Saturday, April 24, 2010

In Defense of Weirdos

I have been trying so hard to keep quiet about politics. While the national elections are just around the corner and the country is bracing for another circus possibly and eminently fraught with violence and cheating, I have relegated myself to an audience status. Yes, while the rest of the nation will be exercising their right to vote and decide the course of the country for the next 6 years, I am resigned to my corner in this circus - those seats reserved for the irresponsible Filipinos who failed to register for this pivotal moment in our nation's history , blaming the lack of time, the lack of money, or even the lack of plain common sense.

Yes, I have been irresponsible. Yes, I am apathetic, I am useless. I am not a registered voter of my beloved country. While I have accepted the ridicule of my fate, I could not help but share a few words about some of the things I feel strongly for. I wouldn't have spoken out if I didn't watch television or read in the ever-reliable links of my Facebook friends that one of this year's presidential aspirants have been labeled as "weird". I was just so appalled by this label that I had to speak out what I think, in defense of the type of people I love the most - the weirdos.

Is this the face of weird? When did weird ever become synonymous to "just like everybody else"?

I have nothing against weirdos. In fact, ask even my closest friends, and they will tell you that I have a peculiar fondness for weirdos. To me, eccentricity is not a fault, it is an asset. Calling anyone “weird” is, to me, one of the highest forms of compliment for an individual. Eccentricity denotes an audacity to be different, a boldness to stand apart, to think out of the box, to see things beyond convention. Being weird means one has the capacity to embrace ideals that are generally unacceptable, to dream beyond what is probable, an ability to stand apart from a crowd and adamantly insist on an identity, to tell oneself and the rest of the world, “I am not weird! You are!”

So when the newspapers and Facebook discussion groups circulated the word that presidential aspirant Noynoy Aquino is weird, and that his detractors must have had bad vibes about eccentricity in general prompting them to expose the faintness of his personality and his psyche, I was infuriated and even mortified. Oh please, Mr. Aquino is NOT weird. He is NOT crazy. He is NOT geeky. He is simply a politician, burdened by a legacy of a family name, thrust into the limelight which he can’t handle.

If Mr. Aquino had been truly weird, truly eccentric, as most people describe him to be, he would have passed a number of bills that would make the lives of the weaker and less privileged members of society better. After all, that’s what weirdness is all about, right? Weirdness is about being rebellious enough to speak out for those who have no voice. If he had been truly eccentric, he would have spoken out for the many farmers and workers out there who barely feed themselves at the end of the day because of unjust compensation despite inhuman labor and agrarian conditions. If he was weird enough, he would have gone against his family’s wishes - he would have broken those so-called laws and corporate rules so that the farmers working in Hacienda Luisita would earn more than P9.50 per day and eventually get that patch of land that they so rightly deserve. If he was crazy enough, he would have spoken up, debated and argued against, fought tooth and nail against the strong and apparently undefeatable forces of evil and corruption in the government while he had the chance. Six years in the senate, more years in the congress and even more years in local government service would have afforded him enough chance – if he was weird enough.

I am appealing to the media, or even to Mr. Aquino’s detractors. Please don’t call him “weird” or “geek” or “eccentric” or “crazy”. Oh please, let’s give the real weirdos and eccentrics of this world enough justice. The weirdos are the ones that stand out, they are the ones who speak out, they are the ones who make loud, convention-defying statements even with their silence. The crazy ones are the ones who dream the most outrageous of dreams, and who live their lives in pursuit of these dreams. As that Apple commercial once said, the crazy ones are the misfits, the rebels, the round pegs in the square holes who dream of changing the world, and who actually do!

Mr. Aquino is not weird. He is not eccentric. He may appear slow, weak and scrawny-looking, but so did Abraham Lincoln. He may have done poorly in his schools, but so did Albert Einstein. He may just be a rich, bourgeoisie kid raised by affluent parents with a silver spoon in his mouth when he was born, but so was Mahatma Gandhi. He may have been an unruly kid while he was growing up, but Nelson Mandela grew up that way too. He may be sick in the mind and psychiatrically incapable of being President of a republic, but so were several of our past presidents (Or so I declare).

You see, being eccentric doesn’t disqualify anyone from a claim to a presidency. In fact, eccentricity IS the ticket to rule a nation. “Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do…”

So please, Mr. Aquino is NOT eccentric. He is NOT a geek. And most definitely, he is NOT weird. He may be battling a psychiatric illness as a lot of people claim, but nah, I just don’t think he’s crazy enough.

Otherwise, I would have been campaigning for him.


AngelMD-No-More said...

hahahahaha go jean! sabi ko na nga ba. nice post. too bad, like you, i waived my right to's this fellowship training again that i used as a scapegoat.=)

HalfCrazy said...

Hi there!

I'm not a registered voter too. Let me blame it on Comelec and their lack of supply of registration papers, school, and laziness. Now I'm regretting it. This is the first election that I actually know what's going on. And I didn't get to register.

I like weird people too. I mean, they're unique, they're different, a break from the stereotypical society that we live in. They're like a breath of fresh air. If everyone is just like everyone, what kind of a place is that? Weird people stand out and make a change.

Very thought provoking-post you got here! :)