By Cris Vertido
It’s indeed amusing to read “Dangerous Diversions” by columnist Isagani Cruz (Opinion, PDI 6/17/06), retired Supreme Court justice, erstwhile grammarian and nostalgiac, and more recently, a self-appointed sociological analyst who has precipitately passed judgment on us entertainers as the main culprits for the sad state of our nation today. With his rambling piece of writing, he has unwittingly become a full-fledged entertainer himself.
In a wholesale indictment, he points an accusing finger on the entire entertainment industry as the root cause of our return to the iniquitous vestiges of a previous Marcos regime, its toadies surviving until today, the garbage which he claims we feed to the scum of society, the untalented, overambitious celebrities whom we their idolaters elect into office, and the purveyors of an unenlightened electorate. Boy, aren’t we that powerful!
In reaching that verdict however (“after much reflection”, he says), he has resorted to hasty generalization and faulty syllogism, logical fallacies least expected from a former justice even in his dotage. Consider his lines of thinking:
SOME principal figures of the entertainment industry were submissive to and noisily barked for Marcos. They are still active today in their adjustable (sic) career. They influence the unthinking masses. Therefore, ALL the entertainment industry practitioners have led our citizens into exercising their suffrages improperly. You follow so far?
Here’s another. Entertainment shows are vulgar, smutty, offensive, obnoxious, unwholesome, and deserve to be trashed (as in “whipped”?). The audience laps the garbage up. Therefore, these same audiences are the ones who elect dubious entertainers to high public positions because the entertainers failed to elevate their taste. See the logic?
Following Cruz’ outlandish way of cogitation, let me propose a different tack, a way of looking at oneself in the mirror. At the risk of quarreling with my lawyer friends, let me make a blanket indictment instead on the whole legal industry, of which Cruz is supposedly a luminary, as the great perpetrators of the present mess we’re in.
Here goes. There are a thousand times more lawyers, judges and justices in this country than there are entertainers. And there are a hundred times more of them in high government positions and seats of power, all of them elected by the same unenlightened and uneducated electorate. There’s a lot more of them who have overrun this benighted country than a handful of dubious entertainers who got legitimately elected.
The good ex-justice complains of an idiotized electorate. The Great Unwashed only do the voting but it’s the lawyers in the COMELEC who do the counting and who determine the winners.
Who do you think make the laws but flout them the most? Who are the “hoodlums in robes” and who mouth and dispense injustice? Who interprets the Constitution, invents terms like “constructive resignation,” regrets that a death convict should not have been put to death after all, and investigates the citizenship of national artists? Who have run this country in the last six decades and have brought this country to imminent perdition? Most logically, you should know the answer. Certainly not the much denigrated entertainers, your Honor. Not even if two of these entertainers were stopped by lawyers and wiretappers from running the country
So who has more impact on the nation’s damaged psyche? Who determines the progress or decline of our moral, political, economic, and cultural state? The noisy many or the silent few? Quod erat demonstrandum ad absurdum.
I’m glad and I’m proud I chose to be an entertainer. I make a decent and honest living out of making people laugh, amused and cry. The others only make us cry.
I must admit we are all guilty of creating the state of anomie we’re all in, entertainers, lawyers and the rest alike. But let’s not be guilty of culpable violation of logic. Stop cruz-ifying us, will ya?