Saturday, June 25, 2005

There must be a phony somewhere (PJI editorial 27 June 2005)

FINDING himself in a house full of toys, one child infected with a terminal case of pessimism dragged himself into a corner, sulked, and let out a bellyache: “I can’t play with any of these, one or two will break sooner or later and I’ll feel rotten!”

Another kid oozing with optimism was locked in a stable full of horse manure—and he screamed with delight, “With all this shit, there ought to be a pony hidden somewhere here. It’ll be fun finding and riding it out of here!”

We’re probably up to our necks in dung these days.

But nobody has taken the pains to seek out the pony, cow, horse, mule, sheep, goat or any such dung layer to ride off and have fun. There ought to be people who’ll feed the stacks of manure into a sealed tank, turn out loads of natural gas to fuel cooking stoves, turbines, and automotive engines. There should be people brimming with a sense of humus—they’ll spread shit on impoverished soil then grow lush roses and nutrient-rich vegetables on that compost-enriched ground.

There has to be two or three mad scientists wallowing in the dung heap. They’re probably culling anthrax bacteria or any such exotic plague, multiplying colonies of the microorganisms, harvesting spores with an eye for global marketing of dirt-cheap biological weapons. Or, if they’re not inclined to sell or they’re too shy to compete with their foreign counterparts, they might do some decimation tests on the local populace or in high-profile government offices tabbed as bulwarks of graft and corruption…

So we overstretched our gone-amok imagination.

We’re just stuck. Maybe, we just love to wallow in dung.

Maybe we’re living in a nightmare and we’re enjoying the deep slumber.

It’s probably the national karma—whatever karma is. We’ve stumbled into certain passages from that antique book that explains what karma is. Karma is what one does and its backlash. Check out Manu samhita – literally, “laws of man” – that alleges one sixth of a nation’s karma is somehow rubbed off on the nation’s leader. That means the populace has to bear 5/6 of that lousy burden.

So let’s do crude arithmetic: Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has to endure the brickbats hurled her way as she bears 1/6th of an unseen burden; bearers of the remaining 5/6th of the burden have had enough of her, they’ll just look for another to carry that weight.

Maybe our imagination has gone amok, it’s echoing something from Mahatma Gandhi who had pored over those Manu samhita texts: “You must be the change you wish to see. “

Maybe there’s a pony or two hidden in the dung heap that we could ride. Maybe there’s a pony or there are millions of phonies in this neck of the compost pile.

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Tiyak na may buriko

NATAGPUAN ng musmos na may madilim na pananaw ang kanyang sarili sa bahay na puno ng mga laruan. Nagmukmok siya sa sulok at nagreklamo: “Hindi ako makapaglalaro ng kahit alin dito, tiyak na may masisira, sasama lang ang loob ko.”

Paslit na umaapaw sa pag-asa ang ikinulong sa kuwadra na puno ng dumi ng kabayo—napahiyaw agad sa tuwa. “Tiyak na may nagtatagong kabayo sa bunton ng tae. Hahanapin ko. Sasakyan ko palabas dito!”

Baka tayo nakalublob na hanggang leeg sa likas na abono mula puwit ng animal.

Pero wala yatang naghahagilap sa kabayo, baka, kalabaw, buriko, tupa, kambing o kauring hayup para may masakyan papalabas. Dapat yata na may magkakarga ng mga dumi sa saradong imbakan, para makalikha ng gas na panggatong sa lutuan, sa mga turbina’t makina para umandar. Dapat yata na may mga masikap na kamay—ilalatag ang dumi sa mga nabaog na lupain, magpapatubo ng mga marikit na bulaklak o siksik-sustansiyang gulay.

Dapat din na may dalawa o tatlong baliw na kampon ng agham na nakalublob. Baka magsasala ng bakterya ng anthrax o anumang salot-pamuksa, magpapalago ng ganoong mikroorganismo, aani ng binhi niyon habang pinupuntirya ang pagbebenta sa pandaigdigang pamilihan sa biological weapons—o kung andap sila sa mga banyagang kakumpetensiya, baka subukin nilang puksain ang ilang milyon sa lokal na populasyon o ‘yung mga nasa tanggapan ng gobyerno na nabansagang balwarte ng kabulukan at pangungurakot.

Umalagwa yata ang aming imahinasyon.

Baka nakalublob pa rin tayo. Baka naliligayahan tayo sa paglublob sa dumi.

Maaaring lahat tayo’y binabangungot at nasisiyahan tayo sa pananatiling tulog.

Baka ganoon talaga ang ating karma—anuman ang karma. Nahapyawan na yata natin ang isang antigong aklat na naglilinaw kung ano ang karma—kung ano ang ginawa at ang sukli nito. Bungkalin ang Manu samhita—o “Mga batas-pantao” – na iginigiit na 1/6 ng pambansang karma ay sumasalin-salpak sa balikat ng pinuno ng bansa. Nasa balikat ng taumbayan ang 5/6 ng ganoong bigat ng dalahin.

Subukan nating magkuwenta. Dapat tiisin ni Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ang mga ipinupukol na inidoro’t poso negro habang pasan niya ang 1/6 na bigat-karma. Ayaw na sa kanya ng sambayanang nagpapasan ng 5/6 na bigat-karma at naghahanap ng bagong pagpapasahan ng pasan.

Naghuramentado na yata ang aming imahinasyon, nauulinig tuloy ang nawika ni Mahatma Gandhi na pumasada na sa mga nakasaad sa Manu samhita: “Ikaw ang dapat maging pagbabago na nais mo.”

Baka may nakatagong buriko sa bunton ng dumi para masakyan palabas. Baka naman milyun-milyon ang buriko na nakasubsob lang sa bunton ng tae.



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