Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Holy Terror, Batman!

While Claire and I have nothing against Christian Bale as the Caped Crusder, we totally believe that Clancy Brown would be the perfect Batman. (Especially the older, more cynical Dark Knight Returns style Batman.)

Just look at him act! He's got the deep, piercing gaze. The fearsome, commanding voice. The menacing snarl. Plus, anybody who's seen Carnivale can attest that his face looks hella intimidating in shadows.

I'm the Gosh-Darn Batman: Brother Justin

Besides, the man has prior experience with comic book properties, anyway. He voiced Lex Luthor in the "Diniverse" DC cartoons (Superman: TAS, JLU). He also voices Mr. Krabs on Spongebob Squarepants, but I guess that's neither here nor there, really.

Oh, and he's more than capable of putting on the fake smile and plastic diplomacy necessary to pull of his Bruce Wayne persona, too. See...

Millionaire Preacher: Brother Justin

Face it, people -- Clancy Brown is the Goddamn Batman!

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Meme with No Specific Questions

Gladys tagged me nearly a week ago, so this is waaaaay overdue. But the premise offered a very interesting challenge:

Imagine the question that led to the answer, and then provide your own answer.
Well, here goes nothing...

1. The scrawny teenage version of me, gawking at all the effortlessly cool burnouts at Far East Plaza in Singapore, circa 1994. There are groups of international school stoners wearing t-shirts for genuinely 'alternative' bands; scraggly-haired Malaysian rockers, carrying themselves like wilful under-achievers in the Newly Industrialized Economy; under-age drinkers on allowance, looking for cheap teenage kicks in a notoriously regulated city. And I wonder if my tastes and preferences and mannerisms and social awkwardness would forever condemn me to be too geeky/(pseudo-)intellectual/esoteric/just-plain-'uncool' to be able to relate to them (let alone hang out with them).

2. Just after 2AM, in a little Mexican restaurant in Williamsburg (or Silverlake, or Berlin, or any other hipster-approved urban center), with Drew Barrymore, excitedly responding to the "half-secret" Bloc Party show we just attended. And she's playing footsie with me. The expression on her face suggests this is deliberate.

3. Conceptualizing season-long plotlines for awesome teenage drama-comedy shows that will never be made. Claire and I seriously waste hours on end doing this!

4. Obligatory Weakerthans quote:
And i'm leaning
On this broken fence
Between past and present tense

And I'm losing all the stupid games
That I swore I'd never play
But it almost feels okay

5. The ever-growing piles of marked-down music/fashion/pop culture magazines scattered around my bedroom. I just buy them compulsively. It's almost unhealthy, I swear.

6. A stick of pork barbecue, a cup of rice, and a bowl of bean sprouts in soy sauce (free meal at work).

7. Just the comforting mechanical whirr of the electric fan.

8. Three-Cheese Ensaymada from Mary Grace.

9. Honestly? I'm embarassingly complicit in the consumption and enjoyment of some kinds of commercial adult entertainment. And not in the "ironic pleasure", laugh-at-the-cheesy-aesthetics kind of way. Desire is a strange and mysterious thing, and I must admit that certain types of porn genuinely turn me on. And I will go out of my way to look for it, on fairly regular basis.

10. The poor guy never knew what hit him.

Okay, now I tag Maita, Edward, Athena, Mark, and Wendi.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Rocking in the (Not So) Free World

Now that I'm living up in God knows where
Sometimes it gets hard without a friend
But as I am lurkin' around
Hoptza! I see another immigrant punk!
There is a little punk rock mafia
Everywhere you go
She is good to me and I am good to her...

     "Immigrant Punk"
     by Gogol Bordello

A friend of mine -- let's call her Dead Star -- relocated to Dubai several months ago, to live with her dad (an engineer in the ranks of the Overseas Filipino Workforce) and his new girlfriend.

Her first weeks in the country left her bored out of her skull, unable to deal with the frustrating mix of large-scale consumption (grandiose shopping malls; opulent luxury resorts) and fundamentalist Islamic cultural practices (getting the stink-eye for her discount-bin harajuku fashion, and dealing with the inconvenience of buying cheap snack food during the Ramadan fasting).

But she quickly found small comfort in a burgeoning, tight-knit punk scene, initiated by a handful of twentyomething Pinoy contract employees, who refused to allow their new situation to get in the way of their need for loud music.

Don't get the wrong idea -- there is no larger political message here. Their shows are much-needed escape from the workaday pressure of specialized labor, an unforgiving climate, and wiring remittances to cash-strapped families back home.

And yet, there's a sense of lingering threat hanging over each gig. The conservative Islamic state heavily monitors all telecommunication, so it's not exactly advisble to be coordinating a gathering of immigrant workers, singing hardcore anthems in fist-pumping unison. Thus, organizing a show usually involves military-like precision, even for low-budget, sweaty affairs held in eggshell-lined practice spaces.

This may not be capital-P Punk, as evangelized by the likes of Ian MacKaye. But for Dead Star and her pals, it goes a small way towards making life bearable amidst the drudgery of the globalized labor market.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The Secret Origin of Ipis Dei

I came up with the monicker "Ipis Dei" by accident, when I mis-typed the phrase "Opus Dei" ("I" being right next to both "O" and "U" on the standard keyboard). And so the staunch disciplinarian arm of the Church was transformed by the power of crappy typing into the Cockroach of God*, a divine creature blessed with preternatural survival instincts. The biological heir to our future atomic wasteland! If all that dispensationalist sci-fi about being Left Behind post-Rapture holds any weight, i'll bet you dollars to donuts there will still be roaches crawling about in the mess.

I've developed quite a strong affection for my handle. There's something undeniably representative of the Filipino burgis mentality in the idea of self-righteousness tempered by filth, or alternatively, bottom-feeding scavengers elevated to the level of Godhood. (And believe me, I mean that in the nicest way possible.)

Anyway, you could not imagine how validated I felt to discover -- in Giant Robot magazine, of all places! -- this painting by US-based Manila-based (thanks, LG!) artist Manuel Ocampo:

Virgin Destroyer (Ipis Ni Lupe)
acrylic paint on muslin
60 x 40 in.

On a semi-related note, I'm actually lagging behind on my roach-themed pop culture. Of course, I've seen Joe's Apartment -- own a VCD copy, actually -- but I'm not sure whether I want to put up with the full-on existential wank of Kafka's seminal Metamorphosis. (Maybe it would be more engaging as a Peter Kuper comic?)

Oh, and I keep forgetting to ask Matthew to burn me a copy of Bad Mojo, although he tells me the arcade-style game interface might just frustrate me, given my poor dexterity, and impatience with manouvering characters into key positions. (Okay, that just sounded wrong.)

I am vaguely curious about the new ongoing Verigo series, Exterminators, which the solicitations have described as "the Six Feet Under of pest control", or something like that. (Although initial reviews suggest otherwise, for better or worse.)

* "ipis" means "cockroach" in Tagalog, if you hadn't figured it out yet

Friday, February 2, 2007

Those Indifferent Clocks

re-posted from approximately one year ago, with some minor edits

This fine timepiece set me back a mere P250 (approx. US$4.50) from some non-descript little store in Goldcrest arcade, some time in late 2005. It's now the cornerstone of my half-assed effort to cultivate a self-conscious fashion style that I like to refer to as 'tatang-core', or 'Lolo chic'. (Yes, it's sort of an extension of the whole "old man" gimmick Seth Cohen was using during the Palm Springs espisode in The O.C. season 1, but minus the smug irony -- I've embraced the whole-hearted conclusion that grand-dad couture genuinely rocks.)

The deets: it pops open to reveal a standard Quartz clock-face with a pleasantly gaudy faux-Victorian font. It comes with a functional chain that could never be mistaken for an outdated "skater wallet". The front side has a vintage 1913 Mercedes wagon design, matched by a generic floral pattern on the back. And the copper body matches well alongside khaki pants or corduroys.

The watch runs on easy-to-replace pellet-type flat batteries. Thus far, it shows no hints of conking out *crosses fingers* The battery is dead. It's the flat, digital type normally associated with 80s electronics. Let's hope it still works, once I get around to changing it.

I've got it synchronized with the sales floor at my workpace. And I must confess, I get some tiny irrational amusement from using a mock-antique pocketwatch to keep time with the droll but oh-so-contemporary task of processing applications for high-interest credit cards.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Brain Droppings: A Manifesto of Sorts

This blog has several main functions. To wit:

  • As a repository for my personal thoughts, or interesting anecdotes from my daily life;

  • As a mirror blog (and eventual replacement?) for my dormant LiveJournal;

  • As a space to re-post (what I judge to be) under-appreciated posts from my old blog, Garbage In, Garbage Out, which can no longer support comments, due to the assault of hordes of barbarian link spammers;

  • As a dumping ground for memes that I decide to indulge;

Expect my writing here to be (generally) less focused or structured than my posts at Love It or Lait? (which seems to be the most popular blog that I contribute to, at the moment).

If you're cool with that, you might want to consider adding this blog's Atom/XML feed to your reader list.