To be honest

Unsolicited Tears

Weeks ago, the actress who compared records to tittle tattle sat for the duration of an interview, sobbing and wailing about being bullied. She had no idea what had gone wrong.

The prudent segment of users on social media responded with a hearty guffaw: how could she have been unaware that her utterances had repercussions? That she would fan the flames of cluelessness and tastelessness? She wasn’t a child with a poor vocabulary; she was a celebrity who was either extremely naïve or juvenile and imprudent. Either of these could be difficult for a proud person to comprehend.

The interview was unsettling in and of itself.

First, her statements were attacked, criticized, and mocked online by a group of historians and intellectuals. People who had spent decades acting and standing for the immutable were verbally and emotionally tortured, and yet the interview concentrated solely on this aspect, the topic of the order of her existence, as if she were the only victim.

Allowing a spoiled child to be pompous was the same as allowing an immature person to be condescending; and, like a brat, she refused to look beyond herself, recognize her flaws, and concede the pinnacle of her own misery in light of the possibility of future development.

Next, there’s an attempt to evoke empathy from the viewer. Yes, some of the insults about her were beyond the aid, but recall the cliché that all public individuals live by: the spotlight is constantly on.

Even more tragic was her inability to compensate for the disturbance she had created and the abuse she had fostered. She couldn’t believe that the anarchy on the internet was her fault, and she raced to cleanse herself of any responsibility.

Finally, the discussion that sparked a glimmer of hope presupposes that a substantial percentage of its audience will be unduly influenced by emotion and pardon malfeasance simply because the person conducting the interview was blubbering her slant off. This is yet another pitiful trick: perform tears, anticipate people’s minds to melt and brains to simply vanish, and wait for people to neglect the more crucial public issues offline.

Most people would argue that the media is simply doing its job because Filipinos are emotional.

But are we? Or have we just been made to feel that we are emotional? Does media content aim to reflect our environment, or does media content reflect what the media wants us to approximate ourselves? Is the media our mirror or a manipulator?

It appears that we are all believed to be vacuous creatures, readily swayed by diversions for that purpose, that we overlook who we are in reality: individuals who can battle calmly against misinformation and corrupted knowledge. To bask in the sight of fabricated pain is to beg for our permission to be tormented by cheap pleasure, to flee from our flawed realities.

The greatest apologies from this actress would be to read and understand records in the field and to be proud of the propaganda machinery that uses her to distract the public from the greater concerns at hand.

The actress has previously appeared in a local series about criminal monsters brought to prison. She could employ such terrible animatronics to trick Etta Rosales, an educated activist who’d been gang-raped by military officers among her students.

The actress played an adolescent in a long-running soap drama with a different storyline, taking into consideration facility mistreatment. She may utilize her awareness of tyranny to help Judy Taguiwalo, a community activist who was later incarcerated and tortured.

Their names are deserving of television, print ink, and our collective national memory. They are the ones who deserve our attention, not a humiliated doctor who resorts to violence to solve his fictitious issues; he is a terrorist. They are our true heroes.

Likewise, if this actress had repented, she would have attended to the stories and realized they were more than just gossip. She will realize that there is a broader universe out there than the phrases she believes will be permitted, that there is something conclusive outside the tiny realm in which she believes she should be coddled, shielded, and secured.

Then she could comprehend how she got mixed up and have the money to quit, like an adult would.

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