Tuesday, May 31, 2016

THE BEST OF THIS IS A CRAZY PLANETS BOOK 2 by LOURD ERNEST H. DE VEYRA

The Best of This Is A Crazy Planets Book 2 is the second collection of Lourd de Veyra’s most popular published essays on his blog of the same title at SPOT.ph.
This is to say it’s alright that I skipped to Book 2 because it’s not really a continuation of Book 1 but just another separate compilation.

Someone once said that the root of all comedy is pain, and that the line separating humor and hurt is dangerously thin. – Lourd de Veyra (The Thin Man: There Has Never Been Another Palito)

The Best of This Is A Crazy Planets Book 2 is intended for the Filipinos, as the essays are reflective of Filipino culture and attitude (from the mundane like TV viewership, censorship and daily life choices to critical like political views). Only that the articles expose the absurdities and ironies of the populace’s actions, words and beliefs; hence, the book title. Or, this book maybe intended for other readers too, so they can better understand the Filipinos as a people.

Ganun talaga ang kabalintunaan ng buhay. Ang mga namamatay nang maaga ay nabubuhay nang walang hanggan. – Lourd de Veyra (In Defense of Lito Lapid)

The writing was brilliant, so effective. Lourd de Veyra did here what he does best. He has always been known for his use of the comedic approach in relaying rather important, eye-opening messages across so casually. His words in his articles hit home. He had also put a word, a definition to the things others couldn’t seem to put a finger on, or afraid to do so. That said, even more amazing was when the comedic approach was let go to turn straightforwardly all serious and crucial with his observations, situations and questions.

I noticed the questions. There were lots of them actually. Some were literal questions, but some were rhetorical. Some sounded simple and easy to answer, but some were just impossible to.

I like how there are articles aptly written in English, in Filipino, sometimes in a mix of both, often with the appearance of the most slang form of the vernacular. The language variety adds an extra appeal to the book, as this clearly sets one article apart from the other. This makes them so conversational and easy to understand. As per the tone of the articles, like the language choices, it takes on different kinds as well depending on the subject, but it is playful more often than not and unapologetic almost all the time.

The thought of an indifferent universe is the most frightening of all. What, then, would be the use of all that sacrifice, the repression of the most basic appetites, the denial of profound pleasures? – Lourd de Veyra (Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?)

Personally, many of the essays hit home in both a positive and a negative way. It would be positive when I would come up with an understanding of or be in agreement with a particular sentiment. It would then be negative when I would realize how those realizations were most of the time about either bad practices, wrongdoings or ugly truths. Among my favorite essays were Dolphy: May Liwanag ang Buhay, The Thin Man: There Has Never Been Another Palito and A Night at the Comedy Bar.

I was always looking forward to the closing sentences of each article. They were always snappy and witty. Sometimes the point of the entire article is only set in the end with either a rant, a blow, a ridicule, or just a statement of the fact. Even better is when the last sentences change the way one understands what has been read. Even better is when they are short, pointed and hurtful.

Some things stuck with me like how people, including me, can just turn indifferent all of a sudden, how their short attention span can be dangerous, how they like putting the blame to others, how sometimes they are just too sensitive for their own good, how while they keep on blaming the system they forget they are the ones who make it up.

I closed this book with renewed awareness of myself and my environment. :)

I should probably visit his blog for more. :)

Are you done reading this book? What are your thoughts? I’d like to know them! Feel free to share them below!


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