I am a raving maniac, I know. Which kind of conceals the fact that I have really nothing to say or account for the past few days except another series of drunkenness that I deserve a permanent stamp on the forehead that screams: Alcoholic Synonymous! Let us survey the assorted poison I’ve been gargling: weng-weng, check. The ever staple beer, check. Jägermeister, check. Now that’s premature fogeyness for you. And that’s how I spent much of the past few days. This week, I’d hit the pool, swim the toxins off until my lungs burst, go into a perverse vegan diet, jog around the flat. No wait, let me check that: wedge the iPod into my ears, yank the volume all the way up, hold the iPod arm length and dance like a hormonally crazed rhino charging around randomly in nothing but white briefs. Someone kick me in the face. Or in my shins.
Monthly Archives: May 2009
He negotiates the orphaned parking lot in casual, oblivious strides. It just rained that afternoon and the mood is somehow mild — flanked by gloom and temperance. A faint howl of diminishing wind echoes across skyscrapers and dampness brushes his cheeks. He is neither cold nor warm, he is sure of it, which is both a surprise and vaguely familiar. That kind of sensation. The grass still shivers from the downpour and he notices the gleam of ecstasy from every blade. They seem to fluctuate in elated sways — perhaps in celebration of deliverance from the curious rage of sweltering summer. He notices things like that. No matter how unmindful he appears, casually walking in an abandoned parking lot, he never fails to notice. There were puddles. Seven, to be exact. He counts puddles as a matter of habit. There is no significant reason or neuroses to justify, he just counts puddles because there seems to be a perverted jot into this bizarre habit. He dares not disturb any of these miniature lakes — for he is gripped with alternating waves of awe, wonder and respect for nature’s ability to reinvent itself: puddles are miniature lagoons — a miracle, really — that chose to build a provisional home in a fragment of space and transience of time. This, he understands. He is then gushed with indulgence and a smile races across his mind. Moreover, he knows that puddles are celestial mirrors. They contain secrets revealed in a flash, soon to be soaked into secrecy by the hunger of loam and sand. So he is grateful to notice these common marvels. For these puddles make him remember those eyes. Little ponds he can drown in.
May 23, 2009
Dear James J. Crist,
It seems to me that whenever I stumble into something really amazing, the minute I touch it, it dissolves into oblivion. Nothing but a faint aftertaste is left. Testament of how ephemeral things and people really are.
The Struggling Dweeb
I think I might have really forgotten how it feels to pine for affection. What must I do?
1. For someone who has not read the book, I find Angels and Demons quite entertaining, what with its breakneck speed and rich production values. This then forces me to grab the book and read it, for I heard there were a couple of subplots which were overlooked by the director. Nevertheless, this latest Dan Brown-inspired religious action thriller (three genres you don’t usually see together) is nail-biting and entertaining altogether.
2. It’s a harmless entertainment which hardly affects the genius and mystery of Christianity — less bashing of the church.
3. Where Angels and Demons succeeds is in its sequences of violence, disturbing images, awesome backdrop and celestial speed. With much of the story set in Vatican City, we get to see the intricate architecture of the churches, which massively promotes Rome. Meanwhile, the acting and some of the effects come so fast that if you take a pee, you may miss a murder.
4. Anyone can fly a helicopter.
5. Ewan McGregor’s performance here is probably one of the highlights in this film. He brilliantly chews up every scene he is in as Camerlengo Patrick McKenna who is temporarily manning the Papal office while the cardinals are in the conclave.
6. The church was not portrayed as anti-science at all. In fact, Galileo would have been really happy about the establishment of the Vatican Observatory.
7. There were a couple of heavy philosophical exchanges along the way, including the big one, “Do you believe in God?” posed by the Camerlengo to Langdon. The professor quickly replies that the existence of God is beyond his mind to determine. “And your heart?” asks the priest. “My heart is not worthy.” Ron Howard does an even-handed job of balancing the scale.
8. The room which holds the antimatter was totally unguarded, making it easy for the assassin to break in by stealing someone’s eyeball to get past the retinal scanner.
9. Vittoria Vetra’s purposes are: (1) to explain that the battery will indeed run down, (2) to request her father’s secret journals from Geneva, although they were never actually read, and (3) to run along everywhere with Tom Hanks, to bore us with urgent conversations.
10. That’s a lame way of suicide. Come on, you could do better than that.
I am having a hard time starting to state my views on the topic that has generated an ever widening gap of opinions on the relevance or should it be the insignificance of Dan Brown’s fictional account of the life of Jesus and the atrocious side of it in his Da Vinci Code.
I don’t want to go to the extreme of backlashing Dan Brown or his book for being a threat to people’s faith or for causing such hype and religious pandemonium that characterized our present day and gradually heightened on the account of the Da Vinci Code movie. I haven’t seen the movie yet but I have read the book, viewed several documentaries and was able to browse through some apologetics written on it. And I must say, it was rather interesting.
The controversy has never caught me offguard. The reality that Brown has never misrepresented his book as fact should not have alarmed the religious community. Second, true that some archaic documents helped Brown weave his story on a very contentious plot, the Gospel of Judas was never considered a canon scripture and is fictitious in itself, a product of second century Gnosticism. That and many other Gnostic writings can never outweigh the overwhelming evidence of thousand manuscripts that support the canon scripture. So personally, I’m still wondering why such fuss.
On the other hand, I am not altogether discrediting Brown and his literary work; in fact it has shed some light on important historical issues that ever shrouded the Gnostics. The Da Vinci Code is a perfect archetype of the Gnostic thought. The Gnostics are a socio-religious group that thrives on self-made realities embedded in their future archives. From the Greek ‘gnosis’ which means knowledge, they claim to possess this ‘secret knowledge’ that sets them apart from the uninitiated having received greater light that made them superior than the inept. They are the forerunner of the Knights Templar, the Rosicrucian and many other clandestine societies including the present day Freemasonry. A scarlet thread runs though these organizations along with their vows of secrecy — the ‘light’ that they all claim to possess.
Another quite interesting point is the allusion to the lost grail. A subject that has been hinted in Gnostic texts, chronicled in legendary journey by the Templars and ritualized by the Masons and add to that the secret society mentioned by Brown membered by prominent persons like Da Vinci and others.
So what have we got here? I believe, that more than the publicity the Da Vinci Code is getting and the festive appeal of its religious facade is the ‘light’ — the knowledge that all other modern day Gnostics share, the neo-pagans and the start of the Great Initiation. The wait is not that long, it was a tedious effort, subtle and shrewdly planned not just for years but for centuries. The Da Vinci Code could be that catalyst the age-old Gnosticism waits — the answer that lies beyond the light.
Instead of one, I have two toothbrushes occupying the opposite holes in the toothbrush canister like a quarreling couple giving each other a cold silent treatment. And what’s more odd is the fact that I only use the one with blue-tipped bristles, so far, absolutely rendering the other (magenta-bristled) a disgraceful virgin in the gum-rubbing department.
I have no personal distaste or aversion towards purplish hues. It just doesn’t strike me on purely aesthetic level, that purple color. I figure the two brushes were packaged as “his and hers” for the price of one. Since I am a bonafide el cheapo who is too goshdarn lazy to rummage around the grocery for the dental hygiene rack containing toothbrushes packed in singles, I allowed myself to be lured by the promise of saving and discount — virtues that have no perceptible effect whatsoever to people like me who are full-blown morons in budgeting and financial proficiency. One of my heedlessly adopted principle is best summed by credito ergo sum. I spend therefore I am. Misers can just go and stuff their prudent throats with bland oatmeal for life while I munch on Frito Lays and other junk.
So there. That pretty much explains why I end up — and now stuck — with two toothbrushes occupying the opposite holes of the canister. The canister was designed to hold four toothbrushes. It’s made of translucent plastic in vivid blue — a striking color balancing the tightrope between vermilion and cyan — that appeals to design-savvy freaks like me.
“Like a swatch from a Van Gogh canvass!” I’d describe to anyone willing to listen, thereby announcing to the entire blogging universe my shameless and irredeemable geekness.
If I, ahem, allow my self-neurosis to reign supreme I’d admit to having peculiar thoughts that the Violet-Bristled Brush may be feeling neglected and awfully lonely. Maybe in the middle of the night, the two brushes would have conversations, where Violet Bristle would break into devastated sobs and Blue Bristle will come quick with consoling encouragement that a time will come when I, the pathologically callously irresponsible owner, will pick Violet Bristle and finally initiate its immaculate quills to the rancid decay swelling in between my teeth.
“I hope so, too.” Violet Bristle nods in dreamy assent, braving a smile and wiping snot off its imaginary nose. Then it brightly tells Blue Bristle, “but that would be the day when you’re worn and rendered pathetically useless.”
It’s safe to bet Blue Bristle is sore. Annoyed, scared and worried.
But above all, very sore.