“No one uses the Lord’s name in vain more than Catholics.”

12 05 2013

I could watch this all day and never be tired of it. If it doesn’t work, skip to 28:31


Fun encounters on the bus

7 01 2012

A woman sits next to me and sees that I’m reading in the dimly lit bus.  She’s older, around 60 or 70, and when she says to me, “You shouldn’t be reading.  Not enough light”, I hear an accent– possibly Filipino.  It’s hard to understand her because she sort of mumbles the words in a noisy bus, in addition to her accent, and I find myself saying, “Sorry?  What was that?” on more than one occasion and leaning in closer and closer to her while she repeats her words in the same monotonous fashion.

“I like reading,” I reply, with a smile.  “And there is some light.”  She doesn’t smile back, only proceeds to tell me it’s bad for my eyes.  After a few seconds, I don’t feel like reading anymore, and pull out my cellphone from my pocket to delete some old text messages in my inbox.  When I’m through, she mumbles something like, “Technology is ruining the world.  It’s driving people apart.”  I have no idea what to say or do, so I nod and “Mmm hmm” a lot to her.  She asks me quite suddenly, “Where are you from?” and when I tell her I’m Canadian, she shakes her head.  “No.  Where are your parents from?”

Just for the record, it really annoys me when people ask me this question.  If people asked me where my parents were from, that would be fine.  But to ask me where I’m from but to really mean “Well, you’re Asian so you can’t be from Canada.  Somewhere along the way, you immigrated here.”  And yes, although that may be technically true, I myself was born and raised here in Canada.  My race shouldn’t have anything to do with that.

I fight the urge to roll my eyes or get annoyed at her for asking me that question, so I tell her that my mom is from Hong Kong and my dad from China.  She proceeds to tell me how she and her family is from the Phillippines  (I think.  My memory is fuzzy now).  Before technology arrived (the Stone Age?), her family was connected and there was love.  Now, the evils of technology have driven her family and relatives apart.  No one talks to one another (phones apparently don’t exist there?).  I agree that technology can do that, but in some ways, it brings people together too.  I mean, we can have video calls with anyone in the world.  How cool is that?

She doesn’t listen to me, though.  “Technology is lust, not love.”  Um.  Sure?  I get a feeling there’s some sort of religious overture here, which is confirmed when she inquires, “Which religion do you belong to?”

And here it comes.  “I’m not religious.”  For a second, I think she doesn’t really care all that much.  The bus is at Main Street now, and she almost forgets to pull the cord for the next stop.  Since I’m sitting in the window seat, I pull it for her.  As she gets up out of her seat, she puts a hand on my shoulder.  Looking down at me, she says, “Godlessness is lawlessness.”

I blink at her.  There are so many things I could say.  More than anything, I feel kind of discriminated against.  It’s odd because atheism isn’t really a religion.  But in that moment, I feel offended.

“Have a good night,” I reply, not really sounding like I meant it.  “It’s terrible,” she says as she steps towards the doors.  I have to swivel around to face her as I call out, “Have a good night” again, my voice seething.

I texted a friend and told her what happened.  Here’s what she said:

“Should’ve told her you worship the pagan gods on the ancients and that you’re just about to nip off and sacrifice a goat and read your future from its mangled bloody innards.”

Yes.  I should have.

The Wise Kids

14 08 2011

The Queer Film Festival started on Thursday, but I didn’t get to start watching any films until last night, at Day 3.  I would’ve really liked to see We Were Here but unfortunately, I was at work and was only able to make it to one of the late screenings.  I’m glad to start reviewing queer films again!

Synopsis: The film follows the stories of three teens in a small, southern town in the US as they prepare for college, face religious questioning, sexuality issues, and make the transition into adulthood.

Super awesome things: Stephen Cone’s direction is really impressive in this.  Instead of cutting out silences and getting to the characters talking, he lets them linger, creating huge amounts of awkwardness not only for the characters on screen, but for the audience as well.  There’s one scene where a man comes out to one of the kids and his fumbling for the words as he confesses a part of himself created massive amounts of tension (Will he say it?  Will he chicken out?) that, ultimately, is true to life.  No one speaks so eloquently all the time, and Cone understands that.

The acting is also noteworthy in that all three “Wise Kids” do a great job.  I have my reservations about young actors but their sensitivity and the way they handled the characters made them seem real.  Last but definitely not least, there were so many subtle things and subtext that it was clear the writing and filming was well-thought out beforehand.  When one of the teens, who is having her doubts about her faith and is in the church play (I think?) depicting the crucifixation of Christ, there is a scene where one of her lines is “Where is he?”.  The director of the play makes her say it several times, and of course the subtext here is that she may be wondering aloud, “Where is He?”  Fantastic stuff.

Not so super awesome things: The only thing I really have to gripe about this film is that especially in the first third of the film, the camera tended to dolly around the characters, which became really noticeable after a while and took me out of the film a little.  I also wish there was some conclusion to Tim’s subplot with his homophobic brother but I guess you can’t resolve everything.

Good for watching: For a quiet, reflective night if you want to watch a film that makes you think.

Overall: Stephen Cone is adorable.  A fantastic way to start off the festival (for me, anyway).

Grade: A-

How Many Gays Must God Create Before We Accept That He Wants Them Around?

12 05 2011

I like logic because it makes sense and I understand.

This argument seems very logical to me.

Article (part 2)

13 03 2011

“Jeez, hurry up, Jeremy!  What were you doing?  Daydreaming?”  I looked at her and then at my books.


When I got home, I had to immediately go to my room.  My parents told me that I ihad to finish my homeowkr before dinner, and if I didn’t, I had to finish after.  But this time, I just lay on my bed and thought about Sean.  God, how much I loved that boy, even from the first time I ever saw him (oh yeah, I’m gay if you haven’t already noticed).  Yet, no one would ever know how much he meant to me — well, except Chelsea.  She knew about me already.  I was relieved she was okay with it and wanted to come out to everyone.  Nevertheless, there was just no way.  My parents would kick me out, my school would hate me, and not to mention Sean might hate me!  I glanced around my room and thought about how boring my life was.  Something needed to happen!  I knew just what to do.

The next week, when issues of Teenink were distributed throughout our schooo, I waited anxiously at everyone’s reaction.  I looked for and found Chelsea.

“Have you read my new article?” I jumped up and down like a 12-year old schoolgirl.

“No, but I will now.”  She grabbed an issue her from locker and found the correct page.  I gave her a few minutes to read my article.  When she finished, she gave me a hug, which was surprising to say the least.

“I’m so proud of you, Jeremy.”  I took a breath and let it out.

“So am I.”

That scene right there was actually the only good thing to happen to me that day.  The rest of the student body all stared at me and uttered hate words to me, though most of them I didn’t even know.  Somebody spray-painted my locked with the word “fag”.  Hmm… perhaps coming out was not such a good idea after all.

I returned home after getting beaten up, robbed, and yelled at with hate words.  I expeccted some opposition but like this.  My nose bled as I walked into my house.  Immedialy, my dad asked me what happened.

“Oh nothing.  Just got the crap beat out of me!”  My mother, who was in the next room, came, took one look at me, and ran for the first-aid kit.  I sat down on the couch in the living room.  I asked my dad if he loved me.

“Yes, of course I do.  What happened?”  At that moment, my mom came downstairs and started cleaning me up.  I asked her the same question, and she replied the same.  They both stared at me strangely, but concerningly.  I took out a copy of Teenik and showed them my article.

After they read it, they looked at one another.  Again, I asked the same question.

“Do you love me?”  I was surprised how well they kept their anger in control.  My parents got up.  My mother started crying while my father answered.

“I think you know the answer.”  I couldn’t tell if he did or didn’t by the tone of his voice.

“So yes?”  My voice came out weak.  Without answering, my father lead my mom out of the room.

In the bathroom, I was so angry and depressed at the same time.  My parents didn’t understand.  I could hear them saying how they didn’t want me around.  My dad said something like kicking me out.  The phone began to ring.  My parents ignored it, and I did too.  I took out a razor from the cabinet and cried.

Eventually, the answering machine picked up.

“Jeremy?  Are you there?  Well, I guess not.  I just wanted to say that I’m really sorry for what you’re going through.  What I’m actually getting at is… I really like you.  I want to get to know you better… well, I hope you’re alright.  Oh!  And about what you said about me in the article… I love you, too.”

Click.  Sean hung up after I slashed myself.

[That’s the end of the story.  Typing this up, there are a lot of corrections I want to make but I decided to leave it in the original form.  Maybe I’ll edit this for later.  Oh, and I got 5 out of 6 on it.  :)]

Article (part 1)

12 03 2011

Wrote this in Grade 11, I think to show the teacher during the first week our level of English/grammar/spelling/all that stuff.


It’s funny how your life can change so quickly with just saying a few words.  of course your life could change for the better or for the worse.  I learned this lesson the hard way.

Well, I guess I should start by saying who I am.  My parents are both Christian, and of course them being Christians, they named me Jeremiah.  However, everyone at school calls me Jeremy.  It’s quite demanding to live with my parents; they’re quite strict and devoted to our religion.  Actually, they call themselves Mormons and all, but i don’t really care.  But what I did care about, i would never tell anyone.  So anyways, here’s my story about everything.

School sucks.  Everyone knows that.  We students feel like we’re in jail, and those damn teachers are the security guards.  People don’t seem to understand how difficult life is when you’re a teenager, even if they were some millions of years ago.

So anyhoo, I was at school with my friend, Chelsea.  We were best friends for so long and we told each other our deepest secrets (or at least I think she did).  She was reading our city’s high school newspaper, Teenink.

“Oh my god!  Your article is in here!” she exclaimed.

“Really now?  I thought it was my evil twin.” She stared at me without smiling.

“You know, you never have any pride in your work, even if other people are happy for you.”  This time, I was staring at her.  I blinked a few times and she sighed.

“Let’s just go to class,” she said.

We started walking to our Spanish class when i dropped my books in my arm.  They landed on the ground, but the noise of other students talking and yelling made it impossible to be audible.

“Chelsea!  Wait!  I dropped my books!” I yelled to the figure that was walking away from me.  Maybe she was still upset about me or she didn’t hear my pleas at all.  Whatever, she didn’t turn around.  I groaned and rolled my eyes at no one in particular.  I bent down to pick up my books when suddenly a hand reached out and scopped them up before I had a chance.  I slowly looked up and wished who that hand was connected to.  When my eyes finally fixed, my wish had come true after all.  It was Sean, the hot-jock-guy-that-wasn’t-really-a-jock-but-was-really-sweet.  I stared into his eyes and gazed dreamily at him.  He smiled back and handed me my books.

“I think you dropped these,” he said.  I think he could tell I was into him but really didn’t know what to do about it.  But then again, not all moments last forever; the last bell rang again, signaling the end of our encounter.  He quickly ran off as I was left with the still-fresh-Kodak-moment with his eyes.  Just then, i felt someone pull my shirt.  I turned and saw Chelsea, waiting impatiently….


Saturday Morning Documentary: Deliver Us From Evil

5 03 2011

Even before I explain that this film is about a Catholic priest who was accused and also confessed to molesting and raping children, the preconceptions of priests has probably already popped up in your mind.  And what a sad thing that is: that we now have this stereotype of priests molesting children.  Amy Berg’s Oscar-nominated Deliver Us From Evil focuses on Father Oliver O’Grady, who molested and raped several children in the 1970s.  While this seems infuriating as it is, we get to hear and see O’Grady confessing to these crimes many years later (this film was made in 2006 so sometime then).  And he speaks with such clarity, with such softness, that we do inexplicably feel some sympathy for him.  He is not a monster.

The film also deals with the Catholic church’s repeated attempts at relocating Father O’Grady in order to cover up the growing scandals and accusations against him.  This is the real infuriating part.  Instead of stripping him of his priesthood and turning him into authorities, the church moves him from town to town, where O’Grady finds himself doing the same things to new victims.

It is easy to point the finger at one person.  But as the film shows, it is harder to point it at an entire organization — one that is clearly corrupted but is somehow able to get away with it.  A gripping, revealing look at a man’s struggle with his demons and the church that refused to let them get out.

Deliver Us From Evil

A Sermon for Change

20 11 2010

Another poem written this year for poetry class.

A Sermon for Change

You don’t even deserve the back seat of a bus –
A noose around your neck, dragged down a gravel road is better.
Your tainted mind,
Black sin, tar on your skin
You’re all scarecrows, unguided
We are simply the shepherds, finding your destined fence where you’ll be tied.
Brothers and sisters, take up arms
Use barbed holy books,
Sing golden slurs,
Or more simply a baseball bat, God’s miracle, to the head works wonders.
Of course you’re going to hell for loving someone.
It doesn’t make sense any other way.
Yes, God loves you.  Enough to create a disease, or rather, a gift, especially for you.
How we’d love to see you blaze like dry sticks choked with rope,
Or hacking all your crevices until they become abysses full of red.
For every step you take, we’ll not only push you back three but rape a little of your dignity.
This is a war you will never win.

So lie there, nose to the dirty floor with our boot stamping shit on your cheek.
You will never rise.
You won’t even try.

Prove us wrong.

Prove that our existence is not to exterminate yours
That the higher power created you for another reason than
Treating your sickness by injecting bullets.
I urge you to open the gates to the rage you suppress
And let those who oppress
Feel – know, experience the stabs of robbing your freedoms
Forcing you underground
And killing your friends.

Overthrow us.
Stand up.
Face us.
Say, “Fuck you.”
And let’s start from there.


Reading about things makes me angry

22 10 2010

Really, I just feel kinda sick.  Not flu sick but throwing up sick.  I wonder if it has something to do with the potential high amount of radiation this computer is giving off… or if it’s because I was just typing in a comment on a poll about gay marriage.  Nowadays, I tend to stay away from debates like these because it only infuriates me after reading some absolutely ridiculous things people have to say and okay, yeah, I could’ve avoided it this time too, but one of my friends had done this poll thing on Yahoo called “Ask America”; basically there are numerous questions ranging from serious ones like “Should we repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell?” to who-gives-a-crap “Does Sarah Palin’s short messages on twitter affect something something?” (I stopped reading after Sarah Palin and twitter).

Perhaps I am naive in believing the majority of Americans do in fact want same-sex marriage.  I guess that’s why I was surprised why only 53% of people supported it while 47% were opposed.  And of course, I just had to read the comments, which included one particularly stupid one from one woman (maybe girl, I don’t know) who claimed she had “nothing against gays… only when it comes to relationships”.

Uh… what the fuck?  I don’t understand people who say things like that.  It’s easier to understand completely moronic Republican right-wingers who are obviously homophobic and therefore don’t want to see gay people married.  But it becomes something confusing, at least to me, when someone who claims to have no resentment and ill feelings for gay people to be against their relationship.  Who the hell are you to tell them who they can or cannot marry?  How can you be so contradictory?  Those people I don’t understand.

Anyway, I could’ve just let her idiotic comment speak for itself but then she went on to say, “it goes against my religion”.

Ha!  Oh, the old religion argument.  Well, of course it does.  I’m sure pre-marital sex goes against your religion too but hey, I don’t see you torturing yourself over it.  She was obviously unaware at how oppressive women are portrayed in the bible — they get stoned and abused for the most ridiculous things and yet we still don’t believe in that (well, Western culture anyway).  We don’t own slaves but that goes against your religion so what about that?  If you can pick and choose what you want to believe in and what you apply to your own life, why can’t you do that when it comes to gay, loving relationships?  Slavery and oppression — we can’t have any of that, no sir.  But two people who love each other?  “It goes against my religion”.  What a pathetic excuse.  The word pathetic doesn’t even begin to describe it.

So I got angry, naturally (like I’m getting angry now, typing it all up again) and I posted a comment with the 200 characters I was limited to, saying the following:

So you don’t have a problem with gay as long as they aren’t in a relationship? Discrimination is a choice; rather than questioning your religion, you ignorantly choose to accept its belief?

I would’ve posted another scathing comment but I decided not to.  Instead, I posted on the Yes side for gay marriage (there were columns for comments on both sides) and said, “Thank god I live in Canada.”

And yes.  I used a small g.  Mm-hmm! *snaps fingers*

Interestingly enough (or not), 54% of people want to legalize marijuana, which, as you can see, is a higher percentage than gay marriage.   Pot before love!  Wooooot!

Here’s the link to the poll:  http://askamerica.yahoo.com/?issue_id=gaymarriagerights&issue_topic=culturemedia

The Meaning of Life (part 12)

25 09 2010

“Love,” I said, “love is the meaning of life.  It doesn’t matter what kind of love it is, just as long as you find that special person who makes you happy.  That person understands everything about you and always does his or her best to cheer you up.  It doesn’t matter what kind of people are in love; there is no wrong kind of love.  At some point in everyone’s life, they feel love.  This may take 10 years, maybe 50 years.  Love is the one thing that brings people together.  It doesn’t matter what two people are in love, because it is just love.  Even in a million years, love will be the only thing that hasn’t died out, because in the end, love is love, even for gay people, like me.”

*           *           *           *

So that’s my story about love, but in case you were wondering how my class reacted, well, let’s just say everyone was shocked and Mr. Salice was angry.  I still miss Sean very much, but I’ve gotten over most of it.  I hope someone in the future has the chance of reading my story and learning from it.  Someday, people will realize that the country they are living in isn’t the utopia promised after the election of President Tree.  I’m not going to ever see Canada, I think.  There are just so many reasons why I can’t.  My mom would be upset with me, I would miss school but most importantly, police cars have just pulled up in front of my house.

The End!