Appearances and audience participation-A A +A
So to speak
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
NOTHING hits home more forcefully than the politics of perception. Image and the mirage it can muster are all it takes to trump the ascendancy of issues around a platform, especially when the presentation of fitness becomes the bone and muscle of contention.
No war is more vicious than waging a campaign for votes, after all. True, come to think of it, bullets and ballots literally have the same echo.
Hear what an article in a recent issue of Men’s Health magazine affirmed when it listed many elected officials in the United States “who crossed over from sports, along with gym rats, triathletes…” Indeed, the battleground that paves the way to a public office is not for wimps.
Where the electorate’s attention span is the shortest route to a blind alley, pity the pushover who dares to take one’s candidacy above the visual effects of personality.
Pleasing the people has long been a routine of rousing them up as good as gladiators, as if distractions from their dire circumstances were all the essentials of public service. Where the age of enlightenment appears to be a futuristic figment of the imagination, nothing is more urgent than entertainment.
Enjoy, and agree it’s “more fun in the Philippines” where electoral campaigns are the saddest affair only for the sober. Blast it away! So goes the jangle of the candidates’ jingles that may be the only thing better than the blare of air-raid sirens.
Hitting the voters means tuning into the pop-culture craze, according to the party mate of showbiz vixen Annabelle Rama whose congressional bid on behalf of the Cebu City north district gets an upbeat tweaking of “Gangnam Style.” Bring it on, and quell the questions.
Isn’t this populist fidelity proof-positive of a candidate’s common touch? Or, why do we have to single out Rama when cranking up the volume of easy recall is generally the candidates’ tried-and-tested effort of image management?
Who’s bothered by this song-and-dance stance when this is why the electorate understands the contenders easily, more interesting than the drowsy delivery of either speeches or services?
If Rama and her constituents would only wind up with nosebleeds from policy discussions and other concerns of leadership, why not do them the favor of shaking them silly until they would be jerked loose from the jarring tedium of legislative work and official accountability? Come on, how high are the voters’ expectations?
Worst-case scenarios—-knock on wood—-are often the stuff of election outcomes as promises often settle down the drain of their self-interests equal to the boredom of our disappointments.
For the time being, while the candidates play around the perception of wishing the electorate nothing but the pleasure of their company, this sense of harmony may be the only time we could come close to their entertainer’s sense of empathy.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 08, 2013.