The way all these crybabies are now blubbering about the rise of Mocha Uson to the top of the Philippines’ thought leadership hierarchy, you’d think celebrity endorsers had never existed before. Truth is, using glitz, glamour, and shock as a means to influence public sentiment is as old as prostitution itself.
The Philippines’ now-ended 30-year Age of Yellow, was an experiment in the use of lies and half-truths as bases for governing an entire nation. Over that period, the idea that the “people’s will” represented the highest form of wisdom became the key pillar upon which Philippine-style “democracy” was built. Worse, even as we aspired to build true institutional democracy, the Old Guard of the Yellow Camp continued to insist that this “people’s will” can still manifest itself in unruly street parliamentarianism — which is why those last 30 years were marked by sporadic bursts of lame attempts to re-create that 1986 “revolution”.
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Indeed, the legacy of that idiotic thinking persists today — the idea that a ruling issued by an institution such as the Supreme Court can simply be shouted down by shrill voices gathering in large numbers around a statue.
Step back and regard the bigger picture and the fundamental hypocrisy in the way these hipsters bag Mocha Uson will become a lot clearer. Under their preferred regime, it is clear as the day the way Kris Aquino was used for — and actually was a primary pillar in — the billion-peso propaganda machinery of the Aquino-Cojuangco clan and its circle of beneficiaries and patrons in the Philippines’ business oligarchy. Indeed, Kris Aquino had a lot more capital backing her ascent to the top of the food chain at the time — she was a contracted media star of big corporate media organisations and was, lest we forget, the daughter and sister of two former presidents.
Seen from that perspective, we gain a better regard for just how inconsequential Mocha Uson really is — and how out-of-proportion the outrage fad the Yellow Camp had whipped up over her really is. Mocha Uson pulled herself up to where she is now by the bootstraps. In comparison, Kris Aquino had a lot of help — to the tune of billions of pesos in “investment” in the shaping of her celebrity.
Perhaps one that can be better compared to Mocha Uson’s ascent to thought leadership is Yellow posterboy Jim Paredes. Jim Paredes was a performer before he became a “thought leader”. That fact did not seem to bother these hipsters who now denounce Mocha Uson. Instead, they lapped up all of the new-age BS that was peddled by Paredes by the crockload over the last 30 years since he supposedly “tore up” his Green Card shortly after the “revolution”. The trouble with Paredes is that he is inconsistent and this is a well-documented fact exhibted across various Get Real Post articles. Worse, he’s been, in many ocassions, caught lying.
Stepping back even further, the more important message here is for all the self-righteous hipsters out there to first take stock of all the personalities, icons, and celebrities whose words they believe in unconditionally and uncritically. We will find that there are many — the local Catholic priest who teaches us that using condoms is “evil”, the televangelist who implores people to dig deep into their wallets to support his “humble” life of preaching “God’s word”, the school teacher who teaches kids what to think rather than how to think, celebrity endorsers — including Kris Aquino — who convince us that forking out the equivalent average annual income of a Filipino factory worker to buy the latest brand shoes is “cool”, and Jim Paredes, the “face” of the Yellow-style street parliamentarianism.
The confronting truth about Filipinos is that we are not really a people renowed for our abilities for solving problems by thinking things through. Instead we are more inclined to tread the lazy path — by finding branded “thought leaders” and putting them on an altar to worship and seek “guidance” from.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.