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San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet

A veritable fanatic of the Internet. His avocation is teaching while his main vocation is practicing the much maligned law profession. Currently teaching Constitutional Law at the FEU Institute of Law and a guest lecturer at the De La Salle University teaching "Freedom and Regulation in Cyberspace" in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication. He is married to his beautiful Ateneo law school classmate and is blessed with a daughter and a son.

Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

By The Way & Body Language Etc.

Last night, ANC’s taped interview of Max Soliven, the By the Way columnist and Philippine Star publisher, with the president was an exercise in symbolism, in facial and body language as much as it was her coming out party, as it were.

First, her outfit. She was a woman dressed blue. In politics, blue symbolized authority. By donning a blue outfit, she heralded to the public that the mace of authority has been restored in the palace. And whatever turmoil that will ensue, fear not says the President. The leadership and authority that once were lost have now been found.

She chose blue because she could not possibly wear the white of the two widows. Otherwise, to do so would have invited a disparaging contrast with the two women who have come to symbolize the purity of their cause against the iniquity of their foe who adamantly refuses to relinquish power.

The President’s blue was likewise her manner of assuring the people that she is one of us, the blue collar workers, whom she will protect from the oncoming ravage of the VAT law by disingenuous arguments, and if disingenuousness cannot convince, by delay, and if delay cannot be avoided, by denial of a fiscal problem.

Truly, a portrait in blue. Had Thomas Gainsborough been alive today, his painting would not have been “The Blue Boy” but rather.

Second, non-verbal language. The president is convinced that the worse is over and none more obvious than the hearty laugh she belted early in the interview. This full laugh was noticeably absent in her sycophant-filled post SONA photos and her previous interview with Korina Sanchez. She is over the hump, she has overcome.

Noticeably absent too from last night’s interview was the ubiquitous handkerchief of yore which she held tightly in her Korina interview. The absence of a handkerchief allowed her to make gestures with open palms suggesting perhaps that she is now more open to unsolicited advice on how to be a good president. Gladly then, let us indulge her in our blogs.

That also perhaps, an open palm is a manifestation of a reforged GMA made in the image and likeness of Lupita Aquino Kashiwahara. Indeed, a clenched fist and hanky are things of the past. Bukas-Palad is her new ministry.

Third, her verbal communication. She was forward looking. Her answers said so eloquently. Of course, that was to be. Of what value was there talking of a checkered past? What decent woman would wish to revisit a reviled past of cheating, lying and stealing? Even Jean Valjean had to reinvent himself but eventually, it was truth that redeemed him in the eyes of the people he loved most. Does the president possess the grace to tell the people she most cherishes the truth of the tale of the tapes? As a leader who deeply relies on Divine Providence, she must have the grace and must believe that truth is like surgery, it hurts but it heals.

As to Mr. Max Soliven, his countenance on ANC was a cut most unkind. This was no venue for small talk and yet he discoursed like a drunk who would tell a joke, comparing Monica Lewinsky to Hurricane Katrina. But like Queen Victoria, the president was not amused. His notes were all over his lap and he was eaten alive by the economic numbers the president spewed out like fire in her belly. If this interview was unscripted, Mr. Soliven looked like a harried schoolboy before a teacher ready to devour his every question.

As to his questions, Mr. By the Way appeared to be more than willing to let her be. All he threw were softballs. But what the public wanted to know was not what will be but what was. And to the few questions Mr. Soliven asked concerning impeachment, he never followed through. Mr. Soliven was a pandering, patronizing publisher who papered over the president’s past. And for that, I left the show dazed, distracted and disheveled.

In hindsight, it would have been better if the president was interviewed by a panel to test her intellectual mettle and her moral integrity. Unfortunately, the interview was as stage managed as her “I am sorry” spiel and Mr. Soliven did not help erase that suspicion. I suppose, the president was not ready to face the firing line. It was not a murderous evening!

Murder most foul, as in the best it is. (Hamlet, Act I, Scene V)


Anonymous ruby said...

she probably wears blue often because it's the color of the virgin mary, who she believes watches over her. blue also denotes purity and tranquility.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, according to the rumor mill in some government offices, the reason why the president persistently wears blue lies on the fact that it's her feng shui lucky color.

8:07 AM  
Blogger categorically imperative said...

if she needs luck, she should go back to that grab dray suit she wore when she was sworn in.

3:56 PM  
Blogger categorically imperative said...

Er, correction...drab gray suit. sowee...

8:47 AM  

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