Friday, January 02, 2004

My monitor's tube has given up the ghost; it is dead and gone. But forsooth, it has served us well, since I was in late high school, methinks, or was it the beginning of college? Thereabouts. We dug up an older, smaller monitor and thankfully it's compatible. My dad won't shell out the 5k to get a new 17-inch monitor. I guess we aren't liquid. With the expansion of the farm it's been a little difficult. We have no drivers right now, so when school starts I'm going to be without a car again (Mom & Dad take a car each, and Lee drives himself to school now), so if I need to go out I have to wait for one of them to get home or commute. This also kind of explains why we haven't gotten the ATOZ's airconditioning fixed; the new compressor it requires is 16k. I doubt the cracked windshield will be replaced anytime soon either.

I remember one Christmas I got a lot of boxer shorts for some reason, not all of which fit. I mention this because this year, I've received 3 wallets. And how were your holidays? I'm not complaining, though, 2 are really nice, but I don't know when I'm going to use them.

I was at my relatives the other day. Mom's side. 3 of my mom's brothers live in the same village. We took a walk to my cousin's house, and they showed me their collection of pirated DVDs, which almost puts mine to shame. They've got shelves and shelves, and they're even labeled according to genre. My other cousin mentioned that he and his family don't even rent movies anymore, they just come over here and borrow.

In these kinds of family gatherings, the kids tend to separate into their groups, usually according to age range. Well, I was hanging out with my younger brother and our cousins his age (an average of 6 years younger). And while at the computer of one cousin, I started poking around and indeed, found the porn folder, which definitely puts mine to shame.

It got me thinking about how difficult it was to get porn while I was in high school: they were all bootleg VHS tapes, and borrowed magazines. Nowadays, you can get thousands of VCDs/DVDs on the street for around 50 bucks. The internet allows access to all kinds of filth at a few clicks. To say nothing of FHM and its competitors.

And now I'm wondering like a conservative fuddy-duddy: does all this warp our fragile little minds? I mean, the profusion, the ease of access, everything's too convenient now. It doesn't have that "edge" of being forbidden material anymore.

Because what I found on my cousins' harddrive was disturbing: it wasn't the porn (mostly small videos of XXX scenes), it was collections of videos of deaths. Or brutal accidents. The kind you can't air on TV. Now, I've seen an episode or two of Faces of Death in my time, but some of this was really sick shit. There was footage of a newscaster who put a gun in his mouth and blew out the top of his head, a woman crushed by a toppled chimney, a kickboxer who broke his leg, a skateboarder who broke his arm, and the worst was this Russian terrorist video where a guy's head was being held to the ground. They were in some forest, and it must've been cold because the terrorists were dressed like it and the captive's breaths could be seen when he exhaled. It's a pretty close shot of his head, when all of a sudden this knife plunges into his neck and the terrorist just keeps stabbing and stabbing like he's sawing off the neck. The captive of course is screaming, but his throat is literally coming apart and it's really more of a sickening, gurgling sound. The sound of an animal dying. The blood is just black, and gushing out stronger and faster than I expected, and it's just that much darker as it pours out onto the snow. There's a cut and the last bit of flesh connecting the head to the body is severed, then the head is being carried around by the terrorists.

Right after I saw this my 13-year-old cousin, the one whose computer this is (also the one I mentioned was on Friendster), tells me it's time to eat dinner, as if I didn't just watch someone murdered in close-up.

I'm 10 years older and I'm the one disturbed, whereas he doesn't even flinch.

The word desensitized somehow seems inadequate.


Wow. I realize that's actually a horrible post to open the new year. Sorry about that. I wasn't really planning on writing about it. Then again, that's how most of these posts go: I sit down with a vague idea of what I want to write about but more often than not it meanders onto another track. Well, at the very least, the post tends to become a surprise to me, too. Maybe it's a barometer for what my subconscious is stewing about.

Other posts are written way in advance, and actually take a little cultivation before I publish them. Some of the more sensitive ones, definitely.


This Christmas season has been, for me, really a kind of bleah one. Bland and unremarkable. More than other times, it seems, I didn't really feel the spirit of Christmas, and felt that it snuck up on me like some unremembered sibling's birthday. I'm strapped for cash, so most gifts are going to be late this time around (sorry, guys). In fact, come to think of it, everyone but Neva's gift is late.

Still, I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday season, no matter where they were.

Let's hope that the coming year will bring better things for all of us.

It has to.


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