Thursday, July 28, 2011

Teaaaaaaaam Fabioooooooooooooooo!!!

.:What Was I Saying About Old Spice Again?:.

The other day, I was talking about how brilliant the Old Spice campaign was, and what a phenomenon Isaiah Mustafa has turned into because of it.

Well, just today, someone has decided to challenge the Old Spice Guy's reign of dominance!


Fabio has challenged the Old Old Spice Guy as the New Old Spice Guy. It's pretty brilliant, and hilarious, as Fabio just does and says crazy stuff, and all the people on Twitter who are helping this phenomenon trend yet again are having the time of their lives as both Fabio and Isaiah respond to a few Tweets here and there. I'm still hoping against hope they'd pick my Tweet to respond to, but no luck so far. :(

Fabio was the guy who made other men envious almost three decades ago. It's amazing to see that while he has obviously aged, the man still has what it takes to be a brand spokesman who is both archetypal and satirical of machismo at the same time. That requires a kind of gravitas that I believe Fabio has in spades.

Such a huge, throbbing gravitas. I clearly did not look the word up in the dictionary for proper usage.

All that being said, I've checked out most of their mad libs on their YouTube channel, but this video from Fabio's own Old Spice YouTube channel was probably the best one so far:

Need I say it again? Fabioooooooooooooooo!!!

A total hit of a campaign, in my opinion. The ground rules have been set, and now, the battle for Old Spice supremacy has commenced, with people voting through Twitter, YouTube, and possibly other social media, including Reddit, so I heard.

Which horse am I backing, other than the one Isaiah was riding in the original commercial? Well, given my name is Marcelle FabiE, I guess I'd throw my hat in and go with Team FabiO, because really, when the immovable object and the unstoppable force clash with one another, picking a side doesn't really need any more thought or logic. Also, Fabio has appeared in hundreds of romance novel covers already. How many romance novel covers has Isaiah shown up in? Yeah, I didn't think so, either.

Quite honestly, whether you're Team Isaiah or Team Fabio, everyone wins. Unless of course...

... Where are the Old Spice Girls?!? We demand diversity!!!

This situation bears watching, for sure. Oh, it's true! It's true!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Project 52 (30/52): Talk Shows On Mute - Incubus

.:Project 52 (30/52): Talk Shows On Mute - Incubus:.

The demon spawns are coming to Manila! Stop them!


Reaaaaally subtle drug reference right there, which is more than can be said for Incubus's very questionable tastes in band names,which has led to a bit of a moral panic in this country, especially since they're performing in Manila tomorrow. If I had money and time to spare, I'd probably grab a ticket, myself, but since I don't, guess I'll pass on it.

Having said that, I really love this song. Whenever I hear this on the Monster's Riot, I can't help but feel rejuvenated because of this song.

Incubus is a great band, this is a great song, and if you wanna see the history of my Project 52 picks in Youtube as a playlist, you can actually go here. There isn't much to say beyond that, really.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tippex Asks If You Should Shoot The Bear!

.:Viral As Viral Can Be:.

This bears watching. But my puns are unbearable.

Tipp-Ex is a relatively unknown brand in the Philippines, but it's pretty much ink correction fluid. While everyone must be pretty aware of the amazing Old Spice Guy commercials, Tipp-Ex is comparable to it. That the whole Old SPice campaign went viral like nobody's business was a phenomenon in 2010, although ironically, despite increased sales across the board, the specific brand being featured in the original ad actually dropped by 7% in sales.

Tipp-Ex hasn't had the same kind of amazing coverage Isaiah Mustafa may have gotten through the Old Spice campaign, but this viral campaign is no less brilliant, if you'd just bother watching that video. Seriously. Go ahead, then come back to me when you've had your fill.

I can wait.

Okay. You done checking it out? Good. Did you like it? Because seriously, that whole campaign was one of the most creative things I have ever seen. The minute the hunter grabbed the Tipp-Ex from outside the YouTube video frame and used it to erase "shoots" from the title, my jaw dropped. It was one of those moments where you look at something and wish you thought of it first.

Know that you will probably never be anywhere nearly as witty as the guys who came up with this.

I really wish this campaign got more attention. Sure, 10 million views is a pretty big deal, but when the Old Spice campaign leads it in views 4 to 1, you wish more people just recognized how well this campaign was executed. People keep saying that creativity in general has taken a hit over the years, yet here's Tipp-Ex proving that they can literally break outside the box and come up with something that captures the imagination of people. We must've tried forty or so different words just to see how many videos these guys came up with. We've only had like five misses all throughout, and everything else was accounted for.

Did this campaign even win an award? Because I think it totally should.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Just Another Magic Monday: It's A Small Magical World After All

.:Just Another Magic Monday: It's A Small Magical World After All!:.

You know what I find amazing about being a magician in the Philippines? It's the realization that the local community is so small and so intertwined that everytime someone mentions another performer to me, it's going to be someone I personally know 95% of the time. While I'm sure the US community would know of one another for the most part, the Philippine community is so interconnected that we've probably shared the stage with each other at some point or another if either of us have been working professionally for at least three years.

I noticed this when I had a couple of shows in one go last Saturday, first for a friend of a friend's birthday party which she celebrated by doing an outreach to street children. It wasn't easy performing for street kids, but I certainly enjoyed myself while I tried my darned best to entertain them in the middle of the rain and the slightly muddy floor I was performing on.

I'll say this much: street children are easier to perform for than kids from a certain exclusive school for Chinese boys that I choose to not name.

That same night, I ended up performing with none other than Mike Unson yet again, which marks the fourth time we've performed together in the past three weeks. I must say, it has been very enjoyable, and I appreciated the fact that some of my friends, like Louanne and Achie Rochelle, showed up to catch us in Capone's.

Achie has known me for three years already, yet she has never seen me do magic until last night. Heh.

In any case, both times, people talked to me about other magicians at random, and when I was performing for street children, someone asked me about Erik Mana, whom I've not only written about in the past, but I've actually been colleagues with in WAVE 89.1 from 2004 to 2007. It's pretty funny to note that I didn't realize Erik was the Erik Mana until about 2006, despite the fact that I was also doing magic at the time.

At Capone's, Achie's friend asked me about Anthony Billan Co, which just took me by surprise. Sure, people ask me about JB dela Cruz or Rannie Raymundo or Jeffrey Tam all the time. These are guys who are pretty popular with the lay crowd. But Anthony? The man himself acknowledges that he is purely a hobbyist, and Mindbender notwithstanding, it's pretty uncanny for the averaqe person to know him as a mentalist or magician.

It's funny, really. My mentor, Mr. Bing Lim-It, has always asked me to not join any magic groups, and I never have. Despite that, I've met most of the movers and shakers of the Philippine industry, and I am constantly humbled by what those who have come before me have achieved. It feels great to be a part of their legacy, and to have the honor and privilege of seeing them time and again and picking their brain when it comes to ideas to step up one's performances.

Y'know what I wish right now? I wish a magician in another country, be it the US, UK, or wherever else, would just drop me a line and let me know how their communities come together and intertwine. I really want to see if there are any massive differences, or everything is more or less the same microcosm-wise elsewhere in the globe.

It should be an interesting prospect to look into, neh?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lulz Before The Weekend (Weekend...)

.:Let's Make Voldemort x Draco Reeeealllly Awkward...:.

I like the part where he says "ahhhh!"

No words needed. Just watch the video. Seriously.

.:The Deeper Meaning Behind Rebecca Black's "Friday":.

It's from Funny or Die, so it must be true.

I like Rebecca Black. So sue me.

No, not in *that* way, Chris Hansen. You can go back now.

Say what you will about how bad her song "Friday" is, but the fact that she donated the proceeds of her song to Japan makes me think of her as a pretty stand-up girl, to be honest. The next time anyone of us can make a nigh-universally reviled song, make a huge chunk of change over it, then proceed to donate the proceeds to a worthy cause, we can talk. Otherwise, this girl is untouchable.

But now, in an in-depth interview, it becomes clear that there are more to the lyrics than meets the eye. Watch the video and find out what I mean.

Well, it's Friday, so you can't really expect me to do much else beyond this, right? I'm looking forward to the weekend!

Where are the bloody quotation marks?!?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My First Ever Filipino Freethinkers Meetup!

.:FF On The Go!:.

Since I saw the post on the Freethinkers website, I figured that going there to see the members of FF would be much more relaxing and enjoyable than grueling through a tournament for a Time Walk, even if the prize was certainly tempting to me.

In the end, I think I made the right decision, as I managed to meet some pretty cool people for the first time, not to mention discuss the possibility of starting a Filipino Freethinkers 100,000 challenge for paranormal phenomenon, essentially a Filipinized version of the Amazing Randi's $1,000,000 Paranormal Challenge, which should hopefully really curb the rampant charlatanry that is happening in this country thanks to the Licauco's and Lasala's of the world.

That being said, it was really great. Discussions were humorous and intellectual at the same time, and it felt good to be in a room filled with not necessarily like-minded people, but open-minded people. See, while I strongly advocate secularism, in practice, I am still every bit the Catholic apologist I've always been since reading the book entitled "Surprised By Truth."

I just believe that my beliefs are my beliefs, and I would rather that I don't shove mine down anyone's throat, nor have anyone shove theirs down mine. Besides, I have a gag reflex, and that kind of practice results in me spewing bile in response.

So after discussions on activism and sexism, we took ourselves down to Octoboy to have a very interesting early dinner, and I left the gathering with a deeper appreciation for the people of Filipino Freethinkers. I don't know if I can mention everyone there by name, but from Kenneth to Red to Carl to Bea to everyone else, it was a pleasure making your acquaintance, and a true honor to be writing for you guys.

Somewhere, the CBCP is keeping this photograph depicting a cabal of godless heathens for... future use. For the poor. Yeah.

Perchance To Dream...

.:Perchance To Dream...:.

The past few days have been quite a blur, and inasmuch as I'd like to recount everything that's been going on, there's just so much weighing on my mind as of late, and I don't really know what to make of it.

Dropping by 99.5 RT, listening to KDL talk about his crazy past, and reading off the memos and reprimands he has gotten over the years, made me realize how straitlaced I've lived my life in contrast. It isn't because I'm a nicer person than Logan, though. It's because I don't quite know how to forgive myself whenever I screw up.

And that's where I stand at this point, looking at so many loose ends in my life that I wish I could tie up, yet unfortunately, I doubt I ever can.

It crushes me whenever I lose a friend, especially someone who I genuinely care about. At this point, I'm extra paranoid, and I'm just hoping against hope that this isn't going to be the case yet again.

I'm sorry. I could've sworn I had something funny in line today. Unfortunately, I don't think I have it in me, today.

Not to mention my budding funny caption muses have been inadvertently clipped by a call I got this morning explaining to me that I can't use my current style without having to pay through the nose for it. So I guess I have to overhaul myself yet again.

Maybe when my head is clearer, I'd be able to make things right. For now, I guess I'll just keep walking around with my head floating in the air. I don't know where to turn at this point, and it's really weird.

Yep, this blog is still every bit the online diary it started off as, apparently. Sorry about that. It's just one of those days.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Itchyworms + Mike Unson = Double Route!!!

.:The Itchyworms Wedding Of The Year Video Launch!:.

Sorry, the video isn't officially out yet...

The Itchyworms launched their new music video for "Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal" last Monday, and they spared no expense to let people know about it, including having a full press release for it. I found it hilarious that I had to be referred to as "Magikel" to avoid being confused with Kel Yu, the band's bassist...

Feeling sikat ang lola niyo!

That being said, I was very honored at the prospect of opening for the Itchyworms, since everyone knows they're my favorite band, and I'm a huge fan of their music. I got to Route 196 that night ahead of everybody with my brother, just so I could set up properly.

That night was filled with awesome performers and regret over the fact that my camera phone sucks. I would've wanted to have pictures taken with Philia and Tanya Markova, but noooo, the chance never presented itself. Still, at least I finally got to talk to the awesome people from Tanya Markova, who I am really impressed with.

When it was my turn to hit the stage, I performed some of my favorite routines that night, and managed to prove that despite the fact that Route 196 is known as a haven for bands, there was room for topnotch comic mentalism and magic that night there.

Bondage. Always a killer.

What did I say about bondage again?

Being a magician has its perks.

I was pretty starstruck, yo.

While performing, I was pretty amused to find out that the lady for my infamous rope routine turned out to be the lovely wife of none other than Ako Si Chris, the YouTube sensation, founder of JoePM. He's pure American, but just totally loves to sing OPM tunes, and has developed quite a following over the years because of his musical talent and earnestness.

After the opening acts got the crowd pumped and ready, came the main event, as we were treated to a masterful music video featuring the Itchyworms and several guest stars, under the direction of Mr. King Palisoc. Everyone was marking out like crazy as the video was funny but charming at the same time, and I was definitely impressed by the way everything came together.

We loved the video so much that we demanded to see it twice, shortly after the Worms finished doing an awesome, awesome live set for everyone. They thankfully obliged us, and after the whole thing, we managed to stay on and have a lot of interesting conversations before heading out.

Although... I did totally find it awesome that I had these shirts to show for that night.

That'd look good on the bedroom floor of a groupie. Oh, wait. That works for bands, not magicians.

By the way, if you want to see the music video, type in: MYX REQUEST Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal send to 2366! I'd be happy to see that video go all the way to number 1!

.:TNT Night!:.

Within 24 hours, I ended up right back in Route 196 again, this time performing with Tetas and the Tw**, Mistress, Lee Grane, and of course, Mike Unson. This was a pretty awesome night, because a lot of the people here have never seen me before, and it was an opportunity to really turn some heads.

I opened the show, and did very well, pretty much keeping the people in the audience plain stupefied over the whole thing. Mike Unson does his set, and then we were taken to a pretty awesome musical journey that included the ending theme of Voltes V.

This was quite a run, really. Performing on hallowed ground like Route 196, to me, is quite an achievement.

Much thanks to Katt Torres and to Mike Unson for having me last night!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Film Review: Temptation Island

.:Film Review: Temptation Island:.

More poster fail!

Temptation Island
Nowhere near as bad as people claimed.

So I watched Temptation Island with Jazminne yesterday, and it was sheer hilarity, from start to finish. I think Joey Gosiengfiao would be proud, albeit I still stand by the belief that the original film was unintentionally hilarious.


Temptation Island is a remake of the 1970's cult classic, that features a high-stakes beauty pageant featuring Serafina L (Lovi Poe), Cristina G (Marian Rivera), Pura K (Solenn Heussaff), and Virginia P (Heart Evangelista), each of them joining the contest for their own reasons.

Making the cut to the final four, these four sultry vixens find themselves shipwrecked in an island, only flanked by a hodge podge of other people in their quest for survival and their hope for rescue.

Let's get this right out of the way: this is not a comedy meant to uplift anyone or anything. It's something you're meant to enjoy akin to watching Blades Of Glory or a watchable version of Epic Movie. Once you've accepted that, you are ready to enter the inanity and conceit of the film and appreciate it for the funny work of art that it is.

The original is often regarded as untouchable, and in a lot of respects, it is. What made the original Temptation Island work is, thankfully, not something the new film is trying to duplicate, even if the storyline is obviously a complete rip of the original film's.

Instead, the new film relies on the acting (or over-acting) skills of Marian Rivera, who honestly carried most of the film on her back. Love her or hate her for her offscreen antics, but when she's tasked to pretty much play herself in a film, she does it without a hitch. Ruffa Mae Quinto continues to steal the show with her stellar performance in a support role, and Lovi Poe shows promise as a comedic actress who is woefully unaware how hilarious she actually is (in character, of course).

To me, though, the revelation of the film has got to be Aljur Abrenica. The man may not be uber-eloquent, but let's face it: playing up that fact about him makes him both funny and accessible to fans at the same time. His hilariously awkward-sounding conversation with Marian Rivera in near straight English (Sans the diction, obviously.) just made me laugh out loud in the cinema, really.

Obviously, the Machete diet fixes your body, but not your English. He clearly doesn't give a damn.

Overall, the storyline was fun to follow, and I had my share of laughs, even if I found Solenn Heussaff's acting to be an atrocity. I felt this was also one of John Lapuz's weaker outings, but thankfully, Marian Rivera, Ruffa Mae Quinto, and Lovi Poe made sure that this movie wouldn't fall into a black hole of suck.

Also, my very own starlet discovery was in the movie.

Originally, the only reason I'd have bothered seeing Temptation Island was because Trixie was there, but thankfully, the movie was good enough that had they somehow edited out Trixie's scene from the film, I'd have Crane Kicked only two ushers instead of five.

Pictured: an unsatisfied customer.

Overall, I had a lot of fun watching it, and I wouldn't mind watching it again with friends. It was fun for what it was worth, even if you know they were obviously trying to be funny this time. The fact that this film pretty much single-handedly proved that we have an upcoming generation of onscreen talents who can do comedy (Whether or not they realize it.), to the heart of this reviewer, is very endearing.

Also, I had great company while watching the movie, so it totally ruled even more.

Because she's totally awesome.

Jabronis, with all the bad Pinoy movies we get, it's great to support the good ones that we actually get that aren't yet another poverty porn film.

"Fun" Evaluation: A-
"Critical" Evaluation: B

Project 52 (28/52): If You Come Back - Blue

.:Project 52 (28/52): If You Come Back - Blue:.

Why don't these guys have more fans? They rule!

With Westlife coming to Manila on September 29, boybands seem to be making some kind of comeback into the public consciousness at this point. In fact, this morning, while in a cab en route to work, I ended up hearing "Back For Good" by Take That, which, for some reason, ended up reminding me of this song in particular instead. If you try hard enough, I'm sure you can mix those two songs, anyways.

Having said that, I'm a sucker for these types of songs, and I had a soft spot for Blue, being one of those boybands who came along well after the fad died by the early 2000's.

Blue's music has always been a favorite of mine, and it's got everything to do with just how well they craft their ideas for their songs are. While they're not always particularly well-executed ("All Rise" makes me cringe.), they at least try to go out of the box beyond your regular love songs.

Which I guess makes it ironic that my favorite Blue song, If You Come Back, in particular, is almost a by-the-numbers song about trying to win someone back, at least lyrically.

Oh, by the way, after realizing that musically, I'm most inspired by songs on a Monster's Riot Wednesday, I've officially decided that starting next week, I'd be doing all my Project 52 posts during the middle of the week so I could have a much better song selection to work with. I try my best not to plan my song for the day, so I'd like to have a good bunch of songs I can pick from, because I know the Monster's Riot (And Waveback Wednesday) playlists never fail to deliver, and if there's a current hit that I wanna pay attention to, I'm sure I wouldn't forget it, either.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Just Another Magic Monday: A Harry Potter Film Review Plus A Sendup To Severus Snape

.:Just Another Magic Monday: Film Review - Harry Potter 7.2!:.

Poster fail.

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part II
A fitting conclusion.

If you are anything like me, then you were eagerly anticipating the conclusion of the Harry Potter films, and eagerly eyed every single trailer or teaser coming your way.

I have copies of all seven books, and watched every single movie in the cinemas. I may not be a crazed fan, but I'd count myself as pretty hardcore when it comes down to it, even if I have never bothered wearing a costume to the theaters or something.

Having said that, I had rather high expectations for the eighth installment of the film franchise, and let's just get this out of the way: far as I'm concerned, the movie delivered splendidly.


Picking up from where the first half of the adaptation of the seventh book left off, Deathly Hallows Part 2 focuses on the destruction of the last remaining horcruxes, setting the stage for the final, decisive clash between Harry and Voldemort. While admittedly, the re-imagining of the film diminished the importance of Neville Longbottom's role as opposed to the book, this worked out just fine thanks to Daniel Radcliffe's strong performance in the lead role.

You want eye candy and special effects? You were going to get a lot of that here. You wanted some loose ends from previous installments tied up? You get that here, too. Overall, it was a very awesome romp for Potter fans who wanted to see a splendid way to cap off the entire saga.

What can I say about this film that hasn't been already said? Everyone's been raving about it. If you liked Harry Potter, there was little to no way for you to not like this film, as everyone just brought their A-game and made sure that this was truly the way to end the series.

So I guess that's why I'd rather focus on Snape for a moment here.

Among all the characters in the Potterverse, Severus Snape really rang true to me, mostly because I could relate to him very strongly. True, I have a soft spot for Luna Lovegood, as do I for Cho Chang, but I certainly don't feel any common ground with them, as I would with Professor Snape.

Snape was the epitome of the tragic, misunderstood hero. He was flawed, and yet his flaws only emphasized his true strength of character, as punctuated by his indefatigable ability to love: to love someone even when it would forever only remain an unrequited hope.

Not everybody liked Snape. In fact, it's hard to blame the people who disliked him immensely because of the way he acts. It's unquestionable that he has his preconceived biases to work with, but what sets him apart is his ability to move beyond these biases to do what he must, to do what he ought to, because he is driven by love.

And it's this ability to love in the face of everything else that draws me so strongly to Snape as a character. That Hans Gruber himself plays the role to perfection is just icing on the cake, and the very multi-dimensional personality of one Severus Snape is well-complemented by his single-minded devotion to Lily Potter, even if people called him all sorts of names while he just did what he knew to do best - to love.

He was a tragic figure, because he was like the greatest hero nobody must know about. At the risk of life and limb, he honored a promise made to Dumbledore for the sake of his love, and even when the object of his affection has passed on, the love still remained. The torch still burned. And with it, his devotion only proved to be all the more admirable. That he ended up caring about Harry in his own, misunderstood way only underscores how a man, despite all the odds, despite all the bad influence in the world, could still choose to do what is right because that power is within him. It's within everyone.

Magic is about many things to many different people. But to me, magic is about breaking beyond possibilities, and making of yourself far more than anyone could expect of you. Magic happens when you recognize that power within you. That power to do what appears impossible to everyone else.

With the end of his tale, all I know is that Snape's death was truly a hero's death. Perhaps only Dumbledore truly understood what it felt like to be in Severus's shoes, but so many others who have seen or read the Potter stories certainly can relate to the pathos of perhaps the best-fleshed character in the entirety of the Potterverse.

But EVERYONE envies the hair.

"Fun" Analysis: A+
"Critical" Analysis: A+

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A True Honor : Open Gigs This Coming Week

.:The Wedding Of The Century!:.

It's been a long while since I've seen the boys of Itchyworms, but they asked me to open for them tomorrow night for their music video launch, so Hades, yeah, I'm definitely going to open for them on Monday night.

It's happening in Route 196 tomorrow night, around 9PM, and as I promised to them I'm gonna be there, you can rest assured that it's going to be an awesome time all around for everyone involved.

Magic, music, and a whole lot more. What else can you ask for, right?

.:Two In A Row!:.

The very next night, I'm gonna be there in Route 196 again, this time to host as well as open for the one and only Mike Unson as he does his own brand of standup comedy, sure to delight and excite the people in Route.

Quite unexpected, really, especially since just next-door, Tomato Kick will be having its open mic night mostly with GB, Ryan, and the rest of the gang from the Comedy Cartel, but hey, the more comedy to go around, the better, I always say.

Couple that with the fact that on Saturday, I'm going to perform with Mike again in Capone's. It's going to be a very great time to be a fan of comedy, magic, and music, no questions asked. After all, last Friday, we had a great time with everyone who came to watch the awesome show featuring LC Reklamo, Karen of General Luna, Arianne dela Cruz, Penguin, yours truly, and Mike Unson. You can expect more zaniness this coming Saturday night, 10PM, in Capone's.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Book Review: Deathclutch, by Brock Lesnar

.:Book Review: Deathclutch, by Brock Lesnar:.

The book put a deathclutch on my face.

Right off the bat, let me tell you that I am frankly disappointed by Deathclutch. Not because it’s a bad book, by any means. Not because it’s not well-written, either.

I’m disappointed because the book is way too short.

This book is an autobiography for the former UFC and WWE champion, Brock Lesnar, who is often dubbed as “the Baddest Dude on the Planet.” Co-written with the inimitable Paul Heyman, this book was definitely a page-turner because of the engaging writing style Lesnar demonstrated, mostly because of how opinionated and outspoken he can really get, especially with how he frequently goes out of his way to badmouth Frank Mir several times in the book.

You don’t even have to like Lesnar to appreciate the book. The man is a recluse and shies away from the public eye for the most part, despite being extremely famous all over the globe. In his free time, he’d rather go work in his farm than do interviews with big media outfits. The fact that he actually wrote this book really felt like a great opportunity to take a look into the mind of Brock, and understand precisely what makes him tick.

This covers his childhood, his high school and college, his amateur wrestling background, his WWE stint, his NJPW stint, and his forays into the world of MMA. What you will notice is how mum he is about most of the personal details in his life, such that outside of Sable, aka Rena Lesnar, you wouldn’t know about anyone he went out with, or who the mother of his daughter actually was. It’s these subtle hints that he drops that makes you feel that even with this book, he still holds back so much and he glosses over so many details that would have probably enhanced this book.

As a result, this book felt incomplete. It covers a lot of the meat, but it hardly tells us anything we didn’t already know about Brock Lesnar. Paying full price for it, after reading masterpieces like Bret Hart’s and Chris Jericho’s, honestly feels like a gyp to me. Had I known that the book would be this sparse, I’d honestly have waited for the paperback instead.

Nonetheless, as short as it was, it was an enjoyable read while it lasted. There’s no telling if he’d ever bother doing a second book, but if he did, I’d be eagerly waiting – and keeping an eye on the page count.

Evaluation: B+ (Would’ve been A+ if it were longer.)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Randomicity Before Friday...

.:Another Contribution To Filipino Freethinkers:.

So after my last contribution to them, I finally came up with something interesting for the Filipino Freethinkers.

As most people know, I've been fairly hardcore with my self-education in the realm of safe spaces, and that includes being up close and personal with the concepts of feminism, rape culture, and victim-blaming. This was why the minute I saw some telltale symptoms of sexist behavior, I couldn't help but react to it adversely.

I hope that in writing about these concepts and using them in very applicable situations, people would understand why the Political Correctness movement is not just a matter of overacting against "offensive words." If you could make a person feel much better and safer just by avoiding using a word or two, why would you feel so bad about not doing so?

.:Friday Night: Comedy Mayhem In A Venue!:.

It's freeeeee!!!

Need I say more? Come on down and catch us? Comedy, music, and probably even magic, courtesy of the premiere comic mental magician of the Philippines Kel Fabie!

Admittedly, I should figure out a shorter title than that, but for now, it has a nice ring to it.

X-plorers And X-Boxes...

.:The Explorers, By Your Powers Combined…:.

It was tempting to inflict goatse, until I realized my blog is as close to all-ages as possible.
Last night, I ended up heading off to B-Side in Makati to plot and plan with one of the two de facto teams I’m associated with during Geekfight: the Explorers of Uranus. It seems we’re coming together to cook up something really special for Geekfight, and really, I’m very stoked about that.

Speaking of stoke, though, the food in the Offbeat Café was probably going to give me a stroke! I just had to try their bacon fries, which are deep-fried battered strips of bacon, as I took a long, hard look at my diet, and told it to go take a hike for a night. It’s still complaining to this very moment, by the way.

My cholesterol level rises just by looking at this picture.

Now, once my diet left the Café, I then noticed something that caught my eye before when I first saw it in Mercato: the Offbeat Burger. Now, it was like most other burgers, except its bun happened to be a Krispy Kreme donut split in two. I was so entranced by this that I didn't even realize that Leo, probably the most intimidating-looking geek you will ever meet, was already playing a guitar for his set.

Micheline turned to me and reminded me about my recent trauma regarding donuts, and told me that this would be a most cathartic experience. After all, my diet wasn’t looking anymore.

It's calling out to me.

So I closed my eyes, and told the waitress to cook up one of them new-fangled Offbeat Burgers for me. It didn’t take long before one was tossed in my direction, and I just gaped at how awesome the burger looked. It was even more sinful than the Bacon Fries!

Pictured: the burger, five minutes later.

Now, imagine the fact that I’ve ended up having both of them in one night. Wow. My diet and I are so not going to get along for a while.

I think my diet’s the one on the left. I can’t really tell anymore.

.:Because I Take My Gaming Seriously…:.

This cost me a pretty penny, but it’s well worth it.

… I actually went and bought myself a Mad Catz joystick for my X-Box 360. It was worth every freaking penny, is all I can say.

It works like a dream.

Now, all I need to do is somehow buy Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for the X-Box, and I’ll be all set!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fun With Fundies Once More!

.:Incubus Paranoia!:.

Why do guys named Brandon get all the chicks?

I'm not a really huge fan of the group, but I must say, Incubus is a pretty good band, and I'm especially fond of their single, "Megalomaniac". I also think that song called "Talk Shows On Mute" is a work of art.

It's actually cool to hear that they're performing in Manila on July 28. With so many international acts making waves in the Philippines this year, it's been a pretty awesome year for live musical entertainment in this country, whether you like foreign acts like Justin Bieber, Kylie Minogue, and The Script, or you prefer local acts like Itchyworms, Sarah Geronimo + Martin Nievera, and Sugarfree (sniff).

And then, the religious fundies attacked.

In what has got to be the most ignorant thing since claiming Magic: The Gathering was Satanic, a bunch of fundies decided to text everyone to boycott the concert because an Incubus, in mythology, is the male version of the Succubus. Without getting into gory details, the Incubus seduces women in their sleep. Sorta like how some guys use Roofies to achieve the same thing at present.

Apparently, because Brandon Boyd and company picked a band name that they themselves didn't even know the meaning of, they are now the spawns of Satan.

Hey, listen. If you've never heard a single song from Incubus, then you're being plain stupid. That's like saying this product was in any way racist...

Umm... yeah.

Anyways. It's just ridiculous what kind of stupid uproar people raise over the craziest things. We had moral panics over Dungeons and Dragons, Pokemon, Harry Potter, and now, apparently, Incubus. This, despite the fact that these fundies have obviously never even bothered listening to a single song of the band. Just because they have an unfortunate name ala doesn't really mean they're out to seduce women in their sleep.

I actually have it on good authority that Brandon Boyd on his own attracts more women's underwear being hurled in his direction than Tila Tequila, so he's perfectly capable of seducing women while they're awake.


Project 52 (28/52): A Little Respect - Erasure

.:Project 52 (28/52): A Little Respect- Erasure:.

A song brought about by listening to RX 93.1's Monster Riot which happens every Wednesday, I didn't realize that this song was actually performed by the same guys who performed "Always", which was such a huge hit in this country that I still know the dance steps to the song to this very day.

The song, released in 1988, sported a music video with decidedly 80's sensibilities, which isn't actually a bad thing. While my 90's upbringing has made me recognize Erasure only as that band who did "Always", finding out that one of the most recognizable songs around, "A Little Respect", actually also came from them, my respect for them increased tenfold.

True, it's such a hopeless romantic kind of song, but I guess that's a given when it comes to a sizable chunk of my song choices. I just like the plaintive manner that he asks for a little respect from the girl whom he loves so much, although I’m left to infer that he isn’t going to get that anytime soon.

We all get stupid when we’re in love, really. It’s just a question of how much sanity you can recover when all of that emotional onrush has finally worn off. One can only hope to be given a chance to live the stupidity down, really. Just a little respect, if you will. Perhaps that’s too much to ask of some people?

It's just funny how when someone tells us that they love us, but we don't really feel it, yet when they tell us they don't love us anymore, we feel every ounce of it draining out of our being.

Monday, July 11, 2011

If I Could Pretend This Day Never Happened, I Wish I Could

But I can't, so now, I'm left to rethink my life once again.

Double Celebration!

.:A Decade And A Half Of Making Mornings Worth Waking Up To:.

It's no secret I've always been a Rusher, from the very start. Don't worry, though, I won't go all hipster on you guys and say I liked the Morning Rush when it was still underground.

I promise.

Having said that, last Saturday was the celebration of fifteen years of laughs and tears, of triumphs and tribulations. And there was no way I was going to ever miss it for the world.

Soon as I walked in, I realized how huge the Morning Rush truly has gotten, as the entire gathering of people inside Coffee Bean encompassed about three generations worth of listeners, whether it be some of the original gang, such as Cherry and Joti, or some of the newer people, like Camilo and Astroboy. Seeing everyone come together and just have a good time, remembering the hilarious moments that made the show what it is to this very day, and of course, commemorating this momentous occasion with the hosts, Chico and Delamar, it really just made one choke up.

Throughout the day, we were all poking fun at the fact that the older rushers just practically clumped together not because we were being cliquish, but I think most of us were actually intimidated by the sheer number of newer rushers! At the same time, seeing old faces after all these years really just made for awesome times. I never thought I'd run into so many old fossils if I didn't go to an archeological dig or something.

And really, that's the testament to Chico and Delle's longevity in the industry: they brought together a bunch of people from all walks of life, and in doing so, they have touched our lives in a way we couldn't ever thank them enough for. From their daily rapport that has been an indelible part of our mornings at one point or another, to the friendships and bonds we created with kindred souls over the years, there is definitely so much to celebrate about in the fifteen years since the Morning Rush existed.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Tandercats.

There was a time I was the "baby" of this group. Now, that seems like such a hilarious thing to say.

.:Blogwatch And Social Media Day!:.

Three hours after the Morning Rush celebration ended, another event on the same street happened, and it was for Blogwatch.

I don't really have much to say about it aside from the fact that my very own Achie was looking extra gorgeous that day. I was already under the weather by then, and my voice was on the verge of conking out on me. Thankfully, I managed to muster enough strength to still do my show the next day. Performing alongside the ineffable Flooch was quite an experience, and I can't wait to see him do his pickpocketing routine someday!

The evil cabal, planning and plotting.

Blogwatch has so much reason to celebrate. It has been a great run thus far, and it's not yet over!

Just Another Magic Monday: Three Magic Effects They Should Start Using Again

.:Just Another Magic Monday: Three Magic Effects They Should Start Using Again:.

I'm now doing a list. Oy vey. Ladies and gentlemen, Cracked has successfully infiltrated my mind. My only defense is that this isn't really a comedy article, so it isn't as Cracked-y as it would be if I really ripped them off. I wish I could do five all the time, but at this point, I guess I shouldn't limit myself to one particular number if I would do lists.

That being said, there are a bunch of magic tricks that are out there yet nobody ever bothers using them for one reason or another. Of course, some tricks just aren't worth using at all, but others just seem to have been forgotten about or avoided for no good reason at all. Some of these effects were featured in last year's Project 365. Maybe there're more magicians abroad doing this, but in the Philippines? These routines are totally rare.

Here are three of those particular effects, in no particular order:

1. Pulling A Rabbit From A Hat:

Awwww! That'd look good in a frying pan!

The thing with pulling a rabbit out of a hat is, it seems overplayed, and yet most of us have never seen the actual act itself performed in front of us. It has gotten by solely on reputation.

Now, I'm not saying any old magician should just take this routine as it is and just use it. What I'm actually saying is that the very concept of pulling a rabbit out of a hat is so powerful, so embedded in the consciousness of the public, that doing it would automatically gain some kind of expectations from the audience. The trick, then, pun not intended, is to play with these expectations in order to really get something unique out of the act.

If you're wondering how to do that, you can ask Teller, who made a hilarious variant on the rabbit out of a hat effect.

2. The Six Card Repeat:

Repetitive but fun.

This is just pure fun, fast-paced, and works as a great opener or middle act at any given time. Why less people use a routine as simple as this is just beyond me, especially since it doesn't take nearly as much skill to do this as some of those mind-blowing cardistry routines I see all the time that heaven knows I could never do myself.

What a waste, really. This is a routine that needs more people to pay attention to it, because it has everything you could ask for: it's funny, it's easy to do, it packs small, and it plays big!

3. Kaos:


This was an Ellusionist trick. It was one of the several they had that I really liked. It does something everyone who's only ever seen David Blaine asks of other street magicians, and it does it without any confederates. What's not to like?

The fact that very few people do this or use the same principles to do other similar effects boggles my mind. This is like a rockstar routine, in my book, and it should statistically increase your odds of actually attracting the ladies with your penetration abilities.

So why aren't people using this more?

Friday, July 08, 2011

Finally, A Return To POC, Plus How Vicki Belo Made My Day

.:My Non-Satirical Thoughts On The Sara Duterte Issue:.

While Fabucelles beat me by a week or so to writing something new for The POC, it didn't take long before I figured out a good angle to discuss the unfortunate Davao incident where Davao Mayor Sara Duterte ended up repeatedly punching a sheriff because he wouldn't grant a two-hour reprieve before the demolition.

All I can think is, if the objective was to prevent violence by using violence, then somebody obviously forgot to think about that too well.

I actually am a fan of the Duterte's, when it comes to turning Davao into the city it is today. Consider the fact that Davao is arguably more technologically advanced and much cleaner than Manila is, and it's easy to see why I have the highest regard for their governance in Davao. I've been there once, and I was impressed by what I saw.

That doesn't make the punch okay.

No, really. It doesn't.

Let's run through a quick list of similar situations where we (Or at least, like-minded people as "we") were pretty quick to condemn: Nasser Pangandaman. Willie Revillame. Even Manny Pacquiao.

On the surface, it would seem that the biggest difference would be that among all these issues, only the one with Sara Duterte involved a woman. Sure, Lourd De Veyra used an inevitably sexist trope by using the whole TNL bit, but for all of Lourd's intellect, I seriously don't think PC was in the list of his considerations when he made his point. It isn't an excuse. It's just to point out that it isn't unexpected at all.

That the TNL phenomenon has opened itself to a wide variety of interpretations whether literal or satirical is testament to its influential capacities and the fact that it has grown beyond the mere intentions of its originators. In fact, I would go so far as to say that two very divergent interpretations of Lourd's article - that it was, on one hand, ridiculing the violence inflicted by Sara Duterte; or, on the other hand that it actually glorifies it and is preferable to flat out inaction from our officials. I have seen both sides argued capably by people who have read De Veyra's piece, and even if Lourd would unequivocally state his intent one way or the other, perception is reality in this case.

Which, in turn, leads me to be nonplussed when people more intelligent than I cry "sexism". Not that it isn't a valid interpretation, or that I must dismiss their feelings on the matter (And why would I, being a feminist ally myself?), but two things should be obvious from reading Lourd's article, and being familiar with his body of work:

1. Lourd De Veyra was never the paragon of political correctness. Feel free to get angry, or even challenge him over that fact, but to act surprised that he had to use the TNL trope, a trope he had a hand in, to begin with, is like being shocked that The Rock can't go through a match without doing a Rock Bottom or a People's Elbow.

2. Contrary to the hypothesis of Sparks, people did not come down on Sara Duterte more because she was a woman. If anything, people came down on her less, with most people I know, myself included, initially musing how "cool" it was for the lady mayor to show that bad ol' sheriff who's boss, before they realized that a punch to solve a violent situation is a self-defeating endeavor.

It doesn't even go into the realm of intent, or gender-blindness, because it's fairly obvious that if it were Rody Duterte who did the punching, the same people in our immediate circles would have criticized the elder Duterte as well. The only sexism at work could have been a case of giving Sara Duterte more slack for the incident because she's female, rather than immediately calling for her head on a platter.

Sexism is secondary to abuse of authority. Was Lourd being sexist? Well, if Sparks believes he was, intent is beside the point, as it is her right to take offense if she feels that calling Sara Duterte "Tunay Na Lalake" is being sexist. But to say everyone should see it as such? It doesn't follow. What I saw all throughout was a humorous approach to ridicule the usage of violence, and that by invoking the TNL culture, Lourd merely framed it within his character, which has always been equal-opportunity when it comes to doling out TNL labels. This is not the first time the TNL label has been attached to a woman. Jamby Madrigal would know.

Ultimately, Sparks and I are in agreement that Mayor Duterte must face the consequences for her actions, albeit anyone knows that she will, at most, receive a slap on the wrist for this incident. What I am wary of, though, is to dismiss most of the critique against Sara Duterte as merely a case of sexism.

And before anyone tries to use the fact that Erap punched an anti-demolition demonstrator himself, the fact that he was defending himself certainly shows how Mayor Duterte's specific set of circumstances are unprecedented, due to two things: first, she was doing this directly for the benefit of her constituents. Second, she did this without first resorting to diplomacy, as she came in with fists at the ready. If Erap attacked without provocation, you can be sure there would've been a witch hunt for him that would have far eclipsed any criticism Mayor Duterte faced. Yeah, I said it: Mayor Duterte actually got off easy, and I will not be coy about it and outright say that her gender was a factor, in the public eye. Even legally, she probably will get off easy, too.

The fear is, if we just let Sara Duterte slide, given these specific circumstances, any other politician can easily cite her case as precedent when they resort to violence "for the sake of their constituents."

We can say all we want that won't happen, but when blatantly wrong things already get a pass just because of hero worship (Unless Big Time Willie is totally nothing like Willing Willie. Yeah, right), then it's very reasonable to assume something slightly in a gray area would easily be allowed to pass.

We can't enforce double standards. Making exceptions to legal matters despite clear applicability would make it awkward for future offenders to not get the same treatment, completely undermining the point of the law.

After all, when nobody seems to have a problem with this...

She spins you right round, baby right round.

How does it become okay for Mayor Abalos to specifically remove these?

So only guys are allowed eye candy now?

I mean, let's face it: what's good for the goose ought to be good for the gander. And in Sara's case, if it was good for the gander and we let her slide, it will end up being good for the goose when that bridge gets crossed. It's all about consistency.

.:Speaking Of Vicki Belo...:.

Oh, the possibilities!

The other day, Vicki Belo ran an impromptu contest to name her new lady-parts tightening machine, and the responses were creative and uproarious!

Whether it was called PussyKip, SiKeps, Vagi-Tite, Vag-Neto, VaJaylBreak, Happy Tite, Pwede Na Ulit Si Lola, or whatever else, there was a ton of lulz to be had for the entire duration of the "contest", which she suddenly validated by giving out a prize of 5,000 in Belo products to the top three winners, albeit you had to follow the Belo Beauty Twitter account as well as like their Facebook fanpage.

At the end of the promo, the good doctor named the three winners: Vagnet, V-Tight, and LAV, for L(ike) A V(irgin). Congratulations to the winners! Heh.

I never thought I'd see the day, but Vicki Belo totally made my day. This was entertaining, tongue-in-cheek, and creative!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

So... Capone's Tomorrow... A Free Show!


Hey, guys! Tomorrow, around 9:30PM or so, catch Mike Unson's inimitable brand of killer punchlines in Capone's A Venue! I will be one of his opening acts, so I'm definitely stoked about it, as I did share the stage with him earlier this week in Manila Pen. One of the best standup comics in the Philippines with one of the best magicians in the Philippines? Hard to beat that!

It's bound to be a blast!

A New Starlet Has Arrived: The Best Reason To Watch Temptation Island!

.:Please, Please Watch Temptation Island!:.

Bad reviews notwithstanding, Temptation Island is a must-see film for anyone and everyone because it actually stars none other than the Starlet of the new decade, my friend and colleague from Nuffnang, Ms. Trixie "Kolokoy" Esguerra, unofficially heralded as #102 on FHM's 100 Sexiest Women of the World this year!

Aside from killing endangered species to wear questionable headgear, she's a pretty cool girl.

This movie will feature her, and some complete unknowns like Marian Rivera, Lovi Poe, Heart Evangelista, and Solenn Heussaff, whoever they are. Temptation Island is one of those movies that you just really have to catch for a glimpse of the greatness of Trixie - today a name, tomorrow, a legend.

Pictured: Trixie Esguerra's supporting cast.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A Killer Night!

.:A Return To Form (I Hope):.

I look up to this guy. Literally.

So I have decided for the past few weeks to not do magic during open mic nights in order to force myself to get better at my standup comedy. It's a bit of tough love, but hey, I think it's worked out well.

Last night, in Tomato Kick, it was GB Labrador's post-birthday celebration, and I was the opening set. I was pretty proud of how I did my set that night as I took the audience into a journey inside my psyche, and hearing some very meaningful feedback from some of the comics that night really made me realize that it was a good idea to really let magic take a backseat to standup comedy. I kinda stagnated for a long spell because I didn't hit the stage often enough, and when I did, I still did magic, so the change of pace has proven beneficial, especially now that I'm starting to find my voice in comedy.

I was genuinely surprised that the whole "Too Nice" bit went over well with the audience last night, and considering I opened that night, I was really happy I didn't bomb, but I sure didn't envy the birthday boy as the other comics one by one started using his material before he was going up, forcing him to reach deep and find the rest of his material the other comics didn't touch. It was a pretty funny way to roast GB, but he managed to turn it around by still having an excellent set despite the fact, which was testament to how much he stepped his game up.

I have so many friends in the comedy world, and I must say that GB is certainly one of the people I admire the most for his sheer work ethic and his passion for the art form. On his post-birthday show, I couldn't have been prouder of how skilled he was to pull off a great set despite the other comics doing a "best of GB" bit during their own sets, forcing him to not use those bits during his own set.

Considering how he was one of the people who suggested relying solely on my standup for open mics, it was great to know that he practices what he preaches, and the parallelisms were interesting, to say the least.

Thanks, GB, and congratulations! It was a killer night of comedy for Tomato Kick, and it was a great way to celebrate your birthday!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Project 52 (27/52): I Should Be So Lucky - Kylie Minogue

.:Project 52 (27/52): I Should Be So Lucky – Kylie Minogue:.

Love At First Sight. Spinning Around. Can’t Get You Out Of My Head. The freaking Locomotion. Kylie Minogue was an 80’s, then a 90’s, then a 00’s icon (and gay icon), perhaps eclipsed in her weight class only by Madonna herself.

And she’s performing in Manila tonight.

With all the rumors in the past about Kylie Minogue and Rick Astley being the same person but sped up or sped down respectively, Kylie has always been quite an attraction throughout her career, whether by churning out hits like the one above, or starring in terrible movies with Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Not pictured: Kylie’s proudest career moment.

All joking aside, her longevity in show business and her amazing talent is testament to the tremendous star power and immense talent she possesses. It also doesn’t hurt that at 43 years of age, she is still smoking hot, and men want to be with her, women want to be her, and some gay men want to be her, too. Her underwear commercial for Agent Provocateur certainly proved that in spades.

Out of all her songs, I went with “I Should Be So Lucky” simply because I really liked the upbeat nature of the song, especially when slowing it down makes you wonder if Rick Astley was actually doing the vocals, rather than Ms. Minogue. There’s just something about being reminded that you are so lucky to be in love when it’s with the right person, and Kylie’s infectious energy just really makes this song very memorable, and less LSS-inducing and annoying than “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.”

I won’t be catching the concert of this pop icon tonight, but I hope the people who will be enjoy this rare opportunity to catch a real specimen of talent at work. I wish I were there.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy Fourth Of July!

.:“To Be American Is To Be A Friend To The Philippines”:.

The fourth of July is a very important day to the United States of America as it is their independence day. In the Philippines, we also recognize it as Filipino-American Friendship Day, underscoring the longstanding alliance between the two nations, that has been at times, contentious, but for the most part, harmonious.

Last Friday, in anticipation of this celebration, I was honoured by the U.S. Embassy with an invitation for their pre-Independence Day celebration, which was highlighted by both an awe-inspiring speech from the U.S. ambassador, but obviously, a beautiful display of fireworks over Manila Bay. I was there with a couple of other bloggers, namely Noemi Dado and Franny, and we were surrounded by a number of people who were definitely in a celebratory mood, including the US-Philippines Peace Corps.

Freedom is a concept that we tend to misunderstand a lot, and even on a day that commemorates another nation’s independence, it’s a good idea to reflect upon the concept sometimes, especially in this very interconnected world we find ourselves in today. Freedom has generally been about the emancipation of the self and the human spirit, but often, we leave by the wayside how this freedom could be used to better not just ourselves, but others.

I must say though that U.S. Ambassador Thomas has shown a kind of eloquence in his speech that I truly respect. You can pretty much read the whole speech here, but for me, the highlight of the speech is how well he managed to tie together what it means to be an American while still standing upon Philippine soil. It’s that kind of elegance in his speaking and the clarity in his line of thinking that impressed me thoroughly. Indeed, while it might strike some as patronizing, he merely attributed specificities to a generally acceptable notion: to be a patriot doesn’t mean to be xenophobic or jingoistic. It means to be proud and willing to share your nation to your friends, rather than to impose it or to provoke discord.

So with all that in mind, here’s a toast to the fourth of July!

Just Another Magic Monday: Magic! Bagsik!

.:Just Another Magic Monday: Magic! Bagsik!:.

So apparently, after the exposure show “Magic? Gimik!” finally ended its run, TV5 replaced it with yet another magic-related show, and almost as if to patronize Filipino magicians far and wide, they decided to have a highlight show that focuses on awesome stuff involving magic.

Unfortunately, they picked, of all shows to pseudo-syndicate, the one that has Criss Angel in it. Oy vey.

Now, I’ll be honest with you guys. I’m not a fan of Criss Angel at all. I think he’s all flash and no substance, and this really shows when you realize the fact that constantly, he uses stooges or special effects in his magic tricks, which completely defeats the purpose of doing magic, to begin with. In general, I really am underwhelmed by his performances, although on paper, he does appear to have more charisma than David Blaine. Nonetheless, I’ve seen better, and I know better.

However, this isn’t to say that I’m going to absolutely hate the show. If I was ambivalent at worst when they syndicated “Exposed,” why would anyone think I’d be so far gone against a show that’s “praising” magic instead? Sure, I still don’t have much regard for the talents of Kean Cipriano, but there’s one noteworthy thing about “Magic! Bagsik!” that I’m honestly looking forward to, and that’s the regular segment that will be featuring the Mental Assassin, Justin Pinon.

Yeah. That guy.

See, as a mentalist, and as a Filipino mentalist, at that, I tend to look at fellow mentalists in the industry with a very critical eye, not just in terms of performance or talent, but more so, their work ethic and attitude towards the industry. This is why I have high regard for Mr. Pinon, because among the mentalists of his age, he doesn’t get to where he is by stepping on other people’s toes. He knows his history, he respects the people who have come before and even after him, and most of all, he keeps honing his craft to get better and better for the sake of his audiences.

Truth be told, after the beating the reputation of both magic and mentalism has taken in this country thanks to some really nasty pieces of work, Any chance to uplift the image once again would be a welcome change of pace. While I will always have misgivings about Criss Angel, it’s good to know that there’s someone like Justin on that show, making sure that people continue to understand and appreciate magic and mentalism for the art forms that they are, rather than the con jobs they’ve recently been made out to be.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Film Review: Transformers 3

.:But First, A Gig Update!:.

On Monday, I'll be performing in Manila Pen, where I'll be hosting and doing my magic and mentalism, and it will be in conjunction with the comedy of the inimitable Mike Unson.

On Tuesday, as always, it's open mic night in Tomato Kick, from 9:30 onwards, where I will perform alongside some great comics from the Comedy Cartel, particularly birthday boy GB Labrador himself.

Ahh, it's such a good time to be a magician in the Philippines right now. Or a mentalist, for that matter.

.:Film Review: Transformers 3:.

This picture. So relevant to the movie!

Transformers 3: The Dark Of The Moon
Things went boom. Were you expecting high art?

Epitomizing popcorn blockbuster flicks everywhere, Transformers 3 was, without a doubt, a tour-de-force of all things awesome and bad about Michael Bay, all at the same time.

Big explosions? Check. Big action scenes? Check. Big-chested women? Check, check, check. Bad story? Check. Insipid dialogue? Check. Bad acting? Check, check, check.

But you know what? I enjoyed the Hades out of the movie, regardless.
This review will be relatively spoiler-free, so don’t worry about it.

Last Wednesday, I actually had the opportunity to watch this film because Nuffnang screened it for the members. As usual, I hosted the proceedings, and it was pretty enjoyable to do that, considering the Ozawa references I got away with, among other things. Still, it’s always extra delectable to watch a movie that the Nuffnang team actually worked on themselves.

The third Transformers film pulls out all the stops by explaining how the war on Cybertron was meant to be ended had a previous prime, Sentinel, not gotten shipwrecked on the moon en route to helping the Autobots turn the tide. When all of this is uncovered as of the NASA moon landings, its impact carries over to the present day, as the Autobots and the Decepticons are on a race to access whatever technology Sentinel Prime had that would turn the tide of battle for either side, once and for all.

For the most part, this film really felt like a fitting way to close off a trilogy. The conventional rules of thumb to trilogy enders apply here, particularly the fact that there are no more rules when the series is intended to end after the third film. While the new girl who replaced Megan Fox was less distracting, she was also just as skilled as Megan Fox at this whole acting business, which is to say, not at all. It becomes no surprise why people who like this movie tend to just gloss over her or most of the actors in the film, for that matter, except perhaps John Torturro, who really steals the scenes with his lines and inane character.

Would I recommend you to watch the film? Definitely. This is a movie that does so well on eye candy, light, comedic moments, and action. It won’t be making you contemplate the deeper meaning of life, but nobody can deny that Transformers 3 is definitely a strong film when it focuses on the things it does well, and it does these things very, very well.

Quite honestly, I don’t get why there’s so much hatred going Michael Bay’s way. His movies are generally entertaining, and while they may seem to appeal mostly to pre-pubescent fanboys when it comes to the smattering of sex and violence overall, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the sex and violence isn’t enjoyable at all. Nobody will ever expect a heart-wrenching film from the man, so it’s good that he sticks to his strengths and produces the best work within his skillset rather than overextending himself into areas where he wouldn’t be nearly as competent.

This flick is definitely worth a watch if you want some awesome visuals and high-octane action. It’s a bit on the long side, though, so ironically, you might find the film a bit dragging at certain points, which is quite a shame.

As you can tell, the Nuffies love photo booths.

Fun Evaluation: A+
Critical Evaluation: C-

Friday, July 01, 2011

Sorry, McLuhan: The Message IS The Message, Not The Medium

.:“Blogs Aren’t Special, Unless The Blogger Is.”:.

There was a time that bloggers were relegated as a bunch of sad sacks who hide behind their keyboards and rant about all that was unfair in the world. I still keep a LiveJournal, though, so I kinda realize that’s still very much true.

I was a blogger way before it got too mainstream. You wouldn’t understand how it was back then. It’s too deep for you.

Anyways, given how I’ve gone through the growing pains of this medium from 2002 to this very day, and I’ve seen the first ever “blogger event” happen in 2006, all these things that bloggers now take for granted, a certain level of clout and even the mere awareness of what the word “blog” means, are things that people didn’t just achieve overnight. If you’re militant about it, you might say that over time, we earned these things. If you’re more laid back about it, you’d realize that some excellent people, who happen to be bloggers, earned it for themselves, with some of those benefits trickling down upon everybody else.

What I’m trying to get at is: this doesn’t mean we were ever entitled to any of it, even if some of us do manage to reap these benefits. If any of these boons go away, the last thing I’d expect a reasonable person to do is to whine about how “unfair” that would be.

The superstar blogger, Rico Mossesgeld, recently shared a very biting article about blogging, and how we seem to confuse the respect and esteem people have earned through the medium as respect and esteem for the medium, regardless of circumstances.

Quite frankly, I don’t really understand where this entitlement complex came from, because when it comes to treading new ground, blogging hasn’t really done much of that, to begin with. That’s no knock against blogging: that’s a stone cold reminder that sometimes, we put a little too much value in blogging in and by itself when we actually shouldn’t. I know we’re all hung up on Marshal McLuhan and all that “the medium is the message” hullabaloo, but in the end, the message is still pretty damned important, and telling everyone you’re a blogger can only take you so far before you have to prove your mettle as a person and not just a statistic.

Here’s where you need to begin examining yourself, and contrasting it to your inflated sense of self-worth: what message are you sharing across this so-called new media that makes you believe you’re worthy of special treatment? Or are you just so vapid and self-absorbed that you really think the world revolves around you and your non-sensical ramblings over your 344th brand of skin whitener? Do you really think that throwing in some vestigial words towards some vestigial cause for the sake of pretending you’re some kind of vestigial activist makes you any better than anyone else? Or do you think pontificating about the wrongs and ills of the blogosphere makes you some kind of moral paragon worthy of emulation?

I make no claims of being a role model, and let my track record speak for itself. Furthermore, I’m pretty aware that the fact I write autobiographically means I won’t attract as many people to read my blog as others could. I’ve accepted these things as a matter of course, and I know my worth as a person is not tied to my worth as a blogger.

It would do well for others to recognize the same for themselves, before they realize that having a blog isn’t as glamorous as they imagined, as they labor over copy-pasting press releases and feeling shortchanged that they couldn’t squeeze invites from their PR friends who don’t see the point in inviting them to a cause-oriented event they clearly have no interest in beyond the buffet table and goodie bag.

If these notions disturb you, and make you wonder “is that me?!?” then maybe you should look at yourself a little more closely and recognize that your blog is not your ticket to fame and fortune and free gift packs, rather, it’s your goodwill towards other bloggers and the people who deal with bloggers, be it by your social graces, or your compelling blogposts.

Preach it, Rico! Some anvils needed dropping, and boy, this one needs to keep getting dropped day in and day out until certain people get the hint.

No, Friendster, Noooooo!!!

.:No, Friendster, No!:.

It... it came true! I must be psychic!

So after ample warning, Friendster has officially deleted all their user profiles to make way for the site's new direction: as a social gaming website instead of a friend-finder social media network that it predated Facebook in, but was, in the long run, clearly outmatched by.

So now, you have a Friendster that once looked like this:

I wish I screencapped my old one before deletion, though, for direct contrast.

To a brand-spanking new one that looks like this:

But hey, I still have a Friendster account, albeit without all my awesome testi's.

This is a new frontier for Friendster, and one that I'm honestly thoroughly unfamiliar with. Still, for all of its faults, Friendster has and will always hold a special place in my dark, twisted heart.

.:What Were They Thinking: Part III!:.

I don't know if this is going to be regular or what, but let's face it: there always will be a ton of evidence whenever we get into discussions about boneheaded branding decisions.

Having said that, here's a pretty interesting article about making illegal streaming a felony. What's amusing about this is that the Electronic Frontier Foundation was being quoted as one of the bill's detractors, and I couldn't help but snigger when I realized what the acronym was actually spelling... what the EFF, indeed.

But even more amusing than that would have to be the fact that in a nod to the fact that many people want to have the benefits of liposuction but not its invasive nature, scientists far and wide have looked long and hard for alternative methods to really push us forward.

Enter BeloMed and her new patented product that she managed to license from very influential cosmetic surgeons abroad with the brand new...

Need I say anything more?

I guess you can't blame Dra. Belo because it's clearly a procedure that she licensed, so she just can't change the name at will. Nonetheless, it's hard not to imagine that someone was so cocksure about dicking around with all of us when they came up with this name. It's like it was meant to titillate or shaft everyone who didn't understand what was going on. They just had to poke fun at all of us.

Yes, I went there. I totally did. 'Cause I'm a classy guy like that.