GO to sleep to see what’s golden is not only in silence.

Indeed, a man in Brooklyn, New York has become an overnight hit in the Internet simply by slumbering on without shutting off.

His bedtime blabber has been music to his wife’s ears. Staying tuned with a recorder, she would rouse herself chuckling with a morning replay. Call it a rousing success as her blog (http://sleeptalkinman.blogspot.com) now sells shirts and coffee mugs stamped with a selection of quotes out of her husband’s nap-snappy soliloquy. Like, “I'm telling you: your voice, my ears. A bad combination."

Click here for stories and updates on the Sinulog 2010 Festival.

That’s hardly amusing, however, to the candidates who came to Cebu for a forum called “Choices and Voices for 2010: An Encounter with the Presidentiables.”

Wonderful if there was a fountain of caffeine in the middle of the venue to stir up the audience. Especially if the chorus of the candidates amounted to nothing more than their power to lull each listener with so much sweetness and light. Everything they said, after all, could even turn the darkest coffee delicious enough for babies.

Easy to swallow all the candidate’s spit if the audience were all born yesterday.

Merry with motherhood statements, they might as well have opened their mouths with their eyes closed.

Compelling is the contender who has nothing to lose by telling, beyond pleasing us voters, not his vows but what we can also do. Like, “Grow up, kiddo!”

Where is the contender who could have jarred and rankled us into a responsible right of suffrage? Someone who could have suffused us with rage by saying, “Do keep track of my record, and do not just toddle into the ticklish tunes of my campaign jingles.” Or, “Do expect me to run headlong in shame smack onto a rampaging garbage truck if I wouldn’t walk my talk.”

Better yet, where was the candidate who could have dared to confide what we know all along? Someone could have compelled our trust by counting the ways the presidency has become such a pitfall for a parade of egos the size of a ziggurat, propping themselves in the perch of power by sidestepping this gospel truth: Hell is paved with good intentions.

As it was, based on the transcript of the talk, the forum seemed to echo “the drone effect,” a phenomenon wherein the more someone has to listen, the more he lapses into sleepy spells and the less he hears. Coined by US Army researchers who embarked on Troop Information and Education lectures during the Second World War, “the drone effect” showed that the longer the soldiers were subjected to lectures on personal hygiene, the dirtier they got.

Whatever dirt clogged the ears during the candidates’ forum might have been cleared if one of the candidates dared to be candid in the face of his listeners. It could have been a welcome change if he took his cue from one of the latest posts in the sleep-talking man’s blog, and go refreshingly blunt: "So many little people. Pet them on the head. Pet pet pet pet pet..."

(geemyko@gmail.com)