On Christopher Lao (Because this is Important)

I had to delete two posts on Twitter on the Christopher Lao hoopla after realizing (albeit belatedly) that they were nothing more than mean, insensitive and unnecessary attacks against a private person who has already been thoroughly humiliated and vilified in the past 24 hours.

Was he a ruthless serial killer? Did he kidnap a baby and bash its head against a wall? Did he steal millions from the public coffers? No, he was just a guy who drove into a flooded road (admittedly not the smartest idea), was caught on camera and reacted with less composure and civility than is normally necessary for a decent public appearance. His moment of stupidity was even more magnified when people learned that he graduated Summa Cum Laude from UP Diliman and was a UP Law student. “Hey look, Mr. Overachieving Smarty-Pants has egg on his face. Haha.” Schadenfreude much?

Fine, what he did was stupid and his ranting on TV, blaming other people for his poor decision, didn’t help. But did he really deserve all the insults he got? Come on, people. We’ve all done something idiotic at some point in our lives. I know I did and if one of them was ever documented on camera and broadcasted on national TV, I’d find myself a crypt and live out the rest of my days there.

We all have days when our brains don’t seem to be working right and even the smartest of us would do something utterly laughable. We all have days when we just lose it and act like complete jerks (unless you’re one of those perfect saints people pray to in church), probably because we’re working on a tight deadline, or had a bad fight with the boyfriend/girlfriend/best friend/cat, or had only two hours of sleep, or just the compounding mundane pressures of daily life. There’s no excuse, of course, for being a jackass. I’m just saying that no matter how much we try to be the best version of ourselves, there are really just instances when we fail.

For most of us though, there’s no TV news crew that would feature our not-so-shining moment on the primetime slot and shove a microphone on our face to get a meme-inspiring sound bite. So we get a free pass at Youtube notoriety and the rest of the world remains ignorant of our bursts of stupidity. Christopher Lao wasn’t so lucky.

So really, people, let’s give him a break. If you really feel the need to insult someone though, then may I suggest a few names: Bashar al-Assad, Syrian president who’s been murdering his own people for months now; Anders Breivik, the terrorist who bombed Oslo and massacred people in Utoya; and the leaders of Al-Shabaab, who’ve been making famine worse in Somalia. Humiliate and vilify them all you want, make them a top trending topic on Twitter, create hate pages against them on Facebook, knock yourselves out.

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34 thoughts on “On Christopher Lao (Because this is Important)

  1. liquiddruid

    I was quite surprised that he actually trended. Kicking someone who is down is not beneath me, but I didn’t think the shitstorm would reach critical mass like it did.

    Reply
    1. nagbabasang pinoy Post author

      The power of social media combined with good old meanness and/or propensity to laugh at other people’s mistakes. I was also laughing my head off and commenting like crazy on the incident until I realized that on most days, I’ve probably made equally stupid mistakes. Di lang nabalita. Buti na lang.

      Reply
      1. liquiddruid

        When I was gangling and klutzy teenager, I once tripped and fell straight into a trash can (as in shoot talaga)…in my Sunday best… when everybody was just exiting the Church. Thank God that was back in the 20th century. 😛

        Reply
  2. samdomer

    Maraming tumitirik sa baha at nakukunan ng video, pero hindi nagiging viral. Kasi hindi sila maangas. And people who went so far as to create a page where they could malign him more probably won’t care about Syria, Oslo and Somalia. These issues don’t amuse or interest them. Sad.

    Reply
    1. nagbabasang pinoy Post author

      Probably because the situations in Syria, Oslo and Somalia are more complex than “dumb guy drives car into flooded road.” And it’s easier to laugh at the latter but you’d feel like an asshole if you find something funny in mass murder or famine.

      Reply
  3. Anonymous

    I could not just accept that he simply blamed everyone around him including the government …. he did not even thanked the guys who helped him pushed the flooded vehicle

    Reply
    1. nagbabasang pinoy Post author

      I agree, that was bad behavior. But if we crucify everyone for acting like an ass and not saying thank you, then we won’t have enough crosses to go around. We all need to learn lessons on good behavior but we also screw up. We’ll just have to learn to be more forgiving of each other, I guess.

      Reply
  4. JLA

    yes, lets cut him some slack. problema sa atin, our “outrage” are sometimes misplaced..there are more important things in life.

    Reply
  5. mutyadiangson

    Yes, he’s trending. He even has his own FB fanpage with all the negative words for him…daig nya pa politiko na nagnakaw sa “kaban ng bayan” or kidnapper or murderer. And what’s worst with all of these…his “kapwa-Pinoy” makes all those. How sad for our country.

    Reply
  6. Noel

    Exactly the same sentiments here. I started to post naughty remarks, and reposted pictures and videos of him on FB. This morning I suddenly thought the same… he was just caught on cam… unlucky him.

    Reply
  7. HayBuhay

    Well this morning after lastnight’s fiasco over the social networks, my FB status was “Amidst the overwhelming reactions and comments, funny what they tell you about us as a people. Never fails, trust me.”

    I really can’t bring myself to add to the circus because I know the poor guy was just at the wrong place and wrong time. Anyone could have been in the same fuckin’ situation. Grabe tayo mang-crucify ng tao. Gigil na gigil tayo. Take for example that Designer who maligned a Duty-Free agent. Grabe sumasawsaw lahat as if they never did a wrong deed in their lives. But I don’t pity the designer as much as I pity Mr. Lao.

    What’s it about us having that kind of reaction? What is it about the Filipino psyche? Nakakatakot.

    Reply
    1. nagbabasang pinoy Post author

      Di ko alam yung tungkol sa designer. Baka wala pa akong Twitter account nung nangyari yun. Alam mo naman, Twitter is where we get important breaking news of national significance. 😛

      I guess it’s not just a Pinoy thing, it’s a human thing. There’s this hypothesis in social psychology called the actor-observer bias. Basically, we tend to attribute another person’s actions to his character (e.g. he behaved that way because he’s a jackass) but if we’re the ones behaving badly, we mostly attribute it to the situation.

      Either that or we just have an amazing capacity for kakupalan. Hehe

      Reply
  8. kilanya_instafari@live.com

    Except that he didn’t just blame other people for his poor decision. He made it in such a manner that his arrogance was palpable. I can even point the exact moment in the video where I went “Seriously dude?”: it’s when he practically blamed the reporter for not informing him about the depth of the flooded street (like, okay, they’re at least a hundred meters away, on the other wise of the body of water?).

    Granted, there are some jokes and reactions out there that are, for the most part, going over the top already, but this public humiliation is not really uncalled for. Someone did something that an average person finds infuriating. Action and reaction. Hopefully, this will teach Christopher Lao (and everyone else) to be humble and calm when faced with such a situation that, at the very core, is their own doing.

    Reply
    1. nagbabasang pinoy Post author

      Yeah I sure wish we could always be humble and calm when faced with a stressful situation. I really do. But the thing is there’s just no freakin’ way we’d always be in our best behavior. So if and when we do screw up, I also wish we’d be kind and gracious enough to cut each other some slack.

      Reply
  9. Khanzaki

    It wasn’t his stupid fault that made himself humiliated in the web. It’s his arrogance that he showed on national television blaming others for his stupidity.

    Reply
  10. fsdfd

    Breaking news: Pinag-iisipan na ni Christopher Lao kung tatakbo siya sa 2013 bilang senador, ayon sa kanya “Kung baha nga pinasok ko eh, pulitika pa kaya? I will inform you kapag tatakbo ako” mabuhay ka Sen. Lao

    Additional breaking news: Nababahala di umano ang kampo ni dating senador Migs Zubiri sa balitang pagtakbo ni Lao, ngunit tahasang tinanggi ng naturang senador ang balitang ito.

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    marami kasing mayayabang sa UP e masyado mataas tingin sa sarili nila……..deserving lang siya sa lahat ng nagyayari sa kanya dun pa lang makikita mo na kung anung klaseng tao siya

    Reply
  12. !VALO!

    Things could have gone unnoticed, the problem is sinisi niya ang iba kaya eto ngayun at napagtawanan ng masa. Mr. Lao’s first mistake (crossing the flooded area) is definitely forgivable, but to commit another mistake by blaming others is really really laughable. may this event humble down MR. summa-cum-LAO..

    Reply
  13. nagbabasang pinoy Post author

    Sa mga di pa rin maka-get over, o sige na. Kayo na ang mga modelong mamamayan na matalino, mabait at humble. Magkaka-award na kayo nyan. Congrats.

    Move on na tayo. May bago nang trending topics sa Twitter.

    Reply
  14. Anonymous

    REPOST LANG from cigsmoker wrote:

    I JUST FIND IT FUNNY THAT OTHER PEOPLE WHO SUFFERED FROM FLOODS AND OTHER EFFECTS OF A TYPHOON/HEAVY DOWNPOUR ARE ABLE TO KEEP THEIR MOUTH SHUT AND DEAL WITH IT IN A MATURE AND HEALTHY MANNER.

    WITH HOW HE TALKS KASI ON CAM, HE SOUNDED LIKE SOMEONE UTTERLY SPOILED AND SELF-CENTERED THAT HE EXPECTED PEOPLE TO INFORM HIM ABOUT THINGS LIKE THAT. HE ALREADY SAW THAT THERE’S A FLOOD, AND YET HE STILL INSISTING ON DOING WHAT HE DID.

    ITS NOT EXACTLY THE DRIVING THROUGH THE FLOOD THAT PISSED PEOPLE OFF, IT WAS HOW HE REACTED TO THE SITUATION THAT MADE PEOPLE SAY ALL THOSE HATEFUL THINGS TO HIM. SURE WE ALL HAVE OUR BAD DAYS AND STUFF, BUT YOU DON’T HEAR PEOPLE TALKING LIKE THAT IN PUBLIC WHEN BEING IN THAT KIND OF SITUATION. THE MEDIA ALWAYS COVER THAT KIND OF THING [PEOPLE GETTING STRANDED, WET AND COLD, WAITING FOR A RIDE OF SOME SORT] AND ALMOST ALL OF THEM HAVE THE SAME HEALTHY AND MATURE MINDSET WHEN BEING INTERVIEWED. SOME EVEN LAUGHS AND JUST SHRUGS IT OFF AS PART OF LIFE.

    PEOPLE IN GENERAL ARE VERY OPINIONATED…SO BESTOWING THAT KIND OF BEHAVIOR, I HAVE TO SAY HE BROUGHT THIS WHOLE HATE-THING UPON HIMSELF. IT MAY BE A SCHADENFREUDE-TYPE OF MENTALITY…BUT I THINK HE HAD IT COMING.

    AND IF THE MEDIA WASN’T ABLE TO COVER IT AND THIS WHOLE THING WENT UNNOTICED BY THE PUBLIC, I DON’T THINK HE WOULD EVEN THINK OF APOLOGIZING. I JUST HOPE HE LEARNED A VERY VALUABLE LESSON FROM THIS UNFORTUNATE INCIDENT.

    JUST MY TWO CENTS.

    WORLD PEACE. HAHA.

    Reply

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