While scanning the monday columns of the 'national' broadshits, oops, sheets, sorry!@# i came upon krip yuson's wonderful rejoinder piece on this apparent firestorm over a recent column he had written over the debate between who was the apropos recipient for National Artist for Literature, with the finalists being krip's favored choice of Cirilo Bautista over Bienvenido Lumbera, both being equally worthy candidates by any measure of the Philippine literary yardstick.
Just the point that krip made over announcing whom he thought deserved the award more was enough to bring on a hornet's nest of reactions from the 'nationalist' camp, which raised the buzz for the Lit Artist title to stratospheric but not surprisingly ironic levels in this usual big fish in a small pond of an artist community, and how a simple discussion of anyone worthy and deserving for the recognition tends to boil down to a kind of 'assuaging the schuebligs' situation of having to touch base again with how people of extraordinary talent and contribution to whatever field of the national culture must always undergo a brutal accounting or a politically tagged item by item list roll call of their beings -- with debate to the death amongst us of their own blood to boot.
Well, we aren't nominating 'freaks' or 'people' from mars, are we? Ah, just last night I was drinking with another person whom i'd elevate to, well, fuck it, let's go straight to the top, as in BEATIFICATION of the Filipino psyche and being, as in the name of a Heber Bartolome, who essentially has sang, spoken, and has done nearly everything in his person and ability in his lifetime imaginable for defining who the Filipino is in pop (read: popular) mode. And because the last time I looked, these were just ordinary human beings who wrote, ate, drank and shat just like i did this morning, so there.
Oh, but we're not talking about what's understood by the citizenry or in showbiz terms, so there....
So in this already lamentable situation of how just a few in a knowing circle can be aware of what the brouhaha over a National Artist title is about and frankly, whom the majority of the national population could care of less through no one's explainable fault of their own, it just makes you appreciate the role of sex bomb money changers more, as carlos celdran so amusingly relates.
Tanginang bayan ito, as opposed to the unfailing common, majority sensibility.