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
TAG/E-MAIL FOR COPIES
[Friendster][Gmail Contact][Yahoo!Mail Contact]
"The Marocharim Experiment," "Marocharim" and all the contents in this online web log are the sole intellectual properties of Marck Ronald Rimorin and are protected by existing copyleft laws. Any attempt to copy and/or reproduce the contents of this site, either through electronic or printed means, must be accompanied with the express written consent of the author.
September 6, 2007
< hmmm... >
Whenever I'm going to write about an OFW-related entry, I'm going to do the exact opposite of what Malu Fernandez does: I'm not going to ridicule the OFW, but I'm going to ridicule the OFW's (hyper)extended family. In the interest of "senseless and subjective" articles I have always been derided for by my peers in the campus press, I'm going to talk about vienna sausage.
* * *
The things that line the bottom of a seemingly endless Balikbayan Box almost always include American tinned food. After relatives figuratively rape the box out of its proverbial hymen composed of shoes and jeans, the OFW takes it upon himself/herself to fairly distribute the "relief goods."
You would know if someone has a relative overseas, and how close he/she is to that relative, depending on how many vienna sausage cans are there in his/her kitchen cupboard. I'm talking about those imported tins with easy-open tabs, not the local Philips or CDO brand vienna sausages that you open with a can opener. To me, Libby's vienna sausage is a status symbol: it's not really something to eat per se, but a measure of the standard of living enjoyed by an economic parasite. It's décor, not food: people stack them in such a way that they occupy more dominant, visible places than signs of poverty like bagoong, watered-down bottles of banana ketchup, and that old gin-bottle of soy sauce where the remains crystallize on the bottom.
As it seems, opening a tin of sausage is like a "taste of America:" that this must be the way people live there (forgetting, of course, that your usual OFW skips meals to save enough money for your whims of original Nike shoes or a laptop computer). But the promise of an "American taste" turns into culinary ennui: it doesn't taste any better than local brands of canned sausage. It has a certain rubbery, plastic feel in it that you might as well think that you're literally eating a penis (not that I know anything about cannibalistic fellatio). The promise of eating "American food" is not what it's cut out to be.
I've taken the liberty to read the labels of vienna sausage and found that there's nothing so Vienna about it: it's basically made up of processed chicken parts and other sorts of meat. In a land generally associated with steak dinners, it's pretty hard for me to imagine that vienna sausage is "American food." I even doubt that OFW's consider it as such: I am told that in some places, Filipinos plant sitaw and sampalok to make sinigang. The canned stuff are reserved for friends and family on the other side of the Pacific, who think that Libby's is quintessential Americana (the collective description for American cultural facts, not the suit jacket) and SPAM is "what they eat in America."
Ah, the revenge of the OFW: vienna sausage, meals-ready-to-eat... so you see, Malu Fernandez, they aren't as dumb as you claim them to be. As soon as they board off their plane and into the shores of America, they indulge in the pleasures of tortang talong from that bundle of Filipino eggplants wrapped around a pair of pants.
You may take the Filipino out of the Philippines, but you can't take the Philippines out of the Filipino.
Posted at Thursday, September 06, 2007 by marocharim
September 5, 2007
< hmmm... >
I'm not going to do a Malu Fernandez here: I happen to like OFW's. Like many Filipinos, I'm a literal parasite to pasalubong, dollars, and American potted meat. Everyone is: even the amnesiac would remember his/her shoe size and look for the pair of shoes with his/her name on it. The Balikbayan Box would literally be raided for SPAM, macaroni and cheese, Levi's jeans and "blue seal" cigarettes.
Left with nothing but the remnants of the box and the sight of ingrate commensals crowding his/her niche in a social system where he/she is touted as a "modern-day hero," the OFW could seem to be a real martyr to the cause of material gratification for the over-extended Filipino family. The poor OFW might as well head off to "Wowowee," make a hat out of one-dollar bills, put it on Willie Revillame's head and get a shot at greeting family members from the unofficial Filipino province that is California. Then the wretch gets maligned in a Malu Fernandez column.
While I've eaten my own fair share of American-made corned beef and found out that the powdered cheese in Kroeger mac-and-cheese microwaveable dinners is essentially the same as the stuff you get at a Potato Corner with your french fries, there is hope. The OFW isn't a wretch after all: he/she goes to the crowded Duty Free shop at the NAIA and buys a Magic Sing.
Now it all makes sense why OFW's are asking our government to fix a stable exchange rate for OFW's.
Posted at Wednesday, September 05, 2007 by marocharim
September 4, 2007
< hmmm... >
There was once a move by some "honorable" members of Congress to abolish the Senate. Looking back, they have a pretty good point. On one desk, you have a lunatic in Miriam Defensor-Santiago who wants to abolish fraternities in UP. On one desk, you're supposed to have Antonio Trillanes IV, but we're still mulling over the issue of whether or not he should be allowed to attend Senate sessions on the grounds that he's still incarcerated over a mutiny charge. And still on another desk, you have Mar Roxas calling for a probe on the controversy surrounding "Wowowee" and the "Wilyonaryo" segment.
As a casual follower of Philippine politics (as "casual" as I will get, given that I'm a political science student), I could put up with Miriam's hectoring pontifications, and I'm willing to help put up iron bars on Trillanes' desk if that's our problem. But seeing "Mr. Palengke" on TV saying that he'll start a Senate probe over "Wilyonaryo" kind of makes me wonder if he really won his seat in the Senate because of a jingle to the tune of "Mr. Suave."
The way I see it, the Senate has more pressing issues to attend to than a game show fiasco. Here's a Senate that can't decide among themselves if they should open an envelope or play an audio CD in aid of investigations, but would probe a game show for all its worth. Here's a Senate that would be willing to squabble over prizes in a game show, but can't squabble over the prices of goods in markets. Here's a Senate that would go after game show hosts, but would not go after two people who once headed the government and turned it into a game show (you already know who I'm talking about).
If the Senate would rather investigate game shows, I'd rather have them investigate why Chloe McCully of "Kapamilya: Deal or No Deal" is so damn beautiful (it's a joke). But much to my chagrin as a voter, a (community) taxpayer and a consequence of a political system, a top-ranking Senator goes after small fry, after legislative galunggong.
Senator Roxas, to quote Miriam Santiago, "What planet are you from?"
Posted at Tuesday, September 04, 2007 by marocharim
Wrestling and the Woman Question
< hmmm... >
Say what you want about the chauvinist pig, but he makes a very good point: women, in general, can't wrestle.
Surely we can disprove such a generalization: professional wrestling history has a lot of exceptions to the rule. The list is long and storied: Chyna, The Fabulous Moolah, Luna Vachon, Wendi Richter, the late Sensational Sherri, Gail Kim, Trish Stratus, Lita, the list goes on. But that's what they are: exceptions to the rule of a male-dominated "sport." Chauvinistic, yes, but is it true?
No amount of allegations will ever validate the chauvinist pig's thesis, but never fear: Marocharim is here (that sounded cheap). If there's any single self-standing proof that women can't wrestle, it's WOW: Women of Wrestling. And you thought wrestling is crappy as it is now.
When Jack TV used to be Solar Ultimate Suspense and Action, they broadcast old WOW matches before they started that exclusive deal with World Wrestling Entertainment to broadcast their shows. It's not exactly the world's crappiest wrestling promotion, but it's not exactly the best way to showcase the talent of female professional wrestlers either. If my research proves correct, the WOW roster is composed largely of adult film actresses (not "porn stars" per se), and I'm hard-pressed to find a legitimate professional wrestler in the now-defunct promotion.
I'm not condemning WOW: in fact, I kind of miss watching it. I'm a wrestling fan, and to be honest I'm kind of irritated at myself whenever I converse with people over the issue of pro wrestling if only because I come across as an "expert" on the subject among my peers. WOW is a barrel of laughs when you come to think about it: bad executions of wrestling holds, bad storylines, bad names (who in the hell would name one's self "The Disciplinarian," I do not know)... everything wrestle-crap is supposed to be. The only difference is that the promotion actually tried to be that bad that it became so damn good.
To be honest, my favorite wrestlers in the WOW roster included Beckie the Farmer's Daughter (she's cute and she can do a 450 Splash just as good as Juventud Guerrera), Jacklyn Hyde (I like the split-personality gimmick: she was the original Jon Heidenreich), and Riot (she can actually wrestle). Among the worst included Caged Heat (I snicker whenever I hear the name "Delta Lotta Pain"), Terri Gold (a cheap Kurt Angle ripoff, in my book), and Roxy Powers (she's the female version of a cross between Billy Blanks and Richard Simmons).
For more, visit the WOW website. And if you work for Jack TV, I suggest you bring this amusing show back: I never got to that part when Selina Majors turned heel.
Posted at Tuesday, September 04, 2007 by marocharim
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