5:44 AM 1/17/01
day 1 post-env 2
"the satanic verses" take on layers of meaning as the "clock" of my country ticks. we hear the voices. who speaks their words?
we fight again over the masses. the first technique, of course, is to claim you already have them. "sambayanan," "masa," "Pilipino" - words in all their mutations, permutations, and font sizes; underscored with various number of lines, italicized in varying degrees, boldened in differing intensities; oriented in different ways, involving various collectives. we scatter them. pro vs anti. we vs them. speaker vs audience. center vs periphery. rich vs poor. elite vs mass.
"i was there." another rally to my "resume?" what is it to me? another conversation piece? party tidbit? pick-up line material? essay fodder? they were there too.
"they?" how crude can i get? let's see - petit bourgeousie.
the confetti whirls down from the fly-overs of EDSA. newspapers teared to little mimeo squares, propaganda minced, postion papers-voices broken down. where they read before they were shredded? these serve now the function of middle class dandruff. recycled articulation. emphases of action. flashy decay. a righteous death of paper.
the lady seems rounder. more human. not as sharp-edged as i used to see her as mute passengers of noisy smoke belchers made signs of crosses as they passed her in thousands of trips, thousands of times.
she is ominous now. still sinister in her promise. of justice? the more human she got, the more alien che became. she stood there before like a natural monarch. now she is among us - there in the light of candles and spotlights, among a flurry of banners, embraced by different noise and smoke - an unlikely peer. as if the night made her one of us. as any other unmicrophoned individual, present yet indistinct and un"seen". as any other banner, existent yet un"felt".
"they" - how crude can i get? how about the cigarette vendor getting a surprisingly unusual market size in his adjustment of his work hour. how can i differentiate him, place him too far, from the political aspirant getting an spontaneous press release campaign? or the people behind the lugaw. from me and my dad?
it's not just cheap unity we should be after. humanity is a larger scale a project than we think.
of course i'm anti-erap. anti-manythings, pro-manythings.
12:14 AM 1/18/01
the prosecution's a no-show. at least as far as the impeachment court is concerned. but the anti-erap streets embraced them. all applause.
the younger revilla is on the side of the angels eh? ah... what's my business getting divinity into this muck? well everybody else seems to be doing it. we have santiago's "litigant," the pro-erap's "crucifixions", and jurado's "pharisees" (if sin and his lot were pharisees, that makes Erap...). jayvee the businessman ejercito can't be expected to be as subtle as either jurado or santiago. his comparison fell short of naming his daddy erap messiah.
so corrections are in order... the younger revilla has publicly aligned himself with sin's angels. (or are all anti-erap angels sin's?) he braved the volley of boos. i wonder what price he's paying. wife lani is definitely in tears over it... whatever it is.
sobra nang pahirap, patalsikin si erap.
i just hope these personalities - aquino, sin, singson, and macapagal don't get to claiming this soiree as their achievement.
a contingent of the left always have their slogans blasting through the air as they unite with the crowd already in place. it's like a war cry - greeting combination... an expression of solidarity, of alliance, of a shared experience under the (presumed) common consciousness of the reigning condemnable condition. the predominantly uninitiated to the left style showed shock last night whenever a shouting contingent joined the danny javier-centered program. they probably thought these were pro-erap rallyists engaging them. i hope they get the hang of this. because, truth be told, i don't want the left shedding this habit anytime soon.
the "habit" i find interesting is the rally before cameras. wherever the lights of a cameraman drop on a slice of the crowd, that slice grows noisier than usual. the people move toward the path of the light flashing their handsigns (usu thumbs down), shouting their slogans, and flaunting their principles. some jump around. appearances. "hope somebody who knows me sees me."
i hope they get their butts down here.
i shout there precisely because no one can hear me. i cry my flawed cries for justice precisely because within this mass, i always sound perfect. here i am not wrong because i am not. i am nothing and everybody at the same time. this shit doesn't claim to be original. but it's my shit nonetheless.
hate is a tricky thing. and maybe, to the end, only hate will truly bind us. if it continues to do so. it's frail. when we hate in those rallies, we attach to the names of our objects of our hate other stuff we hate (or find fashionable to hate). Maceda bading. Osmena bakla. Oreta pokpok. Miriam baliw.
but have hearts people. not all homosexuals are devoid of integrity. not all promiscuous people are liars. not all of the reality challenged are despicable. take care not to debase them. do not bring them down to the level of the eleven.
2:36 AM 1/22/01
damn these color-changers. these chameleons. these creatures of too-quick and too-shameless compromise. makes us all wonder where principle is ensconced in their liquid beings. or is principle only a shape they assume after entering the container-currently-in-fashion/power. fuck the pogi points. fuck the politics. they spew the word "bayan" all over the place. they shamelessly open their mouths so wide as if in dire need of swallowing the whole throng. "sambayanan", the word, helplessly dangling in their filthy oral cavities like the gem of the world reduced to the tongue-ring of these creatures of hypocrisy-halitosis. damn them to their stinking graves. may only the filthiest of fates defile their lives and let not the land receive their disgraceful husks when the worms cry out for their bodies.
ople had the gall to quote rene saguisag. and what does that saguisag stand for. fucking holier than thou hypocrite. what the hell does he aspire to be? estellito mendoza? and so it came to pass that one panorama issue, ople subtly hinted that the throng of edsa is actually the mob that had the Lord crucified. never mind that chavit was probably the barabas referred to. i pray he'll never be free from the need to satisfy the justice of this country). his self-preserving testimony may feel bitter forcibly brushing against our palates. and, alas, he had to be swallowed. and what pushed us to degrade ourselves like this! something worse had to purged. and that evil cannot be what ople subtly insists to be Christ. what is this? is this intellectualizing? rationalizing? justifying? legitimizing? ah ople. trying to be on the side of the angels? maybe you are. your angels have fallen. what is to be debated is the nature of their fall. is it just political? if so, they've just begun their descent. maybe they have fallen even before you rose to defend them. maybe they were lost long before you found them. maybe their lies got you to believe in them. but why condemn a people in search of the truth? are we just that - a mob worthy only of your basest condescension. are we anathema to you and your grand ilk? then why bother writing to us at all? what is this salt you're attempting to rub into our wounds just when we're attempting to fucking recuperate from the hidden blows of your client. have you seen the blows? felt it? are you blind as well as cusshioned? are you playing ignorant? or are you far more sinister than my feeble mob-imagination could ever hope to understand?
so she has been sworn into power riding the puissant waves of the people. what more mandate do you require? what additional intensity? what grander intensity? i pray all these doesn't get to your head. at least not until your term is over. and if it does (or it already has), i pray the people terminate your term with the same power that benefitted you.
you claim to fight against personality politics. that is a tough battle line you've (claimed to have) drawn. it's a war against our deep-seated tendencies as a people - not natural (i think and hope) but almost so... because of the years of conditioning people powerful before you have set into place, deeper and deeper under the weight of the centuries. until it all feels oh so natural, so much a part of our collective essence:
ganyan kaming movie fans, movie fans...
you once courted the ever politically ambivalent (and now political aspirant) nora aunor to campaign for you. yes you have to get into power. and you were, in that instance, trying to get la aunor's masa-celebrity-personality to work for your campaign. a stunt like that only feeds the brand of politics you claim to combat. and of course, i'm not yet mentioning the father's name that you stubbornly hold on to, glomac. what? i hope you're not as power-hungry as some people pro- and anti-erap think you are. or else, people like me, much, much smaller than you are will have to put an end to the futile activity of hoping.
and so, nora aunor, i sit here wishing the heaven's would provide me with the privileged info-list: who are the people behind the idea of you running? was it just you? what are your interests? theirs? do you know their interests? do you claim ignorance or are you far more conniving than your theatrical default expression betrays? i have to know. i know no one from camarines. but that does not excuse me. especially not when you're only setting that up to be your launching pad to a new career after movies, TV, and PETA. who knows how far you'll (be convinced to) go?
edsa 2 embraced you as edsa 1 failed to. you should be happy. furthermore, you should be contented.
i ask what your true interests are (spare me the "bayan" talk). then the true interests of those "behind" you. because i know these things come before the interests of the constituents to be - the movie fans that always come to cushion your fall from points you believe to be "grace". de leon, rendez, rodrigo, etc. do you really want to give something back? why this venue? why start from scratch in another field (a very sensitive and life-and-death field at that) when you can always just improve on the first field of interest? contrary from what you may have heard, there's always room for improvement. also, you can try all the available genres. or are you so advanced as to believe that, yes, politics is a genre of show business.
who's stopping you. definitely not i. i just can't. yet. i fear your "masa." i try not to think that i love them because i might grow a brain that rationalizes everything based on that (fictitious?) love. then, if i grow unknown, as i would most likely grow, then i may end up frustrated and bitter holding my unrequited love like a dead child. while people like you bask in their endless grace and use the puissance they are not aware of to hidden ends that i can only speculate about.
and if i grow known and public, how far can megalomania be with a love affair greater than that with any individual? an affair with a greater entity... nay, more apt, a greater entity that knows not its greatness and so it licks the chains and the small hand that holds it - the weak metal and flesh it can too easily crush.
how does one make love with the masses? now that's a puzzle. or not. erap (poor piece of shit, always caught between his need to hide and his desire to flaunt) showed us one way. he abused the g-spots. he loved to hear the sex-throes of the masses beneath his penis. he sometimes tried to detach from it only so that he can court it back and exhibit to posterity and his father the scope of his power. the thrall is invincible, or so he wanted to believed. he hated the people who showed him that opposition exists and they feel raped. and so he raped where he heard "no." so that what he cannot possess, he can violate - like some roman-poisoned well.
when what he ravishes revolts, he rallies his lover to shield him. how fucking dishonorable. how understated can the word scoundrel get? how glaring it all is - the great electrically-enlarged penis never had any balls.
if only posterity and patriarch could see. let both condemn him and his kind in the spheres beyond our reach. and if i be judged to be one such as he, then i am bound to my own curse.
and so i judge. my knowledge of scripture is too small and feeble. all in all it cannot be trusted. have i transgressed judging this much? maybe no expert can tell me except the Great Entity itsef. so i hold myself to account for these and begin by judging the self.
i am not worthy to judge. i may see the judged and revile it. but in my heart of hearts, do i not envy it... how it has enjoyed impunity as long as it did (and probably continue to in depths where our probes have not descended to)? do i not covet the material opulence along the same vein that i condescendingly contemplate on the crude way it tried to cover the wealth up? along the same blood artery, do i not desire the plurality of wives seen and unseen as i wish that such a corrupt man may not fall upon and triumph over my sisters. am i not that which i judge? do i cheat God the pleasure of judging me as i have judged. that is the tactic, yes, is not? to try to condemn myself more than i will ever be condemned? and so i forge on:
kaming movie fans...
hell knows how much i loathe what i see. here is the singer using the plural first person exclusive. so the persona (that in pop songs never truly gets separated from the producers of the utterance, e.g., a singer singing of unrequited love is expected-seen to be singing about her-hisself while the listener tries to own it without wresting it from the utterer by saying s/he "relates" to the utterance) claims to be that which she describes - a movie fan. this is an act of self-description read this way. but if the persona is the singer, then shit happens, at least, in the level of interpretation. nora does (in effect) two things: a) she puts the idol in the pedestal, definitely separate-higher than the fan. b) she, the idol, sings of the fan as if she were the fan, thus contradicting the first effect. this is deception. this is the whole tactic of estrada's i-am-pro-poor (pro-fan) that he never qualifies by negating the association with the i-am-poor-underdog-persona-myth he has woven around himself. so we are left to succumb to formulae such as: i-am-pro-poor because i-am-poor. i-am-pro-fan because i-am-a-fan. nora could probably have been a fan before she became an idol-competing-with-other-idols-put-before-her. but erap was never poor.
by masking themselves as part-equal of (and not separate-above) the poor-fan, they gain the power to shape the poor-fan to their expectations-needs-desires. how? just by stating how s/he-persona is (ganyan kami...). i am poor. i am this way. therefore the poor is this way (and not another way). thus you who is poor is this way (and not another way). and the hidden clincher: you who claim to be poor (or fan) who is not this way should (naturally) be this way.
"the" movie fan (as credibly described by the ultimate beneficiary of what the fan is or is not: the idol) should be prepared to fight and fight to end for what s/he believes in. so says the idol, whom the fan is "a fan" for. no room for right or wrong. no shitty, messy critical thinking. blindly, follow.
so "the" movie fan is and so a movie fan should be. what is unsaid? "the" movie fan, nora, is not really an actual movie fan. will nora join a fan club when she admires a greater, equal or subordinate artist? will she fight for her-him as the movie fan is depicted to fight - to the end? (she left erap hanging in the air this time didn't she?... as she attempted to leave marcos though shunned by the less compromising crowd of the first edsa shindig)
another idol's relation to an admired idol is fundamentally different from the lowly fan's relation to the admired idol. the fan is no peer and thus, no necessary face in the memory bank (or any bank for that matter). the fan as described in the song is expected to know, embrace, and have pride in her-his subordination. her-his life is inferior to the idol's. so it is laid before the idol to shield her-him in the time of need or advance her-his cause as opposed to the favorites of other fans. they are proud subjects. so the idol says: i am a worshipper and i am thus. you claim the pride of the worshipper? (for the idol has established, without the act of establishing noticeable, that the true fan should be proud) then be as i am. so listener hears two entities (without necessarily "hearing" their intricate interrelation) - idol and fan.
listener separates where separation is placed - accepting the separation as if it were a natural thing. so listener (fan) thinks that this is my reality, this song. and s/he hears her life being sung. if her life a phrase or two different from the representation, then her life is the deviation and not the song. the song stays. now... because uttered with the authority of the idol oh so humbly stooping down to their level (out of gratitude for their worship, the idol claims... and/or because she was a fan herself), the life bends to the representation never knowing that the representation was never the high-ideal by nature and just the high-ideal as the producer would have it.
the utterance is best served if it has, in the first instance, deflected, discouraged, or deemed as impossible any effort to de"naturalize" what was made natural. "kami" ingeniously draws a line, who's in/ who's out, who's "kami"/ who's not. this way, the listener is not forced to belong or identify her-himself as part of the "fans." it's the exclusive-defensive-offensive kami and not the universal "tayo." thus a territory is set excluding those who do not identify with the mold (and will make trouble if coerced to join) and exhorting those included (by virtue of relating) to guard the borderlines... uniting them further by a sense of an un-fully-known others that may potentially encroach upon their territory or halt any campaign to expand. that other, although unsaid, are those beyond the influence of (local) movies. that other, more often than not are the upper classes (exploiting classes if you may).
the appalling thing is this: the producer is, her-himself an exploiter masquerading as one of the exploited to further win them over, be deeply accepted within the ranks formed for his-her purpose, to teach them to call them idol-hero/ines (not exploiters), to show how the fan "is," and rally them against the other idols and exploiters.
erap's formulation-thus-attempted-formation of the "poor" is not creative enough to deviate from nora's (his too, and almost all the other's) formulation-thus-formation of the "fan." in fact, further note should be made of nora's "bangon na, Filipino, kilos na" exhortation in the cinemas of the Filipino. this is her support to erap's admin's formulation-thus-formation of the poor. with her humility, authority (which is authority based on perceived humility) and kind, encouraging voice, she "loads" her assertion with the matter-of-factly glossed-over question: does the filipino trike driver, magtataho, fisherman, farmer, employee, etc. represented in the visuals need to wake up, rise, and move. it is not stated though loaded into the assertion that the filipino is asleep, lying down (juan tamad), and unmoving. thus, this state of the filipino, implicitly claimed, needs rousing, maybe through nora's "kind" encouragement so as not to be offensive.
but it was. the fault was subtly passed onto the people. you are poor because you do not move. you sleep all the time, juan tamad (and so juan tamad is a myth that can't be killed because it is locked into a farce deemed necessary by the gov't - gov't appears to kill it through various means, e.g., by mocking it, replacing it with j. masipag, etc., only to revive it to kill it once again - the gov't can't totally eliminate it bec it always has to show that we are j.t. and we need to change as directed). the best thing is to get moving. (look at me, once-fan now-idol. look at me, once-asiong-poor now president-idol).
but where to damn wiggle our butts? with what qualifications? unemployment, faulty-inadequate-corrupt public-school-system-philosophy, ensnaring red-tape, endless cycles of foreign debt-acquisition-servicing? thus responsibility is passed to the unempowered.
and how dare they hail us as the non-moving? we hustle as best we can trying to eke a living from the spaces left of us - underground, payatas, illegal alternatives, jueteng, lotto, etc. these alternatives, not (fully) recognized by the laws of the high and haughty probably doesn't register as movement in their richter's scales. but somehow, these same haughty-mighty figures seem to be growing fat from the same food they call poison on-cam, on-air, on-print.
so how does this cluttered space clear out into that ideal space assumed to exist by that bangon-kilos-Filipino utterance? the bkF utterance paints a picture: we're just lying down. if we get up, we have all the legroom to get self-sufficient, maybe even erap-rich-and-nora-famous! if we're lying down, it's not because we don't want to move. it's because, in more ways than one through the same elite that is both sucker and suckee of the gov't, we are paralyzed in the box of insufficient, deceiving education and thus the limited, limiting jobs.
the cluttered space doesn't clear out. elements in both elite and gov't deny the cluttered space (through propaganda such as bkF). when pressed, they say they don't like the cluttered space and is waging an all-out war against it (so please, mediaman, get off our back - just tell the people to move - thus reinforcing the loaded bkF). when asked the unthinkable question "why:" bec your govt is doing its best and can't do it without you (so pls again shut up and get moving dj).
but pressed further (as in caught-through-your-own-cover, un-friend-chavit, blue-ribbon-impeachment, edsa2-mendiola further), we see that they feed off the cluttered space. the ideal space, the exhortation to move, and the drive to create that space are just for appearance's sake. the law is only the cover, the challenge, the proving ground, the bringer-of-impunity... the true space is the cluttered, paralyzing space where the common man ekes out a living, rarely gets a break (tama sa jueteng!) while the elite gets off with monthly millions - more than enough money to hire spin doctors, pr managers, image consultants, djs, mediamen, priests, laymen megalomaniacs, congressmen, senators... the list covers the entire directory.
and so, like the myth of juan tamad, the denied and (if cover is blown) vilified cluttered space lives on despite all appearances of extermination.
4:34 AM 1/29/01
Rigoberto Tiglao of PDI countered the attacks of two western commentators whose names I refuse to care to know. their object was the PP2.
Well shit. Tiglao reads the international comments and finds that PP1 generated more (positive) fuss than PP2. Furthermore, he sees that an interesting piecee of crap has been hurled against our recent valiant collective effort. Ever the patriotic intellectual, he defends the current flow of our history. ever the intellectual patriot, he recognizes the true flaw in that flow. PP1 was unfinished. we had to do it all over again.
damned crapshooting commentators thought it fashionable to call our movement "mob rule." ah yes. back to basics. in classical past, democracy has been accused of the same words. later, socialism fell prey to this barrage. the other word, which one will find discussed at length in Raymond Williams' volumes, is "anarchy." socialism and communism were both attacked and were meant to be cornered, encapsuled with that comment.
rabble-rousers we Filipinos now are.
i refuse to feel ashamed of the recent movement of our people. it lacked many things, but i believe it was on the right track.
"mob" is an ugly word. so formless, violent, confused or frenzied, almost purposeless. that it should rule at all seems funny. but on second thought, hobbes' leviathan comes to mind. but if the state of those three days were anarchic (w/c it logically is since a "mob" "ruled"), where's the large pool of muck and blood?