Thursday, February 14, 2008


Subscribing to a particular world-view demands a challenge from most people. Then again, just watching events go by, with the usual horn-blaring from the media, would be enough to daunt anyone. Possibilities are everywhere, but life can surprise you even so.

It's all about magnitude.

The days of the past few days have gone by and by all accounts some of these events would seem earthshaking:

* The gritty, hard-luck New York Giants beat the New England Patriots in this year's Super Bowl, thus denying the Pats an historic 19-0 season.
* The Lakers trade for Pau Gasol for the corpse of Kwame Brown and loose change.
* The Suns match by shipping out Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks to the Miami Heat for Shaquille O'Neal.
* The Dallas Mavericks welcome back Jason Kidd from the New Jersey Nets in a trade package that includes mainly Devin Harris and trade filler.

And that's just from the world of sports - the only news that's worth reading these days if you manage to tune out the steroids saga in baseball and Refereegate in the NBA, and of course Spygate in the NFL.

The latest "smoking gun" in the Philippines and the presidential primaries in the United States are from two different areas of political life --- one showcasing the corruption endemic in government procurement, the other the harbringer of the political agenda for the next few years not only in the United States but also worldwide.

While all the rabblerousers drum it up for the resignation of President Macapagal-Arroyo, the apologists, the "pragmatists" and cynics in general have already called it a day. PGMA's tenure has been the most divisive one on record --- and the rupture she has caused Philippine political life will take another generation to fix. What's breaking my heart is that my generation --- one that has just come to experience power --- has demonstrated little more than transactional politics, all for the sake of "not rocking the boat." The political culture --- not the system, is in sore need of a vision.

Ranged against this current soap opera, still, there is an ongoing soap opera in each life. The biggest thing that is befuddling most families here would be the high school JS prom and the graduations from grade school and high school. It's all about creating the "memories.

Put these two events together --- you have the cameras and the throng. The difference?


The candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama represent so much hope from the new and so much left-over dynamism from the old. Seeing either one as Democratic candidate in 2008 for US President would represent a change --- Clinton representing the gender line, Obama the ethnoracial line. Riddle me anything you want, but I see Obama as the future NOW --- he not only represents the once disenfranchised, but his politics point the way for reconstructing the US --- a United States which by 2050 will have the WASPs as the minority. Hillary, for all her intelligence and her grasp of the issues, and despite being a woman, still is part of the old guard.

So I pick Obama.

Where the issues of peak oil and environmental change become more pressing and world-girding, talking the US economy still pales in comparison. Neither candidate, nor even the Republicans, still have a rational policy for waging peace in the Middle East.

The cameras and the throng are on one side even though the other needs a more assertive push. The throng just latches on the latest spin. I gather the ordinary American still reads Page Six or watches "The Insider" more than keeping tabs on these issues.

One day the world will get its payback, if it's not asking for downpayment now.


This life, then, with all its drama, even with the damper of banning Valentine's in Saudi Arabia is just a piece of flotsam in the ocean.

But it is the universe with which I am best acquainted.


The stars may fall, and all around the world may crumble, but I hold on to the faith that this life, this little candle, may someday shine forth some meaning for somebody else. Lacking that, I go each day living my own truth as best as I can, for in the end I am just a whisper in the wind of history. Much as I strive to put in a kink in the human tapestry, all falls with the magnitude of humanity, and time.

The ultimate end of human acts is eudaimonia, happiness in the sense of living well, which all men desire; all acts are but different means chosen to arrive at it. -- Hannah Arendt

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