You have not known what you are.
You have slumbered upon yourself all your life.
Your eyes have been as much as closed most of the time.
What you have done is already in mockeries.

The mockeries are not you.
Underneath them
And within them,
I see you lurk...


-Walt Whitman


29.5.10

LOST Finale: How could I be so stupid to watch it wrong?!


If you don’t watch LOST and are not planning to, well you may continue to read. But if you do and haven’t watched the finale yet, you should close this page NOW!

Anyway, I watched the final episode of the series last night and my reaction was—WHAT THE HELL?! It didn’t make sense (particularly the events that occurred in the flash-sideways timeline). I was so frustrated and confused of the thought that the series that thrived on giving questions would end with a very big one. And so I browsed the net for an explanation and there it was as clear as day—I watched the whole season wrong. I didn’t think such a thing was possible.

It turned out, my interpretation of the
flash-sideways was wrong. I thought the explosion in the final episode of season 5 (thank you Juliet. May you rest in peace) not only brought everybody to the present but also made an alternate parallel universe wherein the plane didn’t crash on the island and everybody got to live happily ever after. I assumed that was the case because of the term flash-sideways, which was very misleading I think. It even made me miss crucial literary figuratives to understand the episode. I thought the original timeline and sideways timeline were occurring at the same time. But they’re not. In fact, the sideways phenomenon was not caused by the bomb. It was a purgatory universe or limbo where they stayed to deal with their unfinished businesses. So in short, they all died. Surprise! Surprise!

And so with this crucial knowledge, I watched it again and finally, it made complete sense. It was like watching it for the first time. I almost cried on the scene when Jack was dying and Vincent, the Dog stayed with him. T_T. I got emotional when Jack finally got reconciled with his father. In those moments, it made me feel like death isn’t a bad thing; that beyond the pain, a great thing awaits all of us. It was a great ending. It perfectly went with the series’ theme of redemption and forgiveness.

I think LOST will go down as one of the greatest series in the history of television and it will take time before something could at least match the brilliance of the story. It’s very intricate and very well thought of—the dynamics of the characters, the mythology, the mysteries, the questions, and the answers. LOST is like a big puzzle. You will be given pieces of events from different timeframes: from present to flashbacks, from flash-forwards to flash-sideways, and it’s very intellectually stimulating and thrilling to put them together to finally reveal the whole picture. But then again, it’s not the answers that make it very engaging. It’s the anticipation of them. Some answers will not be satisfying to everyone (especially to hardcore fans). Some are demystifying but just because the buildup of the enigmas and mythos was excellent. There are still partially-unsolved mysteries and questions left unanswered, but I think that’s okay as long as they aren’t detrimental to the core of the story. But like solving puzzles, it takes patience to finish this series. I am not surprised that some people give up watching (or not at all) because it serves tons of mind-boggling questions and answers come in trickles, not to mention the non-linear course of events (like Memento but way more complicated). A magazine even called it The Worst Series Ever. I guess it takes an open mind to appreciate it. I mean it’s hard to love what you already hate. As for me, I started to love it the moment that polar appeared in the middle of that tropical jungle.

I’m definitely watching this again!

28.5.10

AI S9 Finale: Lee Wins Idol


ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT! Crystal should’ve been the winner—that is if the whole thing’s based solely on the Top 2 performances. But it’s not.

Lee’s performances were dry and it felt like he wasn’t pushing himself into them. Unlike Crystal, you could actually feel her pushing her vocals, like she wanted it more. And I liked her song choices especially Up The Mountain by Patty Griffin. It amplified her singer-songwriter vibe. But unfortunately for her, she lacks a little bit of charisma. I think her being a mom is one factor. I don’t mean it as a bad thing but it chops a significant chunk of votes from the male population. Lee on the other hand, is single and I’m sure a lot girls voted for him. Another crucial factor here was that Crystal started the competition great and ended up on the finale great; meanwhile, Lee had shown the greatest improvement and had shown exponential growth. He started a little shy and confused as an artist but fought his way into the finals. People like to be surprised and yeah, the dark horses. But let’s be reminded that less than 2% of votes separated them so it’s a close call. We can’t be sure of the exact numbers because in case you didn’t notice, the representative didn’t tell. I find it very strange. Low votes came in, perhaps? I couldn’t shake-off the feeling that it’s the weakest Idol season ever. And now that’s Simon’s gone, I wonder what the next season of Idol will be like without him. The producers should reinvent the show, that’s the only way for them to keep the show alive with such drastic changes.

It was a sad finale and very emotional. I can’t imagine Idol without Simon and I don’t think replacing him with a Simon-wannabe will work. Anyway, I liked the performance with all the Idol winners (minus David Cook) and contestants. I guess they really wanted to make a big despedida for Simon. I love Christina Aguilera’s performance—very powerful. At first I actually thought she was Lady Gaga because of the floating glowing balls. Hehe. I really liked the Crystal-Alanis duet—great musical chemistry. It’s not surprising since they’re the same kind of artist. Bravo.

Okay, got to watch LOST finale again. Ciao!

21.5.10

AI S9: Top3 [Idol Shocker!...or Not]


LOOK AT THAT! Lee and Crystal in the Finale! Why am I not surprised? Haha!

Who will be the next American Idol? I still think it’s going to be the paint salesman. Based on the performances last Wednesay, Lee really out sang Casey and his toughest contender, Crystal, especially with his rendition of Lenard Cohen’s song Hallelujah. It’s a bit overdone with the choir and the booming accompaniment, but still great. I'll be really surprised if Crystal wins this thing.

Go, Lee!



17.5.10

two figures by a tree


IT'S MIND-BOGGLING how memory works and how we recall fleeting moments in our lives. If a person’s life is a series of photographs then it would have been composed of millions of them. They’d move past at blinding speeds and pointing out which is which would be impossible. But memory is a tricky thing. Sometimes, one of those images just halts before your eyes. And as it does, it makes you wonder how such a frail figment of thought could find its way back into your personal consciousness. We are caught by surprise by how those things we thought we’d lost forever still exist. Asleep deep in the past they’d stir and fall out of their slumber, their awakening crashing into our senses. Sometimes, they bring with them joy. Sometimes sorrow. Sometimes both.

Memories find us in the strangest of ways. They usually come to us in stealth, sometimes when you’re about to close your eyes to sleep, when you listen to a song, or when you bask in that rare moment of clarity. They tip toe and seep into us without a sound. Silent as shadows they whisper and make their presence felt. Sometimes they appear in sharp details but most of the time, revealed in a dream-like haze usually attributed to the decay of time. Details are bound to fade, the sound of the words spoken gets muffled—the whole thing just seems to disintegrate as how a cigarette smoke escapes a person’s lips; a stream of white at first, and then rises and unravels like a shapeless art, taking on a random form and eventually blending into the invisible air. But then there are those memories that transcend time, that defy the trappings of old age and stand immortal. It’s not their appearance that they become easier to recall. It’s actually the emotions they inflict us that we remember. And the more powerful they take hold of our hearts and command our souls, the more they linger and the more we remember them. They leave such traces; resounding imprints of their essences, so that when they’ve gone, they would still have a way back to us.

A memory came to me tonight. It came like a thief in the night and left like a long lost friend. It was a blurred image but still recognizable. I couldn’t even remember if there were words spoken. It was severely damaged and I was actually surprised that even with its weakly state, it still had the strength to walk over the threshold of my thoughts. I saw two figures by a tree, completely covered by shadow but drenched by the misty light of the stars. There I was—a boy strumming the strings of a guitar and opposite me was a girl, who listened in silence and grace. That’s only way I can visually describe it. But the feeling I felt that night was rather sharp like the edge of a knife and as a clear as a cloudless summer sky. It was in that moment when the world chose to close its eyes, and it was just me in her and the unspoken melodies of love in between. I beheld the memory, took it all in. It settled for a moment, hovered long enough to take hold of me. But like all memories, it left the same way it came. One moment it was there and then it was gone.

It was a sweet recollection. It’s also sad that I am powerless to keep it. Bittersweet it maybe but I’m still glad it had find me. I was able to look through an open window of days past and as I did so, something snapped back into focus and I remembered—I was happy and most of all, I was in love; It was the kind of love that’s innocent, and pure, and ever hopeful. And it’s funny that it took me just one feeble memory to realize all that.


--
photo image by hugochisholm

14.5.10

AI S9: Top 4 [Big Loss For Big Mike]


THE FOUR remaining contestants took on movie soundtracks this week. Now that the finale is so close, one would think everyone would lay everything on the table and push themselves up a notch but they didn’t based on their solo performances last Wednesday. Lee sang Kiss From A Rose but didn’t do something different with it. Big Mike gave a Gospel Version of the song from Free Willy. It’s too dramatic in my opinion. Casey delivered a laid back performance of a song about a cougar. Hehe! It’s quite good actually but it’s very far from being commended as a winning piece. Crystal on the other hand gave a solid performance but the song spoiled it for me.

However, the duets were rather brilliant. Lee and Crystal did a fantastic job. They chose a great song and the chemistry was undeniable. Two great artists plus a brilliant song choice— it couldn’t go any better than that. I agree that it could be a hit. Big Mike and Casey did pretty well too. Casey played the guitar really well and Big Mike sang with his soulful RnB vocals.


But in the end, it was Big Mike who was sent home. I actually though Casey would be the one on the chopping block based on technique and vocals alone. But Casey had beaten Big Mike with his looks obviously. Now that Mike’s gone, a Lee-Crystal finale becomes more probable.


Two more weeks to go!

12.5.10

choices

THE FOLLOWING is the 2nd Teaser Trailer of the upcoming first dance web series-- The LXD. Click PLAY and have a glimpse of the extraordinary.

7.5.10

AI S9: Top 5 [Idols Sing Sinatra]

IT WAS SINATRA WEEK on Idol and I think it’s the most boring week this season. I love Norah Jones but I am not a fan of old fashioned jazz. Having Henry Connick Jr. ‘s arrangement didn’t help the contestants. I mean it’s all grand with all the brass, the strings, and the jazz piano but it failed to make the performances sound current. It felt like most of the contestants were a little lost in the intricate arrangement. And speaking of being lost, it was Casey James who completely lost it, in my opinion. It was very evident on how he held himself on stage. He was off till the end. There was no swagger that emanated from him and he moved very awkwardly without his guitar. I remember Kara commenting about his vibrato and that it sounded like a lamb. He can’t sustain a note and it sounds strange if he tries to. I think it was one reason why he sticks to songs without flying notes. Having said that, I was quite surprised that Aaron took the fall this week. Well, he too was not fantastic but way more commendable than Casey. In Aaron’s performance, the first part was not good. It sounded like he was having hard time finding himself in the music. But it’s a common difficulty experienced by performers accompanied by an orchestra. He pulled himself together by the end but the technique was still lacking. He’s only 17 and he’s still got a lot to learn.

Crystal—I have a feeling she’s losing it: OK performances for two weeks now. If she don’t go back to her element I think Big Mike could steal her supposed slot in the finale. Big Mike and Lee did as much as they could with their songs despite the old-fashioned arrangement. They marked the songs with their signature style. Big Mike gave his performance an RnB twist while Lee, like what I’ve already said like a million times: his tone makes it contemporary. And clearly, he gave the best performance this week.


It’s going down the wire now…Woohoo!

3.5.10

echo














I am the dream

That chases the daylight

Lurking in the middle ground of thought

Behind the shadows I befriend

That becomes wrinkles

I hope to see down the drain

When I wash my face,

When I scratch the stain away—

Permanent and stubborn

Like the sweet taste of a lost memory



I am the noise

In the silence of the words I speak

When my lips part and tremble

When I sing a rowdy song

Rambling and babbling

Lies and truth interweaved into a prose

Entitled with the letters of my name

I always want forget

But never fail to remember.



I am a broken record

Skipping on the turn table of my world

Recycling, juggling blurry thoughts

That came and gone and back again

Accumulating like fine dust

And giving birth to an artform

For fools,

For the blind

And the faint-hearted.

Who would listen to such tomfoolery?



I am blank and white as a canvas

Bleeding flawed colors into life.

How you will paint me is up to you.

Give me wings, cut my head

Erase me, strip me naked.

I am my own art

But the hand with the brush isn’t mine.



Brush dipped in black paint

Moves across my skin like a dagger

And I vanish with every stroke

And revealed with the very last one—

A blotted image with two legs and two heads,

A heart and a gazillion cells

Converging to create a disembodied echo;

I scream and someone screams back—

It’s me but sometimes it’s someone else.