Friday, June 18, 2010

History Is Programmed By The Victors

In general, Filipinos are some of the friendliest people in the world. At times, they can also be among the more conspiratorial minded. The most recent example of that being this:

Santiago said she had watched on the History Channel a documentary on the assassination of Aquino's father, Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., and she could not see the reason Americans had to show this documentary on the death of Aquino's father, emphasizing the mastermind behind the killing had never been identified and so on, "and in effect glorifying his dad."

"In my mind, there is no doubt that his dad is a genuine national hero, but I'm very suspicious as a thinking Filipino citizen on why the Americans should suddenly show this kind of a documentary when the son is entering into public office," Santiago said.

"Hello, this is Nancy Duboc."

"Hello Nancy, this is President Obama."

"P-p-p-president Obama?"

"Yes, Nancy. Don't be nervous, I just have a small favor to ask."

"Okay. Certainly sir."

"As I'm sure you know, Benigno Aquino III was recently elected president of the Philippines. Turns out that the two of us share a lot in common. You might say that we're both excellent examples of the triumph of hope over experience. Neither of us really had much previous history running anything more than our campaigns for higher office. Both of us were elected by people desperate for change, who had unrealistic expectations and faith in our ability to improve anything and everything. It didn't take me long to shatter these false hopes and I expect that once he takes office, Aquino will also prove to be a disappointment to the faithful. But I like the cut of his jib and I'd like to build him up as much as possible before the inevitable fall. Besides any world leader who likes heaters is okay in my book."

"Um, sir...I'm not sure what this has to do with me..."

"Ah yes, the matter at hand. It's really quite simple Nancy. All I want you to do is have the History Channel run that documentary on his father. You know that one that shows him as a hero and national martyr? Putting the glow on the father has to rub off on the son. Understand?"

"Yes sir, I think so."

"Good. I expect that we'll see it on your schedule shortly."

"Of course sir. I'll get right on."

"Good night Nancy."

"Good night sir."

President Obama hangs up the phone, leans back on his Oval Office chair, and thoughtfully brings his fingertips together.