Thoughts on a double vodka

is the subject of my Trade Tripper column in this Friday-Saturday issue of BusinessWorld:

It was James Thurber who once insightfully said: “One martini is alright, two are too many, and three are not enough.” And this being a somewhat wettish December, this adage also comes to mind: “I must get out of these wet clothes and into a dry martini.”

The article last week (“A very significant announcement,” BusinessWorld, 23 December 2011) was not based on this writer’s imaginings, much as I’d like to take credit for it. The details were culled from various sources, among which are the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich, the non-canonical gospel according to James, historians account of the environment and economy of Nazareth, and -- of course -- the Gospels according to Sts. Matthew and Luke.

Incidentally, the story pushed around by secular media that Jesus was not born on December 25 and that the said date was actually a pagan festival co-opted by the Catholic Church has been shown to be a lie by Biblical scholars. As Rev. Dwight Longenecker explains: “In 386, St. John Chrysostom preached a sermon linking the date for Christmas to the date of the Annunciation. He does so in a way that suggests that this was already an established belief. The date of the Annunciation was based on a Jewish tradition that the world was created on March 25, or Nisan 15, according to the Jewish calendar. The Jews also believed that a great man would die on the same day as his conception. The early Christians [who were of course Jews] therefore concluded that Jesus had been conceived on March 25. This made it the date of the world’s creation, and the start of the world’s redemption [and therefore the new creation]. It’s easy. If the Lord Jesus Christ was conceived on March 25, then he was born nine months later on December 25.”

In relation to which, it must be noted that Pope Benedict XVI restored the tradition of chanting the “Kalenda,” which proclaims the birth of Christ: “Today, the twenty-fifth day of December... is the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.” One has to love this Pope, uncompromising regarding the faith and simply always the smartest man in the room, whoever else may be in that room.

Speaking of smart people, Germany’s Merkel has a Phd in physics, UK’s Cameron is an Etonian and (unfortunately) Oxonian, US’ Obama is Harvard, Indonesia’s Yudhoyono studied at the US Army Command and General Staff College and Webster University, Malaysia’s Mohd Najib from Nottingham, Singapore’s Lee is a Cantabian (as all truly smart people are), while India’s Singh is an Oxbridge man. Of course, we have the most prepared and best of all possible leaders in Noynoy, and this is shown in his soaring popularity and satisfaction ratings. I’m sure those affected by Sendong are utterly grateful that he is at this country’s helm.

And speaking of Noynoy, there have been some really brainless, even insane arguments, and Pro-RH ranks highest among these. The arguments have so much condom in the brain, these guys are no longer able to think straight. Besides, how much of a free thinker can they be if they’re actually accepting the fact they’re ruled by mere advertising, compulsions, and neuroses? Perhaps if the politicians and public commentators supporting RH would admit to a purer, if less benign reason, such as the fact that they actually just want to get their hands on the millions of dollars supposedly waiting at the Millennium Development Fund, then their arguments would have a little more logic (and reality).

This leads to the depressing thought that teaching law is increasingly becoming a futile exercise. After all, how useful can legal education be when everybody, by which I mean the top officials of the land, brazenly disregard our Constitutional principles and precepts? How responsible would it be for me to encourage law students to study and work hard when our leaders insist in hiring the most mediocre of lawyers? As it stands, today’s law students are better off partying with the sons of politicians, as well as dropping by Welfareville for a dose of insanity (which seems a prerequisite for those who want to make it good nowadays).

Which then makes me think of the country’s recent loss at the WTO in the Distilled Spirits case. The Appellate Body ruling gives the impression of being an English language lesson, what with it’s protracted discussions on “like,” “similar,” “directly competing,” and “substitutable” products. But which also emphasized how basic the issues were. And, more importantly, what was the point of our defense again? Sheeesh.

In the end, as always, it is Frank Sinatra, quoting General Irving Lincoln, at the great Sands concert with Count Basie, who puts it best: “I pity those who don’t drink because when they get up in the morning that’s as good as they’re going to feel for the rest of the day.”