A Fractured Hero.

Lozada’s Logic & Performative Contradiction


Rodolfo ‘Jun’ Lozada (JLo to me) is the new folk hero of my country, the Philippines, a fractured culture. In his own eyes. And in the eyes of his family. But which family? He has publicly admitted keeping more than one, so I don’t know.

JLo is the newest folk hero also in the eyes of the Black & White Movement, inspired by Cory Aquino (our once-housewife President, Time’s Person of the Year for 1986), and in the eyes of some priests, some preachers, some brothers, some sisters, some members of civil society, some businessmen, some professors, some students, some schools, some media, some leftists. Some company! If they swoon over the fractured logic of JLo, what can I say about their learning on Western Philosophy in college? Not much.

Suppose they don’t really accept Lozada’s logic but he is their hero anyway, they applaud when he opens his mouth anyway: what do I make of that? That shows the Philippines is a land of opportunity, and you find opportunists everywhere, but especially in Manila. I think they’re making JLo a sacrificial lamb. Opportunists do that to you; they want you to be their hero, not they.

I’m worried about the high school students, especially the girls, who have made JLo their favorite male performer in a major role, their movie star, their celebrity. JLo asserts that he loves his country, and that is why he has come out in the open and has been speaking against the powers-that-be. JLo, somebody’s patriotism is the first refuge of somebody’s scoundrels.

When provoked, everyone will say he loves his country. But, JLo, your patriotism must not be at the expense of logic. I don’t begrudge you all those hysterical girls who adore you, maybe even want to kiss you passionately on the lips, but all those girls will fail in Western Philosophy and make their own lives miserable. I’m a teacher; I don’t want to fail anybody. (And yes, I got a perfect grade of 1.0, Excellent, in Western Philosophy, at the University of the Philippines, a tough act to follow.)

There are 3 ways of looking at the HullabalLozada, so much fuss about so much cash, the political storm that has wreaked mayhem in Imperial Manila (thank God the havoc is confined there), the furor over the 329 million-dollar national broadband project (NBN) between China (ZTE) and the Philippines. To mix metaphors, the philosopher-scholar’s verdict on the performance of JLo in a starring role can be viewed in any and all of these:

(1) It’s a performative contradiction – a philosophical view: ‘Do not do what I do, do what I say!’ A teacher’s delight.

(2) It’s a logical positivism – another philosophical view: ‘You don’t have to be logical, just positive!’ A critic’s delight.

(3) It’s a Lozadian Search & Replace – a scholar’s view: ‘You don’t have to be realistic, just consistent!’ An advocate’s delight.

You don’t understand? I don’t understand JLo either, but let’s give the truth a try. He says he’s after the truth, and so are we. We owe it to ourselves, and our children. And after this exercise, I pray the truth will set us free!

(1) JLo’s Performative Contradiction

You are guilty of performative contradiction.’ I did not say that; Fr Ranhilio Aquino did. Fr Ranhilio is a lawyer; he said that first in his March 3 open letter titled ‘Why I Cannot And Will Not Support Calls For The President’s Resignation’ (gov.ph). The vociferous Philippine media are afraid of that letter, and did not report it, not even a teeny-weeny bit mention of it. The mass media ignored a 3-page letter coming from the Dean of the Graduate School of Law of San Beda College. What’s the matter – they have no respect for the law? Or no respect for San Beda? I checked and I learned that San Beda is a college run by Benedictine monks, one of the leading Catholic educational institutions in the country, whose mission is ‘to produce men and women who are fully human, wholly Christian and truly Filipino’ (sanbeda.edu.ph). ‘Where are the Christians when you need them most?’ I asked earlier (‘The Stonecasters,’ frankahilario.com). Now I know where to find one.

‘Performative contradiction’ is a mouthful, but, JLo, you have said more mouthfuls than anyone alive in this country since the Americans invented free speech. You have been making the rounds of schools too. Fr Ranhilio says that when you assert that you are searching for the truth about GMA and at the same time insist that GMA resign, you are guilty of performative contradiction. Perform, act, do; contradict, deny, disprove. That is because you are condemning her as guilty even while you (are saying you) are looking into whether she is guilty or not. With your performative contradiction, JLo, GMA is guilty until proven otherwise. A damaged logic.

If you my reader still do not yet quite understand what the philosophical term means, I offer my examples of the logical crime of performative contradiction:

We’re earnestly searching for the truth.
We’re rummaging for proof of her guilt.
We’re looking for someone to pin her down.
We’re combing for evidence against her.
We’re scouring for clues of her crime.
We’re going to check a lead on her.
We’re assiduously investigating.
Those are 7 counts against her.
Ergo, she should resign.

It would be funny were it not pathetic.

The exact words of Fr Ranhilio are these:

When one protests his earnestness in search of the truth, and at the same time presses for the resignation of the President, one is guilty of ‘performative contradiction.’

In other words, JLo, not only that you (embracing your advocates) have prejudged the case, not only have you sentenced the accused, but you are also calling for the carrying out of the sentence on the wife and not on the accused because she happens to be President of her country and you don’t like her face either. You know that the bigger they are, the harder they fall.

(2) JLo’s Logical Positivism

Still, I give JLo the benefit of the doubt. You see, JLo is very logical and very positive about it all; let us understand his logical positivism. Also known as scientific empiricism, logical positivism is this (American Heritage Dictionary):

A philosophy asserting the primacy of observation in assessing the truth of statements of fact and holding that metaphysical and subjective arguments not based on observable data are meaningless.

That is to say, if it cannot be seen or cannot be observed, what you’re saying remains an assertion and you cannot hold it to be true. If you apply this on the case of the HullabalLozada, the assertions of Jun Lozada against some people in high places remain just that, assertions; they remain to be proven to be true.

But of course, JLo insists. He knows that for every crime, there must be some punishment. That’s logical. JLo is positive that the First Gentleman (JMA) is guilty of corruption; he is not accusing GMA of the same crime, but he positively wants GMA to resign as President of the country anyway. That’s JLo’s logical positivism. It must be that at the university, they don’t teach logical positivism like they used to.

(3) JLo’s Search & Replace

Anyway I look at it, the HullabalLozada is very funny. But I like best this, my third view of the whole mess that the mass media has wrought (see my ‘An Inconvenient Troth,’ frankahilario.com), as it is a Lozadian Search & Replace, which is not unlike my favorite Word 2003 Search & Replace feature. JLo is an engineer; he is an expert in information technology; he must know about programming revisions in manuscripts.

Consider this part of the Lozadian script:

JMA is sick.
JMA is not an innocent one.
JMA’s silence means guilt.
JMA is slick.
JMA is untruthful.
JMA is not to be trusted.
JMA is shamefaced.

In Word 2003, if you want to change a name that occurs 7 times for instance, from JMA to GMA, it’s best you use Search & Replace: Press Ctrl+H, type the name of the one you want to replace (JMA), press Tab, then type the name of the one you want to replace it with (GMA), press Enter. Done! It didn’t take a minute, did it?

After you do a Lozadian Search & Replace,what do you get? This is the new Lozadian script:

GMA is sick.
GMA is not an innocent one.
GMA’s silence means guilt.
GMA is slick.
GMA is untruthful.
GMA is not to be trusted.
GMA is shamefaced.

I take it that that’s what JLo wants to do: Search for the truth (JMA) and replace it with GMA, so that the innocent-until-proven-guilty becomes guilty-until-proven-otherwise. After that, replace GMA with JLo. Brilliant. Wrong.

The HullabalLozada is all about searching for the truth and at the same time replacing the one on whom the truth is being searched for, based on the presumption of guilt of the one not being accused. Fractured logic. If you are reading this and you are not a Filipino and you find it a difficult act to follow, remember we in the Philippines have to live with it all these days of our lives!

Explore posts in the same categories: fractured logic, logical positivism, performative contradiction

3 Comments on “A Fractured Hero.”

  1. […] post info By frankahilario Categories: Quip Unquip and Quote Unquote Selections from my Franciscan essays (hover cursor over link for source or click for full article) ‘The Fractured Hero. Lozada’s Logic & Performative Contradiction’ […]

  2. […] is another way of looking at JLo as male performer in a major role (see my ‘A Fractured Hero,’ frankahilario.wordpress.com) – transferred animosity. Since I invented the term, let me […]

  3. […] the act as much as the actor and what he was acting out (see my ‘The Audacity of Hype’ and ‘A Fractured Hero’ and ‘100. The Original Jun Lozada Jokes,’ frankahilario.wordpress.com), until I reread the […]

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