For months I have with a reluctant heart withheld from publicly publishing my thoughts online. Since last summer, my presence in free blogging platforms such as WordPress and Blogspot as well as in social networking sites like Friendster, Multiply, and Facebook were drastically minimized. At the extreme, most of these were deleted to the dismay of some friends, family, online contacts, and secret readers whose identities – you know who you are – I have absolutely no idea whatsoever.
Vestiges of these past Internet-based activities – reposts, quotations, missing links, and comments, etc. that lead to these now non-existent entries still abound online but the original contents themselves have become unavailable like say the blood that you lose to a mosquito bite. You can undoubtedly kill the puny insect but the blood you lost to it cannot ever be recovered. Now, now… do forgive me for this talk of blood and parasites. The same meaning could have been imparted in a more eloquent manner, I know. But let us forgive a man who was just bitten by such a mosquito. He lost much to the incessant stings of such a despicable creature and he wasn’t even able to hit it with his hand in revenge. No doubt the pest would go on living for another day before dying of its own gluttonous existence.
Let me get on with my point, however. The disappearances (oh, how sinister) were sudden and unexplained. These were done without any advanced notice whatsoever nor any post-script whatsoever. Still, what was done is done and I do not regret anything. Let’s just say that… err… how do I say this… my implicit obligation to keep another happy outweighed all other considerations… That’s one way of putting it. But since certain events have extinguished such a commitment, there is no more reason to keep me from expressing myself in public online.
No more propitious day than this can be chosen to reestablish my presence online… Sounds somewhat familiar? He-he-he… Well, actually… it’s not that I planned it in advance. Today’s really not a commemoration of some important birthday. Neither does it correspond to some significant historical event from the past. Not that I know of at least. A string of circumstances simply conspired to have me press the register button in WordPress and now I’m typing my first post.
Then again, today also marks the beginning of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. It’s not for nothing that the Chinese chose today to start the Olympics. The number eight is considered a lucky number because according to the Wikipedia it sounds like the word “prosper” or “wealth.” And the number eight appears three times in the date August 8, 2008! Aha! If Mao were alive today, he would have no doubt thought this superstitious none sense by his successors an affront to ideological purity. Where’s the dialectical materialism in it, comrade? Well, at least his successors conformed to the mass line! But let me digress again for a while. What I love about Wikipedia is its wide coverage, no doubt a result of its collaborative nature where “most of the articles can be edited by anyone with access to the Internet, simply by clicking the edit this page link.” This of course, has its pitfalls in the form of potential vandalism of articles and misinformation. Some even alleged that the CIA and the Vatican are policing Wikipedia entries. Why these organizations would like to do that should not even be asked. So much for conspiracy theories, let me return to my original point. I have no plans of making money out of this; I wish only to have the good luck associated by Chinese culture with the number 8 rub off to the relaunching of my blog.
By now, not a few readers would undoubtedly conclude that I am merely self-aggrandizing: “It’s not as if you’ve gone away for twenty years like a Rip Van Winkle! And all this empty talk… tsk, tsk, tsk…” But what else can a decent man speak of with most pleasure as Dostoevsky’s underground man asked 144 years ago? “Of himself!” he answered. So I will continue in the vein that I have started… But I have tired of writing anything more for today. I am about to stop… Stop!
But before I leave, I give my personal gratitude to my father and my mother for convincing me to create this blog. It is titled (Mis)readings because I came across the Jonathan Culler saying, “all readings are misreadings”; I never really understood his essay but I thought the quote was very witty. Like in the past, the blog would feature observations on passing events, books, and ideas from the vantage point of someone from the Southern Philippines. It is in short nothing more than the conceit of the author raising its ugly head online to propagate unlettered opinions to a public audience.
I can only post something here at least once a week. Most of it wouldn’t be worth bothering about though… Still, I won’t go offline unless the country becomes authoritarian again or God forbid! follow the examples of Saloth Sar’s Democratic Kampuchea (1975-1978) or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. And one more thing, if ever I get bored with this I won’t have this removed from cyberspace. ■