Archive for the Neurotics Category

Enough is Enough! Stop Writing!

Posted in Neurotics with tags , , , , , on Agosto 8, 2015 by Blue Dela Kanluran

It’s been a solid month since I began formally mentoring some of the writers in our office. Now, this isn’t the first time I had to assume this kind of role over people. I had a couple of batches of OJTs to look after back in the days when I was working for the advertising department of a (surprisingly) still operating daily.

Why This is Relevant

But, this is the first time wherein the advice I give has tangible consequences on the people who choose to take it. A little context on that sentence. When I was mentoring OJTs they were still students, I wasn’t their principal instructor. I was a secondary authority figure that only allows them to better transition into the culture and reality of a working environment they’ll soon be entering. The responsibility of guiding them down the “right path” at least academically still lay with their professors and teachers.

This time, the “scores” they get depend on how effectively I can communicate my ideas on writing so that they can apply it to their own styles. The scores being the quantitative summation of their performance, which then affects their chances of acquiring bonuses, promotions, or even achievements that they can take to future job prospects. Pressure.

During the first month of our training there have been ups and downs, not just for me, but for the other mentors as well. All of the writers in our department are brilliant in their own way – some of them even have more impressive resumes than my own. But, they all run into one problem or another that seriously hampers their progress, and I’ve been wracking my brain about what it could be.

There’s Too Much Noise

I stumbled on the answer a few weeks ago, and it’s a problem that’s endemic in Filipino writers in general – they never know when to shut up. This isn’t just a problem with young, up and coming writer either; this is a problem that even veterans and published authors can succumb to.

The first time I was ever made aware of this was at (if you can believe it) a breakfast meeting with renowned children’s story book writer Christopher Cheng. He’s a really cool dude who loves telling stories to children, and is a very big deal in ASEAN and Australian children’s literature. Anyone interested in writing for kids should check out his work – especially Python, Water, and Sounds Spooky.

The meeting was organised by the Society of Children’s Book Writers (SCBWI) Manila chapter. Now, for those who know me there are a lot of things that don’t make sense with my participation in that talk, but that’s for another blog.

Anyway, he lamented the habit a lot of Filipino writers have of trying too put way too much into their stories that they become a confusing mix of conflicting plot points, hammy conflicts, pretentious solutions, and rushed conclusions. He critically panned plenty of the books we brought to the meeting exactly for that reason – many of which were award-winning pieces from prestigious bodies.

Stop Talking You Book

We all saw his point, and I completely agree. Reading his work next to the ones we brought, the difference was obvious. For the purposes of this examination I’m going to use the critically acclaimed Ang Ikaklit sa Aming Hardin. For those who don’t know this book, it’s considered a groundbreaking work in children’s literature, as it deals with the subject matter of growing up in a same-sex family.

Everyone loved this book and is the Palanca awardee for Children’s Literature in 2006. It’s a good read and I recommend it to anyone, whether they’re interested in local literature or children’s books. There’s just one glaring problem with it – it never stops talking.

Every page is a wall of exposition, the writer details every single thing going on regardless if it moves the story forward or not. Buy the book, or just look at the scans on Google and you’ll see what I’m talking about – small spoilers ahead.

On one pivotal page, the main character reveals that she has two mothers – cool stuff. But, it took an entire paragraph of explaining that the seeds she has were from her mothers. That entire section was filler that didn’t really need to be there. Yes, I realise the seeds grow into flowers in the garden to tie into a beautiful metaphor, which is exactly the problem.

There are too many ideas competing for the limited space of the story and the attention of the reader.

Going Back to Simple Stories

I see the same thing happening to my writers. They get so caught up in creating a narrative that they lose focus in what they’re trying to say. The reason is because most of them grew up with books and adventures that span multiple books, involving large story arcs, several characters, and deep meaning. There’s really nothing wrong trying to emulate the books we all love, but they’re all missing the point – all these books have simple ideas.

Harry Potters is a literary franchise spanning seven books, eight movies, and maybe even some spinoffs. But, at its heart it’s all about a boy who discovers he’s a wizard. Every book, every scene, every twist centers around that idea of whimsical discovery.

The fact that it ties in so well as a coming of age story makes it relatable and timeless, as everyone can can go on that journey because it’s a world that nobody has been in before. Rowling may have added hundreds if not thousands of elements into the mix from history to creatures, but the core remained the same – Harry Potter is about a boy who discovers he’s a wizard.

The same can be said of other classic stories:

Star Wars is about band of rebels trying to topple an oppressive empire – in space.

LOTR is about a road trip to destroy the tool of ultimate power and evil.

The Hobbit is about killing a dragon.

Toy Story is about toys coming to life.

Yes, the end products of these ideas are lengthy, epic storylines but each one stays true to the central ideas that began with. This is what’s missing from my writers, and Filipino literature in general. Everyone is so caught up in trying to be relevant and intellectual that they never get to tell a simple story.

Enough with the morals, enough with the exposition, enough with the intellectual babble. If I wanted to read about lit theory I wouldn’t be reading about a man who can shrink to the size of an insect and talk to ants. The secret to storytelling is staying true to your inspiration.

Keep the idea simple, and don’t force it to become something it’s not.

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Staying Alive!

Posted in Neurotics with tags , , , , on Hunyo 21, 2015 by Blue Dela Kanluran

The last time I posted on this site was around two years ago, and a lot has changed since then on several levels. With all the different things going on I never had the time or the energy to blog about things. Forgetting the password to this site didn’t help in getting the motivation to write back up. When I finally got the password reset on this thing I was worried about the state it’s in.

Two years is a long time in internet time. In fact, it’s an eternity for a website to go without a single post. So, imagine my surprise when wordpress statistics says that the health of this blog is exactly the same as it was since the last post. It actually got healthier during the two solid years that I was ignoring it.

That makes no fucking sense! Looking at the numbers on a yearly basis my lowest years in terms of views were 2011 (when I started), and dipping very slightly in 2013. The number of visitors actually GREW in my absence, and its only this year 2015 when the views and visitors numbers actually reflect the reality that nothing new is going on.

Since the last time I wrote on this blog I’ve been in a couple companies, one was a BPO, and another was a slightly better BPO that operates on the internet. In the course of my stay there I learned a lot about how the net works behind the scenes (getting technical and shit). But, my stats fly in the face of what should happen when site goes dormant.

What’s going on? Is this place really this popular? Are people still talking about the things I used to talk about? Are spammers just trolling for site they can dump their stupid links on? The last one seems the most likely, but there should be a bunch of malware warnings attached to this site when they search it on Google (Aha! applying that technical shit I was talking about earlier).

Don’t get me wrong. I love that this place is still getting noticed even after I abandoned it for a couple of years, and it leaves me with a fuzzy feeling of contentment. That’s where I think the problem is though. I hate that feeling of warm fuzziness that happen when something good comes along. Contentment is a trap, its a euphemism for stagnation. Humans didn’t evolve to dominate this planet because they were content, we did it because everything else was trying to kill us!

As far as I’m concerned, contentment is the enemy of progress, which is why though I like Buddhists I don’t think they’re going anywhere with their philosophy. Struggle is the only way forward, because that’s how we push ourselves to find solutions. Without problems there’s no need to move forward.

The only reason you get up in the morning to a job is because you’re poor. The only reason you eat is because you feel pain when you don’t. Getting stuck in a happy rut is the reason why many people feel disenfranchised, depressed, and unfulfilled. If people get distracted by the small things that make them happy, they lose sight of the big picture and the goals they set in life.

This isn’t a popular opinion, gurus always say that people should enjoy the little things in life, stop and smell the roses, slow down, take a load off. This is nice to do every once in a while, but just to keep the stress the off your everyday life not an actual way to live.

If you live your life content with what you have you lose all drive to do absolutely anything else. The most successful people in the world are never satisfied. They always want more, and work to get more. People would call this greed, but those people are losers – literally.

Both wanting and needing drive people to reach newer heights. If you don’t want or need, you don’t gain anything and lose everything. This is why I’ll try to get more out of this blog from now on and drive to become something bigger, not exactly sure what bigger would mean in this case, but it’ll be a start.

I’m just glad to want to write nonsense again.

Gays and what we should do with them

Posted in Gulo ng buhay, Neurotics with tags , , , on Hunyo 26, 2011 by Blue Dela Kanluran

In recent news one of the most explosive articles to come out of the Western world is that New York has become the sixth state in the United States to legalize gay marriage.

Before we get to it I should say that this article has a few goals to achieve:

1. To proclaim my stand on same-sex marriage

2. To proclaim the reasons for said stand

3. To discuss homosexuality and AIDS

4. To discuss homosexuality and families

5. To discuss the word “marriage”

6. To discuss religion and homosexuality

Piggybacking on this report TV Patrol posted alongside it another story of six gay couples getting married in Baguio City. And Rated K covering a unique supposedly gay couple finding love and are about to get married.

First things first, I support the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Oh I can hear the derivative head comments now.

Ah bakla rin yan kaya niya sinusuportahan mga bakla”

Siguro gusto rin niyang magpakasal sa same-sex partner niya

etc.

To which my official answer would be: “I do not have the time nor the patience to deal with ad hominems. If there are no other more substantial arguments made against my already proclaimed stand I humbly yet strongly advise my detractors to shut the fuck up lest they once again demonstrate their ill-bred, uneducated, fallacious, narrow-minded, discriminatory bigotry to provide further evidence of their inherent foolishness.”

To clarify, No, I am not a homosexual and I do not particularly approve of their choice of lifestyle. However, I do support the legalization of same-sex marriage on the grounds of equal rights. That’s it. Pure and simple.

There are no, I repeat, THERE ARE NO substantial arguments against gay marriage. The loudest and most violent opposers to its legalization is (surprise surprise) the Catholic Church. Thankfully the Church has no influence on what bills can be enacted and what bills can’t, at least that’s how its supposed to work.

The assertion that same-sex unions can result in AIDS is a myth because the only way ANYONE can get AIDS is if they have sex with someone who already has it or if you ingest/absorb an infected persons blood. It doesn’t magically appear without reason merely because you perform anal.

History itself proves the assertion false because AIDS was first reported on June 5, 1981. The earliest known positive identification of HIV-1 was in 1959 and 1960 and genetic studies have shown that it was disease that was passed from chimpanzees to man around the 1900’s.

According to the medical timeline HIV didn’t even exist in humans before the 20th century. However, there are literary and scholarly evidence that proves to us that homosexuality was practiced in society even before the Birth of Christ. If homosexuality caused AIDS then it should logically have existed and discovered centuries before it actually was.

Detractor: “Maybe it already existed during that time and only now do we know what it is. It could have been killing people before only we didn’t have a name for it.”

The answer for that is simple. If AIDS did exist back then the casualty would have been so large that it should effectively wiped out a large fraction of the Earths population, and being such an event a record of that event would have been established. Such examples would include The Black Plague, Polio, Small pox, and the Spanish influenza. And we know that two of these epidemics of the early world are now mild nuisances. If a disease such as AIDS which is classified as a pandemic in the modern world imagine the effect it would have had in the early world. A disease such as AIDS would surely be recorded and no such records exist because like AIDS it didn’t exist back then.

Therefore: Homosexual intercourse does not cause AIDS in two healthy homosexual individuals.

Another myth about homosexuality is that children who grow up being raised by homosexual parents will become confused about their own sexuality and thus live lives crooked and unfulfilled.

Well I can solve this in less than a minute. There have been studies on homosexual couples raising children and real life situations demonstrating that situation. There are no untoward effects on the children that are inherently exclusive to homosexual parents. The problems faced by children raised by homosexual parents (from now on referred to as G) are similar if not exactly the same problems faced by children raised heterosexual parents (from now on referred to as S).

If G would experience teasing in class the same could be said for S. If G is experiencing social ostracism the same could be said for S. If G has suicidal tendencies the same could be said for S. If G is confused about his sexuality (and lets be honest) the same can be said for S.

The only conceivable problem would arise if S would deride and discriminate against G for having homosexual parents. A problem that is not caused by the homosexuality of G’s parents but by the bigotry and discriminatory attitude of S.

Besides these two myths the only argument that can be made would be from the religious point of view. And there is a whole mix of different variations people will go through in whether they accept or reject gay marriage.

There are some people who like to go to the definition of the word “marriage”. In fact this is their most common weapon. Well, if your only argument against something is a definition of a word then it is easily remedied. Change it. Words have definitions but they can (especially in constitutional terms) be changed. Definitions are not carved into stone. This is easily understood once you accept that words are mere representations of objects or concepts. Words don’t really exist, they’re just semantic symbolism created to make communication easier and faster.

Words are flexible and the world won’t collapse if you modify its definition without harming its core meaning. For example:

Revolution can mean a political uprising or the orbit of a planetary object around the sun.

The term “legal voting age” formerly prohibited individuals under the age of twenty-one to vote until it was changed to eighteen.

So to base your entire argument solely on the definition of a word when issues like equality of rights far outstrips it in importance is childish to say the least.

There are the people who reject it because of their religion (that’s the most common). But there are also people who are religious but want to support same-sex marriage and are trying to make the two agree.

Well I’m sorry to disappoint but religion (in this case Christianity) is very clear and making it agree with same-sex marriage is impossible.

I pulled the following example from the Yahoo News comments section of the article I was talking about earlier. And if the person mentioned below would like to have their comment taken out of this article just inform me and I will oblige.

Maria Aragon said: Man created the Bible. God does not discriminate and never will. 🙂

She admits that the Bible is not the inherent and divine word of God which I agree with but at the same time asserts Gods existence when the only proof that the Christian religion has ever provided for the existence of such a being is the Bible. Discounting the Bible is the same as renouncing your faith. So, that doesn’t work.

However, Miss Aragon is on her way. The hardest part in making a Christian see the utter immorality of the Christian religion is to make them see that the Bible is not a book wiped across the brain of God but a collection of fairy tales composed by desert people.

There is no difference between denying a gay person the right to marry and denying a woman the right to vote or denying a black man to sit at the front of the bus. These are inherent rights given to every person regardless and there are no substantial arguments against certain people having them. This is one of the foundations of our Constitution. Denying them any of these rights is an injustice.

If you are against same-sex marriage for no substantial reason then you are treating these people as second-class citizens and don’t even deny it because you are. You are no better than the Nazis were to the Jews. True you never committed genocide and mass torture against homosexuals but your religion (Christianity) tells you that they will suffer an eternity in hellfire for no other reason that they are homosexuals.

And the Christian homosexual community should think about that. The God and savior you subscribe to is condemning every breathe you take as a sin and will send you to Hell after you die. And you didn’t do anything wrong. Is that justice?

Do these “children in Chirst” even realize the hate speech they are spewing against an otherwise benign presence in their society. Gays are commonsight in Philippine society and these people are subtly and not-so-subtly being told their entire lives are a sin and they don’t deserve the same rights as other people.

There are even questions as: “What’s the point of giving them marriage anyway? They could just live together.”

The point is the option should be available to them whether they would opt for it or not. It’s the same stand for the RH Bill nobody’s going to be forced to use contraceptives the option is merely made available to the impoverished classes. They are free to use them or not but the choice is there. No one decides but the people involved, no old withered priests to interfere, and that is how it should be. That is whats called freedom (in the legal sense of course). And there are legal advantages to being married ie. inheritance matters, taxes, emergency response etc.

If a healthy financially stable heterosexual couple decide to get married there’s nothing stopping them. If a healthy financially stable homosexual couple decide to get married they can’t. Why? Because God said so? Not only is that a non-substantial argument it doesn’t apply to everyone. Not everyone subscribes to the same God and that is the wisdom behind the separation of Church and State. Not everyone applies the Christian hate speech against gays to their own lives because they are enlightened enough to see that homosexuals are fundamentally no different from heterosexuals and are no more a threat to society than anyone else.

Sure a lot of Christians will say (as they have for years) that acceptance of homosexuality and homosexuality itself is the devils work and that we must reject all of it as behavior from hell and its integration into society will slowly degrade our morals until the world reaches a pitch black abyss of immorality, ending the world and choking us all into the fiery netherworld eternally void from paradise.

There are simpler allusions like: “The new Soddom and Gommorah ”

“Its an abomination”

“God never intended it that way”

“Victory of the devil”

Try to tell me this isn’t hate speech. If there are no other reasons against same-sex marriage besides “God said so” then I’m afraid you logically have nothing to stand on. Since there isn’t any justification for the belief of God in the first place. The only evidence of which is written in a two-thousand year old book of dubious origin with conflicting texts and amoral virtues.

My only critiques of the Baguio couples is that they shouldn’t have gotten married because the sad fact is same-sex marriage is illegal in the Philippines (something that should be addressed and rectified). And the rated K couple aren’t homosexuals because they were physically and sexually attracted to the opposite sex. I don’t care if the one is gay and the other is a lesbian; One has a dick and the other has a vagina that’s opposing genders ergo heterosexualism.

Fall in love…(maybe)

Posted in Neurotics with tags , , , , , on Abril 21, 2011 by Blue Dela Kanluran

Lately I’ve been receiving e-mails from different women who are looking for boyfriends and/or serious relationships to carry them through their very lonely and boring lives.

First of all I already have a girlfriend (I know, she’s so lucky right?) so I don’t really need anyone else for now. Especially if their women who allegedly got my e-mail from a dating site I’ve never even heard of.

Ok, I know what I look like so I don’t need to describe it to you, but to have it spread all the way to Russia?! (that’s where most of them seem to come from) It’s a little unnerving.

But, just because I’m already happy doesn’t mean these women should get the door in the face. So, I’m reaching out to all the lonely hearts out there (haha, losers) maybe if you’re interested send them an e-mail or something.

Ok, this is Olesya.

Cute right.

This is Lastochka (I have no idea how to read that)

a bit too Gotti and MILF-ish for me.

This is Layla from Czech Republic.

My computer sucks so I can’t see her properly in that light.

This is a different Layla but I’m a little suspicious since her message was very similar to the first Laylas, also from Czech Republic.

Anastasiya from Novochebocharsk(???)

(I’m getting tired giving descriptions so I’ll just put up their names)

Elezaveta

Katya

Yagoda

The second biggest reason I’ve ignored all of these invites is that I highly suspect that this is a scam. But hey, if you’re lonely and willing to risk it why not give it a shot.

Interested? You know where to contact me.

This is a huge Enter at Your Risk kind of thing. So be careful.

Look behind you. There’s no one there.

Posted in Gulo ng buhay, Neurotics with tags , , , , on Abril 20, 2011 by Blue Dela Kanluran

The Church thinks because it has a predominant hold on the country it think that all the people who reside here are willing pawns to whatever they command. I’ve got news for the Church, they’re not.

As the battle for the RH Bill is steadily growing more heated the Church is revealing their true colors and the people are slowly losing their faith. Not their faith in God or Jesus mind, but their faith in the people arrogant enough to claim to speak in their name.

Dissent is slowly growing as the clergy realize that they are fighting a losing battle. Educated voices more knowledgeable of the topic at hand are finally braking through the massive wave of fear-mongering sermons delivered from Church altars.

Now they are resorting to their old habits of condemnation to Hell or threats of excommunication. As if they even have that kind of sway over Rome. Please. If Adolf Hitler, the most hated man in history was not evil enough to get excommunicated from the Catholic Church until now what shredded inkling of hope do you have that they’ll go for a President that expressed his support for a certain Bill.

I’m no fan of P-Noy. In fact I think he’s belligerent idiot who does NOT deserve his seat in the Palace and is the most incompetent and clueless President ever to claim the role. But when it comes to this issue it seems he’s finally grown a brain stem along with a pair balls.

He says that he’s not afraid of being excommunicated (in my opinion isn’t much of a threat but hey we’re in the Philippines so it kinda counts for something) which prompted some Church officials to call him “anti-Catholic” and unlike his mother Cory.

If by that they mean he doesn’t expressly follow what they want to happen to the country for their own gain Yeah he should be as different from Cory as possible.

And the Church is saying their only saying this because declaring himself unafraid of excommunication is like a declaration of war against the Church. Hello! Who threatened him with excommunication in the first place huh?! These fuckers better get their heads on straight if they want to win any kind of intelligent debate.

The one thing they have to realize is if they even want to come out of this with their dignity intact they need to completely reverse their strategy. Because of you read the comments section of news items talking about the RH Bill or talking about the Church talking about the RH Bill (I know it’s annoying some of the people there are total morons but you still get a beat on what the people are thinking, even though it’s completely inane.) it’s easy to see where the greater majority of the public is leaning.

Ps. it’s the one where you actually have a say on what you want to do.

It’s the same thing that is making Catholicism or religion in general lose its taste. Masturbate, Go to Hell! Don’t give them 10% of your salary, Go to Hell! Believe only what we tell without question or GTH Bitch!

The doctrine of Christianity is that you are convinced that everything about you, everything you did or about to do is wrong and sinful, even if you haven’t done anything yet. Babies go to Purgatory for godsakes what the hell do they have to be penitent for?! Why do they want to ‘save’ these unborn babies anyway? All they see when they come out anyway is just another sinner. It’s self-degradation at its finest and not a very attractive set-up.

The Church may be coming out all proud and confident that they’re the ones in the right and that the whole country is behind them. Well, if they manage to turn their fat heads enough just to look around they’ll find that there might be no one behind them.

Swindling Jesus. Shame

Posted in Gulo ng buhay, Neurotics with tags , , , on Abril 17, 2011 by Blue Dela Kanluran

Patrick ‘Pat’ Condell is a British writer, comedian, and atheist internet personality. He performed alternative comedy shows during the 1980s and 1990s in the United Kingdom, and won a Time Out Comedy Award in 1991. He was also a regular panelist on BBC Radio 1’s “Loose Talk”.

From early 2007, he began posting short monologues denouncing religion to a number of video sharing websites. His videos have been featured on many websites, including YouTube and LiveLeak. They have also been published to DVD, and also as a book of video transcripts. As of February 2011, Pat Condell’s YouTube channel has over 148,000 subscribers and 30.8 million views. In a video titled “Vote small, think big” Pat Condell apparently seemed to express support for the UK Independence Party.

Check out his website patcondell.net I dare you to disagree with the entire video.

Talent is not genetic

Posted in Neurotics with tags , , on Abril 12, 2011 by Blue Dela Kanluran

The title says this is Rebecca Black’s mom. I’m not sure about that yet but just in case, I’d just like to say it’s too bad that she didn’t pass on any amount of talent to her daughter.