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May 09

De Gustibus Non Est Desputandum

Let us begin with an appeal from one of my dogs, and let me second his emotion:

No Eat Winky
Don’t eat me, please.

This is in response to the Sassy Lawyer where the Sassy Lawyer wrinkles her nose at a recent assembly of dog lovers:

I’m confused. Was the event meant to protest animal cruelty per se or to gain publicity by creating a new world record? In short, was it a serious protest? Reference to a “Pomeranian-Spitz, wearing a crown of red roses, and an English bulldog wearing a red scarf around its body” makes me wonder.

Darling Sassy, think of it like a gay pride parade. Protesting serious things can be fun and zany, too.

Anyway, Sassy opines,

You just can’t change culture with a law or two. It cannot be dictated. More importantly, a few thousand moneyed dog-lovers cannot impose their twisted standards just like that. Sure, there’s a law prohibiting the sale of dog meat as food. It’s as much a dead law as the law on easement of light and view.

First off, what is this “law on easement of light and view”? In easement; definition, there’s a definition of easement,.: Derived from the Old French aisement, ‘convenience or accommodation’. A right or privilege that the owner of one parcel of land enjoys over another parcel of land by which that owner derives a particular benefit from the use of the other land, but does not have a right to take anything tangible from the other land.

It’s best understood by knowing why skyscrapers in New York City, build in the 1920s and 1930s, have their characteristic multilevel, step-pyramid profile: it was to guarantee that Manhattan would not become a completely dark canyon composed of streets between looming walls of block to block skyscrapers. Building codes were established that said a building, after a certain number of stories, would have to recede from the lot level so that the building tapered to a point, allowing light and air to somehow reach the streets. While these regulations were eventually loosened, the principle of ensuring a portion of light and air to others persists in many urban developments. For example, in Fort Bonifacio Global City, there are zoning and other regulations that set limits on the ration of building floor space to lot area; this prevents row upon row of enormous skyscrapers side by side.

Anyway, this is a deviation from my observations on Sassy’s views on the realities of a dog eat dog and man eat dog world. It is utterly wrong, and unfair, to think that dog lovers belong simply to the ranks of the well heeled and the idle rich, or even the vanishing middle class. An affection for dogs is a cultural sort of condition that has less to do with wealth than a kind of attitude, and one, incidentally, that permits no possibility for eating pets (in particular, dogs). Tied to this is a long standing cultural crusade felt by quite a few Filipinos who have lived abroad, who resent the country being known as a nation of Dog Eaters (recall Jessica Hagedorn’s novel). The only allowance pet lovers make for an unbiased discussion is to point out that dogs were never bred to be eaten, they were adopted by humans to be partners, either in the hunt or in the protection of hearth and home. Unlike cows and chickens, goats and fish, dogs, like rats, have never been primary food items; thus their historical standing as “man’s best friend” should assure them the privilege of not being considered pettable dimsum. Guinea pigs, for example, while also pets, might not spark as much outrage if they became a popular snack item, since guinea pigs were regularly eaten by the Incas (or was it the Aztecs) although guinea pig owners and breeders today would be up in arms if any society suddenly rediscovered a taste for them. Also, dog lovers are against allowing dogs to be eaten because they aren’t even assured a humane death as the law requires in the case of pigs and cattle.

Oh, and today’s light -hearted note, this signsign, from Manila Domestic Airport, which says so much of our Islands Philippines.

My column for today is A good shave – INQ7.net.

And it seems, I’ve finally figured out how to upload photos from my phone, to this blog. Hoorah!

17 comments

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  1. Paul

    I can sympathize with your column today: I have to shave every day, and I suppose you do too.

    There is at least one reliable source of shaving soap in Makati. Shaving brushes are a different matter though.

    Last: how were you able to upload your camera photos to your blog?

    Thanks!

  2. mlq3

    Where do you get shaving soap in Makati? I had to get my brush abroad.

    To upload photos, you use bluetooth to transfer photos from your camera to your computer, then upload them from the computer to the website.

  3. Steven

    If you want a good, old-fashioned
    shave come to any country in the
    Arabian Gulf. They still do the things
    described in your column.

  4. felipoy

    your father was right. you can get hepa-C from unsterilized razors.

  5. mlq3

    I figured out as much, which is one big reason I gave up on going to the barber.

  6. Joachim Guanzon

    I gave up on going to the barber when I was 16. then I started shaving on my own and
    buzzing my head as well. It definitely saved me from the sanitation issues as well as
    money to get me a big mac meal instead.

    And as for dog loving, I really think that it’s all up to personal preferences on
    teh kind of food that people eat. whether they prefer eating man’s best friend, or not.
    I choose the latter.

  7. Paul

    Shaving cream (the one in a tub) and shaving soap you can buy from Caswell and Massey, 2nd floor Glorietta 4 (a corner location near the corridor leading to Shoemart). The last time I checked shaving cream costs about PHP 700 plus and lasts about 2.5 months with near-daily use.

    Shaving brushes you can buy from Crabtree & Evelyn but their supply is irregular. It should cost less than PHP 2000.

  8. mlq3

    Joachim: isn’t buzzing on your own rather scary? What if it’s uneven, or you miss a spot?

    Paul: Thanks for the tips. At least I won’t have to worry about running out. Interesting, the prices are pretty similar to what they charge abroad!

  9. AnP

    I’ve seen my dad get a nice clean shave from a barber using that “mukhang kutchilyo” na shaver. Hs neatest shave ever.

  10. Joachim Guanzon

    mlq3: buzzing my own head is alright, the first time I did it was right before highschool graduation at LSGH. I seldom miss a spot, but if I do,it is relatively easy to detect.

  11. mlq3

    Anp: yes, that’s what’s called a “straight razor,” which is what people used for centuries before the invention of the safety razor.

    Joachim: Well if, it works for you…

  12. anonymouss

    tangina kahit ano pang pagkakakatak ang gawin nyo di nyo mapipigilan ang mga
    tricycle driver at mga igorot, at iba pang mga hardcore na
    kumakain ng mga aso. what, you’re gonna rationalize and intellectualize
    a trike driver with what you just mentioned above? hahabulin
    kayo dala-dala 2X2 na tubo ng mga yun! in this pathetic so called
    “blogosphere”, you’re shit might make sense, pero in the real world,
    your words don’t amount to shit.

  13. Joachim Guanzon

    ngayon ko lang naman na may pipe pala na ganong size… akala ko guage ang means ng measurement
    para sa mga tubo.

  14. Rod Vincent Yabes

    Herminigildo “Hermie” Atienza was NOT Mayor Lito Atienza’s father. Mayor Atienza is the son of Jose Atienza Sr. Hermie Atienza was the mayor’s uncle.

  15. anonymouss

    inisquare yung bakal dong!

  16. mlq3

    Mr. Yabes: Thank you for pointing that out.

  17. Rod Vincent Yabes

    You’re welcome, Mr. Quezon. Actually, Hermie Atienza (Liberal)was elected congressman after the War. He was removed by the Commission on Elections from his position during his second term. I think your fellow Inquirer columnist Justice Isagani Cruz knows the reason why. Justice Cruz’ father used to be a city councilor.

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