Monday, September 26, 2005

Web prowl

Read about the moral decadence and sexual perversity of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Paul Sartre and how they toyed with other people's hearts a la Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Vote for your favorite public intellectuals in this online poll sponsored by the magazines Foreign Policy and Prospect. From, an essay on why Nabokov's Lolita endures. The Financial Times profiles Paul Wolfowitz's work at the World Bank. The Ateneo de Manila University launched its "Discussing Politics" essay series with: Beyond Mere Leadership Change: Reviewing and Redesigning Electoral Institutions (pdf) by Millard Lim, From ‘Hello Garci’ to 1-800 COMELEC: Reinventing Electoral Administration in the Philippines (pdf) by Melissa Jayme Lao and Education for Sale (pdf) by Anne Candelaria.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Sukarno in his own words

I had no idea until today that Sukarno had an autobigraphy. But reading the following hilarious excerpts from it, where Sukarno refers to himself in the third person, I have to add it in my (alas, ever-lengthening) must-read list:

"The simplest way to describe Sukarno is to say that he is a great lover. He loves his country, he loves his people, he loves women, he loves art, and, best of all, he loves himself."

"Now, I must admit that in my youth I was so terribly handsome that I was almost girlish-looking. Because there were few female intellectuals in those days, there weren't many girl members and when Young Java put on a play I was always given the ingenue role. I actually put powder on my face and red on my lips. And I will tell you something, but I don't know what foreigners will think of a President who tells such things … Anyway, I will tell it. I bought two sweet breads. Round breads. Like rolls. And I stuffed them inside my blouse. With this addition to my shapely figure, everybody said I looked absolutely beautiful. Fortunately my part didn't call for kissing any boys on stage. I couldn't waste any money so after the show I pulled the breads out of my blouse and ate them."

Friday, September 16, 2005

Web prowl

The Cato Institute has released its Economic Freedom of the World report. Walden Bello and John Rees discuss America's vulnerabilities. The novelist Carlos Fuentes on Cervantes, Kafka, and the saving grace of literature.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

OJT at the ABS-CBN

ABS-CBN Publishing, Inc. is accepting OJTs with the following courses:

Communication Arts
Business Management
Marketing/ Advertising
Psychology/ Behavioral Science
Industrial Engineering

These are for our Editorial, Circulation, Finance, Marketing, Ad Sales, Business Development and HR Departments.

Kindly ask your referrals to forward their resumes, certificates of good moral character and recommendation letters to the ABS-CBN Publishing, Inc. office, located at the 4th floor of the ELJ Bldg. Mother Ignacia, Quezon City

Bingle E. Villanueva
Human Resources, ABS-CBN Publishing Inc.
4152272 loc 4666

Monday, September 12, 2005

Malaysian politics for dummies

I'm presently reading Cities of the Hot Zone: A Southeast Asian Adventure by Greg Sheridan, who writes for The Australian, and here is his "all-time disco guide to Malaysian politics and sociology":

PAS [Islamic Party] members don't go to discos, ever. Keadilan [Justice Party of Anwar Ibrahim] goes but doesn't drink alcohol. The DAP [Democratic Action Party of the Chinese] works hard all day, goes to the disco at night and gets drunk. The MIC [Malaysian Indian Congress] works in the disco. The MCA [Malaysian Chinese Association] owns the disco. UMNO [United Malays National Organization] owns the building the disco is in.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Now that it's (all but) over

I know that not a few people are relieved that the impeachment complaint against the president has finally been junked, not because they harbor a special fondness for Mrs. Arroyo but simply because it has all gone, er, tiresome. Sadly, even the quest for justice is susceptible to ennui. Ask Don Quixote.

For the opposition and its many supporters, their defeat is almost inexplicable, like like death--natural, yes, but still incomprehensible. How did they lose when they had almost everything one can wish for in impeaching a president? The Garci tapes are like manna from heaven PR-wise; the only thing that could possibly have topped it was a VCD sex scandal with the president in bed with a man not Mike A. (to which effect some in the opposition tried to insinuate, describing in one scandal sheet the sexual adventures of the allegedly nymphomaniac GMA).

What is so goddamn hard about ousting GMA? The extreme left and the perfumed class combined couldn't budge her. The Cory magic disintegrated before her. Even our hyperventilating and incendiary national dailies failed where in Erap's time they were execeptionally successful. Why, not even a daily-updated PCIJ blog with links to all and sundry revelations against Mrs Arroyo achieved quite the same impact as the outfit's erstwhile revelation of Erap's mansions. Why? Why, Oh why is Mrs. Arroyo so seemingly impregnable, like an unmoveable little barnacle off the bank of the Pasig River?

Simply because it is hard to vilify her. And you need this to manufacture outrage that can propel a People Power revolution(which FVR understood only too well). If anyone will bother to look inside the capital's student campuses, the present Anti-Gloria movement has failed to deliver enough buzz. Not enough students are talking about it. And you need students for People Power because they swell the crowds at a cheap cost and they don't need to go to work.

By President Arroyo's seeming weakness, it is hard to recruit forces against her (I think there is a suitable passage from the Tao Te Ching about this, which I'm too lazy to look for at the moment). Outrage is reserved for powerful personages. If you're small, people only laugh at your foibles (or make your embarrassments ringtone for their cellphones).

Personally, I am resigned (okay, I'll admit it, even a little elated) that this episode is finally winding up or at least not proceeding with the same crescendo as before. Unlike the Anti-Erap movement where some of us ended up looking good with our idealism, the anti-GMA is only portraying all of us in a bad light. Rather than leaving our hearts with comforting assurance as to the innate goodness of men, the anti-GMA alliances are only leaving a especially disturbing bad taste in the mouth: Ping Lacson linking arms with priests, Satur Ocampo dissuading proletarian farmers of Hacienda Luisita from protesting against their landlord, various socialites pretending to be "civil society," Butz Aquino invoking the memory Ninoy while sharing spotlight with the latter's murderers.

What now for the opposition? If God is truly on their side, as they claim He is, surely one year would not be so hard to bear before filing another impeachment complaint. Or if they really find Mrs Arroyo insufferable, well, I guess, they can always try a more adventurous-- and final--solution to the nation's predicament.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Jop opening

DLS-CSB is looking for design and arts professionals

As it prepares to expand its degree programs, the School of Design and Arts (SDA) of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde is in search of professionals who enjoy interacting with creative young adults as mentors and as fellow designers and artists. The SDA needs men and women with competence in any design and arts field and preferably in the following areas:

• Graphic Design
• 2D and 3D Animation
• Web Design
• Interactive Authoring
• Photography
• Technical Theater
• Philosophy of Aesthetics
• Production Design
• Fashion Design
• History of Art and Design
• Professional Practice for Design and Arts
• Sound Design

Qualifications: A Bachelors Degree from a design and arts field, preferably with a Masters degree plus a minimum of three years professional experience. Contacted applicants should present a portfolio of works and be available for a teaching demonstration.

Please send an application letter, curriculum vitae, copy of transcript of records and 3 pcs. 2x2 photos to:

Tet Lamarca
School of Design and Arts
De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde
2544 Taft Avenue, Manila
Telefax: 526-7441 loc. 181 / 123

Saturday, September 03, 2005

'Separate but equal' Mangyans of Mindoro

At the Oriental Mindoro Provincial Hospital, Mangyan patients are maintained in a separtate ward because other patients complain of their presence (and their allegedly foul smell).

Upon first hearing this, we, of course, thought this was an unforgivable instance of racial discrimination, reeking of American "separate but equal" maintainance of exclusive facilities for blacks. But the doctor assured us that this arrangement worked for the advantage of the Mangyans: They ended up getting better service. True enough, the Mangyan ward, which sits on top of a hill, is more airy, more spacious, and better maintained than the regular wards which are cramped, dank and altogether not that well-ventilated. The Mangyan ward even has its own kitchen!

I still don't know what to think of this arrangement. Is this patronizing for indigenous peoples? Or are we just over-politicizing an arrangement that people of Mindoro otherwise find natural? In any case, Mangyans in that hospital seem to be enjoying quite a preferential treatment that people of lighter color should probaly complain.