If Silence is Death and Betrayal…
some insomniac musings by The Overlord Bear/Jem De Ocampo
Both heaven and hell use fire and silence.
If Silence is Death and Betrayal…
some insomniac musings by The Overlord Bear/Jem De Ocampo
Both heaven and hell use fire and silence.
My friend just increased my interest in Goblin Slayer. Whoop-dee-doo~
The Halloween season has given me some impetus to think about the horror genre. A while back, an academic named E. Michael Jones was on the Patrick Coffin show explaining how he thought about the horror genre. He has written at least two works on this subject: Monsters from the Id: The Rise of Horror in Fiction and Film and Sex with Monsters. Jones believes that the modern horror genre arose as a reaction to the free love movements of the 19th century and reached its full flowering following the Sexual Revolution. Many persons were hurt by the myriad problems which inevitably arise from sexual licentiousness and enjoyed a cathartic reaction from a central message of many horror stories: sex can kill you.
You all know how this story ends. Or, if you don’t, School Days should be on your list.
School Daysmight be the anime locus classicus
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A refreshing piece about the university I wanna clown lots yet still thank very much.
Penman for Monday, October 29, 2018
I’VE BEEN seeing frothy messages on the Internet calling for the University of the Philippines to be shut down because it seems to be producing nothing more than anti-government critics and rebels (and, uhm, five out the seven new National Artists announced last week).
It’s no big secret that rebellion and resistance are coded into UP’s DNA, because it has always encouraged critical thinking, which in turn encourages—at least for a while, until complacency sets in—an attitude of dissent, of anti-authoritarianism, of rejection of the status quo. That’s how knowledge happens, as every scientist since Galileo has affirmed. Learning to lead requires critical thinking; learning to follow demands nothing more than blind conformity.
Apply that to the political sphere, and not surprisingly, UP has for the past century been a crucible of protest, against both internal and external forces seeking to influence its constituents’…
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Well, this is quite a refreshing read, alright. Makes me feel less like I’m being forced into silence whenever I’m in class, yo~
Penman for Monday, September 24, 2018
Let me dwell this week on the idea of academic freedom, which has been in focus again recently in the light of controversies involving conflicting ideologies on campus. It’s important because universities are the natural home of ideas, and therefore for clashes of ideas, which then take various forms of political and cultural expression.
Modern (and especially secular) universities stand on the bedrock of academic freedom, which at its simplest means one’s freedom to choose what to study and what to teach, and giving value to knowledge—not power, not money, not superstition—as our best guide to the way forward. That knowledge can be gained through research and reason, through experimentation, debate, and creative intuition. Hopefully that knowledge will yield better options for a thinking citizen.
That’s the basic concept, and while it sounds like something no one should quarrel with, the fact is that…
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Trump, Jong-un, Putin, Duterte
All of them? Man, they’re just henchmen
I’m a boss, they can’t control me
They’re just left to think they own me
Look What You Made Me Do’s pathetic
Sounding like Kanye so Famous
Taking shots so that means that
I’ll get fired back-to-back
Like waking Drake, where I’ll get burned
Shining just like his treasures
But that won’t send me up to Mars
‘Cause planet Earth needs better stars
Though what’s some better star up high
If ozone can’t go filter lights
Purple bruising up our skin
Cancer that will kill us, then
Like the Pauls who aren’t Saints
Satan’s not just flames and snakes
But those bros are still just henchmen
Who’s the master? I check this
Mirror, mirror on the wall
Fairest player of them all
Has a floating mask in green
For the old and jealous queens
Feeling like a middle child
Singing in a “charity”
“Follow your heart, it’s never wrong”
“Don’t listen to them, believe your own”
With that, I hope I can hold
A scalpel for when I go croak
Like Black Jack working on himself
But how much would the charge be, then?
It’s a different brand of difficult out there, indeed, but God Almighty has been, still is, and will always be around. So yeah, God Almighty keep on helping us all.
Pope Francis is like a canary in the coal mine, identifying toxic trends in our society, then, offering hope as he suggests Christian solutions to current issues.
The expression, a canary in the coal mine, is a saying which refers to caged canaries miners would bring with them into mine tunnels. These birds were used in Britain, right up until 1999 as a way to warn miners if gases like carbon monoxide collected in the mine. Noxious gas would kill a tiny canary before miners even knew they were in danger. Now the phrase, a canary in the coal mine, alludes to someone whose sensitivity delivers early warnings to society. Our popes have often perceived subtle shifts away from gospel values before most of us even notice.
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To be honest, I’m not quite a supporter of the dominant – or, at least, very noticeable – vocal attitude that a significant amount of my schoolmates makes our university (in)famous for. My dad tells me that the exploited poor are more easily convinced by that sort of people, though, people who would stand up and shout out with spines straightened and chests puffed out as they say “There is a problem, and you need to stop causing it!” to people who are clearly doing something wrong or “You know you have been hurt and stolen from, so fight back and take back what is rightfully yours!” to people who are clearly being wronged. My late paternal grandpa was that sort of vocal person too, and he once dreamed of getting into the university I’m studying in now, but he never did, though he did maintain that gruff and tough attitude of his. Still, with the help of his dear wife and their hard work which included overseas work in the US, he managed to raise his nine kids well enough to get them graduated from college and striking out well on their own, with almost all of them married and with their own kids, and some of them even living out in the US and in Canada.
Despite all that, I’m not really a fan of that brand of vocal attitude he held on to, even if I do believe that the late 60s to the mid-80s was one of the worst, if not the worst, points of Philippine history.
It’s not that I don’t like following the style of held on to by people like those classmates of mine or my paternal grandpa simply because I just took the gossip about that activist stereotype surrounding my university at face value, though. Deep down, I felt like more of a wreck whenever I tried to be as hard as those people, even though I knew that there was something wrong and someone needed to take responsibility for it.
For example, back when that grandpa of mine was alive, my elementary schooler self told him during a visit that I had issues with bullies at school. In hindsight, I think he understood that I had issues with bullying, but when it came to his advice regarding how to deal with them…well, I cried, Mom had to take me back to the car, and I remember she and Dad telling me some time later that Grandpa was somewhat under the influence at that time.
But what advice did my grandpa give back then?
Well, I don’t remember his exact words, but they were along the lines of “Go fight back and beat them up!” and he delivered them with his rough and hoarse voice, colored with a tone that has also painted my memories of having to listen to my schoolmates and my professors doing name-calling and satirical shots against understandably problematic people who should be doing their jobs right.
Yeah, I guess that’s why I struggle with class discussions. That’s why, instead of posting a rant willy-nilly on the Net or shouting out during class, I would rant about my dismay to my parents and to other people whom I trust very much after classes and in private. I’d send them walls of text, or I’d be spitting with tones just like those schoolmates’, something I also found hard to do because I would feel like I would be a hypocrite whenever I tried to go deeper with thinking about how violent I would be if I did that. But still, I learned that it had to go out, and that there are people who would be patient and forgiving enough to help me get it out better. Better that way than to have my mouth be trigger-happy in more public spaces, after all.
Still, it’s a problem, and I struggle with it, especially since the temptation to be a sarcastic nut is something I now consider more dangerous than I think. I’ve been realizing that it would be doing a certain thing that I and those schoolmates of mine detest so much: dehumanizing other people. In other words: looking at others as if they had no faces of their own, calling others hopeless cases that should rot and die in prison, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
Talk about hypocritical, no?
Though even with my awareness of all that, I feel as if I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place when I have to listen to such prideful offenders and keep quiet in humility. The struggle now reminds me of a certain aunt’s reminders of how the sin called pride is tied to our baseness, and, of course, it isn’t easy to deal with.
And now, I think I’m understanding my struggle there even better.
You see, in a prayer community gathering I recently attended, a guest speaker told us the story of Fr. Steven Scheier, who would have been dead and in Hell if Mama Mary didn’t intercede for him. It was a story the guest speaker presented as a part of an advocating presentation of the Devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and although I honestly have doubts about going for those Devotions right now, something about Fr. Steven’s story struck me.
To be more specific, I think I felt particularly struck when it came to the part where Fr. Steven talked about the excuses he once considered delivering but could never deliver in the face of Jesus the Judge. That, and perhaps the fact that he faced Judgment with a capital ‘J,’ almost ended up in Hell, and miraculously lived to tell the tale was something striking in itself. I was quiet on my seat in the prayer community meeting venue, but my eyes felt kinda watery back then, and I felt like a lot of glass barriers were shattered by a spear that was thrust into my heart multiple times as well.
But the one thing that came out of it, one thing I want to share in more detail with you today, is a set of memories of my younger years.
Those memories, well…they were my memories of my crybaby self…memories of me crying loud and hard that you were likely to want me kicked out both figuratively and literally.
I guess we can say that an ordinary day for me back during those years, especially my elementary years, included an offended me crying very hard. I was easy pickings back then, you know? I didn’t like violently reacting, but I didn’t like ignoring the bullies and letting them run over me with their jeers about me being a weird fat boy, about me being a teacher’s pet who tried to force his classmates into speaking English more, and, inevitably, about me being a noisy crybaby. And even though I improved as I grew up, I had to face the struggle with pride I’m still facing, pride that had me thinking as if I’m a scapegoat as I held grudges and self-hatred in my heart for having to witness other people nearby being improper – especially when it involved them targeting my friends – and being unable to do anything right in the face of those things. A bunch of times, I lashed out, resulting in meetings with school authorities, and in hindsight, I was the one who gave the them the biggest part of those troubles, because they had to spend so much time staying with me and trying to convince me to calm down and think straighter, while the kids I was angry at went on with school activities more easily…and they also got more ammunition to shoot at me and my friends for the next bullying session…all because I acted more immature than the bullies.
Perhaps silence is more golden than I thought. Well, to be more specific, humble silence is golden, now that I think about it some more. Being silent because I don’t want to admit that there’s a problem and that I’m always right is a bad thing, and I think that sort of silence was something I indulged in a lot during my younger years, years in which I thought being an edgy and anti-social smartass was the pinnacle of coolness, a foolish belief which was further strengthened by certain anime and video game characters I easily fell for back then.
But being silent in humility…humble silence…I think I know what is now. Humble silence is keeping silent while more militant classmates and professors spit their insults out, not because critically thinking about the issues they discuss is a bad thing, but because it would be a bad idea to join in if all that can be gathered and given out in response during the moment are only barbs that are just as bad or even worse than the barbs that have been spat out already. Humble silence is still doing still worthwhile homework after classes and going back to still worthwhile classes when the time is supposed to be for such, all while being polite and even forgiving despite being in opposition to the displeasing delivery styles of those prideful yet potential-filled classmates and professors. Humble silence is also reporting a clearly directly attacking bully to the proper authorities and with proper processing but without gloating about it to the reported bully afterwards!
And hey, humble silence can even be crying quietly and privately over things that the tear glands can’t handle, all while still going on with life and trying to keep up with God’s assigned schedule for me instead of trying to nose around and hijacking others’ lives like I’m worthy enough to be the driver for them.
I still don’t think that I’d be able to get along with the barbed vocal attitude of a bunch of my schoolmates, but I think I can endure it better now.
Still, God Almighty help us all.
My right hand wants to punch,
My left hand wants to cut.
Whichever goes first
In the end, matters not.
I complain either way
For pain just exchanged.
I broadcast my cross
And downplay my loss.
The person across me
Should shut with my call.
I’ll hold some of theirs
And graft a new arm.
It’s quite an advance
But they call it death’s stance.
I plug in a shot
But some parts still rot.
“He, I’ve no need”
Was what I believed.
Yet a cross harrows on
And follows throughout.
And now, some very interesting thoughts from my favorite UP professor.
Penman for Monday, September 26, 2016
I’D NEVER heard of Ramon Cualoping III and Marco Angelo Cabrera until their names were linked to the recent flap involving the use of no less than the Official Gazette in an apparent effort to sanitize the memory of Ferdinand E. Marcos by removing any reference to martial law—you know, the martial law that Marcos invoked to impose his dictatorial rule on his people from 1972 until he was deposed by a popular revolt in 1986. (Yes, he technically lifted martial law in 1981 but he continued to rule with a rubber-stamp legislature.)
Some Googling revealed that Cualoping was an Ateneo Communication Arts graduate, batch 2004, while Cabrera graduated from San Beda in 2013 and interned briefly with the Department of Foreign Affairs; he had also worked for Sen. Bongbong Marcos. Those are both fine backgrounds for jobs at the Presidential Communications Operations Office—just the…
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You’ll probably not agree with all of the statements here, dear nutshellcrackers, but I think that these statements are worth thinking about.
If a bird calls from a tree in the forest and no one is around to hear it, did it happen?
Art is ordered chaos.
Science is religion widely accepted as truth.
You can vote about what’s next for dinner in a democratic system. By the time you have results, you might have starved to death.
Technology bridges machines: people-machines and people-made-machines.
These days, even toddlers and kindergarteners take entrance exams into prestigious (and expensive) preschools.
Consciousness is made from cosmic fragments.
There are many greater than I, a speck in the fabric of time.
Does a cardboard box have thoughts, emotions, memories? Is it not also a three-dimensional form? Length x Width x Height; x, y, z. Fill it with 65% water.
Sometimes I just enjoy the smell of books.
The media is used…
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