Saturday, April 01, 2006

Reviewing Past Review

Cover to "First Snow...", originally uploaded by Spocker.

In Frank Herbert's "Dune" the Duke Leto Atreides recites a haunting, dirge-like poem (backed by Gurney Halleck on the baliset) which repeats the line, "Review then, troops long past review." Leto mourns that young men must die under his command, but he cannot, will not, countenance surrender, because justice on the world of Arrakis could only be earned by the strength of their arms.

It is time, then, to review troops past review --- the generation that has passed has now yielded to this generation. Where we once called the hope of the nation, we are now partly hostage to the difficulties of life that it is almost anticlimactic to cite that once-lofty billing. Plus, you could almost add that any significant Filipino politician of our age group is one of the following: a poor retread of his/her parents, hopelessly blinded by the warped ideology of the failed socialists or totally co-opted by the Macapagal-Arroyo regime.

What does await the young graduates of today?

A few months back, I was privileged to have been involved in "First Snow of November" as an actor-director, and through the script the playwright successfully poses the question - what is home to a Filipino should memory fail us? What future would we hold if we had forgotten the lessons of the past?

Why is that so many graduates are driven by the prospect of overseas employment? What lessons would I, or so many contemporaries living here in KSA, Europe, or the USA, have prepared had I known that my career path would bring me here?

Has our dream for a nascent Philippines failed?

Review, then, troops long past review. So many young men and women have fallen in the protracted wars --- one of "revolution" by the communists, one of "freedom" by the Muslim separatists. Oh, what evil was sown among us by chaining our minds to old hates! What folly have we to think we have learned enough to sow the seeds of peace?

"Selling The Drama" by Live

And to love: a god
And to fear: a flame
And to burn a crowd that has a name
And to right or wrong
And to meek or strong
It is known, just scream it from the wall

I've willed, I've walked, I've read
I've talked, I know, I know,
I've been here before

Hey, now we won't be raped
Hey, now we won't be scarred like that

It's the sun that burns
It's the wheel that turns
It's the way we sing that makes 'em dream
And to Christ: a cross
And to me: a chair
I will sit and earn the ransom from up here.

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