FLESH ASIA DAILY : "And That's The Way It Is..."
Props to Mawe's Adobo for archiving this!
"Hello, people. My name is JB Lazarte.
The past week, news reports named me
“Jobart,” “Jobert,” or “Joe Bert.”
Last Friday afternoon,
some NBI dude with a gun just called me “Sit The Fuck Down.”
Cool name, if you ask me. Sounds like an Indian,
like Mr Two Dogs Fucking you see on the Error 500 page.
But most of you — in fact, all except maybe 18 of you —
knew me by my pseudonym of Mike Chanco.
It was a tongue-in-cheek play on
Mike Enriquez and Mel Tiangco.
No, I’m not a hardcore GMA-7 Kapuso.
I rarely watch the television machine at all,
except only whenever Marian Rivera appears
and says cute things like, “Maintain!”
I had chosen “Mike Chanco” simply because
I didn’t like the sound of
“Henry Omaga Sison-Livingstone.”
That being said, here’s some real, real stuff about me
you probably should know before all those news reports
and NBI press releases repeat themselves enough
to begin sounding like the truth.
Basically, I’ve always been a writer.
Aside from FAD, I also write Skirmisher and The Spinal Tap.
I was a student paper editor back in college
who abused my little clout to still get grades
even without attending most of my classes.
Sometime in the 1990s,
some people thought I wrote well enough
that they sent me to Rome, Italy
to help in saving the world from global hunger.
Instead, I spent that jolly good time chasing skirts,
specifically that of one cute Japanese girl.
Or stealing silver crucifixes.
Later, I would move on to writing some poetry and short stories.
My first few “publishable” verses appeared
in the now-defunct Pen and Ink,
some occasionally appeared in the Inquirer’s Sunday magazine.
I wrote stories that appeared in, say,
the Philippine Graphic and the Philippines Free Press.
My story “The Folly Parade” was included
in the University of the Philippines’
Likhaan Anthology in 2001.
In 2006, my story “Blind Spot”
landed second place in the Philippines Free Press
Annual Literary Awards.
But after that, I sort of stopped writing fiction —
I promised myself I should top “Blind Spot”
and write something longer, like a novel.
But three years since — now in 2009 —
I’m writing this shit blog post instead
at the NBI office while waiting for my lunch.
There’s dark comedy there somewhere.
As you know, Flesh Asia Daily —
the original one I set up on Blogger.com —
happened in April 2007.
Back then it was nothing hardcore.
Just girls in bikinis.
The first posts were mostly pictures and almost no text.
Like most bloggers, it was just a hobby,
something you did when you’re not working
or not watching grass grow.
Little did I know that it would actually grow
big enough to force me to migrate it to its own server,
then adopting the WordPress platform.
I called this one FAD 2.0,
and it was the version that began to have adult content.
Edison Chen’s scandals happened
and I just couldn’t turn away from it.
Nudity eventually became regular fare,
along with the usual sex scandals committed
by celebrities and comon folks.
By April 2009, I was thinking of shutting it down.
There was some real work coming,
plus the fact that I’m a couple of years
behind writing that promised novel,
so I seriously thought FAD 2.0 —
the popular adult-oriented blog my little hobby has become —
can be shut down, or perhaps sold to someone with bigger balls.
But then came Hayden Kho.
Then came Katrina Halili.
Then came last Friday.
Holy mother of fuck.
Before the NBI entered my life
in such a cinematic primetime news-worthy fashion,
the “wildest most action-y” thing I had ever experienced
was taking a dump at a fast food joint
then leaving without flushing it.
Or peeing in the shower.
Or telling Christopher Walken
that his smile frightens the beejesus out of me,
One moment you were wondering how to spend
the rest of the sleepy afternoon,
the next moment there was this huge NBI person
with a bad-ass gun screaming at me to sit or else,
with all those camera people
and ABS-CBN’s Maan Macapagal taking it all in.
Nope, we weren’t “manufacturing pornographies,”
as some early news reports said.
What I was doing in fact,
and this everybody and his cousin failed to mention,
was that they caught me doing the
“unspeakably horrible” act of playing Guitar fucking Hero.
Worse, not only was I playing Guitar Hero,
I was doing it at medium difficulty!
So how pussier could you get?
The “Sultan of Sleaze,”
who’s so evil he allegedly was the first to upload
those Hayden Kho videos,
who apparently has “connections” with certain criminal elements,
who “manufactured pornographies,”
was caught negotiating the guitar riffs
of Franz Ferdinand’s “Take Me Out.”
Jesus fucking christ.
If I hadn’t been so nervous
about having firearms in my mother’s house,
I’d have been laughing on the floor laughing like crazy.
Later, in the middle of all the chaos,
I saw Maan Macapagal in a corner writing her news report.
I saw some “outrageous inaccuracies,”
and so felt the need to “correct” her on the spot.
I told her FAD was not getting “20,000 hits a day,”
thank you very much, but “60,000 unique visitors”
before the sex video mess came out.
But I didn’t correct Maan when she wrote
FAD has been getting 1.2 million page views
since the scandal emerged.
Of course, it was a grossly inaccurate number,
but my “morbid pride” outweighed
my “devotion” to accuracy this time,
so I let it slide.
I caught a glimpse of my brother glaring at me from a corner,
telepathically sending me the message,
“What the fuck are you doing, giving interviews?”
I later nudged him and said,
“Bro, Maan Macapagal’s cute pala!”
My brother stared at me in disbelief.
“We’re in the middle of all this mess,
the NBI taking us out, and here you’re still thinking,
‘Maan Macapagal’s cute pala‘? Jesus.”
“Bro, focus. Focus on the more important things.”
But then I stopped because he was right
and I was being ridiculous.
We were under custody of the NBI
at their main office from Friday night to Wednesday evening.
To be fair, we were treated well.
I could even say the NBI agents
were very friendly and accommodating
and they seemed people I could have been friends with
had we met under different circumstances.
But still, they charged me —
not with illegal possession of sheer awesomeness —
but with violation of Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code,
something about engaging in “obscene publications.”
Personally, I find that incredibly ridiculous,
probably one of the main reasons why Shakespeare invented
the oft-used question “What the fuck?”
But it is very important to note that this case
is a really new thing —
this is probably the very first time in this country
that a website (which is not even physically located in the Philippines)
was charged with Article 201 violation.
Maybe this is your very own local version of
The People Vs. Larry Flynt,
only less fun and more gut-wrenching.
This is so new that maybe if we actually lose in this case,
it may serve as a basis for future shit. Really murky shit.
People who think an adult-oriented celebrity news site
should be eliminated are people who are grossly ignorant
of online culture, including its attendant freedoms.
such people have become FAD’s opponents.
This might turn out to be a historical case.
So don’t let the bullshit-peddlers win."