While we revel on being one of the world’s most active online users, we seem to be oblivious of the raging political fires afflicting several societies, from the Southern parts of America, to Europe, to Hongkong and across North Africa, the Gulf and the Levant. We see people from these parts militating against their governments, raising banners calling for the abolition of their country’s elites whom they accuse of various crimes, particularly graft and corruption and most confront state security forces with such brutal hate, seeing such on television makes one wonder how the hell did their situation become so worse while we suffer the same thing here, but nary a whimper from the so-called “oppressed peoples.” Like them, we are so engrossed with what is happening around the world as we see images of these things flashed in our smartphones, tablets and desktops.
We ask— what’s wrong with us?
There is nothing wrong with us— probably we have been inured by these decades-old sufferings that we see these people’s actions as nothing short of silly. Unlike those times in the sixties, when the youth in Europe rose up with such ferocity and we did the same here, today’s generation is probably more interested to know about how Atong Ang became so lucky, he was able to get the most beautiful sisters of this country in such a rage, they even want to kill each other.
For these past few years, I had the opportunity to go back to school. For a year and a half, I indulged in reading several books and scholarly works of prominent experts on wars and small-scale conflicts. Most works blame relative deprivation as the primary driver of human aggression, and honestly, I actually know of that even without the benefit of validation from a scholar. Everyone knows that individuals who feel deprive often resort to aggressive acts just to let off steam.
Those I’ve seen in televisions rage and accuse their governments of corruption. If I were to ask those who militated during the sixties and seventies in the Western world, they would simply brush off corruption charges as nothing more that reflective of the excesses of the capitalist system. They would probably blame capitalism and imperialism as the causes why corruption reared its ugly head. The world is nothing but the world capitalist system producing workers as slaves and allowing a few families to thrive in the competitive world with their lands, their assets and their expensive race cars.
And the Youtube world is replete with sob stories of Filipinos, mostly Overseas Filipino Workers either robbed of their monies or victimized by the infidelities of their wives and husbands. Raffy Tulfo’s videos seemed to have captured the imagination and interests of many people, even foreigners who now go to his program just to seek for help. The themes are apolitical, and almost the same thing, day in and day out. Inspire of this, each video post over at Youtube generates at least a million views with active commenters who give their two cents worth every single time.
Other peoples of the world use the internet as a political weapon for change, while we usually use the internet as our research tool, our entertainment hub and to some, our platform for engagement. They are still several people out there busy ranting but most of us seemed stuck in the visual world where fantasies and devastation seemed to exists side by side.
Have we become the coach potatoes not of the tele, but of the internet?