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I Hate Filipino Culture -Society/Politics

Sunday, March 17, 2013

On Nude Photography

It’s 2013 but there are those who still see nude photography as a hobby for the perverted; that it’s a sort of peep show for us photographers. First off, let me say that I and those who shoot with me are very respectful of our models. I’m sure that there are exceptions among photographers but we are more or less the norm. When I or any of my friends organize shoots, we make sure that nothing other than photography happens during the shoot. Also, about 20-30% of the photographers I shoot with are straight women who also exclusively shoot women. 

While those of us who started off as straight men are still very straight men, we’ve seen enough nudity that, like a doctor who does breast implants on a regular basis (or perhaps a gynecologist?), we can be around a nude model and act normally, professionally and very respectfully. We’re not eunuchs but we know that there’s a good place and time to be proper perverts and that’s usually with our partners where we won’t risk tarnishing the image of nude photography. In contrast, some of those who aren’t as exposed to the naked human body salivate or go into rape mode at the mere sight of an exposed cleavage, some at the sight of an exposed ankle. Perhaps, unlike what the ultraconservative are suggesting, more regular exposure to nudity would have an inverse effect on the number of rape cases? Just a hypothesis =) 

While I’m not exactly advocating nudism, we’ve gone a long way from the olden days when a fully exposed human body was considered dirty. The human form in its full glory can be appreciated in more ways than what we’re normally used to. I’m a fan of the female form. I know it almost sounds like a pick up line but I mean that in the most innocent and the least perverted way possible. Capturing the beauty of the female form can be like capturing the undulations of a vast mountain range or the intricate curves of a winding river in a photograph. The beauty of the human form doesn’t always have to be sexual. 

Art is subjective. One may see it on the ceiling of the Sistine chapel or one may see it in a heap of scrap metal. I don’t see anything wrong with seeing it in the human form, whatever gender that human form may be.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

On Dancing

The geek in me never could understand modern dancing. The appeal of bobbing up and down to repetitive music escaped me. I wanted to try it though at least once in my life It seemed like something that was easy to do. That was until I actually tried doing it in public and found myself frozen. My feet suddenly felt like they were made of concrete. And then my inner geek kept telling me”don’t do this. You’d look awkward.” Or “this is herd mentality. Don’t be part of the herd”. I made a vow to be more adventurous at this point in my life though so I tried doing what the others were doing. It’s amazing what alcohol can make you do as a few beer bottles later, I was actually enjoying myself already. Most of the satisfaction came from being able to tell the inner geek to shut the **** up and let me move to the beat
At Urbn. In this supposedly posh and exclusive ecosystem, they'd throw you out if you don't look the part.

Reggae music at B-Side:

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

On the internet and superegoes

Now that we're about to have another addition to our family, I look back to this tribute that I wrote about a member of the family we lost a decade and a half ago. It's possibly the only detailed record of her life anywhere on the internet

They say that the internet has given birth to superegos, a generation of regular people who think too highly of their own importance. In a way that's true. I think we have statistics to prove this. The internet has given more power to the individual in a way that no other medium ever has. It is the ultimate "democratizer" where the loudness of your voice isn't always proportional to the amount of money in your wallet, the number of celebrities that you know or which cabinet positions your parents or uncles hold. If you have something to say and people wanna hear it, they will find you.

The internet also has become a record keeper of sorts, a place where you leave your, more or less, permanent imprint wittingly or unwittingly. In the words of someone who now lives his life as an internet demotivator : “don’t be an internet meme cos you’ll live on forever in a way that you probably don’t want to.”

The footprint in life that one leaves behind is so much bigger now. Anyone who passes away now, leaves a facebook profile, possibly a blog, an online photography album, a resume of accomplishments, a compilation of poems, photos, personal musings of various depth which anyone from the present or from the future would be able to find by googling his or her name

In contrast, anyone who passed away before internet became mainstream, unless they became popular for some reason or they made a significant contribution to a certain group, left very little to no trace outside the photoalbums and memories of their immediate friends and family. Google their names and it’s almost as if they never existed. 

The internet is a place where one's popularity is not commensurate to the availability of public information on him/her. A public filing system that makes sure that each individual can be picked from from a sea of nameless faces, put under the magnifying glass and be appreciated (or scorned?) as individuals. Under the magnifying glass of the internet, each individual has a voice which can be heard and that voice doesn’t have to die with him. If that does make him feel more important than his pre-internet counterparts, I can’t say that I blame him.

Kathy... you’ll find her on the internet, if you search hard enough.