I probably shouldn't be writing this in a public space. I mean, perhaps some prospective employer has gone looking my name up (in the off chance I have not been blacklisted by every self-respecting company for some reason) and sees this blog. I have done a terrible job managing my personal online footprint. So he'll stumble upon this and realize I'm not the man for the job because of what I'm going to write, or have written, on here.

But whatever. Here goes.

I am terrible with change.

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If you have nothing good to say, shut up.

That can mean many things, really.

One interpretation: if you have nothing good to say, shut up. Meaning, don't criticize. Criticism, any criticism, is not good, no matter how good your intentions are. You're telling that person he's not good enough, otherwise he does not need any feedback, he does not need to improve himself, or anything for that matter. No, that's not good. If you have nothing else but criticism, shut up. Don't even mix criticism in with your praise. Shut up.

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Wear them down

First, thank you for joining us on this noble mission. I'm sure you'll do well - you wouldn't be here if the boss didn't have all this trust on you.

I'm sending you this email to brief you on what we're doing, why we're doing what we're doing, and why we're doing this. I hope you have time - this is going to be a long email.

First, a few thoughts. We love spectacle. We love drama. Millions watch soap operas after going home. It's not just entertainment after a long day at work or school. Those television shows are where we project our dreams, our hopes, our fears. A victory for the good guys is a victory for us, too. A love that blossoms... you get the idea.

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Worthy of the megaphone

A hundred years ago or so, there was print, and if you were writing for the many newspapers and periodicals available on the newsstands, you were arguably worth your salt. Not everybody could write for such a big audience in those days, and if you could, chances are you had the ability to capture a story from the depths of whatever, and distill it to its essence, or elaborate it piece by piece. Or you just followed the company line and did the most you could to give your bosses a profit, if you look at what they called "yellow journalism" then.

In the intervening decades other media came along. There was radio, and while you also needed an authoritative voice to relay stories that need telling, you still needed the ability to capture those stories and deliver them in a succinct way. You had more tools at your disposal, sure, but you had more conditions to meet. Same with television. That even has more challenges; once you had to describe evocatively, but now you had to resist the urge to narrate what people already (or are supposed to be) seeing on their screens.

Still, the ability to hold the figurative megaphone and speak to the masses was reserved to those who could prove that they are able to do so, are excellent in doing so, can be trusted to do so. And so those figures became somewhat mythical, in places revered - for their intelligence, for their eloquence, for their grace. For the most part, at least. It's certainly why, all these years, I held a fascination towards journalists, even hitting myself for not having the fortitude to become one like them.

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Our days are numbered

Well, there you go.

Yesterday, martial law was declared in Mindanao, a response to attacks by terrorists in Marawi City. Some may question why it had to cover an entire island when atrocities are mostly confined to one city, but, perhaps, there are reasons for that.

Today, the idea that martial law will also be declared in the Visayas has been floated. Along with that, the writ of habeas corpus could be suspended there too, the way it already, somehow, is in Mindanao. It is necessary, it was said, to save the country.

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