Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Anti-Pinoy: Deceit or Honor?

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.


  1. Hi Joe,

    What happened? I slept last night and thought and everything is fine and dandy. But woke up this morning seeing this, I'm now confused. Are you really sure that your comments were being removed intentionally? Because for the life of me I really can't see the reason why they'd do that, because out of the regular contrary voice in AP, you're the least person I expect them to moderate comments. I mean, if it was the case, they should have moderated GabbyD and Crab a long time ago because they are way more intense in their arguments against them. So I really don't understand how yours will be edited/deleted?

    Anyway, I did notice some new comments disappear and then reappear again a few minutes later (case point: I saw your most recent comment in one post, then the next I checked it wasn't there, but then later on it's back). Maybe it was some sort of technical bug in their database?

  2. Wowie,

    I complained to the editors behind the scenes, and it would appear that they give administration rights to a number of people, one of whom puts the posts in moderation. Another puts it back when I let them know the deleted comment number. It is editorial policy not to moderate or censor, I would add.

  3. Hmmm... then if that's the case that's not good at all then. Talk about being too personal. It's kind of sad and ironic, because what they are doing to you now is the very reason why they left FV in the first place.

  4. And may I add, left FV then created their own site and partly campaign against what drove them out of FV.

  5. you were looking for thugs where there were none.

    now you got what you are looking for. :lol:

    egad -the folly of an old fart.

    change your name to Joe Pinoy.

  6. @Wowie

    Joe writes, people rebut - what Joe wants is when he writes people stop answering.

    ano si Joe Am - siniswerte? thesis-anti-thesis-synthesis - the process repeats itself

    and if his comments are questioned - the questioners are THUGS? here's what a THUG does - you don't get to QUESTION

    he is free to comment in the threads - but people are not free to question his comments?

    he wrote about thugs before where there was none - AP is just making sure that Joe becomes accurate

    tinamaan ng ninja - you don't want replies to your comments - there's no point in having your comment around its as good as SPAM - it needs to be DELETED!

  7. Ah,

    the arrogance, the arrogance,
    you assume I don't want replies, which is of course wrong and juvenile,
    you call others morons and idiots,
    including the President of the Philippines,
    but the term "thug" applied to you and your private army of club bearing AP minions drives you berserk,
    so you intimidate,
    it fails,
    and then you reach for the blog-editors gun,
    the delete switch
    and rationalize the basis for doing so.

    AP, the Ampatuan approach to managing a blog.

    Truly, it is beneath you,
    to be so personally offended that someone
    would come in with a different point of view,
    and object to the intimidation-mode
    that so reflects how many in the Philippines operate
    if they have but a little power.

  8. Uhhhhmmmm, so JoeAm says that BongV has become like Nick of FilipVoices?

  9. by the way, JoeAm, many House Democrats (who believe the USA can not prevail against the Taliban) are trying to remove funding for the Afghanistan war. For now, the Republicans (especially in the Senate) are sustaining the funding for the war. What happens next year.... abangan ang susunod ka kabanata.

  10. Finzz4,

    Yes, then the Republicans complain about the deficit, which was mainly run-up by funding the war off-balance sheet. I rather think that if troops are removed from Afghanistan and the Taliban regains power, the US will continue to rain missiles on the hornets in the hills. Pakistan will remain an important ally, albeit never a comfortable one. Iran is the bigger problem. It is tricky for Obama for sure, balancing between public opinion, which does not have a lot to do with reality . . . and the reality of terror. He has more information on it than I do, or does Congress probably, so I will follow my leader . . . heh heh

  11. My fearless forecast. Many democrats will get voted out of office in this November 2010 elections.

    Obama is safe for the meanwhile because he has 18 more months to turn the USA economy. Jobs-jobs-jobs-jobs will determine if Obama gets re-elected.

  12. Finzz4,

    Yes, I think you are correct. I think he has made some rookie mistakes, but they are not whoppers like I personally feel invading Iraq was. Overall, he has represented the US well overseas, has been earnest at home, and did a lot to get the economy stabilized and growing again.

    It will be interesting to see who the Republicans field. He needs to be extraordinarily strong, I think, to topple Obama. None in the prior primary field has the strength, not even McCain.

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Benign0 is an extreme narcissist unable to grasp the many ironies ejected by his verbal diarrhea and intellectual masturbation.

    Oh, RIP FV, i heard it's's run its course. Groups, splinter groups, splitter factions from the splinter groups...whatever, i love how incestous the philippine 'blogosphere' is.

    Spare a thought for those who take it way too seriously beyond just a 21st century version of the sari-sari store bench.

  15. That brings a chuckle, as his gravatar looks like a guy looking at himself in the pond reflection. I agree he is way self absorbed, but I find his verbal reflections more intricate and thought provoking than, say your friend Miriam's. RIP FV, indeed. Lots of words piled into that sink hole.

  16. Sorry for posting here two months after the post was created.

    I haven't been active in my blog hopping and I am quite disappointed to see that FV is resting in peace.

    I made a mistake in siding with one camp in the so called blog wars, not just FV vs AP but with others no need to mention.
    If Nash would allow me to cite him, he often says that there are so many bloggers and commenters who are taking things way too seriously .
    He may be right. In BongV's personal blog he screen captured one of my comments in fv which was about him, well that was his right to do so,if i get carried away i violate the unwritten rule on anonymity and personal circumstances which is very stupid of me.(the rule is not unwritten in this blog,btw)Well, stupid is as stupid does.
    OK no need to resurrect a dead horse of a topic, i will just go to a newer post.

  17. Hi Joe,

    Nice blog.