Thursday, March 29, 2007

Material girl mourns

Last weekend, during a store visit/shopping trip to Shangri-la Plaza with my mom, I swung by Lush with the intention of picking up a couple more bars of their delicious Snow Cake soap. Hanks and I are on our last bar, and we are seriously addicted to the almond-scented stuff-- we don't care that it's outrageously expensive and doesn't last as long as plain old Palmolive (it's a Crane thing :p). When I entered the overpoweringly fragrant confines of Lush, I cheerfully asked the nearest sales girl where the Snow Cake soap was displayed. To my horror, she told me that they DID NOT HAVE IT. At first uncomprehending, I blinked and asked, "You mean it's out of stock?" The girl shook her head and explained that it had only been a limited edition soap for the Christmas season, so they were all out. Starting to panic, I asked if their other branches possibly had any left over. Again, I got a negative response, along with the not-helpful information that they had had a buy one, take one promotion for Snow Cake in January. Staring stupidly at the sales girl and feeling like bursting into tears, I asked tremulously if they would have it again at Christmas. She shrugged apologetically and said she didn't know.

Resigned, I puttered dejectedly around the store sniffing the other available soap variants, trying to find something to replace Snow Cake. I knew I was being unreasonably dramatic, but dammit, I really, really loved that soap. I've never been one to splurge on bath and beauty products (MAC being the only notable exception, and even then I only ask my mom's friends in Canada to buy my stuff for me, since MAC's cheaper there). However, every so often I come across a product that I simply must have, even at exorbitant prices (yes, Maddy, I'm a unrepentant social sinner, so help me :p). But of course I know where to draw the line. Indeed, I'm already dreading the day my L'Occitane orange sorbet lip gloss (which I filched from a Christmas gift box someone gave my mom) runs out. I found out a tube costs more than P900 (!!), and as much as I love it, I wouldn't shell out that much for just lip gloss.

But Snow Cake... sigh. I'm really going to miss it. If Lush brings it back this December, Hanks and I are hoarding dozens of bars to last us a year.

P.S. Apparently my sister and I are not alone in our Snow Cake addiction. According to this review, a chunk of the limited edition soap goes for about $15 on the black market in the off-season!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

No typical sob story

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius' title is immediately indicative of the best qualities of Dave Eggers' debut novel: it's poignant without wallowing in self-pity, intelligent without affecting pompous profundity, and funny without being too irreverent. "Funny" hardly seems appropriate, when the story is based on Eggers' own life, which has all the earmarks of a tragic soap opera: in his early twenties, his parents both die of cancer weeks apart, leaving him to almost single-handedly raise his 8-year-old brother Toph. But Eggers manages to narrate his quasi-autobiography in a sardonic, self-deprecating manner that simultaneously, improbably makes light of AND gives weight to the pathos of his tale.

Eggers' witty writing makes A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius not only readable, but enjoyable despite its "heavy" premise. Any parent or older sibling can easily relate to his misadventures in parenting his baby brother: the endless worrying (complete with wild imaginings of molestation and dismemberment), the (feeble) attempts at discipline, the you're-not-wearing-that face-offs, the guilt over maintaining a social life while the little one gets left at home with a babysitter (who may be a child molester/dismemberer). From time to time, Eggers breaks out of his first-person narration and uses another character to address himself and poke fun at his self-importance or chastise his resorting to cheap/pathetic tactics in raising Toph, dealing with women, and going about his work, publishing an indie magazine with a group of friends while supplementing his income with various temp jobs. In one chapter, Eggers auditions for the MTV show The Real World, and he launches into a Q&A format for several pages, only to end up confessing in the interview that the topics he just talked about were never really part of the audition, and he had just used the format to make it easier to talk about certain events from his childhood. In another part, Eggers is sitting in a hospital, talking to a friend who just attempted suicide. The friend cusses him out for using him as a plot device for his book, as some sort of lame symbolism for his wasted youth or a psychological stand-in for his dead father.

It's this unabashed self-consciousness that gives Eggers' work its quirky charm. At some points in the story, it becomes easy to perceive him as some punk capitalizing on his family's tragedy. But since he himself entertains the notion that he IS a punk capitalizing on his family's tragedy, even to the point of calling himself a monster, it's hard to scoff. One gets a sense of the pain Eggers went through as a young man, particularly over the loss of his beloved mother, and his struggle to come to terms with it.

Through all the smart and sometimes smart-alecky writing techniques Eggers employs, the only thing he fails to disguise is his very apparent, real devotion to Toph. Although he doesn't bother hiding some occasional resentment against his little ward, days when the boy seems a burden and a hindrance to the development of his own still-young life, Eggers obviously feels a mix of parental protectiveness and sibling fondness towards Toph. From their games of Frisbee, to their boys-will-be-boys rough-housing, to calling one another names, the brotherly affection is palpable, and unavoidably touching. And that, above all is what powers this work: not the heartbreak, or the genius-- although both are very much present-- but honest, ill-concealed, staggering love.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

For Maff

Yesterday, one of my favorite LM girls left the country to seek her fortune in the US. Ria, whom we fondly call Maff or Maffy (her full name being the mouthful Maria Francia Fatima), is going to be sorely missed by our circle, probably most by the people who loved razzing her about her Archie comics vocabulary (egad! haha), notorious one-liners ("I was sleeping like crazy!"), and penchant for words with an f and two zs (frazzled, fuzzy, etc.). We will also miss her unique sense of style, from the coordinated gold shoes and bag to the funky floral leggings she wears to bed, as well as her withering looks of exasperation and the intermittent, unheard apologies she issues to hapless pedestrians and fellow motorists while driving.

But as endearing and amusing as those trademark Maffy quirks are, what I will personally miss most about Maff is her brutal, almost blithely casual, sarcasm. Of all the LM girls, the two of us are closest in temperament and disposition. Pragmatic, outspoken, and unforgivingly frank, Ria never has any qualms about being perceived as an antagonist, and she never gives a whit about what other people may think of her, as long as the people she cares about know the truth. Like what I wrote for her law school yearbook write-up, I have always thought of her as Ally McBeal with a razor-sharp edge, minus the annoying hang-ups and hallucinations. She has an unforgiving, scathing outlook on life and love and all the bullshit in between, and if I've made her out to be some kind of hard-nosed bitch, that's because she IS a hard-nosed bitch. But as is the case with most bitchy people, there is a charm to Ria that's both wicked and wonderful.

Perhaps because Ria and I share the same unsentimental sensibility, I do not feel too sad about her departure. I will miss her, definitely, and I'm sure there will be days when I'll wish I could get together with her to just rant about random things and bash all the usual people we love bashing. But there's always YM, and email, and I know she'll be reading my blog more often now (she'd better!). And it will take more than a few measly thousand miles to put a strain on the kind of bond we share. Kindred spirit, zany character, beloved friend, Maff will always be an invaluable part of my life, and she will never be far from my thoughts, wherever her (mis)adventures in America may take her.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Something I got from Yang's blog

"Name 13 of your friends in college that you can think of right off the top of your head. Don't read the questions underneath until you write the names of all 13 people. This is a lot funnier if you actually randomly list the names first. No cheating!"

1. Angge
2. Pia Girl
3. Yangers
4. Maffy
5. Mike
6. Juls
7. Bud
8. Geof
9. Je
10. Gerry
11. Exxon
12. Bangs
13. Julie

*How did you meet 10?
We took the same Physics class one sem. Cheeky introduced us LM girls to him and his Siamese twin Exxon. :)

*What would you do if you had never met 1?
I would be totally lost. I've known Angge since my sophomore year in high school. She's one of my closest, dearest friends and one of the people I admire, respect and love most. She's seen me through a lot of ups and downs over the years, and I can't imagine my life without my tag team partner.

*What would you do if 6 and 2 date?
Darn, I should have listed someone else as number 6. Right, Yang? *conspirational laugh*

*Have you ever seen 4 cry?
Oh lordy. Have I? I think so. But more out of rage than sadness, if memory serves me right.

*Do you think 10 is cute?

Yes, in a rolypoly kind of way. Hehe. Love you Ahia!

*How did you get to know 8?
Geof shifted to LM from BMH (before he lost his honor, according to him :p). We were groupmates in OpMan and Policy (Bluniform rules!).

*Would you ever go on a date with number 12?

I have! We had lunch together before she left for Singapore to take up her masters degree in real estate.

*What's 7's Favorite color?
Uh-oh. I don't know, actually. Blue, because he's a true-blue Atenista? Or maybe orange, his choice of car color.

*What would you do if 5 confessed he/she loved you?

Laugh. No offense, Mike. I just know I'm not your type (me being gigantic and all). :p

*Facts about 9:
She's Muslim, has broken practically every law of her religion, and can't swim (even if her tribe is known for being pearl-divers).

*Who is 4 going out with?
No one. She's single, and with damn good reason. 'Nuff said.

*What is number 5 to you?
My jabroni!I'm free to be a guy around Mike, who agrees with me that DX kicks ass, Aragorn is the epitome of manhood, and Bon Jovi rocks. :p

* Would you ever live with 13?
Sure. Julie seems like someone who would be easy to live with. She's level-headed, yet knows how to have fun. Plus we'd never run out of things to talk about.

*Is 2 single?
Yes. And Yang, I think kasalanan naman ito nila Angelo, Inggo AND Mike. Haha.

*Where does 7 live?
His family's house is in UP Village, but he's currently based in Cagayan de Oro selling little death sticks all over Mindanao.

*What do you think about 3?
Yang lives a charmed life; everything seems to come easily to this girl-- exams, law school, marriage, even childbirth!

*What do you like about number 11?
Exxon's a true gentleman and loyal friend. Plus he's really devoted to the teaching profession.

*Favorite Memory with 1?
Chatting with "Superman" in front of Jubilee's chapel. =D

*What's the nickname of 6?
Just Juls. :)

*Describe 1:
A natural leader, a conscientious student, a soon-to-be brilliant lawyer, a responsible daughter, a loving sister, a dependable friend, and an overall amazing individual.

*Famous line of 7?
"That's a matter of semantics!" (this was at the height of the Erap impeachment mess; Bud was the only pro-Erap person among the barkada and enjoyed debating us on the topic :p)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

And now, a moment of AI indulgence...

Am I the only idiot still hooked on American Idol? I realize this season features the most uninteresting, uninspiring group of finalists of perhaps all 6 AI seasons, and that there are only about 3 truly talented vocalists among the top 12 (and at least 1 truly unqualified what-the-hell-are-you-doing-on-this-show contestant), but I find myself faithfully following each episode nevertheless. Is it because I find mediocrity so fascinating and satisfying? Is it like the morbid attraction one feels towards train wrecks and roadkill? Or maybe I am foolishly waiting for something spectacular to come out of all the blahness. Perhaps I like feeding my masochistic tendencies by listening to Ryan Seacrest deliver artificial spiels with his trademark smarminess. Or it could be my growing curiosity about Paula Adbul's mental and psychological instability (if she's not drunk, as she insists, then something else is wrong with that woman).

In defense of Idol, there have been occasional bits of saving grace this season: Chris Sligh's wry sense of humor; Jordin Sparks' sweet, infectious smile; the cool fashion stylings and teenybopper appeal of Blake Lewis and Chris Richardson; the catty you're-gayer-than-I-am repartee between Seacrest and Simon Cowell; and the mind-blowingly good rendition of "I'm a Woman" by my favorite finalist Melinda Doolittle (I have never heard anyone sing a single letter so well-- that last "n" was perfection). Yes, it's a crime that poor Sanjaya Malakar is still around (the kid looks more and more miserable every week-- have a heart, America, SEND HIM HOME!), but if you ignore him and overlook the other dull, dreary, disastrous performances, there's flashes of gold to be seen. And it's for those rare glimpses that I still tune in to American Idol, like the silly little fool I am.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Why teachers should be nicer to their students

Couldn't (read: was too lazy to) figure out how to post an audio clip, so just go to my Multiply site and listen to a funny phone conversation between a little Irish girl and a demolition company.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ripped, roaring good time

Of the 3 movies I saw in the past week, 300 packed the strongest punch in terms of entertainment value (and I'm not just saying that because it was the only action film of the 3). The Good Shepherd was disappointingly bland despite an all-star cast, and The Pursuit of Happyness was touching but a tad trite, driven mainly by Will Smith's emotionally charged performance. Compared to a complex CIA plot loaded with ethical dilemmas or an inspired-by-a-true-story father-son drama, a violent ancient Greece war flick seems trivial, if not primitive, on the surface. However, for all its gore, 300 was a strangely beautiful film (and I'm not just saying that because I'm madly in love with Gerard Butler).

300 is based on Frank Miller's graphic novel, which retells the tale of the Spartans' suicidal stand against the Persian empire's army at the mountain pass of Thermopylae, or "the Hot Gates". I think "hot" was pretty much the adjective on the mind of every female viewer in the theater, as the movie featured the biggest assembly of killer abs, pecs and delts ever featured onscreen. Among the actors who played the born-and-bred-for-battle Spartans was David Wenham, he of Faramir fame from the Lord of the Rings film adaptation. Who knew the wimpier son of the steward of Gondor could bulk up so nicely? With that body, he could beat up big brother Boromir with one muscular arm tied behind his perfectly toned back. Physical enhancements aside, Wenham delivered a steady (albeit bordering on stoic) supporting performance as Dilios, the warrior with the gift of words, and neatly doubled as the movie's narrator, all the while valiantly stifling his Aussie accent.

But of course the star of the Spartan show was King Leonidas, played with much gruff gusto by my latest object of lust, Gerard Butler (funny how in Hollywood movies, Greeks are always played by Scottish, British or Australian actors-- any nationality but Greek). Even ignoring his chiseled body (hard to do though), Butler radiated pure brute animal power in this role, from his steely stare to the spittle that accompanied the lines he bellowed... not to mention the heat he generated in his love scene with Lena Headey, who played his wife (i.e. the luckiest woman in all of Sparta). As the king, Butler managed to smoothly alternate between regal and raw, tough and tender, savage and subdued, cocky and composed-- all that in between furiously hacking the Persian infantry to pieces. Like any great leader, Leonidas commanded the unconditional respect and unwavering loyalty of his men; Gerard Butler made it easy to believe that 300 soldiers would willingly, eagerly march to their deaths behind this forceful, fearless king. The people who cast Daniel Craig as James Bond should be kicking themselves in the arse for not choosing this charismatic Scottish hottie to be 007 instead.

For all its testosterone-charged stab-and-skewer scenes populated by sculpted, glistening-with-sweat bodies, 300 was executed artistically, with amazing cinematography and the usual slew of CGI effects. I loved how the Spartans' red capes stood out against the predominant sepia tones, and even sequences shot in slow-motion, which can easily turn corny when used inappropriately, were rendered flawlessly, and the results were heart-stoppingly dramatic at all the right moments. My favorite shot was of the shadow of the spear Leonidas hurled at the megalomaniac Persian emperor/self-proclaimed god Xerxes (played by a completely unrecognizable Rodrigo Santoro, the Brazilian hunk from TV's Lost, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, and Love Actually). I haven't the words to do justice to the visual feats director Zack Snyder and his crew managed to accomplish-- Robert Rodriguez's earlier take on Frank Miller's Sin City, which I actually enjoyed, seems but a distant, hazy memory after watching 300.

My only gripe with 300 is that I wish the filmmakers had emphasized that the account of the Battle of Thermopylae is actually historical, in order for the audience to further appreciate and hold in awe what the Spartans succeeded in doing. It was their sacrifice that gave the rest of Greece enough time to muster their troops to repel what remained of the Persian invaders. In short, the Greeks would not have gained victory without the Spartans' last stand at Thermopylae. Never mind that the real numbers may not have been 300 vs. 1,000,000 (some historians peg it at 12,000 vs. 100,000); whatever the head count, Leonidas' men were up against insurmountable odds, and they stood and laughed in the face of it. That day at the Hot Gates, the Spartans lived up to their Herculean heritage, and died fighting like the brave warriors they would be known as in ages to come... and immortalized as in a bombastic but brilliant piece of Hollywood cinema.

Monday, March 12, 2007

No pressure

Over the weekend, I found out that 2 of my high school barkada got engaged to their long-time boyfriends (congratulations Jo and Mishy!). I was thrilled for them, naturally, but along with my delight came a tiny tremor of alarm. I have never openly lamented my singlehood, even at the ripe old age of 26, but the thought of my contemporaries getting hitched one after the next is a little unsettling (3 of my high school barkada are already married). There's a sense of getting left behind, in a way, and I never like getting left behind (I was the type of kid who hated missing school because I'd be a lesson behind everyone when I returned to class).

I suppose I'd be more anxious if I weren't so damn happy with my life. But I have to admit that Jo and Mishy's announcements got me thinking about whether I should be more concerned that I am still unattached in my mid-twenties. Making it more disconcerting is the fact that my friends have been in their respective relationships for several years now, and it took that long for them to get engaged and be prepared to enter lifetime commitments. At the rate I'm going, even with (or perhaps especially with) my serial blind dating, I may be in my mid-thirties before I see a ring on my finger, assuming I do get one at all.

Am I beginning to panic? Heck no. I'm not even sure if I'm more bothered by the idea of my staying single for a long time to come, or by the idea that I actually don't mind staying single for a long time to come (the latter would definitely not sit well with my parents though). It's just that all this talk of engagements and weddings among people my age heightens my awareness of my blissful detachment, disturbed only by the nagging feeling that I just may be missing out on something.

Then again, I've never been one to jump on the bandwagon... even if it's all set to roll away without me.

In any case, I am super happy for both Jo and Mishy, who have already booked passage on the bridal bandwagon. I wish them beautiful weddings and, more importantly, wonderful marriages with the loves of their lives. =D

Thursday, March 08, 2007

As if being associated with Erap wasn't bad enough...

Manny Pacquiao wants to take up PolSci in the Ateneo.

After he passed the equivalency exam administered by the DepEd and received his high school diploma, the Pacman announced that he wishes to pursue higher learning, and named ADMU as his choice of college. When I heard about his lofty scholastic goal, my initial reaction was to laugh, but the chuckle died in my throat as I realized that if by some sick twist of fate he DOES get into the Ateneo, I would have to acknowledge him as a fellow Atenean. I tried to rationalize that there's no way Pacquiao can survive the ACET, but then my mom was quick to retort that not even my precious Ateneo and its holier-than-thou Jesuits are immune to political pressure and corrupt tactics.

Aghast at the thought, I decided right then and there that should Pacquiao really be deluded enough to chase his Atenean dream, I will volunteer-- no, DEMAND to proctor while he takes the ACET, and insist on checking his paper myself. If that doesn't work, and if the administrators of our beloved alma mater do succumb to external influences and let Pacquiao "pass", then I will help form a picket line outside the gates of the Loyola campus, where I will undoubtedly be joined by many fellow alumni and current members of the student body and faculty.

Lest anyone accuse me of being elitist, I should make clear that my disgust at the thought of Pacquiao studying at the Ateneo isn't because of his pedigree, but his mental acumen. Let's face it, the guy makes L.A. Tenorio look like effing Einstein. Pacquiao can barely string together a complete, coherent sentence in English-- can you imagine him sitting through an hour-long Philosophy class? His head might implode. So you see, I'm actually concerned about his own well-being. If Filipinos want to continue winning international boxing matches, they had better make sure their prized fighter doesn't injure himself from overexertion.

Also, since Pacquiao's motive for choosing Political Science as his major is ostensibly connected to his political ambitions, it is in the nation's best interests to prevent Manny from doing anything towards this insane end. A boxer has no business being in Congress and pretending he knows jack about legislation (neither do movie stars, for that matter... that's right, Richard Gomez and Cesar Montano, I'm talking to you). Pacquiao's place is in the boxing ring; besides, he earns more from prize money and endorsement deals than he ever would from pork barrel and other political "fringe benefits". In order to maintain the lavish lifestyle he has grown accustomed to, Pacquiao has to stick to doing what he does best: slugging it out with Mexican pugs and pimping San Miguel beer.

I therefore conclude that Pacquiao should forget about the Ateneo, to sanctify the already rancid ranks of our government officials, to preserve our chances of attaining glory in the international sports scene, and to protect him against embarrassing and/or hurting himself.

...Oh all right, AND to spare us the ignominy of having to claim him as one of ours. The Atenean pride can only take so much insult. We already have the blight of Kris Aquino on our hands.

However, if all appeals to his better judgment fail, and Pacquiao is truly serious about going to college, then I suggest he try that place along Taft Avenue. I hear they're not very strict with their admissions there, especially for athletes with DepEd certificates. Then again, there's no boxing in the UAAP...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Beyond Hope

For the past week, it's been impossible to glance at the morning paper without seeing headlines about the whole Kris Aquino/James Yap/Hope Centeno business on the front page. Far be it for me to belittle anyone's romantic woes, even those of Kris Aquino's (she being our country's undisputed queen of screwed-up relationships), I hardly think her problems with James constitute a matter of such grave import as to merit front page news. Why does the whole frickin' country have to get involved in Kris Aquino's love life? Yes, she's a public figure, but surely there are more pressing matters that the public should be concerned with, such as the May elections, rising oil prices, or Angelina Jolie's plans of adopting another Asian child.

Seriously though, I am sick and tired of hearing about Kris being rushed to the hospital for false labor pains, or James issuing a statement of apology, or Hope showing photos of her with James that may or may not have been digitally altered. I don't feel sorry for any of the players in this sordid saga, but of the three I'm actually most unsympathetic towards Kris. Her track record with men smacks of not just immature recklessness but a sheer disregard for intelligent discernment. Her behavior spits in the face of her Atenean education and family name. I'm not condoning philandering nor defending James Yap (hell, he's guilty of SOMEthing, it's clear from the pathetic look he wears on his face whenever he's on TV now). But the manner in which Kris handles her supposedly private affairs is so crass, so vulgar, I can't bring myself to feel anything but contempt for her.
I suspect she actually enjoys the attention-- never mind if it tends to be negative-- and that she likes being perceived as the victim/martyr. Could this be a psychological explanation for her penchant for entering doomed-from-the-start relationships with unsavory characters like Philip Salvador? So that she can appear on national television, makeup streaked with tears, milking her misery for all it's worth and beseeching the audience for their pity and love? In some ways she reminds me of a whiny, ditzy version of Evita Peron, minus the class and poise.

All the media hype about the Hope "scandal" is just encouraging Kris to become increasingly melodramatic and has further fueled her twisted notion that she's OBLIGED to share everything about her life with the entire country (classic example of too-much-information: when she announced to the entire nation that she contracted an STD from Joey Marquez). FYI, Ms. Aquino, some self-respecting citizens of this country couldn't care less what happens to you or James or even Baby James, so stop shoving your sob story down our throats. You may not have any dignity left to destroy, but for chrissake, don't drag the rest of us down into your pit of self-abasement.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Bigots in broadcasting

The other night, I was quite ticked off at RPN 9 for showing the rerun of the Oscars earlier than the announced time of 7PM. I wound up missing the earlier-- and later I found out, best-- parts of the show. They also cut some portions they deemed insignificant, like the beautiful montage of foreign films presented by Catherine Deneuve and Ken Watanabe (who, by the way, got Best Dressed Male runner-up in my book). I wasn't too upset though, because I knew I could always download the bits I missed on YouTube, or catch the delayed telecast on Star Movies a few days later.

So last night, after American Idol, I switched to Star Movies to watch the Oscars again. After Beyonce and J.Hud's bloodcurdling shrieking showdown came what I dubbed the Biggest Surprise Win of the night, when Melissa Etheridge snatched Best Original Song right out of the gaping jaws of the 3 Dreamgirls divas. I had already seen the segment in RPN 9's rerun, so I wasn't paying much attention as Etheridge accepted her Oscar. Then when she started her speech with "I'd like to thank my Tammy and our four children", I gave a start. I distinctly remembered hearing her say "my WIFE Tammy" in the RPN telecast. Star Movies CUT the word from her speech! I immediately texted my best friend Raqs, knowing she'd share my outrage. She texted back asking if they had shown Etheridge kissing her wife before getting up on stage, and I realized that they had cut out that part too!

I can't believe such bigotry, not to mention prejudiced censorship, is being committed by a big broadcasting company like Star. If they find nothing wrong with showing movies with graphic content and gratuitous violence, or featuring programs where people cuss, smoke, imbibe alcohol, use drugs, spew racial slurs, drop double entendres, and generally conduct themselves like sluts and jackasses, then what was so offensive about two women kissing? Two women in a committed relationship, who seem very much in love. It wasn't even a torrid, icky-PDA type of kiss (I've seen FAR worse on prime time shows); besides, at the Oscars when someone wins a lot of kissing goes on anyway. And what the hell was wrong with the word "wife"?? Would they have edited it out if Etheridge had used the more politically correct term "partner"? Would they have tolerated that? I was surprised the homophobes at Star aired the Oscars at all, seeing as how Ellen DeGeneres, Hollywood's most high-profile lesbian, hosted it.

It's dismaying how one of Asia's premier television networks could be so narrow-minded and bigoted. Media is supposed to uphold and defend freedom of speech and expression, not violate it. RPN 9 may have been guilty of indiscriminate cutting, but I'll take it over Star's blatant discrimination.