1. No job security. So you embark upon a writing career and figure you can support yourself by writing articles for magazines, newspapers and other media. “Freelancing” sounds adventurous, like being a ronin or samurai for hire. You get to write full-time, and only about the subjects you care about. In the words of countless refrigerator magnets and calendars, you are following your bliss. Good for you—if you’re independently wealthy or living off your parents.
^Ahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaa. I’m dirt poor.
But I’m serious. And I certainly do not want to inflict tone-deaf prose on the public.
"Writing is a discipline. You train for it the way tennis players do. They practice serving a thousand times a day so that they can do it automatically. If you’re serious about writing, write every single day. 1,000 words a day."
According to Utsumi, the main challenge for the 100-strong team working there was to find out what exactly the original architecture looked like 250 years ago. That involved a lot of informed guesswork by craftsmen at Konishi Arts, since most of the original paint had come off and many carvings had lost their details. To do this, as well as using hints provided by remnants of old pigments on the wood, a technique known as X-ray fluorescent analysis was also used to study the chemical elements of the pigments. Altogether, such investigations of the architecture took two full years, he said.
THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKIN’ ABOUT. Restoration is not something you do haphazardly especially on sites that are considered National Historical Landmarks. The architecture and original materials should be exhaustively studied and everything that can still be preserved must be equipped with longevity. And then you create proper documentation so that future restorers and the public are informed. That’s restoration.
"The much cited difficulties regarding putting Wonder Woman on film—Wonder Woman isn’t big enough, and neither are Gal Gadot’s breasts—aren’t chiefly about Wonder Woman, or comic books, or superheroes, or movies. They’re about politics. Superman owes a debt to science fiction, Batman to the hardboiled detective. Wonder Woman’s debt is to feminism. She’s the missing link in a chain of events that begins with the woman-suffrage campaigns of the nineteen-tens and ends with the troubled place of feminism a century later. Wonder Woman is so hard to put on film because the fight for women’s rights has gone so badly."
Photograph by Grant Cornett
Maybe anger is the only emotion that moves me these days, that’s why I like provoking it. My latest method is accepting writing assignments that involve the government. It’s impossible to stay apathetic when you keep learning anew just how much bullshit they feed us everyday. There’s an anomaly everywhere you probe and you don’t even have to dig that deep.
The saddest was that time I researched about a certain organization that helps out marginalized communities. You might have already heard about this one—the PEACe Bonds scam. As per usual, it caused “some” money to be pocketed by certain people and certain private companies. Know what PEACe stands for? Poverty Eradication and Alleviation Certificates. It’s been more than a decade and this one’s still unresolved. If you research further, you’ll find that the person who spearheaded this project was Dinky Soliman—she has since become the secretary of the, ehem, Department of Social Welfare and Development. She was in the news just last month because Sen. Miriam is out to probe her about the unaccounted for 5 billion pesos over at Philpost. Even this news is old now and Dinky’s dirt is just getting absorbed into a word that’s been dulled into something people have just gotten used to. Oh, you know, “corruption.” Shrug. (Read about the PEACe Bonds scam here.)
That’s just one. It’s a given that Philippine politics is nasty business, but it’s even nastier. If you look beyond trending areas covered by the media, you’ll only find more. And then more.
There are more government projects other than the overpriced Makati buildings you need to dig about. I’m reading about heritage projects right now. So far, it’s not yet as bad as the last subject I researched—that one made me so miserable I actually cried.
Come, let’s work ourselves into astronomical rages.
But the 8-hour workday is too profitable for big business, not because of the amount of work people get done in eight hours (the average office worker gets less than three hours of actual work done in 8 hours) but because it makes for such a purchase-happy public. Keeping free time scarce means people pay a lot more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy. It keeps them watching television, and its commercials. It keeps them unambitious outside of work.
We’ve been led into a culture that has been engineered to leave us tired, hungry for indulgence, willing to pay a lot for convenience and entertainment, and most importantly, vaguely dissatisfied with our lives so that we continue wanting things we don’t have. We buy so much because it always seems like something is still missing."