Now THAT was a blog! And Wheelchairs!

Today is a twofer. One comment on blogging, one on wheelchair jokes.



I think different bloggers have different ideas of what a blog is supposed to be about. Here are some of the conceptual approaches I see in the blogging world:
  1. A blogger who says: “I’m the technical professional here and will honor myself by giving you the latest technical expertise.”
  1. Another one who says: “I have nothing better to do so I’m going to fill the internet up with my wisdom and life’s meaning.”
  1. A chat room filled with comments that are one-liner one-upsmanships.
  1. A rerun of some other guy’s thinking.

    1. Pushing an agenda; “we don’t care what YOU think unless you think like us.”
    1. News and views with precious little comment.
    1. Raissa’s blog. Fact-based article, edgy, provoking a lot of discussion and new information.
    1. JoeAm’s blog. Opinion-based article, edgy and literate, provoking a lot of original thought.
    More and more often these days, The Society of Honor hosts a blog discussion that rises to the ideal JoeAm had when he started blogging, that the comments would form as important a part of the blog – or a MORE important part – than the original article. So it was intensely rewarding to see last week’s blog unfold:
    Take a look at the discussion thread there. What do you notice about the comments?
    • No insults.
    • Intellectual curiosity.
    • Original thought.
    • Information in valuable context.
    • Good humor and good will.
    Other blog formats are certainly important: technical, amusement, social engagement, information sharing, or advocating one’s passion. Those are all valuable content for a blog.
    Even the anti sites perform a service for readers, giving malcontents a place to call home. Ahahahaha!  No body else wants the surly, complaining tear-down artists. They have to collect somewhere.
    But as for interesting and informative PERSPECTIVES on Philippine social, political and economic development . . . no Filipino blog beats . . .
    • The Society of Honor by Joe America with Comments.

    Wheelchair Jokes
    President Aquino took President Arroyo to task during a speech to New Zealand’s Filipino community the other day. He did this with a joke, the English translation of which is:
    •  You know let me just share this joke, I kept laughing when I got it. It said, “Our fellow Filipinos who are corrupt use luxurious cars, so expensive and fast. But when they want to escape, they use a wheelchair.”
    Rappler headlined their article “Aquino cracks Arroyo wheelchair joke in NZ“.  The commentary neither approved nor criticized the joke. The reporter Ayee Macaraig wrote:
    • Instead of a serious tirade, the President used humor to convey his message that Arroyo must be held accountable for wrongdoings during her administration.
    What are we to make of this joke?
    1. Many would say “for shame, making fun of the infirm that way.”
    1. Some might say, “oh, Mr. President, keep your yap shut when legal action is underway, lest you be seen as shaping the judicial finding.”
    1. And many would simply laugh, along with the President. It’s a funny joke.
    I did number 3, actually, followed by number 2, then a quick return to number 3.
    There are two ways to look at people in wheelchairs. (a) They somehow deserve our pity because they are not whole. (b) Or they are with people with different quirks than our own; theirs tend to be noticeable.
    It is against the law to discriminate against handicapped people in the United States, and I abide by the law. Therefore, I hold that they are as competent as me to be the butt of jokes.
    Once I got on an elevator in our bank building for my ride down the 50 stories from my office to the ground floor for lunch.  About floor 43, a young man  sitting in his battery-powered wheelchair wheeled in and spun it around to face the door.  It was just him and me, side by side.
    “What kind of gas mileage you get in that thing?” I asked.
    He busted out laughing. “It depends on how fast I’m going!”
    My turn to laugh. “How fast can you go?”
    “About 10 miles per hour on a downhill slope.”
    “Christ, I should get me one of those!”
    He laughed again, and we had a brief chat. At the bottom he nodded and rolled away. I walked. Both of us were a little lighter that day, I think.
    Pity is a ridiculous emotion in many circumstances. People want to be seen as whole. Pity robs them of the privilege.
    By way of footnote, during his New Zealand speech, President Aquino admitted there was reason to boast about progress being made in the Philippines. Economic growth up, rice production up, infrastructure improvements up, corruption down. And in closing his remarks, he asked New Zealand Filipinos to be sure to vote in the 2013 elections. He said:
    • If we choose, I hope we do not choose those who are just good singers or good dancers or those who became extras in televenolas but those with platforms. And not just those with platforms but those who have shown that they have really fulfilled promises.
    Right on, Mr. President!
    Nice speech, all around.
    30 Responses to “Now THAT was a blog! And Wheelchairs!”
    1. Anonymous says:

      In the philippines what is the difference between a tricycle and wheelchair user?The tricycle driver dangerously works for a living The wheelchair driver works a way out living dangerously. He he heJohnny Lin

    2. Anonymous says:

      Joepeople on wheelchair are probably happier and more satisfied than many ambulatory patients. Their infirmity releases their hidden sense of humor. Your elevator anecdote is one example.Here is another one:A despicable arrogant alcoholic patient was always giving his doctor problems and headaches every time he goes to the doctor office. One day he developed a stroke was paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. First time coming back to his doctor's office after his illness, he surprised his doctor by bringing a vase of pretty colorful bunch of flowers. The surprised doctor asked him, why the flowers? He answered: I should have listened to your advice. I almost died but I am happy now because I was given a second chance by the Lord, i am riding in my wheelchair instead of being finally sent off in a stretched caddy. My family will be happy because I cant go to the neighborhood bar in my wheelchair because it is not handicap accessible. besides, i will be saving lots of money from accidents and DUI tickets. I don't need a license to drive my wheels on the street and I could still pimp my ride like my muscle car.The doctor asked again, still, why the flowers? He answered: better I be the one giving you flowers every time I visit you rather than you sending me flowers for the first and last time.Johnny Lin

    3. andrew lim says:

      That joke on GMA and wheelchairs is the Pinoy version of schadenfraude- since the justice system doesnt work that well, might as well get relief from laughing at some misfortune of the bad guys. Loved that last US debate, Joe. "Horses and bayonets", "binders of women" are just too funny. Ranks right up there with Sotto chief of staff Villacorta's "We are made in the image of God, so we are all plagiarists." LOLFinally got a caption for that Binay photo with that doll, Joe."UNA- no? " It references his political party, his size (unano means dwarf, means shorty) and a rejection of their old school politics. ha ha ha

    4. Anonymous says:

      If the Marcoses use necropolitics ( using the old man's corpse to advance a political cause like burying the corpse at Libingan ng mga Bayani), might not GMA be accused of 'wheelchair politics'?DocB

    5. Yes, a lesson in that story.I'm not sure about the happiness quotient. It is better to have the legs. But those with wheelchairs or artificial limbs or other serious handicaps are forced to deal with an aspect of life that the rest of us don't have to deal with. So they develop strengths the rest of us can't. I'm reasonably sure pity is not the best way to deal with it. Either self-pity or pity for another.

    6. Ha, that's funny. But I am height enhanced (6' 4") so am inclined not to poke fun at height challenged people . . . other than my wife when she laughs at me when I bump my head on the awnings to the sari sari stores.[I didn't get an article from you. You still working on it? I want to make sure I didn't miss something.]

    7. There is a sports term for that, I think. It's when the quarterback's team is getting stomped and he suddenly develops a leg injury. It's called "loser's limp".But I like your term, too. We could develop a whole medical dictionary built on the Philippine Senate's infirmaties. Eyes that don't read well (constitutional violations in this bill or that), brains that are busted, that kind of thing.

    8. How do you spell infirmities?

    9. I enjoyed this debate. "We have these ships we can land airplanes on now." It will be forever known as the horses, bayonets and aircraft carrier debate. I'm confident that Obama is the better man for the presidency, but I know a lot of Americans are tired of waking up anxious about the present and the future and may see Romney as some kind of stalwart white hope. I think he is a puffed up marionette myself, of no distinguishing quality. I can imagine him cracking and pushing the nuke button. I'd vote for Abaya or Mr. Bean (Guingona) or Angara the Young over Mitt the Stiff.

    10. Anonymous says:

      The spelling is correct. Maybe not politically correct. Well, as they say, the truth hurts…DocB

    11. andrew lim says:

      Joe, some odds and ends for your blog:1. Legalizing prostitution – unlikely this will fly. There's too many of them, if you designate red lights to mark these districts, Manila will look like a Christmas tree from the sky! 2. Italian court finds scientists guilty of manslaughter for failure to predict deadly earthquake. What the? Since when did Acts of God became acts of men? 3. As a companion piece to my essay, read this link on the origins of the Calungsod portrait. funny. That's why Calungsod's portrait looks like he's going to take a free throw. That was many years ago, and the model (PBA player R. Tubid) is now covered with tatoos and red hair and plays rough basketball. ha ha ha

    12. Great ideas, Andrew. The prostitution one warrants attention for sure. I'm a virgin, but I've known one or two in my time. And the court ruling in Italy is indeed a real headslapper. Talk about grief runamok. I've got to find the picture I saw this morning on Pedro C., and will post it in the right column if I find it. Shooting baskets. Ahahahahahaha. I'm using that one in the article, by the way. He drills it . . .

    13. Anonymous says:

      In America when a criminal is arrested and questioned he is given theright to seek counsel with his lawyers!In the Philippines when a former government official is about to be arrested and questioned he refers you to his physician!This just shows the ingenuity of Filipinos and how proverbs like"where there's a WHEEL there's a way is taken to heart.amor

    14. Edgar Lores says:

      Some days my faith in mankind is sustained. Not today. Two events – the Italian earthquake verdict and the murder of Autumn Pasquale, 12, by teenagers in Philadelphia – shake my faith. Today, the world “hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, / Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain…”

    15. Anonymous says:

      People offended by PNoy wheelchair joke for claiming it was an insensitive reference to people with disabilities(PWD) are themselves stupid and imprudent. The joke was intended to those faking illness by riding on wheelchair, not to those who are legitimately infirmed.GMA with her neck pain could walk and run proven when she was released from the hospital after the court released her on bail.Johnny Lin

    16. Wonders about Filipinos is their mind is polluted with "Arroyo is Guilty" even before the process began. Many thanks to Filipinos intellect and many thanks to "intelligent" Philippine Media.Cannot happen in America. But this is the Philippines. Justice is cultural.People accused me of pro-Arroyo whenever I harangue about evidences and stuff. Well, it is Filipino culture. The judge and the jury are the Philippine Media.

    17. Manny Pacquiao parked his Lincoln Navigator in pay-for-parking structure. Oh, by the way, Expensive Lincoln Navigator is the SUV of choice by Compton crack dealers to hip-hop artists and wall street embezzlers. Their trademark is usually chrome 20" wheels. Insane, I saw a Chrysler Hemi with chrome wide big wheels parked in Philippine congress. A sign that Philippine congressmen have a taste for mobster cars.Now, back to Manny Pacquiao, HE LOST HIS PARKING TICKET !He and his bodyguards, of course, Filipino bodyguards went up to the parking attendant ask for Max. The Latino said they do not have employee by the name of Max.Manny pointed to the sign: LOST TICKET PAY MAX

    18. The Joke is on Filipinos. They are already told by the Philippine Media that Aling Glo is guilty. If it were in civilized countries the media are told "We cannot comment at this moment while the investigation is on going" Or, "We cannot comment so as not to jeopardize investigation". In the freewheeling and dealings of Philippine Media they are only goot in analyzing politics but ignorant in critiquing Philippine bureaucracies' in divulging their investigation. Justice in the Philippines is cultural.

    19. baycas says:

      Filipino Voices I sorely missed…

    20. I pity Filipino Voices. It died without even an obituary.

    21. While I was asleep, Republican Murdock said "children are gift from god, therefore, if a woman gets pregnant because of rape, therefore, rape is a gift from God"Coool. FILIPINOS SHOULD DIG THIS.Because Filipinos truly believe that Filipinos do not make children but an Act of God. Filipnios should vote Republican. But on the other hand, they vote for democrat because Obama just gave reprieve to Filipino TnTs. WoW!

    22. Anonymous says:

      @EdgarPasquale was killed in Clayton NJ quite a distance from Philadelpihia although TV stations in that area transmit from Philadelphia. You must be watching a Philadelphia TV station, meaning you live in the area.Where exactly, suburbs or Delaware?Johnny Lin

    23. Funny, amor. Where there's a wheel, there's a way.. . . to Hong Kong . . ."

    24. The somewhat frightening part is that the courts seem to bow to the media interpretation of public outrage. Now it is okay for the senate to do that, but not the courts. The courts should only bow to the law and evidence.

    25. Ahaha. That's good. Congressman Colonel Manny, PhD.

    26. Agree. There was a brief attempt to revive, but it died, too.

    27. brianitus says:

      Uncle Joe,You are a happy blogger. :DThe wheelchair joke would have been best reserved for the stand-up comedians and talk show hosts. Hey, but that's just me. I've always liked my presidents to be like stiff,unfeeling robots closely resembling Robert Patrick's T-1000.Anyway, judging by everyone's reactions here, I guess the president did his joke writers a great honor. I hope everyone is still laughing come 2014.

    28. Edgar Lores says:

      Picked it up from Sydney Morning Herald, while sitting in Brisbane!

    29. I'd be happier if the electricity were on during the day. But they are working on poles, I suppose. You think he has joke writers? They must have slow work. This is the first joke I recall him making. Of course, I could have been asleep, given that I speak not much Pilipino.And you know the readers here, they are a tad quirky.

    30. brianitus says:

      He does. Those are the smart people who advised him before to joke about his lovelife as Coke Zero…or were they speechwriters? I must be confused. Kidding, speechwriters. :DThe Visayas was hard-hit by that storm. I'm actually a few provinces away from you right now. That storm made my job a bit tougher for a few days. I'm glad it's out.

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