Us, first and forever

Body bags being loaded for delivery to a mass graves in Tacloban November 16, less than a week before our national attention turned to something that happened to us a half century ago.

Body bags being readied for delivery to mass graves in Tacloban November 16, less than a week before our national attention turned to something that happened to us a half century ago.

I have a friend who, whenever somebody mentions something interesting about themselves, instantly maneuvers the conversation toward something equally interesting about himself. Even if it isn’t. That’s how yesterday’s day o’ reflection on the Kennedy assassination, the timing of it at any rate, felt to me. Not two weeks after Tacloban was nearly wiped off the map by Hurricane Haiyan, even before the mass graves there have had a chance to properly settle, we say to the world, “Yes, yes, but did you know? 50 years ago, a handsome president was torn from our embrace most cruelly!”

Whether it’s a function of our short attention span or our oft- and thoroughly-demonstrated nationalistic solipsism I can’t be sure, but … when are those soggy Filipinos going to get over themselves, anyway? Poor Jackie. And that photo of John-John saluting the funeral procession. Simply heartbreaking.