Enough feel-good. We can't allow complacency to roar its lazy yawn. Let's get scientific . . .
I'm feeding my own fires these days, as the rest of the nation is consumed with the Corona impeachment trial, getting squeezed between China and the U.S. ("What's a Filipino sandwich?"), and fretting about the growth rate of a measly 3.7%.
You'll never feed the 1.7 million new babies that arrived in 2011 with that paltry economic production. Even though it beats the 30-year average U.S. growth rate of 3.2% per year.
In a prior blog I inadvertently let out a secret. I'm hoping no one noticed. I don't want people to know that I've developed a special instrument that can be used to examine Filipino behavior. It's called JoeAm's secret "can't hide no more" social microscope.
Now because patents have been filed but not yet received, I can't divulge the mind-bending technology that allows this microscope to see so well. But I can assure you that it sees plenty well.
It can monitor a person engaged in some untoward activity - corruption, rude behavior, murder, whatever is going on in the normal course of the day - and with one flip of a switch or two, parse the historical and psychological foundations that motivate the dude to partake in what, in other societies, would be called illegal, unkind, or deviant behavior.
The social/emotional structure of the Philippines is like a pyramid. The base is self esteem which, from the getgo, makes the shape a little distorted, rather like Jimmy Durante's nose, large but bent. Being colonized by a bunch of snooty Spaniards clattering around in gold necklaces, and then armies of arrogant white racist imperialists with a whole lot of guns, will do that to you. But it is still a pyramid. Above the self-esteem is the historical context, anchored in rote schoolday memorizations of various irrelevancies that have nothing to do with the globally interconnected world of today. Kids are still memorizing the table of elements instead of learning to Google it. They are busy adoring the archaic ideals of Rizal instead of creating new ideals that would launch the Philippines into the modern world with a rabid, single-minded goal to create the wealth needed to make everyone healthier and happier.
The pyramid is now not only misshapen, but it is listing on it's edge rather like a cruise ship off the coast of Italy, or a ferry off the coast of . . . er, nevermind . . .
Above the self esteem and the historical rationalizations is a thick band of blames and excuses which taper to a fine point, a sharp wart on the tip of the Durante nose, which is used to punch at other people like an arrow in the pancreas.
Here, let me give you an example of how the "can't hide no more" device works. I spent several weeks crafting a blog called "Philippine Class Structure", which I posted in a first version here at The Society of Honor, and posted in final form on blogwatch.tv. My effort was sincere and the blog was reasonably well-crafted. It got about a thousand reads and a couple of dozen "like" votes from blogwatch.tv readers.
However, the one and only comment condemned the post, slamming JoeAm's credibility as some outsider who probably had been in the Philippines a few weeks and thought he "knew it all". It ridiculed the class structure, especially that class called "rational climbers". No specifics were provided to let readers know the precise objection. A second reader gave this opinion a "like" vote.
Now this comment was used just last week as a test case for JoeAm's secret "can't hide no more" social microscope. I cranked up the dials and punched the buttons and flipped the switches, adjusted the fidelity (what the hell is a fidelity, anyway?), and pushed print. Here's what popped out, unedited:
Subject Filipino has woefully low self-esteem and is hurt by outsiders who know more about his nation than he does, and who can articulate a more finely crafted presentation than he could put together in a lifetime. He reacts by attacking JoeAm's character, a thoroughly predictable pattern among those having thin skin as well as U.S. Republican presidential candidates. He needs to somehow, for his own peace, bring this offending outsider down so that he does not feel so miserable about his own lack of talent. In a few short phrases he rips both the product and its creator, totally missing the point that the writing is done with no intent to offend. It is just words in search of understanding.
Now I admit the machine needs some adjusting. It is obviously a bit hyper-sensitive itself and it is possibly too blunt for broad practical applications in the tender Philippines.
But it can at least discern a gross weakness of self esteem. I'll work to adjust the articulation chip, and buy a cooling fan down at CD-King.
I'm tempted to submit Chief Justice Corona to the machine, but I am afraid a case that intense in its application of illegal, unkind and deviant behavior might just, as my son would say, "busticate" it.
It takes considerable sophistication for one set of deviationalists to outfox another, so I stand in awe of the intricacies on display in the Senate courtroom. Never in the history of mankind have so many slippery eels tried to nail down so many other slippery eels, each wearing a bearing of pomp and circumstance like they just walked out of a senior's version of Gentlemen's Quarterly. The eels play for the cameras as if they expect Oscars to will be awarded for best quip, most indignant rant, or most legalistic obfuscation . They posture and bicker at each other like so many grandmas with bees in their bloomers.
In my next blog, continuing the technology line of thinking, I will let you know how to make stink bombs.
No, no. It has nothing to do with the trial at all.
Really, seriously folks. Nothing at all to do with the trial.