More gifts

Some of you gave this writer the best possible gift last year: the benefit of close reading. I have not been as quick with 50-word replies to the comments that sometimes find their way here as I would have liked, but I do agree with Dean Bocobo, when he said somewhere (I think in one of those comment threads he frequents, like a regular at a neighborhood coffee shop) that comments are integral to the blogging experience.

Four comments, or — rather — themes in the comment threads, have exercised me greatly; I look forward to writing and reading more about them in the coming year.

Edwin Lacierda’s provocative question, about the role of a patriotic military in a rambunctious democracy, continues to sound in my ear. Its latest version is dramatic indeed: What will happen if, say, the entire  Southern Command withdraws its support for the Arroyo administration?

Jojo Abinales was I think the first to point to it: the phenomenon of effective local support for the national leadership. As DILG Sec. Angelo Reyes’s latest proposal shows (more power for mayors, as anti-terror czars), the wooing of the locals remains very much on the minds of the people who run Malacanang.

Mario Taguiwalo’s continued pursuit of civil society’s holy grail — the truth that will get us off our butts, out of our lazy chairs, into the sometimes-empty streets, and up the high walls of the powers-that-be; in other words, the truth that in the knowing will galvanize us into action and set us all free — remains bracing, an adventure even more impressive because of the alternatives.

Not least, Dean Bocobo’s observation about the innumeracy that marks traditional journalism is a constant challenge, especially at a time when a survey culture is emerging.

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Filed under Readings in Media, Readings in Politics

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