We felt we shortchanged ourselves when we fell short of beating the deadline for a short conference. Organized by the Tate Modern Public Programmes, The London Consortium and the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, School of Advanced Study at the University of London, it is open to anybody — or somebody like DJ Spooky, Sadie Plant, Tom Shakespeare, Clare Wigfall or Steven Connor — who is ready, willing, and capable of presenting or performing about spatial or temporal shortness for up to seven minutes. Shortly, we are haunted by our short abstract of less than 200 words that we failed to submit on time. To this day, we can do nothing but shake our head now that we can easily shortlist everything short under the sun. Last week – when Prof. Randy David of the University of the Philippines declared that he would seriously consider running against Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo should she seek a seat in the House representing the second district of their home province of Pampanga in 2010 in a battle dubbed as David vs. Goliath — inspired us so much since so many short things took place in so short a time. We could have written more than such text messages we got last Fathers’ Day as “Life is too short. Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness. Laugh when you can. Apologize when you should. Let go of what you cannot change. Love deeply and something will change it. You are only hurting yourself with your bitterness. For your own sake.”
Or about punch lines as cruel as “What a coincidence that Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson died on the same day. One had a lot of fun with Majors, while the other had a lot of fun with minors.”
Or about such aphorisms as “Kapag nasa katri na, tiyakin kung may hayden camera.”
Or about short attention spans of the youth, for example, during Philippine Online Chronicles Presents: Pilipinas 2.0 last June 25 when different individuals and organizations that advocate for and propel change in Philippine society gathered together at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila auditorium.
Or about music samples of a Martin Nievera challenging the Republic Act No. 8491 or the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, whose Chapter II, Section 37, states that the rendition of the National Anthem, whether played or sung, shall be in accordance with the musical arrangement and composition of Julian Felipe.
Or about ephemeral relationships as that of that Democrat who made a pitstop at an Argentinian strip club to get a lap dance from Andrea Rincon or that Republican who gave everything up for a hot sex with a hot babe from Buenos Aires.
Or about quick-fire recipes to, say, the 7th Doreen Fernandez Food Writing Contest under this year’s topic on biskwit.
Or about orgasms caused by a short imaginary cable car ride from either Caticlan to Boracay or from Dolores to Mt. Banahaw.
Or about nanophilology in tanaga or dalit or diona, for instance, instead of haiku that has been taught in schools for years as if part of our prehispanic literary past.
Monday, you can submit your entries at Mag:net Katipunan, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Tuesday at the Conspiracy Garden Cafe, from 6pm to 9pm. Or you can text your poems # 09278313273 or # 09322743366 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. For details, please visit their websites www.km64.wordpress.com and www.kilometer64.multiply.com. Yesterday, by the way, Dr. Luzviminda Kwong, Philippine Society of Oncology Inc. president and Dr. Gil Vicente, their 2009 Midyear Convention chair, fulfilled their dream of coming up with a Cancer Book for the Layman at the Megatrade Hall 1, Megamall in Mandaluyong City. Being artists in their own right, they both allowed arts to get in the way treating their patients. So it is not surprising to find out that they included an on-the-sport painting contest for kids 12 years old and below as well as photo competition which they opened to all amateurs and professionals camera bugs who can tackle the theme : Compassion and Cancer. The entire Sunday was full of raffle draws and booth exhibits on nutrition, allergies, skin problems, hair concerns, oral hygiene and the like. Not to mention, free consultation or second opinion with specialists in their project called Pasilip Ka, an endoscopic exam of the upper airway!
The long and short of it, through the arts we can, as the King of Pop sings it, heal the world!