Monday, December 14, 2015

84. Slapstick Politics

Wikepedia defines slapstick as "a style of humor involving exaggerated physical activity which exceeds the boundaries of common sense." When Duterte mentioned the other day that he'd slap Roxas in the face, he was actually engaging his audience with this slapstick sense of humor. Unfortunately, Roxas could not be denied a reply, dared Duterte to do it, and said Roxas would pay him a visit. I could not believe myself and checked the calendar and  confirmed that it is December  14, 2015 indeed, not 1015 AD. Yet, the amusing thing is we have full grown adult men, candidates for the presidency, engaging in slapstick banter to pander to their crowd of sycophants who seem to be up to it. I don't remember Philippine elections having gone this low. When I ran for student office in San Beda High School, we had decent speeches, and my fellow candidates and I shook hands before and after the vote. Roxas and Duterte are not in high school and they're vying for a position of authority with national, historical, and symbolic significance. Yet, this is how they choose to conduct themselves, comparable to how hogs fight for their slops. It still escapes me how slapping Roxas in the face would get Duterte some votes and how Roxas daring Duterte to do it would get Roxas his votes. They're entertaining voters of course to inject life in their otherwise hohum campaign. My kids have a term for this embarrassment, facepalm. To my generation it is simply, baboy.

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