Musings on the Musical: Opinions on Music-Related News Bites!! :)

1. First Filipina Idol: Is It Possible?

After making it into the top two, Jessica Sanchez now has a one out of two chance in being crowned the first Idol of Asian descent and the first woman (after a gillion years). She will be credited for breaking the streak of WGWG winners, which effectively ended with Lee in Season 9, and finally, Idol will at least manage to re-earn the credibility it has lost since the exit of Simon Cowell by crowning a winner that surely wasn’t chosen by voters because of her looks.

  But is it possible? Phillip Phillips has never been in the legit bottom two, despite visibly bad performances and off-key moments that force some to question his technical (vocal) ability, which is immediately backed up by his cuteness and his instrumental ability, something many consider an asset in the music business, and there’s his ‘original’ sound that has Idol mentor Jimmy Iovine warming to him at this point in the competition, which is pretty good. Yet it doesn’t mean that Jessica can’t at all compete with Phillip’s good looks, as she’s managed to deliver astounding vocal performances that have made her a favorite to win, and made a whole country proud. Phil Phillips doesn’t have that… and if there’s one thing Jessica’s going to need besides good song voice and a well throat, it’s the support of Filipinos. I was personally hoping to see two vocal performers like Joshua and Jessica in the finale, but it seems like America has yet to let go of their favorite Idol: the WGWG. Tune in next week to find out if this 16-year-old beats the odds.

P.S. I wish Joshua a fruitful career. He’s probably the best performance-wise in the post-Cowell seasons, and that’ll take him places. We might just see him in the Grammys ;)… I dunno. He’s seriously overrated, though, and some say that did not play in his favor. They’re probably right.

2. No to Gaga!

Lady Gaga is receiving seirous backlash from Christian groups in Asian countries, as they regard her music ‘satanic’ and her concerns ‘pornographic’. South Korea has now been joined by the Philippines in the anti-Gaga crusade, as plans to file a TRO against her Born This Way ball being held in Araneta are being made ahead of her Monday concert.

 This is one thing I’d have to go half-and-half with. On the one hand, Lady Gaga is definitely the definition of over-the-top, and she’s been making headlines for performing ‘Satanic’ rituals all over the world. I guess it makes sense that a country that is majorly Catholic would oppose someone who crosses the line of liberal to perform in our country. On the other hand, I’ve been seeing TV commercials advertising the Born this Way Ball in the country for months… why isn’t it that these Catholic groups only decide to move NOW? They could easily have stopped the concert altogether, without the monetary sacrifices that they’re imploring  those who’ve bought tickets to the Ball to make. You may think me money-faced, but the truth of the matter is, calling on people to throw away more than a thousand pesos of their money by tearing up their tickets will definitely irk them, unless they are as devout towards their religion as they are to Lady Gaga.

 I originally wanted to suggest censorship (which has been done in the past, to acts like Beyonce and the Pussycat Dolls), but I’ve realized that Lady Gaga might be left with almost no material if harsh censorship is to be made as a proposed alternative. One need remember that despite being as grossly over the top as she is, one of our kababayans became a viral sensation singing one of Gaga’s songs: her less-‘Satanic-like songs, anyways. Let’s just hope she keeps it clean once she does perform in Manila.

 

 

On Adultery

Despite having graduated from a Catholic school, I admit I have never really memorized the Ten Commandments to heart as much as I wish I did. But that doesn’t mean I don’t remember them at all, nor that I have forgotten them. I guess I just forget a commandment or two at times, and end up searching it online. 😀 (sorry about that).

“Thou shall not commit adultery”

 Adultery need not be defined by Wikipedia, as it is simply known as betrayal of marital trust. One spouse forgets or simply disregards the vows made in marriage and goes off with someone else, to the dismay of his/her companion. This person may have their reasons, but that doesn’t at all make what they’re doing okay. In fact, it gives one more reason to condemn said individual the same way Hester was condemned in the Scarlet Letter, or even worse.

Words need not express how much I am against this, for if there’s one thing I cannot find myself condoning, it’s betrayal. This is something that’s more than unfair to the person being victimized in this situation. It causes this person emotional and mental distress that can sometimes lead to suicidal tendencies, as they continually wonder what the problem is with them. Why do they deserve such persecution? It is hard enough to strive for perfection in a world that is continually imperfect, that these individuals do not at all deserve to endure more than what life has already put them through. One would only be considered sadistic to even consider putting one’s spouse through more distress.

 Yet some claim having valid reasons for their betrayal, as they find themselves going through the worst of emotional distress because of their marriage. Hey you, idiot! Why did you even get married in the first place if you found that you weren’t ready for the ordeals it would surely put you through? Did you just not think? I suppose so. (Read my previous entry about marriage).

 Adultery is never valid, nor are the reasons for committing adultery. The adulterer may find him/herself committing an act of vigilante justice but that is never the case. It’s just wrong.

On Marriage

Marriage has always been defined as an act that is as sacred as the other known historical covenants of religious significance. It’s a contract between mortal and God that allows the ceremonial binding of two people in a lifelong union built upon love, and in the old days, political union. Yet despite marriage being regarded as a sacred union that the Catholic Church implores we not dissolve, people don’t seem to take it that seriously. The prevalence of divorce in countries like the US, and the presence in our history of women like Elizabeth Taylor (multiple husbands) are just some reasons why people do not regard marriage as something of importance in today’s society.  The issue of divorce is something that I regard with controlled ambivalence. On the one hand, I see and hear stories of women and men who suffer marital woes that end up causing them their lives. On the other hand, I am digusted with those who marry others at a whim and do not take the sanctity of such a union seriously. So I suppose I’m comfortable with the Catholic Church’s stand on divorce, even if I find it restricts those who are faced with valid marital issues to a life that does nothing at all to make their existence any better. That is why I believe that the Church should find a way to somehow compromise, by imposing strict laws with regards to divorce that allow the Church to play a part in the approval or disapproval of said dissolution. Yet they should not be given free reign and be guided by a legal team when such matters are passed on to them.

 The sad thing about marriage these days is how people have forgotten it’s significance, not just in the religious but in the emotional sense. It’s more than just a contract, it’s more than just a business partnership… it involves signing away your own hopes and dreams and preparing to be the part of a whole. It’s about sacrificing the possibilities you dreamed of and finding ways to share those with a person you can share everything with. That’s what marriage is. It’s more than just money, it’s more than just love… it involves a lifelong commitment and endless sacrifice without complaint. That’s why marriage is something you just don’t do on a whim, especially if the person you plan to share your future with ends up not being a person you can share everything with, and you find yourself looking at this person’s literal and figurative warts. Now that is a disaster.

   Yet despite the prevalence of those who have not taken marriage seriously, there are those that have managed to weather the storms of matrimony for so long they’ve come to the point of no return. The wounds from years passed have found no way to close and they find themselves ready to abandon what was once a fruitful union, along with the literal fruits of more than a decade’s worth of marriage. Some even resort to adultery because they are tired of their somewhat cloistered existence, an act I personally believe should be repaid not just with non-religious excommunication but with death, for committing adultery is against the Ten Commandments.

   In conclusion, I would just like to reiterate my previous thoughts regarding the importance of marriage. One must realize that it is more than a business-like union, as it involves a lifelong emotional union that one cannot, I repeat, cannot take for granted. To give up on marriage despite numerous ardous trials is in my opinion, roughly equivelent to adultery. Make sure of what you’re getting yourself into, and make sure it’s something you’ll not want to get out of.

 

Sirang Basurahan

Cloaked in black with visible cracks,

Cover broken, dirt revealed.

Recall the memories that have now passed,

For to failure one seems to have yielded.

Suddenly, the good fades away, the same way health is exchanged for disease.

A once stable existence turns into a stranded ship in the middle of a cruel sea,

Known to some as an anti-allegory to the obstacles of life.

Yet it is what it is.

And just as we are forced to endure life, we endure it’s trials,

And try our best to emerge as a phoenix does from it’s ashes.

Recall the Potter magic one sees in the second coming,

Of a bird rising from the ashes.

And the picture will disappear.

Beauty is reality, a miracle now visible without the use of protective lenses.

On The Artist

There was a point in my teenage years when I found myself enthralled by the allure of black and white. I remember watching a film starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers called Follow the Fleet, which was just so… so… magical in a way that I found myself wanting to watch more. Since then, I haven’t paid much interest to black and white films until the emergence of The Artist, a movie that not just remove color from the modern-day motion picture, but dialogue as well. 

  Yet it seemed so much odds were stacked against this film, besides the lack of the conventional characteristics of color and dialogue. The film’s lead is a relatively new face to American film, a French actor by the name of Jean Dujardin. His co-star is just as unknown, yet her name is quite pretty: Berenice Bejo. There are some recognizable faces in the film like John Goodman and Missi Pyle, but that’s about it. And instead of making this film fade into obscurity, it stood out for being different on so many levels. We see these newcomers and known faces excel at their craft because of the absence of dialogue, and they are forced to convey emotion with their facial expressions and body movements, something Dujardin seems quite adept in, thus making his Best Actor win well-received indeed. 

  Overall, the Artist is more than just a charming film, as the movie conveys a unique depth beyond what dialogue offers in talkie films. It’s what made the talkies of the day so classic and so memorable that makes the Artist really bring to life the nostalgia desired by Gil Pender in Midnight in Paris, and I believe that’s why the film was well-received and reaped a number of awards at this year’s Oscars.