The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The First 12 Albums that I Ever Bought

I first saw the music video of "In Between Days" in 1986, a year after the album containing it, 'The Head on the Door,' was released. The album was one of the first albums in cassette tape format that I ever bought with money saved from my school allowance.

Here are the first 12 albums (in cassette tapes) that I bought in 1986.

1) 'No Sense of Sin' (1984) by The Lotus Eaters 
2) 'Crush' (1985) by O.M.D.
3) 'Working with Fire and Steel' (1983) by China Crisis
4) 'Throw the Warped Wheel Out' (1984) by Fiction Factory
5) 'The Church' (1981) by The Church
6) 'The Head on the Door' (1985) by The Cure
7) 'How to Be a...Zillionaire' (1985) by ABC
8) 'Hunting High and Low' (1985) by a-ha
9) 'Love Not Money' (1985) by Everything but the Girl
10) 'Songs from the Big Chair' (1985) by Tears for Fears
11) Parade (1984) by Spandau Ballet
12) Some Great Reward (1984) by Depeche Mode

I never stopped listening to all these albums, to all these bands, and to New Wave music itself--so there is no reason to return to New Wave for me, simply because I never turned my back on it. They will always be a part of the soundtrack of my early teenage years. New Wave will always be with me. Forever and ever...New Wave.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Once a Poet...


I started writing poetry in high school but only in my university days (in 1989) when I started to take it seriously and regularly. I had already in my collection three full books of poetry collected from that period in my life.

I stopped writing poetry for a while beginning in the late '90s only because I became a book writer/editor; meaning, my writing expression turned to prose and more technical than literary writing.

In late 2004, having immigrated to Canada and got no job and away from loved ones, I turned heavily to reading and writing. I also imposed upon myself to write at least one poem a day; I was able to accomplish this for more than a year, resulting to hundreds of poems collected for my future books of poetry to be published in the near future. But that was a period when I was practically just home in Canada, taking care of my aging maternal grandfather, so I practically had more time in my hands. I stop again from writing poetry when my literary passion turned to maintaining my columns in the newspaper.

In November last year, I thought of imposing again on myself to be able to write at least one poem a day. I was unable to do this because I realized that I have so many activities now--including my fulltime job, writing for the newspaper, my own family, and making music and performing with my band. Nevertheless, for two months, I was able to write 21 poems (mostly sonnets). Not bad, considering the other activities in my life.

Here's the last poem I wrote last year, 2013.

Pagbibigay-Pugay sa Bungo

Pahiram nga ng pantasa
Pantasa ng kukote
Ng mga taong pudpod ang utak

Pahiram nga ng pambura
Pambura ng memorya
Ng mga mapait ang kahapon

Pahiram nga ng martilyo
Nang mapukpok ang ulo
Ng mga tulala at tuliro

Pahiram nga ng bibliya
Pangumbinsi ng puso
Ng mga hindi naniniwala

Pero mas mahalaga ba
Ang puso kaysa utak
O ang iyong bungo kaysa tadyang?

Each of the stanza of the baker's sonnet above consists of a triplet of 8-7-10 syllables, following a rhyme pattern of ABC AAD EEE AEA ACF.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Yes to Criticizing, but No to Ridiculing nor Banning

(On the Validity of Whatever Kind of Art)
by aLfie vera mella

Being an avid enthusiasts of arts, music, literature, and films, I have long learned how to simply compartmentalize my appreciation towards these artforms.

First, I have developed the ability to appreciate art without religious regard for the creator. For example, even if Morrissey has recently declared that "meat eaters are like pedophiles" or that "meat is murder," I could still enjoy listening and buying records and books by and about him and The Smiths. I may like his music, but I could just ignore his activism that goes against my own principles.

Second, some movies really suck to me for whatever reason, but I wouldn't call out for the banning or ridiculing of such movies because, after all, there would surely be other people who would be passionate about these films. What I feel for such works of art will not be necessarily what others will feel about them. In the same manner that others should not expect me to share their sentiments concerning certain arts that they either love or hate.

To me, that's the true essence of freedom of expression.

If you didn't or don't like a particular artist (say, Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus), then just don't watch their performances or don't buy or listen to their music. If you don't like this and that actor or movie, then just don't watch that movie. You can even write about your dislike for such, but don't assume that your dislike will be universal. People are diverse. We have different tastes and preferences--be it for food, clothes, hairstyles, music, books, films, heck--even religion!

But, let others enjoy what they want to enjoy as long as they are not harming others in the process.

Criticizing an artform is okay, but calling for the ban of such artforms is to me ridiculous, arrogant, and selfish.