Monthly Archives: June 2012

67 Glorious Years of Eating Death Threats for Breakfast: A Tribute to Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago

There are two kinds of geniuses. The characteristic of the one is roaring, but the lightning is meagre and rarely strikes; the other kind is characterized by reflection by which it constrains itself or restrains the roaring. But the lightning is all the more intense; with the speed and sureness of lightning it hits the selected particular points – and is fatal.

—Søren Kierkegaard

I must say that in the present setup of the Philippine Senate today, I’m starting to lose hope for any progress for the Philippines. The present Senate have everything the Senate must not have. Practically the composition of the Senate could be divided into four subgroups: first, the movie stars who are not exactly sure why they are there in the first place; second, the products of nepotism which, if I may point out, unconstitutional and dishonourable, who wishes nothing but for their surnames to retain forever in the Philippine Senate; third, the group of not-so-witty-yet-so-ambitious bunch who are so obvious because they are the biggest political butterflies who practically has integrity and loyalty for sale to anyone who could assure them assistance for the next election (additionally, some people in this group really eye those higher positions in 2016 election); and lastly, the endangered group who are intelligent, brilliant, nationalistic and who really cares for our country.

Bato-bato sa langit, ang tamaan—buti nga!

I kind of hate myself for missing the opportunity to greet one of the people I admire the most in our country in twitter last Friday. She is the epitome of the fourth group I am talking about. Yes, Happy Birthday to you, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago!

Well, I do not really need to start narrating all her accomplishments from her student days, to her law practice, to her being the Regional Trial Court Judge up to her being our Senator now. Everybody knows just how smart she is. Nobody can ever question that. She is also a person oozing with talents from debating, writing, teaching and she had also been a swimming champion when she was in high school. There is no exact word that could properly define her very feisty and fiery personality. She could easily leave anyone befuddled and stunned. A couple of hyphaluting words here and some shrewd comments here plus some of her condescension easily reduce anyone into a dropped jaw. Also, once she starts talking with intense paroxysm, nothing can stop her.

Of course, I do not always agree with her. Obviously, I am anti-RH Bill and she is one of the biggest advocates of that bill. Nonetheless, more than her unquestionable intelligence and work made in public service, I admire her firm standpoints on several issues. I admire her burning desire to explain things to the public. She would even make profanities in Tagalog during the Chief Justice Corona’s Impeachment trial. Some people would say she is a crazy woman. Some people call her Brenda for Bren-damaged (Brain Damaged). But that is so juvenile for me. It is comparable to how little high school kids bully their genius classmates and call them geeks or nerds because they are too intimidated with their intellect. But I believe that if more people had tried listening and understanding her points, there would be less uninformed and unintelligent Filipinos. Do not misunderstand her as complicating everything. In fact she is doing the opposite. I believe that to her mind, she sometimes even uses the language of the streets in order to simplify a difficult law principle. One of the biggest cancers of the society today is the lack of the knowledge of people of the law and their rights like many people believe that they could actually inherit debts of their parents when they cannot. But she’s trying her best to reach out and correct that ignorance of our people even if it means risking her health for she knows that she could be so passionate that her blood pressure may rise to very high level which could be enough to kill her. It’s just sad that people mock her before they would even try hearing her words.

I wish her the very best. She just turned 67 years old and at that age, a person usually retires and spends the rest of their lives enjoying themselves or spoiling their grandchildren. Nevertheless, it is my selfish desire to wish for her a longer life. I wish for her life would be long and strong enough to make changes in our country and also make us all proud by her being a judge in the International Criminal Court. Damn those ‘crabs’ of hers who even go as far as campaigning ICC to reconsider Senator Miriam to the post as ICC judge because she is “emotionally or psychologically unstable” but I know ICC knows better. I’m certain that this iron lady could accomplish whatever tasks she faces in the future. After all, she is the lady who claims, “I eat death threats for breakfast.

The adventure of life is to learn, the nature of life is to change, the purpose of life is to grow and the triumph of life is to prevail.
—Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago

Happy Birthday again, Senator Miriam. God bless you all the days of your life.

Yes, We Seek Shamy!

“With the understanding that nothing changes what so ever – physical or otherwise, I would not object to us no longer characterizing you as not my girlfriend.”

—Dr. Sheldon Cooper, The Flaming Spittoon Acquisition.

The fifth season of The Bing Bang Theory ended and now we start the long agony of waiting for the sixth season on September.

Truthfully, I just recently became a fan this summer. My sister had always been a fan of the series and literally pleaded for me to watch a couple of episodes so somebody could understand her fandom. I refused for years. Definitely, I’m one of those uncool geeky girls that you had seen in high school. I always wear those thick eye glasses and I’ll always be fan of anime, manga, games and technology. Yeah, I admit that I sometimes speak like a know-it-all especially when I was younger.

So why was I very averse with The Big Bang Theory? It all boils down to pride. Yes, I’m a very proud geek BUT I am not a science geek. In fact, science is the subject I practically know nothing especially Physics. My high school teacher was created with just air. Our Physics class was like the phrase, ‘all candy but no nutrition’, except that our candy has mercury for a surprise center. In short, I’m afraid that I will not understand Big Bang and being a proud geek, I vehemently refused in being characterized as, normal. My theory is that normal people will not understand Big Bang so if I won’t be able to understand Big Bang then maybe I could be called as normal. The thought of it gives me shudders. Oh, and one more thing—they said that Big Bang is about a group of four geek guys. The geek guys in my high school did not amuse me much. They have the world of their own. They even had a language of their own. But nonetheless, they always have my respect and they are my friends. When I was in college, I do not have geek guy friends any more. I had taken Liberal Arts majoring in Economics. With exception of Asian Studies, there are hardly any geeks in our college.

Anyway, this summer break is exceptionally warm. I think the word ‘scorching’ could be an understatement. That’s why there are days where my sister goes on with her Big Bang marathon and I was just lying on my bed with my hands and legs apart doing nothing. Subconsciously, I started picking up the dialogues and I understand them. I find it so hilarious! Slowly, I moved and sit behind her and I watched a couple of episodes. My first favorite character actually was Rajesh Koothrappali. His cluelessness on many American thingies, his inability to speak with women except when he is drunk and his bromance with another Big Bang character, Howard Wolowitz, makes him really dorky yet adorable or simply put, adorkable. But watching one episode after the other, I really fell in love with Sheldon Lee  Cooper.

Sheldon Cooper is easily the smartest person in the Big Bang Universe. After finishing fifth grade, he went straight to college and at sixteen years old, he already received his first doctorate. He highly regards himself as a perfect human being but we could easily see his faults and imperfection. He is really hard to hang around because of his obsessive-compulsive disorder, mysophobia (fear of germs) and hypochondriasis (fear of getting sick) among his other quirks. But I believe the hardest thing to deal with Sheldon is his lack of empathy and narcissism. He always emphasize to his friends that he is superior to them. I always pity Howard Wolowitz because he is easily the favorite target of Sheldon (and actually of the other characters at times) because of his lack of a doctorate degree. Sheldon says a lot of things which in his point of view was just being honest but is in fact hurtful to another person. Nevertheless, he is really lucky to have good friends who try to understand him to the best that they could.

Sheldon sitting on his infamous “spot”.

Clearly, the character of Sheldon Cooper is as interesting as it is and Sheldon knows this. He even said these lines for Howard and Bernadette’s wedding, “The need to find another human being to share one’s life with has always puzzled me. Maybe because I’m so interesting all by myself. With that being said, may you find as much happiness with each other as I find on my own.

So why create the character of Amy Farrah Fowler for him?

“May I buy you a beverage?”
The madness all began here.

Truth be told, not a lot of people were happy seeing Amy entering the Big Bang universe. Some commented on how unattractive and boring she looks. Others greatly oppose the notion of Sheldon Cooper having a significant other because they like Sheldon’s ‘asexual’ nature. Actually, I read that there are some gay netizens who wished that Sheldon could find a male soul mate instead. Maybe because it is no secret that Jim Parsons, Sheldon’s actor, is a gay man. But regardless of that, I’m still digging the ‘Shamy’.

“Ooh, look who’s out on a date. Pasadena’s favorite power couple, Shamy!”

The character of Amy Farrah Fowler was introduced during the last episode of Season 3 when Rajesh and Howard entered Sheldon’s information in a dating site. Raj threatened that he had hidden a dirty piece of sock in Sheldon’s apartment and will not remove it until Sheldon agreed to come with them and meet Amy, he will not remove it. Sheldon, being the clean-freak guy he is, reluctantly agreed to come and meet Amy. The two almost instantly were connected to each other!

But actually at that time, nothing is known about Amy. When her actress, Dr. Mayim Bialik, auditioned for the role, she said that the staff of Big Bang was finding a female version of Jim Parson’s character and that’s it. The next season, we found out that she is a neurobiologist which is probably based on Dr. Bialik’s educational background of having a doctorate in neuroscience. Anyway, nobody would really like Amy’s first appearances. In the words of Leonard, “Amy is judgmental, sanctimonious and frankly just obnoxious… So we already have you [Sheldon] for all that…” Sheldon also agrees that Amy is the person most similar to him. But Amy’s was definitely far more annoying than Sheldon at least on her first appearances. She was hardly smiling yet Sheldon is generally a happy person. I love how Sheldon smiles, by the way! Anyway, she also insults people the way Sheldon does but because she’s a girl, it’s more exasperating because of the bitchy factor.

So that’s the premise: Amy was created as a male counterpart of Sheldon. But is she really just a female Sheldon Cooper? In my humble opinion, hell no!

“Well, whether you see it or not is irrelevant.”

Although they are both an oddball and do things together that only they could understand in their universe of their own, they have many differences. First, Sheldon is very much child-like. He’s about thirty-two years old now but he still enjoy comics, computer games, model trains and everything in between while Amy on the other hand, shows no interest in all of these. Second, while Amy was very condescending like Sheldon at the beginning of the series, she changed when she started her little chic clique with Penny and Bernadette but nonetheless both she and Sheldon are still very straightforward people. Third, Amy does not have the mysophobia, hypochondriasis and obsessive-compulsive disorder like Sheldon. In fact, she could eat a sandwich while dissecting a human brain. Sheldon, on the other hand, freaks out even with the fact that he drank Leonard’s water at the Cheesecake Factory accidentally. Fourth, Amy does not fear on being touched by other people and could be sexually aroused at times while Sheldon does not like people touching him mainly because of his mysophobia and hypochondriasis and also, let’s face it, he is borderline asexual.

Nevertheless, I do love the pair so much because of their similarities and differences. I remembered how giddy I felt when Amy held Sheldon’s hand for the first time and he just let her do it. Knowing our Sheldon, he’ll freak out whoever would touch him.

Sheldon not objecting on being her “experiment”!

But he did not only let her touch her hand, he danced the night away with her and…he also let her kiss him.

“Dirty, dirty, dirty.” The drunken Amy finally kissed Sheldon—and he kissed her back!

Not only once but he let him kiss her twice. The other was from a spur of the moment when she received the tiara he gave him as a gift for being insensitive of her achievements in the field of neurobiology.

"I’m a princess, and this is my tiara!"
“I’m a princess, and this is my tiara!”

However, Sheldon is not the only one compromising. Amy had her fair share in compromising with Sheldon’s imperfections. For example, there was a time when Sheldon promised her that he would come with her on her grandmother’s birthday party but Sheldon’s gang decided to have Star Wars game that night. Sheldon desperately wants to go until that very day when he’s supposed to meet Amy’s family. Amy sarcastically said that he could go down and play with them if he wants to. Yes, Sheldon is a genius with 187 IQ but his comprehension with sarcasm is so bad. Later, when she confronted this issue to him, he finally understood that he made her upset and offered his valuable “Cooper Coupons” to her as restitution. She forgave him as swift as a thunder after that. She also forgave her quickly when Sheldon said sorry for messing up in her laboratory, rather than helping her, the day before.

“We’re playing doctor. Star Trek style.”

She also does her best in making him happy. In one episode, she told Sheldon that she wanted to make progress with their relationship so she did a lot of things that made him happy like playing the theme from Super Mario Brothers and prepared Strawberry Quik and Spaghetti with little hotdogs cut up on it. She also “played doctor” with her by making Sheldon her patient while dressed up like Nurse Chapel from Star Trek. Remember that she probably researched heavily on it because she remarked to Penny in one episode that she does not even know the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars.

“Believe it or not, Amy has embarked on a campaign to increase my feelings for her by making me happy.”

I also love how Sheldon developed feelings for Amy over time. For example, when he got confused with the fact that Amy wants Sheldon to meet her mother and asked Leonard about it, Leonard explained to Sheldon that Amy probably wants their relationship to the next level. Sheldon disliked the idea and said that he is giving his blessing for her and Leonard to be together instead. However, after one season, there was this scene where Leonard just got home after escorting Amy to a wedding. Sheldon asked him how it went and karate-chopped Leonard afterwards when he mistook Leonard’s statement about his pulled groin with Leonard and Amy engaging in coitus. Sheldon vehemently told the very puzzled and hurt Leonard, “To send a message. She is not for you. NOT FOR YOU!” God, how I love replaying that scene! It Is Sheldon’s way of saying, “She is MINE!” And yes, recently, he also admitted to Leonard that, “Her efforts are causing me to have affectionate feelings for her at inappropriate times.

“She is not for you! NOT FOR YOU!”

Perhaps, the reason why Amy was made for Sheldon is to see growth in Sheldon’s character. For the first three seasons, he was pretty much the same character. But now it’s amazing seeing him understanding more about relationships because of Amy’s presence in his life. With Amy, he knows how to say sorry and admits he was wrong. He also learns how to make up with the mistakes that he had done. He also listens to her suggestions. This is a big leap from his very haughty and pompous character who always thinks that he is right. Yes, he is that freaky yet delightful genius we all loved but now he is probably more human, more relatable in a way perhaps. Changes in Sheldon may be difficult for other people who love the way he is on the first three seasons but bear in mind that changes is what makes a person’s characterization interesting because we can see growth. Sure, Sheldon is fun on his own but without growth in his character he would probably lose that charm in him. Everything would be so repetitive, routinely and ultimately, boring. We wouldn’t like Sheldon to be like that.

” I am a man of science, not someone’s snuggle bunny!”

Well, it’s good news for us Shamy fans though. Bill Prady said, “Rest assured, the perfectly matched geek and geekette won’t be going at it like sylvilagus audubonii anytime soon. There’ll be no changes in [Sheldon], though I think the character is capable of things we haven’t seen.

Now this brings us to the question: What else is Sheldon capable of that we have not seen yet? God, please let it be September already!

Boldly go. He ultimately held her hand at the last scene of the fifth season. The Shamy-shippers nearly died because they can’t breathe looking at this scene. Need to say more? 😉