2009 March | baratillo @ cubao : www.baratillo.net

baratillo @ cubao : www.baratillo.net

Satire and Opinion

Posted in Politics and Culture by juned on the March 31st, 2009

An artist in the French Court once drew a portrait of the reigning King. This he did in a series of sketches of the King. The difference between each sketch was that each new sketch changed until the King took on the appearance of Peach. Needless to say, when the King saw the caricature the artist had a very “hard” time at the court.

A few days ago Chip Tsao of Hong Kong wrote a satirical piece on the claims of the Philippines on the Spratley Islands. In the satirical piece rode on the theme the Philippines is a nation of maids nation of servants.

It caused an uproar. A lot of people were hurt by the article.True it was a satirical piece but it must be remembered that a satire is not necessarily humourus but also an attack on what the author disproves of. In this case the Philippines claim on the Sprately’s and recent statements made by Filipino Politicians about the Sprately Islands.

I think it is understandable to see the outrage felt by a number of bloggers and fellow-countrymen about this. And I can easily understand the outrage at a number who saw Manolo L Quezon III’s statement on Facebook that said,”All the crap bout that [HK] columnist comes from pinoys who wouldn’t know satire sarcasm or irony if it slapped them on the face.”

Manolo is a friend and we agree and disagree on a number of topics. We do have critical talk. And anyone who knows Manolo from Plurk or even in his blog that one can have critical talk with him.

A statement from Facebook and on Plurk. It is an opinion. An opinion one would probably hear from any other Filipino or citizen of Earth. Now one may get mad at it and one may question it. But it is an opinion an observation.

So what would you do if you encounter an opinion that seems to counter your own? You challenge it and you dissect for its fault. In the case of the post at Dona Victorina. In the post there were also a number of comments that strike at the person and not the statement. Well Manolo needs no one to defend him but it just strikes me as a bit ironic as the post that points out to statement in FaceBook would allow attacks on the person and not the statement. Clearly a digression from the topic.

You see I believe that the post and comments are parts of the blogs and as such responsibility of the bloggers.

Now as for me. I read the article.

The article was a satire to be true. It was not a funny one and bordered on ridicule is also true. Satire needs not be funny and is rarely done in good taste because it is an attack on a person, a country or an idea.

Then how would you deal with it?

1) Demand the article be removed because it is politically incorrect? Maybe
2) Let the politicians and government do some post-article activity like putting the person on a blacklist? It is up to you.
3) Rally against the person online and offline? This could be an option.
4) Write another satirical piece to counter it? Could be done.

Napoleon once called the British a Nation of Shopkeepers. The British and its allies defeated Napoleon and exiled him to Elba and then to Saint Helens. Our forefathers were called Indios and what did they do? The generation that started the Propaganda Movement and planted the seeds of our nation established Los Indios Bravos.

And for those who wail and tear their hair over this incident and cry can nothing be done. Well there is option number Five:

5) Stop whining and being emo about it. Do something.

“The only revolution is in the enlightenment of the mind and the improvement of character, the only real emancipation is individual, and the only real revolutionists are philosophers and saints.” - Will & Airel Durant, The Lessons of History.

Reading and the death of newspapers

Posted in Politics and Culture, Readings by juned on the March 30th, 2009

This morning I attended a presentation that tackled at one point the state of the newspaper industry. It has been reported that a number of publications have been closing as a result of economic crunch. It has also been predicted that around three hundred publications will be shutting in 2009. A lot magazines have been shutting down locally as well.

And then there is also a migration of a number of periodicals and magazines online.

An interesting question here is would this be the end of the Printed Word?

A long time ago I stumbled upon a book about reading. It was one of those all encompassing books about reading. Included among its contents was why read, startegies in effective reading and reading assignment. There was also a piece or a chapter on the different types of reading depending on purpose.

There is the reading if one wants to get informed
. We do this when check the signs on the street or directions on a road map. We also do this when we buy stuff at the grocery. It is a quick read. And there are times when we use this to read the newspaper. Finding out the latest news about a war. a place or the stock market.

Then there is the reading where one wants to learn. This is more slow and deliberate reading whose aim is to learn rather than get informed. These are two different things in the world: Getting informed and learning knowledge.

Then there is the long and pleasurable practice of reading. An essay one enjoys about the pleasures of smoking a cigar. A report about a hostage crisis in the the Philippines. A Poem of Walt Whitman The list is endless.

So what is the point to this discusssion. Put simply there is life after the fall. The Fall of the Newspaper and print will hasten the move of a number of publications to the web. There is life online.

People will read news amd articles on line. In a sense they are a form of reading to inform. Something that needs to be read fast at a glace.

So does that mean publishing is dead?

No it just needs to refocus. Printing is for books for learning and pleasure.


Posted in Politics and Culture by juned on the March 29th, 2009

What is it that you remember about Lent? The Crucifixion, The Ressurection, The Last Supper or the Kiss in Gethsemene? For me one of the most strongest image is the Kiss at the Garden of Gethsemene.

Judas Iscariot will probably go down as the famous traitor in Christian History. Cassius and Brutus comes in also as persons who became famous for bertraying - in this case Julius Ceasar and he was twenty three times. And the importance of this bertrayal is crystalized by William Shakespeare in his play:

For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar’s angel:
Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him!
This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors’ arms,
Quite vanquish’d him: then burst his mighty heart;
And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
Even at the base of Pompey’s statua,

- William Shakespeare, Julius Ceasar

But perhaps the most infamous villain and traitor of all time was Iago from Othello. He who manipulated everyone in the play so that he was able to get money, get rid of his rival, be the author of the downfall of Othello and Desdemona. Although in the end he is discovered and exeunts the stage to meet his deadly fate.

But what are the cause of this betrayal. Are such acts attributed to base designs or is there more to it. Could it be due to:

(i) Being passed over for someone else; (ii) Racism or intolerance; (iii) Jelousy; (iv) Revenge for slight true or not; (v)Insecurity; (vi) An intelligence unchecked by conscience or emphaty; and (vii) sadism.

COuld be one of the above ot a mixture of any reason. Still a betrayal has been done.

What would you do?

Judas hanged himself out of remorse. Cassius and Brutus were defeated by the Ceasareans. Brutus was tormented by Ceasar’s Ghost. And Iago sent to the dungeons.

What would you do ?

If someone you trusted betrayed you?

What did the fly (who escaped the web) say to the Spider?