Carvajal: Suffocating

WOULD you believe non-stop farting can ground an airplane? A recent news report has it that passengers were forced to prevail on the pilot to make an unscheduled stop and off-load an obnoxious passenger that would not stop passing gas in spite of their pleas that they were suffocating in his fart.

This made me laugh at first, that a fart could ground a plane. But then suddenly it occurred to me, and this is no longer funny, that the Philippines, like that airplane, is having to make an unscheduled stop because not one but many passengers and not just any but first-class passengers refuse to stop farting.

The move to change the constitution and shift to a federal form of government is essentially an unscheduled stop that President Duterte and supporters feel is necessary in order mainly to let out first-class passengers (oligarchic economic, political and religious leaders) who refuse to stop farting and making the air un-breathable for the rest of the passengers.

Flatulent first-class passengers don’t feel anything is amiss with the air we breathe because they wear “masks” that keep them from breathing the foul air that comes out of their assholes. They live in air-conditioned finely-appointed houses, ride luxury SUV’s and have the best of everything money can buy. No wonder they can never feel the bumps (the discomfort and even suffering) in the road of life of people who have to endure the non-stop farting of their leaders.

How can Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno empathize with those who cannot afford a lawyer when she is cruising in a four-million SUV? How can Congressman Rodolfo Fariñas feel the plight of ordinary workers and farmers when he drives a 40-million Ferrari? How dare Archbishop Socrates Villegas judge others like God when he cannot possibly experience the injustice to the poor from the comfort of a stately residence that was probably built with donations from the poor and their devout Catholic oppressors?

By uncouthly using the word “fart,” I am aware I could be rubbing wealthy polite society the wrong way. But, as much as I know English, this allegory comes closest to expressing my disgust at how political dynasties and their allies (rich business, civic and religious leaders with rare exceptions) have just been farting on the rest of the nation. Their privileged lives prevent them from seeing the need for radical changes. Their desire to hang on to their privileges is making them insist that they decide on the changes to be made.

Yet, we are just about to make, but not yet on, an emergency stop. When we do, we still have to figure out a way of getting farting passengers to disembark. That or we will be suffocating in their fart for the rest of our lives.
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