mainstream television in the philippines is a grotesque affair. people there are not what they seem. they pretend. that’s why they try so hard to prove how real and grounded and humble they are. we are shown their houses, how they cook their food, what they do in their spare time. there was one where this celebrity went to europe and they shot some photos there. she made all these poses with old european churches as background. she made the old cobbled streets of some european town square her runway. we see her feeding the pigeons and doves in the central square of the small town. she is gorgeous and tall and wearing high fashion, acting as if she does not come from a third world country. i hoped that she would get hit by a bicycle. the production team manufacture the image, the people buy the image, and not one useful thing has improved in the country.
there is much laughter to be had through this glass box, there is much camaraderie, tales of heroism and greatness, stories of acceptance and understanding. then comes the commercials. look at all the products – shampoos, toothpastes, cooking oil, instant noodles, alcohol. surely this is a period of abundance with such varieties of goods daily displayed. but the tone changes when it comes to the news. so, the collective brain is sandwiched in between images of bad news and happy wives in backyards singing while handwashing her family’s clothes. what this does is create confusion about how we should really feel about things. but maybe this is the way things really are – that while all these terrible things are happening, there are actually people who are able to squeeze through, power through, rise above, with their happiness. a common theme, much used.
so anyone with the appropriate sensibility, avoids mainstream television in the philippines. of course you can’t escape it. when people are not watching television, they talk about things that happened in the television. so you avoid conversations too. maybe the only option left is to stay in one’s room and read good books. this has been the only option really for a long time. at least you are not bombarded with advertisements while reading a book. books let you escape someplace where there aren’t annoying smiling fake personalities called celebrities. a good long narrative is what most people need. these days, this long narrative is chopped-up and dramatized and filmed with bad acting by so-called actors and then broadcast through all the glass entertainment boxes in the archipelago. these are shallow and boring, but they do their job of keeping the people’s eyes for a moment from the miserable, terrible things happening.
Thursday, April 24 2014