Thursday, July 30, 2009

State of the President’s Emoticons



You know you’ve grown old if you can listen to the president’s State of the Nation Address without fidgeting, yawning or thinking that there are worse things than death. You know you are older still if you can sit through the entire SONA and end up criticizing every line and facial twitch.

I discovered I’m not very old. I managed to sit through only a few snippets, those parts where she turned the other cheek and still managed to send acidic spittle via satellite towards her critics. It was like watching an ugly parade of emoticons on the president’s sleeves. Wouldn’t it be horrible to be remembered for that speech?

Then there was the usual display of colorful feathers. I suppose running a country takes more than just average gray matter and she must have done a good job making sure that those esoteric economic figures behave. I know I would not have done a better job. But sadly, the noodle eaters of Tondo cannot relate to the numbers that denote her success because they can only comprehend the presence or absence of food, their only measurement of a politician’s success.

This is why the new batch of presidential aspirants have made it a point to stress that they grew up in the slums feeding pigs, that they can give pedicab rides to the sons of vendors and that they can relate, with matching tearful looks, to the plight of the poor.

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