thoughts while in a boat

Bora is now merely a memory.

We only have photos as external memory aid in helping us remember the genuine happiness which transpired.
I wasn’t even able to write about the beauty of the first sunset as it happened. Darlings, it was my favorite part. And I entrusted the daunting task of preserving the moment to my rotting memory.

The trip was a happy drug. Tawa, kain, sun bathe, at tawa lang ng tawa. Bungisngis on the side.
The thought of ending the perfect vacation makes me cry.
I do not want ever to forget.

But reality is slowly creeping back.
And I have to make an important phone call at 9am.


thoughts while literally up in the sky

And we meet again, paper and pen.
Hypergraphia hiatus halted.

May 28, 2010, a little past 4pm

This marks my first domestic flight milestone.

I am in a Zest Air plane to Bora, with 7D.
I sit by the right window. Mico is at my left. And in front of me sits a balding caucasian who wears a yellow Hawaiian shirt. Oh isn’t he ready for Bora.

And oh, am I not ready for another book review, the RH Batacan’s Smaller & Smaller Circles Review.

This is the first time after a long time that I’ve read a full-length English novel of a Filipino Author.
Since I was used to reading international fiction, I challenged myself to consciously detach my Filipino self and read it as an outsider who wasn’t familiar with our culture. And oh boy, did it rub in that Philippines was in a dire state of poverty.

Perhaps that is one reason why it won the Palanca: the novelette wasn’t shy of reality.
The rich nor the middle class wasn’t represented, which -come to think of it- was contrary to plots of primetime teleseryes.
Perhaps the lot of our population just needs a breather from their impoverished state. (there is a need to be entertained)
Likewise us middle class citizens need to understand the reality that is poverty. (there is a need to be educated)

Ok so it’s not really a book review.

thoughts while in-transit

May 17, 10:16pm

Just got in the car after a long day at work.
A chillax song is playing on the radio.
And my stomach is grumbling. I have not eaten dinner yet because I need to balance my petty cash savings deficit of P1,300.

Executing a plan feels oddly mechanical, because the thinking and feeling parts were done during the very quick planning proper phase.

For instance, on Saturday early mornings, I lay down all my to-dos. Then for the rest of the weekend, I trudge through all those tasks. Fortunately or unfortunately it’s the kind of system that gets me to work. Even resting is planned, and/or rationalized to be part of the plan. Ex: I should sleep early tonight so I could get up and work early tomorrow morning. All actions are geared toward achieving the most optimal life. Further, there is an eerie desire to calculate everything to attain the best use of time, scarcest resource of humanity.

It’s official: I have imbibed the economist’s spirit.

Then I daydream about efficient movements when I get home: wash baon in kitchen sink, eat, wash face, brush teeth.
What a fucken freaky daydream.

I am scaring myself.

atomised by michel houellebecq

May 10, 2010, 11:00pm

Spoiler alert.

I can’t put my finger on a single theme / tone which encompasses Atomised topics.

“So the society is atomised”
This is exhibited through the lives of Michel and Bruno. The dissimilarity must mean each is representative of contrasting ideologies.

– carnal desire / pursuit for sexual adventure
– intellectual desire / pursuit for knowledge

Why was there much emphasis on Bruno’s carnal adventures? (And this is juxtaposed against Michel’s detachment) Is it to illustrate humankind’s pre-cloning era, when sex hasn’t been 100% decoupled from reproduction? But Bruno doesn’t “do” it to reproduce? Is it to illustrate the phase when humankind is gradually developing into the race of the gods?

Phase 1: Sex = Reproduction (past)
– society without contraception
– reproduction is dependent on sex

Phase 2: Sex = ≠ Reproduction (present)
– society with contraception, which enables sex without reproduction
– but since reproduction is still dependent on sex, the conception is an imperfect mutantion
– thus, society is imperfect

Phase 3: Sex ≠ Reproduction (future, as per Atomised)
– reproduction is asexual, i.e. through cloning
– we are able to choose the desired traits in creating humans
– then society becomes perfect, and the only way to die is through euthanasia

In this diagram, humankind is in the second stage. This was illustrated extensively by Bruno. He needed to fulfill his sexual desires from adolescence to mid-life, from wanking to orgies. Nude beach! So much variation.
On another note, Michel is the perfect representation of the third phase. His lack of sexual desire is it. In the third phase, it is not even clear if people still had sex. Maybe for the dopamine rush purely.
Each of Bruno’s sexual experience must be a representation of something (pero tinatamad na me mag-analyse). Hindi ko natumbok… I MUST READ IT AGAIN, with the pages wide open, soiling it with grubby hands, valiantly highlighting and underlining and swearing at the margins.

Some other ideas that struck me:

Houellebecq narrated two generations of Michel and Bruno’s forefathers in a few pages, in a few paragraphs lang. How could a man’s life be summarized in a few words? All his experiences and memories were crunched in a page or two. In the end we should face the reality that we are inconsequential. There is the potential to make the mark in the world, but once you’re dead, you’re DEAD. Only piercing ideas can vie for immortality. Plato, Socrates, Nietzsche, Comte, Baudelaire. Their names acknowledged for their intellectual substance.

We are mortals. And it is difficult to make our mark in this world.

Someday I will die, and the new generations will forget me. They will not even know I existed, like how ignorant I am of my forefathers’ lives. They will not know of my hypergraphia and my fondness for waxing philo. They may recognize me if I formulate a groundbreaking something for my field (if I will haha), but nothing more than that. They won’t know about my loves, my feelings, which for me is the most important thing about life. It is your most conscious state.

…Which is contrary to what Houellebecq said. Through Michel, he said that solving for the most difficult math problems, being overtly logical and analytical — is human’s most conscious state. This makes sense as well because it is consistent with the eco food chain:
plans –> animals –> humans –> ultra-genius humans who can comprehend/generate the most complex of ideas
Consciousness might be correlated with intelligence?

I imagine Atomised’s philosophical points of discussion as fractals. You may expound endlessly. Then see beauty unfold before your eyes.

I am satisfied. :)


May 10, 2010, 3:01 post-election

My right index finger is as purple as this ink.
(For the online reader: Imagine my purple-stained diary)

Dysmenorrhea under this sweltering weather.

My legs are sticky with sweat.
I could smell my menstruation.
On second thought the smell is not of blood,
but of powder-scented napkin.

An olfactory covalence between the two elements has been formally established.


Unto the Atomised review.
Five out of five stars shaded yellow.

And let me present my three criteria for judging:
1. Journey
2. Destination, and
3. Aftertaste
… As always.

Gentle reminder to self, after this discourse there are a tad many things left in my to-do list: Raket 2, Haircut, Vet, Haraya. I could do Raket 2 and Haraya today.

Atomised overwhelms me. There are too many points of discussion and it would be inefficient to review it in an unstructured manner. I would like a copy which would let me bend the spine and dirty the sides as much as I want. I would like a copy so I could underline, highlight, write down notes at the margins. I would like to make several dog ears. The reading experience is maximized that way.
I like my book loved and soiled with use.

Back to Atomised.
Some of the questions/ideas raised:
– Sex decoupled from reproduction
– Cloning vs evolution
– Are we just atoms?

Cannot write further as dysmenorrhea is taking its toll.

importance of history

May 3, 2010

Floating topics:
1. Importance or non-importance of history to justify dysfunctional memory
2. Raw deconstruction of Atomised
3. Further discussion of Michel’s insight at pp 143-144

Importance or non-importance of history to justify dysfunctional memory

A Babbling Backgrounder: I consider my memory a handicap. I cannot for the life of me retrieve a detailed memory from the past unless I consider it extraordinarily important. Of course I remember the general life milestones. But my brain is fogged. Admittedly, one of the reasons why I am a maudlin diarist is “to remember life in detail”, via an external memory device. I hypothesize two things: (1) Sometimes I’m on autopilot to save energy, so I don’t mean what I do or say, thus I don’t remember. But that would account for only a tiny percentage of the memories. (2) I subconsciously disremember to improve efficiency. Ex: Should not remember what I don’t consciously observe because that would use up extra brain power. —ANYWAY I shall stop the autobiographical rambling and move on the the finer, philosophicaler things and or questions about life and history.

Is history important? How?

History is important. (Status Quo)
Labelled Status Quo because, we have historians, anthropologists who study the past, archaeologists, Discovery Channel, History Channel. And they earn a mighty profit. Why? Because there is a demand? Why? Because people are innately curious and would like to understand through the past. History would not be important if it is not valuable. It gains value once people use history as learnings to enhance future actions.
What’s the use of knowing about the 300-year Spanish colonization? It explains our current situation, the several aspects of our culture: religious, economic, political, social, etc.

Bottom line: Value of history depends on the extent of the learning/application we get from it.

Yesterday, we watched the documentary about assassination of Ninoy Aquino in History Channel. Fast forward to the rolling credits vis-a-vis a video clip of Ninoy delivering a speech. It was a plea for Marcos. Gist: Why can’t you (Marcos) understand that the fate of dictators are the same all over the world, as per history books. In the end, they fail as leaders. And that Marcos is not an exception, and he should stop the madness.

And that is a stunning example why history is important, why history shouldn’t be ignored like what Marcos did.

Brief raw deconstruction of Atomised / The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq
Atomised by Houellebecq (POV from the first 150 pages) is a reconciliation of two bipolar realities: carnal desire and intellectual stimulation, former embodied by Bruno and latter by Michel. Both are majestically portrayed. Ang bagal ko magbasa. Sorry, Houellebecq.

Further discussion of Michel’s insight
What drives me to live?
My dreams.
I also want to make my mark in this world in one way or another.

Too lazy to continue. I’ve got other responsibilities.
Bye for now.

I leave you with a quote I lifted from Atomised by Houellebecq:

In revolutionary times, those who accord themselves with extraordinary arrogance, the facile credit for having enflamed anarchy in their contemporaries fail to recognize that what appears to be a sad triumph is in fact due to a spontaneous disposition determined by the social situation as a whole.”

–Auguste Comte
Philosophie Positive
Lecon, 48