A rant on being in Baguio in late October and the frequent use of “LOL” and “:-)” as a response


Before leaving Baguio for Manila earlier this week, I had this rant, with the charger of my laptop not functioning and I am waiting for Jesa and her sister to finally finish their house-transfer and old Baguio people packing and leaving well, sensibly traceless

At a loss, I am discovering how laptop-dependent I have become. I cannot appease myself successfully even when I have haddon and kafka and Dostoyevsky to turn to now that I find Michelle’s fuck buddy suddenly sterilized. Perhaps I just need to get to Caloocan and see home and feel it with my tongue and skin. A long semester aches to be put to rest and the familiar sights in Baguio seem to deny this forever. Bea’s at 9pm and coffee and smoke and fog have all been part of this rabid June to October and a hiatus seems hard to be official as long as I still sense most of the elements that partook in the slapdashness of the past months.

Baguio is becoming stale. Without the fervency palpable in Jesa’s shadows, this city would be doomed to a slaughtered aesthetics. People only look uglier and uglier; entrapped in a polluted environment whose values being buttressed are sick and self-expedient. In supermarkets, people seem to aspire to dazzle in celebrity-like fashion: colorful designer clothes or outrageous, eccentric dresses that perhaps want to monopolize all attention in haraway. Here: the massive rise of fashion in today’s paranoia. I think this relates to the fad of appearance amplified in the fucking posts- world. One values appearance more than anything else: principles, sensibility, intimacy. So we have here speedy individuals outdoing one another in “appearing” better and in the process, make less genuine connection. There are no bridges being built among people; rather, more attention to the way one smells, the way one’s hair looks like. In an age when everything is being prefixed with posts-, as if to erase the things they precede (postmodern to the modern; post-theory to theory); when there are more advertisements and new Ipad models than knowledge and awareness of our rights or poetry, appearances have not only deceived us; they have succeeded in implying that there are nothing else aside from them.

Superficiality and everything micro penetrated our everyday consciousness and behavior and we must begin probing and penetrating in counter unless the postmodern disavowal of depth wins out. We need to appreciate the radical manners once more – way s of looking at things with invigorated and passionate plumbing of the details and implications all the way to the deepest level. For instance, we must not sulk upon perspectives that trace climate change majorly to multinational corporation’s doings, or deficient school facilities to annual budget slashes. Terry Eagleton warned us about history dashing in the immensity of its steps and potentially swooping down on us with the pettiness of our actions. The tides are always on the onslaught and we seem to become content with flimsy tents commonly going by soft ideals and slogans we cannot harden on the ground. People are dying in famish and we become deeply content with and perhaps subtly rid of guilt by purchasing doughnuts or charity sweepstakes that claim part of the proceeds will go to feeding the poor. Storms and landslides and droughts imperil lives and crops and we “do our part” by purchasing Eco-friendly bags, captivated by the catchphrases like “Go Green, Save Mother Earth!”

We are missing the point exactly because the tip of the iceberg is not the iceberg. We need to dive forward and deeper and try to see things in their greater immensity and not just chew the bits of information thrown by the media or the bulk of truth spewed by big story-makers. The more we hook ourselves with appearances, the less we see the scars under the Prada, or the lonely heart under the bejeweled body.

Always, outflow of words like this verges on outrunning a sermon. Still, that should not impede the propulsion of discourse. This too is another thing. For when big words like “war on terror,” “axis of evil” and “financial crisis” are continually being fabricated and skewed for us, we need to go beyond timid, lousy answers such as, “Yep,” “That’s a good point,” “LOL,” “IKR” and “:-).”

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