Thursday, August 4, 2011

Crap d'etat

I spend a period of time in the morning and a period of time in the evening attending to blog comments, generally on three sites:

Get Real Post
The Pro Pinoy Project
The Society of Honor by Joe America

I visit the Anti-Pinoy site from time to time to see if BongV is still there. He is, and so I don't comment. There are agendas on the table and agendas under the table and I don't like skating on a lake of ice I don't trust.

Get Real Post and the Pro Pinoy Project are polarized spin-offs of the former contributors to Filipino Voices.  FV was a reasonably apolitical forum welcoming commentary from all perspectives. Three FV writers, BongV, Benigno and BenK, departed FV mainly  because FV moderated their comments. They set up the Anti Pinoy site and went on the attack, against vacuuous Filipinos, against FV, against presidential candidate Aquino, and against "censorship", which is how they characterized FV's editorial policy.

FV floundered some months later due to lack of a steady sponsor and editor. At about that time, the Pro Pinoy Project was started by FV blogger and short-term FV editor Cocoy as an apolitical news and blogging site. However it retains a pro-Aquino, or, maybe more precisely, a pro-Philippines perspective, and therefore is opposite in view and tenor from Get Real . A regular contributor, Manuelbuencamino (MB), avidly defends the President. But the Cusp (Doy Santos)provides commentary that is not shy of being critical of President Aquino's economic policies.  So there is some argumentative balance . . . and not a lot of name-calling. Although MB can get a tad snippy.

AP appears to have had a falling out, too, for reasons I don't know or care about, so Benigno left that site and simultaneously originated Get Real Post. He was joined by Ilda, and now BenK seems to be getting involved. Interestingly, AP now moderates, as does Get Real Post. So I guess the founders of AP have abandoned their once holier-than-thou view on "censorship"; one wonders how much other superficial bluster resides on Get Real Post. Get Real Post does not include any blog-writers who present an alternative view to the anti-Aquino chants found there.

Here is my take on some specific bloggers. Please understand that they are just my impressions alone and may not reflect the whole of the man or woman.

Benigno: A master wordsmith and brilliant thinker. I know of no other writer who can cut through the meaningless chaff so precisely to get to the principles that are at the root of the act or behavior being examined. One must think to grasp what he is saying, and, accordingly, I learn more from him than any other blogger. I fail to understand how he can be so one-way against President Aquino, for I see layers of cultural and governmental complexity surrounding and underpinning the President that make simple dismissal rather too easy.

BenK: I appreciate his perspectives because he is my brother import and faces many of the cultural rubs that aggravate me. He is much more knowledgeable about activities in the Philippines than I am, as I mostly float around the edges offering up wordful slants on things. Even making up words to do it. BenK also teaches me a lot because we differ on some points of view and he keeps me humble. Yet we each never need to insult the other.

Ilda: She and I are oil and water. She drives me nuts, accusing me of this and that whilst engaging precisely in those same activities.  She is smart and writes well, but does not push me to much new knowledge.  She thinks I am biased against women.  She is certain there has to be a reason other than her views and style that would cause someone to criticize what she says.

Cocoy: A really good guy. Sound writer. Overly sensitive. Well informed. Productive. I like him.

Manuelbuencamino: I like "MB" because he is, I think, Irish at heart. He loves a good argument and can fire up defense of President Aquino like a pro. Well, he is a professional writer, so he has skills. He also has a sense of humor and can whip up a fine satire. He keeps me balanced against the onslaught I receive at the Get Real site when I support (not defend) President Aquino. There is a difference. I can rely on MB to have an intelligent perspective that is unwaveringly pro-Aquino.  

The Cusp (Doy Santos):  It is educational to read of Philippine economics from someone who actually understands it. Doy shoots straight and stays on the point. His blogs are impeccably meaningful because he both writes well and  picks good subjects. Also, he does not descend into personal insults. President Aquino is not his favorite, one can conclude, so it is a good read to observe Doy and MB spar.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Joe America: I write to learn, to play with words and to keep my balance in a very different culture. Like most people, I make my mistakes.

Bencard, Primer, Dean, UPn, JCC, PDQ and all the other missing former contributors to Filipino Voices.  I fear these remnant sites miss your perspectives. It is a problem finding a balance of views in the modern era of the easy distortion, the sound bite or blog deceit. Quick hit writing pushes opposing views into increasingly defensive, unreachable positions. Like we see in the US political arena. Neither Get Real Post nor the Pro-Pinoy Project have yet achieved the richness of dialogue, or balance of opposite thinking, that was available on FV.

Ye Olde Conclusion: Get Real Post preaches well to itself. It is AP Junior, and my original view that this was a cerebral site have been shaken. The tenor of the site reminds me of how the US has gotten so polarized. Views that are aligned with the authors are praised and the rest are bludgeoned. This tends to produce a site of like thinkers with well-cemented views.

Pro Pinoy does not wield such a heavy hand. Discussions are more varied and more civil, but the site has not yet achieved the variety of articles or richness of debate that was once found on FV. It is heavily into "tweet" posts, so the articles often miss the depth of discussion that I personally prefer. Still, one can find meaningful debate there, and there aren't as many juveniles hanging about trying to prove their manhood by diminishing others.

Of interest, each site - including AP - is a clan unto itself, reflecting the Filipino style of antagonism toward any who would be critical.  Pro-Pinoy has a shot at becoming a balanced site if it does not drown its readers in information, forestalling deep debate.


  1. Excellent observations Joe.

    Pro-Pinoy may not be perfectly balanced (who is?) but at least we can find bloggers writing from both sides of the issue.

    Anti-Pinoy/Get Real on other hand, is BLATANTLY one sided. Any attempts to hold an opinion that does not agree with theirs will only be met with ridicule or outright hostility. They are simply not open to discussion. So why waste time with these bozos who are just out there repeating the same message over and over.

    I am perplexed on why you hold Benign0 in such high regard. Sure, he may be good with words but his arrogance, pride, and EGO shows his lack of character. What is intelligence without good character? You might as well worship Hitler.

  2. L, Thanks. Re benigno, he makes me think, which is why I am here, and maybe I have sympathy for his arrogance because I can slip into that mode, too, especially from the viewpoint of Filipinos. Also, I suspect no small part of his "posture" is for marketing impact. I indicate above that I think he is simplistic in snipping at President Aquino.

  3. You forgot someone very important:

    MLQ3: Currently the greatest Filipino Blogger alive. Unmatched eloquence, insight and has real life experience dealing with people in power. Most people blog about movers and shakers they have never or will never meet. MLQ3, on the other hand, belongs to the same class as these movers and shakers. He is an "insider" generously giving us the "real deal" scoop from the halls of power.

  4. I'd rather troll than create my own blog because it's usual suspects. Same old story.

    I find Joe America REFRESHING ! There is absence of haughty-snooty-englischtzes snobbery. If no speak goot clubby englsichtzes you are not in teh crowd.

    For people who doesn't know, Filipinos measure IQ by the englischtzes they speak. So is beauty measured by the color of skin.

  5. In most Philippine blogs, if no speak goot clubby englischtzes you are no in the in-crowd. If posts and comments are broken up into bite pieces for others to comments on specific idea not the whole tra-la-las it is branded Tiling-Tiling.

    benign0 is one snooty clubby englischtzes. But when both of us went down the word war, I realize he is not goot englischtzes speaker after all.

    I also wonder how long it takes him to write a piece.

  6. Filipino Voices is now selling bitchy 3-incher high-heel shoes the last time I visited the derelict site. The heavily moderated site almost next to censorhip were not even honored an obituary.

    People were jumping ship like wriggling fish back into the water.

    Thank goodness FV is gone. They are like ACLU that lost their vision.

  7. Get Real Post never visited it until one day it just appeared as one of the link on my facebook. I asked around how to rip that getreal tard off my social site and nobody seems to know.

    The best way was hop in and attack from the inside of GetReal and bingo ! MY LINK IS GONE !

  8. Bayanihan, Yes I have heard of MLQ3's superior writing and perspectives, but have never followed along. Thanks for adding him to the list. I also get feeds from Blog Watch, which has timely and pertinent social issues, but don't engage in commentary as there does not appear to be a lot.

  9. Mariano, you are hot today. Love the description of FV's dying days. Also how to rid Facebook of unwanted clutter. GRP used to pass my blog posts through to others on twitter, but yanked me when I got testy. This was right after they ripped President Aquino for being "vengeful". Go figure.

  10. Thank you for your kind--and, I would say, generous--words about, Joe. We're far from perfect, but we're learning every day, and we try our best to be balanced and fair. It's tough at times, but it's a challenge we'd like to take on. At the end of the day, nobody should have the monopoly over ideas and opinions.

  11. Nina,

    Good of you to stop by. Keep up the fine work.

  12. Benign0, Benk, The Cusp and Ilda. Four people you know who criticize PNoy and yet the only one you call manipulative is a woman. Tsk tsk.

    Anyway, I just came here today because I didn’t want you to keep wondering why you are not on our blogroll anymore.

    The decision to stop sharing your articles had nothing to do with your dissenting views. Gosh, we've always been ok when you disagreed with us but we just simply thought it wasn't cool when you decided to call a GRP blogger a “nitwit”.

  13. Ilda, keep checking in. I have a blog in the works about gender bias. As for the nitwit remark, I am a nitwit for making it. My poetic license got the best of my principled brain. As for being yanked from the blog roll, I know you have not a vindictive bone in your body, and somehow I shall just have to cope . . .

  14. I been to those blog site AP,FV, Get Real but I feel lost, confuse & inferiority english is not perfect I just learn from grade school but I tried. When i commented on Raissa Robles site I was bombarded by other commenters wanting to know where I studied because my english I guess what you call "english carabao" but boy ! I I had so many responses (insults) almost the whole pages..but I never dare go back to the site afraid.

    1. People who do that are generally "children of the mind", a rather needy bunch. Building themselves up by tearing others down.


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