smoke

I write better when I smoke. Don’t ask me to reduce it to a science.

Follow me?

I’m writing on komentariat.com now. It’s a new thing. I just can’t abide by the interface on wordpress.com, so…

I’ll still be posting here from time to time tho. But, have you seen all these ads? They’re not mine, I have nothing to do with them, and no, they’re not making me any money.

See you at that other place. 😀

 

Filed under: Quick Posts

Bureau of Sabotage

From Wikipedia:

In (Frank) Herbert’s fiction, sometime in the far future, government becomes terrifyingly efficient. Red tape no longer exists: laws are conceived of, passed, funded, and executed within hours, rather than months. The bureaucratic machinery becomes a juggernaut, rolling over human concerns and welfare with terrible speed, jerking the universe of sentients one way, then another, threatening to destroy everything in a fit of spastic reactions.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

This government has become terrifyingly efficient as well – in serving it’s own ends. Red tape? Gone, along with any sane notion of due process. Rules are conceived of, promulgated, then revised as needed, to ensure that at any junction, the outcome gets channeled to the best interests of those in power. The DOJ-OMB-COA-COMELEC complex has become a juggernaut, threatening to destroy all opposition in serial fits of spastic reaction.

In a time such as this, we need people who will be saboteurs against this machine – people who will frustrate the well-laid plans of those in power, to give people the time to comprehend the truth behind their machinations, and to preserve the dignity of individuals.

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After four years

The last post on this blog was dated 4 February 2009, and here we are now in 2013 – more the four years later. Ain’t that a kick in the head.

In the meantime, my self-hosted site has gone to weed, and the people I used to exchange online pleasantries with have all gone on to be bigshots in government and the corporate world. I, on the other hand, am now a bigshot only to my lovely Ellie.

For awhile, I toyed with the idea of blogging about motherhood, but that inclination didn’t last very long. I could not imagine anyone being excited about the minutiae of maternity. And if I don’t enjoy waking up in the middle of the night to feed a baby with a weird circadian rhythm, I can’t see anyone else having much fun with it.

Don’t get me wrong. I love being a mother to the smartest kid this side of the Jupiter, but that’s a private kind of enjoyment, y’know? Maybe someday, I’ll share all these thoughts with Ellie and all the rest of the world, but for now, I am holding it close to my chest.

For now, there’s enough to do just catching up with the rhythms of the on-line life I used to revel in.

 

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Pregnant at eleven

In the UK, an eleven year old girl is pregnant.

Wow, right? And the wow doesn’t end there. 

The girl started smoking at 9, drinking at 10, and in a drunken moment when she was 11, had her cherry popped and got knocked up by her 15 year-old boyfriend. Now, eight months preggers, she still smokes about 20 cigs a day. And her momma is proud of her.

Many of us, when we first read the story of this 11 year old brit will prolly shrug our shoulders and mouth some pious bullshit about how westerners are so immoral and how family life has broken down so completely over there. 

But how about this? In the Philippines – where people wear their religion on their sleeve, and parents proudly proclaim how they make it a point to share quality time with their kids –  an eleven year old girl is pregnant too. 

I doubt that she’s as brazenly vice-riddled as the Brit girl – that sort of thing just doesn’t fit the Filipino upper middle class aesthetic – but apparently, something’s just as wrong here as there. The Filipina pre-teen mama goes to a Catholic school run by nuns, and apparently, she’s carrying her and her driver’s love-child. Yes. She has a driver – paid for by her parents – with whom she supposedly carried on a romantic relationship.  

Wow, right?

When i first stumbled across this story – it’s just now starting to buzz through the social networks – my first reaction was to wish all manner of plague on the driver. It was rape, after all. Regardless of the level of the girl’s consent – even, in fact, if she had initiated sexual contact – her age makes it rape. There is no defense for the driver (unless he can prove that a gun was held to his head) so, yeah, shoot the damned pervert. Or at least send him to some jail where he can learn first hand the meaning of the word sodomy.

But the more I thought about it, the more I became convinced that there was no way I could stop at the driver. And more importantly, there was no way that I could wait for a slow and careful settling of blame. Still, absent a clearer picture of what really happened, that may be exactly what we’re gonna get. 

Nevertheless, we have to acknowledge that society failed this young girl. And if she – with all the privilege apparently available to her – could go this way, you can just imagine what a minefield pre-puberty can be for those not so privileged.

We live in incredibly permissive times when children are exposed – daily – to sex and sexuality without the benefit of guidance from parents who are too busy making or spending money; we have a government that is so servile to religious institutions that it has failed to take even the most basic steps towards protecting the young by providing them with age-appropriate education about their bodies; and worse, we have an entertainment industry that when it isn’t promoting the fairy-tale concept of sex as ‘cool’ and casual recreation devoid of serious consequence, relentlessly romanticizes sex as the logical and imperative climax of a loving relationship.

Don’t get me wrong. Sex is fun and sex is the logical and imperative climax of a loving relationship. But that concept is something you want to share only with people who have matured enough that they’re able to hold their desires in check. You teach that shit to young kids – bundles of appetite and id – and you know you’re headed for trouble.

I don’t know how they do things over their in the UK, but I do know that we as a society are not doing right by our kids. Maybe it’s time we accept that and start doing something to rectify the situation.

Filed under: Quick Posts, sex, society, , , ,

Making it right

tracysmokeHow can Tracy Borres make things right, I’ve been asked.

The closest analog I can come up with is how insensitive American celebrities are dealt with. People like that actor from Grey’s Anatomy – Isaiah Washington (i think), and that DJ who said something about nappy hairs.

Like Tracy, these folks did nothing felonious, but they did expose their inner homophobia and racism. Now, they weren’t punished by force of law, but their respective organizations did apply pressure on them to make amends.

Both had to publicly apologize to keep their jobs, and I think Washington was even required by his employer to clock some community service.

Is a similar outcome unthinkable for Tracy? As far as I know, she hasn’t exactly apologized to the people she offended. At most, she’s said that she’s keeping her head down til this blows over. Reminds me, in fact, of a tactic favored by politicians; mostly the same politicians officially and regularly derided by Ateneo.

I don’t think waiting for this issue to die down should be an option. Sure, if it dies down without an apology having been uttered, it might seem that nothing has changed – the Aetas will still live in the same dismal conditions, and Tracy will not be even a wee bit poorer. But something will have changed.

If Tracy squeaks by without an apology, then the bar of our society’s tolerance of in-tolerance and discrimination will have been lowered significantly and it will become easier for people to spout hate. We will be de-sensitized to insensitivity and we will be promoting the mindset that material wealth is all one really needs for one’s dignity to be respected.

Is that what we really want?

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Plurk FAIL

AAAARGH. PLurk has been “under routine maintenance” that’s been going on for more than an hour already. Where o where do the plurk hordes go for their fix of compulsive cyber-exhibitionism?

plurkhorde

 

Update 1: Oops. Spoke too soon. It’s back up. *whew*

Update 2: GRRRRRRRRRRRRR. No. It. Is. Not.

Filed under: Quick Posts,

Pacquiao wins

Manny Pacquiao wins. He’s 482 million pesos more equal than the rest of us now.

UPDATE

The Filipino commentators are grating. They’re all superlatives and pseudo-expert talk. Sheesh. I wish I could just turn up the ambient noise and totally tune out the trash spilling out of their mouths.

Still, they did get it right when in the fifth round, they said Hoya looked like a slow old man. That he did, altho I kinda think that was more by design than out of actual pain.

Manny strutted into the ring with a sunny smile on his face, totally unlike his previous forays into that battlefield. He looked for all the world like he was on his way to the main dancefloor at Embassy. 

Dela Hoya, on the other hand, looked like he had seen the end of the world and had resigned himself to it – or to the role he had to play in it. I say the Golden Boy took a dive, and all to ensure that this franchise gets at least one more rematch.

Sickening, in my opinion. 

Sports are now entertainment, rather than contests of skill. The sooner I come to terms with that, the sooner I can get back to enjoying the atavistic thrill of watching two grown men pummel each other to bloody pulp.


Filed under: Quick Posts, sports, , ,

New Dash

No equivocations: I love the new wordpress.com dashboard.

’nuff said.

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Satisfaction

NOW – Since eleven this morning, I’ve already smoked three packs of cigarettes. Just now, I’ve started on the first stick out of the fourth pack, and it looks like I’m not even done with the day yet. 

There’s a tightness across my chest and a scratchy noise comes out of my throat whenever i try to speak. Which is ok, since I haven’t spoken to anyone for over six hours. 

My eyes are bloodshot, and my shoulders are so cramped they feel like two blocks of wood attached to each other by a leather strap draped over the back of my neck. Did I mention that I’m smoking my 91st cigarette of the day?

My back is hurting like no one’s business and my calves are nice enough to alternate cramping. And even though my deodorant is hanging tough, I imagine I must smell somethng awful. It’s a good thing pleadings aren’t scratch n’ sniff, or this motherfucker hasn’t got a chance in hell.

9:00 AM – My boss calls me and tells me he needs help preparing a pleading for the Supreme Court. With a cheerful lilt in my voice, I tell her yeah, I’m coming to work, even though I’m supposed to be off today. 

10:30 AM – with my wet hair still clinging to my back, I arrive in the office. No one’s there, so I’m thnking I’m the only one that got called in. Good news, i thought, since that meant the work wouldn’t be so tough. Otherwise, at least one of the lawyers would be here. Like an idiot, I sashay to my desk and see a pile of green folders there. On the topmost folder, there’s a little pink post-it. I recognize my boss’ chicken scratches.

Rom, we need this pleading by eight o’clock tomorrow. 

No please, no thank you. Just that matter-of-fact note.

10:50 AM – I realize this isn’t going to be a cake walk, and that i’m actually working for a cunt. I fire up the computer and start typing.

NOW – I’m staring at 75 pages of text. I wouldn’t have minded typing this all up if I were just copying some shit. But I had to pull this thing together from five different drafts aparently written by five different people. It’s a good thing they all pretty much agreed with each other so all I really needed to do was consolidate. HAH!

At least that’s what I thought several lifetimes ago. As it turned out, these drafts by these lawyers – who all talk like they know the law inside out and guffaw at the stupidest law-themed jokes despite being unable to get knock-knock jokes – were all cut-and-paste from various SC decisions. 

I could have done the same with their work, but I have too much fucking pride. I end up paraphrasing like crazy, stringing arguments together so that they make a coherent case instead of a haphazard collection of smart-assery, and going through piles and piles of documentary evidence for footnoting – which these assholes were too lazy to do. GAWD.

6:00 PM – My boss calls and tells me how wonderful I am, and how sorry she was that none of the junior partners were around to help. I force a grin and tell her it’s ok. She heaves a sigh of relief and calls me a super-trouper (she knows I adored Mamma Mia!) for doing this. She says the other lawyers were all grateful because if I hadn’t come in today, they would have missed the day trip to the beach in Nasugbu. I suddenly realize that Mother Teresa has nothing on me. 

6:30 PM – After half-an-hour of stewing, I decide this is bullshit, but I’ll be damned if I quit on the job.

NOW – The stupid pleading is finished and so is my fucking resignation letter.

 

Dear Sylvia,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with you. I have learned a lot since I started here, and those lessons will never be wasted. Take today, for instance. Today, I learned respect for the Supreme Court can be quite easily faked. All I need to do – taking the example of your valued partners – is to plagiarize the Court’s decisions artistically. After all, isn’t imitation the best sort of flattery?

Today, i also learned the value of respect for one’s subordinates. I imagine when you find my desk cleaned out tomorrow, you too will finally learn that lesson. Although, I doubt it. After all, you’ve been a lawyer longer than i’ve been alive and since in all that time, you haven’t figured it out yet, I can’t say that there is much hope for you in that department.

And finally, today, I learned from you and your partners the meaning of pride. Since I started work here, I have taken all of your tantrums in stride; even your thermonuclear meltdowns at the loss of a stapler. I have fired people for you whose only offense was to forget to address a Senior Partner with an adequate amount of brown-nosing; and I even had the temerity to tell everyone else that we needed to grin and bear it. But thanks to you, I have rediscovered my pride and realized that there are some lines I will never again cross for the sake of treading the path of least resistance.

Awesome working here, really. And I am pleased to say that you can take this job and shove it. Don’t bother sending me my paycheck. You will probably need it to pay for a new copy of Lex Libris since I am taking my copy that you and every other cheapskate lawyer have been mooching off of since I got here.

Very truly yours,

Romany Sedona

Filed under: Quick Posts

An alternative Alternative

Don’t get me wrong. I think Filipino Voices is rocking, and I will keep on posting there too. But there are just some things that don’t fit in that arena.

“FilipinoVoices.com is a collaborative blog of Filipino bloggers. Focusing on politics and society, especially in areas of human rights and civil rights.”

See what I mean? Filipinos don’t just talk about politics and society (at least not the kind of ‘society’ implied by having the word tagged on to ‘politics,’ if you catch my drift). We talk about food too, and concerts, and gadgets and our lives.

One could argue that that’s what personal blogs are for. True enough. But FV does something else besides aggregating political blog posts: it gives people who don’t otherwise blog the opportunity to be heard in the blogosphere. Take benign0 for instance. Sure he had a website, but that’s not exactly a blog, and he mostly just commented on other people’s blogs. Being on FV has made a blogger out of him, and now people comment on his posts as well. The same is true of Bencard. And I’m sure even cvj watches movies from time to time.

Given my recent fey mood, I got it into my head that it’d be nice to have a blog that lets other people be bloggers as well – without making them feel that they need to write about politics. Hence, speed blogging.

Of course, those who already blog will be welcome, and maybe this can be like a more expansive kind of Twitter for them; or as Forrester would have put it (in that movie Finding Forrester?) “Blogging is the main course. This is dessert.” Or even maybe something like a break from ‘serious’ blogging – kinda like ‘The Road to Gandolfo‘ was for Robert Ludlum.

BTW, the name speed blogging comes from ‘speed dating‘ – which basically involves a girl and a guy ‘dating’ for about five minutes before moving on to another partner, all within the same venue. The idea is to get as wide a sampling as possible of what’s available, and then to decide which ones have potential. In the same way, the mini-posts on this blog will allow you to sample what the various authors (assuming other people decide to join this little kibbutz of mine) have to offer the reader. Naturally, the mini-posts can also be conversations between and among authors.

So, if you want to join, get a wordpress account, then send me your email address. Just fire-off an e-mail to romsedona(at)yahoo(dot)com, tell me what you want your username and password to be, and I’ll hook you up.

😀

Filed under: Quick Posts