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Decline in morals

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We have, in fact, two kinds of morality side by side; one which we preach but do not practice, and another which we practice but seldom preach.
—Bertrand Russell—

Last October, the whole world was shocked when a surveillance video in Foshan, China caught a van recklessly and mercilessly running over a two-year-old girl. And for a harrowing ten minutes or so, several passersby didn’t bother to help the severely injured toddler. She died in a hospital a few days later.

A few days before the above incident, Apple Inc. co-founder and chairman Steve Jobs passed away after a long bout with pancreatic cancer. The internet community all over the world wept and heaped tons of praise and eulogy to this pioneer of the personal computer revolution. Many of these people didn’t even know who he really was until after he died. But for many, many years, the whole world has been cognizant of the famine and hunger that is going on for decades in various parts of the African continent.

On 29 October 2011, local Philippine showbiz was rattled with the murder of young character actor Ram Revilla. What made this more sensational was that Ram was no ordinary actor — he was the son of former Senator Ramón Revilla, himself a legend in Philippine Cinema. Ram is also the half-brother of current Senator Ramón “Bong” Revilla, Jr. But what shocked the nation even more was when the motive behind the killings was exposed: Ram was killed because of sibling rivalry. Results of the investigation revealed that at least three of Ram’s siblings (RJ, Ramona, and Gail) were involved. And all this bloodbath because they were fighting over the monthly allowance they were receiving from their ailing father.

Ram and his siblings RJ and Ramona. Both his siblings were accused of masterminding his murder.

The police were adamant and mighty confident with the results of their investigation: Ram was indeed ordered to be killed by his siblings.

Two days later, international singing sensation Charice Pempengco’s father was stabbed to death in San Pedro, La Laguna. The YouTube sensation’s dad was estranged from her since she was three years old. She then went on to become one of the greatest singers discovered from the internet. But at the height of her fame, not once did she try to visit her dad. And just when the father died did she pay him a visit: but already a lifeless shell inside a coffin. She then went on to tell the local press how she loved her dad so much, singing here and there in every interview, hoping that her hymns would be heard by her dad. And last November, she paid the ultimate tribute to him in Mandalay Bay. For all intents and purposes, it was mere gimmick, perhaps wittingly or unwittingly from her part. But the result remains the same: to garner sympathy to add up to her stardom’s poignancy, reminiscent of many other attention-starved celebrities who came before her.

And speaking of celebrities, we have another revelation on moral issues, this time from the not-so-moral Mo Twister:

This confession (if true) reveals a dirty truth behind the local mass media and how they wants to portray their up-and-coming starlets: seductive yet virginal at all costs. And contractually, they should remain that way. Otherwise, their careers would have to join the breadlines. For Rhian Ramos’ part, as per Mo Twister, their baby’s life had to go to in exchange for the mother’s blossoming TV/film career.

In local politics, President Noynoy Aquino‘s relentless pursuit for his predecessor‘s alleged crimes as well as the current Supreme Court Justice’s “crown” is a classic example of misplaced priorities. Running after them for their past (and current) crimes is OK. But that shouldn’t be the number one priority, something that seems to be the obvious in the current administration’s activities. And so the million-dollar-question is: will this pursuit even uplift our economy?

In the video below, Noynoy made no qualms in attacking Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona for his being a midnight appointee (which is true anyway) as well as other iniquities done in collaboration with allies in the legislature. However, these attacks were not done in a proper forum.

Indeed, the other is thick-faced. But the other one is rude.

And do we even have to mention the rude one’s clamor for the passing of the RH Bill, the controversial bill that has divided our nation?

Finally, Lady Gaga’s music video, a post-apocalyptic orgy entitled “Judas” —released just in time for the Holy Week—, needs no further description:

The sacrilegious video, by the way, was directed by a self-professed “Christian”. And Lady Gaga fans all over the world even enjoyed this visual-aural “art” without minding the profanities nor the religious sensitivities of many people involved.

*******

These are but some of the moral issues that hit the headlines last year. We have asked for too much liberty. Now that we are enjoying an excess of liberalization, are the above examples the price that we have to pay?

What does 2012 has in store for us?

Nothing. It is us who fill up the events of an empty calendar year. Our destiny is ours to make. And it is up to us if we allow or disallow morality to guide our actions.

The end is near?

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SKYPEing at the office:
[4/20/2010 10:43:57 PM] Pepe Alas: Massive earthquakes, tsunamis, drought, famine, and recently, an enormous volcanic eruption in Europe.
[4/20/2010 10:44:08 PM] Pepe Alas: I think the end is really near.
[4/20/2010 10:44:26 PM] Pepe Alas: So tell me, why should we still pursue our advocacies?
[4/20/2010 10:44:49 PM] Arnold Diaz Arnaiz: we should not
[4/20/2010 10:44:51 PM] Arnold Diaz Arnaiz: :D

There is, I think, a cause for concern. News about massive earthquakes around the globe (Haiti, Chile, and China) and the notorious number of lives it took are becoming more and more common. Tsunami fear caused by those tremors is all over coastline communities. The El Niño phenomenon is still wreaking havoc throughout the Philippines and its surrounding areas. The temperature continues to rise all the world over. And recently, Eyjafjallajökull’s eruption somewhere in Iceland caused a large-scale volcanic ash which disrupted air traffic across Europe and in some parts of North America. Drought and famine is nothing new, too…

…just like thoughts of war.

For instance, the US is always noisy with the way they’ve been policing enemy countries such as North Korea and some Middle East countries (particularly Iran). These WASPs always cry foul over news of nuclear arms being manufactured and stored in these countries. But Arnaldo is correct in his observation: who, in turn, are checking the US’ nuclear arms and its rising military personnel?

No one. Not even the United Nations. Besides, where the heck is the UN’s general headquarters located? LOL!!!

“Hollywood movies are sending us a message, man,” Arnaldo told me this morning as we were going home from our night shift. “Remember those doomsday movies such as Deep Impact and, what was that recent film which starred Danny Glover? 2012? The US presidents in those movies are all blacks.”

And from what race is the actual US president in real life?

Coincidence or conspiracy? I thought Arnaldo is getting crazy, but he does have a point. What was that which Mel Gibson (as Jerry Fletcher) said in the film Conspiracy Theory? “A good conspiracy is unprovable. I mean, if you can prove it, it means they screwed up somewhere along the line.” Of course.

I believe in “good conspiracy theories” — there’s the Club of Rome. Then the Committee of 300. And the nefarious schemes of the CIA against enemy countries. All of them are under the umbrella of the notoriously secretive Freemasons, the enemy of my faith. The claims of all those who have written extensively against these mentioned organizations made sense to what is happening all over the world: drug trade, broken families, same sex marriages, prostitution, anti-life devices (contraceptives), the myth of an overpopulated world, even rock music and pop culture, etc. All I can say about this are but two simple words: evil exists. But not for long.

Because the end is near, I think.

So if it is, why still continue this quixotic advocacy that I share with Arnaldo, Señor Gómez, and JMG?

For hundreds of years, various prophets have preached about the end of the world. Prophets since biblical times have been warning people that the end is near. But it’s already 2010. However, I would like to share these thoughtful words from New York Times bestselling author Richard Moran in his scary book Doomsday: End-of-the-World Scenarios:

Like everything in life… there are some things we can control and some things we cannot.

We can try to do something about the worsening greenhouse effect, cyberterrorism, looming plagues, bioengineering blunders, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Yet any effort we make to forestall or eliminate one of more of these threats will require that we as humans undergo a very fundamental transformation in our way of looking at the world and at each other.

We shall have to put aside the greed, arrogance toward nature, and cultural, religious, and racial hatreds that have brought us to the brink of catastrophe. Throughout the entire history of humankind, we have not been able to conquer these demons. Can we do it now — even if not doing so might will mean the extinction of our species? History and reason tell us probably not. In all likelihood, we shall doom ourselves.

As to the extinction scenarios that are not in our hands –asteroid impacts, massive volcanic eruptions, the coming ice age, mega-tsunamis, and insect invasions– there is simply nothing we can do to alter the inevitable. We may think we can use our mighty technological prowess to save our species — nuclear weapons to destroy incoming asteroids, giant dams to divert warm ocean currents and melt advancing ice sheets — but in the end all our efforts will be futile, for it is nature, not man, that reigns supreme on Earth…

…Perhaps in the final analysis, we should not worry about tomorrow –for tomorrow will be what tomorrow will be– but rather seize each day we are given. Love our families, cherish our friends, and forgive our enemies, open our eyes to the beauty of nature around us. Before it’s too late, we need to stop and smell the roses, for roses — like the human species — cannot bloom forever.

While there is life, there is hope. A big AMEN to that.

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