Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Gulay 37%! The end is near

Guess...that's life!

All the teachers were there and the atmosphere was one of exasperation and surrender; we’d all rather be home than be in after class meeting. Anyway, I am not complaining; I'm just describing how most teachers feel about meetings, and I know that even our boss, the principal, would rather be home than meeting us teachers, but work is job and job is work and with great power comes great head ache. Well, that's what Spiderman found out when he realized that being a superhero meant having super villain too--equalizes the odds and proved more destructive to superpowerless common folks.

Where was I?

So a lot of stuffs were discussed in the meeting about pupil’s discipline and the necessity for austerity measures because the school needs to align its resources to where it is needed the most and all that stuff that administrator talk about during faculty meetings.

The gist of the meeting was the performance rating of the last examination period. When the results were shown, I was, hmmm…not really surprised, it was an embarrassing performance for my subject Music, Arts and PE. I got a 35 something percent for my grade level and the overall performance for the school was 41% down 2 percent from last year’s. We're going down South!

One of my co-teachers for Music, who was beside during the meeting, was laughing because our performance scores were almost the same. We were at the bottom of the bottom! The principal was a little kind to me because she explained to the rest of the faculty that this was the first time I handled the subject ( I am not a music major; I am a magic Defense-against-the-Dark Magic major from Hogwarts!). But excuses aside, the subject for which I was key teacher did very poorly; reflection on the teacher's performance, as they say hehehe.

Last school year's planning meeting, I wrote on my improvement plan that I plan to raise the MAPE performance by 80%. Of course I knew that the figure was improbable and impossible, but it was fun writing that figure. Well, the trend is that MAPE is really at the bottom, even in other schools, because it is in reality three subjects that focuses on the creative, musical, and physical skills of the pupils all rolled into one crammed into a forty minute period class.  Anyway, I'll do better next year hehehehe...I am aiming for 25%.

So, what are my expectations next year? I am preparing myself to take over the school yard sweeping, the test and form mimeographing and other jobs not worthy of a licensed teacher, nul problemo, as long as the salary is the same. 

__________

Time flies so fast and the school year is ending. Every teacher is busy getting ready to finalize the pupil report cards, accomplishing their standard forms for the school year end audit and preparing for the promotions of their pupils. These things require a lot of patience because of the great amount of paperworks that are  mostly handwritten!

I think the hmmm... the anticipation for the summer vacation is also adding a bit of stress....positive stress, but stress is stress positive or negative.

Anyway, just watching some music video on you tube and saw this one. Loved this song.  I dedicate this to all the sirs in the world.








Monday, February 27, 2012

EDSA Revolution: Where was I?




EDSA Revolution was celebrated with a lot of pomp and a lot of trash. As I was watching on TV how the supposed heroes of EDSA reenacted the meeting or the salubong of the  Enrile and the Ramos forces across Aguinaldo and Crame, I watched in horror as helicopters and people from top of floors of  buildings released tons and tons of yellow confetti’s. My gulay these people were inconsiderate of the street sweepers; they were killing the Metroaides. 

What's wrong with me? This was a momentous event in our history! In the true Spirit of EDSA, I would love to see the politicians clean up after their drama and give the poor street sweepers the break--EDSA brotherhood and all the dramatic stuff...bah!

Anyway, where was I during the 1986 EDSA Revolution?  I was 14 years old then.  TV and radio were filled with news about the defection of Ramos and Enrile. While the news was being broadcasted, people in our neighborhood were all excited because, according to them, there were tanks, helicopters parked at EDSA and people were allowed to see the inside of these military hardware—the officers did not mind; there were also free food being distributed. Many of my neighbors especially the youth trooped to EDSA because they were curious of what’s going on. Anyway, patriotism and all that stuff was the farthest thing on their mind. If I were a little older then, I would have joined them to EDSA not as a revolutionary but as an uzi (usisero or gawker). I was too young to think of the moral and political as well as the historical implications of EDSA. But, if you ask me, little or nothing’s changed, really. Who cares! The poor are still poor and the rich and corrupt are getting richer and more corrupt.

But the songs did stir up some emotions in me especially Magkaisa by composed by Tito Sotto and Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo by the APO Hiking Society.


                                                        Magkaisa by Virna Lisa


                                               Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo

Of course to further prove the uselessness and the uniqueness of EDSA, another EDSA, EDSA II, happened were Erap was ousted and jailed by GMA  and her cohorts because of jueteng and drinking only to see that GMA was a far worse president than Erap: the lady was a Machiavellian villain.  Then there's the miscarried EDSA III where the poor common-methamphetamine-alcohol-loaded masses revolted to bring Erap back to Power. My friends and I were there to uzi at EDSA III. We were just lucky we went home early because if not, there was a possibility that we would also be arrested along with rioters. Then there was the aborted EDSA IV where the people got tired of GMA's lying and her husband's embroilment with bribery and corruption with government contracts  so civil society joined hands in plotting to oust GMA through another EDSA, but GMA got tired of EDSA so simply banned assembly on EDSA. Good move! Ban assembly on EDSA so that there will not be another EDSA. 

Why not just rename the highway Manny Pacquiao Avenue and be done with EDSA. 


Friday, February 24, 2012

Bored, Idealism, Berkeley



Perception and reality: are the things that we perceived really they are? Or are the things we percieve are not what they are?


This is nonsense and really should be talked about or even thought about by anyone because thinking about these things tends to give one headaches, but I can’t help it. Sometimes, especially when I’m bored with the routine of everything like waking up in the morning, coffee, shower, dress, go to work, teach, wait for payday; go to church on Sundays, a bit of holidays here and there etc. I cannot help but wonder or even hope that there must be something more to this hmmm…we call reality.

Our perception or our sense of reality or everything all around us tells us that we are in a material world. Our environment is composed of materials whether they are solid, liquid, gas or plasma or what have you. We move in a material world made up of matter; we could sense or perceive them: touch, feel, hear, taste, and smell and we can even think about them. But this materiality is really illusionary. We all know that solid objects or material objects are really just empty spaces; in fact it is 99.99% space. Our intuitive idea of a solid matter is that it is so dense with material or particles but that is not true in the atomic and sub-atomic level. In fact, as we go deeper and deeper into subatomic particles, everything breaks down even observation. What is perceived as particle is also wave and these changes as they, these sub-atomic particles are observed. I heard Sen. Miriam Santiago during the impeachment trial of the Chief justice commented that the presence of the cameras in the trial changes the behavior of the participants; they become showy: the observer changes the behavior of the observed.Anyway, there is, in a sense. something illusory about what we call reality.

Anyway, I am not going into the quantum stuff…

I am thinking about something weirder: philosophical idealism. Idealism was a reaction to the rise of materialist philosophy espoused by Newton and Locke, to name two of its great proponents. The idea of materialism is that everything is matter. Newton believes that the world or reality is made up of matter and that is ruled by mechanistic physical laws that put order in everything. Locke on the other hand theorizes that everything we know is derived from our experiences of the material world hence his famous dictum “tabula rasa”: the mind is a blank slate from which our experiences are written on. This tabula rasa thing that perceives the mind as a passive agent was the dominant thinking about epistemology since the Greeks until Immanuel Kant, with his Copernican revolution theorized that the mind is not a blank slate but rather it has a prio ri knowledge or transcendental knowledge that organizes experience to generate knowledge.

Anyway, the problem of materialism is how we experience reality; there is a gap between the material and the mind: the veil of perception. Here is an example:
.
I see a computer. My eyes see the computer. So, first the image of the computer goes into the organ of perception, the eyes. Then it travels into the network of heurons or transmitters into the brain or the mind from which the image of the computer is finally seen. So, the computer that I see is in the mind. The image or the thing, the computer that I see is a construct of the mind—an idea. We don’t see object; we see the idea of the object!

Are we seeing the computer? The question here is here: are we seeing a computer or the construct of our mind of a computer. There is a possibility that our image or idea of a computer is not the real computer; we could not know, maybe it is different from our idea of the computer (confusing ha). Simply put, our ideas and perception of the world is constructed inside our mind, and we could not tell, even we would not be able to tell whether what we see is in, any way like, or resembles the reality outside our perception. Is our idea of reality the same as that of outside of our ideas?

George Berkeley proposes that since matter cannot be perceived by the mind, but only ideas, it is untenable conjecture (or just a guess) to presume that there is material substance outside our mind. Everything is mind dependent. “To be is to be perceived.” Simply means that it is the mind, or perceiving that gives existence. Of course the question is if I close the door and I could not perceive the room does this mean that the room cease to exist? No, according to Berkeley your perception of reality or our ideas are produced by God. “God perceives everything at all times, so the closed room still exists, even without us perceiving it, since it is perceived by the mind of God.

Crazy but mind boggling.  Anyway, please do not think that I believe or accept all of these philosophical stuffs they are, like science fiction, a sort of head ache inducing entertainment for me.

Anyway, I think lunch will help hehehe...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Graduation prep...




                                                   
Our graduation songs will be accompanied by the Taytay Banda Dos. Banda DOS won the first Prize of the much coveted Balik-Banda National Contest held at Luneta National Park in 1980 conducted by Maestro Fred Villanueva Sr. Pictures taken between 1950-1960's used through the courtesy of Bandmember Mr. Juanito Atanacio.


This is the busiest period for the grade six teachers because of the preparation for the graduation of the pupils. Aside from the graduation practice, we will also be having our field day: there will be folk dance and rhythmic exercises demonstration for all the grade levels.

As the Music teacher, I will be responsible for teaching almost 300 pupils the graduation songs. I am doing it little by little, section by section because I find it difficult to teach songs on the whole grade level. It's chaotic!

One reason is that I do not have the holding power that the former master teacher for music had. The retired master teacher who handled the last year’s teaching and practice could silence the more than 300 pupils (we had less enrollees this year) just by looking at them, and if that did not work, she could shout them to silence. I was amazed by her because she was a petit lady yet she could control even the burliest lad in grade six.

Two, I can not sing. To tell the truth, I’d rather play guitar than sing. To compensate for my lack of singing talent, I use music notation software to teach songs so that I do not have to sing every time. Also, at least even though I do it section by section, there is consistency rather than have me singing the melody every time which could get a little confusing because most of the time my tune or pitch is not standard or my melody and rhythm varies--couldn't sing for heaven's sake.

Three, it is difficult to be heard by fifty pupils how much more about 300 pupils. Anyway, this is my first year teaching songs to them maybe next year I will have the holding power that the senior teachers have.

Our graduation songs will be, following the school’s tradition since time immemorial according to senior teachers, accompanied by the Taytay Banda Dos.


Graduation is scheduled on March 28 according to the principal.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Espinoza, nature, God


Baruch de Spinoza (Hebrewברוך שפינוזה‎ Baruch SpinozaPortugueseBenedito or Bento de EspinosaLatinBenedictus de Spinoza) and later Benedict de Spinoza (in all mentioned languages the given name means "the Blessed") (November 24, 1632 – February 21, 1677) was a Dutch Jewish philosopher.[1] Revealing considerable scientific aptitude, the breadth and importance of Spinoza's work was not fully realized until years after his death. (Wikipedia)


Espinoza was a philosopher whose thought is now finding relevance because of what is happening to the environment specifically the destruction brought about by humanity’s abuse of natural resources and the pollution created as a by-product of progress. Among the religion of the world, Christianity has developed this idea that nature is under the service of humanity; nature is there to serve humanity’s needs and purpose. The story of in Genesis where God has given Adam the dominion over creation has become an impetus for humanity especially the Christians to think that the earth was made to provide for his needs alone.  See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food.'” (Gen. 1:28-30)

For many centuries nature was abused and it is now only later when environmental crises begun to cause catastrophes and even threaten our existence that the thought of re-thinking our relationship with nature is given the attention it needs.

Now here the thoughts of Spinoza provided some suggested answer to how we may relate to nature. Espinoza was a Jewish philosopher who was excommunicated by the Jews for many thoughts that were considered heretical during his time.

The central idea in Espinoza’s philosophy is that there is one substance, and that substance we can conceive of as either Nature or God.

Now this presented problems to the Jews and even to the Christians for the obvious reason that this meant that God is the soil we walk on, God is the tree, God is the table, God is the chair, God is the air we breathe etc. He was really misunderstood by religious leaders thus he was excommunicated and banished by the Jews and he was hated even by the Christians and branded as an atheist despite the fact the he was called the “God intoxicated man.”

This idea of the unity of the universe also presents problem with the question of evil, but that’s another thing. Anyway, his though was branded as pantheistic, panentheistic, and to some even, atheistic. But central to his idea is that nature or the world we live in, or the place of where we exist including the galaxies and the universe is directly related to God. There are two thoughts about this:

  1. Pantheism: God and nature (or the universe) are identical. This idea does not sit well with theists especially the Christians for this meant that God is an impersonal being.
  2. Panentheism: Simply stated, the whole is in God. This is the idea that the whole everything is in God thus God is not one with nature or the universe, but reality or the universe is in God. This idea is reconcilable with Christian theology and two theolgians, ina way, affirmed this. Tillich for one has this idea that God is the ground of all being. Tillich idea is that of a somewhat an impersonal God but let’s leave it at that. Another theologian is Jurgenn Moltmann who thinks that reality was created by God with-in-himself. Anyway, the idea is that all and everything is inside God.
  Anyway, my break is up...write something more about his idea later.





Monday, February 20, 2012

Bronchial Asthma, Lost etc.






February 13, 2011. It was raining. I didn’t mind the rain. I strapped on my helmet sans my raincoat which I did not bring, rode on my motorcycle and left the school. I enjoyed the cold rain drops beating down on my face. It was cold because it was still February and the weatherman from the hopeless PAG-ASA, the country's weather bureau, kept on telling us that the tail end of the cold front was still on us, whatever that meant.

Anyway, I was wet and cold but enjoying my ride home. When I arrived, my wife gave me dry clothes and hot coffee. I sat down and rested for a while, and then it began: I started coughing. It was a little cough which I did not mind at all; I cough a lot because I have allergies, all that mucus and other yucky stuff. Things started to get weird when I went to bed: I started coughing really hard because of abnormal mucus secretion; my throat was constricted; I was cold but sweating. I was not able to sleep the whole night. 

The day after, I went to see the doctor. The diagnosis: bronchial asthma. I was given asthma medicines and anti-biotic, but the best of them all--not that I like being sick--I was given a three day rest which counting the weekend, meant I had five days of rest. I spent Valentine's day sick.

But things didn’t go that well. I didn’t know if there’s some connection or something because when I woke up yesterday, my ankle was hurting and when I looked at it, my ankle bone was missing--my rheumatism or gout or whatever this inflammation of the ankle joint Is called was acting up again. Heaven’s when it rains it pours! Asthma and rheumatism they do come hand in hand. (I really don't know if I had rheumatism, or arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis, or arthritic rheumatism or arthritic-rheumatoid-rheumatism-arthritism...) I don't know if its psychosomatic or some sort of..anyway..I do need to take care of my diet now.

Age is what it is…I used to hate the smell of Efficascent Oil, or Omega Pain Killer Extra Strength, but now that I frequently used them, and  I have become used to their smell, now, I mean...in the bedroom, sort of a love scent or something...aromatic-aphrodisiac...hmm sort of.

Anyway, what did I do with my five days rest?

I read book, played guitar and watched DVDs.  

Here’s the strange thing: every time or most of the time when I am reading a book and I am interrupted to go to the comfort room, when I come out of the comfort room I forget where I put my book or sometimes I forget that I am even reading a book. So, I end up looking for the book which usually I just slam on whatever surface page-open-faced-down. When this happens, I end up picking up my guitar and playing some pieces that I knew, but I can’t concentrate because I am still thinking where I put the book that I am reading.  

When not looking for the book, I find them in the strangest places like upstairs on the bed, or on the aparador with the cracked mirror, or under the plastic sofa hidden by the throw pillows that looked like rugs now, on the motorcycle seat and sometimes even on top of the dog’s cage.. Hmm…weird, I sometimes think there are naughty gnomes living in the house.

Still learning Bach's Gavotte en Rondeau on the guitar for almost a year now. A happy guitar piece--I like Bach's music because they are happy. Gavotte is a French Folk dance which explains why its a happy, lilting, jumping music and rondeau means round: ABACA form. Anyway, just learning it because it's beautiful music..

My wife complains that she is better off when I am at work because then she does not have to deal with the clatter (bootleg DVD jackets, books, guitar scores, banana peels, cotton swabs…) I leave wherever I sit.

Anyway, I am now in season five of Lost! Great, great series to watch. Just one complain though, I hate the 360 degrees camera sweep. I mean the camera starts from the face, then to the ear then to the nape, then the other ear, then back to the face again, cliche.



Monday, February 13, 2012

A Little Derrida and Deconstructionism



Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) was the founder of “deconstruction,” a way of criticizing not only both literary and philosophical texts but also political institutions.



Derrida insists that the distinction between signifier and the signified cannot legitimately be made; for him, the means of expression is inseparably bound with its content. How something is expressed is just as important as its conventional meaning in determining those ideas to which it is connected and those from which it should be distinguished, as devices such as poetry, rhetoric and irony make clear. Consequently, there is, Derrida claims, no fixes conceptual order amongst signifiers.

Meaning is something that can only be distilled or interpreted from any particular situation: there is no objective structure as the structuralist had supposed. Indeed, Derrida goes further, for in his view a sign always signifies things other than which the author might supposed. There is an indeterminable network of associations stretching through time and use in which any given sign circulates. What meaning it has for any given person at any given time can only be interpreted by that person at that time, but they cannot claim any authority or objectivity for their interpretation.

(100 Essential Thinkers)





Thursday, February 09, 2012

On Punctuation

They celebrate punctuation day! (Photo not mine)

Okay, so what  do I know about punctuation? Not much really because I don't like my blogging to be bothered by technicalities, and I am too lazy to check my grammar book on the proper use of punctuation. I just cruise along, and, if, I, make some pauses while...hmmm...writing, I usually put a comma in there. This, to a grammarian, may look weird, and, unconventional because too much commas makes writing choppy and crowded. But, one of the reasons why I use too much comma is that I think of them as natural pauses, sort of a musical rest, like when, I'm thinking about, words, I pause, once in a while, and think. Of course commas are separators, but for me, they, are...pauses, too.

Hmmm...about ellipsis...these three little dots that...is also one of my favorite punctuation. Ellipsis means there is something more to be said but instead of continuing the writer simply stops and put hmmm....The reasons? 

1. He is too lazy to come up with words, too lazy to think.

2. He does not know what the heck is he writing about, 

3. He is not sure of anything at all.

For one thing the following phrases  is already obvious to the readers like for example: "What the...!", Or Holy ...! Of course I am not saying bad words but the effect of the ellipsis could be hmm...felt. So sometime ellipsis makes the writing interesting because there are gaps where the reader are made to psychologize and analyze what the in the world is going on in between! Well, too much ellipsis make hhhh..., ..., ..., ohhh..., ...like... maybe..., to..., maybe if.... see... it is creepy, really.



Anyway, another reason is that the writer just wants to quote parts of something like: "In beginning...Lambs book of life!" The writer quoted the entire Bible leaving some stuffs in the middle for the reader to:

1. Just leave as it is.

2. Open the Bible and read what is in between,

3. Just pretend nothing happened.

I used the Bible as an example because it is the book that I read often, nothing else.

I once saw a neighbor a fresh college graduate doing his, I mean her, resume and I saw that he, I mean she,  used a lot of ellipsis.

I read her application as:

I am a hardworking college graduate interested in working in your company...
I graduated with a degree...etc.

I immediately told her that these three dots have specific use. Obviously she did not have any idea about the use of punctuation. She replied that these three dots made her resume look artful and interesting. I asked where she was applying for a job and she said she was applying for a job in a Chinese shoe factory in Taytay. I said...hmmm...ellipsis is good!

Do, read, your, grammar, book, and, try, to be a smart writer....but my tip is, doodle anything and then let the punctuation and other technical stuff bother you later, ..., ..., ...,...!

Anyway, my first morning class is about to begin in 10, 9, 8, 7...





Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Dangling Cables: Road Hazard



I mean...we are already in the wireless age!

A couple of months ago, I was motorcycling along Taytay’s main road when I was hit by a dangling cable. If it was not for my eyeglasses, I think my eyes would have been gouged out.

I know that the electrical posts are not government properties and I don’t know if the local government has any powers in regulating their use, but when it comes to public safety the government has the right to intervene especially when wires and cables dangling from posts pose danger to motorists and pedestrians alike.

Electrical posts now hosts TV cables, telephone cables, internet cables from different service providers that is why they are overloaded beyond their capacity. Apart from over loading of cables, another things is that disconnected or cut cables are left dangling thus adding to the volume of spaghetti like wires that is not only a physical danger but is also a visual pollution in the community.

It’s time the national government or the local government does something about this. I don’t have figures but I think there are many motor accidents especially among riders caused by these dangling wires.



Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Jung, Dreams, not that Dreams


People dream, animals dream too. Maybe dreams is what we have in common with them.


I am reading Carl Jung’s book Man and His Symbol sort of chipping at it page by page during my class breaks or as the opportunity permit, not a good way to read though because of fragmentation. Anyway, the book got me thinking about dreams.

 Anyway, I am just sharing a dream (or is it?) that I had when I was in my twenties. Even today I could not forget the experience and though I always tell myself that  I was dreaming then,really, I could not tell.

I was lying on the bed and was listening to a song on the radio. The light was on.  I was staring at the ceiling and enjoying the music. I didn’t know how long I have been doing this. I closed my eyes. I could still hear the music. A little later, I felt my bladder full so I made an effort to stand up, and when I lifted my head, I felt something hit my forehead. I opened my eyes and was shocked to find out that my head hit the ceiling. When I opened my eyes, it was just a few inches away from the ceiling. I didn’t know if I was floating because I was so scared that I didn’t even attempt to take a second look at the ceiling or take a look down; I juts closed my eyes again and didn’t open them until morning.

The problem here was that I didn't feel falling asleep. I never was asleep; I was awake the whole time. 

Dreams are just dreams and most of the time I don’t pay attention to them. The simple explanation that I learned from school and from reading is that dreams are just mental phenomenon or brain activity that happens when we are sleeping. It’s a physiological thing: a way in which our mind processes experiences and impressions— a therapeutic purging activity of the mind.

But there is more to dreams…

Many if not most of our religious beliefs are revealed through dreams. Prophets, seers, mystics…I am not saying that the Bible is false or something but most of its stories especially from the Old Testament have dreamlike qualities in them. The Bible is full of stories about dreams and how God revealed his wills and commandments. Anyway, don’t wanna go in there…

I have experienced or maybe most of us have experienced dreams that foretold what would happen in the future. In fact, one explanation I heard (or read) why there’s this feeling of déjà vu is that somehow the seemingly-repeating events that are experienced came from dreams; déjà vu is re-experiencing these dreams. People do experience dreams that foretell, in part or in whole, what will happen in the future (prophetic or specific) it may be  as simple as meeting people, finding lost things, to big events like winning lotteries or painful experiences like losing something or someone. Of course, rationally, these things are explained as co-incidences or chances because it is difficult to accept how dreams, which are mere mental (or brain) activity could somehow violate the law of physics; Dreams are confined by matter (brain), space, and the sequence, as we experience it, of time.

Well, anyway my break is up…I'll come back to this when I have the time :-)

Monday, February 06, 2012

Satan, Demons and heroes




                           Today, this movie would be considered cheap and poor. Funny rather than scary.

When I was in my grade school, my father, a pastor, brought me along to our church’s evangelistic crusades. The most popular way to evangelize during that time, the 80’s, was through film showing. I could never forget the movie that was being shown then, Burning Hell. I could not remember the story of the movie or the actors, what I could remember was the fire, the worms, the suffering, the pain—it was a graphic movie about what the sinner would expect when they go to hell. 

After watching that movie for many times, I started to have nightmares. I slept alone on my cot (or papag in tagalog) and each night I would wake up in the middle of the night, sweating, afraid and sometimes feeling cold because of the fear of hell; I was wishing that I had my parents beside me. To battle this fear I would pray for the Lord Jesus Christ to come into my heart to be my savior. This happened for most of my childhood, the nightmares, and every time I feel afraid, I always invite the Lord Jesus Christ to come into my heart until I outgrew the fear of hell in me and until I outgrew the belief the name Jesus Christ was a powerful talismanic-incantation for dealing with nightmares.

Of course scare tactics work i.e. for a time until one becomes too scared to the point of numbness. It was never my father's intention to scare the hell out of me. I am not taking this against my late father, I loved and still very much love the man. He was a pastor and all pastors suffer from, different degrees, messiah complex.

Anyway...

Graphic illustrations of the devil as a horrible creature having horns and tails are used to scare the hell out of people. It was effective before in the middle ages, dark ages where people are superstitious, ignorant and illiterate.  But in this age of cyber tech and relativism (whatever the hell is that word), cgi effects and the internet especially you tube where anybody may see gross videos of photo-shopped creatures that looked very real, I mean visually speaking, Satan or the devil has never looked better, and realistic, may I add.

In movies and in computer games, these creatures that look like satan or the devil are now heroes. Maybe people are starting to realize that because a creature is ugly, scary and gross, it does not necessarily make them evil. Really one of the faults of giving satan or the devil an animal-human description is that people focuses more on the look than on the nature of satan. I have a friend who looks like satan and he was called demonyo or satanas by everybody, but he was far from being evil. Take the snake for example, because snakes were thought to be the serpent that lured eve into the fall, they are killed out of fear because they are thought to be treacherous and fierce animals.

Lochner’s depiction of a horrifically beautiful scene seethes with the realistic bodies of the naked damned who scream as they undergo torture by legions of distorted, animalistic creatures.

Jahrakal, the troll warlord, one of the heroes in the Warcraft DOTA game.


Hellboy, A demon, raised from infancy after being conjured by and rescued from the Nazis, grows up to become a defender against the forces of darkness.


Anyway, my break is up...maybe I'll come back later and talk about what this beautification and heroification of demons etc. blah, blah, blah.....




Friday, February 03, 2012

absent




I was absent from work yesterday because I was sneezing the whole night and it felt like a family of cat was purring inside my chest, prrrrrr….prrrrrr….prrrrrr…hhaaacchhhhoooo, haaaccchoooo! I had runny nose, watery eyes, and I was hearing pinging from both my ears. These were omens that my allergy/asthma was about to hmmmm…come visit me again.

I took antihistamines and rested.

Whenever I have these symptoms, even though I am still well enough to report to work, I usually take the day off. I skip work and stay in the house to rest. If I force my self to go to work, the exhaust from the jeeps and tricycle plus the chalk dust and other allergens would aggravate the symptoms and I usually end up with a full blown asthma attack that always result to my being absent for work for three days or more. So, I don’t take chances-- last year a principal died when she suffered an asthma attack in her office. Work is always there waiting but hmmm…I don’t want to die in the school; I, like most people, hope to die of old age, for heaven’s sake.  

Anyway, I am okay now. 


Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Kill or be Killed: Death in the ring is not an accident



Kill or be killed: Kim wrote these words on the wall of his hotel room.

Kim Duk-Koo (January 8, 1959 – November 17, 1982) was a South Korean boxer who died following a boxing match against Ray Mancini. His death sparked a number of reforms in the sport aimed to better protect the health of fighters.  Mancini went through a period of reflection, as he blamed himself for Kim's death. After friends helped him by telling him that it was just an accident, Mancini went on with his career, though still haunted by Kim's death. His promoter, Bob Arum, said Mancini "was never the same" after Kim's death. Two years later, Mancini lost his title to Livingstone Bramble. Kim's mother flew from Korea to Las Vegas to be with her son before the life support equipment was turned off. Three months later, she took her own life by drinking a bottle of pesticide. The bout's referee, Richard Green, committed suicide July 1, 1983. (Wikipedia)



Carlo Maquinto, an undefeated flyweight, is in comatose fighting for his life after a fight in Baguio City. According to the news, Maquinto dropped twice in the opening round and came back strong and the fight ended in a draw. After the fight, Maquinto collapsed and was rushed to the nearest hospital.

I was listening to the news when I heard the sports caster stressed that what happened was an accident. I am not a sports fanatic and I don’t know much about the technicalities of boxing, but I sure do know what an accident is and what happened in the ring was not an accident, it was manslaughter at the very least.

To call what happened an accident is indefensible. Accidents happen because they are unforeseen and unplanned event. It implies a generally negative outcome which may have been avoided or prevented had the circumstances leading to the accident been recognized, and acted upon, prior to its occurrence. 

From the legal definition: accident is used for events that occur without the intervention of a human being. It is an event that no person caused or could have prevented—an act of God.

First, boxing is a sport with one goal: hurt the opponent till he/she loses the game.  The ultimate goal is to knock the opponent down on the mat. If KO is not achievable, hit the opponent in the face or on the body until the opponent is weakened or hurt to the point that the other player is rendered unfit to continue the fight  resulting to a technical knock out. If a TKO is not possible, out score the opponent by outpunching him/her thereby winning the bout.

The fighters study tactics and strategies and they also knew enough physiology to understand the most vulnerable parts of the body. They watch videos of great fights and learn the art of attack, defense and punching. Coaches are present to give tips on how to hurt the opponent better. There are doctors and other medical people present because they know that fighters are going to be hurt. The sporting event is a well planned and well organized gladiatorial event. Boxers being hurt in the ring is  the expected outcome and death is always a high probability.

To call what happened to Manquito an accident is really a wordplay used by commentators to defend this barbaric sport.

Of course, accidents happen in soccer, basketball, chess etc., but these are true accidents because it is not the intention of the players of these sports to punch or hurt fellow players.The thing here is that the intention of the sport is what counts the most.

Below is a table of reported boxing fatalities in the US alone: (Journal of Combative Sports)


Year
1890s
1900s
1910s
1920s
1930s
1940s
1950s
1960s
1970s
1980s
1990s
2000s
0
5
16
30
8
30
6
16
13
7
7
12
10
1
10
10
11
18
15
8
16
12
14
10
11
12
2
11
9
12
23
31
9
19
15
12
8
7
10
3
10
10
18
21
19
6
24
14
4
9
5
10
4
12
4
8
22
13
8
8
15
9
5
7
9
5
3
9
11
15
11
10
11
11
11
8
14
7
6
8
16
7
16
17
18
15
13
8
3
6
7
7
19
3
11
21
5
12
14
6
8
6
8
3
8
10
8
8
21
10
18
10
7
11
7
2

9
15
9
11
26
4
21
13
7
11
4
6

Total
103
94
127
191
155
116
146
113
95
67
78
68