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Vitriol

Now Brian Gorrell’s vitriol has splattered all over the Philippine Star, and his commenters are all up in arms against that paper. I think Brian has now well and truly crossed over into loose-cannon-dom. Where he used to be fairly easy to sympathize with – it would, in fact, have been rather monstrous not to – it is now difficult to approve of the way he’s carrying on with this crusade.

Most especially the part where he demands that the Star fire his former lover (and his former lover’s friends) on the basis of his say-so. More and more, this whistle blower is resembling Jun Lozada. Seriously.

As a working stiff myself, I find it heinous that I could be fired simply because someone writes nasty things about me in such a public forum with such vehemence, regularity, and – let’s face it – credibility.  So I don’t think the Star ought to fire its writers just because someone and his hangers-on want it to.

In fact, I don’t even think that corporate responsibility enters into it, as some of Brian’s commenters suggest. It’s not like the train wrecks he blogs about write on issues of national importance. They write puff pieces. Society columns. Gossip. Personal views about the world and the society they float in.  This kind of shit comes with a caveat lector – reader beware – sticker. And if the writers are coke-heads and cock-sucking faggots, so the fuck what? As far as I can tell, they don’t try to convince people to do coke or to have elevator sex – what danger do they pose to society at large that corporate has to intervene with their lifestyle choices?

These people sell ideas – whether it is theirs originally or if it belongs to their ghostwriters – that touch on the more or less frivolous side of life. They are leisure and lifestyle proponents; not policy advisors or hard-nosed (hahaha! pun soooo intended!) reporters of hard facts imbued with public interest. Nope. What they write about has more to do with public fascination.  And so long as their writing fascinates the public enough that people buy their rag, well then, what’s wrong with that. They’re not journalists. They might not actually be creative at all, but they do fall into the category of creative writers.

Does the Star have the responsibility to look beyond the work they turn in? I don’t think so. Again, it would be a different matter if they were actual journalists, but they’re not.

Does the Star have the responsibility to protect their readers from the hyperbolizing, self-aggrandizing delusions of its creative writers? Hell no. Otherwise, we should all burn the entire Beatles catalogue, or expunge the Doors from history, or ban Diablo Cody from ever working in Hollywood again. Fine, these people are not even close to being on the same level as all the artists I’ve just slandered, but greatness is not a criterion. If we excuse the great their foibles, we can’t do less with the mediocre. And no, the Star is not the guardian of public morals.

And no, just because you are a public figure, doesn’t automatically make you a role model. I love John Belushi but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna end up like him.

At the end of the day, Brian’s pressure on the Star is wrong headed. He is using the pulpit he has built to force other people to do his bidding. While he might see this as a reasonable application of the new-found power he has to influence public opinion, it is not.  And while this doesn’t mean that he should stop (hey, it’s a free internet after all), it certainly is worrisome.

What if, then, someone with a grudge against me were to start a blog and begin spewing all sorts of made-up vitriol against me, interspersed with authentic unflattering snippets about my private life and my circle of friends? And what if the contents of this blog were to spread in my company, utterly destroying my reputation? And what if that person and his commenters were to agitate for my removal on the basis of the pseudo-revelations on that blog? Would my actually living a righteous life be any comfort to me then?

~

The only thing Brian really has going for him are his credibility.

Remember, even if all his claims about losing money are true, he is still primarily just the victim of a confidence game. With the exception of the money he claims was stolen from his hotel room, he gave all those dollars away willingly. He should’ve been more careful. The world does not owe anyone an easy ride.

And even if there are laws against confidence scams – estafa being the most popular crime in the Philippines – the fact remains that he has not proven anything yet (OMG! Here I go again with the legalistic bullshit!), so it’s still a question of credibility. He is just so fucking believable!

But if we were to try and discover what makes him so believable,  we would find that his credibility springs from human nature. We are naturally responsive to his circumstance (hurt lover) because it is something we can very easily sympathize with. This fact alone predisposes us to believing in everything he says. The only reason we normally don’t accept wholesale everything a hurt lover says is our knowledge that people who are hurt also have the tendency to say and do anything that will hurt back the people who wronged them.

So, if Brian were just a hurt guy, pouring his heart out about how DJ screwed him over and how DJ’s friends chose to remain DJ’s friends and not Brian’s defenders, I doubt he would be getting any significant attention.

But Brian’s insider knowledge allows him to capitalize on our pre-disposition to believe and allows us to suspend our disbelief. That he knows these people he rails against is indisputable. And his knowledge of their activities away from the lime light – the drug use, the promiscuity, the infidelities and all that – is something that is inevitable considering that he did move in their circles. For us spectators, this is merely confirmation of what we already know.

However, that in itself, does not really really prove that he was in fact swindled. At most, it is an awesome example of an ad hominem argument: “These people are rotten, and so they must have swindled him and left him for dead.” In the alternative, you might also call that a non-sequitur; it simply does not follow.

The niceties of argumentation and logic, however, fade into utter insignificance when faced with the trump card: the average Filipino’s antagonism to those who are richer than themselves.

The billionaires are despised by the millionaires; the millionaires are abhorred by the middle class; the middle class is condemned by the poor; and the poor are demonized by those who are poorer.

In Brian, we have a catalyst. He is everything our legends are made of: he suffers from a deep personal hurt, the suffering is inflicted by someone who lives a reprehensible lifestyle, and that lifestyle is the default lifestyle of people who have more money to burn than we do. Credibility in a fucking box.

And the ability to prove his accusations never even entered the picture.

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Filed under: musings, society, , , , ,

29 Responses

  1. shiro says:

    True that, luv. I think the reason why Brian’s gotten so much attention right now is that he’s beginning to serve as the centrepiece for a lot of people’s hate of the upper class. Especially when he makes them out to me nothing more than a bunch of spoiled brat losers.

    Oh yeah, Happy Easter! 🙂

  2. rom says:

    happy easter already? well, I suppose happy black saturday doesn’t sound right. 😀

  3. cvj says:

    Perhaps he should have just called for a boycott of Philippine Star. The firings would have come as a matter of course.

  4. Brian says:

    Hi guys, Brian here,

    It’s my blog and I am doing the best I can.
    I have never done anything like this before.
    Its hard because its very emotional too.
    I don’t want to be like this.
    I have been left with no choise.
    When you are ignored,
    treated like garbage,
    like shit.
    You have to FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT.

    Come on guy’s

    You would do the same if your savings were snatched.

    Brian

  5. rom says:

    brian: you are absolutely right, it is your blog. I have nothing against your fight, and like I’ve said before, I think you are telling the truth. I am simply uncomfortable at the thought that the internet has made it easier for people (like some of your commenters) to condemn those they don’t even know personally – or might have learned about only in your blog – and to then call for hellfire and brimstone to rain down upon those people without a shred of proof. Not because the GG need any help from me, but because some idiot out there might realize how effective blogs are in this way and use it against ordinary people they hold grudges against.

    I’ve written before about how people who can influence others have the opportunity to choose whether they will wield their influence judiciously (like how some teevee shows advise their viewers “don’t try this at home”) or not; i don’t intend to tell you how to choose, brian, but i think my readers at least should see that that choice has to be made.

  6. Johnny says:

    You nipped it in the bud there … I was just about to say “shades of Jun Lozada.” Just happened to stumble on this coz my wife wanted to sniff the latest on this decomposting garbage. Not really worth my time and attention. Besides, rotting garbage is bad for one’s health. Better to live right, clean, green and healthy.

  7. BrianB says:

    Brian,

    If you don’t have evidence like photos, etc, why not appeal to common sense.? Why, if your blog is full of lies, aren’t they suing you in Australia for libel? Why no official response from the Star, a newspaper whose primary business is to search and protect the truth. Surely they know the blog is very popular, everyone who is anyone has read it. If the Times or the Inquirer’s name were mentioned like the Star was, they’d lose no time publishing a reply. It’s taking the Star weeks.

    Just a suggestion of how you can up the ante. Emotionality has made some headway and it’s gotten you many allies; it’s time for a more deadly blow and I mean be dead serious.

  8. greg santillan says:

    Fucker! on 12 March, 2008 at 2:02 pm # before you post anything like that…know the person first!he’s an elite of manila you know…his friends have lots of connection…and i happen to be one of them..so shut the fuck up before somebody fucking slits your god damn throat in the middle of the night

  9. greg santillan says:

    sorry for misspost

    the following is a response from one of the detractors of mr. gorrell at http://pinoybalut.com/delfin-dj-montano/#comment-199

    Fucker! on 12 March, 2008 at 2:02 pm # before you post anything like that…know the person first!he’s an elite of manila you know…his friends have lots of connection…and i happen to be one of them..so shut the fuck up before somebody fucking slits your god damn throat in the middle of the night

    if u wanna know more please visit this site :http://delfindjmontano.blogspot.com, this blog fails miserably in terms of number of visits and substance compared to it

    and i’ve stopped buying philstar. i dont go to embassy so that’s a non-issue

  10. rom says:

    greg: welcome to the smoking room. i don’t even know if you’re actually talking to me. or if this

    if u wanna know more please visit this site :http://delfindjmontano.blogspot.com, this blog fails miserably in terms of number of visits and substance compared to it

    refers to this blog. If it does, then you have to know that i don’t compare visits – only retards do that.

    and seriously, who cares what you read.

  11. shiro says:

    sure greg, whatever gets you through the day man.

  12. allen h. says:

    To the author of Vitriol:

    “As a working stiff myself, I find it heinous that I could be fired simply because someone writes nasty things about me in such a public forum with such vehemence, regularity, and – let’s face it – credibility. So I don’t think the Star ought to fire its writers just because someone and his hangers-on want it to.”

    Nevertheless, I think Star should fire its writers for being utterly incapable of doing what they should be doing– writing, and writing well. Case in point: Celine Lopez. Tell me on what grounds should Star employ her when it is a fact that she has a ghostwriter who also cannot write to save her life.

    With regard to the issue of whistle blowing and Jun Lozada: am I sensing a hint of disdain? It is apparent to me that you do not know your Philippine politics. We don’t have proof of the ZTE-NBN scandal because of the government’s lack of transparency. Despite the suspension of EO 464, there is still executive privilege, which prevents a Romulo Neri from corroborating Lozada’s claims. I’m not surprised why his allegations remain as well, mere allegations. Furthermore, the government is refusing to show copies of these so-called contracts to prove that the deal is truly not overpriced and that no one is getting kickbacks from it. They keep on saying, “oh, we lost the copies… there’s just so many of them… we still have to reconstruct the documents… but legally, they’re not public documents.”

    Anyway, enough with politics. Going back, I support Brian. Your accusation of using too much rhetoric, while sensible, is an oversimplification, and your substantiation regarding your demand for facts is bordering on inane.

    “And even if there are laws against confidence scams – estafa being the most popular crime in the Philippines – the fact remains that he has not proven anything yet”

    What do you mean by “proof?” Certainly, when you accuse someone of stealing, you cannot recreate the theft to prove your point. When you accuse someone of taking Cocaine– an accusation thrown at Celine Lopez– do you actually prove it yourself by strangely having pictures of that person sniffing the white powder? While I believe that Celine Lopez is a veritable idiot, I doubt– at least, I hope I doubt– she would let her friends take photographs of her doing drugs. Do you want proof in terms of these people coming out and admitting these, which is unlikely? People corroborating Brian’s claims? And tell me anyway your preference– what kind of corroboration do you want? Surely, you don’t mean a statement, because words are cheap. I am not trying to justify Brian. I am only trying to answer this question for you: Why is it that people can heuristically judge the verisimilitude of his claims? Perfect information, as economists would tell you, is a myth. People, therefore, always make judgments based on incomplete information. But what kind of information does Brian have anyway? And on what grounds do we rest our faith in him? Personal experience. How do we verify that? Pictures? Beyond that, admittedly, there are no picture books to show to you that every detail of his narrative is true. Constant pursuit of information and corroboration is always good, but next time, clarify your claims. Because as it is, you cannot call people idiots just because they don’t have full facts. Assuming that Brian is lying, just because people were duped into believing him, doesn’t mean these people are again, idiots. You can fault them for not being vigilant enough, but after all– what kind of superficial retard are you to investigate on such “frivolous” matters when there are other more important things to worry about? Haha… You may not know it, but some of these people believe in Brian, because they are roughly putting two and two together– personal experience of Tim Yap’s horrible work ethics… (you may work like a horse, but he definitely doesn’t.) Personal experience of their subsubSUBstandard writing– oooh, nearly everyone has personal experience of that. Being personal friends with the Mananquils… The editor’s kids went to Ateneo and UP, so that pretty much nails the possibility of “normal” folks being acquainted with them, etc., It’s not like these people are isolated from everyone else. Of course, the network gives birth to rumors, which is why you need someone like Brian to sort these out. As you can see, this whole concept of truth or proof is messy. I think your ambivalence toward Brian and even Jun Lozada is veiled conservatism. If it’s not veiled conservatism, I hope this is your way of merely expressing confusion.

    “These people sell ideas – whether it is theirs originally or if it belongs to their ghostwriters – that touch on the more or less frivolous side of life. They are leisure and lifestyle proponents; not policy advisors or hard-nosed (hahaha! pun soooo intended!) reporters of hard facts imbued with public interest. Nope. What they write about has more to do with public fascination. And so long as their writing fascinates the public enough that people buy their rag, well then, what’s wrong with that. They’re not journalists. They might not actually be creative at all, but they do fall into the category of creative writers.”

    What I find most appalling is your inconsistency. How can you call them “creative writers” when number 1, they don’t write; number 2, you can’t even ascertain whether they have ideas (Those things that you read… can you even call them ideas? I’m not even talking about the quality of the idea… I’m talking about the definition of an idea.); number 3, while they are no Dostoevsky or Proust, they are, as you say, not creative. In what sense do they fall into that category again, you say? They actually don’t. This is a thoroughly inadequate substantiation of your claim. So just say it. They don’t know how to write. They are shitty writers. They are in the business, because they have connections. They are social climbers. They are rich. All they do is party. That’s all there is to it. So don’t bother calling them writers. Spelling and constructing coherent sentences and paragraphs–which I doubt they can even do– do not constitute writing. When you are dealing with semantics, certainly, that is writing. When people use the term “creative writing,” however, I doubt the adjective “creative” is describing “writing” in its literal sense. So… should they get paid for it and be hired by Star? No.

  13. BrianB says:

    I always find this funny that a lot of people think Celine Lopez or her ghost writer cannot write. I’ve always thought the column is practically groundbreaking. Here’s a socialite who manages to be self-deprecating and quite observant about her lifestyle without being overly judgmental and without making herself look superior.

    The column is not carefully written and I doubt if its intention is to teach standard English. There is talent in Bea Ledesma. Sure, it pales in comparison to an actually talented Celine Lopez, but a hanger-on that finds the sympathetic side of her subject (Celine) shouldn’t be readily dismiss. That girl has more chance of producing a good novel than most people in the literary community.

    Ok, maybe I haven’t read Celine’s column in a few years but in the early nineties I read it quite religiously. As for having a ghost writer, a lot of personalities use ghost writers whether for a column or a book. Ghostwriting is not unethical per se and a lot of writers, good ones, actually make a good living out of it. What appalls me about Celine’s case is that her style, unlike Tim Yap’s and other society writers, is distinctive. She has style, in fact. THINK OF THE AUTHOR AS PART OF THE BOOK-it will make a more interesting read, in this case… If not “part of the book” then as an unreliable narrator.

  14. rom says:

    allen h: welcome to the smoking room. breathe, man.

  15. gm says:

    let’s not over analyze (omg no euphemism of any sort here!) this saga. hell hath no fury like a gay man scorned! let the guy say his piece, spill his venom. if i were duped out of my life savings–not to mention cheated and f%%ed over by the love of my life sus! I’d do more than push my poison pen.lintik lang talaga ang walang ganti!

  16. shiro says:

    agreed gm. it’s just that everyone seems to be some goddamned scared of the people Brian’s implicating, as if to imply that these f*in reach people are beyond criticism. just like that nimrod in the above comment with the threats of physical harm.

    they’re just people, and seeing as how spoiled they’ve lived most of their lives, probably a bit more stupid than most of us folk. one only has to look at parish hilton to see the inverse proportionality of wealth to intelligence for people who didn’t have to work to get their fortune.

  17. grabpxx says:

    I fully agree with Brian….out of frustration for the betrayal, dishonesty, and loss of money, he is doing the tirades against this filipino guy. The fact that he cannot pay despite the scandal over the web and spilled in the mainstream media, he is still not paying. Now, it shows that this guy is a fake, poor and cannot pay.

  18. Anton says:

    yeah i believe you brian.. i dont think you’ll gonna waste your time making blogs everyday if it isnt true and for me your story is really consistent and credible. you know i havent heard about you until your story came out in the primetime news report abscbn “tv patrol”. i was too curious so i hurriedly sat and open up my computer and read your blog for the whole night. damned! cant imagine those nasty bastards dupe you and why the national newspaper still tolerates them to work in their company since they knew about this controversy. indeed your blogs really gain popular and guess you are the talk of the town right now. people in every office and even in the cafeteria in nearby street knew about this and they too felt sorry and sympathized with you. i hope you will overcome this ordeal brian and never give up.. in the news report this evening they threaten to sue you for libel. but do not be afraid & be strong, because we are here to stand by your side.

  19. guru says:

    To all the pinoys out there . Why don’t we just raise the money ourselves. 10000 people sharing 7 dollars each is not too much. At least pinoy bashing whether it is the GG or what is still pinoy bashing. If anyone is interested in this email me guru@pinoybettingguru.com

  20. Brian Gorrell is now a phenomenon. He has already conquered every national newspaper, personal blogs, and now the national television.

  21. Rom says:

    Franko: welcome to the smoking room. Considering how filipinos love scandal – especially those involvng the rich – are you really surprised that brian is as famous as he is? Or, to be more blunt abt it, he’s famous for slandering people left and riGht. Is that really somethng to celebrate about?

  22. BrianB says:

    guru,

    Bad habit of poor pinoys bailing out rich pinoys. Don’t do it.

  23. shiro says:

    let the swindling bastard pay for his mistake guru. we’re not obligated in anyway to bail them out, they’re rich, anyway, right?

  24. chi hai says:

    I agree with Brian, He is hurt and and mislead by DJ,whom should be in jail right now.There should be an investigation and let him know that what He DID was REALLY REALLY WRONG.

  25. hazel says:

    dear author,

    i am leaving this comment for brian himself since i saw he’s a visitor on your site too, i left a comment on his blogger but unfortunately for me, he still have to approve it, needless to say all his comments on his site are all pros, no cons so with your permission let me post this letter here….thank you!

    Dear Brian,

    I feel your pain my dear, how your ex-lover treated you that way, how in a blink of an eye, all your life savings had gone to waste because you “fell in love”…i feel your pain my dear…you are so focus on what you are going to do next to destroy your ex-lover’s life which in fact as far as everyone knows is already been destroyed from the get-go. yes! you have the world came crashing down on you, and i am sorry that happened to such a great person like you! you have alot on your shoulder right now and you should take your time to grieve from all these…….and whenever you are ready my dear…, try to focus on something else..oh, like! i don’t know? maybe try to focus on what is really important in the world right now!!!! my dear, 55,000 people have been hit by dengue in the last four months in brazil right now, but do you see those people writing a blog about that? probably not, because they are too busy fighting for their lives. north korea threatened to nuke south korea, but don’t worry about that right now because you have alot to worry about. i loved your quote about the pay pal issue, “GIVE SOME AWAY TO CHARITY IN MY NAME”, you are marvelous, never mind ted turner is trying to raise funds to fight malaria in africa. and i feel sorry because you are now “$80,000.00 POORER”, while others are trying so hard to make enough to get them through the day. POORER? what a great choice of word…you have no idea how it is to be poor, poor is knowing where they set out the bread after it’s been on the ‘day old’ rack … and looking forward to it. poor means being able to joke about waiting in line for welfare food — and finding out it wasn’t normal for alot of people.

    so, my dear, while you’re busy mourning for what had happened to you, and to free yourself from all of these nonsense, remember that tibetans want’s their freedom too.

    may you have many supporters to aid you at your lowest, while i support those who really needs it.!!!!

  26. romel says:

    i dunno what youve said…. i just want to realx ang stay out of problems… anything that happens to all of you just relax man.. its just a piece of thing it will gone and will not valued soon… hehe… just cool men to hot now a days….
    hehe thats all.. thank you

  27. […] that. After months of vitriol and acid in his blog, and lately all the gossipy sniping on radio and video posts, one would think […]

  28. Rene John says:

    hi! mr. brain i am really amaze why that’s blog of your is now the talk of the town! hope i can personally read it! could you mind to give me the site where to read it? tnx! god bless in your fight (as what i could like to call it).

  29. lactatingbookworm says:

    I’m not from the Phillipines so I have no idea who these people are and I don’t know the back story – I read about this in the Sydney Morning Herald. So my understanding is that one guy DJ – the ex, ripped off Brian and Brian is trying to get his money back. But who are all these other people? How are they involved? Did they all gang up and rip off Brian? Why is this Celine character being villified? Did she con people too or is she just a Paris Hilton type? ie. People just hate her because she’s really wealthy and not humble about it.

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