It has only been weeks yet it has already been weeks is how relative and subjective time was, is, and might be, due to uncertainties brought upon by the virus and the government’s public health response, or lack thereof. Every day seems like a slightly modified déjà vu, as nothing substantial seems to happen, yet there are ups and downs of heightening anxieties and grueling boredom
I hope this essay will be taken as an appeal and not an attack by academics of a certain stature who tend to be uncritical and unscientific—attitudes uncalled for at all times, and more so, amid this pandemic. Elsewhere, I listed some contagious (viral?) ruling class ideas that feed on each other and endanger welfares and lives of the general population. Let’s focus on two prevalent ones among the supposed “thinking” class: “we’re the virus” variations (WTVs) and toxic positivity variants (T+Vs), both of which obscure the critical situation that we ought to overcome together.
Though the use of the double entendre “2020 vision” has been a dime a dozen in the first quarter of the year, please allow a reiteration of how blurry and bleak the future is at this point; hence this attempt at a “re-vision” (perhaps an exhausted turn of the phrase, but who isn’t exhausted these days?).
In about 60 pages, Jose Ma. Espino’s Into the White Hole (1986; WH) tells the story of twelve-year-old Joey, who discovered a fissure in time-space from his bed after an actual quake (not a metaphorical earth-shaking march of people that ousted a dictator which was an actual event in Philippine history that year). Spoilers ahead.
Taking materials from other sectors, rebranding or repackaging stories, and different means of appropriation remain controversial ethical dilemmas—brought about by exported raw materials, imported products, objectified narratives, and foreign productions. Issues about the Oscars sweep of Parasite (2019) might likewise be raised (cf Strike II in Cruz 2020): Are garnered awards an indictment of the filthy rich, or merely a celebration of brilliance and novelty of the cultural product?
Watching the year-ender of a late-night talk-show reminded me how important alternative media platforms are. As 2018 concludes, reports of DoS (Denial of Service) attacks probably launched by DDS bots against Pinoy Weekly (still down as I write), Bulatlat, and other resources of progressive news and analyses flooded the social media.
Notice how the Philippine Republic finds it irresistible to join the fad of fascist revival, as exemplified by settler-colonialist Israel and imperialist US. The marginalized classed of the “third” world bears the brunt of the excesses of the first ones that need to consolidate powers.
Is your Tatay Digong continuing Rizal’s anti-clerical legacy and taking it to another level? The least he can do is order a ceasefire in his war against the poor, and talk with toiling sectors he took for granted in exchange of “easy money” for build, build, build. If he isn’t busy harassing and threatening women (another extreme practice of Rizal’s values), he should indeed focus combatting the “social ills” that continue to plague the country, and letting Marcos cronies get away with ill-gotten wealth and arresting “tambays” on Rizal’s birthday seems like a lethargic start.
A spectre is haunting the land — the spectre of Commander Kontra.
The taxing, toxic talk of taxes being squandered on students of state universities who would rather attend rallies than their…