Friday, February 22, 2008

"Phase Three: Profit!"

I am reminded of a saying that describes two types of people in every situation: Those who rise to defend their beliefs, and those who remain by the sidelines. In these times of political uncertainty, I can take a lesson from this saying and bring up the two different kinds of people here: Those who want change and are willing to take to the streets for it, and those who cannot reconcile the idea of change for the lack of alternatives.

It seems that the twin concepts of life and meaning are fickle, however, and in a single e-mail to one of my mailing lists, my eyes were opened to the presence of a third member of the grand audience. Witness, if you will, the excerpt that amused me earlier this evening:


Wear your indignation at our ugly ugly excuse for a government by sporting
one of these smashing, original t-shirts for only 350 pesos each.

Yes, that's right: You will have people who stand at the forefront of the crowd, screaming their names at the riot police. You will have people who mill around the back, wondering exactly how much longer they have to stay. But both of them pale in comparison to the third aspect: People who will somehow turn a profit out of the whole thing.

I don't mean to insult these people. In fact, the idea amuses me greatly -- the gap between rich and poor may be getting wider, our government officials may all be falling into corruption, the president herself might be involved in a conspiracy to hold power for as long as she can -- but all that will never suppress our ability to find opportunity wherever it can be found. Think of them in any way that you want, I suppose -- they can either be solidly entrepreneurial or remarkably crass to you -- but they're certain to make good money either way.

You're welcome to pass by their site and have a look, of course -- it's at In the interest of timing (which is everything in a country where political issues and scandals come and go in the blink of an eye), if you place an order before the 20th, then they'll actually make sure that you receive your shirt before the 25th. You're going to want to wear it to the rally that will inevitably occur on that date, after all.

No, I'm not connected with them. They just happened to be the high point of a day when I really needed something to make me laugh, and I might as well give them a bit of attention in return. The shirts that you order will most likely lose their relevance in time, and your grandkids will probably give you some strange looks when they dig them up twenty years from now... but at least they'll know that when the chips were down and tensions ran high, we still knew how to do business. That, I think, will still get a laugh out of me no matter what happens. :)


Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

I have 2 anti-Erap shirts from EDSA Dos, birthday gifts from my college friends. I still wear them as "pambahay" attire because they remind me of one of the best birthdays I ever had, turning 20 on top of a flyover overlooking the EDSA Shrine. :)

Sean said...

Ailee: At least you have a birthday that you like to commemorate. For a long time, I've associated my birthday with demonstrations by militant labor groups, mostly under the banner of "grievances" that won't go away no matter how many concessions people will make. :(