Monday, October 31, 2005


I was reading an anthology of little known science fiction writers yesterday when I came across this one. It was about Albert, an autistic character who was never good at anything except to make machines who could do what he could not--- that is, everything. He was a clod, a loser, a schnook--- a true blue schlemiel. The following is an excerpt from the short story Eurema’s Dam by R.A. Lafferty, on the night Albert was given the highest award the intellectual world could give. It was noticed that almost all the major inventions for the past three decades were traced back to Albert, and on this night, he was finally acknowledged.

Albert had the speech composed for him by his speech- writing machine, but for some reason he did not use it. He went on his own, and that was disaster. He got to his feet when he was introduced, and he stuttered and spoke nonsense:
“Ah--- only the sick oyster produces nacre*,” he said, and they all gaped at him. What sort of beginning for a speech was that? “Or do I have the wrong creature?” Alfred asked weakly.
Everybody was watching him with a pained expression.
“Nothing rises without a leaven,” Albert tried to explain, “but the yeast is itself a fungus and a disease. You be regularizers all, splendid and supreme. But you cannot live without the irregulars. You will die, and who will tell you that you are dead/ when there is no longer any deprived or insufficient, who will invent? What will you do when there are none of us defectives left? Who will leaven your lump then?”
“Are you unwell?” the master of ceremonies asked him quietly. “Should you not make an end of it? People will understand.”
“Of course I’m unwell. Always have been,” Albert said. “What good will I be otherwise? You set the ideal that all should be healthy and well adjusted. No! No! Were we all well adjusted, we would ossify and die. The world is kept healthy only by some of the unhealthy minds lurking in it. The first implement was not a scraper or celt** or stone knife. It was a crutch, and it wasn’t devised by a hale man.”
“Perhaps you should rest,” a functionary said in a low voice, for this sort of rambling nonsense had never been heard at an awards dinner before.
“Know you,” said Albert, “that it is not the fine bulls and wonderful cattle that make the new paths. Only a crippled calf makes a new path. In everything that survives there must be an element of the incongruous. He paused and gaped, and gulped a big breath.” Dolts!” he croaked out fiercely then. “What will you do for dolts when the last of us is gone? How will you survive without us?”
Albert had finished. He gaped and forgot to close his mouth. They led him back to his seat. His publicity machine explained that Albert was tired from overwork, and then the thing passed around copies of the speech that Albert was supposed to have given.
It had been an unfortunate episode. How noisome it is that the innovators are never great men. And the great men are never good for anything but just being great men.

(*the hard pearly internal layer of the shells of some molluscs such as oysters and clams, used, for example as a gemstone and as a decorative inlay
**a prehistoric chisel or axe that has a metal or stone head with a bevelled edge)


It was a brilliant story. It clearly showed how ‘weird’ people are the ones who actually change the world. Examples are John Nash, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Adolf Hitler, and Napoleon Bonaparte--- well, the list is simply endless. Nash was schizophrenic, Gates was a drop-out, Hitler was a frustrated painter, Bonaparte was among the first of us who used platform shoes. Lafferty brought the subject home, and we should take to heart the warning that was bleeping in Albert’s ‘ridiculous’ speech.
After reading the story, Emile Durkheim’s concept of deviance came to my mind. He held that deviance is any kind of behavior that is substantially different from the widely accepted standards of society. Just think of Madonna, before everyone wanted to be like her. She wore pointed bras, and who ever did that? The man on your right who has purple flowers on his polo is deviant. The CEO with the nose ring while playing golf is deviant.
Put simply, deviant people are the cracks, the weirdos, the misfits--- anyone who does not tie in with the popular view of the world as propagated by the media and your conservative parents.
Karl Marx took Durkheim’s concept one step further. He asserted that without deviant people, the world will never get a move on. This was also the same cue that Lafferty took. As Alfred said, only the sick oyster produces nacre and the cripple calf, a new path. If we all acted the same and thought the same, no one will venture to go out of their way to change anything. Our minds will remain stagnant, and the only thing which will be moving towards anywhere would be the Earth on its axis, on its travels around the sun.
So, after all, we need each and every one of the schlemiels we can get. Let’s not abuse them and better, let’s not try to change them. They have their own roles to play in the orchestra which is life.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

What A Wunnerful World

Hey kid, it’s a cruel world. I’m sure I’m not the first the first to be saying this, nor will I be the last. I don’t intend to sound omniscient, or wise (for mind, they’re not synonymous). I’m not planning to seem like I have been through all the crap this planet could ever put me through, but I’m learning. I’m getting there, though I’m not even a quarter through.
So will you.
It’s not a happy place. People will step on your face for no reason other than they should. Ever heard of that story about that caterpillar who wanted to reach the top of those pillars of caterpillars? He endured all the feet on his face, that mindless racing to the top---all quite impersonal--- to find out that at the top there is nothing at all special, just a bunch of caterpillars trying to hold on to that place simply because everyone wants to get there.
It goes true, even now. Were all trying to get what everybody else wants--- fame, fortune, control. We race. We stab backs. We step on faces if we get the chance. Aw c’mon, don’t tell me you’ve never dunnit. As I was saying, it’s a cruel world. We bite to get what we want.
And hold on, even in the midst of finding out that it’s just not worth it all.
So now we’ve covered ambition. We move on to that curse--- love.
Unfortunately, no one is safe from it. It’s not like a Kedavra curse you can dodge, and it can’t go haywire like a jinx. Some time or other it will hone on you and then you know hell. (I myself have been cursed, and it did not go well. I have been cursed again…and I am in purgatory).
Consequently, someone made a poem about a shepherd to his love. The shepherd fairly promised the world and immortality to his wench (which is silly for he is just a poor, lovesick wretch), if only she would marry him. Such beautiful lines. But yes, silly, if one is to even think of reality. Sir Walter Scott Raleigh, I think, composed the reply of the wench to the shepherd. She said that if everything were to remain as they are forever, if flowers never fade and love the same, then she would go with him. Else, she won’t.
Oh, how smart of her. If only everyone’s brainwaves (including mine) went the same, then the world would be a ton less of fools. Or more.

But everything is not as gloomy as I make it out to be. Good, honest people still walk the streets. Flowers still grow, in their vibrant colors of yore. There are still uplifting sunrises in blinding yellow and magnificent sunsets from purple to orange to red. Love still reigns, for as long as a few can truly love, it can conquer.
It’s a cruel place.
But in a paradoxical twist of fate, it’s also a wunnerful world.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Ego Defense Mechanisms

sabi ni Freud, bawat tao ay gumagamit ng Ego Defense Mechanisms. pinapadali ng mga ito ang pagtanggap sa katotohanan, o kung sasabihin ng diretsahan, pinapadali nito ang halos na matagumpay na pagsisinungaling sa sarili.
isang tipo ng mekanismong ito ay ang paghahanda sa sarili na masaktan o mahirapan. kunwari alam mo na makikipag-hiwalayan na sa iyo ang pinakamamahal mong kasintahan. maaari ay masabi mo sa sarili mo na "Ayos lang. Wala na rin namang kwenta magpatuloy pa" o kaya, "Hindi naman talaga siya ang para sa akin". at malupit, "Hindi ko naman talaga siya mahal".lahat ng mga saloobin na ito ay makakatulong iligtas ang pride ng isang tao sa sitwasyon na binaggit ko.
hindi pa nangyayari ang sakuna, handa ka na.
maganda yung ganoon, parang kapag alam mo nang lulubog ang barko eh gumagawa ka na ng maliit na bangka gamit ang maraming maong na pantalon at tinitipid mo na rin ang mga daga at ihi mo para may makain at may mainom kapag nagkataong maubusan. basta alam mo na.
ganoon din kapag alam mo na malapit ka nang iwanan ng taong pinakamamahal mo, matapos ang lahat. muli, binabalikan natin ang naunang halimbawa.
ang sitwasyon ay mahal na mahal mo siya at mahal na mahal ka rin niya. wala namang problema sa inyo. wala namang tutol. walang mga isyu. magandang set-up.
pero mas mahal niya ang isa pang bagay, tao, entity. mamili ka.
at natatakot kang yun ang pipiliin niya (gising pa ba kayo? pasensya. mahaba. tiis.). maraming madilim na pantasya ang kumukulo sa isipan mo. ang mga pwedeng mangyari..o hindi mangyari...kapag wala na siya. iniisip at inaalisa ang isang bagay na puso lang dapat ang gamit.
eh ano ngayon?
mas maganda ang pakiramdan kung ang isang bagay na nakakasakit sa damdamin ay masasa-walang bahala gamit ang makitid na pag-iisip. mas masaya kung iisipin na lang kesa maramdaman. mas madaling magsinungaling. magpanggap. magpasensya. magtiis.

yan ang tinatawag na Ego Defense Mechanisms.

kapag nagpalit na nang itsura ang blog ko, may masamang nangyari.

Friday, October 21, 2005

In a Past Life...
You Were: A Lazy Magician.
Where You Lived: Russia.
How You Died: Suicide.
Who Were You In a Past Life?

You Are Italian Food
Comforting yet overwhelming.People love you, but sometimes you're just too much.
What Kind of Food Are You?

yan na muna as for now! im addicted to blogthings...interesting stuff...

Monday, October 17, 2005

ano ang plural ng mongoose? mongeese?

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Abyss of the Hanged

Falling in love is a nice feeling. It’s as if multihued bubbles dance in a constant, ethereal ballet with the wind whenever you’re with The Meaning of Your Existence. It’s as if the butterflies in your stomach will just explode in a burst of color if The Sun in Your Sky gave out another one of his or her cute smiles. It’s as if the clouds descended from the sky and gave you their express permission to tread on them any time you wish, which is probably all the time.

But enough of romanticizing, for puke is hard to clean. Let’s get to the gory details.

You learn that The Meaning of Your Existence does not love you, and worse, has his/her own Sun In The Sky. All your panic buttons are pushed by one bloody finger, a trapdoor opens beneath your feet, and you plunge into the Abyss of the Unrequited Lovers.
So you think that’s the worst thing that could ever happen to your nonexistent-love-life-slash-purgatory? No-uh. There is another kind of hell, the kind where you’re tearing your hair along with your heart, but not quite. The kind where you want to cry out to and curse and blame that person you’re in love with for the agony you are going through --- but how could you?
Ano ba kayo?
This is called the Abyss of The Hanged.

Those guys at the bottom of the pit would be burning in excruciating heat from the eternal fires of love unreciprocated. They will be moaning in pain like crazed animals and would lose all semblances to even the most primitive human being. Their hearts would resemble singed hairs and stink as much. Imps will be dancing around the graves they dig for themselves at the bottom of the Lake of Fire and taunt them with “Ay, sayang….kawawa ka naman….let go na kasi eh…” as if it’s the easiest thing to do on earth. However, the victims could clamber to the mouth of the abyss and learn their cruel lesson on the way down, as well from the way up (oo nga…kailangan na ngang lumimot…kahit naman anong gawin ko eh…wala talaga…).
But the people in the Abyss of the Hanged…they will be suspended by their shirts on rusty, giant, metal hooks. The bottom part of their hearts would be dealt with second- degree burns but the top would be soothed by gentle winds from the opening of the deep pit (sa palagay ko naman meron din…kaya lang…puta, ano ba to?). They will see the suffering and destruction when they glimpse down, but witness the blue and calm of the open sky when they look up. Sometimes they hear the creaks of the huge chains that hold the hooks, and wish they would just break and just get it over with (ayoko na…bakit kasi hindi na lang niya sabihin para tapos na…). Sometimes they see the light from above and wish they could just take their shirts from the poppers…but there is the nagging fear, the certain fear, that they can’t get a secure rock to hold on to at the right time and plunge down to the hell below (itatanong ko na! ngayon din!….pero, teka….
Paano kung hindi nga niya ako mah…?).

Where then, is the worst abyss? The certain pain where at least you can climb up or the unsure torture where you are incapable to move and thus, learn?
Confusion arises from indecision. How about trying to make up your mind whether you really want to know or not? The answers will not come; they, unfortunately, rarely do of their own accord. To avoid the Abyss of the Hanged, try to just ask…or let go. From there, learn. Live. Later love when you’re on surer ground.
Of course you just cant step up to the Meaning of Your Existence and at the snap of a finger ask, as if it’s the most natural thing on the world! Like with everything else, you need courage to face the music, may it be to a discordant noise or a rapturous melody. The truth may hurt, but it’s the truth, no matter how sharp, how blunt or how saccharine.

Face it.
Or walk away.

You would not want to be a denizen of the Abyss of the Hanged.
Trust me.

For the person who requested: What you don’t know won’t hurt you, but what you think you don’t know will. So ask.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Ten Years

There are worse things than be unloved by your beloved.

On the outside, she was sunshiny and humorous. It seemed as if life itself gave her a reason to live it to the fullest, to disprove the self-possessed, strained way its inhabitants lived it. She would sing in her loudest voice, laugh her loudest laugh, and anyone who dared to challenge her freedom she would curse to hell.

I am nobody. I am faint, colorless, dull. I am a man who cares so much about what they say; I am a man aware of the comfortable prison I lock myself in as I sleep and double lock as I wake up. I begrudge my prison and rattle its bars as the sun rises and sets in a flame of crimson or purple, depending on its petulant mood. Deep inside my imprisoned heart, though, I know that no matter how hard I rattle, no matter how much blood creeps on my useless fingers, I do not really want to be free.
I am too…comfortable.

And then I met her.
It was fast, too easy. Sometimes I wonder what terrible price there is to pay for such a perfect union of souls. Neither of us is perfect, that is quite clear. We have our fights, small misunderstandings that people our age should just let go but doesn’t. Always, though, we would make up, and say those words that will assure us that nothing is lost but a little pride.

In her hands I am changed. I now sing with her, laugh with her, disprove the world with her everyday. Who are they, anyway? What hold have they on my laughter, my tears--- my life? I wasn’t even aware of it until I realized that I am totally free from my comfortable prison. I do not check the lock anymore, there is no need. My bloodied hands have been wiped clean by her love; the bars have been stowed away for another soul who has lost hope and gained the desire to hide away from the world.
I don’t need them anymore. I have her.

But there are little things, small things I did not notice about her until their frequency became disturbing to behold. Sometimes she would slump down on her chair, seemingly asleep, but she would not wake up even if I shake her shoulders. After those spells, I will always ask her if she was fine, and she always said yes. I did not mind, during the first times it happened. The same way that I did not mind when she abruptly clutches her chest in the middle of an animated conversation, her face contorting in pain for brief seconds of eternity for no apparent reason. I did not mind. Maybe I did not want to acknowledge what I dreadfully, already know.
Until she told me herself.

She was sick. Incurably sick. The doctor said that in a year she would have to be completely dependent on heavy medication, and gave the cruel verdict: she only has at least ten years to live, if she takes care of herself. ‘Taking care’, meaning to forego all harmful foodstuffs she was wont to partake.
She refused, denied the doctor’s verdict. She was being herself; she saw drugs as the bricks of the prison that will alienate her from her precious freedom. I tried to reason with her for at least my sake, and she grudgingly consented only when her attacks were worse than usual. It was not what I wanted, but I love her, and I could give her at least a trifling triumph over the stuff she sees as a threat to her jealously guarded treasure.

But…she is getting worse everyday. She is still herself, with her boisterous laughter and her carefree voice, but her attacks come more frequently. Me, I just put it at the back of my mind. I love her. I do not want to lose her. I reasoned that if I thought more about it, I would only get depressed, and upset her in turn. I would pretend like nothing happened every time she gains consciousness from her spells. What can I do anyway? I am helpless. I am miserable.
But I love her. It is better that she doesn’t know I am dead by every second her face contorts in pain.

You might think that ten years is a long time. But we have many plans for the future, like stargazing on a roof until our old, dilapidated lungs can take it and people-watching on the porch when they cannot. We plan to get those nice granma chairs where we could sit in and chat when our arthritis gets to be too much. We plan to have a big house with ghosts and many windows to let the sunshine in on nice summer mornings. We have many plans…and ten years… ten years…
Is nothing.
Even if they were something, how do I spend the rest of my life without her?

It was a normal day, with sunlight making dappled shadows under the trees. It was a nice time to spend outdoors and listen to the silence of the subtle mists. I had in my pocket what to many men may be a symbol of the worst prison in their imagination but to me the ultimate emblem of my emancipation. She set me free. All I could do is to ask her to continue setting me free, even if I could not do the same for her.

“Will you marry me?”, I said, a bit shamefaced. I was startled when her face swiftly turned sad.
A soft tear fell on her left cheek. “You shouldn’t be asking that. You have nothing to gain and everything to lose. I have eveyhting to gain but nothing to lose. What can I possibly have that you need from me?”
“To laugh with me. To believe in me. To be there with me when everybody walks out. The list is eternally self-sufficient…” I gently took the ring from my pocket and offered her a life with me for as long as eternity could last for both of us.
She stared at the ring.
And gave a tentative smile.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Happy Three Friends

She told me. I told him. He did not tell me.
Do you understand that?
I don’t.
So now we find who to blame. But it isn’t findable. Trust is an infinite game. But it is endable.
So now we come back from where we started.
Do you understand this?
Only the happy three friends do.
Quits, guys.

Namumuhi Ako Sa Mga Shampoo Commercials

Mahalaga sa bawat babae ang kanilang buhok (maliban na lamang kung ikaw si Betch or some other rare sub-specie). Dinadala nila ito sa hair spa (ine-exercise ba ito?), hino-hot oil (piniprito ba ito?) at siyempre, sa may pera, pinapa- rebond (yan may sense na).
Pero ang pangaraw- araw na maintenance ay nakasalalay sa shampoo na ginagamit natin. Ang importansiya ng isang tao sa kanyang buhok ay proportional sa importansiya na ibinigigay niya sa shampoo na ginagamit niya.
Marami na ang naglabasang brands na kung anu-ano ang ipinapangako sa mga shampoo commercials. Marami na ang gumanap ng role na I’m-stupid-look-at-me-flip-my-hair-with-my-mouth-wide-open, pero isa lang ang pinagkapareho nilang lahat.
Ginagago nila tayo.
I mean, napanood niyo na ba yung commercial na “Hello, trainees po kami dito…”? Ang obvious kaya na computer graphics o CG yung hanggang pwet na buhok nung babaeng napagkamalang manager! Eh yung kay Angel Locsin sa Head and Shoulders? Manood nga kayo ng Darna (aba, teka lang, nabubuko yata ako?!). As I was saying, tignan niyo nga si Angel Locsin sa Darna, shiny nga yung buhok niya, pero mukhang spaghetti na nabulok sa ref pagdating sa volume! Ibang usapan na pag siya si Darna dahil doon wig na yung buhok niya.
Isama na rin natin yung gimmick ng H&S na proven na makakatanggal daw ng dandruff according to the “American Testing Center”. Porket ba American yung testing center eh katibayan na iyon? At ano nga ba yung American Testing Center na iyon? Have you heard of it before they mentioned it? Credible ba to?
At napanood niyo na ba yung sa Pantene, yung parang dinaanan ng twister yung buhok nung babae tapos pag labas ng cr eh akala mo sinuklay ng isang libong beses? Pati yung grow your hair 2 cm in every 7 weeks? One inch ang tubo ng buhok every month ha! Gagamit ba kayo ng shampoo na mababawasan ng mahigit 50% ang pagtubo ng buhok niyo sa loob ng halos dalawang buwan?
Wala namang problema sa puntong “hindi kapanipaniwala”. Ang issue marami ang naniniwala!
Mabenta pa rin yang mga hoodlum na shampoo na yan. Marami ang nauuto sa mga pangakong magiging shiny, manageable, longer at soft yung buhok. Yung iba, natutupad naman. Pero they blow it out of proportion sa commercials. Ang siste, kung ginagago nila kayo sa commercials pa lang, pano pa kaya sa mga produkto nila?
Kunsabagay, mura lang ang mga shampoo na nag-aadvertise. Sa lagay ng ekonomiya natin ngayon, sino ang bibili ng St. Ives, Citre Shine, L’Oreal o kaya Mane n’ Tail? Epektibo nga ang mga brand na ito, ang problema, malulula ka sa presyo. Dito na papasok ang quality vs. price. Bilang isang konsyumer, dapat kaya ninyong timbangin at alamin kung ano ang handa kayong isakripisyo pagdating sa isang produkto. Kaya niyo bang pagtiyagaan ang mura pero balasubas? O ang katiwa-tiwala pero mamahalin?
Hindi ako pwedeng magdesisyon para sa inyo, pero sa akin, yung mahal na lang basta gumagana ang papatulan ko. Para sa akin gumagana ang Citre Shine. Wala silang commercials, pero tulad nga ng sabi ni Mel Tiangco sa commercial niya, hindi na kailangan mag-advertise. Meron na silang reliable market na alam na epektibo ang kanilang produkto. (I am not paid for this advertisement. Sayang.)
Hindi lang nag-aapply ang pagiging consumer- smart sa mga shampoo, kundi pati na rin sa lahat ng binibili niyo. Mataas na ang umento ngayon eh.
Kung gusto niyo talagang makatipid, gamitin ang body wash na parang shampoo, katulad ng isang rare sub-specie na kakilala ko.

Monday, October 03, 2005


Nothing is right these days. Your hair is a conglomeration of barbed wire, or your face is erupting with the disease called ‘acne’, or The Meaning of Your Existence treats you like dung. Or maybe your waistline is having a mind of its own and is choosing to gain twice its former circumference.
If it’s all of the above, my friend, your life certifiably sucks.
So here enters Neverland. It is a place where all your worries are blown away by Tinkerbell’s magic dust. You don’t worry about your love life because you now do not care. You spend your mornings flying above azure clouds, your afternoons napping under cool coconut trees, and your evenings sharing campfire stories. You never grow old, you never get sick physically and emotionally, you never had to waste a single grey cell on Calculus and Trigonometry and other such gibberish, you never, you never…

How nice it would be to spend forever having never to go through the unpleasant things in life. How great it would be to live simply, away from society’s expectations and constant pressure to be who you aren’t. How grand it would be to be away, just away, from everything you know and secretly hate…

Reality check, though.
If ‘never’ never happens in Neverland, that what happens? Nothing is supposed to change, for you never grow old and never learn more than what you already know. You’ll be forever trapped in a place doing the perfect things and having the perfect life everyday. It then turns into another kind of prison, worse than you are in now for there you cannot complain except for an empty place in your heart where ‘reality’ used to reside.

It’s a nice place to dream about. It’s not heaven, because all you need would not be there, like a toothbrush or something. It’s not hell, either, since you wouldn’t be burning in a Lake of Fire for the rest of eternity. It would be the worst kind of purgatory, knowing heaven and hell, yet suspended in unreality between the two worlds you used to have in measured doses.