OpinionsGender BenderEnjoying brutality

Enjoying brutality


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I’ve said it before in this space: However thrilled and jubilant the general population — and also many people who should know better — are at every Manny Pacquiao victory, I belong to the camp that does not rejoice.

Yes, he’s a plucky fellow, strong, determined, skilled at what he does, a record-holder, and as a result, rich beyond anyone’s dreams; unfortunately, none of that erases the essential ugliness of the enterprise.

Where some sports may result in physical harm or even injuries to the players, in those cases it is incidental, accidental, deplorable.

In boxing, the very intention is to physically overpower, to hurt, incapacitate, and if possible to knock out or render the opponent unconscious.

In no other sport is injury expected, a given, nor is it normal procedure in other sports that the players be taken to hospital after the sporting event for medical check-ups and treatment.

Reported the Inquirer : “After the fight, Margarito’s face was a mess — cuts all over, his eye socket fractured, his nose broken, his cheeks puffy.”

Eye specialist Dr. Salud said that when the bones surrounding the eye are broken, it’s an orbital fracture, and for the defeated Margarito, “…it’s like pushing the eyeball into the skull.”

Pacquiao’s trainer said Margarito would never fight again as “the punishment he took was too much…” and that he “was really happy that Manny beat a guy who was big and strong.”

I’ll pass on that kind of happiness. Enthusiasts could remember that there are ex-boxers in wheelchairs, in coma, or with Parkinson’s, and that the vast majority who beat and get beaten up for the spectators’ enjoyment don’t make it to the club of millionaires like Manny.

There must be something else going on when the moment of victory makes a well-known columnist heap on the adjectives and go delirious about feeling good to be alive, good to be Filipino, believe the Filipino can eradicate poverty, go to the moon, conquer the world.

It shows rather the depth of despair he must feel in the state of the country’s affairs, that he and so many others have to find national pride in a spectacle of brutality, in the backwardness of male glory.

Where [Conrad] de Quiros said “glorious, spectacular, magical, etc”, to me, it’s merely sad, primitive, immature, violent, brutal.

See related story: Starting Bloke

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