adventure # 166: Reality (un)edited
I am 24 years old.(Just celebrated my birthday a day ago)
I know it’s not really a big deal since I’m relatively “young” but like what my friend said, it’s “the year” before I reach my quarter life (crisis?). This is of course in accordance to the assumption that I’ll live for 100 years. *fingers crossed*
The cliché goes that age is but a number. Therefore, we shouldn’t really be bothered whether we are 16 or 60.
While cleaning my closet this morning, I saw my super dusty math book (Hi Mr. Leithold!).
If there is ONE thing that math taught me it would be the fact that numbers do matter.
The ancient Greek philosopher, Pythagoras was right all along.
Numbers are everything.
Let me give a little exercise just to prove my point that numbers matter in this shithole of a world we live in.
Let's begin with my so-called life.
I've been living for more or less 8760 days or 210, 240 hours or 12, 614, 440 minutes or 756,864, 000 seconds!
I have 1 sister and had a total of 34 pet dogs already.
I spent around 19 years in school.
My highest GWA in college is 1.34 and my lowest is 2.78.
I really hate math but surprisingly got a 98 during my senior year in high school which got me the "Best in Math" for that quarter.
The biggest amount of cash I've ever held on my hands was 310,000 pesos (which is not mine. Too bad!) and the smallest would be 0.
I killed 0 people but already killed 100++ cockroaches and 1 hamster! (sorry little sister!).
To date, I have 336 friends in facebook and 134 in friendster (since I rarely add people that I don't know unless you're drop dead hot).
I have 3 bestest friends and 1 not so secret lover *cough*.
I pay 3000 pesos per month for my gym membership to shed off at least 20 more pounds.
and I absolutely hate that I have close to 0 in my wallet today!
There are more digits that sums up my life but come to think of it, if my life can have gazzillion of digits to describe it, how about the place where I live in.
I live in a country that consists of 7,100++ islands (depending on the tides) that is populated by more than 80,000,000 people, 40% of which live on 2 dollars a day.
In my little tropical nation barely 500 families practically own the country’s lands of which many members of these so called "families" comfortably sit in their leather (think Italian) chairs in the offices they hold in both the private and public sectors.
Interestingly there are barely 20++ media networks operating in my little tropical nation, mostly owned by, who else… look above!
Speaking of 500, the same amount in my currency wouldn’t last a week.
10 if you convert it into US dollars and barely 7 into Euros.
If I give 500 to a whore, she’d bitchslap me twice and spit on my face and tells me that I will get crabs or syphilis the next day.
If I multiply the same number by 12, you’ll get what the average worker would get in a month in my coconut republic, not including the shitty taxes we pay which only go to my public servant’s greedy pockets (which is probably deeper than my ass).
20 the average number of typhoons that visit us every year.
If you divide it by 4 you’d get the number of coup d’état’s (5 coups, with only 2 being labelled ’successful’) that happened within the last 20 years.
2 is also the number constitutional conventions that were done in this century alone, with another one fast approaching. But still the same faces in the government with barely little additives from grass roots organizations.
0 is the number of representatives from the Communist Party in the Congress and the Senate.
(Luckily) 0 is also the number of tsunami incidents. Let’s hope it stays that way.
2 is the media network that airs the game show that caused the stampede that killed more than 80 lives some years ago and injured 300 more.
7 is the rival network.
These two networks have been at war ever since the word "ratings" started to mean "profits".
40++ is the age of the host of the game show who cried in tears in front of the TV news cameras (of both networks) apologizing for the incident.
40 is also the average age of the people who died in the stampede who mostly women were hoping to get the 1,000,000 peso prize of the day.
1,000,000 pesos translates to 20, 820 dollars.
48.03 was the exchange rate for the peso against the dollar today which was relatively higher than the 26 pesos in the 90s.
Every minute, approximately 4 children are being added in my coconut republic’s population.
20, 820 dollars.
48.03 to 1.
32,000,000 people to 500 families
80 million captive audiences of korean-chinese-mexican telenovelas, news dramas, reality TV, game shows, home TV shopping, religious networks that spread love AND hate, and 60-second award winning commercials that only give you false hopes for better days to come, as long as you buy their product.
After all the numbers I wrote, you might ask why I even find the slightest bit of humor in all of these.
And what do I have to say about it? Only this, reader of my blog…
And I meant that.
If you want me to be sympathetic and turn this into a real bad melodrama shitfest that’s already infested most of the television networks by airing them ALL DAY, I have to say NO.
I have my own version of sympathy, thank you.
And I trust my own version.
And I don’t need a copy from last night’s episode of whats-its-name telenovela.
I don’t want to pity the people who were affected by this tragedy; God knows they will be receiving a pity fest from all directions.
Come to think of it, all of them were forgotten.
Sure there’d be an anniversary special for all who died in the stampede and there might even be a yearly memorial for the 80++ people who died.
But who would really remember them?
No one really, except for the people who survived that day.
People like Merquieades Salazar who, as much as he wants to, will never forget the day he lost his wife.
You might even think I am this high and mighty asshole preaching in this makeshift pulpit that I call a blog.
That temptation is just so hard to resist.
But you were thinking of it, weren’t you? No use in denying it.
At the back of our heads, in the deep recesses of our minds, we all want and think of the same things.
I really don’t give a shit.
But if you’d be so careful to notice and look up above and try to read the funky pronoun in all caps, you’d figure out easily that I am not excluding myself.
I am swimming in the same cesspool as you are.
Let’s face it.
We are all but used toilet paper floating in this ocean of excrement.
This is REALITY UNEDITED.
And no amount of drama, or 700-club morality, or "reality" TV, or game show, or networking scam, or "showbiz" politicking or 60 second award winning commercials from transnational corporations can cover it up.
Reality is knocking on our doorstep.
She’s trying to wake us up to smell the air and to get real.
Maybe if we start there, for once, we might actually get somewhere.
It's just so tempting to rant and vomit for rant.
But I guess life kept on throwing us lemons that we somehow managed, as a nation and as individuals, to learn to make some lemonade.
On my last birthday, I made my own version of my wish list.
There are about 80 billion people inhabiting the planet.
If you're lucky, you'll only meet 1 great love.
There are 195 countries in the world. 192 of which are members of the United Nations.
It may take a million to build a nation (with the exception of West Sahara. Better start making some babies!)
But come to think of it, it only takes 1 person to start the first step.
As the old saying goes, a single butterfly in China flapping it's wings can cause a hurricane half across the world.
Now that I am 24, I say:
To the generous people around the world: Give me some LOVE (aka gifts) *puppy dog eyes*