A choice between laughter and tears  

Posted by Laya in , , ,

With the 2010 elections coming up, I was happy to see the beginnings of intelligent political discourse by Filipinos on the Internet, aside from the ones I overheard at the sari-sari store at the corner, at the jeepney terminal, and between even my neighbors across the street as they did their laundry by our front steps.

On Plurk, plurksters engaged in lively political debate the likes of which you rarely see outside the academe or even in the hallowed (or hollowed) halls of the legislature nowadays. From debates on Noynoy Aquino's fitness for the presidency, to whether or not he is just riding the media hype, to approbation of Winnie Monsod's grilling of Mikey Arroyo on TV, to reactions to Ping Lacson's exposes, I was beginning to think that yes, perhaps Filipinos are truly waking up to their obligations and responsibilities as citizens.

Then recently someone threw a spanner into the works. To a thread discussing why Noynoy Aquino is being grilled over Hacienda Luisita while Villar is not being asked about the C-5 "insertions," this 17-year-old girl who called herself "Iena" retorted,

"ang pnakamagandang tanung e!!bkt kau namr0mr0bLEma niAn???di nga namr0bLema ung g0byern0 e!!"

For literate persons, what she said was, "The best question is!! Why are you people worrying over that? The government isn't even worried!"


Today, in the midst of a discussion of Ping Lacson's exposes, this 21-year-old female who called herself, aptly enough, "karenderia," (I am reminded of Vilma Santos's immortal "Para kang karenderyang bukas sa lahat ng gustong kumain (You are like a cheap diner that is open to all who want to eat)!") interjected,

"ang dami niong alam.. dami niong galit sa mga pulitiko wala ka namang naambag sa pilipinas"

Again, for literate people, she said, "You people know too much.. You are so angry at politicians when you haven't contributed anything to the Philippines."

Asked if she had contributed anything, she confidently answered that she had. Asked to enumerate her contributions, she retorted that there were too many to fit in the thread. And expressed joy at having "stolen the scene (agaw eksena)" in the thread. Although she seemed to have raised a point at first, her answers became more and more jeering and sarcastic, so that people on the thread chose to treat her as a troll and ignore her.

Perhaps I am only exhibiting what one of my Law professors once called "intellectual arrogance." Perhaps I am only being arrogant and blind because of who and what I perceive myself to be. But it is frustrating to engage people in serious discussion if they choose to ridicule the process. Frustrating and sad to see that there are people so caught up in their own images in the mirror that everything else without them in the center is a subject to be ridiculed. That there are people like those who suddenly enter and disrupt a discussion, no matter how serious, just to attract attention to themselves, without anything intelligent to contribute to the discourse. Suddenly I fear for the future generation, a generation that can't even spell and seems not to know proper grammar. Will they all grow up to be as shallow and silly and egocentric, caring for nothing else but their clothes and their gadgets and the pettiness of their lives? Will they be sheep, complacent in their silly, shallow lives, not knowing or caring what happens around them until the holocaust sweeps them away without warning?

I know I could look at them as objects of ridicule, of contempt. I could laugh at the silly, ignorant, unwitting sheep. But I want to cry instead.

This entry was posted at Tuesday, September 15, 2009 and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

1 people cared

nami lay out mo ba.. artistic guid eh .

your other blog Simpleng Kaligayan is nice. im surprised to see we're using the same template for my blogger

September 16, 2009 at 6:26 PM

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