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Welcome to Volume 6 of The Marocharim Experiment. This blog is authored and maintained by Marocharim, the self-professed antichrist of new media.

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Marocharim is a 21-year-old college senior from the University of the Philippines Baguio, majoring in Social Anthropology and has a minor in Political Science. He lives with his parents, his brother and his sister in Baguio City - having been born and raised there all his life. He is the author of three book-versions of The Marocharim Experiment.

Most of his time is spent at school, where he can be found in the UP Baguio Library reading or scribbling notes, and sometimes hanging out with his friends or by himself in the kiosks, or the main lobby. During his spare time, he continues writing. When not in school he hangs out with his friends, or takes long walks around Baguio City to, as he puts it, "get lost."

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The Marocharim Experiment Volume I: The Trial of Another Mind, Subject to Disclosure is Available Now

The Marocharim Experiment Volume II: The Nevermind Chronicles is Available Now

The Marocharim Experiment Volume III: The Sentence Construction of Reality is Available Now


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January 21, 2005
#026: Captain Charisma... C'est Moi?

< i suppose the ambient sounds of ragnarok and gunbound, coupled with the sounds of true faith, the calling and rivermaya would make for a pretty good place to write my entry for tonight... my evening, well, let's just say it was both rewarding and annoying at the same time >

   Never once, and I mean never once, did I ever consider myself a "heartthrob" or anything.  The idea is, in UP Baguio, there is no shortage of good-looking people, and I am not one of them.  Save for that Swedish-blooded freshman that both fresh...girls and upperclass...gals go ga-ga about (I wouldn't say who he is, given that I only know him by the peculiar angle of his nose) I am one of the more regular-looking people on the campus... well, with the exception of my hair and my gait.  All the more I gain notoriety in my Political Science courses, given that I have this penchant for engaging in lengthy debate and saying "bull$#!+" with a very thinly-disguised cough if I'm in the mood to curse.  But aside from that, I am not the type of guy who would make girls drool.

   I'm not in (or on, whatever) my high horse or anything, but I was so sadly mistaken.

   After a particularly tiring exam in Social Anthropology 152 (Institutional Studies II), where I came to waste precious ink trying to distinguish the difference of Alvin Toffler's and George Kourvetaris' concepts of the "third wave," I went back to the office to make bantay.  As much as I would have just liked to stay there and contemplate on Kourvetaris' flawed thesis on the military-industrial complex, I became an impromptu resource speaker on the problems and current situation of the Cordillera.  While I wildly expounded and gesticulated (my officemates call it "Macarena") on the social, economic and political dimensions and conditions of a largely-oppressed peoples, I was entreated to about ten people captivated on my discussion.

   Impressed by the drawing power of my discussion I took it a step further and even incorporated theory in the general praxis of social inequality and the inequity of resource distribution in the region.  It never crossed my mind that Communications majors would be so interested in dependency theory (I used, in particular, Andre Gunder Frank's thesis on the "lumpenbourgeoisie" and "lumpendevelopment" in my discussion... man, I am so alienated) given that, as far as social theory is concerned, they would have more use for the theories of Jurgen Habermas and Theodor Adorno than explanations for the institutionalized underdevelopment of Latin America... in the sense that I'm using it to explain the situation of the Cordillera.  So pardon the long sentence.

   I was convinced in the power of metatheory right then and there, until assessment time.

   It wasn't metatheory, per se, but it was me all along.  Apparently, I was the fulfillment of Max Weber's ideal type of charismatic authority.  My knowledge, severely limited by my inability to make it empirical (that is, as long as it deals with numbers), wasn't the factor that would have made them listen for an hour and 30 minutes of Cordillera-related blahs.  It became apparent that my drawing power was not my knowledge... it was me.

   For some feckin' reason, I was the office crush.  I really don't see the sense in it, given that I'm too thin to fit in my own pants and that I have a tendency to become pedantic.  I was still confused and, to a certain degree, very much annoyed at the ruckus, until someone (I wouldn't mention who) put everything to perspective for me.  According to her, back when they were in the apprenticeship program almost every red-blooded female had a crush on... well, me.

   Well that went well.

   I suppose the typical macho-shite male would enjoy this kind of attention and would give their left asscheek to be in my place and enjoy being at the middle of it all.  I don't.  In a Machiavellian sense, I like it better when I'm feared than loved, and to a certain extent I even like it when I am hated.  Yet it's quite flattering, even for me who would rather steamroll over everyone and anyone I meet and flatten them in the giant drum of my je ne sais quoi.

   I suppose it's the je ne sais quoi now, huh?  Think not: I don't even have it in the first place, let alone be enigmatic, as far as I'm concerned (my friends would say otherwise: having to deal with a lunatic like me is proof enough of it).  This sounds too cheesy: I greatly appreciate it, and it warms my heart to know that I'm not what I think I am and what I should be.  I may be a doofus, but I'm not a rock.  It would be horribly out of character to act all haughty or apathetic about it, anyway.

   Unlike other macho-shites I know (I wouldn't mention who... but I suppose you have an idea about it if you're actually reading my horribly-long entries) I wouldn't be so plastic as to say that I have drawing power... but if you asked me, there's a perfectly good reason why.  Now that I'm blissfully unattached, I can say this with relative ease:

   I had a crush on them, too.

Posted at Friday, January 21, 2005 by marocharim

January 19, 2005
#025: Tonkatsu and Its Discontents

< hoohah!  i'm doing this coughing like hell >

   I am starting to hate pork tonkatsu.

   A bunch of us frequent 8th Ave to eat... most of the time pork tonkatsu.  I am starting to loathe it.  I try to be more adventurous and order something a bit more strange, like say Hawaiian pork ribs (sushi can be a bit too expensive for my budget), but tonkatsu is an entirely different story.

   Yes, some people salivate at the prospect of breaded pork chops, but I don't anymore.  I'd rather chow down on pork, per se, than have it breaded and served with brown sauce.  To me, it's starting to border on a scatological fetish to look, let alone eat, something predominantly brown.  Breaded, to boot.  It's a matter of personal taste, but how far can you push it?

   More tonkatsu, please.

   So as I sip on iced tea and chew on turnips with that blank look on my face, I am reminded of a famous quote by Brillat-Savarin (I got this from "Iron Chef"):

   "Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are." 

   I have had my fill of breaded pork.  Tell me what I am.  Through various lenses we can see what I am: Muslims can call me an infidel, Atkins diehards can call me a traitor, and the entire Jewish population can stick me in a menorah for all I care.  And seeing as that from any viewpoint too much tonkatsu can be bad for you, let me burn in my hell.

   Pardon me, I need more tonkatsu.

   I need to get out of this hellhole.  Somebody get me a carrot.

Posted at Wednesday, January 19, 2005 by marocharim

January 17, 2005
#024: My Management Dojo

< happy birthday, mom!  but this entry isn't for you... atat lang kasi akong magsulat kaya ganito ka-abrupt ang happy birthday ko... >

   Meetings, put plain and simply, suck.

   I was raised in a management dojo of sorts, where I was raised on one single business-related maxim: you can always meet at a coffee break.  My dad, my mentor when it comes to the ways of business, shares with me this certain... aversion, towards the organized meeting.  Regular meetings tend to kill productivity.  He says that if meetings were immediately translated to work-hours and profits, the end result would be millions spent on loss.  And that's just in a week.  He says that in the company he works for, the meeting lasts for a maximum of 15 minutes.  That includes troubleshooting machine and human errors, resolving conflicts, electronic data risk management, and power lunches with prospective customers.  If we had our way with the entities we work for, we would get rid of meetings altogether and spend the time allotted for coffee breaks instead to do risk management.

   Because my dad works for a big Japanese electronics firm here in the Philippines, he could say that with ease, seeing that his field is electronic data risk management and personnel management in general.  I handle the news department in our school paper, and I have to follow by certain rules and management styles that run contrary to my style.  This includes regular meetings that, at the minimum, take place twice a week, each meeting running, at the very least, about two hours.  My dad would laugh at what we do here: turning everything into a matter of votes, listening to every justification for a vote, and spending a lot of time in "side-dishes" (I call them "intermission numbers:" meetings tend to get a bit stale).  While this is a departure from standard fare when it comes to management procedure, it kind of sucks.  It kills time, it's counter-productive, and it is, to me, a microcosm of Philippine bureaucracy.

   My style of meetings, that is if I had my way, are quite different: I don't like meetings, so I don't hold them as often as I should.  I tend to do more of F2F (face-to-face) interactions with my staff and then consolidate them for 15 minutes.  In a way, they do more legwork and more time is spent on the job at hand, plus interpersonal consolidation.  To me, the meeting is not the venue for consolidation: that's why we have office hours to begin with.

   Conflict, to me, is not resolved through an activity conducted en masse, but through one-on-one bilateral talks.  This previous meeting we had to deal with an issue of two staffers not doing their jobs, and in turn it escalated into this heated argument that resulted in a staff member crying over the antagonistic antics of an apprentice (assonance... alliteration... love it).  The environment became so... heated that I started to have a headache, with all the editorial members trying to put in their two cents on the matter.  I couldn't do anything about it by practically saying "Shut up and let's get this over with," so I took to just shutting myself up and reminding myself: the essence of democracy is debate.  That, by taking frequent bathroom breaks given the liquid buildup in my bladder due to the four cans of Coke I consumed that day.

   I mean, hey, democratic centralism works, but in business it doesn't.  We still live in this capitalist world where productivity is still an imperative.  My dad was right: every meeting you take reduces productivity tenfold.  Just imagine what I could have done in two hours.

   That's why I hate meetings.

   In the same meeting the debate raged on about the right to abstain from voting.  I don't have to delve into the nuances of that thing, but here are my two cents regarding abstinence:

   True, abstaining isn't the best route to take, but that doesn't mean it's wrong.  In a world governed by choices sometimes we're left with a choice not to make a choice.  It could be principle, but most of the time it's due to the fact that there is no rational choice.

   The reason why people abstain is not because they refuse to make a choice, but because we don't give them enough choices to begin with.  You can't expect a person to make chop suey without the vegetables.  Democracy, whether it's ultra-democracy, democratic centralism, pseudo-democracy, quasi-democracy or whatever, still offers the choice of no choice.

   The lesser evil is still a devil.  It's in our best interest to choose an angel... but in a world governed by too many devils, sometimes it's right to have a place not run fine at all than one run by the hands of Satan.

   "Look out; you are in a catacomb of the flower of mankind.  For what?  All that they say to you, all that they have promised to you - it was a lie, it was an illusion, it was a cheat, it was a fraud, it was a crime.  They promised you liberty.  Where is liberty?  They promised you prosperity.  Where is prosperity?  They have promised you elevation.  Where is the elevation?"
- Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Italian anarchist

Posted at Monday, January 17, 2005 by marocharim

January 14, 2005
#023: The Greatest View

< let me let off some steam >


   This wasn't the best day of my life.  I just had a bird's-eye view of... something.  And yeah, it's love related.  As much as I would like to stick to being a socially-aware guy who turned his blog (once, to no avail) into a machine for free speech, I'm deviating a bit from my original plans, and for a while. I'd be another one of BlogDrive's angry fellows who'll be mad about everything, especially the view.

   I need not explain to anyone what I saw this afternoon: rather, I'd disguise it in typical Marocharim fashion - with vague metaphors and Marocha-rhetoric.  Those of you who already know me would catch the drift... I am about to use my "elegant" English (it kind of borders on vulgar gobbledygook) to explain something I could easily explain in two or three sentences of Filipino.

   You see, you just don't do that... you just don't eavesdrop on anyone's business and then talk behind their back about what's going on.  You just don't engage in speculation and intrigue.  You just don't participate in the ways of the common herd, but sometimes you can't help it.  You can't help but be the common herd.

   You can't help but speculate on why it's autumn in the Philippines, or why it's raining in the middle of summer when it isn't summer to begin with.  It's not "stretching" the realities, per se, it's just trying to make sense of this reality you cannot comprehend, or for Christ's sake, you don't agree with.  You can't help but laugh about it behind their back: we all have the right to do it even if it isn't right.  After all, it's kind of cool to grow horns and a tail and have a good view of hell doing it.  After all, we're only human, we make mistakes, and sometimes we feel good being bad.  Sometimes I need to reaffirm my humanity even if I have this superiority complex: I'd rather have my head up in the clouds than to corrupt myself with the miasma of human frailty.  In simple terms: I'd rather be up here than down there.

   The weird thing is that being up here gives me quite a very beautiful view of being human-all-too-human.  After all, the tao-lang-akong-nagkakamali-at-nagkakasala approach doesn't cut it anymore, especially if you're a human being trying to get away from questionable... stuff... that can be categorized as sin.  I'm not a man of high moral ascendancy to say anything about morality, let alone be a God-fearing man who can talk freely about sin.  I just got all that from, well, my bird's-eye view of everything.

   I suppose I would never make it through the labyrinth of understanding the opposite sex alive, given that I'm just another speculating, backtalking a$$hole like everyone else.  At least I take time to say it straight to their faces when I find the time: I don't need to find the balls to do it.  I don't question myself as much as I question my masculinity, even if we should be in a gender-neutral world.  WHATEVER.

   I was singing Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U" on the way here, but then again, I'm so reminded of "S2pid Luv" by Salbakuta that I sang it... in a freakishly distorted way.

   I swear, by tomorrow I'm gonna post that.

Posted at Friday, January 14, 2005 by marocharim

January 13, 2005
#022: My Grandfather, the Rickshaw Man

< this is a tribute to my maternal grandfather.  i never met him, but i pieced together a story that is part truth, part fiction... and i hope he understands my english. >

   This is the story of my grandfather.  I never met him: he died nine years before I was born.  He never got to know me, and I never got to know him, and I hope that through this (if they do have internet up there), he will get to know me a bit better.  The stories I have pieced together about his life... well, they never cease to well up tears in my eyes.

   My grandfather was a simple man who valued his freedom and his family so much, and being a man of such integrity, he never grew rich or famous like most other Chinese folk.  He wasn't much good in business, so he supported himself pulling rickshaws on the streets of Canton, China.

   I can only imagine pulling a rickshaw, a sedan on two wheels with a human V8 engine, a Segway that does not rely on a computerized balancing system but by the balance of the rickshaw-puller.  Grandfather was no different from a horse or a beast of burden.  He cost more to maintain, given that he had to be paid wages.  But his "owners" didn't mind, since they had money to burn and spend on people to pull them to places they need to go.  Naturally, rich Chinese can't be seen walking, their delicate feet had long nails, and those of the women were bound in silken wraps.  So my grandfather, with his short toenails and flat feet, pulled rickshaws.  To augment his income he sold all kinds of things all over the market that Western foreigners would buy: curios, items with supernatural powers, salt fish and herb bread, anything just so he can eat.  But he never opened his hand and begged... my grandfather wouldn't do that.

   Grandfather was tired and burned out from being but another oppressed soul on a country with millions of people just like him.  And rumors of Mao's rise to power started to go around, which he abhorred to a certain degree: he learned all about democracy from his Western customers, who cursed the legacy of the Empress Dowager to high heavens in halting Chinese.  Add to that, there was a war going on.  He heard all about the Japanese annexation of Manchuria, the rape of Nanjing, and decided that he needs to leave the country.  He can't go on pulling rickshaws forever, while a Japanese soldier poked his gun at his side.

   Months later he found himself at the shores of the Philippines, and weeks later in the mountains of Baguio City.  He had with him some money to start a business, but was swindled out of it by other enterprising people.  Jobless and hungry, my grandfather looked for any kind of employment.  He found himself weeks later washing laundry and dishes at the Brent School, with a wife and five kids to support on his meager earnings.  His wife, my grandmother, took to selling groceries, but being uneducated she drove her store to near ruin because she couldn't make change.

   My grandfather took pride in his job no matter how degrading it was for a Chinese to wash the filth out of an American undergarment.  He valued his family so much that he went through years of listening to the taunts of other more successful Chinese people who left him in the dust.  He counted his blessings: he finally had a roof over his head even if it was leaky, he had enough to eat even if the family almost always ended up hungry.  But one thing that didn't have a compromise was the fact that he never had to pull the rich man's rickshaw again.  Grandfather, Leung Yee Chang, was, plain and simple, free.

   Grandfather never came to see the fruits of his hardships in his children: he died at the age of 62.  Yet in the humble little home where he died, where he never got to savor the pleasures of mabo tofu or fine incense, he was free.  I mean, my grandfather paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom, and even though I never got to meet him, I suppose that he'd be very willing to teach me more about sacrifice than I already know.

   One thing I learned from all of this is that we all make sacrifices to realize our dreams and achieve our goals, but most of the time, we sacrifice to get what we want.  We want so much from life: money, love, acceptance, fame, all that.  It took the memories of a very noble man like my grandfather to make me realize how ignoble I have become, sacrificing for petty causes and stuff I don't really need.  In a way, I seat myself in a fancy white rickshaw waiting for someone to pull me somewhere.  Sacrifice begins by getting ourselves out of our comfort zones, go somewhere on our own two feet, and forget that life's a destination to somewhere but a journey to who-knows where.

   I learned from my grandfather a very important lesson: you cannot fight fire with water from far away.

Posted at Thursday, January 13, 2005 by marocharim

#021: The Idiosyncrasies of Presswork

< did i mention i have yet to sleep?  it's hours past midnight and i'm writing in my blog!  holy hell! >

   I'm going to keep this short and simple (simple, being a relative term: few people can comprehend my English, and short, being completely relative, given the way I write) for now.

   After graduation I swore, for the love of "Pete," a non-existent non-friend of mine, that I will never, EVER, work for a paper as long as I live.  Two years of my high school life (3rd year and 4th year) were spent in nothing but my beloved press office, my beloved balcony, and spending office hours playing Worms.  So I swore off writing...

   But here I am, in some secluded place far away from meningococcemia (I wish... it's not that I'm breathing through a mask or anything), writing and editing everything in PageMaker and Photoshop, and getting paid for it.  Now, as my Luckies are slowly being reduced to ashes and my coffee getting all cold, I have finally come to a conclusion that  I am not writing for the masses, as most people would assume I am (or, people would point an accusing finger at me and say that I should get a life, pass Math 11 and get the hell out of UP and get a job).  I am doing this for the hell of it.  It's... well, penance.  This is the typical Sartrian hell.  I should have quit writing and spent the rest of my life in peace.  Screw the masses.

   FYI: Jean-Paul Sartre is a French existentialist philosopher.  You might know him, if you read "Nausea" and "No Exit."  Dammit, I should have taken another course that would have led me to a better existence than having to deal with people like Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Heidegger and Sartre.  And I am not a Philo major or minor... whatever.  Now this is alienation.

   I said before that we need to objectify the term "masses," but if this is the agenda being pushed by the paper I work for I have to take it.  Normally, if I get crap I throw it back, but this is an abnormality in the continuum of my sick and twisted life, God forbid if I even had one to begin with.  Presswork sucks, and the idea of having to sit here for a break, quickly, and then get back to that other computer and do what I'm paid to do... well that's something I have to deal with.

   I don't have a manic problem with getting abused, or a sadistic tendency of rejecting my inalienable right to sleep in my bed (my inner-inner blanket being a fancy shade of pink... well that's just plain sick) in order to make a paper someone would sit on by the time they're done reading it.  The only consolation I have so far when it comes to doing this is that some people actually ask me for an autograph.  I'm not a rock star, I'm just a social degenerate.

   Yeah, I work for the OutcroP (for you UPB people, I'm the guy with the long hair in a half-tail who's almost always seen carrying books out of the library like I own the place).  I don't write for the masses: apparently, this invisible aggregate of people gave me the right to write... that ubiquitous "them."

   So what does presswork have to do with all this?  With this short of a blog entry you have to know that I have a job to do and this typing has wasted close to fifteen precious minutes of my extremely valuable time.  Heck, I need some sleep, I need some smokes and I need to get out of here before my mom starts calling me again.  Or before my colleague (I don't have a "friend" when it comes to work) asks me a question about linking files in PageMaker.  Or before I just go mad and fill this whole page up with my blabbering.

   To all you young'ns who are reading this, I'm telling you right now to run for your lives and stay out of this job.  If I remember military ethic correctly (hey, I was an officer back in CAT... and I regret it), many are called, few are chosen, and only the best remain.  Allow me to digress on that a little: those who remain are either firmly dedicated to the task at hand, or they are just plain insane.  These aren't ideal types: these are categories.  I fall on the latter: only the terminally psychotic would take up a job like this without giving any consideration to their lives.  At least, those who are truly dedicated to the cause of the people still have time to ponder on the meaning of serving the people.  I don't even think of the masses anymore at the rate I'm going.  No, it's not second-nature, it's sui generis.

   Anyway, I need more coffee.  If you have any ideas on how in the hell I'm going to sleep within the next few minutes, let me know.  After all, I'm being paid P450 to work my ass off whenever I can, and that money means nothing to me.  I mean, hey: life isn't just about money: it's about getting eight hours of sleep.

   How asinine.

Posted at Thursday, January 13, 2005 by marocharim

January 11, 2005
#020: Kites

< yeah, i kind of changed the look again, but i'm going to stick with this one for a while.  oh, and btw, i am to write another love-related thing in here, but inspiration strikes but once... and pardon the "dear charo" tone of this, and maybe the repetitive use of "kite," but then again, that's thematic unity.  and btw: i kept it simple for once. >

   We see all kinds of kites in the great sky of life.  Some are made of the finest paper and bamboo, some are made of newspapers and barbecue sticks.  Some fly high, some fly low, and some can't even get off the ground.  Some get struck by lightning, some are weighed down by rain.

   We're all kite flyers in the great park of life, and we all take up our own kites.  All our lives we take kites from the sky: the kite of our family, the kite of our education, the kite of our principles, but we all share one thing in common.  The last kite we take up is the kite of love.  With one problem.

   The kite of love is so beautiful, that once we set our eyes on it we are so drawn to it that we do everything to take it, to treasure it, to fly it high and proud.  But in order to take up that kite, we have to let go of all our other kites we have taken up over the years.  We sacrifice our friends, our family, our loved ones, our education, our principles, everything - just to have the chance to fly that kite, even for just a moment, to touch the skies, to savor that taste of reaching infinity.  To love... isn't that the grandest thing in the world?

   Yet that kite is so beautiful that other people are drawn to it and hold on to the strings that dangle from it.  That kite is so big and grand that you sometimes couldn't hold on to it as well as you should.  That kite is so heavy that it takes so much out of you, that you let go of more kites to hold on to it.  But most of the time, that kite longs to be free, to follow destiny, to fly away... to go around the world...

   How long are you willing to hold on to that kite?  Are you willing to fly away with it?  Do you love that kite so much that you'd draw out more string just to fly it for a few more moments?  Or do you let go, contented with the feeling that you'll always remember it blowing in the wind, guided by the last bits of your string?

   Letting go of that kite makes you feel like a kid again, flying his first kite, but eventually he has to let it go... and watch it go.  The tears in his eyes... they're just like the pain in your heart.  Oh, that kite will fall all right, but if destiny is any indication that kite will find its way back to that great park of life, where you can be rest assured that you'll see it fly again.  Who knows about life?  Maybe you can pick that kite up again and hold on to it better than you ever had before.  Or maybe you can watch it again, that even when you don't hold its strings, you still mean something very special: something even more special than what you think of yourself.

   Don't forget about your other kites, the kites you have let go holding on to that beautiful kite, and hold on to them.  Treasure them.  They may not look as good as the kite of love, but they're good kites that could lead you to your destiny.

   As for me?  Well, this isn't about me.  I'm just right here, flying kites.  And I'm having fun doing it, too.

   But I'm a kite too, letting go of the strings that have tangled with mine along the way.  Like a kite, there's something beautiful about being free.  Yeah... maybe all kites are meant to fly away.

   How could it be any better than that?  Freedom... now that's destiny.

Posted at Tuesday, January 11, 2005 by marocharim

January 10, 2005
#019: The Fallacy of the Oppressed (Part One)

< that's it... i am going to use my little space on the web as my machine to start a crusade for the socially-relevant.  if you want social relevance, you're going to get it.  some of you may not like what i'll be doing from now until i grow tired of it, but then again, some of you brought it upon yourselves. >

   First off, the idea of "masses," to me, is distorted, in the sense that it has the same connotation and meaning, in my book, as that ubiquitous phrase, "I'm going to kick your ass."  In the same vein that I am sometimes tempted to ask, "Who's ass and how?" but my actions are limited by common courtesy, here's a question: "Who are the masses?"

   If the idea of "the masses" is everyone who's oppressed by an oppressive system then I guess that our conceptions are correct.  If the idea of "the masses" is that group of people by whom some of us have given ourselves the license to fight for, then I guess that our conceptions our correct.  But, in all my years as a servant to this hopelessly undefined aggregate of individuals, I have had a particular problem: in the sense that they are what they are:

   No, I do not need to delve into the ideas of Joseph Schumpeter on catchphrasing of social ideas.  But here's something for ya'll:

   Oppression is like wiping your ass, with a few differences: whether you wipe forward or backward, and what you wipe it with.
- marocharim, january 10, 2005

   I apologize for the vulgarity of that quote, but that's the way it goes for me.  Everyone's oppressed, and the degree of oppression is a non-issue.  We all have our issues to tackle, and that's where the sad reality of oppression lies.  It's sickening to imagine that some of us have reduced oppression to a few qualities that seem to be so, but in reality, aren't.

   Look at it this way: everyone's oppressed, right?  And some people are more oppressed than others, right?  Everyone should be equal, right?

   I'm not saying it's wrong, but I am merely exercising my right to disagree, on these counts:

   > If everyone's oppressed, why aren't they fighting?  Oppression is a condition of injustice.  When people are denied their rights they go out fighting for them.  But what if they lost hope?  Is it the moral obligation of those who "fight" to grant them hope?

   > If some people are more oppressed than others, who said anything about oppression being reduced to this qualitative aspect?  Like I said, everyone's oppressed.  If we're talking about degrees of oppression, this becomes a game of step-up, in the sense that it's a chicken-and-egg question.  Try asking Kierkegaard.

   > "Animal Farm" thing: all animals are equal, but some are more animal than others.

/// more to come

Posted at Monday, January 10, 2005 by marocharim

January 6, 2005
#018: This Is Why I Write Here

< this is a response to something... >

   I'm not a writer: I'm just one of those people who happen to have an opinion about something no matter how stupid it is or if anyone cares to listen to what I think.  Writing is just one avenue for it.  I can do well just talking about it or keeping my opinions to myself, but I choose to write about it.  This is a free country, and I have the right to do what I want, as long as those rights are not detrimental to the general health and safety of those around me.

   The right to free expression is something we all invoke.  This is a free country, and we're free to voice out what we think regardless of our intentions, regardless of our motives, and regardless of what people say about it.  Democracy, no, freedom, revolves around debate and discourse.  Anything other than that is pure B.S.

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. - Voltaire

   Why did I go at such lengths to do this?  Read this:

   kasi ang pagsulat ay pagsilbi. ilan na ba ang nababasa kong mga
   tula, sanaysay o lyrics (lalu na yung sa *toot*) na pawang
   makasarili?? oo, malupit ang mundo. nakakagago ang pag ibig at
   madalas natatarantado tayo.

   pero [invective], ilan sa mga manunulat ngayoon ang nagsusulat sa
   mga bagay na DAPAT ay sinusulat??? ilan ang nagsusulat para magng
   boses ng masang inaapi? ilang ang nagsusulat para sa mga
   manggagawang binabarat ang sweldo? ilang ang nagsusulat para sa mga
   nagpuputa??? ilang ang nagsusulat para sa biktima ng pasismo?? ILAN??


   at kung ang pagiging "writer" ay nakabase sa ganda o angas ng istilo
   ng sanaysay o tula.. di bale na lang.

friendster post, dated jan. 6, 2005

   Now read on.

   The idea of "dapat na isulat" is irritating to me in the sense that there is no imperative when it comes to writing, except the imperative to exercise one's right to free expression.  Writing may conjure up different meanings to people, but that, in itself, is the essence of our freedom.

   Whatever crushes individuality is despotism.  Whatever destroys expression is censorship.  And censorship, my friends, is not just practiced by those in power, but those who are subjected to power.  And if there's anything I am against it is the destruction of the rights of the individual to free expression.

   When a person chooses his/her avenue to express his/her sentiments or opinions, he/she should not be bound and barred from it by the chains of that which distort meaning: ideology, dogma, propaganda, and all that.  Our freedom to say what we want is only limited by the freedom of other people to say what they want, in whatever language or method they so desire, and as long as the free flow of information is not impeded by anything, we can truly say that we are free.

   The reason why I can shoot my mouth off here, for whatever reason, regardless of topic or intention, is granted not by style or vocabulary but because this is what freedom is all about.  It is at the height of cultural, political and social arrogance to say that there are only a few things in the world worth talking about, and God forbid, writing about.  The surest sign of the decay of our individuality and collective consciousness, ladies and gentlemen, is if and when we talk about the same things and express the same opinions.  Collective consciousness is destroyed, because consciousness is best manifested by the ability of society to engage in public discourse.

   Ang tunay na diwa ng mapagpalayang kaisipan sa malayang pagpapahayag ng opinyon at sentimyento, ito man ay sa sarili o sa lipunan, ay natutupad at naisabubuhay lamang kung ang kalayaang ito ay umuusbong at naisasadiwa.

   Hindi kinakaila o kinakalimutan ang layunin na maging mulat sa katotohanan, ngunit hindi sapat ang pagiging mulat.  Ang katarata ng distorsyon ay hindi matatanggal hanggat mahahangad natin ang boses ng bawat panig ng lipunan.  Kahit ang nang-aapi, kahit ang siyang ating itinuturing na kaaway, ay may masasabi at hindi natin karapatang hadlangin ito.  Walang taong nakahahadlang sa ating sinasabi, o sa ating sasabihin, ngunit nasa tao na kung pipiliin niyang makinig o hindi.

   Ang kamatayan ng ating ipinaglalaban, at ang kamatayan ng ating lipunan mismo, ay nagsisimula at natatapos sa paghadlang at pagpigil sa karapatan ng kahit isang indibidwal na sabihin ang kanyang naiisip o nararamdaman.  Ang pagsisilbi sa lipunan ay nakatuntong at nakatuon sa indibidwal, at hindi sa dikta ng isa o ng nakararami.  Na ang hangad upang palayain ang nakalalaking bahagi ng naapi at inaaping lipunan ay nag-uugat sa desisyon ng isang indibidwal na tanungin sa kanyang sarili:

   "May gusto ba akong sabihin?  May gusto ba akong gawin?  May kailangan ba akong sabihin?  May kailangan ba akong gawin?"

   Walang tama, walang mali.  Ngunit ang tunay na esensya ng demokrasya at kalayaan ay umiikot hindi sa mga kasagutan sa mga tanong na ito ngunit sa kasagutan sa tanong na ito:

   "Puwede ba tayong mag-usap?"

   Ang malayang pag-iisip sa at malayang pagpapahayag ng opinyon at sentimyento ay hindi ang hangganan ng ating pangunahing karapatan.  Kung ang pag-iisip at pagpapahayag ay tulad ng alon sa dagat, tulad ng banayad na hangin, na hindi nahahadlang at nakukulong sa konsepto ng "dapat:" ito ang tunay na diwa ng kalayaan.


Posted at Thursday, January 06, 2005 by marocharim

January 5, 2005
#017: Return to Neverland

< no introductory notes necessary >

   I just blew my fuse today.  I disturbed a class in my manic shouting, further aggravated by the drunken behavior of a friend who wants to meddle in my business: after all, I made it obvious I needed some "alone-time."  Somehow some people predicted it right: one way or another, I am just going to lose it.

   Sudden outbursts of emotion are not warranted especially when you're in an academic institution, unfortunately.

   I made a strange realization lately: losing my mind, my rationality, is something that would inevitably happen.  I said before that the human being is an animal: just like animals we are all built around the imperative of consumption.  I was right, and I was wrong.  I was right in the sense that human beings consume, but I was wrong about that imperative.  In my angry naivete I discounted the human heart.  After all, human imperfection is driven around the inherent good in man, because whether I like it or not there is such a thing.  Even if I was witness to how low people could possibly get I still believed, in some odd and cosmic way, that human behavior is dynamic and changeable.

   However I could not get this out of my head: it could have happened to others (if you don't know, read my entry, "Litrato") but why did it have to happen to me?  I don't question purpose, but I question the way we realize the meaning of that purpose, and more importantly I question the way we achieve that purpose.  Rick Warren wrote crap by writing "The Purpose-Driven Life" and told the whole world that we live for God.  Somehow, I believe that we're all here for a purpose, and the only way we can realize that purpose is if we live.

   But wrongdoings do not boil down to a measure of revenge.  We all have to pay the price one way or another, but not through the systematic extraction of pounds of flesh from somebody who has done us wrong.  Frankly, I do not know what to do, but isn't that the driven purpose of life?  Just live it.

   We should move on to more important business...

"Do you know that place between sleeping and being awake?  That's where I'll always care for you, that's where I choose to stay."

- Tinkerbelle, Hook

   Somehow I still couldn't get some... issues, out of my system.  To think about this day in and day out is the reality I could neither escape or ignore: this is all part of the package handed over to me by Time and Space.  So what am I supposed to do?

   I decided to take a mental vacation to try to think it over, the holidays weren't enough for me.  But the longer I spend time in the Cancun (or maybe Boracay) of my mind I start to feel the urge to come back to my mental home (no, not a mental hospital) and do something about it.

   Tomorrow, I'll make my way back to Neverland.

Posted at Wednesday, January 05, 2005 by marocharim

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