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It is with so much delight that I’m announcing David Sedaris’s Barrel Fever as my new Catcher in the Rye. This is great news for me, for you, and for my very, very few friends. Congratulations, everyone, we no longer have to suffer the Holden Caulfield affectation, a spectacular achievement in execution failure though it may have been. I’ve also just finished David Shields and Shane Salerno’s ‘Salinger’ and read with great interest the Assassination section, specifically Mark David Chapman’s, and I’m symbolically cowering in shame for being guilty of the same crime as him: overlooking the humanity behind Holden’s profanity-laden but sobering view of humankind. My misreading, though, is not as total as MDC’s. My love for Holden stemmed (yes, stemmed) from his unfamiliarity with his own person (yes, person) the loveliness of which I feel strapped itself to my very own unfamiliarity with mine. We didn’t/don’t know the world, our place in it, and that was lovely in a movie, literary setting kind of way, but in your late 20s, not knowing your place in the world is just infuriating. Yes, I’ve already proclaimed freedom from the clutches of JD Salinger’s penetrating worldview, but if Mariah Carey can proclaim emancipation three times, why shouldn’t I?

When JD Salinger died, I rushed to Fully Booked and bought a hardcover Catcher in the Rye because I’m not the kind who idolize properly and sensibly. I might be sick with a disease characterized by uncontrollable urges to spend on things as a sad gesture of undying admiration. I might be suffering from a kind of psychological disorder that does not let me rest until I physically own something of the worship-figure. The easiest, most obvious explanation would be that I am a goddamned fool.

With Barrel Fever, there can never be a misreading, a misinterpretation, not even a silly attempt to embody a persona of an esteemed literary character. Maybe one: Adolph Heck, named after history’s most vicious imposer of viciousness, in the collection’s funniest story, Barrel Fever. A mother naming her son Adolph is guaranteed a slayer of me. I love Adolph and his mother. I love that Adolph’s sisters are named Faith, Hope, Joy and Charity. I love how he mocks his friend who once was his closest ally in mocking the mockable but who now has clung to nice persons.

Barrel Fever has become essential reading, a warder of the blues, a pair of shades in a dessert storm, a pair of truly dependable earbuds for Metro Manila life, a pair of balls in your ballsless days, etc. A Barrel Fever is a best friend.

Each reading of Barrel Fever for me is fresh. Sometimes I want to live in it and lap up the freshness.

If one day you find yourself in the pages of a Barrel Fever-like publication authored by myself, and you feel like pressing charges for character defamation because you Feel like I have cruelly borrowed and repackaged one of your least attractive characteristics and turned it into a bestseller, I’m sorry but I’m not sorry. If you decide to press charges, sue me for libel, you will find me in court carrying a tattered copy of Barrel Fever, with the words, ‘This is my statement!’ scribbled beside blurbs that proclaim it as ‘breathtakingly irreverent’. ‘This is my statement!’ — the very words written in Mark David Chapman’s copy of Catcher in the Rye, a piece of woeful evidence that was brought to court for the trial of the crime of gunning down one of the world’s most famous Beatle, 1/4 of Mariah Carey’s Billboard Hot 100 nemesis, John Lennon. I do not ever wish to reach the same level of insanity but there is a need for me to make friends with things whose reason for existing is to supply me with joy.

I may have already confessed an attachment for this Sedaris book, and even though the retelling of this attachment seems to go against what Adolph Heck feels about saying the same thing twice: ‘…nothing gets on my nerves more than someone repeating the same phrase twice. I think it’s something people have picked up from television, this emotional stutter. Rather than say something interesting once, they repeat a cliche twice and hope for the same effect,’ I feel it’s a necessary retelling. This is my statement!

If I had ever thought or said before that Ke$ha is not a pop star worthy of my time, whose album I won’t even bother to steal from the Internet, I have Gawker to thank and all those ‘Kesha Is Not An Idiot’ type of articles that this animal sent me through the years, for turning things around for me, for letting me see what I’ve been missing all these years: glitter!

I may have professed loathing for her when she first came out but I wasn’t so loathy as to ignore Tik Tok, her catchy first single which I DID bother to steal from the Internet. I thought, that was it! No more  stealing Ke$ha singles from the Internet because I have a musical reputation to uphold and it will not be tarnished by some low-rent Lady Gaga whose main gimmick is a dollar sign on her name.

But then Your Love is my Drug was released as a single and it tore through the fabric of my undeniably classy musical taste. It absolutely ripped it apart, my classy taste, the one I have so long cultivated. With the arrival of Your Love is My Drug, I seriously thought about the importance of having classiness in my taste and quickly came to the realization that I should not have classy musical taste anymore. I love a Ke$ha single, fuck a classiness. But even with the release of this song, I still wasn’t convinced. Even with all the ripping apart, my Ke$ha appreciation hymen remained intact, or tried to be.

And then Warrior came. I liked Die Young. At this point, I was positively ready to take my place in the Animal kingdom. The album Warrior turned me into an animal. Specifically, a pretty pony. But despite finally converting into some sort of animal, I wasn’t sure I wanted to see her live. When it was announced early this year that Manila was included in her Warrior tour (with only two cities in Asia), I had to be hypnotized by two animals who have long seen the majesty of Ke$ha’s music, to see her live, and since I have almost no care for reputations anymore, I acquiesced.

I loved it.

Sadly, the Philippine animals seemed too tame. I simply didn’t comprehend the non-wildness of the crowd at some of the big hits. Save for a few groups of girls, I was not comprehending the lack of hysterics at Blah Blah Blah and Dirty Love. There was golden opportunity to reach for Ke$ha’s panties and it was squandered by the iPad-waving jerks nearest the stage. All that those iPad-wavers managed to do was take a million pictures of this gorgeous pop star who was live-singing her ass and vag off in front of them. I hope those people’s iPads had a great time!

Ke$ha is not a wig-snatching type of pop diva. I don’t think she has great, grand delusions about placing so high atop in pop music royalty. When you Google ‘pop music’, her name doesn’t even come up on the first search page; it comes in the second just before Chris Brown but just right after Adele. It’s not a woeful place to end up in but you get the feeling that she could get to the first with Britney, Madonna, Katy, Rihanna and Lady Gaga. With much better songs and marketing in the future, maybe she could totally evade the fate of Willa Ford.

It wasn’t quite the spectacle that bigger divas like Beyonce and Kyle Minogue are capable of; there were two scruffy, buffish backup dancers, lots of glitter, disco balls and some balloons, but no stage backdrop and very little wig and costume changes, which are what we/I expect from my crazy divas. But being in such close proximity with a wild-dancing pop star and her two pelvic-muscle baring dancers, it felt like my face and senses have had enough but can’t help but want more: more glitter, more pelvic thrusts, more underwear-only costume changes, more getting-laid pep talks.

Just before her concert, I tweeted her, told her I’m ready for her cock pop. Minutes later, I was followed by a Ke$ha-looking account which I thought was the real Ke$ha. I was ecstatic. But now as I type this, I have recovered from my great, grand delirium; it wasn’t Ke$ha who followed me but a fan account that does not seem to understand that to describe one’s self as a ‘parody account’, one must parody. I thought me and Ke$ha had a chance at real friendship. I was very close to her during Warrior Tour and I had very soft feelings about the modesty of the concert’s attendance, but it turned out she didn’t actually follow me. This is a good thing. I do not want the baggage that comes with a pop star Twitter follow. I’m happy to leave those types of baggages to actual pop stars. I can sleep at night just knowing she and I share the same fascination for strip clubs.

Link These and Die

August 15, 2013

I regard every essay posted in Facebook or Twitter with suspicion because life is short and I don’t want to spend precious seconds of my life reading worthlessness when I can spend it trolling prestigious publications such as Gawker, Mariah Daily, Jessica Rules the Universe and Read This and Die. It’s an economical way of plowing through daily Internet readings. Sometimes I regard these essays with contempt because suspicion and contempt are best friends. I can only imagine how someone with the same tendency as me feels when I post essays that entertain and impress me greatly. In the spirit of democracy feel free to express your feelings about people like me who post essays such as the ones I do in your own Pat Session.

Travel!

I’ve been seeing this travel-related essay too often and too much. It basically pontificates the virtues of travelling while young. It’s a bombastic persuasion on how youthful travelling can be so nurturing to the soul and well-being. Point taken, but actually, travelling is so expensive. I’m saying ‘expensive’ but I’m also meaning I don’t like spending time at airports, falling in line for bus tickets, jeeps, and other such cruelties to the mind, body, spirit and feet. A friend once emoted exactly how I feel about the kind of travelling I do (leisurely): I like the feeling of being in a place but I’ve never warmed to the necessity of having to face people whose job it is to suspect my intentions for lugging big, uncomfortable bags to places where about a dozen other people in my Facebook have re-enacted the exact same poses in, like as if they’re the very first human beings to ever pose inappropriately beside a religious statue, wearing the same sets of wacky facial expressions.

But really, people who enjoy travelling and posting pictures of their naked selves in the beach, or fully clothed in the mountains, etc, are people whose passion for travelling I totally respect. I get that their exposure in my timelines are accidents of their having cameras and FB/Twitter. Travel people are not the same as skinny people who go to fancily ambienced restaurants so they can hashtag foodporn their pics (which I can tolerate if you’re a chunky/fast metabolismed person with a nice camera who actually likes food). You’re fine, travel people. I especially like it when you go by yourselves and never feel the need to make me feel inadequate for not vomiting all over myself for not booking the next piso-fared flight to Turks and Caicos. I guess my point is I don’t mind travelling but I’d rather be magically transported to a place. But I prefer reading and that’s travelling too!

Things to accomplish in your 20s

This is popular with people whose lives are perfect or whose lives are merely perfectly advertised. To better ram their points across, they point out that they really, really have accomplished a lot and are perfectly happy in their achievements as 20-something persons and that in fact numbers 2, 3 and 5 are crossed off their list. As a twenty-something person who hasn’t achieved a quarter of what this magnanimous Internet person is telling me to achieve already, I sit by the sidelines in the meantime and swallow whole my peers’ glittering achievements. Thank you, my mouth is so full.

Patricia Evangelista’s things

I don’t know what you see in Patricia Evangelista’s writing that you would mercilessly bombard timelines with her essays but every time I read an article of hers, I imagine her face. It’s a face so serious it will make you question the existence of humor. I will admit that I don’t  read her often because I’d rather think about Channing Tatum’s loins or read serial killer novels, but when my timeline is Patricia Evangelista’d I can’t help but notice and read each word, and think, ‘Gurl, chill! Gurl, listen to some Carly Rae or some Britney.’ I kinda like her column about Ernesto Maceda, though.

List of things gays need to stop doing

In this, the writer gives a guideline on how not to behave as a gay person. But you know what, writer? Being a homosexual in this world is hard. You may think it’s easy, but it’s not. Our inward-smirking society may give the impression that it’s totally okay to be gay but still, no. We get innumerable rules on how to maintain an acceptable amount of gayness that we should unleash to our fellowmen so adding to that is mean.

But I will agree on one point and that is in the needless sassyfication of the self (the way actually paminta gays attempt to be sassy and attempt Z-snapping personas – #4 on the list) just so one can meet the expectations of how the average, unexposed-to-gays perceive a gay person. I don’t z-snap in public but I do sometimes exhibit flamboyant tendencies just because I feel I can behave as a certain type of gay without having to think if my behaviour is becoming distractingly gay. It’s silly but I act a bit swishy around friends who know and I don’t get why I do either, but maybe it’s because my thing is I have to be myself.

You can’t follow hunks on Instagram AND like their photos without being suspected of being a fag. If you do manage to follow a hunk, you might have to do it one at a time (so, say, you want to follow both Semerad twin, you have to settle with one and follow the other one some weeks after just so it won’t look suspiciously creepy to people who, despite fat, flaming evidences to the contrary, still think of you as straight). You also can’t comment on your out, freedom-loving gay friends’ posts the way you want to. You may get away with the occasional Chos but sometimes you want to have variation and use Char, but Char will most certainly raise an alarm.

Also, you get endlessly jeered by clueless or vicious people who find it highly retarded (and maybe frightening) that at your age, you have no girlfriend. It feels intrusive and harrassy when you get teased with females you’d rather be friends with. I refuse to be the type who ceremoniously announces whatever people feel I need to ceremoniously announce, but there are fools who will want to worm this information out of you. It’s hard.

Hater

June 16, 2013

I hate you all!

Indifference ban

May 8, 2013

Things happened today in Manila, Philippines: a person who has had it with this world committed suicide via the trusty killing machine, the MRT, and caused traffic along EDSA where I pass by daily, and it allegedly happened around the same time I was on commute (In my opinion, people who commit suicide in public places, especially in Philippine public transportation, and in rush hours, are not thinking very reasonably) — totally unnoticed by me; blackout in the gloriously hot Metro Manila and I wasn’t as affected as affective people who are highly affected by all things that happen in this world and maybe also elsewhere, because I was using a laptop (so my work went uninterrupted) and I was spared from possibly grave air-con-related inconvenience because I was fine with the combination of early morning extreme air-con cold and sudden mellow, moderate office heat; and lastly, there is a election-related liquor ban being imposed because, maybe, the people who think about these things (congressmen? MMDA?) are very simple-minded because I, also sometimes insufferably simple-minded, just fail to see the sense in this, although I don’t feel like this ban is going to affect my being because there is leftover liquor in the ref and I’m lately not caring so much about being very drunk as to be roused from what I humbly think is a very senseless, snicker-worthy reason and occasion to ban liquor.

As the second child in a family of the kind that I have, there is strong evidence to support the occasional suspicion that the universe is evidently, undoubtedly indifferent to the idea of me. Maybe of you, too. Based on these observations of mine, too, I seem to be indifferent/want to affect an air of indifference to many disgraceful, mind-blowingly senseless events, but the universe, which would not suffer to be out-indifferenced by any fool, is way more indifferent and don’t I forget it.

Gays of our lives

April 21, 2013

exile in guyville

Dave White, author of Exile in Guyville: How a Punk Rock Redneck Faggot Texan Moved to West Hollywood and Refused to be Shiny and Happy, is the kind of gay who thinks he’s a special kind of gay, who thinks that by frequently silently judging gays he despises, which he claims he would hate too had they been straight, he’s exempt from being the kind of gay other gays would also find despicable. Except that the world he lives in (Los Angeles) and the world in general has no shortage of haters and haterades. We each and everyone of us fill the world’s quota of someone’s hate. And this is true even or especially within “The Gay Community” (“Gay Community”, to me, will always and forever evoke an image of a subdivision filled with gays with really excellent gardens and exclusively non-tacky decors, with the exception of only a very few tacky, unaware gays who will of course be treated as anomalies by their super classy gay neighbors).

In DW’s community there are these types of gays:

1. Entitlement queens

2. Disco faggot douchebags (‘I’m not saying that house music is the internationally recognized sound-signifier of the faggot douchebag, but there’s a very specific type of faggot douchebag who only listens to house music, and so as a genre it’s a little guilty by association’)

3. Gays who kick your car

4. Dress-all-stupid queens

5. Gay bears

6. Gays who are like the gays in Will & Grace

7. Crystal meth queens

There are so many, but in other worlds there are these other types of gays:

1. Big word gays – gays that use multisyllabic nonsense because it makes them feel like they are wise gays.

2. Spiteful gays

3. Gays who hate Anne Hathaway

4. Gays who hate the Catholic Church

And there are many more. Feel free to create your own list.

Dave White is a film critic whose boyfriend is MSNBC’s Alonso Duralde who I like because in his review of Precious, he praises Mariah. As he should! Because of an all-consuming, mad love for his lover, Dave tries to overcome all odds and transfers to Los Angeles, leaving his beloved Texas. Among LA’s great barriers to Dave’s achievement of happiness and contentment are the aforementioned entitlement queens, reckless drivers, shouty neighborhood gays, and rude bookstore clerks. Such are his LA life’s difficulties that you can’t help but think, ‘You are so brave, Dave.’ In between battling these great obstacles, he goes from one temp job to another because he will not suffer the oppressiveness of a permanent job.

Clearly, he’s a bit of an entitlement queen himself. His real problem is that instead of 14 hours of couch-surfing and snacking, he gets only 12.

Actually, Dave White is a fun person who is not a typical gay. He calls gays faggots, which is a slur, and you get the feeling he gets away with it every time he uses it with/to his boyfriend and friends. He’s ruthless with the gays — you know how when someone who’s also a flaming homosexual refers to his fellow gays in a hissy, spiteful way because he feels like it? He’s like that with gays he dislikes and to chubbies and bimbos, too, because he’s fair. With seemingly little regard for human feelings, he talks about them in his diaries scathingly and hilariously, whether they’re directly harming him as to warrant the hissiness or they’re just existing near him. He doesn’t care for euphemisms. He will call a fat person a fattie and he’ll tell funny anecdotes about them abandonedly. In short, Dave White is a precise, funny and beautiful describer of people.

My favorite chapter is ‘Motherfucker’ because it contains one of the most breathtaking paragraphs I’ve ever read in a memoir:

‘Yes, I watch crotches. I’m a faggot. I was put on this earth to do a whole lot of that and I don’t want to shirk my responsibility to humanity… I have a soft spot for sex workers.’

Dave White is real.

If Queens Burroughs and Sedaris could kindly step aside, please. There’s a new queen in my community.

Mariah’s Thing

April 11, 2013

Screen-Shot-2013-01-09-at-11.23.13-AM

‘My thing is that I have to be myself and if that means that in that moment I don’t hear you, I don’t see you and you don’t exist to me at this moment, then that’s what it is.’

Mariah Carey, best person singer in the world, may have accidentally articulated how we (or just I) should feel about peoples and things that need rebuking off of our aura, when the quarrelings with Nicki Minaj led to things such as this quote which she eloquently and generously elucidated in an ET interview.

My interpretation of this is: Be yourself. If within yourself something doesn’t exist in your specific moment which can be totally whatever, don’t exhaust any of your senses by hearing, seeing or smelling something that is not existing in your moment. And then let it be.

A practical application of this is: instead of making a ‘Whateveeeeeeer!’ comment in any of your social networks “‘friends’s” posts, which you have to admit the internal struggle to not do can sometimes seem so insurmountable, you just nonchalantly block everything off because, hello, you have just been guided by Mariah’s non-existent beings moment management. Learn.

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