Saturday, March 31, 2007

Saging Lang Ang May Puso!!!

Mark Lapid's saging. This is hilarious.

And people's even more hilarious reactions:

Friday, March 30, 2007

Pre-colonial Philippine Politics of Succession

How funny. Contrary to recycled knowledge circulating in our collective memories, History doesn't repeat itself. It does, however, cast a looong shadow.

While doing research on an entirely different subject, I stumbled across this passage in Laura Lee-Junker's Raiding, Trading and Feasting: The Political Economy of Philippine Chiefdoms:

Adding to the chaos of kingly and chiefly succession in some regions of Southeast Asia was a pronounced mythology of folk heroism in which ordinary individuals rise up and rebel against a tyrannical leader and usurp political power...

Southeast Asian ideologies often left the door open for ordinary individuals, through revelation or the acquisition of sacred objects, to acquire spiritual power that could often lead to a kind of popular messianic rebellion (Andaya and Ishii 1992: 551).

While the construction of a strong military was critical to protecting a ruler’s economic activities (particularly for controlling trade and launching plunder-aimed raiding expeditions), members of the warrior-elite often were able to garner significant wealth and establish independent power bases through their close association with elite patrons (K. Hall 1992: 260) and ultimately to threaten the latter’s hegemony.

Lee-Junker, Laura . Raiding, Trading & Feasting : The Political Economy of Philippine Chiefdoms. Honolulu, HI, USA: University of Hawaii Press, 1999. p 64.

Peeling Boredom

Three months doing nothing but read IR texts, see an occasional movie, smoke cigarettes and swim in the vast ocean of the web is driving me insane. I feel selfish in that, uprooted from my family, my friends, my job and my country's concerns, all that is left is me. And again these questions of my raison d'être come stealing back like long-buried memories. I am over this period of my life. I am a full-grown adult. I have defined who I am and now have some sort of idea of what I want to be. I am over ruminating about my existence, yet these questions come anyway. It isn't very adult-like.

Here on my little floating island, on my self-fashioned raft, I imagine home. Consciously, my mind's eye has distorted the pictures. Now, three months since I left, home is this beautiful, shining idea. A resort paradise. The pot of gold at the end of that rainbow slide. It is brimming with endless, endless possibilities, beckoning, seducing. An incomplete crossword puzzle, waiting to be filled out, waiting for me. The filth, the ugliness, the stench are filtered out. Pretty, pretty. I dream of home, and imagine home imagining me.

I worried needlessly, to be seduced by comfort and predictability. Now I know, I am a creature of my masochistic country, addicted to pain and struggle, without which, I feel dead.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

What Can Be Done on YouTube

I'm loving this boy (or girl) on YouTube. High-concept, meaningful, simple videos. MadV, asteeg :)

(The mad song in this video is Acid Food by Glasgow band Mogwai.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

In Manila...See?

I usually check either Manolo's blog or in the mornings for the latest on what's happening back home. Nothing particularly striking when I logged on this morning, a few hours later voilà! A hostage-taking!

A particularly notable take on this interesting incident is Redbluethought's:
From where he decided to do this betrays yet again his cadre roots. Look at how he positions the bus right infront of the monument of Andres Bonifacio. We all know that Bonifacio is a plebian hero. Notice where he got the bus from—Tondo Manila. Tondo is where Bonifacio was born and where all the poor masses who staged the May 1 2002 revolt came from. What’s ironic though, he decided to hostage the very kids of the masses whom he’s supposed to protect (it could have been different if he did it in a busload full of the elite’s kids)

Look at the timing. This incident happened today, 28 March 2007, a day before the start of campaigns for local posts...

Take note of what he said when he was being interviewed by media. Its full of political-speak. He’s an intellectual. He knows what he’s doing that makes him extremely dangerous.
I can't even imagine the kind of atmosphere there is in Manila by now, this being an election year. The hostage-taking is a bit over the top, but as Redbluethoughts suggests, this wasn't simply the whims of a deranged man. It was a well-planned and thought-out action. A bit extreme, but 'extreme' gets the media mileage.

It seems to me that Jun Ducat is well-versed in tactics often employed by new social movements, that is transnational activists.

Some core assumptions by these forms of political action:

Old spaces for mass action are parliaments, factories or government buildings. In this age of media's ubiquity, there emerge new spaces for mass action - spaces of consumption and communication – malls, parks, cyberspace. The key weapon of these kinds of actions is public opinion, therefore, it must be "newsworthy."

I have no access to local TV here, but Redbluethoughts describes the hostage drama pretty well. It seems to me, there's heavy use of symbols, because the hostage-taking in itself is a symbolic action. Aside from the place and timing, his use of the children conveniently presents itself as our future held hostage by the present dysfunctional system.

According to scholar and geographer Paul Routledge, Postmodern politics aims not to capture the state apparatus but to resist and restrict state power. Challenges to the state tend not to be mounted directly, but to be mediated through society and the media, relying on symbolic action to distort and subvert social and spatial orders.

Well, he got the results. We're all talking about it aren't we?


Edited to add:

Cigarette Warning Labels

I found this Ed Byrne clip on Youtube. I found Ed Byrne courtesy of Torn.

I've run out of the local brand I brought with me, so I've had to buy Aussie cigs. EXPENSIVE, but I've no choice. How I feel about total strangers in campus asking if I can spare one? Nah. I can't.

You wanna know what Ed Byrne's talking about? Well, here they are. Aussie ciggie warning labels. Nasty.

Here's the first one I bought. That is actually a foot that looks like it has gangrene.

Healthy lung, Emphysema.

And my favourite. That's an eye stretched open with something I'm sure eye doctors use when they operate.

And, our local, much more tame warning. Its not even about you, its about your children.

Monday, March 26, 2007

In Manila

Dear Aussie,

When you come from a city like Manila, living in your country can be quite a culture shock in that there is no 'shock.' I have been here three months and so far, every day is predictable. Watching the evening news, there doesn't seem to be anything mildly approaching the kinds of headlines we have back home. You report about petty crimes, the water shortage and Howard's foreign policy, usually in conjunction with the US in Iraq. You talk about Aussies who die of plane accidents or are incarcerated overseas. In talk shows, you complain about a 'nanny state' interfering in your individual lives. For chrissakes, at least the state takes care of you, so you can lead boring, predictable lives. I understand that despite the government's lip service towards multiculturalism, there have been racially-motivated problems. There was that Cronulla beach incident involving some migrant Lebanese a couple of years back.

Well, in any case, how do I describe what its like back home? And why my friend and fellow scholar Niña over in Sydney feels that city is 'dead'?

If you like doing extreme sports, i.e. jumping out of planes and such, then it may be the city for you! See, Manila is an adrenaline rush. Manila is a mini-portrait of the world, where the extremely rich and the extremely poor breathe the same polluted air. You're likely to see the latest BMW model cruise the same streets as begging children. Manila is a city of 11 to 12 million cramped into a teeny-tiny space. So cramped, its difficult not to see people at any given time of day. It is 'lively' in that aside from conventional entertainment that can be had that suits virtually any budget, there is always an element of 'danger.' A thinly disguised feeling that every day, the tectonic plates making up the fabric of your society are shifting underneath your very feet.

At any time bombs can go off somewhere. At any time fires can break out and you'll be witness to official, if under-equipped, firefighters, volunteer Chinese firefighters and the local tambays all help put them out. The smell of acrid smoke mix with the hushed expectation of the curious crowd. And it is colorful and noisy and strangely gay. At any time the military can launch a coup and you'll have tanks rolling down the avenue. At any time, masses of people and their colorful flags and banners can roll along with them. Some people pay for that kind of rush. In Manila there is no feeling of anomie, as here, of leading purposeless lives, of at times fruitless pursuits. Here you report about world hunger and poverty and terrorism. In Manila, we live it.

I suppose, the difference is, the world is more tangible from where I come from. Here, on your vast island-continent, oceans hold the rest of the world at bay. And so the rest of the world is painfully unfamiliar and foreign and different. Back home, if you want the latest in fads and fashion, then you'll wear it. You want the latest toys and gadgets, you'll get it. You want to see movies before they even come out in cinemas in the US you'll see them. You want foreign art house films, you can get them. You want obscure second-had books, you'll read them. You want expensive gourmet cuisine or more 'exotic' fare, then you'll eat them. You want to feel alive from the top of your blond head to the tips of your tanned toes? Move to Manila. I promise you, its better than the best roller coaster ride.



Paranoiac Post

The Aussies take their quarantine duties very seriously. Mail is not sacrosanct.

They will open the damn envelope and leave you a friendly reminder of what can and can't be mailed into Oz land.

My friend Clarissa sent me peanuts and postcards from Bohol. A Putomayo mix CD and a nice note. Thanks girl! :)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Video Lectures

How cool is this? Free university lectures online!

Video lectures and podcasts from Princeton, MIT and UC Berkeley.

Happiness is...

When the Eraserheads finally reunite.

Sige na. Kahit isang album lang. Habang buhay pa kayong lahat.

Definition, Self-definition

Don't you think,
That all we are
Are mirrors of ourselves
Self-definitions of others' definitions.
We carry with us images of others' perceptions
And function.
This is who I am
Seen by so and so.
I am daughter, I am sister,
I am teacher, I am lover,
I am scholar, I am patriot,
I am angry, disappointed, hopeful woman.
If all we are
Are other people's expectations,
Then what there is
Are aspirations
Or illusions
Or delusions.

In similar pictures
We see ourselves.
We live out stereotypes.
Tattoos, piercings,
Rock n' roll, long-haired,
Head-banging, marijuana-smoking

If all we are
Are scripts
If all we are
Are repetitions
Then what is there?
What self-indulgence
Is in soul-searching.
What cliché.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Big Picture, Little Picture

For a country that has been inevitably integrated with the world economy for the last four hundred years, and an estimated 8-10 million of its people working all over the globe, our politics can be surprisingly short-sighted and insular.

While the present administration and the wannabe members of government are scrambling for shrinking domestic resources, the Philippines is missing out on the action in the region. Doing research on China, I came across this nifty little illustration in the UN Commission on Trade and Development's latest World Investment Report.

(Since I can't figure out how to put the link on the image itself, click here for full-size photo)

As you may notice, there is a conspicuous absence of arrows going into or out of our archipelago. I worry that the sort of inflow we are (again) attracting are short-term portfolio investments similar to the ones that triggered 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. The kind that can easily come in and out of our capital markets with a few keyboard strokes.

While there is some news of foreign direct investment (i.e. actual investment in production and sales, etc.), they are in real estate development and gaming. It is questionable whether either a string of hotels and a Manila version of 'Las Vegas' will generate long-term growth not based on local and tourist consumption.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

World and Philippine Debt Figures

Some random figures I came across while doing research on the IMF.

My external debt figure has been pegged at $54 billion for the last five or six years. Hurray hurray, our library has the latest edition of the World Bank's Global Development Finance Statistics Book.

Wanna know the latest figures? Do you really? Are you sure?

Our total external debt in 1985 was $26.6 billion. As of 2004, it has more than doubled at $60.55 billion greenbacks. How so? Other than the governments these past twenty years are debt addicts, there is that magical, mystical thing called 'devaluation' and not to mention that wondrous phenomenon called 'financial liberalisation' which lets folks around the world play casino games in our stock market.

If you divide them along our population of, the estimated 84 million, each and every one of us (infants and toddlers, the old and decrepit included) owes $720.83 not just to the IMF but international banks and private individuals around the world. Converted to pesos, thats P35,000++.

Need I point out how the initial debts were incurred in the first place? When the national government, headed by autocracy of the you know whos, borrowed these funds, I don't think they asked each and every citizen at the time if it was alright to do so. That's not how authoritarian regimes work eh? "This is what I want done and you ain't stoppin' me!" *Thunder! Lightning! Kaboom!!!!* "It is done my lord." "Ah...look what I have created! Mwah ha ha ha!"

Ok, must calm down. Too much coffee, nicotine and thinking does this to me. Sorry. Does anyone have the latest figures on how much of our government's annual budget goes to debt service? My last one was something like 40 percent. I say, we should have yearly elections on whether our government can incur more debt. Don't you think thats a splendid idea? Because in the end, who's gonna pay back that debt eh?

Great news all around so far. But wait! There's more!

The total debt of some 232 developing countries (ours included) has trippled in the last 20 years.

Total Debt Stocks
1985: $929,173 million (which means add 7 zeros)
2005: $2,800,396 million

Total Debt Service Paid
1985: $120,444 million
2005: $510,832 million

O di ba? Ang saya saya!

For a political explanation on the dynamics of our government's propensity to borrow money, click here.

Friday, March 16, 2007

In Response to Resty O.

Expectorants sounds pretty anguished in his post.
I've always assumed making noise in the name of the poor and the oppressed is the right thing to do, though I've also been wary of possible victimology in all that. Where does my personal politics lie? Have I been drawing a clear line? Or am I allowing the 'devil' to play on my very human tendency to envy, to distrust, to hate?...Where are the communists and leftist ideologists coming from? Is it basically from such a position of pure envy, or from the feeling of being violated of their human right to choose their lot in life?

Compelled to provide some sort of response, I quote one of my favourite Frenchie philosophes, Jean Baudrillard (The Consumer Society, 1970. Translated 1998 version by Chris Turner):

The Paleolithic, or the First Affluent Society

For Sahlins, it was the hunter-gatherers who, in spite of their absolute 'poverty,' knew true affluence. The primitive people of those societies have no personal possessions, they are not obsessed by their objects, which they throw away as and when they need to in order to be able to move about more easily. They have no apparatus of production, or 'work': they hunt and gather 'at their leisure', as we might say, and share everything within the group. They are entirely prodigal: they consume everything immediately, make no economic calculations and amass no stores. The hunter-gatherers has nothing of that bourgeois invention, economic man, about him...He sleeps a lot. He has trust - and this is what characterises his economic system - in the wealth of natural resources, whereas our system is characterised by despair at the insufficiency of human means, by a radical catastrophic anxiety which is the deep effect of the market economy and generalised competition.

...Beneath a gigantic apparatus of production, we anxiously eye the signs of poverty and scarcity. But poverty consists...neither in a small quantity of goods, nor simply in a relation between ends and means: it is, above all, a relation between human beings. The basis of the confidence of primitive peoples and for the fact that within hunger, they live a life of plenty, is ultimately the transparency and reciprocity of social relations...There is among them no accumulation, which is always the source of power...Wealth has its basis not in goods, but in the concrete exchange between persons.

Shifting Objects - Shifting Needs

Until now the whole analysis of consumption has been based on the naive anthropology of homo oeconomicus, rather than homo psycho-oeconomicus. [Classical political economy] has not been a theory, but an immense tautology: "I buy this because I need it" is equivalent to the fire which burns because of its phlogistic essence....This rationalist mythology of needs and satisfactions is as naive and helpless as traditional medicine when faced with hysterical or pyschosomatic symptoms...if one admits that need is never so much the need for a particular object as the 'need' for difference (the desire for the social meaning), then it will be clear that there can never be any achieved satisfaction, or...any definition of need.

...The truth of consumption is that it is not a function of enjoyment, but a function of production...Enjoyment would define consumption for oneself, as something for one's own benefit. But consumption is never that. Enjoyment is enjoyment for one's own benefit, but consuming is something one never does alone. One enters...into a generalised system of exchange and production of coded values where...all consumers are involved with all others.

And in relation to the Tim Yap post below:

The Fun System or Enforced Enjoyment

One of the strongest proofs that the principle and finality of consumption is not enjoyment or pleasure is that that is now something which is forced upon us, something institutionalised, not as a right or a pleasure, but as the duty of the citizen.

...consumerist man regards enjoyment as an obligation; he sees himself as an enjoyment and satisfaction business. He sees it as his duty to be happy, loving, adulating/adulated, charming/charmed, participative, euphoric and dynamic...He must see to it that all his potentialities, all his consumer capacities are mobilised. If he forgets to do so, he will be gently and insistently reminded that he has no right not to be happy.

Since we cannot regress back into hunting and gathering, I tend to see the last two paragraphs as some sort of palliative. If there's satisfaction to be had from not being (or struggling not to be) a slave to the matrix, then I'll take whatever I can get. :)

On Tim Yap and the Inquirer

I had long been bewailing the deteriorating substance of the Inquirer's lifestyle section. See, we have a daily subscription courtesy of Mang Tom, our toothless, but always cheery, newspaper (old)boy. I usually enjoy reading the paper while doing my business in the loo. So, day in day out for the past few years I was witness to this decline in quality of the previously 'literary' parts of the paper. The irony of the hard-hitting headlines on the front and features of the champagne-drinking lives of the rich and famous a few pages on is hard to miss . A few years back, there were actually some good writing.

Because he and Tessa Prieto are fast friends, Tim Yap took over the Super! Saturday edition as 'creative director.' More and more the Saturday lifestyle pages looked more like a magazine; huge 'artsy' photos and hardly any text at all. Yap himself tries to dabble with pen and paper, but he masterfully demonstrates that the best money education can buy can't make you a writer.

One of my mailing lists has been reacting to a recent Inquirer article featuring a decidedly insensitive comment from the Yapster:
There is this mind-set, which I think is so passe, that says: ‘The country is in shambles and the country is having a hard time and you are out there partying.’ But this generation is guiltless when it comes to that.
Either Yap is even more moronic than I realised or, like most fabulously rich folk in our country, he is willfully blind of the conditions in which 98% of the population live. He and his ilk have managed to create this fictitious bubble where all is happy and gay, where the pursuit of happiness is just a bottle of wine or a pill away.

The blogosphere reacts:

Manolo links Spy in the Sandwich who says:

There's another word for the guiltless in an orgy of evil, Tim: a sociopath. Which suits you: you are sosyal and you are pathological.

Seriously, why is this guy a freaking editor at the Philippine Daily Inquirer, directly dictating this country's sense of style and all? Maybe the best answer comes from this album by Radioactive Sago: "P*****ina Mo, Ang Daming Nagugutom sa Mundo, Fashionista Ka Pa Rin!"
Gibbs Cadiz who addresses the Yapster himself:
Tim, you're a friend and we work in the same paper, but I have to say you've just supplied the money quote that might well end up a) defining you and your generation, and b) explaining in sum why we continue to have the world's longest-running insurgency.
Well I for one know that Tim Yap does not speak for my generation. He speaks for a minute section of young people perhaps. And for them, what he says is perfectly normal, rational even. Why indeed should they feel guilty for enjoying the fruits of their "labour?"

What is seriously disturbing is that its this lifestyle of this minute elite, emblazoned and featured on the most popular broadsheet day in day out, featured on TV and radio shows, that shape young people's idea of the 'good life.' It probably wouldn't matter if this were Shanghai. But this is Manila folks.

If Tim Yap does indeed embody his section of my generation, he simply manifests the perennial disease of generations before; a Filipino elite that has washed its hands off of this nation.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I'm too old for this

Too old for my housemates not washing their dishes and taking out the trash. Too old to referee. Too old to tolerate early-20s inanities. Arg.


J introduces me to some dude whose name I didn't care to remember. He looks Chinese, but J says he's from the Philippines.

Dude: "So sa'n ka nag-aral."
Me: "UP. Ikaw?"
Dude: "I went to Brent. Then I studied in Switzerland."
Me: "Oh."

I'm too tired to make small talk. But here's the decoded subtext.

Dude: "So, this is an expensive private uni. You must be rich. Tell me you're rich."
Me: "No, I'm smart."
Dude: "Awww, too bad I can't make nice with you. See, I'm rich. Filthy rich."
Me: "Oh fuck off."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Brazilian Girls - Jique

I stumbled on this New York-based band by accident while "flipping channels" on Youtube. Only one of them is a girl and there are no actual Brazilians, but the music is mind-blowing and polyglot lead-singer Sabina Sciubba is just sizzling HOT. Check it out and see what I mean!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Engrish Dot Com

Joke time muna. Some gems over at Hilarious (mis)translations in China and Japan.

And my all-time favorite so far.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Women Empowerment

Dear You,

In celebration of International Women's Day, let me enlighten you on a few facts regarding 'gender equality' in developing nations.

Fact #1. You have been electing presidents since 1776, and you've yet to elect a woman head of state. We have had two. Other new democracies such as Indonesia, a 'Muslim' country, has had one. India has had one. In fact, on this list and this one, only Ireland, Iceland, Finland, Switzerland, East Germany and Austria appear on the list. Only Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Norway have elected female prime ministers. Although developing countries do not score very high on "gender empowerment measures" of the 2006 Human Development Index, what better show of confidence in women than to elect them into the most powerful position on the land.

Fact #2. My country tops the list of countries with the most number of senior management executives among 32 surveyed nations (including yours). In the region where wives supposedly walk a few paces behind their husbands and some are required to wear head scarves/veils, 42% of businesses are run by women.

Rank #1. 97 per cent of businesses in the Philippines have women in top managerial positions
Rank #2. China 81 per cent
Rank #3. Malaysia 85 per cent
Rank #4. Hong Kong at 83 per cent (also Brazil)
Rank #6. Thailand at 81 per cent
Rank #7. Taiwan at 80 per cent

Yours ranks 13th. Yun lang.



Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Nagsisilangoy ang mga alaala
Paroo't parito, tuliro.
Milya-milyang agwat
Ang pilit na binabagtas.
Lalong umiigting ang paglikas
Sa humahabol na paglimot.

Sa banyagang bayan,
Sa kalayuan umiigting
Ang pananabik
Ang pagtangi
Sa mga iniwang

Sa kalayuan napapawi
Ang kapangitan
Ang dungis
Ang pasakit ng 'yong kanlungan.

Sa diwa'y naglalaro
Ang piling kagandahan.
Ang dusa'y nalimutan.
Ikinahon na muling bubuksan
Sa panahon ng pagbalik.

Ngunit sa ngayon
Sa alaala, ika'y dalisay
Na mananatili.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Manila Represent

Being one of only five Filipinos (that I've met so far) in campus, I know I am an unwitting ambassador of the Philippines. How I am perceived and the things I say about my country will inevitably shape other people's perceptions of a harmless archipelagic nation they will likely never see unless they have a penchant for 'excitement' and 'danger' verging on insanity. Chinese folks have come up to me speaking Mandarin, mistaking me for one of their own, or at least one of the many hyphenated Chinese (-Malaysian, -Singaporean, -Thai, -Indonesian) in campus. I had foreseen this event, and so I brought with me two t-shirts I bought from the hugely successful and trendy Team Manila.

Going back to representing my country, I fear (or hope) I've made the impression that Filipinos are:

1. Argumentative.

2. Talking about the Philippines all the time. Well, two of my classes tackle developing nations and there are many similarities and inevitable comparisons. I have expressed being 'depressed' in discussions of Latin America. And I think the Germans who sit behind me wish I'd just shut up.

3. Defensive. What can I say? I want to champion the Third World. I am surrounded by young people who want to right the world, but who see the 'world' that needs righting to be mainly 'developing countries.' Always, in class discussions, the ROW (rest of the world) is war-torn, malnourished, mal-educated, in need of help. While in many cases these are true, the problems are framed from their own perspective, needing solutions that contain their own values. Perhaps more significantly, these problems are highlighted in the West's apparent lack of similar deficiencies. It highlights their superior ways of living. It is left unsaid, but that is the subtext.

Always, the standard against which all the world is compared are those set by the West. "Democracy," and "Freedom" often come up in discussions. Hollow definitions of these concepts mostly amount to civil and political freedoms. Freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom to elect government. My own country is living testament that assuring those freedoms do not necessarily amount to a better way of life but these young people seem to have swallowed their countries' moral by-line all these years. They are the beacon of the "Free World."

4. Frighteningly smart. While I think I am of average intelligence compared to most graduates of the UP, I may seem overly intelligent compared to my present classmates for two reasons: I've done and taught IR before, and while it is a huge field spanning most of the social sciences, I feel I've covered the relevant bases. Second, this being a 'private' uni, all other frighteningly smart foreigners and Aussies have probably gone to the country's premier state university, the ANU, or any of the other public unis for that matter.

5. Crazy. Its because I do accents and talk about anything and everything from roasting and eating people, to reproductive body parts to the consistency of poop in addition to all the multitude of -isms that come up in class.

6. Excellent English speakers. Some benefits of post-colonial Philippines. Huh, wha'?!? You didn't know your country colonized ours for fifty years? Oh well, now you know.

7. Nice. Hopefully. Some people are just so bitchy. I think I'm (still) kind and open to other people's cultures and beliefs. I don't talk about physical deficiencies. I am not consciously malicious. Snark begets snarkiness of course. All in all, I just want to maintain world peace