September 21 ‘anti-tyranny’ rally in hindsight: No cause to be a ‘rebel’

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Because the shirt said so…
(Photo source: Regis Andanar)

The only thing worse than a keyboard “warrior” is a street rally “warrior”. These pretend warriors insult the sacrifices of soldiers and police officers for whom risk of life and limb is just another day at the office. In the aftermath of the rather underwhelming September 21 protest rally, there was that usual spate of self-congratulationary messages and mutual high-fiving where these “warriors” thanked the heavens for seeing everyone “safely” back home after “bravely” attending this protest activity.

The question is:

Was anybody in any real danger to begin with?

By all accounts, the Philippine government had pretty much all but laid out a red carpet before these “activists” so that they could march to wherever the hell they were going to be congregating without incident. Luneta, right? Whatever.

The only “danger” to these participants, it seems, was the threat of dying from utter lack of imagination or having the last drop of relevance bled out of them. As if the obsolete Cold-War-era slogans of the token commies who graced the event weren’t enough to cast a pall over the millennial vibe the rally organisers were hoping the event would exude, the lack of any fire was poignantly evident in the crowd. The “activists” did not really march in. They kinda just sauntered in for a little afternoon frolic.

Credit, perhaps, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s non-reaction in the lead-up to this event and, to that, debit against the evident overplanning and adult supervision that went into this protest action. It’s sort of like those children’s parties held at a Jollibee or McDonald’s, or imagine Woodstrock being replicated today complete with parental supervision and corporate sponsorship.

Real street activism, as we recall after all, is more like those Greenhills (and Temple Drive) street car races of yore (and as dramatised in the first Fast and the Furious instalment — before it became just another Hollywood franchise). There was the smell of burning rubber accompanying the sound of the deep whine of Saturn engines catapulting Mitsubishis off their marks, Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” blasting out of car speakers, lots of booze, weed, and chicks and no parents. The distant sound of police sirens would quickly send everyone scampering away — only to congregate spontaneously elsewhere.

Spontaneous. Modern-day activism is anything, but.

Seeing all the clucking Nanays and Titas herding the kids (and reminding them to “stay safe”) while dressed in their Thursday best simply sucks the James Dean out of this little soiree. For that matter, it wasn’t even a rebellion without a cause (yes, there was no “cause” to begin with!). There was, in reality, no cause to be a rebel here. It was more a PG-rated “rebellion” — just a notch better than Trillanes’s tililing adventurism in the mid-2000s. Except, this time, parental guidance was guaranteed. The Les Miserables theme also kind of put a rainbowy Mardi Gras ambience to it (not that there’s anything wrong with that) that scraped off the grit and pedal-to-the-metal vibe of what could have marked real activism.

With Philippine activism gentrified beyond all recognition and what was once the tubao-sporting radicalism of the Left reduced to a sad out-of-touch cliché, what is left to look forward to? Is there going to be a next time? If so, and then what?

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8 Comments on “September 21 ‘anti-tyranny’ rally in hindsight: No cause to be a ‘rebel’”

  1. That thing about drag racing in Greenhills highlights yet again the love of Filipinos for getting away with something illegal. As if there’s something great and to boast of when they do it. Still one of the reasons the country is in the pits.

    1. Well it’s sort of like the activism then and now. Back then you were actually rebelling against something. Today’s activists seem to be rebelling against imaginary bogeymen — ones created by their “parental” guides (the clucking titas who stir up outrage fads over social media under the guise of being “thought leaders”).

      Fact is, there is no “tyranny”, there is no state machine that “silences” dissent, and there is no instruction coming straight out of Malacanang to gun down “subversives”). It’s all just an overreaction to an obsolete narrative that is kept alive by old farts who were, in all actuality, part of the problem to begin with.

  2. Man is not, by nature, deserving of all that he wants. When we think that we are automatically entitled to something, that is when we start walking all over others to get it.

  3. We are fed up with rallies, activism,leftism, all “ism”, etc…

    Filipinos with the help of the U.S./C.I.A. , encouraged rallies against the late Pres. Marcos Sr., to remove him from power. With the help of the U.S./C.I.A., and U.S. State Department, during the time of U.S Sec. Shultz; Pres. Marcos was removed from power. Cory Aquino was installed as President, as a U.S. puppet…

    Now, YellowTard Filipinos, are now Addicted to Rallies. They are against anything and everything , under the sun. Hoping that “Uncle Sam”, will come again to their rescue; and install them to power…

    Hey idiots, Uncle Sam is busy with North Korea’s Kim Jung On (the” Rocketman”)…
    Pres. Trump and U.S. Sec. of State Tillerson, have more world problems on their hands that they can handle. They are not interested in the Philippines.

    So do something that can help the country… instead of being caught up with Pres. Marcos Sr. , being a hero; or his Marcos Martial Law !

    1. The copycat pinoys don’t need U.S./CIA to orchestrate or teach them how to rally. Hollywood and European communists/leftists/progressives are more than enough.

  4. Still can’t get over the mutual back patting over how courageous each of them are. To the average Metro Manilan libertard, courage s is equated to braving the heat and rain and that’s about it. All the while convincing themselves that they are in any real “danger”.

  5. Protest rallies of every generation MUST have permits. The right to gather is implicitly granted by the constitution of most democratic countries, but the referrence made to the ‘street races of yore’, WHAT? What rallies was the author ever at that featured STREET RACING CARS’??? or is this just another back-handed slap at anyone who attempts to object to the ways of the current Olgarchic-licking Cro-Mag that occupies the palais?
    People have the RIGHT to protest, and just because the author doesn’t like the protesters doesn’t mean their right to PROTEST and how they go about PROTESTing is in no way less significant than any other PROTEST legally held. Get off the High Horse Dude!

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