Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Year Later, A Reply...

.:I Don't Hate For The Sake Of Hatin':.

When I wrote some time ago that I am not a fan of Manny Pacquiao, I wasn't surpised at all because it wasn't the first time I wrote about him in a non-flattering light. What took me by surprise though was that after googling my name recently, I found out that a certain Michael Marley has replied to me by quoting my post and responding to me point-by-point.

Was it a valid response? Well, yes and no. I'll get into that a bit later, but I was more amused at the stupidiotic comments he received where people just assumed I'm a "Pacfan hater" who's being envious of the man's success. Why? Can't a guy hate a guy just because he's genuinely worthy of the hate?

So after all this time, and after missing out on talking about Manny for about a couple of fights, did this mean I'm a changed man? Have I finally seen the "error" of my ways, and welcomed Manny as my hero?

Hell, no.

I was vexed to no end about hearing what he had for dinner after the weigh-in, and all other sorts of inanity I would never expect to see on my favorite news program. Something about what another guy ate for dinner just doesn't scream "newsworthy" to me.

I was immensely amused at how the patented "Nationalistic Double-Standard®", where people were quick to defend the judges' decision when Pacquiao won via decision they way they were quick to condemn it whenever Pacquiao would lose.

As if that wasn't enough, I was swarmed with people telling me about his supposed escapades with Ara Mina or whoever the Hades it was he was supposedly cheating with.

Manny doesn't need to be perfect, but I don't need to know about his every move on the news days before his fight, much in the same way that I didn't care that Lebron James is the youngest player to turn 22 in the history of the NBA. He can do anything he wants, he can be rich, he can be famous, but one thing he can't be is our "savior", the way his press has been touting him for the longest time, especially during his failed bid for Congressman last elections.

Mr. Marley's response to me reeked of ad hominem attacks that completely fizzled out...

1. He argued that U.S. politics has a lot of liars, so I shouldn't be so surprised that it happens in the Philippines. I argue that I don't care if it happens everyhwere: it's still not right, and Manny lied when he said he wouldn't run a few months before reneging on his word.

2. He argued that my anti-Manny diatribes would make me a pariah in the Philippine blogosphere: newsflash, Mr. Marley... when it comes to not being a fan of Manny, I'm not the only one.

3. He believes the fact that Manny came from the poor means he can connect better with the masses, versus the traditional politicians born with silver spoons in their mouths: I counter this with the fact that Manny's lavish lifestyle shows an apparent disconnect from the masses, and that he's surrounded by enough traditional politicians who'd steer him in the same direction, anyways, as we saw during the last elections.

4. He insinuated I might be "trapped in the closet", thanks to my R. Kelly reference: I'm sure anyone I've dated would disagree, but that's beside the point. Even if we assumed I were really gay, that does not invalidate my arguments. Nuh-uh.

5. Some commenters even took offense to my calling Manny a "neo-Messiah", completely missing the fact that I was merely parroting what his press is hyping him up to be.

In the end, we just have an out-of-touch retort from someone half a world away who doesn't really understand why people could possibly dislike another human being. As I said, if Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Jesus Christ, and Jose Rizal could be subjected to criticism, there is no reason why Manny Pacquiao should be exempt.

.:Addressing This Ridiculous Notion That This Is All "Crab Mentality"...:.

So, in lambasting Manny Pacquiao, am I merely hating on him? Obviously not. Anyone with half a brain who read my post back then would know all too well that I wrote that way because I felt that a lot of Filipinos were selling themselves short by placing all their hopes on one man when they should be out there making the Philippines better through their own efforts, rather than vicariously living Pacquiao's dream.

I stress this all the time: let Pacquiao be rich, let him win all the fights he can. But don't expect me to fall for the tripe that he is going to single-handedly raise the Filipino up, the way some overzealous fans think he will. He can't do it, nor should he even try.

At the end of the day, though, what I say is not to bring down Pacquiao, but to elevate the Filipino self-esteem. As a people, we have a lot to be proud of, and to pin all our hopes on a Manny Pacquiao is just being foolhardy. He's not a saint, jabronis, and even saints get shot down once in a while.

It's not "crab mentality", it's called "calling things as they see it", and what I see in Pacquiao is a man who has earned lots of success as a boxer but is trying to parlay it as a chance for him to become an immortal Filipino icon of selflessness, something he clearly isn't.

I ain't hatin' for the sake of hatin'.

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