The importance of collective action in the call for justice: reflections on NUJP’s** Saranggola


*This article first appeared in the June 04 issue of the Northern Dispatch, a  weekly newspaper mainly circulated in Baguio City but also reaches other provinces in the Cordillera. Here is the link to its website.

**National Union of Journalists of the Philippines

Last weekend, I was able to participate as a documentor in the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines’ Saranggola, an annual event that aims to gather the families of slain journalists all over the country. I have come to know that Saranggola has started on 2006 and has become a helpful venue for the families of killed journalists to cope with the same experience that binds them together while mingling and sharing their grief and cries for justice with the others.

Around 100 individuals – from mothers and fathers to their young and teenaged children – were present at the Maryknoll Sanctuary, the venue of the event, where they partook in team-building activities and sharing of personal experiences.

I had the chance to listen in the sharing activity among the children who are at least college levels and this allowed me to see how these young people negotiate the painful experience of losing a loved one. As they answer random but obviously purposeful questions, from the things that they do when they are sad, their relationship status to their happiest memory from the past year, I caught a glimpse of what are these people’s attitude in life, what are their fears and insecurities and what fuels them to keep on going despite them.

When asked when he is happy, one participant said, “Happiness is when I socialize with other people, when I’m with my family.” Another, asked about the things he does when he is sad said that he just thinks of the Lord and it is whenever he thanks the Lord that he feels its presence. Listening to the answers, and from my other observations, I have figured out that one thing which all of these young people implicitly hanker for – companionship. For at times as rough and trying as the ones they are all undergoing, it evidently pays to have someone who will share your grief and anxieties and whose mere presence will assure you that you are not the only one going through the tribulation.

During break time, I got to talk to Kelvin, one of the participants from the college students group. Almost as a matter of fact, he told me his particular experience as a son of a slain journalist. Without much emotion, as perhaps he was trying to show not too much of them, he said that he saw first-hand how both of his parents were gunned by the perpetrator. Right then, I did not only feel for him but also admired him and the mettle he was displaying, however strong are the elements that try to shake and discourage him. At such a young age, he had to deal with events like this – events that are so saddening it asks us, more than anything else, to continue with firmness and motivation and seek to change the way of things that ultimately causes these.

Danger, impunity and lack of justice looking straight in the eye

In her welcoming remarks, Rowena Paraan, national secretary of NUJP made a good point. The Saranggola event makes us see how concrete are the words “killing journalists,” “human rights violations” and “culture of impunity” we usually protest about on the streets or elsewhere. In events like this, we can see the material aftermath of the disastrous state most people hardly care about or just choose to ignore. In our country that has become notorious for being a hazardous place for journalists, and where those in power can kill them without fear of punishment, seeing the families of these journalists only remind us the bleakness of the situation. Ultimately, this can only serve as an eye-opener or further inspiration to keep on struggling against the general situation where these cases originate.

The need for organized action

In the end, all of the groups were shown the importance of an organized action that shall address their issues and raise their shared demands. Foremost of which is their call for justice for their slain loved ones and the governments support for the livelihood of the families. However, the participants realized that asking and demanding from the government can only do so much. For all they know, the state is one of the suspects being considered to be behind the killings. For these killings are not isolated cases; they can be seen as a systematic act done against those who works to expose the truth and write about the problem plaguing the society. With that, the participants all understood the important idea: they have to fight for what they demand, they have to earn the justice they are clamoring for, and they have to do that together. For in the face of those who are being fed by the existing system, the most feasible way to triumph is through collective action.

Here are some of the pictures taken during the event. Credits to Jesa for all these.

Manang Mae welcoming the participants in the annual event.
The groups during the workshop and sharing activity.
The group of mothers was one of the more enthusiastic. Here, they were busy with the tower-building activity.
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Jonathan Franzen’s Strong Motion and otherwise deemed farfetched connections between earthquakes and “corporate greed;” seismology and love



And this is what I would have to admit: after reading Jonathan Franzen’s Strong Motion two days ago, I am missing it. Franzen’ characters just grow in me, which obviously gives credit to the author – no more of Louis’ facade of coldness and carelessness and subtle search for something to devote himself to, and Renee’s charming insecurities about herself. After perhaps two weeks and 500 pages, this novel had stuck on me and I wish Franzen had brought me further into the earthquakes in Boston and Loius and Renee’s theory against Sweeting-Aldren company.

Jonathan Franzen compressed earthquakes and abortions and a hypocritical media and more in this one.

What started quite slowly and blandly a plot had evolved into a moving tale spanning Loius’ familial relations – from its initial periods of turmoil to an uncheesily concocted reconciliation, — his budding relationship with thirty-year old, young professional, Harvard-graduate but perpetually self-guarded Renee and the ensuing connections with the enigmatic earthquakes occurring in Boston and the chemical company who might just be the culprit behind the ground shakings. Franzen nicely and neatly crafts quite an elaborate plot revolving on interconnected characters and circumstances – the earthquakes, Louis’ sister whom he first had petty disagreements with and whose boyfriend’s father is a top official of Sweeting-Aldren, Louis’ mother whose suddenly found wealth goes back to a famly history tied to the beginnings of the alleged waste dumping of the company, Renee who suddenly became targets from the center with her alternative views and deeds both regarding the anti-abortionists and the implication of the Sweeting-Aldren company to the earthquakes.

Moreover, I like novels like this where the characters are allowed to speak and allowed to introduce themselves by virtue of the things they say and the actions and decisions they take. Louis sulks upon how his mother seems to exploit his submissiveness and general goodness, while in turn, spoiling Eileen, his sister. This is why he mocked her when she got hold of the large sum of money she obtained when her step-mother, Rita Kernaghan, died off an earthquake. He met Renee and finally, he had someone to share time with and to whom he can be genuine and sincere and not jaded about the world. They ended up making love but when Lauren, the previous apple of his eye, returned, her blooming relationship with Renee was stalled only to be resuscitated when he realized he pines for her and wants to be with her, and not just in bed. Always, we will come with realizations and these will change the course of our lives, sometimes forever, sometimes for a moment.

Then there was Renee, seemingly adorable Renee, the smart scientist from Harvard who used to listen to punk music, but has become ashamed of it now that she’s 30. Perhaps jut insecured about her age and her looks, she preoccupies herself with things she is passionate about: seismology and her pro-choice stance regarding abortion. While these preoccupations have evidently imperiled her life in the novel, it was also because of these that she meets Louis and found something on him that at the end, we can be certain in positing that this finding offsets the dangers on the course. For when she was battling for her life, bandaged and all, weak and recovering at the hospital and then at home, she had Louis, patiently waiting, patiently staying, and accompanying her through those times.

To his further credit, Franzen covered these 500 pages with micro-critiques of the operations of big-time corporations by just trying and succeeding to sound matter-of-factly, without shock or pretensions of grandness, and not sermonizing. Also, he was good enough to sew together several issues at once by keeping the relevance among the scenarios. And in the classical butterfly effect phenomenon, every development in each subplot affects the others and either complicate it further or resolve it in the end. The tensions within the Hollands, Louis and Renee’s affair, the earthquake investigation, the peculiar source of the 22 million dollars, the anti-abortion crusade led by Philip Stites – all of these were masterfully presented, developed and resolved neatly by Franzen in the novel. Notable as well is the way Franzen zooms in and out, digresses and reverts in his storytelling. For instance, in page 379, when Louis and his father Bob was talking about Bob’s deep knowledge about the history of Sweeting-Aldren Company and his wife’s family’s significant involvement in that history, Franzen abruptly pans out into the immediate setting:

“From the darkness outside the screen door came tearing sounds, accompanied by the growling of a cat intent on business.”

and mentions in passing the dismembering of a small animal (presumably by the cat). Then, Franzen also infused a lot of chemistry in this novel, inevitably so as he has a chemical company seriously involved in the story. Not to be forgotten is the seismological parts, which of course emanates from the earthquake occurrences and Renee’s profession. Franzen even had several of pure seismological visual cant which only makes his work less fantastic, closer to what there really is in the same world as the readers.

Franzen also had his way with those narrative shifts, most notably to baseball events, which served a lot of functions in the narrative. Most naturally, they can be deemed as to offer breaks that can facilitate the readers’ comprehension of what is going on in the story. Also, these can be read as again, grounding the story to the actual world, precluding the need for suspension of disbelief to arise. As if to say: the characters’ world is the same as ours; they are surrounded by people and events that are all common to us.

And for now, I shall momentarily conclude, just like how all conclusions are now and ought to be, this first read from Franzen surpasses being worthwhile. It was precious – and makes me itch on starting either The Corrections or the Twenty-Seventh City (although my copy of the former is in Manila). This is how Contemporary fiction sometimes sears.

This is him.

On the passing of memory and attention



At first, all we were

were thousands of gallant, self-sacrificing souls

armored with the conviction that man

shall not destroy nature

Like malls are not supposed to

stand on the birthplace of trees

Like cars should not occupy

the cradles of young seeds

 

Then we were all frenzied allies

Of passion and determination

“Don’t cut the trees!”

“Don’t cut the trees!”

A slogan that reached even Manila

(If only exclamation points can picture

Wide-eyed protesters, manic at saving

A part of where they were born, if only

exclamation marks also mark the point

when police and rallyists clash, when

pawns were wrongly attacked in lieu

of the masters.

 

Some time else, we were reduced to these:

Teenagers approaching adulthood,

Raging hormones pacified,

Rabidness gone like a whiff of smoke.

Precisely: the passing of things.

 

Once, there were 182 trees endangered

And thousands braved the streets.

 

Now, just like most of the other things,

That has become a point in history:

A future anecdote,

A preceding case to be invoked soon,

Al curtailed,

all passed by, all passed out.

 

Remember this, anyone?

 

Slo(gone)s

 

 

Vonnegut and all the hocus pocus about this June 12



“…that the most important message of a crucifix, to me anyway, was how unspeakably cruel supposedly sane human beings can be when under orders from a superior authority” (Hocus Pocus: Kurt Vonnegut 1990, 190)

Vonnegut will make you laugh and turn you into an agitated cynic in this one.

 

Nearly completing Vonnegut’s Hocus Pocus, I am finding more endearing his caustic way of lambasting the hypocrisies, the latent atrocities, the vile that has predominated in the recent history of man. In this passage, Vonnegut was saying something special: get mad not at those who commit evil on the flesh, but to those who compel them to do so, and as my manner of furthering this, get mad not at those who compel people to commit evil, but to the systemic forces that malevolently, unknowingly drive those who do the evils. In other words, criticize not only the pawn, but also the king – the superior authority that gives orders. But even more, criticize and seek to adjust that prevalent idea of the authority being privileged and that set-up where master and mastered, authority and subordinates exist.

A bit forward in the book, Vonnegut continued with his laughably mean ways, indicting at things that have been inspiring, or paving the way for the conduct of evils in the past: colonization, Christianity. The way Vonnegut did this is so amusing just like it is amusing how someone as great an athlete like Derrick Rose can be so nonchalant after making extraordinary plays or how Corporal Paris appeared to stand laidback even with rifle shots about to give him his death in Kubrick’s Paths of Glory. Effortless seems to be the closest word, as if lightly criticizing unpleasant things is so natural to Vonnegut, as if doing insane, mid-air orchestrations are so built-in on Derrick Rose; as if death has just always been there for Corporal Paris.

Here, Vonnegut has something for Christianity, or to be safer, for religion-as-it-is-today in general: “They put the idea into Earthlings’ heads that the whole Universe had been created by one big male animal who looked just like them. He sat on a throne with a lot less fancy thrones all around him. When people died they got to sit on those other thrones forever because they were such close relatives of the Creator” (202, emphasis mine).

Then here, he has some words on “othering,” murdering those that are not like us supposedly for the salvation of humanity: “Another thing the Elders liked about the Earthlings was that they feared and hated other Earthlings who did not look and talk exactly as they did. They made life a hell for each other as well as for what they called “lower animals” (202).

There is wit; there is unpretentious creativity; and there is definitely a bite, and for us readers, we would more likely laugh, or grin, or smirk first, before reviewing what had just been made for us to read and then realize for ourselves, Hey, this guy is saying something else.

What is happening now? I intended this note on Vonnegut’s Hocus Pocus, even though I am yet to finish it, as my way of appending something to today’s well, Holiday, another day when we are given a day’s rest watching television ads about Independence, Rizal, Bonifacio, Kagitingan, Jesus’ 3pm death without exactly knowing what is special not about the dates but about the people, the events supposedly recalled, stamped into memory in those days. Perhaps just like how Vonnegut viewed the way he justified the US’ participation at the Vietnam War, holidays like today is mere hocus pocus for us – something done for the sake of doing it, even when our hearts, our minds are not in it, all rhetoric, all surface, no substance. And who will even care about celebrating Independence Day when we are fooled by US troops doing “exercises” in several parts of our country, aiding us in the face of the heavyweight “enemy” we got in China; when most of the things we can see in the metro are things made, owned, inspired by the American spirit (because it is pervading); when our President boasts of million dollar aids from foreign countries (sorry: most especially, America) but cannot tell proudly to his people the concessions behind those aids (or do we believe from the inside of our guts that every US or foreign aid is given out of pure, good-natured benevolence, without asking, demanding anything in return?).

We are all boiling down on clichés so just let me end in here: let’s do away with the hocus pocus; let’s do away with all our illusions (of independence, of economic growth, of all tuwid na daan). For this Independence Day, at the least, let us not depend on the very idea of independence they spoonfeed on us: because our everyday – from the music we listen to, the laws we are governed with, the movies we prefer, the books that occupy the greater part of book stores — will tell us another thing: there is hardly anything Filipino in the Philippines. And independence, yes another word in the dictionary.

Again: (US)dependence

How earning five thousand pesos in two hours becomes actually despicable


Sometime last month, on the course of my online writing occupation which was my own, little way of helping myself enroll on a Masteral program, I took an eleven-page assignment costing almost 12 dollars per page and totaling to round 130 dollars. The thing is that I just breezed through the assignment as aside from the fact that I already have a lot of knowledge about the topic, the customer already prepared something which I have used in doing the product.

In sum, I was able to finish the eleven-page paper in just two hours, wildly content, rabidly praising the fluke I just came across in the chancy arena of online writing. My six-hour mantra, until the hype of that feat grew on me: “Five thousand in two hours.”

At instances like this, we can be easily duped about the true nature of online writing. First, as abovementioned, doing business here is part chance, part mental work that often verges on being mechanical.  I can babble about the textuality of Tommy Hilfiger advertisements, the psychology of love, Wordsworth’s romanticism as panacea to the social ills and so on with apparent ease but this kind of work is hardly fulfilling apart from the money. Although far better than the more repetitive nature of content writing, doing “academic writing” online is not exactly fun and challenging always as I am also guilty of devising ways to fulfills tasks expedite.  And people often have the idea that we can earn a lot of easy money here as one just needs a computer and an internet connection to be in this job.  And voila — dollars, dollars. If luck hovers around you, you might just get a similar 130 dollar task you can finish in two, three hours.

But again, as evinced by the present trend, there are months when the number of orders are staggeringly low and there are severely limited chances to earn. And for all its seeming ease and perks, this selling of intellectual labor can be pinned down to the nasty operations of a neo-liberal economy that heavily relies on cheap labor in order to further the accumulation of profit and capital.

And so at the expense of my five thousand pesos and the huge, albeit fleeting joy I derived from it, is the great boost online writing companies obtain from my cheap intellectual labor.

Not forgetting what I want and pursuing it, eternal sunshine is not so good for the mind


What is the deal with forgetting? Is that totally damnable, or a despicable state? Because while remembering is usually cherished, just like, “I remember better days,” forgetting is almost absolutely nothing. Sometimes, we do not actually know that we have forgotten. “I have forgotten” is almost the same with “I don’t know.” Is that the bliss of ignorance? Is that the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind – the only certain (though ironically, this certainty is still arguable) blissful spot that can be offered by our minds which have thought of destructing using atomic bombs, a struggle for the people, quantum physics, the beauty of poetry, astronomical data and compassion and beyond  — forgetting?  Forgetting eases us of worries, because we do not know, because we have forgotten. “I have forgotten” takes into its meaning the idea that Once, I have known it but not anymore now.

But it can be good at times, actually, in a lot of times, forgetting; especially if we are talking about ugliness. A broken relationship, a mistake that lead to the former, a loss of your favorite NBA team in a Finals Game 7 or a miserable semester in school. These are the times when we’d rather forget than remember.
But both Clementine and Joel did not actually like what they do, forget each other, banish each other from their respective consciousnesses and go on with their lives without the haunting memories the other person offers. This is evinced by both, not only Joel’s efforts to foil the memory procedure. And although it went through, Mary’s effort helped in making it known to them – that they have underwent that procedure, but not exactly making known to them once again everything that the procedure has wiped out of their memories, most especially, the fact that they know each other in the past. As it becomes known to them, that they have chosen to forget each other (cute, knowing that they have forgotten and what has been forgotten), they seem to be confronted again by their little hypocrisies, forcing oneself to forget someone who is truly desired, or at least, not wanted to be forgotten.
Ultimately, they worked together for themselves, at last, staying true to what they consciously desire, or aspire for. Clementine going back to Joel’s apartment even after he has yelled at her. Joel going after Clementine even when she has decided to leave, although still hesitantly. And that, “hesitantly” applies to both acts – Joel’s going after her and Clementine’s leaving him. There is some delicate beauty in that, how we hesitate in doing things, only to end up doing them at last, how we are overshadowed by our presumptions and fears, only to realize in the end that nothing can be clarified if we allow ourselves to be eaten by them. And the other case is not exactly beautiful – how we consciously try to banish from our consciousness what we truly desire or yearn for, consciously try to relegate them into our sub/unconsciousness, mostly because of external pressures that come along with that we desire and which we are afraid to brave. Good thing, Clementine and Joel only hesitated, and not turn their hypocrisies and cowardice on and let what they truly desire fly away.
When all memories have been erased, they can only go after what has been left. And they go after each other – perhaps the last thing left from the effaced world, but the ones that matter the most.
Do NOT forget.

How “robots” fear, how hominids reached outer space and how sound speaks: the experience inside Kubrick’s 2001: Space Odyssey



Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: Space Odyssey is foremost an auditory experience that makes a curious attempt at retelling the prehistory of man and daring all the way to limning their wide open future.

Arguably, Kubrick’s most well-known film

The film opens with an almost-three minute eerie blackness that is paired with a chilling sound of a gong, perhaps to alleviate even a little the disturbing blankness posed by the completely black screen. Then, we got the title sequence, which is not very visually grand but still attains a certain level of grandiose with the aid of a seeming whole orchestra. Here, Kubrick already displays a pointed cleverness – relying beyond the images to achieve a specific effect for every frame or sequence.

Then we get the first of three parts of the film, “The Dawn of Man” where instead of human conversations, we had the growls and scowls of earlier hominids (I cannot be too technical about this, but I think the term “gorilla” could be inappropriate) as they find varying degrees of comfort and belonging on others, get a sense of their supremacy of other, extinct species, and ultimately, compete with one another wherein, as Darwin had already posited, the fittest survive.

This first part is notable to me for the way it used the establishing shots at the beginning to depict the cleanness of the setting where the bunch of hominids will eventually appear. There is no human civilization as we know it, no huts or man-made wells, no tall buildings or coffee shops. Precisely: the dawn of man – the same time when they discovered how to use implements and how to use these to beat and make the better out of others. Lastly, the most special scene for me in this part is that which serves as the transition from prehistoric earth peopled by hominids to the future earth where space travels have become common.

The winning party between the two groups of hominids who fought each other threw the piece of animal bone it used to flog the hominid from the other group, as if a triumphant reclaiming of both its discovery and its victory. Here, alas, while the bone is being shown slow motion on air, it was suddenly replaced by a similarly shaped satellite in space, travelling through a territory even most of our dreams have not reached.

The science fiction in 2001

It is at this point that the movie gives us a treat of outer space. With an elaborate set-up, the film seems to do well in resembling how scientists have envisaged the outer space. It is also quite fascinating how the film designed the spacecrafts used by the explorers. In a film made on 1968, the appearance of the spacecrafts both from the outside and the inside can be said to be a product of genuinely pompous imagination. Even though one could argue that it is in this period when America and Russia started to take space exploration to another level, the way it was made to appear in the film still fascinates, almost confounds me to a great extent. Although on my part, I do not want to believe that this was just an effect of naivety.

From the visual representation of the suspension of gravity to a talking robot in Hal who seems to not just resemble humans but actually feel emotions like humans do, the way this film enacted science fiction makes it more grounded to realistic possibilities while pushing the envelope of the possible at the same time.

Hal, the human error and the human affect

My favorite character in the film was Hal, the programmed robot who was endowed with human-like abilities and intelligence. Described in the film as the “latest result of human intelligence,” he was programmed to have superior cognitive capacities (Hal can “reproduce” or “mimic” (depending on your personal bias) most of the functions of human brain) that the task of supervising the overall Jupiter mission was entrusted to him.  Acting as the brain and central nervous system of the ship, the lives of the hibernated members of the crew mainly relied on him.

Evidently, Hal is an indispensable part of the mission yet later in the film, after he anticipated a failure, he had disagreements with Frank and Dave, the two conscious humans on board with him. When Dave and Frank reported this to their pals on Earth, they were informed that no failure was being expected and that this evaluation came from a “twin” of Hal, another computer from the 9000 series. It is at this point that both Frank and Dave began to question the sincerity and loyalty of Hal and ultimately compelled them to decide to cut Hal’s higher brain functions.

Before that, they asked Hal about the incompatibility of findings between the two computers from the 9000 series and Hal’s response could be read as chilling for both Frank and Dave – it was caused by human error, the sole culprit for all the failures and discord in the world.

Here, we are finally seeing what man’s complex creations have brought to him. Invented to help him conquer the world around him, these creations backfired on him and turned the conquest into tragic doom.

Another issue widely discussed in relation to Hal (this happened even within the movie itself) is his capability to feel emotions like humans do. While Hal’s manner of speaking shows a personalized tone, the film reveals that it was part of the program so to make communicating and working with him much easier. Notably though, in key scenes of the film, Hal seemed to manifest the ability to feel actual, human emotions. After playing some sort of a board game with Frank, Hal uttered “Thank you for a very enjoyable game.” Here, we might ask: did Hal really feel enjoyment with regards to the game or is this usage of the word “enjoyable” part of the ingenuity of the overall program that is this robot? More pungently, when Dave begun cutting some of his higher brain functions. Hal stated even more gripping utterances for a “robot.” There were the classic lines “Dave. Stop. Will you stop, Dave. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I’m afraid.”

Could it be that Hal typifies the Homo Cyberneticus which is presumed by many as the next type of man that will populate this world? If so, why did Dave and Frank felt so insecure about him they plotted to limit his abilities? Perhaps it was again that self-pride, that egoism that is propelled by their unsurprising bias for their own kind and the accompanying fear of being scraped off by an emerging new form of being which is their own creation at the first place.

Kubrick’s technical genius: some notes on sound

All throughout the movie, the aspect of music has been very significant to the aesthetic and semantic range of the film. In the The Dawn of Man, before the movie led us to outer space and all we have are “lower” forms of man, all we have are the growls and grunts of these creatures. Instantly and most conveniently for us, we can conclude that this only affirms our superiority over these hominids. This of course is predicated on the idea that to have language means to be civilized and be more cognitively capable.

When the outer space was introduced, we have some sound similar to those played during cotillion and other formal gatherings with dances. Oddly enough to begin with, there is no sound in space and this cotillion music can be read as Kubrick’s manner of putting in something familiar, something closer to what is human, as he tracks for us the way to outer space. Most notably, when Dave was doing the operation of cutting some of Hal’s higher functions, the accompanying sound can be likened to a wheezing of an ill or dying man as heard through a stethoscope. Paired with Hal’s arguably human-like imploration on Dave to stop because he is “afraid,” this sequence rendered the castration (at times comparable to the poking of the eyes of Oedipus) all the more nerve-wracking and debilitating (well, at least for me, I felt the weakening of Hal). For what is Hal essentially but an eye? He is just that red circle of light after all. In this classic sequence in the film, the sound was at its finest to heighten the effect of the scene to the audience.

Beware of this eye.

Finally, this film by Kubrick, perhaps the one he is most often remembered with, is likewise usually listed as one of the most disturbing, complicated or esoteric films ever made. While this sounds very valid a point, I would like to point that in viewing the film and eventually “reading” it, I paid closer attention to how Kubrick said what he wanted to say rather what he actually meant. Even the most acclaimed critics find the “meaning’ of the film ambiguous and succumb to this enigma. To me, this is precisely the beauty of the film – this enigma, this enigma that spurs further interpretation and marriage of syntheses that perhaps unconsciously make us more contemplative and aware of our own thoughts about our world.

For all of the things Kubrick may have wanted to mean in this film, these can only be compounded, eroded, stamped on by readings after it that ultimately turn the piece of work larger than what it was at the beginning.

What does it mean to write?


What does it mean to write? It is these:

I write because I am lacking.

I write because I am minute compared to the world I try to dissect, comprehend, to bleed for — sometimes, to change.

I write because I am full of desires. To desire is to finally claim my own lack. To desire is to reflect our weakness, says Atwood. I rephrase: to desire is to admit my littleness, to admit something I do not have, something I. Am. Not.

I write because I desire. I desire to say something, fuck you world, change the system, this has been a wonderful day,  living is painless. I desire to assert myself in a world preoccupied with too many things. I desire to attain, even feign a sense, even just a sense, of stability.

I write because I can admit I am weak but don’t just mope or weep in the corner of the room — an index of oblivion,  forgotten by significance, and activity.