Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Proud ‘Bots

Gay Pride weekend once again: I think when they stopped holding the gay parade that’s when Gay Pride lost much of its political and social agenda. Instead it turned into one big excuse to party. Not that there’s anything wrong with a party—heck, most gays will party at any excuse. And personally, if Pride weekend morphs into an excuse to be publicly Out and about, then there’s value in that too. In fact, if the general public treats it as in the same league as the Oktoberfest, then for me it’s a triumph of sorts. That is, celebrating gay-dom does not raise eyebrows anymore.

Of course the danger there is that instead of acceptance, it’s merely tolerated. Or worse, there’s just plain indifference. We may have the freedom to celebrate, but what about rights and the protection from discrimination?

Therefore, let us be both vigilant and vivacious.

* * * * *

The Pride event was to start at 9pm, which in gaytime means “nearly midnight” but I decided to come early (which in my time means “almost 10”) to avoid the crowd. True enough, when I got to Orosa Street there were plenty of people but not enough to be a crowd. The air was so humid and sticky that I was sweating in seconds. Not good. So I retreated to the cool and dry interior of Bed. Good move. After a few minutes and one bottle of SanMig Lite, Doc Tony reported that it started raining outside. Not that it would stop the Sangkabadingan from partying; if anything, water makes us multiply in numbers. Besides water never stopped a show of skimpy-clad men and female impersonators from pushing through.

And so in Bed I stayed, drinking, dancing and once in a while disturbing DJ Brian Cua from his task by suggesting that he play David Pomeranz (it’s an inside joke—the next time you see Brian ask him, “How’s David?” and then run for your life).

After a while I saw people I know: Phillip, Beau, katukayo Joel, and Ricci Chan. They were either with friends or with their partner.

Then they stopped the music for some contest: the Bed Bodies. Seven guys strutted on stage. The side comments flew fast and furious:

Announcer: “These gorgeous bisexual men….”
Us: “Hu-whaaat?! ‘Bisexual’? Owws?!”
Me: “Maybe you can buy them sexually!”
Ricci: (to the contestants) “Sige nga! Prove to us you’re bisexual!”

Announcer: “He’s 19 years old….”
Crowd hoots in disbelief.
Ricci: “He’s 19 years old… in the business!”

Announcer: “He stands at 5 feet 9 inches….”
Ricci: “His don’t look like 9 inches to me, dahlin’!”

Haaay, such bitchy-funny folks. :-)

* * * * *

At 3am I had a sudden and overwhelming urge to just up and leave. The party was in full swing. Phillip was on his way to Drunklandia, Beau was dancing the night away, Ricci was holding hands with his partner, and I was dancing on the ledge when it hit me: no one invited me to go to the Pride Party. People asked me, “Are you going?” but no one actually said, “Hey, join me/us at the Pride Party!”

Don’t I have friends?

Most of friends my age already shun the crowds at Malate, preferring a more sedentary scene like strolling around Serendra. My younger friends from TA and others—while a lot of them gay—aren’t into the bar scene. My industry friends are too busy, too old or too straight to come. As for the others, well, they were there already with friends.

So am I not the “to be invited” type, I wondered. Am I too distant? Too independent? Too single? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? Am I out of here?

And that’s when I got out of there. It doesn’t help one’s pride if one starts asking those questions while in the middle of a bitchin’ hot Gay Pride party.

Besides I had a great excuse to go home early.

* * * * *

From transformers in Malate to Transformers in Pasig:

The next morning I woke up bright and early. My brother and I were watching—ka-ching!Transformers! We headed to Shangri-la Mall and got ourselves two tickets for the Premiere Theater. At Php250 you get reclining seats and snacks—soda and your choice of a hotdog sandwich or a bucket of popcorn. I just preferred the screening time of 12:30pm. If we chose another screening time we’d either be rushing to eat our lunch—I so hate rushing anything on a Sunday—or we’d wait a long time for the next screening. I decided to treat my younger bro to the movie.

The 250 peso tickets were sooo worth it!

I was never a fan of the original cartoon series, though I was aware of Optimus Prime, the Autobots, Megatron and the Decepticons. But this movie brought out the little kid and the butch side of me. Michael Bay was an excellent choice as director. He kept the camera constantly moving especially during transformations, so that your eyes are “fooled” into believing the complex transformation that was happening. And there was this one shot that I’ve always wanted to see mounted onscreen but never witnessed it until now: the scene where Megatron and Optimus crashed into a building and the camera tracked their movement as they plowed through the building. Bitchin’ coolness! I swear, that’s what my high school teacher of film appreciation called the kinetic power of cinema—my pulse literally quickened as I watched that jaw-dropping money shot. Talk about movie orgasm!

The final battle was, I thought, a little too “small” in scale, considering that the US military is deeply involved in this. I was expecting more planes, more helicopters, more troops! And the Spielbergian manipulative tactic of throwing sympathy for the alien—troops subdue and capture alien, lead kid cries, “Don’t! You’re hurting him!” and the barbaric examination of the alien by human scientists—is still there. Hey, it worked for E.T., right? Still, the movie is pure popcorn so such quibbles are easy to shrug off. This movie wisely never takes itself too seriously (with lines like “What a lame line! ‘More than meets the eye’?!” and “Honey, we’ve got a small transformer problem!”), so why should we?

At first the Decepticons attacking at random made the movie feel like an “aliens invasion” type of movie. And when the Autobots reveal themselves, there’s this “awkward boy-meets-alien” vibe that Spielberg practically invented that propels the movie. But once the Autobots develop “characters” and the Decepticons reveal themselves, the movie goes into full action movie overload. While sometimes the action is so frenetic that I lose sense of direction (“Where are they now? What just happened?”), it’s still a visual kinetic feast.

Now I wish Orlando could turn into a robot.


Mikey said...

Hey Jewel,

To be honest, I really hated the film. Yes, the effects were awesome and the robot scenes were nerdgasmic, but I felt the characterizations just didn't cut the beef. The foil characters were too weak or stereotypical, and the plot was pencil thin. I just felt that Michael Bay was treating all of us too patronizingly. But then, maybe I was expecting waaay too much for a movie I should just sit back and watch. said...

Felt that way about pride--have no qualms about it being a party; but hopefully people realize what they are partying about.

and too late, i think people are already indifferent about gayness. hell, some even take advantage of gay people's penchant for the arts, just as long as they dont talk about sucking--haggard di ba?

try the globe platinum cinema at gateway, 350 bucks but it's a lazyboy seat with all you can eat popcorn and all you can drink sodas. wayyy much better than shang

hmmmm...i didnt go to malate last pride night because i felt it was a meat market and my lover was with me--nagmukha naman akong diabetic in a candy store di ba?

Q The Conqueror said...

Hmm... Well, Keanu already is a robot, maybe Orlando will move from his gay-elf stage into a more... robotic stage. Lol.

Raymond said...

I saw Transformers, Fantastic Four 2, and Die Hard 4 in one action-packed weekend. Transformers was nerdy-geeky fun, as Joel said, even though the whole thing was, you must admit, rather absurd. A life-giving cube? Well, that's in the same league as the planet-eating Galactus. FF2 had the oh-so-fine bonus of a shirtless Chris Evans (yummy to the max). But for my money, the best action movie was Die Hard 4.0. You should definitely go back to the Shangri-La premiere theater for that one. And I know you like Justin Long (he of the Apple commercials), right?

joelmcvie said...

MIKEY: Yes, you were expecting too much for a Michael Bay movie. Hello, sa title pa lang na TRANSFORMERS noh, seriosohin ba natin? Sit back, relax and put your brain beside you. This movie is a no-brainer. :-)

POWERBOTTOM: Ay sus, ayaw mo palang pumunta dahil kay Jowa! Ahahaha. O sha, yun na. :-D

Q: Keanu is his own Transformer.

joelmcvie said...

BONG: It's the summer movie onslaught!

cant_u_read said...

may i invite you to my place tomorrow night? i am making dinner (french/italian fusion) and dan & i just replenished our burgundy and bordeaux supplies.

gibbs cadiz said...

aay, bago na naman ang foto. hasteeg! (very bisexual language). :)

joelmcvie said...

RYE: Awww, how sweet. Kaya lang may presentation ako ng Thursday morning, so kakalowka ang mag-red eye flight to and fro.


Sinerioso daw o! Ahahahaha!

But thanks for the invite. Ikain at iinom n'yo na lang ako. :-)

Keitaro Hanazawa said...

Honga, medyo mababaw nga ang plot ng Transformers. Pang-kids kasi, pero astig pa rin yung effects lalo na yung pagta-transform ng mga robots. Sobrang small scale nga nung mga action scenes and there were times na nalilito ako kung sino na yung mga Decepticons tsaka sino yung mga Autobots -- magkakamukha kasi sila. Tsaka isa pang nakakainis, wala man lang nakakita kay Soundwave na naglalakad sa airport, considering na ang daming police nun. Tsk!

rOckY said...

i loved the movie, but then again i've always been a fan of the series and i made sure i went in the right mindset (prepare for Michael Bay)

it's a lot of fun if you embrace your inner child, just wanting to see your former toys smack each other the city.