The Darkest Timeline

Ah screw it.  As a citizen of this country i’m entitled to speak about the elections.  So here we go.

Things I took away from this debate:

Binay is in denial over his role in the failures of the current administration. He’s the vice president for crying out loud.

Poe has good ideas but her clear inexperience and unwillingness to press issues such as Dutertes sexism makes me a little unsure of her as a candidate.

Mar is probably the best bet for me but my god do I want to punch that man in the face. Not because I hate him. But because he has a really punchable face.

Miriams health is failing. I don’t care how much she denies it. She had moments where she didn’t even look lucid. It was honestly quite a heartbreaking change from the senator I was used to. The presidency would literally kill her if she won.

Duterte has revealed himself as a misogynistic bully. His ideas remain sound but again he refuses to expand on them in the slightest bitnof detail and just assumes everyone will listen to him. Or else. It’s very trumpesque. His saving grace is that he alone among the candidates truly understands the situation in Mindanao, but he is alienating and polarizing. The rudeness and fanaticism of some of his supporters is a massive worry too.

Worst case scenario: Duterte loses the elections amidst allegations of cheating by the administration and the country is plunged into civil war when Mindanao and parts of the Visayas attempt to gain independence from a country that they feel no longer has their best interests at heart. China backs a side to gain a stronger foothold in the region leading the US to back the other side in order to ensure that the Chinese do not gain more power. World War 3 erupts on the back of this regional struggle. Armageddon ensues. Portions of the world are rendered uninhabitable. Our legacy in human history is a near extinction of civilization. All because we couldn’t get our heads out of our asses.

0-100 real fast. ‪#‎darkesttimeline‬

I can neither confirm nor deny that I was drinking when I came up with that last part.

The only time I feel the need to say something.

Two things I want to make clear first:
1) I’m not voting. My reasons are my own and I make no excuses for them and because of that I have not publicly spoken about the upcoming elections because I feel I have given up my right to have an effect (and in turn an opinion) on them.
 
2) I’ve never been one to shy away from the controversial topics of humor. I feel that comedy takes away the power that evil acts hold on us. But these are done by comedians. People whose lot in life revolves around finding the light in the dark. People who look to find levity where there should be none. I know its not every ones point of view and i respect that, but I also believe that in the light of comedy, no topic should be taboo because it encourages people to face these things and confront issues head on.
 
My problem is this:
 
Rodrigo Duterte is NOT a comedian. He is a man running for President of the Republic of the Philippines. He is not someone who looks to make people laugh and find humor in dark situations. He is a man running for the highest office in the land. A man who is in the running for a position that will give him the ability to change the way that we as Filipinos live. I DO NOT find this amusing in the slightest. A potential world leader should not take serious issues lightly. A potential world leader should NOT make misogynistic off the cuff comments that debase the idea of something as serious as rape. A world leader is supposed to be the example of a human being that we strive to be. One that has the best interests of his country at heart and one that leads the way in terms of morality and ethics.

Rape sickens me. I get that comedians SOMETIMES joke about it, but to me that is what they do. But I hear about it occurring in real life and my skin crawls. I’ve had friends tell me about experiences and near calls in taxis.On Jeeps. On subways. In bars, In clubs. Its the most DESPICABLE thing I can imagine and it honestly makes me want to go in to a murderous rage when I hear about it. So for a man who could potentially lead this country to joke so candidly about it makes me worry. Not just for the future of the country, but for the future of our people. I’ve long held my tongue about Duterte’s misogyny, his lack of morals, and his encouragement of vigilantism; but I will NO LONGER silence my voice against a creature such as him.

 
Duterte is the epitome of typical Filipino machismo. A figurehead for the idiotic masculinity that prevails in this country. People want a change. I understand that. He has made good points, he has good ideas; but at the end of the day, I don’t want a change for the worst. I’ve spoken at length to my friends about my problems with him; about his lack of concrete planning about federalism and the crime rate; his lack of experience at dealing with the politics in this country at a national level, his lack of morals, his lack of ethics, and his lack of class. And look at yourself, and consider if you’re the kind of person who agrees with these ideals.
 
I will NOT condone this kind of behavior in a a man who thinks he is fit to run our country and I implore all of you who are thinking of voting for him to step back, take a look at not just the plans of the man but his character; and reconsider your vote. You know who else had fantastic ideas for their country? Who else was charismatic enough to sway the people to their side? Who was adored by the people despite their questionable morals?
 
Pick a dictator. Hitler, Franco, Stalin, Marcos, Pol Pot, Castro. Any one of them in history. They are all the same. Charismatic, but inherently morally abhorrent.
 
This is the first and last time I will comment on the state of the elections and I hope to GOD that nothing pops up in the next few weeks that outrages me to the point where I feel I need to comment again.
 

Louder Than Sound

louderthansound.jpg

I remember the time I fell in love with the local music scene.  I had enjoyed watching bands like Wolfgang, Sandwich, and Greyhoundz years before in high school but I had never actively sought out gigs or felt that hunger to listen to something new; until one day a friend called and asked me if I wanted to check out a punk band that she was managing at the time. It was a long way away.  At the time I was living in the south and I barely even knew how to get to Katipunan.  I contemplated not going. I thought about just staying in and playing video games, but eventually curiosity got a hold of me.  I was a huge NOFX and Bad Religion fan as a kid and I had missed watching a punk band.  So I went.  Later that night I found myself in KAFE watching Boy Elroy enjoying the crap out of myself. I was hooked.  It was the bar. It was the people.  It was the atmosphere.  Everyone was friendly, everyone was excited to be there, and no one felt out of place.  That was the start of it all.  A 13 year adventure through the highs and lows of the local independent scene that quite literally changed my life.  It was that moment when I fell in love with the community, and it was that moment when it embraced me in return. I picked up a camera and started shooting gigs, eventually falling in love with photography.  It was the music community that was there for me through the highs and the lows. From celebrating birthdays at a show with loved ones, to nursing a broken heart; it was always there. Every step of the way.  I made so many friends, and made so many memories.

And it all goes back to that one night when I decided to make the drive from Alabang to Katipunan.  Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t gone to that gig.  But then I realize I’m better not knowing.  That it was this music community that made me who I am today.

I am Carlo Casas, music photographer; and this is my Louder Than Sound Story.

What’s up with 7107 IMF?

The 7107 International Music Festival is just around the corner and it seems that all the feedback coming out from it is just getting worse and worse.  I’ve kept most of my criticisms to myself (unless I drunkenly rant about it while I’m out) but I figure I need to just weigh in on this already.

From the get go, the festival has been basically mired in rumours of shady dealings and money laundering.  There were allegations that the Napoles’ were involved and were using their ill gotten wealth to fund/launder money through the festival.  These stemmed from some of the producers having business dealings with the Napoles’ in the past, and blew up from there.  Whether or not these allegations are true are still unconfirmed, but it doesn’t help that the Social Media arm of the 7107 IMF has been hellbent on flaming/blocking these critics.  A simple public statement and a little transparency would have been fine, but instead the organisers have taken on a very sensitive/defensive standpoint, arguing up and down twitter and generally causing a little bit of controversy.  All news is good news right? But they’re also receiving criticism for the delay it took to release the second day lineup, and the underwhelming response to it.

First of all, who starts selling tickets to an event when the lineup is barely half finished? That’s like selling you a sandwich and not telling you whats in it.  Nobody in their right mind would dream of doing it because it creates entirely too many problems in the future.  So why did they take so long to release the full lineup? It’s rumoured that the reason the second day line up announcement took so long is because they hadn’t even confirmed it yet. It seems that they were using sales from the first day to help fund the international acts for the second day, which to me just screams inexperience and bad business. The festival will probably have a decent amount of people there but I doubt it will reach the levels of “biggest festival EVAR” that they are expecting. Sure, no one forced these people to buy tickets, but because of insinuations from the organisers, people bought tickets expecting to be treated to a show worth the 8.5k-25k they spent for it and are no left with an underwhelming lineup that is nowhere near as exciting as was previously promised.  They pulled what is basically a bait and switch by posting lyrics of artists rumoured to perform such as Ellie Goulding, Skrillex, Jay Z, Kanye, Drake, etc. but then only announce Kendrick Lamar and there’s no mention of the “20 international artists” they have invited.  There’s a colossal amount of mistakes being made by the organisers and they’re doing nothing to assure people that the concert will be great, instead choosing to ban/block/flame any critics of the festival. Do people have a right to feel cheated? Its beginning to look that way, but what can they do? You can’t get a refund.  Why not?

Also, where are the sponsors? An event of this magnitude would at least be able to command large corporate sponsors but it seems no one wants to go near the festival. Why not?

Another interesting thing to note is where they’ve been promoting this festival. I’ve been driving up and down the NLEX and the SCTEX frequently these last few months and can tell you there is little to no mention of a festival taking place in their back yard. In fact, outside of social media, there’s virtually no physical promotions at all. Why not?

It’s a shame really because this really could be a great festival that would not only give Filipinos a great experience, but also give the local bands a chance to step into the international spotlight. I’d seriously love to be proven wrong here.

I for one won’t be attending this concert. 8.5k was a little out of my budget to see Red Hot Chili Peppers, and at 10k now with an incredibly underwhelming lineup, it’s not worth it at all.  Not to mention the amount you’d spend on lodging, gas, toll, parking etc etc.  I’m looking at the same expenses as a trip to Hong Kong.  No thanks.  My brother though is going, and I hope he, and all the rest of you have a great hassle free experience with no disappointments.

Put the pitchforks away idiots.

Ok this is fucking ridiculous already.

Yes this silly little 23 year old girl named Jeanne Napoles is lavishly flaunting her wealth. But why vilify her for it? Vilify her mother, who’s the one supposedly stealing from the country. You think this kid knows where her family’s wealth comes from? You think it crossed her mind that these were illegal funds? No, she probably assumed that her family was well off, like any other kid out there would. I’ve seen people saying that she belongs in jail and shit. For what? Spending money her parents gave her? For meeting Justin Bieber? Grow up people. If she was involved in the embezzlement or was aware of where it came from then fine, but I’ll bet my house that she didn’t know shit. Her only crime is being slightly tacky and having a bit of an overbite.  But one report goes out about how she likes to spend and all of a sudden SHE’s the new target and not the actual perpetrators of the plunder.

So enough of the mob mentality thats all over the internet and start directing your anger to the people that ACTUALLY MATTER. Like her mother. And everyone else involved with this Pork Barrel Scam.

God people are fucking stupid.

Why so serious?

So Vice Ganda’s rape joke escapade has caused some controversy lately. Now, hate me if you will, but the thing about humor is that it’s supposed to push the boundaries of whats acceptable and whats offensive. To vilify rape jokes brings up the question of “where do we draw the line?” Do we stop making Racist jokes? Fat Jokes? Sexist Jokes? Offensive Jokes in general? At this point we have to stop and wonder “At what point does being offended become censorship?” Why have this democracy, this freedom of speech; if we still have to worry about everything we say? Yes there is accountability to be considered, but at the end of the day, if you’re offended by a joke you can wake up the next morning and be exactly the same. I understand if the subject of the joke is a rape victim, or has trauma involving rape; but does that mean we should be careful of saying fat jokes around fat people? Telling sexist jokes to a woman? Sharing a jewish joke to a jewish friend? Do people only laugh when I’m offensive because I’m incredibly good looking and awesome? This is where the line starts to blur.  Context in this case is everything, as is having a manner of taste and class. It’s my belief that as long as it’s done right, you can make a joke about anything. The thing is, a lot of people don’t see it that way.  Miguel Torres, a former UFC fighter was released from the organization in 2011 for tweeting “If a rape van was called a surprise van, more women wouldn’t mind going for rides in them. Everyone likes surprises.”  He initially made a statement saying

“tweeting on racism, pedifiles, terrorism, & other fucked up things is ok, but some are off limits. What a sensitive world we live in.”

While he later apologized, one has to wonder what kind of a world we live in where a character like Pedobear is popular meme on the internet whereas a rape joke vilifies you. Not to mention Rashad Evans and Forrest Griffin, much higher profile fighters; made similar rape infused statements and got away with it with a simple apology.

I’m not condoning rape, but I’m just saying that people need to learn to find the humor in things that can be offensive because a joke doesn’t detract from the seriousness of its subject; but it can enable people to be less uncomfortable about the way something horrible is viewed or dealt with.

George Carlin on the subject of offensiveness and rape jokes

Steve Hughes on being offended

Ricky Gervais on this topic as well:

That being said, Vice Ganda’s “joke” was neither intelligent, witty, nor funny and was bereft of any substance. That was the major problem with it.

Life sucks. Suck it up.

Ok.  I’ve tried my damndest to refrain from posting about this all month but enough is fucking enough. GET THE FUCK OVER IT.  I for one am a massive Earthmover fan, voted for them, and would have loved it if they opened but hey, that’s just the way the contest worked.  Am I happy with the result? No.  Does it really matter in the long run? NO.  I’m watching Deftones.  I’m paying money to watch DEFTONES.  I’m not going to bitch because one of my favorite local acts didn’t get to open for QUESO who is opening for Deftones. Did I care when Pupil opened for NIN? Did I care when Turbo Goth opened for MXPX? Did I give a shit that Calli-fucking-lily opened for Paramore? Or Slapshock opening for The Deftones?

Not one goddamn bit.  Why? Because I was there to watch NIN, to see MXPX, to watch the Deftones.

It really does suck that the Earthmover guys didn’t win this contest and I know it would have meant a lot to them if they opened, but the sour graping and whining from their fans is reflecting badly on the band.  Seriously people, bashing Splintr is pointless and disrespectful because HEY THEYRE BRINGING DEFTONES HERE.  AGAIN.  FOR YOU.  I know for a fact these guys worked hard on the upcoming show and now people are pissed off at them? For what? Because of a fucking online contest? Admittedly, it wasn’t the best thought out contest in the world.  Yeah it was really there to generate site hits. But don’t the Splintr guys deserve some damn site traffic? These guys brought you Nine Inch Nails, and the Deftones, and are bring the Deftones back.  AGAIN.  FOR YOU.  Are you going to watch Deftones or not? If you aren’t happy with Philia opening the show then go outside and have a cigarette.  Shit happens.  Stop this “TRUE DESERVING WINNERS” bullshit because fact of the matter is, Philia won, and you’re making the Earthmover guys look like sore losers.  Suck it up and get over it.