6/08/2013
The high road

First, a disclaimer. I will not say I am not guilty of this, in case someone stumbles upon this and does the very thing I will be writing about. I'm pretty sure - and the evidence is in the archives - that I've done something like this before, and perhaps I've done this many times, but I guess at this point I am just tired of this.

Yep, I am tired. I am tired of watching every watchable space for mistakes and then pouncing on them.

I am tired of blasting whoever made that mistake to high heavens, not stopping until said person meets his demise.

I am tired of saying that I have never, and will never, do the same mistake, because I was a better person, am a better person, and will always be a better person.

The good thing about these news stories of late - of Vice Ganda's fat joke (or rape joke) at the expense of Jessica Soho, and just now, of Pol Medina's Pugad Baboy strip that portrayed Scholasticans as closet lesbians, is that they force us to look into ourselves. I mean, somehow. Everybody who's going "lynch Vice, he's a bullying faggot!" are too loud to ignore, and you are forced to confront the issue, at least for five seconds. Where do you stand on this one? And then you're forced to confront the attitude of the angry mob. Have I done this before?

Perhaps. High school, I guess? College? Many times I've talked about being bullied, of being shunned for no particular reason. But maybe I was the bully at one time. Sometimes I feel terrible for that tantrum I threw during one of my days on the field for CWTS. I wanted Ian as my partner - he was my partner; there was some shuffling - and I was assigned to Jom, and while, yes, nobody wants Jom to be their partner, because he is a jerk, and yes, what I did was perhaps perfectly justified to a certain crowd, I really shouldn't have thrown that tantrum. I'd be rejecting him, as I was rejected four years prior.

Then again, I got Ian back as my partner that day, so who cares, right? It ended well for me. Whether anybody was hurt - you wouldn't know, Jom was thick-skinned, or seemed to be one - who cares, right? You got what you want.

I don't know if it's because of social media, of the idea that we can make change as long as thousands more agree with you, of the idea that with the right combination of indignation and moral authority we can overthrow anyone and anything. It is easier to say your mind on things. Willie Revillame is a sexist bastard, and he should never be on television. The snow piles up on the slopes, and then a loud band and then boom! Avalanche. Time to bury someone, never to be seen again. Willie Revillame's show will wrap up in a few months! We won! We fucking won!

The thing I hated the most about the Vice Ganda story - and again, I must say, I really think he messed up on that one - are the comments on the first news stories about it, from people who wanted their two cents in. Such terrible comments. "Walang tao ang magbibigo ng ganyan. Baklang kabayo ka. Kakarmahin ka rin."

Perhaps they really just hate the guy. I get it. This "comedian" only makes fun of people. I will not accept such cruelty. Get him off my screen! But really, you haven't done the same? Not once? Not ever? There's a guy with a different nose in class. You made fun of it, and he, well, he really, genuinely, took it in stride. It became a friendly thing, even, a method of bonding, a necessary punch line. All's well, right? That guy on TV got the joke and you're indignant for him?

Pol Medina just said something that not a few people think. Yes, girls in all-girl schools tend to have same-sex relationships, and I assume the same happens for boys in all-boy schools. Perhaps it's a step too far, him suggesting that the nuns who ran St. Scholastica's College - they were singled out; the zeitgeist dictates they're to be a common example - let that slide, that supposed immorality in a Catholic's eyes, because they themselves are closeted lesbians. Perhaps it's a step too far, saying that on a widely-distributed medium, a thought that's most often mentioned during drinking sessions when people are hazy and tend to forget things. Or beauty parlors, in idle chit-chat between manicurist and patron. A throwaway gag that earned the ire of Scholasticans who previously didn't care, or perhaps swept it under a rug, but decided that they don't want an admittedly hush-hush yet not uncommon thought define him. Lynch Pol, he's an immoral misogynist!

I'm writing this out of misplaced anger, really, because today he quit the Inquirer, believing he dishonored the publication he's served for over two decades. (Granted, the newspaper is bent on not accepting his resignation, as their probe uncovered that the offending strip - which was first published two months ago - was already marked for insensitivity but was nonetheless published.) A part of me is going, "what, people can't accept one thing because it annoys them? What, they haven't done this before? Are they that perfect?

And yes, I say this knowing that I'm doing the same thing again. I mentioned it earlier. My disclaimer. I am not saying I am not guilty of this. But I am tired. I am tired of people saying Manila is shit, but getting angry when Dan Brown suggests that. I am tired of people savaging Charice for her decision to come out, when they themselves are in the closet, unwilling to accept that they are not who they think they are. I am tired of people bullying Vice Ganda because he bullied someone with a supposedly unblemished reputation, of people calling those who voted Nancy Binay in stupid when they themselves didn't think their vote through, of government officials claiming their way isn't corrupt, while accepting secret payments under their desks.

The high road. I have had enough of the high road. And to think all of the cars up there aren't moving anymore, and yet they all go up there anyway.

And your responses...

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