Thursday, August 31, 2006

Comic relief

For some reason, I've been attending meetings for most of the week, and they've eaten up most of my time at the office. I don't have a particularly averse reaction to meetings, especially since I feel that, for the most part, I'm able to contribute positively to the gatherings. Also, there's a good chance that lunch will be free, or at least that I would be fed.

There's this one meeting, however, where I don't really contribute much: the weekly web production meeting, a sort of story conference for the websites we maintain. Most of the matters in the meeting really do not involve me, and I have a couple of theories as to why they keep me around:

1. They'd like to have a guy, any guy, around.

See, our office is organized like high school: all the guys sit in the same section and hang out and play basketball and DoTA together, while the girls (and the effeminate guys) work in another section and hang out and gossip in the afternoons.

(Also, like in high school, meron ding mga guys na palaging basted. But that's neither here nor there.)

Anyway, because the web team is divided into content people (mostly girls) and tech people (guys), and because I'm part of both the content and tech teams, I end up being the only guy during production meetings for web content.

2. I'm there for comic relief.

For example, our team leader was discussing today's visit to the set of the TV show Pinakamamahal, and the conversation goes:

Team Leader 1: "Saan ba ang set visit niyo bukas?"

Team Member 1: "Sa Olivarez Hospital, sa Paranaque."

Team Leader 1: "Ha? Ang layo naman. Wala bang mas malapit?"

Me: "Meron, sa Capitol Medical Center. Kaya lang walang shooting dun."

And then later, we (actually, they) were discussing stories for next week, to highlight the premiere of the movie Eternity:

Team Leader 1: "So, ano kaya ang pwede nating i-highlight this week?"

Team Member 2: "Well, last week we already ran 'Eternally Iza' (a feature on Iza Calzado about Eternity), and then next week we can use the story on Dingdong."

Me: "Ah, ayun na lang ang gamitin natin. 'Eternally Dingdong'."

And finally, we (again, they) were talking about some of the manpower requirements of the team, and the need to hire more experienced content managers because of growing responsibilities:

Other Team Members: "So what exactly are we looking for?"

Me: "Someone smart ..."

Team Leader 2: "... with experience in feature and lifestyle writing..."

Team Leader 1: "... and with about a couple of years experience in web stuff..."

Me: "... single, cute, chinita, dimples preferred but not really required ..."


Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Your Unconscious Mind Is Most Driven by Imagination.

You have a deep desire to use ideas to change the world around you. This drive influences you far more than you may realise on a conscious level. You love to brainstorm and imagine new possibilities. The world is a fuller, richer place because you can contribute new ideas to any experience.

Your natural curiosity inspires those around you and encourages them to come up with ideas they wouldn't have discovered without your help. Your psyche is very rich; the more you learn about it, the more you will understand who you really are...

Tickle's Original Inkblot Test


Monday, August 28, 2006

Play me a song to set me free

This page,, has posted download links for all Belle & Sebastian albums, from their 1996 debut Tigermilk to their latest effort, The Life Pursuit, which I'd been listening to all day. I don't think it's as good overall as their last LP (Dear Catastrophe Waitress), but a couple of songs are just pure pop perfection.

Belle & Sebastian make me happy.

You’re my picture on the wall
You’re my vision in the hall
You’re the one I’m talking to
When I get in from my work

You are my girl, and you don’t even know it
I am livin out the life of a poet
I am the jester in the ancient court
You’re the funny little frog in my throat

I had a conversation with you at night
It’s a little one sided but that’s allright
I tell you in the kitchen about my day
You sit on the bed in the dark changing places
With the ghost that was there before you came
You’ve come to save my life again

I don’t dare to touch your hand
I don’t dare to think of you
In a physical way
And I don’t know how you smell
You are the cover of my magazine
You’re my fashion tip, a living museum
I’d pay to visit you on rainy Sundays
I’ll maybe tell you all about it someday


Sunday, August 27, 2006


"Participate joyfully in the sorrows of life," wrote the philosopher Joseph Campbell, echoing Buddhist teachings about recognizing the hardships in life, and embracing them. He explains:

People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.

This only goes to show that you need to cherish each and every experience, even those that leave you with something as awful as a broken heart. The short period when you allow yourself to wallow in your misery is the time when you embrace life in your tightest embrace. So you can go ahead, you can be sad because you're sad, you can put Sugarfree songs on repeat, you can hurt, until you don't hurt anymore, and you're able to put things back together, and even be able to love again.

Just don't forget to finish the reaction papers for your entrepreneurship class. They're forty per cent of the final grade.


High fidelity

The other night, my officemate Jill and I were playing this game, where we picked from a deck of cards with questions written at the back, questions like "What is your favorite childhood memory?" etc., and we had to tell each other our answers. Anyway, I got a card that asked "If you were to play a role in a movie, what role would that be?" And I figured that since High Fidelity is my favorite movie and my favorite book, and John Cusack is my favorite actor, I'd like to play Rob.

(When I mentioned this to Jill, she told me she didn't remember much about the film, because it was an old movie; it's hard to argue with her, because it came out when she was a high school junior.)

Anyway, Roger Ebert wrote about the character in his review:

Rob is the movie's narrator, guiding us through his world, talking directly to the camera, soliloquizing on his plight--which is that he seems unable to connect permanently with a girl, maybe because his attention is elsewhere. But on what? He isn't obsessed with his business, he isn't as crazy about music as Dick and Barry, and he isn't thinking about his next girl--he's usually moping about the last one. He seems stuck in the role of rejected lover and never likes a girl quite as much when she's with him as after she's left.

Sounds about right.


That celebrity look-alikes thing

Johnny Depp amp...

Saturday, August 26, 2006


I'd like to get up at 6 in the morning, even though I don't have to be at the office until 11, and I've only had three hours of sleep, just so I could call and wake you up because you've got this meeting at 9 that you just can't miss, and you need at least a couple of hours doing God knows what.

I'd like to hear you calling me an idiot because I still watch wrestling.

I'd like to survive a nervous breakdown when your father locks me in a deathgrip of a handshake before staring me down as I meet him for the first time.

I'd like to stand around carrying your shopping bags as you try to pick between two pairs of shoes, even as you decide, after hemming and hawing for two hours, to get both pairs anyway.

I'd like that hard, painful smack at my shoulder that you'd give me after I'd make a dirty joke.

I'd like to have that big fight with you, the one that happens at that time of the month, the one that you'd pick with me even if I weren't doing anything, and were in fact being nice, the one *I* would be grovelling about over the phone a day later, even if *you* were the one acting like a person medical experts would call "an absolute fucking lunatic".

I'd like to be there when you don't feel like talking.

I'd like to spend Saturday afternoons with you watching DVD marathons, even we end up watching that godawful "Grey's Anatomy" show, even if you'd just ogle McDreamy while trying to ignore me as I repeat stupid lines like, "I don't love you for who you are. ... I love you for who you're not."

I'd like to hear you whining about how I watch too much basketball.

I'd like to get that text message from you telling me that something came up and you couldn't make it to our date for Spider-man 3, just so I can pretend to be pissed and you'd have to send me those sweet, dopey text messages for the next couple of hours.


Danger zone

There are a bunch of goodies over at The A.V. Club this week, including the first part of an interview with the great Conan O'Brien, and a short feature on the best seasons of some of our favorite TV shows.

The funniest thing on the site though is this week's Random Rules, a section where actors and musicians put their iPods on random and tell The A.V. Club about the songs that come up. Anyway, most of the results from previous issues were boring, with embarrassing songs rarely coming up. But this week's, featuring the bass player from We Are Scientists, is just golden:

Kenny Loggins, "Danger Zone"

CC: And we were just talking about Berlin! I do listen to the Top Gun soundtrack with some frequency. Well, I throw it on at parties. I think it's good, but this song, "Danger Zone," is a legitimately churning rocker. I only recently realized that he says "Highway to the danger zone." For the longest time, I thought he said, "Highway Cougar danger zone," like the character in the movie, Cougar. Although I found this to be a very clumsy lyric. I always assumed that the song was basically written for the movie. I also simultaneously was like, "Jesus, couldn't you have done a little better than that? Why is he talking about Cougar, a tertiary character?" He's in the thing for about five minutes, and he's out of the film.

Labels: ,

Friday, August 25, 2006

We'll always have Paris

It's all in my mind, but today feels like Bogey at the end of that movie.

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 24, 2006

. . .

Maybe not everything is supposed to last forever. Certain things are like, like sky writing, like a really beautiful thing that lasts for a couple moments and then - you know?

[. . .]

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Laughter and forgetting

In light of the Reuters controversy a couple of weeks ago over doctored photos from the conflict in Lebanon, CNET News is running a gallery of some of the most remarkable doctored photographs over the years.

It's all very interesting, but this particular slide struck me because it contains the photos Milan Kundera described in his Book of Laughter and Forgetting.


Monday, August 14, 2006

Tama nAPO, please lang

I'm sorry it has to come to this, but... don't believe what Jem says (I mean, c'mon, he likes Kitchie and Barbie :p hehe, peace Jem!); but still, there's no two-ways about it: the Apo tribute album stinks.

The whole album just doesn't feel well-thought out, when it comes to the song selections for the artists. The Sandwich song starts out well but turns into a total trainwreck. They wasted Kamikazee on "Doo Bidoo" instead of a song they could punkify and totally run away with, like "Blue Jeans" or "Mahirap Magmahal ng Syota ng Iba". There was an awkward duet on Sugarfree's "Batang-bata Ka Pa", while groups that had multiple vocalists, like Orange and Lemons ("Yakap sa Dilim") and Itchyworms ("Awit ng Barkada") were wasted on songs that didn't require really harmonies. Barbie turned "When I Met You" into her Close-up commercial song (not good).

The best song on the album (by a million miles) was Imago's funky, borderline-disco "Ewan". The Spongecola cover of "Nakapagtataka" sounds like one of their senti songs like "Jeepney", which is a good thing if you like that sort of stuff.

And yeah, the Top Suzara cover of Anna was good, if a little Sam Milby-ish. But if you can get past that, it's not a bad cover, much better than Nyoy Volante's from a couple of years ago.

(For my money, Top Suzara was the best OPM R&B singer-songwriter from the mid-90s; Jay Durias had nothing on the guy.)

Overall, it's a very disappointing record. You might end up liking a couple of other songs on the album, but that's only because they're good pop songs to begin with. You're better off listening to the original Apo records.


Friday, August 11, 2006

Remembering Senator Roco

I was listening to the radio in the cab on the way to work earlier, and they were talking about moves by certain groups to try to abolish the Senate. The discourse was getting more and more stupid by the minute as my mind wandered back to a series of articles I read over the week about the late Senator Raul Roco, whose first death anniversary was last weekend. And it was only then that I was able to articulate the depth of his loss to someone like me, even though I never met the man.

"The absence of his presence is everywhere," laments his widow, Sonia, admitting she sometimes feels a "tampo" at her husband for passing away so soon. "You know, there are times I'm angry at Raul. I tell him that he left me so early which others who are in their twilight years are still alive. I just realized he died so young."

In an odd way, I'm sure that the sentiment among the nation of believers go along the same way. "Lord," you could imagine them saying, "you couldn't have taken Enrile?"

I was such a Roco fan, the type who would stay up late to watch a feature on him on a late-night public affairs show, who would get up early to watch his regular segment on the Studio 23 morning show Breakfast, who would scour the online papers for articles about the man. And after these, I would even spend hours talking to my mother, who was just as big a fan as I was, about our guy.

He was witty, candid, and brilliant, and refreshingly, unapologetically so. More than that, he was often logical and learned, and he always, always brought his shit with him.

Remember the Jasmine Banal episode during the Erap impeachment trial? Conrado de Quiros re-tells it best:

A young lawyer, Jasmin Banal, who had worked in a law firm that created dummy corporations for Erap, took the stand. Miriam Defensor-Santiago tried to demolish her credibility by asking her why she transferred from that firm to another one that offered lower pay.

Santiago said: "So you made the unusual deviation from the usual career path, since you and I and all UP law graduates virtually pursue the same career path after graduation. Isn't that so? We try and get the highest salary we can get... But in your case, you transferred from a law office with a higher salary to a law office with a lower salary. Is that correct?"

Banal replied, "Yes."

Santiago commented, "Remarkable."

When it was Raul's turn, he had this dialogue with Banal:

Raul: "We in San Beda Law, we were taught that law is a noble profession, it is not a business. Am I right to assume that you in UP Law were taught the same thing?"

Banal: "Yes, Your Honor."

Raul: "What is written on the UP Law School, engraved in stone?"

Banal: "The business of a law school is not to teach law but to teach law in the grand manner."

Raul: "We are brothers and sisters in the profession, we should always be motivated by a sense of idealism. Is this correct?"

Banal: "Yes, Your Honor."

Raul: "So when you transfer from a higher-paying job to a lower-paying job, that is not necessarily an erroneous career decision? In fact, it could be motivated by a sense of idealism?"

Banal: "Yes, Your Honor."

Raul: "Yes. I thought that should be elicited because I was surprised to learn that the usual career path of lawyers is going from lower-paying jobs to higher-paying jobs."

There's also this old story that never became popular but struck me. During the 1998 elections, Roco attended a forum sponsored by Coalition of Humanist Lesbians and Gays, and Danton Remoto related how Roco charmed the whole organization:

J. Neil C. Garcia, my co-editor in the Ladlad series of gay anthologies and a UP professor, came with knives drawn. He asked the senator one theoretical and two hypothetical questions.

The first is about the nature-nurture debate on the origins of homosexuality. The senator said he would rather focus on specific issues like the non-promotion and discrimination against homosexuals at schools and in the workplace.

The first hypothetical question was: If you have a gay son and he tells you he wants to live in with another man, what will you do?

The senator said if his son is 23 years old, he can do what he wants to do with his life.

The second question was: Will you allow your campaign manager, assuming he is gay, to bring along his lover to your banquet, assuming you will win?

The senator answered that if his campaign manager has a gay lover, the lover would have campaigned for him, and he is certainly welcome to the banquet.

In another column, written by Remoto last year after Roco passed away, he added:

Schooled in English literature and the labyrinths of law, Raul Roco knew the social and political movements of the 1960s – the ones that liberated the blacks, women, gays, lesbians and nations. He knew about feminism, for wasn’t he called an "honorary woman" in Congress for shepherding through the legislative mill the anti-sexual harassment and anti-rape bills? Thus, he saw LGBT rights through the lenses of human rights, the way they should be seen.

When he passed away, Edwin Lacierda, a former member of his law firm, talked about how Roco used his amazing intellect to defend our state:

On 1 December 1989, Col. Gringo Honasan launched his most deadly coup against the Aquino administration and nearly toppled her were it not for the US F-15 jets buzzing over Malacañang airspace. I finally went to work on December 9 which I distinctly remembered was a Friday. When RSR (as the lawyers called him) came to the office, he gathered all 11 lawyers and three underbars to a conference.

It was the day after the cessation of hostilities and RSR wanted to confer emergency powers on President Aquino. And so, he ordered us all to research available Supreme Court jurisprudence on rebellion, sedition, murder, the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, martial law as well the constitutionality of granting the president emergency powers. The reason why I knew December 9 was a Friday was because we were told to work over the weekend, to submit a memorandum of law to him by Sunday. The entire law firm finished the work and came Monday, he delivered a rousing sponsorship speech granting President Aquino emergency powers.

Despite numerous queries from the Floor on its constitutionality, RSR fielded all the questions with supreme confidence and aplomb. It was as though he literally threw his whole weight on the bill itself. The solons could hardly put up a decent opposition. The bill passed the House and eventually, it became known as the Emergency Powers Act.

And yet, it wasn't just about "serious" stuff. Roco always came off as a person who was passionate about knowledge.

JJ Disini passes along this anecdote of a very senior partner at a major law firm. The senior partner has a very unconventional approach towards interviewing new lawyers, having figured that the applicant was probably qualified to work for the firm if he made it all the way to the senior partner's office.

So he ends up playing a game with the applicant, where the applicant has to ask the senior partner a question in a field of the applicant's choice. If the senior partner answers correctly, he gets to ask the question correctly, and so it goes as they try to stump each other.

Anyway, when it was Roco's turn for the interview, he chose English Literature as his field, and quoted a line from TS Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. The senior partner answered accurately, but had a question:

SP: "Wait a minute. You said English literature. T.S. Eliot, that is, Thomas Stearns Eliot was an American, wasn't he?"

Roco: "True. Born in St. Louis, Missouri."

SP: "So it's American literature."

Roco: "No. He immigrated to Great Britain in the '20s and became a British citizen."

SP: "But he was an American when he wrote Prufrock."

Roco: "And a British subject when he won the Nobel Prize."

The Senator ran on an agenda of hope, and for his followers, he epitomized the very idea.

His was the hope we all shared for the nation. Not only was he a brilliant and articulate leader who could inspire people, he was also honest, decent, and had the best interests of the nation in heart. But more than these, he had faith in us as a people, a faith in what we could become and in what we are capable of.

And his faith and his example extends to the hope he casts for us as individuals as well. Raul Roco who never apologized for his talents, his passions, his principles, or his ideals. His was an example of what each of us can become, if we held life in an embrace as tight as he had.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Shot through the heart, and you're to blame... darlin' you give love a bad name!

Walang judge-an ha? Aaminin ko na, dahil lalabas din naman 'to sa Last.FM chart sa kanan.

Masaya ang araw ko dahil dito.

I'll hold you... I'll need you... I'd get down on my knees for you... and make everything all right, if you were in these arms

Ayus, beer na lang ang kulang.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Nakita ko yung poster para sa Showgirls concert ni Vina Morales, tapos wala lang, randomly lang, bigla kong naisip: magugulat ka ba kung biglang i-reveal na merong etits si Vina Morales?

Ako rin, hinde.

Nung isang linggo, nagising ako nang maaga, kaya binuksan ko na lang yung TV. Nanood ako ng Cinema One, kung saan palabas ang isang lumang pelikula ni Joey Marquez (hindi 'Bikining Itim', hindi rin 'Flavor of the Month'... napanood ko na yung mga yun eh).

Merong eksena na binobosohan ni Joey Marquez at ng mga kasama niya (sina Smokey Manaloto, Chinkee Tan, etc.) si Sylvia Sanchez, na naka-bukaka habang nakahilata sa sofa at nagbabasa ng magazine.

Maya-maya, napansin ni Sylvia Sanchez yung mga lalake, pero dedma lang siya. Enjoy siguro sa pagkaka-hilata. Maya-maya pa ulit, napansin niya na andun pa rin yung mga lalake, kaya sinigawan niya ang mga 'to, "Huy, hindi pa ba kayo nagsasawa sa kakatingin diyan."

Nagulat yung mga lalake, tapos nag-tinginan sila, tapos sabay-sabay nilang sinabi, "Hindi pa!"

Tapos tuloy lang sila sa pamboboso.


Monday, August 07, 2006

Book club

This past couple of days happened to be UPCAT weekend, and I had the good fortune of staying home and sleeping for most of it. Perhaps, for reasons I outlined in my previous post, I also am almost through with Azar Nafisi's "Reading Lolita in Tehran," a book about a person whose life has been touched by fiction perhaps much more so than I could imagine.

Nafisi writes about her experiences in Iran as the totalitarian regime gains power and becomes increasingly oppressive towards women. After teaching literature for different universities in Tehran, she picks seven of her students to come visit her at her home every Thursday to talk about forbidden Western books. Their little book club becomes a place not only where they could "shed their mandatory veils and robes and burst into color," but where, for several hours, they could escape reality. This escape relates not only to the government intervention in their lives, but also to each woman's innermost fears, insecurities, and emotional scars.

In the first page of the book, Nafisi repeats a warning to her students, "Do not, under any circumstances, belittle a work of fiction by trying to turn it into a carbon copy of real life; what we search for in fiction is not so much reality but the epiphany of truth."

And yet she proceeds through an erudite discussion of some of the canons of Western literature, Fitzgerald's "Great Gatsby", Austen's "Pride and Prejudice", James's "Daisy Miller", and of course, Nabokov's "Lolita", all of which are framed against the backdrop of Tehran during the Islamic revolution. Or it might be just as accurate to describe the book as her writing about being a woman of letters in a country that has just transformed itself into a dangerous place for someone like that, using fiction to amplify the intimacy of her experiences to her readers.

It works both ways. Part of the joy of reading the book is the perspective she gives on her discussion of Lolita and the other books. She makes careful note, once again, of how the novel exists in a whole other world:

A novel is not an allegory, I said as the period was about to come to an end. It is the sensual experience of another world. If you don't enter that world, hold your breath with the characters and become involved in their destiny, you won't be able to empthaize, and empathy is at the heart of the novel. This is how you read a novel: you inhale the experience. So start breathing. I just want you to remember this. That is all; class dismissed.

She is, however, able to draw similarities to relate to her personal circumstances, adding a depth that makes one want to pick up the books again to see what we had missed.

(Now I need to call up my friend who'd had my copy of Lolita since December. I hope she hasn't lost it.)

And then there's the story of Nafisi and her girls. They relate to the "desperate truth of Lolita's story" because they face a desperate truth everyday. Upon her return to Iran, she finds a country willing to accept only a narrow morality. She joins ultimately fruitless protests against requirements for women to wear veils in public, seeing this as a threat to her individuality as a women. Her girls go through the same ordeals, such as humiliating virginity tests and living their public lives devoid of some of the simplest joys, such as holding hands with another man.

But more than these shared experiences, it is the act of reading and discussing the literature that brings the women together. It is this "sensual experience of another world" that allows the women to imagine, to breathe, to be able to survive the insanity the world throws at them, and to display their remarkable strength. And I guess this is why, despite all of the terrible things they have to go through, the book is inspiring and never depressing, hopeful and never desperate.


Friday, August 04, 2006

Detective story

Last weekend, I finished reading Michael Chabon's "The Final Solution", a book I bought almost as a whim. I've written about Chabon a bunch of times before, he's one of my favorite authors, and the book was the last novel of his that I didn't have yet (now the only Chabon book that's missing from my collection is his anthology "A Model World and Other Stories").

I hadn't been reading much since school started. In fact, the last book I finished was Chabon's brilliant sophomore effort, "Wonderboys", the book that was turned into that Michael Douglas movie, and that was back in June. But "The Final Solution" was short enough, and (as his work goes) beautifully-written enough, that I just had to dig in.

The novella is set in England during World War II, in a town just outside London. The story centers around a cranky old man who used to be famous all over Europe for his detective skills, and a mute Jewish boy, a refugee from Austria, whose only friend in the world is a mysterious North African parrot who blurts out mysterious numbers in German. The parrot disappears, and the old man springs back to action to reunite the boy with the last trace of his old life.

The old man, although he remains nameless in the story, is of course the great Sherlock Holmes. The portrait Chabon paints of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous sleuth reminds me of another famous detective, Frank Miller's aged Bruce Wayne in "The Dark Knight Returns". Both have grown to become bitter old men, exhausted of battling their demons, as greatness has passed them by and new eras dawn upon them.

As fans and critics have noted about his stories, Chabon loves his characters, sometimes a little too much, and he always gives them a last chance at redemption. And so, Sherlock's final adventure ends with a touch of tenderness.

Even though the story wasn't as brilliant, as intimate, or as grand as his other work, it resonated with me because some of the first books I ever read were Sherlock Holmes anthologies. I've remained a casual fan over the years, delving more into the Sherlock mythology (he's a crack user!) and even taking a lot of interest in other similar literature from the same era, such as Maurice LeBlanc's French gentleman thief Arsene Lupin.

Stealing away for several hours made me realize how much I miss reading great books and losing my way inside them. It reminds me of what I wrote about Chabon's best book, "The Amazing Adventure of Kavalier and Clay", about a year ago.

I was struck by how much reading a wonderful book is rather like falling in love with a beautiful girl. You can't get enough, and you know inevitably that somewhere along the way you're going to get your heart broken, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, but whether it ends well or it ends badly, you know it's going to stay with you for quite some time, and you could only be so lucky.



Some time last year,'s NBA draft guru Chad Ford surprised his readers with an announcement that he would be reducing his contributions to the site, as he was taking a position at BYU-Hawaii to teach conflict resolution. Thanks to True Hoop's Henry Abbott, I came across a piece written by Ford about a program that is trying to build relationships between Israeli and Palestinian kids through basketball. While the story was written even before the start of the recent conflict between Israel and Lebanon, it resonates even deeper today after what we've seen the past few weeks. The depictions are both sad and hopeful, talking about the camaraderie the kids develop as they take to the court, and the way their differences are highlighted once they spend time off of it, such as when they attend a live basketball game and the chants from the Israeli sports fans send chills down the spines of the Palestinian kids.

Nations use sports in an effort to prove their strength both to other nations and to their own citizens.

Such zeal can look harmless when you belong to the dominant group. But from the nervous looks Khaled keeps shooting the Maccabi fans, it's clear the Israel-flag-waving zealots on the sideline also can evoke fear.

When the Israeli national anthem begins playing, Pini and the other three Israelis quickly get to their feet and stand at attention. Khaled and his Palestinian friends hesitate. To Khaled and many Palestinians, Israel is an occupying force that has stolen their land and oppressed their people. Do they stand? After a moment of hesitation, Khaled rises from his chair and his teammates follow. His smile is crooked, though. Sweat runs down his forehead. Peacebuilding isn't easy.

Also, the current most poopular article over at Reddit is an essay by Jordan's King Abdullah bin Al-Hussein from 1947, six months before the Arab-Israeli war. It is a fascinating read, as it outlines the Arab perspective towards the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and the attitude of Arabs towards Jews: one that is not borne out of a deep-seated hatred, but rather a pragmatism to protect their living. I'm not sure it's the same attitude that persists now.

Our position is so simple and natural that we are amazed it should even be questioned. It is exactly the same position you in America take in regard to the unhappy European Jews. You are sorry for them, but you do not want them in your country.

We do not want them in ours, either. Not because they are Jews, but because they are foreigners. We would not want hundreds of thousands of foreigners in our country, be they Englishmen or Norwegians or Brazilians or whatever.

Think for a moment: In the last 25 years we have had one third of our entire population forced upon us. In America that would be the equivalent of 45,000,000 complete strangers admitted to your country, over your violent protest, since 1921. How would you have reacted to that?

Labels: ,


Weekly Top Artists - Powered by Last.FM

Subscribe to this blog

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Powered by Blogger

Listed on BlogShares

Pisay 98 Blog
Pisay 98 Website
Pisay 98 Message Boards

Bookish Bimbo
Brooding Pit
cartwheels seven times around the oval
The Ergonomic Quotient
Fire Light Song
For the Mail!
Garden Fresh
I'm ur pAL!!!
the jembunao experience
life, the universe, and everything
The Mighty Dacs
Pro Gamer to Programmer
Purple World
The Raven and the Stormcrow
The sad success story of the corporate slave
Sakura Mind Speaks
Si Yayan, Si Michel at ang Diwata
Sixteenth Floor
Verbal Diarrhea
The Wandering Geek
Whatever You
The Unbearable Lightness of Being Me

502 Bad Gateway
Across the Green Plains
ako? ako. ako. lagi na lang ako...
Anime West
The Buckfutter Blog
Contrast Medium
Locoflip's Xanga Site
Gaming Nookie
getting by...
Just The Type 2 Have 1
life of a kkmonster
the keep
Lock and Load
Memories From Dinner Last Night
Mic Olivares' Blog
Morning Has Broken
Princess Toni's Enchanted Forest
Random Thoughts
So Lovely
Think, Pats! Think!!

The story so far

September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from jtordecilla. Make your own badge here.

Instant Pancit Canton
The Prose Portal

A Dose Of Cynicism
Adventures in TV Land
Delusions of Grandeur
first draft
Freedom Sessions
Karmic Backstab
Perpetual Paranoia
Project Manila
Sky of Words
Small Furry Alien
walanjo ka daril!

100 tears away
55 Words (and more)
Blogging from the UAE
Car Driver
Chaos Theory
Ederic @ Cyberspace
Howie Severino's Sidetrip
The Life of an Earthbound Angel
Manuel L. Quezon III
Mimi and Karl Wedding Photography
The New Online Confessions
No White Flag
Out of Bed
Pinay by the Bay
Rebel Pixel Productions
the silpur life
the sky sweetheart
Some Kind of Wonderful
Tapuy Moments
thinking about tomorrow
The Year of the Dog Woman
Weapon of Choice

Four-point Play
The Histrionics of a Balding Drama King
i came, i saw, i blogged
intelektwal interkors
The Jason Journals
Mental Foreplay
Orange Pocket
Paperbag Writer
Renaissance Girl
Seasonal Plume
Bill Simmons
Dave Barry
Get Firefox!
Guardian Books
I, Cringley
Inside Hoops
Joel on Software
Lawrence Lessig
Mark Cuban
Pop Matters
Richard M. Stallman
Roger Ebert
Slam! Links
The Onion
The Onion AV Club
Wil Wheaton