How to be a journalist

I think it's a good thing that the president insists on delivering his weekly rants to the nation very late at night. Not that I have paid any attention to them over the past few months. While his words set the tone, for better or worse, they are ultimately theater; what's more important is how these pronouncements impact policy and governance. But, you know, those televised speeches pop up from out of nowhere despite its supposed regularity that I don't even notice them anymore. "President Duterte will address the nation later tonight," you'd see in a tweet, just as you're washing the dishes, squeezing in one or two games of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and preparing to go to sleep. Ignorance is bliss, in this case.

That ignorance lasts just a few hours though. Like you, I scroll through my social media feeds the moment I wake up, and I can no longer justify it as "it's part of my work, arguably"; it's automatic now. As I slept, people have already raged about whatever the president said. People still stay up for this? I think. And then, so he said that, all right. And then, people still stay up for this?

Today, though, the rage is unusually palpable. I'd understand, since the president apparently spent all the time allotted to him essentially trashing Leni Robredo. So, of course, the tweets are all about how, during the past few weeks when strong typhoons hit the country, he wasn't visible, and therefore he doesn't really have the right to complain about it, or something. I don't know. I haven't really bothered reading them. Much like the weekly addresses, the weekly rage scrolls come with alarming regularity, and then you just stop paying attention to it. Again, all of it is theater. I'm a bit tired of predicting that this is when the pot starts to boil over, that this is when the anger you see on social media translates to something less virtual.

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Yet another essay about resilience

First off, I really have nothing more to add to this conversation. Everybody, it seems - or at least everybody on one side of this fight we insist on calling a conversation - has said their piece, even before we watched the car crash happen. They talked about how we should stop talking about resilience as if that is enough to get us going despite yet another typhoon. They talked about how we should stop glorifying it, edifying it - really, using it to cover up for our apathy and incompetence. This happens every few months or so, although in this case it happened just a week or so apart.

In fact, the "conversation" had moved on by the time I composed this essay in my head enough to be able to confidently commit it to paper, or, well, this blog. We thought we knew the extent of Ulysses' damage when it roared past us in the middle of the night. Turns out our blinkers were on again. The Cagayan valley was inundated with floor waters they weren't necessarily ready for, as the dams in the area had to open the flood gates to prevent them from spilling. The weekend was depressing if all you did was scroll through your social media feeds.

It was barely a good time to talk about resilience, more so now.

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Keep watch

It's been a rough morning, as you all know. And I say that knowing that the morning has been rougher on other people.

This isn't the first time we've had to sleep through a typhoon, or attempt to sleep through one. That said, I think this is the first I've had to do it by myself. Well, not really. Shalla's here. I'm glad she is. I tend to sleep deeply and she doesn't. The moment the power went out at roughly twenty past midnight, she woke me up. Somebody had to go to the circuit breaker and switch to the generators. Not that she couldn't do it, but I seem to have memorized the three steps more, and even then I wasn't sure if it was working.

I called the lobby downstairs, asking whether the generators have gone on. Not yet, they told me. They're having difficulty getting it on, and have asked the maintenance team to have a check.

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Silver bullet (reprise)

It's very likely we're going to fall into the same trap again.

All right, all right. Yes, nominally, I am going to talk about the US elections. Why do you care about something you don't really have a stake in? I've been watching the coverage on television, and I'm a bit of a television geek, so there's that. Also, I've been watching late night shows for the past few years - not just the past four, but then, you know how that has dominated the monologues you've shared online. If anything, it'd be nice to see how this all pans out.

But then, of course things don't end just like that. It took four days for the television networks to call the election for Joe Biden, but Donald Trump has given every indication he won't be conceding, never mind mathematics and precedent not being in his favor. Then there's the next couple of months: what one hopes would be a smooth transition is most likely going to be just a bit noisier, a bit more uncertain. It's not something you'd appreciate when you've already had that moment of catharsis, of knowing this nightmare you've found yourself in one way or another has a definitive end date, sort of. I mean, screw the op-eds about how the end of the Trump presidency doesn't mean the end of Trumpism. We won! We fucking won! Let us have this moment!

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One last note

If you're reading this via Facebook - and honestly, I don't know how many are, if anybody is - then this is the last of my entries that you'll read on here.

It's really more of that social network ending its Notes feature from tomorrow. You know how they change everything and then change everything some more. It's been so many years since I began posting my entries twice - for no reason, as it's now clear to me - so it'll take me a while to change my workflow. No more copying and pasting, or at least much less of it.

So, really, I'm writing this filler of an entry to commemorate that. If you want to read more of my stuff - and if you do, oh thank you! - then I'll be linking to my actual blog instead. I mean, I bought a domain for this, so might as well make me feel that this money is worth it, yes? Although you'll probably say I can start by writing more about positive, inspirational shit.

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