Only the banana has a heart

The exodus to the countryside has begun, and anyone left in metropolitan areas is distracted and not focused on anything to do with current events. To be sure, there’s some news but who are we kidding? The week before, the week of, and the week after, Holy Week, very little, if at all, gets done. Carl Rove rapping is about as serious as I’m willing to get. I’d rather be examining Venn Diagrams.

So no politics for this week and in fact, this blog’s going on vacation. Over in the Inquirer Current blog, my entry is on the great debates that have surrounded the choice for the date of Easter.

Congratulations are in order for the winners of the Philippine Blog Awards (an event, according to FriskoDude, on par with Guns n’Roses’ surprise concert in Bangkok!), which I had the honor of judging for, though I was unable to attend the awards ceremony. On a related note (to Easter and the religious festival it’s part of) the event was apparently not without incident, as Atheista complained about the content of the invocation (not having an invocation per se) that began the program (in Bayanihan Blogs Network, though, the invocation was described as witty). Personally, I have no problems with invocations, provided they are preceded, and not followed by, the national anthem.

Anyway, the vacation, whether one goes out of town or not, is usually spent catching up on reading, viewing, and listening (and eating). So here are some lighter things you might want to look at.

Vanity Fair has a cover story on the The Sopranos, the landmark angst-ridden mobster series, which bows out this year. Here are some amusing things to view: caffeine sparks points to movie dialogue, courtesy of Mark Lapid: and how others have copied it. Through the blogger behind The Mad Tea Party, I learned of what is probably the wierdest vintage Filipino film to get a second life: watch a 1970s Filipino dwarf James Bond. They say the makers of Casino Royale were sent the clip and loved it.

When it comes to food, I love to eat, but can’t cook, so sometimes I comfort myself by enjoying food vicariously: Slice, for pizza fanatics, brings you to a recent pizza festival, for example; A Hamburger Today discusses perhaps the most insane (and sinful) hamburger ever, the Luther burger, which uses a Krispy Kreme donut as a bun (for a really focused look at McDonalds, on the other hand, there’s McChronicles, though another Hamburger Today entry is disturbing: McDonald’s burger surviving unrefrigerated for 18 years! ).

Wierd Meat focuses on the disturbing: deep fried sand worms, for example. Speaking of fried: points to goldfish in Japan that live in a functioning, deep fat fryer!

Lovingly and I must say comfortingly, delicious, is kitchen cow, to which I’ve linked before, but really, it’s the prettiest food blog ever.

For music, check out – The Social Music Revolution, while very kind of cultural podcast is covered by a great blog, Open Culture, which can consume hours of bandwidth (read: downloading) time. Downloading Is a Packrat’s Dream is how you’ll end up if you’re not careful, though.
Happy vacation to all! See you on Monday.

I think this photo says it all. For a few days, at least, let’s hope everyone’s minds will be on lighter things.
(Image from The Straightlaced Bohemian.)

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

124 thoughts on “Only the banana has a heart

  1. Re: tolerance as attribute of the response

    It goes both ways. The stimulus bears responsibility, too. If you want to espouse a “tolerant” society, you must learn to say things that are tolerable.

  2. Tolerance could only exists in society where all parties accept that differing views and beliefs and religions are accepted and respected. You may expound or promote your view, your religion or your belief in an acceptable manner and accept the fact that in doing so, sometimes it may offend others and in the process learn from that mistake.

    From my own experience, years ago, anyone exercising the freedom of speech can promote his or her view even to detriment or promoting hatred to a particular race or group in particular the aborigine, blacks, asian, the homosexuals, the jews, the muslims and others. Until such limitations to that rights was enacted into law and the Anti-Hate law was passed under the Criminal Code, mere preaching of Tolerance and lips service meant nothing.

    Now everyone knows where they stand. The religious leaders know that they still have all the freedom of speech in the context of Religious Freedom and even exempted from anti-hate law for the discussion in the subject of religion, but they can not violate the rights of others of different faith and belief, also under the fundamental rights of Freedom of Conscience and Religion.

    Like Respect, Tolerance is a Two-Way Street…

  3. Speech that promotes hatred is patently evil and can never be tolerated. But, what possible harm can a prayer invoking blessings for a gathering of people do? What can be so intolerable about it? Is it really that difficult to simply say, “Let it be”, or, “Thanks, but no thanks”, and leave it at that?

  4. Being offended doesn’t equate to getting harm. When I said limitations, I don’t only meant hates (criminal offense), but discrimations of all kinds (constitutional violations).

  5. Vic, choosing not to be offended by a harmless thing, or should I say, being offended by a harmless thing but letting it go, is a good meaning of tolerance. Believe me, it can blow away a lot of turmoil within you. But you seem to insist on being intolerant.

    Let me just say that I am tolerant of your intolerance.

  6. Shaman, I don’t believe your are tolerant by insisting I am intolerant. But one thing I can tell you, I don’t know where you are residing now, but to experience tolerance and living it, I did and enjoying it. again thank you and with this I ended my own debate on this issue…

  7. I would also add to your list, Shaman, “The virtue of tolerance is in the Catholic who does not misconstrue a moment of silence as an attack on his faith.” Benj and other atheists don’t mind having a brief moment of silence as a compromise – isn’t that the mark of a tolerant society, one where compromises are made to ensure that everybody gets their fair share of breathing space?

    Is such a compromise intolerant? How do you define “tolerance”, anyway? I share A.C. Grayling’s point of view that tolerance is “an ethical demand that everyone should respect everyone else’s rights and liberties” – not just a form of laissez-faire that allows the growth of exclusivistic and intolerant modes of thought.

    “Tolerance is not a demand to license just anything whatever, least of all behaviour that threatens the rights of others,” explains Grayling.

    Tolerance, in Grayling’s view, imposes on its adherents an active opposition to intolerant behavior, not just a meek acceptance of inflicted intolerance. Because a prayer can be more than a prayer; “harmless” might be the wrong description for some people. It can be a sly effort at proselytization, it can be an act of exclusion, it can be indoctrination of a captive audience, it can be all three at the same time.

    Because public prayer – in certain circumstances, like in the bloggers’ event – can be seen as intolerant, to follow the ethical demand of tolerance is to seek acceptable compromises that deny religionists the chance to exclude or indoctrinate others, but allow everyone the space to give thanks to their supreme being if they should so wish. Why would you deny non-Catholics that space?

  8. Shaman,

    I feel that you are reacting to my 4th and/or 5th paragraph.

    I am not really countering your statements then. But right now I don’t want the burden of proving whether or not certain people should feel insulted. (as if I could)

    Right now I can only surmise that they view their reasons as valid for feeling offended by the content of the prayer.

  9. ” Bencard, at least now he knows, and I hope he learns from this and act accordingly in the future.” -cvj.

    If anybody is offended by something written in this blog,what’s he gonna do about it? Shoot the writer? Rant, rave and maglupasay sa sahig”? Who cares?

    This society is messed-up enough without its members worrying obout oversensitive characters who react foolishly to perceived wrongs done to them. So-called political correctness has been taken to extremes, such that no one can say or do anything without fear of ruffling the feathers of the guy next to him.

    I say, you can only demand political correctness if you have political clout, as when politicians pander to you for political favors that they think you can give. This is not saying, though, that one does not have a “choice” to feel offended. But if he does make that choice, that’s his personal problem and no one else’s

    I fully agree with Shaman on tolerance.

  10. Benj,

    I visited your blog and noticed a remark by a certain Dra. Tess Termulo regarding an incident in UST where she took her course. The incident supposedly reminded her how non-Christians can be treated in this society predominated by Christians.

    I tried to open her blog which initially opens but then keeps registering an error so please forward this to her.

    I was planning to post this on your blog but that article is so old that you might not notice it and so not be able to forward the post to her.

    The incident concerned a non-Christian student who decided to remain seated while every one else stood for the opening prayer of her class. She related that the non-Christian student was later reprimanded by their professor for having “disrespected” the prayer.

    If a prayer is to be delivered in such a situation; would it be disrespectful or not for non Christians to remain seated when the prayer is held standing up (as indicated in her story)?

    If it is considered as disrespectful; being in a professor-student relationship (Whoa, I sure hope that comes out right), would it be proper for the professor to point out any supposed improper conduct by the student?

    If in the Philippine Blog Awards in lieu of an invocation, people call for a moment of silence instead and certain persons deliberately ignore that and remain to be “not silent”; should those persons be considered as being “disrespectful” to the call for silence?

    Thanks in advance.

  11. I say, you can only demand political correctness if you have political clout, as when politicians pander to you for political favors that they think you can give. – Bencard

    In a society where people only listen to the language of power, that’s true. But it does not have to be that way.

  12. Oooopppsss.

    I think part of my previous post will be clearer and more appropriate if it reads:

    “If a prayer is to be delivered in such a situation; would it be disrespectful or not of Christians and non Christians to remain seated when the prayer is held standing up (as indicated in her story)?”

  13. For an example of what tolerance/intolerance & religious freedom (including the right to criticize the majority religion), do your blogging, then send your complaints to the Egyptian Embassy. FREE KAREEM!!!!

    A translation from Kareem’s final blog post in October 2006 reads, “The mere existence of legal provisions that criminalize freedom of thought, and threaten with imprisonment anyone who criticizes religion in any way, is a grave defect in the law.” Shortly thereafter, Kareem was arrested, and is now in an Egyptian jail.

  14. “I say, you can only demand political correctness if you have political clout, as when politicians pander to you for political favors that they think you can give. This is not saying, though, that one does not have a “choice” to feel offended. But if he does make that choice, that’s his personal problem and no one else’s”

    Interesting stand. Would you agree, then, that Christians in Malaysia should simply put up with the many restrictions on their spiritual practice? After all, like you said, they have no political favors to give to the majority Muslim population! Using your logic, their position in society is their personal problem and no one else’s! Right?

  15. ^ Only if it disturbs the class. As in parang nagpapapansin ka pa. In DLSU (more than a decade ago), most profs still had student lead prayers to start the class. I’d decline when asked to lead but I still stood up out of respect for my classmates who prayed and since I knew I was enrolled in a Catholic school.

    Sometimes, I’d lead the prayer in Latin, just to freak them out. The Prayer of St. Benedict rocks, especially when you look at the prof and shout “Vade Retro Satana!”

  16. missingpoints,

    Are you in effect stating that you would feel that you would be disrespecting your classsmates and/or your catholic school if you did not stand up along with your classmates while they prayed?

    (I’m not trying to push you to a corner but I’m trying to find out why Dra. Termulo felt the way she did.)

  17. micketymok, you know i’m not advocating that. I’m just stating a reality, a hard fact of life. You can dispute that fact, but that is not my “stand”.

  18. p.s. “personal problem” refers to his choice to be “offended”, not his position in society.

  19. With your indulgence, Sparks, let me just say a few more words and I’m done. Promise.

    Vic, I’m happy for you that you experienced tolerance and enjoyed it. I tell you, if people could be more tolerant of each other, there would be greater peace and happiness in this world.

    Justice League, of course, those who felt offended thought they had valid reasons. But as Fr. Cuyos has said, there was never an intention to offend. If only those who were offended could be more tolerant, they would have been spared a lot of ill-feelings. Ask Vic about the virtues of tolerance. He has experienced it and enjoyed it.

    Also, remaining seated while others stand and pray only shows one’s lack of good manners. Talking in the face of a request for silence bespeaks one’s lack of good breeding.

    Thank you, Bencard. As you have rightly said, political correctness, if taken to extreme, would only mean paralysis. Or else, people could never be their authentic selves anymore in public. Magkakaplastikan na for fear of “offending” somebody, even if one never had the intention to offend. Human beings would be reduced to walking mannequins. Life would become just one big Theatre of the Absurd.

    No, the world is too beautiful to be reduced to absurdity.

    As promised, I’m done.

  20. Missingpoints,

    You didn’t want to cause a disturbance. Yes. I understand.


    Too bad you’re done. So I’ll have to content myself in infering that since it seems to be a lack of manners; then it would be proper for the professor to point out such behavior and try to correct it. OK.

    And I actually understand the need for tolerance. I remember that I wrote here about the saga of Dwayne Simonton. I believe his ordeal was a terrible story of discrimination and lack of tolerance of his officemates.

  21. But I see where youre coming from, benj. Youre claiming some sort of ‘victimhood.’ This isnt the way to deal. I mean, if I were in an Islamic community, and one of the events I attended (for example, the Saudi Arabian Blog Awards) included an invocation to Allah in the name of the Prophet Mohammed, I wouldnt complain about it. I see no reason to.


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