Pressure Critical

Current System Configuration: Definitely not relaxed
The Last Winged Unicorn by Rhapsody of Fire. [Epic Metal] Rhapsody’s vocals aren’t as good as DragonForce’s, but their melodies are just incredible. They have lots of that awesome church organ-and-electric guitar accompaniment too. Other current favorites are The Last Angel’s Call and Land of Immortals, also by Rhapsody of Fire.

[Breakfast] Pancakes with brown sugar
[Lunch] Beef salpicao and brown rice
[Dinner] Angel hair pasta
[Coffee] Homemade mocha
I Want to Read:
-everything I wanted to read in my last post

Earlier today I felt like my head was about to explode. I was rushing to finish checking my students’ formal themes so that I could proceed to their projects. Thank God I was able to finish the formal themes. I am now 1/10 of the way through the projects. Yay. (I didn’t bring home any work, I wanted to rest.)

I’m just glad that we’re having our fair this weekend. Of course, this means I’m coming in my costume. Now I just need to get gloves. I lost the original pair. <_<

The Lottery

No, I did not join the lottery. I have better ways to invest my money. But we did take up the short story of that title by Shirley Jackson. I can’t really discuss it without spoiling it, but it basically tells the story of a backwater American town that practices a traditional annual lottery.

Unfortunately, the lottery here does not win you anything more than a stoning. Whoever picks the marked slip gets stoned to death by the town. Why? I have no idea. It seemed to have been part of a harvest ritual in the distant past, though the meaning has been lost through the years.

But I don’t think that part was the most disturbing.

What I found disturbing is the victim’s total lack of concern for others. I don’t want to spoil any more than that if you plan to read the story, but I was able to relate the story’s message to modern Philippine society.

See, we Pinoys love to rubberneck. We see an accident on the road, we slow down, satisfy our curiosity, and then drive on, not caring. We don’t really mind if something bad happens, as long as it happens to someone else.

Of course, we’re all someone else to someone else.

We Filipinos are said to be the happiest people in the world. We smile in the midst of suffering, sure. But is it really because we’re happy? Naive?

Or maybe it’s because we’re callous?

We may see the concept of a fictional community that annually stones a person to death so far-fetched, so far-removed from our reality–but really, with all of us so used to the callous act of rubbernecking, I really don’t think we’re that different from the people in the story.

I guess this is just one of the many things that our nation has to get out of its system.

Another tale of infinite wars
for the defenders of holy light!
The fire enters my mind,
the blood of the innocent before my eyes,
spreading the wings of the dream!
I want to win between fire and steel
for them all! –Legendary Tales by Rhapsody of Fire

Picking at the nation’s callouses,

Your Black Lion


~ by J. R. R. Flores on October 25, 2006.

3 Responses to “Pressure Critical”

  1. As I learned from my Socio 10 subject, I don’t think that people are really heartless or something like that. It is just that it is part of human nature to be curious of something that doesn’t happen in their daily life. I mean, it’s not everyday that you see a car crash or something like that, right?

    Most of the people who are watching would like to help, but they just are too busy to do so. Other people wouldn’t know what to do.

    Now, if only those people would be willing to spare some time [ and be late for their meeting ] to help the other, that would make things better.

  2. Point taken, but I still think that there’s a certain element of insensitivity in it. Maybe the car crash isn’t such a good example, but when I berate a student for not listening and the person beside him snickers, I think there’s a problem there.

  3. Rubber-necking is a universal phenomenon and not limited to Manila. For some it is just curiosity, for others it’s a way to say that they are better off than the guy lying down on the pavement with his brains splattered. It is a consolation for their own miserable lives… that someone is worse off. The situation of snickering likely is a different thing altogether… it is the sign of immaturity. Having your neighbour berated by the teacher is a free and vicarious lesson they can learn from – and yet they don’t. Kids nowadays fail to see that they grow up quickly nowadays and that they should pick-up all learning experiences they can. Of course, they can learn it later at far greater expense.

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