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.