Celebrity matters – Part I

Here’s a top ten list of Filipinos  or things Pinoy who or that don’t matter.  (I hope to write later on those who do matter.)

Their output is intellectual property, for which there appears to be a market “out there,” and on which celebrity rests.

Nonetheless, they don’t matter if their celebrity is built “on air,” so to speak, maintained by PR machinery paid for by large corporations, either directly or through advertisements or CSR [1] “initiatives.”  They don’t matter because what they say, write, or do doesn’t move me at the personal level.  So it is a highly subjective list.

Here’s the list:

10.  Celebrity read-alongs.  This almost qualifies as abuse of children who are herded into a setting where they don’t fully understand the comings and goings, but never mind.  It looks good when a picture is printed in the mainstream media.  If you want a child to read, get a good pre-school and give him/her a cell phone.  Today we have precocious kids because they text; the problem is they pick up jejemon.

9. Gossip shows.  Ok, this is DGNDE [2] territory. One man’s gossip is another man’s “raw” intelligence.  Besides, we do have free speech. Ditto for shows like the now-defunct Wowowee.  (There’s an overlap here with number 8 below.)

8. Personal dislikes.  I won’t name names, but I’m sure everyone has a pet peeve personality, sometimes several.  The second such a person shows up on TV, you get your remote for the pleasure of zapping him/her.  If we can get the Nielsens to include such events in their rating metrics, the advertisers would be grateful.

7. Religious leaders on TV or the web.  Matters of the soul are highly personal.  Mass marketing cheapens God, or whoever It/He/She is they claim to speak for.

6. Public figures who cry libel, especially when at the same time they claim to be private figures.  There’s not really much that’s wrong with Philippine libel laws.  It’s the complainants and the prosecutors who go along that give the law a bad name.

5. Plagiarists.  The good ones are those who admit and rectify.  Still, what they said or wrote doesn’t matter because it was someone else’s.  Besides, it’s their duty to demand creativity from themselves or  their employees (called researchers or speech writers).  The bad ones are those who simply ignore the accusation, on the theory that plagiarism is good if you don’t admit or get caught.  There is honor among presumed-innocent thieves.

4. Bloggers who think they can write about nothing.  They write, and the words rhyme and reason.  But was their substance?  There’s an exception here called the Seinfeld Rule.  If you can be funny while writing about nothing, you matter.  Moral of this story:  If you haven’t read or lived enough but you want to write, learn comedy too.  This is a subtle hint for English teachers.  Often, they ask students to write essays or papers on matters the students know little.  The first week of any writing class should be on elements of comic relief.  The problem is that English teachers are likely to be too serious.

3. Pseudo-activists and bleeding hearts.  You know one when you see one, unless you’re one of them, in which case your bleeding heart bleeds too much.  In any case, they need anti-coagulants.  Some of them probably make a living out of NGOs funded by well-meaning foreign aid institutions.  Here, they don’t matter simply because they’re not for real. They get the same lack of audience as those in number two below.

2. Politicians who cheated their way in, and celebrity endorsers who don’t like or use the product endorsed.  They know who they are because those who know, which is pretty much everyone, won’t listen to them.   (Maybe there’s a Karma thing to this thing called democracy.)  But how they can sleep is a market for an app where sheep pass by on their IPad screens.  Seriously, the best aid is reportedly a pill called Ambien.  Melatonin is a cheaper sub.  But I also suspect that they sleep because they don’t care that they don’t matter.  Basta lang they’re called Sir ***** or Ma’m *****, ok na.  Without a name attached to the Sir or Ma’m, it doesn’t count.

1. Finally, the number one Filipino celebrity who doesn’t matter is:  **********  [text garbled by your friendly ISP/telecom provider with a contract with *********].  (Sorry folks, I know it’s a cop-out, but the person doesn’t matter anyhoo.  Better yet, you can fill in your own, but do it mentally.  That person  is likely included in number 6.)

****** *****

[1] Corporate social responsibility.

[2] De gustibus non disputandum est.


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