Thursday, February 14, 2008

Jedi don't cry

I was in a student forum yesterday with Bro. Armin Luistro and, in his keynote, he told the story of how he got involved in the whole Lozada thing. What’s interesting (but not really surprising) is that he, too, is looking for an endgame. He doesn’t know what would happen, preferring to just support a guy who wants to tell his story.

I guess this is what’s lacking in this whole exercise. Jun Lozada’s story is compelling but it’s not being told properly. I disagree with Conrad de Quiros, this pales in comparison to the Estrada impeachment hearings.

Unlike 2000 – when there was a team regulating the revelations and making sure that the pacing is correct – today’s bombshells come unplanned. Instead of a deftly woven plot we have a series of “things that happen.” For me, this gonzo quality lends credence but it keeps the narrative from becoming something people want to follow, much less take action on.

During the first EDSA the lines were clearly drawn. Marcos was evil and Cory represented good. The Church and the common tao were behind her. She was Joan of Arc. Doy Laurel, who was arguably more qualified to run the country, had no choice but play second fiddle. Cory was the better story, the more sympathetic protagonist.

The second EDSA had Chavit as the repentant anti-hero, Joker and Roco and Clarissa as paragons of principle, and Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Teresa Aquino-Oreta as clear contrabidas defending a fat, lazy president. Erap wasn’t Ming the Merciless or a brilliant, scheming Doctor Doom, he was Jabba the Hutt.

The line dividing the light and the dark side was clear. We knew who the bad guys were.

Star Wars (the original trilogy) became a huge success partly because it resonated with everyone. It follows a pattern Joe Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey, which is repeated in myths around the world. It is a compelling story that has been replicated recently to great success by “Harry Potter” and “Heroes.”

Jun Lozada, or whoever is handling him, is doing a piss-poor job at telling a compelling story. Jedi don’t cry. The dark side and the light side are cool metaphors only when good and evil are clearly defined. Today everything is grey.

And grey is exactly where Lozada is coming from.

He tries to play the game “for the greater good,” facilitating shady deals as long as the kickbacks are manageable. He’s no Jedi; those who play the Star Wars card need to be knights with shining sabers – pure actions and noble intentions. Lozada is nearer to Jack Bauer, who flaunts rules to act in behalf of what he considers “the greater good.”

There’s no story. Not yet.

Someone needs to start thinking about it.

No comments: