EDITORIAL: Send in the Clowns

"When the chips are down, these civilized people, they'll eat each other." - Joker

Art by: Vince Joseph Orpeza

Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight (2008) is a relatable flick to binge on as the posthumously awarded Heath Ledger character had a few lines to offer us as a reminder in these trying times.

As an avid fan of the film, I have memorized every line from the ever-so-popular interrogation scene. This was the scene that Joker (Ledger) told Batman (Christian Bale) off-screen to hit him as hard as he can. The finished product was off the charts. Bale won a People's Choice Award and Ledger snagged an Oscar and a Golden Globe, among others. However, more than just the theatrics, the lines exposed a perspective we have always failed to see. It exposed the vulnerability of our bare eyes that have refused to consider the illusion of hope and change built by the real clowns.

"They need you right now. But when they don't, they'll cast you out...like a leper."

As the current pandemic sweeps through our healthcare system, there should be a lot of reminders that we should never let the know-it-all clowns forget. We should let them keep in mind that they ignored the frontliners who were asking for a little increase in wages and are now on the battlefield with direct contact with the virus. Let them feel the misery felt by contractual employees who have been waiting for months for their salaries and are now standing guard to block the virus from invading our most disadvantaged communities. Let them feast on the struggle of our Barangay Healthcare Workers, many of them senior citizens with co-morbidities, working tirelessly even as their honoraria are unfair for their workload and are now knocking on doors, enlisting PUMs and putting themselves on harm's way. The clowns need them now. Unless we make them regret their actions or lack thereof, when this is all over, they'll cast them out again.

"Their morals, their code--it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble."

Test kits. Need I say more? Those in power get them first. Trust me, it was THAT easy promising people a daydream of unicorns and rainbows. These clowns are skilled in turning their audience into fools. One day you're laughing while watching them dance on TV, the next day you're part of the circus. One day they're begging you for an inkblot beside their names, the next day they're showing you who the real beggar is.

If this was a legit movie review, I'll give The Dark Knight a 100%--not for the movie itself but for an enlightening slap to the face and a kick to the gut to wake me up from a state of apathy. My movie review skills did not really improve after reviewing the movie but my clown-identifying ability was given a much-needed boost. I hope it happens to you too, that even without the movie, you realize that the clowns we have on the thrones have masks to remove. At the end of the day (that is 3 AM for me lately), we are the ones who can remove ourselves away from the circus and eliminate the filthy facades from those two-faced clowns.

" After zeal replaces our frowns,

From the hospitals to the towns,

With our uniforms and gowns,

We'll remember the clowns."

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