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13 random musings for 2013 |

Young Star

13 random musings for 2013

IN A NUTSHELL - Samantha King - The Philippine Star

1. Manila is not the Philippines. Sure, a sweeping survey of the best of what the country has to offer is a good and noble enterprise — so long as it really is a sweeping survey. Not just a rundown of every nook and cranny in Makati.

2. Yes, there are kick-ass athletes who are gay men. Yes, mass sports media is heterosexual by default. Yes, it’s unfair that the popular stereotype of a woman athlete is that she’s a lesbian. Yes, coming out to the public won’t magically banish homophobia. But it’s a start.

3. I wouldn’t describe my mate as “My Muslim officemate/classmate/roommate.” I’d describe her as, “My smart, driven, sometimes obnoxious, but thoroughly affable officemate/classmate/roommate.”

4. Priests aren’t idiots, or any manner of colorful expletive, just because they’re (mostly) anti-RH bill. They spend around seven years studying theology, philosophy, linguistics, history, sociology, and psychology, among others. Some may be stubbornly essentialists, no doubt about that, but they still probably know more than you. So to the plethora of Facebook haters, curb your tongue before you start foaming at the mouth. There are more intelligent ways to phrase your dissent.

5. Being a Filipino is more than the color of your skin or the kind of blood that runs through your veins. It is socially constructed, and more importantly, it is lived out. Enough harping about Jessica Sanchez, please. Remember Fr. James Reuter? He’s done more for this country than most Filipinos ever will.

6. Just because the academe says so doesn’t mean it’s the word made flesh. Just because an award-giving body says so doesn’t mean it’s the law. And just because they live in ivory towers, hold PhDs, and come from fancy universities doesn’t mean we can’t bring them back down to earth.

7. Environmental issues are not black and white. To the obdurate anti-mining activist, please take a moment to survey your surroundings before you call for the total closure of all mines. Unless you can live without your cell phone, laptop, stove, Swiss knife, spoon, fork, TV and the rest of the stuff that constitute daily life, then by all means, call for the swift elimination of mining. Otherwise, focus your energies on the practical alternative: responsible and sustainable mining.

8. Opportunists are only lauded when their timing is right. Like when they drink the glass of water while everyone argues whether it’s half empty or full. Not when they turn atrocities into an opportunity to forward their own political/moral/religious agenda.

9. The movie-going public isn’t stupid just because they’d rather watch a carnivalesque comedy over a deep and culturally important film. Life is hard, so why make it harder? If anything, blame the bigwigs behind the kind of hogwash being produced. And if redundancy were a crime…

10. It’s been said loads of times in the past year, but it simply must be said again: OPM is not dead. Well, unless you cleave to the idea that to distribute music, one must get backing from major media/business outfits. But why should music adhere to institutional hegemony?

11.  The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and the road to wealth is paved with grand delusions. Meritocracy is a myth. I will never work as hard or exert more effort than a farmer tilling his field, or a construction worker boring holes with a hand drill, but I will earn loads more. And that’s the sad irony of it.

12. We’re probably one of the only countries in the world that thinks of English as a tool of intimidation, that gives it such premium as a form of cultural capital, that wields it for the sole purpose of inflicting symbolic violence on those we deem our lesser. Because here, English is the language of power.

13. Pinoys may be superstitious, but 13 is just a number. Tilt it on its side and it’ll look cute. Perverted, even. Don’t let it ruin or dictate your life. After all, those bad luck myths about the number 13? All of them come from the far, far West — a socio-cultural context vastly different from ours. So, relax.

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