Link These and Die

I regard every essay posted in Facebook or Twitter with suspicion because life is short and I don’t want to spend precious seconds of my life reading worthlessness when I can spend it trolling prestigious publications such as Gawker, Mariah Daily, Jessica Rules the Universe and Read This and Die. It’s an economical way of plowing through daily Internet readings. Sometimes I regard these essays with contempt because suspicion and contempt are best friends. I can only imagine how someone with the same tendency as me feels when I post essays that entertain and impress me greatly. In the spirit of democracy feel free to express your feelings about people like me who post essays such as the ones I do in your own Pat Session.

Travel!

I’ve been seeing this travel-related essay too often and too much. It basically pontificates the virtues of travelling while young. It’s a bombastic persuasion on how youthful travelling can be so nurturing to the soul and well-being. Point taken, but actually, travelling is so expensive. I’m saying ‘expensive’ but I’m also meaning I don’t like spending time at airports, falling in line for bus tickets, jeeps, and other such cruelties to the mind, body, spirit and feet. A friend once emoted exactly how I feel about the kind of travelling I do (leisurely): I like the feeling of being in a place but I’ve never warmed to the necessity of having to face people whose job it is to suspect my intentions for lugging big, uncomfortable bags to places where about a dozen other people in my Facebook have re-enacted the exact same poses in, like as if they’re the very first human beings to ever pose inappropriately beside a religious statue, wearing the same sets of wacky facial expressions.

But really, people who enjoy travelling and posting pictures of their naked selves in the beach, or fully clothed in the mountains, etc, are people whose passion for travelling I totally respect. I get that their exposure in my timelines are accidents of their having cameras and FB/Twitter. Travel people are not the same as skinny people who go to fancily ambienced restaurants so they can hashtag foodporn their pics (which I can tolerate if you’re a chunky/fast metabolismed person with a nice camera who actually likes food). You’re fine, travel people. I especially like it when you go by yourselves and never feel the need to make me feel inadequate for not vomiting all over myself for not booking the next piso-fared flight to Turks and Caicos. I guess my point is I don’t mind travelling but I’d rather be magically transported to a place. But I prefer reading and that’s travelling, too!

Things to accomplish in your 20s

This is popular with people whose lives are perfect or whose lives are perfectly advertised. To better ram their points across, they point out that they really, really have accomplished a lot and are perfectly happy in their achievements as 20-something persons and that in fact numbers 2, 3 and 5 are crossed off their list. As a twenty-something person who hasn’t achieved a quarter of what this magnanimous Internet person is telling me to achieve already, I sit by the sidelines in the meantime and swallow whole my peers’ glittering achievements. Thank you, my mouth is so full.

Patricia Evangelista’s things

I don’t know what you see in Patricia Evangelista’s writing that you would mercilessly bombard timelines with her essays but every time I read an article of hers, I imagine her face. It’s a face so serious it will make you question the existence of humor. I will admit that I don’t  read her often because I’d rather think about Channing Tatum’s loins or read serial killer novels, but when my timeline is Patricia Evangelista’d I can’t help but notice and read each word, and think, ‘Gurl, chill! Gurl, listen to some Carly Rae or some Britney.’ I kinda like her column about Ernesto Maceda, though.

List of things gays need to stop doing

In this, the writer gives a guideline on how not to behave as a gay person. But you know what, writer? Being a homosexual in this world is hard. You may think it’s easy, but it’s not. Our inward-smirking society may give the impression that it’s totally okay to be gay but still, no. We get innumerable rules on how to maintain an acceptable amount of gayness that we should unleash to our fellowmen so adding to that is mean.

But I will agree on one point and that is in the needless sassyfication of the self (the way actually paminta gays attempt to be sassy and attempt Z-snapping personas – #4 on the list) just so one can meet the expectations of how the average, unexposed-to-gays perceive a gay person. I don’t z-snap in public but I do sometimes exhibit flamboyant tendencies just because I feel I can behave as a certain type of gay without having to think if my behaviour is becoming distractingly gay. It’s silly but I act a bit swishy around friends who know and I don’t get why I do either, but maybe it’s because my thing is I have to be myself.

You can’t follow hunks on Instagram AND like their photos without being suspected of being a fag. If you do manage to follow a hunk, you might have to do it one at a time (so, say, you want to follow both Semerad twin, you have to settle with one and follow the other one some weeks after just so it won’t look suspiciously creepy to people who, despite fat, flaming evidences to the contrary, still think of you as straight). You also can’t comment on your out, freedom-loving gay friends’ posts the way you want to. You may get away with the occasional Chos but sometimes you want to have variation and use Char, but Char will most certainly raise an alarm.

Also, you get endlessly jeered by clueless or vicious people who find it highly retarded (and maybe frightening) that at your age, you have no girlfriend. It feels intrusive and harrassy when you get teased with females you’d rather be friends with. I refuse to be the type who ceremoniously announces whatever people feel I need to ceremoniously announce, but there are fools who will want to worm this information out of you. It’s hard.

Responsible, Sensitive Social Media Person

If you find yourself having a bad day, you are probably itching to say, ‘This day can suck a cock’ up in your Facebook or Twitter because there’s only so much you can do to put a little spin to the all too familiar expression, ‘This day sucks’ into something more specific, concrete, and pointed. But since you ought to care about the morning-after regrets of posting such negativities, you restrain yourself and let out a little scream deep inside yourself, out of reach of everyone’s social feeds.

You get like that sometimes, do you not, all itchy to let the world know of your yuppie, middle-class inconveniences and relevant-only-to-you rants? It’s as if the anger that sprouts from the little hasslefest that is your daily morning rush hour commute is invalid or false if they don’t get social media’d.

Tough if you’re into social media and you care about impressions. I try to refrain from vomiting all over the net where people in my life of all shapes, sizes and cuss-words/dick and bitch ‘jokes’ tolerance converge and manage to gag word vomit reflexes. But if you’re completely uncaring about the kind of character your feed is shaping for you, these might be some of the things you have been itching to say:

  1. This week can suck a dick.
  2. This day can suck a cock.
  3. Philippine transportation system, please suck a dick.
  4. Right to say shit about people who deserve it is worth fighting for.
  5. Sometimes your friend invites your for a drink so they can Facebook in front of you. (For friends who can’t get enough of socializing even while in the thick of socializing, who feel compelled to impose their socializations in every imaginable and available dimensions.)
  6. In case purgatory gets tired of its name, it can call itself ‘Wednesday’.
  7. The MRT is truly one of mankind’s worst inventions. (Sometimes, tagging whoever manages that awful piece of  transportation trash, to impart such simple a message as ‘MRT is the worst train on Earth,’ or ‘Riding the MRT is one of the most dignity-defying transport experience no one deserves to live through.‘ might be more effective. But if you think really hard, there are other awful public transport options and you realize they all deserve this kind of criticism. To economize, use #3.)
  8. Counting one’s blessings is exhausting. (For when you feel like complaining, but you’re aware that you’re somehow ‘still blessed’, and you’re concerned you might come off as an ungrateful whiner, but you just cannot shake off the feeling that sometimes, certain blessings are indeed exhausting to have and count, wicked as that may sound.)
  9. I’m too dressed for stress’ is a better platitude. (Not to pick fights with friends who have perpetually bubbly dispositions who say things like ‘I’m too blessed to be stressed’, but reducing the genuine stress some of us feel to a bunch of feel-good rhyming words deserves a little dig.)
  10. This bus/shuttle/cab is so hot. Satan must be driving it. (For the daily commute anger-causer.)
But a responsible, sensitive social media person will avoid very public displays of hate and try to practice vitriol-control, although some still fail, to the detriment of his conscience and anxiety-tolerance systems. There is an idea of just such a person. He’s the kind who likes check-in statuses, changes in relationship statuses, pictures of himself, pictures of people who tag him even though he’s not in the pictures. He posts in Instagram, shares such photos on Facebook or wherever, and adds a vaguely humorous but more important, safe caption. He reiterates fun just had through a reassuring tweet. If he is committed to creating and perpetuating this proper, pleasant online persona, he may occasionally say things like ‘Back to reality’, or any of the go-to platitudes and vague, cryptic stuff that are terrific substitutes to specific realities one must face, for instance, work. So instead of saying something like, ‘Back to my shit office to deal with my shit boss!’, it’s just plain, old Back to Reality. Whether these characteristics are the true marks of a RSSMP is highly debatable, because of course a true RSSMP can always prevent damage by saying nothing.

Anti-Social Network

Here is this movie, trying to tell us that we are Mark Zuckerberg’s sheep that he has effortlessly been shepherding into a life of inactivity, subjecting us to an all-consuming leisure, and not a significant number of us think to quit it. It could also be trying to say that Zuckerberg truly deserves the billions, for he, too, is just like us, and geniuses like him are perfect magnifications of the belief that people who are smart and cunning are the ones most likely to become billionaires no matter how sarcastic, plastic and morally bankrupt they are. After all, it shows how easily he’s beaten his former partners and would have been business associates, Eduardo Saverin and the beautiful Winklevoss twin in the battle for billions. It gets the idea of greed and cunning so precisely and with such perfect soundtrack.

What triumphs though is the idea that Facebook is a product of a devious mind, the powers of which are felt the world over. Someone says in the film, perhaps meant as a joke, that even Indonesia has Facebook, which of course doesn’t make sense as a joke since Indonesia is fine, it’s a country that wouldn’t look like they’d treat Facebook as a disease or a product that should be avoided. So strong and so alluring is Facebook that attempts to get out of it by people who may have had ‘I will quit FB’ reactions to the film may as well have been saying equally false pronouncements as ‘I will lessen my Facebook face time as a form of protest’. There is simply no quitting it.

People who never felt compelled to join Facebook, those who never thought to be herded into any social networking site, those who even go so far as to vow not to watch the film because they’re not into Facebook (which is like saying I won’t watch disaster films because I’m not into disasters, kind of), however, will be even harder to coerce to sign up for it, thanks to Jesse Eisenberg’s unforgettable portrayal of Zuckerberg.

The rest will remain Facebookers because such is the power of our intellectual superiors that we gladly consume products of their greed and contempt. Obviously not all intelligent persons are responsible for the world’s ills, obviously. In the case of the productivity-reducing, social interaction bastardizing force of nature that is Facebook, it only took one mind, maybe along with three or four others, but just only one that altered the way we make people rich nowadays.