Posts Tagged ‘truth’
Juan de la Cruz! or Joe Blow! or Jane Doe! (Of course, I would have been twice merrier if it was me!)
Of all the brilliance and luminosity of the bloggers and pundits at the 2009 Philippine Blog Awards Awards Night last October 9th, nothing shines brighter than the light of freedom. And the true winner that night is that one person who our blog post finds.
More than the luster that each award recognizes, it is the power of the word to forge minds, form opinions, and sometimes force changes that makes these ceremonies meaningful.
To the 2009 PBA winners, congratulations (especially to Jim Paredes of Apo Hiking Society fame who won in the Best Personal Blog-Nationwide Category)! Thanks to you, my dear readers and good friends, who continue to appreciate my work.
P.S. I just wish they have a separate category for celebrity bloggers. Enough said. [d]*
Got this in my email today, and suddenly it felt all too real for me! I started to run in my mind the inventory in my closet — no, I ran towards the closet! — and then feverishly thumbed through my hung clothes. Black! You can’t go wrong in black! Ugh, I have to buy that Penshoppe Recut jeans that I’ve been salivating over… Stop! Neither Cher in her outrageous diva outfit would pop in there nor would there be celebrities in bold blinding bling with swooning fans and shark-like paparazzis in attendance, so why the fuss? I had to slap myself a li’l bit, as you would some hysterical mama, to remind me this ain’t no Hollywood as they say in ebonics/blackspeak. Just being around bodacious, brazen, even brash bright bloggers would surely beat watching B movies on a blah Friday night (what’s up with all these “B” words?). Okay. Well then, I’ll have until 5pm that day (actual Awards Night), to have my right lateral incisor (one of my front teeth) plastic crown fixed, nay, replaced. But I’m broke and it’s such a *bleep* (another B word). I was eating mixed-nuts when it loosened up, so I accidentally chewed it. (Crrrunchhh ! Oh, the sound of a horrifying realization that what you were enthusiastically masticating on is a 3,000-peso artificial tooth jacket and not just any green pea!). Talk about the wrong tooth with the wrong food at the wrong time! Were I an unbeliever in Murphy’s Law, this could have been my “Hallelujah” moment, except that it was an “AAARRGGGHH!” shout instead. Sigh.
Back to the email: it says I can “come as I please“, so I guess it’s alright to attend with a fang-like front tooth. Hmmm… would wearing animal prints — leopard or tiger? — make or break the look or would a subtle ‘Twilight‘ aura — white-powdered face and black eyeliners with a little hint of a blood dripping on my right lip corner — say I am not that blasé yet? And if I do come as myself sans the effort to cover up my dental booboo, will photo-ops be actual opportunities or will these photos haunt me someday? Maybe I should start to practice grinning without flashing my teeth and try not to smile like Jim Carrey so no one would know about my poor little tooth (except you, the reader, which could mean, oh, everyone from everywhere, including the Awards Night audience! But surely, you can keep a little secret, can’t you?).
Hold on, I’m trying to be a Wordsmith and not some Close-up model last time I check. Who gives a dentist’s drill about my tooth anyway except, well, the dentists? And in case the Tooth Fairy won’t make it until my last Cinderella hour to rescue me, I shall rely on Calliope and Clio (Muses of Lyric Poetry and History, respectively, to the non-Greeks) to make me look good at least on paper.
Philippine Blog Awards Night, you will surely be digitized even if I grow another fang or two dangling in my nose! [d]*
What is it that the more of it that we possess, the lesser that we can actually possess?
If you answered “DEBT” to that one, then you need financial counseling (paging Suze Orman). I’m talking about RECEIPTS as inversely proportional to the actual money we have at hand, the ghosts of the cash past. They are the tangible manifestations of the virtues TRUTH and ASSURANCE: the testament that money actually changed hands (that’s why they call it “cold, hard cash” because they seldom get the chance to warm in our hands) and the promise that it may change back to the same hands again (for those who have returned crappy items before can now say, “Amen!”). They tell a story of our greed or need, the contracts of our endless bittersweet affair with what the Bible calls “filthy lucre”. That in this flux of perpetual wants, they are at the crux of the transience of things, the legacy of impermanence.
Heck, they’re just receipts, and I don’t have to be poetic to say that we have one too many of them.
Yesterday, while rummaging through my black M&FG satchel bag, I realized it was a month’s worth full of them. Normally, I would toss the trivial ones and keep “the testaments, and the promise, and the legacy whatever”, just in case. Then, a ka-ching moment : why not let these receipts tell their own tales — the good, the bad, the cheap and the chic! What would really suck is I will have to scan each one that I will use; but hey, I am not the [the digitizer]* for nothing! Thus, the birthing of my newest baby/category: Receipts Don’t Lie ( “and I’m starting to feel it’s right…” thanks, Shakira).
Got receipts that beg to be heard? Better send them over to me, email@example.com, scanned and accompanied by their stories, before they get the digital equivalent of an Alzheimer’s (where the ink is time-erased or scheduled to magically disappear from the thermal paper they are printed on). It’s a clever way for the merchants to legally expunge our legacy of impermanence, dashing the virtues those receipts actually represent. What a paradox joke, no? [d]*
Call it appreciation, recognition, validation. Even blarney, flattery, sycophancy. They all do their wondrous stroke to stoke the fire in anyone – to have more, to do more, to be more.
Andy Warhol, an American painter and a leading pop artist, was dead-on when, back in the 1960s, he coined the expression that served as a mantra of the not-so-pussy-footed wannabes who would stick their feet (and necks) at any revolving door of opportunity: “In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.“ True enough, this has even turned into a cold-fish ”15 minutes of fame” cliché nowadays. All those who cringed at the American Idol outtakes and auditions could only agree and exhale with relief that, thankfully, these posers could torture us no longer than our usual wait for the pizza delivery (or you have the power over that TV remote, yes?).
In retail pop-culture, YouTube, that great democratizer and equalizer of entertainment content and distribution, is replete with videos and vlogs of these 15-minuter celebs whose fame have either sky-rocketed (e.g. Charice, Arnel Pineda of Journey, or the skateboarding bulldog, Tillman, from the iPhone commercial) or were launched into stratospheric digital oblivion (the DietCoke-Mentos symphony creators; Susan Boyle who?). Then, there are these unreal reality shows that make instant has-beens out of their new “It” boys and girls as fast as these shows’ meat grinders could spew them.There’s vlogging and then there’s blogging.
While others relentlessly rant and rave about their rank, wretched lives, others took the road less blogged and pursued their passion pushing all the right (and wrong) buttons where fame and notoriety found them well beyond the Warholian constraint. Take Perez Hilton, the self-proclaimed “Queen of All Media”. All he did was made fun of celebrity pictures by scribbling white notes of insults, praises, insinuations, or anything he fancies, which is engaging, quite frankly, if not at times downright silly. His pink accented website is not about to let go of that ingenious, winning formula just yet, so the mockery of googol-dollar stars with his mostly irreverent doodles on their photos continues to entertain, enrage, and energize the rumor-mills, the digital equivalent of defecrating — can you think of anything worse than defecating and desecrating ? — the pantheons of the commercially-crafted and cosmetically-perfected deities of Hollywood , even after his latest Michael Jackson callous “cold feet” double-entendre. Perez found his groove and brings hordes to his site to dance to his tune while he sashays his way to the bank. And then there’s another blogging wonderboy named Bryanboy. Ever heard of him? If you don’t know who Anna Wintour is either, or wonders if Burberry Prorsum is some kind of furry, berry-eating marsupial, and well, you don’t follow überbloggers (ahem), then you would think that his name evokes visions of a dirty-blond Texan model trying to look like a rich kid trying harder to look poor selling jeans shirtlessly. Still with me? Maybe the name Marc Jacobs would help. Yes, they are friends. How about The New York Times? Now, you can’t get any better ultra-liberal validation than the Gray Lady which called him “internationally loved fashion superblogger” because his blog has 0% fat and his posts BS-free (my words, not the Lady’s; oh yes, say that you love me, too, Bryanboy!). By the way, he’s a Manila-based, self-deprecating (not defecrating, silly!), self-loving, self-made androgynous Filipino celebrity blogger (sorry for dashing your hope for a blue-eyed blond blogger bloke). Clearly, he’s out of Andy’s curse because to this day, he still does click-click-click his way to the world’s major fashion capitals and is on a first name basis with the gods and icons of fashion. If you see your name in the window display at Toronto‘s posh Holt Renfrew store paying tribute to your craft, then you know you have arrived and can tell Andy to take his 15 (make that in decades) and let you do your thing because you have the world in your keyboard, baby! Some boy, huh?
Now back to earth (Batangas City, Philippines), I’d be lying if I say I don’t dream of such a good fortune. Living in the outskirt of a city of 300,000 whose main idea of urban recreation is malling at a boxy SM City and its main watering hole called The Ledge (thank goodness it’s not in a real one lest people would have jumped off out of extreme ennui). I can’t skateboard like Tillman nor am I as telegenic. I don’t wanna dress like Byanboy either (no offense, Baboosh!) or defecrate ala-Perez Hilton. Write I can, so blog I do. When The Digitizer was officially listed as one of the 10 nominees for the Filipino Blog of the Week contest at The Composed Gentleman blog for this week (August 1-7), I had my Warholian moment even if I haven’t won yet (lol). It feels good to know that all the sleepless nights studying HTMLs experimenting with widgets and themes and color schemes (let alone writing the posts which made me get acquainted with the laptop’s blank screen) would somehow pay-off if only one seasoned blogger whose comment even edges to a glowing “review” (thanks luminerli) is like multi-colored fruity sprinkles on a vanilla sundae. So I went on a full email-blasting and tweet binge (believe me, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds, like I was trying to out-campaign the early presidentiables, you know?) to my hapless friends and acquaintances. I was thinking of attaching in my email this annotated screen shot of the voting site (see below) but thought against it for fear of coming off as shamelessly desperate crass. Glad that I steered clear of a spammer’s career. So yeah, my future in dirty, sexy, gritty politics is still intact. (Rolls eyes).
The strangest thing is, most of my friends read my blog for the very first time and not from the steady stream of my blog posts in Facebook and Twitter. The best thing is some of them were inspired to start or at least renewed their vigor for blogging.
Now that is the vanilla sundae right there!
I don’t see myself churning out posts that don’t bear a morsel of my soul nor shall I ever enjoy an endless stream of electronic soliloquy and digital narcissism. Winning this badge – getting that validation for my work – means breaking my own glass ceiling and seeing the world through borrowed eyes, so when I write I don’t write for myself but for him whom will my message find. Should that ceiling be tougher to crack, I shall still find it rewarding to remain true to my voice and an ardent student of my craft Andy Warhol be damned!
Writing is a thirst I haven’t quite quenched yet, a passion still to be unbridled. Lest I lose a cherished though neglected gift, I might as well give it free rein. Writing is more than just neat syntax and clever juxtaposition of ideas. Words don’t have a meaning. They seek a meaning. For words to have power, they need soul. A story chooses its listeners when the storyteller knows its heart and knows it by heart. After all is said and written, the ones that really stand the test of time are those with timeless messages and ageless appeal. In their core lies the seed of truth guised as pixelated, printed, scribbled, or etched characters in search of a purpose in order to escape the realms of abstraction. To be a bearer of truth and to beautifully and meaningfully convey it are my hope, pursuit, reward, and fulfillment as a true wordsmith.
Blogging is more onerous than I imagined. I had the notion that all I could do is babble away like a child who just learned to vocalize. An apt simile, but I want to do more than just ramble. Thus the conundrum : do I let the words flow like a brooklet enticed by gravity or let them take flight like a rocket reaching escape velocity?
First day of blogging and I’m already having a blogstipation! I’m not gonna bleg though lest I lose the very essence of self-expression. As a guiding principle of writing, I will follow my heart and be honest with my emotions; I will free my mind and open myself to all nuances of truth; I will feed my soul and be all I can be; and I will feast on life and savor what is and what is now.
Whether it’s flow or fly, gravity will keep me in check.