Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Here Be A Decent Update

.:Sorry, Project 52...:.

Well, I really have no desire in me to fill out the lyrics and analysis for my Project 52 entries. Somewhere down the road, it just got to being more trouble than it's worth to write them down. Having said that, though, I figured it's time I started writing in my blog again. There's been so many things going on with me ever since I left the day job, and it's been pretty exciting lately.

Beloved has been back in town for a while already, so there's that, but it's been nothing doing for the most part. I guess I'm at a point with her where there really are no remaining game-changers to be had. It simply is what it is, and while I'm mostly comfortable with that notion, a small part of me still wishes there was even just a little more than meets the eye to all of this.

That being said, where we are is good. And I can't really complain about "good" now, can I?

.:Thursday Night Fun:.

Yeah, no pictures for now. I like the pictures and captions business and all that, but I need to get back into the rhythm of banging out entries quickly before I sprinkle back in funny captions again.

That being said, I will be performing with Mike Unson and new comic Hugh Vincent this Thursday night in Burger Company for Thursday Night Fun. Switch Improv has been there before, and so has Jona Paculan of the Akafellas. Not only do they have great burgers and even awesomer bacon, they also have a pretty substantial collection of board games, to boot! Obviously, they're not trying to beat Ludo at its own game, what with the fine gentlemen from Ludo owning about 400 going on 500 board games last I checked, but hey, Burger Company definitely has its own approach to mixing good food and fun together.

I've gotten back into the thick of my patented comedy mentalist act, and I hope you get to catch it. If you've never seen the Shanghai Shackles before, or if you've never heard about my mind-reading bit, then you're in for a treat, because I will be featuring that and more on Thursday night, then you get treated to an hour of Mike Unson's excellent standup comedy.

Burger Company is located in 72B Scout Reyes Street, corner Mother Ignacia Avenue, right in the heart of Quezon City. Please drop on by and catch us in action this Thursday! It's absolutely free!

P.S. They're doing International Bacon weekend at Burger Company! Order anything with bacon, and get extra bacon on top of it! Mmmmmm. Did I mention yet how life-changing their bacon dippers are?

.:Saturday Night Comedy:.

I also do improv comedy with the newest improv comedy group in town, Switch Improv, and we're hitting Relik in The Fort this Saturday night as well. It would be really nice if we could see you guys there. :)

.:In Defense Of Ramon Bautista:.

Let's make one thing clear: if you consider yourself a feminist, I absolutely welcome any critique you might have about Monra's humor, if you feel it is not to your liking. That is a valid criticism of what he does.

However, sexism was never the issue why he was declared persona non grata from the city of Davao recently. It simply wasn't.

As a comedian, Ramon was asked to go to Davao and host and entertain the people during the Kadayawan festival. He clearly didn't read his audience right when they responded violently against his quip that there's a lot of "hipon" in Davao.

Possibly offensive? Of course. Comedy doesn't prioritize being politically correct. Sexist? How, pray tell?

I don't know about you, but "hipon" is a gender-neutral term. It isn't referring to women exclusively, and goes for men and women. Otherwise, we'd call it she-pon, right? Haha, I kill me. Well, no. That isn't really funny, either. But the point stands: you might say that Monra insulted the Davao people, but you certainly can't say he was insulting only the women. Make your objection clear: you were offended by his insult on all of you, not just on your women. Otherwise, you are pretty much saying only women can be "hipon," when that is clearly not the case, as a lot of people call male gym rats "hipon," too.

And fine, people have every right to not find that joke to their liking. This was a public gathering, after all, and unlike a comedy bar, people weren't expecting to be roasted on their special day. Boo him if you want, that's how free speech works! He was free to insult you, you are free to show your disapproval right back.

It was when the government decided to directly interfere with the affair by slapping Ramon with a persona non grata sanction where I feel things went too far. Hell, I'd even let all the cursing by the former Davao mayor slide, even if that isn't exactly a great example of "proper conduct," either, especially if any equivalent of "p***** ina's" was hurled during her tirade, which is definitely a gendered slur.

But okay. Let's assume on good faith that the Davao city council did want to protect the women of Davao from the insult. Let's assume on good faith that they were not singling out Ramon Bautista just because they can, and the welfare of women was foremost among the priorities of the city council and the local government of Davao. Let's assume all of that right now.

Well, how do you explain the fact that Mayor Duterte is now defending the Davao police chief, who was caught on video beating his wife? Please explain to me how come calling people in general "hipon": is totally not okay, but a video of a police chief beating his wife just has to be "a setup." What? He was so agitated, he had no choice but to beat her up? Sure, sure, sure.

In the end, the petty vindictiveness of the people involved in declaring Ramon Bautista "persona non grata" exposes them to be far from perched on the moral high ground they profess to have. For a bunch of people who claim to want to "defend" women from Bautista's non-gendered insult (I cannot emphasize that enough.), they are clearly not doing that job when it comes to dealing with one of their own.

And you hope Duterte becomes president someday because he "takes action?" I'm not willing to surrender my personal liberties for that, thank you very much.

If you felt compelled to declare Ramon Bautista "persona non grata" because he "insulted" your women with his words, then I think it's more than fair that an even stronger sanction be issued against your police chief who hit a woman right on video. Otherwise, your double standard exposes your actions as less of an act of justice and more an act of hypocrisy.

.:And As A Footnote...:.

Five years in comedy, and I can safely say that it isn't easy to make people laugh. People might think what Vice Ganda does is easy, or that Dolphy worked with lower standards, but that just isn't the case. Eliciting laughter is an art form, whether it be Vice's insult comedy, or Dolphy's slapstick, or TVJ's wordplay, or Rex Navarrete's point of view style, or SPIT's improv, or anything else beyond and in between.

Then you see people like Robin Williams, who took his own life, and a guy I know personally, Kuya Jobert, almost take his, and you wonder how these people could be so sad despite making so many people happy.

I'm not going to say that behind every funny person is a tortured soul. That's too hackneyed and cliche for me to tout. What I'm going to say though is that whatever goes on behind the laughter, there's still a lot of hard work going on to get that laughter going. And whether or not Ramon Bautista's comedic stylings is to your liking, he certainly works hard at what he does.

So maybe it's a good idea to, every now and then, think about the people who draw all sorts of emotions from us aside from love (we obviously think about the people we love often enough, after all.). People who make us cry. People who make us angry. People who make us laugh. Let's not care if they're depressed or they're happy. We wouldn't know for sure now, would we? Let's just give them a moment. It won't hurt us at all.

And now, let's give ourselves a moment. Remind ourselves why we're here and what we're doing on this planet. And once we remember, let's go back to life as usual, hopefully with that small reminder well in hand. It just took a couple of moments. But those moments could make all the difference.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Project 52 2014 (32/52): All Of Me

.:Project 52 2014 (32/52): All Of Me:.

What would I do without your smart mouth? Drawing me in, and you kicking me out.

There are some things in life you just appreciate all the more when it's no longer there, even if it seemed like the worst thing ever while it was happening. And then at some point, it just ceases, and you begin to miss it, slowly but surely. It all just strikes you while you're deep in thought at your most lucid.

You've got my head spinning, no kidding, I can't pin you down.

Unpredictable. A hair trigger for just about anything. Tsundere. One moment you have me at the highest of highs, the next, you have me at the lowest of lows. But that's really the kind of power you have over me. And that's what really sets you apart: you have a way of carrying yourself that really just makes you special.

What's going on in that beautiful mind? I'm on your magical mystery mind.

I never know what you're thinking. Here I am, reading minds for a living, yet I can't seem to read you. I don't have the faintest idea how to read you. Everything about you is a mystery. Beautiful, catastrophic. Uplifting, disturbing. It's all there, and it's all drawing me more and more to you. I want to be there every second. To see each twist and turn. To appreciate you for you, in all the glory and horror.

And I'm so dizzy, don't know what hit me, but I'll be all right.

I can take it. I know I can. It's worth it all just to be here. By your side. To see everything as it should be.

My head's underwater, but I'm feeling fine.

I can't quit you. I can't give you up. Through the ups and downs, I know I would still stay on, because that's the only thing I've ever known to be certain in my life. This is my bedrock of certitude, and it doesn't matter how hopeless or futile it might seem to anyone else.

You're crazy and I'm out of my mind.

Story of our lives, isn't it?

'Cause all of me loves all of you.

This won't change. Time hasn't changed it. Circumstances won't change it. Nothing will. It's something you can count on from the moment you wake up to the moment you slumber, and every moment captured by it as well. You're special because you're you. There's no reason to look for beyond that.

Love your curves and all your edges. All your perfect imperfections.

If you think for one moment that I would turn my back on you just because things aren't oh-so-perfect, then you would be sorely mistaken. I knew what I was in for when I signed up for this. And I know better than to balk when the going gets tough, because it's all worth it in the end. You're worth it.

Give your all to me, I'll give my all to you.

I never held anything back from you since day 1, and that will be how it is until the very last day.

You're my end and my beginning. Even when I lose, I'm winning.

There has always been a void in my life that only you have managed to fill back then. But now that I am in a better state, where I know that I need you, but I can survive with or without you, I know far better than ever that you have been nothing but a positive force in my life. If your love is water, then I never want to go thirsty again.

'Cause I give you all of me...