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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.

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.

One more time, with FEELING.

First and foremost, I’m a Catholic, but for the last few years I’ve had problems with the way the Catholic Church of the Philippines keeps trying to run this country.  Carlos Celdrans conviction and impending jail time is the latest in a string of things the CBCP and the local Church has done in the past few years that have caused much facepalming and an embarrassment. Lets get one thing straight though: While I agree with Celdrans opinions on the controlling ways of the church (RH Bill anyone?); what he did is actually a CRIME.

Art. 133. Offending the religious feelings. — The penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period shall be imposed upon anyone who, in a place devoted to religious worship or during the celebration of any religious ceremony shall perform acts notoriously offensive to the feelings of the faithful.

What Celdran did was pretty much like having a protester jump into a kindergarten class mid lesson to start protesting.  There’s a time and place for it and in the middle of a religious service is NOT it. People should be able to worship their faith peacefully and without interruption, BUT the fact that Celdran faces up to a year in jail seems a bit extreme for me.  I honestly would have expected that he would have been slapped with a large yet reasonable fine then sentenced to a crapton of community service.  It’s not like anyone was hurt with what he did.  Oh wait, their FEELINGS.

See, this isn’t a problem of our freedom of speech being taken away from us, it’s more of a problem with the fact that once again, we see no clear boundary between church and state.   From this law alone we can see that the church still wields too much power in our government.   Our government needs to look at itself and remember that they’re representing the best interests of the Filipino People and not the Filipino Catholic Church.  Laws need to be looked at and revised, and the CBCP needs to learn to shut up and butt out of government affairs.  This country will never progress and develop if we continue to be held back by archaic beliefs that are controlled by an unchanging religious grip.  I wish the Government would realize that there are Filipinos of other religions who live here too.

Also, why is this case over and done with so fast when we still have to try a murderer thats waiting to be convicted of murdering 58 people?

OPM isn’t dead you idiot.

First and foremost, there are three things I get really, REALLY worked up about in conversations.  The first is my beloved Liverpool FC, the second is photography, and the third is music.  Specifically, local music.  I’ve been a part of this industry since early 2002 and I fucking HATE it when people tell me that OPM is dead. They state things about the massive machine that is K-POP and local revival pop music.  They tell me that record labels aren’t listening anymore.  They tell me that there’s no more mainstream support. Well fuck you; I’ve been a part of the music scene since 2002 and most of my drunken conversations with friends, musicians and fellow music lovers have always ended up at the state of OPM; and let me tell you something.  None of us think it’s even CLOSE to being dead.
Yeah losing NU107 hurt.  Musicians now have no real outlet to get good exposure for their music right?  Wrong. You have the internet.  You all have what all of your heroes of your teen angst years didn’t: The world at your fingertips. Share your music on social media.  You have things like Soundcloud, Facebook and Twitter.  USE IT.  Don’t sit there and complain that OPM is dead because no one came to your gig in Guijo that you didn’t really promote. Have you ever sat in the middle of a mall handing out hand drawn flyers to a gig you’re playing at in Rock Radio later that day? Have you ever spent the day burning CDs and sticking on photocopied labels that you plan to sell for 50 bucks outside KAFE? Have you ever stood up in the middle of class to announce to your batchmates that your band is playing at Mayrics later? Put the hard work in and the success will follow.  It’s not like Urbandub landed in Manila with a record deal in hand. They worked hard in Cebu, then worked harder in Manila, and even then, it took 3 albums before labels took notice.  Your heroes went through what you’re going through now.  If you call it quits after barely a year, then all you’re doing is contributing to the stigma that OPM is a joke.
If you think OPM is dead because of the whims of record labels, revival songs, pop acts and K-POP then you’re part of the problem. OPM is NOT dead. OPM has ALWAYS been here. OPM is NOT going anywhere. OPM is NOT defined by what’s on TV, by what’s selling in record stores, by what’s playing on the radio (especially in this NU-less age).  OPM is defined by Filipino musicians making ORIGINAL PINOY MUSIC.  If your idea of OPM is whats being displayed on mainstream media, then obviously you haven’t been LISTENING for the last two decades.
Francis M, Wolfgang, Razorback, POT, GreyHoundz, Slapshock, Queso, Kamikazee, Parokya ni Edgar, Sandwich, Rivermaya, Twisted Halo, Kjwan, Chicosci, Urbandub, Radioactive Sago Project, Cambio, Sugarfree, Bamboo, Kapatid, Spongecola, Imago, Dictalicense, Faspitch, Ambassadors, Taken By Cars, Up Dharma Down, Hilera, Cog, The Out of Body Special, Jejaview, Sirens, The Butchercons, Pupil, Archipelago, Pitik, Salamin, The Wilderness, Ang Bandang Shirley, Twin Lobster, Outerhope, Pedicab, Peso Movement, Yolanda Moon, Curbside, Earthmover, and COUNTLESS more.
EDITYou know, people need to realize that my rant is directed at those that say OPM is dead and not the author of the Philstar Article. I’d rather anyone who reads my blog NOT use it as a launching point of attacks against Don Jaucian. I only linked him because he was the latest in a long line of people that have continuously said that OPM is dead. The rest of my rant doesn’t even discuss what he says in his article. His article is more on the record label side of things. Do I have issues with things that were written? Yes, and I have my own opinions on that subject, but that’s a completely different topic of conversation.My rant is basically an answer to all of those who tell me that OPM is dead. Because it’s not dead. It’s staring at you in the face.