The Cautionary Tale That is Jim Paredes

By this time, a lot of you have seen the Jim Paredes video. I thought it quite fascinating really — how, not just a grown man—but a man well into his 60s can inhabit the psyche of a 2 year old and have a full blown tantrum on national tv.

What an ugly spectacle Jim Paredes makes. He had that crazy look on his face, neck veins bulging, his voice in that peculiar pinched, hoarsed way of the hysterical. You could practically feel the spit on your face as he juts his face an inch away from those kids he verbally abused. And you were sure this dude was gonna wake up to a very sore throat the next day.

Did you hear what he said and the arrogant tone? How utterly convinced he was of his righteousness. And that he, alone, was the bearer of truth—the one and ONLY truth possible in the entire Milky Way galaxy inhabited by 100 million plus Filipinos who can view Rodrigo Duterte in over a hundred million different ways. And that it was his divine duty to shove that truth down our throats. He, in fact, felt he was doing us a favor by that frantic, fevered tirade complete with spit on our faces.

And the tone.

So high up there and us, who support this president, so beneath him. Like he thought he was the high priest of wisdom and you could very clearly see the movie in Jim Paredes’ mind: that he was Nelson Mandela come to set his people free, with a generous dash of Martin Luther King Jr then add to the mix Gat Jose Rizal. And because, at some point in his life, Jim Paredes was a songwriter, why you could almost feel he had put on the mantle of John Lennon and that he had written ‘Imagine’.

High comedy really. And high tragedy.

Jim Paredes, the cautionary tale, teaches us precious much. Listen to what he teaches you.

Did you not feel the hate inside you when his hate was on full display? Did you not kinda want to give him one solid flying kick on his ugly face to shut him up? Did you not want to challenge him to a duel and did not the line that separated you from those who didn’t think as you did—that the President is the best thing that’s ever happened to us—well did this line not get clearer and more resolute? Like you could be Jim Paredes and kill with your bare hands those who didn’t agree with you.

Remember Jim Paredes when you feel yourself being Jim Paredes—the only one who’s right. The only one who has the right to his opinions. The one for whom the vast EDSA could not fit a handful of students more with him there. The one who felt noble, good, decent, honorable, righteous. At some point, even majestic and glorious.

Remember how ugly he looked with his bulging eyes and bursting neck veins and remember the hurt you felt. How deeply wounding he was to millions of us.

And I pray you walk away and find some quiet place and sit yourself down and think where all this hate is coming from—because as much as Jim Paredes hurt us, there is no one person he has hurt more than himself. As much as he has wounded so many of us, there is no one in this picture more wounded than Jim Paredes himself.

Only, he has no idea. He’s the clueless fuck in the room –the naked drunk who smells of his vomit and urine with the lampshade on his head who thinks he is charming and witty as hell. The life of the party. When, in reality, everyone in the room can’t get far and fast away enough from him.

Hard as it is to believe, this has nothing to do with Rodrigo Duterte and everything to do with Jim Paredes. Because a less wounded person will disagree with Rodrigo Duterte but will not hate. A less wounded person may go to EDSA, see those kids, shrug and go his way to express his democratic right to free expression and leave those kids to express their democratic right to free expression.

Jim Paredes just refuses to face his demons and dance with them. As a result, his demons have him on a string—making him do their bidding. And making him Jim Paredes the tragic spectacle that unfolded right before our very eyes last Saturday.

If you don’t want to be that ugly spectacle on EDSA, receive in your hands the precious lessons Jim Paredes generously gives all of us.

When we heal ourselves, we heal the world around us.

Listen well to the cautionary tale that is Jim Paredes.

Lest you be the blind fuck who thinks he is Nelson Mandela and Jose Rizal and Martin Luther King Jr rolled into one when all we see is a naked drunk reeking of puke and pee.

 

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8 thoughts on “The Cautionary Tale That is Jim Paredes

  1. I have to thank Jim Paredes for making it so much easier for me to sweep him into the dustbin of irrelevance, Doc. I wrote my own letter to him to exorcise him and his legacy from my life. Goodbye, Jim. I won’t miss you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, he’s pretty much a fossil to me now. There were better ways to protect his legacy as a songwriter and activist in his heyday, but man, he’s fallen too far for help. Claiming to emulate Jesus who drove merchants out of a place of worship was funny in a very sad way. Because 1) Jesus would never want any of his followers to possess the kind of hubris he does, and 2) nobody really thinks of the EDSA Shrine as a place of real worship anymore, just a convenient stopover for when you have to say Mass before heading to the mall. Sorry na lang sa bunkmate din niya na si Soc. Hehehe… 😉

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  2. jim paredes! ikaw ang pinaka bobong taong nakilala ko sa mundo!!! sana isa sa mahal mo sa buhay ma biktima ng mga kriminal dito sa bansa natin baka sakaling tumalino ka! at matauhan ka! pwe!!!

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  3. C’mon Lorraine, this minstrel – 1/3 of APO Hiking Society who gave us so many beautiful and inspiring OPM songs – deserves a little bit better than this diatribe you unleashed on him.

    Politics makes fools of so many of us and nobody is immune. Clearly, Digong and the fanaticism he has engendered has succeeded in triggering (read: scaring) many. As Yoda astutely discerns, fear is often what lies behind anger.

    These visions of a prosperous and orderly nation that Marcos inspired and seems to have been able to achieve in the first few years of martial law (evidence is strong that it was an illusion achieved through unsustainable borrowing) which Duterte is obviously channeling, have to be balanced with the horrors & abuse that was the latter 2/3ds of martial law.

    People like Jim lived through and remember it and that is why you see the emotions that you do.

    You know the saying.

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

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    1. hi jb– i lived through martial law too. doesn’t give me the excuse to deprive others of the very right i claim to fight for, right? this, after all, is a democracy we live in and what this means is there is enough space for each of us to fall madly in love with our truths without fear of bodily harm or having other people’s faces an inch from ours, screaming bloody hell for the simple reason that he doesn’t agree with our truths.

      and it’s not just digong who has inspired fanaticism but politicians on the opposite end of the political spectrum as well– leni robredo, for instance. and jim paredes is the poster child to this fanaticism.

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