Wednesday, March 12, 2008

All together now: SCHA.DEN.FREU.DE!

“The hottest blog in the Net [today has been] variously described by Netizens as 'addicting,' 'engrossing' and 'revolutionary.' (Huh?)... Naming (big pop society) names and tagging them as cocaine users, freeloaders and wild clubbers, it makes Gossip Girl look like a Disney musical.

“The cyber sensation, which logged over 40,000 hits in its first four days, chronicles alleged shenanigans of local sosi peeps... The Third-World socialites are being accused of every crime and misdemeanor in the book--from grand larceny to substance abuse, from widely flaunted infidelities to poor personal hygiene. Makes show biz vixens look like vestal virgins.”

-- “Naming names: Online 'telenovela' indicts RP 'high' society”

Avenue Q defined schadenfreude as “Happiness at the misfortune of others.”

Dictionaries notwithstanding, I think a crucial element is lacking in that definition. There is nothing special about happiness at the misfortune of the sick, the poor, the weak and the helpless. That's just being mean and cruel.

But happiness at the misfortunes of the high and mighty, those that lord it over us in terms of wealth, influence, looks, exposure--now that's schadenfreude. Applied to this class of people, the German word just gleams with gloating, evil laftir, comeuppance.

Well, well, well, as Mcvie would say (kopita in between fingers a la Celia Rodriguez). Now that my own newspaper has picked it up: The hottest open secret in town these days is the mass schadenfreude being generated by this blog, which has replaced the late and much-lamented Soozyhopper as the source of all things vile and dirty about our so-called high-society set.

I plead prudence in not naming who these people are, because most of them are working as “columnists” in another paper. The charges, though, are pretty shocking: fraud, embezzlement, infidelity, incest, drug abuse, criminal cover-up--not to mention the more egregious sin that these pampered, privileged folks can commit: crassness, of the sort they'd consider most jologs in the rest of us.

The swarm of anonymous comments in the blog has pretty much gotten out of hand, with everyone dumping his or her vitriol on these society mainstays. Do they deserve it? The character assassinations, no. However, that's the price, I suppose, for consciously and actively hogging the spotlight. Especially in a country like ours, where the spotlight needs to shine on more urgent matters.

You preen like a sham potentate before a country so poor it has to send millions of its citizens to work in other lands, expect to be jeered out of town, whether out of envy or plain outrage at your insensitivity. The parvenus, arrivistes and nouveau riche of this country--they do deserve to be knocked down a perch or two, not only for their arrogance but also for their supreme bad taste.

No use entertaining illusions, though, that this new-found revulsion among many towards the excesses of our supposed Gilded Crowd will last. Like all controversies, this will prove to be a hiccup, a blip, a momentary jolt of excitement in our humdrum lives.

A country that allows the likes of Imelda Marcos to waltz away from her crimes--in fact, lionizes her presence and drools over her jewelry--is a country that deserves its Gucci Gang. Perfumed lowlifes know they can get away with most anything here; they may be alleged cokeheads and scammers, but they're good History students. They know us too well.

The vicious schadenfreude on display in that blog is the spasm of the helpless. Deep down, those anonymous hecklers know that nothing will change. High Society will continue to both dazzle and repulse, and the masa will continue to watch Wowowee.

But for now, with a crack in the fortress allowing us a peek at the sordid lives and soiled linens of the royal class, dirt will be lobbed, invective will fly and all that pent-up resentment will rule.

What's schadenfreude again? It's “Happiness at the misfortune of others.”

Or, as one commenter (anonymous, of course) harrumphed: “It makes me realize that though I'm not as rich as these people, I AM SO MUCH A BETTER PERSON THAN ALL OF THEM. I may not be able to buy a Gucci Bag, go to Philips Exeter Academy or go to Friday's for lunch everyday but I know how to live life in the most possible real sense.”

Hexactly. Yun 'yon.

11 comments:

beektur said...

well said. i just spent two hours reading that blog and the comments and googling the names of the people involved. my friend pam - you met her - brings back phil tatler everytime she goes to pinas and i read it with both bemusement and pity. the people who publish it --as well as the people who are the staple of their features -- mostly the same people who are in this scandal -- have gotten so out of touch from reality. call it evil but i, too, felt the satisfaction of finally seeing this happen to them. they made their beds -- now they not only have to lie in them but also wash their soiled sheets.

offhand - can you help me find the soundtracks for hibik at himagsik? also the ccp-produced vcds of 3 sarzuelas? i've been trying to contact them directly but no response.

Wife of T, Mother of V said...

Great post, my sentiments exactly. I linked your blog to mine to remind me that home is exactly the same as I left it some years back.

I was hoping to come back to something different, but alas, global warming it seems, will change the world first before any relevant social changes happens in the Philippines.

Jeff said...

Is this the same four-some who tried to make money off something we're plotting to boycott? cos, you know, there are no other evil personalities I know in the local scene

confused, much? hahah

Travis Jayson said...

It's funny that i was listen to the song schadenfreude when i read from your blog - "Avenue Q defined schadenfreude as “Happiness at the misfortune of others.”

How are you? Its Travis - Joey's friend. (if you have YM ; feel free to add me travisjayson@yahoo.com)

Marcus: Bading Down Under said...

Hay naku. Even here in Australia, I heard parts of the story. I'm hoping the local newspaper doesn't pick up on it because it will reinforce the stupid stereotype of needy asian boyfriends siphoning the funds of the rich white sponsor.

Le sigh.

sparks said...

The vicious schadenfreude on display in that blog is the spasm of the helpless. Deep down, those anonymous hecklers know that nothing will change. High Society will continue to both dazzle and repulse, and the masa will continue to watch Wowowee.

'Wag naman. I suppose we're so immersed in the misery of the present we don't notice the tectonic plates of society shifting underneath our feet. I'm sure the scandals of our "haute ton" were well-known in certain social circles. The high and mighty do congregate and gossip about each other.

The difference now is, their profligacy and moral bankruptcy are now accessible for mass consumption. Who wants to be led by morons such as these?

Rudy said...

Padi, have you read some of the comments in there? Hilarious! :-D

sushi said...

i've been a fan of this blog since forever and it's posts like this one that reminds me why ;)
i learned something today, schadenfreude. how about that huh?
i am so watching Avenue Q's rerun in June.

failed misanthrope said...

A country that allows the likes of Imelda Marcos to waltz away from her crimes--in fact, lionizes her presence and drools over her jewelry--is a country that deserves its Gucci Gang. Perfumed lowlifes know they can get away with most anything here; they may be alleged cokeheads and scammers, but they're good History students. They know us too well.

Bravo for this paragraph.

Anonymous said...

itong mga ganitong balita ang nakakairita! mga nakapagaral naman (or may chance makapagaral) sa ibang bansa, sa merika or europa, tapos ganito ang mga pag-uugal!. wala namang blameless or victims dito. nasa isang circle lang naman sila lahat. they deserve each other! iyung iba napakabasic ng concern, pero itong mga ito.... NAKO!

gibbs cadiz said...

BEEKTUR, hmmm, a kind blogger gave me a cd copy of hibik, but mejo sira. i'll look for a better one and burn you a copy. hey, phil. tatler's a hysterical read, don't you think? :)

WIFE OF T, haha, you put it so well! :)

JEFF, anubah, confused ako bigla. or is it because of all the coffee we were drinking that night? who are these guys we're supposed to boycott? wehehe! :)

TRAVIS! hello, welcome to the blog, thanks for the comment. how are you and joey in bangkok? enjoy avenue q! :)

MARCUS, er, sorry to hear about the stereotype. but, yeah, my sister tells me the same thing. she's in brisbane, btw. :)

SPARKS, sana nga my reading is wrong. but as in politics, so in society. hello, have we progressed anywhere when it comes to our government and politicians? e society, showbiz and politics is one and the same in this country, right? :)

RUDY, yep, got to read them all, before brian shut the comments feature down. heehee! :)

SUSHI, thanks for the kind words. :)

ditto, FAILED MISANTHROPE. :)

ANONYMOUS, naku naku talaga! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Search this blog or the Web

Loading...