WITH social issues constantly pressing in on people, it is expected, even natural, to escape.

Writer Carljoe Javier justifies the need to get away from the busy world in his work And The Geek Shall Inherit The Earth (Milflores Publishing Inc., 2009).

A dozen essays for a dozen reasons to be good looking and famous, And The Geek Shall Inherit The Earth describes the current condition of a luxurious culture through the author’s experiences.

In “Life of the Party,” Javier introduces himself to his readers as a person who still experiences the problem of prepubescent boys when it comes to socializing, especially with girls. He says he fears people would think he is boring the moment he opens his mouth to talk.

But liquor becomes a solution when he said: “I finally got my beer. And then another. I felt my tongue slacken. I was ready for some entertaining talk.”

For the author, looks aren’t anything, but there are moments when people feel conscious of their image like in “My Secret Vanity.” The essay exposes the tendency of the youth to be vain, presenting themselves even in social networking sites. Javier describes this vanity as something “so proliferative that vain photography may become a classification title” but nonchalantly says that “a lot of us do it.”

Ironically, while Javier contradicts the standard of looks in society, he somewhat admitted being a victim of such standard, wanting to look like Harrison Ford, and googles his name in the Internet convinces its readers that everyone, even he, is a victim of such standard.

In the grander scheme of things

Serving as a prelude to the previous essay, “Girls, Girls, Girls” talks about the complex nature of girls and why boys find it hard to impress them. Sharing an experience in teaching at an all-girls school, Javier discovers that “girl world” is not what boys think, saying boy readers should not find it so different from their world.

The first scene when two girls kissed right in front of Javier gave a titillating glimpse of some girls’ tendencies but the details that followed like a certain farting incident instantly balanced the author’s judgment that girls do something normal for any student, whether boy or girl.

“The Sum of My Fears” enumerates the fear of people and how they manifest in real life. Javier admits that wanting to be a horror story writer is a cover for his real fears like public speaking and looking weird. The essay serves as a good mirror for people like Javier who feels that there is more to fear than the dark or monsters under the bed. The author effectively manifests the youth’s fears by stepping into their shoes.

Hard music is not much of an attention-getter in “My Rock and Roll Lifestyle,” where Javier convinces the rocker “wannabes” that rock and roll will not add much to their charisma. Unless wanting to chase a wild calling into the world of music, Javier tells of an inevitable truth of wanting to attract girls and record producers through rock and roll music.

Reality is much more apparent in “More Real than Real: One Day As A Reality TV Contestant.” Like contestants of Pinoy Big Brother and Amazing Race, Javier toyed with the idea of subjecting himself to humiliation in order to earn money. But he realizes that everything disappears when he is challenged by a mall race.

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Also, he emphasizes that “the competition bred in high-stakes shows like these.”

Javier was able to use the experience well to not only express the intense psyche of reality shows through the eyes of an audience but also as a person who is tortured by cameras and the thought og losing in front of millions of people.

And The Geek Shall Inherit The Earth presents a number of realities that a lot of people want to escape for them to be contented with their own little lives. Javier speaks for them all when he said that: “we are all stars of our own little movies and TV shows in our heads. Sometimes we wish we could yell cut, or do an edit. Or retake a scene.” For him, it would depend on what kind of show we want our lives to be. Robin G. Padilla


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