All the cats in the world could do nothing about it.

The idea is that over time, things would change.

This country is going to the shits.

We should replace the so-called politicians with robots.

Where is God when you need him, huh?

It seems like the days are getting stranger.

All the cats in the world could do nothing about it.

What a hopeless case of a country.

I really need to read Frantz Fanon.

Why? To learn about oppressor-oppressed psychological dynamics.

I am actually reading/learning about this in Ruether’s ‘Liberation Theology’, which is a lucid well-written work.

I should have read this book a long time ago.

But this is not my first book on Lib Theo, the first one of course was the classic by Gustavo Gutierrez. But I read it so long ago, and I can’t remember anything off it. I know what books to read, but maybe I have some issues ‘digesting’ these works into something that I can use.

Maybe this isn’t the proper attitude to have regarding these works. We read to learn, and I did I learn anything off reading the work? Yes, I learned the proper flavor/attitude that these works often or usually have. So that I have an idea on what to read next. So it’s all still mostly in the realm of ‘appreciation’.

And I think that’s enough really. Appreciation, and before that, at the level of ‘understanding’, which is that you actually sort of have any idea what the author is talking about, these are the basic things, and at the level of political involvement that I am in right now, I think that’s enough.

Again, the old Marxist adage of how the philosophers have just interpreted the world, the point however is to change it. Yeah, I still agree with that. With reservations though. We should sprinkle maybe a bit of interpretation. Maybe Marx was talking about himself in that quote. That is, he’s tired of all the philosophizing and analysis. He stretched his muscles for a bit, stood up, and said, okay that’s enough analysis, let’s do some revolutionary activities.

I’ve been buying a lot of interseting secondhand books in the usual secondhand bookshop in the city. This bookshop called, simply enough, ‘Booksale’ has yet to fail me. There are two shops in the city of this bookstore, but I still could not figure out how to commute to the other smaller shop. Well, the floorspace actually is bigger in this second shop/store, but in my mind I always picture the one I frequent as the bigger one. This is because most of the good, interesting, wonderful books I scavenged come from this store. I usually spend one and a half to two hours at most in the shop just looking for good books. It’s a treasure hunt, it is mining for literary gold. It’s looking for hidden gems amidst the countless paperbacks of romance and sci-fi and self-help and children’s and spiritual (Christian, mostly evangelical/Protestant/non-Catholic) books. I usually visit every two weeks or so, and usually am able to find at least four interesting books. I usually spend about fifty to a hundred pesos per book on average. The cheapest I ever paid for a book was maybe ten pesos. Most expensive was maybe one hundred seventy pesos. I can’t remember ever spending more than two hundred pesos for a book in Booksale. [Just remembered I actually spent more than three hundred pesos for a book from Booksale. It’s my copy of ‘The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism, 450 PHP]

I am getting bored with the manga I’ve been reading for the past week or so, called ‘Dr. Stone’. I don’t know, it just feels that his science knowledge is a total ‘deus ex machina’. So once the main conflict/arc was resolved, there’s not that much that could oppose him. Plus, all the coincidences and luck, and the contrivance shows through. I like the premise though, which is of building civilization back from paleolithic to modern times. The early conflict was interesting in that it does show convincingly how scientific method and knowledge is necessary. I share the main antagonist’s hang-ups though with regards to civilization early on, but disliked how quickly he discarded it once Senku convinced him …. oh yeah, and this is a major plothole I think. If Tsukasa was certain that Senku could maybe restart civilization, then how come he didn’t tell the latter about the main issue that was bugging him? All the conflict they had could have been avoided early on. Maybe he was doubting Senku’s ability? But Senku already proved how skillful and how much of a genius he was. Again, plothole. So I bookmarked the place where I stopped in the manga and momentarily ended my reading there.

I am currently writing this in my Lenovo Tablet, connected to an external keyboard through what’s called an ‘On the Go’ or OTG cable. It’s been working really good. The software I am right now using in this Lenovo Tablet is called ‘ABC Editor’ which I downloaded from the Google Store. I am already liking this better than the old writing software in this Tablet. It’s so much more basic and responsive. I think the old software was just too bulky and cumbersome.

So maybe I’ll transfer the stuff I’ve written in that old software in here. But first I need to convert them into txt or some other format this new software can read.

^_^ Oh wow, you can add emoticons in this.

I also like that ABC Editor directly opens every time you start it to a blank document. So you can just quickly start new write-ups without much pre-writing fiddling to do. So that’s good. It is kind of annoying though that it frequently asks you every time you save about the format you want the text document to be saved in. But that’s a minor issue. Everything’s really good with this. Let’s see how long I can stick with this set-up.

I’d really love a backup of this setup though. I wonder how much this old kind of Lenovo Tablet is going for these days. I’ll buy one as a secondary tablet for when this old tablet starts borking.

My latest write-up which is still in that old software is about the end of the world. I don’t know where I’m going with that. Apocalypticism is so corny now I think, and overdone. What’s really revolutionary I think is imagining a post-exploitation sustainable society, if that’s even possible. To imagine? Of course it’s possible to imagine. It’s the actualization that’s problematic, as with all social and political plans. “Don’t expect too much of the end of the world” as that quote in that novel Foucault’s Pendulum says. I should really finish that novel one of these days.

Typing this. Touchtyping this. The tablet is above the table, while the keyboard is atop this stool which is under the table, so I am unable to see it. Only to sense and touch it. I think this is really good typing exercise. I am kind of hunched over a bit though, and I don’t know if this good posture for longtime writing. I wonder what my current typing speed is. Last I checked it was around the high 90s. But whatever, it doesn’t matter that much. Why do I still harbor this dream of using a typewriter when I know from personal experience how much of a hassle that is? It’s just some romantic notion. Doesn’t make you write any better.

What I also like about this is that there isn’t any spellchecker and word count. So you just are stuck with the basics, and it is highly responsive to your typing, and so you just focus on the task of typing words to paper.

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post-dream-afterlife

The side of the ship was made of a transparent material, so that you could see the sea creatures outside while the ship was moving. There were a couple of dolphins that I could see. They were playing, making a circle chasing each other. Beyond, behind them I dare not look at. The idea of being surrounded by deep-sea creatures, and not even that really, but just being in the middle of the ocean creeps me out a lot. The ocean covers most of the earth. Human beings cannot live in it. We did come from the ocean though, at least that’s what I think of when I recall the idea of the ‘primordial soup’. Maybe it wasn’t an ocean, maybe life originated from a very large lake. But isn’t the ocean just a very large lake? Good point. I rest my case your honor.

Anyway, then the ship started to flood. I don’t know how the water started to come in. Maybe it was the shitty construction of the ship. Maybe this new experimental transparent material wasn’t fit to be made a part of a ship. Or maybe this is just how dream-logic works – when you dream you’re in a ship, that ship is going to flood, and all those creepy crawley creatures of the deep and the high seas would come in with their slimey tentacles and hundreds of needle-thin teeth and they’d cover you and eat your internal organs. I remember in this dream I was a small child. I am not a small child. I am not a big man now either in the real world, but I am definitely not a small child. So I started to run towards this door, the kind I’ve seen in those movies about submarines, the ones that have a wheel on it that people could turn in order to seal the sides so the water couldn’t get in. I don’t remember ever reaching the door. I do remember the water steadily rising and me wading through it, and there were other people too making their way towards that metal door.

Maybe I died in that dream, and where I am now is the post-dream-afterlife. Just call it reality, dumbass. I woke up from the dream, and now I am here, and all of this is real.

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Contemplation of Eternity

– – – –

The Master was banished into this remote abandoned Church after a theological dispute with the Archbishop. He was threatened with blasphemy, and it was only his aristocratic status and popularity with the nobility that saved him from a more permanent fate.

His assistants, Magnus Diaphanous and Martin Ambiguous, have been observing him at work. The latter had just come in from the kitchen area after having just prepared their meal for the evening. The smell lingered in to the laboratory after he entered and closed the door.

“How long has he been like this,” Ambiguous asks.

‘He hasn’t moved since afternoon,” Diaphanous replies.

“Are you sure he’s not dead?”

“I check his pulse every thirty minutes. He’s still breathing.”

All the master really wants is the secret to immortality, or the ability to turn copper into gold, whichever is more convenient, or comes first.

Since his discovery of the glow-in-the-dark liquid, the Master’s efforts have been invigorated. He’s been boiling liquids, mixing powders and metals. Inhaled a lot of the resulting fumes too, sometimes accidentally. Now he’s trying out meditation using the light of the liquid. He believes his research has reached a new phase and he is closer to the goal.

Thirty more minutes and he finally stands up. He sighs, turns to his assistants and says, ‘Fine, okay, let’s eat.’

– – – – –

The Alchymist, in Search of the Philosopher’s Stone, Discovers Phosphorus, and prays for the successful Conclusion of his operation, as was the custom of the Ancient Chymical Astrologers, Joseph Wright of Derby, 1771

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God must have wanted for this to happen

Lightning struck an innocent child, killing the poor innocent baby immediately. It is like that in the world. So much pain and darkness and misery, and lightning just striking you when you least expect it. You’re just out there in the middle of the field. The cows are nowhere to be seen, maybe they’re in that grove over there, just munching on some grass. And then it starts to get dark, and what are you doing there even, where’s your mommy little kid? But you just stay there probably sucking on a strawberry-flavored lollipop. Where is your mommy?

Well your mother is drunk, several miles away in the house, in the big house with all the white shiny surfaces of marble tiles and glass and metal. She is a beautiful but bitter woman. Life wasn’t easy for her, all those dark years of striving and grinding, and then finally a comfortable life, all of a sudden, because of that man, your father, who is I don’t know where right now. This isn’t what she wanted, this life, but it’s certainly better than what her life was before. And then you came along, the idiot child. Sure, cute, but just kind of missing something a little bit in the head. You’d bump into things and not even cry when you fall down face first onto a pile of Legos. Something was weird with you, and your mother was kind of freaked out by that. It doesn’t really help that she didn’t want kids, but had you anyway in order to lock in your father who was a sort of traditionalist in an old masculine way where he just had to marry the woman he first impregnates. And this country has no abortion too. Tough luck.

God must have wanted for this to happen. After the marriage soured, your father, your mother’s husband that is, just continued gallivanting about like a young man in his prime spreading his hybrid GMO seeds everywhere. So much fertile ground for that agriculture. And the women, in this poor country, they offer themselves to him because poor and not-educated well and just plain opportunism. Some mothers would even offer their own daughters to him. What is up with this guy anyway? He seems like a total rich ass-hole, which is what he is in the world, in this world. Got lucky. Didn’t really need to work a day in his life. Lots of lands. Parents were successful landowners and business-owners and all that stuff. So he was sent to the best schools and when he got kicked out was educated by tutors but his mind was just resistant to book learning, and so he just went about in the world doing whatever he wants, and he must have been lucky since it was your mother he impregnated first. That’s another thing in this world, luck.

It must have been that you opened the door and wandered off and just walked several miles into the middle of the field. You just wanted to see the cows, you like hearing them moo and like watching them chewing on grass and leaves and fruits and vegetables. You stood there in the middle of the field as the sky darkened, and rain started to fall. Who knows what you were thinking as you got soaking wet? Did you even feel the cold?

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Minds preserved inside the books

I have to think in terms of paragraphs and sentences. So people would think I am a normal human being, and not a weirdo who is probably into some funky shit no one should be into. We pretend to be normal so that people could empathise. But why would we want to please them? Who are these people anyway that they must command our desire to be normal? Why do we want for them to accept us? Why am I speaking/writing/thinking in the first person plural?

I am writing this in FocusWriter. That rectangular portion of the screen which functions as the ‘sheet’ of paper is transparent, so that the wallpaper is visible behind it. The wallpaper is a sci-fi setting. It’s a group of astronaut-scientists in this semi-alien, maybe post-apocalyptic landscape. In the deep background is the ruins of what looks like a giant industrial factory. The scientists are wearing shiny suits with that retro plastic bubble helmet. I don’t know why I am describing these things to you, dear reader. I just like you to know what I am dealing with here. So that you would not be surprised why all these words are coming out like this.

FocusWriter is pretty kewl

Maybe I’d write something science-fiction-like. I just like this writing set-up, and I want to make full use of it. I am pretty sure I would be able to produce something with this. Something long maybe something that needs an outline? I need to learn how to write in such a way that it is easy to edit later on. That would be a kind thing to do for my future self. Imagine how many articles and books you’d be able to write with that skill. Always though, hard work and consistency is involved. I read somewhere that Danielle Steele, famous writer, works more than eighteen hours a day. She averages fours of sleep daily. She writes so much that she doesn’t have that much time to read books. She makes Stephen King look lazy. It’s scary how obsessive she is.

Of course it’s not enough that one should just write. I like Stephen King’s work ethic more, in that he incorporates reading sessions in his work day. I think it is important that a writer also reads, for research and inspiration purposes. Just writing, without any research seems too self-absorbed. It just makes writing a solipsistic sort of activity, or rather ‘more’ of a solipsistic activity than it already is. One should at least attempt to engage, if not with the outside world, then at least with other human beings, other minds. Minds preserved on paper. But who knows, maybe that kind of solipsistic writing has its own merits. Like, extreme originality, or extreme weirdness.

None of these make much sense yet, but just throwing words at the paper, maybe something would stick.

Show yourself to be alien and original enough, but not so much that you would scare the reader away. The reader for a time is our customer, and because she is our customer we must take great care that her demands be met. The reader demands satisfaction, escape, adventure, those vicarious thrills. This is a mercenary way to look at it.

This young woman is all alone in the world. She has only her books – shelves and shelves of them, to entertain her, to help her deal with the boredom. She is immortal, she doesn’t grow old. She doesn’t need to eat much. Just enough. Probably she can even gain nourishment through photosynthesis. In the far post-apocalyptic future, living in her sealed mansion, she’d have turned crazy so many years ago if it weren’t for the presence of these minds preserved inside the books in the vast library/museum/building. Maybe she actually has gone crazy. But because her mind got bored of being crazy, it became sane once more. Periodic moments of insanity and lucidity, alternating forever.

She picks a book at random and opens it somewhere in the middle. She reads the first paragraph, then the second, and so on. If she finds it interesting she would read the first page of the book and continue on until she finishes it. There is no fear of running out of things to read soon.

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Anime Review : ‘Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne’ (2007)

Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne (2007)

a review

It’s got gore, sex, violence, violence against women especially, really fucked up violence against women. It’s a sort of horror-sci-fi-fantasy mix, but leaning more towards dark fantasy. The fantastic elements are subtle, that is, there are no energy balls, powering-up by shouting really loud, flaming swords, and all that silly kids stuff. Guns, knives, and other hand-held weapons are the primary causes of massive physical damage. This work is not intended for children or young teens. It is psychologically-mature, dark and serious.

I felt that later on, the nudity and sex felt gratuitous. The animation is well-done though, and yes, it does feel at times that you are watching a hentai. But the anime does have a strong and compelling story, and I think this ‘saves’ the presence of these scenes somewhat.

The animation is pretty good. It is smooth, the background and landscapes are wonderfully-done. The character design is good. The characters are likable and memorable. The main villain and his motivations aren’t revealed until the final couple of episodes, but we see the effects of his machinations early on. I like the structure of this anime – six-episodes, with each episode about 45 minutes long. I wish more anime were like this. Maybe it would help with the pacing and narrative. Of course this depends on the type of anime, but for the more serious ones, I think this form would be useful.

The intro and outro look like they belong in some heavy metal music video. My only problem is with the lyrics of the intro, which is in Engrish, that is meaningless or badly-written English used because it sounds cool. They could have just written it in Japanese. But this is a minor quibble.

We all realize this at some point in our lives.

A very similar anime to Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne is the Garden of Sinners anime series, both in structure and the darkness of themes or topics being focused on. Both also have supernatural elements in them and bad-ass female main characters. Plus the action scenes are really well-done. Overall, I highly recommend both of these anime.

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Working Title: That Time in High School when the model students got in trouble

The First Section gambling scandal rocked the high school. These were not your ordinary mainstream students. These were the ‘cream of the crop’. These were students who excelled at mathematics, physics, chemistry, English, research, all the necessary basic subjects for the creation of future scientists. Several of the ringleaders were absent from class for a couple of days, but they slowly crawled their way back to school after a couple of weeks. If it wasn’t for the ‘goody-two-shoes’ who tattled and reported their actions to the homeroom teacher, who then reported it to the guidance counselor, and so on up the administration ladder, their actions would have gone unpunished.

So she’s a bit of a loner, and I was sitting at the back, my usual spot, just a couple of seats behind her. I sit at the back because that’s where I am most comfortable. I have a semi-omniscient view of what everyone’s doing. You don’t have this view if you sit at the front or at the middle. You have to be at the very back of the class, preferably at the side far from the door. But the omniscient perspective is just an added advantage, what I really liked was the silence and the isolation, and so when the teachers were suddenly called one afternoon two weeks ago, for an emergency meeting, I immediately brought up to my desk the book I have been reading for the past couple of days.

It is a classic horror short story collection. My favorite of the ones I’ve read so far is the one about the Japanese soldiers who got lost in the jungle in the later years of the war and had to survive not only from hunger and isolation and mental stress, but also from supernatural attacks from unknown creatures. What I liked was the creepiness of it. I liked how the Japanese soldiers weren’t all portrayed as villainous, as some of them could be virtuous in much the same way that our own countrymen aren’t all heroes. Anyway, my target story for the day is the one that was set in the middle of the Spanish colonial period, so around late 1600s to early 1700s. I was reading it and really liking the description of the priest and his relationship with his orphan girl servant who was so likable because she was always so sassy and cute and so hard-working. She is eight, but already knows how to cook and clean the house, and all those things, and one day the priest comes home to find her murdered in cold blood. The lights went out, and the students at the front of the class declared that they are turning the class into a ‘casino’ as the teachers are going to be busy in their emergency meeting for several hours, maybe the entire afternoon.

After turning off the lights, they closed the windows as well. If it wasn’t for the fact that it was cool as it was raining, I would have gone out and spent time in the library. But a disadvantage of that is that I would have to be constantly on-guard lest the teachers return to class after the meeting and start classes again. So I just closed my book, my eyes, and decided to take a nap. As I was hoping to at least rest my eyes. I have been having trouble sleeping lately, and one of the most unusual advise I retained through the years was that if you can’t sleep at night no matter what you do, it’s best to just not sleep at all. This was one of my second grade teacher’s life advises given to us students so many years ago. I forget most recent things, but I have this weird tendency to hold on to certain old memories. Like the name of a classmate when I was in first grade. That specific weird-looking toy that was on the shelf of the low cabinet where the toys are kept in kindergarten. Or that story I read back in first grade about the old Japanese farmer who saved his village from a tsunami by burning the ricefield filled with rice that are ready to be harvested.

The student – ring- leaders were urging the other students to, if they are not going to get involved, at least keep it a class secret. ‘We are just going to have some fun before the teachers return’, one of them said, I don’t recall who exactly, there were several of them ma’am, and I can’t recall exactly who said it, but I do know who it was that was the ringleader. I can point them out for you. I will cooperate.

The various cliques and circles had their own separate things going on, and it was all fine and dandy until the loner religious perpetually-silent girl stood up and told the ringleaders to correct their behavior. In the darkness her voice rang high-pitched and a bit shaky. She said that this behavior, this turning of the classroom into a ‘gambling den’ with the playing cards and the betting is not something that a model class should be doing. She sat back down again, and there was silence for a bit. And then, ma’am, one of the ringleaders, the loud fat one, excelled at Math and Biology, told her to, if she’s not going to go with the flow, at least shut up, it’s all good fun here, we’re not harming anyone, it’s just to pass the time. And then more awkward silence.

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