Welcome to Volume 6 of The Marocharim Experiment. This blog is authored and maintained by Marocharim, the self-professed antichrist of new media.
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."
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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September 3, 2007
< on my favorite "sport" >
I was watching WWE SmackDown! the other night when Rey Mysterio won the right to face the current World Heavyweight Champion, The Great Khali. I don't get it anymore: Rey is a shade under 5'5" and weighs in at 175 pounds, and Khali is 7'4" and weighs in at 420 pounds. Along with this, the "pressing issue" in WWE programming these days is WWE Chairman Vince McMahon having a "bastard son:" my guess is that come the "Unforgiven" PPV, the identity of said bastard would be revealed, and I'm betting it's Mr. Kennedy.
Given this rather predictable (and crappy) storyline, I switched channels to a TNA broadcast, a delayed telecast of the "Hard Justice" PPV, and I saw a ridiculous match in the "Doomsday Chamber of Blood" match: pitting the team of Tomko, AJ Styles and Christian Cage against Sting, Abyss, and Andrew Martin (cough, Test, cough). The six-sided ring is encircled with a six-sided cage topped with barbed wire, and before you can pin your opponent, you must make him bleed. This, along with a "Winner Takes All" match with all TNA titles on the line, which Kurt Angle won against Samoa Joe.
No, I'm not hoping for the nostalgia that came with Hulkamania: I loathe Hulk Hogan. But the sorry state of pro wrestling today makes me want to demand real wrestling: I don't want to see the "soap opera for men" or "sports entertainment." With these perspectives on professional wrestling, we all see a toned-down CM Punk wrestling in ECW. Worse, Randy Orton is still being considered as a main draw and a title contender: say what you will about John Cena's wrestling ability, but Randy's entire wrestling repertoire revolves around the many variations of a headlock.
Even the "alternatives" in mixed-martial arts suck: UFC is fast turning into a grapple-fest of mounts that last for five minutes. K-1 is only interesting in the Tokyo finals: the last K-1 match I actually liked was the one between Akebono and Royce Gracie (I won a bet with Royce: the guy's a legend). Don't get me started on the International Fight League broadcast over Studio 23: it reminds me of Battle Dome.
Now that's a good starting point for tomorrow's entry...
Posted at Monday, September 03, 2007 by marocharim
< hmmm... >
Personally, I don't like doctors. I'd rather brave the consequences of being ill than to pay a doctor some fee to tell me I'm sick. But I'm one of those people who delude themselves into thinking that they don't need doctors. However, a vast majority of our people need healthcare: poor, indigent patients who shouldn't be turned away for need of medical attention, or detained (in the literal sense) in private hospitals because they are honest enough to admit that they can't pay the atrocious cost demanded of them by an uncaring system that is supposed to care in the first place.
So a few days ago, in the news, the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (PHAP) said that they will hold a "hospital holiday," which for all intents and purposes is a boycott, against the implementation of Republic Act 9439, a law that prohibits hospitals from detaining patients who cannot afford their hospital bills. Basically, PHAP-member hospitals will only accept emergency cases: not medical check-ups. For anything other than childbirth or serious accidents, patients will have to go to government hospitals.
Needless to say, I spit at the general direction of PHAP and every other person in the vocation of healing people only for the profit motive. It's not that I'm a hopeless idealist who still believes in the nobility of the medical profession, it's that our ignoble healthcare system is hopeless enough as it is to be run by equally ignoble people who make a business out of the lives of people.
Posted at Monday, September 03, 2007 by marocharim
September 2, 2007
Death by (Friendster) Degrees IX
< anthology >
I finally figured out a better way of how to write my thesis, and I felt like a jackass after thinking of it.
Before, I had this long 70-page 14 point-spaced single document that I worked with by using the "Split Window" function in Word whenever I needed to cross-refer between chapters. The only good thing about working with one long document is positive reinforcement: I feel a small amount of giddiness holding down the "Page Up" and "Page Down" keys whenever I need to refer to a point I made in a previous chapter. That's just about it: there's no other redeeming value to having a document that long.
Why I felt like such a jackass is that the "solution" I was looking for was right under my nose. Why not make a separate document for every chapter, like everyone else does? Man, did I ever feel like a moron. So I split my very good-looking long document into different chapters, double-spaced everything, and I was pleasantly surprised that I'm a few pages short of reaching 100 pages. And I'm still not done with my data-analysis (I have five chapters to go). And they complain about 30-page papers.
Last week, though, was spent in intellectual samba ("masturbation" is something usually done by one's lonesome) with my teachers so that I can ground my findings into existing theory: a giant's shoulder, if you will. Despite the number of theories I have already discussed in my review of literature, I'm still quite tentative to swallow the postmodernist pill (right... I've already discussed Barthes). I'm going to end up a complete nutcase if I read my Derrida anytime this week, though.
Of course, there are the "big guns" pointed to my head right now everytime I muster the courage to write down my hand-on-cheek droning in my thesis: Heidegger, for example, is a notoriously difficult read that I just have to discuss. Lately, I've been figuratively shooting myself in the head reading Deleuze and Guattari (it's funny how Deleuze ended his life by jumping out of his apartment's window). Some weeks back, I caught up with my friend Kubi, and together we laughed at the sorry way I wrote my draft.
To quote Deleuze, I feel like I have sunbeams shooting out of my ass.
Posted at Sunday, September 02, 2007 by marocharim
September 1, 2007
< refer to previous entry w/c was actually made yesterday >
I'm not "The Man" (in many senses) when it comes to Communism, but allow me to wear my jester's hat: what exactly does it mean to put Jose Ma. Sison on trial?
Like I said before, this is not just Joma being tried for a murder charge: this is the trial of the longest-running Communist insurgency in the history of modern civilization (give or take a full half-century). Say what you will about a "politically-motivated arrest by a fascist regime," but in my view, this is the game where a Communist has to play by the rules of capitalist justice.
I've been in so many educational discussions over the years to acknowledge the fact that Communism is a strong force in Philippine politics, even if it is a movement working on the very fringes of Filipino society. By "fringes," I mean everything from waging guerilla warfare on the countrysides and spray-painting slogans on visible walls.
One of the reasons why I think that this is the trial of Joma's idea of revolution is that because the rules of the game have changed. The bases for revolution in countries like Cuba, China, and the former Soviet Union are very different from the bases of revolution we have now, if our country has to revolt. But for the past half-century, the "peoples' war" here in the Philippines has operated on the assumption that if you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere.
I'm not necessarily a believer of geopolitics, but it makes perfect sense at this point: Mao's doctrine of "encircling the cities from the countryside" couldn't possibly work here. The reason why Havana has a thriving economy in black markets and why Shanghai and Hong Kong are so "capitalist" is because they're built on coasts: you can't "encircle" them. The same is true with the Philippines: we're archipelagic, and waging war here requires a bit more ingenuity. As you can see, my "theory of geopolitics" is based on the Civilization games, but it makes perfect sense.
The rules of the game have definitely changed, since we're not talking about Lenin's definition of "imperialism" anymore. We're not even talking about Marx's definition of "capitalism" anymore. We're talking about the adaptation and metamorphosis of these factors into things that can no longer be addressed (I'm going out on a limb: not addressed) by the theory and practice of Communism today. The "progression" of Communism, to me, should not be that usual shallow interpretation of constant upward evolution in Marxist theory, but should also be interpreted as something seriatim: that as history evolves, things change, and that the theory should change with these changes to remain relevant and truly "progressive." This is the whole point behind the "Theses on Feuerbach."
Anyone with an opinion on Joma - positive or negative - can derive so many conclusions on what implications there are with his arrest and trial as there are opinions on him. To me, though, this is not a mere issue of whether or not Joma is guilty of purges or double-murder for the assassinations of Romulo Kintanar or Arturo Tabara. This is actually the trial of Communism: can it stand the rigors of what its enemy has become? Can Joma explain the justice behind the longest war in the history of modern civilization? Can Jose Ma. Sison rise up to the ocassion?
This is what's at stake.
Posted at Saturday, September 01, 2007 by marocharim
< politics >
I'm quite tentative to lay down my two cents on Jose Maria Sison, who was arrested at the Netherlands and is now presently under custody by The Hague. The way I see it, talking about Joma is in effect talking about Communism in the Philippines: you can't separate one from another. The problem is further compounded by the immature discourse in Philippine politics: if you talk about Communism (in the colloquial sense), much less Joma, you're either "pro-Communist" or "anti-Communist." There are gray areas, but even the shade of your gray defines your standpoint. Moreso if that shade has a hint of red. My Political Science professors would probably kill me for this, but if you put Communism in the mix of our chaotic multiparty system, everything becomes polarized.
Jose Maria Sison - the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People's Army - was arrested at his home in Utrecht four days ago, August 28. Apparently, while he was on self-exile in the Netherlands, Joma ordered the "execution" of two "enemies of the revolution:" Romulo Kintanar in 2003 and Arturo Tabara in 2006. The NPA took responsibility for the murders of both men: anyone acquainted with the history of Communism in the Philippines would know of the schism between "reaffirmists" and "rejectionists" somewhere around the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. Kintanar and Tabara broke away from the CPP, which explains in part why they were "executed," if there is truth to the claim.
Now if only it stopped there, then it would be a simple problem of trying the man at The Hague: under Dutch law, it is a crime to order a murder overseas while on Dutch soil. Since we don't have extradition treaties with the Dutch, it wouldn't even be a problem. But we're talking about Joma: a figurehead of dissent, the man at the forefront of the longest Communist protracted revolution in the history of civilization. We're not talking about small fry, but big fish.
At this point, though, whatever "trial" there is in the court of public opinion is irrelevant in the court where Joma faces trial. It's the same thing with the idea of the "parliament of the streets:" whatever "privilege speeches" are made in Mendiola do not echo in the halls of the Batasan. I'm not depriving militant groups of their right to protest and rally against Joma's arrest: by all means, they are entitled to do so. Say what you want about the justice system, but "guilt" and "innocence" are things that the justice system determines. Basically, this means due process. Yes, it's quite ironic.
Can Joma or his militant supporters trust the due process of law, then? If you spend a quarter century or so fighting the law, you can say a lot about the sorry state of the law. But for the whole theory of the Communist ideology, Joma is in one of those unflattering and uncompromising positions of having to do things well within the bounds of the law: not outside of it, not even at the very margins. Like I said before, you can't talk about Communism without talking about Joma, so this is more than just a murder trial. It is, in my view, a defense of Communism.
Interestingly enough, the Permanent People's Tribunal has deemed the Arroyo administration guilty for "crimes against humanity." Joma now finds himself on the same position as Arroyo, but in a real, honest-to-goodness court. The only "political motivation" here is not of the Philippine government pulling some strings to arrest Joma, but the motivation of the question of whether or not the ideology can stand up to the trials of right and wrong that it did not determine.
This is not just Joma's double-murder trial. This is a trial of his revolution.
Posted at Saturday, September 01, 2007 by marocharim
< sexperiment >
So I was walking by Mabini Street on the way to the Mines View jeepney terminal when some men blocked my way to rob me of two things: my time and my manhood. They're not thieves or pickpockets or anything: they are hawkers of pornographic VCD's and DVD's.
I'm a sexual being, and for all intents and purposes, yes, I am a (virgin) sexual beast. But the horny bull in me doesn't always rise up to the ocassion: not that I'm impotent or anything, but I'm not the kind of sex maniac who would buy my porn off the streets. Part of the euphoria one gets from porn is the paranoia that comes with getting it.
A good example would be getting porn off the Internet. Getting porn from your own Internet connection is a bit stupid, since you wouldn't know if your IP address is being tracked. Going to Netopia doesn't help, either: their services are prohibitively expensive, and they do track the websites you surf. What you want to do is to go to a backdoor Internet café with all these cubicles and partitions that separate terminals from each other. You do all your "innocent" Internet use with a maximized Internet Explorer window, and your illicit perverted porn-hunting with Mozilla Firefox (or better yet, Opera), run in a small window.
All the while, you're paranoid that the attendant would leave his six or so Yahoo! Messenger conversations, go to your cubicle, tap your shoulder and tell you that you and your kind aren't welcome there. You're paranoid that the kids playing DoTA behind you would notice you, or the moaning coming out of your earphones. When you're done with everything (including your orgasm, if you had one) you clear all private data, pay your rental fee, and leave with the look of a frustrated customer who put up with slow bandwidth.
Not that I'm condoning the practice (you sick freaks), but this is how rational sexual beasts (virgin or not) commit sins of the flesh. Newspaper stands, for example, posture as repositories of current events by showing the top halves of the front-pages of major broadsheets. Sex tabloids are conveniently hidden from view: not even the most libidinal, sexually-charged taxi driver would buy a Toro, a Night Life, or an Ang Playboy on a busy morning (they're usually sold at mid-afternoon when nobody's watching). If you can't avoid the all-seeing eye of God, you might as well avoid the eye of the authorities.
At least this is the way it should work. But strangely enough, it doesn't. Whenever I walk by that particular street, hawkers show me these pirated, illegal pornographic discs and offer me all sorts of options in all sorts of languages. Everything from animé to hardcore sex, in every language from English to Russian. One even tried to sell me one of those "bata" videos, which either means pedophilia or schoolgirl fetish videos from Japan. I was very peeved and pissed off by then: what in the hell does this guy take me for? Does he actually watch these videos?
No, I'm not a moralist: I have read the works of the Marquis de Sade and have read the middle parts of many a Harold Robbins novel that nothing surprises me anymore. I've seen the kind of low-class, bottom-of-the-barrel porn that would condemn me to the burning stake had I lived during the Middle Ages. But if I hear "X Boss X" one more time... I don't know exactly what I'm going to do. Maybe I'm better off walking home.
Posted at Saturday, September 01, 2007 by marocharim
August 31, 2007
< hmmm... >
"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition."
- William Shakespeare, "Henry V"
I usually wear black for no apparent reason other than it looks good on me. But today, I wear black as a symbol: a symbol for justice, a symbol for indignation. I join my fellow UP students to demand justice for Cris Anthony Mendez, who died because of a frat-related hazing. I join my fellow UP students in the condemnation of hazing and frat-related violence.
I'm not a fratman, but I've been in UP long enough to value fraternities. Social consciousness and civic action in UP are in great part anchored on legitimate, active fraternities. A fraternity is not just an in-group, but a lifetime commitment to the sense of brotherhood, leadership and service. From what I know, initiation rites are there to cement the ties and bonds of brotherhood among a band of brothers. It is part of tradition.
I don't have to necessarily agree with these traditions: after all, I'm not a fratman. I have the benefit of living to healthily disagree with "fratmen" who don't know, or don't care for, the difference between "initiation rites" and "hazing." But not Cris Mendez. Not the growing statistic of students who have died because of a hazing. Not the growing statistic of neophytes who, after initiation rites, come to school drugged with painkillers and clad in long-sleeved shirts.
Yet even my black garb pales in comparison to the hearts of the "fratmen" who killed - no, murdered - Cris Mendez. You hazed Cris because you wanted to make a "brother" out of him. You didn't initiate Cris into your brotherhood: you killed him. Did you "accidentally" kill him? You'll find your answers in Cris Mendez's corpse. Look at every bruise, ever wound, every broken bone in Cris' dead body and forgive yourself for your "accident." Is he your "brother," now that he has passed your "initiation rite?" You'll find your answers in Cris Mendez's corpse. Look at his gangrenous scars, his rolled-back eyes, his bone-cold skin, and tell yourself that he's your "brother."
I value fraternities, but I value life more. Anyone's life is more valuable than the damned "traditions" of violence that have tainted the value of fraternities over the years. Anyone's life is far more valuable than the lives of these murdering pussilanious distorted excuses for buffoons who have no single shred of redeeming morality not only by hazing Cris, but in dumping him in the hospital and by remaining conveniently silent over this whole issue. Jail is too good for you, but there is a special place in Hell for the likes of you.
Damn right I'm angry. I'm made even angrier by the fact that all the vigils, all the indignation rallies, and all the black clothes in the world will not bring Cris Mendez back to life. I wore black today because of that anger. He who shares in my spirit of anger over the completely senseless and undeserved deaths caused by hazing and fraternity-related violence is more of a brother to me, more than Cris ever was to those who murdered him.
Posted at Friday, August 31, 2007 by marocharim
August 30, 2007
X-List: The Most Annoying Songs Ever
< x-list >
"Annoyance" is relative. But if we trap ourselves in a room and listen to these songs over and over again, I think we would arrive at a universal annoyance. We would wish we died of herpes. We would all come together to solve the Unified Field Theory, find a cure for cancer, and make something better than sliced bread if we ever emerged from that acoustic torture chamber. Here's an X-List of what I deem to be the most annoying songs ever (sans the annoyance we get from OPM novelty). No explanations needed, but anything in boldface is highly recommended for purposes of annoyance.
* * *
Akon, "Don't Matter"
Urzsula Dudziak, "Papaya"
Michael Bolton, "Said I Loved You But I Lied"
All 4 One, "I Swear"
Lou Bega, "Mambo No. 5"
Los del Rio, "Macarena"
Meatloaf, "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)"
The Moffats, "I'll Be There For You"
R. Kelly, "I Believe I Can Fly"
Ricky Martin, "The Cup of Life"
WHAM!, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
Billy Ray Cyrus, "Achy Breaky Heart"
Starship, "We Built This City"
Robin Gibb, "Boys Do Fall In Love"
Britney Spears, "Hit Me Baby One More Time"
Earth Wind and Fire, "Changing Times"
4 P.M., "Sukiyaki"
Black Eyed Peas, "My Humps"
New Radicals, "You Got The Music In You"
Bryan Adams, "Please Forgive Me"
Backstreet Boys, "I Want You Back"
Elton John, "Can You Feel The Love Tonight"
Prince, "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World"
Michael Jackson, "Heal The World"
George Michael, "Faith"
Eminem, "I Am Whatever You Say I Am"
Aqua, "Dr. Jones"
Phil Collins, "Against All Odds"
Spice Girls, "Mama"
Whitney Houston, "Heartbreak Hotel"
Timmy Thomas, "Dying Inside"
Barry Manilow, "Copacabana"
Jennifer Love Hewitt, "Cool With You"
Jennifer Lopez, "Let's Get Loud"
Destiny's Child, "Brown Eyes"
The Chikas, "Chicken Dance"
High School Musical, "We're All In This Together"
Barney, "The Barney Song"
Justin Timberlake, "Sexy Back"
Geri Halliwell, "It's Raining Men"
Celine Dion, "My Heart Will Go On"
Las Ketchup, "Asereje"
Westlife, "Bop Bop Baby"
Code Red, "This Is Our Song"
The Cheeky Girls, "The Cheeky Song"
Shakira, "Underneath Your Clothes"
Peter André, "Mysterious Girl"
* * *
I'm sure you can think of some more.
Posted at Thursday, August 30, 2007 by marocharim
Sick... Hardcore... OH MY GOD!!!
< hmmm... >
In my entry "Death Row," I had this rather sick idea of a new reality show that involves 12 death row convicts. Now, though, I have another sick idea for a wrestling match.
Like many professional wrestling fans, I like hardcore wrestling. While technical wrestling matches and high-flying aerial cliniques appeal to me just fine, there's nothing I like better than to watch very steady streams of blood and hemoglobin-stained canvasses. But my thirst for blood is no longer satisfied by the kind of hardcore wrestling matches I see on TV. All I get for the promise of "no disqualification" or "extreme rules" is a broken table, a dented steel chair, and outside interference. I kind of miss the old ECW: the last time I saw a cheese grater raked over the face of a competitor was in the first "One Night Stand" pay-per-view.
My brother's idea is a tag-team Inferno Match or an Inferno Battle Royal. For those uninitiated in wrestling... I mean, sports entertainment, Inferno Matches involve a wrestling ring surrounded by fire. In tag-team competition, only two men are in the ring at one time. In a Battle Royal, thirty men are in the ring, and the objective is to throw your opponents over the top rope. With the Inferno clause, you can visualize how this works.
But that's just a matter of burning a man or singing his ring attire. I want blood.
There are many ways to draw blood from your opponent, but if you watched that "Exposed" episode on pro wrestling, you would know that wrestlers purposefully cut themselves above the eyebrow to let blood out (among other staged maneuvers). I want more than that. I want honest-to-goodness gore, the kind that teaches kids lessons not to try that at home.
Here's my idea: a Last Man Standing match. But not just any Last Man Standing match: this match takes place in a specially-constructed ring. You take the 15-foot-high steel cage (to avoid outside interference) and surround the top of the cage with cyclone wire. The ring ropes are replaced with thick wires or chains with very thick and sharp barbs, and the protective padding on the turnbuckles are removed to expose the chain. To add to that, the canvas is covered with thumbtacks and broken glass. Hanging around the cage are weapons like ladders, steel chairs, baseball bats wrapped in barbed wire, tables, boards covered in barbed wire, cheese graters, chains, garbage cans, kitchen sinks, the works. The only way to win is if your opponent cannot respond to the ten-count.
Now that's sick. That's hardcore. As Joey Styles would exclaim, "OH MY GOD!!!"
Posted at Thursday, August 30, 2007 by marocharim
< entertainment >
"The Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes. And if you don't understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material..."
- US Senator Ted Stevens (Alaska) on the Internet
June 28, 2006
If I can share a piece of advice to Joey de Leon, it's advice I got from my Social Research Methods class: never use the Internet as a primary source. It's just like quoting Wikipedia, not that I have anything against it. If Joey wants to launch a "Hello Papi" probe, as he said awhile ago on "Eat Bulaga," he better find the "mother of all tapes." Since Joey's probably reading this right now (considering that he sourced his arguments from YouTube), I'd rather give him unsolicited advice.
Following Joey's logic, if you see something on YouTube, it must be true: this is a logical extension of "seeing is believing." This logic is best represented by a syllogism: I believe everything I see, I see a cat playing piano on YouTube, so I believe that all cats play piano. But syllogisms sometimes become logical fallacies, like this one: I believe everything I see, I can't see air, so I believe that air does not exist. See what I mean?
Like I said before (on the matter of a personal opinion), Joey de Leon is a sanctimonious stoop-sitting holier-than-thou has-been. The "institution" that is Joey doesn't exempt him from public reproach: after all, he committed some pretty reproachable actions in low blows and blind items under the guise of "jokes." Joey impresses me as a figurative ass: you either kiss ass or kick ass.
For all that Joey is worth, he could have taken the high road and would have emerged the better man. The better man would have called the lesser man on the phone, talked things over, and if that didn't work out, arranged a fistfight. But no, we had to see Joey on TV in the role of a hectoring populist demagogue doing his "explanations" like, well, a sanctimonious stoop-sitting holier-than-thou has-been.
Posted at Thursday, August 30, 2007 by marocharim