Body Spray Machismo and Superficiality

In the Philippines, one of the latest products being peddled on TV is the new Axe Apollo body spray. Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not reviewing the body spray. I could care less with all that machismo and chauvinism that is so appealing to many men in Filipino society. The reason why I’m talking about this is because of the fact that the said TV ad sums up the value system of contemporary society: image over substance.

The gist of the TV ad is this: Some hero-type fireman hunk rescues this pretty lady from a blazing inferno. Instead of the usual gratitude that such an act would merit, we then find out that the woman runs toward this guy wearing a space suit in the middle of the city.

Now, here’s some food for thought. What is it exactly that this silly astronaut suited guy (we don’t even know if he’s a real astronaut!) do to get that shallow woman running after him? Unless astronaut guy was married to that shallow girl, I can’t see any reason why this whore would run up to him. What he just did was perform that slow cliche walk and look “cool”. What a load of crap! Is that how you’re supposed to be thankful to the person who has saved your life? The shallowness of it all is sickening!

This TV ad teaches a fact in postmodern society: Image is more valuable than talent or character. They say, “To see is to believe,” even if it does not have any substance. This is what, unfortunately, TV is trying to teach children today: looking “good” or “hot” or “cool”, whatever it may be, is more important than your skills, talents and character. It is the complete opposite of what the Lord values. Once more, this TV ad reinforces the fact that man looks outward rather than inward.

The passage in 1 Samuel 16:7 reads, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” How I hope that people would keep such words to heart and reject man’s empty value system based on superficiality.

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Close-Mindedness Can Be Very Irritating

I grew up as a fan of metal. I should be because I started out playing in a band that covered Metallica. Naturally, therefore, I would love thrash metal. Heck, I still do. Of all the Big Four thrash bands, Megadeth was up on my list simply because I think their musicianship was the most superb of them all. My favorite Megadeth album is “Rust in Peace”. Fast forward 2013, they released this:

Hmm, okay. I wouldn’t call this thrash metal. It’s some kind of hard rock that is more akin to a Mr. Big hit than a thrash metal anthem like Slayer’s “Angel of Death” (by the way, RIP Jeff Hannemann). I have seen how some fans have started to hate Megadeth because the band has the desire to expand its fanbase (and perhaps earn a lot of money in the process). Who could blame them? They got families to feed, bills to pay, etc. They do this for a living. This has to be respected rather than bash Megadeth for seemingly selling out.

I couldn’t really stand how narrow-minded or close-minded rabid thrash metal fans can be at times. Can’t we respect the band for trying out something else? I mean they’re artists. You can’t expect an artist to put out something like “Rust in Peace” every year or so. That’s the kind of thing that kills innovation.

So, for fans who are disappointed with Megadeth’s direction, please shut up. You’re not doing anything good. Hey, I would agree that this new Megadeth song isn’t really something that I’d be crazy about but you have to respect the fact that they’re living up to their name as ARTISTS and not mere parrots that repeat the same thing over time without meaning.

How to Win a Government Seat in the Philippines

1. Be a member of the oligarchy or a political dynasty. If you’re Filipino, you already know the names. Chances of winning with this method is very high. The Aquinos, the Marcoses, and the Estradas are some of the names that come to mind.

2. Make a name for yourself in showbiz and be involved in a lot of publicity (positive or negative doesn’t matter). In the Philippines, politics is the next step in the career path of has-been actors and actresses. The odds of winning range from about 50% to near 100% with this tactic. The most successful example is Joseph Estrada.

3. Attend the Philippine Military Academy, launch a coup d’etat, surrender to the government, obtain amnesty, and then campaign for a senate seat. You gain a good chance of winning with this tactic not because of perceived competence but of notoriety and the ability to pull people towards a “cause” of some sort. Classic example is Honasan but the latest example is Trillanes.

4. Be the leader of an activist group. Perhaps this provides about a 50/50 chance of winning. It doesn’t really matter what cause you are pushing as long as you are noisy and you complain a lot on national TV. The commies come to mind.

5. Have loads and loads of money to spare. This tactic is very useful for converting voters from opposing camps to your side. This tactic can greatly improve the odds of winning because of the greedy nature of the Pinoy voter. A common tactic amongst political aspirants, almost everybody running for office uses this tactic.

6. Have actual competence and a proven track record in public service. This tactic does not guarantee a win. Dick Gordon is one of those rare individuals who can win an election because of this.

So, as you can see, because of the damaged society that is the Philippines, the described tactics, with the exception of #6, can guarantee a seat in government. A government seat in the Philippines is considered to be a mountain of gold. No wonder why there are many Pinoys who groom themselves and their children for public office, despite the fact that competence is not amongst their list of “redeemable” qualities. I have to recognize the fact that these politicians have a degree of intelligence in that they exactly know how to manipulate the Filipino into getting them elected.

And so, you can expect to see another three years of mediocrity, nothingness, and chaos after May 13, where people follow the lives of politicians as if they were watching their mind-numbing soap operas.