Velez: Histories in February 25

YESTERDAY, February 25, had three historic moments. One in basketball, the other in music, and the last in Philippine history.

The recent one happened yesterday, when NBA fans and legends gathered for the memorial of Kobe Bryant one month after his tragic death from a helicopter crash that also killed his daughter and seven other passengers.

The memorial happened on the 34th EDSA anniversary. But it seems for this basketball-crazy public, and our politics marred by division, basketball seems all that mattered. A tragedy like that has immortalized Kobe.

Remembering Kobe Bryant is complicated, as many reporters and players note. Either you're a fan of Kobe who love his incredible skills and shots, or you hate him for being so selfish for always shooting a lot.

Then there's that complicated past of his involving a sexual assault case that was settled, and almost ruined both his career and marriage.

It is incredible that he bounced back from being a "villain" to hero and champion.

As writer Adam Gallagher notes, "It's funny how Kobe Bryant's death inspired the one thing he never could as a player: universal adoration."

His career and life indeed is one of redemption and overcoming failures.

Let's take note about redemption, as we look at Edsa, it's been 34 years, but we also seem divided about how we look at Edsa, the Aquino legacy and everything in between.

Basically, we haven't seen the change promised at Edsa. And we forget what the fight on Edsa was all about? It seems history like ours is not as exciting as basketball. Or it seems that the good efforts are not being rewarded with victory.

Funny that in the past years, the Marcos wants to reclaim their legacy because of what went wrong after Edsa. Like Palpatine coming back and said it's time to reclaim what they believe should be right course of history.

Edsa was a wasted chance to redeem our country from a dictatorship, from oligarchs who got rich by controlling politics, and from a state that uses the law to muzzle people from speaking out. These things are still happening, sad to say.

Greed, power, fear, elements that are universal, and are remembered best in songs like Songs from the Big Chair by the British band Tears for Fears released on February 25, 1985. That album is one of the best in the 80s, defining an era with their songs of protests against the Cold War (Shout), politics (Everybody Wants to Rule the World), exploitation (Working Hour) and authoritarianism (Mother's Talk).

Funny these songs still resonate now. Nothing has changed. We believe in populist leaders that still away our freedoms, and the lines in Mother's Talk warned us: "follow in the footsteps of a soldier, it is time to take your clothes off and face the world."

I guess we need these songs and histories again. Everybody Wants to Rule the World says it right, "all for freedom and for pleasure, nothing ever lasts forever."


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