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You are a nation of meddlers!

imageRemember Nasty (J. "Nasty" Anastacio), our "ex-Filipino" reader from the US, who gave us conscience pangs about our self-defeating Filipino faults a few years back? He caused quite a furor with his stinging charges like "you are nation of starstruck ignoramuses" referring to our penchant for electing movie folk to our government offices. He criticized the discipline-less traffic and moon crater-sized potholes on Metro Manila streets, the neglected street children and ever-increasing mendicants, and frightening garbage piled mountain high.

Well, Nasty is alive and well (last time he wrote, he was in LA but a little lark told me he is now in the Midwest), and (are you sitting down?) has turned into some kind of pop poet. He e-mailed a rap song (or whatever you may call it) that he wants me to share with you. He strongly recommends that you read his poem to a rap beat a la Eminem. Think dum-dum-dum-pah, pa-pa-dum-dum-dum-dum-pah. Here goes:


By Nasty (but look who’s nastier!)

Yo! Wake up Pinoy!

What are you doing?

Do you know where you going?

You complain and complain, and bicker no end.

Yet do nothing to mend or amend.

Start thinking right, get your processes tight.

It’s a long journey through your night.

Learn to move and act, not just cackle and bark.

Learn to manage your country right.

You’re a nation of meddlers, a nation of critics.

Magagaling lahat kayo

Yet look at your shanties,

look at your beggars,

And your starving children, too.

Heed your economy, the escalating poverty.

Plan what you need to do.

Time is a-ticking; time you’re a-wasting.

The future depends on you.

Everybody is a critic;

everybody makes pintas.

To you I have to say:

Unless you’ve made a movie, don’t be a movie critic.

Kneel and for better movies pray.

Don’t you critique books till you’ve

published a book,

You just won’t know what it takes

Unless you lead a saint’s exemplary life,

Shut up about other lives.

You wonder why first daughters end up

In scandalous entanglements,

Believe you me, it happens to the best

And the rest of families.

But it ain’t no fun gossiping about

Someone who is unknown.

So it’s no surprise when celebrities get

Their little mistakes full-blown.

You may stumble and fart but not get written about

Cause you ain’t famous enough, y’know.

No one cares about your freakin’ little life

So get a bigger life and grow.

Before you look at others, look in the mirror

Check out the dirt in your eye.

Be sure that you are virtuous and truly clean

Before you make somebody cry.

There are those whose only claim to fame

Is exposing people’s dirty laundry.

Like vampires they suck other people dry

And also make a lot of money.

Before criticizing somebody else

Put yourself in that person’s shoes.

Won’t it sting, won’t it hurt

If the toes stepped on are yours?

Yo! Wake up, Pinoy, look around you

Make gainful use of time.

I’m sure you know, there are better things to do

Than to castigate Kris Aquino.

But you may quack quack till your lungs fall out,

I give the floor to you.

You may curse and shout, and scream about

Only if you’re Alma Moreno!

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It’s Already A Culture Thing

Well, well! What can I say? I give Nasty an eight for his poem’s content but a six for his poetry.

About this gossip and dirty laundry stuff, it has become a culture thing. Those innocent Inday Badiday days and intriguing Giovanni Calvo writing forays (remember his Mama Monchang and Ay, naku, ’day! articles?) have made a permanent mark on the impressionable Filipino psyche. The same formula continues to calcify the minds of people as perpetuated by newer names in today’s tabloids and ludicrous TV gossip shows. And the publishers and TV networks encourage it. Or should I say, capitalize on it!

Print, radio and TV use sensationalism to gain readership and audiences. Controversial headlines sell. But surely there are days when there is nothing newsworthy. What will they air on the 6 p.m. news? Poor little segment producer has to come up with something or the sponsors will withdraw.

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‘Oh, Did You Hear?’

"Oh, did you hear?" are the juiciest words you’ll ever hear or read. People love to snoop in on other people’s lives, and revel at other people’s misery. It’s a great way to escape their non-eventful lives. The tabloids and TV shows feed the public with dark, juicy morsels of gossip and the public encourages the publishers and TV producers by buying the tabloids or watching the telecasts. It’s a vicious cycle eating into itself but growing.

This tabloid mentality feeds off the frailty of people, celebrities most especially. Nasty is right, that these sensationalized things happen to the best of us but don’t get written about simply because they "ain’t famous enough." Surely Nasty is aware that hyperbole news and paparazzi press are a global thing. Europe gobbles up Hola! and the US patronizes The National Enquirer, etc. It must not only be a culture thing – it looks like a human nature thing.

Rumor Journalism

These days, gossip takes precedence over fact; rumor becomes considered news. Do we want tabloid mentality to dominate our lives? Is this the kind of information atmosphere we want our children to grow up in? Is the rumor mill kind of thinking with its weird jargon what we want inculcated in the consciousness of our people?

We are like a huge fat lady who wants to be slim with a big sinful cake at her nose. It’s a hard decision to make but we must decide. If we don’t check this rumor journalism, it will become a bigger monster.

It is really the people’s choice, aided by the guidance of our political and moral leaders. There has to be a concerted effort to raise our people’s consciousness to the fine, the rich and the beautiful. No one will publish tabloids and produce gossip shows if there are no buyers, viewers and sponsors. Whatever the outcome, one thing’s for sure. We don’t want another Princess Diana tragedy.

Rajarishid says, "Look inside you, don’t look out. Or you might miss your life." We must re-learn to live and better our own lives, not meddle in the private concerns of others. Oh, by the way, why don’t we agree to just let Kris Aquino be?

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Seminar Update

Great news! We have scheduled an after-office weekday session for those who can’t attend on weekends. My next "Make Your Impossible Dreams Come True!" success seminar is on September 4, Wednesday, 6 p.m. For more information, e-mail or text/call 0920-4053233.

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I’d love to hear from you! E-mail (no attachments and chain letters, please!). Should you want to forward this article, be sure to mention the author Dero Pedero and acknowledge the Philippine STAR. The reprinting, recording or publishing of this article in any form including the Web requires copyright permission from the author.

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