Strange Love: A Documentary about Love and Taboo Combined

When I was still in my senior year, high school, our sociology teacher and homeroom adviser made us watch this documentary about love. But, it’s not your ordinary love. It’s something our society would rather describe as taboo.

Love is so main stream that it has been used in many contexts and shown in many forms. It’s all around us, really. I can see it in books and movies. I can hear it in songs and stories. I can feel it inside and outside my house. Even the TV commercials scream “LOVE” in the cheesiest way possible (ahem, McDo). We see and feel it every day that it has actually become a very common thing.

I thought I already knew everything about this complicated emotion. But, no. Our teacher showed us this documentary that just proved how much more we have to understand about this feeling.

Taboo is a simple word that simply means “unacceptable”. Yet, it holds so much in person’s life. It dictates what you have to be or what you have to be not based on the society’s standards. It can really change a person, can’t it? Who wants to be left-out and discriminated for something you can’t help to be?

I guess, what made interested with this documentary is the fact that the people featured here stood up for themselves. They didn’t change who they are or what they do even if it means that they’ll be permanently excluded from the “normal”. It is love that they’re fighting for, anyway.

I only got to watch the first part which is the strange love for dolls. I’ll admit, at first, I thought it was gross, really gross. Who would make-out with a life-sized doll much more make it a wife? It’s weird, creepy, and gross but it is reality. There are people who are really like that and we can’t change that. It’s their free will, you know? As much as we are disturbed by this fact, we have to respect them. I think as long as they are not doing anything that can harm others or themselves, there’s nothing to change about them. Sometimes, the definition of right and wrong isn’t the same for eveyone.

To watch the documentary, click on the link here: Strange Love

Up: A Love Story in Less than 10 Minutes

Just this last Saturday, my sister and I watched Pixar’s movie, UP. I haven’t watched it for years and it was going to be my sister’s first time seeing the movie so I was very excited when I found out that ABS-CBN was going to air it on TV. Of course, we didn’t miss the opportunity to watch it together.

Since I’ve watched the movie before, I already know its story. I can clearly remember each scene in the movie so I was so surprised that the first part of the movie, the Ellie and Carl love story that I know so well, just made me cry.

(Ellie and Carl’s Love Story from “Up”)

You might say it’s funny but IT IS NOT SILLY to cry over an animated film scene. This movie just showed a beautiful love story in less than 10 minutes. The simple yet happy life of Ellie and Carl was able to be shown in just 8 wonderful minutes. When those minutes (or lifetime) ended with Ellie’s death, it just punched me in the gut and it made burst all my emotions, stunning both me and my sister. What else can I do? It’s hard to watch a person lose someone they love especially when she is the only one whom he shared his great moments with. It’s like, when everything seems so perfect already, fate will make a way to ruin your life. And though, I knew that part of the film then, I still couldn’t stop crying. I looked so funny that I was half-sobbing, half-laughing at myself. My sister didn’t expect that side of me. I didn’t know I was such a sucker for that film.

The Ellie-and-Carl love story in “Up” seemed like just a simple introduction of Carl’s role in the film. But, what made it special is that it showed what true love really is. Love is not only about having someone in your life. It is about being able to face life, “through thick and thin” (as how they put it), with that someone. And, the best part of all in the movie was the last part where Carl scans through Ellie’s scrapbook and finds out that their life together is her “greatest adventure”. That message made him realize that his wife’s dream to have the greatest adventure was already fulfilled. (Note: I didn’t put that scene in here because I’m sure you’ve seen the movie, too. Who else haven’t, right?)

Some speculated that the film is not really for kids. Yes, it’s an animated film and the intended audience for it are kids.  But, that one little scene showed how it is more of an adult’s movie. It showed a reflection of a late adult’s life. I’m not sure if I’m going to agree about it, but I really, really enjoyed the film. It’s so touching in a way. I don’t care if it’s really for adults or for kids. I just love the film and I’m going to watch it again some time in the future. Plus, a Filipino took part in making the film, giving me more reasons to watch it some more.

Cakes That Are Not Cakes

“Creativity is the process of bringing something new into being,” (May, 1994). So, even if it means to see a cake that was designed to look like a cockroach, you have no choice but to appreciate its art and originality. Yes, you read it right! A COCKROACH CAKE! It’s something new and it really exists. No kidding there. That’s creativity in the world of baking nowadays. And, there are still tons more of other uniquely decorated cakes that you would rather display (or throw-up on for the case of the cockroach cake) than eat.

What I have here are just three among hundreds of the coolest cake designs in the world. They may not be as sweet-looking as your normal cakes but I am sure they are just as tasty.

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(The Rubik’s Cube Cake)

Don’t worry! This cake is not as hard as the plastic toy it’s trying to copy. It’s perfectly fine to eat and you don’t need to worry if it has chemicals found in plastics as an ingredient.

I like how the cake designer placed the three layers of cake. It’s not just a huge box. Whoever the cake designer is, he/she positioned the layers with an angle. As for the color of each tile, you would think that the designer just arranged it randomly. But, no, he put each tile color as if someone is still playing with the Rubik’s Cube. Can you see the three yellow tiles in a layer? That’s what I’m talking  about! Really clever, right?

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(Burger and Fries Cake)

If sugar and sweets are not enough to harm your figure then why don’t we combine it with fats and grease, eh? But, sorry to disappoint you, guys. This cake doesn’t really taste like burger and fries. Who would want a meaty and salty cake anyway?

There’s not one part in this cake that makes it similar to your favorite fast food meals except for its appearance. It’s just as sweet as your ordinary cakes. So, if your planning to threaten your health, go buy a separate burger and fries then have this cake.

snake-cake-2

(The Snake Cake)

Would you dare to eat a cake that looks like a real-life snake? Believe it or not, this is a chiffon cake. Even if it tastes good, I don’t think I would have the courage to eat it. It’s just…it looks too real! The skin, the face, even the eyes all looked alive. It’s cool, I agree, but it’s scary as well. I think I have read from a blog that this cake was served at a children’s party. That’s traumatizing for the kids! I hope no one got a heart-attack. Oh well, given a choice between this cake and the cockroach-look-alike one, I’d definitely choose this no matter what.

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As you can see, people are continually generating unique and original ideas. Even cakes weren’t able to escape their artistic minds. May it be the weirdest cake decoration, it is still considered as art. Creativity just doesn’t stop to be released. As what Dr. Jasmine Renner (2012) has written in her book, creativity is your fresh and imaginative ideas turned into reality.

Don’t be ashamed to create something new and different. Whether it is cake shaped as a Rubik’s Cube or a cockroach (Of course, I didn’t post the cockroach cake. It’s too mortifying.), it is creative. Just make sure that it doesn’t taste like any of the things your cake is trying to copy, okay? That would be gross.

Traveling at the “Speed of Light”

Which is more difficult: to suffer or to watch them suffer?

One of Aziatix’s songs that got me really hooked is “Speed of Light” which was released last year as part of their Awakening EP. Compared to their other songs, Speed of Light is more soulful and emotional. Since the Korean-American trio is relatively new, their music video for the single has only gathered around 180,000 views in Youtube since its pre-album release. As a way of promoting this very talented RnB/soul/hip-hop trio, I’ll try to get the message behind their song and video, and I’ll make you realize that they are one of the best Asian groups to debut yet. But, before that, please check out their music video below:

(Aziatix’s music video for Speed of Light)

THE SONG:

In this song, I noticed that there are three characters portrayed in the lyrics: the “she”, the “you”, and the “I”. While the “I” is the singer or the main character of the song, the “she” and the “you” are two different personas that have affected the “I”.

On the brink of madness
Drowning in hell, I’m tryna’ live while I’m at it
Shattered matters, flatters stress; she’s so attracted to me

Based on the lyrics, “she” is so attracted to the singer however, that “she” isn’t really a woman but a depiction of his hard life he’s trying to live with.

When I know she’s gone, she comes right back,
Can’t catch breaks not even a slight crack
Stuck in the hole then I dig myself even deeper when I try to fight back
I kick in the door and it leads to more,
What’s the key to life?
I’m falling off, split the floor, traveling at the speed of light

When the singer thought he has already got rid of his problems, “she” comes back without even giving him a break after all his hardships. He tried to fight “her” back but it only led him to more sufferings. Since fighting back doesn’t work anymore, he decided to just run away from “her” at the speed of light. This became his solution.

When you told me everything would be alright, I believed it.
But you left me alone here in the dark to be defeated.
You’ve gone, so far away
But I made it through, and I’m standing here today

In the chorus, the singer suddenly directed his message to “you” as if he was talking to us. He was accusing “you” of betrayal for making him believe that everything will be alright. Being left in the dark to suffer alone was something he didn’t expect after being promised of something better. But still, he made it through in the end, regardless of what has happened.

I see the sun, after the rain
Yesterday is dead and gone,
The speed of light my life goes on, and on

The singer revealed in the first two verses that his choice was to travel life at the speed of light. It seemed like an effective solution for him. However, in order to keep his life fixed, he has to keep moving on. He has to keep escaping from his problems.

Running away from your problems isn’t really going to be easy especially when you’re left alone. It may not even help to solve anything. But, why was it so easy for the singer “to see the sun after the rain” using this manner? Why did this way become an easy solution for him?

Running on E,
Only things left is faith and passion at its purest form

Yes, he’s all alone but there are still two things left with him and those are faith and passion. These are what keeps him moving on. But, when a person feels like he/she was betrayed, how could he/she still have faith (or passion) in its purest form? Of course, it would have to be faltered in some way but in the singer’s case it didn’t. How?

You felt so far away
But I made it through, and I’m standing here today

In the last chorus, the singer changed the line “you’ve gone so far away” into “you felt so far away”. This means that he was starting to doubt if he really was left alone at all. There’s a big difference between feeling something and experiencing it.

I see the sun, after the rain
Open my eyes and now I know,
That you’ve been with me all along
I’m alright
I’m OK

The moment the singer opened his eyes, he realized that he wasn’t really alone during all those dark defeated days. Someone was with him all along and that someone is “you”. “You” is the main reason why in the end, he saw the sun after the rain, the reason why he made it through. But the real question is: in what way did “you” become the reason for him to be alright and okay?

THE VIDEO:

The music video for this song is really just simple. Each member is sitting alone in the middle of the dark room and are forced to watch the shows on a bunch of televisions. The way their individual scenes were combined and edited are a bit shaky and scratchy but not in a bad way. This is how they wanted to show their messed up situation. In their case, they have no choice but to sit, scream, and watch while others are suffering.

In the end, one of the members threw a television on the floor just to stop the show.

Combining the song and the video, I think what Aziatix really wanted to tell us is that while we are trying to live a normal life and to be oblivious, there are many people suffering in most parts of the world. While “she” is the different forms of suffering as shown on TV, “you” are those people who were facing it. “I” is actually…us. We are the real singers of this song.

We have these problems that we can’t easily solve. Since we can’t fix those problems, we just try to run away from them. Of course, it won’t work things out. The problem just stays and waits until it sees its next victim, and that victim are those who are currently suffering in our behalf.

The promise the song’s talking about is the fact that these people, although not necessarily willing, are facing the problems for us. They will make things better for us even if it means they will be the one to experience chaos and disasters. Since we kept on running away from those problems, we have to leave them and face what life brings us next while we are all alone. This means “you” didn’t leave “I”. It’s only what we wanted to happen or we assumed to be happening because in running away, we know and we see that there will always be people blocking those problems for us. Its harder to watch them suffer while were moving on in our lives when we should be in their place. Though we wanted them to run away with us, whether we like it or not, they will have to stay for us to be saved. That’s their way of being with us all along. That’s how they have been the reason for us to be alright. But, that’s also how we’ve been alone in the dark and defeated by our conscience. And, that’s what it means to be traveling at speed of light.

REFERENCE:

  • Allkpop. (2012, April 17). Aziatix releases the MV to new single “speed of light”. Retrieved from http://www.allkpop.com/article/2012/04/aziatix-releases-the-mv-to-new-single-speed-of-light
  • Aziatix. (n.d.). About. Retrieved from http://www.aziatix.com/about/
  • Princess.of.Tea. (2012, April 18). Aziatix – speed of light lyrics. Retrieved from http://princessoftea.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/aziatix-speed-of-light-lyrics/