About each other and amongst ourselves

Let's talk about that pre-nuptial video, shall we?

To be honest, I actually forgot about that pre-nuptial video. I remember reading about it in the newspaper and shrugging it off. Well, I thought, if that's how they celebrate their love, then so be it. A week later, I'm watching Sunday showbiz talk shows and promptly found out that the video's been labeled as controversial, and all because Maggie Wilson (not to be confused with the woman who ruined the mood at the Allison Iraheta concert) and her beau decided to have a sizzling pre-nuptial video.

I mean, so what if that clip involves the couple pretty much making out in different settings, tastefully (or snazzily, whatever) shot? If that's how they celebrate their love, then so be it. And, of course, there's the fact that what you see on the video will happen after the wedding anyway. And then the report continues - "Maggie Wilson, magsasalita na tungkol sa kontrobersiyal nilang pre-wedding video," that patronizing voiceover said - and I realize something. Right, the bride has a TV show coming up.

That, and the report proceeds to talk about where the video was found. Proud filmmaker uploaded it on his website, where he explains that he charges this much for stuff like it. Of course, he just takes the footage and edits it...

It's been months since that so-called controversy came up, and I'm reading the newspaper again. They got married, so said the headline on the front of one of those snobbish Sunday lifestyle sections - those sections that talk about what everybody else (who can afford it) is up to. Sometimes it's an interesting read, but more often than not it's annoying. You spend your weekends reading the newspaper. One day it talks about all the latest trends, in a tone that screams, "We're pop culture writers, we're awesome!" and "Oh, by the way, we're not screaming at all!" The following day, it talks about all the beautiful people. No need to scream, because it's all out there. We have the name. We have the means. We are entitled to be celebrities. We are entitled to talk about each other and amongst ourselves.

I guess I must be a closet communist, or at least a budding one. I was never this uncomfortable with how opulent people can be. Then again, when I was reading the newspaper at age seven, I never had an inkling of the term "social inequality". Blissfully unaware, perhaps, which is how they like it, I now realize. There's also the fact that we, essentially, talk about the same things. We also get married. We go to parties. We like certain celebrities. But they have church weddings with lavish receptions and newspaper coverage, while we have to wait in line at city hall. They get high on ecstasy (I am that delayed) while we get drunk on brandy. They believe in the power of Sufjan Stevens, while we'll do anything to watch Willing Willie.

Fine, Novaliches is far and I'm not that desperate for money, but you know what I mean.

So, yes, we essentially do the same things, and yet those with more seem to be obligated to bring our tastes down. I'm not saying I don't do this - I remain skeptical of the Korean invasion, believing you cannot replicate Beatlemania. Yes, I'm being snobbish. And yes, I'm being fake, because I grew up with pop tracks that you'd hear in the mass-appeal radio stations, and now I act as if I hate them. But if you are to get an advantage in life, you might as well suck up to people who have more. Be like them, even if it wouldn't bring them to your side. What can a boy who lives in Cavite, never mind my "we're 15 minutes away from Alabang" explanation, do? What more for the rest who aren't that well-off? I can imagine - note, imagine - the subtext those snobbish articles are yelling. We set the agenda. When we write about this fashion blogger, we say she is god. Her word is law. Your style is irrelevant, except when we decide to write about it, and only to point out everything that's wrong about it.

It's just how the world works. It's just how the world I live in works. Our car was stolen in front of our house a few years back. It's not a gated subdivision, but it's still a subdivision, with security and all. Nobody created Task Force Batallones to find where that car went. Or maybe I have to be killed and burned first? No, I don't have money. I'm not denying that what happened to Emerson Lozano and Verson Evangelista isn't tragic, but if not for the fact that the former's father is an influential lawyer best known for all those impeachment complaints, nothing will happen. There won't be a special task force who will connect those murders to the death of a starlet. There won't be reactions from the eternally spineless MalacaƱang. We won't be scared of driving our cars to work.

Okay, sure, there's that fear - we can talk about those kids who demand loose change from you when you're stuck in traffic along SLEX, but we can only forward emails around! We cannot have the media on our side, giving sixty minutes per newscast to our every emotion and anything spuriously connected to it, the same way they scream about Margarita Fores ("pinsang buo ni Mar Roxas!") getting robbed of her car. Same way nobody will give a damn if I had a pre-nuptial video making out with my hypothetical future wife, unless it's a reaction akin to "nakakadiri ka naman, Niko!"

I'm not forgetting Ernane Sensil. I'm mentioning him last to illustrate my point, unless, of course, you've already dismissed it because I'm not someone like Maggie Wilson, who deserves to get all that mileage out of nothing.

And your responses...

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