Showing posts from November, 2016

Pretension is a virtue

The spotlight shines on Sara Crewe, alone in her bed chanting in a foreign language. It’s not a familiar lullaby that’s coming out of her mouth, but something more intriguing. Before we could enjoy more of it, she’s interrupted by a young maid named Becky, who drops by to make sure that she’s okay and, while at it, get to know her better. Seconds later, men and women in traditional African clothing enter from all corners of the stage, singing and dancing to a festive tune — and we’re introduced to the world of a little princess.

Sara has been living in Africa, until her Timbuktu-bound father, Captain Crewe, has to send her to a London boarding school while he’s away. Because of Sara’s beauty, wealth — all the wonderful things going for her — the other girls at school, including headmistress Miss Minchin, aren’t very warm towards her. She’s however won friends with her personality, which she shapes by conforming to the ideals of a princess: kindness, grace, magnanimity.

To close its 7…

And Justice for all

My favorite responses to Justice's new album, Woman.

1. From Zedd, who convinced me to sit down with Cross.

Can't wait to check out the new JUSTICE album!!
"†" to this day is one of the best sounding and most musical albums ever.#etjusticepourtous — Zedd (@Zedd) November 20, 2016

2. 'The distortion was so overdriven yet it somehow was melodic.' Yes. Same. Let there be light did it for me. — đź’°KHAN IN TEXASđź’° (@ValentinoKhan) November 17, 2016

3. Did Skrillex intentionally say 'roll'? — SKRILLEX (@Skrillex) November 18, 2016

4. An emotional thread. But yeah, here's music I can live in for years.

So thank you Justice for introducing me to the world i now call home #etjusticepourtous — WHAT SO NOT (@WhatSoNot) November 16, 2016

5. A most accurate description of Love SOS. My favorite in the album, and the universe.

This Justice track 'Love SOS' has to be heard …

Road to Justice

10.Hard and filthy are two adjectives Justice fans often use to describe the French electronic music duo’s sound; and in the fandom’s lexicon, they only mean the highest of compliments. My first encounter with Justice didn’t evoke such words, though. Rather it was, Wow-whoa-what is this-oh my Lord! There are layers upon layers of distortion, yes; there are heart-stopping drum beats, yes; but there are also the most appealing rhythm and melodies; and nothing that I would ever associate with noise. Truth is I find their sound akin to classical music. If you gave Let there be light (“Cross”) a violin arrangement, or Canon (“Audio, Video, Disco”) a full orchestra version, they could sit beside your “Bach for Barbecue” favorites.

11. November 18 was duly marked on my calendar. It was the release date of Gaspard AugĂ©’s and Xavier de Rosnay’s third album, “Woman.” In September, Justice released the teaser single, Randy, which got me giddy with excitement. The mellow, melodious and radio-frien…

The failure of the first draft

“I’m very dark,” Amy Ewing would say, and you kind of both agree and disagree. Amy punctuates every thought with either a smile or laughter. When we met, the US election results were coming in and while she never concealed her frustration, she quickly set the topic aside because we were supposed to discuss her books, not politics.

She is dark, yes, in a way that her stories have gloomy themes and her characters navigate frightful spaces. But during our short conversation, all I saw was color. Literally, at first. You can’t miss Amy in a crowd, that is, it’s hard to miss anyone with purple hair. “I had a really bad month two years ago, and I came out of it feeling like I survived it and needed to make a change,” she explained when I asked what’s the deal with it. She also has tattoos with bittersweet tales behind them, one of which involving the death of a dear friend.

Needless to say, Amy is no stranger to tragedy. In 2008 she was laid off. With so much time in her hands, she had to f…

You have one day of total freedom—no rules, no government, no consequences—what will you do?

Harrison Gilbertson has the face and demeanor of a heartbreaker. He walks across the room with the gait of someone who just woke up, hair unkempt, not meeting anyone’s eyes. Everything changes, however, when he smiles. There is a sincerity about him that convinces you of how much he respects his craft and how little he cares about celebrity trimmings like fame and adulation.

The Australian actor is in the Philippines for a promotional tour of Fallen, the film adaptation of the Lauren Kate book of the same title. It tells the supernatural love story of Lucinda ‘Luce’ Price (Addison Timlin) and Daniel Grigori (Jeremy Irvine), who are both sent to Sword and Cross, a reform school in Savannah. Rounding up the list of major characters is Cameron ‘Cam’ Briel, which Harrison plays. Cam is a fallen angel who becomes Luce’s other love interest, or, as succinctly described by Harrison, “the boy who gets in the way.”

Inspired by his role, we wonder if Harrison has committed any delinquent act an…

Notes on journal-writing

Sundays — mine — are meant for reading under the late afternoon sun, coffee in hand and all the other beautiful clichĂ©s I work hard to afford. Today I deviate from routine. Not that I planned it. You don’t schedule an itch.

At the cafĂ©, rather than taking a novel out of the bag, I took out a notebook and a pen. Dear A, fuck you. Nah, I’m better than that. (Nah, you don’t have the guts.) I said I would just draft the letter then move on with my reading.

Three hours later, I was still writing. With that time you’d think I’d fill out an entire notebook, but no, the finished product was a concise letter telling A that she hurt me, that her actions disgusted me — everything I wanted to say, how I wanted it said.

It was perfect. I was so satisfied that as soon as I reread it down to the last sentence and the final full stop, just to make sure the right words were chosen and arranged in the right order, I didn’t feel the need to send it anymore.


Porcelain is too expensive to break, not to men…

Notes on journal-writing (excluded fragments)

(I wrote something about journal-writing for this month's issue of GIST. The theme is fantasy—keeping the magic alive. These are some of the fragments I considered putting in the early drafts.)


Keeping a journal, along with exercising and eating healthy, always pops up on our New Year’s Resolutions. We know of its benefits, but we fail to follow through. A common complaint is, “What’s there to write?” And yet, we also say, as a blanket excuse for our failure to do the things we hope to do: “I don’t have time.” If you’re using up all 24 hours of your day, then you must have a pretty exciting life to write about.


“I can only write when I’m sad,” said M, a new writer friend, echoing many a writer wannabe. “Have you tried using your imagination?” I said. He wasn’t pleased.

“Let’s say sadness is a requisite for writing, then you shouldn’t have any problem at all. The world is full of it!” continued I, in my head.

“Inspiration is for amateurs.” —Chuck Close(?) Will check later.