was born after the first world war, and abandoned by his father when his mother died in childbirth.

Benjamin was a curious little child, in that he looked nothing like a child. If anything, he looked like a very old man, and as he grew older, it was becoming clear that he was physically getting younger. As he goes on in life, he meets various people in the nursing home, including Daisy, whom he ends up falling for, at some point. They find themselves in a curious arrangement, as neither of them are quite ever at the same point of their lives with the other except for a brief spell, and as such, their relationship simply wasn't meant to be.

He traveled around the world, initially as a seaman. He forges relationships with various people in his travels, and it becomes quite clear that while Benjamin grows younger physically, he still grows older mentally. This explains why he is surprisingly mature despite looking incredibly young, and so forth. He also gets to know his father later on in his life, and he ends up becoming rich when his father left him everything.

After being mired in an on-again, off-again storm with Daisy, he goes his own way after one last tryst with her. He ends up returning to the nursery as a teenager with dementia, clearly mentally degrading while physically growing younger. Daisy, already in her 70's or 80's, ends up caring for Benjamin until he dies as a baby, looking at her with recognition one last time before breathing his last.

In a way, this very long and convoluted story does make one think about the human condition: while Benjamin was by no means immortal, it certainly proved jarring for him to keep growing younger while the people around him grow older. It was a very unique experience that none of us can claim to understand fully, but it certainly leads us to consider what it could mean to us and how we sometimes take life for granted despite the fact that unlike Benjamin, we don't get any younger, either.

The movie may have turned the original "curious case" into more of a love story than anything else, but the film, as mentioned, has its own strengths, as we do think of what it means to live a full life. Benjamin may have been getting younger and younger, but you can see that he did what he can to live life to the fullest, finding himself traveling around the world, finding sights and sounds with passion and vigor, as his youthful spirit never left him until what appeared to be Alzheimer's and dementia set in upon him.

This movie is a plaintive for us to live life to the fullest while we can. If one who grows younger rather than older simply realizes that there is much more to life than he can possibly fathom, then what more for us mere mortals who do grow older and older? Perhaps you're gaining weight unexpectedly, as you keep on slaving away in front of your desk at work. Perhaps you're discontent with what you're doing in your life. Any which way it is, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button is a testimony to how fleeting life truly is, and how the perfect moment is something one can only hope to capture for a while, but never forever.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I Really Wanted To Blog Something Else Right Now, But...

... please pray for my grandfather. This is his second bout with prostate cancer.

That is all I can ask...

Philosophy 118: 05 January, 2009

These notes were taken from my class with Dr. Reyes for Philosophy 118 last 05 January

.:Points Of Emphasis For Marx:.

On Self-Deception.

The False Consciousness and Ideology results in self-deception. Capitalists truly believe in the ability of the economy to make itself work, compensating the worker in being competitive, rather than according to his needs. This false consciousness persists both for the capitalists and the workers.

On Alienation.

Coming from the Latin “alienus”, that is, “not himself”. For Marx, the worker is alienated because he does not get the fruits of his labor. The product that he has, for example, had a stake in, goes to the factory owner. While the worker is the source of the surplus value of the raw material, this added value is enjoyed by the factory owner. What it means to be a worker is bastardized in favor of the owner.

On History.

For Marx, not everything is possible at one time. For everything, there is a proper time, such that the atomic bomb cannot possibly supersede gunpowder, for example. In contrast, ahistorical thinking attempts to just do away with a temporal progression, as it is mythical in a sense, that one can jump from one point to another, rather than progress from one point to another gradually. The historical point of view believes that what we do now has an effect on what we would do further onwards.

In effect, Marxism is a secularization of Christianity, as they are both historical. The classless society could not possibly come until we go through the other phases of production, from the nomadic to the feudal to the township to the capitalist to whatever subsequent phases afterwards.

On Praxis.

In the past, there has been a seemingly arbitrary division between thought and action. For Marx, this is questionable. Consider in Greek Philosophy how only in grasping the logos can everything be revealed, only after that total view are you then justified in acting. Marx criticizes this inevitable slippery slope towards inaction. Marx finds it glaring that the class of thinkers are separate from the class of workers. For Marx, they should go hand in hand. Thinking action, and acting thought.

When you choose to act a certain way based on a particular thought, you arrive at a new insight. This new insight will not have arisen had you not acted in the first place. Thus, it is a sequence of thinking to acting, then acting to thinking, and so forth. This is how it is done in life. We do not start off with an all-encompassing theory for action. We have to make things up as we go along. Strangely enough, this is also how Christianity works. Life is from moment to moment, or from kairos to kairos.

Is there really one universal Truth? Or is it merely a praxis: that we make things up as we go along.

.:Quotable Quotes:.

Would you believe? None for this one. =(

Monday, January 05, 2009

Addiktus

.:Videoke Mayhem:.

This is crazy, but I'm starting to get addicted to online videoke, where I get to record myself singing my lungs out, then sharing the agony to my friends online.

It's pretty cool, although the annoying thing is that each of them have their own weaknesses that really grate on me, considering I'm using about three different sites to try my stuff out...

Karaoke Play has a nice library because lots of new songs end up with them, but they use YouTube videos and the music gets in the way of your singing, because they're rarely minus one. Furthermore, a lot of the videos don't show up on your browser, since certain videos would be "not available in your country" if you played it on YouTube. Oh, and you have to turn up your speakers so that the music gets picked up by the mics. Otherwise, tough.

Red Karaoke is awesome except their songs sometimes don't record in sync with your vocals. You have no idea how frustrating that is for me, having sung two recordings of "Push", and neither of them are in sync.

Sing Snap, lastly, has a library of songs you have to pay to access. So for the fans of High School Musical, you have to pay to get their songs. And their player, while advanced and all, produces very choppy recordings, although they at least allow you to sync your vocals with your music...

I just absolutely wish they'd finally get "Mad" by Ne-Yo in one of these sites... or I'd learn enough Soundforge to record my own version. Grrr....

In any case, this videoke bug was brought about by last Saturday's rendezvous with Elbert and Jonas, after El's meet and greet in Comic Odyssey in Galleria. Shortly after this, I hung out a bit with The Story Circle then proceeded to Greenhills for some pure, anadulterated videoke goodness.

After having recorded some audio disasters, I also found the Sims Onstage, which is a pretty nice play for recording, and I'm hoping that I can do better there as they seem to have the best resources for me to put to use and all.

I'd regale you with some of my recorded songs, but I don't think the world is ready for them yet.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Start Your Year Right With A MisterVader Calendar... Lol

.:The MisterVader Wallpaper Calendar...:.

This picture is so old. It was 20 pounds ago. Nonetheless, unless the kind Jonas Diego would make another one, here's the current wallpaper calendar featuring yours truly. Allow me a bit of vanity every now and then to pretend someone would actually download this and use it as their wallpaper... lol.



Happy New Year, everyone! =P

Friday, January 02, 2009

My 15 Favorite Posts From My Blog In 2008...

.:My Top Fifteen Favorite Entries For 2008:.

I couldn't pick only ten, so I went with fifteen. Here's something I decided to add at the last moment, here are fifteen of the best posts I've written for the past year. I selected them based on my personal preferences, and I hope you'd like them. =)

15. Nakapagtataka – Lyrically Speaking Scribbles, Part IV: It was a well-chosen song, I guess. That's why I like it. It's also my only purely Filipino post in the top 15.

14. Love On The Locks: Imagine spending your day handcuffed to a friend. What hijinks will ensue? Read on to find out. Heh.

13. Company Of The Year? Who Cares! Still The Douchebags Of The Century: My post on the infamous Family First/Danvil Plans company bugging shoppers in Megamall as they use very ruthless means to strongarm people into buying insurance from them. Caveat emptor!

12. I Don't Hate For The Sake Of Hatin': My requisite post in response to someone who disagreed with me on my thoughts about Manny Pacquiao way back in 2007. It's funny how people go I'm being “unnationalistic” just because I don't worship Manny Pacquiao. Yuch.

11. A Reason, A Season, In My Life(time): A post I wrote in response to a reflection read to us during a faculty meeting. I do like waxing philosophical at times.

10. When Idiots Attack: Watch how not only do I get to own a dim-witted troll online, he proceeds to own himself, too! I rarely do these posts, but when I do, boy, do I have fun!

9. There's Something About Bachelor Parties: A funny story I just had to recount. Not included in this story, though, was the immediate vomit sound effect made by Mr. Carry On after his drunken speech. It's a laugh and a half. I urge you to read it. =)

8. The Unicorn: My thoughts on what it means to be pursuing something you know you can never have, and why people insist on doing it, still.

7. The PBA Megapost: My exhaustive coverage of the PBA from my side of the fence. Of course, the succeeding PBA Megarant, et al were likewise as exhaustive, but let's not foment any more trouble, eh?

6. The Problem With The Problem With Blogging: My scathing reply to one Malou Fernandez who insisted on stirring the pot for controversy yet again...

5. The Teacher's Journey Series (Part 2) (Part 3): This was my recap of my teaching career thus far, and hopefully marks merely three of the many more chapters to come in my teaching career. I also wrote letters to my students shortly before this series, which can be seen in the same month I wrote these posts, I believe.

4. Confessions And Professions - The Unsent Series, Volume 2, Part V: A heartfelt shout-out to the various ladies in my life at one time or another, in one glorious, anachronistic mess.

3. The Laughs And Gasps Megapost: This is a detailed post of exactly what transpired on the road to the show, Laughs And Gasps. A sequel is reportedly in the works, and we'll let you know as developments happen.

2. In Memoriam - The Campus 99.5 Megapost: One of the most heart-breaking posts I ever had to write. Here, I detailed the rise and fall of Campus 99.5, a story that still shakes me to the core to this very day.

1. The Rick Astley Megapost: This was one of the most detailed and meticulous posts I've ever read, and a lot of people definitely enjoyed my take on what, to me, was *the* event of 2008. From my meeting him in person and having a picture with him, to Roderick Paulate, all bases were covered. =)

The Year-End Survey...

.:The Year-End Survey...:.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
- Do stage illusions!
- Watch stand-up comedians!
- Travel to Baguio, La Union, and Subic on my own!
- Become extremely active in the blogging community!
- Perform with Ms. Giselle Sanchez!
- Go bar hopping (For AXE.)!
- Plurk!


2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don't really make New Year's resolutions, so... but I do intend to lose weight this 2009.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Well, one of my Beloved's friends, and the wife of a guy I play M:TG with.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Not really close per se, but Lorenz Tan and my landlord were two people who come to mind...

5. What countries did you visit?

Stayed in the Philippines the whole year.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

Power 9? :P Seriously, 2008 was a bountiful year, although I'm to blame for having next to nothing to show for it.

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Other than specific dates involving my Beloved, August 1, 2008. This was the date of the Rick Astley concert!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I would have to say “Laughs And Gasps”. To me, that was a milestone as far as my magic career is concerned. Also, I supported myself for practically a year on magic alone. And, of course... thesis! Yeba.

This year as well, I decided to openly proclaim being straight edge.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I hardly saved anything going into next year. At least, though, I did manage to save something, and next year looks to be even bigger, career-wise.

I also felt bad I didn't get back into radio permanently this year. The whole Campus 99.5 thing still saddens me, sometimes.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing particularly noteworthy, no. Flu or sore throat, maybe, but I don't remember being hospitalized this year at all.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A white suit. A full-scale stage illusion. Maybe even the Shanghai Shackles. Outside of magic, well... a new PSP? Of course, it just replaced my old one...

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My Beloved! This year was a turning point for our relationship, and everyone can see how much she has endeavored to make this relationship work.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

People who refuse to accept responsibility for their actions and choose to pin the blame elsewhere. People who have betrayed the confidence I've placed in them. People whose name I simply cannot even mention because thinking about it already depresses me again.

14. Where did most of your money go?

New stuff for my shows, food, and taxis...

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Three things... Laughs And Gasps, the Rick Astley Concert, and seeing My Beloved after two months of not being able to see her.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

I'll give you ten, actually...

- Sweet And Low, by Augustana
- Thunder, by Boys Like Girls
- Bittersweet, by Sara Bareilles
- Better In Time, by Leona Lewis
- Akala, by Parokya Ni Edgar
- Saludo, by 6 Cycle Mind
- I'm Yours, by Jason Mraz
- Now Or Never, from High School Musical 3
- Never Gonna Give You Up, by Rick Astley
- Cry For Help, by Rick Astley

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

- Happier or Sadder? Happier. I met lots of new friends who are really awesome, and for the most part, kept the old ones.

- Richer or Poorer? Richer, though still not liquid.

- Thinner or Fatter? Fatter. Significantly so. Oh, well.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

- Exercise. I definitely needed that to keep myself from getting this fat.
- Watch videos and learn sleights. I guess next year's a good opportunity for me.
- Playtest. This was a so-so year for my M:TG career.
- Watch movies.
- Travel. Not enough money.
- Save. I spent too much money.
- Spend time with my Beloved.
- PLURK

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

- Spend money.
- Eat.
- Procrastinate
- PLURK! =P

20. How did you spend the holidays?

Just spent it alone, for the most part. My brother was in Thailand with my mom, and my Beloved was in Japan.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

Two years with my Beloved. That speaks for itself. =)

22. How many one-night stands?

Straight edge, remember? That includes casual sex. :P

23. What was your favorite TV program?

WWE RAW and Smackdown? I really don't think I watched much TV, if at all.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

Maybe they hate me, but I don't hate them. I just can't hate anyone, truth be told. Not in my nature.

25. What was the best book you read?

“A Lion's Tale”, by Chris Jericho. To be honest, I didn't read too many books. But I also read lots of philosophy books for school. Riveting stuff, lol.

26. What was your favorite film of this year?

“The Dark Night” is the only thing that comes to mind...

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Err... what fashion concept? You mean the white suit? Lol.

28 Whom did you miss?

My Beloved. We hardly ever see each other, sadly. Nobody else comes close in that department.

29. Who was the best new person you met?

Rick Astley. 'Nuf said. He's not strictly “new”, but it's the first time I met him... heh.

30. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

Never say never. For better or for worse, you can never say never. Sometimes, the people who you think the most of can turn out to be quite disappointing. Sometimes, the people you take for granted could actually be awesome people.