Supermassive Black Hole

“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.

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Dunkirk, Paraluman, etc.

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Indie

My boss, hip and feisty and German, told me to try visiting this tiny movie theater close to work. “It’s indie,” she said. “You’ll love it.”

Dunkirk + onomatopoeic musings

I watched Dunkirk. Not indie, no, but I only paid 3 bucks. The film’s main character, I believe, is the specter of survival — or am I reaching too far? There should be similar instances in fiction in which a non-character is the character. Ray Bradbury’s “There Will Come Soft Rains” comes to mind because its main character, the entity around which the conflict revolves, is the setting. But I could be wrong. Hmmm. Ay ambot.

El Bimbo

I admit, shamefully, that I’ve never read Adam David’s The El Bimbo Variations until a few weeks ago. It’s a collection of avant-garde poetry with Oulipo influences that feature the Eraserheads — all cool “counterculture” shitbits that I proclaim to love.

David writes different versions of Ang Huling El Bimbo’s first lines, “kamukha mo si Paraluman / n’ung tayo ay bata pa.” I suggest you read the entire thing — brief and funny and overall astig — and here’s a sneak peek if you still need more prodding:

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New comics

I just bought a copy of Kristen Radtke’s Imagine Wanting Only This and Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba’s Daytripper. I knew about Daytripper because of Ip the Vertigo Fanboy, but Radtke’s Imagine was an impulse buy. The reviews are on the negative end, unfortunately, but I hope the story is at least tolerable and not agonizingly cheesy. Ang mahal din kasi, sayang.

Pakyu, Zadie

I stumbled upon this 2-part list on The Guardian about writers’ writing advice to other writers (daming write, right?). Not a big fan of rules and tips but I tripped over this line from Zadie Smith, possibly the most harrowing words to have resonated with me this week: “Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never being satisfied.”

Hayayayay buhay. #


The featured image is a photo of Paraluman taken from Blast from the Past.

The day I binge-watched ABS-CBN youtube videos

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I woke up at around 12 noon, went to the kitchen and grabbed a plateful of kanin and inihaw na isda. I went back to my room, turned the laptop on then started watching ABS-CBN Entertainment videos while comfortably slouched on my bed, the duvet cover caped around my back for optimum sloth mode.

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