believe me, this is not what you think it is

Little has changed from a few years back, but what has had rippled outward, slowly, eating at the color of this place.

I remember then, not too long ago: when someone called us out, we called them out too. We knew that no one was perfect, that we were all flawed pieces walking on the same floor. And we embraced this: our flaws, the flaws of others, the way we embraced their talents, because there was, to our minds, no way to do one without the other.

And so our flawed thoughts were spewed forth in flawed words, to which were added even more flawed words, until, little by little, all the color that was in between the flaws could do nothing more than burst through, and fill the rooms with life, an iridescent electricity that passed through the flaws and made things appear perfect, even if only for moments at a time.

Nowadays, though, one cannot spit out a flawed word without anyone retorting with something no less flawed, but black and colorless this time. One color against a torrent of black, swallowing life and leaving nothing but ennui. Said in jest, but in truth spewed to protect flaws that, through years, perhaps an entire life of concealment, have become stigmata, never to be seen through leather gloves, long sleeves, and half-true-mockeries at the entitlement to be offended.

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memories of shaded circles telling me that I should be a college professor

Psychological tests–those ones that have you shading circles and stuff regarding how you think and feel in certain situations–should, in theory, be open to straight-faced lying and whatnot to make them downright inaccurate.

They work, though, because deep down, everybody’s just screaming for help, and all that is left for the testers is to determine what sort of help one needs.

dumb, or, thoughts while inhaling hypetrains

Having no school the next day is always a perfect excuse to get those extra hours of sleep, slack off a little bit, regain some imaginary momentum in the real world. Been trying to catch up on things as well, both academically and geekily: things need watching, reading, listening. An anime episode here, a series there, a game quest over yonder. Working the brain in more ways than your everyday semi-memorization exercises.

Nobody wants something that insults the intellect, after all. People are getting smarter every day, everyone who creates has to understand that. And when people get smarter, the world unfurls before them: little things come into focus, subtle things suddenly jump out, thoughts and things start to interconnect in the uniquely beautiful way creativity and imagination are produced.

There’s something to be said, then, about those who adamantly defend the dumbing-down of the mainstream. Using master plot as an excuse for coming up with content that doesn’t serve to stimulate the senses and the mind is nothing but degrading to all, whether learned in literature or not. And you wonder why people start hating local mainstream fare when it comes to television and movies (for the record, I haven’t watched TV at home for more than three years now, and I’m not really regretting it). To underestimate the audience simply makes things worse for everyone: them, you, everyone you work with, the entire industry. And the effects are long felt after a season ends, whether prematurely or not (*sobs for Firefly*).

It doesn’t help that the good stuff is so hard to find, either. Because it really is a social class thing: the richer you are, the more stuff you’re exposed to, the bigger the influence on your tastes (cue-Marxist-rant-about-modes-of-production-here-I-guess), and I don’t think it should be, marketing be damned.

talas, men

(original note circa Jun 2014)

I was taking a jeepney ride home, staring at nothing and everything at the same time: car bumper barely hitting car bumper, smoke-belching buses pretending to be F1 racecars, the grimy underside of an overpass, fences with “Bawal Tumawid Dito”, people selling cigarettes, candy, and softdrinks by the roadside, when I happened to see something peculiarly thought-provoking written at the backside of a taxi cab:

Jumar, Jerome, Jeremie, Jeremiah

At any other moment, it would have been banal, like every other random sight one sees while on a ride home, the-journey-is-more-important-than-the-destination quotes be damned. At that time, though, it sounded like a spell, some sacred mantra not unlike those inscribed on anting-antings, incantations to keep evil or mischievous spirits away. Having them, apparently, be the names of the driver’s four children was icing on top of this delicious cake of alliteration.

Then it hit me: maybe the Filipino is not so much forced to be creative as he is inspired to be. His is an environment where every day is an exercise in puns, visual design, and so on, stretching the imagination.

In such an environment, can one honestly do any less than create?