Saturday, May 12, 2012


No, this is not another article bashing the beauty queen for her careless comment.  That was so last week. We have moved on not necessarily to better things.

Considering how the past week transpired, one can easily attribute the insanity and the frenzy as an effect of the Supermoon.  But let us leave that to those who believe in the paranormal.  This is not to pass judgment on any of the episodes of scandals that rocked Manila's gossip hungry population.  This is not to contribute to the new trend called public lynching.

Whether it is that all-so-evil younger sister sending hateful messages to her older sibling because of a so-called debt that she wanted immediately paid ... or the misdirected young couple who ended their lollipops and roses romance with a love child and accusations of domestic violence, demands for DNA tests and reaching its climax in cliche wine-on-the-face dousing with matching bugbugan in the parking lot ... or, worst, the most scandalous showdown ending in the most vulgar of fist fights involving a high profile showbiz couple and a senior journalist infamous for his no-holds barred exposes, we ... the audience ... are all left shell-shocked.

No, let us clarify that: we are not merely shell-shocked. We are on the eve of being traumatized.  We dare not ask, "OK, what next?"

The point is that there are lessons to be learned here. It is about the price of being a celebrity and the new dangers that technology can bring.  

Not that such eggs-in-the-face are exclusive rights of people who live and thrive on publicity and media.  Oh no, everyone and any one (and that includes anybody) can be subject to major mistakes resulting to cataclysmic non-resolutions. Except that artistas  and publicity hounds/scandal magnets are more prone to get media attention because half of their business is to be part of everybody else's business, di ba?

Remember that saying that goes: Worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about.  Here in our country we can name a whole list of names of people who make it their careers to be talked about.  They would cavort on the dance floor of media madness, even to the point of vulgarity --- while declaring to the world that they are only being true to themselves and their fans.

Nowadays, there is such a great price that people have to pay just because they choose to be magpakatotoo. Yeah, right.

In a world where voyeurism has become fashionable, everyone's desire for his fifteen seconds of fame has resulted to people wanting more and more information about the most private details of personal lives of celebrities.  As a corollary, some celebrities feel the obligation to give more and more of themselves to their public because they feel that this is the fuel that keeps their popularity engine going.

Indeed a far worse fate is when nobody is talking about a media personality --- even if it meant being the subject of blind items that involve halitosis, smelly feet, bad lovemaking or even gender issues. And, for the sake of pagpapakatotoo, the public is indeed more interested about whether or not a famous celebrity is bading rather than how many Urian trophies he has collected throughout his career.  

There is something about the dirt in a celebrity's life that adds more spice to life than his virtues and accomplishments.  That is also probably why there is this compulsion on the less intelligent of the lot to deliberately excavate if not create dirt because they equate this with career path. Yes: a path to living hell. 

Media has validated the value of scandals: the public has gained every right to peer into the most intimate details of everyday lives --- regardless of their significance and moral value --- because that has become today's entertainment.

Oh, come on, let's cut the crap. If you make your money (and lotsa-lotsa of it) by making your life accessible to the public, then don't complain when they barge into your bathroom to watch you brush your teeth.  Yes, there is such a thing as the right to privacy but you set those limits. You build your walls, you determine your degree of transparency ... and you set the guidelines when you speak ... or when you shut your trap.

Media determines just how much of you it wants to take based on how much of yourself you are willing to give.

Gain a reputation for being a living saint --- and you either earn canonization even without the Vatican's blessing and the press will keep away from you.  Well, yes --- you may be boredom personified and never become the subject of blind items in shows like Juicy but you keep your dignity and can even run for mayor in the autumn of your career.

But if you establish yourself with the public (and the press) as a poster child for bad behavior --- for being a banshee, a virago, a trouble maker or even your textbook loony --- uh, then what do you expect?  If news about you in or discussed by Lolit or Mond or Pia in Startalk or even Kuya Boy in The Buzz always revolves around your innovations to prove your creativity in expressing insanity --- what would you expect?! The press is not going to treat you with kid's gloves --- and you will be pre-judged by the public by power of established reputation or clinical history.

There is no such thing as selective publicity.  When you invite the spirits to come into your life, you cannot tell them to leave you alone--- when you have, after all, benefited from their intervention, their persistence ... and even their intrusion. You cannot scream, "Leave me alone!" whereas your track record and behavior say to "Look at me! Look at me!"

It is funny how celebrities would invest time, energy and money to get their share of media exposure.  Publicists are hired to insure that the rest of the world knows their whereabouts ... stylists are brought into the fray to primp them in a manner that is not necessarily their personal taste but for the sake of packaging.  

Whenever it is necessary to promote a television show, new movie release, a brand new album or even endorsing anything but everything from a feminine wash to a condominium development in Pluto, the celebrity will literally do everything to have himself photographed, interviewed, and throw a sound byte or two to provide a good trailer material for various promotions platforms.

Yet when it is not convenient for a celebrity to have herself photographed, caught on video or even mentioned in passing, the said creature cries bloody murder --- invoking her right to privacy and demanding respect as a tax paying citizen of the Republic.

Unfortunately, it does not work that way.  One can only demand such a privilege if the the public is made aware right from the very start that you are drawing the line between your public persona and your private life.  It can be done --- and it is being done by a few who are wise enough, intelligent enough, decent enough and sensible enough to know that a career in media does not last forever but a very bad-ass video uploaded in YouTube can go on and on and on in an eternal loop.

That is why privacy has been so easily compromised --- because, Honey, people make money out of being public. On a much larger scale, think of all the reality show winners and non-winners who have achieved renown of various proportions for no real concrete reason or achievement aside from the fact that they allowed the public eavesdrop into their conversations or peep into the most inane moments of their lives.  They tend to be infamous in their desire not to be anonymous. And this infamy came from opening all their doors wide (include the windows as well) for the world to see who they are ... and what they have become.

In the year 2012, we have legitimized cam-whoring.

In a room full of everybody --- you got to have a gimmick to be some body and you have to possess the galls, guts and gumption to be SOMEONE.  

That is why anyone aspiring for media space is only too happy to share his or her life to anyone who cares to know of a specific human existence.  It has become a requirement to share one's life as there seems to be no more specific limit --- or even parameter --- for what can already be considered as oversharing.

Yes, there is a big price for being a celebrity --- and it is because not everyone is celebrated by a world whose population has become too big and the media space so crammed and claustrophobic.  But then --- as always --- the best way to deal with celebrity is to have both feet on the ground and insuring that one's mental state if tuned-up ever so often. A good dosage of reality goes a long way --- especially in making these media stars realize that nothing lasts forever in a business that is all fireworks and canned applause.

It is best to keep it real.  Celebrities are adored --- but they are not necessarily entitled to behave in any way they choose to do so.  The lips that kiss them only hide the teeth that can masticate their illusions of eternal splendor only to spit them out mangled and useless in the end.

The only way to keep one's head above the water and go through a celebrated life is something all mothers told their children right from the very start.  The advice is only encapsulated in a single word: BEHAVE.

1 comment:

  1. so true direk.. very well said. good to know you have a blog already that we can follow. keep it up and more power!