Friday, 26 August 2011

QUEZON CITY: Utopia then, and still Utopia

QUEZON CITY:
Utopia then, and still Utopia




It was last friday when this writer went to a lecture-forum regarding the Quezon City as a promising town developed yet left unfinished to serve the people especially in present time. It was so good that every spectator, mostly architecture students ought to listen every FYI (for your information) said so by its officator, the columnist and architectural history enhusiast Paulo Alcazaren. And this writer even answered one of his question such as Balintawak city was its original name, and having a magazine coming from his as its reward.

But this time, seriously, In listening to Alcazaren's topic regarding the "Unbuilt Capital of an Incomplete Nation", it seemed that the entire city would had been like Washington DC, Brazilia or Pyongyang since these are being planned, developed, and ought to be a Central Government Centre same as a good alternative to the archaic Manila.

However, what we've expected is a place ridden much by commercial establishments, private enterprise and of course, billboards especially in Cubao. Sorry to say so about that matter, but isn't it strange enough to have a capital being planned be end up in the hands of private individuals than being utilized by the National Government to create mass housing (especially flats), proper drainage and facilities instead of commercial districts? Is Cubao and Timog not enough? Well, as Mr. Alcazaren said loss of Government funds end up every lot into private individuals, especially those who built a mall in a plot supposedly for an international fair supposedly officiated in 1946?



"Our supposed National Capitol and Central Government Center"



"Our Arch of the Republic"



"The Supposed memorial museum, library and theatre"


These end up never been built, reason? Lack of FUNDS.


After all speaking of funds, of course these are end up to those with itchy hands, remember the scandals of the businessman named Harry Stonehill? Of Quirino's golden bedpan? Or even those who use Government funds for the sake of keeping their respective turfs, or rather say, provinces around the Philippines? The money being end up by these was supposely be allocated to the project and end up all according to the plan as earlier as early 50s or 60s; remember Brazilia of Kubitschek? The capital of Brazil was built in 41 months, all from 1956 to April 21, 1960, when it was officially inaugurated. But how about our dear Quezon City? In 1938 Quezon bought 15.29km from the vast Diliman estate of the family whose relative is a known corrupt, and entirely set so in 1939, but end up nothing, except for buildings being built according to the plan, like UP and perhaps some of the strategic roads of course.


Pyongyang did it, why not for QC in its early days?


If Quezon City was built all according to the plan, then most of it were entirely in art deco and international style as well as full of flats, gardens, with a tranvia and perhaps a subway making it promising place to work (with offices and factories with fashionable Bauhauseaque-like archicture) as well as to live in. After all, Manuel Quezon, being a head of state during the Philippine Commonwealth also envisioned a city where the common Filipino can live with dignity, and obviusly for a head of state, having a common sense to think there's a need to decongest manila and other towns in Rizal through a City well planned along Euro-American and not Hispanic lines. Sorry to take Pyongyang as its example with their video!

But still, it end up too contrary to what is supposed to be, of what Quezon envisioned.



UP Diliman:
what if the entire UP main and its residential environs be dubbed thee a University City, complete with residential flats Harvard-style?



A suburb full of bungalows,
why not flats to accommodate the growing population?



Our dream yet instead a mall being built in its yard

The lectures make me indulge in another session of speculative fiction with an overdose of imagination. And the pictures from Mr. Alcazaren made me think an alternate vision of a today's near-impossible dream. These pictures made us think that Quezon City was supposed to be a Central Government District, full of Government buildings, Residential flats, wide gardens, well enough drainage systems, a tranvia station (or even a subway metro) and a specific district for leisure like the malls of today. But in reality, what we've expected is a hodge-podge of names of personalities and products floating around the city and even the entire Metro Manila itself. Isn't it make us fed up with all these things around? Commercialism guised as consumerism?



Executive, Legislative, Judiciary in one circus:
Or rather say, a Judge, Jury and Executioner in one circus! Imagine that!


In addition to that, this writer was even thinking satirically about the plan itself: having an executive, legislative and judiciary in a same compound? Isn't it like having a Judge, Jury and Executioner rolled into one? Well, if so, then this writer would also expect an entire zone full of secret marshals, intelligence agents around QC especially if Arroyo hath ruled from the supposed palace being built dear today's Quezon Memoral Circle and not from Malacanang plus a Corona approving and justifying her CPR (calibrated pre-emptive response) same goes the Lakas-Kampi men in the capitol! Worse? More Balimbing trees (accdg. to Alcazaren) planted around it mirroring the two faced fools in Barong Tagalog and Americana! Isn't it quite obvious?






Otherwise, it would have reminded of George Orwell's 1984 and the movie Fatherland and its "Germania" situated within Berlin. Well, Quezon City, in summing all these as a once capital of an incomplete nation and an unoffical "capital" of entire Metro Manila, all despite its coloful appearance, modern day architecture being built around, remained a Utopia, a dream with its foundations being set up, yet failed to be completed, or rather say far to reach.



Sorry to make this description left-wing,
but this makes a good description of a "united front"
of workers, farmers, and intellectuals.



And this is our dream that is, both possible and impossible.



Some of the pictures are taken from google, as well as from Paulo Alcazaren (with permission of course!)

Thursday, 25 August 2011

On Folklorealism

On Folklorealism
(Or rather on trying to infuse folklore with realism)



Before this writer introduce this kind of idea, this concept-idea is simply a concoction of two different ideas colliding. The former focused much on fiction while the latter focused more into reality. And I even think that these ideas, despite having differences, may also in need or likely to be infused for it inspires people to give effort in the struggles made through.

Here are the two literary ideas that are both colliding and at the same time capable of uniting:

1. Folklore

Folklore, at first may consider it as a product of total imagination, especially that it was and is more focused into mythologies and legends-especially out of the storyteller's voice, and of the quill of the writer.

However, Folklore does not mean total imagination to inspire people, the word "folk" from folklore means "people", and thus it reminds of custom and tradition, as part of their identity as a nation. Folklorists, especially Writers, artists and other practitioners of the arts used the ideas laid by the people as an inspiration to give hope, and with total emotion, gives agitation.

According to Wikipedia,
The concept of folklore developed as part of the 19th century ideology of romantic nationalism, leading to the reshaping of oral traditions to serve modern ideological goals; only in the 20th century did ethnographers begin to attempt to record folklore without overt political goals.

Writers at that time are imbued with romanticism and of nationalism in pursuit of giving hope to the people, especially the oppressed nations; The Grimm brothers is one of the examples of folklorists who gives idea to the German cause through culture. And thus, the real idea of folklore fives the "authenticity" of the people and its struggle to its finest, only to be changed and end up as a plain common part of literature, especially for children like Grimm's fairy tales.

2. Realism

Realism, especially in the realms of visual and written arts, usually depicts man and its everyday life as part of its society without embellishment or interpretation.

However,
Man, especially its life is always interpreted by other people; its acts, its ideas, its surroundings are interpreted by the people and thus recorded by the use of arts. I even think that realism, and its idea, tries to look real truth from false facts found amongst the surroundings man used to.

And according to the same source in which I got the idea of folklore, Realists positioned themselves against romanticism, a genre dominating French literature and artwork in the late 18th and early 19th century. Undistorted by personal bias, Realism believed in the ideology of objective reality and revolted against exaggerated emotionalism. Truth and accuracy became the goals of many Realists.


Upon reading it, this writer even thinks that realism, and its idea of truth and accuracy really collides with the ideas vested from man-especially imagination and of tradition. The folklorist may have its magical voice and emotion to speak but the realist? Of course, his camera or its eyes looking for the actions of the society for it shows complete and total realities made by man. Both of these have the same idea, but contrast in its interpretation and of its action being laid by these two colliding ideas.

Both ideas are really collide each other; as the former seemed too imbued with the essences laid by man through the mind while the latter are imbued with existence based on its senses given, he thinks that it can be difficult to integrate both to make an idea; that once he wanted to do so and even called it as "Folklorealism".

Folklorealism is imbued the mysterious ideas of the "folk" as well as the realities being made by the "folk". "Folk", being referred to the people, was and is involved in its surroundings positively and negatively. And this writer thinks that that the idea stated correlates man as an individual and man as part of the society, particularly its culture belongs to.

Secondly, there are persons who had tried much to think of folk-izing realism as a means to show closure to the people in a society and/or as a part to express their ideas and interpretations through the pen (from poetry to children's stories and other literary work). But at first, these persons, coming from "Left" and "Right" are more of a descriptive, and it does not directly reflect their ideas that may cause trouble. Again, this writeup is about their literary or Ideas based both on folklore and realism.

Here are the people to be given an example out of their work, they may consider controversial as others say so, and I am aware of it.

Mao Zedong, despite being a leader of a vast country, and imbued with Marxist-Leninist ideology, was also imbued with peasant tradition and culture that he even adapted it. And his ideas focused more into the peasantry as the main force of the working class since the innovator of the thought and his actions he made are not just out of his studies in Marxism-Leninism and the situation in China, but of the revolts made by the Chinese peasantry back many years before his time, from the "Yellow turbans", "Panthay", "Taiping" and even the "Boxer Rebellion" where these people, mostly peasants, are trying to voice out realities with a twist coming from their peasant-like beliefs. Mao perhaps also created folklore out of his exploits too during the battles against both Guomindang and the Japanese forces in China, from the Long March to the Battle wherein the Red Army tried to cross a bridge out of chains and steel cables, and even the interpretation of the "Foolish Old Man who Move the Mountains" as well as of Sun Wukong and his staff who smashed heaven (as he may say).

Pol Pot. like Mao Zedong, also wanted his own socialist society which carries a peasant backed society and culture; and despite having a bourgeois background, studying in Paris France and belonging to a slightly well-to-do family, Pol Pot's idea, aside from Marxism-Leninism, was also inspired by the great Angkor Empire that was a peasant-artisan backed society, where rice, water, and stone are correlated and beneficial to their progress back then. Pol Pot may have no writeups like Poems, Essays or any quotations like Mao had done to mirror how he used the idea of the folk as a basis for reality and of tomorrow.

These two socialist leaders, despite having imbued with the ideas of Marx and Lenin, are also inspired by the past and of the actions of the present all in pursuit of the future which is the fulfillment of what history is supposed to. And despite their mistakes, of famine, purges and other errors that end up getting apologized (or being hated by others), they may have tried hard to reclaim a prosperous past by using the present and leaning towards the future.

Another example, perhaps on the "Right", may be the late David Lane.

David Lane was known for being a "White Nationalist." And his ideas somehow may contradict the first two that this writer hath said. In fact, he, known as "Wodensson" and famous for his Norse Spirituality and of his racial views, also tends to join folklore and realism. How? His works somehow shows how folklore mirror realism in a racialist (or racist) view. He may be inspired from reading Norse spirituality, of Nature worship and praising Wotan as his god while at the same time of resisting against the American state due to his views. His work, "KD rebel" for example, may have been influenced from both the exploits of the Norsemen, of its faith, to opposition against gun control, of advocating racial separatism, and of destroying the system through a "racial holy war."

This writer have read David Lane's work, somehow it was more of Folk-izing, of making a modern-day mythology based on a concoction of real issue and of folklore. Of opposition against multiculturalism while praising Wotan, and opposing gun control. this writer, upon analyzing his work may consider that he tried much in infusing Viking life and of Modern day living; and of the Wotansvolk to the struggle. Trying to create perhaps a folk-realist type of concept.




Another example would be Andrew MacDonald. Known as a leader of a far-right wing group, was also known for writings whom the right wingers tend to indulge. And he may have also tried much in creating a picture, especially in his work entitled "The Turner Diaries." More of an anti-gun control then a "racial hatred" type of book, his work also shows more of releasing his anger towards a society and through the use of "Racial Holy War" whom he advocated, tends to show a concept too. I may consider that "gospel of the far right" trying to create a mythology and of a folklore-like realism for the right-wingers in the west; same as what David Lane hath wanted.
In this writer's view,  these people, both Left and Right tend to create a picture out of their idea-concept and of the society, especially the dreams and aspirations of the people, and their experiences. Out of every word being said, of books being read and even the surroundings being seen all of their lives. Somehow these people may have tried to use the pen in order to vent their ideas, their anger, and even their imagination as part of mirroring the reality, the Grimm Brothers have tried so about it, for through their fairy tales written also shows the people and their experiences during the Napoleonic era, whom they are against with.

In case of the Philippines, Francisco Balagtas Baltazar, through his "Florante y Laura" shows patriotism and of mirroring the realities of his time through a classical approach like using a Balkan setting; Jose Rizal, whose literary writeups like "Noli Me Tangere" and "El Filibusterismo" sow a need for a revolution although he opposed into it, unlike Andres Bonifacio who really interpret Rizal's work a la Timothy McVeigh whose actions were inspired by the late Andrew MacDonald and his book!

Well, perhaps anything that was once real also becomes a folklore to the minds of the people. How come a real battlefield becomes a fairy-tale type of story for children like Chanson de Roland or Rolando Furioso? Or the voluntary contributions of Lei Feng, Dong Cunrui, and Huang Jiguang that became "folk heroes" during the Cultural Revolution in China? Perhaps this writer may include the Soviet General Budenny and his Red Army Cavalry too! Since people who sought their contributions in the struggle whether it is war or not became a part of a literature of the folk. Or even creating literary heroes based on their exploits, of creating stories inspired by them; indeed- this is folklorealism!

In fact, this writer tends to create some stories inspired by both myth and reality, and both the ideas of the folk and the surroundings that are real in the eyes of man. People may call it a "trying hard child's fairy tale" or a carbon copy of a story being made before yours truly; but still he is trying to do so since not all folklores and realisms are about fairy tales or mind giggling events, but of course these are coming from a sentiments of man, of trying to mirror lives and inspiring themselves to create an era what they may call "peaceful, just, equal and prosperous."

A MONGREL CULTURE?

A MONGREL CULTURE?



An old post from my another blog. It was made long long long ago, and this writeup is a critique regarding current contemporary culture in the Philippines, these describes the modern culture as overtly bombarded by western culture despite parroting "patriotic" statement through clothing, music and the like. Obviously, I call Pilipino contemporary culture nowadays much of a "mongrel culture", and in near devoid of meaning and idea all except what the system said so as controllers of an everydayman's mindset.
Here it is:

Last sunday, this person was watching a noontime show both 2 and in 7. And as he continues watching, he noticed that these two channels seemingly bannering their mongrelness in culture-of having 2's ASAP influencing people with their ghetto-like black-inspired Fil-Am culture (courtesy of Billy Crawford) while the other channel's SOP tried every viewer to get Korean, Chinese, Japanese or whatsoever.

And it seems that these two channels, as they continue competing for viewers are also trying to do their best in enslaving the viewer's mindset with the wishes of the elite class while bannering it as for the masses-of making them conditioned thinking of it as common, part of our society. But then, what kind of culture they advocate? A mongrel culture?

Well, In a semi-feudal, semi-colonial society, its a fact that the ruling class, accepting the wishes of the imperialists, advocates much of a foreign culture-whether it is American, European, Japanese, Korean, and even Chinese. They tried much to lessen native influences to a museum type, a cultural zoo in which every viewer-especially a foreigner, stereotypically sees and thinks of it as that, worse as all Filipinos became desensitized, reificated and thinking of it anything as common, a part of our society, not noticing that they, or rather say we are being decieved by their wishes-of joining the "flow" not noticing that we are getting drowned.
And again, According to Lu Xun's Diary of a madman, he said:

"In ancient times, as I recollect, people often ate human beings, but I am rather hazy about it. I tried to look this up but my history book has no chronology, and scrawled all over each page are the words 'virtue' and 'morality.' Since I could not sleep anyway, I read hard half the night, until I began to see words between the lines, the whole book being filled with the two words--'Eat People.'"

And somehow, that what Lu Xun said also shows how the imperialists advocated this kind of thing, including cultural affairs towards its subjects. Of advocating a mongrel culture in a cloak called "contemporary culture", of stressing every people to get in with the "trend" to the point of forgetting the problems of the society-that the imperialists, through the rotten system in itself engaged in a cannibalistic orgy and end up becoming cannibals themselves! But people, especially who remained apathetic at all times didn't know much they, or rahter say our value for ourselves, our culture as we value "democracy" and "independence"!

And since this person spoke of independence, he even thinks that despite independence, the rotten system, instead of encouraging individuals to unite and revive native culture and making it modernised and mass based, it end up being franchised by their cohorts, of using mass media to create instant culture that carries apathy to the people rather than making culture closer and aligned to social realities, all despite their dashes of patriotism like those of Francis Magalona, or even the Black Eyed Peas and of Jabbawockeez-just because of having a Filipino in it. But then, despite making closer to the people, it remains much aligned to the culture wherein different from the real culture of the masses, or in an insulting phrase (sorry for that) of encouraging a mongrel culture-of making Filipinos act like Blacks than to act as Filipinos!

Well,  if you love your country, why not redeem your culture and modernise it to be more accomodating rather than succumb to the wishes of the ruling class? Of having things foreign really serve to the people and to enrich the culture without the rotten system being controlled into it? Somehow most Filipinos are tired of "acting nigger while loving a white" or "acting Korean but loving a Jap or a Chink," Juans and Marias, you are first and foremost a Tao and a Pilipino, and you have a culture to preserve-starting with cleaning, modernising your room with Sweat and blood!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Homo Filipinus? The modern Filipino as a social by-product of cosmopolitanism

Homo Filipinus?

The modern Filipino as a social by-product of cosmopolitanism



Last time, whilst walking in the streets for a quenching drink of Sago't Gulaman, this person sought people, this time becoming too obsessed with the flow at non stop. Wearing baseball caps inappropriately, girls wearing skimpy clothing, getting addicted much on the cosmopolitan atmosphere, the Philippines becoming more of a ghetto than of a promised land in an eyes of a Pilipino.

True, for as this person notice these people, driven much by the flow (that admittingly speaking, he despise and trying to resist) are seemingly forgetting or ridding off all of their consciousness regarding life just to go with the flow-even by "pirated" means like cellphones to nonsense-related music.

And thus, he simply thinks about a simple question from his mind:

"Is this the birth of "Homo Filipinus?" A by product of cosmopolitanism?

Yes, as the everyday Filipino, imprisoned 333 years in a convent and 40 years in the American Hollywood including 5 years in a Japanese brothel, that being we deared and loved acquired traits that seemed contrary to our concept of our everyday lives. A manifestation that Filipinos (or rather say Pilipinos) are step by step becoming apathetic about their consciousness as a nation, or having its heritage museumified whist in everyday life becoming puppets of a foreign overseer from politics to the realms of culture.

Why? Like China, the Filipino becomes a victim of wholesale westernization alongside brain and brawn drain and other related sorts that severely affects the country. National consciousness becomes nothing but a fashion statement than those of social action, poverty become a by-word than of a problem, anti-communism becomes terrorist related than ideological, all of these are a by products of cosmopolitanism that the west wanted, that the Filipino, with a "scientific name of "Homo Filipinus" a social by-products of cosmopolitan ghettoized Philippines.

To those who hath offended, sorry for what this person have said, since this critique is a response to the growing cosmopolitanism that affected most to the point that the Filipino becomes apathetic, asocietal, imbued with wholesale westernization and having less patriotism that the flag from the coulours to the sun and stars museumified and as a fashion statement.

Need some Examples? One basic example is the both "popular" and "infamous" breed of "jejemon" aka the ones trying hard to become gangsters.

Mostly coming from the lower class, these near-lumpenproletariat, these people are greatly victims of social experimentation, of poverty and wholesale westernization to the point that they tried to act much of the west devoid of contradictions.

And as this person look at them? True is the word of their critics as they see them wearing their heads with baseball caps inappropriately, girls wearing skimpy clothing, obsessed with nonsense sounding rap music, addicted much to competition (like face-offs featured in their Friendster accounts), of sexual desire, and typing messages with inappropriately-written words, but then, despite criticizing these people, he also accepted them as people-with a need for consciousness as Filipinos, as members of the working class, and a need for education and reform through labor to join in the struggle against the system that advocates social experimentation, wholesale westernization and social degeneration of a "ghettoized" Pilipino society.

We may consider this difficult to understand as we didn't use our microscopes to look "what's really inside" in regards to the society, or like Zaide, we may look into but using a foreign made microscope that even contradicts the reality itself! True, as the society, being rotten to the core that benefits the imperialist, the fascist, and of the feudo-capitalist had its people, a social by-products of cosmopolitanism, of wholesale westernization, bereft of "life", "dignity", and "social consciousness" hath to wear a "US-made" glasses and join with the flow!

And like Lu Xun, these social by-products of cosmopolitanism, along with the apathetic and of the extravagant, of the right-winger and of the capitalist are, in his vocabulary are known much as cannibals. And again, according to his book "A madman's diary":

"Everything requires careful consideration if one is to understand it. In ancient times, as I recollect, people often ate human beings, but I am rather hazy about it. I tried to look this up, but my history has no chronology, and scrawled all over each page are the words: "Virtue and Morality." Since I could not sleep anyway, I read intently half the night, until I began to see words between the lines, the whole book being filled with the two words—"Eat people." "

True, as Homo Filipinus are becoming more and more cannibalized within the rotten society, for sure some Filipinos who aren't joining the dreaded "flow" and instead resisting it, they really understood much that history, save for Agoncillo and Constantino, are having no chronology and instead "giving thanks" to the colonizers for molding into modern apathetical, asocietal society with the words of "peace", "democracy", "virtue" and "morality" which is in fact doing the contrary! The worst? Advocating "cannibalism" through "cosmopolitanism" and "wholesale westernization." of life.

This person hopes that the people must understand this, as the Homo Filipinus must ought to grab both the machete and of the book to regain its consciousness and start to clean off its society of scoundrels and of stupids, breaking off the museum and destroying the glass case that encloses culture, and lastly breaking off the ties of past to reclaim the concept of future, Filipinos, or rather say Pilipinos are not destined to become social cannibals and bereft of realities, and thus we have a long journey to end this centuries of mess. 

or in case of Lu Xun:

"Perhaps there are still children who have not eaten men? Save the children."

Sunday, 21 August 2011

"Amoy Pwit" Revisited

"Amoy Pwit" Revisited



Last time, this writer went to the archives of the University of the East just to read some old issues of the campus newspaper DAWN. And while reading the 1971 issue of the paper, he read a poem that seemingly corresponds to the realities happened over our Cultural Center and even our society itself:

"Amoy Pwit ang Cultural Center"
(The Cultural Center smells like ass)

According to that poem, it alludes to the Marcoses's disregard over the masses whilst glorifying the country through the Cultural Center, obviously the building reminds of a toilet, complete with a flush that as if a giant can have a pee or a poop in it. Same goes in the reality that our culture, going degenerated, also ridden by controversy such as those of Mideo Cruz's Kulo to the billboards around EDSA.

Yes, out culture, not just the Cultural Center itself smells like ass as more and more stink coming from the bureaucracy rises up unevenly and its people thinking of it as if a plague that is difficult to rid out-as evidenced by rampant corruption, disenfranchisement, repression, everything all for the goddamn sake of Malacanang and its White House overlord.

Sorry to say so, but as this writer continue reading it, complete with looking at a drawing featuring the main theatre surrounding with squatters, he would say that the culture prevailing nowadays, of a type belonging to the upper class elites, being corrupt, degenerative and unliberating, doesn't make much sense at all and it needs to be dismantled away, same goes as the rotten system who benefits from it. After all, behind the grandeur, the flowing dresses of the socialites, the champagne and tuxedo or barong clad gentlemen, lies the rotten truth-of a degenerated society full of masses scrambling for crumbs despite working 24 hours a day, worse? given a "spiritual anaesthesia" to ease their temper against the system.

Speaking of "Spiritual anesthesia", even the clergy had disguist in overtly dose of that kind that they wanted "action" over mere sentiment such as sermons in the pulpit. In assessing Cruz's Kulo? Obviously it mirrors the materialistic tendencies of an average Pilipino faithful: Praying to win for the sweepstakes? Lottery? Horse Racing? Cockfighting? For a candidate in the elections? Or even cursing using the names of the holy family? Or in regards to the politicos to act like messiahs and continue its rotting legacy with a modern day facade?

After all, it makes sense what mr. Alfredo Hernandez said so in this one-of-a-kind poem. A culture dominated by a rotten social order doesn't inculcate change, that the media even reinterprets everything including Cruz's works that end up getting assailed by the Conservative wing of the clergy. Critical thinking, freedom of speech is to Cruz whilst narrow subjectivism (like blasphemy) is to the church as what expected from their discussions side by side, and what we would expect from media? To look upon the people's ideas? Or to the status quo?

Sheesh, no matter what it is, the system makes everything rotten, that makes the cultural center or the entire complex smells like ass, shit as the poem said so. Anyway, here's the poem. Sorry for that poem is in Pilipino, but despite the language, it mirrors the reality, and despite being made in the year 1971, it creeps until the present day.


Photobucket

Friday, 19 August 2011

Art can't be just simply "Beauty"

Art can't be just simply "Beauty"



Last time, this writer was watching a commentary on the TV when I heard Imelda Marcos criticizing Mideo Cruz's work. 

Upon watching and hearing her replies on TV, FL (as what Imelda was known during Martial Law) said that Cruz's work as "Ugly", parroting "Human Rights having limits", as well as insisting her "True, Good, and Beautiful" dictum that is also same goes as the establishment through its emblem.

And upon assessing it, like any other Christian Conservatives, Imelda directly criticized Cruz all after seeing Christ with a dildo, condom, or his eyes flowing with ink, as well as insisting that the Cultural Center of the Philippines should exibhit "Beautiful" works of art in accordance to her "true, good, and beautiful" philosophy. But, in assessing realities around us, is "reality" should be beautiful, especially after Imelda's dictum over the Cultural Center?

As for Imelda, Indeed that the Cultural Center should adhere to the "True, Good, and the Beautiful" in regards to artwork, but obviously, Mideo Cruz's work unveils the "truth" behind Pilipino religious life: A materialist guised as a religious, as evidenced by the posters of celebrities alongside religious figures; of condoms as well as the phallus. If yours truly had to ask Imelda, that since she still adheres to the "True, Good, and Beautiful," how come you want to Andy Warhol's exibhit? Is it beautiful? Remember Warhol also did works that seemed to be "pornographic" in the eyes of a Conservative? And secondly, how come the Film Centre became known as a "Flesh Fiesta" due to filming softcore porn? Are these also "True, Good, and Beautiful?"


Obviously, these should also be the same as Mideo Cruz's, and all things real can't be just "Beautiful", we may see things "Ugly," but despite its "Ugliness" lies reality, the "True" as what Imelda said so and the goals of the Cultural Center. And as the Conservative-leaning Church hierarchy as well as other Conservative individuals chanting "Morality" and the like despite the closure of Cruz's exhibit, same as appealing to the courts all against the Cultural Center and the artist, this writer personally says that the Philippines remained under direct clerical bondage= as evidenced by our constitution, supposedly secular in character yet "invoking god" same as disregarding the secular roots of our founding fathers, who are also anti-clerical to the extent of Fr. Mariano Gil's portrait with a dagger pointing at him, same goes the Churches during the early republic being transformed into prisons (except the Barasoain church that end up a legislative hall!). If they continue insisting, then why not assail also the Philippine flag having the holy trinity in it? The "Samahang Tatlong Persona Solo Dios" had that kind of flag infusing patriotic and religious symbols in it. Same goes the play "Ang Bagong Kristo" since there's the title of the play had "Kristo" in it; or even the "Santo Ninong Nakahubad" amulet that is peddled near the Basilica of Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno in Quiapo?

After all, to a hardcore Conservative, religious or not, that Democracy meant disorder for there is misuse of morality. They would rather repudiate Democracy, critical thought and free flow of ideas in favor of a fixed social order with a strong deeply rooted morality that negates free will in favor of "just discipline." as if "Big Brother looks upon us" not noticing that they also did mistakes and oftentimes cloaked it with religious or ideological sense such as "Susmaryosep" as a curse despite saying the names of the holy family, same goes in praying just for a convenience like winning for a lottery.

And again, this person, despite of his Christian background, rather speak to everyone that this society, since ought to be "Democratic", should still adhere to its "Secularity" to the extent of direct separaton of Church and State, of Laicizing the society just like what Mabini envisioned over Calderon's wish of having the Catholic Church the Philippines' offical religion. For sure some artist who rally behind Cruz would also express the same remark not just "Freedom of Expression" itself, but a call for a critical thinking and assessment of ourselves, our faith and practise.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Storming their "Heavens"

Storming their "Heavens"

by Paul Smirnoff



Last time, everybody had witnessed the direct anger of the church.

Is it the RH bill again?
Nope,
the automobiles given by former President Arroyo?
Nope,

For that time the church vent its rage all over again after an artwork made by an artist that featured Catholic idolatry and being fused with contemporary art, thaat despite mirroring the reality of a fanatically-induced faith in an overtly materialistic setting, they simply assailed it and be called as blasphemy and vandalism.

And as expected, most "faithful" are quite joining the fray as they kept on criticizing both the artist and the Cultural Center of the Philippines as a "coddler" of "anti-Christs" like Mideo Cruz, but on the other hand the artist was simply expressing that his works are clearly based on realities that may involve the materialistic tendencies of man and using faith as its "contributor" to their meaningless desire. After all you may see scapulars, crucifixes alongside posters of politicos and artists around, a feature of a certain room in a lower class home.


And speaking of that feature, in a lower class home, how come the church didn't criticize it too? Obviously Mideo Cruz was probably inspired by those features that made him compel to do so-of seeing a religious fanatic-cum-overtly materialist individual through his work. But despite all justifications, the "faithful" kept on crying blasphemy all over again to Mr. Cruz, that even his work being vandalized too aside from being closed by the Cultural Center; he himself became a victim of a so-called "morality" imposed by the "all mighty church that still kept on dominating our own faith and reason for many years and still counting.

But there are others who are joining in Cruz's crusade. According to the Concerned Artists of the Philippines, Mideo Cruz was simply expressing his thought through art, yet the Church still pressured to close the exhibit, as it said:

"The bishops and the lay leaders who are pressuring the CCP to close the show are within their right to speak against KULO, and they are free to admonish the Catholic faithful regarding what they find objectionable in Mideo’s artwork. We believe, however, that this demand to suppress the show smacks of the religious fascism of the friars of Rizal’s time and certainly unacceptable in the 21st century."

Same goes in the statement, entitled "Palayain ang Sining" as it said:

"-The whole issue surrounding the KulĂ´ exhibit at the CCP, and particularly that of Mideo Cruz’s Poleteismo, has gotten out of hand, to say the least. But let us not get sidetracked. Focusing our attention and ire on one person has made us overlook the larger underlying issue, which affects not only Mideo Cruz but all of us as creators of art and as members of the viewing public: that of censorship and repression."

This person agree on what these statements being said, that obviously the system seemingly disregarded its secular background, of separating church and state in favor of imposing censorship especially against Mideo Cruz and his work. But these kind of repressive action also affected those who use art as a weapon against the rotten social order prevailing-that once I had a friend who had to run past a cop after having a wall sprayed and said: "No to oil price increase" in the wall, lucky he didn't end up caught, as well as others who do sticker bombing that make walls or posts in the streets "littered" with stickers or graffitis sign of expression, and expression also include anti-religion or not, but then in a Pilipino society it is as if that religion is above everything just because they are the ones who impose "morality" in a supposed secular society, and the overtly conservative would say that the constitution said "Almighty god" in it, so why you are against it?



Well, Personally, this person's been a catholic for long, but despite my religion of his birth he insist on secular upbringing that involves freedom to believe and also not to believe a certain dogma like "wearing sackcloth" or "kissing the feet", these two are merely added to justify temporal power than of a spiritual one; and now as the Conservatives amongst the religious sow hatred amongst the secular minded, assailing an artist who created the reality behind religious figures, isn't it obvious that they wanted to control people all for the sake of their interpretation of faith-that the artist made him said:

I never go out of my way to offend; but I do like to provoke debates and critical thinking. Art is a way of expressing one’s views about the world, culture and history, and this is what I do in my work. The audience is free to make their own conclusions and interpretations about the images I create, but I must confess I didn’t expect for anyone to react so violently against ‘Poleteismo.’ The worse that I would’ve expected is for no one to come to the CCP and see my work or those of the my colleagues in this exhibition,”

And aside from provoking critical thinking amongst individuals, particularly the religious, he's also unveiling the real side of every worshiper-a materialist so to speak. That after going mass going to a nearby department store, or eating at a fastfood chain, of hastingly opening wallet looking for money, or even praying all for the sake of winning a bet, these actions show what kind of a religious person he/she is whose mind is of an overly materialist one?

After all, the god of the rotten system is the god of the oppressors. Why these men in habits and its hordes of fanatics tries to control everything in the society, including culture and the arts? Yesterday they've assailed the reproductive health and the divorce bill, trying to justify Arroyo and the Pajeros given by a Government institution, then this? Assailing an artist due to his direct criticism on excessive worshiping of idols and its "significance" to society?

Sorry to say so, but obviously, most "religious" aren't really religious. They are rather materialists who look after materialistic things and using religion as its pretext for their fantasies. How come a breeder of fighting cocks hath its foul ate a host that is being blessed- All in order to get win since that host is blessed by the priest? How come also those who after acting holy during mass end up dismayed or rather say getting a bad trip to a certain person especially after a personal or a financial dispute? Or even praying in order to win their respective bet or even making an idol out of that certain person such as a politico, artist or a sports icon These people obviously doing far from their faith, worse, they use their faith for their desire especially a tangible one, or even creating faith also out of it. As Cruz said further:

“...Throughout history, humanity has grown to create new gods and these are not always religious figures but concepts and objects. Some have taken to worshipping money; some see politicians as godsend. People create idols and these idols whether or not they’re deserving of idolatry or worship affect our lives and how we function and see the world,”

Even this hell of a kind government imposed a cult, for years we think of every president, senator, mayor, all government officials as messiahs and disciples that as if trying to make the Philippines great again yet still living in squalor, then blaming everything without any solution to appease those being blamed-once they've blamed the ones living in a "squatters area" but they didn't notice that these are also the ones they enticed to vote for him/her as a candidate for a respective position and given paper programs and projects carrying their name (a project of...) that as of creating a major political cult in every part of the land.

The Marcoses did it in Ilocos,
the Aquinos did it in Tarlac,
Villafuertes in Bicol,
and Lobregats in Zamoanga,
Osmenas in Cebu,
and Romualdezes in Leyte,

these politicos instituted cults of themselves and nearly described as messiahs yet demons in fact.

Lately, the University of Santo Tomas disowned him and being called an "Unprofessional artist." for his work, as UST's vice rector Tiong said:

"The University as an academic community and as a Catholic institution would also like to express that it is denouncing the sacrilegious or religious offensive art works included in the exhibit and all other artwork of similar nature...Moreover the said sacrilegious or religiously offensive artworks are nothing but a kind of artworks expected and or produced by unprofessional artist,"

Well, it is obvious for a conservative Catholic institution like UST to say so-denouncing a heretic, to call those against the faith (like freethinkers, deists, even amongst Catholics) sacreligious and wanting to destroy his/her prestige, for sure others may hath willing to agree what the rector said so, and may've started creating sermons out of these kind of issues same as assailing freethinkers in guise of Well versed prayers, and even the columnist but not all Catholics rally behind those people in habits nor all habit-garb individual agree in the overtly responses of their superiors. Even a Protestant writer even assailed out of morality and even said about his grandfather who insisted placing a fig leaf in a work of art made by Guillermo Tolentino and telling everyone that "Morality is above art!"

Good to say so that Morality is above art, BUT WHOSE MORALITY? The morality based on this or that? After all these questions and answers chosen are gifts of free will, and sorry to say all of us are victims of free will and its responsibilities like Mideo Cruz, or even Dong Abay whose song also criticizes faith and reality.

And since the Church disowned Cruz, then fine, disown him! For sure Cruz didn't mind it, but despite the criticisms, the assailing, and even death threats, more and more will willing to rally over the artist and storm over the heavens like a dozen monkey kings willing to make the world upside down-for the Philippines is supposed to be a secular country, why religion should matters most all the time?

Why not have it in a private matter?



SOURCES:

https://www.facebook.com/jmtaguiwalo/posts/2052676274424
https://www.facebook.com/notes/mideo-m-cruz/manifesto-of-palayain-ang-sining-artist-formation-to-uphold-freedom-of-artistic-/197235577003947
http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/08/05/artist-mideo-cruz-wants-to-provoke-critical-thought-gets-death-threats-instead/
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/metro-manila/08/10/11/ust-disowns-controversial-artist
http://whatsonjinan.com/news-591-filipino-artist-mideo-cruz-s-phallic-exhibit-closed-after-national-debate.html
http://asiancorrespondent.com/61995/art-exhibit-draws-ire-of-philippine-catholics/
http://www.pinoyhalo.com/2011/08/11/mideo-cruz-artwork-poleteismo-at-ccp/