It’s crazy the way the Philippine government coddles these jeepney drivers. They are mere pawns in a vast decades-long campaign of emotional blackmail Filipino commies have subjected Filipinos to on a national scale. And yet, though these World War II era contraptions have been pitched across as a “public utility” that “serves” Filipino commuters, they are anything but. They are national parasites just like the commies that back their “plight”.
The usual liberal “cause-oriented” groups that form the outer rim of commie hardliners express concern over the loss of jeepney drivers’ “livelihood” if ever these vehicles are eradicated from the face of the Philippines. This obsolete notion, together with the capacity for militant “action” the Leftist community continues to wield, paralyse Philippine industry. And it is not just during these idiotic “transport strikes” that the economy suffers. It is the long-term effect of maintaining an abominably inefficient and environmentally-degrading public transport system that sustains the wretched state of life in the country’s big cities.
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Like squatters, jeepney drivers are parasites. They are beneficiaries of Philippine society’s chronic inability to develop and implement innovative solutions to ordinary problems. Mass transportation — like public housing — is an ordinary problem. Its ordinariness is evident in the way many other countries have managed to get it right (or at least are getting there). But like many ordinary problems Filipinos continue to routinely fail to solve, efficient public transport remains beyond the reach of Filipinos’ collective intellectual faculties. And so here we are — Filipinos imprisoned by a really bad jeepney infestation.
How long will Filipinos continue to put up with a “cultural icon” that has turned into a pathetic national embarrassment?
Probably for another five decades at least.
You can’t eradicate pestilence by killing individual bugs. The answer lies in killing the queen termite. Unfortunately for Filipinos, the queen termite in this jeepney infestation is their entire political system and cultural mindset. Jeepney drivers are a cultural phenomenon much the same way the notion of zombies have come to be regarded as cultural icons that mirror Western collective anxieties.
When large numbers of the living start dressing up as the undead, they are announcing a true cultural phenomenon. It may seem like a fad, but zombies matter–not just in the sociology of pop culture but in how we collectively orient ourselves toward the future of civilization itself.
Pondering the zombie apocalypse is a form of shared emotional preparation–a collective therapy–for facing bad things to come. It is also, ironically, society’s only working pathway to real-world, worst-case strategic analysis. And as Americans, in particular, it is our clearest window into our own dark side–and at the same time, a potential key to national renewal.
The difference is that, for now, zombies are fictitious phenomena. Unfortunately for Filipinos, jeepney drivers are real. They are a monstrous socio-economic problem that Filipinos cannot escape yet, at the same time, are a product of Filipino culture itself. They are the evil spawn of the dark underbelly of the Filipino psyche and represent the confronting reality an entire people need to face — that they are held prisoner by their own lack of imagination, misplaced liberalism, and stunted capacity for problem solving.
The core conceptual pillar of this latest “transport strike” is no different to any such strikes in the past. It is an appeal to consider the “livelihood” of these “hapless” social parasites. It is like a colony of termites demanding that a homeowner be considerate to their need to consume wood. It just does not make any sense.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.