Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Current Events’

When an artist you admire is revealed to be a creep or worse

November 13, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Current Events, Sex 2 Comments →

2017: the year all remaining illusions took a hit.

I wonder when Filipinos will have their #MeToo moment. Here, where we are told that the right response to sexual harassment is “Thank you” (As in, “Pasalamat ka na na-harass ka, hindi ka naman maganda”). Or “Pay up.” Wonder if (sociological) climate change will bring about a cold day in hell.

Aggretsuko and Gudetama: Adorable and anti-capitalist

July 23, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Shopping No Comments →

If Hello Kitty represents happy-go-lucky submission to globalization, Sanrio’s newer characters respond to the market with soul-crushing resignation or seething rage. Aggretsuko “is a symbol and expression of the pent-up stress and irritation that is rife in the world today,” her designer, Yeti, wrote in an email. And Gudetama, Amy wrote, parallels “the people in modern society who despair amid economic hard times.”

How Sanrio Makes Anti-Capitalism Adorable and Profitable

Albert Einstein on our mightiest weapon

June 19, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, History, Science No Comments →

In a long life I have devoted all my faculties to reach a somewhat deeper insight into the structure of physical reality. Never have I made any systematic effort to ameliorate the lot of men, to fight injustice and suppression, and to improve the traditional forms of human relations. The only thing I did was this: in long intervals I have expressed an opinion on public issues whenever they appeared to me so bad and unfortunate that silence would have made me feel guilty of complicity.

Read about Einstein and the duties of the individual in Brain Pickings.

Reasons David Sedaris has been depressed lately (We know exactly how he feels)

June 12, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Current Events 1 Comment →

Chus and I went to David Sedaris’s reading at Powerbooks Greenbelt some years ago. He was hilarious and shockingly nice. He got to the venue early and went around asking people if they wanted their books signed. We chatted about Chickenjoy. He did an impression of his sister Amy going shopping (“Buy it!”).*

David, I hope you’re feeling more cheerful. We know exactly how you feel. And you live in England now. You could go back to France…Would you like us to Fedex you some Chickenjoy?

One. It’s early September of 2015 and I’m on the island of Santorini for a literary festival. After the short reading, which takes place outdoors on a patio, the Greek audience asks questions, the first of which is, “What do you think of Donald Trump?”

Tell us your own yaya stories.

May 19, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events 7 Comments →

While commenters wage war in the social media over Alex Tizon’s last article—even in the antisocial media we can hear the gnashing of teeth—let’s talk about our own histories with domestic helpers, maids, yayas.

We had a succession of maids and yayas in our house when I was growing up, but none of them lasted very long. They usually up and left over non-payment of their salaries (an option Tizon’s “Lola” never had). My family had the middle class accoutrements without the middle class income (I was on scholarships, which is how I can use accoutrements in a sentence). Had we been in the same situation as Tizon’s family, the same thing might have happened to our maid. So I’m not in a position to pass judgement on his choices. I’m glad Alex Tizon was able to write this story and send it to his editor before his sudden death. Also I hope that the laws protecting kasambahay are enforced and that the feudal arrangements that continue to exist in our country are ending.

Read some of the responses to the piece here.

Vive la France

May 08, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Movies No Comments →

Fine, you are superior.

I was going to post the scene from Casablanca again (must be plenty of people doing that today) but remembered a similar scene from perhaps a greater film, Renoir’s Grand Illusion. In a German camp, the French prisoners of war are putting on a show when they get news of a French victory.

It’s a beautiful anthem, the model for the Philippine, never mind the stuff about bathing in the blood of enemies.

We still have Paris.