Monday, November 19, 2012

Project 52 (47/52): On Proportion And Sanctimony

.:Project 52 (47/52): On Proportion And Sanctimony:.

In the completely authoritative website Cracked, David Wong wrote a very insightful piece, giving 5 Reasons Why Humanity Desperately Wants Monsters To Be Real. Reason #4 on that list was a load of food for thought, and I must say, explains how the cyber lynch mob has become such a reality for us now.

I certainly don't think that cyberbullying is an exclusively Filipino pastime, but given how being confrontative is still not the norm in Philippine society, there's nothing like the passive-aggressiveness of an anonymous entity hiding behind a computer screen to really shatter our faith in humanity sometimes. Any chance we could go nuts and make ourselves feel better by making someone out to be a monster we're so totally better than, we take it upon ourselves to go the whole nine yards and really act every bit as deplorable as the "monster" we claim we're trying to slay.

To my mind, Blair Carabuena was proof positive that the Filipino cyber lynch mob doesn't know the meaning of the word "overkill." Of course, Christopher Lao would be another one, and I find that the only thing that made these unfortunate but everyday situations for the Lao's and the Salvona's of our world would be the fact that they had a camera to catch them while they're at it. Of course, Carabuena's actions went past just words when he hit the MMDA officer, and of course, Sotto plagiarized with impunity then gave the most passive-aggressive "apology" this side of Michael Richards.

It's nice to feel morally superior to people we hate. You do it. I do it. Very few of us don't, really. It's why the average sanctimonious Filipino never found a hate bandwagon they didn't want to jump on. On the 8List, I believe Rico Mossesgeld really hit it on the head when he got to #7 on this 8List.

Which brings us to the unfortunate #AMALAYER video that went viral, and allowed the Filipino nation to come together in hatred to lambast some woman who was probably having a bad day, making a national issue out of a private issue that could have been settled between her and the lady guard with little fuss or incident.

Of course she did something wrong. Of course she lost her temper. You have to be an idiot to ignore that. That, however, doesn't mean that her mistake gives you every right to treat her as subhuman, or to be as classy as this:

In this picture: Nuanced discussion and proportionate reactions.

Let's get one thing straight: she didn't hit anyone. She didn't plagiarize Robert Kennedy. Yeah, she raised her voice, but at what point does that give us the right to treat her even worse? If we pride ourselves in being so morally superior to her, where is that moral superiority when we wish for her to get run over by a train?

And seriously, guys, why is our rage against her almost on par as the rage Althea Altamirano is getting for freaking murder?!?

The words of a calm and rational person.

Disproportionate, much?

Feel free to condemn what #AMALAYER did, but for you to wish violence upon her the exact same way we wish violence upon Althea Altamirano? I mean, wow. Considering how the obvious sexism and rape culture-centric commentary going on in that Althea thread is disturbing enough being done to a murderer, why are we allowing people to heap the same level of abuse on someone who just raised her voice? And if the word going around that she got expelled from school is true, are you seriously saying that someone's life deserves to be ruined for... losing her temper? Seriously? Then how the Hades did Robert Jaworski get a Hall Of Fame nod if that's the case?!?

Social media has given us so much power. But with great power comes great responsibility. I bet it makes us feel so nice and warm that we're not such horrible people because we're better than an #AMALAYER or a Blair Carabuena, but the minute we cyberbully them? We lose that moral high ground we were proud of. 

Remember Boyet Fajardo? Remember how much we hated him because he was so haughty and sanctimonious? Well, we are now a nation of "creative outbursts." We've been that way for years.

Sadly, I doubt it's going to get any better as time goes by, because if there's one thing we've proven without a shadow of doubt, we crave the high we get when we think we have the right to be every bit as horrible as the so-called horrible people we despise as much. This "right" to sanctimony is our drug. And we just can't get enough.

Welp, onto the next lynch mob, then, people. All in a good day's work!

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