Tuesday, February 09, 2016

The Book Inquisition Ep. 01: Inferno

The Book Inquisition Ep. 01: Inferno

The Biblio-beki Queen commands Dan Brown’s ‘Inferno’ to be put to the stand and face the Queenly Queer Queries.

  1. How was the cover?

I liked the paperback version of Corgi Books. The cover features the Duomo and an eerie mask above, done under the art direction by Claire Ward. 1 point.

  1. Did the book cause a lot of controversy?

Well, after referring to Manila as “the gates of hell”, obviously, a lot of Filipinos were deeply offended, mobilizing internet trolls and onion-skinned critics to denounce Brown’s novel that portrayed the lie about our capital city which we will always and forever deny. And I love it when certain books offend my own people. And also because I am an internet troll. Add to that the fact that it deals with issues about population growth and population control, issues which are very close to the heart of the Catholic Church and far more relevant in the hearts of the faithful, more than issues about justice and the fight against poverty and corruption. 2 points with a 0.5 bonus point!

  1. Did it compel me to do something I’ve never done before?

Kind of. I had this urge to do some research about population control, and check the accuracy of the theories about the doom of mankind. But the scientific theories brought me to boredom. BUT… it made me go out again and revisit some of our museums and historical landmarks that were mentioned in the book, making me fall in love again with Florence.  A full 1 point.

  1. Was the plot development refreshing and more than the usual shit you read or has it became your reality? 
Inferno is the first book I read this year. And compared to the last book I read in 2015, The Master of Petersburg (really bored me to death), Inferno is a lot better. And has it become my reality, my world? Well it actually deals with what is happening in our world to day. It is very relevant today. 2 points.

  1. Were the characters of the story similar to your favourite imaginary friends, or did they get along well with the creature under your bed, or have they become the friends/lovers/sex-slaves you’ve always wanted in your delusional world?

I have began to like Robert Langdon in the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. A bit less in this novel. Even his new “partner in crime” Dr. Sienna Brooks didn’t quite get my sympathy. I don’t know. We do not have chemistry this time. But they’re not that bad. Half point! 0.5!

  1. Has it changed your way of thinking? Have you become a better person or remained the same asshole in the neighbourhood?

I think, it made me more aware of the seriousness of the population explosion and the options to consider in dealing with it. At the same time it kind of made me scrutinize what international authorities and institutions are doing. 1 point.

7. Tonight. Sex or this book?

You’re reading Inferno. Perplexed with Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy and the status of the world’s population. Then here comes this guy, Raoul Bova, Italian sex icon and actor, and he says “Come to bed with me, now.”

The book is causing you a lot of perplexities, so you would say, ok, because part of you wants to deny the stressful truth of the novel and part of you just want to eat that Italian meat. You’ll put the book down for a while and have some really hot sex, but you will still save up some energy so you can get back again to reading after a while.


Total- 9.5 points!


Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Queenly Queer Queries- The Book Inquisition

A beki bookworm should be able to give a good opinion about a book he has read. Now, to judge a book- it’s high time that I should establish my own criteria on judging novels and books because some of the reviews and grades I made in the past were so inconsistent, it seemed like I was having my man-period or something.

I am no intellectual. I always judge a book by its cover, and if I fancy the cover I’d buy it. I have accumulated lots and lots and lots of books by now that I have to put a moratorium on book-buying and force myself to spend my money and shitty ill-fitting clothes and shoes and other stuff.

Now back to judging a book. Of course, the cover is not the only criterion. I have thought about the criteria for judging a book. So here are the guidelines I have established to judge a book. I call it the 3Q’s- The Queenly (because I am a queen, in a every sense of the word) Queer (I am and so is this questionnaire, in every sense of the word) Queries (because ‘questions’ is a too common of a word).

  1. How was the cover? (1 point)

Yes, I know. I am superficial I judge books primarily on the cover because. But hey, one must appreciate also the efforts of the artist who clothed the written word.

  1. Can the book cause a lot of controversy? Or if the book is controversial or has an outrageous claim to something or really popular, did it live up to your expectations? (2 points)

My kind of book is the one that lives up to its reputation, or the one that can establish a particular reputation, and if such reputation will meet the reader’s expectation.

  1. Did it compel you to do something you’ve never done before? (1 point)

I remember one time reading a novel by a Japanese author. It was so good that I started going to this ramen house because the characters in the book were always eating ramen. A good book will change your habit or can compel you to do things.

  1. Was the plot development refreshing and more than the usual shit you read or has it became your reality? (2 points)

A book should be so original and unique that when you read it, you are so immersed in it, it becomes your reality.

  1. Were the characters of the story similar to your favourite imaginary friends, or did they get along well with the creature under your bed, or have they become the friends/lovers/sex-slaves you’ve always wanted in your delusional world? (1 point)

  1. Has it changed your way of thinking? Have you become a better person or remained the same asshole in the neighbourhood? (1 point)

A good book must make you smarter, a better person in the community or at least stimulate your brain to function more than the usual, so as to be above among the brain-dead community of yours. 

  1.  Tonight. Sex or this book? (2 points)

A book is definitely good when you ignore a booty call, or turn down the invitation of some hot guy/girl to have some boom-boom-pow action tonight.

Optional question: Who do you think should read this book?

And as a Beki-Bookworm Queen, I decree that every book that will be read in my realm will be measured by the 3Q’s.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Divine Works- La Divina Bellezza Exhibit

I went to the Divina Bellezza Exhibit, Divine Beauty, an art exhibit that features religious art works by various artists including Chagall, Van Gogh, and Fontana. And I am just jotting down these names to sound smarter and be able to rub shoulders with assholic intellectuals in town. I survived social climbing with politicians and famous designers at parties, and so I managed well in this exhibit.

Anyway, I would like to share with you guys the paintings and sculptures I liked the most in the exhibit and my not-so-intellectual observation.

The exhibit was housed in the medieval palace, Palazzo Strozzi

This is 'The Savior', a painting by Giuseppe Catani Chiti. I'm supposed to say some shit about purism in art, the nervous spirituality, and pre-Raphaelite elements and symbolism. But no. I was simply drawn to this painting by the male nudity and that white and smooth flesh, so erotic and sensual. I couldn't believe I was fantasizing about Christ. BDSM has never been this perverted. 

I took the picture of this angel in another painting. I was really impressed by the details- the flying robes and its folds, and the gilded halos. Very exquisite.

This is Gustave Moreau's painting of St. Sebastian. Now I'm not sure if this painter is trying to fuck my brain, but this is simply too sensual to be considered religious art. Or maybe I'm just being too archaic and medieval. Observe the slender body, skin and flesh so white and so exposed, but slightly turned, and his tunic covering almost nothing but that which is meant to be used for procreation and not for pleasure. And yes, Brazilian wax, ladies and bekimen. Brazilian wax.

I like this artwork by Adolfo Wildt (1918). This is 'Mary Gives Birth to Christian Infants'. Since Mary gave birth to the Christ, through her, many people were reborn. Which is funny because man is only reborn, only through Christ. anyway, it's truly a beautiful piece of art.

Sculpture by Libero Andreotti, Madonna with Child. I think it is really dramatic with tender and touching gestures of the figures.

Here's of my favorites. The Annunciation. I apologize for the bad angle. It portrays the Virgin Mary, clad in white robes symbolizing her purity, with a ponderous expression in her face. From afar, the angel Gabriel was approaching her, about to announce "Hey gurl, may bebs ka down there with being jerjered by fafa Joseph". Forgot the name of the artist.

This painting is the Prodigal Son, as you can see, the artist (forgot who) portrayed here the lowest moment of his life, when he's already sharing his days with swines, as he is sitting beside a swine, looking at the beast while it is eating, as if he were having conversation with it. He is portrayed as wearing only a cloak and a tunic, showing his state of disgrace.

This is "The Raising of Lazarus" by Pietro Annigoni (1946). It was painted after the death of his brother. What really caught my attention is the melancholic and hazy color of the sky and the environment. And also those shrubs and plants sprouting forth from the rocks, as Jesus calls out Lazarus from the grave. Indeed in the gospels, this is one of the few instances that the Bible showed Jesus weeping.

The apostles by Felice Carena. Wala lang. Nakaka relax tingnan sila habang natutulog. hehehe!

"Jesus Crowned with Thorns" by Gaetano Previati. Jesus here seems to be shell-shocked, and his persecutors are like waning shadows. 

This is one of the masterpieces of Chagall. I am featuring this because Chagall is known worldwide, and just to be able to boast that I have seen in person the work of a master of art... even though I don't fucking understand anything about modern art. Pffff! Meh!

Curcifixion by Carlo Conti. I like this one too. Hindi masyado kita sa photo but this is one of the few paintings that indicated the eclipse that happened in during Christ's suffering at the cross. Quite striking is the red color of the woman's clothing at feet of the cross, and that is Magdalene wearing the color of the adultress, even the sorrowful expression of Mary.

This is Van Gogh's painting, The Pietà (after Delacroix). He painted this months before his suicide, giving Christ red hair and short beard like him. And yes, this is another attempt to show the world that I have regarded in person a masterpiece, nothing more, nothing less.

Here's one of my personal favorites. 'The Angelus' by Jean-Francios Millet. The picture is very solemn and poignant, showing the God-made landscape and the toil of man, but all seemed to pause and contemplate the Lord's grace and glory as the bell tolls from afar calling everyone to pray.

It was quite a long time since I've been to an art exhibit. I think people should go out and see art and great masterpieces. It's good that we feed the body, but every now and then, we must also feed the soul and regard art and beauty. 

Pakshet! Imelda lang ang peg!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Devil's Work

Here’s my theory. When stupidity rules over the minds of people, ideas and things that are hard to understand are often perceived as works of the devil.

Galileo Galilee was excommunicated because of his theories. The Large Hadron Collider in the CERN has been demonized by many. Gay marriage has been preached as a threat and social plague. Female leadership was considered the end of civilization. Our bishop in Rome suspended me because many ministers could not fathom my humor, saying that it was unbecoming of a respected (?) deacon and ungodly.

And just to give you another example to emphasize my point, here’s a remarkable work of man that has been branded as work of the devil.

The Devil’s Bridge of Borgo a Mozzano, province of Lucca, also known as Ponte della Maddalena is a masterpiece of medieval engineering, commissioned by Countess Matilda of Tuscany circa 1080-1100. After almost a thousand years, people call it the Devil’s bridge, simply because the techniques employed during its construction was quite advance during the time. So instead of learning more of the innovation in building, people simply passed on the legend.

That's me on the top. Miraculously, the bridge didn't collapse, LOL!

It was said that the master builder wasn’t able to finish the bridge on time. That night he asked the Devil for help. The Evil One promised that he would build a strong bridge over night in exchange of his soul. The master builder agreed and to his surprise, the devil raised an impressive and mighty bridge. The following day the builder felt so guilty that he confessed his sin to a priest. The priest suggested him to make a pig cross the bridge first, and so the devil took the pig’s soul instead of the builder’s.

And why is it that in every story the pig is used as the alternative for human soul? 

And come to think of it, we never demonized these squabbling pigs....

or this absentee messiah in congress...

or this....

Anyway, this is supposed to be an entry about by Tuscan escapades, and  I still ended it about politics. Well, what else can you expect?

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Pahabol na nominee for the Versatile Blog Award...

By the power vested upon me by the Faith, I, T.G. Bagyo, Prince of House Stormborn, Son of the Khaleesi Daenerys Stormborn Targaryen, first of my name, Vassal Lord and Imperial Viceroy of the Zafranian Universal Potentate, Supreme Sovereign Ruler of the Principality of Ballenas y Butanding, King of the Ampalayas, Lord Paramount Archdeacon and True Warden of the Faith, Master of the One Black Ring, Dauphin of Angmar, Prime Elector of the Most Honourable House of Stewards of Windlands, the Honourable Master of the Sovereign House of  Ovesterra, Lord Steward and Keeper of Giglio Manor, the Illustrious Highness the Grand Prince of Whales,    

confer the Versatile Blog Award to the one and only,