Thursday, December 01, 2005

Patricia Evangelista: "A Rebel Without a Clue"

(youngradicals: here's a refreshing read..and something worth re-posting)

A reply to Patricia Evangelista's essay of the same title in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 27 November 2005

by Sarah Raymundo and Bogart Jaime

Opinion columns have become, in our day, one of the most popular signifiers of liberal democratic consensus. It is here where privileged voices, by virtue of their negotiations with the state apparatus are given the opportunity to publicize their studied "idiosyncracies" thus betraying their nouveau riche predispositions and equally newly-acquired free market (read: insipid) ideas which they deploy as capital for further social mobility.

While some columnists do the best they can to produce rigorous analysis of socio-political conditions, others like Ms. Patricia Evangelista of the Philippine Daily Inquirer use the medium haphazardly for her own self-gratification. She does not,in any way negate the observation that opinion columns have become a venue for personal attacks and megalomaniac fantasies. To cite such an instance of harassment we refer the reader to a classroom discussion that's been cropped to a mere recounting in a paragraph (notwithstanding the complexity of the debate and the nuanced approach of those involved in this debate):

"One of my professors said that a student who questions activism is an embarrassment to UP. There is a right, she said, and a wrong (sic). To question that right and wrong is a ridiculous postmodernist concept (sic). She said that those who oppose activism live with a false consciousness of reality. The language she used was harsher but mostly difficult to translate into English.// For someone who lives by the principle that dissent and questioning are vital in a democracy, I find it odd that she finds being questioned offensive."

Ms. Evangelista, defeated in the classroom dialogue, slays her teacher in her column ruthlessly. If she is indeed as liberal as she claims herself to be (as when she preaches that people should refrain from challenging ideas antagonistic to their own) why would she prevent a public debate to ensue by keeping her 'adversaries' unnamed? How else should the classroom discussion be appraised without any proper referencing? Whom she sketches as the totalitarian monster and dogmatic activist is no less than the president of the UP Academic Union, Professor Lani Abad (Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature). Professor Lani Abad is known for her perseverance in forging unity among the faculty, academic representatives, and UP employees in their struggle for economic and democratic rights. She may have been maligned as a raucous, power-tripping demagogue by Ms. Evangelista but we happen to know that a considerable number of students enrolled in that class regard her as ironic, witty, and sophisticated. Too much for Prof. Abad. The point is to critique irresponsible media practice.

When Ms. Evangelista says that "I'm not a political science major. I know very little about the dynamics of politics and will be the first to claim that my reading is limited to the Bestseller section of a bookstore. Maybe, this is the reason I shy away from claiming that my point of view is the only right view..." she is in fact implying that she has mastered a particular field of expertise. For how can one disavow acumen in a particular field without assuming that one is a master in another? Humility, as opposed to this insidious and arrogant stance, consists in a thorough engagement of ideas to the best of one's abilities. In a sense, nobody could be a master of a field if we consider the material force of dynamism and dialectics. It is redundant for people to claim ignorance of a specific field unless they would want to imply mastery of another; since mastery is a formal impossibility. By saying that she is not a political science major and that her literary fare is limited to bestsellers (that she is far from the generic homo academicus), she makes a representation of herself as an open-minded individual as opposed to the alleged self-righteousness of the Left. Her perverted logic purports reading bestsellers and avoiding the political as proof of her open-mindedness. She makes it appear that any posture of criticality is a self-righteous act. Precisely coming from this innocuous position, she goes on to say that "For someone [Prof. Abad] who lives by the principle that dissent and questioning are vital in a democracy, I find it odd that she finds being questioned offensive." Dissent and democracy, in Ms. Evangelista's logic, are reduced to an unmistakable patronizing relativism that strategically contains the practice of dissent and democracy as functions of the much celebrated liberal multiculturalism. In the liberal democratic horizon, the tolerant multiculturalist can only tolerate customs and/acts that hurt no one. In Slavoj Zizek's words "tolerance is tolerance of the Other in so far as this Other is not an 'intolerant fundamentalist'-which simply means: in so far as it is not the real Other. Tolerance is "zero tolerance" for the real Other, the Other is a substantial weight of jouissance. We can see how this liberal tolerance reproduces the elementary "postmodern" operation of having access to the object deprived of its substance: we can enjoy coffee without caffeine, beer without alcohol, sex without direct bodily contact, right up to Virtual Reality, that is, reality itself deprived of its inert material substance...In other words, the problem with the liberal multiculturalist is that he or she is unable to maintain a true indifference towards the Other's jouissance-this jouissance bothers them, which is why their entire strategy is to keep it at a proper distance (2004:174)."

The starting point of a multiculturalist is a dogmatic faith in pluralism. Pluralism presupposes that discourses have equal status in a given hegemonic order. However, it is precisely the existence of the hegemonic order that negates the very idea of plurality. For a hegemonic order to exist, it has to marginalize certain discourses that challenge it. Antagonism, and not some Miss Universe idea of World Peace, is the condition of possibility of all social formations, including that of "liberal democratic" regimes. Anybody who understands the dynamics of hegemony would therefore be exasperated at Ms. Evangelista's demand that one should remain silent before others whose point of view contradicts one's own. Should we perhaps keep our point of view as if it were some obscene secret? What is at stake here is not some vague term that Ms. Evangelista refers to as "point of view" but the substance of one's interest embodied in a point of view. At this point, let us venture into a hypothetical situation. Let us suspend, for a moment, that what transpired between Prof. Abad and Ms. Evangelista was an ideological clash on account of class interest and replace that antagonism with a racial one. Should we give the same validity between the views of the Ku Klux Clan and the Black Panther? This does not make sense even in the vacuum of multiculturalism where, supposedly, cultures have the same hold. Is the parallelism so haphazard? We do not think so. We cite Ms. Evangelista in support of this "hypothesis":"...I find it strange for people to accuse others that they have a false understanding of reality just because theirs is different. It's just as ridiculous as Muslim Fundamentalists claiming all Christians deserve to die because we believe in the wrong God." George W. Bush would have not phrased his racism and ethnocentrism this way, notwithstanding his all out "war on terror." Just as Ms. Evangelista has a stereotype notion of the activists, she also has a crass notion of the Muslim Fundamentalists.

By speaking commonsensical language, she reduces historical struggles into idiosyncratic preferences as if the difference between historical materialism and pragmatism were the same as the difference between ASAP and SOP*. Ms. Evangelista seems to understand democracy in exactly this way. Democracy in this diluted state is used by liberal democrats as its most potent defense against so-called left-wing totalitarianism, and hence, they find adhering to it as a virtue rather than a symptom of domination. In Zizek, this is what is called the point de capiton, a "quilting" that gives consistency to a given symbolic universe: " The point de capiton is the point to which the subject is 'sewn' to the signifier, and at the same time, the point which interpellates individual into subject by addressing it with the call of a certain master-signifier ('Communism', 'God', 'Freedom', 'America') -- in a word, it is the point of subjectivation of the signifier's chain (1989: 101)." By capitonnage, too, we can account for Ms. Evangelista's position that she is "outside ideology" as when she states that she is in no position to assess the "dynamics of politics," when she is in fact espousing/mouthing the neoliberal agenda. She valorizes the Third Way and the private sector's grand 'gesture' of corporate social responsibility:? In the United Kingdom, in Australia, in America, development did not come from government handouts. It came from the private sector deciding that they need everyone to succeed to enjoy their own success (sic). Here today, we have corporations like HSBC, SMART, GLOBE, AYALA and many more jumping into the wagon of corporate social responsibility (sic). There's a reason to hope and other ways to fight (sic)." Ms. Evangelista affirms this 'gesture' of multinational corporations as though corporate social responsibility is not a strategy of containment used by global monopoly capital to alleviate its crisis and therefore, it is not as if capitalism has suddenly acquired a human face. The discourse of corporate social responsibility is a conjunctural shift and not a permanent "change of heart" among monopoly capitalists.

Suffice it to say that an espousal of such discourse is anything but a position "outside ideology". In fact, Ms. Evangelista clearly adheres to Thatcherism (the independence of the market from the state which privatizes basic social services such as education and health; deregulates key industries such as oil; and liberalizes trade, bombarding neocolonies with surplus products in a dizzying fashion). What makes her a good subject of Thatcherism is her belief that "there is no alternative" to neoliberalism and the capitalist mode of production that it preserves. This is clearly seen in her denigration of activism as impotent. As though a victim of the Stalinist trials, she laments "the activists decry apathy. Rally, they tell us. Fight the system. Don't settle. Don't be one of them.// I think it's a huge assumption to claim that there is only one way to fight." Any UP student who bothered to spend time listening to what the activists really have to say would sense that Ms. Evangelista has not listened to the activists at all. What she is presenting are no real life activists but one-dimensional representations/stereotypes that only the AFP also deploys in order to cast doubt on the integrity of these people. The true activist that she refuses to reckon with is one who does a concrete analysis of concrete conditions; one whose calls to action are a product of thorough social investigation; one who 'always historicizes' (Jameson); one whose tireless persuasion goes beyond a mere injunction to rally. In Ms. Evangelista's consistent anti-leftism (see Evangelista's others essays in Philippine Star) could we perhaps discern an insistent refusal to see initiatives that enjoins musicians, poets, linguists, political scientists, economists, patriotic businessmen and state bureaucrats, church people, sociologists, film makers mathematicians, visual artists, IT people, physicists, chemists educators and so on? Initiatives that result in unprecedented cultural and scientific synthesis that, among other things, pave the way for even bigger mass demonstrations.

So what could perhaps be the 'master-signifier' (Lacan) in Ms. Evangelista's symbolic universe? NEOLIBERALISM. Neoliberalism or the free market ideology purports free competition as the highest form of virtue when in fact the free market has spawned the uneven development of nations. The free market harps on the equality of subjects while it maintains the gap between classes. The free market continues to foster oppressive forms of stratification while it profits from the commodification of gender identities and indigenous cultures. The free market presupposes autonomy from the State while denying the latter's active intervention in the export of warm bodies (read: cheap labor) leaving Filipino families restless and anxious on account of separation. The emotional costs of which has been the burden of social scientists and is left uncalculated until recently.

Celebratory discourses on migration have reached the point of utter absurdity as when it is asserted that women's unpaid labor in the household gets compensated upon export. Never mind that these are professionals at home. Never mind that they are maltreated, that they suffer undiagnosed depression, that their salaries are usually put on hold, that some are sexually molested and that many come home dead. Yet the logic of the free market declares them heroes. Indeed, state deregulation as espoused by the UP School of Economics is really the deregulation of the market's social evils. This is anything but close to the so-called autonomy of the market from the state.

Despite this, Ms. Evangelista continues to be lured by the discourse of neoliberalism. It may be difficult to resist the seductive 'synergy of the global village.' The difficulty doubles up when one, like Ms. Evangelista, does not yet see any need for partisan politics: "[W]hen I believe the cause is great enough, and that there is no other means, I expect I'll be out there in the streets, too." Could this same aversion towards activism prompted Ms. Evangelista's insidious attack on the faculty and staff of the College of Arts and Letters who mobilized themselves in the fight for the COLA back pay? She says: "Two days ago, as I was rushing up to class, I met one of my professors facing the hallway (sic). He said the academic staff was in front of the Oblation rallying for ten years of backpay (sic). Yet my professor was there in front of our classroom, a solitary old gentleman in a baseball cap, reporting for duty because he promised us a lecture (emphasis ours)." The implications of this statement on the professors who participated in the said demonstration are enormous.

Ms. Evangelista's functionalism makes her think that teachers should just teach, that students should just attend their classes and leave social responsibility to the well-funded NGOs and support organizations like the GAWAD KALINGA. She lauds the GAWAD KALINGA thus: "Everywhere, there are organizations that work from the grassroots to uplift conditions in the face of political turmoil (sic). Take GAWAD KALINGA (sic). House after house, slum after slum, it changes lives and gives opportunities to people who would otherwise be mired in poverty. Thousands of volunteers from Mindanao to Luzon have picked up either shovel or wallet to help in the war against poverty."

Even Robert Owen, a Utopian Socialist of the esrly 19th century realized that the logical conclusion of charity is a rupture in the social relations of production. In his well-meaning experiments on charity he found himself bankrupt. This goes to show that genuine charity entails the loss of profit, something that the corporations she alludes to would never consciously give up. Although Ms. Evangelista invokes ideas resembling that of a Utopian Socialist like Owen, her ego-ideal (read: how one views oneself in order to appear likeable to oneself) seems to be closer to that of a socialite. But the ego- ideal in the context of Lacan's mirror stage is always illusory and deceiving. One would have to reckon with the rock of castration (rendered here in terms of habitus) for there is no escape from the symbolic, save for psychosis. Habitus consists in enduring dispositions; like symptoms these signifiers can be gleaned from dreams, speech, writing, comportment and habits of mind.

Ms. Evangelista's metaphor for the activists is a noisy cat that has made her "become deaf to the noise." The same cat she wishes to serve as "cat soup for dinner." Should we take that as a fascist urge to kill all that is bothering her? Another symptom, another essay.

*SOP and ASAP are competing Sunday variety-shows aired on GMA-7 and ABS-CBN.

**Sarah Raymundo and Bogart Jaime are orgmates from the Center for Nationalist Studies in the late 90s. Sarah is now a faculty member of the Department of Sociology and Spokesperson of CONTEND (Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy). Bogart is now knocking on the doors of call centers and calls this a function of social ageing. They spend their free time scouting for scoundrels and gossiping on the scandalous practices of academics, whether political or sexual. They are, in the last instance, national democrats.


At 11:40 PM, Blogger vencer said...

pat the brat gets some spanking. hehe. ;)

At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my, Pat seems to be another Miriam Defensor Santiago in the making. Please, one is way too much to bear.

At 9:52 AM, Blogger Leon said...

classic case of maoists losing another argument just by being their usual dogmatic selves. haaay. i wish more activists can write without frothing in the mouth.

At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hav not read entirely. i do agree wid ms pat however. idealism is the key point here not some eco-socio theory. democracy also espouses plurality of ideas, and as ancient as the sophists maybe: there is no absolute truth. the question still remain, how do you define activists?

At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not read entirely. to be honest, this entry is fraught with too many high-falutin words it's no longer intelligible. I'm thinking that maybe I'm just an idiot and that i just need to grab a dictionary. And i realized that i'm not. It's just that the writer/s are too pompous for their own good. If you (the authors) want to be fairly understood, then you should spare the readers the excess polysyllabic words. They merely call attention to themselves and not the text itself. I'm not saying that you should write this in cavemen grunts. Rather, find a balance between polysyllabic gobbledygook and the "understandable".

At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Words... gosh! there were so many... But honestly, i believe you are soooo over reacting to Ms. Pat's essay. I read her article and i do agree with her. I once went out of the street to rally and we (with the others who came out to the streets then) were very successfull. In our city we seldom do that.Its almost like never. We do that thing when its the last thing to do. We spend much of our time doing our responsibilities to our small community.

Reading your comment to Ms. Pat's essay gives me an impression that you are one of those many in our country who are proclaimed self-rightious. (I know this will kill you more than her essay.... but what can i do or most especially what can you do this is the truth about you and there's nothing you can do about it.) I know definitely you will disagree with this but the hell.... that's how you sounded when you came up with that comment. Instead of making a mountain out of a mole hill about Ms. Pat's essay why don't you and your kind find a better solution to help our struggling country? The problem with "over intelligence" you tend to become narrow minded hence instead of looking at the bigger picture you dwell on details that actually a miniscule of the entire picture and totally missed the whole f#kng point. get it? Before we're only tired of the bad system in the gov't and now tired of you both. We are posing you a challenge.... To be damn OPEN-MINDED. then maybe we'll have quite a better nation... and perhaps a better world. adios!

At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Words... gosh! There were so many... But honestly, i believe you are so over reacting to Ms. Pat's essay. I read her article and i do agree with her. I once went out of the street to rally and we (with the others who came out to the streets then) were very successful. In our city we seldom do that. It?s almost like never. We do that thing when it?s the last thing to do. We spend much of our time doing our responsibilities to our small community.

Honestly ma?am, reading your comment to Ms. Pat's essay gives me an impression that you are one of those many in our country who are self-righteous. am sorry but you really sounded like that to me and my friend who read it. We read pats article, your comment blah, blah, blah? and pat?s response in yesterday?s paper. Before we're only tired of the bad system in the gov and now tired of you both. Whew! When will we ever learn?

At 2:01 PM, Blogger vencer said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 2:16 PM, Blogger vencer said...

We thank you for your comments. However, we would like to make it clear that the author of the article is not a YR contributor. The article is a repost. We apologize for not stating it clearly in the entry.

We do not filter entries and give our contibutors much leeway in the topics they would like to tackle in their entries. We now have a consensus among our contributors not to repost articles in their entirety in order to avoid confusion.

You can visit the author at

Thank you for visiting YR. :)

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Yasumi said...

the article above is written properly, but it failed to honestly expound the ideas behind the qoutes.

though the author is trying to challenge Pluralism which Ms. Evangelista is being accused of. on the other hand, it failed to discuss Power and Structure which i believe the reason behind Ms. Evangelista's critique against her Professor.

while Power struggle remains the central factor between human interralitionship, there can be no possible consensus between people and cultures.

inside a classroom, Power structure is a natural set that keeps the binary opposite between student/teacher alive.

self-rigthteousness or egocentricism is only a basic by-product of power dynamics. if we Deconstruct the structure of power and displacing the center, different cultures and beliefs may possibly agree on a consensus for the common good, while maintaining their identities.

the concept of deconstructing power and displacing the center, opposes the gravity of NEOLIBERAL politics which is higly authoritarian.

the term neoliberal was wrongly used against Ms. Evangelista. it is indeed an over-reaction.

that is why it is odd enough to wage a struggle that crticizes the current State only to replace a new one without obliterating the State itself.

Lenin's "State and Revolution" (which crushed the anarchist Kronstadt) was proven by history wrong, because the revolution that which he maintained a State, only produced Stalin and other tragedies.

i do not intend to defend Ms. Patricia, because i know she is only the binary opposite of her Professor. Living a life is not a spectator sport.

but i defend the autonomy of each and every individual to decide and paricipate in making a society.

by member
-Anarchist Study Cirlce U.P. Diliman

At 3:01 PM, Anonymous reicarnationniyokoono(joke only!!) said...

i dont know why many people adore pat, her articles and ideas. for me her works sucks. she is to much self centered when it comes in expressing. whenever i see her around the campus and whinning and whinning all my mind can say is "laging ikaw, ikaw, ikaw..."

i'm not insecure but in terms of politics or even academical dicussion she always wants to be first in line in or in the peak of the mountain of discussion and always voicing out her opinions without relevance.

i am her classmate in cwts and that's right, she and her groupmates have choosen gawad kalinga, so wala nang paghihirapan dahil nakahain na ang proyekto. i do more idolize my classmates that sink in into the squatters area to teach no read, no write children or even those who wants to protect the villages that in any minute or even a second, those little homes will be crush down.

i remember once i read her article of questioning the real power of EDSA I( if im not mistaken that was in Philippine Star)... Palibhasa burges,kaya naman hindi naiintindihan kung ano ang pinaglalaban ng mga naghihirap.

everytime that i read newspaper the first thing that comes in my mind is that there are a lot of real young writers aside from her. as from now me and my classmates having a crazy life. our heads are starting to tick just like a bomb, thinking of what job will we get. realizing that my classmates and friends are great potential writers, thinking from time to time what future job that they may get. ika nga ng aking kaklase: sadyang ganyan, konekoneksiyon lang iyan... tingnan mo ang mga taong walang katuturan ang pinagsusulat, walang ginawa kundi sarili lang ang isinusulat.



At 1:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't agree with all of Pat's ideas, but I do believe this article is overkill. First of all, it's so supremely, self-righteously full of pompous terms as to be incomprehensible. Second, whatever Pat's opinions are, it doesn't give anyone the right to attack her personality. Attack her opinions, yes, but not her personality: a basic rule of debate. And third... well, I wish this article wasn't so defensive. Pat is a teenager with opinions, not the anti-communist burgeoise elitist that this article paints her to be. I'm sorry, but after reading this - and rereading, and rereading, until I thought I had a vague grasp of what the authors were trying to say - I ended up even more sympathetic to Pat than I was to begin with.

At 2:59 AM, Anonymous reincarnationniyokoono said...


diyos ko!

pat is a intelligent girl, don't you see? she knows how to attack in such a way that in terms of images, she'll be the good girl and the topic for example will be the enemy. don't you guys realize that her articles are senseless. i have witnessed how she reacted when ma'am lani brought those words in to the discussion... that time she was listening to the music and making "badya". meaning she definitely disagreed to the prof's ideas.

remember, that this girl is a member of a debate team and have a background about debating. so, it means that she really knows what she is saying. i don't agree that ma'am raymundo and sir jaime misinterpreted her articles, she really mean what those words that she said. and in a debate, there's a structure to be able to have a successful attack.

it seems so odious to see pat's articles with the prominent writers at the opinion page, considering that her works are not that significat and helpful.
pat, i your reading this blog, i suggest that instead of spreading your self-centered write-ups, why don't you put in your daily blog, na lang...

At 3:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

pat's have too much to say about this. she meant those words. she gave an aapology to the professor, but in the article where she apologized...seems it is not an apology. it is a "pa-awa effect" to the readers.
nice strategy, baby!!!

At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I applaud this display of prowess in the craft of verbal masturbation.

Just a little longer and she may have gotten herself off.

At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah Raymundo and Bogart Jaime, did you know that it's a writer's sin to pepper your articles with words that have deep meaning?

Are you trying to express an idea, or just trying to impress everyone with your vocabulary? No one gives a damn about your vocabulary. Your article is very wordy and poorly thought out.

At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Buena said...

I don't know much about Ms. Evangelista. But I kinda like reading her column every now and then. She's a brilliant woman. (everybody knows that). It is her right to tell those things as a columnist. But this does not dismiss the argument because it is also our right to react on her column.

At 9:27 PM, Anonymous abo said...

I notice that many find the comment to patricia's column to be too academic for them... that's your loss.

At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with those who said that this article is overkill, man! well, okay ms. pat's column does not deal with national issues (we have de quiros and his like for that) but she is a very funny read!besides i did not understand anything in that article. too wordy and too high falluting. also, i have had too much of articles tackling national issues, i want something else!!!!!!!!!

At 1:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what the F is this? so many words, so little sense!
you're all a bunch of pansies.

At 2:12 AM, Blogger the observer said...

yada yada yada. if this is all the "bright" minds are doing -- TALK, and i suspect this is indeed the case -- then all is hopeless for this country.
next time when you people write, ask yourself "for every thousand characters i type, is there one act i did for my country that is significant?"
if the answer is NO, i suggest you SHUT THE F* UP!

At 10:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i like ms evangelista. at least she has credentials.

the people who wrote this article seem to be wants other people to appreciate their style of writing rather that to actually say somethind. they use too many words so whatever they were trying to say was overshadowed by it.

if you want to argue about what someone else said, make sure you have the credentials to back you up. or at least, make sure everybody can understand what you're writing. this is just all messed up for me.

i stick with ms evangelista.

At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

all that name-checking and theory dropping make my head swim.

i think you're basically telling her that her opinion is wrong. i'm with her on this one -despite knowing that her opinion will be unpopular, she still went ahead and got it off her chest.

"By speaking commonsensical language, she reduces historical struggles into idiosyncratic preferences as if the difference between historical materialism and pragmatism were the same as the difference between ASAP and SOP*."

that was a low blow. you act as if people who have not studied political theory as deeply as you have cannot react to their own environment and political climate. so what if she hasn't had your experiences nor share your knowledge of nationalist theory? does that make her insights less significant than your own?

"When Ms. Evangelista says that "I'm not a political science major. I know very little about the dynamics of politics and will be the first to claim that my reading is limited to the Bestseller section of a bookstore. Maybe, this is the reason I shy away from claiming that my point of view is the only right view..." she is in fact implying that she has mastered a particular field of expertise. For how can one disavow acumen in a particular field without assuming that one is a master in another? Humility, as opposed to this insidious and arrogant stance, consists in a thorough engagement of ideas to the best of one's abilities. In a sense, nobody could be a master of a field if we consider the material force of dynamism and dialectics. It is redundant for people to claim ignorance of a specific field unless they would want to imply mastery of another; since mastery is a formal impossibility. By saying that she is not a political science major and that her literary fare is limited to bestsellers (that she is far from the generic homo academicus), she makes a representation of herself as an open-minded individual as opposed to the alleged self-righteousness of the Left."

yes, her essay was revelatory of her socio-economic class, way of thinking, and even her "ignorance" of the deeper implications of activism, but they are not insipid. they are grounded on her own experiences, which to your eyes they are worth vey little since you, with your credentials, have had direct experience with activism. and she merely a tv host who does not have the right to talk about things she knows nothing about? does this make you a better person than she is, then? limited as her experiences may be compared to yours, i think her reactions are valid and genuine.

i find parts of patricia evangelista's essay to be naive, but i never held that against her.


At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Theyre trying to outdo each other with WIT.
A lot of this is just air. Not all of it, but a lot of it.
I agree,
this author's point was lost in the wording.

At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

too wordy article.
The author tries to show off...
Respect Ms. Evangelista. It is her right to express and therefore one must avoid attacking her personally. Attack her opinions. Once you attack her personality, it only shows how shallow minded you are.

At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mahirap ba talaga unawain yung wordings? Mahirap ba tanggapin ang katangahang tinutukoy sa isang tao na nakakarelate niyo, tipong pseuso-intellectual gaya ni Evamngelista? Madali lang naman basahin eh, bukod sa napaka-potent ng content mismo. Siguro talagang mababaw lang talaga yung utak ng ibang mga readers nito na nagpapaka-intelektuwal, kung kaya't kapag di na nila ma-gets (lalo na yung philosophical and historical references) sasabihin na lang nila "masyadong verbiose, patalino effect." Na-re-reflect gaano katamad magbasa ang ilang commenters dito, at gaano kababaw yung kanilang awareness. Tsk.

At 10:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I read the first paragraph, I knew right away that the rest of the article will give me a head ache.

Granted that the authors excel in their use of the English language, It's an overkill that I simply lost an interest.

A person who can express a thought as simple, concise and straight forward as possible impresses me more than those who like to beat around the bush, flaunting their vocabularies.

At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like what Ms. Evangelista wrote, I, in fact read it more than once--and sad too say what you wrote in this blog has a) too much words and b) is too desperate to prove Ms. Evangelista wrong.

At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For reicarnationniyokoono

Your comment was made awhile back but i hope you get to read this, first of all if you're going to post a comment make sure you have correct spelling and grammar, and you claiming that you're not insecure proves that you are--if you're jealous of the intellect and attention Ms. evangelista is getting, remember you're the only one feeding your own insecurities

At 2:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree that the author of this article was not being sincere to his purpose.. it really seemed to me that she was just trying to show off. i guess she's just trying to outdo pat. she wanted to gain the reputation sa being smarter than pat. and i think that's a symptom of insecurity.

At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never seen so many words amount to so little. It's like watching a bunch of toddlers abusing a shiny new toy. There's wordsmithing, and then there's this absurd word-wedding-coutourier thing that we (Filipinos) do; this flamboyant, almost vulgar display of fluff. Nakakatawa na nakakahiya.

At 11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my god,
i can't grasp the what ms. sarah and mr. jaime are saying about. they're just trying to impress readers with their pompous words. i cant bear reading the whole article, it's soooooo pretentious

At 6:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't decide which I like less. Patricia Evangelista or this ridiculous excuse for a rebuttal. Ms. Evangelista is fond of twisting things to suit her own needs, and this article twists things, period.

At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Immensely unreadable article. I'm not a big fan of Pat Evangelista, or her blog-cum-column, but her critics betray an aura of pompous envy masked with a poor attempt to rationalise their distaste.

At 5:14 PM, Anonymous mae said...

People who can't bear to read the entirety of this article, sad to say, betray the limitations of their mindsets. This article should be commended for the rigorous theoretical issues being engaged in analyzing society, and the last thing it concerns itself with is flicking dirt at Evangelista. Here's why (or how I interpreted Ms. Raymundo and Mr. Bogart’s rebuttal):

The relevance of Evangelista's negative portrayal in this article (even at a personal level) is precisely thus - her own character, her own personality that she invests so much in her column constricts her ability to take on society's great debates despite her outspoken self. She owns up to this, and in fact frequently doesn't make bones about brandishing disclaimers about her naivete. She keeps political science and all the requisite critical disciplines at arm's length in favor of what I can paraphrase as selective erudition (read:her penchant for bestsellers). Given these misgivings, it becomes apparent Evangelista can only do so much as react to the inconvenience of the moment, namely, what for her are the mere "noise" of activists and their supposed unconstructive outtakes in the streets.

The seeming attacks against Ms. Evangelista actually span the entire issue at hand. Her partiality towards herself as an interesting topic for public reading is evident. She takes it upon herself to rebut a kind of social consciousness with her own, but she has basically informed the world about her ignorance of politics and therefore also of the presumably self-evident manner power is worked across and above societies. Yet she is reserved the prestige of being a columnist thriving on the high-flown ideals of thesis and enlightenment. I am therefore, along with the authors of the contentious rebuttal, convinced of the disjunction between her methods (or lack thereof) and logic (or lack thereof) for reaching conclusions against activists and drawing up alternative modes of resisting oppression and suffering.

Radical discourses such as embodied in this article can not be easily dismissed for all their historical merits, seeing as how they are usually tacked on the unfolding of societies that underwent turbulent changes. Evangelista is going up against a discourse that is beyond her imagination. Why and how? Because she is what she is, and she fails to see beyond that by not doing her research. She was born into privilege; she is writing within her comfort zone, with nary a clue on how she should frame her own advocacies and dissensions within a wider context of power and a historical account of how her position to wield opinions came about. These givens do not necessarily nullify her right to air her disdain for activism in her own column. But they do make her fail – abominably so at that – to posit a view that Leftists are stuck to backward methods and to give the impression her judgments are untainted by prejudice derived from the neatness of her own life.

This, I think, is Ms. Raymundo and Mr. Bogart’s point when they slapped a neoliberal label on Ms. Evangelista. She is, after all, much too immersed in her own democracy that she fails to pick out the crucial motivations for the Left’s kind of activism. The Left is simply not revolting against rank abuse of power and the perpetration of suffering. At their best, radical discourses are riled against dominant power relations that are too imposing to ever be visible to the uncritical eye. And Ms. Evangelista is no exception to the reach of these power relations --- she lives with it, and is enjoying in so doing at the side of privilege. That is what she has to surmount if ever she is to reach a true understanding of the ideas she is debating against.

At 11:42 PM, Blogger ie said...

i am a fan of simplicity, but i won't take anything against the authors' verbosity and use of technical jargon, as those are their ways of expressing themselves, and more importantly, of proving a point.

i, however, find this to be, ironically enough, at par with the whimsical, immature, antagonistic style pat evangelista - as stressed by the article - uses in her column.

i do believe in activism, and the power of it to elicit radical and beneficial changes to society. i also believe in the importance of a critical analysis (backed up by sufficient evidence, of course) in examining and evaluating the country's current situation. finally, i firmly believe that activism and critical analysis go hand-in-hand in the political arena.

i just read ms. evangelista's "shooting from the hip", which perhaps is her most recent article. there i find not a childish lament on some everyday triviality, but a valid (albeit sarcastic) outlook on hsa. this is perhaps an exemption to her usual behavior. nevertheless, this proves that ms. evangelista can and do think (even if that actually qualifies as "sometimes"), and critically at that.

for me, being critical and being open-minded are two sides of the same coin. one cannot be critical when one fails to look at and understand the other perspectives within their own logics or frameworks. inversely, one cannot grasp other viewpoints in their entirety when one ceases to be critical about it.

in this light, ms. evangelista, ms. raymundo, and mr. jaime, committed the same mistake.

At 4:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alam nyo, magtanim nalang kaya kayo ng kamote.
What the h*ll is this!

At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you talk so much shit.

At 2:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'd better read a pocketbook that read once more this article... seems that everytime you think of something to raise point regarding pat's article,you consult first dictionary,,... are not role model writers...this "Hilarious" article is a manifestation....atrrrggghhhhhh

At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Ivan said...

Patricia Evangelista is a witch!

Look at her nose!

At 9:42 AM, Anonymous warrior said...

Ms Raymnodo and Mr Bogart has all the potential to be a good leader in there choosen field, if they were open minded about true optimistic activism and base there commentaries to Ms Evangelita's opinion be be base on evidence and realty. .. its true that they must follow the rule of the debate to counter the opinion of others and not to attack the personality because they have no rights to do that and its a Human rights violation as shouted by the chaotic activist which procclaiming themselves as a heroes of the modern words where in fact they were puting gthe yout to turn to dark ages of Maoist colonialism of the one sided mind of authoritarian fascist communist . . .

At 12:30 PM, Blogger radueriel said...

pat's style of writing is wickedly unconventional, twistedly twisted.

i don't know..

i like her still...

At 2:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a load of CLAPTRAP!

ma'am, sir,
ur ego is bigger than your brain!

At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with what the authors wrote. and hey, this isn't a matter of how wide your vocabulary is!

At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay. This, admittedly, is not one of Ms. Raymundo and Mr. Bogart's better articles. If their goal was to convince people that Ms. Evangelista's writings are trivial and irrelevant, they would have been better off using a more readable, persuasive style. Cutting sarcasm and uncommon words like 'neoliberalism' -- which they know, being UP professors, but which the rest of us don't really understand -- don't help their cause. Especially as even hardcore activists would have a hard time grasping this article, it being written in very highfalutin' English.

That said, forgive me if I come across as a smug intellectual, but as a UP student who knew Ms. Evangelista, I did understand and appreciate this article. Its authors are right: Ms. Evangelista often writes about things that SHOULDN'T BE IN THE OPINION SECTION OF A NATIONAL NEWSPAPER (eg: her nose, her childhood, her travels). Such personal musings should be in a blog. Yet that's not just Ms. Evangelista's failing, that's also the Inquirer's.

And, in fairness to Ms. Evangelista, she's making an effort to actually use her space in the Inquirer to make a difference, instead of just blabbering about what she thinks of those nasty activists in UP. (She would do well to note that activists, while often abrasive, actually do far more to help the poor than Gawad Kalinga ever could.) She's writing about human rights now. Her analyses are neither deep nor unique, but at least she's trying.


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