Wednesday, April 28, 2010

While it is hard to think of good gossip, here's an example of Bad Gossip.

Hey everyone, sorry for the long delay.  Having recently come out to my parents, I haven't gotten around to getting the details to finally sink in and come out as a coherent blog post.

For now, however, let me talk about something else:
Here in Manila, one of the key gay hangout spots is Malate.  Once the central bohemian destination where musicians, artists and writers converged, the place - and more specifically the intersection of Nakpil and Orosa street - have transformed with the times to become a gay mecca in the metropolis.  There are a number of gay friendly establishments along this strip, with two bars being most notable:  O bar and Bed.  Both cater to the drink and party crowd and both have their own pros and cons.  Many who seek to relive the illusion of a wild life presented by shows like Queer as Folk prefer Bed and its overly expensive drinks and massive flirtation space.  Others who have begun to see the joys of bonding with friends have begun to embrace O bar as the place to be.  And while both bars of course have their own share of monkeys and undesirables, both tend to have crowds whose main drive that night is towards one or the other.

But I'm not focusing this blog post to talk about the bars, though.

Instead I am focusing on the existence of a small page in Facebook that seeks to stylize itself as some kind of Gossip Girl wannabe.   With struggling English, thinly veiled code names, and a very large tendency to get the facts wrong, the page has declared itself a hub for the latest gossip about certain people who hang out in the area.  As of this blog posting, the page has targeted a dancer and a few regular customers of O bar, and has even released a list of more names to follow.

While the urge to gossip and share news about other people seems to be a strong trait of anyone more social than not, I do not know if I can appreciate a site that prides itself in spreading rumors about people who aren't  even celebrities.  Celebrities already walk a thin line in having private and public lives separate.  And some would even say celebrities don't have much of a choice, since their personal lives are in many ways what make them even more popular.  This self-proclaimed gossip site, however, targets private individuals and worse, shares unconfirmed (or at least claims to have confirmed, but clearly has details wrong) rumors about them.   The most recent entry on a Mr. U.B.E. has many facts twisted askew and while the entry tries to sound somewhat respectful or favorable of the guy being a nice guy, shares potentially damaging information about someone the page itself declares as "This guy is often quiet, shy, and real nice."   The page even alludes to some group thing going on and claims the reason for one of them staying with the two others is "withheld", when the real reasons is actually because the other guy simply needed a place to stay at for a while.  Ergo, the real reason, which lacked any real malice, was intentionally kept from the readers to again build intrigue and malice.

The page could be fun.  There is always something nice about reading blind items about celebrities.   But the beauty about blind items is that it keeps things vague and interesting without being insulting or slanderous.  This page fails to do just that.   Instead, it seems to think intrigue and making insinuations about others is a positive and fun thing that doesn't harm others.

And clearly, the people behind the page itself are aware of this fact.  They know how wrong what they are doing actually is.  Why?  Because they choose to stay anonymous to avoid being targeted themselves.

To those listed as current and future targets of the page, while I might not know you all personally and to be honest, I might not even be able to consider you all as someone I'd call a friend, I still feel for you and how this page seeks to slander you for sheer fun.

To the people behind this page, either shape up and get your act straight, or quit and vanish people someone actually takes action against you.  Realize worse things have been done to people who try to ruin the reputation and name of other people.  Slander and libel are also things you should research on.  Take my advice and quit while you haven't riled up the wrong people, or you might find yourself gossiping more than you can handle and learning how words can be the catalyst for worse things.  I.P. addresses can be traced.  Online identities can be hunted down.  Things can be done.  Quit before things get out of hand, for your own sake.  Are you forgetting that you live in the Philippines?  Worse things have happened to people for far less.


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