June 27, 2006

Mr. Goodnews has something for us today. This blogger was given one of the fifteen slots to the Friedrich Naumann Foundation’s ‘Express Yourself’ Blogging and Podcasting Seminar-Workshop. Now we would like first to thank the Guniguni: The Absent Muse member who posted the PR about the workshop in the e-group. Applicants were asked to provide an essay on why they want to join, plus bio-data and sample of works. Deadline was June 22 and the result came out in the 27th. We got a phone call from Anne Elicaño, coordinator for the workshop. More information will be sent via e-mail.

The focus of the seminar-workshop will be on the importance of blogging and podcasting as uncensored political tools. A panel of experts will facilitate the activities. As accepted applicants, we will be provided travel (flight) allowance and accommodation. This will surely be an enriching experience for eveybody.

We sent the essay ‘Blogging and Freedom’ as part of our entry. Our concerns and reasons for joining are articulated there. Needless to say, this fellowship will open doors for Hagbayon as a Bicol-based literary blog.

Now a research on prehispanic Philippine dramatic traditions revealed that ‘Dung-aw’ is a kind of a poetic ritual for the dead. We will delve further on other forms of theatric practice next time.

We have been reading an article Moral Philosophy in relation with Moral Relativism. We know that we have technical, societal, aesthetics, religious and ethical norms ang grounds for morality. Moral relativism, basically, is easy to debunk simply because one group may just be confusing the various norms. For example, religious and soceital norms maybe at play among cannibalistic tribes when it’s just wrong to eat humans, dead or alive. 

The main point is that there are universal ethical modes of correctness irregardless of culture. And in the context of postcoloniality these modes must apply even in the political reality of neocolonizer and colonies. Ethics is not a master narrative set up by the current thesis or neo-imperialistic power. Ethics is human not European or American.

Since this blogger is into literary arts our main concern here is aethetics. We know that it is predetermined by technical, societal and spiritual norms. Linguistic art is defined by geography, climate, theology and ideology. And in the Bikol context, we use a certain rhyme scheme validated by our linguistic properties that in turn borrow sounds from our surroundings. We perform poetry for its pragmatic value.

Now if our culture allows us to kill people so that we can write poetry on their skin using sharp objects, that’s something else.

Now is there a universal idea of what is beautiful? Well there’s the concept of symmetry. Rhyme and meter can be found in various poetic cultures. Aesthetics has to have function and historicity. There is always the fallacy of accident and in comparative literature, one must not be ethnocentric, arrogant and condescending. That solves it for now.


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