Friday, August 31, 2012

Project 52 (35/52): On Whether Or Not OPM Is "Dead" (And Why We're Asking The Wrong Question)

.:Project 52 (35/52): On Whether Or Not OPM Is "Dead" (And Why We're Asking The Wrong Question):.

Well, they're Original, they're Pinoy, they're making Music, and they don't look dead to me, so...

And friends are probably wondering why I'm not writing about Sotto after his latest screed. Yeah, I saw myself on Yahoo because of the issue, but the answer why I'm mostly ignoring him by today is pretty simple: writing about his plagiarism is exactly what he wants at this point, and I'm not going to give him the satisfaction of wasting my time.

But he does have one common thread with this issue I'm talking about, though: he was a part of VST and Co., one of the luminaries of OPM back in the day. If he resigned the Senate and reformed VST instead, he would have all my support.

I know I talked about Philippine radio, often the vehicle for OPM, tolling its death knells in 2010. Strangely, this whole issue brings all that to fore to my mind.

That being said, I know the issue itself is all but dead, but I still feel the need to chew on it some more. Yeah, I did an 8 List that is saying what I'm saying right now, but I want to expound my point further.

First, I think we're having a failure to communicate because when Leloy Claudio and Don Jaucian assert that OPM is dead, they seem to have a specific definition people like Zach Lucero and Jinri Park do not necessarily share.

For those who are outside looking in, commercial success is the standard for whether OPM is alive or dead. I doubt anyone would be deluded enough to say that every talented artist out there is getting a fair shake commercially. You probably can't even say that even during the boom periods of OPM, after all, but that gap seems a lot more obvious at present.

It's why I partially agreed with Leloy on Twitter: correct symptoms, wrong diagnosis. Otherwise, this blog, which hasn't really been a blog designed to make money, has been dead since 2002, and all modesty aside, I'm pretty damned sure that is not true. If I pretty much said that blogging isn't always about money or following, then I'd be a hypocrite to make it the only thing about music, too.

Buuuut... don't we all wish our favorite artists made more money for the beautiful music they make? I know I do. That's why I was agreeing with Leloy on this count. If it's all about the money, then the talented people are not getting enough of it. The capitalist in me agrees with what Leloy had to say, but not his conclusion.

There's also the notion that OPM is "dead" because the elites and the masses aren't singing the same song. Maybe, maybe not. I absolutely love Gloc 9 and I don't think he's a guilty pleasure, and I'm not alone in this among my friends. The masses clearly love him enough to keep him on top of the Myx Charts, too.

Cracked talked about this already: people who think OPM is dead think so because that is their perception, and for the mainstream, perception is reality. I don't think I've ever been to 70's Bistro with Leloy, so that speaks for itself, really.

What is "dead" to the mainstream is not necessarily "dead" to everybody else, but really, what does it mean for OPM to be truly dead?

The great Francis Magalona passed away a few years back, and yet, his music still lives on to this very day. Is his music "dead"? Of course not. The same can be said of any artist who has left their mark in OPM, living or dead. Contrary to Don McLean, there is no day when the music dies. It's an art form. "Killing" an art form utterly is pretty hard to do.

In the 90's, when a certain Senator tried to ban "Alapaap" from the airwaves, do you think our parents felt OPM was alive? I'm willing to bet those with protective parents thought the Eraserheads were polluting our minds, and were nothing compared to the OPM artists of their time who weren't singing about drugs. Like Pepe Smith or something.

Hey! Two straight-edge guys hanging out!

It's a question of perspective again. Just like James Soriano last year, which happened also, coincidentally, around the time of Buwan ng Wika. Seems to me it's always the older generation who thinks the new one is killing the good ol' days, and our rose-colored glasses refuse to come off.

Damn, it makes me feel old to realize I'm now part of "the older generation."

So yes, OPM is "dead" given a very specific definition that not everybody agrees with. OPM is also "alive", but it isn't optimal. I doubt anyone would deny that the situation could be better for everyone involved, and though piracy, the broken business model, and so many other issues may be to blame, what is not to blame is the lack of local musical talent. They're all there. We just need to look for them, and in the age of the internet, that might really be the secret demand that is expected of us.

Kung hindi mo alam na may magaling tumugtog diyan sa kanto, hindi ibig sabihin walang magaling tumugtog diyan sa kanto.

We expected the performers to change, but not the ways by which we came to know them. What if we were wrong? What if our tastes, the business model, the distribution model, everything about music, both OPM and otherwise, has to change in this new age? What if we're looking at it wrong if we don't change our expectations?

As a mentalist and a comedian, I know how it feels for your art form to be so out of the eyes of the mainstream that the first time they see a mentalism act, or watch Mike Unson or The Comedy Cartel perform, the first reaction after amazement is always, "I never knew mentalism/POV standup comedy even existed in the Philippines!" But was mentalism or comedy dead? Nope. We were always there. People just didn't see us yet. Incognito? Yes. Dead? Obviously not. Do I look like Bruce Willis to you?

No, kid. That was just Cueshe.

Despite the disagreements on both sides of the debate, one thing is clear: neither side wants OPM to "die". I doubt Leloy does. I'm pretty sure Jinri doesn't. We have people having the same desire, that OPM reach the heights it has reached before, if not greater, but with differing perceptions on where we are today. It's time to stop focusing on where they disagree, and to focus on where they actually agree.

That's why I believe the question should not be "is OPM dead or alive?" That's a divisive question that has engendered debate, yes, but there is no consensus to be built afterwards. All we have are flaring tempers, defensive snarkiness, and ad hominems from the outliers to show for it.

I believe the question should be, "should OPM be dead?"

The answer predictably should be, wherever you were on the side of the previous debate, "heck, no!"

Because if you think OPM shouldn't be dead, you find it your responsibility to keep OPM alive in your own way.

The simplest way is to reminisce on the good ol' tunes you used to love. Nobody went and erased your old favorite songs, and someday, even these new songs we think are utter trash will be the good ol' tunes of the next generation. (Justin Bieber will someday be a classic the way the Spice Girls now are... I don't know how to feel about that.)

Then, you can take it further and find new music you like. You have Route 186, '70s Bistro, SaGuijo, and a ton of other venues artists perform. You can even just watch the Myx OPM Countdown. Malay mo, trip mo pala pakinggan si Christian Bautista? We won't judge. Clearly, ignorance is not bliss when it comes to OPM, because those who willfully remain ignorant think OPM is dead and feel bad about it.

Then, if you really like the music, you can buy their album. We complain that our favorite artists don't get paid enough for the music they come out with. The least we can do is buy their albums. Or keep watching their gigs. That works, too.

Then, you can tell your friends about this band you like, and how they totally should give the music a listen. Oh, look. You're now making a notable dent without having to pick a fight with a senator. I know fighting for OPM isn't as glamorous as fighting for (Or against, if you're being silly.) the RH Bill, but there's very little opportunity cost here, so why should that be a problem?

Then maybe you're inspired now, and you realize you can actually write music. And you write a song, borrow a friend's Macbook and Soundforge, a few mics, then record a demo. Or you're a bit more well-off, and you have a friend you're willing to fund to do just that.

So now, you made your very own song. Or at least produced the song of one of your very dear friends. Cool, right?

Well, not always cool, of course.

It's Original. I'm assuming you didn't plagiarize your song from Sarah Pope's blog or something.

Oh, snap!

It's Pinoy. I'm assuming you're Pinoy if you've gotten this far reading this.

Unless you're Ako Si Chris, aka the father of JoePM.

It's Music. I'm assuming you at least have a bit of talent when you make that song.


You. Are. Alive.

I think.

Congratulations! You just made sure OPM won't be staying dead!

Leloy Claudio was right: we should complain about the state of arts in the Philippines. The government is too busy granting idiotic lawmakers time to filibuster away our tax money to pay attention to OPM.

But that's why the power lies in us now. Why stop at complaining when you have the power to do much more? If you care about OPM's well-being, it becomes your duty to see to its well-being. You're free to not care, but don't be like the hypocrite who intentionally doesn't vote, then proceed to complain about how bad the government he got is. This isn't a closing of ranks: it's simply a bunch of people who wonder where you were while the deserving acts you say deserve better were languishing with nobody to watch their gigs or buy their albums. Because they were there.

He's also right that: internet + hard work = magic bullet to success is a work of fiction.

But that's why it won't take a single person to create success for any musician. I can't do that. Zach Lucero can't. Leloy Claudio can't. It's up to us as people who care enough about the music to make it succeed. Isn't that what we want? A chance to be a part of something greater than ourselves? The great artists of yesteryear didn't get to where they are today by not having any supporters.

If you think OPM is dead, but believe it shouldn't be, it's time to resurrect it.

If you think OPM isn't dead, and believe it shouldn't be, keep the fire burning.

If you care enough to feel that OPM shouldn't be dead, then it's worth fighting for. Oh, it's true! It's damn true!

I thought it was a microphone, so sue me.

Kay ganda ng ating musika. Ito ay atin, sariling atin.
- Kay Ganda Ng Ating Musika, by Hajji Alejandro

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I Totally Wanted To Blog About Sotto Or OPM Or Something, But...

... I'm just too tired. Still, I think Leloy Claudio had the right idea of bringing this all full circle.

If Sotto resigned from the Senate and reformed VST, he'd go a long way to really keeping OPM alive/bringing it back to life.

That being said, here's what Fabucelles had to say about Sotto on The POC, and here's what I had to say about the OPM debate.

My ideas about the latter are still not as refined and simplified as I'd want them to. While I agree with Leloy's description of the symptoms, I don't necessarily agree with his diagnosis afterwards.

Why do these nationalistic issues crop up during August? Three years ago, I think we talked about someone whining how Jose Rizal was "just some sensationalistic blogger" while Andres Bonifacio's revolutions "never achieved anything." (Okay. Maybe not. That happened in June.)

Then, last year, we had James Soriano's brouhaha.

Now, we have "OPM is dead." Pretty interesting, really. I'm glad I managed to talk about it at length with Logan and Marf on The Disenchanted Kingdom yesterday, which made for a nice bit of contrast when we ended up talking about "18 Again", the vag tightening cream, this evening. Wow. Topic diversity.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Project 52 (34/52): On Anna Banana (And Why Her Rejection Of Derek Lorenzo Resonates With Me So)

.:Project 52 (34/52): On Anna Banana (And Why Her Rejection Of Derek Lorenzo Resonates With Me So):.

You. Know. The. Caption. By. Now.

Yeah, some of you might have already seen Anna Banana's rejection of Derek Lorenzo.

Yeah, I'm fully aware that it's a campaign by PLDT, and they're all actors.

No, I don't care. I'm still addressing this whole mess as if it were real.

Yes, I'm shirking from writing about Sotto and his alleged plagiarism. This feels much more important to me, believe it or not, because I definitely feel for Derek Lorenzo, seeing how I've found myself in the same position as he does now, more often than not.

It's one thing to be friendzoned. It happens to almost everyone, and really, no matter how much effort you invest in someone, you cannot expect that it will automatically be enough to win them over. People are free to decide whether or not they want to love somebody back, after all. What makes Anna Banana's rejection of Derek's original song particularly deplorable was the inherent meanness in her words: a simple "no" would suffice, but she had to insult the poor kid's dancing, then proceed to remind him that she's still hot (hot, hot). Yes, it mostly mimicked the original song, but after all the mean-spirited words, Anna Banana had the nerve to say "maybe we can just be friends?!?" Are you kidding me?!?

Of course, she's not obliged to fall in love with Derek. That's rather obvious. That's like saying Emily has to love this dude just because he carries his testicles around with a wheelbarrow.

Jim Morrison reincarnated.

Thomas and Derek had very sweet gestures. Earnest, genuine, a bit corny and cheesy, unfortunately permanent thanks to the internet, but sweet, earnest, and genuine, nonetheless. The objects of their affection are free to reject them, but there is such a thing as letting them down gently, and clearly, Anna Banana didn't do that at all. If you've ever had your heart broken, you'd know why the part where she pretty much rubs it in Derek's face really, really smarts. That's the part where I was frothing with rage in front of my computer as I watched the video.

And yes, again, I know it's all pretend, and this is all a campaign. But the campaign strikes a very real chord, which is more than can be said for a lot of other advertising or marketing campaigns out there, reeking of slick production values and manufactured emotions.

The hopeless romantic in me always long for a happy ending, and a simple "I love you, too." Sometimes, though, a simple "no, I don't feel the same way," would suffice, and there's no need to be mean-spirited about it. The other person just bared their heart to you and left you at their mercy. You didn't have to take that as an invitation to send them crashing down. It really isn't, and if the person is even just halfway decent, that simple "no" should suffice, once the pain of rejection has subsided. It's when you pile the pain on beyond just the rejection when things do get a tad problematic.

Ultimately, I think Derek deserves better than someone who would take his honest effort and turn it into a joke. That's kind of why I'm happy and saddened that he's moving on by trying to find "a new Anna," which almost feels like commodifying the Anna Banana's in our world and making them interchangeable. It's that kind of need to be in love with someone, anyone, that becomes the mark of someone who could very well be addicted to love, and not in a good way. Sort of like how 500 Days Of Summer ended with the guy walking into another love story, as if that's really what he needed to define him.

Hey, Derek. Hey, brah. You don't need a new Anna in your life. Maybe you just need to chill with your brahs some more, and forget about 'em ladies who'll just complicate your life and waste all of your time and money. Brahfist, dude! You are one righteous brah! Chicks, brah. Who needs 'em? [/douchebag]

Yes, it's a character he's playing. But sadly, my visceral reaction to this pretend pre-teen soap opera is more of a reflection on how much of myself I see in their story than it is about Derek, Anna, or the kids in real life who are playing them.

I highly doubt I'm alone on this one, though.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

This Blog Is Approaching 10 Years...

And yeah, I know this is Buwan Ng Wika. Doesn't mean I plan to blog in Filipino all throughout August, though.

.:Who Would've Thought?:.

I haven't really made any concrete plans yet for my blog's 10th anniversary this October, but I'm definitely excited about it.

It feels like yesterday when I started writing in this blog, and you just know that I will probably have a massive retrospective when I get around to it. Still, this blog has been standing, has had its share of recognition, but ultimately, I've grown so much as a person in the past decade, and this blog has been no small part of it. From every mundane and elaborate transcript, to every promo I cut, to the eventual writing style I've been using since Cracked got a hold of my mind, well, there's just so much to be said about where my life would be if I weren't a blogger.

I doubt, for example, that I'd have spent three years in Nuffnang if I weren't a blogger. I also don't think I'd be working in digital right now as well, since my initial forays were in radio and the academe.

I doubt I'd have made friends with a lot of people if I weren't a blogger, either. I think it's pretty awe-inspiring to just think about the fact that people like Aileen Apolo or Filmphiler wouldn't be in my life at all if I didn't keep a blog. My life is much richer with people like them in it, so yeah, I'm pretty glad I do keep a blog.

Twitter and Facebook may be the dominant online hub for people nowadays, but blogs will always hold a place in my heart, much in the way that radio continues to do so for me. After over 3,000 blog entries from the past ten years of my life, who's to say where my blog will take me in the next ten?

.:Saltimbanco Ruled:.

Watched it last night. Loved it. Turns out, a friend of mine watched it the same night, but I never ran into her.

That being said, it was cool talking to her online and seeing how inspired she is to do something similar in the future...

.:So, I Still Got The Mentalism Touch...:.

Performed at a party today, and I'm pretty proud of my handiwork, if I do say so myself. Did a number prediction and a legit levitation, so that was great.

.:I Love The Part Where...:.

... you hurt me, but you're the one who cut me off. Yeah, I'm still pissed. But I have every right to feel that way.

.:Random Observation:.

So. I'm still steamed over Anna Banana, but I will not continue my running gag in this post. After all, you have to be a total dick to do that, and me? I'm not a dick. However...

What. A. Dick.

Well, I couldn't resist. I promise I will talk about her soon. I just wanna clarify that I'm hating on the Anna Banana character, but certainly not whoever the actress is.

That being said, while eating at Chic-Boy, I noticed their poster promoting their spaghetti. Is it just me, or was the kid on the left just pretending to like the spaghetti so they'd stop beating him up? He's bleeding something fierce. LOL.

It only hurts when he laughs.

Project 52 (33/52): On Epalwatch (And Why It's A No-Win Situation Sometimes)

.:Project 52 (33/52): On Epalwatch (And Why It's A No-Win Situation Sometimes):.

Epal: a common practice among public officers, whether elected or appointed, to append their names to public works projects which were either funded or facilitated through their office. –Epalwatch
Case in point:
I spy yet another Magsaysay… sigh.
Instances like this are pretty clear-cut. In the midst of relief operations, their face is plastered all over the truck, as if to announce “Hey, you undeserving peon! Gaze upon your salvation that is I, Jobo Jobo. For I am Jobo Jobo! People call me Jobo Jobo! Gaze, I say. Gaaaaazzzzeee!” Then there are cases where people get even more blatant, like this:

Oh, screw you.
The definition from Epalwatch was very clear. It’s all about people who put their name and face to projects, goods, and services to claim credit, with the obvious intention of leveraging themselves for the next elections. Well before campaign period, you’d see faces on sardines, stickers, tarps, everything short of a big, honking billboard, in an attempt to grab your attention — and votes.
Epalwatch is a worthy cause. It keeps public servants on their toes and keeps them from willfully using their position of power to spend public funds in an effort to advertise themselves for re-election well before they even file their candidacy. It prevents other politicians from making a name for themselves at the expense of genuine public service.  I am also a writer for Blogwatch (the group behind Epalwatch), and I agree with the objectives of Epalwatch in principle.
However, in an attempt to stamp out this epal-ing phenomenon, overzealous advocates of the Epalwatch movement seem to have resorted to calling out anyone who is seen doing any kind of public service. This may do more harm than good, because even sincerely well-meaning politicians would fear having their name besmirched just because they want to help.
And yes, that includes the president: the very guy people frequently castigate for being lazy and doing nothing. Now, we’re criticizing him for doing something.
The man assured us of devastation.
Looks like he finally got something right.
PNoy can’t win. Not that I even like the guy, really. I don’t. But a mere four days before the unexpected monsoon flooding, a columnist was asking where Noynoy was. When PNoy declared that he likes keeping a low profile during tragedies so that he doesn’t look like he’s milking tragedy for political glad-handing, he was criticized for it relentlessly.
Booooo! Do something!
Yet, now that he makes an effort to actually go out there and do something, he catches flak for it, too. What do we really want?
Booooo! Stop doing something!
Meanwhile, Dick Gordon, a man who, in 2009, allegedly delayed distribution of relief goods during Ondoy so he could deliver a speech, got nearly universal praise for his efforts this time. The difference: as far as we know, he is not running for anything this time.
He also gets badass points for that ride.
There is no question Dick Gordon was doing an excellent job with rescue operations, and we know him to be the kind who is all business. He has very little room for glad-handing or waving around to people, even when he was running. But that’s Dick Gordon. Not everyone else can be as to-the-point as he is and get away with it. I would give nearly everything just to have Dick Gordon as a Comelec Commissioner. Any excuse to call him “Commissioner Gordon” would be awesome.
In contrast, PNoy and the other people who went with him were slammed non-stop for doing essentially the same thing Gordon was doing: helping out. Unlike Lanete Sardines or Jobo Rice, there were no stickers or paraphernalia in the goods PNoy and company distributed. Furthermore, surely you can’t expect them to go out there and wear luchador masks to remain anonymous, or be surly as they go about their business, nor can you expect people to not take pictures of them as they go about their business. And even if they did, you can bet they’d have been criticized for it, too.
Because these people are who they are, they simply can’t help anonymously, unless they are notphysically there to help. By now, we know that isn’t enough, since that was exactly how PNoy claims to have been conducting himself earlier on. In fact, with all the emphasis on PNoy’s supposed photo-mongering, why did nobody take notice of this picture?
Mar Roxas, photobombing only like Mar Roxas can.
That sure doesn’t look like grandstanding to me at all, and has got to be one of the most un-glamorous shots of the president I’ve ever seen. Despite that, people ignored this photo in favor of others that gave them the opportunity to weave a more lurid narrative about our president. While that may be their right, they should at least ask themselves, is this fair?
There are so many valid things to criticize PNoy about. I’m pretty sure I’ve blogged my fair share of criticism against him, too. However, his actions during this flood would not be one of those things.
Let’s go back to Epalwatch’s own definition of what it means to be an “epal.” When did PNoy or any of his group “append their names to public works projects which were either funded or facilitated through their office?” The definition did not cover the actions of PNoy and company! Was there a single sardine can there with Risa Hontiveros’s mug plastered on it? Were they distributing “Ruffy Rice” while Ruffy Biazon was reminding people to not forget him in 2013? Or was it simply a case of overzealous people trying to find political drama in the middle of tragedy, instead of simply accepting the service rendered by PNoy and company at face value for now?
Really now. What was the alternative for these people? What could they have possibly done that would have resulted in people saying that they were really just trying to help? We all know that if Dick Gordon mentioned something about running for public office again, there would have been a bunch of people attacking him for helping out, too. Do we seriously want to put political service in such a quandary?
Maybe they really were angling themselves politically. I don’t know; I’m just a mentalist, not a psychic. That doesn’t take away from the fact that they were helping people, and only instretching Epalwatch’s own definition beyond what it actually states can tongues even begin wagging, which implies one of two things:
  1. Either Epalwatch made a mistake in defining what it means to be “epal,” or
  2. The response to PNoy and company was simply a cynical, knee-jerk reaction to politicians in general, no matter what they do.
Or both. Probably both. It seems that as netizens, we shoot first, ask questions later. Cops get the same kind of bad press, and yet here they are, still reminding us why a lot of them still have jobs.
Cops are generally nicer to pedestrians than motorists, though.
Am I saying Epalwatch should stop doing what they do? Of course not. I won’t even tell them to tone their zeal down, for that matter. That’s their call, and I myself would be quick to share something to their cause if and when I see politicians clearly crossing the line. All I hope is that just as willing as they are to criticize public officials who grandstand, they would also be willing to accept criticism when they jump the gun. I’d give the same advice to even the sincerest of politicians: don’t stop doing what you’re doing to help, no matter how much Epalwatch may question your motives. The hope is that as both sides push and pull and argue over what it means to be epal, people in general become more critical-minded and don’t just jump the gun and assume the worst in politicians when they try to do something.
There will be time for finger-pointing afterwards. I just don’t think we needed much of that in the middle of the tragedy itself.I think Dick Gordon himself said it best, actually:
Dick Gordon as the voice of reason? Now I’ve seen everything.
Oh, by the way. Has anyone heard a peep about what Vice President Binay was doing during the monsoon? Because I didn’t, and I normally get five text messages at a time whenever he does something for this country.
I’m just sayin’.
If you wish to be more than just a Patriotic Filipino® and actually help out in the Filipino’s time of need, you can go here for a handy list.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Project 52 (32/52): On Tolerance (And Why Intolerance Shouldn't Be Met With It)

.:Project 52 (32/52): On Tolerance (And Why Intolerance Shouldn't Be Met With It):.

What. A. Dick.

I wanted to talk about Anna Banana and how she broke Derek Lorenzo's heart today, but instead, maybe I'll save that for some other time. I know this is all some not-really-viral thing PLDT has cooked up, but really, I feel for the kid.

Anyways, onto more timely things, seeing as we have discussion on the RH Bill, marriage equality, and yes, chicken. For a brief moment, we could have added that "Anti-God Bill" into the melting pot as well, and today's topic would have fit it, too. At every single point, when the militant liberals were calling out the behavior of the conservatives, the one and only point the conservatives would always harp on would be "one-way tolerance." Whatever that means.

See, what most people don't get about tolerance is that it, harkening back to my earlier post, is all about Walang Basagan Ng Trip. If two dudes of legal age want to marry each other, I say let them. If a woman who doesn't have money due to her economic status wants access to these newfangled condoms and pills CGMA has more than enough money to have access to, I say let them. These are simple and basic rights that should be afforded to everyone, and not just to people who have the money for it, or have the procreating combination of gonads for it.

And yes, I am neither gay nor sexually active, so that does underscore what I mean about "tolerance," not that I even disagree with these issues. While Chino Liao may joke that this reflects "hypocrisy" on my part, I think the more appropriate term would be "empathy." Not every cause I support needs to have a direct effect on my life.

In any case, I have been less concerned about not hurting the opposition's feelings lately, even if I don't count myself as a militant when it comes to these issues. I guess it's because over time, I realized that their feelings aren't really that important in the bigger scheme of things. The feeling they get isn't even a feeling of oppression, but simply a tinge of guilt that they misinterpret as oppression. I think they don't understand the meaning of the word when they use it.

You see, the doctrine of tolerance simply states that people can agree to disagree and in doing so, nobody gets hurt. For example, I like Shakey's. On the other hand, this friend of mine likes Pizza Hut. We agree to disagree, and every now and then, I will tolerate my friend and eat at Pizza Hut even if my preference is clearly for Shakey's. That's tolerance, since both choices are equally valid and my choice does not in any way affect her choice.

However, when you demand that pro-gay people tolerate anti-gay people, that relationship does not have the same implication. For pro-gay people to tolerate anti-gay people in the way anti-gay people want them to, they are being expected to be perfectly cool with anti-gay people stripping them of basic rights that anti-gay, presumably straight (Though not all the time.) people already enjoy.

So no, don't expect them to tolerate your intolerance, because your intolerance makes basag their trip (Did I really just write that? I apologize!), while you tolerating who they are in no way affects you at all. You don't turn gay hanging out with them, you don't have to campaign for their causes, and you definitely don't have to marry another dude, either. Tolerating them means you live as you normally would, and you let them live as they normally should. Tolerating you, on the other hand, requires them to tolerate being treated like second-class citizens, and no, there is no reason to tolerate that.

I especially like it when these people claim that they are being "censored" and their "free speech" is being impinged upon when they are clearly whining about the things that they already dislike, anyway. What they don't like is the fact that saying these unfair and discriminatory things actually has consequences, like, getting called out on it. People actually have to be responsible for the things they say? Who knew, right?

This whole thing about the RH Bill has also devolved into a very ironic group of people, specifically, the CBCP, whining that corruption, not population, is the issue. In church. By dragging kids and using them to make their point, as if they haven't used altar boys enough already. And then, they have Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is totally anything but corrupt, champion their cause.

So now, you have a bunch of people who collectively own the fourth largest BPI bank account in the Philippines, a default of goodwill and deference they feel entitled to, and having people say "hey, maybe their privilege to shove things down our throats shouldn't extend beyond their scope of power," and these rich, privileged, more than empowered, entrenched, and not even elected leaders claim they are being oppressed?

I remember the time Christians were actually oppressed. They were being martyred for their beliefs. They were being drawn and quartered and forced to renounce their faith. Nobody's forcing the CBCP to stop telling people to not have sex until they're married. In fact, in the general sense of tolerance, their intolerance is tolerated. They get to say it out loud, don't they? What they don't get, though, is that when people call them out for the idiotic things they have to say, that isn't a show of intolerance, but simply a consequence of them exercising their right to free speech, and their opposition exercising theirs.

Compare that to poor people who want to plan their families, but have neither the knowledge nor the money to. Well, guess what? The RH Bill addresses that. They can now make that choice, or they can adhere to what the church teaches, since hey, they made that choice after knowing what their options are.

In the end, that's all there is to it, really. Tolerance means that you allow people to live their life the way they want to, even if you don't like how they live. What it doesn't mean is that you do so at the expense of you living your life the way you want to. That's no longer tolerance, after all: that's plain martyrdom, except the Catholic church won't be canonizing you for it this time.

The End Of Yet Another Era...

.:Farewell, Multiply:.

Well, it was good while it lasted, but Multiply as we know it, as a one-stop social network hub, complete with blogging photos, videos, and a host of other options, is saying goodbye come December 1. The news comes directly from the site itself, so unless this was an amazing hack job, this is as true as it can get.

Sometimes, it really feels like we were led on by Multiply, especially if we had a premium account or something. Speaking of being led on...

What. A. Dick.

Given that my magic website is located there, I guess you can expect me to move that elsewhere soon.

Bye, Multiply. I'll miss you, but maybe not as much as I missed Friendster.

Sniff. Keep Friendster good company, okay?

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Tulungan Bago Turuan

.:Tulungan Bago Turuan:.

As usual, we will always have insensitive people who would rather make douchenozzles of themselves than help their countrymen in their time of need.

Alt text is your friend.

As usual, we will always have grandstanding politicians, exploitative businessmen, and opportunistic assholes who will use this tragedy for their own personal gain.

If you find any of these poor creatures after the flood, please call 9315001 local 7444. That's the number of the House Of Representatives. Thank you!

As usual, we will always have superstitious idiots who will attribute an Inter Tropical Convergence Zone to a vindictive, petty God. Why are we worshipping a God like that again? I could've sworn the God worthy of worship is kind, merciful, and loving.

So to make us save unborn babies, God will kill some people? That'd show us the value of life!

As usual, we will encounter people who will take us for granted and then break your heart into a million pieces. After emasculating you completely, they will then proceed to ask you to stay "friends."

What. A. Dick.

But that simply shouldn't be our takeaway from Tropical Storm Haikui in the first place.

For every asshole you will encounter today, reminding you that humans aren't all that, you will encounter ten, maybe more people who are more than willing to help in our time of need. Selflessly. Bravely. And yes, wisely. These people remind us how great humanity can be, and how all the insensitivity in the world cannot erase the fact that when push comes to shove, we will help each other.

If a man were drowning, will you ask him what his stand on the RH Bill is before you saved him? No? Then clearly, that shit doesn't matter right now.

Yeah, we get sidetracked. We get annoyed. But dammit, we need to remind ourselves that there's a lot of things we have to do as a people. As a nation. When you have guys like Metta World Peace, of all people, helping us out, that's got to count for something.

Also, I'd like to extend my gratitude to this guy, especially:

See? Mankind cares about the Philippines!

This is, yet again, a climate of heroes. From the people in government helping out, to the average person, to the police, the netizens, even the people who have been working really hard to make sure our communication lines and electricity stay up despite the weather. Tulungan na lang muna tayo. Saka na ang turuan. We still have so much to do, guys.


Do check Pinas 911 as well for a one-stop reference to the relevant hashtags as the Philippines is hit by this monsoon.

Lastly, on a personal note, and as an attempt at levity, if you have anything to say about Tropical Storm Haikui over Twitter, try saying it in haiku format, using the #HaikuForHaikui hashtag. A mere 17 syllables could mean a lot when coupled with the help we will give our countrymen.

I'm called Haikui
I was so unexpected
Heroes will rise

- Marcelle Fabie, 2012

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

This Rain Is Insane...

I'm pretty bad at doing these compilations of information that you need, so here, let me send you in the direction of someone who's good at it...


Stay safe, everyone. We're all willing to help, but don't be a hero if it means other people would end up having to worry about you, too.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Now I Know How Cracked Feels...

.:It Ain't Easy!:.

I'm sure some people think that writing for Cracked is just a piece of cake, seeing as it's a list-based website that uses comedy. Writing lists? Writing dick jokes? How hard is that, really?

Very hard.
Here's what I realized while doing a few lists for another website: the research that goes into every single Cracked list is no mean feat. At some point, I'm going to show off one of the new lists I made for this website, but needless to say, coming up with enough information to fill out a list adequately, and then rounding it out with humor is not easy by any stretch of imagination.

All the more reason why I am a big fan of Cracked, really, I guess.

.:Farewell, Eloisa Cruz Canlas!:.

Voice actress extraordinaire Eloisa Cruz Canlas passed away a few weeks ago, and not too many people realized it.

She will be missed, as her amazing talents have been a part of our lives far more than most of us could have ever realized. She was Lola Sela Bungarera. She was Luna in the Tagalog dub of Sailormoon. She was, without a doubt, a great talent, and her contributions to the entertainment industry are legion.

Thanks for the memories, Ma'am Eloisa!

.:Welp, Good Riddance:.

I promise, there will be less passive-aggressiveness coming from me someday.

But today is not that day.

So to you, because you know who you are, go die in a fire, and good riddance.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Project 52 (31/52): On Being Kicked When You’re Down (And How Lovely That Feels)

.:Project 52 (31/52): On Being Kicked When You’re Down (And How Lovely That Feels):.

It. Feels. Great!


This hasn’t been a very good month so far. At all.

Aside from the fact that I managed to catch The Dark Knight Rises over the weekend, which was a movie I liked (But not as much as I liked The Avengers.), the past few weeks have been miserable, and the end of the proverbial storm is still nowhere in sight.

It happens to all of us, really. Sometimes, things weigh us down, and while we walk wounded, we sometimes wonder how we carry all of this weight on our shoulders. And true, that weight, and our capacity to carry them may all be relative, but you know how it feels, and you know how much it sucks when it feels that way.

So it really, really sucks a lot more when people take the opportunity to take a shot at you when you’re clearly down. Especially when they happen to be the reason while you were down, to begin with.

I haven’t really studied the logic behind this. Does this make them feel better about themselves? Are they incapable of picking battles sportingly? I mean, in general, when I find myself having to get into a fight with someone who’s clearly down already, it actually lessens my enjoyment of it because it’s way too much like shooting fish in a barrel.

I guess some people just really find it convenient, or that’s how they roll. I’d say “more power” to them, but the last people who need to be kicked any more are definitely the people who are already down. There isn’t even a peg to knock them down from anymore, so what’s the point.

What is it? A case of horrible comprehension deficiency? It's pretty amazing how in the middle of it all, they seem to have this insatiable desire to tell you how to feel about how they treated you, as if it's up to them to dictate to you how you're supposed to feel. Wow. Screw that. Screw that, really.

It’s a horrible feeling when the adage “when it rains, it pours” is proved with a vengeance. Sometimes, even the best-laid plans can really go up in flames, and I know I get to be very passive-aggressive and yes, even vindictive at times, but I’m going to make a concerted effort to make sure that no clues to the identity of my latest vexation/s will be given out here.

It’s not something praiseworthy, of course. It’s basic human decency. Sort of the kind of basic human decency that should be expected of a person to not take shots at another person over the misery said person caused for the other, to begin with. That is just really the height of rubbing it in, and it becomes rather ludicrous when after everything has been said and done, they have the temerity to get angry at you about it.

“Temerity.” I like that word.

Sorry, y’all. Just one of those days when I needed to vent, and I really, really didn’t need people to kick me while I’m down.

I'm holding on your rope got me ten feet off the ground...