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Happy Violent Times

We passed by the Chocolate House the night before the 14th and the place was crowded. Business was booming, baby. I recall a time when I myself was caught in that frenzy in that season. Most of the shoppers seemed to be students on a mad rush for sweets. Now, that is what you call sugar rush. You may be supportive or sarcastic towards the season, but somehow, this is encouraging to the economy. Enterprise is enjoying the energy. Whatever helps the eager entrepreneur earn some more mullah, I’m for it. We all should be for it.

On the other hand, on that same night, I received an attachment about the conviction on a libel case of a couple of popular local media personalities. I felt my gut getting hit and my chest suddenly sinking. Oh no, how did that all come to this? That made me do a quick check of what I write here. I’m not writing anything libelous, am I? Then, my mind sways to the financial burdens that it’s going to cost, or that it has cost already. Oh, my head is hurting.

When you come to think of it, the remarks that were made were all too common.

Overstaying bystanders at the corner sari-sari store blabber about it to each other. Office staff would offer their opinions from their tables or cubicles. We would philosophize about it as passengers while packed inside a jeepney that’s stuck in traffic. We do it all the time.

Common folk have a hard time. Then, we theorize that it might be the boss’s fault in one way or the other. The company goes on some cost-cutting measures. Then the employees would conceive concepts that it might be the CEO’s corruption or something to that effect. Roads have craters on them because some congressman may have taken the cut. Lamp posts don’t have their lights on because the mayor or the barangay chairman used the funds or something. Facilities are faulty because of some falsifications and failures. It’s all common talk. When coffee break is over, staffers go back to their stations without really taking the stories that they themselves crafted without cause too seriously. They themselves know that it’s all just a venue to vent out frustrations. None of them would really openly say it in front of the boss’s face.

Sometimes, the boss knows about it and just let it slide. Anyway, it’s all just talk. Some bosses would grow viciously vindictive and go on a hunt on the identities of subordinates who spread schemes. Maybe, there really are or have been irregularities. Maybe, there are none, and there is some justifiable explanation to staff’s setbacks. Maybe, they’re not just in the position to know or they would not just understand. But then again, maybe the boss is really consuming the company’s funds to finance his family’s and friends’ festivities. But, the crucial element is the basis for the belief. Is there really evidence for the confidence?

In those kind of talk, most of the time, there’s no evidence. All the burger stand bystanders that it’s all just some creative crafting from criticism. It’s all some way to let out some steam and maybe get a few laughs, nothing too serious. But, it becomes a different game when that mouth is on a microphone or protests are printed. We can’t go on preaching without proof.

Then, there’s politics. Was that election season? I don’t want to look up the date anymore. Anyone who is familiar with history would remember that the two personalities (whom I both profoundly esteem) had been with another popular personality who has become the champion of a competing camp, and is very closely associated with the plaintiff. The attacks may have been launched from deep cuts, if you know what I mean. I wasn’t there when it happened and I can’t tell the context. Maybe, emotions swerved without direction and beliefs that lacked empirical evidence were aired through the speakers.

I could imagine the stress. Why am I stressed? Maybe, it’s the feeling that it could have been me. Maybe, it’s concern for convicted comrades. Maybe, it’s an understanding that we all say these sort of statements sometimes, simultaneously understanding the right of the aggrieved party, legal proceedings and the court’s decision. It’s all too conflicting.

You know what comforts me? It’s the thought that if someone who got entangled with a case related to murder could get back to ride the waves again, certainly, they will fare better.

Job 12:22: “He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings utter darkness into the light.”


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