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I was supposed to see A New Hope but I got distracted by WordPress. I know Star Wars is a pop culture requirement unfortunately nobody taught nor influenced me about these things during my impressionable years and when I was old enough to discover them for myself I decided to go no further because The Phantom Menace did not live up to the hype (planned on seeing the movies I-VI so I started with TPM but a friend told me it was a bad idea and suggested IV to VI then I to III).

But I digress. Not particularly sure what the objective of this post is. All I know is (1) I have a couple of drafts that have been sitting since 2013 waiting to be written. When I check, they only contain a sentence or two and I can’t remember anymore what I’m supposed to write so I’m compiling them in one place, (2) a couple of things bothered me and (3) writing has always been therapeutic albeit I lack imagination and always ran out of words (and synonyms).

Nonetheless, let’s begin shall we?

1.

Ghost Protocol is my favorite Mission Impossible film. In addition to being the best movie in the franchise, the plot of a man bent on starting a global nuclear war because he believes it will bring peace and progress in the aftermath sounded eerily familiar. You see when I was in high school, inspired by the advancement experienced by Japan after suffering from two atomic bomb attacks, I believed that wars and famine and death and starting from scratch will force humans to work together. I remember thinking how nice it would be if an a bomb dropped in Metropolitan Manila.

It was also in high school when I learned about Clostridum botulinum, a gram positive, anaerobic bacterium capable of producing the most potent toxin known to man, neurotoxin botulinum. It’s actually commercially produced for cosmetic purposes, botox injection being the most popular, but I was thinking of contaminating water with it because an acquaintance who had the same twisted ideas as mine told me it would decrease the population significantly. Lost lives are acceptable collateral if it meant a brighter future for generations to come.

I also dreamed of becoming a dictator. A benevolent dictator if there is such a thing because humans are like sheep in need of a shepherd.

2.

In retrospect, I had Messiah Complex. I am the chosen one so I have to live till the end. My life and the lives of the people I love have more value than the nameless thousands (or millions) I was willing to sacrifice in the name of my ideology. It’s all about me.

But the older I get, the more I realize that I’m no Messiah. And it’s definitely not about me. I thank God for renewing my mind! By His grace I am reminded that ALL lives matter. I’m no more special than anyone else. Even though we have placed different values upon each other based on social status, skin color, age, IQ, beauty, net worth, etcetera, just like what the Linkin’ Park song says, “in the end, it doesn’t even matter” because we are all loved the same (and if we die we all go back to being dust).

The greatest revelation is that the real Messiah didn’t think of preserving His life nor sacrificing His people. Instead, He endured the cross for them. For us. The thought is mind-boggling and I admit I still have a hard time grasping the gravity of this truth at times. Other times, I feel nothing because I’ve heard it over and over.

One thing’s for sure. I am no longer comfortable with mere humans talking about “population cleansing”. First off, I’m aware that I’m so dirty I wouldn’t make the cut. And second, we are only really cleansed by the blood of Christ*.

“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
    says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
    they shall be like wool. (Isiah 1:18)

*Eww blood, so barbaric and gross! It’s true and it’s a reminder that sin is 100x worse).

2.

If Duterte ran 6 years ago I would’ve voted for him. Heck, I would’ve campaigned for him. He appealed to the younger Rani who thought that even though she’s not perfect, AT LEAST she’s better than some good-for-nothing scums that walk the earth. Duterte is like a protagonist straight out of a dystopian anime. Like Lelouch from Code Geass who burdened himself with the world. He offers simple solutions to complex problems.

But one man can’t change a country with a population of 100+ million nepotistic beings. Especially if we Filipinos act like damsels in distress waiting for our government to save us. Yes, it’s its duty to protect and uphold the welfare of its citizens. But if we continue to look for easy and simple ways out (make everyone obey through fear! punish SUSPECTS without due process!) because we don’t want to contribute and be inconvenienced, then I doubt it.

Also, enough with the stupid argument “only criminals are afraid of his regime”. If you really think about it, all of us are guilty of perpetuating corruption and crime one way or another, even in the little things. Especially in the little things. Stop acting all high and mighty. What is morality if everything is subjective?

3.

Brilliant and humbling comic strip I chanced upon a few months ago.

01 02 03 04

CREDITS: On a Plate by Tobby Morris

I used to believe that it’s not your fault if you were born poor but you’re accountable if you die poor. You know, if there’s a will, there’s a way. Apparently, it’s more complicated than that.

Being raised in a lower middle class, I was taught that hard work will pay off. That I just need to study hard, work harder, and everything else will follow. The dream was to be a “self-made man”. But there’s no such thing.

If it all boiled down to effort, then how come African women, despite working harder than you and I could ever work physically, are still poor?

According to George Matthew Adams, “There is no such thing as a ‘self-made’ man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success.

Christians have an interesting say on the subject as well. That is, everything comes from God. From the talents you use to obtain your earthly possessions to the opportunities that come your way to the people who cross your path. But let us go no further. Your mere existence is from God!

Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7

I think the deadliest sin is pride. Because it fools us into thinking that we deserve the good things that come our way and not the bad ones. Because it makes us believe that we can lord.

4.

Why does one blog? Because he has stories to tell (or petty rants to whine about or encouragements to share) and he wants someone, anyone, even strangers, to read? Because he hopes to become famous for it? Earn money from it? Because he wants to keep a public journal? Because he has a lot of time in his hands?

I’m asking because there are days when I question my own motives.

5.

We have been consumed by the internet. Especially social media. Sometimes it’s sickening. Thousands have been written about the negative effects of staying on Facebook too long or scrolling through Instragram too often (interesting topics are about microcomplaints, social comparison, and our evolved way of communicating). I have to admit SNS have crept into my life and dictated it in little ways. There’s the nagging ihavetopostthis feeling. It’s also easier to join the bandwagon and be mean thanks to anonymity. Our online profiles are just carefully curated versions of ourselves it might be disappointing to meet each other in person.

Anyway, I’m weaning. I’m having a hard time but I’m trying.

Do then share (if you feel like it) NOT do to share.

6.

Kindness and courtesy are so rare they’re sometimes mistaken as something else.

7.

Also, emotional manipulation (especially the paawa and pagalit effects) is really effective against women, eh? It screws with our mother instincts.

8.

I’ma,
I’ma flirt!♫
Who flirts with the ideology of,
“Can you just tell me how much I can get away with & still be saved?”

-Janette Ikz

9.

It’s been more than three years since my graduation. It’s the season when friends are leaving the country one by one in search of greener pastures because they have completed the required work experience. Meanwhile, I’m struggling with 18 units. I’ve foreseen this but I’m still not ready.

10.

Lord please help my unbelief.

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