Two thousand and seventeen
Some half a century ago, a certain Chilean poet and Nobel laureate goes by the name Pablo Neruda penned a modern classic titled “Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche” or more popularly known to English language-enslaved tongues as “Tonight I can write the saddest lines.”
Embedded in the poem is a line, perhaps one of the most memorable one-line of all poetry, that goes “Es tan corto al amor, y es tan largo el olvido” or, as the poet laureate W.S. Merwin put in his translation of the timeless poem: “Love is so short, forgetting is so long.”
Love is short. Still is. But, taken out of its amorous context, forgetting, has become shorter.
In these synthetic digital relationship times, forgetting can now be programmed to become less cumbersome. It’s now easier to forget. And with all its remarkable events, 2017, will have to be known as the year of desensitizing gore and savagery; the year of machination and manipulation. And depending on your political insight, it could prove to be good or bad.
Nevertheless, 2017 will surely fall under the rubrics of easy-to-forget year as we move forward with cascading information and seemingly deliberate misinformation.
We’re not short of news and magazine sites that enumerate the events that shaped 2017. It’s an annual ritual, really. From the minute showbiz and pop culture types to those who have made the greatest political and economic impacts on our lives.
But everything in between may no longer be recalled, be destined for easy forgetting, condemned to the deepest recesses of memory’s Hades.
Halimbawa, may nakakaalala pa ba sa atin noong inauguration ni POTUS Donald Trump last January? That he made a huge deal of the number of spectators?That was pretty much a signal of how he would handle world affairs, not to mention the nuclear arsenal of the US of A. As Alma Moreno uttered during the now forgettable interview with Karen Davila during the launch of Moreno’s failed senate run, “dasal lang, dasal lang talaga.”
Wala nang masyado kasi sunod-sunod ang Trump follies by, well, by just being himself.
Halimbawa uli, who won the Miss Universe held here last January? From what country?
Kilala pa ba ninyo, without Googling, si *teka, igu-Google ko* si Carl Arnaiz? Carl Arnaiz who?
Eh si Jee Ick Joo? Of course you still reminisce over the congressional drama behind the incarcerated senator De Lima? No?
Last May, we were momentarily distracted by Republic Act No. 10913, or the “Anti-Distracted Driving Act” that happened to be just another mighty burning cogon grass of an implementation with which we are all familiar. Wala na di ba? Distracted na tayo from the Anti-Distracted Driving Act?
And so, with the grotesque fate of more than three dozen fire victims of a resort casino in reclamationlandia in Pasay instigated by some loser in life and gambler.
Ditto with the landmark budget of one thousand pesos appropriated by our dear Congress, as the Commission on Human Rights became, temporarily, the Commission on Cheapening Human Rights.
Like as what the millennials usually utter in the midst of disillusionment: “Anyare na?”
I mean, ganito. Cascading information is directly disproportionate to our willingness or capability to remember. Mabilis tayong lumimot dahil marami tayong dapat tandaan. Ganyan ang 2017 at ang mga darating pang taon.
Sa mga gustong mag-move on agad sa kanilang sawing pag-ibig, baka maganda ang ganitong pangitain. Sa mga nananamantala para kalimutan natin ang maraming kasawian, say, some dictatorial familial entity that wishes to be back in full power, baka maganda rin ito.
Gaano na ba katagal lumipas ang nangyari sa Marawi? Or mas maganda sigurong tanong, ano na ang nangyari sa Marawi? Or bakit nagkaroon ng pangyayari sa Marawi, martial law and all, in the first place?
Did it ever occur to you what did we get at the fairly recent ASEAN Summit? Remember that awkward—always awkward moment—of world leaders chainlinking arms, of world leaders including Trump, being his silly self? Parang napakatagal na ano?
“Kita kita” (international release title: I See You ) can rightfully add another homonym word “kita” to its title, by word kita we mean profit because the low-budget love-themed flick set in Japan netted almost 300 million pesos at the box office. Catapulting actor Empoy Marquez to his unlikely matinee idol place. And making Papa Piolo, the producer, some cool one hundred million pesos richer.
At habang isinusulat ko ito, nasaan na si Marlou Arizala who morphed into Xander Ford? That, my friends, is a showbiz shooting star streak for you, especially if you do not own a scrap of showbiz DNA and you’re just a product of digital trending platform.
But wait, if Xander/Marlou becomes a bit wiser after his undisclosed hibernation, maybe he can pass himself to be a media-pass holder inside the Palace to cover no less than the President.
You see, 2017 gave us the possibility of being a social media “influencer.” Whatever that means. With just a minimum of five thousand social media followers, you can be the next press undersecretary. Just don’t forget to implore the ka-DDS rhetoric line from time to time.
It’s difficult to qualify these events. But one thing’s for sure, these should not have been forgotten that easily.
But of course they’re destined to be forgotten. Because our neurons will collectively focus on coming 2018 events, framed to be remarkable, but in reality, just another serving of forgettable events that will fascinate us albeit just for a short streak of time not worth our failing memory cells.
With this, all I wish is for you to have a remarkable year ahead. Peace y’all.