Friday, 22 February 2013

"Too real to invoke (the past)"

"Too real to invoke (the past)"

Regarding Reahu's controversial works
of female mythological beings in Khmer Mythology

Well, for a reminder: to those who are sensitive to read this writeup, you may not dare to look at the pictures rather than complaining it. This writeup at first tend to analyze the controversial works made by a Cambodian artist known as Reahu. His works made controversial due to the depiction of female mythological beings as too sensuous resulting to his page nearly banned years ago by the Cambodian government. 

And prior to making this writeup, this writer was researching regarding old edifices, as well as heritage and modernity that resulted to what was lately been posted today. But during his research work involving heritage, he recalled a link regarding paintings that bear ancient beings yet done in a modern manner such as been posted below.

Obviously, people would dare to call it immoral because of the depictions of Khmer mythological beings such as bare breasted and sensuous despite partly basing from old sculptures such as those in Angkor wat centuries ago with the painter trying to make a realistic version that somehow made the conservative tend to oppose especially because of its sensuous nature as well as tradition.

That somehow this writer described as strange in seeing those paintings, and somehow the painter made it too real, actual to invoke especially that is ancient such as mythological beings such as those Apsaras. Yes, some are based directly from sculptures centuries ago- with some are indeed shown bare breasted and made the artist painted too real making the people opted to oppose, describe as pornographic and contradictory to tradition.

Such as this picture of a painting based from Suvannamaccha and Hanuman (above). Reahu's work made it look real especially for a mythological being compare to a traditional one such as this:

The one made in Thailand would say that the mermaid is also bare breasted yet the painting was done quite in a traditional manner although some tend to make the mermaid had its breasts be covered with her hair such as this:

The version above would say it is also realistic enough especially in the depiction of the mermaid although its breasts had been covered by her hair. Reahu somehow did quite much too real in another version, as well as  sensuous after making the mermaid bare breasted, with a human-like than a mythological appearance as it meets with Hanuman. Perhaps, to the painter's view it tries to convey an exotic beauty such as a maiden of the tropic for an Apsara or any other mythological being Reahu had tend to interpret it quite controversially. 

Well, as a writer who had sought those paintings before would say that yes, it is too realistic and perhaps technical to show something direct from the past especially due to the depiction of woman having curvacious features such as those of her breasts, and therefore be deemed as "sensuous" if not "pornographic" because of its features being shown. 

But then on the other hand, it somehow tends to show a realistic interpretation of those mythological icons such as the Apsara and making it based wholly from the murals found in every ancient Khmer temple with some had bare breasts shown in it.

Quite strange though all after seeing those works made by Reahu and being featured online resorted to an ire coming from most Cambodians just because it is bare breasted or having a "sexy" depiction. Yes, most Cambodians are conservative to justify criticism regarding those works only for a painter countering it defiantly.

As one of his supporters said:

Perhaps few tend to deeply understood art such as those controversial works in a way some conservatives in the west assailed a statue of justice with a bare breast or Michaelangelo's David full nude. Reahu, in making those realistic versions of mythological beings would say he tends to make it par to those made during the Renaissance or the Romantic period that some had also depict a degree of nakedness yet it conveys a deeper message such as youth, virility, womanhood and strength. 

Yes, it tends to reveal the beauty of the Khmer women although he made it "too far" to the extent of describing it as "sensuous" and "pornographic" in the eyes of others. Perhaps, in making it in par with those from the west would say he wanted to romanticize the past the way Jacques David did. 

However, not all works made by Reahu are limited to those of the beauty of a Khmer maiden. He also painted scenes from Ramayana, especially those of Hanuman in a muscular posture. And contrary to traditional depictions of these scenes again would say it invokes romanticism such as Hanuman in an avenging mood against one of the villains in Ramayana. 

Quite strange indeed, but then as it invokes the past in a different way, Reahu wanted to make it deeper no matter the reaction people would be if been sought. Yes, covers coming from movies or computer games as well as classical paintings may hath influenced Reahu to do those kind of works focusing on Khmer culture such as mythology. Invoking the past through artworks may depend on which painter may have to do so as long as it imbues the spirit that is "ContemporAntiquitarian."

Perhaps, in an assessment, this writer would say that despite its controversial nature, Reahu tends to make it romanticized the way Jacques David and others in their works, also borrowed from mythological figures and hence making it quite realistic in its appearance. Reahu also wanted to invoke the past as he could through painting the way Van Molyvann tried to through architecture.
Obviously, due to the conservative nature of the people in Cambodia would say that his works will remain "pornographic" and "controversial" in their eyes while few ought to understand it deeper behind what hath been shown and Reahu didn't made it "for sake". 

In other words, there's a need to study and appreciate art further and better.


Again, thanks to Miah Llanes for some moral support (even in spirit for she guides me). 

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

To ContemporAntiquity: all after seeing their remnants

To ContemporAntiquity: all after seeing their "remnants"

In seeing these old, rotting edifices, made this writer somehow lamenting that they are possibly "doomed" to dismantle decades after.

Ranging from old factories to antiquated houses, these edifices that brought a sense of progress and beauty somehow became part of heritage few people would ought to understand. As most of it are rather doomed to dismantle or left rot, some would say left intact thanks to those who showed concern due to beauty and significance such as its contribution to the community or aesthetic.

Quite strange at first to write about this, but to think that as time goes by people chose to remain apathetic to these edifices of old, whether commercial, residential or industrial in nature doomed to dismantle for a less significant one, the basis of profit over heritage tends to erase what made a part of history.

And in choosing to be apathetic would say that they favor themselves to give up heritage thinking that having old is useless and not suitable with the changing times. If so, then how come there are countries wherein they tried to bridge the past and the present for future to come such as those that carries significance that includes factories that brought development aside from churches and houses of brick and stone?

Perhaps, in this writeup would again making people understand all after seeing remnants of a past few ought to understand upon.

Let's take this Boix house for example.

At first, this house was all but made centuries ago during the Spanish period. With its classical features signifies that it was belonged to a rich family that, along with others, all made Quiapo district one of the most prominent places in Manila before. Obviously, its style such as in its windows mirrors the regality of the past such as its exterior in the window and the interiors that need preservation. Sadly, changes through the years (especially post-war) made the house dilapidated, that from a house of a prominent personality had became an accessoria for the poor like others in Quiapo unlike its neighbor, Bahay Nakpil-Bautista that somehow there are those trying to preserve and used for events such as in commemoration of Andres Bonifacio. 
Obviously, that kind of edifice would say that it had passed years and yet still surviving and yet, how come few people, other than heritage conservationists had no concern over the edifice? All to think that  deterioration due to neglect, coupled by those who had greedy interest would had the place be demolished in favor of building a box-type structure made for profit such as a dormitory. The mass forgetfulness made by time Other old buildings in Quiapo had end demolished because of that kind of motive people devoid of history lean upon; 
practically speaking, they prefer demolishing out of interest in its expensive prime lot with developers willing to buy it and hence commence building of structures that seemingly more into profit and less in significance that benefited most "developers" that oftentimes speak progressive phrases like renovation, change and development.

Another example is the PhilAm Life building in UN Ave.

Known for its theatre used for musicals and recitals, that edifice made using International style is also been threatened especially after reports of having the theatre be dismantled for a a commercial complex (some said it would be a supermarket). Quite strange though that despite its significance especially in the field of arts, as it has to be "sacrifice" in favor of a mere consumerist edifice such as a commercial complex or even a supermarket; and also come to think of this that around Manila there are more supermarkets or variety stores around, why the hell for a crap that requires sacrificing a good edifice made by a national artist?
And perhaps, contrary to the old Boix house that seemingly left with few concerning over, would say people should be thankful that there are good, magnificently built edifices well maintained and intact despite the wind of changes such as in an heavily populated Manila, obviously, certain institutions cared much about preserving edifices for cultural purposes as most care not regardless of its historical significance and had to left it deteriorating till be liable for demolition as old houses, establishments and factories in and around Manila happened regardless of the maker, its contribution, or anything all for the sake of making those on high satisfy on the profit being accumulated.
But still, whether modern or ancient it had contributed a significant part in the field of industry, art, everything such as what the Philamlife building had and its theatre. In fact, that issue isn't limited to a single theatre in UN ave. For in fact, there are few theatres in and around Manila so to speak aside from the Cultural Center complex. Metropolitan theatre hadn't been rehabilitated further despite promises to make the once known edifice prominent again, same as those of old movie theatres in Avenida or at Escolta that had been closed or in order to survive had to show "Indie" that isn't Indie at all but rather softcore porn. Quite lamenting so to speak that in all seeing places of interest, as few showed concern in midst of the rest who opted to act blind, play deaf or mute as they enjoy what's "in" in their senses such as accepting wholesale westernization and described as modern.

Quite strange and lamenting  indeed that since people had favored themselves to succumbed to a two way idea made by a wealthy few such as "development" that requires defacing, destroying, anything that pleases into their eyes and itchy hands and tell the world over their tangible illusions would suddenly have a flashback after seeing pictures all after an intentional state of forgetfulness, or even simply disregarding it for they prefer something aesthetically "new" into their eyes regardless of any significance such as preferring a big shopping mall made by a bigger shopping tycoon that cares about profits over a park also owned by a shopping magnate that cares about people's well being. To think that according to one commentator in Facebook, stated that:

"While many countries of the world are so cognizant of their past...not allowing their monuments, their historical landmarks, their architectural buildings and concepts of complex structures, etc., be defaced lest it be destroyed, why are there Filipinos who are so ignorant and so unconscious of the worlds' standards as to disregard the importance of their heritage passed on to next generation, that these ignorant Pinoys prefer that these inherited legacies have its scurf & become moldy...turn to scrap... be destroyed... and let go?"

Not noticing that an unjust, spontaneous, uncontrolled development starting with distorting or disregarding heritage and a backward society behind modern facades also made these by-products such as this picture what most people be describe as an "Eyesore". Blame the poor, but how about the instance that made do so such as a countryside controlled by landlords?

Well, admittingly speaking, this topic isn't limited to "the call for preserving heritage sites" but rather on "how to keep culture firm, strong and progressive" with Preserving old structures would say one basic example of preserving identity and heritage while at the same time pushing forward to a progressive society people tried to fulfill- that somehow would say it's desperate especially in a fast changing world wherein globalization had became its norm, more, and policy imposed by the privileged few while reducing everything into a museumified piece that caters to the tourists such as old churches, stone houses, sagada weaving, peanut brittle and buko pie.  
Worse, there are others that left rotting and doomed to destruction such as old factories that carries good significant industrial designs, old yet quite intact houses need of rehabilitation, deteriorating standalone theatres need of  care, everything that deserved recognition due to its contribution to the society yet failed to be seen by many and thus "left out" for nothing then be demolished years after for another aesthetically nonsense deemed as masterpiece. Or even ruining landscapes such as Manila Bay being threatened by "reclamation" as what Paulo Alcazaren had tried to speak about that issue ranging from ruining the image to create possible calamities such as floods.

Well, thinking that as time goes by, people had forgotten heritage and identity, and even reality all in favor of those that is thrown directly and making them contented without any reason at all, trying to escape the sickening fact systems tried to cover upon. 
And taking old buildings deteriorating as its example for this writeup, this writer ought to say that whether it is pre or post war, those on high, both government and private had no time getting concern about those edifices and instead demolishing it because of the prime lot and had another aesthetically devoid edifice had be build over that rather ruin than compliment the image such as those at Chinatown with an old Hispanic house dismantled in favor of a condo, or the Old Sto. Domingo at Intramuros that end up dismantled rather than rebuilt after the war; these buildings, all regardless of something that made those edifices historical and hence significant as it contributed to the social setting of the community had been torn for nothing such as commercialism's sake. 
Obviously, few people, other than heritage conservationists, historians, and old people had care for it while most people care about the three or four day sale of consumer goods and other trendy pieces being sold at a nearby shopping mall or having window shopping, watching a crap movie all just to escape reality with an illusion guised as "hope."

That somehow reminds of the old buildings of the world-famous San Miguel Brewery. Well, the Sorianos of the past, being the biggest stockholder before (and perhaps treated San Miguel as their family asset) tend to bridge those of the past and the present such as having a near-classical industrial edifice that also accommodate then-modern machinery for its world-class beer, soft drink, and even ice cream with its Magnolia plant in Echague. 
Sadly, save for the one that became one of Malacanang Palace's office buildings and the one in Echague, the rest were been demolished despite its good architecture fit to be a government building, a university campus or a botique hotel that requires some refurbishment and some modern fitting. But still, by a stroke of the pen and disregarding history lies demolishing old edifices leaving the rest as memories of the old, or as pictures, or perhaps imagination with this writer once drew.

Admittingly speaking, the so-called "class" of the past, whether it be from the laboring class or from the old rich, all brings idea and inspiration as evidenced in this writer's writeups and artwork. Like the old ProletKult, Bauhaus or Jiang Qing's, it tends to reflect the interest of the people by providing not just pleasing to the eyes but making everything holistic and inspiring although most rather cater to the idea of making everything "for sake" (or perhaps just to impress).

As according to the Bauhaus manifesto, it said:

"The ultimate aim of all visual arts is the complete building! To embellish buildings was once the noblest function of the fine arts; they were the indispensable components of great architecture."

Yes, having the urge to create also lies the task of making things fulfilled for the people. That according to Bauhaus' Hannes Meyer, said:

As creative designers
our activities are determined by society, and the scope of our tasks is set by society.
Does not our present society in Germany call for thousand’s of people’s schools, people’s parks, people’s houses?
Hundred of thousands of people’s flats??
Millions of pieces of people’s furniture???
(what are the connoisseurs’ gibberings worth when set against these)
(after the cubistic cubes of bauhaus objectivity?)
Thus we take the structure and the vital needs
of our community as given.
We seek to achieve
the widest possible survey of the people’s life,
the deepest possible insight into the people’s soul,
the broadest possible knowledge of this community.
As creative designers
we are servants of this community.
Our work is a service to the people.

In other words, everything tends to create something worth promising particularly to the common man and had them help fulfill their ideas and transform into something tangible. Obviously, these creative designers, aside from being laborers that create exterior and interior structures with outmost care, are also cultural workers that tries to create a new culture that tends to bridge the past and the present, of a continuing heritage carrying a driving spirit such as the future like the old San Miguel Brewery buildings, that despite its near classical industrial structure still tends to show modern as it produces beer until its demise and eventual demolition after being acquired by Malacanang (save for one of the buildings that became part of the complex, the rest became a carpark).

And again, as what Mayer said, those works reflect "service to the people" as it carries something that would appease the mind and spirit of a common man trying to make its own closer to reality and revive its consciousness as a contributor to society and humanity.

So were the others that depict science, industry with its creators becoming deities of a society man idealize yet difficult to create everything all despite having factories, technology, conquering space and attempts to use energy both war and peaceful purposes. These would say all at first products of imagination and extensive research and development of the past with mankind trying to control over nature by various means with the support of continuous mindwork trying to bridge the past and the present ideas, both classical and modern, whether in the form of music, art, sciences, everything contributive to the material and spiritual wealth of humanity as a whole. 
Yet still end up those who dictate policies and thus creating a distorted view that is, nearly meaningless. Again, what is artistic caters to the few whilst the rest had to get contented in a canned, or a distorted one more of aesthetics and less in reason.

Personally, it's all but strange at first  to write all these in pursuit of the idea of ContemporAntquity. Whether it be in a form of architecture, painting, sketching, sculpture, photography, or even literature to convey something that inculcates reviving consciousness, and continuing a progressive idea such as in reforming a revisited medium that tends to appease the people.

But to think that the so-called "absurd" sculptures or sketches done years by this before tends to recall a distant past such as ancient idols, the afterlife, the industrial revolution with farmers harvesting wheat, or even people clamoring against the oligarchs and of the rotten wicked? Well, it would say that this person looks on history and tends replicate some, if not all of it, yes; this person tends to revisit history by replicating some the way romanticists such as those who admire Greece, Rome, or even the Germanic tribes and Vikings tend to replicate upon and inspire through their works of art and literature; it may've been condemn much as "crazy" like King Ludwig with his castles made all inspired by the Niebelung in Bayern. It can be a product of romanticism so to speak, but perhaps, having sculpture had became this writer's interest as he mold clay and create figures. Yes, it is indeed mythological, classical or morbid, strange in creating what was partly based from the past, or getting romanticised after reading something or looking at the pictures that seemingly pleasing. 

But coming to think that  that in this fast-changing world there are still people who cares about heritage they way they consider progressive changes like the Chinese, Japanese or even Malaysian. 

If not to be mistaken, Turkey's Mustafa Kemal Ataturk tried much to resurrect "pre-Islamic" heritage by means of studying languages as well as encouraging artists to employ pre-Islamic influences, such as the Hittites in their art such as in architecture. This somehow goes side-by-side by rapid modernity being emphasised and prioritized as it tries to break from its Islamic-oriented past made by the centuries-old Ottoman empire. Ataturk, being a leader, somehow tends to show to the "single-toothed beast" named "Civilization" they are capable of building their own identity as a nation with both emphasis on heritage and building a modern society as evidenced by railroads, bridges, highways and factories built during Ataturk's period as Turkey's leader. 

Quite strange for other people, especially those who favor globalization and the concept of a "global village"  thinking that patriotism goes side by side with modernity, of attempts to bridge the past and present like preserving and maintaining old edifices and making applicable to modern uses; but  then the idea of creating a new identity rather lies in utilizing old and new ideas in modern-day setting, of utilizing existing ones in creating new concepts such as those in art, and not mere Parochialism in a way other leaders did in their attempts to revive culture, replicate civilization or everything that would make a country great, significant in the eyes of others-particularly its rivals, exploiters and slanderers history evidenced to the extent of disregarding modern ones as degenerate and emphasising much of order and tradition and describe as "identity".

To think that certain leaders of the past such as Hitler tried so in the name of the "Volk" during World War II with its monumental feats.

Obviously, Hitler, and the Nazis considered architecture to be the only art form that can actually physically meld with the world as well as influence the people who inhabit it; and in it they stressed much the past for "there's honour" such as those of the Holy Roman and the Prussian-dominated German empires and thus art, architecture, even literature and cinema should reflect those of the heritage of an "honour-filled past" that is "classical", "theatrical" yet trying to make applicable to the times. Also to think that Hitler and the Nazis is often viewed by many  as anti-modern and romantic or having a pragmatic willingness to use modern means in pursuit of anti-modern purposes. 

These works of art for example, it all invokes virility, femininity and youth as Nazis tend to show it upon to the mass the ideal German and its spirit imbued in it. Hitler wanted monumental and theatrical feats that ought to invoke such ideas especially to the "German spirit" contrary to the ones deemed as "cultural Bolsheviks" yet at the same time trying hard to "apply" modern feats such as the creation of Autobahns (highways) and the like to show how "modern" Germany was despite trying its own to  replicate everything classical, mythological, mediaeval.

That made this confuses the Nazi dislike of certain styles like the Bauhaus with a blanket dislike of all modern styles as part of "Cultural Bolshevism" that, according to theirs trying to supplant traditions what Germany had known upon such as Prussia's militaristic past, preference for order and discipline, or even classical art such as neo-baroque or even mediaeval ones in a way King Ludwig of Bavaria tend to express through his castles. Blanket dislike for everything futuristic such as what the Bauhaus and others were seen as representing, or even foreign influences reflects what the Nazis's constant opposition to the so-called decadence of the Weimar Republic or Democracy in general. 
Also coming to think that Hitler's preference for something classical, theatrical, meant means to inculcate a cultural and spiritual rebirth that would say, different from the supposed "revolutionary" goals of National Socialism- that somehow made this writer think Hitler's brand of Nazism was more of parochialism different from the Strasser brothers.

So was Spain's Franco, especially during the early days of his dictatorship and its preference for "a deadening, nationalistic sort of classical kitsch" (as according to Wikipedia) as it looks into the grandeur of an imperialistic past suchnas those of the Habsburgs of the 16th century.
And basing on the pictures shown, Franco's preference to something classical includes the abundance of columns, balustrades and pediments as well as the dominant influence of imperial and traditionalist with the Escorial as one example of its legacy although some architects also tend to follow Nazi or Italian fascist architecture and on the latter years, modernist and avant garde. Franco, like Hitler somehow tend to stress order rather than instituting certain major changes in Spanish society (that somehow made Hedilla, also a Falagist oppose for not instituting land reform and instead favoring the landed gentries), and despite looking at the past, such as those of the Habsburgs as an example of greatness, also toyed with modern ones (such as the use of western technology) that somehow would say means to keep Spain moving or rather-his regime survive.

But certain countries, such as in Portugal during the era of Salazar, tends to "utilize" some modern ideas in art and architecture while thoroughly clinched to the traditional morals encouraged by the "Estado Novo" (New State) such as its "Estilo Portuges Suave" (Soft Portuguese Style) that was, involving the use modernist engineering and architectural characteristics, masked by a mixture of exterior aesthetic elements borrowed from the ancient and traditional designs existing in Portugal; while Mussolini's Italy tends to act "Modern" by encouraging futurism while at the same time inculcating the ideas of ancient Rome in its sculpture and art. 

So was in the Philippines, with people noticed much about former President Ferdinand Marcos and his quest to "save the Republic" and to "Build a new society" by instituting martial rule through his decrees and police action towards radicals and the opposition made the regime trying its "best" to recover some old ideas, customs, everything "patriotic" enough at the eyes of the people; and also to think that same era tends to "create a New Filipino" such as revisiting, if not reviving indigenous cultures and be supported with modern day ones such as the use of Brutalist architecture, as evidenced by the CCP Complex and the use of Baybayin in certain symbols of government institutions such as the Armed Forces and the Kabataang Barangay that was made to counter the growing left that earlier had used Baybayin in its symbols. To think it straight, Marcos may've acted like Franco, Salazar, or Mussolini as he tries to "modernize" while thoroughly clinched to the feudal mores and customs those on high tend to keep further on regardless of everything modern in pursuit of "presenting" a "new Filipino in a new society". 

That, as observed much, would say these ideas, attempts, actions are rather made just to counter the growing tension such as those who speak the word radical change and revolution- to think that radicals assailed the use of foreign funds just to build a cultural center rather than use for meaningful purpose such as efficient mass housing and rural development. The Philippines, during and before Martial rule would say keeps its feudal, latifundia setting that benefits foreign companies such as its cheap labor for factories, vast agricultural fields in the provinces that meant cash crops, all despite means to create a modern day society, culture, while keeping an identity that would say uniquely Filipino. 
And yet, these are rather made to justify order under Martial rule. Yes, it is fact that there's a need for revisiting heritage, going to the roots and reclaiming greatness, the way Leandro Locsin did in most of his edifices such as the Cultural Center complex as well as the use of Baybayin-inspired fonts and native icons, but during those times, it wsa merely used just to consolidate under the dictatorship seemingly reduced the significance into an aesthetic, museumified piece to be seen by potential exploiters- to think that promoting the old rice terraces goes side by side with the attempt to create a dam at Kalinga-Apayao and some exploitation of resources that endanger livelihood and culture of the Cordillerans. 

Obviously, most leaders of the past, as well as its own artists rather utilize old and new, whether in a form of visual art, architecture, or cinema as propaganda in reinforcing their regimes firmly in pursuit of making their "century" as eternal as its predecessors; the modernist Ataturk and the conservative Salazar may afford to do such things, but practically speaking, it involves corresponding to the tastes of the people in making things possible in creating something anew yet retains something significant to them. To think that the "Estilo Portugues Suave" borrowed the ideas of the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as regional ones while at the same time using modern ideas such as Art Deco while Marcos's own "Coconut Palace", made by Manosa tend to create a modern, bigger "Bahay Kubo" by utilizing Coconut as its main material from the wood, husk, even the resin coming from the shell. Yes, everything invokes the past by trying to make it applicable into the present setting by making it modern yet invoking the spirit that tries to capture everyone's vision and imagination.

That somehow would likely to be described as "ContemporAntiquitarian" as it bridges what comes from the past and present in pursuit of creating a modern yet patriotically-inclined identity that appeals to the masses as it modernises, improves existing designs and make it applicable to the present. 
And despite the prevailing style predominated by profit-oriented individuals, few dare to unearth, study, even scratch the surface something that would say significant than what is prevailing. This writer, as well as others who had shared interest, had continuously studying although some tries to replicate some what comes from the books and imagination such through drawings, sculpture, painting, even in new media and in the use of literature. Obviously, most of the people would call it weird  and perhaps even condemn it "for sake" of underestimating strange and irrelevant ideas as it disregards culture in favor of profit-oriented consumerism guised as "mass-oriented" and "popular". 

This topic, again as this writer had to say doesn't limit in a certain genre such as painting, sketching, literature, sculpture, architecture and music; ContemporAntiquity may at first sound weird and rather limiting to those of conserving old structures, environment, or recreating heritage though modern means as what people who appreciates culture tries to do with being a reaction from the prevailing "pop culture" cultivated much by "people from above" and making it popular as it appeases a large segment of the people, and yet in its very own essence would say it benefits those who had to earn for it and making others irrelevant and hence "likely to be thrown away."

That, somehow certain artists like Cynthia Alexander had emigrated to the United States while the people cares about those who joined the American Idol. This writer had no offence to those who care about the show with its talents such as Carrie Underwood, Jasmine Trias, Jessica Sanchez or Philip Philips; but come to think that people are rather getting contented to a canned one sponsored by the west and profit-oriented institutions in the field of music and arts in midst of having existing, homegrown ones encouraged by good songwriters trying to resuscitate the music scene that is, "dying." 
And in regards to people who have interest in western music very much, most, if not all may have cared about John Lennon and his songs for he's a member of the Beatles than as an Activist who once being spied by the CIA and FBI or even Tupac Shakur's rap with people think of him as a mere gangster, bling blings and all yet most of his songs speak all against the system and call to end gang wars in the streets than the stereotypical one that boasts of self-pride; people seemingly desensitized anyways, those on high tend to interpret these artists as they want just for profit not noticing its true significance in their very existence of their lives. 
Worse, can't even revive consciousness and reducing everything into figments of an imagination. 

Anyways, this writeup that is somehow more regading Agit-Pop and ConteporAntiquity may meant a "reaction" in the prevailing trends of today such as what "modern" culture presented such as a disposable one. 
Obviously, People would call it "desperate" and think Wikipedia-like including those of "return to ancient syles" or something that this writer rather not to write upon; in fact, prior to making this writeup, people in the society scene such as Paolo Bustamante and Paulo Alcazaren or Carlos Celdran to those from the Radicals such as Gerry Albert Corpuz, Karl Ramirez and Julie Po speaks about the need for conserving heritage side by side with growing modernity like the creation of sustainable parks, stylistic mass housing and efficient mass transport, coordinated and planned urban and rural development, everything real and holistic that supports both material and spiritual wealth of the individual being a part of a developing society that is radically different than what is existing. 

Given the right to be sarcastic, perhaps would say it is indeed strange, weird, nonsense to get in touch both historical and modern to think that most "modern" people would tend to condemn them for making strange, impractical ideas that they themselves failed to understand that is different from the usual ones they took interest with. 
But in fact, NOT strange, weird or nonsense for these people at least spend their lives studying and trying to revive consciousness to everyone that is, tired of something that is modern yet cheap and easily becoming worthless like those who made to impress yet still far to what to express.


Well, personally, this writer give thanks to Miah Llanes, Hasna Mangondato, Jeanne Diwata as well as others,  for because of her this writer can't complete this  writeup as they "invoke" lost, forgotten spirits for this (or this writer would say, Moral Support?). CHEERS!

For now, here's a music from the band BURZUM.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

"This Valentines..."

"This Valentines..."

Well, at first, it's all but strange for a writer to made this, especially it involves a day that, like Christmas, people had to spend, this time in the name of love.

Personally, it is also a recollection of lessons especially all after a man who had an awkward relationship that created waste than pleasure. To think that sometimes you had your parents money, aside from what comes from your work, that you had a girlfriend tried to cherish yet instead played and fooled rather than given you a serious attention that would make a person upright, quite depressing indeed to a man's part, both mind and heart to think that aside from wasting, getting argued with parents (that somehow on the parents part would say 'she didn't even join you?' Or even 'why on earth you squander your money for what?'), then your girl (for she acted unfaithful and not true all despite looking nicely), and a load of things to do last year meant simply depressing. 

Thus, due to these kind of events he felt estranged and depressed, he ought to cut off relationship, return to the roots, apologize for mistakes, all just to start over again and recover from an awkward, wasted relationship that nearly costs hardship what a lover had that somehow includes the money that both from his earnings and even from his parents who often supported him. 

Quite strange indeed, for that person is nonetheless the one who made this writeup. 

All thinking that during those times he felt getting awkward instead of a good feeling especially that you had a relationship to someone that would say make you upright, just, and inspire for everything what an ordinary man have.
To think that you spend yet she cares a little, she may had been busy in her studies but was that enough? Indeed that this person had been fooled, played easily till opened his eyes and see all but a mere game. but the good thing was that there are some good friends even amongst the ranks of fools who least "gave him a lift" and one of them advise to "cut off" to end that agony. In fact, frankly speaking, his inspiration, quite special among others in his life made him happier than his former girlfriend-especially that during his birthday she joined with him and enjoy what a girlfriend supposedly on that part, or even the day he assisted her to buy for Christmas that would say happier and quite enjoying than squandering money yet still nothing happened. Yes, she's not prepared to have a relationship so why not? Least that she's focusing on academics or any important things to do, including the events laced with alcohol and soda and some techno music around.

While this person? Well, with the lessons learned, perhaps, nevermind about love.

Yes, nevermind about that stereotypical "love" for there are many things to deal upon in a world called reality. That, there are so may important things to do other than loving life, his family all despite his excesses, shortcomings and mistakes that as a family member ought to deal upon and accept wholehartedly. It is fact that he may not really deal for that "love" this time around, he may wait longer despite giving chocolates to friends and having chitchats, but perhaps; instead of lamenting and getting depressed after, instead, there's so much important things to do such as reading, making research work or even attend a gig and have some poetry reading if there is. And somehow there lies happiness in it, and perhaps why not? That even his mentor said that one out of four would made you happier than before! But again, there's so much things to do before those matters.
And if there's someone who can likely deal with, this time nicer (such as his crush whom made him inspire), then why not? But this time, would say he'll try to do his best, same as her's to make something meaningful and not just in a stereotypical day such as Valentine's day. As his mom said:

"You love her, you wanted her to be his wife and have a family, but for now, focus much on what is important, and wait till time comes for that."

That's good, least that he moves on as he recovers from a mess-filled "before."

Well, but the good thing is that aside from the one whom made him happy and inspired, he is also thankful that one of his friends, as well as others around told him that regarding how sickening life is such as a pain-filled one. Obviously, their words are same as what his parents said so before, and of course, he should be thankful to his family and even others amongst the good and few from the crap that somehow made this writer trying his best to make him upright as a person. 

And to think that this coming Valentine's day (Feb 14), it should always remember that it is not all about or limited to people with short or long time relationships that made Motels around open 24 hours with condoms being sold or even chances to squander money for Roses and Chocolates or even dinner dates, for that Valentines day, as a day of love should been selfless that encompasses everything such as acting comradely to others and being concern to those who are deprived, one poster, if this writer remembers said that "love is self giving, giving one's self to the people" and thus should be observed.

And again, as a person, it is easy to fell in love just because of beauty alone, but should be careful especially in its consequences that involves right or wrong. It would be useless if that somebody thinks a little despite how much been spent; worse, sensing a tension that would create excesses and mistakes that require weeks or even months to deal upon and recover. But in the end, there are those who can lift up and bring smiles back no matter how lonesome a person can be especially in a so-called love month and on that special day. Perhaps, just try to control urges and take time what's important, have a threadmill, make a writeup, draw a sketch or have a soul searching, and just be hopeful that it wouldn't think that love is Impossible.

That's all this writer have to say. Thank you.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

"The People SEDATED, Getting AGITATED!"

"The People SEDATED, Getting AGITATED!"


At first, sorry to have pictures featuring strange people being posted in this writeup for it shows the side effect laid by a society whose people are eaten by the repressive order. These people are estranged that they had been influenced by drugs, poverty, decadent culture, they tried to escape many times that they end up suffered such as the picture taken from above, that somehow this writer felt "how let these things happen in midst of modernity? That instead of improvement in living aggravates the social illness especially in backward societies dependent on foreign imports.
In midst of modern-day edifices towering over the old yet remarkable ones rotting and threatened by demolition, of modern equipment that satisfies the mindset of a backward and of easily replaced trends those can afford ought to grab after discarding the other, the cycle those from above benefited continuously revolves as the affected are subjected to earn-buy-consume-discard and again revolving according to a certain trend imposed upon to them. This writer also affected by these admittingly speaking, but does it mean this person ought to content upon as if nothing happen and all as "life?"

Perhaps most had forgotten that there are choices, or perhaps variety of choices is all but an illusion being vented upon to.

Quite strange for this writer to make this kind of reflection all after listening to some new wave and even disco music in his room, of going to certain places and even writing some poetries that emphasise love, and revenge guised as hope; that all based during his days as an activist and social critic, and still committing in an obligation what others may described as sacred.
That, all after seeing the current trends of today, from using social media, to the use of traditional ones such as movie, television, radio and even fashion and other types of visual arts, this writer felt that such trends being sought by many are rather treated as a mere disposable one that is deemed to be disposed a year after. Especially that most people felt  last year's band scenes be end up replaced by dancers and what's next? Bystanders at the department stores what critics described as jerk and bitch?

Anyways, sorry to say so to those who are affected by these words, but due to the current nature of emphasising rampant consumerism that satisfies the few vested classes through their profits, of people consuming without understanding its essence whilst disregarding social realities, it's all but nonsense at first but in the end the latter ought to have their eyes open enough to wide and explore its roots, of social realities and reclaim what idealists tend to call "greatness" that is, written in books, shown in pictures, paintings, what the stupid and idiot be described as a pipe dream difficult to be realized.

After all, how come these creativeless beings eaten by the flow, fast becoming cannibals with mindsets seeking the nonsense than the sublime dominate everything? For sure these perhaps be considered as worse than the one sleeping with a plastic bag on its head and the living gargoyles of San Sebastian Church.

Seeing the degeneracy: Reflections after listening to New Wave
and after getting disturbed by "music" in the jeepney

Well, prior to the current title, this writer supposedly made a reflection after listening to new wave. Quite enjoyable and relaxing at first as both melody and word played and sung carries a message that seemingly subliminal and others as romantic, all despite its artsy yet pop-like appeal within the post-punk generation.

However, this writer, as he listens to some good old school music such as his favorites Punk, Rock, and New Wave, end rather felt thinking, assessing other than relaxing or inspiring both from the word and tone all after seeing most people in his community, that nowadays fast discarding good listening music and a "chilled" lifestyle all in favor of mere easy to produce ones that is, always being played in the radio, or those made by trying hard musicians who value their faces than their musical talent and its quality imbued.

Sorry to say so, but admittingly speaking, today's singers rather emphasising much on faces rather than talent further negates the music that tries to convey and instead being substituted by their faces, appeal; we may see that they are still popular all despite their words in their music, depending on their genre yet deemed as crass and nonsensical, rather than romantic, inspiring and sublime being played in the radio, television, or even in the computer.

That, one artist this writer whom befriended said:

"Today what you hear isn't music."

And with some people around sensing a feel of awkwardness especially  all after listening to a "revival"  in the jeepney being sung by a band whose value emphasise on "being handsome" and had the song played in a wrong tune such as bossa nova (no offense but why bossa?), end quite sleepy aside from not minding it at all since that song was originally sung by a grunge rock band in the middle of the 90s.

That made this writer assess that having a society fueled by consumerism rather triggers money-and-fan-making tendencies such as these for singers desperately wanting followers yet sacrificing their own ability in favor of those that is "canned" and "produced" for the sake of popularity; in a way singers like 6cyclemind, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus did these things same as those models rappers described them as objects of sexual desire (that some end rather disgusted thinking what else aside from showing their ass and acting as whores for a platinum and diamond studded nonsense?

Anyways, seems that this reflection rather end up as a total critique in regards to music and culture nowadays as the prevailing order tends to tolerate what most tend to call it as degenerate as rootless individuals, cannibalistic in nature preying directly to the sheeple through music, dance, visual art, everything that encompasses culture especially through television and radio; that in its very idiocy lies its nonsensical result such as apathy and stupidity. In America for instance, people rather clamor for cheap goods in walmart than struggling for civil rights, of describing themselves as "young wild and free" yet failed to counter the growing degeneracy of every society that is dominated by the privileged few looking after profits in Wall Street.

And as this writer continue listening and reflecting about what he sought in his surroundings, all masked by modern facades yet within carries the stench of the corrupt, end thinking what else would the system tend to insist upon the people? How let these things happen by reducing aspirations and ideas into figments of imagination and the rest as canned nonsense peddled by idiots such as Television?

Yes, to the rest it is popular in their eyes, in their minds, everything come and go is popular yet they unconsciously being enslaved or eaten, becoming sheeple in consuming a culture that is produced and canned, consumerism had gone wild as it tries to cover the stench of the corrupt and trying to reduce the dreams and aspirations of the rest into figments of imagination. What comes today would be enjoyable, yet like bubblegum, its sweetness isn't enough and eventually lose and tasteless after being chewn, becoming a crap that is thrown after.

After all, that is what this writer think of after listening to a music whose tones are better than what people listening nowadays.

"Eat people" by restriction

Sorry for using Lu Xun, but his words are quite relevant for this individual to see a reality enough to be ridiculed all despite its desperate appearance of modernity and elegance.

As this writer, all after sensing means to restrict moves online, of people clamoring for wage increase and subsidies yet fell on deaf ears of the system, as well as everyone undermined by a hodge-podge of morals, promises and lies, it is all but seeing a society with a system and its hordes acting like cannibals eating away at everyone.

It is indeed true as everyone sees of it, as everyone end corrupted, of escaping problem by acting apathetic at all costs, they didn't notice how themselves as they joined the flow without understanding end up unnoticingly drowning in a mere fantasy while actually they're been exploited, bleeding dry without any feeling at all.

This writer, been reading Lu Xun's work and reflecting over in it, end quite thinking that as the influx of modern goods and its trends involving affect culture, tries to substitute or replace the original, organic ones most people tend to contend upon? Or rather say does the system tolerate have cannibals eaten directly by the "flow" through radio, tv and visual as most fast becoming mere consumers of a trend that is easily replaceable?

That also somehow affects relationships such as love.

Personally, it all reminds of a person who had gone dismayed all after having a past, pseudo-relationship whom end up wasted, yes, he  had helped her, yet the latter gave nothing at all-that somehow made him felt dismayed and rejected for nothing. Why? just because both may have different genres, ways of life? That she had yearnings for another person handsome and famous? In fact, this writer tried to bridge the gap such as interests both had such as music and food, yet how come it end wasted? Coming to think that he spent money for the sake of relationship, yet rather became strange and awkward to think that in the end she yearned for a person greater than this person whom she went "for help" that is in fact a debt based on promise "of paying it"; worse, he even argued with his parents due to that kind of issue he and his girl had faced, that somehow the former felt how these tendencies peddled by the famous made these shit happen to-especially those of love and relationships.

Anyways, that awkward "love" affair had ended by breaking ties and moving on focusing on his own. Obviously it showed they have neither more into friendship nor a brawl to a person whom they met and talked to, but more of interest such as money or something to took upon; yet few coming from them may've been serious enough to talk with that person and end with friendships despite different ways of living.

After all, this writer is quite versatile enough to meet with different people although there are some people whom he met found distasteful and ridiculous due to their tendencies such as pressuring everyone, even this person to enjoy what the latter doesn't want to, or rather say "doesn't like to be in the 'in' crowd" whose people who are 'in' are rather eaten by the flow full of promises and figments of imagination.

That made this writer again paraphrasing Lu Xun to summarise the objective of what a decadent society had made to its people:


Back to the topic, due to the trends and pressures affecting a certain individual, how come some whom being compelled resort to stealing, especially petty thievery just to satisfy themselves or all for the sake of being a part of the "in" crowd that consists of those being eaten by the flow such pressure laid upon made it resort as that individual had gone "eaten" by the prevailing trend of nonsense. Thinking that as this writer sought prevailing trends now and then, felt how let these things happen, sacrificing one's uniqueness, authenticity for the sake of being a part of a rotting society? Quite strange, awkward, nonsense if to dig deeper regarding these things happen to a certain individual such as being compelled, pressured to be a part of the so-called "society" such as for survival.

However, not all people are wholeheartedly submitted on what being described as 'in', but instead, they rather  "acting pragmatic", "using", or "pretending" as some if not few, are using their minds and utilizing things around, and dared to use what is existing to counter the ones prevailing. How come musicians used a variety of genres to convey a different message? Of fashion statements to convey a different idea other than beauty and fame?

Perhaps, these people who utilize things around are the ones who are trying to "save the children" from the prevailing culture creeping around in every walks of life. The overtly artificial culture set forth by the system tends to look natural enough as it conveys a wide range of scenes yet most are devoid of something significant in a way those carrying money controls over those having the talent-carrying hand, that with "money" they sacrifice their efforts for the sake of getting paid.

And yet some are crafty enough to put subliminal messages of resistance against the current through their mediums. Rappers such as Immortal Technique, Public Enemy and Tupac Shakur speaks of resistance although their music end up in "mainstream" with people care about the tone and words being sung yet few understood most its message. Same as visual artists like the controversial Mideo Cruz whose art invokes reality such as those of the role of religion and pop culture.

Mentioning Cruz, his controversial work reflects the reality such as those of houses in shantytowns having pictures of Jesus Christ side by side with those of calendars feat. politicians or artists, not to mention those of companies producing cigarettes featuring the Christ child or Christ the King. The Church condemned his work of course, but come to think of it, how come people pray to god for success than forgiveness of sins? Of winning bets in a lottery than changing their lifestyles? Cruz's work also tends to make people critically think in regards to their actions contrary to their "faith" such as having the statue of the virgin Mary used to hide drugs or something what the church deemed as "immoral."

That somehow made this writer coined the word AgitPop that made Agitation-Propaganda of the past side by side with Pop Culture (or Art) of the present.

A People "Sedated" getting "Agitated"

As people tried much to break themselves from the flow, the ones on the top tried much making them controlled by all mean such as "carrot and stick." Ranging from the use of rewards, grants to the excessive use of punishments, the ones controlling the system tends to keep the status quo firmly-especially through bastardising what people familiarized of: culture.

Culture, especially those what caters from the masses, is what those from high tends to capitalize upon especially through the use of print, radio, television and even movies that usually consists of repetitions, same old "brand new" movies just to curry the emotions of the mass even it is far from realism. And that realism meant the sickening poverty intensified by injustice, inequity and repression laid by those trying to keep the status quo. Coco Martin's telenovela with he as a soldier doing chivalric task is far from a soldier who is drunkard and trigger happy; obviously media tends to beautify the image of a soldier that is chivalric and law abiding, but come to think that behind lies a monstrous one that acts as a bogeyman especially in the provinces. And using Coco Martin or Gerald Anderson in beautifying the image means to curry people's feelings to a "handsome person" that presents and idealized image far from the reality, in other words "making people sedated to lessen tension".

Speaking of reality such as what everyone sees of and contrary to the idealized one, it is the former that brings people into agitation especially those of perennial problems existing. Yet these people are also getting "sedated" by the predominance of pop culture peddled by the ones on high in pursuit of controlling them. The use of poverty would meant revolutionary sentiment, but the use of television such as TV shows made people's desire negated in favor of token welfare such as what game shows given-people resorted to having sorts of talent for five to ten thousand yet still not enough to face rising prices of commodities and services; such nonsense bred by the prevailing order tends to show it to its subjects that is "popular" such as a trying hard "high culture" that is, far from its very essence; that in lieu of the highly educated, lies a lumpen one amongst the ranks of the bourgeoisie.

Quite strange though, that what the system, its ruling gentries and supporting classes tends to present as a factor in preserving and advancing cultural interests that is rather far from its actuality such as the lumpenization of the masses. If pop culture really emanates from the people, then how come it does not come from the people themselves but more of a bastardised one? Drama shows depicting poverty and rising up through hard work may sound good, but in reality, people who worked for long hours for a good salary yet facing high prices of commodities showed contrast between the ideal and the actual.

That even includes leaders who even spoke of making people lean to faith and learning to content on low salary and standard of living as long as they have "faith" over their labor yet unnoticingly getting exploited as what General Zia ul-Haq said:

 "It is not for the employers to provide roti (bread), kapda (clothes) aur (and) makaan (homes) (referring to a well-known PPP slogan used by Bhutto). It was for God Almighty who is the provider of livelihood to his people. Trust in God and He will bestow upon you an abundance of good things in life."

 Quite nice to hear that advice, but the message may also means "putting them into contentment" and "working hard" means "forget dreams of high living or else..." in a way, that according to Wikipedia:

"Demands for higher wages, better working conditions, social security, old age benefits and compensation for accidents, were no justification for protests and strikes. Industrialists were assured that any kind of industrial unrest resulting from strikes or any other trade union activity would be suppressed."

Using faith to justify repressive structures negates the very essence of faith itself, thinking that most people have strong foundations of faith yet remained poor in their standard of living urge to revolt in the name of their belief such as good conditions as well as rights to preserve with. Thinking that this writer would say people always invoke the almighty for their aspirations of good life, same as those who watch noontime soap operas depicting poor people becoming rich for revenge, that they work well, but as long as their employers didn't provide no matter how they work hard for long hours, even countless overnights supplemented by dose of energy drinks, made people invoke revenge that is from the almighty's-of punishing the one who drives them in a miserable condition. After all, they are invoking their faith through action in a way what the Bible said via Isiah 61:1 (King James Version)

  "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;"

 And in Luke 22:35-38, as it said:

  "35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. 36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. 37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. 38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough."

Perhaps these words being put into action would make the people put trust in the almighty whom gives blessings by making the land rightfully to those who actually tend for it.  But in the eyes of the ruling gentries meant a mere message spoken during homilies, and be justified by "charitable institutions", "foundations" whose purpose is to "support and improve the needy" yet most of it rather "make face" in front of the camera for sake and immortalized via magazines, television shows, billboards, everything that fast becoming part of pop culture.

 That somehow made Mideo Cruz had the idea of it via his controversial work explained earlier. That in pursuit of making people thinking critically out of such issues including those of faith and reality; that in lower class houses lies pictures of god almighty or any other deity alongside politicians whom acting as "benefactors" or artists as their "inspirations", of statues of the blessed virgin in keeping drugs or even condoms, or even invoking names of saints and patrons for the sake of material wealth like elves and deities; that somehow some clergymen tend to question and oppose.

After all, according to Lanuza that is millenarianism that made people drive to religion, rather than faith to be saved. Well, been a witness in this part of pop culture, utilizing everything just to curry the feelings and aspirations of individuals marred by realities, even those of their faith, yet been negated and bastardised in favor of the ruling class in pursuit of controlling them; and thus making a question from a small group such as this person asking "how come it is pop culture yet it isn't really popular in the eyes of the people?" Yes, faith, hope, progress and any other aspiration what people wanted is part of national identity yet the ones who rule tends to rape the idea and create a mutated one that is peddled to the people!

To think that Zia Ul-Haq afford to speak of god just to justify repressing those who call for good living standards and make them content in a substandard on, how about those, such as the oligarchs and trade liberalizationists who tend to peddle an idea about democracy and freedom, of free trade yet deaf and mute in regards to certain calls of the majority such as agrarian reform, industrialization and improved living standards? Television, Radio, print and any other forms of media also peddles the same idea what those from the system wanted, especially from news to its primetime shows that feature an "idealized" world far from reality. As expected, the ones from the ruling class called it as "pop culture" and making people as if force-fed by these manias that changed every year.

 Admittingly speaking, most people around the world took interest in a certain trend being peddled since it is popular and trendy. That, a yesterday's rocker can become a dancer next year, followed by being a crooner or any other imitatable crap just to make a trendy "scene" famous as possible and hence, be described as pop culture with the people in general follows it, otherwise a person who does not follow and make a contrary be branded as "out of date" for not following the norm that is, trend. To think that, personally, most people sacrifice uniqueness as they themselves had been "eaten" by the flow, being exploited and cannibalized thoroughly yet unconsciously as these people tend to curry favors much to these people using mass media.
Like Religion during the Middle Ages, what those on high sponsored is itself "opiates" that conditions the mindset. That made certain artists and critics took interest in making controversial works, whether visual or written yet featuring religion and pop culture.

Otherwise, making people confused such as those of Senator Tito Sotto who said Filipino culture is "conservative" yet his show featured scantily-clad women with all their acts such sensuous for others to see; quite agreeable that traditional Filipino culture sponsored much by the "culture" conscious ruling class as "Conservative" yet come to think that the lawmaker who said so is also a host of a noontime show! There lies the hypocrisy and confusion coming from a man who peddles system-sponsored culture dubbed thee as "entertainment" yet in fact far from conservatism that in theory champions morality and high culture. The decadence of system-sponsored "pop culture" lies ever-prevailing mendicancy with shows like Sotto sponsored yet failed to solve serious solutions especially those of reproductive health and social transformation. In short, they want people to be lumpens by squeezing them dry while making them sedated by promises and token rewards such as what noontime shows and paper reforms stated. The Government's Conditional Cash Transfer program is same as what Willie Revillame did in his show of giving five thousand Pesos after doing sorts of things such as singing and dancing in a noontime show!

The culture of mendicancy isn't part of "Conservatism" in Filipino culture as Sotto stated for it speaks of Liberal reforms such as what Americans and their foodstamps (least they're responsible for they work and not contenting) or rather those of Ancient Rome just to appease people from getting rioted back and again against their rulers due to poverty, it isn't even similar to the calls for "Bread, Clothes, and Shelter" as Bhutto stated for it involves popular participation in the economy such as cooperatives and land to tiller programs in Pakistan years before nor those of Roosevelt's New Deal and other succeeding programs involving labor power and the use of incentives to accelerate production. After all, who dictates the economy also dictates culture, may it be the foreign overlord who impose their "norms and mores" through wholesale commercialism and its domestic underdogs who tolerate it just to gain kickbacks; perhaps it is up to the people how to grab and utilize as reality brings them  to such conclusions those on high tend to destroy, if not to control it.

Come to think that certain, if not most "Conservatives" speaks "Liberalism" in regards to economics aggravates social deterioration-they speak on behalf of "family" and "liberty" but obviously they favor maintaining the dilapidated social order by all means such as the use of mass media, pulpits, courts, police, legislature, even the marketplaces and other places of interest, everything what those on high has to offer in pursuit of making people silent and ignorant of realities. The use of pop culture for instance, isn't been made directly by artists but rather "manufactured" by those who manage and making it popularized in the eyes of many, one example is the use of sex in mass media just to arouse men and its carnal desire especially in adult-oriented cinema to noontime shows such as those of Sotto or even music videoes, specially those of Gangsta rap that depicted women as submissive "bitches"; and other that would say  ridiculous that these made people sedated and perhaps nearly devoid of self-thought as mediums tended by the system do so in manipulating their idea; obviously, those mediums aren't made to inform but rather to exaggerate and sensationalize the way headlines from Peoples Tonight did especially those of sexually-related cases like Rape; as well as movies that seemingly repetitive in regards to its topics such as "crass" comedies and heavy drama.

 And again:

 "how come it is pop culture yet it isn't really popular in the eyes of the people?"

 It's up to those who dare to conclude.

Making a different "Pop" (or grabbing "pop" by the agitated "pop")

It was last year when this writer coined this kind of idea all after listening to the music of Axel Pinpin Propaganda Machine. The music, consists mainly of rock, funk, and techno, accompanies Axel's spoken word poetry that is, full of realism and discontent against the system yet accompanied by the music that some amongst the upper and middle classes tend to enjoy upon. Axel Pinpin tends to use different tunes for his works primarily to make not just popular but to convey the value of his message to the people. Obviously, his works are indeed "Agitation-Propaganda" that meets "Pop culture" such as the use of his poetry being accompanied with techno or funk music in his "Good Guys" and "Remote control" in order to make the people understand thoroughly the message what Axel said so. Amusingly speaking though to think it would possibly to those who belonged to high culture (especially those of upper middle to middle class) would took interest in it despite its contradicting sentiment, but come to think of this, will they understand the message of revolution as well after listening to the words and its tone "more of theirs?"

 Quite strange though so to speak, but again since people are trying to struggle to break the old ideas, then it is necessary to use the existing ones, and be improved in order to make it applicable to the people-especially in the field of culture. Alexander Bogdanov's Proletkult, then known in the former Soviet Union, prioritizes experimentation in accordance to the goals of creating a culture that is Proletarian, yet the idea rather end consists of experiments some people would dare to understand such as the sound of noise that theirs as their "music" or the use of "futuristic" elements that easily caters to the Proletarian mindset such as constructivism and futurism.

In this poster made for the Soviet Commissariat on Education, Vladimir Mayakovsky's futurist work made use of stencil, simple agitational poetry, and primitive workerist graphics to create an almost folk art effect. Futurism in Russia had became "Proletarian" despite its Avant Garde beginnings that benefited most of the idealistic Bourgeoisie. Idealistically speaking, the concept of the future in all spheres was much appealing to the workers especially in building a state under their dictatorship.

But despite the idea of creating a unique, modern culture of the working class, Bogdanov's idea was also opposed by writers and artists, as well as philosophers who called his idea "contrary to Dialectical Materialism" since Bogdanov was also a known Marxist. The idealistic idea of creating a "Proletarian culture" would say far from reality especially if does not rooted from actual events such as poverty, revolution, construction, developing and spearheading major changes a Proletarian tends to show to the world. Come to think of this: Why should edifices of historical significance had to be destroyed for the sake of "modernity" the way certain futurists in Italy also espoused? As according to Platon Kerzhenstev, it said:

"the working class by no means should reject the rich cultural heritage of the past, the material and spiritual achievements, made by classes which are alien and hostile to the proletariat."

This idea of "rejecting" the rich cultural heritage of the past would say too idealistic not noticing that their extremeness negate the need for real, tangible ones people ought to understand first prior in building a new society (including culture) such as eradicating illiteracy and promotion of a scientific education and culture  the masses ought to have with. That masses should also study all the knowledge, art, science and administrative skills of the old society in pursuit of creating new ones in place of the old. Especially that most edifices of the elite, then and now, were been built by the workers and thus should appreciate in its creation. As according to Lenin, it stated that:

"Proletarian culture must consist of the logical development of the knowledge that mankind gained under the yoke of capitalist society, under the yoke of the landlords and bureaucrats."

However, despite the differences, the concept of creating a Proletarian culture as what Bogdanov tries to set upon remains still as the masses tend to utilize existing ones what a Bourgeois had used to. Obviously, The use of Cinema for instance brought Sergei Eisenstein and his Potemkin, it revisited history despite using modern techniques, creating worker-poets and writers, or even the unconventional means of theatre such as those in protest, same as the creation of edifices, modern but it reflects the necessity of building a society a working class tried to envision.

Another example would be Jiang Qing and her Revolutionary Peking opera, in an instance it tried to infuse both the east and west with an objective similar to Bogdanov's in creating a Proletarian culture yet different in setting ideas: If Bogdanov chose to dismantle the art, Jiang Qing chose to utilize, as most of art being used during the Cultural Revolution were once part of high culture the Chinese and foreign elite greatly appreciated such as Peking Opera and Ballet, yet were turned into pieces based on the aspirations of the people such as social realism, national independence and class struggle such as "The Red Lantern" and the "Red Detachment of Women", "Taking tiger mountain by strategy" that almost replaced the Qing and Ming-era operas yet it carries the same style despite emphasising realism such as facial expression, clothing and the role of women in opera (as contrary to the use of men taking the role of women); Jiang Qing tried much to have China's popular culture "revolutionary" and advancing, while keeping Chinese identity significant but in a realistic one such as according to the signs of the times (like using early to mid 20th century Chinese setting instead of ancient ones what Peking opera used to.) as well as the use of traditional and modern instruments played side by side in creating harmonious yet new tunes for the opera Jiang Qing directed.

Like Bogdanov, it may've been experimental at first that they use an antiquated opera yet it uses modern settings and fusion of eastern and western music in order to make it appeal for the mass audience particularly the masses who usually see an opera that depicts ancient beings yet far from the realities what they had faced to in pursuit of "from the masses to the masses".

To this writer's view, these examples tend to make something class accessible to the mass as it tends to inculcate the idea of creating something different from what the "Status quo" showed upon. And to think that the idea of behind "AgitPop" corresponds with the use of different genres (whether it be rock, metal, punk, goth, even rap) all accordance to the mass line such as "From the masses to the masses" its purpose is to enlight as well as to mobilize the people further in breaking the vestiges of old system and its predominance on all spheres contrary to the ruling class's use of media for escapism in the guise of "free thought" while at the same time venting sentiment such as "unity". From the start, contrary to their ideas, the line what the ruling class thought in regards to culture rather negates character in invoking its message to the people and instead prioritizes "shoving people's mouths" with their concept of survival such as exxagerated idea of reality and making people reliant through noontime shows as a "show of charity"; and coming to think that people are enjoying what mainstream media had offered such as in Radio, TV or in the Internet, this writer somehow sought their efforts even by using the idea of the mass line such as understanding their culture such as the urban poor with their rap, the farmers with their curacha, or the muslims with their nasheed yet they failed to win their hearts as the poor cries for food and decent living, the farmers for land and labor, and muslims for self determination and freedom while the ones on high speaks about peace and unity without understanding their cause behind their voices of dissent.
And as the system trying to peddle their concept of "high culture" through some of their shows, mainly entertainment  Depending on genre, these peddlers who continuously peddle for their profit rather presents much to the lower-class majority an exaggerated one that made people imitate its exaggerateness that is, absolutely devoid of reality what people tend to break upon. Come to think of this: why the ruling class tends to exaggerate poverty to inspire people, and yet these people who use ideas such as poverty and invoking messages of hope in their so-called programs and social responsibilities couldn't pay taxes, support for reforms, even accommodate the masses evenly to develop a society wherein the dispossessed have a dignified life as different from being a mere stooge of television shows most trying hard to act "charitable" such as giving petty cash "after a showcase of talent" and other kinds of bread and cricuses crap?

In a way former first lady Imelda Marcos tends to present herself wearing overembroidered dresses and had it called as a "light for the poor", it rather showed exaggerateness guised as pride than a sympathy to the masses all in the name of the status quo.

 As according to Imelda Marcos, she stated that:

 "It is terribly important to do certain things, such as wear overembroidered dresses. After all, the mass follows class. Class never follows mass."

 But come to think of it, if the mass follows class, then how come in pursuit of gaining profits, popularity and the like those on high tend to present what is something that they would say "the masses would took interest upon", although it is entirely exaggerated or worse, devoid of significance such as realism? Obviously, their purpose is to make people "escape" from the reality such as watching heavy drama at night; quite understandable that the masses had interest in those shows out of a brief respite from day's work, yet coming to think that some what been presented rather showed their ugliness guised as beauty what certain personalities tend to show on over and over again: same formats, same lines-come to think of a movie that present "class" as they imitate foreign ones whether American or Korean, mostly nothing but a sheer nonsense, devoid of reality, all made to consume than made to enlight such as Shake Rattle and Roll and Sisterakas during the Metro Manila Film Festival. If Marcos said so, then how come the movies shown aren't shown class for the mass? Even the movie Sosy Problems didn't present much what is class for the mass as well! Bah Humbug!

 Sorry for the words (that made the reader would say getting confused), but perhaps he tries to convey what comes from his mindset. Or was she writing same as those from the old groups like Ailtiri na hAsieirghe and their idea of a culture based on tradition and action? Not really. It's just that the predominance of the privileged few tends to desensitize, negate, Perhaps, this writer had wanted to have a culture that is class for the mass than mass for the class (or rather say using the mass for the benefit of the upper class) in a way people need peace, land, bread, work, social justice and the like; the need for a patriotic, scientific, and mass-oriented culture would say brought them a degree of dignity both as an individual and as a part of community; As accoording to the "Socialist Vision" by BISIG, it said:

"In the development of every individual, art- the symbolic expression of thoughts and emotions, works of creative imagination  is a basic necessity. Under capitalism, art is largely the preserve of the rich. The masses, on the other hand, are consigned to the role of consumers of commodified or commercialized art. Socialism must rescue art from the market and make it available to all as an important component in the development of the whole person."

Sorry for using BISIG's "Socialist Vision" due to its article about "culture" but, as the people are waging for  social changes, it is necessary for the masses to "rescue" art and culture by countering those from the privileged few by making it "progressive" and "revolutionary" in character as creativity been radically enhanced and expanded through realism and struggle while keeping its popular appeal such as those what hath been sought today with those from respective genres tend to inject the aspirations of the people making the idea closer while acting as a reaction against the dominating ones they themselves took interest in it to become engineers of the human soul and making art and culture as property of the people that emerges from the union of existing (modern and indigenous) and experimental forms. Such as this writer thinks about AgitPop as well as a culture that is proletarian, realistic, and continuously creative with a sense of dignity and class.


Well, this writer would say that he tries to put something different from what the status quo tried to show upon. If pop culture really emanates from the mass, how come the status quo presents a different, exaggerated one? Yes, under the present system would say that the rich had access to the Avant Garde, to the experamental ones while the masses are rather making them contented to something that would say "easy to understand" such as a "commercialized" one that is, degenerated, recycled, all made for the desperate sake of popularity such as making them join the flow! And to use the idea how Imelda saidth so such as making the the mass follow class, yet limiting the mass into a commodified one different from what is class, well then-let the people have the power to make art available as an important component to a developing society and to the individual itself. 

Thank you.