Skip to main content

Insult to injury (PJI editorial 7 April 2005)

NEWS about a newsman’s death plied out in cyberspace or on printed page hardly touches a ripple of interest or whit of outrage among surfers and readers.

News persons aren’t really interesting but after receiving a flurry of death threats for his tirades on drug lords, a hard-hitting columnist of an afternoon tabloid saw it fit to pack three pieces—a .45 in a shoulder strap, a similar piece at his waist, and a third tucked in a foot holster.

He wasn’t able to yank out any of such pieces during a taxi heist that cost him his life. He didn’t get any chance to pay heed to a sage counsel about political power spewed off gun barrels and pork barrels.

Or he had a bad case of adrenaline dump. Do-or-die moments can trigger a flood-rush of adrenaline in one’s systems. That can nudge the threatened individual to lash out like a cornered cobra in nanosecond reaction. Or one simply freezes in utter shock and unwittingly gets it in the neck.

The latest casualty got it between her eyes as she was having supper. She probably invited her uninvited guest to dig in. Maybe the hitman didn’t like the food.

Indeed, it takes a certain level of reptilian sangfroid to whip out a weapon, even use such with lethal precision to repel an attack or neutralize an actual threat.

Despite that Voltaire warning—“to hold a pen is to be at war” – news persons aren’t exactly men of arms steeled in military close quarter battle or fully drilled in the finer points of guerilla warfare. We’re fair game.

We’re mostly a tractable species of workhorses saddled by daily assignments to pry out facts, cross-check facts, tie up loose ends, and bang out reportage, maybe a scoop or two to eke a living. Why, baring the peso figures of our paychecks before public eyes would be tantamount to indecent exposure and gross obscenity.

We just break the news—we don’t exactly break necks or a heart or two as we plough through our daily grind in what is becoming as next to the world’s deadliest combat zone. We’ll cope as we scour the N, E, W, S points of the compass to keep people informed.

The saddest part about a job that puts a news person’s neck on the chopping block: readers and audiences may relish the news but they don’t give a damn about the workers who bring the news.

Now, add a ton of assault to lethal injury. Know ‘em news folks as “enemies.” Astig!

Yeah, astigmatic.


Popular posts from this blog

Every single cell of my body's happy

I got this one from Carmelite Sisters from whose school three of my kids were graduated from. They have this snatch of a song that packs a fusion metal and liebeslaud beat and whose lyrics go like this:

"Every single cell of my body is happy. Every single cell of my body is well. I thank you, Lord. I feel so good. Every single cell of my body is well."

Biology-sharp nerds would readily agree with me in this digression... Over their lifetimes, cells are assaulted by a host of biological insults and injuries. The cells go through such ordeals as infection, trauma, extremes of temperature, exposure to toxins in the environment, and damage from metabolic processes-- this last item is often self-inflicted and includes a merry motley medley of smoking a deck a day of Philip Morris menthols, drinking currant-flavored vodka or suds, overindulgence in red meat or the choicest fat-marbled cuts of poultry and such carcass.

When the damage gets to a certain point, cells self-destruct. T…


Viagra au naturel

IT LOOKED eerie—a blaze of fireflies pulsing like stars in the nippy air, throbbing with mating passions. That show of lights somehow eased the shadows of a Holy Thursday night on a dry river bed a few kilometers trudge up Mount Makiling.

It’s likely that no river has lain in sleep for months on that moss-grown, boulder-strewn bed—except my 20-year old kid Kukudyu and I. We were out to spend the night, do on-site learning sessions by the next day. Usual father-and-son bonding. As the late Benjamin Franklin once begged: "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."

Past noon from the foot of the mountain’s northern section, it took us four hours ploughing non-stop through prickly bushes and forest undergrowth to get to that site. We got there in one bruised piece. By then, dusk was falling; the sylvan air hummed with a trill of crickets, cicadas, critters nameless in choral orison. That incessant “sh-r-r-e-eemmm---“ layered with “k-kr-r-eeengg--” …