Beyond the universe as we know it, there is another me. That universe may be separated from ours by space or simply by dimension. The “other me” may not look exactly like me. She may or may not be married, may or may not have children, may or may not be a lawyer… It might sound like something straight out of “Fringe”—that science fiction TV series that made my everyone in my family loyal fans of actor James Noble. The existence of a parallel universes or even multiverse is a topic where fiction has been way, waaaaayyyy ahead of science (probably the earliest fiction with a parallel universe/multiverse theme is “The Blazing World” by Margaret Cavendish, circa 1666) but science is catching up.
It bothers me how people can share articles and news items on Facebook and Twitter without having read the linked article at all. Worse, the shares come with their rabid comments. Seriously, people, how can you comment on something you haven’t read?
There is always the excuse that their mobile plans don’t include free or unlimited data transfer so they are unable to click and read.
Then, why share if you haven’t read? Facebook does not require users to share everything they see on their friends’ news feeds. Still, they do. Itchy fingers. I thought it was the height of stupidity and irresponsibility.
Today, I came across something even worse. A friend shared an article about a “dead whale” sprawled on the shore. The mouth was open and inside was more plastic junk than anyone cares to see.
Two friends of my friend commented.
It’s been a joke in my family how I always leave food on my plate. Not a lot. A tablespoonful of rice, two or three peas, a sliver of meat… It’s even true when I drink coffee—there’s always a teaspoonful of liquid left by the time I put my cup in the kitchen sink.
It’s not something I did willfully. Until recently, it was a subconscious thing. Until I thought hard about the WHY. The best answer I could come up with—it’s my way of rebelling against all the silly rules from my childhood. On the dinner table, it was always, “Finish your food and don’t be wasteful; there are a lot of hungry people in the world.” The rule is the same with drinking water. “Finish what’s in your glass because there are places in the world where they don’t clean have water to drink.”
I was a child. Until you get to that age when you realize that not all grownups are wise, you don’t question rules like that. You follow. But like any child, I grew up. But unlike the grownups who never questioned the logic of the silly rules they imposed, I learned that whether or not I leave food on my plate or water in my glass won’t help feed poor people nor give them better access to clean water.
Between this blog and the two food blogs, I’ve written 3,279,600 words over the 13 years that I have been blogging. And that’s a conservative estimate because I arrived at the total word count by multiplying the total number of posts by 600 which is kind of low because about 40 per cent of my blog posts are over 1,000 words long. And that doesn’t include the articles I wrote for about.com during the year and a half that I was the Southeast Asian Food “expert”.
The thing is, after churning out over three million words, I seem to have lost my ability to “write about anything” (as a friend once commented). Perhaps, it’s the result of focusing on the food blogs. One can only insert so much food porn-y words in every recipe. And, for most readers (“scanners” might be a more appropriate term because web readers these days merely scan rather than read in the real sense of the word), waxing poetic about the virtues of sugar over artificial sweeteners is the surest way to get them to leave.
In the same manner, writing passionately to convince people to be smart enough not to fall for every “scientific research” because most are paid for by entities that stand to benefit from pre-determined results is just getting “blank stares” from most readers.
The truth is, in an age when people respond more to clickbait-y titles, sound bytes and 40-second videos, writing seems to have lost its place in the world wide web where the meaning of “content is king” has been re-defined too much and too fast.
For people like me who use words to make people “see”, “hear” and even “feel”, that hurts. Believe me, the temptation to go with the bandwagon and re-package the blogs was tremendous. I even thought of a fake news web site (I went so far as to register a domain) which is truly fashionable these days. In the end, I couldn’t. Even if writing a fake news site can be considered writing at all, that’s stooping so low.
But I miss writing beyond making a list of ingredients and describing a cooking procedure.
Media — local and international — have gone wild with reports about Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s cursing allegedly directed at United States President Barack Obama. Did he really call Obama a son of a bitch?
Journalist Lala Rimando posted a transcript of what Duterte said during the forum when the cursing was said to have taken place. It is a transcript, not cherry-picked quotes that media just love to sensationalize, and it is a mix of English and Filipino. International media which rely on translators and which have no inkling about common expressions got it wrong big time.
Personally, I gave Duterte a silent standing ovation when he said, “You know, the Philippines is not a vassal state. We have long ceased to be a colony of the United States. Alam mo, marami diyan, sa mga kolumnista, they look upon Obama and the United States as if we are the lap dogs of this country… You write kung ano nasa isip — the lap dogs of this American. Who is he to confront me? As a matter of fact, he has too many –America has one too many to answer for the misdeeds in this country. Hanggang ngayon hindi pa tayo nakatikim ng apology niyan. That is the reason why Mindanao continues to boil.”
It was the second standing ovation I gave him — the first time was when he called out the United Nations for its hypocrisy.
A first, in both cases. Every Philippine president before Duterte has licked the proverbial American ass to beg for aid, investment and military support. If MAR Roxas had won the presidency, would he have the balls to say what Duterte said in defiance of American intervention? Would Grace Poe, if she had won, sound believable if she asserted Philippine sovereignty in the face of criticism coming from America considering that, as an adult, she chose American citizenship over Filipino citizenship?
Duterte’s refusal to behave like a brown slave begging for crumbs from his white master should please people who fancy themselves progressives / liberals / leftists but they are silent on this particular issue. At least one faction is too busy rubbing elbows with Vice President Leni Robredo. Praising Duterte, even in instances where it is deserved, just won’t look good when the lone agendum is to boot him out and install Robredo, Cory Aquino-style if legal measures like impeachment aren’t practicable.
From the oral arguments in the Supreme Court relative to the petitions to block the burial of Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani:
Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio is convinced, Marcos is not qualified since he was “dishonorably separated” as a President and “dishonorably discharged” as a Commander-in-Chief.
A regulation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines expressly states that personnel who were dishonorably separated or discharged form service are not qualified to be interred at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Carpio relates this to the case of Marcos. He explained, Marcos was ousted from office and was removed as the Commander-in-Chief in 1986 Edsa Revolution.
If Justice Carpio said those things as a private citizen, I’d say, “Nice political argument, Sir” (he was my professor in Credit Transactions and, by force of habit, I still call him “Sir”). If we were on the streets, or if we were talking politics over beer or wine, an argument like that would probably spawn even more political arguments and a lively, albeit heated, debate would ensue.
But Justice Carpio is a lawyer and he made those statements in his capacity as justice of the Supreme Court during oral arguments before the Supreme Court itself. Under such circumstances, Justice Carpio’s political argument is out of place. Only legal arguments are acceptable.
Was Marcos “dishonorably discharged” as commander-in-chief?
How do a bunch of businessmen sell their product? By creating a demand, of course. Following that philosophy, the Ocean Spray cranberry growers cooperative created a drink called Red Devil. Vodka. Martini. Lime. Whether the Red Devil is the direct ancestor of Cape Codder seems unclear.
What is crystal clear, however, is that Cape Codder is a delicious drink. The amount of alcohol can be modified to make it less inebriating. The cranberry juice hides the taste of cheap vodka. Lime juice adds a wonderful freshness.
Four petitions have been filed to prevent the burial of Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. The Solicitor General invoked AFP Regulations G 161-375 to counter the arguments in the first three petitions — a move that is both expected and predictable.
The fourth petition bases its arguments on RA No. 289 (An Act Providing for the Construction of a National Pantheon for Presidents of the Philippines, National Heroes and Patriots of the Country).
The Solicitor General’s position:
The OSG comment, meantime, pointed out petitioners are proceeding from a “wrong premise;” the OSG argued that the Libingan is not the National Pantheon referred to under RA No. 289.
The OSG insists that there exists no National Pantheon to this day since it was supposed to be erected at East Avenue in Quezon City by virtue of Proclamation No. 431 issued by President Elpidio Quirino on December 23, 1953, which failed to materialize.
That, I think, is an off-tangent position. Proclamation No. 431 merely alloted a parcel of land to implement the provisions of RA 289. It is a presidential proclamation which does NOT have the force of law. The fact that said allotted land was never used for the purpose did NOT have the effect of amending nor repealing RA No. 289.
The significance of this post won’t be apparent unless you read the previous one — the one about school pride and how the mediocre will use his status as alumnus of a prestigious school, and the connections he gained in that school, in order to make it big.
Well, it appears that there is a study that supports my observation. I was browsing and I came across an article on IFLScience about how humans have been evolving (I’d use the word “mutating” which is really more accurate but that will make us humans sound like bacteria). One of the ways by which humans has evolved has to do with the shrinking brain. Yep, the Cro-Magnon man had a bigger brain.
That does mean people are getting dumber and dumber, and the dumbing down is inevitable?