Chapter 34

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COM12-G

The title of the chapter comes from the name of the district where Cayce is staying as of the moment. If you've noticed from the previous chapters, Cayce wasn't aware of the district's name and only referred to the place as a part of Moscow. It was only made known to her when the maker emailed her directions to where and when they would meet.

You are in Zamoskvareche, it means across Moskow river from Kremlin, district of old apartments, churches.
Hotel is on Bolshaya Yaki−manka street, it means little Yakimanka. If you will follow Bolshaya Yakimanka
toward Kremlin, see map I have made, you will cross Bol−shoy Kamennü Most, means Big Stone Bridge,
seeing Kremlin. Following marking on map to Caffeine, sign in Russian. Go in at 1700 today and please be
seated beside fish so I will see you.

As you can see, Cayce (a foreigner) and the maker (a local) have different views on how they perceive Russia as a location/place.
Cayce defines where she temporarily resides as Moscow(a city), while on the other hand, the maker describes it as Zamoskcvarech (a district). It is apparent in the way that they describe the same place in different ways. Cayce describes the place in a general way while the maker describes it more specifically. A common difference in quality that sets apart a foreigner from a local in a country. The term "Psychogeography" was coined by Guy Debord which means "the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals."

Here is a video in youtube that is about Psychogeography which is about the struggles of creating and living in an urban environment:

Also in this chapter, Parkaboy and Cayce had a phone conversation about how they are going to both meet the maker and for the first time, they're going to meet as well. It is funny that even though they have known each other for a long time, Cayce doesn't even know Parkaboy's real name and how he even looks like in real life. They've only been connected through technological means and more specifically, the internet.

The internet has becoma a very big part of our lives nowadays, serving as a form of communication, entertainment and information at the same time. Internet forums are very popular, serving as a hub for people who have the same interests and hobbies and also a network to acquire new friends even if you haven't met them personally. Through these forums, people create an identity and a reputation at the same time. Just like MamaAnarchia and Parkaboy; how they're notoriously known for hating each other in the F:F:F.

Here is an article I found online called "Identity versus Reputation: Wandering and Wondering in Virtual Spaces" which talks about the difference between Identity and Reputation and how they also coincide with each other.

Russian Oil, an unexpected topic, was also mentioned in this chapter saying how Russian Oil will be the next big thing after Saudi Oil seeing how unstable the market for Saudi Oil is after 9/11 basically because of the "War on Terror" initiated by the former President George Bush.

Saudi oil has not been looking so good to the really big guys, globally, since nine−eleven. They're tired of
worrying about the region. They want a stable source. Russian Union's got it. Means huge changes in the flow
of global capital. Means we're going to be running on Russian oil.

After some research, I found out that Russian Oil are currently facing production problems because of the current financial crisis. Here is an article that talks about the current crisis that Russian oil is facing. Click here.


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COM12: A

In this chapter, Cayce finds herself yet again in the middle of a tough situation of business vs. personal. Some people, especially in contemporary reality, find it appealing to have their own job as a hobby. However, in Cayce's situation it's different. She is caught in a boiling water between having to fulfill his duties as a temporary employee of Hubertus Bigend against her permanent online commitment to Parkaboy. Cayce's situation is similar to Sarah, a character in the NBC series, Chuck.

Chuck is your average employee who works at Buymore, until he downloads the CIA's top secret information into his brain. The government send two agents, Sarah and Casey, from CIA and NIA, to protect Chuck from the syndicates and internal mob who wants to delete the information and have him killed. Trying to keep a low profile, Sarah pretends to be Chucks girlfriend and Casey applies to be a Buymore employee and Chuck's neighbor (Chuck is in with the plan). It is not a surprise as Sarah and Chuck over act their role in terms of pretending to be in love. In some episodes, viewers will see that Sarah feels something for Chuck, but is still holding back because of her job. She has to treat Chuck only as a client, nothing more, nothing less.

Here's a sample video clip of the business vs. personal dilemma of Sarah (or Cayce)

This video/situation is also applicable to how Cayce felt towards Boone in the early parts of the novel.

Cayce's dilemma is a bit confusing for someone who does not know Cayce personally. Since she always chooses to trust a stranger (She left the apartment keys for Damien to Voytek, a stranger), rather than someone whom she has met personally. She didn't want to tell Parkaboy of her connection with Bigend and of everything, because she fears this might be the start for their friendship to deteriorate. She feels something with her friendship with Parkaboy, someone she has never met before, not even through webcam. The realness of their friendship is based on a couple of e-mails and forum interactions, yet she feels safe. In line with this thought, I would like to connect it to something I think people would more or less understand better on how Cayce felt towards Parkaboy.

Here's a videoclip of the movie Cinderella Story, starring Hillary Duff and Chad Michael Murray.

In this movie, Cayce’s relationship with Parkaboy is portrayed by the e-mail and text messaging relationship between Sam (Hilary Duff) and Austin (Chad Michael Murray). Although the two have never met personally, they talk to each other as if they’ve known each other for quite some time already. Sometimes, technology can play a big role in defining a person’s identity. Although through virtual means, the reality part in that virtual friendship is fulfilled. I remember back in the day when Yahoo Messenger, Facebook and Multiply were still nowhere to be found in the realm of https and www. MIRC was the hippest way to connect with fellow students either within the same school or from a different one. People would log-in and have pseudonyms, and online acquaintances would turn to friendship in the real world.

Some people find it hard to express who they really are, because of certain discrepancies. In relation to how some people try to exert their identity, through other means- in the expense of the community. With someone (the victim) losing a part of her identity, the other party gains extra confidence and a bold mark to her own identity. Nonetheless, there is a win-lose situation at hand. As someone finds her identity in the complex world, one will lose her own sense of self. Similar to your typical teenage movies revolving within the walls of insecurities, love and stereotyping, or in high school.

The movie I think would best exemplify someone finding her identity at the expense of others is Mean Girls. The movie is starred by Lindsay Lohan. Click HERE for the further details of the movie.

mean_girls.jpg

Here's the trailer of the movie.

In that sense, what is the ‘real world’? Or to simply put, which is more real? An individual pretending to be someone in the real world to avoid any judgements and tease or a real individual in being her real self in a virtual world? Is there still such thing as virtual reality, or has it already become reality in the virtual world? Most scientists and doctors actually believe that the virtual world is reality. Here’s a part of the interview conducted with a renowned endovascular laser surgeon, Giancarlo Biamino.

RB: So what does the virtual reality technique mean for real life? Is it virtual or real? 

GB: The virtual reality technique is virtu- ally real. I mean that working on the vir- tual reality dummy you can achieve the same technical success as in real life, and you can also learn on every mistake as in real life. And, believe me, it is quite difficult to satisfy the virtual reality trainer. Although I have performed more than a thousand carotid interventions in real life and although I did some training on the virtual reality dummy before that premiere, I made eleven mistakes during my intervention.

Globalization + Technology + Information= a smaller world. At least, that's what capitalists would want the people to think. Now a days, seldom do people not use the Internet for research purposes. We get information through the experiences of other people. In an image driven society we live in, text is not as important as images, an example for which is the countless number of billboards along roads and side streets. It is not only the products who are being advertised- celebrities, artists and even politicians! I cannot help but notice a certain councilor in Quezon City. The tarpaulins and numerous pose, outfits and layout he has for tarpaulins all over the city is just shameful. He is not a celebrity, but a politician. The only politician I know who has tarpaulins all over the city where he is in a 'boxer' outfit to promote a boxing tournament in the city. How shameful! But this is the only way, people would remember who he is and what he did for the city. Heck! If it was not for his pose, I personally would not remember him.

Last but not least, the russian oil. Not everyone knows that there is a small percentage of the oil industry that belongs to the Russian market, people only know of that in the Middle East. In the past decades, Russian Oil reserves were bigger than that of in the Middle East, however with passing of time, oil production in Russia has declined. In the chapter where we are given the information the 'people' are connected with Russian oil. Russian oil as some people point out was a way for Russia to regain its power in globally with its vast supply and production.

Here's a video of the oil reserves in Russia.

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