Friday, May 08, 2009

Busting Barricades, Beating Bullies

Art by Joel Chua from here

There's a lot going on with regard to the Great Book Blockade of 2009. I guess nerd rage is up for it, eh?

As Achtung Dog says, "What's with this retroactive shit? If there's one thing wrong with this government, it's fucking consistency. Where else can you find a bureaucratic agency signing a memo that covers up all the heavy-handed tax action holding book shipments for spurious payments a couple months before the memo even got passed? All the spin doctors in the world are probably spinning on their asses in their corner offices right now."

As of the moment, booklovers are rallying the banners and flocking to the barricades. You can check out the latest updates here at kyu's (with his kilometric-long comments), some analysis by charles and a reply by Robin Helmley, the word from PDI columnist Manuel Quezon III (as well as column space), and a whole lot more (like legal viewpoints from Bahay Talinhaga and Trojan Bore). Whether or not this blog-burning of the Internet will do any good is another question entirely, I suppose.

But you know what I like about this fooferah? It's the fact that for once in our booklovin'-lives, we're actually coming out and doing something to prove that and shout-out that, yes, We Like To Read.

That we're not freaks of nature because we like to read, that we like to carry books in our bags when we go on vacations, and that we can't wait for books to come out in local shops and we want to order them from abroad (and damn the costs!). Hell no! We also don't think we're elitist because of it. Unfortunately, just because we're different, and that we're passionate about our difference means that we get targeted-- whether by the big bullies in the playground or by the customs agents at the government office.

I mean, seriously: we may be ordinary people but I think we can make a difference-- that we can raise an issue in the air and it won't turn into the Internet-Event-0f-the-Week. Why? Because we're usually holding a book in our hand, and that means we know that we're not just concerned about living on a day-to-day basis and that our brain is still ticking.

On a concluding note, here's Achtung Dog again: "So you want to do some fucking affirmative support action against the Book Blockade? Sign up with the Facebook movement or join Rock Ed if they do plan to do something. Write to the pertinent people like government officials, lawmakers, the media, etc. Keep talking about it so that it won't just be swept under the rug. Create art protesting it, not just visual but also textual. But most of all... buy a book, people. At the local bookshops like Fully Booked, Powerbooks, and A Different Bookstore. And not fucking second-hand, okay? Support the bookshops in what they do while we strive for a better book-filled tomorrow."

Amen to that, brother. Amen.

Update: Well, looks like Gang Badoy and the Rock Ed crew are joining in: "We Ain't Taxin' Books Here: BOOKBIGAYAN 2009." Cool. Maybe I can throw in some of my finished books. And some people are coming up with a central library on the links for easier reference (which is now up here).


zero said...

If this is on Facebook, I will click I like on your post.
It's true, the book-lovers are coming out and angry.

Anonymous said...

teka ha, bakit naging zero name ko?--This is sharmaine okay.

cat with the fiddle said...

*sigh* however shall we cope? :(

banzai cat said...

sharmaine: oy, what happened there? and yes, up with pages, down with governments!

fiddler: a.d. speaks true! buy books!