A Failure of Imagination

This Patrick Henry guy must have been a real macho. I don’t care much about his looks (Alexander Hamilton is more my type);  but his resume would give a girl pause.

Patrick Henry — lawyer, politician, orator, planter, slaveholder, a typical 18th century macho, who had the gall to say these words: “It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.” I am rolling my eyes.

Girls, FYI, Patrick was that guy in the American Revolution who said these famous words: “Give me liberty or give me death.”

Yep, I know … he is the typical guy who thinks the world is only composed of apples and oranges.

I mean, really … there are worse things than death (being tortured out of your mind; a 36-hour labor that results in intrauterine fetal death and genital fistula; seeing everyone you love die before your eyes like what is happening to a lot of Rohingyas, etc etc) … and things that can be preferable to freedom depending on one’s circumstances (i.e if I am on the verge of starving I would probably be willing to go to jail where the meals are assured anytime).

The problem with guys and their  and/or view of the world is a failure of imagination.

But hey, we can’t blame them so much, right girls? It is a very rare male who will ever experience what it feels like to be the minority, the second sex, the one who will be harassed by Harvey Weinstein. For them, freedom is something to fight for above anything …

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Women are the ones who have been trained over and over on how to crouch and wait and endure that which are unendurable. We were trained by our mothers — those women who preferred their sons over their daughters because, what is the point of favoring the daughter who will just eventually turn out a slave? (Our mothers did have a point you know.)

 

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Women can imagine … and we do it a lot.

This is the reason why we are sooo hopeful — because we can imagine alternate realities to our destitute situations.

This is the reason why we fall for bad boys … because we can imagine how he can be a better man (As if! Men NEVER change, not if they can get away with being assholes, what would be the point of changing? … if girls can get the fact of men’s unwillingness to reinvent themselves through our frontal lobes, we would be so much better).

This is the reason why the world has not dissolved into the self-destruction of mass suicides — the fact is  the Universe will end someday, so if women are anything like Woody Allen, neurotic pessimist that he was, then we would all shoot ourselves or fling out bodies into the nearest cliffs by now.

But we don’t do that. Because we are women.

Go figure.

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References

Give me liberty, or give me death!

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/958077/filipinos-of-the-year-2017-pinoy-ako-blog-and-other-voices-vs-fake-news

http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2017/05/it-is-really-important-to-humanize-evil.html?mid=fb-share-scienceofus

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/06/lolas-story/524490/

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A Case for Second Chances

Initially, the plan was to kill Jonas;  have some villain murder him and dump his body in an unmarked grave that Alice would have to discover. That story would be about moving on and picking up the pieces of one’s life after the only person you’ve ever loved has been taken so irrevocably away. And maybe I can inject an element of hope by bringing in a new character who will remind Alice of Jonas’s  steadfastness and innocence and courage and patience in loving someone as imperfect as her.

However … I have been mulling over Pope Francis’s visit and his homilies. And doing that makes one realize that the world does not need another death to prove its point  — that it is basically cruel, careless and indifferent (I have Christopher Hitchens to thank for this mindset); and that, probably, there is no God (thank you Richard Dawkins).

Alice is still an agnostic. A closeted one, who does not think it is worth her while to broadcast her lack of faith in a higher-deity-who-is-capable-of-personal-relationships-with human-beings to the world.

The thing with Alice is that is she is too much of a product of her times (and of her creator, obviously). She belongs in a country where villains pose as heroes; and heroes are finding it really hard not to go dark-side and turn (ala Sauron) into villains.

I am thinking that maybe, for all her faults, Alice deserves a second chance. Not everyone  had been privileged to find that someone who loved them above all others; who saw through one’s insanities and accepted her anyway. Killing off the male love-interest is a waste of a perfectly HEA, romantic lovestory worthy of a Judith McNaught or Lisa Kleypas (who I am re-reading right now).

A part of me, however, would like to kill off Jonas, just to make Alice realize what her indifference and pathologically neurotic fears can eventually lead to.

The thing is, if Jonas is alive … he wouldn’t be the same person that Alice knew. He would be damaged, almost beyond recognition; and it would take a lot of work to patch him up. Maybe he would be so banged up that, at some point, he would lash out and kill Alice to satisfy some sense of justice — or maybe not.

I have come to love Jonas and I don’t know why I have to choose between torturing him and killing him just to give Alice a happy ending.

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During his visit to Manila, a girl from an orphanage asked Pope Francis why God let little children suffer. I am beginning to think that the answer may be because grown-ups like me have become too cynical and apathetic and complacent. So for that little girl, maybe Alice deserves a happy ending (which she must first work hard for, obviously)

During Pope Francis’s visit to Manila, a girl from an orphanage tearfully asked him why God let little children suffer. I am beginning to think that the answer may be because grown-ups like me have become too cynical and apathetic and complacent. So for that little girl, maybe Alice deserves a happy ending (which she must first work hard for, obviously). Picture from dailybalita.com

“Why do children suffer so much? Why do children suffer? When the heart is able to ask itself and weep, then we can understand something. There is a worldly compassion which is useless.Certain realities of life we only see through eyes cleansed by our tears.” Jose Mario Bergoglio, the Roman Catholic pope also known as Francis, January 2014 in Manila.

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Readings Lists:

http://www.smartparenting.com.ph/mom-dad/relationships/stay-or-leave-10-real-life-relationship-situations/page/2

http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/movies/reviews/a31865/erotic-art-movies/

http://www.rappler.com/specials/pope-francis-ph/81106-full-text-pope-francis-homily-tacloban

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/focus/01/27/15/what-tagle-thinks-hidden-streetkids-during-pope-visit

http://www.rappler.com/nation/85084-edsa-aquino-tagle-homily?utm_content=buffera45fa&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

http://www.rappler.com/nation/83044-aquino-accepts-purisimahttp://www.mindanews.com/mindaviews/2015/02/01/commentary-but-what-shall-we-do-with-the-fallen120000/-resignation

http://www.rappler.com/world/regions/europe/85189-jihadi-john-isis-execution?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=referral

What Happened on February 25

people power 1

Image from http://www.revolutionrevisited.com. It is a very Pinoy thing to do revolutions prayer-rally style. See the image of the Virgin Mary in this picture? While I do not discount the power of prayer, I think it is high time that my people stop relying on a higher deity in doing the dirty work of building and maintaining a nation.

My baby sister was born!

Mommy delivered her at home; with the help of our neighborhood midwife, who happened to be the mom of my friend, Heidi. That time, home deliveries were still the norm and the Philippine Department of Health has not yet discouraged women against home delivery

Don't these sisters just rock!? It was 1986 and they were prating the rosary and were not afraid of being trampled amidst the millions that milled in EDSA.  Image from http://www.positivelyfilipino.com/magazine/2013/2/77-hours-the-behind-the-scenes-at-the-1986-edsa-people-power-revolution

Don’t these sisters just rock!? It was 1986 and they were praying the rosary and were not afraid of being trampled amidst the millions that milled in EDSA. A soldier was holding an armalite in front of them; and they were probably saying, “God bless you iho, now let’s do the Hail Mary.” And the soldier was reminded of his mom. Filipino males, soldier or not, are always afraid of their moms. Image from http://www.positivelyfilipino.com/magazine/2013/2/77-hours-the-behind-the-scenes-at-the-1986-edsa-people-power-revolution

My mom said that she considered my sister as the lucky charm of our family. Her pork business bloomed after Sister’s birth and she moved from  a D to a B minus (I am talking about social classes and not bra-cup sizes).

The Pinoy men at EDSA were not too shabby either. Here is a picture of several of them trying to do the impossible; which was to stop tanks using their bare hands. They succeeded. Image from http://desarapen.blogspot.com/2005/08/lasang-pinoy-1-yellow-confetti-pancit.html

The Pinoy men at EDSA were not too shabby either. Here is a picture of several of them trying to do the impossible; which was to stop tanks using their bare hands. They succeeded. Image from http://desarapen.blogspot.com/2005/08/lasang-pinoy-1-yellow-confetti-pancit.html

 

Were it not for February 25, 1986 ... Corry Aquino (the 1987 Time Magazine Person of the Year) would not have become president. Image from globalbalita.com

Were it not for February 25, 1986 … Cory Aquino (the 1987 Time Magazine Person of the Year) would not have become president. Image from globalbalita.com

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“Girls are taught a lot of stuff growing up: if a boy punches you he likes you, never try to trim your own bangs, and someday you will meet a wonderful guy and get your very own happy ending. Every movie we see, every story we’re told implores us to wait for it: the third act twist, the unexpected declaration of love, the exception to the rule. But sometimes we’re so focused on finding our happy ending we don’t learn how to read the signs. how to tell the ones who want us from the ones who don’t, the ones who will stay and the ones who will leave. and maybe a happy ending doesn’t include a guy, maybe it’s you, on your own, picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself up for something better in the future. maybe the happy ending is just moving on. or maybe the happy ending is this: knowing after all the unreturned phone calls and broken-hearts, through the blunders and misread signals, through all the pain and embarrassment… you never gave up hope.”

— Gigi, a character played by Ginnifer Goodwin (He’s Just Not That Into You)

 

In fairness to my countrymen (and women) and me … we have never given up hope 🙂

filipino spirit

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Reading Lists and Reference:

http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/184772/why-filipinos-have-to-learn-mindful-parenting

http://opinion.inquirer.net/82708/democracy-the-great-experiment

http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2015/02/proud-society-provide-care-everyone.html

http://time.com/3716823/mars-one-space-travel-finalist/