Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Stories and Tall Tales

I have it.

I was at the Power Plant Mall last night to meet Weng and her sister. After spending a couple of hours doing nothing but walk behind them, I decided to check out Fully Booked.

I was pleasantly surprised to find an open copy of John Irving's latest novel Until I Find You. Incidentally, yesterday was the release date of the book's paperback edition in the United States, so I did not expect to find one here this soon. I was about to ask the staff for another copy, when one of them walked towards me, carrying among others, the only remaining copy of the book in the store. Hooray.

The book is surprisingly thick. It turns out that, at over 800 pages, it is Irving's longest novel to date. I'll probably start reading it later tonight, as I only have roughly two weeks left, before all leisure reading gets suspended until after late October.

From the academic dishonesty department: the writers of Smallville and Terminator are looking for the person who came up with the idea of plagiarizing their stories, coming up with an unspeakably stupid Smallville-meets-Terminator storyline, and calling it Captain Barbell. There is no word yet as to whether or not Mars Ravelo has started spinning in his grave.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Dear Joe

My inbox currently has an item with the subject "Joe d' Mango Story." It is supposedly Joe's own story - his own "love problem." It is basically the same sappy third-party story that he has written about countless times in the past (not that I read them), only this time, the man, or the mango, is actually involved.

I do not know what makes the venerable Joe qualified to give advice to all these semi-suicidal, presumably, otherwise normal people, that all of them, for all these years, go to him for help. Why not, for instance, write to Xerex Xaviera instead? I hear he also writes about other people's "love problems."

In my opinion, one does not need go further than our laws to solve these problems. For instance, in the Revised Penal Code, you will find:

Art. 247. Death or physical injuries inflicted under exceptional circumstances. — Any legally married person who having surprised his spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another person, shall kill any of them or both of them in the act or immediately thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious physical injury, shall suffer the penalty of destierro.

If he shall inflict upon them physical injuries of any other kind, he shall be exempt from punishment.

Nobody could have said it any better. The person who came up with this provision is a freaking genius. While this may not solve all kinds of "love problems" (the courts will probably construe "sexual intercourse" strictly, eliminating a host of other similar exciting acts from the provision's coverage), it's still sounds much better than all that "letting go" crap.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Freedom! Forever!

Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot;
I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Yes, I just watched the film (on dibidi, of course) last weekend. Better late than never. It's so good and so timely, that all Filipinos should be required by law to watch it. "People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people." Now that's a tagline. Definitely, way better than "A brutal murder. A brilliant killer. A cop who can't resist the danger."

Dito ako may kapayapaan
Dito ang buhay ko'y may katuturan
Dito sa piling ng aking bayan
Kapwa'y paglilingkuran

I also discovered last Friday that SALIGAN has a "branch" over at Naga City. Cool. Now I know that there is more than one way of becoming a starving professional in Naga. You see, I realize more and more each day that this Makati corporate shit is not for me. Right now, I'm sticking with it only because it pays the bills. Loving it? You have got to be kidding me.

I guess it's the promdi in me. There's still nothing like being home before Mike Enriquez' funny voice startles the living crap out of everybody who's watching the news. Or going to work without having to endure the horrible traffic. And the more horrible body odor of the guy standing right next to you. On a cramped train (think Amazing Race). And there is something to be said about living in a place where your home is within walking distance of practically everything you need; where, for at least one day every year, you can go into anybody's house and eat, gratis, to your heart's, and more importantly, to your stomach's, content. Granting that crime is everywhere these days, I'd still prefer to live in a place where if somebody steals something from you, chances are, you know who the culprit is.

So, one day five years from now, I'll take Raul Gonzales' advice to the Batasan 5, and head for the hills once more. Yup. Sounds like a plan.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Quote of the Day

I can only please one person a day.
Today is not your day.
Tomorrow's not looking good, either.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Now Showing

PDI editorial cartoon, 17 May 2006

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Of Myths and Sisyphus

I noticed that I haven't come up with any interesting post for quite some time now. For convenience, I'll just blame it on the mind-numbing effects of reading volumes of the SCRA. I had, in fact, picked up a book as early as last March that I vowed to read over the break - which I did - if only to break the monotony of reading nothing but seedy stuff about petitioners and appellants, and a bunch wherefores for the past year. The book, by the way, is some guy's autobiographical account of his first year at Harvard Law.

Lately, I have been spending my lucid moments trying to explain to an American counterpart what we poor, backward Asians need, to start working on his project. Despite my sheer brilliance and eloquence, I cannot help but feel for Sisyphus everytime I talk to the guy. Somehow, he was able to make "going around in circles" an art form. And he has mastered it.

And what's all the fuss about the Da Vinci Code anyway? Everybody who's got a stick up his ass is ranting and raving and asking the MTRCB to ban the film from the country. News flash, ladies and gentlemen, it's a work of fiction. It's a documentary in the same sense that How to Make an American Quilt is an instructional video. Come on! People watch GMA's and ABS-CBN's attempts at entertainment on TV everyday. You don't see people booking flights to Saladin, do you?

Speaking of Saladin, this TV formula of characters who get separated, and who futilely try to find one another their whole lives, where after a generation, by some stroke of luck, they end up within two feet of each other, but somehow, for some stupid and utterly unbelievable reason, the idiots still don't see each other, is getting really annoying. Yes, I know that men with magical powers don't really live in some magical land, but that's just the point. There is a limit to how long I can suspend disbelief. I'm willing to believe that a half-naked Katrina Halili has magical powers, but there is no way that I would buy that daughter-leaves-while-mother-looks-away bullshit. It's old. And it's crap.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Strike Three

The decision on PP1017 came out yesterday, and the Inquirer has characterized the ruling as "the third slap on Ms Arroyo by the tribunal." Ouch.

IT EVOKED shades of Ferdinand Marcos' martial law edict.

The Supreme Court yesterday declared unconstitutional the arrests of protesters, the forcible breakup of rallies, and the raid on a newspaper office that were carried out by security forces in accordance with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's proclamation declaring a state of emergency in February.

Voting 11-3, the court upheld the power of Ms Arroyo to declare a state of emergency and call on the Armed Forces to suppress lawless violence under Presidential Proclamation No. 1017. At the same time, however, the tribunal ruled as illegal a clause in PP 1017 giving herself authority to issue decrees.

This is the third time in three weeks that the high court found GMA and her minions violating the people's most basic rights, enshrined in the Constitution that she desperately wants to change (Gee, I wonder why). At least, this time, she can sleep knowing that the voting was not unanimous unlike the previous two (14-0 and 13-0). Nevermind hara-kiri, if this was Baseball, she would have already struck out. Swinging.