in the realm of the senses

last week, a few of my friends confronted me with an ethical issue involving online journals and the lives of other people. we very briefly discussed my own blog, and TJ was adamant that i should limit my weaves to my own strands and strings. "dapat ikuwento mo lang yung tungkol sayo. wag mo na idamay ang iba," he said. he was surprised how so many people knew about the time he lost it at W grill, and he suspected that i may have detailed it here. my reply was that i didn't talk about about it in detail, except to say that he just lost it there. leo was also interested in finding out more about blogs. "tell me, what are blogs for?" he asked. i said, do you know what blog is short for? he said, "i don't know." genie rolled her eyes in disbelief. "you don't know what blog is short for?" she remarked. there was an expression of exasperation on her face. "am i supposed to know what blog is short for?" leo replied. "well," genie retorted, "you pretend to know everything anyway."

at this point, i inserted myself into the brewing argument, and said, "leo, blog is short for 'web log'. it's really a tool for creating a personal homepage on the internet. but mostly, people use it as online journals or online photo albums." TJ jumped in. "dapat hindi naka-public yung mga entries mo tungkol sa ibang tao." i responded by saying that i don't get the point of making private entries on a blog. if my intention were to create a memory peg of an occurrence that shouldn't be made public, then i would rather just write it on paper instead of putting it up on the net, where regardless of the security settings, people are bound to see it one way or another. i also told them that i used to have a written journal which stopped when the notebook i used got stolen. along with the fountain pen and the bag it was in and the car where i left it.

then leo started asking about libel. i replied, in my usual pedantic, know-it-all stance that "libel is a public and malicious imputation of a vice, crime or defect." "can you be sued for talking about other people's lives in your blog?" leo asked. well, first, the imputation has to be malicious. and it should be the imputation of a vice, crime, or defect. and does blogging fulfill the element of publication? since publication is the communication of something to some third person or persons, then yes, it qualifies. but if bloggers were all sued for libel, how about the companies where their libelous comments were posted? under the law, "the author or editor of a book or pamphlet, or the editor or business manager of a daily newspaper, magazine or serial publication" shall be liable to the same extent as if he were the author. the law does not mention internet of course, but then the law was written even before the age of computers. so will owners of livejournal, blogspot, wordpress, multiply, etc. face raps for allowing libelous entries to be posted on their sites? good idea for a legal paper.

this was not the first time of course that i've been asked about the private lives of private persons and their cameos on my blog. during the early stages of my blog, johnbee remarked that there should be a law against talking about the lives of other people on your blog. a person who introduced herself as candy pangilinan left a message here saying that blogs are subjective and that they do not replicate facts very accurately. my response to all these has been this: i don't talk about other people's lives. i talk about my life. this isn't a tabloid where i propagate false rumors about other people. i am not writing a showbiz column that relies on hearsay and events that have been lost in translation because it has been passed on to several people. when i say, for example, that malvin evicted me from his car last sunday on our way home from batangas because he wanted someone else to hitch with him and not because he was thinking of my convenience, i was not talking about malvin, but about myself. that happened within the realm of my experience. i did not make that up. i did not talk about the life of another person.

i exercise a very brute form of self-censorship. i know that there are things that are not for me to talk about. there are already many things that i completely omit from my blog. i do not talk about the things that have been said to me in confidence. i keep them sacred and secret. i don't talk about everything. i intentionally leave out certain things because they might not be proper for a blog that's read not only by the persons involved, but by complete strangers. i did not blog about my holy week in boracay because i felt that it would have been dishonest of me to talk about an experience and yet leave out very important details, which didn't concern me, but which were witnessed by me. and that's it. that's what this blog is all about. it is a witness to my life. it is a companion on my journeys. it is an aid to my failing memory. i have not forced anyone to read any of my entries. and not that i am driving away any of my friends, but if anyone happens to appear, albeit briefly, in any of my retellings, then that's a consequence of having done something within the realm of my senses.
May I also add that as bloggers, we operate within our own context regardless of other people's opinions. I mean, what kind of syphillic retarded nutsack would even care about their superficial deconstructions of their personality when, as you've mentioned, they were unintentionally potrayed as a character in a blog (for obvious reasons played in real time) regardless of self-censorship.
I blog because of failure of memory, opinion, and experience.

If anyone IS mentioned, well, we'll have to forget the part wherein it's OUR problem.

Baka na-confuse lang yung cells niya. Juskoh naman, don't waste your time on "unhinged" people and just write! And you had to dignify his query with a response! You're smarter than this...
you're right jason. i just realized that what makes personal blogs of even complete strangers interesting is that it's like reality TV, which as you said, is played in real time. only it's like reading an autobiography that's in the process of being written.

and i agree, it's not our problem.
*insert mental picture of alman passionately defending his view with genie, tj, and leo in the background*

I miss heavy conversations like this. My brain's been in a blender called corporate banking.

Moreover, miss hangin' with you guys! ;)

Haaaay. I think you should do a mini-seminar of some sorts on the nature of blogging. I smell medieval air in the 21st century.

i would if anyone would listen. hehe. but there already are a gazillion filipinos out there who claim to know everything about blogging. they had a philippine blog expo at the malcolm hall last year i think which i wasn't able to attend.

i guess people react in a certain way because they're immediately surprised why some folks know of things that took place when these guys weren't around. and it turns out these folks read about these events in my blog.
don't get me wrong... I don't know "rules" in blogging... are there any rules to begin with? Your friends are right why bother?! Just had to say my piece then.

haha. you should've just showed up during the anniversary weekend. we had lots of these and everything else (some things that are not the proper subject of this blog) at talipanan. so get your brain out of the blender even for a while. we miss you too!
Cogito ergo defeo
I think, therefore my brain hurts. Haha, Lovely snippets you got there, Da Man
Hay naku alman...deadma nalang hehe.
Di mo na kasalanan if they like reading your blog...and no one should tell you what you can and can not write about. Sayo ito noh.
Tska who in their right mind would waste their time to deliberately write about other people's lives anyway (except si Dolly Ann Carvajal kasi naman career nya yun). Swerte nga nila eh...libre sa exposure kahit hindi naman sila taga showbiz kasi while you write about your life, sila ang nagiging bida in the process hehe...
kaya nga eh. kahit pa naglalaro lang sa 80 to 100 ang hits (pageloads) ko everyday, at least i know i have a steady readership. minsan nga post ko yung demographics and geographical locations ng mga IP address ng mga visitors ko para malaman natin na ang mga buhay nila ay nababasa hindi lang ng mga pilipino kundi ng mga taga india at denmark. hey, you're a star! haha.
there's an invisible hit counter loaded on my page. each time someone accesses my page, it counts that as a hit. if that person returns after closing the page, that's counted as another hit. you can google the net for page counters and they have a step-by-step guide on how to install a page counter on your page. this isn't that accurate still, because if my entries are viewed, say, on your friends page, it isn't counted. you'd have to visit the site itself (i.e., cheers! and why on earth did you lose my number? haha.
why not?
that would really be nice if you post those stuff as well. It just so happen that when my secretary went into search for "candy pangilinan", the blog you wrote was part of the search because my name was on it.

Nevertheless, your friends are right your blogs are quite interesting

Helloooo! Didnt anyone mention to them that a blog is a personal journal and if anyone was/is mentioned, it is because that person happen to come into your life at that particular moment.

Hay basta, baluktok na english ko...
oo nga TB! ano ba naman yang sentence construction na yan? haha. you're right. actually, ikaw nga case in point ko. ang sabi ko, without mentioning you, some bloggers have worse things to say about other people. ako nga, i'm being nice already. haha.
pwede mag comment? masaya kaya mag blog! you and pops inspired me to create my own. Hehe. Sa blog kasi, you realize who matters,who always did and who never will.

Keep it up.

pwedeng pwede jhoana. at nakita ko na yang blog mo sa multiply ha. in fairness. special mention din ako dun.
hey there!
So you are a lawyer... that's cool. I said please do not comment about other people. Your comment towards me was rather negative. I felt irked because that was a day that I wasn't really talking and you wrote in your blog that a group led by Candy pangilinan was so noisy inside the bus as if they were the only ones inside the bus. You even said I was late, which the truth is I wasnt.
That's about it.
I'm no lawyer but then I guess it's not really a crime to answer a comment about oneself.
That's about it...
Have a great day.
Re: hey there!
of course it's not. everyone has a right to defend one's self from what one thinks is not right. the incident at the shuttle was a small footnote to an otherwise uneventful day. i thought it was a funny story, so i told it. it could have been a completely different person (i.e., not a celebrity), and if those events took place, i still would have told the story. my apologies to you and what you may have felt was an inaccurate retelling of the circumstances. but i wasn't at all angry at what happened. you should have asked the other person on the shuttle. he was really mad.