HOW BASTOS IS BOY VERZO?
By all indications, it looks like Philippine demography in terms of intellectual pursuit is broken into three categories: the sachet class, the cerebral branch, and the creative techies.
ERAP WAS CONVICTED OF “BLUNDER”
When the graft court announced the conviction of Erap, one Erap supporter was asked on his take on the plunder verdict against his idol. He said that “wala akong alam sa blunder-blunder na yan. Ang alam ko mahilig sya sa babae kaya nagalit si Gloria. Unfair yun, di ba?”
The sachet sector comprises the bigger part of our population, patronizing the inanities, among other time zappers, of televisions’ noontime shows. This is on account of we have eternity in our hands. When Nora Aunor ruled the roost of the black and white movies, her director dubbed her following, the bakya crowd. With the ongoing word-war between the hosts of Wowowee and Eat Bulaga, the sachet crowd is lapping it up.
It looks like however, the sachet pack, no pun meant, is capable of redemption. The last elections show its awakening by rejecting two super stars as candidates in the Senate and hosts of other local candidates.
Our society has an intellectual layer personified by the academe, the media, the church, the business sector, and the government. This sector, thankfully, is our thinking department, no matter how schizophrenic.
The intellectual layer charts, more or less, the course of our nation. In it is culled the various competing ideas and views and surprisingly find application on the way how we should conduct our affairs, no matter how flawed.
This stratum competes with each other in manipulating the sachet seam. Erap is concededly a part of the intellectual layer. With luck and right timing, he was able to snare that sleeping sector long denigrated by the elite.
The Senate is a fraction of this accouterment. Its being ignored makes that institution worth the listen.
And the venerable Senator Loren Legarda is part of it.
There is however an emerging sector that would soon shock us. In his novel The Time Machine, H G Wells categorized future Homo sapiens into two: the Elois and the Morlocks. The Elois are the compliant people while the Morlocks are the nocturnal working community of humanoid creatures who dwell underground that operate ancient machines. Are the Elois the sachet layer of our society?
This is not much different from the emerging outsourcing companies that employ thousands of tech savvy youth. They walk like zombies in the middle of the night. They too become statistics from the predatory Morlocks of the worst kind. We should not discount from this sector the emergence of new literature and culture brought about by the facility of the internet.
Mark Verzo is one fine specimen of this techie generation. The guy is unbelievably creative and we should take pride for that. His websites flow like crystalline water. Fifty years from now, when the Senate Neanderthals have croaked to the great beyond, Verzo has a good chance of being declared national artist.
LOOKING FOR MR. WRONG
It is unfortunate that when the politician’s handlers meet, they scan the horizon for demons they can slay. The bigger the better. Once a perceived evil mind is identified, the politician’s rhetoric is unleashed. The apologists and publicists insist that a villain lurks in the horizon ready to devour our little children. Identifying that villain is talent in itself. These PR magicians work to making sure that their client hugs the limelight. It therefore behooves on the politician, a veritable Don Quixote, to don his armor and gear for a showdown to save his society or his republic.
BOY BASTOS IS IT
We have seen these characters when a notorious German campaigned for the eradication of the Jew in his country and blamed the latter for all their national ills. Or a homegrown Filipino dictator who relentlessly pursued the Communists and declared that he did not become President to preside the demise of his republic. By tinkering with the Constitution, he found the right excuse of Mao Ze Dong’s academic theory of the inexorable march of the proletariat’s New People’s Army in Mendiola and forthwith declared martial law.
In American history, they have the much unlamented Senator Joseph McCarthy who ushered in what is now known as witch hunt to further his political stars:
Four years after (Senator Joseph McCarthy) was elected he was looking for an issue; he could not, after all, keep running against the Japanese. In January 1950 he found it. On January 7 he had dinner with some friends, all Catholics: William Roberts, an ex-Marine and a liberal adviser of Drew Pearson; Professor Charles Kraus, a political science instructor at Georgetown, also an ex-Marine; and Father Edmund Walsh, vice-president of Georgetown, regent of its very conservative school of foreign service, a man who had been at war with Communism for three decades and had just written a book on the Communists entitled Total Power. At the dinner at the Colony Restaurant, McCarthy outlined his problem; he needed an issue that would catch attention and excite the voters. What about the St. Lawrence Seaway, Roberts suggested. No sex appeal, said McCarthy. Then McCarthy talked about a national pension plan, $100 a month to every one over sixty-five. Too utopian, the others argued (the mind boggles for a moment; suppose he had gone to pension plans instead of Communists. Would history have been different?). After dinner they moved from the restaurant to Roberts’ Office. Father Walsh began to talk about his favorite subject, Communism. It was, he said, a major issue, and it would be increasingly important. As Walsh spoke, McCarthy picked him up on it. It sounded right; he had done a little of it himself once or twice, and the feedback has always been good. As McCarthy thought about it, he became excited; it was a real issue, and it could be used. The government, he said, was full of Communists: “The thing to do is hammer away at them.” Some of the others warned him that he would have to be careful; he would have to do his homework and be very accurate (later they would all disown him). But it was too late; McCarthy was already on his way (David Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest)
What better way for Senator Loren to pick up a fight with the creator of Boybastos.com? The website sounds sleazy. In all probability, the maintainer of this domain is a neo-Hugh Hefner or a local Larry Flynt wannabe. Boy Bastos is the ultimate Pinoy erotic website that deserves a spanking. But at whose expense?
NOT YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD PORN PROVIDER
Boy Bastos is not your run-of-the-mill porn portal. It is no more than just a community. In it we see in print the expulsion of pent up emotion of raconteurs engaged in serious talk. In it we feel vicariously the daily grind of the ordinary thinking Pinoy betrayed by the likes of Loren Legarda.
A piece of Boy Bastos, which is nothing but a running blog, is the literature of his audience. It is not a porn directory either, very unlike any other adult sites with brazen give away titles. And so it was, Senator Legarda just hammered it away. After all her housemaid’s feedback all the more encouraged her, “yan palang internet ay puro bold Ma’m, ano?”
Loren Legarda, a vaunted investigative broadcaster found the site pornographic. This is far from the truth. The good senator did not do her homework well enough and this she blew it. She was apparently abysmally misled by her amateur researchers-handlers. If she found the site in her kids Bookmarks, all she has to do is avail herself of blockoff sites like NetNanny.
The site is a portal of self-expression protected by the Bill of Rights. The good senator forgets that what she did is not covered by parliamentary immunity like a privilege speech. When she recklessly tried to shut down MV’s site summoning the entire machinery of the government, she breached MV’s civil liberties. The ill-informed lady solon tarred MV irretrievably or did she?
If only the lady senator cared to look further and asked her less than competent staff to Google Mark Verzo just a little bit more she could have discovered the Kafkaesque musings of a blogger.
His Thoughts in Binary is simply amazing. It’s a web magazine complete in itself. That site is a work of genius. The persecution of MV validates the observation that artists like MV are figuratively slain only in countries like ours.
Sadly we have in our midst politicians who believe that the world began when they were born.
This is much ado about a booboo.