Yesterday I spent a couple of hours talking to young activists about the national situation. It was an extremely interesting interaction. This entry in tonypierce.com (hat tip to Mamutong), shows clearly that young people giving their elders a tough time (politically, anyway) is par for the course. The country’s changing, and it was good to talk to students who care about what sort of changes will take place.
I watched The da Vinci Code on opening night and it was a complete waste of time and money. Slate’s review sums it up best: worse than the book. The reactions and reviews of World Famous in the Philippines (who points to Howstuffwork’s analysis of how the movie doesn’t work; they also have a great set of annotated photos of da Vinci’s Last Supper) and Morofilm sum up everything wrong with the film.
After the movie, one of the people I watched the film with, who’d apparently never read the book, asked me what I thought of the book. “Airplane reading,” I replied: fun but forgettable. I had to keep asking a friend during the movie, “was that in the book?” I’d forgotten.
Though it can make for difficult slogging at times, “Foucault’s Pendulum” (Umberto Eco) seems to me to have, at least, solid academic credentials behind it; it was also one of the first Templar-Mason conspiracy novels I read and much more intricately interesting than Dan Brown’s bestseller. The bar for historical-detective-thriller type novels was really set by “The Club Dumas” (Arturo Perez-Reverte). Splendid book, lousy movie.
If you want to get into pseudo-history, you could, of course, read “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” (Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, Henry Lincoln), which is, actually, lots of fun to read. But if one really wants to get into the meat of the matter, and go beyond fiction, Elaine Pagels, can’t be beat: her writing isn’t lurid. The first book of hers I read was “The Origin of Satan (Vintage)” (Elaine Pagels) followed by “The Gnostic Gospels” (ELAINE PAGELS). All these books are available in Metro Manila bookstores, by the way.
This week’s Talk of the town in the Inquirer is on ethanol and the implications of government’s support for its production. Growing energy and opportunities gives an overview of the issues concerned. Ethanol sweeteners discusses the economic benefits and debates on social costs. Seeing through the smokescreen provides the view of sugar planters, while Sugarcane Solomon wanted provides that of the sugar millers.
My column for today is Mediocrity long imposed on voters, a response to a reader’s letter to the editor.
Dante Ang, owner of the Manila Times, only publishes commentaries in his paper when something big is going on. His latest piece, Time to do penance, is aimed at Alfonso Yuchengco. The case is interesting because it involves allegations that Yuchengco and his companies were slandered in the blog of angry education plan holders. the past year has seen the use of the law against Philippine blogs: first, for political reasons and now, for commercial reasons. Atty-at-work takes notice of the case and points out he has an entry on e-libel.
When does a disagreement stop being he said, she said? When the argument starts involving provable, and disprovable, things. The continued claims of Sigaw ng Bayan (the number of visitors, and how they count them) get pretty thoroughly dissected by Captain’s Log and Yugatech (who gets pretty sarcastic in this entry -I love it!). As for what I think, it’s in my May 8 column.
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