Category: showbiz

The clowns are coming

If the movie and sports celebrities win—and they are sure to—they will, added to the incumbent senators who are likewise celebrities, turn the Senate from an august body into a big joke. Most likely, they will just be mere ornaments in the Senate and members of the committee on silence, with nothing positive to contribute to the conception and enactment of much-needed legislation for the development of the country. For how can these people intelligently deliberate on the Senate floor such complex laws as the Anti-Trust Law or the Securities Act, which, even to the Ivy League graduates, defy easy comprehension?

— Rogelio P. Vinluan


Manny Pacquiao—Fearsome Fighter, Pop-Culture Punchline

By Will Leitch

Even when their lives are often anything but, boxers are afforded an undeniable dignity. At least in our popular culture. Our admiration for boxers is as profound as our fear of them, and we treat them accordingly. Jake LaMotta, some dumb palooka from the Bronx, is given a deeply respectful, almost regal treatment by the most serious filmmaker of our time. Muhammad Ali is the closest thing we have to an American saint. Heck, Mike Tyson: Even when you’re playing along with him on Jimmy Kimmel, you do it out of a certain terror; part of the excitement of watching Tyson goof off is the sense that he could explode and start decking everybody in sight any second. The great punchline of The Hangoverisn’t “In the Air Tonight;” it’s when, after Tyson floors Alan with one punch, Stu can’t help but be impressed: He’s still got it, man. They are granted warrior status, for life.

And then there is Manny Pacquiao.

Read on…

reeva’s last valentine

the pistorius verdict: not guilty of murder, guilty only of culpable homicide (something like manslaughter) AND BUT still out on bail as he awaits the october 13 sentencing hearing/s — a last month out in the world before he’s locked up for some years?  or a sign of things to come, as in, the lightest sentence, and he practically walks free?  amazing.

of course judge masipa could still surprise us with a reasonably appropriate maximum sentence, as many years in jail as possible, anywhere from 8 to 15 i gather, but i’m not hopeful.

she’s right, state prosecutor nel did not prove his case that the couple had a huge quarrel that led to the shooting.  but i can’t believe that the loud angry arguing voices that a witness heard for some time before the shooting, and the fact that reeva still had partially digested food in her stomach after a full 8 hours daw since her last meal, were dismissed just because these did not jibe with pistorius’s story that incredibly the judge found credible, as though there were no reason for pistorius to lie, or to make up the intruder story — even citing pistorius’s screams for help and the reeva-in-his-arms dramatics post-shooting as proof that he was devastated to find that it was reeva who was dead.  yeah, right. as though it were an impossibility that pistorius was play-acting, playing the intruder card, to cover up what may really have happened.

i followed this case very closely via cable tv, internet websites, and twitter.  i even started re-reading my nadine gordimers, and wondered if she had been aware of, what was she thinking about, the killing of reeva.  the defense had closed its case, and court was in recess before closing arguments, when gordimer diedin july 14, what a loss.  if this had happened in her prime, she would surely be writing a book about the case and how prosecutor nel failed to give legs to the angry-argument story when he could have done so, easily, by grilling pistorius on the valentine’s day angle.  or maybe nel fell for this bit of testimony, hook, line, and sinker?

He (Pistorius) said they had no major plans for St Valentine’s Day the next day, but that he had bought her a bracelet from a jeweler she liked earlier that year and was going to buy a trinket for her to put on it.

“We had both made a thing about not making a big thing out of Valentine’s Day. We were just going to have a nice dinner,” he said.

that sounds to me more like wishful thinking in the light of what happened. and in the light of the fact that the reeva-oscar romance was just three months old, this was their first valentine’s day as a couple, and she had been looking forward to it.

theirs, after all, had been a whirlwind kind of thing, they were really just getting to know each other, reeva hadn’t moved in.  and those three months of “dating” and sleep-overs had not been all moonlight and roses, as revealed by the lengthy text exchanges over the green-eyed monster in pistorius and his temper and controlling ways, and reeva insisting on being heard and admitting that sometimes she was afraid of him.  but it would seem they were in love, and quick enough to forgive each other.  and it would seem that reeva was more happy than fearful in the run-up to feb 14.

according to reports, she spent the night of feb 12 with pistorius. and they must have had a good night because next morning her first tweet (with photo of the shake, and ‘boo’ referring to pistorius) — both she and pistorius had/have twitter accounts — was this:

‏@reevasteenkampv It’s a beautiful day!Make things happen.Starting my day off with a yummy healthy shake from my boo :) feb 13, 2013 

some three hours later she tweeted this:

What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow??? #getexcited#ValentinesDay

also sometime that day, reeva was at a shop to have gift-wrapped her valentine present for pistorius: a framed collage of photos of the two of them, and a card saying it was a good time to tell him i love you;

… A Party Box shop assistant who says she wrapped the gift told how Reeva, 29, acted “like any girl in love” on her visit the day before.

The woman who asked not to be named, said: “She was very friendly. We joked about a girl having to buy her boyfriend something if she wants something in return on Valentine’s Day.” 

so really, i don’t believe pistorius’s story.  i think they were awake at midnight when the clock struck valentine! and the quarrel started soon after, in the first hours of that special day for lovers (especially for couples in the early days of a relationship) that reeva had been looking forward to, was excited about, had prepared for, only to be disappointed, disenchanted, and, possibly, as the night wore on, quite infuriated.

disappointed that pistorius wasn’t into valentine’s, and was unapologetic — he’ll take her to a jeweler’s shop daw and get her a trinket for a bracelet he bought her early in the year, what’s the big deal (medyo barat).  disenchanted because pistorius may even have complained about being kept awake, and she may have found herself midnight snacking alone on whatever food and drink she had prepared to mark the beginning of what she thought would be a wonderful day, and quite likely wishing she had gone home to johannesburg instead.  and finally, infuriated –maybe pistorius laughed, sneered, at her for taking valentine’s day seriously?  or maybe, as some reports said, happy valentine’s day texts started coming in for both of them from other men, other women, whatever, and they just both lost it, thus the shouting match, when all kinds of ugly issues may have surfaced?

maybe they even broke up? and reeva decided she was going home, got into her jeans, but pistorius refused to disable the alarm, it was unsafe for a woman out there in the middle of the night, so she got out of the jeans, ran to the toilet to get away from him, with her cellphone, not so much for the light, but maybe to text her predicament to some friend?  which may have freaked pistorius out, an angry reeva could be a loose cannon, oh the stories she could tell about him, goodbye to his golden-boy image, no way could he allow it, and he got his gun, I’ll say I thought she was an intruder, can’t let her mess up my life, bang! bang! bang! bang?

there’s talk that pistorius plans to write a book, make some money on the story, a story full of lies it would seem, to get back some if not all of the huge money he spent to mount a winning defense.  if true, a film or two should not be far behind.  here’s hoping for one from left field that will seriously challenge pistorius’s tall tale and give legs to nel’s allegation that there was no intruder, there was only reeva, and there was a quarrel, and she locked herself in the toilet to get away from him, and he slipped into killer mode and started shooting.


The Oscar Pistorius verdict exposes South Africa’s fraught racial history
Pistorius Trial is over, but has justice been served? 
Judge Masipa got it all wrong on Pistorius
Pistorius judgment: Was there no intention to kill someone behind the toilet door?
Oscar describes Reeva’s last day
Oscar Trial: Pistorius describes Valentines Day shooting 
The Oscar Pistorius trial has me hooked like no other 
Torment on the Stand, but Is It an Act? 
Reeva Steenkamp ‘leaving due to argument’ when Pistorius shot her, prosecutor claims 

vhong vhindicated?

on social media some peeps are saying that too much time is being wasted on the vhong navarro story when there are so many other things going on that are more important to nation.  katrina posted this status in response:

no, no. there is nothing stupid, or shallow, or wrong about discussing what truly happened to Vhong Navarro. this is a guy that a mass audience has been watching on TV from Monday to Saturday since 2009. he is someone whose becoming has happened on nationwide television, kicking it off with the Streetboys, and later on doing comedy like none of those other boys could. he has a hit song to his name, hit movies, too. kids watch this guy on TV every day and know of his icon to be about comedy, and wit, and dancing, and fun.

that he has come out looking the way he does is no joke. that the story is about concepts that are the total opposite of his public persona, that it is about rape, extortion, violence, revenge, blackmail, make it an even more important topic for discussion. because the mass audience that watches him on TV every day deserves a discussion about the image of this man they idolize, coming out on TV all black and blue and broken.

there is nothing stupid about this. neither is there reason to think this shallow and superficial. this might seem less important than politics and corruption and the economy (or whatever else), but it is important on the level of culture — and i don’t mean just Vhong as celebrity — but culture as ideology, as the way we engage with the world, and the way things unravel, publicly and otherwise.

this is not any more or any less important than other national issues at this point in time. it is equally important because it is about nation, and it is a discussion that we MUST have because this speaks of and about us. ignoring it would also mean missing the opportunity to engage in a discussion about violence and rape, regardless of whether the latter happened or not.

and really, more important things to discuss? whatever happened to multitasking?

my reaction, when i first saw vhong’s black-eyed and puffed-up face on tv, was consternation: such violence! the guys who beat him up must have been so angry, what’s the backstory?  and then, again, maybe the guys were just high on some speedy drugs, and so, wala lang, trip lang?

now we have two quite different versions, one denying, the other alleging, a rape attempt.  one alleging, the other denying, below-the-waist kababuyan.  the strange thing is, the girl isn’t hiding her face, like the usual rape/attempt victim does, and she has a well-known businessman-cum-personal-body-guard (who admits beating up vhong) doing all the talking for her.  very weird.

meanwhile, i hear the nbi finds merit in vhong’s case.  i’m just glad that there was no knee-jerk response from women’s groups that are usually quick to scream rape! in support of alleged rape/attempt victims.  good job, girls.