Quote of the Day: Alessandra Stanley on “My Own Worst Enemy”

The gorgeously-named New York Times reviewer offers her take on NBC’s new series, “My Own Worst Enemy.” Self hugely enjoyed the episode she saw this week — perhaps because of Alfre Woodard’s line to a clearly thirty-ish Henry/Christian Slater:  “You were born 19 years ago in this building.”  Talk about plot twists!  Move aside, “Lost”!!!

“Worst Enemy” is a well-constructed puzzle with many layers.  It also has a dark sensibility that suits today’s mood.  Viewers are seeking culprits at the highest levels of business and government.  This thriller offers up a government-backed but under-regulated agency that takes advantage of hard-working, ordinary folk on Main Street to pursue a greedy, ruthless agenda:  Fannie Mae with nukes.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Poem for the Disappeared/ James Balao

Missing the Disappeared
By L. Maranan

If by chance you were there when it happened
I wish you did not shut your eyes as you would when lightning strikes
I would want you to remember how he looked
How he reached out in silent horror for you to
Memorize details of the moment
Because he knew it would come to this
Searching is a giant question mark
That hooks the nerves and curses the dark and unknown
It cannot be that he remains just a name
With a fact sheet attached
He  has to be somewhere breathing reaching
For the chance to be with us again.


James Balao, one of the founders of a prominent Philippines Indigenous peoples’ movement, has not been seen since September 17. It’s feared that he may have been the target of a political abduction by government forces.

“Balao set out by car from his home in Baguio City, in the northern part of Luzon island, in the early morning to visit his family 30 minutes away. He sent them an SMS message to say he was on his way, but never arrived.

“He had told his family that he had been under regular surveillance since June and that this surveillance had become more intense in the week before he disappeared. He described being followed by a blue and white van wherever he went.

“Balao works for the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) as a researcher on issues such as Indigenous land rights. He helped found the internationally renowned organization in 1984. In 1986, as a member of the Philippines Constitutional Commission, he drafted important Constitutional provisions on Indigenous peoples’ rights.

“A government security operation called Oplan Bantay Laya (Freedom Watch Operation) has categorized staff and volunteers of some non-governmental organizations in the Philippines as working for communist or anti-government forces. According to a reliable source, the army has James Balao on a secret list of senior members of the Communist Party of the Philippines.”

(Text taken from the Amnesty International Canada website)

The Palin Effect

Dearest Mum’s plane is within sight of the San Francisco Bay, dear blog readers.  Perhaps, even now, Dearest Mum is awakening from her trans-Pacific slumber, carefully putting aside her red cashmere wrap and matching velour slippers, heart going pitty-pat at the thought of once more setting foot on American soil.  In the meantime, self is listening to “Larry King Live” and remembering a conversation she overheard this morning in the classroom.

Self is not supposed to talk politics in the classroom.  Because you know, in a class of 25, there are bound to be people who feel strongly about one side or the other, and self wouldn’t want to offend anyone with her remarks.  So, when it comes to the elections, self has kept completely mum about her voting preference.

During a break in her Tuesday morning class, however, self overheard a student mention Palin.  “Oh, I love her!” this young woman said.  Self wasn’t sure she heard right.  She looked up, located the young woman and asked, casually, “You saw her on Saturday Night Live?”

“Oh, no, we missed it!” several female voices chimed in, filled with chagrin.

“I heard she was good there,” self said (inwardly grinding her teeth, ha ha ha ha)

“Oh, yeah!” a guy said.  “I saw parts of it.”

“And I know a lot of guys who say she’s hot,” self said, still trying to “go with the flow.”

“Oh yeah, yeah, she’s hot,” said the guys.

Aaargh, aaaargh, aaarrrgh, aaaaargh, aaaaaargh  !!!!!

Is self dreaming?  If she is, she must be having a nightmare!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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