Sunday, February 20, 2011

Forgive You Not


The Gospel reading this morning had me raising brows. I know—I just couldn’t help it. Lightning might as well have struck me then and there because while the priest gave his homily, I was in full-force opposition. Although I wanted badly to stand up, grab a microphone and speak my mind, I didn’t want to risk making a fool out of myself nor being brought to the precinct for questioning on account of public scandal.

The moral of the Gospel, so said the priest, was ‘love thy enemy’—one that, for the life of me, I could not fathom, even more so live with, even if I tried. At the risk of being sacrilegiously blunt, I have always believed it was a big ball of shit. The homily stressed further that ‘love thy enemy’ translates to not seeking revenge against people who had done you harm—another ball of shit.

One can safely conclude my stand on this matter is wired around my stand on revenge. Of course, when you talk about revenge being ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,’ that is different. What I’m trying to say is—I have always been the type who sought revenge against people who had done me harm. I’m not one of those morally inclined people who’d wait for karma to take its course—no, sir! Revenge gives me that immediate feeling of satisfaction.

I don’t resort to violence, of course, if that’s what anyone is worried or terrified about. Although I do have a penchant for (light) violence, I am fully aware of what violence, in its basic definition, could do. In fact, I do what I call playful acts of getting even—you know, fun and harmless, but nonetheless effective. Sometimes I do cross the line between playful and harmful.

You know that adage, “Kapag binato ka ng bato, batuhin mo ng tinapay?” I couldn’t do that. I can’t do that. I can—and will, eventually—however shove that stone into my foe’s mouth, bitch-slap him, and force him to choke on the stone. Figuratively, you know.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Raccoon In A Meeting

I stand outside the auditorium, amid a small cluster of parents—and most probably guardians as well. I feel like a raccoon in a horde of wildebeests. I am attending a meeting for my brother in behalf of my mum who is too busy with her so-called paper works—God knows what. That’s my mum—she finds excuses not to attend meetings, and instead sends me to suffer. Meetings—except ones for an upcoming merrymaking—are a pain in the crack.
This meeting is supposedly about drug addiction and how parents can—ugh, who cares! This meeting is a waste of my time. It’s hot, and I’m starting to sweat in strange places. And even if I did want to listen to what the speaker has been yapping about for the past half-an-hour, I couldn’t possibly hear him with all these people around me yapping as well; I can’t even hear myself think. This being surrounded by parents, makes me think if I’ll ever be a parent. What kind of parent will I be?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Trace me not


I got an email from one of my college professors which had been attached with a ‘tracer form.’ Apparently, the college department which I belonged to in college is trying to “assist its alumni connect with one another, establish networks and contacts, track the movement of its graduates and make follow up on their employability and present employment status.”

Call it ‘mental reflex’ as I downloaded the attached file without blinking. As I expected, the form contained boxes that needed to be filled out. The first part of the form was simple: basic information. Except for residence number, facsimile, and personal website, all the boxes were filled out.

Can one consider a blog a personal website? I had to argue with myself. It boiled down to whether or not a blog can be technically considered a personal website, I didn’t want my college professors reading it. I have already so much difficulty as it is deciding whether or not I’m going to open my blog for public reading.

The second part was equally easy. All I had to do was determine if I was currently employed. Much to my delight, my response required that I skip ten questions. I’d have gladly divulged the reasons of my being a freelancer, had the form provided a space for an essay. But that didn’t matter. Because basically, the tracer form, in its true form, was sent to verify whether or not the graduate has landed a job that’s related to the field he took up in college. And since I have never held a job in the field of Information Technology, I am certain the accomplished—or is it technically ‘half-accomplished'—form I will be sending back will be irrelevant. Not that it matters to me.

The third part of the form was to establish whether the college department had satisfied the graduates’ academic as well as other rational skills before they received their diplomas. My answer on the first question of the third part of the form required me to skip a few items—much to my delight, again. It’s this part that also asked for suggestions on how the department can improve its curriculum in order to “help the graduates become highly competitive.”

I didn’t continue filling out the form, although I was almost done; I just had to choose which information that I shared could be published to the alumni directory. I didn’t stop because of it. I stopped because I was uncertain of sending the form back.

Call it insecurity, because some of my college professors and most of my classmates back then had blatantly predicted that I would hold a full-time job once I graduated, and maybe I am not ready to be bombarded with what-happened-to-you questions. I certainly am not ashamed of my current state. The expectations everyone had of me is none of my concern. So while I am trying to shush my dog from barking, I am deciding if I should send the form back or not. It may sound foolish to others—jeez, it’s just a tracer form—and maybe it is. But you know me, sometimes I like to make a deal out of small things.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Corrupted Forces


All this AFP fund scandal brouhaha is starting to give me headaches. What on earth is happening? It seems everyone is interested—or curious, at least. Everyone has his opinion, certainly. It’s all over the news. It’s starting to be a pollutant. But what else is new? I’m not remotely surprised about this ‘corruption’ scandal. But I am, however, amused that some people react like it was highly unlikely to have happened. I mean, come on—this is the Philippines! Our history is tainted with corruption—or should I say “decorated with corruption?” Our being on the list of the most corrupt countries in the world some years back wasn’t fiction.

I watch the news. Fingers are being pointed. Voices are loud, vile—dripping  with hypocrisy, lies, and more lies. Eyes are fixed on the table. Heads are held high, interrogating. Heads are bent low, silent. Absolute Drinking Water, anyone?

The priest, in his homily, found it convenient to talk about the current rave that is the AFP fund scandal in relation to the Gospel. One word: corruption. He somehow flawlessly weaved the current political scandal as if it were a fairy tale, except that it didn’t have a concluding part yet. And that it is far from having charming princes and in-distress princesses as characters. I listened attentively—a rare occasion since my mind usually wanders off in some alternate universe when I attend masses—and found myself drawn into the subject matter even more.  But as much as I would like to relay the priest’s view on the topic, my memory has unsurprisingly malfunctioned—yet again.

Corruption is as much a part of being human as, say, preference. Any person who knows the difference between a lake and a river certainly must know that corruption doesn’t only involve money. It happens even in our thoughts. Even computer files get corrupted—that’s not really my point. How do we fight corruption? I guess we must look into ourselves first and start taking a stand against our own personal corruption. In what way are we corrupt? Oh-so many ways, I say. Will we ever be, as individuals, corrupt-free? The answer is no. But we can stop the ripple of corruption, or at least limit it.

Taking a stand against corruption—against anything that’s morally corrupt, really—is a constant battle, and we will not win every time. But what’s important is that we always take a stand, because once we admit defeat, it’s all we’re ever going to be: defeated. One defeat will lead to another, and will eventually lead a domino-effect of corruption inside us, which will then ripple outward.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Review: The Pretty Reckless, “Light Me Up”

review reckless
At first, it was hard to listen to The Pretty Reckless’ debut album “Light Me Up” mainly because I found it a tad difficult to separate Taylor Momsen (on vocals) from her famous—or rather infamous—character as Jenny “The Gothic Barbie” Humphrey on Gossip Girl. Her raspy-bordering-on-growly voice certainly fits the band’s take on grunge-pop/rock, but I couldn’t help but associate it to her infuriating character in the TV series.

Light Me Up is strong and rich in melody, with its heavy guitar riffs and pounding drum beats. The arrangement is typical, though, for most rock substances we hear on the radio. But it is far from ear-splitting; there is a wonderful arrangement in each song.

Putting the whole Gothic Barbie thing aside, and the fact that the band’s music videos are as disturbing as Rihanna’s, Light Me Up offers a breather from the sickening bubble-gum tunes of today’s mainstream music. Its lyrics are of blatant angst, put together quite beautifully with metaphors that are as dark as her eye shadows—creepy and effective—and delves into matters such as substance abuse and death, among other angst-y issues, that even artist much older than her don’t address. The album offers a certain degree of maturity that one would not expect from Taylor, who co-wrote the entire record.

Stand-out tracks include the debut single “Make Me Wanna Die”, which offers crazy guitars and lyrics that could pass for a theme song of a vampire movie (definitely not Twilight!) and tackles about being a willing lover to someone who apparently possesses a ‘dark side;’ “Light Me up”, a song about being impervious  to other people’s opinion about one’s self, asserting one has “got it on my mind to change my ways, but I don't think I can be anything other than me,” which can also be interpreted as stating one’s addiction to taking illegal substances because “I can take it all without you;” “Just Tonight”, looks into a cliché of being in an unhealthy relationship where the tormented lover couldn’t leave even if she wanted to, and starts justifying the pain she feels; “Goin’ Down” then takes us on a different perspective, which is about an aggravated lover taking matters in her own hands, turning to her beliefs for pardon on what she’s done, and being willing to do most about anything to be forgiven. I think the reference to religion should not be taken entirely literally, but instead be taken, too, as a metaphor for something that the concerned party considers solid and reassuring; and “Nothing Left to Lose”, which in my opinion is the best track on the record, that clearly is about lamenting over a broken relationship, wanting to fix things that are beyond fixing, and at some point licking the wound by engaging one’s self in things one regards indecorous.
Light Me Up, as a whole, is quite a treat—like a sourball with a surprise custard filling inside. Best listening time would be when one is lying in bed—waiting for a system shut-down—or while driving, windows down, on the wee hours of the night headed practically nowhere.