Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Slowed, and some other Things

Slowed by the steady stream of work.  Not enjoyable in some sense but overall I am glad.  The year is going by very fast and soon enough it's time for vacation.

I have finally gotten around to reading "Towers of Midnight," Book 13 of the Wheel of Time.  Kudos to Brandon Sanderson.  He has managed to translate the compelling narrative of Robert Jordan in his own words, and yet magically capturing the tone of the earlier books of the series.  It is not the same cant the maestro ended up with (Book 11, Crossroads of Twilight, was begging to be snuffed out), but it is the flavor fans have been wanting to savor for some time.  Nice to read it in hardback, thanks to Jarir for knocking off the price.

"A Dance With Dragons" is up.  Never apprehensive in picking up George R.R. Martin.  Don't want to spoil anything for the prospective readers, so I will stay quiet about the book.  Prologue so well-written I got sucked in very quickly.

It's a comfort to get back into old habits.  Nine months into my tenure here and it feels like I've given birth to something better for myself.  Nice to get into fighting mood by firing broadsides at people who are overzealous on posting political links on FB.  But then, no.  Wouldn't add anything substantive to the discussion, except this:

1) If anyone is innocent until proven guilty, it stands to reason that anyone can be therefore charged and tried before a court of his peers.  We are not killing democracy by trying CJ Corona.  In the first place, we already shot ourselves in the foot by electing those senators and congressmen who are participating in the trial.

2) The eminence of Juan Ponce Enrile should be expected.  The guy is as old as the Sierra Madre Mountains, them mountains he and his family have denuded in the past 50 years.  Don't give him extra points for something he should have known for being in public service for at least 50 years.

3) Anyone claiming anything new about scandals of the Aquinos and Cojuangcos better brush up on their history.  We already knew that, and people still elected Cory, because she promised to dismantle the mechanism of Martial Law.  Exchanging Marcos and his crowd with the Aquinos and their crowd was simply that, an exchange of leaders with no visible difference except the promise of "democracy." That is why many middle-class people during that period straddled the fence, or stuck it out with Marcos.

Still, if you were there, or lived during the Edsa 1 times, which would you prefer - the "stability" of Martial Law or the chaos brought about by democracy?  Yeah,  I didn't have to ask that question.  Be glad of what was restored, and exercise your right to speak more responsibly.

As for the Cory revisionists who declare her all to be a saint - be wary of history's lessons as well.  TIME named her its "Woman of the Year" in 1986, only to call her government "one of the most corrupt in Asia" in 1990.  There were growing pains - a lot of them.

By the way, anybody with an advertising background can come up with drivel and still call it a history lesson.  (No use to link to that viral video on YouTube).  Egads, use your brains!

4) I rather admire those who stood by Marcos until the end, and continue to hate the Aquinos and what they represent.  I admire those who stayed loyal until now.  At least they're consistent, and true.

As for the Marcos revisionists who now call the Apo "the greatest President of the Republic,"  congratulations, you just earned my award for "too hard-headed to be even stupid."  Stupid people can be taught.  Let's celebrate the good things Marcos brought - he gave Filipinos a reason to be proud, had a vision that he communicated well (but mangled every which way he could), and tapped brilliant technocrats to do his work.  But he also politicized the military, set back our political institutions, and systemically organized cronyism, the playbook for which his successors have learned well and are vigorously practicing today.  Yesterday's Danding Cojuangco is today's Manny Pangilinan.

I don't understand the Johnny-came-lately people who deplore "yellow fever."  It's been there the entire time, it's called "picking a side."    Some of these critics who dub themselves "the voice of reason" were proud participants of at least one, or both, Edsas.  Ang gugulo ninyo,  just make up your minds for whom and what you stand.  Just say it: we love, or loved, Gloria. We benefitted under her regime.  She gave our diocese money, etc. etc.  She trumpeted the value system we represent.  Now we  can't get any respect or special treatment under this new order.

5) As mentioned, if you have nothing to add to the discussion, stop posting links of others if they keep on saying the same things.  Saying them again won't make them any more true.  Or any more false, if you believe otherwise.  Hello, I have enough information overload!

6) Be glad for the freedoms we now enjoy.  Some look to Malaysia or Singapore as models to emulate.  Ask what things their people had to give up.  It's not democracy that's killing us, it's lack of political education.

To be clear, I gave Noynoy Aqino the benefit of the doubt when he was elected.  However, he has done little to add to the legacy of his parents.  But let's also admit the problems facing him are not simple.  Some things we have allowed to continue for the past 25 years, some minor irritants to our democracy have now grown into plagues and cancers.  The best way we can support Mr. Aquino is to exercise our right to criticize him - but cogently, please.  The man is rather dense and defensive.

7) One last thing: if everybody else is going to benefit and you and only you are going to suffer, would you go for it?  That's what upholding national interest is all about.  So before you spout something about upholding the interest of a whole people, or of humanity, ask yourself if you're prepared to do this.

There was one man who did it:  Jesus Christ.

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