Klosterman on Chinese Democracy
And Chuck does it like only he can:
Reviewing Chinese Democracy is not like reviewing music. It's more like reviewing a unicorn. Should I primarily be blown away that it exists at all? Am I supposed to compare it to conventional horses? To a rhinoceros? Does its pre-existing mythology impact its actual value, or must it be examined inside a cultural vacuum, as if this creature is no more (or less) special than the remainder of the animal kingdom? I've been thinking about this record for 15 years; during that span, I've thought about this record more than I've thought about China, and maybe as much as I've thought about the principles of democracy. This is a little like when that grizzly bear finally ate Timothy Treadwell: Intellectually, he always knew it was coming. He had to. His very existence was built around that conclusion. But you still can't psychologically prepare for the bear who eats you alive, particularly if the bear wears cornrows.
The surprise verdict? It's pretty good.
Labels: chuck klosterman, guns n roses, music
Twitter de leon
My Twitter account is barely a couple of days old, but already contains the following gems
- "astig, may stardust din pala sa makati" about 20 hours ago from mobile web
- "pag shina-shampuhan ka ba nung bading sa salon, pumipikit ka ba?" 7:20 PM Nov 26th from mobile web
There's really no good reason to follow it, but then again, you could say the same thing about this blog, right? Hehe.
Dinner last night with Mika
with a nerdy discussion of our home Internet connections, which was fitting, considering how we all met. It had been a year since we had dinner together, but it's like we didn't miss a beat when we get together. Funny how Mika would always refer to us as her "college friends", which is technically true, since we all met while we were in college anyway.
We had a couple of drinks afterwards (mostly me drinking, and them gabbing away about boys and oversharing), and we toasted to eight years of friendship. Eight years! That was a whole lifetime ago... now Richelle's a lawyer and Mika's deep into law school, so at the very least, I won't have any problem getting legal help for the slew of lawsuits that would probably come my way in the future (I'm thinking paternity suits... or estafa).
Pagkatapos naming maubusan ng kwentong tungkol sa trabaho, barkada, pamilya, gastos sa bahay, pagbili ng kotse
, at kung ano-ano pa, bigla akong tinanong ni Ais.Ais:
"Umalis ka ba sa GMA dahil sa babae?"Me:
"Huh? Saan mo naman napulot yan?"Ais:
"Sa blog mo. Nabasa ko."Me:
"Wala namang entry sa blog ko na tungkol sa ganyan ah."Ais:
"Eh marunong akong magbasa... between the lines."Me:
Labels: hehehe, hinde noh
Nung weekend, sa binyag ng anak ng isang common friend, nag-uusap kami ni Alekos tungkol sa Hot Fuzz
, at napunta ang usapan sa mga action movies-- yung mga action movies na pinapanood ng mga tatay at lolo namin, na kinalakihan nating lahat, na pinapanood mula pagka-musmos sa betamax hanggang sa pagtanda sa mga VHS tapes sa pag-biyahe sa bus. Kelan nga ba tumigil ang Hollywood sa pag-gawa ng mga ganitong action movies? Bourne Identity
Ilan sa mga 'fond memories' na pinag-usapan namin ni Alekos:
- Point Break:
FBI agent si Keanu Reeves, na in-infiltrate ang sindikato ni Patrick Swayze. Memorable kasi, tangina, si Keanu Reeves, FBI agent? Yung sindikato, surfer slash skydivers slash bankrobbers sila, at habang nang-ho-holdup ng bangko, suot nila ang mga maskara ng American presidents. Dito galing yung pinaka-kwelang eksena sa Hot Fuzz
- Road House:
Na-bring-up ko lang dahil hindi pa napapanood ni Alekos. Ako, na-abangan ko lang siya minsan sa Star Movies. Hayop, hindi ko kayang bigyan ng justice sa mga kwento. Panoorin nyo na lang kung makakuha kayo ng kopya - ito ang pinaka-astig na pelikula ni Patrick Swayze (higit pa sa Point Break
, o Dirty Dancing
- Under Siege:
Nung pinag-uusapan namin 'to, hindi alam ni Alekos na si Seagal yung cook sa under siege na barko. Nakakatawa kasi nagkaroon pa ng Under Siege 2
; cook pa rin siya.
- Death Wish:
Hindi ko maalala yung title nitong pelikulang 'to nung pinag-uusapan namin, pero naalala ko siya bilang yung pinakasikat na pelikula noon ni Charles Bronson. Kaya ko na-bring up dahil sa plot niya: pinatay yung asawa ni Charles Bronson, tapos ni-rape yung anak niya, kaya naging vigilante siya para maghiganti. Ang matindi dito... nagkaroon ng apat na sequel yung pelikula. Hindi kaya siya naubusan ng ipaghihiganti? Sino yung pinag-higanti niya sa part 5, yung tsimay nila?
- Executive Decision:
Eto yung Steven Seagal-Kurt Russell movie na, tangina, wala pa sa kalahati nung pelikula, namatay na si Steven Seagal. Bwiset. Sa SM ko pa naman to pinanood.
- Time Cop:
Memorable dahil may VHS nito sa dorm, tapos inulit-ulit yung pag-replay dun sa isang sex scene to the point na nasira yung part na yun nung VHS.
- Sudden Death:
Eto, sa SM ko rin pinanood. Para siyang Speed
, pero sa hockey game (at mas astig). Security guard si Van Damme sa hockey arena na nilagyan ng bomba ng mga terorista, tapos pag natapos ang laro, sasabog ang bomba. Eh na-injure yung star goalie ng home team, so kinailangan ni Van Damme na mag-goalie (bukod pa sa pag-gulpi sa mga terrorist). Tanginang yan, parang plot ng Tito, Vic and Joey movie ah.
- Iron Eagle:
Hindi ko maalala yung plot ng Iron Eagle
(sorry, Top Gun kasi ako eh
), so pinaalala sa akin ni Alekos. Basically, yung bida tinulungan ni Lou Gossett, Jr. para magnakaw ng mga Air Force fighter jets para i-rescue yung tatay niya (na nahuli ng mga terrorist sa Middle East). Ang matindi diyan, umabot pa sa part 4 ang Iron Eagle series.
Labels: actionstars, movies
Give us this day
Ran into this banner for the upcoming Pacquiao-De La Hoya fight over at Pinoy Exchange
. It leads to this microsite by Nike
, which looks awesome (but is ultimately pointless). I wish they sold posters of this.
Labels: nike, pacquiao, sports
Geek we can believe in
Chuck Norris-style riffs on Obama's geekiness
. My favorites:
- Obama called the hotline to kill Jason Todd.
- Obama played a fifteenth level elven fighter/thief/mage. And got away with it.
- Obama knows more Star Trek trivia than you ever will. He just doesn't see the need to talk about it and scare off the women.
- Obama wants to start his inaugural address with "I have come here to govern wisely and chew bubble gum."
- Obama knows that Hal Jordan is the best Green Lantern. But he'd rather hang with Kyle.
(I agree with Coates
though, he probably preferred John Stewart.)
- Obama knows that Captain America is not really dead.
(Although I think it would have been better if they said: "Obama always knew Bucky wasn't dead.")
Labels: barack obama, hehehe
The Big Twitter
Sittin next to steve nash, tryna get hi to join twitter about 7 hours ago from txt
Just saw the the great phil jackson, gave him a kiss on da cheek about 7 hours ago from txt
On my way 2 da arena. I feel like the main charachter n da movie 300 about 8 hours ago from txt
Ok, just had to post this: here's a link to Shaquille O'Neal hilarious Twitter feed
. It's really him; he got himself an account after a fake Shaq twitter came to his attention
. The impersonation was also good
, but not quite as awesome as the real thing.
It's everything you would expect from the big fella, who once gave himself the nickname Osama Bin Shaq (because he terrorized Keith Van Horn under the boards during the 2002 NBA Finals)
Labels: basketball, shaquille o'neal
Typealyzer is a tool for determining a blog's "type"
, sort of a personality test for blogs. Ran this blog through it, and got this:
The analysis indicates that the author of http://ultraelectromagneticblog.blogspot.com/ is of the type:
ESTP - The Doers [ESTP]
The active and play-ful type. They are especially attuned to people and things around them and often full of energy, talking, joking and engaging in physical out-door activities.
The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time.
I ran some of my friends' blogs, and their results seem more apt.
Labels: quizzes and memes
Isa lang yung wish ko. Siyempre, hindi siya natupad.
Anyway.Admit One anniv mamayang gabi sa Saguijo
. Nood tayo. Tabi lang ng bahay ko yun eh.
Labels: music, saguijo
When I left my old company, I asked our admin veep if I could take my phone line with me, because I'd been using it for personal stuff (heh) and I didn't want to lose the number. It wasn't a big problem for her, so I filled up the necessary paperwork and I got to keep the phone. The problem is, I don't think Smart ever did process the transfer application, so the account was never transferred to my name. Because of this, I never got the bills. But this wasn't a big problem because Smart usually called me up whenever there was a bill due, and I'd just head off to their business center to pay for the account. This had been going on for five months or so, since I left my old company.
Anyway, last Friday, they decided to cut off service because of an overdue bill, this time without notifying me. I looked around and found that they have an online portal for their subscribers, so I signed up for that, hoping that I could through that facility. I was able to get in and was able to check my bills, but I had to enroll to be able to pay online. I called up their customer service who said that for me to be able to pay the bill online, I'd have to email them my financial info etc., which misses the whole fucking point of having the online facility in the first place.
I was annoyed, but figured what the hell, I'd just swing by their business center in Ayala to pay the bill on my way home. Turns out their whole system was under maintenance and offline, so they just had everybody pay through the ATMs. The line was long, so I decided to just go home and pay through the ATM the next morning, which I did. Then I called up their customer support to inform them of the payment, but I couldn't get hold of a customer service rep. I tried all weekend, but still no answer from them. I wasn't able to talk to someone from Smart until yesterday morning, and my phone line wasn't back up till around after lunch, which really wasn't so bad.
So this long post is just my way of saying that my line was cut all weekend until mid-Monday, and that I'm not sure I got all your messages, but I remember replying to most everyone, and if I didn't, I had an excuse. Thanks to everyone who remembered.
I moved apartments a couple of weeks ago, and since the new place is much closer to work, it's been great so far. I'm sharing the place with an old buddy from GMA whose family lives in Laguna, so the apartment's all mine during weekends. The only thing is, the place is empty. I don't really have much stuff, save for a TV, a fridge, and several old monoblock chairs. My mom and my aunt kicked in a stove and a rice cooker, respectively, to the cause, but that was pretty much it. The only other furniture in use here at the ground floor is a creaky table I picked up a couple of weeks ago at Ace Hardware, and a dirty couch that the previous tenants had left.
Oh, and I have a shelf full of books. As Nick Hornby pointed out
, "For readers, a wall lined with books is as attractive as any art we could afford to put up there."
Books in the living room. I need to buy more shelves.
Actually, while I don't have a lot of stuff
, I do have a lot of crap
I'd brought in. I have this terrible habit of never throwing any stuff away, and when I moved, I kinda had to force myself to throw some of it away. So when I moved, I had boxes full of old notebooks (which contained drafts of the mushy stuff I wrote on my old blog, yuk!), old Kris Kringle presents from officemates, old ticket stubs from concerts and basketball games, tens of keychains, and lots of other crap
I would probably have no use for but still keep anyway (a stuffed penguin toy, anyone?).
The shelf in my room. A few more books, and some of my crap.
My favorite crap, off the top of my head:
- a CD rack that looks like a case of Pale Pilsen
- a letter-opener from Kenya, from Howie Severino
one Christmas, because I'd set up his blog
- a pair of decorative chopsticks from Thailand
- a water bottle labeled "Sugar Free: Sa Wakas" from the album launch of the band's first album
- a pen whose end is shaped like a hand flipping everyone off
- a mini-bar bottle of liquor from the Czech Republic (from Ellen
- a silicon cellphone holder I use to keep my house keys
- a Voodoo doll from New Orleans that a reader of my old blog had sent
According to the note, it was supposed to be a charm so that I'd finally get a girlfriend. Totally didn't work.
Labels: books, hehehe
My favorite character from one of my top-five TV shows, The West Wing
*, was Josh Lyman, the abrasive Deputy Chief of Staff in Aaron Sorkin's fictional White House **. He had a special gift for getting the dirty work done (with his fine political mind) and for pissing people off (with his cockiness and sarcasm), and his antics are among the best things about the show. The character was based on Bill Clinton's Deputy Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel.
Emanuel has been back in the spotlight for his recent appointment as President-Elect Barack Obama's White House Chief of Staff. With the announce of his second WH tour-of-duty, there have been numerous profiles detailing his colorful personality. A Salon article called Obama's Designated A--hole
painted Emmanuel as a tenacious negotiator with a proclivity for profanity. An older story noted
, "he raised millions of dollars by browbeating donors and candidates with cellphone calls that invariably ended, 'Fuck you
. I love you
Off of that alone, the television character that seems closest to Emanuel's personality wouldn't be Josh Lyman, but Entourage
super-agent Ari Gold. And it's probably not a coincidence because the character was based on real-life Hollywood super-agent Ari Emanuel--who happens to be Rahm's younger brother! Yep, Obama's new Chif of Staff is Ari's big bro ***.
Speaking of The West Wing
, the final season of the show back in 2005 experienced a revival of sorts with its focus on the elections for the new US president. The fictional campaign featured Democrat Rep. Matt Santos from Texas (Jimmy Smits), who had won a hard-earned primary against the establihment candidate (the incumbent VP), opposite Republican Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda), a moderate Senator from the west who has had a record of going against his party. Santos, the charismatic minority newcomer who ran on a message of hope, ended up winning the election.
While molding the character, the show's writers looked for a model on whom to base the character. They found a young, promising politician whose star was beginning to rise on the national scene and crafted their imaginary presidential candidate after the politician.
The politician? Barack Obama
Funny how life ended up imitating art that imitated life
* - My list, in no particular order: The West Wing
, Veronica Mars
, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
(the post-Angel years), Friends
, The Office
(I'm cheating and putting both the British and the American versions, though Tim will always be the man
** - Bradley Whitford was so good in the role that Sorkin wrote the part of Danny Tripp for Whitford in his next project, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
*** - Their eldest brother, Zeke, is one of the foremost experts in healthcare policy. Wonkette had a funny quiz about the brothers
. Can you imagine how Thanksgiving Dinner at their table must be like like?
**** - Matt Santos' White House Chief of Staff? Josh Lyman.
Labels: barack obama, politics, rahm emmanuel, television, us elections, west wing
Here's an interesting tidbit from the New Yorker's report on the Obama campaign
Obama, who is not without an ego, regarded himself as just as gifted as his top strategists in the art and practice of politics. Patrick Gaspard, the campaign's political director, said that when, in early 2007, he interviewed for a job with Obama and Plouffe, Obama said that he liked being surrounded by people who expressed strong opinions, but he also said, 'I think that I'm a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I'll tell you right now that I'm gonna think I'm a better political director than my political director.' After Obama's first debate with McCain, on September 26th, Gaspard sent him an e-mail. 'You are more clutch than Michael Jordan,' he wrote. Obama replied, 'Just give me the ball.
The piece itself is a great look at the people behind the campaign, how they matured and adjusted over the course of the campaign, and how they ultimately won the elections.
Newsweek has a much longer report, in seven parts, that came out this week. The magazine's reporters had previously negotiated for total access with the Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain campaigns with the condition that the stories wouldn't be published until after the elections.
- Part 1 - How He Did It
- Part 2 - Back from the Dead
- Part 3 - The Long Siege
- Part 4 - Going Into Battle
- Part 5 - Center Stage
- Part 6 - The Great Debates
- Part 7 - The Final Days
Haven't read all of it yet. I printed out the whole thing (22 pages in 6-point type) to read for the weekend.
Labels: barack obama, politics, us elections
Just four years ago
Via Lang Whitaker's Slam Online post about the new American president
, I came across this old feature on Barack Obama from four years ago
, in the middle of his campaign for a U.S Senate seat and months before the speech that catapulted him to political superstardom
. I was amazed at this tidbit, considering it was just four years ago:
Still loose and alert after a long day, Obama was sipping iced tea in a busy, Caribbean-themed restaurant in a small shopping center in Hyde Park. But he had already spent sixteen months running for the Senate—and seven years as a state senator—and he could ruefully sympathize with the political apathy of the average beleaguered citizen. Tonight, he had turned his cell phone off and dismissed his aides; he just wanted to get home for the bedtimes of his daughters, who are two and five. His wife, Michelle, is also a lawyer, and their daily lives are the familiar three-ring American family circus—even without the steroidal additive of Barack’s political career. Yet Barack had been reluctant to take even a semester off from teaching while campaigning, partly because he needs the income. To survive this campaign financially, the Obamas will take out a second mortgage on their apartment.
Jan Schakowsky told me about a recent visit she had made to the White House with a congressional delegation. On her way out, she said, President Bush noticed her “obama” button. “He jumped back, almost literally,” she said. “And I knew what he was thinking. So I reassured him it was Obama, with a ‘b.’ And I explained who he was. The President said, ‘Well, I don’t know him.’ So I just said, ‘You will.’ ”
Labels: barack obama
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(Sa mga Pisay 98 na makaka-relate)
Kagabi, sa Shopwise sa Pasong Tamo, habang namimili ng gamit, nakasalubong ko si... Robert Umali!
May kasama siyang babae (ewan kung girlfriend o misis niya), pero otherwise, ganung-ganun pa rin siya.
Slate calls the race for Obama
. A few moments later, Salon follows suit
After his win in Ohio, and with victories in blue states like California assured, Salon is ready to project that Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States.
As the election currently stands -- and assuming the calls on Ohio and Pennsylvania hold up -- Obama has 207 Electoral College votes, 63 short of the 270 needed for victory. But with California's 55 votes sure to follow, along with Hawaii's four votes and Washington's 11, it's now clear that Obama will get to the magic number and win the presidency.
Labels: barack obama, politics, us elections
Johnoy and Kakoy
There are at least a couple of reasons to post this cool feature on Johnoy and Kakoy
, which includes funny behind-the-scenes moments and a rare pure acoustic performance.
YM'd me a couple of minutes ago and asked me to post it. Hehehe.