This is more or less a response to Kate Natividad’s articles about breeding out idiots and why I think that, despite Ms. Natividad’s good intentions, it will be of little help in this country. This is also related to ChinoF’s article about “bakya” society and why this is one of the major problems we need to focus on if we want to advance as a society. You see, while there are a lot of smart people in the country, they are easily outnumbered by the less informed members of our society. If we really want to make positive and permanent changes in our nation, then we have to start soon or it will be too late if it isn’t already.
See, the problem isn’t just the government. One of the biggest obstacles to progress our country faces is that its very people seem to hate knowledge. Yes, that’s right. In other countries, information is considered a highly valuable resource even in the ancient days. However, around here, the bliss of ignorance seems to be all the rage and people who at least have their bearings straight seemed to be frowned upon. People around here like to say that “knowing too much” is dangerous even though the IQ of the typical Filipino is probably lower than average.
The thing is, while there is hope for the Filipino people, this is often outright crushed by the fact that Pinoys are simply caught within their own “Matrix” that prevents them from seeing the reality that they are essentially slaves to a merciless oligarchy. Worse yet, Filipinos are led to think in ways that are convenient for the ruling oligarchs instead of being encouraged to think for themselves and make their own decisions. This is because our society at large is actually a cult of personality and not the free-thinking community that we think it is.
First off, let’s talk about idolatry. Did you know that among Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) any form of idolatry is often condemned? That is why, if you’ll notice, most Muslim sects have sparse iconography and what few they have are often abstract. The same can be said about most Protestant Christians and Jews spooked Roman pagans a long time ago because their temples had almost no depiction of any kind of deity despite their devotion to Yahweh. The Philippines is considered predominantly Catholic and supposedly adheres to Christian principles and Muslims are essentially our “cousins” in terms of faith. However, based on what can be seen so far, Filipinos are avid practitioners of idolatry.
That’s right. Filipinos treat their favorite celebrities like deities and not simply “entertainers”. In any other country, actors, actresses, singers and dancers are often given credit as artists, but unless they prove themselves to be competent in any other field like leadership, they are at best considered nothing more than entertainers. You can say that Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger are both actors who did well, but that was after they proved themselves worthy of leading their people. In the Philippines however, celebrities are treated more or less like gods and goddesses instead of just a source for entertainment. Notice also that geopolitical issues like China claiming our islands, the terrorists of the Mindanao causing untold mayhem, hostages getting killed in a shootout or politicians finally getting caught red-handed are often ignored in favor of celebrity news.
Here’s something else about idolatry. In the Bible and a few Canaanite myths, there is a deity called “Moloch” who could easily play the role of the villain of a good horror film. Moloch is essentially a brazen idol with the head of a bull who demanded the sacrifice of children. People of the time, the fools that they were, butchered their children like animals or burned them alive just to please this god. That God cast down idols like Moloch to prove to people that they were false (and possibly demonic) gods was proof enough that idolatry all too often led to madness and horror. Moloch and the place associated with him, called “Gehenna”, became a garbage dump for ancient Jews and even went on to be synonymous with Hell.
When accused with idolatry, many Filipinos are quick to defend themselves and rationalize that they are merely admiring the person and their talents or making the utterly hilarious “loving their fellow man” excuse. They will defend their deities from criticism, calling those who call them out as envious or bitter. They will continue to watch movies of their gods and goddesses and the products they consume even when their resources are depleted and their families starve. Well, to both these statements, I have an answer:
I’m an admirer too, actually. For instance, I find women like Francine Prieto very attractive and I am a huge fan of UFC’s Ronda Rousey. However, I will also state that these women aren’t exactly champion good girls. They’re kinda cool and hot at the same time (warm, perhaps?) but, beyond that, I wouldn’t really think of them as role models. Both of them have attitude issues, especially Ronda who doesn’t seem to be much of a sportswoman. If anyone ever decided to bash them for their bad attitudes, I wouldn’t really mind all that much.
As for “love of fellow man”, here’s all I have to say: What a joke! I mean really? Love for your fellow man. This was people’s favorite excuse when they obsessed over Vhong Navarro’s condition when he got beat up. Well, let me tell you guys something. Yes, Mr. Navarro deserves justice for what happened to him but when you think about all the unsolved cases in the country like the people who simply disappear, the people who die in the streets when beaten by junkies and those poor kids who get raped, killed and their bodies left in the gutter. You wanna talk about love of fellow man, well go think of something to help the Yolanda victims or find a way to comfort the devastated families of the SAF 44.
Coco Martin, Daniel Padilla, Marian Rivera or Heart Evangelista and the rest of their colleagues are just entertainers and nothing more. No, they are not gods and goddesses and they could really care less about you. There are few things they do that will have any real impact on your life unless you vote them into presidency and even then they probably wouldn’t be looking out for you in any way.
I wouldn’t be surprised if God eventually decides to cast down our idols in front of us, the same thing he did with the Jews in the Old Testament. For the life of you, your family and your country, celebrities are artists and not deities. Please people, it’s time to get real and grow up!
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