Monday, February 27, 2006

The Soldier is a Drama Queen

This past weekend has been "interesting" for us all. That is why I cannot imagine living in Calgary, Canada, despite all the urging and hints from my family, because NOTHING ever happens there. In the Philippines, soldiers are drama queens and the best television isn't just 'reality' television but 'hyperreality' television; with all of our lives at stake. Can you beat that?

I can't make heads or tails of what just happened and what my own reactions are for the time being. I am neither indignant (as many middle class folks are) nor pessismistic (as many academics are). What I am is entertained.

First, what's in a Name? Ariel is a hebrew name meaning "lion of God" or "victorious under God." Querubin is a Spanish word having a Hebrew etymology meaning "Chariot of God" or "Seat of God."

Is it any wonder he has strong messianic tendencies encouraged by the kind of messianic, if misogynist, education he has had at the PMA? He has the name for waging wars and winning them righteously, but unfortunately or fortunately, not the balls.

Second, and I've been saying this since the Hello Garci fiasco, GMA is a wiley, calculating, brilliant woman to have hired an excellent crisis management team. I'm wondering who these folks are, and how many of them have been former professors of mine...Anywho, these folks have done an excellent job. They've learned from the past few EDSAs about the role of the media and people massing on the streets. Kudos to you guys for being excellent practicioners.

Third, we are all exhibitionists and voyeurs. In the age of instantaneous broadcast, of images and information on-demand, we are all acutely aware of all our actions and how others might react to them. This past week-end it felt a little bit like Pinoy Big Brother, all these cameras trained on the characters on our screens altered what they did and said and how they acted. In an age of representation, of no time for reflection, is it any wonder these folks were predictably...their stereotypical selves? The disgruntled soldiers went coup-coup crazy, the middle-forces rolled their eyeballs, militants went a-marching and flag-waving, the media went overkill and the 'market', whatever that is and whoever they are, reacted accordingly.

If we want revolution, then we want radical changes. And when I say radical, I don't mean the flag-waving and chanting kind (If anything, their courses of action are as outdated as their ideology). We need changes that will rend our society apart and re-order everything we know and forcibly mutate them into something new and hopefully better.

EDSA People power is the first in the long wave of democratization in the late 80s; appropriate time, ripe context. We showed the world how to overthrow a useless (and I say this because he failed to be developmental) authoritarian leader without a single drop of blood shed. Well and good! But let us leave it in the annals of history as a short and sweet moment of glory.

Today, EDSA People power is no longer "revolutionary." It has become as predictable as Kris Aquino's lipo sessions. It has become good entertainment, excellent television.

Time for a change folks. Time for new kinds of revolutions.

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