Explain before you complain
King of PopKaninang umaga, sa taxi papuntang trabaho, narinig ko sa radyo na birthday ngayon ni Michael Jackson. Kahit hindi ako kasing-laking fan ni Michael Jackson katulad ng iba kong kaibigan (meron akong kabarkada na nagsuot ng MJ-style jacket with the gold trimmings nung junior prom), naalala ko na 'Thriller', sa kanyang dance beat at nakakatakot na voice-over sa huli, ang unang kantang naging paborito ko bilang bata. Well, yun at yung theme song ng Eat Bulaga.
YebaJust had the most amazing two-weekend stretches. Spent the long weekend in Baguio. Not really in the mood to write about it, but I just wanted to mark it down on the blog. JAm's got pictures.
When all words fail she speaks, her mixtape's a masterpieceIn so many ways, the Ben Folds Five is a victim of the success of "Brick." Richelle, a big fan of piano pop/rock and the person who (for some reason) made great pains to turn me on to the group, always rued the fact that no one ever listened to the rest of their songs. I only stayed away because, for the longest time, I thought that all of their songs were weepy ballads, and who wanted to listen to an album full of that?
Saving Private LohanIt seems so long ago, when you think about it, but it was only a couple of years ago when Lindsay Lohan was the hottest woman in the world. Then she hooked up with Paris and Nicole and now her career's in the toilet. The Sports Guy's latest mailbag deals with the issue:
Q: After Lindsay Lohan's second DUI with a charge of coke possession, it appears her career has spiraled down the toilet. So what's her best option? To sign the largest contract ever with Vivid Entertainment. This would be like the David Beckham effect on Americans watching soccer … except it would actually work. Porn would be mainstream, she would still be making tons of money and it would be cool for her to be going to the wild parties. This idea is too perfect to not work.
--Drew, Columbus, Ohio
SG: Hmmmm … you might be right about this. Porn actresses show up late to sets; they drink and do drugs; they dress like hookers; and they have sex with random shady people. Lohan already might be doing all those things. From a financial standpoint, she couldn't make more than a $1-2 million for a mainstream movie because she's box office poison at this point; when you think about it, Jenna Jameson makes that much money in a month. So, yeah, Lindsay might be better off emulating Jenna than Gwyneth Paltrow at this point. On the other hand, it wasn't that long ago that Angelina Jolie was making out with her brother, wearing Billy Bob Thornton's blood around her neck and dressing goth. … Now she's a respected actress who's allowed to adopt babies in various countries and even managed to steal Jennifer Aniston's husband. So you can't give up on Lindsay yet.
Just for the hell of it, here's the Sports Gal's take: "Lindsay doesn't need porn. She needs to copy what Angelina did and play a role close to herself, that's how she can turn her career around. Nobody wants to see her in a romantic comedy because she's too messed up and nobody wants to see her in a horror movie because we'd just root for her to get killed. When Angelina was struggling, she did "Girl, Interrupted" and played a mental patient with drug problems who cut herself and acted crazy. It wasn't exactly a stretch. Lindsay needs to do that, something close to home, like a promiscuous alcoholic with low self-esteem and a drug problem who likes to drive drunk, chain-smoke and pretend that her breasts aren't fake -- then, her life is turned upside down when she gets sent to jail for her 14th DUI and she ends up feuding with a group of skinhead prisoners who resent her because of her beautiful red hair, which they end up shaving before she joins a rival Kabbalah group and finds the strength to kill the Skinheads to survive. I would go see this movie, and Bill would probably go too because there would definitely be a shower scene."
Stop and smell the smokeI don't think Nick Hornby's Songbook was meant to get people to like the songs that were the topics of his essays, nor was it, I feel, intended exclusively for people who are fans of the artists that he wrote about in the book. That was the point I had been trying to get across to my officemate whose copy I'd first read, who said that she didn't finish the book because she didn't know any of the songs in it. I had since bought my own copy, and for Christmas last year, gave another copy to another friend at the office who was into loads of music as well, with hope that, since she downloaded as much music as she did, she would enjoy the collection of essays as much as I did.
"Smoke" is one of the cleverest, wisest songs about the slow death of a relationship that I know. Lots of people have assailed the thorny romantic topic of starting all over again (for example, off the top of my head, "Starting All Over Again," by Mel & Tim), and the conclusion they usually come to is that it's going to be tough, but both practicable and desirable; the heartbreaking thing about Folds's song is that it manages to simultaneously convey both the narrator's desperation and the impossibility of a happy outcome. He doesn't know about the latter, though--only Folds the songwriter, who has the benefit of music and a vantage point, can see that the relationship is doomed.
In "Smoke," the central conceit is that the relationship is a book, and so its unhappy recent history, the narrator wants to believe, can be destroyed by burning it page by page, until "all the things we've written in it never really happened." "Here's an evening dark with shame," he sings. "Throw it on the fire!" the backing vocalists tells him. "Here's the time I took the blame. (Throw it on the fire!) Here's the time we didn't speak, it seemed, for years and years..."
Wiping the slate clean is the fantasy of anyone who has ever got into a mess with a partner, and the metaphor is witty enough and rich enough to seduce us into thinking just for a moment that in this case it might be possible, but the music here, a mournful waltz, tells a different story. It doesn't sound as if the narrator's lover is terribly convinced, either. "You keep saying the past's not dead," he tells her, "Well, stop and smell the smoke." But the smoke, of course, contains precisely the opposite meaning: it's everywhere, choking them. "You keep saying... we're smoke," he concludes sadly, and we can tell that he's beginning to believe it finally; the smell of smoke, it turns out, does not symbolize hope but its opposite.
"Smoke", I think, lyrically perfect, clever and sad and neat, in a way that my friend would not credit; it's also one of the very few songs that is thoughtful about the process of love, rather than the object or the subject. And it was a constant companion during the end (the long drawn-out end) of my marriage, and it made sense then, and it still makes sense now. You can't ask much more of a song than that.
Pisay 98 Blog
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The story so farSeptember 2004