smoke

I write better when I smoke. Don’t ask me to reduce it to a science.

The Philippines is free

The Philippine Star reports:

CBCP president and Jaro, Iloilo Archbishop Angel Lagdameo told Radio Veritas yesterday that while the Philippines is no longer under the control of foreign invaders and has declared itself to be a free country, there are still questions that need to be addressed.

“We have to ask if we have achieved ‘human freedom’. We may be a country free from the control of other nations but the people are still not totally free. We are still slaves of poverty and crisis, such as the food crisis and gasoline crisis, and slaves of homelessness and unemployment,” Lagdameo said.

He added that the public is also dissatisfied with injustice and graft and corruption, which he believes are factors why many workers look for jobs abroad.

“Maybe the Independence Day celebration would be more realistic if we would be freed from hunger, hopelessness, unemployment, and ignorance,”  Lagdameo said.

Well, hell Angel, then maybe no country should celebrate their independence day at all.

That’s the trouble with this moron – and with every other storm crow in the Philippines today in fact: he will use any, ANY, occasion to beat his drum of doom and gloom. Normally, I would not have a problem with this – after all, that’s what people like him do. But I would have hoped that he would steer clear of independence day.

Hate this government as much as you want; call it corrupt and morally bankrupt; denounce the fact that it has not achieved the Utopia you demanded from it and forget that in that respect, it has done no worse than any other government we’ve ever had – but stay the fuck away from independence!

I have had about enough of these pious shit-rakers who take for granted the fact that they actually live FOR FREE in this country. Think about it. While Lagdameo weeps crocodile tears about poverty, every single fucking day – and four times on Sunday – his Church passes the collection plate around sucking up pesos from people who can ill afford it but who have been so brainwashed that they actually feel bad when they can’t give anything. Parishes earn at least five figures a month; the parish priest gets about a quarter of that for his upkeep: priests live off of the poor people! And Cardinals like Lagdameo are maintained in sprawling estates, travel around in luxury sedans or SUVs, are served sumptuous meals three times a day – all on money sucked up from church-going folk. And what value for money do they give back? 

The promise that no matter how bad things get in this life, the poorest of the poor will always have their eternal rewards after they die. Yeah. After they die when they can’t bitch to everyone about there are no castles and endless fiestas on the other side. In the real world, that’s called a fucking good racket.  

And so when Lagdameo and his ilk – parasites in the true sense of the word – talk about things like ‘hunger, hopelessness, unemployment, and ignorance’ in an attempt to trivialize INDEPENDENCE, it really really makes me angry. 

Hunger? Well of course there are hungry people out there; and of course there are a lot of reasons for that – corrupt governments included. But never forget that the Church is partly to blame for that too. If the average lower income family didn’t have so many fucking mouths to feed, there’d be more food to go around, wouldn’t there? And yes, it’s the lower income families that get shafted because those who make it to the middle class are smart enough not to buy into the pious bullshit the Church is shoveling their way.

Hopeless? Well of course people will tend to hopelessness and despair when every Sunday they’re treated to an unending litany of all the many ways their lives are miserable. When I was younger, I was taught that the Church – especially Sunday mass – was not the forum for despair. You didn’t go to Church to dwell on the misery of your existence; you went to mass to be uplifted; to hear about God’s plan for your redemption and ultimate happiness. 

But as i got older, I started to realize that there was no comfort to be had from our parish priest. His only concern was to get us all outraged and mobilized. At first, I went along, but as the days went by, I realized that everytime I attained outrage, the priest and his nuns and his lay ministers were there to ask for my parents’ money – and later, my own. Why not sell that gold chalice, Father? Surely, God doesn’t care if you drink from a plastic cup.

Unemployment? Like hunger, unemployment is a fruit of the ignorant – yet pious – bullshit of people like Lagdameo. Every day – and four times on Sunday – the message is drilled into the bobbing veiled heads of church goers that contraception is an evil thing. That condoms are the handiwork of the devil. That only promiscuous sinners need contraception. And so, the pious are denied the knowledge that they need to plan their family sizes; and in so doing, their population explosion is aided and abetted by a Church that does NOT bear any responsibility for poverty; a Church that CANNOT be held accountable for the horrendous living conditions brought about by over-population; a Church that will not even bury the dead for free – unless they’re using someone else’s money.

Lagdameo is, to me, the face of this Church, and his arrogant trivialization of this country’s independence rankles.

The Philippines is free, Angel. 

The usual murder of storm crows will agitate the mob by saying our policies are dictated by the US or by international lending institutions, and therefore we are not truly free. We may be acquiescing to foreign dictates, but right now, those policies do represent a tangible road to eventual prosperity. Sure, it doesn’t solve ALL the problems we can all enumerate at a moment’s notice – poverty, for instance – but there is no such thing as a universal cure, believe it or not.

Of course, Lagdameo and his ilk will retort that this kind of freedom illusory; that when people are only presented with a choice between bad or worse, there is no freedom to choose at all. Sophist bullshit.

This kind of tortured, pop-angst, re-definition of freedom is a tool for misleading the idiots who actually look up to people like Lagdameo and his doom&gloom brethren.

The fact is, at the end of the day, we can turn our backs on those policies – regardless of how bad that might turn out for us – if that is what we really want. And that is the true definition of freedom. Having true freedom means having the option to choose one path over another, regardless of how shitty the consequences might turn out to be. That’s what Manuel L. Quezon meant when he said he preferred a government run like hell by Filipinos: self-fucking-determination. 

And that is what we have today. The fact that our choices so far seem to have led us deeper into difficult times does not negate the fact that this is how we have so far exercised our freedom. We can do better, certainly, but the fact that we’re not doing better does not make us slaves. It just makes us stupid. And freedom, unfortunately, does not cure stupid.

One day out of 365, Angel. For that one day out of 365, let the people enjoy the fact that no foreign flag waves over this country. For that one day out of 365, let your Church goers relish the fact that they can worship without fear of persecution; that they can expect to wake up in the morning and go on-line to criticize the government to their hearts’ content; or even that they can choose not to send their kids to school because they’d rather use the money to buy cellphone credits, cigarettes, and booze. For one day out of 365, let us be proud that we are not called Americans,or Chinese, or Japanese, or Spaniards; that we are called Filipinos.

If you don’t like that, you can go pollute yourself.

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Filed under: musings, , ,

12 Responses

  1. J says:

    Lagdameo is not a cardinal 😀

    And yeah. I don’t understand too why they pass that collection plate twice in an hour on Sundays when their Vatican coffers are overflowing with money.

  2. cvj says:

    Yup our country is independent. It’s just that our Society has always been highly unequal. If this were the United States, it’s 1860, not 1775.

  3. mlq3 says:

    the vatican operates on a perennial deficit.

  4. BrianB says:

    Sounds to me, ROM, you have been insulated from much of this country’s savagery. Fact is, many people can get away with murder. There is only peace of mind if you accept this as fact of life. just avoid dangerous people and people with connections and people from powerful families and you may live a relatively happy life, as long as you have a successful enough business and have no trouble going abroad.

    And do you think Filipinos really celebrate Independence day? This country is not made from our collective choices. The naivete and illiteracy of other Filipinos allowed he few to accommodate themselves with much of the country’s resources (the loggers, hacienderos, the miners), democracy has to find away around the powerful before it can reach the masses… such a long way around. You’ve been to Sngapore and Hong Kong, countries aren’t very democratic at all.

    You misinterpreted freedom, I think, not Lagdameo. A choice between slavery and death is not freedom, ROM, are you kidding me? Freedom in a democracy is having your rights and having a fair justice system and having access to what the constitution has provided for you. This is the technical definition of democratic freedom.

  5. BrianB says:

    That is the naivete and illiteracy of EARLY post-Spanish Filipinos.

  6. rom says:

    brianb:

    You misinterpreted freedom, I think, not Lagdameo. A choice between slavery and death is not freedom, ROM, are you kidding me?

    I disagree. Remember, the unacceptability of slavery and death is a subjective matter. There are those who willingly accept slavery because it is to them a guarantee of a certain level of comfort in life; whereas emancipation entails hardship and toil. Death is also a welcome release for some, especially when continuing in their current state (such as slavery, for instance) becomes intolerable.

    The unacceptability of either option is, therefore, irrelevant to the higher question of freedom. Freedom is the ability to translate your choice between two or more options into actuality. However, this is not to say that in order to be free, you should be able to get everything you want, when you want it.

    For instance, I want a solid gold bathtub. Am I any less free because I cannot have a solid gold bathtub? Sometimes, even the free can expect disappointment.

    Of course, I’m arguing for ‘freedom’ in its most basic sense. If you were, as I accused Angel of, to equate freedom with Utopia, well then, for that I have no argument at all.

  7. J says:

    I didn’t know that, mlq3. But maybe they won’t be in a deficit had they been stricter in their vow of poverty?

  8. BrianB says:

    Free will is different fro Freedom. We’re arguing (Lagdameo included) two different things.

  9. rom says:

    brianb: free will is different from freedom. but what you call free-will at the level of the individual, i hold to be self-determination at the level of nations. and self-determination – essentially the free will of a people – is freedom.

  10. Cathy says:

    In the first place, we were baptized because we want a legitimacy, we went for communion because that is what our school wanted us to go for, but going to church every Sunday is not our priority…..if you think you don’t want to give then don’t give, rather than you complain afterwards – that’s not giving anyway – so where’s your self freedom???

    Sometimes people are just so innocent about the difference between doing good or bad….if you think you have nothing to eat then you should not think twice….do the right thing and what’s the right thing?…feed yourself first before others for in that case you’ll be able to have strength to move forward and earn extra money and then if you have extra money you’ll be able to share….but it’s not giving everything of what you have, you must have priorities in life….for me, my family comes first before anything else because they give me the reason to live.

    Church has been there ever since we existed, even the Queen of England cannot perish it no matter how strong she is….let’s just keep that belief to ourselves…that if you’re against the Church, then don’t practice what the Church do….that’s why you are granted with freedom because you have the choice to live your own way….right??? As for me working here in abroad, the only thing that matters to me is the dollar fluctuation which i cannot control…and you think working here in a different culture makes me free??? It’s just the freedom i got from Philippines that’s why I am here…but ‘tol – we have all our choices….don’t blame it on the Church…don’t they have the problem that they don’t have freedom within their own nest?

  11. rom says:

    cathy: welcome to the smoking room. all the things you say about yourself, good for you, cathy!

  12. slasia says:

    Занимаюсь дизайном и хочу попросить автора smoketalk.wordpress.com отправить шаьлончик на мой мыил) Готов заплатить…

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