In light of the National Day of Protest in my country, the beautiful Philippines! Let me post a photo which would represent my protest contribution. This photo is not mine and neither have I sought authorization from the owner. I just hope that the owner (musicorspaceshuttle.com) would be generous and kind to permit me in using this photo.
Look at the photo and imagine them lifeless. This is iWire Center in Moline Illinois in its full capacity at 9,200 people during a Pearl Jam rock concert in 2014.
The full capacity of iWire Center is actually even lesser by a couple of thousands as compared to the number of extra-judicial killings and summary executions that has occurred since the day President Duterte has run and governed my country. At present, human rights groups’ count stands at 13,000 casualties.
No to Extra-Judicial Killings. And i pray that it ends soon.
This is the face of the 17-year old boy whose last text message to his mother is a request for a bicycle who ironically according to the Justice Secretary possess Php 16,000 worth of shabu in his pocket on the time of his death.
This is the face of the 17-year old boy who was right-handed yet his body was found holding a gun in his left hand.
This is the face of the 17-year old boy whose dream is to become a policeman man someday yet it is the police who ended not only his dream but his young dear life.
This is the face of the 17-year old boy who represents the present type of sadistic justice system and brutal killings now rampant in my country.
This is the face of the 17-year old boy who according to the police retaliated but whose autopsy report says that the fatal gunshots were shot from behind his ear.
I am obviously outraged! And it is unfortunate that killings like this will continue until a new Philippine leader will be put in place. I just hope that something sane, and logical, and sensible and compassionate and judicious will come out from this tragic and terrible event. The shape, position and situation of Kian Delos Santos is the state of the Philippines today.
Our word for the day is ‘Kafkaesque’. Meriam-Webster defines this adjective as “having a nightmarishly complex, bizarre or illogical quality”. And still according to Meriam-Webster, this word is “often applied to bizarre and impersonal administrative situations where the individual feels powerless to understand or control what is happening”.
The feeling of being Kafkaesque is what I believe is what majority of the Filipinos are at in the present time. This is most specifically exact with regards to the socio-political environment of the Philippines now that Rodrigo “The Punisher” Duterte, the president-elect, is about to head the country. The Pinoy populace has gone Kafkaesque despite the fact that the incoming head of state has:
cursed and condemned the United Nations during his most recent press conference
called the Pope a son of a whore during its 2015 visit in the country
ridiculed Mexicans in front of the Mexican Ambassador
uttered misogynistic comments and called himself a womanizer
talked about his libido and sexual prowess during his campaign trails
pronounced that he could not live without Viagra
admitted to have permitted vigilante justice
joked about wanting to be the first to rape a brutally murdered Australian missionary
threatens to abolish the Congress if it plans to impeach him
voiced out that he is to pardon himself to mass murders
admitted his involvement with death squads
catcalled on a respectable lady journalist during a press conference
so used to using the Filipino-Tagalog term for “son of a bitch” as if it is one conventional and tolerable expression
I don’t want to analyze and justify why he won the country’s presidential election and continues to be so loved and be so popular in this country despite all those atrocious and despicable rhetoric. And I know that my not trying to analyze and justify does not make things better. Maybe it is because like the majority of the Filipinos, I myself has gone Kafkaesque.
Mind you, the use of the word Kafkaesque is not the first time in this blog. I have utilized this word in one of my blog posts some three and a half years ago. Click this LINK (kafkaesque) to find out…
But seriously – as if the enumerated speechifying by Duterte are nothing but light, easy and cheery – the reason why I chose the word Kafkaesque is because of a recent video posted by New York Magazine in its Facebook page.
Watch this and be amazed by this stunning piece of art which commemorates Franz Kafka, the dude whose surname was the origin of the word of the day…
A fanatic is someone who is enthusiastically devoted to something or somebody. They are the type whose supposed reasoning and realistic views are often clouded by their strong affection, uncritical adoration or excessive enthusiasm towards the object or person of their devotion.
I for one is a fan. Lots of friends and relatives know that the person of my fanaticism is the Queen of Pop Madonna. I have done senseless things in the past on my being a fan of Madonna. That is, from hanging huge posters or framed photos in my room to cutting and collecting clippings of articles written about her to buying all her records.
I am a fan because whatever Madonna does, I still admire her. My reasoning, logic and judgement tends to get murky when it comes to Madonna. Whatever she does, whatever she says and whatever she thinks, no matter how bad, evil or crazy it is, such will just be fine, tolerable and acceptable with me.
I can always reason out or justify why she utter a thought or does things no matter how stupid it may be. I can even think of meanings behind what seem to be symbols in her wardrobe, in her songs or in her music videos. That is how fanatic I am about Madonna.
This is the very idea that led me to think about the new fandoms that has emerged in two countries where the presidential election campaigns are ongoing. I am talking about USA and the Philippines.
In US, it can no longer be denied the existence of hardcore devotion towards the Republican front runner Donald Trump. And here in the Philippines, we have the presidential front runner and likely victor Rodrigo Duterte, whose despicable utterances and vile conducts make Donald Trump look like a polite and obedient boy.
And since I live here in the Philippines, let me focus the fanaticism towards Duterte. Otherwise known as “The Digong Phenomenon”, this fandom is something new here in the Philippines. According to social analysts, this new fanbase crisscrosses the social status spectrum, i.e. from class A to E.
And despite the fact that he has gone fickle in admitting to have hidden wealth, he disrespect the elders, challenge the foreign allies, admitted to have killed thousands of people, joked about rape and death of a slashed neck woman, call the Pope a son of a b, and does not seem to have concrete plans about the Philippines, his fans still would not mind. The fanatics still profess to vote for him in the coming election. They would even threaten to fight and stage a revolution in case he loses.
Yeah, I am the same of a fan-tard of Madonna as what multitude of Filipinos to being fan-tards of Duterte. But what’s the disturbing difference? I can think of only one answer.
The big difference would be the effect of such fanaticism. My devotion or Madonna fans’ adoration would not shape or influence the future of a nation. While the Duterte fanaticism could actually affect everyone in the Philippines may a citizen be a fan or not. Madonna’s utterances, actions, triumphs and failures would basically affect her and her alone. But Duterte’s actions, decisions, would-be-achievements and most-likely-transgressions would obviously affect every Filipino may they be based here or abroad.
And since I am not a fan, the thought of Duterte being my President makes me so anxious and nervous. The result of the upcoming Philippine election definitely is a very critical event. Whether I like it or not, it will be part of my life in the next six years. The future of the overall situation of the nation where I breathe is at stake. And the thought of Duterte being my President makes me shiver! That is why in my humble effort, I would try to dissuade people from voting for Duterte.
I know that (like my unbending illogical adoration towards Madonna) the Duterte fanatics will never, in any way reverse or even bend their fanaticism towards Mr. Duterte. And in case Duterte is proclaimed the President, I would just have to accept and assent to the impending menacing circumstances.
I will most probably lynched or will have to shower offensive slurs in the next couple of days because of this piece of writing – because Duterte diehards can somewhat be rude, insulting and odious – but I truly hope and pray that Duterte fans are outnumbered by voters who chose a different candidate.
Aside from being the same on being illogical, unbending and absurd. I just hope that Duterte fanatics are outnumbered, the same way that I being a Madonna fan is outnumbered.