Perhaps if self-styled shock activist Carlos Celdran weren’t too busy posing for self-portraits and posting these on Twitter, he’d notice that the bigger institution that needs a bit of spanking is Philippine Media.
Much of what makes the Church powerful today is owed to the handiwork of “creatives” like now-Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III (ironic!) who penned the lyrics to iconic odes to the “people power” EDSA “revolution” which juxtaposed that seminal gathering of kibitzers in EDSA in 1986 with suggestive religious symbolism. Cobbling together moving images of pioneering street parliamentarians and rosary-wielding nuns kneeling in prayer before tanks which were sounded-over by Sotto’s music then broadcasting these every hour via the vast network of newly-“liberated” ABS-CBN, these proto spin-meisters engineered the entrenchment of the anthem of EDSA-as-Catholic-miracle moronism into the national psyche.
That, Mr Celdran, is the religious-media-industrial complex the ordinary Filipino schmoe is up against. The Church owes a lot of its power to the Media industry. You can’t rail against one and be in bed with another. And it is quite obvious that you are. Any attention junkie would necessarily be. Publicity is the currency of shock and emo activism, after all. And, by far, it is Philippine media that is the foremost enabler of publicity for the attention-starved.
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Hardly surprising then that Philippine media is now the refuge of the embattled Carlos Celdran. As observed by media watchdog Spinbusters…
As if on cue, the pro-RH media came to Celdranâ€™s rescue. â€œIt was the kind of court decision thatâ€”for someâ€”could only please Padre Damaso,â€ reported the Presidentâ€™s Daily Inquirer. PDI, chief preacher of safe and satisfying sex, lawyered for Celdran via news stories and op-ed items. Out of nowhere, Florin Hilbay emerged to pen a ridiculous PDI opinion piece that sounded as if everyoneâ€™s been gagged by virtue of Celdranâ€™s conviction.
The Presidentâ€™s Star unexpectedly cast aside the more important issues of the day and screamed: â€œRH activist convicted of religious offense.â€ Over at social media, ANC Alerts tweeted Celdranâ€™s every word. Fellow celebs like Bianca Gonzales and blogger-for-hire Chuvaness (self-proclaimed â€œdevoutâ€ Catholic) weighed in as well.
What an outrage! How could Celdran, whoâ€™s doing the nation a great service by touring historically challenged Caucasians in Intramuros and dispensing condoms on the side, go to jail for exercising his constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech? After all, he stood up to a bunch of misogynists and â€œmodern-day Damasos,â€ and fought for our right to taxpayer-funded contraception!
If he weren’t so anti-clergy, Celdran would probably be walking around surrounded by a “human shield” of nuns by now a-la that other self-styled so-last-decade “hero” Jun Lozada. Interestingly, Celdran is not above promoting an online-petition to “free Carlos Celdranâ€. So much for the brave “hero” of secularism and his fearless assault on Damaso’s bastion. It’s nice television fodder either way.
So the anwswer to the question of who is laughing all the way to the bank in the midst of all this is quite obvious: None other than Philippine Media.
It is ironic that Celdran lambasts the Church for meddling in politics yet turns a blind eye to the Philippine Media’s prostitution to political dynasties.
At least the Roman Catholic Church remains consistent to a 2000-year-old dogma and, it can be argued, is guided by an idea. Media, on the other hand, are not as noble. They go to wherever the scoop takes them. Just a bunch of mercenaries. But like the Church, in media organisations the hypocrisy too runs from the top (where favours to politicians shareholders are in bed with trumps all) down to the bottom where reporters routinely abuse their access to powerful mass communication channels. This is specially so nowadays. Elections are in the air and many journalists are assuming the position in anticipation as politicians begin whipping out their wads.
Filipinos should understand that there is a time and place for media-greased activism. That time has gone. EDSA is now a monstrous eyesore of a parking lot and Media are now a discredited lot that have settled back into their natural character far below their exalted place of bygone years as so-called “heroes” of “freedom”. They are now mere for-profit corporate entities, and their journalists, mere employees. When the fundamental infrastructure for the voice of the people to be heard and heeded (representative government run by popularly-elected officials) is already in place, it means it is time to allow the system to work.
Carlos Celdran is a relic of a time when defying the system was a potent fashion statement. Unfortunately, truly clever “activists” routinely make powerful statements nowadays without risking jail time. That’s the beauty of 21st Century technology.
[Photo courtesy Stylerpa.com.]
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.