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Mon, Mar 26, 2001 08:16PM -0600

Redesigned again, if you noticed. I'm willling to do anything as long as it's not what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm waiting for my brother and my sister to come and visit me...due to my bizarre reasoning (M:G's song "No Sense of Reason" is now playing through my head...), they are arriving before I take my exam. Because of my full-grown phobia of airplanes, I keep imagining horrible things, but what can I do, life is like that, you really just have to keep your fingers crossed.

I suppose I'm also somewhat edgy because my dad plans to euthanize my dog (her name is Lucky) some day soon. I mean, she's 10 years old and has some sort of auto-immune disease that is causing her to waste away, partly because her exocrine pancreas no longer works, and she looks really pathetic these days, but I don't like the idea of euthanasia at all, even if it is just a dog. I guess I could never practice in the Netherlands.

But the truth of the matter is that I should be studying, and I really don't want to be studying, and my room is a mess, and I wish I could just stop time for a little while, get my life in order, and then start it again. And as long as I'm wishing, I also wish I had a million dollars, and I wish that cute girl I'm insanely obsessed with would fall madly in love with me.... Hahaha.

I finally watched "The Godfather" [IMDb entry] on Saturday, and I was struck by how deeply this movie has impregnated American culture. I feel like all my life I've been running into all these allusions to it, and it's not until now that I finally appreciate them. Hell, it makes me want to watch "Analyze This" just so I can get all the in-jokes. But I suppose I ought to watch the sequel first....

The other thing that hit me (particularly since I also just read The Philippines: A Singular and a Plural Place) is that, for the most part, the elite of the Philippines (and hence, the government of the Philippines) functions a lot like the Sicilian Mafia--doing favors as a form of investment and utang ng loob (a debt that cannot be repaid), alliances cemented by the rite of baptism, the ritual of magmano, the fact that the family comes first at all costs, and that respect for might-makes-right is greater than respect for the rule of law. (Just look at the deposition of Joseph Estrada and the overwhelming power of the Philippine Army.) The recognition of the fact that anyone, and I mean anyone, can be bought if the price is right (and on a side note, I think this is something that Americans need to acknowledge in order to avoid being hypocritical....) I mean, it may sound really negative, but the world is more or less an unhappy place, and I think the Mafia lifestyle is still more virtuous than out-and-out cutthroat capitalism. At least in the Mafia, you still look out for your relatives, no matter what kind of bastard they are, no matter how worthless they are, even if they cause you nothing but trouble. In capitalism, it is literally every man and woman for themself, and people are willing to sell their own children just to make a buck. What can I say. He or she who has the most guns wins. But the point of life has never been just to win, anyway

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The Godfather