Agee Liñan: Of Calloused Fingers and Hollow Arguments
Of Calloused Fingers and Hollow Arguments
by Agee Li?±an
Criticism is a natural tendency in a sub-culture with counter-cultural tendencies. However, most of this criticism is external – in way that the critique is directed towards mainstream society. This poses a problem in a community that feeds on ideas considering that internal critique a.k.a. self-criticism is frowned upon as a venue for character assassination ‚Äì thus the evolution of the word war.
Word wars is common hobby among thinking (or otherwise) individuals. It provides a venue wherein ideas are articulated, either rationally or otherwise, to synthesize (depending on whose viewpoint ‚Äì some may raise that most word wars are personal in nature) whether points engaged in are valid or void. Certain exchanges in this ‚Äúhobby‚Äù may or may not lead to closure depending on how those involved post their arguments and counter-arguments.
In the context of the Pinoy HC-punk arena of discourse (assuming that there is such a thing), parameters for such engagements are not defined. And it would seem that certain people relish on the situation that: it is quite easy to post accusations, that would seem baseless under scrutiny, and eventually bail out on the engagement ‚Äì citing an absurd reason such as ‚Äúit is my personal opinion‚Äù as cause for bailing out.
In a recent experience, I have encountered such situation wherein certain individuals pointed their fingers (in the figurative sense) at me with particular accusations. Being open to discourse, I then posted certain questions to provide them with the opportunity to articulate and rationalize their points. My queries were met with more accusations and substance in these accusations was not presented.
Ahh, such is the way of the enlightened sub-culture to engage in discourse: it is very easy to point fingers in the fashion of hollow accusations and easily get away with it. This practice somehow fosters an arena for hearsay and rumor-mongering (thus the notion that most punk discourse are ‚Äúshowbiz‚Äù in nature), wherein accusations and empty statements satisfy the minds and imagination of those in performance and of those who are awed by engagement ‚Äì such is the blindness caused by the spectacle.
The concrete (or imagined) liberties in the Pinoy punk community are unfairly being used as an excuse for such attitudes towards discourse. It would seem that a common practice is to point fingers and then excuse themselves as a means for denial. Excuse as a medium for denial is such a sad thought for this sub-culture of ours.
How can one address such situation? (note: this question is intended to value the capacity of the individual to change the situation) I‚Äôm not really sure, for one cannot ‚Äúimpose‚Äù specific solutions in a ‚Äúdynamic‚Äù community like punk. I do however hope that people, who engage in discourse, are more open to the possibility that the points they post may or may not be valid and thus be subject to change. Coming up with rationalizations for such points may not hurt either ‚Äì for such reasons (or data) only strengthens the points raised. Closure on issues may also contribute to the appreciation of discourse as a valid exercise and not as perceived as a venue for personal/character assassination.
And maybe, just maybe, calloused fingers may be avoided and hollow arguments are ignored. Making life much more happier ‚Äì in a Ha! Ha! Ha! Hi! Hi! Hi! kind of happy‚Ä¶
Ricecooker note: Agee lives in Manila, Philippines but what’s written can be applied everywhere…