One thing that’s obvious on social media (and the rest of the Internet) is that people love dissing each other, but most especially politicians. For example, our esteemed webmaster Benign0 posted a picture of the infantile noisemaking of Rappler writer JC Punongbayan just posting insults at Duterte, which is obviously a waste of time and won’t do much, but it sure is funny to see someone else’s belief in libelous, malicious and ruffian attitudes against someone else. But they still keep on doing it today, and they probably think they’re actually achieving something with it. Maybe one needs to spell out for them why it’s a dumb thing to do.
1. The way people diss politicians these days focuses on the personality, not on platform. This blog has always emphasized how the Filipino fixation on personalities has been our society’s bane. This fixation is not just in celebrity worship, but also in attacking people.
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Dissers of Duterte do so because they don’t like his personality, rather than his policies. When they call him “duwag” or post other denigrating comment about him, they attack his person rather than focus on what he can improve on. While he is indeed flawed, the dissing that supposed opposition is only making him look more like the one being attacked. He can draw more sympathy from supporters and other people that way.
2. A lot of dissing we see these days is partisan. Arguably, many people these days diss politicians because they prefer the other politician. They are biased. So what’s the problem, people are biased anyway, you would say. It’s because the dissers claim to be unbiased and “for the side of good.” But you can smell their partisanship from a mile away. So basically, they lie.
Also, these types of people are enamored by the idea of “revolution.” They usually do it without thinking ahead. Of if they succeed, they’ll be the new corrupt politicians. Because they can’t get their way or be the one in power, they diss the people who they believe are in their way. Well, good… may they have more obstacles.
Some of these ruffians may call out, “let’s go to war with China.” When other people disagree, they’ll call these level-headed people more than duwag; “traitors” and “evil.” These are ruffians with no tolerance or respect of others’ opinion, and are rude toward peacemakers.
3. Dissing of politicians is done for likes or validation, not for substance. It’s done for show. These “woke” dissers probably dreamed of doing a massive charity project or similar “good achievement” like Mother Teresa’s or so, but can’t. So they fall back to a possible substitute practice, which is attacking or speaking against perceived corrupt people. They assume it’s the same, something that adds to their “good guy” points.
But it isn’t. Throwing insults or even wish death for someone perceived to be corrupt or helping out the corrupt isn’t a good act. The “coolness” they think they get from this is an illusion. They’re not “saving the world,” they’re only trying to appealing to people as dumb as them. Basically, a circle jerk.
They also diss politicians because it makes them feel good in another way, the physical brain chemical kind of feeling good, the high that comes after attacking someone. But long after, the crash comes: why is the country the same, nothing has changed, etc.
Dissing politicians in that manner was only a selfish act, the sense-of-entitlement kind of selfish. There’s no real intention to help others. And that kind of feeling good is not a right, because they are trying to feel good at another person’s expense.
4. Dissing is an act of exasperation. Remember that in an argument, when one person resorts to insults and namecalling, that person has in effect lost. They are so frustrated and exasperated that all they do is just try to lash out at someone, as an outlet and not as an action to get results. In other words, making a habit of dissing politicians or other people is an act of admitting defeat. Yes, I know I said that in my article about libel, but it deserves repetition on this topic too.
That also means they also don’t know what to do. How to really help the world or do something good, they don’t really know. They only try anything that comes to mind or ride on what they perceive as popular. Dissing is thus a result of ignorance.
5. Many targets of dissing have gotten used to it, so it doesn’t work anymore. Time will come Duterte or anyone else will laugh off any insults (many do). And insults online never did anything to budge anyone but the most onion-skinned. If revolutions or forced ousting rarely led to improved situations, so much less will dissing politicians lead to anything.
Sometimes, the people who post disses themselves cannot take what they dish out. They diss other people, but when they get dissed, they cry that they are being bullied. That can be called hypocrisy.
Same applies when dissing other countries such as China and Canada. Many people hate Canada for its delivering trash to other countries and China for its aggressive moves in the South China Sea. However, I believe people do this without in-depth knowledge of the events and situations involved. And they also post in a manner that insults the whole country: “China is stupid,” “Canada is an asshole nation,” and such. These could also be tagged as hate speech and are chauvinistic.
Dissing people is actually futile. In fact, when insults are done so often that it reflects an unhealthy fixation by the disser on this target, it could be considered libel or other form of defamation. It could also be an indication of a pathological condition or similar of the disser.
Instead of dissing people, what should one do?
1. Focus on ideas, not people. What could the people or organizations involved have done better, say your piece without insults. In fact, focusing on attacking the person can be an indication that the attacker does not know anything about the topic at hand. If you are really an expert, you would share ideas, not insults.
2. Live in a way as to render politicians irrelevant. That’s more of focusing on your life rather than on others’. The “opposition” do the opposite of this, like to keep highlighting politicians as the cause of everyone’s problems, while ignoring culture, which is a more obvious cause of problems. And they whistle and turn their eyes, trying to hide that they are the same as what they accuse the other side of being.
3. Stop being emotional. An emotional person’s leg is much easier for a manipulative person to pull. And an emotional person is more likely to explode over a small thing and diss someone. Better not be like that.
4. If you love dissing people, better review your own priorities in life. You probably have so much time on your hands that you think of dissing someone to keep you occupied. Better occupy yourself with something else. If you’re not working and you instead keep dissing, get a job.
5. Get off your high politically correct horse. Maybe you diss because you are simply that kind of person, one who believes in forced sharing, socialism and “revolution” against capitalism and the free market. Basically, you want the world to obey you, or else you’ll diss it. Better get off of that, or you must be smoking something really strong.
Of course, perhaps some say we at Get Real Philippines™ are also dissing politicians and shills, such as former president BS Aquino and key people of his administration (such as the ones who dumbly got detained in Hong Kong), so what am I saying? We do know our dissing isn’t going to accomplish much, too, so we do it knowing our limitations. But we do it in a way to highlight what the hypocrisy – that people are enamored by a partisan faction who pretended to be the good guys when they were quite the opposite. And besides, BS Aquino is the object of so much sycophancy and personality worship. Our dissing is no mere dissing; we expose the problems in the most baloney-free ways (unlike some political “experts” out there).
Revolution sounds nice when you’re young, but not realistic. When you become realistic, more mature and more knowledgeable about the consequences of actions, you will realize that the real revolution is changing one’s own life. The world is no one’s oyster, much less yours. Stop believing that you are entitled to have your version of good imposed on the world. The more you accept that, the less you diss others, the better life gets.
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.