I was mindlessly flipping channels on TV one afternoon — my folks have the coolest cable service, with the Cartoon Network (“Courage, the Cowardly Dog” and “Samurai Jack” are great), the Discovery Channel, and stations from France, Italy, Spain, Hongkong, mainland China, and best of all: India, with ’70s Bollywood films showing in the afternoon — and I was totally taken aback when I chanced upon a talk show called “Straight Talk.”
There, I was treated to the disgusting spectacle of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos’s daughter, Imee Marcos-Manotoc, “interviewing” her own son, Borgy Marcos-Manotoc. All throughout adoring viewers would text them inane questions and comments via cell phone (which Imee would dutifully read), like:
– You two look so cute together!
– Borgy, you’re so intelligent.* You’re as smart as your grandfather!
– Are you going to run for senator?
– What’s your favorite song?
– I hope you go into politics like your grandfather some day.
– Borgy, what is your favorite dish?
– Are you two close?
– More power to you!
– Borgy, will you be hosting your own talk show?
– Borgy, you’re so handsome!
Jesus Christ! Why are these fucking criminals in the country in the first place? They should have been mobbed and sent back, to put it mildly, the minute they stepped onto the tarmac of Ninoy Aquino International Airport! The fact that these people are elected governors (Bongbong is governor of Ilocos Norte) and congresswomen (both Imee and Imelda are/were reps of Ilocos Norte and Leyte, respectively) is abhorrent enough — but at least it’s comprehensible, for political and monetary favors can be dispensed. But to make them celebrities — objects of adulation for whose fans the only reward is to bask in their dubious (vain)glories — simply boggles the mind.
Some of you might argue that Borgy** had nothing to do with the depredations of his grandparents. As Agent Scully once said, “Sure. Fine. Whatever.” As far as I’m concerned, the $27,000 in yearly tuition fees he pays to the University of San Diego*** is blood money, both literally and figuratively: money pillaged from the coffers of the nation, blood exacted from the disappeared and from victims of torture.****
Let’s take his mom*****, for instance: What about the $4.5 million she owes to Archimedes Trajano‘s family — the kid her bodyguards tortured for at least 36 hours before he died? And Borgy himself — how does the victim of a “bar brawl” with him end up being treated for cigarette burns on his back?
I’ll end my rant with a snippet of dialogue from the show (some words are paraphrased, but most of the quotes are verbatim):
Imee: A question for Borgy. What did you learn na wholesome family values?
Borgy: Did I learn any wholesome family values?
Imee: Tawanan. Iyon ang family bond natin, eh, puro tawanan.
Borgy: Eating, shopping and laughing.
Imee: That’s right.
Borgy: Oh, and massages.
Imee: Oh yeah. We love massages.
Why are they still free to be on talk shows?
Why are they still free to be governors and congresswomen?
Why are they still free to cavort on beaches?
Why are they still free to get massages and eat and shop?
And why are they still laughing?
*My mom tells me that Borgy was on the Philippine edition of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” and almost won a million pesos for charity. “So people started saying,” she recalled, “that he is as smart as his grandfather.” I guess that’s what passes for intelligence these days. I’ve never known why people still call the deposed dictator “intelligent.” Why dignify a thief and killer?
**Okay, he’s cute, he apparently reads Kierkegaard, and he had the good taste to go out with MTV VJ Sarah Meier. Meier, on the other hand, had the bad taste to associate with him.
***Probably couldn’t get into UCSD.
****Folks have commented on my Imelda Marcos page — see links on the right — and said that it was funny, but it does not solve anything. They’re quite right. But for me personally, it’s better to make a laughingstock of Imelda — to laugh helplessly — than to wring my hands in despair at the sheer helplessness of it all.
*****Dang, girl! With all the money your parents stole, you’d think you’d be able to get a nose and chin job that didn’t look so cheap-ass.******
******Okay, I’m being mean and insulting and petty. I honestly don’t care. Could I be sued for libel if I called him Prince Ferdinand the Turd — I mean, Third?