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Days 39-41: Confront fear/Write an article for a hip blog

10 Feb


(Watch as I try to cram as many links into this entry as I possibly can to compensate for lack of actual content. Be sure to click on all of them!)

So a funny thing happened.

Alice Sarmiento, ex-member of the now-defunct band Asong Ngongo (Mark! Mark!), and managing editor of literary webzine New Slang, asked me, Niña, recovering television addict, and creator of stupid things to distract from said addiction, to write an article about “Assholes Through Ancient and Contemporary History” because she thought I was perfect for it. I don’t know what she meant by that but I was floored. I imagine myself to be a lot of things, but I never thought of myself as a writer. I certainly did not think other people thought I could string together 1200 words on a single topic without much straying. But before I could overthink the issue and chicken out, and by this point I had successfully contacted Edu Ibazeta, staunch supporter of my growth as a human being and front man of the stupidest, most excellent band in the world Halik ni Gringo, and forced him to answer questions I had about the article as he was the assigned writer of the companion piece “The Bitchness Business Review” I said yes to Alice. As I said in my Facebook message to her “I’ve never been asked to be a contributing writer before so this is very exciting for me!”

And that’s when my problems started. The overthinking commenced. How am I going to do this? I do not punctuate well. I haven’t figured out whether to put periods before or after parentheses. I don’t know when to use quotation marks or when to italicize. I do not have very interesting things to say most of the time. And most of all, I do not think people are assholes! I believe in the inherent goodness of people and so if they do bad things, they probably have their reasons. Also, I suck at history! The first exam I ever failed was a history exam! What am I going to do? Of all the articles to say yes to, this may not have been the best choice.

This was a week ago. The earlier part of the past week was spent trying to figure out a way to get around the whole writing thing. I thought I could make something like an Illustrated Guide to Historical Assholes. Or I could design propaganda posters. Or I could make a series of typographical portraits. I made countless sketches of these things but somehow, they just didn’t feel right.

Three days ago, I decided that the reason it all wasn’t working was because that wasn’t the assignment. I needed to confront my fear and just write the damn essay. Only, I needed to get mad first because that was the only way I could get over the fact that I do not have the right to pass judgment when I am not such a stellar example of model human behavior myself. I knew which people were assholes but if I was ever going get riled up enough to write about them, I had to learn every gory detail of their lives. So I brushed up on world history. And that’s what I’ve been doing for the past three nights. I’ve been on Wikipedia, studying. Getting mad. Writing. Revising. And approximately an hour ago, I finished the essay.

Some sketches that I was doing of the Great Asshole Triumvirate: Nero, Genghis Khan and Hitler. And yes, that says Andrew Garfield on the bottom corner because you know how when you were young, you thought about your crush constantly and without realizing it, you've doodled their name a few dozen times in the back page of your notebook? Apparently, that still happens to me. Interestingly, I found a way to somehow include Andrew Garfield in my asshole article. I thought that was the best part about the whole thing.

On a side note, Alice told me that the deadline was February 10th. Being the forgetful moron that I sometimes am, it completely slipped my mind that you guys are a day ahead. Having avoided Facebook and Tumblr the past few days so I could focus on my assignment, I only just read Alice’s two-day old message asking about my progress. I met the deadline for this timezone, but missed the actual deadline by a day. What a giant idiot.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience. I learned a lot. I got to pretend I was an expert at history. My brain was challenged greatly because there are only so many ways you can say the word “asshole.” It was a lot of fun. (If you’re reading this, Alice, thank you very much!)

I’m not sure when (or if) the essay will be published, but I will make sure to update this entry with a link.

EDIT: And here it is. The Great Asshole Triumvirate.

And now I shall watch episodes of A Bit of Fry and Laurie until I fall asleep. Nothing like a little British humor to wash away the bitter aftertaste of world history. See you tomorrow!

P.S. Peter Tom Tolibas, possible twin brother in a past life and drummer of awesome bands Oi Wag Dito and Ginseng, has just created his own blog where he posts his words and amazing photos that he’s taken of the music scene and his friends. Subscribe to it now!