Thursday, March 18, 2004

Doubting Thomas

I admit, in this job, I've become such a political cynic. Watching the news on television, listening to political commentaries on the radio, I've become innured to the debauched carnival that is Philippine politics.

So I'm not ashamed to say that come election day, I may not vote. I'm still thinking about, of course, but looking at the options available, I'm not exactly hopeful. Thinking about this on the way to the office, I think it's because I've evolved a Doubter's Creed to serve as a bullshit filter in my job. And it's this filter that's interfering in my willingness to vote.

Basically, this Creed revolves the central idea of: Question Everything. Doubt Everything. And this is comprised of:

1. If something looks like the way it is, it probably is.

2. If something looks stupid, then it's probably more complicated than it is.

3. Separate but related to no. 2: People are stupid.

If something looks like the way it is, it probably is. An example of this is how the Metro Manila mayors are rejoicing over the suspension of sidewalk-clearing operations against ambulant vendors by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA). Now, these ambulant vendors are a major source of votes for these mayors and it helps if the voters you're trying to woo sees you as their defender. And now that the May national and local elections are coming up, every little bit helps in gathering those votes before the polls open on May 10. Granted, traffic may snarl and life will become a little bit more hellish but what the hey, right?

This also applies to the suspension of the MMDA's color-coding scheme against public utility buses.

If something looks stupid, then it's probably more complicated than it is. An example of this is that scandal involving the head of the National Archives allegedly faking the birth documents of opposition presidential candidate and movie star Fernando Poe, Jr. using Photoshop and three archive staffers who later became opposition witnesses. Give me a break. If someone wants to do a terrible wrong, why would you involve three people you know may stab you in the back later on to do it? Also, don't they know that "a secret is not a secret if more than one person knows it?"

Lastly, Separate but related to no. 2: People are stupid. Do I have to explain this? Do I have to elaborate that people will vote for leaders who can't even lead a herd of cattle out of a barn? Do I have to point out that people will believe a public official who is a friend, a family member, a frat brother or sorority sister (or whatever club or organization you want to place here), a lover, etc. despite the fact that this person is known to lie, cheat and steal? Do I have to detail the fact that people will still believe in a leader through hell and high water, even if they catch the bastard with his pants down and an 11-year old child in front of him?

Granted, not all people are like this. (And I'm not excusing myself either from that tenet.) However, what really pisses me off is when people stop using the brains God gave them and start behaving like lemmings on their annual jumping-off-the-cliffs ritual.

Bite me. Grrr.

(Note: This is a shortened post that I wrote a lengthier version earlier but which was shortly eaten by the Dark Gods of the Internet. Must have slackened off in giving human and blood sacrifices...)

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