The Anti-Pinoy (AP) community blog site is the brain child of US resident Filipino BongV. The site was enriched when, exasperated by the editorial restrictions on the FilipinoVoices (FV) community blog site, Benign0 and BenK joined BongV with the aim of building a more open and robust counter to the FV site. Benign0 is a Filipino who works in Australia. He founded the “Get Real” web site and its seminally critical view of Filipinos, Philippine society and Philippine governance. BenK, like Joe America, is an American transplant who lives full time in the Philippines.
The hallmark of the AP site was “no censorship”. It has been a brazen, boastful, attack-minded site largely critical of Noynoy Aquino. Indeed, President Aquino remains the main subject of much AP commentary.
The articles for the most part are intelligent, the comments wide-ranging. However, AP largely promotes an agenda rather than search for new understandings from dialogue. Much of the time the conversation reduces to personal insults and chat-room repartee. Amongst the rubble are gems that make visiting the site worthwhile.
AP broke new ground when it removed Joe America's comments from the site on July 17, 18, and 20, 2010. He had been arguing against the grain for respect for the President as a democratic or patriotic principle, a view that got him labeled pro-Aquino, a critique that missed the point entirely but fit into the simplistic slander and tear-down mode of arguing. He did not swear, name-call, or in other ways abuse readers. He only disagreed and tried to state a point.
The remarks were later returned to the site after the discussion threads had grown crowded and stale, and where the comments were out of sync with the original sequence of remarks. It wasn't exactly banning Joe; it was diluting and harassing him, possibly in hopes he would storm off. As the AP founders did, from FV.
Now, I must be consistent here and say that it is entirely the blog editor's right to edit comments. AP is a private blog site that will rise or fall according to it's content. I don't view the deletions as censorship, as there are many outlets of expression open to me. It is just blatantly hypocritical and illustrates the vendetta-minded approach that anchors much of the commentary on AP. Amusing to me, the AP operating method is consistent with the dysfunctional old-school Filipino style of “my way or the highway” intimidation, thuggery, and reaching for the gun. Or the blogger's equivalent, deleting posts.
Another amusing thing is, you can go back and read my comments and they are rich with compliments toward BongV, Benign0 and BenK, because I think they are all bright, thoughtful, capable people and writers. They cause me to think. I don't read them because I always agree with what they say, but because them help me comprehend the Philippines and my engagement with the oddities (from a Western perspective) of Filipino society.
BongV's strength is his ability to acquire information on the internet and post reams of historical, definitional, or insightful analysis in a short time. He is acerbic, occasionally witty and personable, but evidently very bitter about how he was treated when he was in the Philippines. He can dish out criticism but perhaps can't tolerate the same treatment aimed at him. Perhaps I entered his personal cross-hairs and was shot.
Benign0 has, in my view, the deepest Filipino mind on the internet. He doesn't just look at the events, he looks at the reasons, the dynamics that create them, and the personal failings that are behind the dysfunction that is rampant in the Philippines. He sees things that the rest of us don't, and is very skilled at putting them into words, words that often sting for their ability to slice and dice right into people's vulnerabilities. I've had to concede many an argument to his superior perspectives.
BenK is much like me, a pragmatist who enjoys writing and experiencing a culture that is different from the one he experienced in the US. Whereas I blow off into the winds on words that go astray searching for literary clout, he stays practical and constructive. He deals with issues as issues, and only when it is the only resort will he label an idiot an idiot.
Frick, Flack and Frack.
Gotta respect them, appreciate them, no matter the number of flies in their assorted ointments. Keeping to the positive tenor of my remarks, there is no need to mention the many maggots born of those flies. . .
AP: Deceit or honor? Some of both, I reckon. But a site that executes, by editorial fiat, personal vendetta's that are not linked to any publishing criteria such as obscenity or irrelevance? Wow, how the icing has dripped from the AP cake. At least FV published standards that guided its decisions. Disagreement with a post was not one of them.