Sleeping with the enemy: Carlos Celdran fails to notice Church and Media partnership in crime

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.

carlos_celdranThat, 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 Celdran’s rescue. “It was the kind of court decision that—for some—could only please Padre Damaso,” reported the President’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 everyone’s been gagged by virtue of Celdran’s conviction.

The President’s Star unexpectedly cast aside the more important issues of the day and screamed: “RH activist convicted of religious offense.” Over at social media, ANC Alerts tweeted Celdran’s every word. Fellow celebs like Bianca Gonzales and blogger-for-hire Chuvaness (self-proclaimed “devout” Catholic) weighed in as well.

What an outrage! How could Celdran, who’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 “modern-day Damasos,” 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 Celdran”. 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]

9 Replies to “Sleeping with the enemy: Carlos Celdran fails to notice Church and Media partnership in crime”

  1. Well said! He wants to have his cake and eat it too. The thing that comes out is that he wants the freedom to be disrespectful. He could have pulled his stunt elsewhere. You can accuse the Church of being outdated but they remain consistent. Chesterton was quoted to have said that the Church has a democracy of the dead. That is, the dead continue to have a voice in the present. It is plain arrogance to dismiss past generations because you don’t agree with them. Ironically, Carlos Celdran makes a living on historical tour guides. Without Spain, the archipelago would have remained a land of disparate tiny kingdoms. People of ages past continue to have their voice in Tradition. Likewise, the State gives voice to its dead through laws and traditions it created. The British government is very tradition-oriented. Hence, they have a House of Lords to balance the House of Commons. The House of Lords invoke the wisdom of past generations. Every generation tends to think it is superior to the previous ones. Without traditions and laws, there would be no stopping the craziness that a present generation will bring. Sometimes, new isn’t necessarily better. The examples of this are Coca-Cola and the Star Wars trilogy (Episodes IV to VI).

  2. The Spinbusters article said it so well. I’m sure they’re giving some people a headache. And those people deserve headache. Hopefully the headache means their brains have started working.

  3. The Media is owned by the Lopezes. The biggest government contractor of the country…mayaman na, mayaman na…kasama ni Aquino…

  4. Enough already! EIGHT (count ’em!) threads on Carlos Cedran’s stunt.

    Is there nothing else in the Philippines which calls for comment?

  5. There is nothing wrong with wanting to have your cake and eat it too, u kno? It is why you make the cake to begin with.
    BUT this guy is just another MEDIA-WHORE who’s plan looks like it has back-fired on his dumb-ass! and that is just tough-shit, as they say in the BIG LEAGUES.If your goiong to play be willing to PAY! and that is it, tough shit Carlos, good-luck in prison and ,uh, don’t forget to write, BWAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!

    1. The meaning of “you can’t have your cake and eat it too” is that if you consume something you lose it. If you eat the cake, you lose that which you ate. It’s the same thing with money. What you spend is not saved. You take something, you have to give back something. He doesn’t want the responsibility that is entailed by the freedom he wants.

  6. This is bunk, Benigno, and you know it. The Catholic Church (as distinguished from some of its officials/members) does not need the media, other than its own, to promote its doctrines, teachings and points of view. The country is 80 to 90 percent Catholics, no thanks to the media. Maybe, on the contrary, it’s the other way around. The media needs patronage from the vast Catholic membership to survive or flourish. I don’t buy the idea that there is such a “partnership”, as you speculate.

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