Words are great fun, eh? One of my favorites is “epiphany”. Elegant, ephemeral, artistic, profound. Angels singing hallelujah against the brilliant rays of the rising sun, casting elation across a big internal sky of fluffy white clouds. Cool word.
“Thug” is nice, too. Dumb. Physical. Heavy, like the clubs used.
Anyway, I had an epiphany the other day as I was engaged in a bit of spat with the Anti-Pinoy blogsite founder, who uses the screen name “BongV”. Now I hold a great deal of respect for BongV, as he is a quick-draw internet maven able to provide reams of relevant information on any issue, he is a successful professional in the US, he operates charity endeavors benefitting kids, I agree with a lot of his observations about flaws in Filipino society, and I particularly appreciate the historical basis he provides for the current state of the State.
But I have been troubled by the Anti-Pinoy method which generally tends to gang up on and name-call anyone who disagrees with the AP line of thought. Try patriotically to support President Aquino and you will be filleted and fried.
The epiphany came when BongV issued a threat to me. It was a small one, nothing serious. Something on the order that if I wanted to play the game (of disagreeing with the AP line), I better be prepared.
My response was that this was simply old-school Filipino way of reaching for intimidation first and the gun second.
Suddenly, all the dominoes clacked into place, ringing up five's and multiples thereof at every combo.
The AP crowd behaves just like the Filipino government and power-based society the AP writers criticize. Clannish. Rich with intimidation. Ego-bound. Unable to listen or hear contrary views. Unwilling to put in place an architecture for building, always willing to tear down.
If ever there were a black pot, it is AP. Precious little refined consideration that the world is populated by individuals who have different backgrounds, thoughts, needs, and points of view. Little give, lots of totalitarian push.
Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of good thinking on AP. And the site inspires good thinking (along with some bad thinking, I fear). It has gotten richer and deeper and less shrill with maturity, while rival FilipinoVoices has dwindled through lack of commitment and passion.
But the method is exclusionary, not inclusionary. It drives out opposing views through insult. It doesn't teach, it lectures. It has set in place a dividing line between AP and FV. It does not welcome dissent. AP's passion is painting people black or white, for us or against us. The passion is spent bringing well-intentioned people down rather than applying the energy to hearing, respecting, and incorporating different views in a wholesome community.
Frankly, the site is so . . . so . . . so . . . Filipino.
How would this observation go down on AP? I'd be labeled a crybaby for seeing and saying what I see and say.
Indeed, sometimes I whine with the best of them. But I see a lot of hypocrisy in AP, an operational method that mirrors the power-mongering dysfunction that they criticize, of not being open to new perspectives and approaches, of being unable to articulate an agenda for building.
Too many thugs, not enough diplomats perhaps. Too many agendas to push and not enough exploratory science. Too much looking back and not enough building for the future.
A site in its teens, pimply and full of itself; not yet in adulthood but, indeed, growing . . .
It is a fun place to visit if you like to risk a verbal “Wipeout” now and then.