As if to serve as some sort of an unsolicited comic relief, the Philippine branch of widely known fast food chain KFC recently came up with a new, amusing value meal: the Cheese Top Burger. The name speaks for itself; the cheese, instead of being between the buns together with the burger patty, is above the top bun instead.
Among the great number of pointless things mankind has conceived throughout the course of history, perhaps the idea of a burger with cheese on top is one of the most striking. First, it will probably just make holding the burger more difficult. After all, Iâ€™m quite certain anyone dirtying their hands with hot, melting cheese while eating their burgers wonâ€™t find it a pleasant and comfortable experience. Second, even with the misplaced cheese, the Cheese Top Burger might well still be your regular burger. You can put the patty above the top bun instead and call it Patty Top Burger, but itâ€™s still sure to be your good olâ€™ ordinary burger, only with a different configuration. You can try the following combinations at your leisure:
- Bun-Bun-Cheese-Patty (Twin-Bun Top Burger)
- Bun-Cheese-Bun-Patty (Alternate Bun Burger 1)
- Bun-Patty-Bun-Cheese (Alternate Bun Burger 2)
- Cheese-Patty-Bun-Bun (Twin-Bun Bottom Burger)
- Cheese-Bun-Bun-Patty (Buns As Your Patty Burger)
So on and so forth, but youâ€™ll still end up with a messed up regular burger. Giving them new names wonâ€™t make the idea any creative. Needless to say, the whole concept of rearranging a burger in the guise of making a new value meal is, ultimately, pointless. Then again, Filipinos have a knack for the pointless.
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Look no further than our very own circus politics, valiantly spearheaded by head clown Noynoy Aquino. For the duration of his time, PNoy, together with his cronies, has filled the nation with a vast array of flashy theatrics which were quick to die down in the perspective of critical observers, yet has remained well alive in the hearts of many citizens. Still, the fact remains that most, if not all, of what had transpired in PNoyâ€™s term as president are, in actuality, pointless.
1.Â Itâ€™s pointless to make campaign promises youâ€™re not sure you can keep.
It just gives you unnecessary liabilities. Like how PNoy embarrassed himself by refusing to sign the waiver to waive his bank secrecy rights when it was one of his most memorable promises, making promises you canâ€™t really keep will simply put you in a very awkward position in front of the ones from whom you extract your political power. Then again, whether it is due to severe lack of foresight or a very fine mixture of arrogance and ignorance is of no consequence. After all, many Filipinos have forgotten the issue altogether to give it a shred of thought, too preoccupied with their coping with PNoyâ€™s increasingly ridiculous governance and believing in their â€œstalwart protector of democracyâ€ mental construct.
2.Â Itâ€™s pointless to mask your statistics when it can be easily decoded.
The alleged 6.4% Q1 growth was the cause of much celebration among the Filipino population, where PNoy got roses and praises for bringing prosperity to the Filipino people. It was said to be the product primarily of efficient and robust government spending, and, if the Yellows had their way, the sheer divinity of the Aquino-Cojuangco clan. Then again, not all economics-savvy intellectuals are cooped up within the government halls, and it was only a matter of time before someone came up with a rebuttal of PNoyâ€™s claims. It then leads you to ask: why bother masking your flawed statistics when there are free intellectuals who can blow off the covers at any minute? The answer might as well lie in the masses, which seem to be impervious towards this revelation. Itâ€™s because there will always be people (and lots of them) who will believe PNoy.
3.Â Itâ€™s pointless to pretend you uphold what is good when your actions contradict it.
Nothing could be more vivid an example for this pointlessness than ex-Chief Justice Renato Coronaâ€™s recently concluded impeachment trial, which evidently showed the beloved presidentâ€™s near-infinite capacity for vindictiveness. And yet throughout the duration of the trial, PNoy remained steadfast in his claim that he and his administration are for rule of law, transparency and democracy. Never mind the fact that the prosecution violated a truckload of laws and guidelines in their desperation to convict Corona. Never mind the falsified documents that miraculously made their way to the courtroom, coming from altruist fairies and gnomes. Never mind the massive â€œtrial by publicityâ€ conducted by the Palace to condition the minds of Filipinos regarding the guilt of the embattled ex-Chief Justice. Never mind the continuous persistence of the president to hound the now-convicted Corona until the end of time. Whatâ€™s the point of claiming youâ€™re good when what you do (which is seen and read by practically everyone) is nowhere near it? Once again, it could be said that the answer might be found in the Filipino people, many of whom are actually as vindictive as their beloved president. Hardly a surprise if one is to think about it.
4.Â Itâ€™s pointless to ramble on and on about your love life when your job is not even remotely related to it.
Weâ€™ve all had the experience; watching the president in his all-too-nauseating kilig moments with his alleged girlfriends. Weâ€™ve had Shalani Soledad. Weâ€™ve had Grace Lee. And for all we know, PNoyâ€™s romantic escapades are nowhere near the finish line. While I do believe everyone deserves a break and enjoy his time with a special someone, it is simply impossible in an objective point of view to justify PNoyâ€™s increasingly showbiz love life. First off, PNoy is a politician, not a celebrity, and so the news about him are expected to be about, well, how good things in the country are under his administration.
But then, who am I kidding? Here at our place, politicians are not just politicians; theyâ€™re also stars! And being stars on par with the celebs in the actual entertainment industry, one can only expect the masses to see some drama in their little personal lives; hence, the persistent documentation of our presidentâ€™s sour love life.
5.Â Itâ€™s pointless to whine about your decision when youâ€™ve already decided.
Recently, drama queen Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, after an eternity of playing hard-to-get with the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), finally gave in and accepted her nomination for the position of Chief Justice after Renato Coronaâ€™s removal from office. Still, her needless emotional display didnâ€™t end here, as she went on and described how agonized she was as she consulted her candidacy with her family and friends, how she treated this as a calling from God, and many other sentiments in tow. The emotional confession degenerated into nothing more than a hubris speech, as she even had the gall to assert the following:
Following the controversies generated by Coronaâ€™s removal from office last month, De Lima said â€œwhat the judiciary needs is an effective and trusted leader capable of transforming the institution into a citadel of hope.â€
â€œThat, to me, is the call of the times,â€ she said. â€œI sincerely believe that, at the minimum, I have my character and resolve as a person, and my track record and passion as a public servant, to offer for such a crucial and revered post.â€
So what was the point of acting like a wimp about your acceptance of the nomination, when you decided to go for it yourself? Heck, what was the point of all that drama prior to accepting your nomination, anyway? Then again, we all know a bunch of people who canâ€™t live without a little drama playing outside the television.
6.Â Itâ€™s pointless pretending to make judicial reforms when the one whoâ€™ll pick the Chief Justice has already something in mind.
The supposedly momentous outcome of Coronaâ€™s impeachment trial allegedly pushed politicians to actively fight for a more transparent, accountable and apolitical Judiciary. As a result, news and media outlets are teeming with tidbits about the progress of the current nomination for the position of Chief Justice alongside endless commentaries from politicians regarding who should take the job, which kind of defeats the purpose of their newfound advocacy. Furthermore, the JBC was forced into allowing media coverage of the goings-on in the nomination process. Apparently, it was to promote transparency in the judicial branch. Then again, whether these reforms are sincere or not, it will be ultimately pointless. No matter how many aspirants you nominate for the top job, it will be of no consequence when the president has already something in mind.
President Aquino convinced Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, during a recent meeting, to accept her nomination as Chief Justice.
A Palace source and a government official privy to the President’s consultations for the CJ position told Rappler that De Lima is among President Aquino’s top choices for the job.
If Rappler is to be believed, it would seem that nominating more and more people for the job of Chief Justice would be for nothing, and so would the enforcement of judicial reforms, not when the president has basically narrowed down his choices to a handful of friends. I mean, if the president is already choosing even if the nomination process isnâ€™t over, then whatâ€™s the difference between the current Judiciary and the one reformists allegedly envision? In the end, the selection will only lie on the caprice of the president, so why bother?
Unless, of course, there is an audience that need to be satisfied by giving them the illusion that change is on the way.
Indeed, if one would think about it, most of the things that happened under PNoyâ€™s rule are nothing but pointless. It served no productive purpose whatsoever, and, as expected, produced nothing of value. But they happened all the same; why? Perhaps, itâ€™s because something actually gave them a purpose. Something gave them meaning which wouldnâ€™t be possible if this â€œsomethingâ€ didnâ€™t existâ€¦ or to be more specificâ€¦ this â€œsomeone.â€
The Filipino gave these pointless drivel meaning. The Filipino gave these ridiculous ideas a purpose. The way all of these things happened, and the way they always involved the masses, you couldnâ€™t help but arrive at this very conclusion. It would seem that the reason why pointless things happen in our politicsâ€¦ is because Filipinos, willfully or not, give them an opportunity to happen.
If one would look back at the aforementioned list of nonsense that took place in PNoyâ€™s presidency, the logical conclusion would be: it is pointless to keep PNoy president. And yet he is still seated in power. And the long chain of hullabaloo continues to permeate the essence of our society. The people gave this hullabaloo value.
Just like how the pointless Cheese Top Burger is starting to penetrate the consumer market, we Filipinos let pointless things to invade our lives, because somehow, we manage to give them value. We manage to make them important in our lives. The laws of economics ring true; the supply is more or less an accurate reflection of what people demand. Given the pointless nature of many things existing in the Philippines, nothing more needs to be said in behalf of the demand side.
This leads me to asking a single question: is it becoming pointless to reason with the Filipino people?
[Photo courtesy Yahoo! News.]