Thursday, November 29, 2012

.:Project 52 (48/52): On The Unicorn Effect (And Why We Keep Running After Them):.

.:Project 52 (48/52): On The Unicorn Effect (And Why We Keep Running After Them):.

Shun! Shun the nonbeliever!

A few years ago, I wrote about The Unicorn Effect, and it has always stood out as one of those very brief, underdeveloped, but ridiculously true ideas I’ve formed through experience.  I’ve never really taken the time out to think about the topic more thoroughly, until today.

There’s always an appeal, after all, to “the one that got away,” to the point that we tend to be so hung up over the notion and we wish and pine away for that very person, even if we know very well how and why they got away. Hell, sometimes, they even deceived us and pulled the wool over our eyes, but because we loved the illusion so much, we just keep on going and holding on to the lies.

And yet, let’s face it: if the one that got away were to come back, would it really be the awesomesauce we built it up in our heads to be? Maybe, but most likely? Probably not.

The fact of the matter is, the Unicorn Effect has an addicting and very endearing effect for as long as the mystique of the Unicorn remains: for as long as we don’t have what we want from them, be it a relationship, sex, a green card, or whatever else. The Unicorn will always fascinate us until we either catch them, find a new Unicorn to run after, or recognize that there are more sensible goals to aspire for, really. And honestly, maybe, just maybe, the Unicorn really isn’t worth it.

But how does one know if they’re running after a Unicorn, or if they’re really going after something or someone worth pursuing and keeping? Well, I suppose that’s where it’s a good idea to come up with, say, eight simple signs (Oooohhh! Like an 8List?) that it’s the case. Maybe I’ll do that some other time, but I think the first and simplest sign that someone is a Unicorn is if you have no endgame plan with him or her in case your plan works and you win him or her over. If, after that, you have no idea what you’re supposed to do, then it’s pretty clear that the thrill is all in the chase for you, and maybe, just maybe, you shouldn’t be relying on that rush to be the foundation of a sensible, mature relationship.

Case in point...

At the end of it all, if the one you want is more than just a Unicorn, then you know what you truly want, and it’s not merely the hunt that gets you high. It’s no guarantee that the person is not a unicorn, but it’s a genuine start in the right direction. After all, the absence of an actual plan means that consciously or subconsciously, you simply don’t expect things to become reality for you, and that will definitely throw you in for a loop when you magically succeed where you did not expect to.
 So what then, should we do with the Unicorn? Why, what mythology always did hope of us to do: to leave it alone. It’s better off that way.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Project 52 (47/52): On Proportion And Sanctimony

.:Project 52 (47/52): On Proportion And Sanctimony:.

In the completely authoritative website Cracked, David Wong wrote a very insightful piece, giving 5 Reasons Why Humanity Desperately Wants Monsters To Be Real. Reason #4 on that list was a load of food for thought, and I must say, explains how the cyber lynch mob has become such a reality for us now.

I certainly don't think that cyberbullying is an exclusively Filipino pastime, but given how being confrontative is still not the norm in Philippine society, there's nothing like the passive-aggressiveness of an anonymous entity hiding behind a computer screen to really shatter our faith in humanity sometimes. Any chance we could go nuts and make ourselves feel better by making someone out to be a monster we're so totally better than, we take it upon ourselves to go the whole nine yards and really act every bit as deplorable as the "monster" we claim we're trying to slay.

To my mind, Blair Carabuena was proof positive that the Filipino cyber lynch mob doesn't know the meaning of the word "overkill." Of course, Christopher Lao would be another one, and I find that the only thing that made these unfortunate but everyday situations for the Lao's and the Salvona's of our world would be the fact that they had a camera to catch them while they're at it. Of course, Carabuena's actions went past just words when he hit the MMDA officer, and of course, Sotto plagiarized with impunity then gave the most passive-aggressive "apology" this side of Michael Richards.

It's nice to feel morally superior to people we hate. You do it. I do it. Very few of us don't, really. It's why the average sanctimonious Filipino never found a hate bandwagon they didn't want to jump on. On the 8List, I believe Rico Mossesgeld really hit it on the head when he got to #7 on this 8List.

Which brings us to the unfortunate #AMALAYER video that went viral, and allowed the Filipino nation to come together in hatred to lambast some woman who was probably having a bad day, making a national issue out of a private issue that could have been settled between her and the lady guard with little fuss or incident.

Of course she did something wrong. Of course she lost her temper. You have to be an idiot to ignore that. That, however, doesn't mean that her mistake gives you every right to treat her as subhuman, or to be as classy as this:

In this picture: Nuanced discussion and proportionate reactions.

Let's get one thing straight: she didn't hit anyone. She didn't plagiarize Robert Kennedy. Yeah, she raised her voice, but at what point does that give us the right to treat her even worse? If we pride ourselves in being so morally superior to her, where is that moral superiority when we wish for her to get run over by a train?

And seriously, guys, why is our rage against her almost on par as the rage Althea Altamirano is getting for freaking murder?!?

The words of a calm and rational person.

Disproportionate, much?

Feel free to condemn what #AMALAYER did, but for you to wish violence upon her the exact same way we wish violence upon Althea Altamirano? I mean, wow. Considering how the obvious sexism and rape culture-centric commentary going on in that Althea thread is disturbing enough being done to a murderer, why are we allowing people to heap the same level of abuse on someone who just raised her voice? And if the word going around that she got expelled from school is true, are you seriously saying that someone's life deserves to be ruined for... losing her temper? Seriously? Then how the Hades did Robert Jaworski get a Hall Of Fame nod if that's the case?!?

Social media has given us so much power. But with great power comes great responsibility. I bet it makes us feel so nice and warm that we're not such horrible people because we're better than an #AMALAYER or a Blair Carabuena, but the minute we cyberbully them? We lose that moral high ground we were proud of. 

Remember Boyet Fajardo? Remember how much we hated him because he was so haughty and sanctimonious? Well, we are now a nation of "creative outbursts." We've been that way for years.

Sadly, I doubt it's going to get any better as time goes by, because if there's one thing we've proven without a shadow of doubt, we crave the high we get when we think we have the right to be every bit as horrible as the so-called horrible people we despise as much. This "right" to sanctimony is our drug. And we just can't get enough.

Welp, onto the next lynch mob, then, people. All in a good day's work!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Project 52 (46/52): On Emotional Rollercoasters (And How Hard It Is To Get Off Them)

.:Project 52 (46/52): On Emotional Rollercoasters (And How Hard It Is To Get Off Them):.


Here's a secret that isn't really much of a secret about me...

You see, I'm a drama queen.

For the longest time, conflict seemed to bring excitement to my life. If I was arguing with someone, there was a rush that I couldn't explain and I craved that rush. Maybe it's a holdover from my debating days, but I realized at some point that I craved for that rush so much, I was willing to push myself into situations where I need to confront someone, and at no point did I consider that there could be no possibly good aftermath for me in indulging in that kind of behavior.

With that whole #AMALAYER thing on Twitter today, I realized that a lot of the time, I'm just a video camera away from making a fool of myself forever for the whole world to see, although I'm willing to be this blog is doing a fine job of that already, to begin with. Nonetheless, I realized that while there is a rush to be had when drama takes over my life, the consequences are never really worth it, especially when you discover that no matter how much you want to rectify a mistake you've made, the other person no longer wants to have anything to do with you, not just because you did them wrong, but because they feel that the drama has drained them so much, there's no reason to ever go back to that, again.

Self-improvement is, of course, a laudable thing. Unfortunately, no matter how self-aware I can get, I tend to slip sometimes, and all I'm left with is to pick up the pieces and try to figure out how to bring back what once was, when I could have avoided the whole mess had I simply not tried rocking the boat and had I simply saved the drama for my mama.

Sometimes, even when I know for a fact that I wasn't being a drama queen about something, I realize that my past is haunting me to bite me in my posterior, because the other person feels so anxious about the drama starting all over again, they head me off at the pass. Or worse. I don't know, really, but one of the worst things you could ever feel is that sensation of being left hanging by someone, despite all your attempts at reaching out. The anxiety is murder.

So now, I'm left to wonder if it's too late to turn over a new leaf, and if it's not, if it's still possible to right what was once wrong, no matter who caused it. There are certain things, to my mind, that I would be much more at peace with if only I managed to resolve them one way or another.

Don't make my mistake. Don't let drama be a necessity in your life. Seriously.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Project 52 (45/52): On The US Elections (And Why I Don't Care As Much As I Thought I Would)

.:Project 52 (45/52): On The US Elections (And Why I Don't Care As Much As I Thought I Would):.

Obama self. Don't wanna live. Obama self. Anymore...

I still feel mildly annoyed that I am disenfranchised yet again, and this time, I feel like I don't have any excuses this time.

That being said, it's why I really didn't care too much about the US Elections, even turning down an invite by the US Embassy to the election party, although let's be honest: I was kinda expecting Obama to win a second term, really.

Whoever is president of America invariably affects the Philippines one way or another, but I think I'd be pretty glib if I thought that the POTUS would affect the Philippines nearly as much as the next bunch of senators we are going to put in power next year. And all I could do at this point is make a push in the right direction, and I can't help but think about that a lot more than Obama or Romney at the moment.

So pardon me. This is a really short essay week, but I think it's pretty easy to see why: I really can't be bothered about this whole thing too much. I figure there were about a few moment where I wondered if Romney would actually pull the upset, but overall, I didn't really fret, nor would my opinion have really mattered, anyways, since I realize how marginal it all will be to me, and how the more I see the Philippine conservative society backlash violently against progressives, the more it shows how irrelevant what America is up to on that point, and that's really where my interest lies, anyways.

Maybe next week, I'd give more f***s about the topic, but sorry, this one? I'm not too concerned.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Project 52 (44/52): On Deja Vu (And How Disorienting It Feels)

.:Project 52 (44/52): On Deja Vu (And How Disorienting It Feels):.

It feels strange, really.


There are things that I went through in the past, and now, I unexpectedly find myself going through them all over again. It's been a recent spate of things that I never really thought I would ever experience again. A touch of one's hand. A look in one's eye. A timbre in one's voice. It all seems so familiar, yet so foreign because I missed them all for so long.

Was it good? Was it bad? Truth be told, while it was a mix, I started off by remembering the bad, and when I finally knew I will survive, all I could remember was the good. I did nothing but recall all the good things and with each passing day, I missed it more and more. I longed for it more and more. And now, nothing but that which is so familiar yet so foreign is the only thing that could ever satiate me.

I thought I would never find this again. I thought it was never coming back. I thought that only the feeling would remain, but it would forever be hovering on empty.

I was wrong.


Deja vu hits, and it all feels so good again. The highest of the highs. Even the lowest of the lows. The devil I know is back, and I'm loving every minute of it. No regrets. No fears. Only true fortitude in the face of uncertainty. It's really hard to explain how I feel, really. All I know is I relish the feeling

I'm happy. I'm confused. I'm elated. I'm anxious. But through it all, I can't quite shake the disorienting feeling that comes over me because it's overwhelming. My whole life is out of sorts because of something... familiar? How strange is that?!?

But that's exactly how it works. Deja vu strikes you with its familiarity then throws you off because it's also unexpected. It comes over you, and while it might be a glitch in the Matrix, it simply means that while it's the same, something is also essentially different. Considering all of that, isn't it a wonder how what is the same is so jarring?

Well, it is.

And it's awesome.

Meow. That's right!