Thursday, November 18, 2010

In response to the November 15 DAWN article of Ruth Dumaraos

In response to the November 15 DAWN article of Ruth Dumaraos

by Lualhati Madlangawa Guererro

"We oftentimes hear the old ones lament over the passiveness of our generation. They say that we, the generation of camera-crazies, coffee dependents, and Facebook fanatics, only care about the clothes we wear, what our hair looks like and how we can create a nice impression to others. In a nutshell, they think that we are the breed of narcissistic individuals trying to be "in" with the crowd and can actually say what we belong."

These are the opening words of the writer Ruth Dumaraos regarding the youth as "the new generation." This also shows how the youth nowadays became too materialistic to the point that they didn't notice they're being exploited by the system using tendencies urging them to be materialistic, or in other words "trying to be in."

For sure most people don't know much how the youth became like that, from the first impression that the youth as an idealist, they end up nothing but being enslaved by the prevailing practises given to them by the rotten social order. They may've spoken of change but in practise, reduced to a mere ceremonial degree.

In addition to that, the "generation" Ruth Dumaraos spoken about is far from her expectation. Idealism is now replaced with meaningless apathy and silence, sacrificing their dreams in favor of joining the flow, to the fact that how come the youth nowadays had no ambitions for themselves except for "becoming a nurse" and end up "working in America" or "as a call center agent?" Where is idealism then?

After all, as Dumaraos said:
"Yes, at some point, I agree to that notion. With that the fast-changing world of today gives us, alongside with what technology offers, truly, we are hooked. A typical youth of today can be seen listening to his Ipod, ears plugged, texting his friends, tweeting, camwhoring, blogging and harvesting in his virtual farm."

Indeed, that youth she've spoken about is simple: a being spoiled by the system in order not to speak at all. The Ipod, the camera, the computer being used for self-spoilage is the proof how the rotten society's contribution to the youth using technology-to become totally materialistic and apathetic, being confined in his/her own backyard.

But then not all youth, although apathetic and obsessed on being confined on its own backyard, does not mean that he/she is virtually in his/her solitary confinement. He/she can spend time bragging his/her own santity to the world.-he/she is adventurous, plays the lead role whether right or wrong as the system wanted it, a gift of materialistic, rather than idealistic fantasies for goddamned sake of being in-that often lead into troubles, misunderstandings, underestimation, even death!

The taking of pictures in Quirino Grandstand after the hostage incidents, the bragging of posts in Facebook and in Twitter, their obsession in photoshop or any other photo editing tools, glorifying basketball, involvement in frat rumbles, gang wars and any other kinds of vices virtually corrupts his/her own self regardless of its negativity to the society.

But the demonstrations in Mendiola? How come it became totally an act of mere idealism? Of adventurism that lead to underestimation? To an activist, their action is in response to the negligence of the system when it comes to education, social services and other needs, an extralegal action alongside the use of petition signing, lobbying and other acts what we call legal. The rallies in Mendiola is even an act of free speech, that regardless of the pain given to them by the system's hordes they kept on resisting by all means necessary, all for the sake of the people in general.

For sure Dumaraos didn't experience activism in general except looking at the newspaper or watching it in the television for a scope, for a mere writeup like her article entitled "our generation." She may've criticized much the protesters as noisy makers while glorifying those who simply "accept and accept" regardless of the current situation that is disastrous. Speaking of her generation, of mere writers defending the legacy of apathetics, of those "defending the order" of self-spoiled ones and armchair apologetics, if not activists, bereft of idea and of reason, here's a quote, according to Jose Maria Sison, in his writeup "Youth on the March", it said:

“It is the very nature of the world and of history that while there are youth wasted in the pens of old societies, there are also youth who question and fight the outdated order.”

And thus, what Dumaraos made is on behalf of those who have wasted themselves in the pens courtesy of the old order, while those from Mendiola, the ones protesting are the ones fighting against the old, outdated order that is, degenerated. To the fact that the system tolerates the spoiled than the opposing, as the article Dumaraos made, regarding the current generation of the youth today, from the start of her message, unveils the reality that must be changed into a progressive being willing to contribute to the destruction of the old, outdated order and a creation of a just, progressive society, of uniting physical and spiritual wealth for the well being of the many, simply through enlightenment, or in other words: Arouse, Organize and Mobilize.