Logline Note: A former film professor colleague of mine suggested that I post some film and pop culture-related thoughts I’ve been publishing on Facebook dito sa rather stagnant-ish film review blog ko. In an effort to re-populate my blog again, oo nga, I will do just that, since sometimes, talking about events and thoughts surrounding a film, upcoming man o current, napalabas na o ni-reissue, bears more weight than an actual review. And there’s a looooooot to talk about lately. So here’s my #filmmiron two cents on some chika, as originally posted on FB (pardon socmed-induced typos if any). [Also, muchas gracias Amauteurish! :)]
Here’s What to Know About the Mulan Boycott
May ganito pala. So many things to unpack in this kind of “happening” esp on social media these days. Lalo na sa Twitter, where it now became easier for people to jump on someone whenever they disagree with the person’s posts, views or even simple retweets. Kaya nga during its earlier days, journos would have this disclaimer sa accounts nila: “retweets are not endorsements.” Pero yun na nga, we’re in these days when it’s easier to troll rather than discuss respectively.
Level 1 to unpack: Asian (women) representation in Hollywood. I’m excited to see a female-led film in this magnitude, sa panahong maraming women-centric films yet other intersecting identities still crop up in trickles. First, there’s Asians. Then being queer. And other identities pa in between. Hay. Pano na, kung ang nagdadala ng representation ay di pala kaaya-aya?
Level 2 to unpack: One person’s action vis-a-vis her coworkers’ existence. Malas na lead star ang nakitang violence supporter and boycott agad ang call. But if you notice any film’s credits and you’ll see how many workers will be affected by such moves, is it really a good idea? Bayad na sila, siguro, sana, bago lumabas ang film, so no harm done na ba yun? (Unless may pagka-Mader Postdatedchecks ang galawang Disney din, di natin knows. Alam na dis, showbiz peeps!) Sana ang ma-harm na lang ay yung isang sa tingin nila ay nagkasala, at huwag na lang siyang bigyan ng future projects. Lesson learned na lang itong unang hirit niya. Puwede kaya yun sa socmed mob of today?
Level 3: Freedom of speech daw, so hayaan. Mukhang hindi nga nagets ni ati na anumang statement ang ilabas niya sa isyung ito ay magba-backfire talaga sa kanya. O baka gets niya, pero gora pa rin niya kasi she feels strongly about it, kebs lang. Labas ang pagiging artista niya sa political views niya, siguro. Some people compartmentalize things that way kasi. And some conflate issues din naman. So sino siya diyan? Di natin alam, kasi di natin lubos na kilala ang pagkatao niya. Pero sana magets niya soon na may weight ang ganitong statements sa panahong kinapapalooban din niya dahil sa kung sino siya. Sana madala siya sa civil engagement kesa strong arm emoji emoji.
Level 4: Instant name-calling. This has been the rampant practice in socmed the last few years. Mas madali talagang gumamit ng hateful terms na lang kesa mag-engage in a civil manner. So ayan lalabas/lumabas na rin ang mga anti-women at anti-Chinese terms na binabato sa kanya etc. You know how rabid some people can get online (pero ang kimi lang IRL ha susme). Naaalala ko yung nangyari sa actress who played Rose Tico sa Star Wars or yung black woman sa Ghostbusters reboot. To quote a Newsroom quote, “The internet is vicious.” And here we are.
Minsan nakakapagod na. Magpo-post ka ng stuff na sana ay educational ang dating para hoping kang ma-enlighten somewhat ang ilang tao. Slowly but surely works for some, fast realizations work for others. But to name-call them blanketly as “slow on the uptake” because of many reasons, like being older halimbawa, then that’s just being ageist, isn’t it? Or I don’t know what else terms you have. Kaya kasama sa lectures ko yan dati, yung digital natives vs digital immigrants, wala dapat away, sana. Respectful sana ang engagement, and proper channels kapag collective rage against fascist machine ang moda (of course ibang layer na naman ito to unpack but some other time). Well, a teacher can wish.
I admire a writer contact’s view of her FB na wall niya yun so anyone who gets over the top sa political posts niya are not welcome. Kaya nga may privacy settings din ang accounts kasi, parang bahay lang yan, lahat ba papapasukin mo sa loob, o kahit sa bakuran lang, o hahayaan mong tumambay sa sidewalk niyo? I shiver now at how the concept of the “global village” is being… sullied? I don’t know what term to use. Gave virtual hugs to another writer contact recently for finally blocking this vile and vicious ex-writer contact namin of yore na biglang nagwala at name-calling ang naganap against him. Beginning pa lang ang toxicity ni ati years ago pero in-unfriend ko na, kasi nga haggard (gist: Fil-am MAGA na siya). I don’t go online to actively find haggard things to bathe in, di ba. Ewan ko yung iba, na dito na sa FB nakatira. Kayo ba? Haaay.
I am reminded of all this by that haunting Schindler’s List sequence where Ralph Fiennes’ Nazi character is on a concentration camp balcony, rifle propped up on the edge. Whenever he just feels like it, he shoots imprisoned Jews at random. Parang mga so-called advocates na ang daling mag-label sa ibang advocates ng hurtful words kapag “may nasabing mali” i.e. something na taliwas sa paniniwala nila. Pounce agad ang peg? Mas naniniwala kasi ako sa mapayapang dialogue exchange and engagement kasi, kesa sa ime-megaphone-shame mo yung nagkamali para ipakita sa kanilang mali sila. Lalo na’t hindi naman nagsisimula sa zero knowledge ang mga sinasabihan nito. And worse, some of these na name-megaphone did all their advocacy work outside the limelight, without the benefit of people knowing about it, walang socmed accounts with hundreds of followers. They just did what they did: fight oppression, patriarchy, state-sanctioned bigotry, etc without photo ops. (Of course another layer to unpack pa yung binenta mo ang prinsipyo mo to really kowtow with fascist regimes kahit ang stellar mong advocate long ago and oh so far away, sabi nga ni lola Karen C. But again, I digress.)
That Schindler scene. Still chilling.
And yeah, that’s the huge layer to unpack nga here: how Twitter and Facebook became the new megaphone for all kinds, as in all, kinds of people. Good na nagagamit ito ng mga voiceless dati na walang platform. Sad na nama-manipulate din ito ng far right where all types of supremacists embolden each other’s skewed thoughts.
How we engage online is our own business, I know. Like me, dami ko oras sa kamay now kaya nailabas ko itong long-ass post. But most times, I point out not-so-nice things, and I also know when it’s a lost cause or a lost fight if I engage (na dadami lang wrinkles ko in the process). May mga enraging nga naman talagang isyu, like yung writers’ workshop rape incident and the transwoman in Cubao. Pero kapag hindi ka rin naglabas ng isipin, babansagan ka ding enabler o whatever ng iba diyan. Eh paano kung hindi ka lang nag-online for a week at na-miss mo ang isyu o ayaw mo lang magsalita kasi, you know, you have a life to live and mouths to feed and bills to pay? Last time I checked, we all don’t live on FB yet. Pero yun na nga, pounce pounce pounce agad. Hay.
Anyway, dami nang kape thoughts ito, thinking out loud lang. Unplugging later on, kasi dami pang labadang kelangang harapin sa life. Siguro isa pang movie quote to think about, sa lahat nang ito. As Haymitch reminded Katniss Everdeen bago sumabak sa Hunger Games laban, “Know who the real enemy is.” I hope we genuinely do.
#onlinemiron out. ☕🍸