Saturday, October 2, 2010

Insecurity Or Conviction Revisited

Part of how life works. Authors , columnists, talk show hosts, preachers and others have ideas that they all want to impart on others. Once in a while they make enough of an impact that the people they impart that to that those people keep it going. That's why the teachings of Christ, Confucius , Marx all survive to this day. Others kept those ideas going.

Once in a while there will be an idea that is essentially the same but comes at you from two entirely different directions. I relayed such an idea back in April and I defined the concept as conviction. I got it from one of the more influential books I ever read. Robert Pirsig's Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Influential in the sense that it framed my thinking over the years. The idea goes something like this: people who are yell loudest about a cause do so because that cause is in doubt. So sometimes what might be seen on the surface as complete conviction is either a way of concealing insecurity or convincing oneself.

In April I connected that concept to the campaign of Noynoy Aquino. Lot of people so crazy about him and I could not find any rational reason for it. Well, my personal view as stated back then was they wanted to convince the doubters through sheer fanaticism. Forget reason and logic. Noynoy himself could never be concrete so in his campaign he was just abstract. Talked about destiny, eliminating corruption and his dead parents. Flashing the "L" sign which I still don't see the significance to him personally. Toting the color of cowardice. Ultimately either to the brilliance of his campaigners and/ or the sheer ignorance of the Filipino electorate this superficial strategy worked. Noynoy will be in the international microscope and will be a source of pride or shame since we elected him. Either way we get the government we deserve. You can read more about that here:

In the months before someone I know remarried. His mantra was " insert fiance's name here is so galing." Galing is Tagalog for incredible. From my viewpoint not too many in my family seem to echo that sentiment. The question is was he trying to convince himself more than he was trying to convince us? So apply the ideas in the second paragraph to this anecdote. All I can say to that is if you will continuously voluntarily fall on the sword for somebody or something, you will eventually gross some people out.

Finally the reason for revisiting the topic. Colin Cowherd who I often quote here has his version of the exact same concept. Of course expressed very differently from Pirsig.Yet he describes with a different analogy exactly what Pirsig describes religious fanatics are. Exactly what I describe about "galing" people. When he talks about Chicago Bears fans and insecurity in the first minute of the audio it is exactly what I experienced with Noynoy backers pre election. When asked about his deeds that make him worthy of the position of President the typical Noynoy supporter was better off being asked about the nuclear fission. You might have gotten a better answer. It's an insecurity that is ironically revealed more the louder most cultures get when they trumpet or defend certain things they see that are representative of their culture. Whether its sports teams or nationalities. That has always been a common theme in this blog. All the flag waving over Manny, Charice and Arnel. All the gnashing of teeth over the depiction of Filipinos in comedies. Often when Filipinos cry out sorrowfully how they are depicted in international comedies all they are doing is exposing their own double standard. That loudness is fueled by INSECURITY.


Note: Colin audio available in Multiply version of this post or

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