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Friday, February 27, 2009

On the Prodigal Son


I wrote an entry a year ago devaluing the article writing profession, stating that writing loads of articles over a short period of time is focused mainly on production while disregarding the writer as a self-entity. In this case, a writer being treated like a machine is not the main concern, but rather how the toxicity of his current work contaminates his creative well. I experienced firsthand the inability for expression in which everything that I write feels barren and divorced from life.

After years of distancing myself from such work, I will soon find myself again in the company of empty words, 400 per article to be exact. Bulk article writing isn't really that bad after all. The workload is killer, no doubt, but I don't mind doing something -- hell, anything -- to make my day worthwhile, aside from the extra income that comes along with it. Apparently, doing nothing makes everything difficult to resist.

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On a side note, the Oscars wrapped up its festivities by having Sean Penn win the coveted Best Male Actor category over comeback kid Mickey Rourke. Although I haven't seen Milk, kudos to Mr. Penn for a win well-deserved. Now that I got that out of the way, let me share my real, albeit biased, thoughts about this issue.

WHAT THE FUCK WERE THEY THINKING!? I know the Academy eventually rewards actors and directors after being nominated a couple of times too many. Penn won with Mystic River in 2003 while Martin Scorsese, a famed director who went home with eggs on all his nominations, bagged the trophy with The Departed in 2006. (And just so you know, they didn't win on the year that they truly deserved. Just something to think about.) But really now, how can anyone deny the delicacy and bravura of Rourke's portrayal of a broken-down wrestler?

Maybe it's because of the speculation that Rourke will appear on the Super Bowl of professional wrestling, Wrestlemania, that the Academy felt obligated to instead award a guy who won't tarnish the supposed prestige of the award by not associating his name with a sport looked down by everyone. Really now, isn't this shit supposed to be over by now? What makes any other sport or entertainment program better than professional wrestling considering the fact that the scripted matches are part of its entertainment value? Again, something to think about.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

On Philo


At hindsight, philosophy is a dreaded college course not so much as it is a chore to understand the groundbreaking concepts relating to self and the other, but more so of the fact that philosophy is an anomaly -- a useless but nonetheless important pursuit worthy of study. Useless in a sense that it is difficult to apply said concepts in pragmatic situations we face in our daily lives. Important, because no matter how students of the course get a glimpse of how futile everything in the world is, there is still a seed of hope that we cling on to in spite of society's degradation.

Philosophy does not produce a wealth of earthly pleasures, i.e. money, business success, and a reassured future. It deals with the realization of man's purpose that we are nothing and our perseverance to strive for become something.

I just came from a delicate discussion about poetry in class and it strikes me then how the retarded and pretentious philosophical ideas dealing with the impossibility to discover the object-in-itself helped raise the stage of poetry's objectivity prior passing through the spectacles of readers tainted with subjectivity.

Weird. After all this time of blaming philosophy (in good nature, no less) for my current worldview and mental state, it suddenly awakens my senses, reminding me how everything eventually leads back to philosophy.

Epiphany moment! Pillow fight!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

On Artistry


The inaugural Philippines Writers Festival 2009 was celebrated last week and I was able to attend one of the talks held as Marikina Shoe Expo. It was about how international workshops can affect aspiring Filipino writers with their craft. I was hoping to attend the talk about the emergence of blogging and online publishing as an avenue for writers to achieve validity in their works, but I was nevertheless satisfied with the talk I attended.

Listening to the esteemed panelists discuss their passion for arts and seeing the audience consisting of open-minded undergraduates nod in agreement with the insights delivered have reminded me of how much I enjoyed the craft back then. I had a blast reading and writing literature and trying to grasp concepts from primary philosophical texts assigned for class (you gotta hate Kant). Difficult but nonetheless rewarding experience, just as much as it is a treat to do.

Looking back at all those things from years past kinda makes you wonder how life makes for a bad comedian. My inclination towards the arts has slowly lost the slant due to the fact that I have been busy chop-socking the bollocks as a full-time employee in my current work. I know, it's dreadful.

Don't get me wrong, a 9-5 job has its perks, but the maintenance of a choice lifestyle through salary may, nay, should be the only reason why everybody has a job. What I'm referring to here is how a streamlined life has a tendency to destroy or hinder at the very least one's aspirations to live their real passions. Not funny at all.

I get envious when students from our class talk about writing a novel, having it published, and winning an award for it because I wish I still possess their idealism of how life operates outside the confines of the academe. After getting my feet wet in the corporate world, I immediately get my head dunked in a used toilet bowl after discovering its horror: it's a controlling world that not only fashions the way you look, feel, and act, but also prohibits you from living.

Ah, living. Such a big word. Life is so much more than sitting in front of your computer while enclosed in your cubicle. Life is outside the walls of enclosures: the traffic jam, the smog, the rain, the beauty of despair, the profundity of emptiness and ennui, the happiness of being, the boredom. The boredom. The experience of knowing that there are other things out there that needs to be seen and felt.

And yet I'm still here, doing the exact opposite of what I just preached. The students will be next.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

On Ennui and Secrets



I finished work within two hours upon my arrival, basically accomplishing the entire project slated for the next two weeks. Not to mention, I'll have to commit extra hours in the office within the week in order to avoid a shed in my pay once the salary kicks in my account. All in all, lovely times are abound (note the tinge of sarcasm here).

And so here I am with this quaint blog entry.

Boredom can lead you to do conventional things in hopes of confusing them as productivity. Like registering for a Facebook account. Not my cup of tea, but hey, I'm all for hastening my stay in the office. Or so I thought.

I just read the Civil War Chronicles, which I have been clamoring to do since last year, and it did provide an ample distraction from the problem of idleness I have in my hands. However, the series reminded me of my shot desire to pursue a comic book collection, leaving me faintly depressed and frustrated. Screw comics.

My co-workers and I held a photoshoot for this pilot presentation to be submitted to a potential client. The proceedings went well, but the photos exposed the blemishes and scars on my face as a result of popping and pricking those annoying pimples. Not really a problem, until the pictures underwent editing process and the guys have to clean out the fuck marks using Photoshoot. I keep overhearing laughter from their side of the office at the expense of these awful marks on my face. It's fine. Whatever makes them happy.

The real whammy of this whole ennui thing is this sinking and isolated feeling that, well, let's just say that this past weekend was awesome, nay, glorious (save for that Marley & Me tryst that I will never commit again), and seemed to have recalled the beautiful sense of purpose I have been living for the past year. However, this week has twisted back purpose to its harsh form caused by external forces beyond my facilities. There goes the rub.
Thus said boredom.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

On What's Up?



Approximately two weeks ago, I spent my weekends with my co-workers and had our first-ever team building in Island Cove, Cavite (formerly Covelandia). Not much of a social person, but knowing that an overnight team building is a rhetoric for an evening's worth of drinking binge after much ballyhoo, I had to go. That and because the event is required.

The whole shebang was surprisingly fun; no dull moments whatsoever. It was mostly a physical and highly competitive excursion, as everybody had to participate in the games and run and paddle like mad in the obstacle race and boat relay, respectively. Not to mention, everybody engaged in their activity of choice after sundown by means of sliding down their swimming pool countless of times, playing billiards, karaoke singing, binge drinking, acting like a total retard, or all of the above. San the poking-the-ball-with-a-stick activity, I succeeded in not only doing most of them, but also puking the very essence of my consciousness in the toilet. However, the crowning moment of the entire trip was my inability to attend the forum portion that included the General Manager of the company because I was too damn wasted. Fuck, that was awesome.

After the team building, we returned the following day doing the same copy and pasting job that has been torturing our team since my arrival in the company, proving my theory that good things never last long. But hey, it's all good, man.

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After a couple of days at work, it turned out that all is not good. Ever since the start of the year, there have rough patches spread out in my days that the only productive thing I can actually do is smoke alone. Oh yeah, I smoke nowadays since late last year. It's a bitch. What's even much more of a bitch is that I have to try to act as if everything's fine and dandy. But such is life. As the Detroit Pistons say, "If it ain't rough, it ain't right."

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I am essentially a depressed person and enjoy sad movies during my spare time, but my proclivity of deriving happiness from sadness took a hit after seeing "Dancer In The Dark" by Lars Von Trier. The film is simply a tragedy of epic proportions that even I couldn't stomach. Aside from Bjork singing that mesmerizing "I've Seen It All," the movie doesn't allow viewers to feel anything but sheer hopelessness from start to finish. In a nutshell, a horribly draining and pointless indulgence.

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