October 2012


22 October 2012

Gangnam Style.  You’ve seen it I’m sure (I mean it’s in the Guinness Book for highest number of likes on Youtube).  At first I just dismissed it as just some fad, completely harmless and at most just the latest weirdly ironic thing people picked up on to pass the time.  And yet… in retrospect it’s a lot more than that, it’s a great excuse to write about ideology today.

Ideology.  The word is most commonly used these days to refer to ideas (usually “evil” or at least misguided) that we disagree with.  Western society likes to think of itself as ideologically neutral—you know, in the same way that White people are the default type in the West—but a serious look at pop culture and the evening news is all you need to see that ideology is alive and kicking. (more…)

*the following were my opening remarks for tonights forum of the same title at York University…

Thank you to the Professor Philip Kelly and the York Centre for Asian Research for putting on this event.  And thank you all for your attendance….

I was asked to begin with a brief background on Martial Law and Marcos:

Ferdinand Marcos first became president with a ‘nationalist’ message in 1965, he retained the position in the following election in 1969 (at the time presidents had a 2 term limit so this should have been his last term)  Interestingly 1969 is also the year the New Peoples’ Army was born (continuing the tradition of previous revolutionary movements that began with the Hukbalahap during WWII).  (more…)

We wear yellow bracelets. We pin pink ribbons to our clothing. We run a marathon with the motivation that we’re helping a fellow human being in need. But how much do we help the cause when we do these things?

 *from http://ww3.tvo.org/video/183005/being-charitable-today

Thanks to a friend I was pointed toward an interesting episode on last week’s “The Agenda” on TVO where they explore charitable giving. The above is the show description.  As Han asked me to give my thoughts on it, and since it’s Thanksgiving, I thought it would make a good holiday themed write up.  Please feel free to leave your honest opinions below.  I intend to be honest with my opinions here.

It is a time to give thanks and to reflect on how best to help the less fortunate.  In doing this often we think about charity–but I don’t.

I don’t believe in charity.  In fact I am almost completely against it.  (more…)

The Cybercrime bill is justifiably getting a lot of attention these days.  Even those not normally politicized recognize that a law that makes even the FB “sharing” of government criticism punishable by imprisonment is, well, a tad bit harsh.

“If you click ‘like,’ you can be sued, and if you share, you can also be sued,” said Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, one of the lawmakers who voted against the passage of the law.

The provision, according to Guingona, is so broad and vague that it’s not even clear who should be liable for a given statement online. And if you’re found guilty, get ready to spend up to 12 years in prison.  *from: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57522609/facebooks-like-may-land-filipinos-in-jail/

This is legal. (more…)