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Showing posts from January, 2008

My Hero

This is an amazing fanboy moment.

I was clearing out my roster of Yahoo groups, since a huge chunk of the egroups I am a member of has become little more than a repository for spam. This meant the decisive cleaving of all the band productions I am a member of, the cutting of the umbilical cords of my old, pseudo-rock n' roll lifestyle. I chanced upon a link from the Philippine Tolkien Society leading to this site - which led me, in turn, to this list.

J.R.R. Tolkien is a god among men. Hearing his voice stirs the lyrical undertones in my bones. It doesn't hurt that he sounds like a smoke-filled, well-vinegared old man, the kind of old man I'd want to be when I've grandkids running around.

The Killing Joke

and the wings of angels
will not carry you to the heavens;
nor will the jackdaws
caw for your remains
for death
is transitory

Just like the lull of the storm breaks with the first thunderclaps on the horizon, so does The Dark Knight begin its media run with the dismally poetic, morbidly chilling death of one of its main actors.

It's funny that the man should go just after the completion of the movie where he plays one of the most blood-curdling characters in contemporary fantasy - the Joker. It's curious that the circumstances of his death revolve around suicide via drug abuse, since it has been said that in preparation for his role as The Joker, the actor technically chose to destroy his otherwise systematic lifestyle. In true Supersize Me fashion, the man's health deteriorated, his temperament worsened, and I think anybody can only take so much of The Killing Joke, one of the most introspective, and arguably the darkest, Batman story arc ever published, before one's faith …

And There's Just Too Many Movies in the World Today

There's media and then there's media. The past year, I've been knee-deep in a quagmire of geek-related media that, while entertaining, lacks that certain air of distinguished intelligent accomplishment that makes snooty people wriggle in their seats with joy because lo and behold, something new exists what they can talk for hours about while the rest of their more pedestrian acquaintances sit slack-jawed (bonus points if they yawn). Forget that most of the Satoshi Kon anime I have actually requires one to think, or that Trainspotting is an adaptation of a good book with the additional detrimental bonus of actually seeing Ewan McGregor's flaccid penis in action; everything that is eating up space in my laptop's fragile and overflowing bowels is almost brainless media.

It's all fun, of course. I love the way the story plays out in Paradise Kiss, or how The Hakkenden masks a gorefest with the pretensions of being an historical study of Japanese literary history. Bo…

There are Approximately 2400 Steps

From the edge of Inviernes (M.L. Carreon, for the newer Manila kids) to my house. Yes, I counted. There might have been more, but I lost count several times.

There's something about walking at the dead of night that challenges me. My friend Jon'd probably say that it was the testosterone rush of looking over your shoulder for fear of somebody with the intent of gutting you from behind. He'd probably be right.

The risk of getting stabbed in the middle of the night increases proportionally the closer you are to old Manila; say, Pandacan is safer than Quiapo, and Sta. Cruz is safer than Tondo, or Avenida Rizal. Of course, the increments are of a very small percentage, but I think it still is worth taking note of.

One of the biggest questions about living in a city, though, is how one can survive walking home at the dead of night, considering the dangers. Well, here's a list of how anybody can increase his chances of survival in the streets of Manila at around 1AM:
Never look …

A Wizard Did It

I am not a fan of retconning stories. No, let me rephrase that: I hate retcons. Probably the worst thing about reading comic books is the fact that one day, everything you've ever known and loved about a character turns out to be an outright lie.

What makes things worse is that I'm coming from a writer's point of view. I don't know about other people who subsist on making stories, but I like logical progressions that don't rely heavily on MacGuffins to move the story to a newer level. Sure, post-modernist stories don't always make sense, and magic-realism makes sanity seem like a thing of the past, but from my experience, the hook is never something that doesn't make sense, or happened just because. Telling stories demands that when something happens, there's a reasonable plot device, and by reasonable, we're talking about things that work - and fit snugly - within the given logic of both the readers and the given universe of the given story.

Like, …