Over the years I have acquired this rather pretentious past-time of reading scholarly articles about different topics, esoteric or otherwise. I have read academic papers on astronomy, tropical cyclones, Korean pop culture — so basically anything that I find vaguely interesting.
I usually go to Google Scholar to find these articles. Google Scholar works just like regular Google, except when you enter your keywords, the database shows you a list of research studies written by various experts from different fields. It’s not as boring as it sounds, to be honest, especially if you search for topics that you’re genuinely interested in.
The other day, for instance, I was looking for articles about my hometown and I found a study on the variations of Sorsogon dialects in the context of teaching math in grade school. The study was done after the K-12 program mandated the use of the students’ mother tongue for teaching basic subjects between kinder and Grade 3.
I waited a little too long to write this post, so instead of reminding myself about the ups-and-downs of August I will simply talk about the movies and songs and other thingamajigs that I enjoyed last month.
In August I watched five films: Parasite (2019), Kuya Wes (2018), ‘Tol (2019), Hello, Love, Goodbye (2019), and Someone Great (2019). My favorite was Parasite. It’s not perfect, not at all, but it was equal parts entertaining and relevant and I think more people should give it a watch. Ganda.
I found an interesting query under last week’s Search Terms:
My OPM favorites post has a few examples but it doesn’t explicitly state which lines count as personification. Hopefully the kids who were searching still found it helpful — I bet you they were actual kids cramming for an assignment. 🙂
Anyhow, I decided to do some further digging and write about the different ways figurative language has featured in OPM lyrics. I initially wanted to explore at least 10 figures of speech but because I tend to get way too chatty about these things, I eventually narrowed them down to three: simile, metaphor, and personification.
I know when to use ng and when to use nang. I also know the difference between pinto and pintuan. But is it spelled anu-ano, or is it ano-ano? And is “although” bagaman? Bagamat? Are they both correct? Beats me.
But I do know that hyphens are used for repeated words and that repetition necessitates likeness. So technically it should be sino-sino, not sinu-sino; taon-taon, not taun-taon. This rule, however, also implies that halo-halo (a combination of unlike objects) is different from haluhalo (our favorite dessert).
It reads wrong, and it looks wrong — who spells it haluhalo anyway? But experts insist that this isn’t a matter of preference. “Paano ka magtuturo ng language kung lahat ay tama?” asks national artist Virgilio Almario in a Wasak interview with Lourd de Veyra. Everyone, including the media, must follow the rules. So it should be ni’yo, not n’yo (rule on contraction); imahen, not imahe (rule on etymology); siyokoy, not syokoy (rule on diphthongs).
“You can throw television sets, diamond rings, or even your worst enemies into a black hole, and all the black hole will remember, is the total mass, and the state of rotation.” – Stephen Hawking, in a lecture
“I’m sure if Shakespeare were alive today, he’d be doing classic guitar solos on YouTube.” – Peter Capaldi, in a meta-diary
As a kid I used to have an irrational fear of black holes. I learned from the I Wonder Why series that one cannot escape a black hole — you either travel faster than the speed of light (highly impractical, according to a nerd called Albert) or you destroy yourself piece-by-piece as you get closer and closer to singularity. Fun stuff.
Black holes also distort our sense of time. Inside a black hole, time slows down and everything else speeds up. Time gets whacked, so to speak, which is also what happens when we spend hours and hours on the Internet engulfed in the cold celestial blob that is YouTube.
But I don’t fear YouTube and I don’t hate it either. I just don’t like myself when I get swallowed by those insipid artista videos like Boy Abunda’s Fast Talk or Darla’s bag raids. Bag raids, in particular, are unexplainably addictive. The attempt to humanize celebrities does nothing to mask the brazen displays of luxury — and still, I dive in.
The better part of YouTube has an even stronger pull. Two of my favorite channels, for example, are Lessons from the Screenplay and Every Frame a Painting. They use the video essay format to deconstruct movies with keen attention to cinematic form (i.e. screenplay, musical score, camera movement, etc). I think film analyses that focus on form are better expressed through video essays. By showing us clips from the movies being dissected, video essays are able to present the argument and the evidence at the same time.
I had a wisdom tooth removed a few weeks ago, so I also had a fuckton of free time to do absolutely nothing. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t exercise, and I couldn’t go outside lest the world discovers my sore, swollen face worthy of a Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho feature (“Kilalanin natin si Jolens, mga kapuso, ang babaeng diumano kalahati pisngi, kalahati noo!”).
I was stuck in bed the entire time so I plopped the laptop on my chest and did my favorite slacker hobby: I watched movies.