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HONORING MY MOTHER | Our basketful of entitlements

By Icoy San Pedro

A few nights ago, I came across an interesting comment online. One might have heard about or seen what transpired at the recent academy awards night in Hollywood early this week. For those who had not, that’s perfectly ok, you didn’t really miss anything. Anyway, for just the purpose of putting into perspective that comment, I would just like to briefly narrate what transpired during the said awards night.

While the comedian-host onstage was about to introduce an award for a particular category (best documentary), his routine had segued into making a small joke about the bald head of an actress in the audience. A few moments later, her actor-husband climbed up the stage and slapped the host, then casually went back to his seat after hollering an obscenity at the host as he did so. Stuff typical of American drama if you will, Hollywood style. A few in both the live and television audience all over the world even thought that the whole thing had been a prank, as that was the in-thing these days, especially on social media.

That the whole incident may have been staged, was possibly one of the conspiracies that cropped up. Yet, when others (Maritess largely) reviewed the scene again, using now-available tech support apps, the possibility of the incident as being a direct physical assault in front of thousands had become more probable. To compound the situation, the actor minutes later received one of the highest awards and in his celebration speech, he mentioned in so many words that in protecting the honor of his loved one, God had wanted him to do the dastardly act. As such, the backlash had been swift. So there.

Now this might not be the cup of tea for most people, but whenever I could, I like to listen to podcasts and commentaries about any topic, be it entertainment, sports and others (even politics though sparsely). I do so, not so much for the topic and content, but more for learning how people construct and argue their case. It’s almost like attending argumentation and debate classes in school where one not only studies issues, but also learns how they should neatly be presented. Regarding the incident at hand, the comment that got me interested had something to do with the actor’s justification of the slap. The podcast anchor said that he (the actor) had “wrapped himself in God”, that by doing so, it was therefore okay to resort to violence.

Back here in our version of Shrek’s Far Away, how many people have we actually seen casually “wrapping themselves in God” while they strut before us? The first ones that probably come to mind might be some of our politicians or hopefuls, on the election road to wooing our votes. But no, they’re everywhere; from discourteous drivers on our streets, to grocery queue cutters, to gruff officials and employers, these “righteous” thrive too. Worse, wearing God on one’s being is not even the only fad. Many weave “privilege” on their clothing as though it were a name brand only a few entitled can ever possess. Truly, while Hollywood may indeed be another planet we fancy for our entertainment. When we look hard enough, its dark sides are not so far away really.


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