Thursday, May 23, 2019

Malilong: Waste basket of solutions

The Other Side

BECAUSE of the flu, I woke up early to be able to catch the second quarter of the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns in the National Basketball Association. I didn’t miss much, it turned out, because LA trailed the cellar-dwelling Suns by a wide margin early in the match.

The Lakers built a commanding lead in the next two periods so that by the time the last quarter opened, LeBron James and his cast in the starting five had the luxury of watching comfortably from the bench, wildly cheering for their German rookie who scored his first points (ten) in the NBA.

LA won and, miles away across the Atlantic, so did my other club, Liverpool in the English Premier League but this one barely, against neighbors Everton.

The Lakers will probably not even qualify for the post-season and while Liverpool sits second in the table, the current leader Manchester City is very strong and appears headed to a second consecutive title in England’s most prestigious football league. Sorry about that, Jurgen Klopp.

But these days when the picture looks bleak everywhere else, it is healthy to savor little victories even if they happen only in sports. I rarely watch the news programs these days and I scan only the front pages of the newspapers because I would only end up depressed if I did otherwise. Maybe, that comes with age.

Or maybe, there’s just nothing to cheer about what you watch or read. Another drug bust, another pusher killed. Where do these shabu come from? Will the sources ever dry up? Why are there so many stupid people who continue to engage in the narcotics trade even if they know that it means certain death?

Taxes. As in every new government imposition, we’re told to just grin and bear the Train because they have safety nets and besides, the suffering is not going to last. I thought they meant that relief, even rewards, were forthcoming. Well, it seems that what they were really saying was that brace yourselves for the long haul, after a while you’ll get used to suffering.

Charter Change. Here comes a former president, better known as Ms. I’m Sorry, announcing that they will spend the last session days of Congress to revise the Constitution. Holy cow, why are they so obsessed with doing something that, our experience shows, we cannot trust them with?

Traffic. This you do not need the newspapers or the TV stations to know because you run into it and it stares you in the face every time you move out from the parking lot to the street. What happened to the promise of a “basket of solutions” to our traffic woes? Where is the BRT or the LRT or the MRT? Or did they in fact say, a waste basket of solutions?

Oh, yes, they just gave us the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic last week. It’s a good idea, actually, since the lack of discipline is a major contributor to the traffic problem and I-ACT has secured the assistance of armed soldiers to bring back discipline. The soldiers are a welcome sight but they can only do so much; they cannot widen the streets or develop mass transport systems and absent those, our horrendous traffic situation is here to stay.

Wait, I am supposed to escape from, not dwell in, our dark world of problems. So back to Lebron and the Lakers and Sadio Mane and Liverpool.


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