Remember that time when you heard the news that the country has achieved the title of being the “texting capital of the world” and felt tearfully proud about it? Me neither. Really more on the feeling tearfully proud part than on the remembering part. Because seriously, with all the media buzz about it you have to be living under a rock, in a cave, remotely on one of our 7100 islands while being a complete catatonic vegetable under the influence of either meth or Biogesic or both, to have missed that glorious day when news programs announced the Philippines’ Biggest Accomplishment since Rizal. It was a big deal, you get the picture.
I’ve never even been a fan of text messaging, not because I prefer calling, but mainly because I think it’s dumb. There was a time when I used to wake up to at least ten messages in my phone, 3 of them telling the same joke, 1 telling the same joke but with different characters, 2 being bitter love quotes, 2 being sweet love quotes, and the last 2 reminding me about Globe’s promos. It was the best wake up feeling in the world.
Well, it’s not a surprise because the Philippines is generally a dumb country (Oooh controversy!). Come on, sure we churn out probably 1 genius for every 100 babies born but the intellectual abilities of that genius baby gets nipped in the bud by overbearing parents way before he or she reaches puberty. Don’t get me wrong, I like this country as much as the next French tourist and all for the same reasons, too: the scenery. I only like the Philippines because it looks beautiful. That’s it. Would I die protecting our natural beauty? You bet! Would I die protecting the horde of ignorant bystanders I pass by on the street everyday? Only if they were really sexy. But I digress.
I came across a report on The New York Times saying that texting makes people dumb. I will now demonstrate the consequences of these findings on our country using simple n00b logic.
Texting = Dumb People.
Philippines = Texting Capital of the World.
Philippines = Dumb People Capital of the World.
“The act of texting automatically removes 10 I.Q. points,” said Paul Saffo, a technology trend forecaster in Silicon Valley. “The truth of the matter is there are hobbies that are incompatible. You don’t want to do mushroom-hunting and bird-watching at the same time, and it is the same with texting and other activities.”
What the hell happened? How did we become that Dumb Country? Well, between the government leading us on a downward spiral towards an abyss of rubble and a culture reinforced by promoting unoriginal imitating media, I think it’s a toss up, really. Okay, enough talking about the problem, let’s talk about a solution.
Let’s see, what can a person like me, a reasonably attractive twenty-something middle class semi-professional person, do to help solve this problem? I know, why not write a blog post about it? It’s what any other reasonably attractive twenty-something middle class semi-professional person would do too, right? I mean look at what good we’ve done the country so far. We have made the government turn their back against their ungodly and fairly stupid methods of governance. The world has been set right. No, wait, it hasn’t. Blogging protests over the Internet is pretty much the equivalent of trying to make ripples in a frozen pond. (Making this post a cross between hypocrisy and irony… Hyporony? Irocrisy? No good.)
Hmm so what other options do I have? Well if protesting over teh Internatz isn’t cutting it, the next possible way would be to go march through the streets in a rally. Yeah, it’s the first thing that came to my mind, too! It’s such a brilliant idea. I’m sure the government would be stirred if we make a paper mache likeness of PGMA and set it on fire in front of the Palace. I mean, it worked the last 342 times, didn’t it? No? It didn’t? Damn.
So can we just follow the media’s, my mother’s and the government’s method of solving problems, then? Yeah let’s just throw the blame around. It’s the Americans’ fault. It’s Erap’s fault. It’s the MILF’s fault. There, I feel much better. Don’t you? Everyone feels better after a good blame-game session. I guess that’s why we’re also one of the happiest people in the world. Ignorance is bliss. Uhh wait, wrong platitude. Philippines is bliss. Perfect.
Have you ever been to that point in your life when you think you just had too much. There’s so many things that need to be done you just wish you were a kid again when the bulk of your responsibilities was just playing with your toys and probably the occasional chore.
Well, I have. And after much thought I decided that the best possible way to approach this growing problem is to just get rid of it. Be reckless. Do whatever you want. Abandon responsibility.
Think about it. Without your responsibilities, you no longer need to worry about keeping a stable job to pay the rent or put food on the table. You no longer have to worry about gaining weight or losing weight. No more thoughts about deadlines, budgets, bills and all those other crap which do nothing but complicate your life. Quit your job! Squander your savings! Simplify life!
Lose all the stuff you thought you need like the television, the radio or the washing machine. Throw away your cellphone! Delete your Facebook and Yahoo accounts! Be the man that nature intended you to be, the hunter-gatherer kind of man which doesn’t worry about education, social responsibility, human rights or any other of those garbage!
Your responsibilities are only adding more weight to your increasingly tired and stressed out mind. Without responsibility there would be no problems, so abandon responsibility today!
As you all know, I’m currently in self-exile and one of the things that I hoped to accomplish during this extended me-time is to learn a new language all by myself! I looked at different languages from around the world and tried to figure out which ones I can really get around to using. As of this moment, I’m pretty fluent in Filipino (Tagalog) and English with a little bit of Spanish, a combination that’s not entirely rare in the Philippines. I considered French but it’s too fancy for my taste. German is too harsh sounding, at least to me it is. Chinese and Japanese both involve studying a completely new and different alphabet and that doesn’t look too inviting. Besides, even if I do study a single language I’ll only be able to use it if I go to its place of origin and that’s not really practical unless I want to make a career out of being a linguist. So I needed a language that I can use anywhere in the world. That was when I discovered Esperanto.
If we all study Esperanto as a second language, people from different countries can speak in equal footing because we’re all using a language that is of second nature to all participants.
In 1887, a hopeful Dr. Ludwig L. Zamenhof, under the pseudonym Doktoro Esperanto (Dr. Esperanto), put together the “artificial” language Esperanto in his book entitled Unua Libro. Esperanto, which means ‘one who hopes’, hopes to be the first auxiliary language of the world. What the hell is an auxiliary language, you ask? Say, for example, you saved enough money to finally quit your job and go to that backpacking trip across Europe you’ve always daydreamed about. In preparation for this lifelong dream, you studied French, Spanish, Greek, Italian, German, Portuguese, Romanian, Swedish, Norwegian, Russian, and Polish because you wanted to be able to speak well with the people of the countries in your itinerary, and maybe because you were just so obsessive-compulsive. Now imagine if there was just one language that you can study and still communicate well with the different peoples of the world. Just one language? Hell yeah, sign me up now! That was the idea behind the formulation of Esperanto. No, the backpacking trip wasn’t part of it, but the concept of an international language was. If we all study Esperanto as a second language, people from different countries can speak in equal footing because we’re all using a language that is of second nature to all participants.
So anyway, I discovered this little tutoring website which offers an email correspondence with a certified Esperanto speaker. After you sign up for the course, you will be assigned a “tutor” who will help you with general stuff and answer some of the questions you have that isn’t on the course. At the end of each lesson, there are exercises which you have to answer and then email the answers to your “tutor” who will then check if you got them correctly. They’re just basic courses but the website also offers advanced courses for those who already has some background in speaking Esperanto. After the ten lessons, you get to print out this cute little certificate which means you have completed the course. Then you can give yourself a nice pat on the back and continue on to the advanced courses.
Why is this important? Besides the noble objective Esperanto has since its inception, I also plan to use it as the official language of an underground anarchist society in the novel that I’m writing. Esperanto was formed with hopes that someday the world would be united enough to speak one language and this cool motive definitely qualifies Esperanto as a Rocket Powered Stuff. Kudos to Dr. Zamenhof a.k.a. Dr. Esperanto and continue reading my blog for more Rocket Powered Stuff from around the world.
I have recently decided to exile myself to a remote village in Cavite for selfish reasons. I had a room in Cainta, Rizal but I locked it up and packed my bags so I can be here. I wanted to get away from all the influences around me in the city, I figured if I remove all these things I would know who I am better and know myself better I did. For example, I have been living with the knowledge that I can’t reach my toes while my knees were straightened out, apparently I can and I just wasted all these years depressed because I was the only boy in PE who couldn’t. But I’ve come to discover more important things than just that and I’m not going to talk about it. Because as soon as I knew myself better I bored me so I decided to think about my future instead.
I want to be a writer. A really good writing writer. I have an idea for a novel that I want to write and so far I have started working on it. Right now it’s still inside my mind but self help books (which I’m not going to plug because they’re not paying me) say that knowing what you want to do is step one of having a clear future. So I’m on step one. It took me several weeks to take that step but the old Milo slogan says great journeys begin from a single step, or was that Confucius? Anyway, it doesn’t matter because I took it and that’s that. You can expect plenty of updates about this on following posts.
When I left Cainta, I took most of my clothes with me and left the other bulky stuff like my dresser and my TV because it’s such a hassle to ride the bus with those things with you. Unfortunately, I also left my old clothes in there (the dirty ones which I never got around to washing) including my favorite Superman shirt. I don’t like Superman. I just like that shirt because it’s blue and that’s my favorite color. I found out it wasn’t with me two weeks after I got settled in my new house in Cavite and oh boy was I mad at myself. I was riding my bike one day through the fields and it just hit me like Invoker’s Chaos Meteor: “Where’s my Superman shirt?” I went back to Cainta but I met my old friends and we went out and they weren’t gracious enough to remind of it so when I got back to Cavite, I realized I left it again.
During the past few weeks I was writing something for the Graphic/Fiction awards because I needed an excuse to look busy so I wouldn’t have to do household chores. I wrote something two years ago about the old Filipino legend of the fireflies and I thought it was good enough to be submitted but it was around 8600 words and there was a 7000 word limit to the contest so I tried to cut it short which was a complete waste of a good three weeks. Then I wrote a new story about an anti-social fairy and a manic-depressive boy in Marikina but that was over the limit too so I scrapped the idea. Then I showed my friends something I wrote one disturbing afternoon while I was listening to Coheed and Cambria’s song, Mother Superior, about a guy killing his best friend and they liked the homicidal story better than my other attempts so I ended up submitting that to the contest. The story was so R.L. Stine I’m not even anxious to win.
Then I made a new resumé for myself which was pretty embellished so I liked it. I’m planning to work at some coffee chain and I’m going to use that to get in.
Wish me luck!