May 24, 2013By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats
While The Women Are Sleeping by Javier Marias, Php865 at National Bookstores.
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For three weeks, I saw them every day, and now I don’t know what has become of them. I’ll probably never see them again—at least, not her. Summer conversations, and even confidences, rarely lead anywhere.
I nearly always saw them at the beach, where it’s difficult to get a good look at people. Especially so for me, because I’m nearsighted and would rather see everything through a haze than return to Madrid with a kind of white mask on my otherwise perfectly tanned face, and I never wear my contact lenses when I go to the beach or into the sea, where they might be lost forever. Nevertheless, I was tempted to rummage around in the bag in which my wife, Luisa, keeps my glasses case—well, the temptation came from her, really, because she, if I may put it this way, was constantly transmitting to me the more peculiar activities of the more peculiar bathers around us.
(Frieda Fromm-Reichmann’s) “On Loneliness” is considered a founding document in a fast-growing area of scientific research you might call loneliness studies. Over the past half-century, academic psychologists have largely abandoned psychoanalysis and made themselves over as biologists. And as they delve deeper into the workings of cells and nerves, they are confirming that loneliness is as monstrous as Fromm-Reichmann said it was. It has now been linked with a wide array of bodily ailments as well as the old mental ones.
In a way, these discoveries are as consequential as the germ theory of disease. Just as we once knew that infectious diseases killed, but didn’t know that germs spread them, we’ve known intuitively that loneliness hastens death, but haven’t been able to explain how. Psychobiologists can now show that loneliness sends misleading hormonal signals, rejiggers the molecules on genes that govern behavior, and wrenches a slew of other systems out of whack. They have proved that long-lasting loneliness not only makes you sick; it can kill you. Emotional isolation is ranked as high a risk factor for mortality as smoking.
Conan and J.J. Abrams discuss a deleted scene from Star Trek Into Darkness starring Benedict Cumberbatch’s torso. Aiiieeee we’re used to thinking of Cumberbatch as a disembodied voice. Now the voice has pecs.
We didn’t want to interrupt our obsessing with Game of Thrones to write a column on current events, so we did both. Sigil first, column coming up at InterAksyon.com.
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Politics in the Philippines is a family business, emphasis on ‘business’. People take it up as a career, ostensibly because they want to serve their country, but what really happens is, they get rich. Which is not to imply that they got into politics for the money, but there it is. Hell, we’re not even saying that the newly-elected senators are lousy because face it, we have insufficient data to generate a conclusion. This doesn’t mean we think highly of them, either, but it would be great if they could prove us wrong.
So the politicians get rich, and we’ll assume that they acquire their wealth through honest means besides their comparatively low salaries. Anything with such a high rate of return, be it food preparation, art or optometry, will become a business, and in our culture business is best done with family. Politics is no different. Of course you want your children to go into the business, it worked so well for you. In retro-feudal democracies like ours, that’s the reason you have children: to carry on the family name business.
Take the Lannisters in Game of Thrones, the addictive HBO series based on George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy cycle, A Song of Ice and Fire. The Lannisters are the wealthiest, most powerful family in Westeros. In the era preceding the TV series, the patriarch Tywin Lannister is the Hand of the King (like the prime minister) to Aerys II of the Targaryen dynasty…
The other day we ran into Paulo Vinluan, who found these eyeglasses a few years ago when he was working at a thrift shop in Brooklyn. At the time he was clerking to pay the bills and painting whenever he could.
Paintings by Paulo Vinluan
Paulo is now painting full-time. He’s done lots of one-man shows and was recently in a group show at Finale. (His work has also moved out of our price range, grrrr.)
So the old day job/night painting model still works. You do what you can in order to pay the bills and defray the cost of what you really want to do. But you never confuse what you do to pay the bills with what you are.