Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wrapping Up

It is customary on the cusp of the New Year to reflect and look back on the 365 days that just passed, and look forward to the next 365 to follow.

Resolutions, schmesolutions.

Despite a soothsayer's warning that 2009 was going to be a bad year for business, it turned out to be a banner year instead. Which just goes to show that fortune-telling is just an enjoyable pastime. Then again, the fact that I roundly dismissed her predictions with a resounding "Meh!" must have something to do with it. Self-fulfilling prophecies and all that.

On the personal front, it was SSDY - Same Shit Different Year. Still in a holding pattern, circling the runway, waiting to land or crash, whichever comes first.

What was that again? "It's not the fall that kills you, It's the sudden stop at the end."

That must be why I was such a moving target this year. Work was a frenemy, rewarding me with something to do as well as money to burn while at the same time killing me and preventing me from attending to other aspects of my life.

I used an unexpected work hiatus to create this blog and I am thankful I did so. It's become a diary of sorts, a chronicle of my various shits and giggles. It's also allowed me to peek into the lives of others, an experience which has given me fresh perspective on certain things. So, to the bloggers I read and those that have read me, I thank you for sharing your thoughts, your feelings, and the ups, downs, and round-and-rounds of your interesting lives.

While I was too busy working to regret anything in 2009, the coming year offers a clean new slate to sully. These are not resolutions, by any means; just a laundry list of Things You Have Been Meaning To Do But Haven't Done What The Hell Are You Waiting For Goddamn Doomsday Fucking Idiot that throb at my subconscious like an aneurysm :

1. Write the goddamn screenplays already.
2. Make the pitch, get the financing and direct the fucking movies already.
3. Apprenez Francais encore.
4. Mejore mi Español para mis abuelitas muertas se paren reprenderme.
5. Could we put up the fucking studio already?
6. Spend more time with the folks. Srsly.
7. Bring sexy back.
8. Madhopper. You know - Madhopper.
9. You gotta cut down on your smoking, dude.
10.End what already ended years ago.

And now that I've written down my Top 10, this should be an interesting year. Maybe I should put it in an email and have futureme send it back to haunt me this time next year.

Oh, wait. The old diary I used to keep when I was 17 still haunts me to this day.  

Plus de choses changent, plus ils restent insensés.The more things change, the more they stay insane.

Happy Nude New Year, all. And goodbye 2009.

Hel-loooooooooo 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nuts Over The Holidaze


"Ha ha ha"

So, how was your Christmas?

It's been said that Christmas is for children. For adults, it's a highly-stressful time involving agonizing over what gifts to give and who to give to, elbowing one's fellowmen in the mad rush to get shopping done, knocking one's self out preparing feasts, and dreading the annual family reunions. It's enough to drive a person...mad.

Not "mad" as in "angry." "Mad" as in "batshit-insane."

I knew there was a reason the fates thwarted me from going to my grand family reunion. I have a bi-polar sister, you see, and after 11 years of relative normalcy, apparently she went into major relapse at the affair - with decidedly un-hilarious results.

Soooooooo...from the party, she went straight to the Nutcracker Suite (which is how I fondly call the Psych Ward) , where she will also be greeting 2010 - hopefully not strapped down to her bed. I pity my father, who took it upon himself to stand guard over her craziness the first time around. This was a sequel we were hoping wouldn't be produced, but since bi-poles seem to have this annoying tendency to secretly stop taking their meds, we have thus come to this pass.

My mother, bless her soul, seems to be taking it in stride, even regaling me with stories about how, after threatening to punch their lights out, my sister imparted Yuletide blessings to the nurses using her bedpan.

She's a lovely girl - it's just that we were both born with bad, baaaaaad tempers.


"Heh heh heh"

Hell, I'd paint the entire hospital with feces myself if I had to spend New Year's in the nuthouse. Good thing I can still hide my insanity under clouds of nicotine.

While I have successfully escaped attending any Christmas parties or reunions with balikbayan friends thus far, looks like I'm not getting off scot-free this year. Thanks to the wonders of modern pharmaceuticals and previous - and costly - experience, my sister has regained enough semblance of normalcy to be awarded a day pass today. Either that, or she's truly an actress of Oscar caliber.

Girl, Interrupted comes to mind.

Whatever the reason, this happy development means I am obliged to attend our little annual family Secret Santa affair tonight. Good thing I, as always, am prepared with the good thoughts and warm Christmas greetings I always end up giving in lieu of an actual gift to my unfortunate monito - whoever that might be this year.

It is with thanks for my sister's speedy "recovery" (I don't believe bi-poles can ever live a "normal" life without meds, alas - just something we have accepted and live with) that I am leaving you with some lovely and presciently appropriate Christmas carol reworkings a friend sent me.

 CHRISTMAS CAROLS FOR THE PSYCH UNIT

1. Schizophrenia - Do I Hear What I Hear?
2. Multiple Personality Disorder - We Three Kings Disoriented Are
3. Dementia - I Think I'll Be Home For Christmas
4. Narcissistic - Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me
5. Manic - Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and....


"Hee hee hee"

6. Paranoid - Santa Claus is Coming To Town To Get Me
7. Borderline Personality Disorder - Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire
8. Personality Disorder - You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, and I Don't Know Why
9. Attention Deficit Disorder - Silent Night, Holy oooh look at the Froggy - can I have a chocolate, why is France so far away?
10. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells.....




Ho, ho, ho.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

And So, To BED

After my pre-Christmas adventures with the street urchins, I trudged off to O-Bar and got another beer, and, despite just having had dinner, found I still had the munchies and therefore had to have these:


Ain't nothin' yummier'n mushroom heads.

I love garlic mushrooms. Not least because their mouthfeel reminds me of cockheads.

'Nuff said.

Nearby, I noticed a couple of those "young brown boy-with-older Caucasian man" types - cousins to the controversial "ladies of the night" that ewik wrote about. I'm sure the one seated closest to me was in it for true love *cough*. But to add more frisson, presently one of the waiters came 'round with another skinny brown boy in tow, and introduced him to the white guy with a proud "Here he is, sir!" A flurry of cell phone numbers being exchanged ensued , as I smiled to myself. Whatever floats your boats, fellas. Everyone has their own story, indeed.

Took a quick leak before leaving and just had to take a picture of this sign:



"I saw the sign..."

Oh, yes, indeedy. People have lost more than their innocence in O-Bar.

And speaking of lost innocence, it was time to return to another place where I misspent mine.




At midnight, I was finally in BED. For the first time in a long, long while.

What to say, what to say, really? I have been a BEDhead since they first opened, but haven't been back since their first big renovation. Not surprisingly, the place looked strange yet oddly-familiar to me, like a Botoxed old flame I hadn't seen in a good long while.

It was darker and seemed smaller than I remembered. Or maybe, to paraphrase the great Norma Desmond:



Say it like an old-timey party queen.

Oooh, snap.

Sniping aside, I have many happy, drunken memories of BED, the same way its current habitués will undoubtedly have theirs. The BED of my memories was no happier or "better" than theirs; it was just a different BED, that's all. The stage looked smaller than the one they had during the first renov, and there were three shirtless go-go boys who stood onstage looking lost and goofy when the DJ effed with them by playing an orchestral club number. I guess if they were meant to dance to soaring violins, they should've been issued leotards, eh.

I didn't know they cordoned off the second level. Some sort of VIPS-Only thing, or cost-cutting? This must be a regular thing, because the restroom with the famous aquarium was located upstairs. Now the restroom is tucked away at the dark far end of the floor. With a communal urinal trough. Nice touch there, Tony.



You must do something about the ladies, though. The john was so full I thought there was an orgy going on, and I pitied a little meek girl who seemed to be thinking twice about entering a roomful of pissing penises, gay or no gay. Also, the shyer boys were lining up four-deep for the ladies' urinal, so I basically pulled the female inside and shoved her firmly in front of the toilet door - much like placing garlic before vampires. Tough enough to be a girl when it comes to potty times. Even tougher when the john is unisex and one is a shy and retiring Pinay having to compete with pee-shy gay boys. In which case one shouldn't even be mingling with the BEDheads.

But I digress.

One of the solicitous crew got me my compli beer promptly - a welcome change from BED's previous "I'm-too-good-to-take-your-order-much-less-return-your-change" thugs. No doubt the lad was hoping I would finish the beer quickly and start ordering the next of what would be many rounds. I ensconced myself near the bar and scanned the ever-growing sea of faces. Some old and recognizable - there was Ronnie giving instructions to the staff, and another guy who was once a rival for a boy's affections (I won, btw, bully for me) - but most of them were new.

Someone was drinking Blue Curaçao and I smiled at the memory of having the same concoction at the late, lamented Blue Cafe and thinking "I love Blue Curaçao. It's like drinking Toilet Duck, but without all the fatal and messy side-effects."



"Hell, this shit is better'n Drano!"

I had to chuckle when I finally noticed a nice-looking, beefy guy surreptitiously making eye contact nearby. My, my, oh my. I'm an old warhorse and wasn't up for a trick, but stiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilllllllllllllllllllll...

I'm beginning to like this new, slender build - an unsought result of involuntary teetotaling, lack of sleep, an excess of stress, and insufficient nourishment. I actually just have three inches to go before I'm back to my college-age 27-inch waistline. Makes me have second thoughts about beefing up again and bringing sexy back next year.

Anyway, for some reason I was more interested in the three nerd-types surrounding me. I dunno. Whoever said that "Men don't make passes at boys who wear glasses" sure wasn't wearing his. There's just something about banging nerds with extreme prejudice that gives me a raging boner. Proper-looking boys are just so nice to sully in the sack. The meatier ones, well...nice to look at, nice to hold, they lie in bed, all dead and cold.


Guess who this dweeb* grew up to be?
(Answer at the end of this post)**

I stayed for a bit and might've seen some bloggers. I would be lying if I said I wasn't half-hoping to catch a glimpse of some. Peek-a-boo - don't think I saw you.

At any rate, BED started to fill up with one skank too many, so I decided it was Mission:Accomplished and headed out. On Nakpil, I saw a truck saying Rapid HIV Testing, and volunteers handing out fliers.

Hm.

Signs of the times, eh?

And I didn't bump into anyone I knew as I trudged toward my car and took off into the dawn.

That was new.

*dweeb
An even lower form of life than the spod, found in much the same habitat as the former. though more prevailent on talker systems. Unlike spods, upon receiving the desired response to the question "Are you male or female?", dweebs will then engage upon a detailed description of themselves and how wonderful they are, often in the hopes of truly impressing the other with their "charm" and "wit". Nearly all dweebs are male, but very few actually live up to the image that they present. Dweebs, unfortunately, are often the cause of ill-will, and may well bring a bad reputation to the system in question. They are often, however, easy to wind up and can be the source of great mirth to the seasoned user. From the Computing Dictionary.


**Ryan Effin' Seacrest. 

Friday, December 25, 2009

Pope Goes Down

I'm gonna burn like a chestnut roasting on an open fire for this, but stiiilllllll...

Last night, before the start of the traditional Christmas Mass at St. Peter's Basilica, a lady in red jumped over the railings and tried to bum rush the Pope. Papal security was able to intercept her, but in the ensuing melee, His Holiness was dragged down into the fray, anyway. Literally.




Apparently, this seems to be an annual event, as the same thing
happened last year with - YES, THE SAME WOMAN! The Pope's quarterbacks managed to tackle the crimson-clad linebacker that time, unlike this year's touchdown when she finally scored.




Which beggars the question: who WAS that Scarlet Woman, and what did she want for Christmas? A head-start on Papal benedictions? Was it Christiane Amanpour rushing for a scoop? Or just some demented fashionista after the Pope's signature red Pradas? 

According to an AP report:

VATICAN CITY — A woman jumped the barriers in St. Peter's Basilica and knocked down Pope Benedict XVI at the start of Christmas Eve Mass, but the 82-year-old pontiff got up unhurt and proceeded as planned with Thursday's service. 

Witness video obtained by The Associated Press showed a woman dressed in a red hooded sweat shirt vaulting over the wooden barriers that cordoned off the basilica's main aisle and rushing toward the pope before being swarmed by bodyguards. 

The video showed the woman grabbing the pope's vestments as she was taken down by guards, with Benedict then falling on top of her.
A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini said the woman appeared to be mentally unstable and had been taken into custody by Vatican police. He said she also knocked down Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, who was taken to hospital for a checkup.

"During the procession an unstable person jumped a barrier and knocked down the Holy Father," Benedettini told The AP by telephone. "(The pope) quickly got up and continued the procession."

It was the second year in a row that there had been a security breach at the Christmas Eve service and this was the most serious incident involving the public in Benedict's five-year papacy. At the end of last year's Mass, a woman who had jumped the barriers got close to the pope but was quickly blocked on the ground by security.

That woman too wore a red hooded sweat shirt, but Benedettini said it was not immediately known if the same person was behind Thursday's incident.

There was one casualty: Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, who fell and broke his femur. Hence, Etcheg-ARAY! Incidentally, though his surname sounds oddly Pinoy, Cardinal Etchegaray is French.  But in the first video, you can clearly hear some Pinays at around the 0:16 mark, and later on towards the end of the clip.

At any rate, the Pope was unhurt and commenced the Mass to rousing applause. So, nothing more to see here, folks, move along, move along, and back to our regular Christmas programming.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Carols for Christmas

It's Christmastime. A time for sharing, reflection, and remembrance.

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

It's in this spirit that I thought I'd share an oldie but goodie with you.

Back in 1984 when dinosaurs roamed the earth in day-glo spandex, Bob Geldof of The Boomtown Rats had the inspired idea of getting the day's most famous British bands and pop stars to record a single for charity. For Ethiopia, to be precise, which was ravaged by a horrendous famine at the time and is still, to this date, beset by other ills. At any rate, the fact that Geldof - a star but not a massive one - was able to fit all those massive egos in one room at the same time was miraculous enough. That historic gathering of Britain's best and brightest became known as Band Aid, and according to Wiki , their song  Do They Know It's Christmas?

 "became the UK's fastest seller of all time, entering the chart at number one and going on to sell over three million copies, making it the biggest-selling single in UK history up to that point, a title it held for almost 13 years. The single was also a major US hit, even though Christmas was long gone by the time it could be released in the States. 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' returned to the UK chart a year later, reaching number three, and eventually it raised over £8 million."

Band Aid went on to give birth to Live Aid and countless concerts for various celebrity-led charities and causes. It probably also spurred Sting's ongoing campaign to save the rainforests and Bono's campaign to save the whole fuckin' universe. It was the rebirth of celebrity activism.

The British effort also gave rise to the inevitable American me-too version "We Are The World," recorded by a no-less stellar - if motley - crew of American chart-toppers and, given the U.S.' penchant for one-upmanship, known as USA For Africa. Not just Ethiopia, mind you. Af-ri-kuh. As in the whole bloody continent.

Anyway...

It's been 25 years hence, and I still love this song over USA for Africa's treacly dirge. It's upbeat, it's joyous, it's hopeful -all the things one would imagine the Christmas spirit to be.

"Do They Know It's Christmas?" has, like other classics, been remade for this generation, featuring a bunch of Canadian hipsters I'm admittedly ignorant of. Then again, they're CANADIAN. 'Nuff said.

Here's the original version:




Compare and contrast with the Canadian hipster version below:




I obviously have more of a hard-on for the classic version. I'm a nostalgic old fool like that, and seeing the idols of the time looking so fresh and so young is a bittersweet sight, especially when one thinks of all that has happened to them since. Sting's saved some of the rainforest but lost most of his hair. Bono's still kickin' it with the U.N. goodwill ambassadorship gig and touring with the rest of U2. Duran Duran has, along with their rival Spandau Ballet, faded into obscurity. Boy George lost his stunning androgynous looks and became an overweight, creepy felon. George Michael was outed giving a blowjob in a public restroom and now spends his time crashing his car and taking swipes at Elton John. And the rest...well, I guess you can say they're history.

It's a lot like looking at your high school yearbook and gazing at those who've done well, those who've passed on, and those who just simply dropped out of sight.

A lot like looking back at my life and my generation.

Anyway...Merry Christmas to you all. And to all a good night.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Night Out Before Christmas

Strange Saturday.

I dutifully drove to the big family reunion instead of waiting to be picked up, and ended up somewhere on the outskirts of Navotas before realizing I wasn't in Kansas no more. I doubled back and promptly got ensnared in Manila's teeny-tiny streets chock-full of jeepneys, buses, calesas, and all other forms of transport known to Pinoydom.

I proudly managed to locate Abad Santos after navigating blindly through the Escolta/Binondo area, but threw in the towel after traffic refused to budge after 15 minutes of standing still. Hurtled back down Roxas Blvd. and the safe harbor of home; only, the neighbors' Christmas party was in full swing and I wasn't enough of a grinch to spoil their fun by ramming my car into their infernal videoke machine.

I endured a couple of hours of caterwauling Christmas cheer before I fired up the car again and headed for Malate.

Ah. Malate.

I've been a stranger to the bohemian district for months and months now, and had been meaning to pay a visit to see if anything's changed. It's also the last free Saturday before my year-end tortures enter maximum overdrive, and I felt I deserved a night out. No work, no internet, no nothing. While I love my fortress of solitude, cabin fever was getting to me. I just needed to get out and chill out.

The parking manang was so ecstatic to see me I felt like I was the Homecoming King. She must've missed my generous tips, the poor dear. It was just a little over 10 p.m. - too early to party - and so I sauntered off to Silya for a quick bite, and this:




My first beer after months of staying super-dry. It was strange how it tasted after months of sobriety; I harkened back to my teenage years and the remembrance of my first taste of beer. That bitter sting, the frothy aftertaste, the rush.

As I sat lazily people-watching, I was struck once again by how much pathos lives side-by-side with all of the eros Malate is notorious for. There were the usual street beggars. The guys selling manggang hilaw and kropek. That dark, beefy fellow pushing nilagang mani (oh, I'm sure you've noticed him.) A couple of kids came to my table singing jangling carols; I gave them my coins and they sang a happy "Tekyu!Tenkyu! Maraming salamat po, tenkyu!" before moving on to the other diners.

Presently a boy carrying a box of something came around and I promptly waved him away. He moved on to the other tables and I found myself observing him and the people who were looking at his wares. He crossed the street and tried selling his stuff to other people - with little success.

Then I saw this:




And I remembered this:




At which point I summoned the boy to come over and sit down at my table.

"Ano ba yan?"

"Lollipop po."

"Magkano?"

"Kinse po isa"

"Ba't ang mahal?"

"Nagglo-glow po kasi ito."

"Pakita nga ng isa. Ipa-glow mo."

"Bawal po kasi buksan, eh."

Aw, kid, don't you have a display unit or something? Sigh. But hell. I was moved by the sight of this kid hawking useless gewgaws so late in the night when he should be home sleeping. And I remembered why Malate is Malate. Reality intrudes even in the midst of escapism.




I ended up buying a whole box before telling the kid to go home. He seemed happy and thoughtfully reminded me, upon seeing my camera and cell phone, "Ser, ingatan po niyo yang mga gamit ninyo dito,marami pong sasalisi jan."

I coolly replied "Mamamatay muna sila bago nila 'to masalisihan" before I sent him on his way.

A beggar boy approached the next table and I averted their misery by telling the boy to get one of my glowpops instead. It wasn't surprising at all that soon enough, I had a steady parade of streetchildren coming up to ask for glowpops. These included three little girls selling those infernal cheap roses.

"Wala akong pagbibigyan ng roses nyo," I said. "Kumuha na lang kayo ng lollipop."

Entire box of glowing lollipops decimated, the girls gamely mugged for my camera and went off.



Then I noticed my unopened pack of Marlboros was missing.

Sigh.

I summoned the oldest girl back and bluntly asked "O, sino sa inyo'ng pumitik sa yosi ko, hm?"

To her credit, she promptly frisked her mates and vanished for a short while before returning to present me with an unopened pack of Reds.

"Heto, kuya," she said. "Nakita ko dun sa kalye."

Unless that pack managed to hop off the table by itself to escape the agony of being puffed to embers by my lips, that was as likely a story as Arroyo surrendering power gracefully and willingly. But since my ciggies were returned unharmed, I brushed it off as just one of those things, and hoped that the girl who snagged my cigs took to heart what I said earlier when I discovered them missing and none of them - understandably - would admit to stealing it.

"Kaya hindi kayo pinagmamalasakitan minsan, eh. Binigyan ko na nga kayo ng lollipop, kukunin n'yo pa yosi ko."

To my surprise, though, the oldest girl bussed my cheek before they left, reminding me I promised to give them their pictures the next time I was in Malate. Getting beso-beso from a rose-selling street urchin was surreal, and I wasn't even drunk yet.

Ah, these nights before Christmas.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Rated X-tianity.

Well, this seems like as appropriate a season as any.

HuffPo reports of a billboard in New Zealand featuring Joseph and Mary in a rather...compromising position which has had devout Xtians Christians up in arms.



Okay, so this is supposed to be...sacrilegious.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A billboard at a New Zealand church depicting a downcast Joseph lying beside Mary in bed and the heading "God is a hard act to follow" provoked more than the intended reconsideration of the meaning of Christmas.

The sign was defaced by a paint-wielding vandal just hours after it was erected Thursday outside the St. Matthew-in-the-City Anglican church in Auckland, and triggered passionate and sometimes angry debate on talk radio and the Internet.

The billboard was commissioned by the church and was the work of  M&C Saatchi.  According to the HuffPo story:

Church vicar Archdeacon Glynn Cardy said the billboard was intended to challenge stereotypes about the way Jesus was conceived and get people talking about the Christmas story.

"This billboard is trying to lampoon and ridicule the very literal idea that God is a male and somehow this male God impregnated Mary," said Cardy, who described his church as having very liberal ideas about Christianity.

"We would question the Virgin Birth in any literal sense. We would question the maleness of God in any literal sense," he said.

On the opposing side, Auckland Catholic Diocese spokesperson Lyndsay Freer said

"...the billboard implied the Virgin Mary and Joseph had just had sex and was inappropriate, disrespectful and offensive to Christians.

'We would see a billboard like that being used by an anti-Christian group to actually poke fun at the divinity of Christ,' Freer told National Radio."

Strictly as an ad man, I consider the billboard in bad taste. A cheap shot, a lazy execution, even though it got a chuckle out of me. Then again, Kiwis - like their Aussie neighbors - have always struck me as having a refreshingly irreverent sense of humor. Be that as it may, while the offending billboard certainly has generated attention and interest, I'm unsure if it was the kind the church was aiming for. Judging by the response thus far, instead of thought it seems to have provoked anger instead. Way to lose your target audience, Saatchi.



But what do you call throwing brown paint over an image of the BVM, then?

Mmm I wonder if these guys ever surfed LOLJesus. They only have 30 piddling entries in their Hate Mail section as of presstime. Whatever stripe of Christian you are, you just gotta love their tagline: Dedicated to Damnation. That's as truthful a disclaimer as there ever was.

However, if you value your eternal soul, maybe you better not click on that link. Just stick with seancody or xtube or chat away on mIRC. These fine alternative sites are supposed to roast you in hellfire forever and ever the same way, anyhow - but with less LOLs and more tiKOLs.

In the meantime, I look forward to your knee-jerk reactions the same way I am looking forward to my family Christmas reunion tomorrow. Because if ever there is a hell, that annual event comes closest to it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bird Of No Feather

After Dolores, The Naked Bear, National Geographic In The Nude presents: Oscar The Naked Dancing Cockatoo.





Behold, Engel, the fate that awaits your fine-feathered friend should you shut down your blog:


"Don't do it, engel, I BEG of you!"

Unlike Engel's unnamed parrot, though, Oscar hasn't actually paid the price for her owner's blogging transgressions. According to the Sun , she suffers from some rare beak-and-feather disease that has left her sans colorful plumage and, thanks to the contagious nature of her affliction, sans feathery friends as well.

But she's a plucky little survivor and now, while the rest of the colorful cockatoos spend their lives in desperate obscurity, Oscar gets to be on TV and the internet. Could an action figure and reality show be far behind? No plush toys, though. Obvs.

And because I'm such a good guy, here's two more shots of this pretty, pretty bird. You may thank rudeboy for his kindness, Engel.




















And if you love your bird...you know what not to do >:/

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sins of My Father

"How do you write to a family that your own father hurt so much?"

Thus begins a CNN item about Sebastian Marroquin, son of the notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. The quote comes from a letter Marroquin wrote to the sons of two of his father's most prominent victims, featured in a new documentary by Argentinian filmmaker Nicholas Entel entitled "Sins of My Father."

Rodrigo Lara was the son of Rodrigo Lara Bonilla, Colombia's Justice Minister in the early 80s, who was one of the first to aggressively pursue cocaine traffickers and was murdered in 1984. He has followed his father's footsteps and is now a Senator.

Juan Manuel Galan and Carlos Fernando Galan are the two sons of Luis Carlos Galan, a presidential candidate who publicly decried the drug cartels until he was felled in a campaign rally in 1989. The two Galans, likewise, have followed their father's lead and become a Senator and a Councilman, respectively.

Marroquin was born Juan Pablo Escobar, son and heir of Colombia's most terrible drug emperor. But unlike the progeny of his father's victims, he turned from his father's path, changing his name and leaving the place of his birth after the death of Escobar Sr. in a rooftop shootout with authorities in 1993.

And now, after a silence of 16 years, he wrote a letter to the sons of his father's victims, who were roughly the same age as him when a culture of greed and violence engulfed their parents, asking forgiveness for crimes he did not commit.

"I learned many things from my father," Marroquin says in the documentary. "The most important one was that if I want to live, I have to do the opposite of what he did. That was my lesson."

We live in a culture that has plenty in common with Latin America, foremost the overriding priority of familial ties over anything else. We tend to put our immediate family over and above broader things like community and country, and the results have been patronage politics, palakasan, and political dynasties, to name just a few.

One might say that it was easy for Marroquin to break away from his father's path; the elder Escobar, after all, represented all that was evil about Colombia. And yet, his father's footsteps must've dogged him at every turn, for as that immortal line from Shakespeare's play about another prominent man's dubious legacy goes:  "The evil that men do live after them; the good is oft interred with their bones."

By revealing himself, Escobar's son risks incurring the whiplash of his father's violent legacy. And yet, perhaps this is the only way he can exorcise the demons of a shared and terrible past. By exposing them to the light of truth, the admission of his father's guilt, and the hope of forgiveness, closure, and healing.

If only more children of prominent Filipinos who have committed unspeakable atrocities against the country and its citizens could do half as much. Then perhaps, as Rodrigo Lara remarked, "True reconciliation comes from justice being served."

"To forgive, one must remember, the other choice is to forget," Lara said.

But before we can forget, we must first remember.

Before we can forgive, the transgression must first be recognized.

Before we can go forward, the sins of our fathers must first be rectified.

Because if the next generations do not acknowledge and correct the missteps of their forebears, the circle of life degenerates into a cycle of death. An ever-spinning spiral of wrongs. A vortex of destruction that sucks in everything that is good, that is true, that is beautiful about what "family" truly is.

Something to think about now that certain families and their spawn continue to plot and scheme and send the Filipinos and their families into a tailspin.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Yes, Oh Yes.

It's officially December, and my scheduled year-end work torments have also officially kicked into high gear.

I lack sleep and so I am a fucking cranky bastard and cannot write anything coherent at the moment. And so I shall, instead, bring you another video for your weekly dose of schadenfreude.

After J.Ho and Beyonce , Pratfalls of the Rich, Famous, and Underdressed presents: Lady Gaga.



Bitch thoughtfully slips and falls at the 00:20 mark, thus sparing us the agony of watching the rest of her performance.

Enjoy. I know I did.

Monday, December 7, 2009

In The Chill Of The Night

It's been getting rather chilly in the late, late evenings until the early morning - the hours when I, the nocturnal being, am awake and toiling the toil of the damned.

My affection for the cold is matched only by my hatred of the sun. I wonder why this is so. Even as a child, and long before I knew what drama was, I always found more comfort in the icy embrace of the night rather than the open arms of the daylight.

In the few precious moments I get to lie down on my cold, empty bed before toiling once more, random thoughts accompany the whisper of Siberian winds outside my window.

My stares are icy, my few words biting. A palpable chill envelops me, and you feel it like a winter's breath.

Indifference is the frost on my skin, which has always been cold to the touch. I used to laugh when people remarked on that.

"Your circulation must be bad," they would say, as they drew away in surprise and shock.

"No," I would laugh."My circulation is fine. It's only that my blood runs cold."

And nervously they'd titter, before they would ask "Why is that?"

"Maybe I'm dead inside."




It is but  a logical consequence once you freeze a heart.

Does the heartbeat not slow down in wintertime? To preserve life, it must.

Eventually it beats so slowly one would think it was dead.

But not quite yet.


I do not eat and crave but sleep.

So deep.

A hibernating beast.

That must be why I am cold to touch.

Leave me dormant, touch me not.

Do not speak of summer's thaw.

Frozen solid is what I know.

Icicles crystallize like spikes.

Then emerge like stalactites.

Deadly beautiful in form.

To pierce and stab

To leave you torn.

Leave sabertooths

Encased in ice.

Let glacial prisons

Preserve, suffice.

For if they thaw

Then they will rot.

Like all that once lived

And now are not.

Once melted,

Ice returns

To water form

And then evaporates

And is gone.

Let sleet veneer me

Like a sheet

Let hailstones mark time

As I sleep

The winter of my discontent is long.

In silent solitude

I sleep alone.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What The Elf?!?!

Well.

This being December and the official start of the Christmas season, I shall be a geek bearing you gifts.

Behold. Gray Warden and Warrior Elf Zevran from Dragon's Age: Origins. Having scandalous hot homo CG sex in a secret scene which you no longer have to play to unlock because Santa's here.

Cream in thine bloomers, all ye gaming nerds, and enjoy!



Friday, November 27, 2009

Queer and Loathing


Glamberace stars in Risqué Business

In your Weekend Gay News, the Glamorous Gay Prince-in-Waiting of Pop known as Adam Lambert (or Glambert, as I like to call him) recently caused a ruckus of Madonna-esque proportions with his raunchy live performance of  his first official single - the poetically-named "For Your Entertainment" - on ABC's recent American Music Awards.

In the Mad Max Goes To An S&M Dungeon sextravaganza, Glambert simulates oral sex with a kneeling male dancer on a leash, "kicks" a female dancer in her cameltoe, and laps tongues with his male keyboardist.

(Edit: Aha! Found a working clip. Not the full performance, but you can see the simulated bj in question at the 00:08 mark. And in case this one is pulled, you can make do with the CBS interview vid below.)




Unfortunately, it didn't occur to me to grab the video before Dick Clark Productions yanked it off YouTube, but you can see snippets of it in this interview:





At any rate, the "edgy-sexuality" moves were more than enough to spur a backlash with the conservative American viewership, resulting in more than 1,500 irate calls to ABC, which had to blur out Glambert's "offensive" onstage moments for their West Coast telecast (I'm more offended that they also edited out J.Ho's pratfall, the cornballs.) Glambert's antics also cost him an appearance on Good Morning, America, whose producers feared that he might repeat his scandalous number before their viewers could spit out their morning coffee.

Is L'Affaire Lambert a tempest in a teapot?

I'm not a big A.I. or Glambert fan. He's a pretty boy with a good enough voice who has the potential for a Fatso McFatty future if he doesn't watch his donut intake. Nor am I a big fan of his guyliner, his glitter, or his archeological layers of Mac pancake, but hey! He's a performer, and they get a pass for looking outrageous, ridiculous, and borderline insane (Insert Cher, Liberace, Elton John, Madonna, Grace Jones, Xtina, Sasha Fierce, Rihanna, Lady Gaga here. And of course, let's not forget the late, lamented Michael Jackson.)

On a guesting on CBS' The Morning Show (video above), Glambert defended his performance, stating that "I'm not a babysitter. I'm a performer." He went on to say that he "got carried away" and disingenuously added that the simulated blowjob moments were "spontaneous." That was about as spontaneous as Janet Jackson's infamous "wardrobe malfunction" at the SuperBowl, but whatever. All said, Glambert refused to apologize for his performance, and what struck me most about his interview was this statement:

"I think that if it had been a female pop performer doing the moves that were on the stage, I don't think there would be nearly as much of an outrage. At all. Like I said, there were other performers doing risque things. I think it's because I'm a gay male, and people haven't seen that before."

Interestingly, CBS itself proved him correct by airing clips of his blurred-out simulated bj moment, followed a few seconds later by Madonna lip-locking Britney and Christina at that famous MTV Awards performance - which they did not censor.



You can see this.



And this.


But not this.

CBS defended this selective censorship in a statement that said :

"The Madonna image is very familiar and has appeared countless times including many times on morning TV. The Adam Lambert image is a subject of great current controversy, has not been nearly as widely disseminated, and for all we know, may still lead to legal consequences."

Ah. So it's all right to show three hot women engaged in a faux-lesbian kiss, but not an openly gay man simulating oral sex onstage.

It's easy to conclude that it's a twisted kind of sexism. That it's ok for women to be seen engaging in kinkiness, but gay men's sexual shenanigans, simulated or not, are too repugnant to be shown to a civilized audience. But perhaps it's a matter of raciness. After all, you must remember this: a kiss is just a kiss. Take Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz, that other notorious guyliner-loving boy-kisser :



Tongue out, boy, with Fall Out Boy.

Wentz' candid revelations about kissing boys and his famous "Anything above the waist is fair game" quip haven't undone his status as Fall Out Boy's most famous member. Of course, he's also married to Ashlee Simpson and the father to the unfortunately-named Bronx Mowgli, so Wentz, for all his boy-kissing, is reassuringly hetero enough. Enough to admit kissing other men in public, anyway, but just for shits and giggles, mind you. Because a kiss is just a kiss - unless you mean it. And just as he said in his Out interview : “I’m like the boy next door,” he quips, “but just a little bit off.”

But a blowjob, simulated or not, takes it to a whole other level.

Just like boobies:


"Boobs, I did it again!"

Remember Janet Jackson? She suffered considerable career backlash despite her public apology after her star titty decided it wanted some media exposure of its own, thus horrifying millions of viewers, children included, during that infamous SuperBowl halftime performance that will forever be known as "Nipplegate." But controversy slid off her accomplice Justin Timberlake like fried eggs on Teflon, so that certainly wasn't a touchdown for womankind. (On the other hand, I'm pretty sure the mob would've torn Timberlake to quivering pieces had he shown his man-tits instead - just because he's so damn ugly.)

But back to the more-openly gay pop tart. Glambert is correct in saying that other pop personalities before him have delivered much, much more outrageously-scandalous performances that raised the hackles of conservatives everywhere, thus generating controversy and much-valued buzz. But some critics slam him for not having enough star power yet to earn the right to pull off this kind of publicity stunt. Risqué, after all, is but French for risk, and established pop stars often take calculated ones to boost their careers - with varying results (see Nipplegate above.)


In 1984, this was considered scandalous.

But in the Age of YouTube , how are budding stars supposed to burst into supernovas on sheer talent alone? In the infancy of MTV, Madonna was a helium-voiced pop novelty act who was savvy enough to seize the new medium with open arms and legs, a shameless trailblazer pushing hot buttons and pulling stunts and sexually-charged innuendoes out of every orifice. The fact that her star continues to shine long after her contemporaries' have dimmed - based in no small part on her ability to generate tons of press - explains why her explosive but effective path has been trodden successfully by younger generations of pop superstars such as Britney and Lady Gaga. But note that these three non-blondes, while gayer than springtime in other aspects, are biological, straight women. Glambert, on the other hand, is a glittery gay unicorn unapologetically farting rainbows out his ass.

From  a sparkly pop curiosity ("An openly-gay pop singer! How novel!"), Glambert is angling for a glimmer of genuine stardom and validity with the launching of his first single. With his controversial performance and the firestorm of debate it has sparked, he's certainly achieved a smidgen of notoriety, not to mention free and widespread publicity. The single itself is inconsequential at this point - personally, it sounded like something Britney rejected in favor of snorting more Cheetos. But ever since video killed the radio star, who gives a rat's ass about the music? The buzz - ah, that's the real deal.

To add more fuel to the Glambert fire, not all of gaydom is on his side. Before he officially came out in Rolling Stone , Glambert's initial coyness about his sexual orientation infuriated gay activists who wanted him to stop teasing, come out in the open, and become the poster boy of gay males everywhere. But what does his sexuality have to do with anything? Just because he's gay, does he have to be a role model for all gay youth? Even when he's canoodling with a woman in a magazine pictorial, the poor poofter can't catch a break:


Scandale!



Quelle horreur! Une femme et un pede!

When these photographs and interview for Details magazine came out, Glambert was excoriated for statements such as this:

"I am gay, but I like kissing women sometimes. Women are pretty. It doesn't mean I'm necessarily sleeping with them."

Even the press release for that issue saying that the American Idol runner-up talks about "getting bras thrown at him onstage, kissing gorgeous women, and living the American dream" was more covered in controversy than hickeys on your neck after a drunken Saturday night in Bed.

Things didn't turn out any better after Out magazine, in their annual list of 100 gay honorees, named him "Breakout of the Year"(and no, they weren't referring to his acne scars.) In their interview, Glambert was asked if he ever had sex with a woman, and was subsequently lambasted for trying to downplay his gayness. Excerpts below:

Are you toying with perception when you talk about how you could be bi-curious? Or are you generally attracted to women?

I will make out with a girl at a bar. I mean, after a couple of drinks.

[Laughing] That doesn’t make you any less gay. Get three mai tais in a gay boy and he’ll make out with a girl. Sex is something different.

That’s why I say I’m curious. There are gay guys that gag and go “eww” at the thought of having sex with a girl. I’m curious about it, because I’ve never done it.

Have you ever had any sex with a girl?

Oral.

You went down on her?

Uh-huh.

Was it gross, or it was just not what you wanted?

It was a little gross because I don’t think she was as clean as she could’ve been. It wasn’t the act of it that really turned me off. I don’t really remember. I was 18 and I was drunk. Or maybe I was 17... The point of the matter is that I would not rule it out. The idea is intriguing.

And it’s threatening.

Well, it’s threatening personally because you start identifying as a certain thing for so long, the idea of kind of going outside of that is scary because you’re like, “But that’s who I am!” Being curious and embracing that curiosity is all a part of what I’m about. You don’t have to be any one thing. You can kinda just be. Just live your life -- and play.

Before the Rolling Stone coming-out, he was not-quite-gay. Then after the Details shoot, he was not gay enough. With the Out interview and his admission of having kissed a girl down there, he was pilloried for trying-not-to-be-gay. And now, with this American Music Awards debacle, Glambert has become too gay.

What's a poor guyliner-wearing ho to do? Being gay can be glamtastic. However, no one ever said it was easy.

But don't fret just yet over whether twinkling teardrops will make his mascara run. After all, as the old adage goes, "Good or bad, publicity is still publicity." And according to Reuters, thanks to the whole brouhaha, " "For Your Entertainment" was No. 3 on the iTunes U.S. album chart by Wednesday night. Music industry sources told Billboard magazine it is outperforming expectations and could sell about 225,000 units in its first week."
 
See? To quote yet another old adage: "Sex sells."

Even simulated sex from glittering gay unicorns.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Fat of The Land

Ever heard of the expression "living off the fat of the land"? Well, apparently, something got lost in the translation in South America - with gruesome results.

The BBC reports that

"Four people have been arrested in Peru on suspicion of killing dozens of people in order to sell their fat and tissues for cosmetic uses in Europe.


"The horror! The horror!"


The gang allegedly targeted people on remote roads, luring them with fake job offers before killing them and extracting their fat.

The liquidised product fetched $15,000.00 ((£9,000) a litre and police suspect it was sold on to companies in Europe.

At least five other suspects, including two Italian nationals, remain at large. Police said the gang could be behind the disappearances of up to 60 people in Peru's Huanuco and Pasco regions. One of those arrested told police the ringleader had been killing people for their fat for more than three decades.

The gang has been referred to as the Pishtacos, after an ancient Peruvian legend of killers who attack people on lonely roads and murder them for their fat. "

This is some Turistas-meets-Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs-by way of-Soylent Green shit.

And $15,000.00 per liter - sorry, litre - of human fat. Talk about being worth your weight in gold. No wonder there's a corresponding gang in Italy who is reported to have sold the Peruvian fat to the European cosmetics industry, "to be used as an anti-wrinkle treatment."

So...how's that face cream of yours? Working wonders?

Monday, November 23, 2009

J.Ho!

I love pratfalls. Something about people falling ass over head just sends me into paroxysms of sadistic glee. And celebrity pratfalls are an even more delectable delight.

Maybe it's because my surname is Schadenfreude. Or maybe it's because I'm 12.

Anyway, here's J-to-the-Ho, landing on her famous culo onstage during the American Music Awards while performing "Loubotins", her latest assault on humanity's ears:




Love the bitchface homegirl makes as she storms off backstage. I wonder how many dancers' souls she ate afterwards? At any rate, she's far more entertaining when she's getting her ass handed to her. She should do this more often, seein' as how she's got the padding for it.

After all, why should Beyonce have all the fun?





Friday, November 20, 2009

World Peace!

Or not.

I always thought beauty pageants were inherently vapid and shallow - if occasionally amusing - spectacles. The same way I always thought pageant losers were the biggest hypocrites this side of the Comelec. Standing around all poised and smiling and clapping while deep down inside their thoughts were filled with violence towards the undeserving winner.

Well, someone's finally proven me correct. And the fact that this happened at a gay beauty pageant (Miss Gay Brazil 2009, to be precise)  makes it all the sweeter:




What poise! What grace! What - what the fuck?!?! Someone should turn this into a movie, stat. Like Drag Queen Me To Hell.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The "L" Word

All right, Knox Galen, this one's for you.

Galen and I have been having a friendly little back-and-forth in his recent blog post about some guy with a posse of married fubus. A back-and-forth that has leaked over into the Comments Section of someone else's blog , where the author asked:

"May meaning pa rin ba ang sex na walang love?"

Since I have started a conscious effort not to hog someone else's Comments Section with my lengthy opinions, I thought it might be best to just put it up here on my own little corner of the web.

So many of us often mistake Lust for Love. These are two very different four-letter words. But because of the similar effects they have on us - giddiness, excitement, the anticipation of pleasure - it's an easy mistake.

Offhand, I find that it's a mistake often made by the young. Back in the day, I, too, mistook the temporary intimacy of sex to mean something more. Because even the most hurried and anonymous of sexual encounters remains an act of intimacy, no matter how fleeting or shallow.

It takes the school of hard knocks to teach us that this thing may look like that thing, but they are not the same thing at all. To paraphrase the great Woody Allen: "Lust relieves tension. Love causes it."

Sex is sex. Love is love. When the 'twain meet, 'tis truly a special thing. But that's what lovers - in the true sense of the word - are for. Someone who stimulates your heart, as well as your loins.

To seek a deeper meaning in something that is essentially superficial and shallow as a one-night stand is to seek disappointment and even heartbreak. It's a fool's errand, a Quixotic quest. You could sooner find decency and morality in Malacanang.

Tina Turner sang it best: "You must understand/ Though the touch of your hand/Makes my pulse react/ It's physical/Only logical/You must try to ignore/ That it means more than that."

What's love got to do with it, indeed?

But how can you tell the difference? Like wrinkles, I just assume it gets easier with age. Or maybe the wrinkles were there all along and, ironically, one's failing vision leads one to discern them more acutely.

I have few things against ONS apart from people cheating on their lovers and the increased potential to transmit, catch, and spread disease. They serve their purpose:  the release of sexual tensions, a primal need satisfied. I'll allow that sex for sex' sake can leave one feeling empty and used , but I imagine it's akin to having a hangover after one beer too many. You feel horrible, you feel drained, you feel sorry. Or like the inevitable crash after a party drug high - after the thrills come the chills.

All excesses are bad for us. An excess of piety leads to religious fanaticism. An excess of critical thinking leads to nihilism. Playing musical beds is a lot of fun, but even the most energetic among us will eventually get exhausted - both physically and emotionally - from all that hopping in the sack.

Also, while having sex on tap sounds like a fantastic idea, we soon find that it gets really boring, really fast. As Robert Browning wrote, some things we reach for were meant to exceed our grasp, else what's a heaven for?

I can only suppose that's why you find sex without love so meaningless, dear Galen. But meanings are relative constructs, not universal truths. Perhaps "empty" is the word we're looking for, because shallow as ONS are, beneath the surface, they actually do have meaning. They might even have many meanings that can overlap. A married man getting his dick vaccuumed by another man can mean that his wife doesn't like giving head - or that he actually prefers a man to give him head, or that his marriage is in trouble and he is seeking intimacy elsewhere. Or the meaning could be something as simple and mundane as "You're the only mammal with a pulse who was available tonight to suck my cock."

I'm happy that you try to seek meaning in the things you do and the things others do to you, or with you. It's one of the things that separate us from brutes: the ability, nay, the need to make sense of things around us. In your original post, you opined that "It must be a very sad life." whenever PLUs look at other PLUs only as potential sex partners. I'll agree that anyone who reduces everyone else to mere sexual objects to be conquered, used, then discarded is sad in very many ways, but then again, that's just our opinion. The meanings he attaches to his interactions with the world may be worlds apart from ours. I've met enough sociopaths in my life to know that some people are truly bereft of conscience, empathy, or regret - that's what makes the world a fascinating and dangerous place.

We do seemingly meaningless things all the time, Galen. If I flick my cigarette butt onto the sidewalk instead of bothering to find an ashtray to stub it out on, the act might seem meaningless. A casual toss, the physics of an object hurtling through space, inevitably subject to the non-negotiable rules of gravity to fall to the ground and lie there until acted upon by another force. But the meanings are many, if we bother to think about them. It could mean I wasn't raised well enough to be mindful of the cleanliness of my surroundings. It could mean I was raised right, except now I don't give a damn. It could mean a moment's flippancy, a temporary lack of judgment. Meanings can be many and can vary.

So if casual sexual encounters are so sad and meaningless, why do we indulge in them anyway? I don't believe we actually seek out pain and heartache, emo or no emo. So they must mean something. But what they mean depends on the meaning you give them.

To go back to your original post, I maintain that ONS do have a meaning. But that meaning varies. What means something to me may not mean anything at all to you. And even if we both agree that something has meaning, that meaning can be totally different for you and me. While there are things that possess intrinsic meaning outside of our personal perceptions, others - like the things we do with ourselves and others - derive their meaning from us. We give them meaning - or none at all.

And as for sex without love, let me leave you with this little number from All Saints. For all of us, who are no saints.



Bootie Call : To call someone to invite them over JUST for sex. http://www.urbandictionary.com