Thursday, August 13, 2009

How a P1 million dinner can be an example of reform itself (or, a worry-free Presidency for a worry-free nation)

e must neither dismiss nor undervalue the statements of the President’s lawyer, Atty. Romulo Macalintal, as mere gibberish for momentary profitable news. His words (read the ABS-CBN News report titled “Arroyos lawyer turns tables on immoral media”) betray what may actually be the hidden ideology of the Arroyo regime, which seems to be an interestingly syncretic one, an innovation upon the political philosophies of time that may just be appropriate for our days of worries. What comes out is an astounding combine that mixes the values of Fascism, Communism, Reaganomics, Krugman-omics, and the vaunted path to how leaders should address Climate Change.

Atty. Macalintal is basically saying we ought not to criticize a P1 million dinner if we ourselves fail to deplore the crassness of TV networks who receive millions from all sorts of political voices who have budgets for political advertising, or if we are reporters who receive our salaries from such evil. And Atty. Macalintal is right.
     How short are our memories that fail to remember, time and again, that the President is royalty, or should be so in the way the Prince of Monaco or the Queen of Britain is, free from the ignominious bargain ingredients crammed into our supermarkets and to whom it would be unbecoming to be found eating Philippine cuisine kamayan on a non-campaign period. Our leader is our Il Duce, of the same stature as Benito Mussolini in his time, and must therefore be allowed the privilege of a ruling party’s monopoly on haute glamour and high culinary traditions. Many times we forget to thank our Mussolini whose generosity and generosity alone allows our TV and radio networks to operate privately when they could have been nationalized a long time ago. Macalintal points out the evils of a profit motive in operating expensive networks, and he points it out well. After all, all channels—if he could only be allowed to serve as our DOTC Secretary—ought to be operating like the state-owned National Broadcasting Network, devoid of advertising support and free of the noise that only solicits contention and disharmony. The government-controlled channels 4, 9, and 13 have been explicit in demonstrating this wondrous utopia for a long time now that I am astonished to see why our citizens continue to reject its example. The morning program called One Morning Cafe (simultaneously shown on all three channels) is a great example of a Macalintalese improvement on McLuhan’s tetrad, a great design we fail to notice. The incredible utopia of this idea is of us—in harmony, a Strong Republic singing as one, devoid of profit, happy as a simple Juan—becoming a people rejoicing under the blessing of our Queen who, in her glorious privilege, can only deserve to be treated by Kokoy Romualdez’ (Imelda Marcos’ brother’s) son to experience some of these closed-door sumptuous royal fun, at least every now and then, oh nay often! I say, to hell with Cory Aquino’s utopia of austerity and leadership and . . . she’s dead, all right, people? She’s dead. And her utopia must now be buried with her. A new utopia has been in force.

Atty. Macalintal also attempts to show to us, unfortunately only a bit articulately by merely implying it, the virtue of Soviet-style communism that we can use to our advantage, a virtue wherein the State owns all channels but yet allows various parties to advertise on this channel, for free, with the approval of course of a Commission on Elections or candidates’ union that would validate the validity of political candidacies, thus filtering out the troublemaker from the genuine friends of the proletariat’s elections.
     The Arroyo administration has been a friend of the proletariat, you see, and NBN has been showing us that from 7 AM to 11 PM all these years, why do we stupid people fail to notice that? Advertising abound in this channel, Channel 4, regarding the President’s record on the GDP growth, the “pangtawid cards,” and all such blessings from the handbooks of Stalinism, why can’t we rejoice in all the good news through that free advertising from a real leader of the people who has brought to our doors the ready hand of various creditors, including the People’s Republic of Mao Zeddong’s China who wanted to help us create a cultural revolution of government personnel taking advantage of free NBN-ZTE broadband internet games and Facebook friendships?
     This should even be enough reason for the New People’s Army to surrender already, don’t you think? After all, what has Jose Maria Sison done to show his commitment to our people and their reeducation? The Arroyo administration has already been showing us how private networks can be harassed, as at the Manila Peninsula rebellion, so they can be liberated from their misguided hunger for bourgeois democracy and crass capitalism. Reporters should resign from their networks and collectively join the mission and vision of NBN’s hymn to people’s progress. “May bagong silang, may bago nang buhay,” as that hymn of the old Kilusang Bagong Lipunan used to sing, care of the prime communist recruiter in our history, our beloved late premier Ferdinand Marcos, may the dialectical gods bless his materialist soul.

But Atty. Macalintal does not explain why the government is still not bringing itself to nationalize the networks now, or why not yet, even if it wants to and could. Maybe it’s because he knows the simple explanation is really all that simple, because it is able to explain itself. It’s there, after all: Freedom.
     The reason why the President had to sneak in at Cory Aquino’s wake was because she and Corazon Aquino had one thing in common, a love for freedom and democracy. Their only difference is that while Aquino wanted freedom for everyone, Arroyo seems to want to promote the new outtake on democracy started by Marcos’ crony capitalism. She has transformed it into a more positive and more pragmatic freedom system for our people, who have all the freedom to imagine a can of mackerel as a roasted calf.
     This utopia is even better than any for Harry Potter. The formula for this kind of economics is not new, of course, it was started by Reagan. How is it done? Well, you simply set aside the negatives, tell the people these were beyond your control, and hype on the positives, tell the people they all happened thanks to you. That is really smart economics and the kind that frees people from their worries and is the sort of stimulus Obama should be emulating. This is what is called free-for-all market economics for crony companies, and though it brought us to the current crisis it also united us as a people, taught us all to be frugal and not buy too many Dior bags, even taught us to be content with our P100 family dinners. Besides, such free market positivism can bring you good luck, as the feng shui masters of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry would tell you, and damn if you’re not going to be on your way to being “one lucky bitch” if you just try this positivist formula in your own friggin’ kitchen for once.

One other feature of Atty. Macalintal’s voiced essay is only subliminally stated, however. It fails a bit on eloquence upon the Arroyo administration’s appropriation of certain Krugmanian values. Whereas free-market economists breathe fire at the Nobel Economics Prize for championing the present-day stalwart of New Keynesian economics, Paul Krugman, the Arroyo administration actually found a way to sneak his ideology into its positive mix of fascism, communism, and Reaganomics. Regulation, that’s the Krugmanian magic word. Regulation is fundamental to protect the people and the industries and the economy from the abuses of electricity distribution companies, uhm, oil companies (oops, no, no, not that one, says Secretary of Energy Angelo Reyes), uh, Ayala Corporation companies, oh yes, TV networks. TV networks should be regulated and that’s basically where Reaganomics should be set aside because we really need to regulate our TV reporting in this country, as amply demonstrated by the initial arrest of solely ABS-CBN people at the Manila Peninsula siege. We must know who to regulate and who not to touch. That’s being smarter than Krugman, that’s being “wa-is” (wise).

Atty. Macalintal, being a lawyer with very good credentials as a lawyer, is understandably not too keen on environmental values. Maybe he is, but we have yet to hear from him on that subject. So, let me speak for him speaking for Malacañang.
     The Arroyo administration’s proclivity for expensive dinners, you see, you enemies of our Strong Republic who are trying to weaken it everyday, what President Arroyo’s P1 million dinner really achieves for our people is this: it actually serves now as an example of how we, as a people, should live our lives in the midst of all these threats of climate change and global warming. Omar Khayyam wrote in his classic oeuvre, quite an unforgettable book, “Let us wine and dine, for tomorrow we die” or something to that effect. By dining thus, “not once but twice,” . . . to me, that is already a perfect example of good leadership.
     Because if you want your people to be free from worries, don’t just give them lip service. Show it by example. [END]

(P.S. My congratulations to the people of my home province of Leyte. In voting Kokoy Romualdez’ son to his post, you, my people, have shown to the entire country your good taste. I believe Le Cirque should open a branch in depressing Tacloban to finally get rid of that perennial binagol.)

1 comment:

  1. Oy jojo ha!!! Gloria is my president and I believe in her competence. Those people in the opposition, they are just making evidences out of nothing. That Alan Cayetano, I hate him. He had done nothing good in the congress. His cause did not help the country. Why he did not make good laws that will help the poor and would boast the country's economy instead? They are idiot, stupid!!!!!!!!!! They want Gloria to step down, who would sit down as president, all of them?

    That dinner, they were just invited.