Rant and rage

Most people my age who can’t really be called young neither can we be called old straddle that point when nothing much is going on, but so much is at stake that quitting isn’t really the best option there is. We have children, or pets, a stable relationship, a job that can be considered all right, and a circle of friends that gets wider but paradoxically narrower. People my age are afflicted with this feeling which escapes decent description. It’s boredom, a certain degree of emptiness, being rudderless. I simply have gone too inarticulate to express it in a language that is crisp and does not rely on cliche. I have to admit that not writing for a quite a while now makes my thoughts disorganized. I also don’t want to whine and rant here because I would sound like a thankless millennial who fails to recognize how despite the comfort I am able to afford myself of I still find it almost natural to complain about how bad life is treating me. But I also don’t want to sound like life is truly good. I am not depressed, nor am I the happiest in the world. I hope this is all just hormonal imbalance. 

I can go on with this, fill the whole screen with nonsense. And tire myself writing meandering musings, complain about work, wax vitriol about this country and how one is left with no option but to be indifferent and numb because being indifferent and numb is the most visceral response one can have amid all the killings and scandals hounding this country. I find solace in watching cat videos before I go to bed every night, in petting my three cats when at least one of them decided he wants to be petted, or in watching videos of the gaffes and stupidity committed by Trump. Schadenfreude. I find consolation in the fact that I don’t have the unfortunate hairdo, the propensity to drop daft statements, and the sadness of having to face all the ire and rage of the world alone.

I still am luckier. But I don’t want to be just lucky. I want to scream and be enraged and be part of a bigger narrative. Honestly, I don’t exactly know. There are days when I’m thankful that I’m one of those nameless faces on the MRT and nights when I think I deserve more than all these. 

Why we need to be angry and nurse this anger

In a country whose people forget just so easily last week’s news items (it matters not much if we’re able to dissect and digest them as this require higher order thinking, let’s only focus on whether we have retention of facts), it’s a wonder how we still are able to maintain that dignity warranted a self-respecting nation. Since this sense of shame (if one is a pessimist) is not mandatory, and whether facts are forced on us or not, we still forget, I’m worried about how much little dignity this nation has left (granting dignity and forgetfulness are interrelated), if it has any to begin with.

After our passion (yes, we are a passionate nation) dissipates into thin air and we begin to forget, so do our anger, hatred (if you want), rage, feeling of propriety, sense of the ridiculous, and sadly our memory.

It is clear why we forget easily. It is our way of coping with all the calamities that strike us, meaningless deaths (it’s odd because death should be spectacular, our finale; it has to be grand, but in this country, death does not have the chance to be tragic like in Greek or Shakespearean tragedies; death here is commonplace), scandals involving our pathetic leaders, (I will not mention) our personal struggles, if only to survive in a country that seems to defy progress and finds itself deteriorating (‘going to the dogs’ would be an exaggeration, but this country always goes against established rules of language; it eats hyperbole on a daily basis, in fact, it is beyond it).

We know we’d all be deranged if we take everything, ourselves most especially, too seriously, like most Japanese, Americans, or Scandinavians do. Suicide is yet to be included in the list of 10 leading causes of death in the Philippines. Hardly will a Filipino place a bullet in his head or gulp a gallon of insecticide. It’s not because we are gullible and believe in the Catholic Church’s teaching that killing ourselves will mean a life spent for eternity in hell. We are scared of death in this country because we know it is going to be prosaic, stripped of all the ideals we have of the final adieu.

It is also for this same reason that we do not get angry. We are enraged, yes, (however, like our passion, it’s short-lived) but because of a fear that we’ll get consumed by this rage, we let ourselves be eaten alive by this conscious forgetfulness, instead. We Filipinos do not get angry because we know we lack the economic leverage, the social capital, and cultural complexity to run amok. The capacity to feel anger is, by the way, deserved. The assumption is that a nation stripped of its dignity relinquishes its right to feel angry. We are unprivileged to express this supposed basic human emotion. And for this we become less of a human being.

This is something the Filipino nation needs to re-learn. We all need to be angry, to feel enraged, no matter how we are undeserving of it, because only then do we become truly free.

Interchangeability and doing a Sylvia

Sylvia Plath

We could go from a nadir-like state to an almost-nirvana in a matter of moments.

The difference between depression and insouciance is too thin that the reason for our rage is the same as the inspiration of our bright outlook.  In fact these two feelings are interchangeable, if not the same. They only differ in the way we manifest and express them or the way people around perceive them in us.

I do not remember having any meaningful conversation with anyone today. Most of the things we talk about are passing subjects that are of little or no consequence at all. But this does not mean I view this as assaulting, as I usually perceive cheap chit chats. In fact these small talks arrest my thoughts and allow me, even for a brief moment, to deceive my mind and to forget about the bigger questions I have of life. Questions that sometimes bring me to a point that I become Sylvia Plath-ish.

So I allow myself to be drowned in these conversations without actually letting myself sink in. I keep myself from feeling too comfortable, and not forgetting the limit I set on the stupidity of the conversation. I leave if it starts to show signs of being unbearable.

The rule is simple: Avoid the people whom you think are base enough, dull enough, and annoying enough. Give them a smile, okay a sarcastic grin would do, and that’s it. Deny their existence. Affirm their presence, though, the time you need them.

You can’t be nice to everyone. So at least, spare them your bratty attitude, and just leave them alone in the event that you cannot bring yourself to meet halfway with the other person. However, avoid treating them as your enemies. Declaring somebody your enemy is a recognition on your part that the other person is your equal. That’s a pitfall we get trapped in most of the time. As much as possible do not make enemies. Just as you do not make friend as easily.

I always bring books with me wherever I go. And these are not only to pass time, they’re also a weapon to avoid or to get rid of noxious people. It’s a warning sign that says “approach at your own risk” or time for you to go because I am starting to have seizure from your lack of sense.

* * *

I am a glutton in the making. I downed a Wendy’s Biggie fries and coke, a cheese burger, and a 7eleven beef sausage and pineapple juice that’s after having my dinner of 2 cups of rice and fish stew four hours ago. Bad…bad…