Wednesday, June 22, 2011


In the Information Age, nothing is coincidence.

A while ago I just remembered the Inception movie and how awesome it is.
Just now, in my rss feed there is a video, a prenup video, that was based from the Inception movie.
While searching something in Google, there was an advertisement for Lucid Dreaming.

Back in 200x you'll think it is a very rare concidence. But nowadays you know it's nothing but the result of smart SEO algorithms, subconcious advertisements and user-click monitoring.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Grant Morrison's Ultimate Plan for World Domination

Grant Morrison is trying to control us humans by planting ideas into our subconscious.

If you have read some of Grant Morrison's work for the first time, you will immediately realize that they are just a bunch of trashy ideas conglomerated into an unrecognizable mess of a book. If so, I warn you then, DO NOT read that book ever again! It's all a part of Morrison's plan to take over your mind and who knows even the world. Let me explain.

The first Morrison book that I read was Arkham Asylum. I'm not a fan of his but I am a casual reader of Batman comics. Morrison's Arkham Asylum is one of the best Batman books according to many readers so I bought it. Surprisingly, it did not turn out to be a garbled mess, I actually find it to be hauntingly good. The amazingly disturbing art blends perfectly with the similarly disturbing script. I know Morrison is notorious to comic book readers for chaotic writing but this book did not appear so.

I read All Star Superman next. The book got rave reviews to many critics and comic book readers. Again it amazed me to a new level. It was very good. It actually made me become excited to read comic books again. Then came WE3. At that point I wondered why haters despise Morrison so much? Those 3 books are probably some of the best comic books I 've ever read. Where did haters get the idea of his messy writing?

Then I learned about Final Crisis.

Final Crisis-- the universally panned DC mega-event written by Grant Morrison. It has recieved terrible reviews from reviewers who describe the book as incomprehensible, disjointed, convoluted, incoherent. But I bought it anyway, I just thought Arkham Asylum, All Star Superman, WE3! But I was cautious when I started to read it, lowered my expectations a bit.

I finished the book after a few hours. It was a complete mess. I have only a vague idea of what happened, but it is too vague, everything just went over my head. In the end, I just called it a day and shelved the book in my cabinet.

A few days later, I searched in the internet about something I want to clarify regarding one Final Crisis panel. I found a complete annotation for one issue and it said something, a small detail about the issue. I became curious so I took out the book, opened it again and read the specific part mentioned in the annotation. Something must have clicked inside my brain, because suddenly, that part became very clear to me. I was astounded.

I decided to read the book from the start again.

That was my mistake. After completing the book for the second time, I found many answers. I saw it in a different perspective. I discovered some details and I'm almost proud to have discovered them. But simultaneously, I got as many questions. Again, I search the internet for annotations, but this time for all issues of the entire book.

I decided to read the book from the start for the third time. This time, I have the web annotations open. I became obsessed with finding the answers. I searched for more details. I was in front of the computer consistently while reading the book, cross-referencing the details each time I encounter one. I even bought some comic books that were said to be 'prequels' to the Final Crisis story.

I bought the two Batman:Last Rites issue first. Then I bought Batman: RIP. I became curious of this Batman iteration. I bought all Batman books in Grant Morrison's run. I have read them multiple times now. Next thing I know, I also bought Morrison's Seven Soldiers series. I've read it multiple times also; all four volumes. That's just the start.

At that point I realized Grant Morrison's master plan for world domination. He writes books in such a way that they won't be immediately noticed, books made to be conspicuous enough, sometimes look like mess. But look at them for a second time or more and your mind will be immediately subjugated. It will creep on you. You will then be under his control. Call it curiosity or anything. You'll find yourself looking for more information, for answers. You'll find yourself buying more of his books. Until finally, you will read that one Morrison book, the final book that will blow your mind and flick the final switch in your brain. All those information that was embedded in your subconscious from his previous books will then be released in one go.

It's like that scene in the Final Crisis, when the Anti-Life equation was sent to the entire world. But unlike in that story, no one will save us here, in reality. Soon, we will all become Morrison's puppet.

On July 19, Grant Morrison's non-fiction book entitled Supergods will be out on the book stores. Could it be that final switch? Maybe. I, for one, will buy it. And I, for one, welcome our bald-headed Scottish overlord.

And when Morrison speaks, it will be in 3 billion voices.

All will be one in Morrison.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Telling Stories about the Stories behind Stories

I first read Warren Ellis' Planetary in trade paperback format, more than a decade after its initial release. It is about a group of three people who call themselves the "Archaeologists of the impossible". They uncover the secrets of the pop culture and superhero genre and uncover the planet's secret history which is being horded by their rival four superhumans (who are based on the comics' Fantastic Four). The subjects range from the real story behind Japan's movie monsters (Gojira, Mothra) to an untold origin story of Lone Ranger and Tonto, to a what-if story of Superman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman. There are stories which tells about a Galactus-like character and his demise; story about real technology behind Thor's hammer; the origin of Captain Marvel; a tale of John Constantine and Spider Jerusalem and many more fantastic ones.

The whole series basically suggests that all stories in the comic books and pop culture phenomena of the past century actually happened due in some part to the machinations of The Four. It is a very highly recommended read. If you haven't already, you should go to the bookstore now and get it. It's a must read. I can't reiterate it enough. But I don't really want to discuss or review this masterpiece work right here as it had been already reviewed with flying colors elsewhere on the net.

In the series we get a glimpse of the global Planetary organization. We learn that there are Planetary branches all over the world; Hongkong, Japan, Brazil etc. Definitely there are stories on these local places themselves that are worth a look even without the original 3 being involved. I'm thinking there should be some kind off spin-off adventure based on the original one. And I'm sure it would be great. Let Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon handle the Brazil Planetario (a dream come true). Or Yoshitaka Amano (one can wish) draw the Japanese Planetary branch. These countries are rich in stories that can be starting point for amazing Planetary stories.

In particular, the Philippines has a lot of material that can be used for this kind of stuff. In fact there is one comic book that immediately comes to mind, Trese. Created by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo, Trese tells the story of a paranormal investigator aptly named Alexandra Trese who takes on cases with supernatural taste. They encounter aswang, nuno sa punso, tikbalang and many other creatures based from Philippine folklore.

But in some cases Trese and the gang also get to cross with "real" (as opposed to folk tale supernatural) beings. They meet Robinson, the rumored snake under a city mall's basement who allegedly eat customers that go inside one of the fitting rooms. There's a story about Darna, or whatever happened to her after all these years. They also tell the story behind the scenes of a rags-to-riches actress from those prolific 80's movie drama.

Going back to the original topic, Planetary's Philippine branch could be named Pandaigdig ("Daigdig" = Filipino word for planet, "Pan- or Pang-" = Filipino preposition to indicate purpose, i.e. for the planet.) The Pandaigdig crew (come to think of it, Alexandra Trese can become one of the three, she can be the Jakita Wagner of the group) would tackle the secret stories behind the stories.

There could be stories that serves as an analysis of the archetypical Bida-Kontrabida synergy on Filipino action films. There could be stories about the old slapstick comedy of Palito and how he was really a Filipino secret spy during the World War 2. There could be an issue that will encompass the golden age of Filipino komiks and would have cameos by Captain Barbell, Darna, Lastikman, Panday and others. There could be a retelling of the real story behind the Edsa 1, 2 and 3 and how it was really a machination of someone more sinister and supernatural in nature. It could involve Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio, our national heroes who turn out to be more than just heroes. An appearance by Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao (Is he called Pacman because he made a Pact with someone?)

End wishlist.

Anyway, I think Trese Book 4 is coming out soon (November I think) and I am eagerly anticipating it's release. It's another highly recommended book and everyone should read it. Also, Budjette Tan writes another comics title, Precinto 13 and it's another great read which focus on Captain Guerrero's side of the story, a la Gotham Central by Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka. I hope it gets included in the next Trese book.

End story.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Masters of Non-sequitur Rock

Parokya ni Edgar has always been a fun, happy-go-lucky band, never taking anything seriously. Their performances always become a ruckus. Their albums always become hits. Their songs always carry that signature Parokya happy (sometimes naughty) taste. When you listen to them, you know everything is for fun, nothing serious.

Their latest album does not stray from their musical credibility. "Middle-Aged Juvenile Novelty Pop Rockers" is a fun album as one can deduce from the name itself. But more than that, it is non-sensical. Everything is non-sequitur. Everything does not follow. Having said that, the album is a masterpiece on nonsensical terms (if there is such a thing) and is a product of a truly genius songwriting.

The first stroke of talent is showcased in their song "Orange". First and foremost, the topic is completely arbitrary, it is about a person's craving for an orange. The arbitraryness of this is even emphasized in the lyrics itself.

("Gusto kong kumain ng lemon/kahit ano kahit melon."
I want to eat lemon/ anything, even melon.)

They are able to make a song from a frigging orange! The melody is very catchy and could compete with OPM classics of Rey Valera or Basil Valdez. There's even a bit of cheesy words reminiscent of the 80 OPM's poetic lyrics.

("Patikim naman ng aking pangarap".
Let me taste my dreams.)

They also have a song entitled "Red Pants". And as you might expect, this song is about red pants and a man's story involving the aforementioned scarlet-tinted lower garments. Moving ahead.

In "Walong Baso", Parokya gives a health and wellness lesson to everyone. This of course refers to the 8 glasses of water that we need to drink everyday, which we all know since we are kids.

("Sapagkat walong baso ang dapat na maubos mo
Dahil sabi sa libro na kailangan daw ng tao
Ang tubig sa katawan halos 70%
Kung hindi mo yan alam malamang ikaw ay absent sa iskul."

Because 8 glasses is what you should drink
Because it says in the book that it is necessary
The water in our body almost 70%
If you don't know it, you're probably absent from school.)

But this song is another display of ingenuity. Sing this song in a bar or beerhouse and everyone would know the "other meaning" of the 8 glasses. The tune is reminiscent of "The Ordertaker", their rendition of System of a Down's Chopsuey.

In "Lolo Bye", the vocalist sings as if he is talking to someone and telling him/her to go to sleep.

("Malambot ang kama/ kukumutan na kita. Ipikit ang 'yong mata/ at wag mag-alala".
The bed is soft/ I will cover you with your blanket. Close your eyes/ and don't worry.)

The entire lyrics makes this a very sweet song, it is basically a lullabye. But it is only sweet if you are singing it to your child, or your girlfriend or wife. In another stroke of non-sequitur genius, they entitled it "Lolo Bye"; a play on Lullabye and Grandfather Goodbye. Suddenly the lyrics becomes very sad and melancholic. It is now almost a requiem. A farewell song. He is telling his grandfather to let go, to rest and sleep. By choosing the title, the song completely reverses its mood.

The mastery for creating amazing non-sequitur compositions culminate in the album's last song, "Pangarap Lang Kita", a reprise of PNE's collaboration with Happee Sy. But in this rendition, Vinci sings Happee Sy's part of the song. Which brings a very surprising twist and gives a different albeit deeper meaning to the song entirely. This version is more rock-sounding, with a helping of electric guitars and splash of drums added. Chito's part remains the same. But it is when Vinci sings when you just get awed by the bands' unique talent for composition. Vinci sings in a very deep voice that might just bring down Barry White or the Righteous Brothers. Yet he sings the lyrics specifically made for a woman with a very serious tone. Which makes a lot of implications. You can't not listen without seeing him as a gay, macho man singing for his secret love. You will feel uneasy or feel pity for this guy or perhaps afraid. The last part sees Vinci speaking Spanish words like a radio DJ or a DOM lover. I don't know what it means but it sure sound good.

All these songs are amazing compositions. All deserving a comprehensive and deep analysis before one can truly understand the real meaning behind the lyrics. Now add a sprinkling of their signature fillers, with the same level of non-sequitur words and sounds and you'll get a work of non-sequitur art that you can post on your non-sequitur museum.

Meaningless lyrics that could only attain their meaning from the interpretation of those who would listen, like Buddhist quotes. Lyrically nonsensical but structurally profound like Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Parokya ni Edgar at their finest. I like oranges.


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