But it is, nameless rent-a-cop! IT IS. Time for this month's second installment of my Manila Bulletin column, to be exact. Remember, kiddies, it's every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, in the Bulletin's 'i' section. This time around, I wrote about the recently-concluded Fête de la Musique:
Those of you fortunate enough to have owned -- or in my case, borrowed -- a hardbound series of books collectively known as Childcraft while growing up may recall a reassuring demonstration involving vampires and mathematics in one of the volumes. (Other readers may wonder what business the words "reassuring" and "mathematics" have being in the same sentence with each other). It goes something like this: say that a vampire needs to feed once every week, and that every time it bites someone’s neck, that person becomes a vampire too. So in two weeks you have two vampires, in three weeks you have four, and so on and so forth in rapid geometric progression, until by the time you hit a little over half a year you would have about 8 billion vampires populating the Earth.
And so, the demonstration reassures us, vampires cannot exist, because if they did, you and everyone else you know would be a vampire right now. What the authors of Childcraft may not have realized is that the idea that everyone one knows, including oneself, is quite possibly a vampire -- and in fact, is likely to be, as proven by mathematics -- is far more terrifying a concept than the idea that some lone vampire, vulnerable to crucifixes and garlic pizza, might be wandering around somewhere.
Which brings us in typical roundabout fashion to the annual Fête de la Musique, which I had the pleasure of attending last Saturday night at El Pueblo. As always, over a hundred bands performed for free on various stages, grouped loosely according to genre: Rock, Blues, Jazz, Hip-hop, Electronica, etcetera. Okay -- you may well ask -- what do vampires have to do with the Fête? Aside from the fact that almost everyone who attends seems to be dressed in black, the main reason the Fête reminded me of the Childcraft horror story is that the number of people seems to double every time, as if every attendee in a given year seems to make it a point to come back in the next, dragging another music afficionado along.
As always, check out the print version for the full column. I have yet to discover why the MB's online archives seem to have swallowed the previous three installments in Sarlacc Pit fashion. Perhaps they will be regurgitated sometime soon.
In other news: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy opens in local theaters today! Go watch it! Unlike the last Star Wars movie, all the jokes are intentional. (And speaking of SW3, check out this abridged screenplay). And while waiting in line for your Hitchhiker's tickets, you can try writing an entire novel in six words. Funny how the John Updike example renders much of his actual written work superfluous.
Finally, if you're not in the mood for light, quirky spacefaring fare, you could watch this bit of cinematic anti-whimsy, as I did last night with my friends Kidlat, Ronnie and Tanya. We were originally supposed to watch Mr. and Mrs. Angelina Jolie, but we noticed the invitation-only Hotel Rwanda premiere being held in the theater right next to the ticket booth, and Kids used his manly charms to wangle us four free passes. I kid you not. Anyway, if you want to flinch and squirm as based-on-true-life hardships and atrocities are reenacted onscreen, Hotel Rwanda is the movie for you. It's sad, frightening, and, at times, all too close to home.