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Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994
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Archive for March, 2007

Timeline

March 31, 2007 By: jessicazafra Category: twisted by jessica zafra No Comments →

Rome is finished! Even Deadwood is done. Where will I get my weekly fix of semi- historical sex and violence from now on?!

Here’s the timeline of what we’ve been watching.

Spartans vs. Persians at Thermopylae, 480 BCE
(correction) Sparta and Peloponnesian League def Athens, 404 BCE
Thebes and Athens def. Sparta, 371 BCE
Philip of Macedonia conquers Greece, 338 BCE
Alexander of Macedonia def. Darius of Persia, 330 BCE
The rise of Rome, 300 BCE
Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon, 49 BCE
Octavian becomes Augustus Caesar, 27 BCE
All the Lenten movie classics follow.

That’s the way

March 30, 2007 By: jessicazafra Category: twisted by jessica zafra 2 Comments →

That man who took a busload of children from his own day care center hostage didn’t just snap like Michael Douglas in a bad movie. He was clearly prepared for his self-directed drama, having reportedly done the same thing twice before (Why isn’t he in jail?) He even did it in front of Manila City Hall, where he was sure to get a good crowd and the attention of politicians. His companion even knew which politicians to call. And media gave him exactly what he wanted: minute-by- minute coverage for ten hours. That’s not public service, that’s whoring for ratings. So the guy’s an instant celebrity, and he doesn’t even have to win a vote-by-text popularity contest. He gets to lecture everyone on the ills of Philippine society, which is nothing we haven’t heard before, except that it’s not usually delivered with a grenade, a gun, and a busload of children. (My sister noted that the hostages in the bus were waving for the cameras.) Everyone was scurrying to give the hostage-taker what he wanted, even the police. Now every moron with a gun knows that the way to get full media coverage is to take people hostage. No doubt some politician will give the hostage children scholarships so he can look like a hero. So everybody’s happy, especially the hostage-taker and the media organizations, and you’re reading this and gnashing your teeth.

The Shiner

March 29, 2007 By: jessicazafra Category: twisted by jessica zafra 1 Comment →

Shiner, originally uploaded by Koosama.

The New York Times published this photo of Gabriel Garcia Marquez by Rodrigo Moya. It was taken in 1976, two days after he was punched in the eye by his (former) close friend Mario Vargas Llosa. Neither man has written about the incident or its cause/s. A pity.

Here’s our earlier post on the Garcia Marquez – Vargas Llosa smackdown.

Chromophobia

March 29, 2007 By: jessicazafra Category: twisted by jessica zafra No Comments →

In the movie Chromophobia, written and directed by Martha Fiennes (their sister), this headline in the newspaper Ben Chaplin is reading: “Hollywood exec treats Filipina maid like a slave”. In the  movie there’s a character named Gloria Ramirez de Arroyo. On one hand she’s played by Penelope Cruz (who’s fabulous in non-Hollywood productions), on the other hand she’s a prostitute dying of liver cancer.

Caravaggista

March 29, 2007 By: jessicazafra Category: twisted by jessica zafra No Comments →

Artemisia Gentileschi. Judith Beheading Holofernes, originally uploaded by Koosama.

Jonathan Jones on the new Caravaggio exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace: “They were called Caravaggisti and indulged in gore and self-dramatisation in the manner of their murderous mentor Caravaggio, providing a dark mirror for Charles I’s mad delusions. Outstanding among them was Artemisia Gentileschi. “There were many Caravaggisti, but only one Caravaggista,” a modern biographer wrote of this contemporary icon. Her Self-Portrait as the Muse of Painting is the best reason to visit this exhibition. . .
This is a very physical, dangerous picture of making art that goes back to Michelangelo painting the Sistine Ceiling and looks forward to Jackson Pollock. But they were men. Artemisia Gentileschi is wearing a green dress and gold necklace on her muscular form. She is both the painter and “the muse of painting”.”

Like Caravaggio, Gentileschi was forgotten for centuries until the recent revival of interest in her work. There’s a pretty good movie about her called Artemisia, directed by Agnes Merlet.  It starts with the Academy of Fine Arts refusing to admit her as a student because she’s female and forbidden to work from nude male models. As for Caravaggio himself, there’s the Derek Jarman movie.

Right recruits for Left

March 28, 2007 By: jessicazafra Category: twisted by jessica zafra No Comments →

A couple of weeks ago my friend and I were reading the newspapers at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf when I found this editorial in the Manila Times (March 18). It made such an impression on me that I tore it out of the paper (Yes, it was me, but it was my friend who lectured you on the nature of the poppyseed muffin, so I was the nice one). I’ve been carrying the clipping around in my wallet; during lulls in conversation I take it out and read it to friends. It has brought them great joy and laughter, and now I share it with you. Remarks not in italics are mine.

The Armed Forces announced yesterday it has expanded its troop deployment to Metro Manila’s upscale subdivisions, including Forbes Park, Bel Air, Dasmariñas Village, Urdaneta Village and the Ayala-Alabang villages. ‘Just as in the poor neighborhoods, we want to know the problems in Bel Air and other villages. Rich subdivisions also have problems that need looking into,’ the army spokesman said. Some of the problems, he said, are pot sessions, extravagant lifestyles, and high-stakes gambling.” Is that Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga? Is that a Ferrari? Put your hands up, you’re under arrest! And what’s that you’re putting up your nose?

‘This is also an immersion program prior to the soldiers going to Mindanao. You can call this proactive R&R.’ ” Cause you know the jungles of Mindanao are crawling with rebels in Ermenegildo Zegna. (Note: Probably not a good idea to wear the new metallics if you’re in hiding.)

The soldiers were ordered to wear barong Tagalog, polo barong and shirt and ties when making their rounds. They hid their riot guns in designer attache cases.” Sir, requisition form for 200 Louis Vuitton man-bags, sir! “Part of their duties was to visit mansions and discuss the NPA insurgency with anyone who cared to listen. But several village millionaries protested the soldiers were talking to their maids, drivers and gardeners.” “Alam mo naman si Neneng, pag may construction worker, natataranta, kung sundalo pa kaya!”

‘They are organizing the househelp against us,’ one villager said. They complained many maids and socialites found the visitors cute and handsome.” “Children, you istef dut or I’ll trow you dis! Sige, kukunin kayo ng sundalo…Hi pogi, may girlfriend ka na?” “Is that a gun in your pocket, or..?”

Leftist organizations have joined hands with the villagers and have demonstrated for the troops’ ouster. ‘Sa usapang ito ay magka-pamilya kami,’ a militant said.” Don’t you guys ever get it? When the troops see the vast socio-economic disparity with their own eyes, they may go over to your side!

The army spokesman said the rich have to be involved in the national life. ‘They live an air-conditioned, isolated life. They don’t know what’s going on in the country, especially in Mindanao. It’s also in the name of fairness. We don’t want the poor to say we are picking on them.’ ” You take that one, it’s too easy.