Nob 4, 2004

Sumner [Welles] said that the only time he had ever seen Churchill drunk was on the battleship in the North Atlantic when he and Roosevelt were drawing up the North Atlantic pact. At dinner one night, Churchill had had too much to drink and Franklin Roosevelt, Jr, finally led him to the nearest men's room, which happened to be HarryHopkins's bathroom. Harry had become ill early in the evening and had gone to bed. Churchill, however, was so potted that he missed the bathroom and proceeded to use Harry's bedpost instead. Harry was most irritated but was so sick he couldn't get up. Judging from my own conversation with him, it did not dilute his undying love for Churchill.

Drew Pearson
November 4, 1950
Diary entry


A view of the impasse

(1) Nathan, again, thanks for the quick rejoinder! Something there is in this that quickens the blood.

(2) Clarifications too. I don't reduce this issue to debt (my paragraph 8, Nov 2). I stated that these debts will have to be acknowledged first (par 9). These debts will have no point if these are only the diatribe of a Philippine Studies teacher (who - like the professors of economics, philosophy, and business ensuring that these fields exist as to justify their existence - protects his turf by ensuring that these construct of 'nation' exists) or the blackmailing card of the slaves of the system (mahirap kami, kayo mayaman - pagkain, pagkain!). A relevant sidenote: 'K' is this way of measuring everybody else against a popular (of the people!) measure of greatness (politics, business, media, showbiz, academe, etc., fame, power, fortune, knowledge). It's not mine (at least I try to be free of it, of course, being the dominant mode,one can say I am its). I don't measure myself against it, and I don't do you the disservice of measuring you against this 'K' (as you thought in your par 10, Nov 3).

(3) That is my piece (tentative peace too) with the past. With the future? Again, I do not reduce this to hope. Hope too, like debt, need to be chosen.

(4) With a position against 'K' and a critique of other practices, I demonstrate exactly why we need to shave off these notions of debt and hope (please tell me I made this point, or I'll have to quote myself and well, that's just ugly) to get to the bone of it.

(5) Anarquista? I'd like to think of myself along the same lines sometimes (although I hate labels that are fashionable maybe because being anti-fashionable is my idea of fashion). But see, I'm clear that all I leave to you, Nathan of today, is choice. Every other question is contingent.

(6) (Skip this if you think the point is belabored. We can have the same idea, for example - for example lang ha! - of 'Karapatan' as the expression of the measure of the people of its constituent individual. Let's take that this means that a lot of them would listen to Boy Abundas, Loren Legardas, Teddy Locsins, Pat Evangelistas, or Mike Velardes in the issue of nation and, a lot of them will feel that they have this 'K'. Because I choose choice, I use this critique as a chisel to remove what I see as excess baggage. Because you choose to destroy nation as a construct, you may use this critique of 'K' as a weapon in your discourse against nation. So what came first? What is behind this? We've already chosen. For me but unfortunately not for you, this 'K' or maybe Ileto's Pasyon or Enriquez's Hiya and all these arguments and concepts, people, nation, the taxi driver, the heroines, fisherfolk, friends around us - no! - nothing and no one will justify anything to us. We choose them to justify whatever we have chosen. Now, an example from your side. What if I take the "'radical' nationalist professor" whose talk covers for his walk? Given too that we have the same critique of these type of teachers. You use this to illustrate your point of a vicious cycle, a point against the nation. I'd use this critique of the abstracted dogmatic professor maybe to define the intricacies of choice and dialogue, define the parameters and internal though yet inescapable contradictions of discussing nation and nationalism in the classroom.)

(7) You throw the weight of your choice around. You want me to give you a reason. This you explicitly said in your first reply in your last paragraph. The next however, I derive from my reading of your tone and insistences: you want the nation to give you a reason; you want the people to give you a reason; the farmers and fisherfolk too, you ask to give you a reason. The whole point against robbers high and low is that, hell, nobody has given you that reason!

(8) I say, we create that reason. Even when we unearth, it is still about the new, the present situation that forms our interpretation, our very reasons for and methods of unearthing (hermeneutic horizon). By now, you already have a position though I question the utterances, because I want to make sure where you are. I asked: growing pains or struggle? If all your writing express the former, then you opt to reject further action and involvement (this is what I mean with leave okay, you can leave the people as a strategy of serving them after all) with the nation and/or the people (we have the matter of definition to deal with too, but I can't go there because we can't go past this weight of choice. I must also say that you conflate 'nation' with 'state', a distinction that as Quibuyen asserts in A Nation Aborted, Rizal made. For Rizal, as it is generally with Herder of the German Romantics and the present Aguinaldo, the 'nation' is supposed to be this people. As I said before, it is also not to be confused with heimat or 'the land'. Rizal planned to create a new Calamba in Borneo, outside the Philippines! Current narrow nationalism would say that this is not nationalism at all. I say, that is exactly the nation one could work for! Quibuyen asserts that the aborted Calamba project and the thorough work of Dapitan must be seen in this light. No, the people are not excluded there. The nation is an aspect of the people and, I assert, the person. What estranges you from this possibility of a nation is that you conflate nation with state, maybe understandably because of their over-arching apparatuses that govern even the very workings of the culture, the ethos, if I may. And then you jump down to Sison's lumpen and malaproletaryado - a lump you called masses - the urban poor who took your wallet and surrounded you in your childhood.)

(9) If your blogged utterances express an authentic internal conflict, then you are somehow still attached (committed?) to something, well, quantitatively bigger (I hate to say this but there is now difficulty here too, though I think it's only a matter of labels. You love us, friends and family. Outside of us? The bigger entity composed of strangers we somehow consider kin? You call them people.)

(10) I repeat that I don't accept the burden of providing your reason (though, what I accept is this opportunity of dialogue where we may illuminate each other). Both of us have been burdened by this choice for years after our 'indoctrination' in the university. You say there is a shift from the valedictorian (someone who, if you must know, I did look highly upon but respect less than you now).

(11) What exactly have you given up on? What will you leave behind? Just solidarity? Or everything else outside of the nuclear family and the circle of friends? Will anything remain (or be redefined, created, unearthed, whatever) beyond these 'basics'? You said, "[l]ong live our true Mother, the Spirit of 1896." So there is, after all, something else. Who you call true mother, (sounds closer to what) I call nation. Who you call whore (though I wish to raise again the wisdom of metaphor, the vilification of the puta something I think we should outgrow), I call state (or what others call nation-state).

(12) I somehow agree that we can exchange anecdotes, field cases that nurtured us, and pictures of people who tore our illusions to shreds and enlightened and/or disappointed us yet discursively still go nowhere. You think that though because you misread me on several points, namely, (a) my definition of nation, (b) my position on debt, and (c) my use of 'K'. I feel this impasse too, however, because I read how differently we value choice. At another level too, maybe more emotive than conative or cognitive, I think we're going somewhere, Nate.