To you who was not ‘informed’

It was a rainy morning when you found yourself at the corner of two normally busy streets. Thinking it was your lucky day because of the unusual absence of heavy traffic, save for a body of water that separated you from the other side of the street, unsuspectingly, you maneuvered your car and crossed the divide that separated you and the other end of the street. And lo! Your car, like a flimsy paper boat, got carried by the raging flood which for you at first appeared nothing but an over-sized puddle, or at least a more forgiving flood. Floods, you realized, although very late, are never forgiving. So you had to have yourself subjected to such shame, thin little boys pushing your car to the salvation afforded by dry concrete.

A nearby team of an overeager TV reporter and his crew ran to you and asked you some perfunctory questions. Thinking rudeness will save you face, you responded to his every question with as much ire you could muster, forgetting that you were being taped by his equally overeager cameraman.

The following evening, you saw yourself on TV, not looking very intelligent, shouting “I was not informed!”. The next morning, portion of that newscast was uploaded on Youtube by some unscrupulous netizen. An hour after the upload, the whole world mercilessly called you names from something as riling as ‘stupid,’ ‘in want of simple commonsense,’ to something as inane as ‘in dire need of bra’. Your friends came to your rescue, giving you encouraging words, supporting you, retorting sarcastically that all of a sudden ‘everyone is informed‘.

From this writer’s point of view, you and your friends are missing the point. It is not your supposed stupidity (or not being informed) that led to the lambasting of your person on Youtube by anonymous individuals. People who have viewed your videos would have, in most cases, felt more pity than derision, would have even ignored that senseless video had you not unleashed your crassness on TV. It’s plain and simple. You were base.

And shouting ‘I was not informed’ in a city as pitiless as Manila, that you were not told it was a raging flood rather than an innocent-looking, little ephemeral stream you thought it was, is, in my humblest of opinions, rather juvenile.

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Enraged by the utter lack of common sense of CineEuropa’s Organizers

The Devil of St Petersburg

The Devil of St. Petersburg

I am clearly aware that I have virtually no rights to complain since I was there on my own accord, I expended nothing but my time, and for events like this, I knew at the very onset that my fate is at the mercy of whatever organizing committee tasked to manage the event. I expected little, except to watch really good films that are sadly not shown in mainstream theaters in the Philippines because of the alleged inability of the viewing public to comprehend European films’ complex postmodern themes and western perspective. So given the rare chance of watching them on big screen, I cleared my entire Saturday just so I could partake on this artistic fiesta.

I arrived at Shangri-la Cineplex seeing the line snaking down up to Starbucks. It’s nothing unusual because this also happened during the Japanese Film Festival and worse during the French. I waited patiently thinking that the line would get cleared an hour before the screening allowing me to have coffee for an hour.

But I was wrong. I waited for an hour but the line seemed no plans to move. It even extended outside the mall, amid the light downpour. It was insane. The crowd in the entire floor was already out of control. The entire place was like an evacuation area. People are literally camping before the ticket counter.

But the organizers of CineEuropa were unfazed. The man who, it appeared to me, is the head of the team walked to and fro marveling at the scene of people who were standing there for hours. He feigned preoccupation. He counted heads as if this act was relevant. Some people who are vocal enough verbalized their complaints. But the man seemed more concerned with following their stupid rule of releasing the tickets thirty minutes before the actual screening than seeing the grim sight of the growing crowd.

I felt like a postmodern Frenchman with a German angst-ridden temperament. I felt like showing to that man my middle finger and curse him in Vietnamese. For why in the world couldn’t they release the effing tickets?

Did the organizers have painful childhood and that they derive pleasure from seeing other people suffer from their pathetic policies?

Is the organizing committee of this year’s Cine Europa, probably made up of Filipinos, a bunch of complete morons who have suffered a lot from workplace discrimination that causing inconvenience on people whose only desire is to experience Art is their only way of retribution?

The event will be until next week. I know that the festival shall remain true to its objective of bringing the European culture here in the Philippines. And the local viewers are more than grateful for this chance, but please, we ask the organizers to show us a little common sense.