Thursday, March 31, 2016

A New Addiction...A TV Series That is....

For a certain period of time, I was raving religiously for Downton Abbey. I did not only watch the movie, I even searched for documentaries about the Edwardian Age, the Gilded Age, and read books about countesses and heiresses and lords of that period. I even ordered a cookbook on food that was cooked in the late 19th century England. And I don’t even know how to cook!

I tried to write a post for each episode but I had no time. I was too consumed with watching the series and researching. Ah, researching- that old geeky hobby of mine. Anyway, thanks to Downton Abbey I have learned the proper ways of a lady and how to have tea in the appropriate manner. And yes, I have spent a considerable sum of money for a tea set. When the Downton fever was gone from my system, I hit my head on the wall so hard for splurging money on a tea set when I am A FREAKIN COFFEE DRINKER!

So that’s why I hate TV series. Because I can get addicted to it, and I will be self-destructive again- getting late for work because I watched 3 episodes the night before, talk about it almost every day, dream about it, buy stuff that has something to do with it, everything! Ugh, it’s really bad.

I remember when I got hooked on Ugly Betty. I subscribed to fashion magazines and I am not even someone who loves fashion. If there is something I did for fashion, it’s breaking all its rules and looking pretty much un-fashionable all the time.

Now that I am done with Downton Abbey, what’s the next addiction?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you “Madam Secretary”.

Unlike other TV series which I just happened to watch an episode and then got hooked, I searched for this one.

Downton Abbey has left me a void in me which I needed to fill up. So I looked for something that has to do with politics and there it was- MADAM SECRETARY. Plus, Tea Leoni, the lead actress as Secretary Elizabeth McCord, is also a fan of Patricia Cornwell, one of my favourite writers. So here I am, after a dozen episodes, raving again for a new obsession. A new religion. But don’t worry, I won’t be writing anymore about this. I just need to get this out of my system before I go crazy again. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Book Inquisition Ep. 4- A Clash of Kings

The Beki Biblio-Queen summons George R.R. Martin’s “A Clash of Kings” to the stand.

  1. How was the cover?

Same as the first one. It’s okay, but I’m giving this 1 point just because it bears Martin’s name which was enough for me to grab it. 

  1. Can the book cause a lot of controversy? Or if the book is controversial or has an outrageous claim to something or really popular, did it live up to your expectations?

It’s not controversial. But the TV series has made it more popular than ever, so you kind of expect something that will meet your hunger for a fantastic reading experience. Game of Thrones was definitely one of the most unforgettable reading experiences for me. Although reading the second did not exceed the experience I had with the first book, but still, it lived up to its reputation. 1.5

  1. Did it compel you to do something you’ve never done before?

Not really. The second book is about the warfare and the clashes of four kings, the intrusive nature of religion in the political arena, black magic and stuff, and so much plotting among siblings and friends. I mean, these are things that I have done in the past. Nevertheless, interesting. I’ll give it a half-point. 0.5

  1. Was the plot development refreshing and more than the usual shit you read or has it became your reality?

In the second book, Westeros was divided into four territories, each one claimed by four self-proclaimed kings- King Joffrey Baratheon, the Stupid Brat of King’s Landing and current Ruler of the Seven (Supposedly) Realms, King Stannis Baratheon, the true heir (to my point of view) and pretender to the Iron Throne, King Renly Baratheon, the Handsome pretender to the Irone Throne and Proclaimed King by House Tyrell and other lords of the Reach, and the red-haired Young Wolf, King Robb Stark, the King in the North.

As tensions are already nearing the boiling point, Lady Catelyn Stark, my favourite girl, under the orders of her son, went to meet Renly and Stannis to form an alliance against their true enemies, the Lannisters who were currently holding and ruling King’s Landing, and technically speaking, the whole kingdom. Her mission failed because, you know, men think with their dicks and they just want to be their own boss. Add to that, there’s the red priestess, Melisandre, who probably fucked demons as a hobby, gave birth to a demon-child shadow especially made to assassinate Renly.

In the meantime, my favourite character in this book, Tyrion Lannister came back to King’s Landing and was appointed by his lord father as the temporary Hand of the King to rule on his behalf, because Joffrey was too busy playing king and because he’s an incapable stupid brat (just like the Philippine president I suppose), that even the Queen Bitch Regent Cersei Lannister couldn’t even control him. As you can see, there was so much plotting and conspiracies happening in King’s Landing between the two. I loved Tyrion for that. I mean, he is so smart and cunning that I would get down and give him a blowjob even though he’s not that good-looking. Not to mention how Cersei Lannister, the brother-fucker, relieves herself by banging a 15-year old knight, a cousin of hers. Damn that’s one evil bitch of a cougar. I kind of like it. LOL! Under the watch of Lord Tyrion, King’s Landing prepares for battle, against whom, they still have to know yet.

In the meantime, Stannis forces grew stronger as he was counselled by Melisandre. What happens to the others, well, go on and read it yourself.

In Winterfell, Theon Greyjoy betrayed the northerners by attacking the realm to please his lord father, the former rebel, Balon Greyjoy, but things went terribly wrong.

And Jon Snow, well, he’s still in the winter wonderland beyond the wall, looking for his uncle and solving the riddle “what the fuck is happening in the desolate north and where the hell are the wildlings and their leader?!”.

The political intrigues were quite interesting but they somehow appeared to me as nothing new and that’s why I can’t say that this story has become my reality. In a certain sense, this WAS my reality- pulling strings during local elections, black propagandas, conspiring against a local political leader. I’ve been there and done that. So reading this made me just…. Nostalgic. Nevertheless, it was really fun to read. I’ll give it a 1.5.

  1. Were the characters of the story similar to your favourite imaginary friends, or did they get along well with the creature under your bed, or have they become the friends/lovers/sex-slaves you’ve always wanted in your delusional world?

Tyrion is my hero and I love him already. Lady Catelyn was as ever the strong iron-willed woman I will always admire. Brienne of Tarth, her devotion and chivalry is so touching. And last but not the least, Queen Cersei- that filthy rich bitch, I discovered that she’s a cougar. I like her now. LOL! 1 point for such great roster of characters!

  1. Has it changed your way of thinking? Have you become a better person or remained the same asshole in the neighbourhood?

Kind of hard to say if this book made me a better person. But you get some lessons on how to spy on others and some basic lessons on espionage, intelligence gathering, and statecraft. 0.5 point

  1.  Tonight. Sex or this book?

So a book is definitely good when it overpowers you that you ignore all sorts of mating calls, bootie calls, and such.

So I’d be momentarily lost in the pages of this novel in my solar. A servant would then announce the arrival of a knight sent to me from King’s Landing.

What a surprise! Cersei sends her boytoy Lancel Lannister! The bitch knows I don’t bang boys. I want men. 

But then, in these days when the land is ravaged by wars and there are shortage of men, all I am left with are these boys. So what’s a horny bitch to do? Sorry Martin, the book is good but not enough to distract me from this cutie. But I’ll be generous- 1.5 points.

7.5/10- Not as exciting as the first but it still is a good read.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Of Rebels, Pronvincial Lordlings and A Game of Branggay Thrones

Politics was and is my daily bread.

There’s nothing else that excites me more than politics. I hear debates about national issues and I jizz my pants right on the spot. Alden Richards can drop dead in front of me and I wouldn’t care. But if hear a rumour of a secret visit of a congressman or a cabinet official in Florence, I will move earth and heaven, come hell or high water, just to track him down and have a selfie with him or have his autograph.

Politics has been a factor that defined our family.

On my father’s side of the family, we were called The Stormborns (GOT fans, believe it or not, we are the true Stormborns, the cadet branch of House Targaryen through Khaleesi Daenery’s line, which makes me the true heir to the Iron Throne and Prince of the Seven Kingdoms, LOL!), because my grandfather was born while a storm raged and wrecked Laguna. Somehow, it made us distinct among others, because we are a proud breed and quite clannish in nature.

My grandfather was very charismatic, had lots of friends and joined many associations, and had good friends in the Municipal government. We lived in the same street as the mayor of our town, and in every party and fiesta our doors were always open for the mayor and his family. And to top it all, the infamous power couple, the Marcoses, gave him an award for his labour as an outstanding farmer in our town.

He wasn’t a politician though, and he has never ventured into the political arena.

His brother on the other hand entered baranggay politics. He had charisma, the macho playboy look that would definitely attract the female voters, and he had a following. And the plus factor was he had my grandfather, his access to all residents of the town from the poor to the upper-class Chinese traders in town. From one glorious victory to another, he was able to reach a certain degree of influence and power, and was almost halfway to the Municipio.

But then, an early decline came upon the House of Stormborns when we thought we were almost there to be the next political dynasty of Laguna.

The good Lord took away my grandfather quite early, taking away the ultimate chain that bound to us the votes and the moral support. And perhaps the great flaws of the family’s men- womanizing and gambling- took away the good sense and reasoning from my granduncle.

Until now, the family was never been able to get back to the game of baranggay thrones. The name Stormborns was remembered, but was not enough to be considered as the local lordlings of the town.

The same won’t be said on my mother’s side of the family. My mother’s family is seated in some far away small dusty town in Batangas, and many of them are holding positions in the local seats of power. Despite the fact that my mother abhors politics and has done everything she could to dissuade me, my cousins, her siblings, and even our grandparents from taking part in the political life of our province, the whole family are there playing their own little game of baranggay thrones, forming factions within the family, vying for power against his own blood. Even I found it so unbelievable when I visited my relatives there in 2013. One family member against another, the nephew against the aunt, or cousin I think? I don’t know! I lost track of the family line. It was really interesting and quite appalling too.

Unlike in any other province ruled by warlords, these provincial lordlings haven’t resorted to taking up arms and commit fratricide, yet. But the election season is the most disturbing and the most stressful season for the whole family, even for us who are living outside the country. The eldest members of the family would summon the allegiances of the sons and daughters, the cousins, our cousins, and many other friends who are treated as if members of the family, the godfathers of children, everyone whose name is conjured in the memory of our patriarchs and matriarchs, and we are all compelled to either come and vote or hand out our “voluntary financial support”.    

For others, they find it despicable but they complied as good sons and daughters who honor the father and the family name. I don’t mind it. I am even glad to see the whole family as a machinery working together with their faction.

Despite the internal division, and different family names, it is still the same local political dynasty that is being elected.

I may have glamorized a bit about my family, but if we had the money and the right machinery, we would've been classified as Type-A Trapo. It's truly despicable.

And me?

When I was young, I had a clear vision of what’s going to happen in my life. I thought that I was going to graduate from one of the prestigious universities of the country, collect money from willing members of the family, and set my way up to become the next governor of Laguna, and then, senator of the Republic, and in my most delusional imagination, the next imperial overlord of Asia.

But God had my plans fucked up and threw me away to Italy- the country that broke me and totally changed me.

I became active in politics but not a trapo like my relatives. I was an activist and joined the communist group of students. I joined rallies and forums and participated in the biggest left-wing movement that overthrow the conservative municipal government of Florence.

Soon my politics ruined my studies, and I eventually had to quit school. Come to think of it, it was the most fucked up moment of my life and it wasn’t really caused by my politics. Anyway, that was the moment I realized that I was fighting for the wrong side and converted to become a conservative.

In the past, here abroad, I participated in my events and programs and even in the local politics of our community. I had friends and contacts that helped me and served me well for my agenda. It was so good that I was able to gate-crash in an exclusive dinner to honor a very high-ranking official of the Philippine Cabinet.

Currently, I am not anymore active the political life of our community. Why? Jesus came in and He set a life agenda for me which I still find hard to subscribe to. And besides, I have seen what politics did to my family. We lost money, old and strong friendships (alliances) were poisoned by conspiracies, family disputes, which we always assumed would dissipate after the polls, and remained permanently and closest friends despised us. True enough, the mighty would eventually fall.
As for me, when I think about my bestfriends, my beloved sister and my dear cousins, I can’t bear the thought of losing them just to grab power. And for what? What is that power for anyway? The pride and prestige of the family? For power’s flimsy promise of wealth? For the fame? Am I really comfortable of being buried with honours when I die or the certainty that my most beloved people would shed their tears for me and miss me, and love me until my last breath?  

I won’t play the game of thrones the way my forefathers did. I’ll just watch and learn and speak up when the need arises, but not touch or entertain any of power’s illusions. It may be a favourite thing, but in the near future it won’t be my daily bread anymore. 

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Carrot? Cabbage?

Many went crazy for carrots.

Some would love cabbage.

But me? Well, for me it’s this one.

Prince Carl-Philip of Sweden. He’s yummy.

Gourmet. I fucking eat gourmet.


Tuesday, March 01, 2016

The Book Inquisition ep. 03: We Filipinos: Our Moral Malaise, Our Heroic Heritage

This is a compilation of some of the important essays written by the illustrious Francisco Si0nil Jose, one of my most beloved and favourite writers.

His book is not subject to any questioning or scrutiny. It’s too inspiring and well written to be reviewed by a pretentious jerk like me. His essay brilliantly tackled the role and future of the Filipino artist and the shaping of our culture.

From urbanization, politics and our history, F. Sionil Jose shared his precious insights and brilliance, and his important critique of our society. These essays could move hearts and persuade minds, put to shame the sanctimonious ignoramus and assholes in powerful officers of the land, and even push others to unleash the unyielding and passionate patriotism that has long been numb inside our souls by apathy.

Read this book and you will never look at our history and our society like you used to before, unless you harden your hearts and take leave of all your senses.