Today is my birthday, so let me count the ways…
1. In Solidarity with the Working Class.
Today is my birthday, and like all days, I choose to celebrate it as a day of solidarity with the Filipino working class, especially with the contractual workers of Jollibee and PLDT who got laid off. Let us not tolerate these unjust acts of exploitation and sabotage to non-tenured workers. I’m inviting all workers, especially contractuals like me, to join the fight against all forms of contractualized labor. Join Aklasan, the Nationwide Movement against contractualization!
2. Buhay pa ba kayo?
I also invite you to join the UP Diliman’s Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (UP CONTEND) to their pre-SONA assessment of Duterte’s 2nd year presidency tomorrow. This open to the public and its free.
Yesterday’s game between Gilas Pilipinas and the Australian Team was one historic (fist) fight. Why do brawls happen like this? The answer would be, in sports, the desire to kill each other has been there all along, but it is repressed by the governmentality of the game. The civil society has staged sports events ever since to practice non-combat battle, to illegitimatize the war machine that fuels combats and oppositions. The result is a full conversion of that body without organs of combat into a fascistic desire, leading to brawls like this. As Deleuze and Guattari (1983) said: ‘Desire can never be deceived . Interests can be deceived , unrecognized, or betrayed, but not desire. Whence Reich’s cry: no, the masses were not deceived, they desired fascism…’ (p. 257)
4. A Gift
My dearly beloved partner Bencio gifted me (although I offered to pay half the price) the promotional package of Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints, a two-year subscription to their journal plus a bunch of freebies, for only P3,000.00. We ordered it last week. The package came yesterday morning. Thank you so much @bencio for gifting me this! This would be a great addition to my library.
5. Basketball Fandom
One of the free journal issues in the promotional package of Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints is the 2010 issue on basketball fandom. I have chosen this book/journal as my book companion for the day in light of the farce that happened yesterday. I’m quite surprised to find out that the journal issue has only one article on basketball. The rest are studies in sociology, linguistics, politics and book reviews. Is this some sort of a ‘statement’? Indeed, arts and humanities and media studies lack publications on popular forms of sports. I wonder, is there ever a systematic study of the representation of sports in Philippine Cinema?
6. Every Day
Yesterday, the last film I watched as a 28-year-old in an Orion Pictures Release, Every Day (2018), directed by Michael Sucsy. Its about a boy named ‘A’, a ‘somebody’, a spirit, who wakes in a different body everyday. He falls in love with a high-school girl named Rihannon. Every Day explores the concept of disembodied multiplicity of consciousness. A‘s rare talent to remember all the consciousness he possessed is actually impossible. Michael Sucsy and his team has shown this impossibility by actually making it transparent, or seamlessly possible. Like George Melies who has fooled us with his dancing headless man in The Four Troublesome Heads (1898), Sucsy uses Hollywood’s overworn continuity style to hide and conceal the violence of the transference and possession of another spirit in a body. While William Friedkin’s The Exorcist (1973) has shown us the ecstasy of possession and the agony and somatization of the body in the presence of the unknown, Every Day has suppressed these excesses, transforming the whole idea of disembodiment and possession as a phenomenon of the everyday, within the safe confine of common sense. This new subgenre in sci-fi films should be called normalized sci-fi, a subgenre that refuses to show the bodily and experiential excesses of its raw material by appropriating bourgeois subjectivity (i.e. bourgeois family, bourgeois relationships) in normalized spaces of expression. The film is an adaptation of David Levithan’s best-selling book Every Day. (1/5)
7. Mumsh Zizek’s Weird Kitchen.
WHO THE FUCK WOULD PUT SOCKS AND UNDERWEAR IN KITCHEN DRAWERS? WELL, ONLY ZIZEK, OUR FAVORITE DADEEHH.
8. Anomalous Material of the Day: Mayor Anthony Halili’s Kill Shot
In the Philippines, you can be shot and killed in your most dignified (standing) position. In Tanauan City Mayor Halili’s case, you can die while singing the national anthem. In the video caught yesterday, one can see the whole local government unit singing the national anthem. It is a mandatory rule in the Philippine government for officials and employees to hold and attend a weekly flag-raising ceremony every Monday of the week. As soon as the lyrics of the song reached ‘lupa ng araw…‘, a sniper hiding beneath the bushes a hundred fifty meters away from the scene fired a bullet that went straight to his heart. Then chaos ensued. Around 8:45 AM, he was declared dead. Tanauan City Mayor was known as the ‘Walk of Shame’ mayor of Batangas, parading criminals around his city as a spectacle of shame. This is a glaring reminder to all of us on the extent of the culture of impunity thriving in the present political climate.
9. Experimental Film in the 21st Century & Class Struggle
Bhakti (Ernesto Baca / Brazi / 2018). It’s 21st Century and somewhere in Brazil, experimental filmmaker Ernesto Baca still uses Super 8mm film as his medium of experimentation. The subject of his film is practices of Hinduism. For a moment, it reminds me of Glauber Rocha’s The Age of the Earth (1980).
When digital arrived, the global capital has continuously homogenized the landscape of media towards a medium that would allow its full control of the means of production. The Super 8mm film form, which is used in Bhakti, in the desertified landscape of the digital, may constitute sort of Bergsonian resistance against the homogenized control of capital. However, if viewed from the socialist paradigm, Super 8mm is not the most strategic medium for class struggle. Its counter-revolutionary attempt to de-socialized the means of production prevents the transfer of its praxiological content from one active agent to another. Digital medium, because of its low production cost, forms a more strategic vanguard aesthetic position against the ruling class for its socialized status. Super 8mm, on the other hand, does not, by any means, confront the true opposition between the proletariat and the bourgeois as it is decentered from the social body. It constitute entirely of a new mode of production that displaces itself from the contradictions of society. What it does actually is to create a bifurcation, a new aesthetic regime that builds on nostalgia politics and restorative media archaeology. This bifurcation path is actually of a futural form of politics that needs to be reassessed.
That is all for now. Till then…