Saturday, March 1, 2014


It’s funny how the Red Hot Chili Peppers, my college definition of artistic rebellion, never fails to bring out my inner Jekyll and Hyde. I grew up admiring them – obscene, irreverent, gross, smelly, stinky and all. That was during college. And that was a long time ago. Looking back, I realized that my connection with the band is because they affirm my personal faith about believing in choosing to be different and refusing to follow the convention.

I was then the reed-thin, asthmatic-looking nerd-geek crossbreed with thick-rimmed glasses who always seems to get the distinction of being the shortest boy in class. I mean, vertically challenged --- heck, what I like about this blogging thing is you get to reveal your worst affliction and still feel less miserable to have admitted it compared to when you do it publicly. Behind that pathetic exterior is a rocker-rebel who would not hesitate to choose chaos over peace, disturbance rather than comfort uncompromising as I was – then and now – when defending the choices that I make. And during that time, I choose to march with the sweating masses in Mendiola, face the Marcos government’s marines rather than sit on Spanish class trying to stay awake while struggling to conjugate nosotros vosotros or listen while my Humanities Professor rant and rave about the perfect male figures that Michaelangelo formed from slabs of marbles, muscular men but in my mind were the most miserable of creatures with their pitifully small and shy phalluses retracting under their wrinkly scrotum covers. 

To me, the perfect man-image is Anthony Keidis in his birthday suit rocking on stage with only socks for underwear, and while my Humanities professor sees the physical epitome of perfection in the sculptures of the Greeks, I, the geek, would rather hear and see the metaphysical definition of what rebellion is all about. The naked truth in public is not always a bad thing, because it also resembles a casting away of the earthly embellishments of life, until only the butt-naked flesh remains. Think oblation.  Sometimes, if the force of ideological protest fails, wouldn’t it be nice if one can just, out of sheer exasperation with life, drop those clothes and run. That’s it, I’ve had enough, one could just say. The heck with decency, the hell with religion. Let me get naked and run. For no reason but the heck of running naked. I really suspect I must be a streaker in my previous life, a streaker with a mean streak and who knows, the Chilli Peppers went side by side with me in some of those streaking. 

Every Chilli Pepper concert is a corruption of the virtuous society that we thought existed, a middle finger flashed in the faces of moralists and decent men. Every Chilli Pepper concert is a phone call away from calling the police to launch the mass arrest of psychopaths and perverts let loose in the streets. If I can afford it, I would not have missed their live acts. But I was just a college student at that time.

But then again, the terrible thing that people are afraid to confront one day caught me by surprise. I grew old. My inner rocker is not spared from the ravages of time and could barely rekindle some of the vitality during moments of deep introspection, as when I am in a long drive and Under the Bridge comes up on the radio. There is almost sadness in realizing that I have lost the lyrics of Can’t Stop which all my life I believed will forever be etched in my psyche but when suddenly, the song came blaring out of nowhere during a monster of a traffic jam in SLEX my mind couldn’t cope with the rhythm and beat, feeling humiliated at how I could have lost the words. 

The worst part was after I learned recently that they were coming to Manila. If I were still the college geek, I would have robbed the bank, or held up my parents for the premium ticket. That’s all the chance I have to get the money and go to the concert then. But I have to remember that I go to work on a tailored suit now.I meet people who have stashed away millions in the banks, ready to kill or be killed to keep it there.  My life revolves today around long and exhausting travels, endless disagreements, high-stake lawsuits, and high-profile litigants, and yes, ironically, I have reached a point in my life where I cannot even afford the time it would cost me to go to a rock concert. The Chilli Peppers are calling me back to where I came from but instead of listening to the call, I went the other way and deliberately missed the trip. 

The geek must be dead.