*Rene Agulan, the Philippine Department of Finance & Bureau of Customs
I am of course, speaking of The Great Book Blockade of 2009 that supposedly began when Customs examiner Rene Agulan noticed the infernal numerous amount of Twilight books being imported into the Philippines and got greedy.
Not that Twilight’s really responsible for anything but oh the glee of it being ever so slightly to blame for something (unlike the other people in the popular Livejournal icon I posted above, it is a possible excuse for Rene Agulan if he is ever confronted by a horde of angry book lovers. hee.)
It also goes without saying that it’s infuriatingly unfair that they’ve decided to tax books. Of course, if the tax on books went to the development and maintenance of public libraries, I wouldn’t mind so much but we all know where our tax money goes (or doesn’t go.) I am hoping for the best but the pessimist in me dreads the futility of arguing with Stupid People Who Think They’re Right. (Forgive me, I’ve barely recovered from the exciting new contract filled with wonderful benefits that my beloved company has offered me that I’ve skipped Bargaining and gone straight to Depression/General Acceptance of the inevitable. But that’s another story.)
For example, this part of the article struck me as incredibly stupid:
Take the official’s interpretation of the following sentence in RA 8047 (the Book Publishing Industry Development Act): “the tax and duty-free importation of books or raw materials to be used in book publishing.” According to Sales, this lacked a comma after the word “books,” which meant that what was tax and duty-free was only books used for book publishing.
People in the book industry were left scratching their heads, wondering what a “book used in book publishing” is. Customs went further and said it interpreted the Florence Agreement to mean only educational books are tax-free, with Customs deciding whether a title qualifies as being educational or not. Booksellers responded that this went against half a century’s common understanding of the treaty; did this mean everyone had been wrong and Customs suddenly right? Sales replied, “Yes.”
Ah yes, because the lack of a comma totally justifies the lack of common sense. How idiotic to base a loophole on a punctuation instead of logic. Oh well. I’ll stop now because I’m sleepy but for more information about this go here or here.
tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet and her four sisters as they become zombie slayers and are taught how to fight like Japanese ninjas by Mr Darcy.
Hahaha…this is going to be interesting. The sheer number of things to get excited about: Pride and Prejudice! Zombies! Romance! Ultraviolent Mayhem! Ninjas! Darcy admiring Elizabeth’s fine eyes while teaching her how to kick Zombie ass. And ah, the dilemma of maintaining a gentlemanlike (not to mention ladylike) manner in the midst of Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem. Hopefully it’s as good as it sounds. And of course a movie will probably be made sometime in the future. Any hope of Matthew Macfadyen and Keira Knightley reprising their roles? Joe Wright directing? Dario Marianelli remixing his beautifully delicate score with ominous Zombie music? Now that’s definitely something to look forward to.
the 3rd book in Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series, coming out April 2009. Gosh these YA covers are pretty pretty. I can’t wait.
You know when you get a certain age and you just want to impart all your gathered wisdom on the younger generation?
I feel that way whenever I see someone buying Twilight (or any book of the Twilight series).
and I know I should be happy that they’re reading anything at all but the craze over it is just…crazy.
Please, young girls of the world, by all means read Twilight but move on to something better. Like Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series. Or Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle series (which I’m reading right now and it’s just…wow) or for more vampires Robin McKinley’s Sunshine (or anything by Robin McKinley for that matter) and anything by Patricia McKillip, or Francesca Lia Block, or Jane Yolen.
Oh well. Just saying.
they don’t sweat. don’t pee. don’t shit. don’t breathe…
but why do they always still have the ability to produce sperm?
*this question brought to you by the fictional existence of half-human half-sparkly-vampire Renesme Carlie Cullen, whose name would fit in right here in the Philippines, home of children with unique names derived from the combined syllables of their parents’ names.
Haven’t done this in a while because i’ve been busy/lazy and since I’m a bit lazy now, i’m going to do this quickly…
Prince Caspian was interesting enough. Ben Barnes is quite the hottie but a bit ridiculous at times because of the accent. And the added love angle was frustrating if you know how everything ends. Can’t decide whether I love the homage to Lord of the Rings or not (honestly, the only thing was Arwen’s “If you want him, come and claim him” moment). Final Verdict: as the first film, entertaining enough but nothing really special.
The Incredible Hulk was a bit of a letdown, in spite of the awesome talent that is Edward Norton, Tim Roth, William Hurt and Liv Tyler. I don’t know what was missing. There were a couple of amazing scenes but overall, it just fell flat for me. Final Verdict: If you’re really fanatic about any of the actors or the comic than it won’t hurt to watch it. And there’s a fun Tony Stark cameo, again hinting on the upcoming avengers movie that I can’t help but get excited about…I mean Robert Downey Jr. and Edward Norton in the same film? I am so there.
Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Series is often compared to JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series, just instead of magic we get vampires. Like Harry Potter it’s an engrossing read and I finished both books (Twilight and New Moon) in around 5 hours (I started at 9am and finally got around to eating lunch at 2pm) which can be both bad and good. Good because It means I was interested enough to read it all in one sitting, bad because it’s easy to read in one sitting, which means I probably sped through it to get to the ending, which means I was only interested in the plot and not in what the book had to say. Final Verdict: Not that popcorn fiction is bad, it’s just not the type I get fanatic about. But I am reading the third book right now.
Pushing Daisies is wonderful. Everything about it is just so…so…perfectly charming. I love it and I love whoever created it. And I hope the 2nd season comes soon because we need more shows like it. Final Verdict: There’s nothing like a TV show that puts a smile on your face at the end of a day. It’s just love…love…love…
House M.D. Season 4 is compelling enough and yet I miss the old team. Part of the spark is gone. Final Verdict: But I still love House. How can I not?
Doctor Who Series 4 is getting more exciting with each episode. My favorites so far: The Unicorn and the Wasp, where the Doctor and Donna meet Agatha Christie; Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead, the Steven Moffat episode, not as amazing as the other Steven Moffat episodes but fantastic just the same; and Midnight, probably the most disturbing episode this series, maybe even ever. Final Verdict: The Rose episodes are coming up next. I’m excited and yet I’m partly dreading it because I know it won’t end happily ever after.
Neil Gaiman writes about Stardust and fairy tales in The Guardian.
Women in Hollywood speak up about Women in Hollywood.
Steal This Book! No, really, steal it.
Become addicted to Doctor Who. Like moi.
And for more quizzes…
You’re Brave New World!
by Aldous Huxley
With an uncanny ability for predicting the future, you are a true psychic. You can see how the world will change and illuminate the fears of future generations. In the world to come, you see the influence of the media, genetic science, drugs, and class warfare. And while all this might make you happy, you claim the right to be unhappy. While pregnancy might seem painful, test tube babies scare you most. You are obsessed with the word “pneumatic”.
Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid.
High art this is most definitely not, but it’s funny:
Visit longmiredoesromancenovels for more parodies of romance novel covers.
It’s no secret, romance novels are my guiltiest pleasure and the reason why I feel guilty sometimes when I read romance novels is because of the smutty covers. It’s the reason why romance novels are labeled “girl porn.” Hey, most of the magazine covers today feature half-naked women, and we don’t call it pornographic. Where are all the half-naked men? In the covers of romance novels, that’s where. So yeah, it’s okay if you objectify women because it’s widely accepted but if men are objectified then you should find it embarrassing?
Anyway, so thought I’d just give a special mention to my favorite romance novel cover model. Everytime I see a book with his face, I just have to buy it. By luck, I found out his name when he guest-starred in a Sex and the City episode…he played one of Samantha’s conquests. So here’s Mike Dale:
Swoon. Forgive me, he’s gorgeous.
tomorrow is the US release of JRR Tolkien’s new book (posthumous publication, of course, and edited by his son, Christopher Tolkien) called The Children of Hurin.
don’t know what it’s about yet but they say it’s like Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales or a darker Lord of the Rings
and the illustrations look really, really amazing (they’re by Alan Lee, of course)
Hopefully, it’ll be in the Philippines soon. and hopefully, it won’t be too expensive. haay.