Kabaliwan at Sibilisasyon: O Kung Paano Kami Nag-usapang Lasing ni Foucault Tungkol sa Pag-Ibig

Bago sya dumating dito sakay ng eroplano, nagbabasa ko ng Madness and Civilization ni Michel Foucault. Basically, tungkol yung libro sa nagiiba-ibang kahulugan ng “kabaliwan” sa kultura ng Europe mula sa Middle Ages hanggang sa 18th century. Halos wala kong maintindihan. Pero may mga kaunting tumatak sa isip ko na lalo kong naalala habang kasama ko sya rito sa maikling panahon.

Sabi sa libro, at the core of madness is passion and a flawless, perfected reason.

Passion. Kahit anong translation nito sa Filipino, magtu-tunog cheesy: silakbo ng damdamin, simbuyo ng damdamin, pagkahumaling, pagsinta. Kapag hindi nakontrol ng isang tao ang kanyang passion, maaari itong mauwi sa kabaliwan–at wala na sigurong mas may alam pa nito kundi ako.

Gigibain kong lahat nang pinaghirapan kong buuin sa tatlong taon pagkatapos naming natapos, at iiwan kong lahat ang meron ako kulitin lang nya ko ng tatlong minuto. Yung kakulitan na parang bata na sya lang ang nakakagawa. Wala saking nagbago. Ipagpapalit ko pa rin ang trabaho ko, ang common sense, ang hiya, ang tamang pag-iisip–makasama ko lang sya ng ilang saglit. Kahit pilit. Kahit parang ampalayang mapait.

Siguro may mga magtatanong, “Eh kung ganon, bakit mo ginawa pa rin eh alam mo namang wala na? Di ba mukha ka lang tanga?” Sa totoo lang, hindi ko alam. At wala akong pakialam.

Makakalimot ang mga tao, iikot ang mundo, iibig si Kris Aquino, iiwan si Kris Aquino, iiyak si Kris Aquino, at –bukas makalawa–iibig sya ulit. Darating ang araw, mauubusan ng sasabihin ang mga tao tungkol sa kanya at saken, pero ako, di ako mauubusan ng nararamdaman para sa kanya. Continue reading

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“After the boys of summer have gone”*

The Boys of Summer

Nobody on the road
Nobody on the beach

I feel it in the air
The summer’s out of reach
Empty lake, empty streets
The sun goes down alone
I’m drivin’ by your house
Though I know you’re not at home

But I can see you-
Your brown skin shinin’ in the sun
You got your hair combed back and your sunglasses on, baby
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

I never will forget those nights
I wonder if it was a dream
Remember how you made me crazy?
Remember how I made you scream
Now I don’t understand what happened to our love
But babe, when I get you back
I’m gonna show you what I’m made of

I can see you-
Your brown skin shinin’ in the sun
I see you walkin’ real slow and you’re smilin’ at everyone
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

Out on the road today, I saw a BLACK FLAG sticker on a Cadillac
A little voice Inside my head said, “Don’t look back. You can never look back.”
I thought I knew what love was
What did I know?
Those days are gone forever
I should just let them go but-

I can see you-
Your brown skin shinin’ in the sun
You got that top pulled down and that radio on, baby
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

I can see you-
Your brown skin shinin’ in the sun
You got that hair slicked back and those Wayfarers on, baby
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

——————————
*This is one of those very rare nights that I could actually write something. But then I stumbled upon this on Spotify and now I just want tomorrow to find me still listening to this song.

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Chungking Express

In China town, I told her she looked like the girl from Chungking Express.

Not the boyish one from the second story but the mysterious smuggler in crazy shades and a trench coat in the first one… But who cares. They kinda look like each other, anyway. There you go–Asian stereotyping. All the Chinese and Koreans and Japanese look the same in your eyes as those Filipinos probably look like they came from the same brown pit of muck to them.

I don’t know. She’s not even Chinese.

Binondo is the oldest China town in the world, simmering and festering in a nook of Manila since 1594. All the lucky charms it has sold every Chinese new year since it sprouted from the damp earth can probably go ’round the world a thousand times if you place them end to end. That would certainly be an interesting trivia if somebody could come up with the numbers. But not more interesting than the fact that the thought of Binondo just suddenly popped in my head in the office on Thursday between reading corp mails and I found myself with her there on Friday. Continue reading

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Catnip

Cat eye

I’m a cat, the stray one nobody goes looking for. And you’re catnip.

I scuttle around in the streets, hunting dark alleys for fat rats, born of shadow, a furry fellow.

Wild child. Pet to no one, master of myself. The gleaming silver trash bin is my throne and the shiny brown roaches are my subjects.

My kingdom stretches as far as my little paws could carry me and I have never encountered a leash or an itchy patch of fur I couldn’t reach…

I’m the mighty lion in my own great story.

But you’re catnip.

One sniff of you and the earth becomes the sky. I lose my balance–­­isn’t that an unacceptable crime? I roll, flip, rub, wriggle, waddle, tumble, scamper, scurry and prance. Scoot, shuffle, and dance! Leap down a hole just to steal a glance! You get into my head and get stuck there like a hairball, the kind I want to keep messing with my mind forever and ever and ever more. ‘Til the birds roar and the pigs soar and droplets of purple rain pour on my whiskers.

I’ll throw away eight out of my nine just to get in line for you. Bow down my proud head, play silly games like “play dead,” and like a common hamster, ride a never-ending wheel. Even risk being roadkill if it would get me nearer to you, just an inch or two…

Because you’re the poison I picked.

The laced needle that pricked.

And I can’t get enough of you like a stupid ball of yarn or a goddamn laser pointer.

Oh, you’re probably bad for me. And if I were a dog, you’d probably be my chocolate.

But I’m not a dog.

I’m a cat.

And, my oh my, you’re catnip.

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Decades in Her Hands*

Someday, I might just drop everything, wave goodbye to everyone, and leave for India to find the one who holds decades in her hands.

I’ll fly across the world, jettisoning my worries into the ocean where they’ll feed mermaids and the magical creatures of the deep–and they’ll be no more.

I’ll plant my feet on that ancient land and breathe in the mysteries breathed out by its elaborate temples as old as the gods whose holy names still reverberate through the silent jungles and deserts and in the corners of iron cities drowning in the noise of humanity’s tongues.

I’ll touch the earth and feel the dust of fallen empires in my palms, thinking about my insignificance in the endless river of time and in the vastness of life, sweat dripping as my pale skin bakes in the sun.

Immortal secrets will tear me away from the transient troubles that plague my soul, and the wind–wiser than the wizened shaman in the street–will blow away the worldly whims of my mind.

Into the sea of humanity I’ll dive, riding a whirlpool of saris worn by women whose deep-set eyes peel away at shallow hearts.

I’ll be a foreigner in a strange land that has seen foreigners come and go for centuries and even older times that men can’t possibly remember anymore. And the land will know me more than I do myself, unraveling my trivialities like a scroll.

Yet somehow I won’t care and won’t look back one glance homeward until I find you. Continue reading

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Man of Steel Review: Or Why this Proper Superman is Getting Pummeled by Some Critics

image

Be careful what you wish for.

Ever since the first Superman film directed by Richard Donner and iconically acted by Christopher Reeve came out in 1978, people–especially hardcore comic book fans–have yearned for a “proper” Superman movie. Not to say that all previous films about the guy in the blue and red suit were total failures;the two Donner films (one uncredited), in particular, are still loved by many. But Superman’s story is mighty ambitious and epic in scale even by comic book standards. And so while the live-action movies and TV series throughout the years got some of the story’s basics right, fans have still been left longing for more–more of the sci-fi that makes Krypton Krypton, more of the godly strength of Kryptonians, more of the thrill of flying when a man really denies the laws of physics, more of the mythos of Superman. Man of Steel, the latest reboot of the Superman hollywood franchise, aimed to do just that.

So why is it getting mixed reviews? Why does Superman Returns–a film sorely lacking in spectacle in comparison and so campy as to be mistaken from the ’90s–have a higher score on Rotten Tomatoes? Why the flak from more serious publications when most geeky sites, especially IGN, are praising the film as one of the finest superhero movies ever?

I set out to propose an argument. Continue reading

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A Perfect Contradiction

contradiction

I wanna see you happy but I also wanna see you sad.

I want to see you smiling but I also want to see you bawling on your knees with your teeth falling out.

I’m just glad when I see you glad but I’m also glad when I hear you’re mad. Like I’m mad when I hear you’re mad and I’m mad when I see you glad.

Get it?

I’m sure you understand that I’m not meant to be understood. At least not completely.

See, I would want nothing more than for you to be a success but I’d also pay to see your epic failure. Like an old light bulb going out in a glorious explosion that leaves the room in total, eerie darkness.

That’s what I’m really hoping for and I pray every night for it not to happen.

I mean I really wish things work out for you so swell that when you’re finally alone, staring at the glitz of domestication, you’ll feel a cruel emptiness and the realization that all was for naught.

But god I won’t ever want that to happen to you. I’d do anything in my power to stop it.

Because what I am is a man who only wishes what’s best for you and the bloody apocalypse to come crashing down on your head.

And I’m a man who longs for you and can’t wait to forget you every day.

I’m a man who patiently waits for you while looking for someone else to replace you. Still.

I go left while going right, does what’s right even when the results are almost always wrong.

And when they’re wrong I say, “Well, I expected that” wearing a truly shocked expression.

And when they’re right I say, “Finally, we’re off to something new!” with the most cynical, skeptical look possible.

Yes, I’m a contradiction but I’m quite sure of what I’m saying.

And what I’m saying is that I love you and I don’t, which is probably the most honest love of all, if not the greatest.

But you know it’s all bullshit.

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