Thursday, May 31, 2007

I Call Shenanigans

.:JGL Assembles:.

It’s a rarity, but we managed to get together the JGL last night. Well, except for a few notable exceptions like Charo and Sean, who happened to be in Warsaw.

The attendance list was: Diane, Sacha, Clair, Peppy, Ranulf, JM, Mario, and Mark.

It was awesome, especially hearing how Mark and Diane are now engaged, and the food at Little Buddha was great. Ranulf’s trademark lemon chicken really took the cake, and of course, Diane solving the Rubik’s Cube I had with me in under a half hour was most impressive, in my opinion.

That being said, the JGL lives on, and we resolved that hopefully, before Sacha goes back to Canada, we all end up going outside for videoke, like at Music 21. I think that’d be real awesome, and really great for bonding purposes….

.:And Then We Hear The Truth Trickling In…:.

Well, according to quite a few other people who were there during that fateful day, no punching has occurred.

I guess if your only shred of “evidence” is a claim by the supposed victim and a supposed screencap that could easily be photoshopped, then you really don’t have much of a leg to stand on. Given a pretty good sampling of people that were asked, everybody else whom I knew and were there at Mangaholix claim they never saw anything. Guess which side I’m more inclined to believe. Here’s a hint: there’s more credible people on that side.

There’s also the fact that comparing one’s self to journalists and standing up for the freedom of expression of the Philippine blogosphere is really a stretch. If someone beat me up for being a jackass, I got beat up for being a jackass, not for being a DJ. The person’s issues are with me, and not with what I do for a living or for a hobby. For me to use something like that as a rallying cry for me to say that I am standing up for the rights of the media is incredibly laughable and should be outright ignored.

If one is genuinely campaigning for free speech, then maybe they should put their money where their mouths are. For someone who claims to be the staunch defender of free speech and greater justice, the lack of knowledge or involvement in this latest strike against the freedom of expression is most certainly amusing. Talk about picking and choosing the issues that serve only their own agenda

I’m done trying to sit on the fence on this matter, though I may remain civil and diplomatic. I know all too well that this was really just a ridiculous and bloated publicity grab, and I am not amused at having someone stand up and appoint himself as a representative of blogger’s rights when he’s far from qualified to do so.

You do not represent me. You do not speak for me. In fact, how you carry yourself is your business, not that of the entire Philippine blogosphere. Nobody died and made you the be-all and end-all of the Philippine blogosphere, so I’d really appreciate if you toned down the rhetorics a bit and faced the facts.

In fact, I don’t want to be represented by you. I don’t want my name to be lumped with a category of people who uphold what is legal over what is ethical. I have no interest in having my name sullied by a category of people who choose to gain publicity by twisting the facts to their liking. As a broadcaster for years and as a post-graduate Philosophy major, I stand for freedom and responsibility, and it’s an insult to me and to all other free-minded people that this one-man crusade to besmirch another man is being carried out in our name. Please. Leave us out of it. We didn’t ask you to represent us.

In whatever transpired that day, you represented yourself. He represented himself. Please don’t escalate a personal matter into a crusade against an oppressor that is not even there. Don’t pull a George Bush on me, this is your “war” on “terror”. There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Your attempts at skirting the issues do not impress me, neither does your fancy lawyeresque talk nor your shifty dramatics.

I believe in living and letting live. I have no personal quarrel with you, but I wish to make it clear that I in no way support you or how you carry yourself online. I in no way condone how you ride on the coattails of others and exploit their association with you. You’re not going to get a rise out of me and force me to lose the moral high ground, but I will gladly call shenanigans when I see it.

An attack on you is not an attack on the Philippine blogosphere. It’s an attack on you.

I rest my case.

.:The Purge:.

Thanks to a certain group’s pressuring, it looks like several blogs got suspended with next to no review and only now is Livejournal trying to make amends for it.

There have been a lot of people writing about this latest purge already, so I’ll spare you the bandwagoning, since I wrote a day too late.

Despite that, I just thought you should know that I did join the Innonce Jihad community to express my displeasure over this development as soon as I got wind of this event.

LJ has apologized, but I think it bears repeating that this was irresponsible censorship. While I in no way condone pedophilia and other such illegal and exploitative acts, I also recognize that not all mentions of such a word mean that the people or communities who talk about pedophilia or the like engage in it.

In fact, why would you suspend a discussion group on the book “Lolita”? These are literary enthusiasts, not pedophiles!

This is almost at par with the Jack Thompson witch-hunt on video games following V-Tech. Jack was single-handedly shut up by the fact that apparently, no video games were found in Cho’s dorm. I don’t know who this group is, and I willingly give them the benefit of the doubt with regard to the nobility of their intentions, but I know for a fact that overzealousness leads to fanaticism, and fanaticism is almost never good.

These crusades for setting things right have to be tempered by a clear understanding of what you’re looking for. If your only course of action is an indiscriminate suspension of accounts, then I think you have to review your battle plan before you set out to “right the wrongs”.

What LJ did was irresponsible, and while the damage has been done, I am at least consoled by a sincere apology on their part. The organization spearheading this movement though gets no love from me for their Puritan ideologies that they insist on shoving down people’s throats. What especially irks me about them and why I choose to not mention their name is that visiting their site actually installs spyware into your computer. As if it weren’t bad enough that their misguided zeal has led to a lot of grief, neh?

I am not a ficcer nor a staunch member of any given fandom. However, even if I may disagree with what people say or believe in, I sure as Hades would fight for your right to say it. As a friend to a lot of people in various fandoms, I am one with you in this.

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