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The aftermath of the “Weasel Words” & the “Propaganda Caricature”

PHILIPPINES | Saturday, 5 September 2015 | Views [1118]

Thou shalt not abuse in using weasel words, or else you shall be a delusion; thou shall not try to exaggerate your sketching or else it shall cause a mental illusion. These two styles of surreptitious communiqué: weasel words and caricatures will lure you by surprise to take advantage of your ignorance, intellectual capabilities, and analytical abilities. These messages conveyed either a direct or indirect reaction from the receiver. We cannot evade these, but we can avoid if you just have the inner peaceful intention both in mind and in the heart. My MOOC Professor Amber Gwynne said in her Lecture 6.1: Adverbs. Avoid using weasel words, because, when poorly used, these words are vague, ambiguous, and unnecessary in writing. However, I believe, this is also similar in a propaganda caricature, by drawing a propaganda caricature depicting the scenario of the current situations through comics. If poorly portraying the current events in comic strips would create chaos, treat or tension to both parties.


Let I cite some example of the above ways of communication, looking back during the Typhoon Yolanda, with its international name Haiyan, brought massive destruction and made its title as the “Philippines’ worst natural disaster”. Because of these words “Storm Surge”, it creates a misconception to Tacloban City residences by not only brought destruction to their crops and industry but also caused 6,200 lives perish, 1,785 missing and 28,626 injured in the aftermath. Accordingly, the government did not lack on giving early warnings to the local government. But some information misunderstood and even the mayor of Tacloban admitted his confusion. “There was a difficulty in explaining to the public what a storm surge is. Everyone is aware of the height, but not the strength,” Romualdez said. (Retrieved from GMA News – Nation, source: https://tc120.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/storm-surge-a-misconception-that-can-kill-a-thousand-lives-2/)


Another weasel words misinterpretation is the “Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF)” labeled as “pork barrel”. This scandalous “PDAF Scam” issue is history in the making here in the Philippines. Who are those involved? The senators, the congressmen, and the government agencies. How can they have processed the projects without knowing that they gave tax money to a fake NGO that didn’t even exist or undelivered services and goods? How could the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Commission on Audit (COA) have approved the many transactions that took place under their very noses? These resulted that the public cannot appreciate what it does not understand. – Which caused Billions of pesos lost or wasted to aim to fulfill every Filipinos dream in alleviating their lives. (source: http://www.congress.gov.ph/download/14th/pork_barrel.pdf)


Subsequently, exploiting propaganda caricature; the best example is the caricature featured in philstar.com entitled “LOOK: Did China threaten, ridicule Philippines in newspaper feature? Using my visual-spatial intelligence, the picture is “A short ancient Chinese tale about a mantis and its prey. 
"The mantis stalks the cicada, unaware of the oriole waiting in the backdrop," the tale read. China considered the tale "describes those shortsighted people wanting to hurt others, unaware of greater lurking dangers." For some experts, this could be a reference to the Philippines” since the Asian giant still maintained its place in the West Philippine Sea (Please refer to this link http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2015/08/12/1487294/look-did-china-threaten-ridicule-philippines-newspaper-feature).


Additionally, is the comic advertisement of South East Asian nation, locals printed in the Chinese newspaper, which interpreted the Filipino as the smallest citizens among the Southeast Asian Nation? Which most of my fellow counterparts offended.


Moreover, as the saying goes "Never believe anything until it is officially denied," advising skepticism towards whatever the government claims to do. This is the right attitude for any journalist or observer of the political scene must have as what Patrick Cockburn mention in his article entitled “Weasel words that politicians use to obscure terrible truths” posted on 14th October 2012.


I also do hope we have learned the history of the past the story of how an ill-chosen translation will affect our lives. Like of what had happened during the American and Japanese war. The Japanese word mohusatsu, derived from the word for "silence." however, the word has other meanings quite different from that intended and the international news agencies saw fit to tell the world that in the eyes of the Japanese government the ultimatum was "not worthy of comment." The U. S. officials, angered by the tone of Suzuki's statement and obviously seeing it as another typical ex- ample of the fanatical Banzai and Kamikaze spirit, decided on stern measures. The Hiroshima was totally leveled due to the first atomic bomb that was drop within ten days of order.(refer to the essay entitled “Mokusatsu: One Word, Two Lessons”.)


Furthermore, Filipinos must be aware for the next coming election the war of the weasel words and campaign caricature of the running politicians for they will lure you of many promises and yet later you realize its empty.


Tags: caricature, china, propaganda caricature, weasel words



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