Spiderman 3

There's really something disappointing about Spiderman 3...

I'm not sure if its the song and dance number that Peter gave to M.J. in that jazz bar or with the way he strutted down a busy New York sidewalk.

Maybe it's the way they portrayed Venom who was downright pathetic as compared to the persona that he has in the comic book. And for crying out loud: "He didn't pray for Spidey's death on the comic book!" He was repenting from his sins when I read it. How could the writers in the movie make him look like a pathetic peepsqueak that prays for the death of someone? There's also no remote posibility of Venom ever saying that he 'likes to be bad' in the comic book.

Maybe it's because the black costume sucks. A look at the classic version of that costume in the comic book would really convince you that the black one in the comic book is way cooler than the one that he has in the movie. In fact, it was cool enough for this old classmate of mine in grade school to repeatedly steal that piece of trading card from my stack of Marvel Universe cards.

Maybe it was Topher Grace's fault. He plays Eddie Brock an athletic journalist who has that has a very Roman Catholic background, but when I watch him he still reminds me of Eric Foreman from the 70's Show.

The soundtrack sucks as compared to the previous two. There's no inspiring emo song like Dashboard Confessional's, Vindicated, or a fun song by Sum 41 or a tune from Taking Back Sunday and Switchfoot. It's just lame indie pop and bad orchestral arrangements.

I hate the way that MJ is always portrayed as a victim. She's self-consumed just as Peter Parker that's why their relationship won't work without that constant need of her to be rescued from the clutches of a misguided supervillain.

Why wound the city of New York throw a huge parade for Spiderman? What's up with Stan Lee and Peter Parker talking?

Why didn't Harry die from his fall from the building, or from the explosion or from the beating that he got from Peter?

Wouldn't it be cool if the scar-faced Harry flipped a coin (ala Two-Face) right after Spiderman asked for his help to rescue MJ?

Perhaps it's because I'm more of a DC fan. Which suspends reality outrightly that it makes their universe more larger than life. I mean, I'm not interested with Peter's personal life much the same as I hate the way Clark Kent is portrayed the TV show Smallville (who's interested in Clark Kent anyways?). Don't you find it ironic that everyone related to Peter Parker either becomes a villain or another hero or dies because they're related to Peter.

Mayber it's because I'm such a continuity cop in terms of movie adaptations of comic books. But Constantine was out of continuity from his comic book version (he doesn't even look the same as the comic book version) nevertheless it was quite tolerable. But yeah sometimes movies tend to make idiots out of your favorite heros like what has always been done with Batman and in all his incarnations in the movie (except for the Bruce Tim animated version of course).

Maybe the main reason that I'm displeased with how Spiderman 3 turned out is that people who didn't waste their childhood and their reces money to reading comic books could now boast of being a Spidey fanatic without that in-depth knowledge or liking of the character, (similar to those fat snobs at that hang out and play Magic: The Gathering cards at Comic Quest).

Or probably I'm just getting to old for that kind of stuff...

May 19, 2007: PayItForward hits the stage again...

After a long hiatus PayItForward once again got up the stage and was able to play alongside their favorite punk band Bad Omen as well as with their longtime comrades All Wound Up, Ginseng, Blue Martian Cookies and I'm the Bridge and not to mention DeathToPuberty it was truly an ecstatic feeling. Hopefully more gigs and probably a recording would follow.

all systems go?

heat as everyone in manila knows is the worst thing about summer in the philippines. and it has taken its toll on my work. the airconditioning system in the office has been down for almost a week now and the heat is unbearable and my computer can't stand it as well it has been automatically shutting down every 15 minutes. and with a heavy load of work that's ahead of me working is quite a pain in the arse right now.

We all have our foolish notions of love...

I can only imagine the touch of your skin, the brush of your hair and the caress of your lips that would never be kissing me. For reasons way beyond that of individual bliss and romance.

It'll be aspirations written in the clouds, locked behind the mind’s eye. Like a Top40 melody that we've been guilty of liking. Or a teeny-bopper flick that we’re now ashamed to talk about.

But rest assured if not for this thought so forbidden I have been made halfway decent than I have ever been in my life. So as to realize that in every relationship there's stress and there's that longing to want things be better or to crave for feelings long forgotten because what we have now is but a specter of a former flame that has all but burnt out.

Save for the fact that love is not just a sudden gush of emotion. Like that feeling that you once felt when you first realized that you wanted to share your life with someone. Or have had butterflies in your stomach or blushed; or got excited when you almost touched someone's hand, or enjoyed a long walk because it is long.

Time would come when you'd arrived to the realization that love is but an active decision to stay true to the one you hold dear, in spite of whatever it is that would problem that might and would come your way. It is about thinking of the greater good. About choosing to not live a life of saving face and of initiating emotional flattery. It is a realization of reality that life together is pretty much like living with your present family with whom you may not be feeling handy dandy all the time but nevertheless your are bound to them in love and in blood.

At a first glance it might suck and it might make you squirm and cringe. But just like alcohol to alcoholics or ecstasy to drug addicts this bitter pill will be the cure, to that ailing feeling of loneliness and desperation and of that irreverent fear that we have of living alone. Desolate. Unloved.

Love is God and it is in His act of love that we were saved and have become adopted children in Christ by grace whereupon we must respond to in faith. It is in this act of love that he actively decided to be serious enough to die in our place for the wages of our sin. He is that darn serious.

Then if we too claim to have experienced this love from God what is it then that hinders us from choosing to love nobly and in purity?

We all have our foolish notions of love whether it is romantic, empathic or whatnot but rest assured love that’s given from above is the love that we should aspire for.

I know that this is all getting confusing and that no concrete thought has been presented right after I have written to almost a dozen paragraphs. So I guess it's time for me to end this and have you figured out love.

"I've heard stories of people doing soundtracks and they think they've finished a masterpiece..." - Martin Gore

It was with this certain Cure song that I remember you.

It was called 'High' I first heard it when I was 16 and was on my way to college and was a point in my life that I have found the joy of new wave music a decade too late.

I remember hearing it on The Cure's live album called Show whereupon I preferred hearing 'Just Like Heaven' and 'Friday I'm in Love' where the former song by sheer liking became the first song that I ever tried to learn it’s bass line. I imagined playing it in the quadrangle in our high school, back before me or my so-called band ever got the chance to have a gig.

New wave was a welcomed relief for me after getting myself soaked on Greenday, The Offspring, Pennywise and all the other famous punk rock bands at the time all thanks to the sudden influx of cassettes from Epitaph records. It was with this certain Pet Shop Boys song that I still sing to that brightens up my day whereas Joy Division's 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' makes me eagerly await an impending doom that never seemed to materialize.

It was with New Order that I learned to appreciate the value of beats and bass lines it was with their song 'Regret' that I learned to welcome songs about despair and betrayal. It was with new wave that I learned to love ska, reggae and circa 77 punk bands whose names vibrantly ring a bell like: The Ramones, The Clash, The Dictators, Blondie, The Talking Heads, and The Sex Pistols etc. Whose sound made Nirvana seem like whining brats who always mess up their live performances.

And now here I am a decade after hearing The Cure I can’t say that I am as youthfully hopeful as I was when I first heard them. Certainly it’s no longer like the way Billy Corgan described it in the Smashing Pumpkin song ' 1979' which describes the joy of newfound teenage rebellion in the package of new wave music.

It's been a decade now and I have again found this joy in danceable music that wrings of troubled feelings and emotional despair. If you’re chic you'd say its emo if you’re a scenester you’d say that it's post-2001 rubbish mall punk that takes inspiration from the early 90s emocore band Jawbreaker who’s song 'Chesterfield King' has sort of become the standard sound of guitar playing for these new school emo brats who’d say sorry about not being perfect.

It's been a decade now and I still listen to The Cure though not as much to their lovely poppish radio friendly songs like: 'Boys Don't Cry', 'Just like Heaven', 'In Between Days 'and 'Mint Car'. But that of 'A Letter to Elise' where Robert Smith makes my heart pound and seemingly bleed with the songs opening line. Or how 'Pictures of You' bring certain inertia of undropped tears with the song being inspired by a literal fire that Smith personally experienced. Or how 'A Night like This', makes me "want to change it all". Or how 'High' right now reminds me of you.

And leaves me thinking that: is this what I’ve added up to?

A shell of flesh that talks in his third person pondering on rock and roll lyrics consuming them as though they were words of poetry... and thinking them of value enough to stuck in his head hoping that a mental picture of a line from a song would someday come true and hoping that the songs in time be the soundtrack rather than the screenplay of my life...

A simulation of reality

For the past week I've been hooked to this game in my mobile phone called Miami Nights and its basically akin to The Sims except for the fact that it's a Javascript-powered game for mobile phones and its all about simulating your own reality as to how you want to live your life which goes along the lines whether you'd want to become a rockstar, an actor or whatever and that's how it goes you just have to live your life there in that screen. Thinking about it now as I write this it kind of makes me ponder why can’t life be as simple as a computer simulation?

Certainly in the game I just wake up and do whatever I please; I go to work and there’s no stress; you could get along with anybody by a mere compliment; you get smart by selecting 'yes' on the menu that pops up when you see a book.

I wish it was that simple.

Especially now that I'm not getting any younger and I must say that I am not at all that great of a person nor am I that good at being one...

A lot of things are circling in my head right now and as pathetic as it seems this game has been somewhat of an excuse outstandingly since I spent last week away from almost everyone I love. It was my anchor to stability and my escape from the tedious routine of everyday living.

I know you're probably thinking that I'm under the weather by thinking this but I just hope that time again would come and that this phase would again come to pass… or that I’d learn to play SecondLife in my computer...

as pathetic as it may seem...

It is for you and the thoughts of me and you, that every scala and palm muted riffs resonate the frustrated feelings of love and lost, wreaking unspeakable havoc on my wits right now.

It is with every pick scrape that gradually scars my pick that I almost burst into tears for knowing love too late, and experiencing it when innocence has been lost into lust. It is with every minor chord on a drop D tuning that I hum and phantom song in hopes of restoring childlike fascination and desire to do stuff that would make the person I love happy.

I know this is getting way to pathetic.

Allegorical comparisons to love and guitar playing would always fall short so as to speak the confusion that echoes in my cerebellum right now. It falls short knowing that I am as pathetic as this thinking out loud writing symbolically so as to serve as therapy to what I feel all for the world to see in this miniscule corner in the world wide web that the tech savvy among us call a blog.

Please pass it on...

Summer downpours aren't normal for tropical countries like Thailand, where it has been relentlessly raining for almost a week, causing the flashfloods and the like. After hastily finishing a cup of coffee I ventured the rainy streets of Phaholyothin Soi 11 heading towards Ari where Arthur the offices' Communications Manager was waiting along with the media people whom the office invited to 'bear witness', to one of the horrid effects of climate change to coastal communities, in order to communicate the urgency of tackling climate change to the bureaucrats of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) who are meeting this week in Bangkok to discuss ways to mitigate global warming.

It took us more than an hour to drive to the place where we'll be taking a boat ride towards the coastal community of Khun Samutchine, which is the first community in Thailand to suffer the direct impacts of coastal erosion caused largely by storm surges brought about by climate change. While on the boat I got to meet Aurelie Uricher, a Solar Generation member from France who along with a host of other youth from around the world who are part of Solar Generation which is made up of young people from all over the world who are taking action against climate change and calling for a clean energy future, which was initiated by Greenpeace.

From the boat we were told that we'd be taking a short hike towards the village, of which we were told that we have to take off our shoes because it was very slippery because of the mud and rain. As we were hiking it's very obvious that the narrow patch of land that we're walking in used to be a part of a larger portion of the land mass in the area. Walking there you'd easily notice structures of what used to be were houses covered in eroded soil.

As we reached the village center we were greeted by a host of hospitable kids who offered us Pepsi and clean water to rinse our muddy feet on. Later on we were greeted by this huge woman who was introduced to us as their mayor, (or was it village chief?) Samorn Knegsamut, who showed us old photos of the place as well as artifacts from an ancient Chinese-Thai community that they were able to dig up since the soil subsequently eroded years earlier. She also told us of her account of how the soil erosion has forced her and a lot from the community to move their house 8 times so as to adapt to the rising waters that seemed to be engulfing their village.

Soon after, we were again hiking passing thru a row of houses on stilts; mud covered dogs' half-buried electrical pylons; buried houses and water tanks; and a long wooden bridge that was very slippery which eventually led to a Buddhist temple that has been buried up in soil with barely its top windows and spire sticking up to the ground. It kind of reminds me of ancient buried temples that we often see in movies like Indiana Jones or in video games like Tomb Raider; but what sets this temple apart is that its not ancient it was built there only 40 years ago, and it was only 20 years ago since it started to become submerged into the Gulf of Thailand.

In fact according to Dr. Thanawat Jarupongsakul, of the Department of Geology, in Chulanlongkorn University:
The small coastal village of Khun Samutchine, in Samut Prakan province, south of Bangkok is the first community in Thailand, to suffer the direct impacts of coastal erosion caused by climate change. Samut Prakan province has the highest rate of erosion, officially at about 65 metres a year. The 200 households in the ancient settlement of Khun Samutchine has a profitable life living off the sea and enjoyed the bounty of a diverse natural habitat with wetlands, mangrove swamps, marshes, sloughs and estuaries that were home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Unfortunately due to coastal erosion and advancing sea, most of these areas are degraded, deforested and devastated by the saltwater intrusion. 95 families have already been forced to abandon their coastal homes altogether, according to Samorn Kengsamut, village chief of Khun Samutchine "as most people cannot afford to keep building new houses again and again just to see them washed out to sea a few years later." The remaining 105 families have discovered that they cannot go any further inland without illegally intruding the land owned by other people. The most important landmark shrine for the residents of the Khun Samutchine is a Buddhist temple that was once was located in the forest many kilometers away from the beach front, but today it is claimed by the sea. As it is the community heart and soul, villagers made several attempts to contact various agencies to help and had spent their own money to purchase materials to save the area around the temple from further erosion. Stabilizing and rehabilitating the shoreline is a costly undertaking for villagers at Khun Samutchine. For them, the temple could be protected by constructing breakwaters. Samorn Knegsamut, the village chief pointed out that even the mangrove trees cannot spread their roots because the mud is not deep enough to allow the trees to grow before the wind and wave wash it away.

And as we presented our banners that read "don't drown our future" as a reminder to the delegates at the IPCC meeting it was clear to me that the threat of climate change is not something that we can just shrug our shoulders on and pretend that like its 'business as usual'. Immediate action should be done to curb the uptake of greenhouse gas emissions which causes global warming and while it is all good to talk about adaptation to impacts it is more important to resist the threat from the source which is our continuous dependence on fossil fuel and in the case of Asia: coal, which has brought Thailand communities like Mae Moh, where more than 30,000 people have been displaced from their homes, thousands have experienced severe respiratory problems caused by the inhalation and exposure to sulfur dioxide emitted from the coal mine.

So as we have 'bear witness' it was obvious now that we have moral responsibility to take action according by telling the story of Khun Samutchine and of the plight of its people who are at risk of the dangerous effects of climate change.

This is their story, please pass it on...
Here are some interesting links related to this story
Solar Generation's Aurelie Uricher's account of the island

Don't Drown Our Future by Greenpeace campaigner Abigail Jabines
Photos of the area

Greenpeace Rocks China!

one wouldn't normally think that the photo below would be taken from a Greenpeace event . Click on the photo to see the photo feature of the event from the BBC website.
Click here for Greenpeace China's subsite on the event (be warned though its in Chinese...)