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Re: [pinoy_atheists] COLUMN ni DQ: A Couple of Things

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  • jose mario sison
    if one expect that something will turn out good by electing better candidates, then his expectations are in vain. the present moment presents us a situation
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 6, 2007
      if one expect that something will turn out good by electing 'better' candidates, then his expectations are in vain.
      the present moment presents us a situation where the better candidates will be devoured by the system.
      if one think that the defect of the machine (our system) can be remedied by replacing some parts (ait filter, electric cable, worn out spark plug, etc), then he is mistaken. our machine is so rotten that even a new and authentic parts will just be useless in the whole operation. they will just fall by the wayside.

      Oliver Floralde <edlarolf_revilo@...> wrote:
      para po dun sa nagpadala ng forwarded article na patungkol sa kanyang 'pagkadismaya' sa pilipinas...

      A couple of things
      By Conrado de Quiros

      The first is the issue of actors. I’ve read and heard a lot of comments from readers and viewers expressing dismay at several actors running in the elections. That’s true particularly of Filipinos living abroad. They’re completely embarrassed, they say, at the joke that Philippine elections have become.
      I am not unsympathetic to that sentiment. There’s little love lost between me and the showbiz folk that congregated around Joseph Estrada and turned this country into a real tearjerker. The only production I raved over then was the impeachment trial, which might as well have been directed by Lino Brocka. It was a melodrama, with its share of heroes and villains, tears and laughter, but which resonated with all the elements of a morality play, a tale of good vs. evil.
      I’m not unsympathetic to that sentiment but I have to warn shrilly against an uncritical view of it. At the very least, as Roy Alvarez told me rather wittily during Yes Magazine’s 7th anniversary last week, some actors have been politicians at some point in their lives but all politicians have been actors at all times in their lives.
      It’s true. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself, who ridiculed Fernando Poe Jr. for being just an actor when she ran against him in 2004, rose to prominence not for being an economist but for being the “Nora Aunor of Philippine politics,” a proposition sold by movie-type posters and calendars that depicted her in movie-like poses.
      But forget even that. Just look at the characters in Team Unity and GO trying (badly) to act their way into the voters’ hearts. Look at the prosperous Pichay, who got even more prosperous defending Arroyo from the “Hello Garci” scandal and leading the charge to kill the impeachment initiatives, with his Elvis Presley hairdo trying hard to convince the voters that if they plant "pichay" [Chinese cabbage] in the Senate with all the chemical fertilizers he is proposing, they will reap heaven. What can I say? Better plant "camote" [sweet potato]. It’s cheaper. And allows you to blow a lot of bad wind in the direction of the Pichays of this world.
      And look at Mike Defensor with his “Walking ’Tol” ads. Serves him right to get the people he’s paying. I mean, who remembers “Walking Tall?” Surely there are a lot newer and more intelligent movies out there to appeal to the youth?
      But that brings me to a far more important point. It’s not just that between a politician trying to be an actor and an actor trying to be a politician the choice is a fuzzy one. It’s also that the growing (and justifiable) allergy to actors running for public office can -- and often does -- blind us to a greater danger out there, which is a category of candidates that pose a bigger threat to this country than actors. That is the "trapos" [traditional politicos].
      I’ve said it before and I say it again: Beware of the actors offering charm, but beware even more of the trapos bearing gifts. The harm that actors can wreak upon this country is nothing compared to the harm that trapos can do. Actors can only produce a farce, trapos can produce a dictatorship.
      To this day, I still hear people say that it’s all right that Gloria Arroyo cheated Fernando Poe because she rescued this country from “another actor.” The thought was explicitly articulated by several letter-writers during the height of the “Hello Garci” scandal, and though less directly put these days, it is still held by many, particularly from the rich and middle class. Well, look where we are now and ask yourself if we haven’t been rescued from the frying pan into the fire.
      Actors can only produce a comedy, trapos can produce a tragedy. And have.
      The second thing is the apparent boon and bane of “economics” and “politics” respectively. The administration tack is to depict itself as representing “economics” and the opposition as representing “politics.” The story line is that the economy is doing so well (a handiwork of the administration) but stands to be ruined by people obsessed with politics (the opposition).
      At the very least what’s wrong with it is its assignation of roles. Who can be more obsessed with politics than one who is obsessed with power and means to have it by lying, cheating and stealing? Indeed, by suppressing, coercing and killing? That scale of “politicking” hasn’t been shown by anyone in the opposition, it has been shown by the head of the administration.
      But more than that, you see what’s wrong with that facile depiction of economics as good and politics as bad in the way Arroyo walked out of a press conference when our reporter, Gil Cabacungan, asked her why the presumed bounteousness has not turned into food on the table of the poor. She has since insisted she will not answer “political” questions, only economic ones.
      But, of course, Gil’s question was a political one. It was also an economic one. It was also a moral one. Hell, it was a completely commonsensical one. An explosion of growth that benefits only a small minority and pauperizes the rest of the community is not called vitality, it is called inequality. An explosion of growth in only one part of the body and does not affect the rest of it is not called health, it is called cancer.
      Happily, there is a group of people out there who are helping to drive home the important point about politics being a good thing. They are the candidates of the Kapatiran party. Kapatiran [Brotherhood] expressly says in its fliers that it is a political group engaging in politics. It cajoles the public to be more concerned about politics, not less. Because what is politics really but the way we shape and wield power? What is politics really but who has the power and how they wield it? Politics is neither good nor bad. It is how we use it that makes it good or bad.
      You vote for the decent candidates, that is good politics. You vote for the entertainers and the trapos, that’s just stupid.

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