Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Absurdity, Chaos, and the State of the Philippines Today

For, truly, is it not absurd?

Perhaps there is a truth in the analysis that, given the weakness of our fundamentals - economic, social, political - as well as the length, breadth and scope of the corruption of the system - again, economic, social, political and add to that cultural and religious - the Philippines is, to coin a phrase, in deep shit.

The thing is, is it, truly, as deep as either our so-called specialists and - eternally damn them to hell and the creatures that spawned them - the opposition paint it to be?

How much, truly, of the current mess is because Gloria screwed up bad - and, make no mistake, she did, has and still is, wonder of wonders for someone supposedly so brilliant - or simply because some certain of our good citizenry painted it so much worse?

Is there, truly, chaos? Are we as much on the brink as so many voices say these days, or are those same voices pushing us all to that edge?

It is so absurd: Filipinos are inherently hardy, but we all saw - twice! No, in fairness to Jerome, thrice! - what happens when hardship becomes too much. The Filipino's back doesn't get broken by the proverbial straw on the proverbial camel's back... we kick back at the oppressor. Hard. Where it hurts. Enough to bring our oppressor down.

So why are they not kicking back? Oh, c'mon: socio-civic fatigue? Give me a break. Does anyone, anyone, actually believe that, given all the shit the Filipino has gone through, that they'd just either bear with all this crap because there are no percieved options?

Just how much can our so-called "analysts" insult this great people?

Of course, it can't be denied that Gloria has made such a royal mess of everything. I can't think of what she or her surprisingly stupid handlers and advisers have not done wrong. I may not agree with a lot of what Lito Banayo says, but his description of Gloria and her troupe seems right on the money: punch drunk.

Or is this all one massive maskirovka? The little lady making it look like she's all vulnerable so her equally (or more so) stupid opponents would stick their heads out, literally volunteering to have them severed by the headman's axe...

I read the papers everyday. At least three of them. Because its my job. And aside from those columns written by priests, or those by socio-cultural and historical writers, everything seems to be about doomsday is coming. I don't have to read de Quiros' often seditious writing, or those obviously seditious ones in the Tribune to see all that.... negativity....

One of the things you aren't taught outright in Communications is the way anyone who knows information flows and processing within a society can manipulate that flow for a desired outcome. But its there. It is in the core of every theory and principle of communications, advertising, journalism and public relations. The Sender-Reciever Model, when expanded and properly appreciated, is like a manual for the Communications major on how to use that one powerful weapon of modern society: social engineering. You know how information moves from each factor in the system, and how it is processed. You can manipulate that information so that it becomes the stimulus for your intended effect. Isn't that, in its most rudimentary form, how advertising works? You implant a particular stimulus inside the target market's mind, so when he or she comes across the associated trigger, you might have the desired outcome.

I wonder if these columnists think they're doing a service to the Republic by crawing like stormcrows over a storm that, even it hits, may not be as bad as they say it is? Hurricanes happen despite our control of the atom, but when someone knows that a storm coming, what do most sensible people do? They make the ship or house as tight as they can so they'll have a chance to live through the experience. And if they're additionally responsible, they'll help their neighbors prepare.

All this... crawing... what purpose does it serve except to deafen the sound of the church bells calling the people to gather and prepare? Why don't they instead craw against the predators in the midst, those who wish to take advantage of the storm to rape, pillage and plunder once more? ALTERNATIVES! SHOW US ALTERNATIVES! Who, those cowards in the Netherlands? Those bloodthirsty, intolerant, godless lieutenants they left behind who sap the strength of our youth by hoodwinking them to the supposedly historical inevitability of their dead religion?

Who, the so-called "opposition"? Please. I can accept why many among the general public believes these jokers, but... really now. Isn't it soo obvious....


There is nothing that brings me down more than a people acting like... lemmings. Incredible, isn't it? Whatever the hell is happening to the Philippines now, it's not (a) something we can't fix because (b) it's never really too late. Not when a people can bring together their collective energy, talent and skill to put their house in order. Perhaps it is true that travelling gives you a new perspective, and what it has done to me is appreciate the fact, that, yes, God has been kind to the Filipino. We are not Somalia. We are not shattered Yugoslavia. We are not East Timor. We are not, most definitely not, Argentina.

Yet... there is this seeming battle of... perceptions. I can See because my Training allows me to, both that of a regular Communications Major and the more advanced ones of my Mentat protocols. It would seem that the First Estate has bungled badly, and the Fourth is making it look so much worse while elements of the First take advantage of the whole situation to make it look much worse so they can regain power. The Third... is still nebulous to me, which can be fatal for a Mentat. The Second... is everywhere and nowhere, putting fires out, while fanning others to a conflagration, singing hosannas to God all the while.

All this chaos.

Yet the people go on. They strive, despite their leaders, to make little islands of serenity, stability and hope. Despite all the crowing of the Fourth Estate, the people still hear music, still hear laughter. There is, beneath all this chaos... something else. Something, though not exactly the bright tomorrow, is at least a calmer space. A place where there is hope, where people build, or at least try to. Again, despite their leaders.

All this chaos. All of it so... absurd. Like lemmings leaping off a cliff.

Or... maybe not... sometimes, the Human spirit needs chaos in order to leapfrog its growth. It is like spiritual kaingin, burning the dry grass to give a chance for new life to grow.

But... it's all so... disjointed...

How can there be anger and chaos among people who just want to live in peace and security?

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