Post for Mar 19-25 2017

TaN: In today’s (March 23) hard copy issue of The Philippine STAR (titled “Reports on EJKs make Phl a hard sell — Teo“, by a certain Alexis Romero), the impression I am getting from the text of the article is that there are only two manners by which the image of the Philippines as a tourist destination can be upheld and sold: by either going after all those responsible for the reported EJKs and bring them to justice or suppress all news articles that report on EJKs, so as not to give the Philippines a bad reputation.

It is beyond me that intelligent and well-educated people in government, especially those in the Department of Tourism and most of its head, will, even for a split second, consider or entertain the idea of suppressing the (ugly) truth just so the Philippines will enjoy (foreign) tourism.  It is as if the government would like the media to avoid reporting on or hide the gruesome truth regarding the EJKs in order to convince (foreign) tourists to come to the islands and bring in much needed revenue or to make her (Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo) job easier.

Moreover, it goes without saying that such reports do not bode well for the Philippines among the international community and not just in tourism.  Furthermore, even if not for reasons of a bad image, it is not right nor good that there are EJKs, even if other countries “do or will not mind it”.

But that is — i.e., the EJKs — are what can and does happen when you have a president who “enocurages” the summary execution, without the benefit of due process and a fair trial, of (even just suspected) drug personalities.  What is the whole point of a criminal justice system when we can bypass the whole thing and go straight to execution.

And to think that the person responsible for the encouragement is a former prosecutor, an officer of the criminal justice system.  In addition, Mr Duterte continuously and repeatedly declare that he respects and upholds the rule of law but the rule of law mandates what criminals, no matter how blatantly obvious, must still go through the entire process of arrest, arraignment, trial, conviction, and sentencing.

Finally, it is sad that brilliant people such as lawmaker-lawyers, of all people, would openly advocate and support such a bloody,. barbaric and savage campaign just to obliterate criminality.  Justice and good should never be the excuse or sacrificed for expediency.

TaN: In today’s (March 23) hard copy issue of The Philippine STAR (titled “Becoming Duterte: The making of a Phl strongman“, sourced from the New York Times), the content only confirms the impression that we get from Mr Duterte’s machismo image that he has a godfather complex.

Mr Duterte, understandably, behaves the way he does — as far as his politics is concerned — because of growing up in Mindanao where the prevailing mindset (especially of people with a strong cultural background and influence).  I am most certainly biased in my assessment but I believe that growing up in a predominantly Muslim environment and given the cultural background of Mindanao whose penchant for fiefdoms and sultanates are still very much alive, it is no wonder that Mr Duterte acts like a political lord that “owns” his (political) subjects.

Moreover, in Asian culture, criticism of the ruler or leader is not tolerated.  Probably the only reason the critics of Mr Duterte are still alive is that modern law prohibits such autocratic acts.

In any case, Mr Duterte means well but not only is it not enough, it is dangerous.  It has been said that: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.  And that is what is with the Duterte regime — what with the bloody campaign against evil, commencing with illegal drugs, criminality, corruption, and now terrorist.

In conclusion, the godfather complex is the western variant of the same behavior in Asian culture, where the patriarch takes on the responsibility of the looking after the well being of his subjects — whether they like or not.  And, with a predominant mendicancy mindset (where people with able bodies and useful skills are not embarrassed to be pitied upon and receive dole outs even in non-calamity situations).  And this is much more pronounced during election time, where politicians give away (and literally throw at the crowds) trivial items such as shirts and stuff.  This merely reinforces the dependency and the mendicancy mindset.

TaN: I absolutely hate it when film producers claim artistic or some kind of bovine ordure to alter a classic or original story just to meet or update it to the contemporary tastes and preferences.  Prime examples would be science fiction (specifically the comic book heroes) and children’s stories (specifically Disney and childhood tales).

In the television series of Supergirl and the Flash, I do not remember Supergirl getting involved with anyone and Jimmy Olsen being a non-Irish (since Olsen is supposed to be an Irish surname and he was a red-head) much less him being a superhero too.  In the case of the Flash, I remember Iris to be a white red-head woman.  As for kid tales, the latest remake of the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast, I do not remember any gay character.

Seriously, if they want to make the stories more relevant to contemporary audiences — what with all the gender and race issues (honestly I still fail to see what all the fuss and arguments are all about; people are people…period) — they should just come up with new stories and put those characters in.  Do not tamper with what has been the tradition.  I grew up with no gays in Beauty and the Beast.  LET IT STAY THAT WAY!  INVENT YOUR OWN FANTASY STORIES!

I am neither against gays and what-have-yous nor different races.  It is just that do not alter what has been traditionally known into something that never was just to please audiences who may be prejudiced in the first place, and especially not for purposes of ratings and, worst of all, revenues and profits.  It is really low, as in LOWER THAN THE LOWEST, as in SUBSURFACE, as in ALL THE WAY BELOW THE BOTTOM.

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