Originally written in TACKED THOUGHTS for The Freeman by Nancy Unchuan Toledo Inasmuch as I would like to believe (and I would like everyone who reads this column to also believe) that I have a very cultured and highbrow taste in arts and literature, I must admit that I really do enjoy a good telenovela/soap … Continue reading Soap Operas
Today is the Feast Day of St. Augustine, the patron saint of my city (Cagayan de Oro). Allow me to be a little nostalgic then. This was something I wrote for a class with Doreen Fernandez (God bless her soul).
I have yet to meet someone who did not enjoy a good story. Stories call to us, to the deepest part of ourselves where not even the blinding lights of the city and the deafening sounds of technology can penetrate. Even in the Philippines where the book sales are so low compared to the literate population (and where according to author Jessica Zafra authors are considered bestsellers if they can sell a mere 3000 books), there is great appreciation for a good story and for a story told well. The ability to tell stories, to capture a moment in lived experience or in one’s imagination and to be able to recreate it to another is something innately human. Everyone has a story and every story is precious. In fact, stories have their sacred place in the history of every culture all over the world.
When the stress of the campaign, the media circus, the awkward dancing, starlets and comedians fed to bored men and women, and the results of the elections are out (we had the first ever digital/automated elections a year ago and this will help cut down on the stress of having to wait for the election results for months and months on end as well as the potential election protests that stretch for years), and someone is declared winner, the real work of governing begins.
These days, I ask myself questions about our political culture and our psyche as a nation. How do we think as a people? Why do we act the way we act? Why has corruption become so ingrained, so institutional it happens in all sectors of our society? We talk of corruption in government because it is the most rampant and the easiest to talk about. But it happens at all levels. We in the private sector are just as guilty as some of the ones we have voted to power.
Roland Barthes, in his book Mythologies, said that a myth is a type of speech. It is a message. So that “everything can be a myth provided it is conveyed by discourse”. The Psychologist Carl Jung, on the other hand, connected myths to what he called “archetypes”. Archetypes are “preconcious psychic disposition that enables a man to react in a human manner”.