The List #1

The world, literally in the palm of your hand. (Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash)

Yoohoo. Welcome to Very Online, issue #11 — and the very first edition of my content and media list, a.k.a. the things that I’ve read, listened to, and enjoyed since my last newsletter issue. So yes I’ve been online, just not updating. 😊

I did something similar on my book blog The Reading Spree way back in 2012-2013. I called it “Snippets”: digests of all the articles I came across and loved on Facebook and Twitter. The links I posted were mostly about books and publishing, but some unrelated stuff would always make it on there. “Snippets” lasted nine updates until I gave up. Even then, there was just too much online content to go through and vet.

Some newsletter writers are great at making their link digests short and sweet. I don’t have that talent, so I’m keeping mine separate from my main updates. I have no idea how long this version will last, but I hope you discover new things with it. And maybe let me know what you’ve been digging online, too!


Last month, the Philippines marked the 50th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law. The Filipinos in the Philippines are starting to forget. Those outside still remember.

Help my people remember — and pursue lasting accountability and repentance.

Read the article above, then go through everything uploaded onto the Martial Law Museum (under the Ateneo de Manila University [ADMU]) and The Martial Law Library (private-citizen initiative; available for free on Google Drive).

Never forgive, never forget, never again.

From revered to troubled in, um, a Flash: Hollywood bible Vanity Fair delves into Ezra Miller’s ‘dark spiral’.

He should be truly getting the help he needs, and not be put in detention for PR’s sake.

As a big fan of Deadliest Catch, this particular bit of news floored me. 

Josh Harris, who had been on the docuseries-turned-reality TV show since Season 2 as a deckhand on the fishing vessel Cornelia Marie (and later, its ‘co-captain’ and co-owner), was fired by Warner Bros. Discovery in September 2022. This firing occurred after it became public knowledge that he was tried as a juvenile — and pled guilty to “lesser charges” — in 1999 for “the digital, vaginal, and oral rape of a four-year-old girl.”

The case is long closed, and he served his time. But some things in this world are simply unforgivable, and he should never have been on TV in the first place nor tried as a juvenile.

This situation also rehashes his crime for the survivor and her family. They already had to see Josh on American/international TV and at public events, cashing in on the Deadliest Catch name and his late father Phil’s popularity, for more than a decade. I think that part makes me much angrier than Josh being outed as a child rapist.

Scams have always been ugly in both their tactics and results. Somehow, it has gotten much uglier. 

ProPublica investigates the rise in human trafficking cases in Southeast Asia related to cyberscamming. It’s a super-long read, but it’s well worth your time.

And for online workers like me, this serves as a solid warning to stay vigilant when on the job/contract hunt.

Two recent features on Justin Lin and Constance Wu show how the world has a long way to go in recognizing Asians properly for our talents, and truly hearing our voices.

You’ve surely seen and heard about Hunter Biden (and his laptop) on international news for the past few years. Here’s exactly how this so-called laptop went from private property to the hands of the Republicans.

This is certainly true when it comes to the younger Biden:

…the implications of what happened to Hunter Biden go far beyond politics. Whether or not he turns out to be the perpetrator of a crime, he is certainly the victim of a violation — an invasion of privacy that is staggering in its totality.

Andrew Rice and Olivia Nuzzi, “The Sordid Saga of Hunter Biden’s Laptop”, Intelligencer

Also: the Feds are coming for him soon with tax- and gun-related charges.

My semi-alcoholic self is both relieved and alarmed when Vice talks about how alcohol lost its cool.

I’m quite happy the next generation won’t be soused. But I’m alarmed that I (and countless others in my generation) still am.

My feelings about the long reign and quick death of Queen Elizabeth II aren’t as strong as others’. But, coming from a country colonized by Spain and the United States, conquered by Japan and (again) the US during wartime, and (maybe?) about to be colonized by China, I truly felt it in my bones when Indi Samarajiva said he was glad the Queen is dead.

This story about an entire family making insurance fraud their business (and snagging US$6 million over several years until they were found out and arrested) screams “future hit Hollywood movie” to me.

You may have ‘revenge travel’ in mind, but Asians have another hurdle to get over before even packing our bags. The Economist covers the long delays in visa processing and approval at Western consulates. 

This piece also reminds me of what newsletter writer Indi Samarajiva calls “The Unbearable Whiteness of Tourism”, a.k.a. embedded racism in modern travel. They’re still racist, y’all. Don’t be fooled!!!

Here’s an older piece from March 2022. Pola del Monte asks: “…why are places of power still dominated by men?” Then she answers her question with mini-profiles of Filipina leaders and ties in with the feminism practiced here.

I was a fan of comedian Jo Koy when he first became popular. Not anymore, though.

A CNN Philippines article has him front and center, but also connects to the ongoing ‘Filipino vs. Filipinx’ debate and how representation can mean very different things depending on where you are and the life you have.

To quote Marga Buenaventura, the writer of that article:

To represent us is one thing; to advocate for us is another.

(Also, if we’re just talking about Jo Koy, I count this Twitter thread and this ANCX longread as just two of the things that helped me change my mind about the guy. Plus, his penchant for yelling. OMG. SO. MUCH. YELLING!!! SINONG KAAWAY MO?!?!?!?)

I didn’t notice this at first, but now it’s hard to miss. Vox says Hollywood has a hot new trend going on: parents who say they’re sorry.

I truly am all for this fantasy to become reality.

I’ve always been envious of Serena Williams’ dominance and strength in tennis and outside of it. But Venus Williams will always have my admiration for paving the way for her in the first place. 

The New Yorker is right: without Venus, there is no Serena.

Audio. Erotica. Oooohhhh, I should check that out. Bust discusses why audio erotica is giving women an aural fixation.

The Salty newsletter has two new essays on it that I love: the experience of being ‘the fat friend’ that I now know too well, and the utter fuckery of the ‘Copy-and-Paste People‘:

Beware of the Copy-and-Paste People. They’re like betrayals in disguise. The neoliberal nightmare no one warned you about, lurking in every friend group and self-care hashtag. They take up space to steal ideas, lingering to decide which identity to cosplay or movement to co-opt. They are hard to spot. Well-intentioned and informed, decked out in degrees to find the language for things they have no desire to process. They ingest and weaponize the words, turning boundaries into arguments against the very groups they claim to protect.

Mare Leon, “Copy-and-Paste People Have Ruined Online Safety”, Salty

The early ‘00s band Vertical Horizon formed much of my college-years soundtrack. Stereogum‘s Tom Breihan shits on them HARD in this beautiful article on Vertical Horizon’s hit single “Everything You Want” and the alternative-rock genre.

I feel so, so attacked. 😛


In keeping with my Deadliest Catch life phase, here’s a recent find on YouTube: full uploads of all three episodes of America’s Deadliest Season.

This three-parter served as the pilot series for Discovery Channel to make another “official” pilot episode, then pick up Deadliest Catch for production. The boats, captains, and crews here are different; and it’s a pure documentary series that showed the fishermen’s lives and work exactly as they were, and nothing more. That’s so unlike today’s Deadliest Catch, which bit the ‘reality TV’ bait and has become what I like to call the Real Boathusbands of Dutch Harbor. 😉

Also, these uploads certainly don’t look like they’re sanctioned by Warner Bros. Discovery. So don’t be surprised if it’s suddenly gone from YouTube.

On my Netflix watchlist:

And then there’s YouTube…

  • The ScreenCrush channel. YouTube channels run by talkative male nerds are easy to find these days (and much easier to ignore). Ryan Arey’s done good work so far that I’ve actually been paying attention for months now, but his recent episode breakdowns for Marvel’s She-Hulk is fucking outstanding. Not only does he get the little details and fan-service Easter eggs every time, but he also gets — and discusses at length — how and why female viewers will recognize, identify with, and enjoy/dread some parts of the show more than others, and in an empathetic and supportive manner that other YouTube recap channels can’t and won’t. As more online nerds expose their previously hidden misogyny and chauvinism (see: every Amber Heard commentary out there), Arey’s direct allyship is great to see in every video breakdown.

  • The second Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer. Why am I crying over a damn movie trailer???


  • I’m quite late to discovering Lofi Girl on YouTube — I only learned about this channel/record label when one of its continuous live feeds was cut off due to a false copyright claim. Apparently, she is everywhere, and I’m noticing only now. The animated young lady with a cat is also on Spotify, Apple Music, and even Discord and Reddit. Now, this Spotify playlist is on whenever I’m doing mundane home stuff (cooking and cleaning, mostly).

Heyyy 👋

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