Covering elections as a reporter since 19 has taught me one thing: during the long days before the one-day event, we are submerged in a state of invented reality.
I don’t say this out of an entitled state of mind of the millennial who tells someone “let me educate you,” a youngster who is unaware that he or she had been living trauma rubbed off on him or her, a planned move by propaganda planners and PR spinners, what experts call vicarious trauma.
I know so and I believe so.
I was one of those who planned and executed propaganda plans and campaigns and advocacies for years.
I lived a semi-nomadic life. On the half-run when I became a fulltime secretary general of an activist group and later, when I went back to journalism, after having been placed under the Armed Forces order of battle.
Yes, I lived revolution, not imagined it.
So listen, boys and girls, you are way below the propaganda food chain. You are the propagators of myths, you belong to that final stage of execution from layers of carefully planned messaging, subliminal or otherwise.
You might fancy yourself an influencer but let me be blunt. You are just a pawn.
Cannon fodder. Bala sa kanyon in Hiligaynon to put it in none elegant language.
To see you expressing plans to die for your cause is admirable. I did that, too.
You wooed people from house to house, posted photos of them crying for want of a better life, because of the oppression (according to you) they have felt and you captured those moments perfectly in photos and videos (quite a feat for what you say is a “spontaneous” moment).
You were certain that only your candidate can bring change.
You believed so much in your cause that you dared to give up kith and kin to boldly fight for what you feel and believe deep in your heart (the aortic pump according to a Chinese-made product label) as just, true and “for the people.”
But pray, tell me: how much of the country’s woes do you really understand? How much of the masa’s afflictions do you really know?
For in between elections you fret and fuss over puppies and kittens more (or the tartol with straw in nostril) or you fuss and fawn over your dear succulents and you don’t even understand what orit or arima means.
You sip your latte with soy milk and 50 percent sweetness but have never tasted the albutra and sara sara being drunk by the masa.
You rant and rage over your candidate’s opponent but never even bother to do a critical examination of the inequities of your choice.
You claim inclusivity but cancel those who do not agree with your narrow framework of identity politics and easily turn red, always seemingly ready to burst at the seams when someone “invalidates” your feelings.
You claim to want independence and be free from structures and systems but even as you read this, you are settled comfortably in bed and waiting for mama to call you to dinner.
You rant about candidates you say are lazy for you have the diligence of a sloth and the conscientiousness of an anaesthesized man.
You rage about those who follow the herd but haven’t you, even for a split second, consider that those who taught you, lectured you about the evils of your enemies are themselves evil, too?
You praise the masa as the source of power, the fount of change but when they choose someone else you call them stupid.
You claim to empower people but you preach to them about the oppressed and exploited state they are in and make them wallow in the belief they are the makaluluoy and that your candidate is their savior.
No. You don’t preach to them about hard work and meritocracy for you disdain hard work.
You tell the masa you want a better world for them but the truth is, you want them to conform to your vision of a latte-laced, EDM choked world.