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Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994
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Archive for January, 2018

Sign up for our Writing Boot Camp at the BenCab Museum in Baguio, March 17-18

January 21, 2018 By: jessicazafra Category: Announcements, Workshops No Comments →

Alan Hollinghurst’s The Sparsholt Affair is his warmest, funniest novel, and a masterpiece.

January 19, 2018 By: jessicazafra Category: Books No Comments →

If you can’t wait till it appears in local bookstores, it’s available at online bookstores.

My friend and I have this game in which we cast the roles in a film adaptation.

“Armie Hammer as David Sparsholt.”
“Too American. Henry Cavill.”
“Armie can learn a British accent.”
“Henry is already British.”
And so on.

“We still believe in free speech, the world just needs a new theory of it.”

January 19, 2018 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Language, Technology No Comments →

The most effective forms of censorship today involve meddling with trust and attention, not muzzling speech itself. As a result, they don’t look much like the old forms of censorship at all. They look like viral or coordinated harassment campaigns, which harness the dynamics of viral outrage to impose an unbearable and disproportionate cost on the act of speaking out. They look like epidemics of disinformation, meant to undercut the credibility of valid information sources. They look like bot-fueled campaigns of trolling and distraction, or piecemeal leaks of hacked materials, meant to swamp the attention of traditional media.

Read It’s the (Democracy-Poisoning) Golden Age of Free Speech by Zeynep Tufekci in Wired. Then read the entire issue: Free Speech, Tech Turmoil, and the New Censorship.

My cat Saffy, 17 and 1/2, goes to the dentist

January 16, 2018 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Movies, Technology No Comments →

Update: Saffy has recovered fully and is eating twice as much as she used to.


Saffy in her carrier

I’ve just read this inspiring investigative report on the Online Cat-Industrial Complex, and I’m thinking of starting a new career as a feline interpreter. Having lived with cats for 19 years, I have figured out what their facial expressions, sounds, tail positions, ear angles, kneading, poop placement and other nonverbal cues mean.
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Japan is so exquisite it makes me feel like a barbarian

January 13, 2018 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Places, Projects 4 Comments →


For schedules and details, visit the TPAM 2018 site.

I was in Japan for three days to meet with our team for the World Domination Project, and to inspect the venues for our shows on February 16 and 17. For weeks I had been wracking my brains, unable to complete the script to my satisfaction, but when I landed in Japan everything clicked into place.

The official title for the presentation, courtesy of our director Raya Martin, is Exporting Positive Disposition Since 1417: A Theory of World Domination. Max-Philip Aschenbrenner is our dramaturg, Yoshiro Hatori our producer, and Giancarlo Abrahan and I are writing and performing. (Along with Pepe Diokno that’s three 30-something filmmakers I am working with, and they’re fantastic. So now when people disparage millennials, I feel compelled to defend them.)
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Handmade and handwoven: Malong and pouches from Mindanao

January 09, 2018 By: jessicazafra Category: Clothing, Design 2 Comments →

I love traditional hand-made fabrics because they’re beautiful, distinctive, and locally-produced, and because there’s little probability that you will run into someone wearing or carrying the exact same thing. Over the years I’ve come to know the Ilokano textiles called inabel through the BLB—I have a whole bunch of abel blankets, and tote bags that are so sturdy, I also use them as cat carriers.

Last year I was introduced to textiles from Maguindanao. They’re very colorful, with intricate patterns and motifs. In the picture above, Saffy is sitting on a batik malong (You can wear it over your jeans if you’re bored with your wardrobe), next to a pair of zippered pouches made of bunga sama.

Find out more about the textiles and crafts of Mindanao at Mataid Mindanao. “Mataid” means beautiful.