Third Gear: Shit Just Got Real
You never know you’re stepping on shit until you smell it. You never know you’re messing around with lethal shit until it hit you in the face and cracked your skull open. You never know how shit hurts until it hits you hard.
For long I had thought I lived in what I had known to be reality, until that fateful day came.
Naoise finally died in the hands of Conchobar’s henchman.
For once I had felt the relatively new adage fulfill what it was supposed to say. Shit really had gotten real. After all this time did I realize I was living in a folly, a fictitious tale weaved by an escapist mind longing for acceptance.
The day Tristan had died was a day I never expected. Iseult had often talked about antisocial behavior, and how unlikely it was for her to make new connections. She hooked up suddenly with Mark, and Tristan, thinking that his aspirations had been betrayed, broke down because of grief. All the emotions and accounts were shattered, so were the mushroom memoria. Tristan, always the recluse, would definitely have spiraled down, had he not been maintained by three guides.
Lancelot would wish for no more than Arthur taking care of Guinevere, now that all love had dried out. His final wails would probably be unheard of, and he would end up a rotting corpse in the middle of the battlefield that is life and love.
Add to that the missing piece in my life: the friend who became my chest of secrets as much as I was to him. He had died a year from now, and I would have wanted someone to drink beer with during these troubled times. With ni Dall being betrothed to mac Nessa (and ironically loving it), mac Usnech has served minimal purpose in her life as much as the tattletale who told of the ridiculously photogenic Zeddie Little-esque attributes of the sons of Usnech. Mac Usnech would be relegated to drinking beer in pubs with his close pals, and even meet king-in-exile mac Roich along the way.
But then the fact that all I have been living this past year was folly hit me hard. It verily mirrors an oft-neglected quote from small-time-criminal-turned-jack-of-all-trades Carl Johnson—a quote so neglected from walkthroughs that I could not even remember what the quote said and to whom CJ addressed it.
All was folly, and shit just got real.
Perhaps what some old friends said about Tristram’s feelings to Iseult was true: it was infatuation all along. An infatuation that was bred and developed into an illusory, perhaps to some extent hallucinatory, outlook on life in that one lives everything according to number, color, and toponymic patterns. It is also best to point out what they have observed in discourses regarding Lancelot’s folly that everything that seemed to be involving what is now a love long gone suddenly morphs into a personal evaluation when the characteristics and attributes of both players are juxtaposed alongside each other, and compared and contrasted.
The epiphany that the life I have been living—that which revolved around the patterns that can be conceived through a topical understanding of long gone love’s life story—is illusory, made me wake up from the Irish dream, and declare that “shit just got real”. With this realization also came the deciding “glimpse in the mirror”, to use His term, and the subsequent realization that I have missed a lot in my life thinking of what could happen when mac Usnech and ni Dall finnaly reunite. As far as the ability of these epiphanies to bring me forth to a certain fork in the road of my life is concerned, I think it is time I shifted gears once more, and began to grab all opportunities that pass me as much as possible. It is time to make up for lost time, quit procrastinating, declare mac Usnech’s love for ni Dall as inexistent (and subsequently kill Naoise), and fulfill my life as I want it to be. That way, when the time for the ultimate glimpse in the mirror comes, I would cease to regret things I have blindly followed. Hasta la eternidad!
HASTA LA VISTA.
Naoise is dead. The ball is in Deirdre’s field now. Either she splatters her brains all over the dirt road by throwing herself out of the carriage and hitting her head on a sharp rock, or she waives Mannanan of the foster-father responsibility to her children and live with Conchobar until he dies (and, subsequently, she does, too) due to Medb’s greed.
This is gonna be short. Just about how I got epididymo-orchitis.
I an currently in an institution where they hold six one-and-a-half-hour lectures per day four days a week. In these hallowed halls, absenteeism is a mortal sin which cannot be absolved. Ever. It is a non-bailable offense, in which a conviction would immediately have you sentenced with reclusion perpetua, if not capital punishment.
That is why in these past weeks, even as I was being bombarded by antibiotics (the most recent being broad-spectrum ones) and NSAIDs, I never missed a day. Well, except for an examination, but I got that taken care of.
January 25, my throat started to feel a bit bad. To the clinic I ran, and I went out with ten tabs of cephalexin, a “first-generation cephalosporin antibiotic (Wicky)”, to take for seven days. Then pus came out of my huge-ass tonsils, and they upped the cephalosporin antibiotics one degree, prescribing me cefuroxime. Then I had tonsillo-pharyngitis; a consult with an otorhinolaryngologist had me busting my pockets for clarithromycin, ebastine betamethasone, and benzydamine hydrochloride.
I felt well, until I felt a lump on my jaw.
Just a couple of weeks before I was prescribed the ENT triple dose, the little guy had mumps. Little guy, a nine-year-old schoolboy, got rid of the rubulavirus infection in about a week. About three days later, the dadfather felt extreme pain in his jaws; his cheeks bulged. His excursion was postponed. On a Sunday, almost a week after the primary infection of the dadfather, I felt the lump on my jaw. A check-up gave the primary diagnosis of a swollen lymph node, but new check-ups suggested mumps. Then my balls began to hurt.
What’s weird that I was one of the 10% who got unilateral parotitis brought about by the mumps virus.
I know I’ve given my medical history in two months on the statements above alone, but it’s not what this is for.
The issue was that the whole family was inoculated; everyone had had two shots of the MMR vaccine in their youth. Therefore, it would be a bit strange for us to have a recurrence of epidemic parotitis, since basically the MMR vaccine has helped the body create antibodies to fight the mumps virus.
If three of us were struck down by this virus, it must mean our bodies did not have the antibodies for the specific kind of virus. Since the MMR vaccine fights the strain of mumps known to man when it was created (and when it was improved to fit the times), the strain we contracted might have been of a different composition—different protein build, different amino acids, different reaction to antibodies. The antibodies the MMR vaccine triggered the production of did not seem to respond to the signature of this new strain.
This might be a new mutant strain of rubulavirus.
Oh, and my balls hurt. So did the dadfather’s.
The only thing I find strength in in this time of gut-wrenching ballsack pain is the fact that I would be inoculated for life. Or so I hope. The thing is I might not have children anymore. Knock on wood.
A skeptic I may be, but given these circumstances, if I have children, I’d name them after miracles.
January 1 (You Are What You Were)
Another year, another struggle.
Last year was full of mistakes, misaimed shots, and misunderstandings between me and a whole shit ton of people. Last year also had its share of iconic events I managed to attend, most of which I had attended in the laast quarter of the year. Among these memorable events were the Excursion tour, wherein I managed to see the acclaimed dance-punk icons in the mainstream music scene, and my first (to date) expeience of what is known in the school I am atending as the “Pasik”, wherein shit hits you hard like a flying brick wall going straight at you.
Mostly, however, shit flew around me this year, with the whole scene resembling a war between two tribes of monkeys, with rocket-propelled crap going back and forth the camps. And with me caught in the crossfire. That’s why, in a way, I’m happy that I survived 2011, with the shit bullets and shit shrapnels crossing my way to 2012, to welcome mankind’s final year. Thank you, Mayan civilization.
So, let’s talk about the new year, and how I find it somehow unnecessary, given the world’s status today.
Chinese traditions continue to flourish in the culture here, mostly when it’s new year. The usage of firecrackers and things with circles on them give away what the pre-Commie chinks gave to the “nation”, along with the porcelain vases, feng shui, the ba gua, the ang pao, and the surnames of the rich elite. Well, not to dis the Ayalas, and perhaps the Lopezes too, but frankly, they’ve beaten some very long odds by the mere inclusion of their name in the pantheon of rich “Flips”.
Chinks believe that firecrackers help ward the evil spirits away for another year, and they adhere to their symbolic representation of circular objects in that circles have been a mainstay in their culture. Just look at the moon cake.
But then again, although we owe the chinks the most spectacular way of celebrating new year (pyrotechnics), Flips have their own beliefs in new year that have become an integral part in celebrating the coming of the new year. Mostly these are classified in a subsection in the topic “Filipino Beliefs and Superstitions”, a few chapters below Ultra-Conservative Catholicism.
Some beliefs you only see in the last few days of December and the first few days of January include; 1) jumping high in new year, so as to grow taller; 2) preparing twelve kinds of circular fruits, like pineapples, bananas, jackfruits, soursop fruits (guyabanos), mangoes, and the like, for luck; and 3) wearing articles with round prints (i. e. polka-dotted shirts), for bigger money influx. I think, however, that these beliefs came from the chinese geomantic veneration of the circle, as hinted here.
During the last few days of the year, the media starts to broadcast things regarding the new year, and the belief associated therein, thereby prompting sketch gag shows tocreate their own twists on this topic. In fact, due to pop culture frequently referencing belief number 3, a joke has been made regarding wearing “polka-dotted articles”, as is explicitly stated in the joke. The joke says chinese geomancers (feng shui practitioners) now discourage wearing “polka-dotted articles” during new year, and encouraging them to wear cloths with rectangle prints. Why? So as to receive cheques and bills, rather than coins, this coming year.
Another integral part of the new year, aside from the “media noche”, is the New Year’s Resolutions, in which a person makes a vow to try to correct a habit s/he has developed during the past year. Things pertaining to the preservation of health (“I will not eat too much fatty foods this year”, or “I will lessen my hours in front of my only life, which is not actually considered life at all, considering you don’t earn anything tangible from it”), the rectification of bad habits (“I will study hard and stop cheating during quizzes”, or “I will stop stealing clothes from my neighbor’s clothesline whenever they do their laundry”), turning over new leaves (“I will go back to school and study to become a baker or an automotive mechanic”, or ” I will quit the networking company, even if I’m earning twice a call center agent earns there, and begin to earn money through blood on my hanky, sweat on my shirt, tears on my resume, and semen in a transvestite’s throat”), and more things come out of mouths this season. Some are even senseless in a way, and are basically baseless, like “I will stop learning how to juggle”, “I will give the toys my friend lent me back to him, even if it has been twenty years”, or “I will stop eating milkfish belly”.
But I tell you, these “rectifications” do not do any good, and sooner or later you will return to your old habits. These returns to old habits are overlooked, however, since people tend to forget about stuff nowadays. Except for those blessed few, and those cursed few, the latter of which includes me.
However, with all these merrymaking, there basically is no change as to how the people live their lives. They are in January 1 what they were in December 31. The adrenaline rush only fools people into thinking “things will change for the better today; the new year has come”.
The only thing that changes is the numbers on the year, denoting another cycle of January to December, and, in leap years, the number of days in February. Other than that, the calendars in homes and workplaces, and the number of dishes to wash, nothing else changes that quick in the passing of January 1.
You’d think everything would be better today because of the delusional merrymaking scenery, but it’s not. When you wake up the next morning, you are today what you were yesterday. You are in January 1, 2012, what you were in December 31, 2011. And it would take you more than January 1, 2012, to turn your life around.
Nevertheless, Happy new 12-month cycle. Or, as I paraphrase you guys, “Happy New Gregorian Year”.
This piece of paper was being passed around in one of my classes just a few weeks ago, before the yule break. It said something along the lines of “give a one-word Christmas wish you have”. In response, I wrote:
I shed off all signs of religion-connected behavior in the advent of my ignosticism. That, of course, except swearing in the name of some “omnipotent” concept whose existence is yet to be proven so as to have a tangible ground in which to determine proper associations of every damn thing attributed to this concept. And somehow hypocritically celebrating some religion-related special day. Like Christmas.
Say, where did Christmas even come from? And is the 25th of December really Jehoshua’s real birthdate?
Germanic people celebrated a festival some time in December or January (as approximated in the Julian Calendar), commemorating the winter solstice. Now I don’t now how significant this is to the Germanic people (not to be confused with the Germans of Deutschland), but they seem to have attributed it to their Gods, most notably to Odin, whose names included Jolnir, or “Yule figure”.
It was said that prominent Christian figures implied that Jesus must have been born in December, due to Sextus Julius Africanus’ suggestion of Jehoshua being conceived in the spring equinox. The Christian church only established Jehoshua’s birth in the 25th of December as part of their inqusition campaign in the Christian East.
Wicky told me about the bit above. All I know is (and this is what I think) a man of the faith wanted something the Christians can celebrate along with the Germanic pagans, so as not to feel left out of the merrymaking.
Now, let’s assume Jehoshua really was born on the 25th of December. Based on the
folkloric depictions fictional accounts of how his birth was staged, let’s examine how it all fits.
Jehoshua the Jewish rabbi was born in, as their holy scriptures say, Bethlehem. Bethlehem is in Israel, which is located more than 33 degrees north of the equator. Being more than 33 degrees above the equator means you’re out of the reach of the Tropic of Cancer, which is situated about 23 and a half degrees up from the equator. So it must snow in times like these. Unless of course Israel has been remapped south of the equator, in which case it’s sweltering hot.
Now it is said that Jehoshua’s birth was heralded by angels who showed themselves to night-shift shepherds looking out for their sheep, grazing in the meadow, in a snowy day. Wait, something’s wrong there. Sheep, grazing in the meadow in a snowy day. SHEEP, GRAZING IN THE MEADOW IN A SNOWY DAY!!! It’s fucking snowing; all edible grass is frozen beneath the thick layer of snow raining down in Israel! What are the sheep supposed to do, eat snow?!?
And that bright star that guided the way of the three wise men from the east? How are they supposed to see the star with the clouds blocking the view? And by the way, stars do not actually move from one point to another in the night sky. You can’t see Betelgeuse in between Gemini’s twin “heads”. It’s the earth that moves, and alters the position of the stars. If the stars move, they move together. It’s like a huge tarp with a massive artwork looped together into some kind of a treadmill, and you’re looking at the treadmill as if it was a TV screen. A mug in one side does not move to the other side in the opposite direction. This being said, the Star of Bethlehem has twice been unproven. A star cannot move by itself across the night sky, and even if it did, you would not be able to see it behind the snow clouds covering the Israeli winter night sky. Well, assuming Jehoshua was born in December 25.
Another thing about Christmas is the involvement of the concept of Santa Claus and his flying reindeer sleigh. And how it seems to intrude the original concept of Christmas being celebrated in commemoration of Jehoshua’s birthday. St. Nicholas is a saint of many people from many walks of life, and it is in his persona as a gift giver that the concept of Santa Claus was born.
Thus arises the question, “For whom do we really celebrate Christmas?” If it was for Santa Claus, who is either a fucking elitist who hates poor kids or a burglar wearing red who is bound to steal your brand-new 62-inch plasma TV while everyone is asleep due to the merrymaking, then it should come as an insult to hardcore Christians, most notably devout Catholics. If it was for Jehoshua’s birth, then why is it snowing in Israel?
I’m an ignostic, I can’t be bothered to argue about Christmas. I’m presenting these points not to try to convert people into shunning dogmatic fundamentalism and embracing religion-less reason and rationality, but because it’s how I feel about Christmas. It’s literally out-of-season. Who have ever heard of shepherds guarding their sheep grazing on a grassy meadow in a snowy winter night?
Really, it’s not to ruin devout Christian childhoods. It’s just how I feel. I believe prophets are born, and they were called to “service” by, probably, schizophrenia or a nightmare. But in no way do I believe of their sanctity. I don’t think I even believe in the sanctity of anything.
I believe Jehoshua the Jewish prophet was born some long time ago. I just don’t believe in his God status.
This is why I relegate myself into saying “Happy Holidays”, if I can. I still have respect for people who adhere to religion, though. So, honoring my word of this post not necessarily ruining devout Christian upbringings:
Living a Life of Peril
Everyone has a chance to aspire to be one. But not everyone is given a chance. Those who are, however, live perilous lives.
A journalist does not get a few accolades without making a lot of enemies; be they from inside the trade, or in the outside world. The day-to-day job of someone appointed to report on a sociopolitical situation is always marred by warnings, death threats, and even near-abduction experiences. I think only those employed by the big-time companies get to be secured by the security firm the network hires to avenge the attack on the journalists.
Fact-finding surveillance always takes a lot of time from the journalist. Unlawful people, most of them backed by those guys in high places, always tend to conjure new modes of erasing the tracks from a scene they deem perilous to the career of the someone they work for. The journalist, then, resorts to probable witnesses from around the vicinity of the crime, who in most cases did not notice anything malicious happening in the area. Or even the SOCO unit, whose seemingly outdated techniques in scene-of-the-crime operations do not somehow make the cut for a credible evidence against those implicated. Chances are, these
pigs cops might as well have been paid by the goons of these people in high places.
This, then, takes away crucial time for family matters away from the journalist, who might be a parent to three children, or a child to a parent who suffered from a stroke and needed to be taken cared of.
If these “harbingers of truth” (if I may say so myself) dig something up from somewhere so big that the guy in a high place might be charged with a non-bailable offense when it comes out, they face death threats. Death threats through text messages of letters tossed through the family house gate, containing words along the lines of “shut your yap or you’re doomed”, “watch out; you’re next”, or “you’ll regret what you said, that is, if you’d still have the life to regret things”. These put the life of the journalist and anyone around him/her in peril. The spouse might ask for added protection for the children when they go to school; the parent may convince the offspring to temporarily cease what he does for a living for security reasons; the family may attach burglar alarms around the doors of the house and arm themselves with pistols just in case. The children become afraid for the safety of their parent as well as their own, the parents or grandparents may conjure escape plans just in case things get heated up. everything breaks down.
But the journalist, eventually falling in love with his/her work as it has been the passion s/he possesses since childhood, will never stop blaring the truth through his speakers. S/he will endure graphic death threats and keep on looking for the truth to set the people free.
Perhaps the most offensive thing a journalist could ever experience, however, is the puncture of the skin by a bullet propelled through the pull of the trigger; let alone the feel of the barrel of the gun right on the skin.
In the 23rd of November, 2009, 38 journalists from different networks and different forms of media were summarily executed by elements of a powerful political family’s private army, led by an offspring of the family patriarch (which also happens to be the patriarch’s namesake). Gruesome depictions of the mass murder of the victims, belonging to different familial backgrounds and religious and political affiliations, surfaced a few days after the bodies were dug out of a large pit in a lot somewhere in the largest southern island in this nation. Photographs of the aftermath of digging for the bodies of 57/58 victims of the massacre surfaced as well, a collection of these from a photographer is on exhibit at some gallery.
This has been the greatest injustice man has done onto truth.
Until now there is no progress regarding this case. Members of the political family involved have been charged and are now detained, but until now there is no tangible lead, no credible evidence, to implicate those detained and to secure the identity of the patriarch as the mastermind behind the killings. Almost two hundred defendants face 57 cases regarding this massacre, and a private prosecutor cites international studies on case trials in this country in saying that it may take 55,000 years to wrap up the case and give pure, unadulterated justice to the families of the victims.
Families such as the little girls still looking for their parents even if they’d already passed on through the bullet. Families such as those with five children under the care of their grandmother, the eldest being a parent herself. Families such as those whose parents had everything in the house fixed up for them, from school items to sewn clothes.
Families who basically are victims of injustice, participants of involuntary transactions (NE V.2.1131a2-9), victims of a system of power (and the acquisition thereof) identified by how you can pull off something hard in the easiest of ways—no matter how messy, and get away with it.
All of these, because all 38 of them wanted the truth to be out. They wanted people to know what’s happening, what’s bound to happen within the next few hours. They wanted to help people see for themselves how things went in the preceding events of one of the most crucial events in the life of a state: the election.
They’d risk their life just to give people what they really need: the truth, pure and unadulterated, straight from the organic farm, with no chemical fertilizers and no chemical compost, and no preservatives, additives and extenders. The stripped-down, this-is-what-you-need-to-know-so-don’t-be-bitching-about-it-later truth.
When I first heard of the news of the mass murder, all I could say was “Holy Fuck.”
I still do now.
Sorry On This One, Penn
“Easy money is bullshit.”
-Penn & Teller, Penn & Teller: Bullshit, Episode 805: Easy Money
And rightly so.
Unfortunately, that always is not the case.
Especially when you get to a place where the frailocratic influence of the Spanish regime still lives on in the hearts and minds of every indio around the state.
It’s just a matter of faith. Every damn thing is a matter of faith. It’s a “believe, and then you will see” kind of faith. Much like churches, and any other religious institutions and establishments.
And the Pyramiding Scheme, sweeping the whole nation trapped in a psycho-hypnotic trance.
The belief system does not change drastically in this part of the world. Only, more and more fabricated photographs, meant to document the existence of something that isn’t actually proven to have existed in any era this old old old world has passed on, give believers hope. False hope. False hope of actually attaining something that isn’t even there in the first place.
(That might be a very messed up example I made of the church, so, moving on.)
Then, it seemed like “entrepreneurs” saw this kind of faith among people prevalent in communities that they decided to turn it into something profitable. For themselves. And perhaps also, partially, to make the thousands of bucks circulate around wallets and banks and personal safes. But mostly for self-profit.
They did not know it would be as full-blown as nationwide.
And so easy money did not become bullshit.
Many of these put up their fronts as sellers of herbal products and health stuff. Some others sell accessories and “blingage” for both men and women. Some sell clothes. Pay this kind of amount, and you get a package of your choice of products to sell around the neighborhood.
Then, after they show some products they sell around to you, they insert the scheme in. “Recruiting”, so they call the “pyramid height addition process”.
It’s actually a scam in its own right; many of those who started with such businesses turned out to be big-time scammers, finally being put down by the government after two of three years in the money-making business. They might as well have had bail money due to their time in the scamming business.
Now, it seems all benefit from this scheme; a scheme based on faith, and ends up in the pocket of the guys above you a couple of steps up.
Pyramids vary in form, size, and purpose. The form mostly used is what my analysis likes to label “squaring the deuce”. You get in the company, most often under that someone who recommended you to the company. You get two of your friends who don’t know each other (or family members), who then get two of their friends who don’t know each other (or family members), who then get two of their friends who don’t know each other (or family members), and so on, and so forth, until what you get underneath you are people whose profits from selling or recruiting, profit you more. Most of the time, these companies strictly require you to bring not less than two subordinates. However, there are some “sales companies”—actually pyramiding corporations, if I may—who devise other schemes, usually derivative of the most commonly used pyramid scheme. Some devise a “recruit two under you, get profit from five under you” scheme; some new ones who seem to have more potential than the others require you to recruit at least one friend or family member, and watch it all go down.
The matter raised by Penn Jillette and Teller in their show is that not everybody is hooked up to such schemes of gaining money. Deduction presents that people would rather earn their money through hard work (paychecks are tastier, I tell you), than depending on subordinates, basically, to rake in some cash. More importantly, it’s a matter of belief. If people don’t feel the appeal something is trying to give out, they won’t bite the bait.
But look at the poor Flipside. They’ve been encroached in their belief system all half-millennium long that they seem to forget how it feels to control your own life based on the principles you hold dear, how it feels to have complete control of your free will, all in favor of gaining what actually makes the world go round and what will actually keep you alive: money, not love. They believe in something others may claim to have seen but actually are yet to see, just because they believe in its existence and a vague hint of its manifestation will make them flip around.
If I were to choose over standing on people underneath me to reach the top or climbing the thorn-laden ladder myself, I’d go with the latter. Paychecks are tastiest when earned through blood, sweat, and tears; not through enticing fickle souls to help you up to the top.
Hate all you want, oh fickle brother of mine who traded away what his father held dear (and his free will) for self-sustenance. Hate all you want, oh people who think he made a right choice in being sucked into the pyramid. I’m a man of principles, and not even my brother finally being thick-faced and inviting me inside his greed orgy can make me take up being a sales rep.
Because I firmly and strongly believe in the absence of a Godhead persona, and the only thing I believe in is my own instinct. But most importantly, I believe that,
“Easy money is bullshit!”
-Penn & Teller, Penn & Teller: Bullshit, Episode 805: Easy Money