i should be writing my thesis right now, but what the hell.
i was watching TV patrol earlier. they were recounting prominent unresolved crimes and scandals of 2009. i noticed they missed the railroading of con-ass, the national artist scandal, alex tioseco’s death, the president’s le cirque and bobby van’s steakhouse dinners, her spending disaster funds on her extravagant trips abroad, the statement of assets issue with the president’s idiotic liar of a son, the presiden’ts candidacy for a lower office–did i miss anything major? i’m sure i did, seeing the way scandal after scandal after scandal (not the least of which are the ondoy and pepeng disasters, and the ampatuan massacre) superseded one another, each issue heating up and then left abandoned, unresolved, for something juicier, more sensational, more tragic, more recent.
i remember a few months ago len and i were walking in FC and saw a poster expressing outrage over the disrespect for the national artist award and alex tioseco’s death. she asked me who that bald guy on the poster was, and it struck me how easy it was to forget. that time, only a few weeks had passed since the national artist issue quieted down because of another scandal–the le cirque dinner it was, i think. yet in those few weeks, people forgot–the protests for repudiation, or at least reconsideration, of the awards given to caparas and alvarez, the threats against dissenting artists, the murder of that young film critic–the issues drowned in the noise of what, of what? that ex-doctor’s sordid sex scandals or that heartthrob actor’s rescue of that sexy actress from their rooftop, or that boxer’s affair with that starlet?
i cried when alex tioseco died. i hadn’t even known of him before the national artist issue, when i watched him on ANC with sir butch dalisay, civilly slaughtering caparas’ nonsense arguments. but when i read about his death, and then read the things he’d written, read of his passion for local cinema and for the country despite having grown up and spent much of his life in canada, i couldn’t help but be saddened by the loss of the promise held by that life, the change that could’ve been, had he been allowed to continue his fight and his work.
we are always told off for our jadedness and apathy. we are always told that we can make a change, that we can move this country forward. we are told that mere complaining or vaguely commenting about the things we see wrong in this country isn’t enough, that we must act, collectively and forcefully, to achieve the change we desire. yet left and right we hear of artists, activists, journalists, radical politicians, and other dissenters being threatened, being ousted, being murdered. we hear of people who aimed to challenge the corrupt system and the atrocious arroyo regime back down. how can this country change when the people moving for change are being killed off (or disempowered), seemingly as easily and with as much impunity as swatting a swarm of flies on rotten fruit? do we then wonder at the prevalence of jadedness and apathy, the desire for, and perhaps the inevitability of numbness?
it’s new year’s eve, and i should be having fun, or helping with preparing media noche. actually i should be writing my thesis. but i can’t, i’m in no mood for it. i am trying to remember 2009 and all the troubles and pains it brought, despite wanting to say, "goodbye and good riddance, you awful, awful year, you!", despite wanting to forget. but i must not forget. and i must not stop mourning. and i must not stop being angry. and i must not stop hoping.
maybe someday, someday i will be angry enough to actually do something more than type a long-winded and poorly written rant.
i fcking hate firecrackers.