Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I believe in us, Anna.
The Dexterian Credo (or, New Age Wishy-Washy Bullsh!t Part 1)

Cosmology
I believe in God.
I believe He created the Universe, or perhaps caused it to create itself; God stands outside and within causality.
For the most part, God is good, or as close to Good as Man can comprehend.
God is not bound by gender, or by convention; paradoxically, the human need for order and convention also come from God.
God is absurd. The gift of humor comes from His absurdity.

Man
I believe in evolution. I believe there is no conflict between biblical accounts of creation and evolution in itself. I see the hand of God in the evolutionary placement of mankind as this planet's dominant species.

I believe in self-determinism. God gave man a will, and hands with which to implement it.

I also believe in destiny.

I believe in the perfectibility of Man. He is always aspiring to be greater than himself.

The world Man lives in is the biggest learning laboratory ever devised. It is here that he can test his beliefs, his assumptions about himself and his place in the Universe. It is here that he suffers, loves, grieves, celebrates. This world too, is his jumping point into the hereafter.

The Problem of Evil
I believe in a devil.
I believe him as a symbol and symptom of the Problem of Evil. He is also an active will, wreaking pain fear and chaos in the Universe, or at least within the world of Mankind.

I believe in sin. The possibility of sin comes hand-in-hand with man's ability to think outside the box. There can be no saints where there are no deviants; no genius where there is no madness.

I believe that evil is necessary. No one truly wants to be visited by crime, sickness, natural disasters, but everyone can learn from these if they so chose. In a perfected world, though, it should not exist: we as a race should strive for this to be so, even in the face of our perpetual failure to bring evil to a final decisive end.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

千春が愛していない。ごごもあいしていない。あなた、あなたを愛している。きょう、明日、来週、来月、来年、いつも、いつまでも あなた だけ。 もどれよ。 僕にもどってください。 お願い。

I don't want Chiharu; I don't love GoGo. I love you, and only you, today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year and always. Please come back to me.

Friday, September 23, 2005

20 Random Things About Dex

Ian tagged me. So there.

1. I started spelling my name with an "h" (Dhex) back in my Culture Crash days, at first to gently mock parents who inflict kitsch names like Rhose, Jheffrhey and the like on their unsuspecting kids.

2. Amazingly, "Dhex" grew on me. I have good friends who address me in loving and irate letters as "Dhex." Amazingly I do not mind.

2. Yes, I'm an elitist --albeit dyolog-poor-- dandy.

3. Yes, I used to work for Culture Crash Comics, not that it really meant anything then, nor now.

4. No, you've never seen my work. I am perpetually at the cusp of fame and notoriety, but like the average Filipino, I cannot seem to make it past the damned glass/class ceiling.

5. I've only had one girlfriend; many near-relationships.

6. I am not marriageable material. Otherwise, my ex would have kept my cheap "ugly" silver wedding ring. And I would have replaced it with something less kitsch.

7. I am really married to my mother and to my family. This is likely one reason why my then-girlfriend decided she'd had enough of me.

8. I must be a good Catholic boy. I cannot un-marry my mother until one of us dies.

9. I am an avid appreciator of women. I have a crush on someone new every day of the week.

10. However, I no longer want to date. Neither do I want to marry. I am not putting myself through the possibility of being cuckolded and rendered obsolete anymore.

11. Education was the best gift my parents gave me. What I got from education was priceless. This world sadly doesn't recognize "priceless."

12. I really don't want to be rich, but I'm tired of being dyolog-poor.

13. I often operate out of trust: I am therefore often stepped on and stabbed in the back.

14. I've found the secret of youth-- you simply cannot get it back. Best you can do is enjoy your youth and age gracefully, accepting the gray hair and liver spots as they come. I've been practicing being an old man since I was 12. I'm going to be a deadly but randy loveable old rake when I hit 60.

15. I love Bill Shatner. And Adam West. We are all theatrical hams.

16. I shoulda been a priest. Woulda made a great Benedictine scholar, Franciscan monk, Jesuit paranormal researcher, or a randy Dominican confessor.

17. Under all my snideness today, I am really a very loving individual. Corporately incompetent, but affirming and supportive, willing to even kill parts of myself that do not conform to the loved one's world-view, if only to prove by any later failure that there is always room for compromise.

18. I used to sing. I used to paint. I used to be a poet.

19. Now I can go back to all those things I used to do. I'd still give them up to spend every Christmas toasting the new year, in bed or at some seaside restaurant with Honey. And only Honey.

20. I've learned lately that you should just do whatever the hell you want. Even if your wife or parents stop nagging you because you've stopped doing what you love, they'll always find other things to nag about.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Relations that are founded on a deep sense of trust are hard to beat. You and a loved one have survived a difficult emotional event together, but in the aftermath, be proud of the fact that you are together because you want to be, not because you feel weak or needy. You'll now be able to be in this relationship from a position of strength and real love. It's true about whatever doesn't kill you -- it really does make you stronger."

--Today's forecast lifted from my Friendster Horoscope (emphasis mine)


Someone somewhere has got to be laughing.
You must remember this, a kiss is still a...

"
the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world."
--Rick Blaine (Casablanca)


Happy 33rd birthday, Martial Law. Argued by some as the best time we ever had. It should please them to know that the good times are back in fits and false starts that slowly become more confident incursions into someone else's legal rights: specifically someone "poor" or "inconveniently biased against the Administration" (Sedition, anyone? A justice secretary is so desperate to stamp it out he'd find it anywhere). Not quite Marcos's smiling martial law-- he could enforce it better thanks to the absence of the Internet and his stranglehold on the mainstream media-- but someone is likely trying to get us there.

In those days Marcos would publicly blame the communists for the bombings and sedition threats that his own men were carrying out. Remember that the "last straw" that broke Marcos's "tolerant" back had been then defense secretary Enrile's staging his own ambush (under Marcos's orders). He'd even drum up the Philippines's role as the United States' right arm against the Global Red Threat in an effort to get more funding from Uncle Sam. (Sidebar: you all know where that money went. )

The Commies at the time had only a few (30? I forget) men hiding out in the mountains with about as many rifles. When Marcos publicly made them his whipping boy, his goons started making inconveniently biased people disappear. People like farmers protesting the loss of their money in a government bank that was supposed to help that money grow (Hello? Hello, Danding?).

The painful irony is that Marcos would piss off so many people that they turned Commie Red in droves. He helped create the NPA we're still trying to get rid of now.

A new-made acquaintance of mine asked one night why we were "celebrating" this mess. I knew she wanted to forget what it was like in those days; so did my mom and pop. I didn't have the words-- too tired, too grateful for a roof over my head that night, too preoccupied with the dissolution of my relationship with a woman I will forever call Honey.

We weren't celebrating Martial Law. At least I'm not. But we have to remember. We as a people forgive and forget far too easily to learn from history. This is why we keep putting the same jerks back in office to push us around.

Getting rid of Gloria --any president-- isn't the end, it's just the beginning. But as a people we have yet to learn the meaning of the words "follow through."

Honey.

I miss her so much. The night she broke it off with me for good ("There's someone else now; I'm not offering you hope." I told her I would wait) , all the clocks I could see in the houses I visited slowed down or stopped completely. So much was amiss but there was a feeling of hope that things would turn out better.

At the wake I attended, I ran into so many old friends from Los Baños that my heart was near to bursting. Here in this now-hallowed place, illuminated by a full moon, old friends who weren't on speaking terms had put aside their differences and were peaceably coexisting for the duration of their stay. Someone lent us a guitar and Coke and I sang to honor our pain and the loss of our loved ones (Coke for his mother, I for my wife-to-be). Also to celebrate the people we still had with us.

I spoke at Coke's mother's casket. Not to Coke's relatives but to her. The last time we'd seen each other we argued about where my life was supposed to go. She was right, but I had needed to make my mistakes at the time. I could swear she was listening, and giving me motherly encouragement untainted by the insecurities and fears that plagued the living.

There was magic that night. The kind that soothed. It was like living in a Dragonlance novel, the kind penned by Weis and Hickman, the kind that spoke about how everything and everyone fit in some divine tapestry.

I saw butterflies the following morning. One lingered near me and flew away, flying above the sidewalk pavement, moving along the path it made faster than I could follow.

Honey, I miss you so much.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

I woke up at 2am the other day, your name, your presence ringing in my head. What happened around that time? More importantly, who were you with when all of that was happening?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

More of my constants are dead now, or dying. And while I'm glad that some of them are moving to higher places (and some, corollarily, are moving to lower, fiery places) I'm afraid of the mess they're leaving behind-- my mess now.

Peter Jennings, Doreen Fernandez (comforting constants though I never really followed their work); Walter Matthau (one of my favorite cranky old men), Nick Joaquin, Karol Wojtyla, Raul Roco, yes, even Fernando Poe. Very much dead. Add Haydee Yorac to the list.

Haydee Yorac, having graced the Commission on Elections and the Presidential Commission on Good Government, has recently passed on. In her recent Philippine Daily Inquirer front page picture, she looked... well... beautiful. In almost all her old pictures, she looked like a fright wig. I guess leaving government service does that to you. Makes you wonder what happens when you're trying to serve the government while not trying to serve yourself.

--------------

This just in: another of my constants just up and shuffled off the mortal coil. Today. My friend Coke's mother -- a woman I admired, loved and greatly disagreed with concerning the direction my life was taking-- passed away after a short battle with (I think) a literal troubled heart. I'll be taking some time to pray for her easeful entry into the afterlife. For Coke too: he's inherited a business that will need all his attention-- as the old duties were the purview of his mom. Please pray for strength, resolve and clarity-- for my friend, for all of us.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Masalimuot

If you've got a robust sense of irony, might I recommend never getting romantically attached? It's too painful, feeling the irony kick in when the loved one kicks you out of his or her life.

Anywayyyy...

Congress finally killed the impeachment complaint.
I've had mixed feelings about this (impeach Gloria movement) since somebody leaked the "Hello Garci" tapes to the public. Gloria isn't going to be impeached despite the likelihood of her lying and cheating staring us all in the face. At least for about a year, which is exactly what she and her supporters want. And that leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

warui aji no moto
It's hard enough getting people to care about the state of the elections after the fact. It'll be much harder to gather that kind of momentum again and top it next year. If she is to be ousted, we have to do it now before any more damage is done to the country in the name of making it a "Strong Republic" while transforming our hard-earned tax money and Marcos's sequestered wealth (mom's and dad's hard earned money) into congresional pork.

The road to hell...
I'm sure Gloria means well, but then so did Erap when he started his presidency. When in a position of heavy responsibility, intentions alone cannot carry the day. Marcos, for all his evil, likely had good intentions-- the country would prosper so long as he, his family, his province and his cronies would prosper first and foremost, in that order. (He did give us roads and highways and Masagana 99 after all.) But the evil things they did far outweigh the good-- people disappearing, dissent being bludgeoned in the name of the state, public policy shaped according to the will of big (usually gambling-affiliated) business, badly handled servicing of the national debt, to name a few.

(Digression: Marcos had the most finesse and bothered to hide everything behind a mask of legality --a Marcos-controlled court and legislature. Erap blundered like a bull in a china shop. Gloria, doing the same things now that Marcos did then, doesn't quite have it down pat, even if she's seemingly turning into his spiritual successor.)

She has to be impeached-- meaning to go through the impeachment trial-- if only to prove she didn't cheat. Of course, she's avoiding it like the plague, likely for the same reason Erap tried to delay his own impeachment trial and keep that fateful second envelope closed.

There's the Rub
Assuming we do get rid of her, though, the one question scaring the bejeezus out of our Makati businessmen and our middle class is "Who the hell are we gonna replace Gloria with?" I could swear the eager presidential jobseekers come from Batman's rogues gallery.

Masalimuot nga.