detail from Labels for Hair Ribbons by Manuel Ocampo a delectable selection of oriental appetizers
Wednesday, March 14, 2001

: . Unable to sleep last night, I downed a popular “nightime sleeping aid,” switched on the TV, and waited for the pills to take effect. Bad move. On CMT (that’s Country Music Television) a documentary on the one and only great Fil-Am country music singer Neal McCoy was playing. Now, hours later, Neal McCoy’s song “The Shake” plays and plays and plays again in my mind. The song burrowed there, and, finding a comfortable spot, fiercely clamped its booted dancing feet deep into my brain’s memory zone.
Shake it to the left
Shake it to the right
Come on baby you know what I like
Shake it real funky shake it real low
Shake it 'til you can't shake it no more
hour after hour.
That Neal. That ass of his. He can knock out the most intense sleeping pill. He’s a stimulant made flesh.

: . In sex, Hong Kong men and women are the least confident and the most conservative compared with other Asians, a survey has found.
Only five per cent of Hong Kong men think they're sexy, compared with 55 percent of Philippine men and 48 percent of South Korean men surveyed by Time Asia magazine.

: . I’m reading:
1. “Displacing Borders of Misrecognition: On Jessica Hagedorn’s Fictions” by E. San Juan, Jr. in After Postcolonialism: Remapping Philippines-United States Confrontations
2. “Dogeaters, Postmodernism and the ‘Worlding’ of the Philippines” by Caroline S. Hau in Philippine Post-Colonial Studies: Essays on Language and Literature
3. “Taglish, or the Phantom Power of the Lingua Franca” by Vicente L. Rafael in White Love and Other Events in Filipino History

: . Raymond Williams on jargon: It is mainly in relation to psychology and sociology…but also in relation to an opposing intellectual position such as Marxism, that some of the most regular dismissive uses of jargon are now found. It is true that specialized internal vocabularies can be developed, in any of these and other areas, to a fault. But it is also true that the use of a new term or the new definition of a concept is often the necessary form of a challenge to other ways of thinking or of indication of new and alternative ways. Every known general position…has its defining terms and the difference between these and the terms identified as jargon is often no more than one of relative date and familiarity. To run together the senses of jargon as specialized, unfamiliar, belonging to a hostile position, and unintelligible chatter is then at times indeed a jargon: a confident local habit which merely assumes its own intelligibility and generality.

: . The Paper Tiger Reading Group is reading Chitra Divarakuni’s “Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter” this week.

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