I am certain that many of us may be familiar with Tom Wolfe’s “The Bonfire of the Vanities” ; a remarkable and era-defining book that chroni...

The Bonfire of The Vanities

I am certain that many of us may be familiar with Tom Wolfe’s “The Bonfire of the Vanities”; a remarkable and era-defining book that chronicled the life of a certain New Yorker named Sherman McCoy, probably is his worst times, where at the beginning a slight car-accident tossed his life into a steep downward spiral that got worse and worse as each page is turned. There was his mistress and there was his wife and then a criminal case boiled to the hilt until the whole story climaxed into probably one of the most memorable ending in the entire history of American literature. This is a story where one bad thing gets into another bad thing, until it seems that excrements hit the fan. And foremost, this novel reminds me of the “state of our nation” nowadays; where the excrement also hits….you know what.

What we see here is a bonfire of every inanity seems possible, where it seems to me that one bad thing gets into another bad thing in this beloved country of ours. Is this what we call the disease called “The Banana Republic Syndrome”? Why can’t we be just as boring as Japan or perhaps as grandiloquent as Tahiti? Where nothing sordid can happen in these places for months and years except news on economic overheating in the case of Japan and the increase of tourism in the case of Tahiti.

But in our side of the globe, each day now bears something scandalous or mind-numbingly disgusting, and at some point, we have become a huge comedy show, with every clown and funny characters on hand, like perhaps “The Monty Python ” or a gypsy traveling show. We see the politician with his own SONA, or “TSONA” as he called it. Nothing like this happen except in this filibuster-rich country of ours. Of course, we all heard the bedroom voice of the former COMELEC guy who won’t appear in Senate, and smiles like he has more secrets to hide than Monalisa. It’s a deceiving smile from a deceitful guy as I see it. And then we heard about the Sandra Cams and the presidential sons and fathers being entangled in the web of “Juentenggate”, and got cannoned by a spitfirish and crusading priest from the Northern Lands (you know, Luzon mainland) and the last we heard about them, they took an indefinite vacation in the land where there are at least two Disneyland sites, in addition to Michael Jackson’s “Neverland”. I bet they’d be opting for the latter if they need some comical relief.

And then there was the congregation of bishops convening like the cardinals did in Rome when Pope John Paul II passed away, letting us wait in mortal thrill only to learn that they have taken the safest side while a former lady president took the other side, as if biting the bullet, and felt her admonitions backfired together with the also-comical “HYATT 10”, who thought the people would troop to take breakfast orders from handsome Hyatt waiters the moment they shoot the President behind her back----but the people didn’t. It’s the Hyatt for goodness sake. Nobody goes there except those who drive Rovers and Benzes.

Then before we were able to take a needed breather, the military underground specter soon appeared in the form of old-hat but still dangerous Young Officers Union, coming into the fray, muddling everything and making us fear again like we never have been fearing all these times. As if we hadn’t had enough. We heard about the assassination plot against the President. The inane Truth Commission. The upstart impeachment complaint. The call for charter change. The downgrading of our credit ratings from investment bodies in the First World. The mistresses of an Isafp alleged wiretapper. The lambastings of Susan Roces-Poe. The “bastos” side of the DOJ Secredretary speaking about Kris Aquino. I could go on and on listing all these inanities and we can go on till dawn tch gobbles us up.

Gee…don’t you feel like we are living inside a movie or a television soap-opera. Are our politicians acting it out right? Or are just they being bad actors and actresses? We seem to have been part of this bonfire that should be poured gasoline by the gallons and lit into the high heavens so that our misery shall go away along with the consuming flames.


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