Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Masters of the Universe Revelation - A Review By A Casual Fan


 

Little warning in advance. This is a full review of Masters of the Universe Revelation Part 1 on Netflix, so if you haven’t watched the show yet and you do plan to watch it, then stop watching this video now and come back here when you’re done unless you’re okay with spoilers.

The Bad

Right, so let’s get the things I hate from this show out of the way. First of all, I really hate the central character in this series, who is of course, Teela. Yes, it was a bait and switch all along. If you wanted to hate this show for feminist, SJW pandering, then she is the embodiment of all those things. She’s portrayed to be super capable – a lot more than Prince Adam and basically, she can do no wrong in this show even though she has a horrible personality. When Prince Adam dies, instead of mourning her friend, she’s more hung up over the fact that he didn’t reveal his secret to her and feels justified in basically having a temper tantrum and sulking off because her feelings were hurt.

This seems extremely egotistical considering that she’s just been named the new Man-At-Arms and was supposedly chosen for her competence and responsibility.

The show also plays up just how incompetent Prince Adam can be next to her. Whenever they’re shown together, it’s always Teela to the rescue because Prince Adam can’t get anything done unless he’s in his He-Man Form.

Next, there’s Teela’s pseudo girlfriend. She’s so forgettable that I forgot her name even. Anyway, she’s some black girl that Teela picked up in the events that ensued after the (quotation marks) final battle. She’s apparently some genius engineer but she has zero personality and is basically just there to be woo hoo! Girl power whenever something technical that requires high level engineering skills comes up.

Finally, there’s Evil Lyn’s betrayal. I mean, it was to be expected since she’s always been one of the iconic villains of the show, but when she’s basically one of the main protagonists for the entire journey in Masters of The Universe Revelation Part 1, the plot twist of her defecting back to Skeletor just because she finds out he’s still alive feels cheap and basically erases her entire character development up to that point.

The Ok

The story itself is actually ok. The first episode is especially good and does a great job of seemingly showing things to be as they always were and then suddenly breaking the mold with He-Man and Skeletor’s double KO in the “final battle.”

The plot then follows what happens in the events after and basically shows a dystopian world where magic is scarce and where good and evil aren’t so clear-cut anymore.

Orko’s death was fine, I would say. I mean, they didn’t really find the body so he still could have survived even though they basically already held a small funeral for him in the series. He also had a few moments to really shine at the point of his apparent death.

As for Roboto, well, to be honest, I didn’t really care that much for him so giving him a glorious death was fine I guess… if a bit cheap. I felt like he didn’t really need to die since he’s fully mechanical anyway. Couldn’t genius engineer black girl have figured out a way to retain his memories at least? Do high capacity memory cards not exist in Eternia?

Kevin Smith seems to be taking the taking the easy route by using death to create artificial drama.

The Good

The good thing about Masters of the Universe Revelation Part 1 is that the ending actually shows some hope that this whole feminist woke propaganda was just a setup for showing us a more serious world with actual consequences and then developing Prince Adam into a more competent and ultimately more likable He-Man once he regains his powers. I have no doubt that he survived that little backstab that Skeletor gave him before he could transform after all – but then again, I could be wrong.

After all, even with the little screentime he had in this series, he’s already become a very likable character for me despite not being as seemingly competent as Teela is. First of all, he made that heroic sacrifice at the end of episode 1 and then again, he does it in the finale when he basically sacrifices his chance to enter their version of Heaven in order to return to Eternia and save everyone – again. Whether these events are intentional on the author’s part or not remains to be seen.

One complaint that I’ve seen others make about this show is that there are no strong male leads… while that may be true to some extent, there is actually one strong supporting male character in this series and that would be Duncan, the former Man-At-Arms. Throughout the show he’s seen going toe-to-toe with major opponents with hardly a scratch and I would say that he has some of the highest stakes in this series with Teela now being openly his daughter and the sorceress being her mother.

Going forward, I believe the show has potential and taken by itself, it’s not that bad at all. Of course, if you’re a hardcore He-Man fan and if you’ve been following all the fan drama leading up to the show’s launch, then you might feel disappointed when you see that indeed, Teela is the central character of this particular story arc and not Prince Adam, as it should be.

Myself, I’m a bit more lenient than that… but, do consider that if you think you hate this show that much, there might be a bit of some confirmation bias going on here.

Anyway, I think it’s a decent show, worth a watch at least… but hey, tell me what you think in the comments below and don’t forget to like and subscribe (on youtube). This is lordcloudx out.

Buh-bye, buh-bye~

Friday, July 16, 2021

Hayate Reflections Revival Episode 2: Are Recent Anime Really Superior?


 When I was a child,  I used to love stuff like Transformers, Archie Comics, He-Man, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers... basically, any cartoon or kids show that I could watch at that time.

As I grew older... perhaps around the time I hit high school, I realized that some shows just didn't feel right for me anymore. While I could still watch stuff like Pokemon, Batman: The Animated Series, The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest and of course, anime, I tried to avoid watching animations that didn't have this mature vibe to them.

At that time, I thought that this was merely a consequence of growing up. After all, I was now a teenager, therefore, my tastes had matured. Those kiddy shows from my childhood just didn't fit with my more adult tastes nowadays.

I continued to adopt this kind of mindset when it came to animation for the next two decades or so. Anime always got a pass since where I'm from (in the Philippines), it was always seen as ok to like anime. For example, the local tough guys who frequent the basketball courts here are all aware of Sakuragi and Mitsui from the anime Slam Dunk. 

It was only when I reached my late twenties when I began to realize that: you know what? I still like cartoons after all. Which leads me to the point of this video.

A few days ago, while surfing youtube, I came upon a particular anime review. While I agreed with the content creator's analysis, there was a moment in that review which had me thinking: wait a minute, that's not right.

Basically, without being too specific, the reviewer mentioned how a particular anime that he liked back then wouldn't hold up to his own scrutiny nowadays. This wasn't the first time I'd heard or read something similar online. I remember an anime review site from the early 2000s that reviewed a DVD release of Magic Knight Rayearth and how it's just not that magical in modern times.

Have you ever thought this way about something you liked from your younger days?  Something like: "It was fun back then, but it just doesn't hold up in hindsight."

Well, because I've been guilty of having such a mindset myself, I'd like to present a different perspective on the matter. It's not that the things you loved back then aren't as enjoyable anymore -- they still are. It's just that you accumulated a lot more preconcieved notions now. For example, I believe that a show like Ranma 1/2 is still just as enjoyable to watch today as it was back then. Then, I started watching the author's previous work, Urusei Yatsura Lum. At that time, the jokes all had that been-there, done-that  feel to them because of course they did, it used the same formula as Ranma 1/2 but with a more likable, less vulgar and crude protagonist.


Still, because Animax-Asia chose to keep airing Urusei Yatsura over and over again, I found myself watching it anyway and you know what, the show kind of grew on me. The more episodes I watched, the more I realized that I shouldn't be trying to draw comparisons between this show and other more "modern" or more "recent" shows because it was in fact funny and quite enjoyable on its own merits.


The reason that I didn't quite like it the first time was simply because I thought "I'd seen better" with Ranma 1/2... but the truth is that there's actually no objective standard for saying that Ranma 1/2 does things better aside from the more modern animation and character design -- which is understandable because the two shows were released a decade apart from each other. It's not that the older show is necessarily inferior, it's just that my values had evolved to be more receptive to the more recent animation quality and the more timely use of comedy in Ranma 1/2.


I think the same thing is happening for younger viewers and readers of anime and manga nowadays. It's easy to look back in hindsight and say that a show that you enjoyed back then doesn't quite hold up to scrutiny when compared to recent shows because of more modern animation quality and writing that's more in-line with the taste of current audiences... but the truth is that it's just your personal taste having changed because of the type of media you have consumed and the type of social circles you've frequented over the years.

I believe it's arrogance to claim that something you liked back in the past has somehow become inferior when it's really your tastes changing and reflecting the values you hold nowadays and nothing more than that. 

Perhaps, of course, I'm just looking at things through the lens of nostalgia -- but then again, do you really think that there can be any objective universal standard for personal taste?

In any case, I invite you to try it. Just watch an older show that you might have enjoyed but never really had the time to watch from somewhere like the early 2000s and even before that. Don't think about how it compares to the current seasonal anime you're watching. Just watch it for what it is and try to discard any preconcieved notions you might have while you're watching. Then come back here in the comments and tell me: was it really that bad based on your own personal experience with it?

This has been Hayate Reflections Revival and this is lordcloudx out.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

New Hayate Reflections Episode Incoming...

If you're not aware, Hayate Reflections is a little episodic youtube series that I started on my Youtube channel about 3 years ago after the Hayate no Gotoku! manga ended wherein I talk a little bit about my thoughts on different aspects of the manga. I got tired of it eventually -- mostly due to having almost zero viewership on youtube thanks to getting shadowbanned and the really unfair algorithms they've put in place.

Anyway, since I've been motivated to make more new videos recently, I'm bringing back Hayate Reflections with a facelift and a brand new episode this week... watch out for it on my channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/lordcloudx

I won't completely spoil the content, but here's a little hint:





Sunday, July 4, 2021

PSSST! STOP SCROLLING! I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU…



So while buying lunch at GT Town Center Mall this weekend, I happened to overhear an interesting conversation: one that presents a moral dilemma.

There was an old (senior citizen) man who sat down at one of the free tables at the food hall. He had a takeout package from Jollibee. As he proceeded to open the package to eat his lunch, one of the people manning a particular food stall there told him:

“Sir, bawal magkaon diri. Puwede lang ka pungko. Take out lang kon magkaon.”
(Sir, it’s forbidden to eat here. You can sit down, but the establishment only allows take-outs.)

To which, the old man promptly answered:
“To, siling nila sa akon to puwede ka kaon diri sa food hall. Food hall ni indi bala?”
(Buddy,  they said I could eat at the food hall. This is the food hall, isn’t it?)

The employee replied:
“Sir, wala taka gina saway ah. Galing basi masaway ka sang security karon.”
(Sir, I’m not scolding you, but security might tell you off if they see you.)

The old man repeated with a more sarcastic and clearly agitated tone this time:
“Food hall na diri indi bala?”
(This is the food hall isn’t it?)

At this, the employee gave up and told him:
“Sige try lang sir. Basi indi ka man pagsawayon.”
(Go ahead and give it a try, sir. Maybe they won’t scold you after all.)

The conversation ends here. The old man got to eat his lunch and nothing really happened afterwards.

But… I think there are several moral dilemmas to be discussed here and for the record, I believe the employee handled the situation classily, with all things considered.

First of all, whoever told that old man that he could eat there was obviously in the wrong. If the establishment forbids it, then whoever gave the man this wrong piece of advice should be held accountable for misinforming him.

Secondly, I think that the old man himself was possibly frustrated at being misinformed but was taking it out on the wrong person. There was no need to get sarcastic (as I perceived him to be) to the point of arrogance. Secondly, if the establishment actually forbids it, then there’s really no reason to insist that he should eat there. This is especially true since the whole of Iloilo is still under strict Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ)

Still, social justice pundits might say that we should give a little bit of leeway for understanding our senior citizens – fortunately, I don’t believe in social justice, especially the way it’s being shoved in our collective faces by the aggressive leftists brainwashed by cultist western social media woke propaganda.

If I were in that employee’s place, I’d simply call security upon that man and let things play out. He was given fair warning and still insisted on having his way after all

BUT… that’s my opinion. What do you think of the particular social dilemmas presented here? Comment and share your thoughts. No ad hominems, please.


Saturday, May 29, 2021

The Sir Jigger I Knew

By Cymark Ferdinand Mirasol
Former Feature Editor, USA Publications

There is always much more to a person than “meets the eye” – and it’s not just because I grew up with Transformers. The fact of the matter is that no man would exemplify this phrase more than Mr. Jigger Latoza.  

Although I was a member of the USA Publications Staff for a good 4 years in college, the truth is that I did not really feel the influence of the man known as Jigger Latoza or simply “Sir Jigger” during my tenure.

Perhaps it is because I was too early or a little bit too late, because I can honestly attest to the fact that Sir Jigger was a lot more active after my time in the USA Publications.

Nevertheless, while I never had the chance to familiarize myself with the man as one of the “pubpipol,” I was already well-acquainted with him well before I ever decided to apply for a place in the USA Pub.

Sir Sid And Sir Jigger – My Mother’s Male Best Friends

This is because I knew Sir Jigger as a good friend of my mother’s. In fact, even as a child, I always saw him together with my mother along with Mr. Isidoro Cruz, or “Sir Sid.” They were my mother’s two slightly younger, male best friends or “barkada,” so to speak.

Sir Sid and Sir Jigger were like two sides of the same coin. Polar opposites at a glance, but actually a lot more similar perhaps than even they would care to admit – this is of course, from my own perspective.

I’d always known Sir Sid to be a very silent person, direct to the point, shy but also a very kind and gentle soul – but not without a sense of humor. One could fill an entire book based on Sir Sid’s witticisms alone. In contrast, Sir Jigger was more outgoing, bubbly, and an “everybody’s friend” type of guy with an eloquence and bravado that would probably make most introverts run away in fear… but beneath those jolly, seemingly carefree eyes – I couldn’t help but feel that there was a certain melancholy to them. The same kind of sadness that I’d come to know and expect in my mother’s eyes, in Sir Sid’s eyes and as I’d later learn, the same kind of sadness that perhaps exists in the eyes of all who had lived life long enough to experience the best and the worst that it had to offer.

Such is the pain of existence – such is being an adult.

I did not know any better.

I was only around 8-12 years old back then.

On The Road To Success

There was a short time after this period when I wouldn’t hear from Sir Jigger for a while. This was about the time when he momentarily cut off ties with San Agustin. During this time, he and my mother would remain good friends when they met by chance from time to time (Iloilo is a small city after all) but Sir Jigger would focus a lot on more on academics as well as growing his own business going forward.

I would later come to learn that he had become a successful self-made businessman. I was already in college and part of the USA Pub when this happened. Perhaps this is why I’d hardly ever heard from him during my time – it may have been a time in his life when he was focused more on self-development.

Over time, the legends surrounding the man known as Sir Jigger would start to grow as well. I’d hear stories about how he was the perfect example of a “rags to riches” story and about the many philanthropic activities he was engaged in. A consistent element in all these stories would be his loyalty to the University of San Agustin. I don’t know when it happened exactly, but at some point, Sir Jigger had returned to the University, but this time with an administrative role.

A True Augustinian

In the years that followed, Sir Jigger would have a sort of on-off relationship with the University. Sometimes becoming an active member of the administration and at other times assisting as an independent third-party in its continued development. Without a doubt, he was always an influential figure as far as the University of San Agustin’s direction was concerned.

I’d also learn that his influence extended far beyond the University as he was also engaged in various projects all around Iloilo from information technology to business consultation. He was a man with a gift of gab who had talked his way to the top – and without pulling down any other people along the way. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I know of no person who ever truly hated the brilliant, jolly, well-spoken individual known to many as “Sir Jigs.” For some reason, this man had bulldozed his way to success by making friends and not enemies along the way.

The Man I Knew

Yet, in the midst of his multiple successes and breakthroughs as an individual, when I met him once again in my adult years, one thing had not changed. Yes, he was a bit bigger now – more successful and more confident than ever, perhaps a bit more weary with age, and with the melancholy of life having grown ever more prominent in his otherwise, bright, jolly eyes.

Yet, I knew that it was still him. Sir Jigger was still the same person that I’d known from my childhood years – a dear friend of my mother’s, a friend to just about everyone, and an almost standoffish, flamboyant orator with the swagger of a big businessman that belies a true heart of gold.

This was the man I knew.

Sir Jigger, may you rest in peace.

Photo taken from Mr. Latoza’s official Facebook Page. Mr. Latoza passed away last May 20, 2021.

 

 

 

 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

VALIDATION - A Satirical Prose

Disclaimer: This is a work of satire. If you feel offended by anything included in this piece, then you are most likely one of the people being satirized, or you need to look up the definition of the word “satire.” Please understand that if you are offended, then this is intentionally meant to hurt you. Imagine being you. Stay salty.

Greetings stranger! As you already know, the truth is always in your heart. Go with what you feel and you will never go wrong.

So stay a while and listen as I affirm to you what you already know to be true.

Always remember to BELIEVE ALL WOMEN, because a woman always tells the truth about being victimized – and it’s definitely not because they’re the weaker sex because WOMEN CAN DO ANYTHING THAT MEN CAN DO… only better. 

So if a woman tells you that she has been raped, you should understand that this is always 100% true. This is because ALL MEN ARE TRASH and don’t you even think about attempting to refute this with the tired old phrase that NOT ALL MEN, because this is objectively wrong on so many levels because: HELLO? IT’S 2021 – or whatever year it is that you are currently reading this. That’s it. That’s the argument and it is absolutely irrefutable.

And please, never ever try to tell a woman about situational awareness and self-defense because this is so obviously and blatantly VICTIM-BLAMING and it doesn’t address the root of the problem that we should TEACH MEN NOT TO RAPE just as we should teach robbers not to rob and killers not to kill. The reality is that men do not understand that these things are wrong because as I’ve said before ALL MEN ARE TRASH and if you are a man and you are not, then you shouldn’t counter with NOT ALL MEN, because this is not about you, this is about the victimized women. This isn’t a false dichotomy. The simple truth is that If you are not the victim, then you have no right to enter the discussion in the first place, you MANSPLAINER, you!

Furthermore, remember to always be careful because WORDS ARE VIOLENCE. Even if you believe that you have a logical reason to disagree with people who require a laundry list of demands on how you should deal with their kind, you shouldn’t share such a disruptive opinion because you are simply oozing with WHITE PRIVILEGE – no matter what your ethnicity might be. So keep in mind that you should just blindly acquiesce to these laundry list of demands because this is how to BE KIND, because kindness can only be recognized as such when it conforms to the collective demands of the people on whom you choose to bestow said kindness.

WORDS ARE VIOLENCE and this is why people are ALWAYS responsible for what you feel and how YOU understand what they say. Anyone who hurts you with their words OWES YOU AN APOLOGY because again, YOU ARE SPECIAL!

Thus, BE KIND and always, always use GENDER-NEUTRAL terms because people who require the use of these terms are always obviously OPPRESSED, if not by deeds, then by words and even thoughts – because what you think about a person can cause you to have an internal prejudice that may cause you to utterly misgender this person, which is an unjustifiable HATE CRIME in a world where WORDS ARE VIOLENCE. Remember, the singular “they” has been in use since the 1700s – as modern self-proclaimed, self-appointed linguists will always vehemently insist. This is true even if the usage of singular “they” for an unknown individual was vastly different from the specific gender-neutral, known individual usage that it enjoys TOTHEY. 

GENDER IS FLUID after all. From the moment you were born, it doesn’t matter what type of genitalia you were endowed with. These are merely aesthetic. You are who you are and your gender is something that you should only feel when you gain consciousness. YOU ARE SPECIAL and you can be anything that you want to be and no one in the world has the right to stop you – especially not your parents. You don’t owe them anything. After all, did they provide you with the quality of life that you deserve in this world? No? Then it’s their fault for not ABORTING you because that is what you would have preferred. You are always absolutely 100% justified in getting DEPRESSED no matter what your triggers might be. Did your favorite relative die? Be DEPRESSED. Did your pet die? Be DEPRESSED. Did you not get the latest iPhone long before your birthday? BE VERY DEPRESSED. Did an ant bite you? Be VERY DEPRESSED AND EXTREMELY TRAUMATIZED! No one has the right to invalidate what you feel because WHAT YOU FEEL IS ALWAYS REAL and no one, absolutely no one has the right to try to make you feel better about it. This is PATRONIZING because they ARE NOT YOU and therefore, not even several millennia of empirical knowledge can ever refute WHAT YOU FEEL because YOU ARE SPECIAL AND UNIQUE. You go and continue your self-loathing ways, with your roleplaying self-loathing friends, you!

Of course, every rule has an exception. If you were born as a trans, then you are definitely 100% a trans and the rest of the world is TRANSPHOBIC and out to get you every single time they disagree with anything you say.

After all, when bad things happen to you, it’s your parents’ fault for bringing you into this world where bad things can happen to you. ABORTION IS ALWAYS JUSTIFIED because ALL MEN ARE TRASH. When you allow the sperm of a man, who is always trash, to fertilize the egg of a woman, who is always correct, then you are not creating a life. What you are creating is a bundle of cells – a parasite living in the womb of an otherwise good woman – only good for aborting as a fetus and boast-posting on Instagram. Life does not begin until the being gains consciousness. This is why if you are asleep or in a coma, YOU ARE LIFELESS and anyone who is taking care of you has the right to rip you limb from limb and flush you down the toilet like the lifeless trash that you are – that is of course, unless you happen to open your eyes or otherwise demonstrate consciousness, then that’s murder.

Of course, as you already know, your whole quandary started when you were born and you didn’t win the BIRTH LOTTERY even though YOU ARE SPECIAL. You were traumatized at birth. Only a very small percentage of the population won the BIRTH LOTTERY and became BILLIONAIRES. Obviously, having won the BIRTH LOTTERY, these people are evil and deserve nothing but death for the very fact of their existence. This is because we, THE PROLETARIAT should UNIONIZE NOW and TAKE BACK THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION so that united, we can EAT THE RICH literally, including all their innards and right down to the bone. This is the one simple truth as prophesied by our great prophet, redeemer, savior and patron saint KARL MARX who perfectly predicted the world’s path from communes to late-stage capitalism to democratic socialism to the HOLY COMMUNISM in a process known as DIALECTICS as outlined in the sacred book called, THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO – except for those times when he didn’t… but we don’t talk about that.

Just remember, comrade. It’s wrong to rape, kill, steal and generally commit crimes against others unless it’s against a billionaire because this makes you a good MARXIST and everything you do against a marked billionaire is always 100% justified simply by the fact of their birth. The rationale is that billionaires won the BIRTH LOTTERY and are therefore guilty of ACCUMULATION OF WEALTH from the moment of conception. The only real redemption for them is a violent, excruciating death at the hands of LABOR.  It’s totally NOT A CULT, by the way.

Finally, remember that your envy is always justified. This is what SOCIAL JUSTICE is all about. SOCIAL JUSTICE is 'neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy,' but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the State so that those who have less in life may get revenge by ruining others’ lives.

Do you disagree in the face of all this overwhelmingly irrefutable logic? Then with all due respect, this is quite UNKIND of you – you HOMOPHOBIC, TRANSPHOBIC, BIGOTED, RACIST, WHITE SUPREMACIST, FASCIST, CAPITALIST PIG, you. I hope you get CANCELED.

Monday, March 22, 2021

NCR Plus Bubble? Have A Short Scenario/Story



The funny thing is that I actually wrote this story just two days ago on Facebook before the Philippine government launched its latest brainstorm to quell the upsurge of COVID-19 cases. (I've included a Tagalog version coz it's funnier that way.)

Government Task Force: A Story

Employee A: Bro, they gave us a budget to form a new task force against the rising cases of COVID-19.

Employee B: Awesome, bro. What do we do?

Employee A: Think of a name. It's gotta be a really lit acronym.

Employee B: Wait a minute... ARCS, bro. How about ARCS Team R6? Autonomous Response Covid Solutions Team Region 6.

Employee A: Awesome bro! That's it! I knew you were good at naming names. We totally sound like some Navy Seals shit.

Employee B: So, what now, bro?

Employee A: Now that we have a name, we drink! Just go and buy some masks really cheap from your friend who owns a drug store later. We'll hire some people to hand em out on a contractual basis.

THE END


Tagalog Version

Employee A: Pre, may budget tayo. Buo daw tayo ng panibagong task force.

Employee B: Galing, pre! Anong gagawin natin?

Employee A: Mag-isip ka ng pangalan natin. Dapat yung astig!

Employee B: Sige... teka lang... ARCs, pre. ARCS Team R6. Autonomous Response Covid Solutions Team Region 6.

Employee A: Ang astig niyan, pre! Sabi ko na ang galing mo talagang mag isip ng pangalan. Para tayong mga Navy Seals yan!

Employee B: Eh ano na ngayon gagawin natin, pre?

Employee A: Wala na. May pangalan na tayo eh. Tara inuman na! Bili ka lang ng mga mumurahing face masks sa kaibigan mong may ari ng botika mamaya. Tapos, kuha lang tayo ng mga job hire upang ipamigay yan sa mga tao.

THE END

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Anecdotes Of Discrimination

When we think of class discrimination, it’s often the case that what comes to mind is the class struggle between the privileged and the working class. This is even truer in modern times wherein Marxist ideology is enjoying pandemic-levels of resurgence among younger individuals as their new religion. The new logic is: as long as you belong to an oppressed, victim class, you’re always correct. However, if you were born into privilege, you must die for the sins of your ancestors known as “accumulation of wealth” according to Patron Saint Karl Marx. Seriously, this is some “Good Eldian” levels of bullshitery – to use a relevant modern allusion.

Still, as a privileged kid, I would say that my experience seem markedly different from what the culturally dominant self-proclaimed socialists living in non-socialist states want you to believe. But… I’m not here to change your mind. Think of these as “food for thought.” Read, and think about it. Do these scenarios sound familiar to you?

Anecdote #1: It’s Your Fault For Asking! Why Can’t You Just Be A Good Customer And Make My Work Easier?

Here’s an incident I remember quite vividly from sometime back in 2016 more or less. I was at the third floor of a mall called “The Atrium” in Iloilo City visiting one of my favorite electronic kiosks that sold toys, handheld game systems and other related devices. I’d just finished buying some parts for my 2DS when I overheard a conversation between a prospective customer and the one of the two employees in charge of the kiosk.

The customer was a man who looked to be in his early thirties. He was asking about the features of a pair of headphones that the kiosk was selling. From what I can remember he asked if it could play music via SD Card, if it had internal batteries, and if it could be used as normal headphones.

The employee, a younger woman possibly in her twenties, responded with: Sir, just read the package. It’s all there. (in Hiligaynon, of course)

The customer decided to walk away without buying anything after this.

As soon as he was out of sight, I heard the female employee utter the following to her co-worker: What an annoying customer! Asking so many questions without even buying anything!

Anecdote #2: Why Must You Tempt Me With Money That’s Not Mine?

Now let’s move on to something a bit more personal.

Now we’ve always been more middle class than actually rich, but a little over a decade ago, my mother had a small money-lending business going. There was one particular meat stall in Iloilo Central Market that owed her money. Thus, my mother would often visit that place to collect the debt and its corresponding LEGAL interest, and sometimes when the debtor didn’t have enough money to cover the debt, she paid it off in goods such as meat or vegetables. Naturally, the FAIR MARKET VALUE of the goods was written off as partial payment for the entire amount of the doubt.

There were times when my mother couldn’t come over to personally collect the debt, so she often sent one of our trusted househelpers who had been with us since I was a child, to collect the debt in her stead.

This went on for several months until my mother discovered upon accounting that there was a discrepancy between what the debtor says she had paid off and what was actually accounted for in my mother’s records.

Naturally, the prime suspect was the househelper. When my mother confronted her, she flew into a fit of rage crying and raging about how it was all my mother’s fault for being rich and for having her handle tons and tons of money without ever cutting her a share.

Anecdote #3 You’re Rich Therefore You Can’t Do Anything

Now for something short, sweet and even more personal. Back in High School, there was a time when we were asked to cook some dishes for Home Economics class. Now I’ll admit it, at that time, I was a very sheltered kid who had no idea how to cook anything at all. Fortunately, the teacher split the class into groups of six so that we could divide the work.

When I asked my groupmates what they wanted me to do, their immediate response was: Don’t do anything, señorito. Just stay out of our way or go clean up or something. Do you even know how to handle a broom?

So I answered: Yup. Then I immediately broke the dust pan in half and threw the broom outside the window and stormed out of the room.

I don’t regret that decision to this day.

So there you go, three anecdotes of discrimination (definitely not the only ones I’ve experienced) – sometimes taking on a form much different and far detached from what you’d see in popular media as well as what the snowflakes on social media want you to believe. Think about it.

 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Just Some New Art - You've Probably Seen These On Twitter

 Yeah, I usually post on my twitter (@violent_cloud) or PIXIV (lordcloudx) account first. Anyway, here are some new digital pieces from me.


Frankly, I'm quite proud of the wetness of the bikini on Nagi's DAT ass

This is the entire pic. It's a redo of an older CG


This one was rendered for Valentine's Day. Pretty simple stuff.





Chinese New Year thing. Detail shots included.


Thursday, February 4, 2021

Home - A Short Story by lordcloudx

 “The goal of togetherness is oneness.”

Alex woke up to his Mother’s voice repeating these words over and over again for a total of 10 times at exactly 6:00 AM every morning.

The very same words were also plastered in big bold letters at the dining hall just outside of his room. Over here, Alex ate two meals a day with six other children at 6:00 AM and then another meal in the afternoon at 3:00 PM. Some time ago, Alex distinctly remembered that they had at least three meals a day, but Mother changed the schedule recently since there was just not enough food for everyone to have three meals a day.

This meant that being used to three meals a day, Alex went to bed just a little bit hungrier than usual, but at the very least, everyone must have felt the same.

“At least we all go a little bit hungry, right Alex?” Mikaela, the girl who sat next to Alex at the dining hall asked.

“Yes…”  Alex answered with a hint of reluctance while pondering the question in his head.

“…There is a sense of security in knowing that everyone else is suffering the same way that you are.” Mikaela added.

Alex was a very solitary kid, but he liked Mikaela because unlike the other kids, she never asked too many questions. In fact, she was his only friend in the entire Home.

At the end of the meal, Mother clapped her hands together and when she was certain that she had everyone’s attention, she spoke:

“As you all know, Foundation Day is coming up this weekend.”

Using his fingers to count off, Alex realized that it was only 2 days away from Foundation Day. He was lost in his own thoughts as Mother continued her speech.

“Food is now scarce, so there will be no extra treats for everyone like the previous year. However, the Union will provide everyone with one bar of chocolate for every two individuals. You will be assigned a partner with whom you must share your chocolate bar equally with.  The same number of bars for all… and I’m afraid there will be no presents for everyone this year. The Union has decided that these presents promote inequality and we cannot have that, of course. Now I understand that this news is quite disheartening since it is our biggest and only celebration every year, but always remember…”

Mother paused in anticipation.

“The goal of togetherness is oneness,” the kids all shouted with a decidedly fake yet still somewhat jubilant cheer.

“That’s too bad, huh Alex? I was looking forward to Foundation Day.”

As for Alex, he had a mischievous grin on his face.

“After all, I’m not like these other kids.” – is what he thought to himself.

Alex was a very perceptive child. While he did not know much about the way the world works outside of his Home with Mother and the five other kids, what he did understand is that food and other resources such as sugary drinks, and even new clothing were now limited and that they would never have as much as they once had in the past.

However, even though supplies had been slowly dwindling over the last three years, they had always celebrated Foundation Day on the 3rd of December. Mother had told them that this was the day that the “Union” was formed. It was on this date over 108 years ago in 1918 when humanity chose to enter the age of equality – and it has never looked back ever since.

Of course, for Alex and the kids, the 3rd of December is the one time in the year when they could play all day without worrying about household chores, eat sweet meats and delicious desserts and at the end of the day, at exactly 12:00 AM, everyone would receive a beautiful present, personally handpicked by Mother. It was the one time in the year when they could all receive something that was different from what all the other kids got.

“Hey, Mikaela – if you can, sneak on over to my room when all the celebrations are over on Foundation Day. I have something nice for the two of us.”

“That sounds great, Alex. I’ll go and tell the other kids too.”

“No, no Mikaela. This surprise is only for the two of us. There’s not enough for everyone else.”

“Oh, but I thought we were all equal here, Alex. Why is it only for the two of us?”

“Because I prepared enough for just the two of us... just don’t tell anyone about it and come meet me in my room on Foundation Day, okay?”

“I understand Alex. You have a surprise that is only for the two of us and not for everyone else.  I shall meet you then.” Mikaela bowed with a smile.

Later that night, Alex carefully took out a wooden box that he had hidden on the underside of his bed. The box had been one of Mother’s Foundation Day gifts back when Alex was much younger. Back then, he thought that it was rather useless and that he would have preferred a new toy or a storybook. But this was before the time of scarcity.  Now, he found that he had the perfect use for it.

Opening the box, Alex admired the “treasures” that he and Mikaela would have all to themselves on Foundation Day: a few sachets of butter, some packets of maple syrup, four rolls of biscuit, two small bottles of strawberry jam, five chunks of smoked meat, and a few other odds and ends of food items that he had managed to pocket and sneak into his room during meal times - six months’ worth of smuggling over-all, and just about enough for two kids to have their own Foundation Day-worthy celebration on the 3rd of December.

“I bet Mikaela will be so happy.”

SLAM!

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, the door to Alex room was flung open and Mother stormed inside with a stern look on her face.

Yet, while having Mother enter his room so suddenly gave Alex quite a jolt, it was the smaller silhouette behind her that made his spine tingle with shocking realization.

“ALEX! Do you understand what it is you have done?” Asked Mother.

Alex nodded submissively.

“Good. Then if you do, please take that box and accompany Mikaela and I to the fireplace.”

“But Mother, even if keeping all this food to myself is against the rules, shouldn’t we at least add them to our meals on Foundation Day? At the very least everyone would be a little bit happier.”

“Alex, there are six of you children in the house, but you clearly and deliberately stashed enough food for just two people. How do you propose we divide these items fairly in the spirit of equity as our founders have taught us?”

Alex could not answer.

“Good. Now come. Let us go to the fireplace.”

And so, Alex together with Mother and Mikaela made their way to the fireplace.

“Now, throw that box into the fire yourself so that you may understand the weight of your selfishness, Alex.”

Alex did as instructed and he watched in solemn silence as his treasure, six months worth of work, and his box, a unique gift from Mother that he would never have again – were slowly incinerated and turned into sweet smelling smoke.

“I did this for you…” Alex muttered underneath his breath.

He stared at Mikaela and she turned to meet his gaze. Alex searched her eyes for a hint of regret, a glimmer of hesitation, a sliver of remorse… but from his perspective, he saw none of these.

Mother clasped them both by the shoulder.

“And remember children…” Mother whispered quietly.

“The goal of togetherness is oneness.” Alex and Mikaela said in chorus.

The next morning, Mikaela came over early to Alex’s room. It was 5:40 AM, still quite some time before the 6:00 AM wake up call.

“Alex? It’s me, Mikaela.”

She knocked twice. Of course, there was no response. After all, he must have really hated her for what she had done. Indeed, Mikaela did feel sorry for her friend. After all, he had done everything for her – and this was also his sin. Mikaela could not understand why Alex forgot about something so simple. You don’t do something that would only benefit one person. The goal of togetherness is oneness. If you celebrate, you celebrate together with everyone else. If you suffer, then you suffer the same as everyone else as well. That is oneness.

Feeling pity for her friend, she had come over this morning to explain what happened to him. So that they might remain friends –surely, he would understand.

Alex? I’m coming in.

Mikaela opened the door to Alex room. It was dark at first, but gradually, her eyes adjusted to the small amount of light that filtered in through the doorway – and of course, there was Alex at the back of the room.

Alex was at 3:00 and then 6:00 and now 9:00 and 12:00 – back and forth and so on went Alex.

THE END

 

Saturday, January 30, 2021

This is Justice - A Short Rhetorical Story

There was once an earnest young woman from a very, very poor country. At a young age, she managed to stow away on board a merchant vessel in an effort to escape her miserable situation.

When the crew discovered their uninvited guest, they took pity on her. Therefore, instead of letting her off at the next port, they decided to train her as an honorary member of their crew.

The woman began working as an assistant in the ship’s kitchen. At first, they had her do odd jobs such as cutting the meat and vegetables, beating the eggs and of course, cleaning up the pots, pans, dishes and other kitchen utensils after use.

She remained as an honorary member of the crew for the next five years. Of course, during this time, she learned various recipes and cooking techniques until eventually, she had gained the competence of a full-time chef.

Because she proved to be very diligent and helpful, she was paid a minimal allowance for her services. It was a very small amount when compared to what was paid to the rest of the individual crew members, but the woman was simply glad that a stowaway like her was paid anything at all. It felt just.

On her fifth year, she finally parted ways with the ship and its crew – getting off at a port in a country of plenty. Here, she began a new life with the money that she had earned as a kitchen assistant.

She rented out a small unit on the first floor of a multi-purpose building. It was cheap but fairly large with two smaller rooms in the back. She made one of the back rooms her living quarters and converted the rest of the unit into a small restaurant.

Thanks to the expertise she gained as a stowaway turned kitchen assistant, she knew exactly how to manage a kitchen. She opened the restaurant with only five employees at first, but people liked the restaurant’s dishes and ambiance so much that she managed to open up to three new branches within only two years of operations.

While she was certainly no billionaire, she had gained a certain level of affluence at this point – certainly more than the average white collar worker makes on a day job.

One day, she was looking through her payroll records which she had entrusted to her long-time female assistant, an illegal immigrant and the first employee she had ever hired for her business. This is when she noticed some anomalies. The restaurants were actually making a little bit less profit than initially projected.

When she asked her trusted assistant about this anomaly, the assistant immediately admitted that it was her doing and lashed out at the restaurant owner.

“It was me! I embezzled the funds. It’s because all these years you’ve made me handle all this money without even giving me any cut from the profits. It’s only right that I get my fair share – even if I have to take it without your permission.”

To which, the restaurant owner replied: “But don’t I pay you a just amount for your services? If you wanted to have more, then why didn’t you just tell me honestly?”

The assistant replied: “Because you’re rich and you’ll never understand what it’s like to be exploited like us poor people.”

So let us pause here for a moment and allow me to ask you, the reader, this question: How does this story make you feel? Do you feel that the restaurant owner is in the wrong? Is the assistant justified in her embezzlement?

Now let us change the scenario a bit.

Let’s say that the whole payroll anomaly never happened and after the restaurant owner had lived a full life and passed on, the restaurant eventually became an international franchise and the wealth was transferred across several generations of the woman’s descendants.

Nearly a century later, a pair of siblings descended directly from the earnest woman now own one of the largest international food franchises in the world. It was a business empire that was built upon the hard work of those who came before them. However, the siblings were born into wealth without having had to work a single day in their entire lives. Though they were always basking in luxury, they have lived their lives honestly without ever attempting to take advantage of anybody. They simply managed the business – benefiting from the legacy of those who came before them.

However, the siblings lived in a very tumultuous city. One day, an angry mob, convinced that anyone who is rich is guilty of the crime of “exploiting the poor” decided to storm the mansion that they lived in and then murdered the siblings in cold blood. Their only crime: winning the birth lottery and being born rich. A crime that was passed down by their ancestors who had amassed too much wealth while others lived their entire lives in poverty.

When the scene was finally reported by the mass media, the people rejoiced as riots broke out all across the country in similar attacks targeting people who are considered super-rich. A violent government takeover then ensued all in the name of class consciousness and redistribution of wealth. The siblings were written down in history as criminals whose wealth was built upon the earnest labor of the working class.

After all, no one should have too much more than others. The mere accumulation of wealth beyond what one can spend in a lifetime is by itself a crime worthy of death by public execution.

Meanwhile, a new government was established with the goal of ensuring that no one would need to work for more than eight hours a week with labor controlling the means of production and equitable redistribution of wealth. Whether this works out or not – is a story for another day.

So tell me: What do you think the siblings’ specific crime was? Did the crime originate from the earnest woman who was their ancestor? If so, what grave felony did she commit by attempting to alleviate her own situation and to secure the future of her descendants?

This is justice.

THE END

Friday, January 8, 2021

That Time I Was Almost Suspended


Perhaps this may seem unthinkable for the snowflake generation. THEY may view it as a product of more “primitive times.” After all, snowflakes have become so culturally dominant right now that they believe they can validate their glorified public-shaming lynch mobs by simply possessing the loudest and most annoying voices and drowning out all dissent – BUT, there was a time a little more than a decade ago when our culture was vastly different and primitive, misogynistic, unkind, practices and beliefs were just viewed as… well… normal. In some ways, I think the paradigm shift has been moving in the right direction – that is, until you realize how much society has devolved into progressive retardation and tyrannical kindness, but I digress.

My dissatisfaction with the current state of society aside, this is a story that takes place a little bit later in life compared to my previous adventures. It was about midway into the year 2000. The threat of the Y2K bug had been successfully thwarted but my family was facing a very different tragedy. My father had been diagnosed with leukemia just a few months ago and we were spending upwards of 100,000 to 500,000 PHP on a daily basis in medications.

Ultimately, my father passed away while gasping for breath in my arms on April 1, 2000. The cause of death was a complication that caused water to build up in his lungs. It wasn’t unexpected – on the other hand, It also wasn’t a peaceful death. Life rarely grants many people that privilege – no matter how they may try to glorify it after the fact.

In any case, I was a 4th year High School student at this point and even though I would have loved to wallow in despair and talk about my trauma endlessly while drowning in a sea of depression – it just wasn’t trendy enough at that time to ever cross my mind.

As I’ve always known, the world doesn’t stop for you just because you experienced a tragedy. Classes had to go on and so, after the funeral wake and everyone had said their goodbyes to my Papa (something that I rarely ever called him despite his insistence when he was still alive), I had to attend school again.

Truth be told, my time in High School was the least enjoyable period of my school life – which is why I rarely talk about these times. I had a circle of male classmates whom I considered to be my good friends – of course, I’m fairly certain the feeling wasn’t mutual. I was one of the boys, yes – but I was also the guy that gets laughed at or otherwise made fun of for no particular reason except for being socially awkward. See, while the other boys were busy trying to live their “part of growing up” culture and potentially “score” with a girl, my mind was on how much time I had to grind in chocobo races to get the Knights of The Round Materia in some not-so-obscure Playstation game. Sure, everyone liked video games and to be honest, most of my male classmates were better than me at the mainstream games of that time from Counter-Strike to Marvel vs Capcom. At some point, I was wondering if they just hung out with me because I was one of the few kids who actually had a Playstation at that time.

They’re not my friends anymore.

Like I’ve mentioned several times before in my previous stories – I was an “almost-rich kid” and so, I had access to a Pentium MMX 166 mhZ PC running on Windows 98 back when most people here were still using plain old DOS on their IBM systems. As such, I was considered at least one of the more tech-savvy kids in school – although I was nothing compared to the cool, quiet computer genius of the class. Everyone feared his moniker when playing CS in Internet Cafes in the Jaro and Central Iloilo areas – the one and only, Soulr34per, average kill to death ratio per one hour gaming session: 20:2  (actually, I’m not sure that’s how he’d spell it, but whatevs).

Anyway, I wasn’t the best, but I was definitely more adept at computers than average. This was also the time when the department of education had finally recognized the importance of computer literacy and thus, we had an entire High School course dedicated only to computers. In these classes, we were taught the history of computers, forced to rote memorize the layout of a typical computer keyboard, before we were taught how to use MS Office and eventually some basic turbo pascal programming. By the end of the course, we knew how to write exactly one computer program – a basic ATM machine… in hindsight, I guess it was something.

It was sometime after my father’s death. It was in one of these computer classes that I decided to prank the school computers a bit – just for fun. What you might call “trolling” before trolling was a thing. At first, I thought about making an auto executable batch file that would randomly delete some system files every reboot – but that felt a bit too anarchistic even by my standards.

Therefore, I went with something a little less harmful… I just placed a password in the windows screensaver of about five unmanned machines and called it a day. Some of my “friends” saw what I was doing and of course, they wanted in on the fun. I taught them how it’s done and by the time we were through, We must have locked at least 15 machines in screensaver mode.

Just in case this seems like an alien concept to you, back in the day, we had these things called screensavers because most monitors were CRT. They prevented the screen from burning by moving the pixels around and could be in any form from a simple text flying around in a black background or more complex like the Windows Maze that looked like somebody navigating through a third-person labyrinth.

These screensavers had an optional security measure that allowed you to place a screensaver password and prevent anyone from accessing the computer after the screensaver had turned on depending on the timeout you set (the screensavers activate automatically after the computer is idle for a set period of time)

So if you didn’t know the password, you couldn’t get back into your computer unless you do a manual/forced reboot. Pretty harmless, right?

Well… when our computer professors found out, they didn’t think so. They threw a little hissy fit and summoned all the suspects into the faculty room with the school principal present.

My friends were sooo brave at that time. I heard someone incessantly whining “indi to ako ya! Wala gid ko ya may inubra! Kamo da ya! (It wasn’t me! I didn’t do anything! It was you guys!) and a few others echoing similar sentiments.

I thought this was ridiculous – obviously, they were accomplices to this apparent GRAVE felony, but again… whatever.

So our computer professors explained to the other members of the faculty who were completely clueless about computers about how what we had done could permanently destroy all the computers we had tampered with and how there’s no recovery from this.

Seriously, my profs were a bunch of drama queens.

I promptly stepped up to challenge this assertion as well as admit my guilt. I told everyone that I was the mastermind behind the apparent act of vandalism, but most of all, that fixing it was as simple as pulling the plug on all the affected computers and removing the passwords – which my computer professors were of course well aware of, but they were snowflakes before the term had been invented so yeah.

So anyway, because the assertion of that one strange kid meant nothing compared to a team of respected computer teachers, the principal saw it fit to suspend me from school for a month. I simply shrugged and internally I was like “Well, k.”

They summoned my mother from the main university to inform her of my infraction and of the subsequent punishment for my GRAVE FELONY. Well, unfortunately for them, she wouldn’t have it.

When my mother arrived, I was still sitting in the principal’s office with the other suspects who were twiddling their thumbs and shaking in fear while still incessantly proclaiming their innocence. It was extremely amusing. Anyway, my mother asked the teachers plainly: Was my son’s offense so serious that it warrants suspension?

The computer professors asserted that it was. This is because files could be corrupted because of a bad reboot and this could DESTROY the entire system. Of course, I explained my side and said that no such thing will happen because windows has an automatic scandisk program that activates after a bad reboot that will automatically fix any file system errors and the most harm that could probably happen is that if there were any open, unsaved MS Word documents, they could be lost – but not exactly because MS Word has an autosave feature and even if it didn’t kick in, you could still find the latest cache by just searching your entire HDD for the last few files modified/created.

As you can imagine, my professor wasn’t very fond of such a smart-ass remark, but he couldn’t exactly express his disgust with much force with my mother around.

In the end, my mother and the principal arrived at a compromise and me and the boys were put on computer assistant duty for about a month. During this time, we were told to do odd jobs around the computer lab that mainly consisted of maintenance tasks such as running disk defragmenter. Naturally, they also made us remove all the passwords from the computers we tampered with. We got to know our professors a bit better during this time and dare I say, even formed what seemed like friendship?

In any case, we actually learned more about computers during this short period of time than we ever did during regular computer classes. We were pretty useful, actually. We kept watch of other students during computer lab time and were also tasked with assisting those who weren’t very computer literate. During idle times, we were allowed to play some of the basic games that came with windows like Space Cadet and Mineweeper… but I snuck in some floppy disks with a Zsnes emulator and Street Fighter anyway.

One of my professors also caught me red-handed on this one… so he asked me to copy the games to his PC as well after confirming that the disks were virus-free. These were good times.

In hindsight, I understand that what I did could definitely be construed as an act of vandalism. There’s a reason why tampering with school computers is considered such a serious offense nowadays – even morseo during those times when computers weren’t as affordable. I admit it. I was in the wrong – but do I feel guilty about what I had done? Do I have even a slight tinge of remorse for my actions? Uh… no, not really, but maybe that’s why my psychological profile brands me as a sociopath.

Works for me. Life goes on.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Samantha and the Pieces of a Heart Chapters 6-7

 


And so the story ends. Thank you for all those who have come this far. The app version is still available on Google Play if you wish to support me. If you have any questions about my thoughts on this story, feel free to ask in the comments. See you in future stories to come.