It hasn’t been long but my friends and I just recently saw the film Land of the Lost, the one with Will Ferrell in it and the infamous scene with the giant mosquito. It’s actually a remake of an old TV series that used to be aired on Channel 5 as well, one that people of my generation might still be able to relate to. Although there are a few deviations from the original TV series, the film centers on the theme of what would happen if you trap modern humans in a prehistoric landscape. I’ve seen a lot of films and read a lot of books that have similar themes such as Michael Crichton’s Timeline (people trapped in the Medieval Age) and Olivia Butler’s Kindred (the Gilded Age of the United States when slavery was both legal and commonplace).
After an ordinate amount of thinking, I’ve come to wonder: Are Filipinos trapped in a similar predicament? Are we trapped in an age not rightfully our own? Or is there something else involved somehow? These are questions that bother me after making a number of observations in our society. However, don’t take my word for it, have a look at what I’m actually talking about:
The Animation Age Ghetto
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Anyway, just so you know, in Japan, animation is an art form all on its own just as they consider manga, their take on comics, as an art form as well. Unlike the Americans of the 50’s and unlike most of us Filipinos, the Japanese make animated shows that are extremely varied in scope and have a wide selection of genres such as shounen (for boys), shoujo (for girls), seinen (for young adults), yaoi (gay-themed) and yuri (lesbian-themed) just to name a few. And even within these named genres, they can be further divided into sub-genres (such as ones with more drama and those that are more action-oriented) and be made to overlap with one another.
Being a fan of anime, I am often very disappointed with how some people automatically attribute animated shows with children and childish people. Of course, I can admit to being childish every now and again, but then do many parents today even watch their children’s favorite programs with them? Do they take the time to understand just what exactly goes into their children’s heads? Sadly, I strongly doubt that many Pinoy parents care if their four-year old is watching a brutal anime brimming with explicit scenes and helpings of gore or if their fifteen-year old is exposed to mind-numbing noon-time show.
I’m not just talking about Japanese anime either. There are a lot of Western animation shows that are not exactly child-friendly either such as Family Guy, The Simpsons and Spawn. I do not know whether a lot of Filipino parents are simply holding onto the animation age ghetto or if they’re just plain irresponsible. Just to share, as a boy of about 8, my mother made me stop watching a cartoon called Inhumanoids when she saw the infamous transformation of Sandra Shore (a heroine among the team of protagonists) into a giant, raving skeleton-vampire-zombie thing.
And yes, I also know about hentai, but I’m already making this section of the article too long so let’s just discuss that some other time…
We Keep Voting For The Same People (As if We Have No Choice)
While eating pizza with a couple of friends, I once lamented over the fact that the Philippines never had a Medieval Age. You know, one with knights whose armor shone in the light of the sun or maybe ninja moving along castle walls in the night, unseen and deadly. Then, my friend said that if I wanted a Medieval Age, then I shouldn’t be disappointed because the Philippines does have a Medieval Age of sorts.
After a long moment of musing, I realized that many Filipinos still live in a Medieval/Feudal Age despite it being in the “New Tens” of the 21st Century. It’s apparent in the way that we continue to vote for people who have wronged us in the past. From the charlatans who steal from funds that are supposed to benefit the poor and unfortunate, the pretentious scoundrels who have been caught selling or distributing illegal drugs to the youth to the murderous scum who mercilessly kill their political opponents, no one seems to care what they do as long as they are in some kind of “position”. As long as a person is a politician, has a history of being a politician or has relatives who are politicians, we never seem to care about their past deeds and crimes against the people.
In the olden days, a peasant (who we can more or less equate with the common people today, especially when it comes to Filipinos) had no right whatsoever to make a stand against his lord. In those days, to even raise your voice against your lord was considered a grave act of disrespect and is even considered a form of treachery. Also, note that the upper class of society, from whom these lords and ladies were drawn, are called “nobles” or “nobility” which denotes some degree of honor just as we like to attach titles like “honorable” and “excellency” to the names of politicians despite them being thieving knaves.
To this day, I see this practice of electing the same officials still being prevalent today even if said official is quite obviously a criminal. People still choose these scum to run the country despite their transgressions because of the belief that since they have experience, they are the only ones worthy of the position. It never occurs to many of the common Filipino that anyone else, or they themselves for that matter, are capable of efficiently running a country.
The Continued Union of Church and State
When the United States was founded, it was decided by its leaders (whom they rightfully call the Founding Fathers) that the state be separated from the Church. There is a bit of wisdom in this as it prevents any one person from controlling everything or having too much power as they did in Europe. Unfortunately, here in the Philippines, the Church and State are so much like the young couple in many of our teleseryes, who sneak off into the night to have totally wholesome, non-explicit scenes together.
To this day, no one can deny that the Church is still firmly attached to the state like a clingy jealous lover. Overpopulation can be attributed to the fact that many religious people still openly condemn the use of contraceptives despite them being necessary to control the ever-growing size of our population, preventing the spread of STD’s and somehow minimizing the number of teen pregnancies. Homophobia, as I’ve already stated to be a problem in another article, is another popular issue that is not at all helped by the way ultra-religious people tend to view homosexuals, bisexuals and other people of different orientation.
On FB, I also commented about the Black Nazarene festival which (to me at least) just screams “Satanic cult activity” because of the number of people who have died in these so-called festivals. Unfortunately, the number of deaths which sometimes even includes children, has done nothing to stop this practice. It’s as if people think that rushing a wooden idol will actually please God even though he made it quite clear to people not to make idols and to value their lives (especially the lives of children) over material things (like wooden idols).
Now, I support the idea of freedom of religion and that people have a right to worship a deity of their choosing, but I would like to take the time to call out the practice of bloc voting. Yes, I know that you people probably have your reasons, but please think about what you’re doing. Are you really going to vote for someone against your will or against your better judgement? I think one of the reasons for separation of Church and state is to discourage this kind of practice because it spits on the very meaning of democracy.
Please, to my time-travelling fellow Filipinos, let us return to the present before we are devoured by a Spinosaurus, attacked by a Deinonychus or harassed by Barney…
I HAVE RETURNED TO LAY WASTE TO OUR ENEMIES!