Remember that time when you heard the news that the country has achieved the title of being the “texting capital of the world” and felt tearfully proud about it? Me neither. Really more on the feeling tearfully proud part than on the remembering part. Because seriously, with all the media buzz about it you have to be living under a rock, in a cave, remotely on one of our 7100 islands while being a complete catatonic vegetable under the influence of either meth or Biogesic or both, to have missed that glorious day when news programs announced the Philippines’ Biggest Accomplishment since Rizal. It was a big deal, you get the picture.
I’ve never even been a fan of text messaging, not because I prefer calling, but mainly because I think it’s dumb. There was a time when I used to wake up to at least ten messages in my phone, 3 of them telling the same joke, 1 telling the same joke but with different characters, 2 being bitter love quotes, 2 being sweet love quotes, and the last 2 reminding me about Globe’s promos. It was the best wake up feeling in the world.
Well, it’s not a surprise because the Philippines is generally a dumb country (Oooh controversy!). Come on, sure we churn out probably 1 genius for every 100 babies born but the intellectual abilities of that genius baby gets nipped in the bud by overbearing parents way before he or she reaches puberty. Don’t get me wrong, I like this country as much as the next French tourist and all for the same reasons, too: the scenery. I only like the Philippines because it looks beautiful. That’s it. Would I die protecting our natural beauty? You bet! Would I die protecting the horde of ignorant bystanders I pass by on the street everyday? Only if they were really sexy. But I digress.
I came across a report on The New York Times saying that texting makes people dumb. I will now demonstrate the consequences of these findings on our country using simple n00b logic.
Texting = Dumb People.
Philippines = Texting Capital of the World.
Philippines = Dumb People Capital of the World.
“The act of texting automatically removes 10 I.Q. points,” said Paul Saffo, a technology trend forecaster in Silicon Valley. “The truth of the matter is there are hobbies that are incompatible. You don’t want to do mushroom-hunting and bird-watching at the same time, and it is the same with texting and other activities.”
What the hell happened? How did we become that Dumb Country? Well, between the government leading us on a downward spiral towards an abyss of rubble and a culture reinforced by promoting unoriginal imitating media, I think it’s a toss up, really. Okay, enough talking about the problem, let’s talk about a solution.
Let’s see, what can a person like me, a reasonably attractive twenty-something middle class semi-professional person, do to help solve this problem? I know, why not write a blog post about it? It’s what any other reasonably attractive twenty-something middle class semi-professional person would do too, right? I mean look at what good we’ve done the country so far. We have made the government turn their back against their ungodly and fairly stupid methods of governance. The world has been set right. No, wait, it hasn’t. Blogging protests over the Internet is pretty much the equivalent of trying to make ripples in a frozen pond. (Making this post a cross between hypocrisy and irony… Hyporony? Irocrisy? No good.)
Hmm so what other options do I have? Well if protesting over teh Internatz isn’t cutting it, the next possible way would be to go march through the streets in a rally. Yeah, it’s the first thing that came to my mind, too! It’s such a brilliant idea. I’m sure the government would be stirred if we make a paper mache likeness of PGMA and set it on fire in front of the Palace. I mean, it worked the last 342 times, didn’t it? No? It didn’t? Damn.
So can we just follow the media’s, my mother’s and the government’s method of solving problems, then? Yeah let’s just throw the blame around. It’s the Americans’ fault. It’s Erap’s fault. It’s the MILF’s fault. There, I feel much better. Don’t you? Everyone feels better after a good blame-game session. I guess that’s why we’re also one of the happiest people in the world. Ignorance is bliss. Uhh wait, wrong platitude. Philippines is bliss. Perfect.
I saw Winnie Monsod’s segment last night on News on Q about the impending mass lay off on OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) due to the economic crisis the world is currently experiencing. Personally, I thought her views were very hard to believe and somewhat propaganda-ish.
First off, she assured us that 80% of the total OFWs are working in Asia and that Asia is actually doing well in spite of the global financial crunch. China and Japan were unlikely to be greatly affected by this crisis and so Filipino employees in those countries were relatively safe, compared to those who are working for the US or UK. Also, the Middle East, she reports, were showing promising signs of continuous growth and, consequently, our workers there have nothing to worry about. Well, I’ll believe that when my father, who’s employed in Saudi Arabia, finally reassures us that he is safe in his job. There have been rumors in his company of a mass lay off and he’s worried he might be one of those to be let go. This is just like the government to tell the people everything is okay when clearly there are certain things that we need to look forward to and prepare for.
Serbisyong Totoo better begin telling the very real danger OFW families are facing or they’re going to be in for the surprise of their lives.
Next, she also reported that, in case she was incorrect in her predictions, the Department of Overseas Labor and Employment (DOLE) is more than prepared to handle the re-integration of workers who could face the chopping block back into the foreign job fair. She told us that there are thousands of other employment opportunities abroad that the DOLE can dole out for those who were sent back to the motherland. I had to temporarily change the channel because I just couldn’t handle all the bullshit I was being fed but I promptly put her back on again because I was curious to learn more.
Her most disturbing observation of all, the one that led me to doubt her PhD, was when she said Filipinos (just Filipinos), in particular, have high chances of retention with their jobs because of the “malasakit” (compassion) we constantly show our employers. Well it sure makes for a hard decision whether to fire Juan dela Cruz or not especially since he’s so nice to everybody. Screw the global crisis. I am keeping this pleasant employee and I’m replacing everyone with robots who doesn’t form unions and doesn’t demand a raise all the time.
In the face of the economic dilemma the world is facing, how could she possibly think that compassion would play a vital role in the OFW’s struggle to keep his or her job? The entire segment reeks of government propaganda to prevent massive panic amongst the millions of families whose dinners and lifestyles depend on a relative working abroad. I’m going to give Mareng Winnie a chance, though, because I like her. But Serbisyong Totoo better begin telling the very real danger OFW families are facing or they’re going to be in for the surprise of their lives.
Let me preface this by saying that my IQ is 143 and as a child I was kind of a bigshot with most of the adults in my life because of this genius status. I don’t want to brag but it’s all true and completely relevant with what I have to talk about. I’m 100% sure that all parents in the country have this desire to have a super smart son or daughter and the lengths that we go through to achieve this desire is evident from the various products and programs that are supposed to enhance mental ability even in unborn children. There are Mozart records for pregnant women, milk products that beat steroids in chemical content, books entitled ‘Analytic Geometry for Toddlers’, and sperm banks boasting swimmer specimen from Hawking. Okay the last two are fake, but you get the point?
In a previous post, I mentioned a Grade Five (I can say Fifth Grade, but where’s the Filipino-ness in that?) Math textbook discussing fractions in a ridiculously confusing manner. I’m a college senior and I didn’t get the explanation the first time I read it, what chance could an eleven year-old have? Anyway, I found out who the authors were: Adela C. Villamayor and Amelia D. Celeridad – Wright. They were supposedly bigshots in the academic world and there’s a tradition, a kind of rite of passage, among academic bigshots to write a textbook at least once in your life/career. I’m sure that was their intention in writing Math for Life 5, if their real intention was for the benefit of young learners everywhere, they would’ve done a better job than the garbage they published. But I ramble.
Parents put a lot of effort into making sure that their children got what they deserve, as long as it fits their budgets. When asked why they’re sending their children to an advanced preschool classroom, they invoke the age-old parental excuse, “We just want the best for our children.” What about what their kids want? Did they even consider that? The world is a horrible place to live in and making sure that your kid is smart enough to figure this harsh fact at a very young age is the most cruel thing a parent can do to their child. I know I wouldn’t do that to my hypothetical future son/daughter. I saw this documentary in QTV once entitled, “Growing Up Gifted” and it was very informative about the topic. Unfortunately, it didn’t show the downside of being an insufferable know-it-all.
The world is a horrible place to live in and making sure that your kid is smart enough to figure this harsh fact at a very young age is the most cruel thing a parent can do to their child.
Firstly, decision making gets really hard because knowing a lot doesn’t always mean that you get to make the best decisions in life. If you’re deciding between two really close choices, you’d really twist your brains to figure out which one you really want. If you chose Option A, you know exactly what you’re getting and what you’re not getting. You’d feel fine about your choice but then there’s a part of you that’s going to kill your soul slowly for not knowing what it would be like had you chosen Option B.
Then there’s the endless paranoia that creeps into your waking thoughts about the things you know and how it affects yourself and other people in their daily lives. And when you’re in some sort of trouble, this paranoia is magnified into colossal proportions because you’ve figured out exactly what’s waiting for you on the other side before you can even open the door to face it. Ultimately, you’d get chronic episodes of severe depression because of this and you’d be technically disabled for the rest of the said episode’s duration.
Then there’s the constant irritation you’d feel towards the stupider people around you day in and day out. You’d feel annoyed at your boss for making a very stupid decision that you know would lead your officemates and yourself into some sort of predicament, and then afterwards you’d beat yourself up for it because there was absolutely nothing you could’ve done to stop it. Or you’d feel annoyed at your friends for always making the same mistakes over and over again despite the fact that you’ve already given them sound advice about it several times in the past. Or you’d feel annoyed at your family whenever they get the urge to do embarrassing stuff in public especially when you’re with them.
For the parents out there who want a genius baby, I suggest you reconsider your wishes. If you ask me, it’s better to have a hardworking child than a smart one. But who am I, right? I’m just a self-proclaimed genius who sees too far ahead for his own good.
From the recent outbreak of digital movies in the Filipino film industry, I would say that “indie” (short for independent cinema) is slowly becoming a staple for the common Pinoy film fanatic’s appetite. Maybe they’ve just grown tired of the slapstick comedies and teenybopper romances that big film studios in the country produce almost every other month but whatever the reason is, independent cinema is getting tougher and tougher to ignore, not that we want to of course. So is “indie” the new mainstream?
Independent films are so named because they are produced independently by independent filmmakers with their own independent equipment and their own independent budgets. Independently, the growing population of independent film lovers are developing independent opinions about their independent passion. I think that’s enough independence. Yes, we are getting overwhelmed by their massive turnout every year but who can deny the bold and fresh styles of storytelling that’s just so different from the tired old garbage we get from the competition! Not to mention most of them are just soft porn in disguise.
The problem with crowd mentality is that Filipinos are so fond of it. Show them something witty and different and they’ll jump at it like politicians at money. Then everyone would want to be witty and different and when everyone is witty and different, everyone becomes the same. It’s the same thing with fads, that’s why I think they’re useless. We should learn from the independent philosophy. They’re trying to promote not jumping in on the old bandwagon. They’re trying to make a new bandwagon for themselves. It’s okay to be a fan, there’s no shame in admitting admiration but plain imitation is just pathetic and not really flattering. The sad thing is, I think independent filmmaking is becoming more and more of a fad and less of a super cool totally fresh new Filipino art movement. I mean, come on. Let me put it this way, will someone bet against me if I say that in the next twenty indie films that would come out, there wouldn’t be anything about a gay guy coming to age? Anyone?
The storytelling is different but the stories are slowly revealing a pattern like the Hollywood curse. They’re becoming predictable and I especially dislike going to the cinema and getting that all too familiar feeling like I think I’ve seen the movie before. I’m an ass and I don’t have faith in the new breed of independent filmmakers our culture is creating, so make your fantastic egos work and prove this ass wrong. How?