Jejemons: The New ‘Jologs’

by Makiba Shourisha

Do you happen to talk or text like this: ‘Eow PowZ, mUsZtAh nHa?’ Then perhaps you’re a Jejemon

HAVE YOU RECEIVED A text message like this: “Eow PowZ, mUsZtAh nHa?” If so, most likely you’ve had a “Jejemon” experience. It isn’t a new breed of Pokemon that Ash and Misty have found. This terminology has been popping up everywhere even in Facebook.

According to UrbanDictionary.Com, it is anyone with a low tolerance for correct punctuation, syntax and grammar. This definition is limited to the linguistic style of Jejemons. But in reality, Jejemon is a new breed of hipsters who have developed not only their own language and written text but also their own sub-culture and fashion.

For brevity, I will limit this article to Jejemon language, which for lack of grammatical “canon” on how to call it, I will call it the “Jejenese” and their alphabet, “Jejebet.”

The Jejenese is not just confined to Pinoy Jejemons. Just before I wrote this, I played “Warcraft” and found a European opponent who enjoys typing “jejejeje” in a very wide context, much to my disdain as he sabotages my online quests. Another group of foreign Jejemons, although their Jejemonism seems so trivial to actually classify them as Jejemons, are the Thais who type “hahaha” this way: “5555.”

You will see a lot of these in your Thai friend’s Facebook status messages. Since, the number 5 translates to “ha” in Thai, as explained by my friend Pakorn Dokmai. I’m sure many of you have personal encounters with other foreign Jejemons, be in Manila or abroad. So we can assume that Jejemon is a worldwide phenomenon.

Will the real Jejemons please stand up?

Text messaging is the first ever evidence that the Jejemons are not just fictional creatures; they really exist. They have a set of eyes (and obviously the time) that can easily decipher the word hidden in jumbled letters, alternating capitalization, over-usage of the letters H, X or Z and mixture of numeric characters and our normal alphabet. To be able to understand Jejenese or to Jejetype is definitely a skill.

In a commentary, “Intellectualizing a Language,” by Dr. Ricardo Ma. Nolasco published on June 13, 2009, in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, he said that: “We will never be able to develop our languages for higher thinking unless we begin basic literacy and education in them.” With the prevalence of Jejemon, will the long process of intellectualization of our Filipino language be held back? I believe that the answer depends on one’s lenience with the Jejemons. Just as whether or not the Jejenese and the Jejebet wreak havoc on major languages depends on how one perceives Jejemonism.

Jejemon cliques

Who uses the Jejemon language anyway? Let’s call them, the Clans, or as the Jejemons would probably spell it, cLaNzZ. In Warcraft lingo, groups that operate like “Alliance” or “Horde.”

The Jejemons find their place in their world by finding a clan, or a regular group of people they text and talk with in Jejenese. Regardless of whether they know each other or not, they will talk to other members of these clans and even meet up with them in Jejelands (frequent hang-outs).

If these clans can be considered, as Bonifacio P. Sibayan, whose work was published in the website of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts puts it, as Sub-domains of a Controlling Domain of language, then the continued use of Jejemonized-Tagalog, such as: “iNgAtz puh” and “xeNXia Nah” can contribute to the process of Filipino intellectualization. But then again, an intellectualized language is that language that can be used for giving and obtaining a complete education in any field of knowledge from pre-school to the university and beyond.

If Jejenese is used as the medium of instruction in public schools, imagine how would the first line of our National Anthem be spelled in Jejenese: “bAiAn9 mA9ieLiWh pUrlAsh n9 xIlan9aNaN …” or Jose Rizal’s last work: “mEih UltIMoiX aDioSxH.” Fortunately, this is an extreme scenario. That’s why others take the more mortifying definition of Jejemon given by UrbanDictioary.Com: “Low IQ people who spread around their idiocy on the web.”

But Jejemons, too, have constitutional right to free speech and expression that we may run afoul if we prevent them from speaking and writing the way they do or as annoyed Internet users propose—ban them from the web. All we can do is to make a matinding pakiusap (strong appeal) to all Jejemons, as language can only be intellectualized by using it, mangyaring gamitin nyo nang tama ang wika (please use the language properly).

Harvey Marcoleta
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Rent’s La Vie Boheme

by Makiba Shourisha

This Monday morning, I’m listening to Rent soundtrack. It brings back bittersweet memories of someone and something. Avoiding things that remind me of said someone and said something is quite tough since the someone and the something were very huge parts of my life, past lifetime as it was. And even if I succeed avoiding things associated with them, the dreams at night are not exactly escapable. While the music’s blaring anyway I  might as well post one of the songs that pretty much means something to me: La Vie Boheme.

CAFE OWNER:
No please no
Not tonight please no
Mister, can’t you go?
Not tonight, can’t have a scene

ROGER
What?

CAFE OWNER:
Go, please go;
You, Hello sir
I said, ‘No’
Important customer

MARK
What am I - Just a blur?

CAFE OWNER:
You sit all night - You never buy!

MARK
That’s a lie - That’s a lie
I had tea the other day

CAFE OWNER:
You couldn’t pay

MARK
Oh yeah

COLLINS
Benjamin Coffin III - Here?

CAFE OWNER:
Oh no!

ALL
Wine and beer!

MAUREEN
The enemy of Avenue A
We’ll stay

CAFE OWNER:
Oiy Vey!

COLLINS
What brings a mogul in his own mind to the Life Cafe?

BENNY
I would like to propose a toast
To Maureen’s noble try
It went well

MAUREEN
Go to hell

BENNY
Was the yuppie scum stomped?
Not counting the homeless
How many tickets weren’t comp’ed?

ROGER
Why Did Muffy -

BENNY
Alison

ROGER
Miss the show?

BENNY
There was a death in the family
If you must know

ANGEL
Who died?

BENNY
Our akita

MARK, RODGER, ANGEL, COLLINS
Evita

BENNY
Mimi, I’m surprised
A bright and charming girl like you
Hangs out with these slackers
(Who don’t adhere to deals)

They make fun -Yet I am the one
Attempting to do some good
Or do you really want a neighborhood
Where people piss on your stoop every night?

Bohemia, Bohemia
Is a fallacy in your head
This is Calcutta
Bohemia is dead

MARK
Dearly beloved, we gather here to say
our goodbyes

COLLINS & ROGER
Dies Irae - Dies Illa
Kyrie Eleison
Yitgadal V’ Yitkadash (etc.)

MARK
Here she lies
No one knew her worth
The late great daughter of Mother Earth
On these nights when we celebrate the birth
In that little town of Bethlehem
We raise our glass - You bet your ass to -
La Vie Boheme

ALL
La Vie Boheme
La Vie Boheme
La Vie Boheme
La Vie Boheme

MARK
To days of inspiration,
Playing hookey, making something
Out of nothing, the need
To express
To communicate,
To going against the grain,
Going insane,
Going mad

To loving tension, no pension
To more than one dimension,
To starving for attention,
Hating convention, hating pretension,
Not to mention of course,
Hating dear old mom and dad

To riding your bike
Midday past the three piece suits-
To fruits - To no absolutes-
To Absolut - To choice-
To the Village Voice -
To any passing fad

To being an ‘us’ - For once -
Instead of a ‘them’

ALL
La Vie Boheme
La Vie Boheme

MAUREEN
Is the equipment in a pyramid?

JOANNE
It is, Maureen

MAUREEN
The mixer dosn’t have a case
Don’t give me that face

MR. GREY
Ahemm

MAUREEN
Hey, Mister - She’s my sister

MR. GREY
So that’s five miso soup,
Four seaweed salad
Three soy burger dinner,
Two tofu dog platter
And one pasta with meatless balls

A BOY
Eww

COLLINS
It tastes the same

MIMI
If you close your eyes

MR. GREY
And thirteen orders of fries
Is that it here?

ALL
Wine and beer!

MIMI & ANGEL
To hand-crafted beers made in local breweries
To yoga, to yogurt, to rice and beans and cheese
To leather, to dildos, to curry Vindaloo
To Huevos Rancheros and Maya Angelou

MAUREEN & COLLINS
Emotion, devotion, to causing a commotion,
Creation, Vacation

MARK
Mucho masturbation

MAUREEN & COLLINS
Compassion, to fashion, to passion
When it’s new

COLLINS
To Sontag

ANGEL
To Sondheim

FOUR PEOPLE
To anything taboo

COLLINS & ROGER
Ginsberg, Dylan, Cunningham, and Cage

COLLINS
Lenny Bruce

ROGER
Langston Hughes

MAUREEN
To the stage!

PERSON #1
To Uta

PERSON #2
To Buddha

PERSON #3
Pablo Neruda, too

MARK & MIMI
Why Dorothy and Toto went over the rainbow
To blow off Auntie Em

ALL
La Vie Boheme

MAUREEN
And wipe the speakers off before you pack

JOANNE
Yes, Maureen

MAUREEN
Well, hurry back

MR. GREY
Sisters?

MAUREEN
We’re close

ANGEL, COLLINS, MAUREEN, MARK & MR GREY
Brothers!

MARK, ANGEL, MIMI & 3 OTHERS
Bisexuals, trisexuals, Homo Sapiens,
Carcinogens, hallucinogens, men,
Pee Wee Herman
German wine, turpentine, Gertrude Stein
Antonioni, Bertolucci, Kurosawa
Carmina Burana

ALL
To apathy, to entropy, to empathy, Ecstasy
Vaclav Havel- The Sex Pistols, 8BC
To no shame - Never playing the fame game

COLLINS
To marijuana

ALL
To sodomy
It’s between God and me
To S & M

BENNY
Waiter! Waiter! Waiter!

ALL
La Vie Boheme

COLLINS
In honor of the death of Bohemia an impromtu salon will commence immediately following dinner Maureen Johnson, back from her spectacular one-night engagement at the 11th street lot, will sing Native American tribal chants backwards through her vocoder, while accompanying herself on the electric cello - which she ain’t never studied.

ROGER
And Mark Cohen will preview his new documentary about his inability to hold an erection on high holy days.

MARK
And Mimi Marquez, clad only in bubble wrap, will perform her famous lawn chair-handcuff dance to the sounds of iced tea being
stirred…And Roger will attempt to write a bittersweet, evocative song

(Roger picks up a guiter and plays)

MARK
That doesn’t remind us of ‘Musetta’s Waltz’

COLLINS
Angel Dumott Schunard will model the latest fall fashions from Paris while accompanying herself on the 10-gallon plastic pickle tub.

ANGEL
And Collins will recount his exploits
as an Anarchist - Including the tale of
his successful reprogramming of the
MIT virtual reality equipment to self-destruct as it broadcasts the words:

ALL
‘Actual Reality - Act Up - Fight AIDS!’

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