Flirting with Misadventures: Escapades of an Exotic Life

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FriesenPress, Sep 1, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 336 pages
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The material represents a due diligence attempt to chronicle, via a series of seemingly random and incidental episodes narrated in the first-person, the evolutionary journey of my consciousness from the edge of the wilds of Mindanao (Philippines) to the rough and tumble of the streets of Manhattan (New York City), with all the tedious yet not the least thrilling detours in-between. Random in the sense that I had to single out and focus on specific and discrete pivotal decision points which ushered in a definitely recognizable qualitative change in my perception of my unique attributes as an individual, on leaving such decision bifurcations. . . . In a broader context the three parts of the book represent three distinct non-sequential evolutionary phases of my consciousness. The Narratives represent the age of ambition, when the drive to transcend . . . reigned supreme. The Poetry I deem to represent the seemingly unquenchable deliberative age of simultaneous inspiration, enlightenment, and illusion. . . . The Essays represent the age of rational resignation, or better yet, resigned rationalization, when you give in to the impulsive reflex to explain away the developments which you know affect your physical and spiritual well-being.
 

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“Flirting with Misadventures: Escapades of an Exotic Life” is an interesting mix, being part autobiography, part political manifesto. The author, Constancio Sulapas Asumen, gives details and tells stories about his life in the Philippines as he was growing up, how he came to America, and how his years in the US shaped his political worldview.
The stories are certainly interesting, and provide a thought-provoking look at the author’s background, and how his political beliefs were formed through his experiences. As someone who was born in America, and never had to deal with the process of immigration or really the politics anywhere outside the US, I found parts of the tale fascinating.
The organization of the book perplexed me a bit – it seemed to jump around, first telling about Asumen’s journey from being Director of IPT at Mindanao State University to arriving in New York City. The story then focuses on the author’s childhood, and the history of his family. The author also spends some time detailing poetry he wrote at various times in his life, and the last section outlines many of his personal political views. I found the organization difficult to follow at times, although I thought all of the information was good and the background about the author’s family and culture, and how he came to America certainly helped explain why he holds certain political beliefs.
Asumen details his beliefs on global warming, Obama’s presidential election, and Darwinism, among other things. He is not a fan of the current political administration, and states his case against it very well. This is not a light reading book – while I found the author’s arguments well thought out, the writing style is very complex and takes some time, at certain points, to fully understand. But if you are truly interested in what the author has to say, as I was, I think it will be well worth the read.
 

Contents

Selected Random Narratives
1
Notes on Proper Names in the Text
150
A Contribution to An Inquiry into the Nature and Understanding of Knowledge
183
Historical Parallels and Intersections
213
Slouching Out of National Dyslexia
219
The Calculus of Political Polarization
225
The Tragic Legacy of Voting Present
231
Incidental Lessons from Fluid Mechanics
237
Consensus Does Not a Science Make
263
The Myth of Moderate Islam
269
How Lucky Can You Get?
275
Assimilation Overkill Begets Bigotry
279
The Activist Ideologue
283
The Repugnant Obama Paradigm
289
Hallmark Vestige of His Own Incompetence
293
Dearth of AccountabilityTangling with a Tale of the Tiger
299

In Search for Governing Virtues
245
A Poverty of Philosophy
251
The Religion that Failed
257
Conventional Wisdom Canonizes Mediocrity and Glorifies Incompetence
305
A Bouquet of Tea Leaves for Sarah Palin
311
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