Republic of Irony

Manila Bulletin, October 1, 2005 | Go to article overview

Republic of Irony


Byline: Breakfast Table: Adrian Cristobal

THE asymmetry between word and deed, intention and result, is called "irony." For all the ironies in our public life, the wonder is that there are very few satirists in media. One columnist merely makes quips, though sometimes amusing ones; another fulminates elegantly, while a few pompously pontificate on the obvious and the trivial. But that's what make ours the Republic of Irony, instead of Iron, Philippines, albeit accidentally.

We have these thunderous proclamations on the Rule of Law by the lawless, on morality by the immoral (or, at best, amoral), radical change by the unchanging, civility by the uncivil. No one, then, can fault an outraged citizenry for being outrageous. As a personage once said, "Mass follows (the upper) class." There is a "critical mass" of obfuscation and befuddlement.

A recent example of irony involves the Law, not surprisingly because every controversy these days is about laws. Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ, a constitutional expert, after having been appointed by the President to the super advisory council on Charter change (which includes President Fidel V. …

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