Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Someone Had A Lao-sy Day

Christopher Lao made several mistakes that day. No driver in his right mind would just plow his car willy-nilly into a flooded street, yet he did (he could have waited, asked or turned around). He allowed himself to be interviewed by a camera crew (he could have easily refused to answer). And then he put the blame on everybody else.

So now he’s all over the Internet. A couple of Facebook pages have been created in (dubious) honor of Christopher Lao. The GMA News video has not only gone viral, several re-edited versions of it have also been doing the rounds (one had the parting of the Red Sea in The Ten Commandments inserted into the clip). Cyber-bullying? More like cyber-gang bang.

The reason why people are ganging up on him is simple. They were reacting to the arrogance that he displayed. Had Christopher Lao scratched his head, smiled sheepishly as he answered, in an embarrassed tone, “Yeah, my bad. I didn’t think the flood was going to be that deep,” then that would have been the end of the story. No one would even remember his name, despite it being flashed onscreen. Instead, he pointed his fingers at everyone else. “Why me?” he was even bemused when the reporter dared to point it back to him. To him, it’s everyone else’s responsibility to keep him informed. Well, Christopher Lao is now finding out that Pinoys aren’t exactly forgiving to ordinary folks who mistakenly flaunt their arrogance in public; just ask Rafa Santos.

(As for public figures who brazenly flaunt their arrogance, like Willie Revillame or the CBCP or any politician for that matter, well, they too get castigated in cyberspace, but perhaps they are too thick-skinned to care. But that’s another story.)

I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes right now. But if I were, I’d just keep quiet. Christopher Lao, if you come out blaming the GMA News team for editing the clip in such a way that it made you look bad, don’t. That will only make things worse. “Why me?” you asked. Now everyone’s pointing out something that you seem to be more oblivious of than the depths of the floodwaters: yes, you. The problem is with you. You already!

Christopher Lao, you have been informed.

* * * * *

ADDENDUM: He has already released his official statement on Facebook (click on the link here). And with that, let us allow him to have the last say.


Will said...

Cyber gang-bang. Love that term. Lesson learned. Never fight with any media men, as these guys have the power to put you under a bad light.

joelmcvie said...

@WILL: Actually it wasn't really media that put him in a bad light, it was his foot-in-mouth comments that really was his undoing.

(Well, okay, the news desk could have decided that the story isn't newsworthy, and they could have buried it--meaning, not air it at all. Unfortunately for Mr. Lao, perhaps it was a slow news day.)

rudeboy said...

I just saw the video.

Guy seemed like a real tool.

Mr. Brightside said...

I know the guy personally, and he is one of the most mature and intelligent persons I know. I think the treatment he is getting is unfair and the issue blown out of proportions.

joelmcvie said...

@MR. BRIGHTSIDE: I agree, all this after-incident hullabaloo have reached a level of viciousness that is out of proportion and thus unfair.

Still. It's like Pandora's Box opened; what others say is already beyond anyone's control. That people still comment up to now may be because it's only now that they've viewed the video. And judging from what I've seen in the office, most people's immediate reaction are similar: What was he thinking? And why is he blaming everyone but himself?

Perhaps he was embarrassed and unnerved when he realized his vehicular mistake was caught on camera. Perhaps his maturity and intelligence evaporated the instant a microphone was shoved in his face. Perhaps this is one sharp lesson in keeping cool in the face of a TV crew.

Ipe Wacka-Wacka said...

Poor guy. And the media abused this power to embarass him further. He looks like a decent educated guy pa naman. That's one problem with pinoys. they love laughing at other people's mistakes. especially on the internet where they can be so brave yet so anonymous. maybe the guy panicked. or maybe he did have a different view from his car. to be laughed at is one thing, and to be insulted is another. unlike the perfect beings who have come to insult and criticize him, i can imagine myself committing the same mistake. this whole situation is an opportunity to practice humility and consideration. hindi din naman kasi siya criminal to deserve this. if i promoted cyberbullying then i wouldn't be any different from the bullies who hurt me back when i was in school.

joelmcvie said...

IPE: To be fair, the media aka GMA-7 ran the story once or twice lang. It's the SOCIAL media, aka Facebook and Twitter, run by ordinary folks, who had a field day Lao-bashing. Sharing the clips and commenting, most folks didn't hide under an anonymous name or a pseudonym.

If his only mistske was forcing his car into the flood, maybe this incident woudn't have been buzz-worthy. The nail on his coffin can be summed up in his statememt: "I was not informed!" As if the universe owed him that information. Anyway you look at it, he is EQUALLY, if not MOSTLY responsible for getting himself into hot, er flood, water. But then he blames everyone else for it. I'm surprised he didn't blame former president GMA too; I guess he'd leave that task to P-Noy instead.

ethan h said...

Another story in what it takes for videos to go viral. Unintentional, spur of the moment, by accident. Or is it really?

If I were Lao, I would laugh off this incident, put it in my resume, or try to make some money out of it.

Anonymous said...

Even though he was rude I don't think he deserved to have an fb hate page. He's a big boy, big muscles and baktong and all, and he looks like someone who can defend himself (a law student, no less), but that's too much for something as innocuous as making a statement on national TV which he didn't volunteer for.

People (or Pinoys) are so furious at displays of arrogance talaga. That's okay, I think, but the ribbing he gets from the bandwagonners who mindlessly 'like' the page is too much crucifixion. I love it when people are called out on their stupidity, but I'm more inclined to hate those who make sakay sa issue, maka-express lang ng insubstantial opinion.

joelmcvie said...

@PAT: I agree, there were those na nakisakay lang. There were those who were unkind and extra cruel to him. It's that cyber-mob mentality, fueled by the relative anonimity that the web offers. In this particular case, can the bullying be stopped?

joelmcvie said...

As far as this blog is concerned, I'll let Christopher Lao have the last say on this matter with his official statement. This issue is dead in the water, pun intended.