Sorry, this #DongYan issue won’t die when people keep talking about it. Not just us. Other people, too. Actually, this isn’t about just “show of wealth” – which a wedding should not be (but that’s another topic for another day). It’s about what showbiz in the Philippines does. We write about showbiz because we believe it contributes to our society’s intellectual bankruptcy and helps maintain its dysfunctions.
The basic thesis is in the recently reshared article about “starstruck ignoramuses.” Showbiz helps turns people into gullible zombies who blindly admire artistas and then vote them into office. These are the fantards who, after seeing their favorite stars promote a skin whitening cream, will flock to the malls and start buying these creams like crazy – probably emptying their wallets and going into debt for it. And when an artista is criticized, the fantards start kicking and screaming, calling the critics “inggit” (envious) and negative, probably throwing the classic “what have you done for the country” and “why don’t you support Pinoy Pride!” It’s even funny when supposed intellectuals themselves come to the defense and defend “showbiz kilig;” what an irony.
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All the while, many of them refuse to participate in necessary political processes, citing “sayang ang oras ko diyan” (my time is only wasted there) – even if these processes are supposed to lead to solutions that address their concerns voiced as “ang hirap ng buhay” (life is hard).
Showbiz is full of lies, deceit and hype (like politics!). Back when I was with a showbiz magazine, I heard a sexy actress say in an interview, “nadudumihan ako” (I find it dirty) about the showbiz world. While there may be clean actors and actresses, it doesn’t do anything to change the impression that Philippine showbiz is a very dirty industry. Many scandals and propaganda plague showbiz (a popular topic being sex tapes), but unfortunately, it does little to destroy the illusion of its supposed glamor and prestige.
Some might even be surprised to note that show business is rife with drug abuse. Of course, many fans may have forgotten that many actors and politicians have been apprehended for drug possession. Some like Dennis Roldan fell not only into politics but crime. But it seems that even the do-badders from showbiz will have their fantards.
Of course, what I point out is that the kind of admiration showbiz fantards have for their idols is akin to cult members slurping the toes of their leaders. Showbiz works on a personality cult basis indeed, but in the Philippines, the cultists are made to believe their idols are gods. Any sort of criticism or “negative” treatment is anathema! Thus, my assertion that Filipinos are actually willing subjects and slaves, Renfields to the country’s Draculas. A people willing to be held by the neck hoping it will help them eschew responsibility and achieve perfect comfort without trying.
Jan 2015 addendum: Just to demonstrate, I recalled this picture from the controversial Bench fashion show earlier. Sums up in a picture the relationship between Filipinos and their celebrity idols.
And seeing how showbiz celebrities are treated, no wonder many Filipinos want to become showbiz stars themselves!
Of course, there are the problems observed with the content. Philippine TV and movie dramas are criticized not only for being cliched, but for bringing the wrong messages across, such as implying that it is wrong to be a thinking person or that selfish melodramatic behavior is OK. They perpetuate many myths, and thus, the viewers are encouraged to behave primitively and accept mediocrity. And don’t forget the various idiocies that game show and “variety” (wowowee) entertainment have.
Just remember, showbiz is showbusiness is business. The showbiz companies only want the hapless fantards to shell out money to make them or their partners and sponsors rich. This is necessarily not bad by itself, but Filipino society’s obsession with showbiz has helped keep it poor and backward. Showbiz helps maintain the class divide in this country. And when you look at the concept of value, getting the right bang for your buck, Philippine showbiz fails. Aside from the bad quality and wrong messages of the shows, the star system also turns intelligent people into simpletons and conditions fantards to become willing subjects.
What we need is the right education and media reform that will stop Filipinos from getting dumbed down and will be more encouraged to think, ceasing to become starstruck peasants waiting to fetch a stick at the command of their famous “masters.” Filipinos really need a wholesale change in attitude. They need to throw aside showbiz kilig and start demanding better, more intellectual elements in Filipino entertainment content. Stop sanitizing bakya and start building, rather than killing, brain cells.
I believe, as my cohorts here do, that what Filipinos embrace as their culture is what actually pulls the country down. And those who seem to be anti-dictators, who may also believe themselves to be “heroes,” are the real dictators.