Sunday, May 03, 2009

Welcome to the Republic of Absurdity

Sometimes I really hate this government and by extension, my country. Why? Read this piece by Robin Hemley at McSweeney's:
Few countries can compete with the Philippines when it comes to corruption—it's always near the top of the list of most-corrupt nations and the G20 nations recently blacklisted it, along with only three other countries, for its banking practices. In polls, Filipinos tag customs as the most corrupt department. And for good reason.

Over coffee one afternoon, a book-industry professional (whom I can't identify) told me that for the past two months virtually no imported books had entered the country, in part because of the success of one book, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. The book, an international best seller, had apparently attracted the attention of customs officials. When an examiner named Rene Agulan opened a shipment of books, he demanded that duty be paid on it...
Not the books, goddamn it. If ever there's a reason for me to join the rebels in the mountains, it's this one.

Ironically, because of their massive incompetence and ineptness, the Philippine government is not something out of the pages of George Orwell's 1984 or Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. Rather, it's more like Terry Gilliam's Brazil-- in fact, the sheer absurdity of the government officials' language and reasoning is something straight out of a Monty Python movie.



(Link via kyu.)

7 comments:

Eldritch00 said...

I've been so upset ever since I first read Hemley's piece (by accident, I might add: I was looking for funny stuff and ended up reading that). I must confess I smiled a bit at your commentary though: I love Brazil and have just screened it for class last week!

banzai cat said...

well, it's a catchy bit of song and i always remember jonathan pryce humming the song while being wheeled away bug-eyed mad at the end of the movie-- a lot how i feel about this government. *sigh*

cat with the fiddle said...

for real? how fucked up is that? such a sad thing to hear about the country... it's just too much.

thebee said...

It's not surprising, though. That's the sad thing.

banzai cat said...

fiddler cat, bee: yeah, tell me about it. the ironic thing is that after working 8 years in the media, you still find something that can disgust about the government. :-P

Don said...

puta, read this one in Manolo Quezon's column. Sarap mamaril ng mga siraulo hahah!

banzai cat said...

don: heh nakaaasar talaga