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‘Basagan ng Trip’ is another casualty in the war against literacy

The current political climate renders Lisandro Claudio's "Basagan Ng Trip" all but useless. After all, what's the use of a book that discusses Philippine politics when one post from Mocha Uson can discredit decades of research?

Forget brevity—the game is now about being snappy and shareable.

Who wants to read over 50 paragraphs about Walden Bello, because who cares about Walden Bello? He's just another anti-Marcos yellow army zombie, or so supporters of #BBM would say. There's an entire section in this book that attacks the Marcoses, so Claudio himself is probably part of the yellow army as well—even if he disclaims that "any form of history writing is necessarily incomplete. One cannot capture in words the immense complexity of the past."

Actually, the essay where that quote came from ("Ninoy networked with everyone, Reds included", first published on GMA News Online in 2010) only proves that Ninoy Aquino had it coming.

This book doesn't have memes and contains only more paragraphs that discuss unbearably boring things like "The totalitarianism of the Marcos era." That's just blatant propaganda and he doesn't even use images to get his point across.

"Basagan ng Trip" is just another body in the huge pit where Literature lies, because print is dead. To rephrase Claudio's thoughts in "OPM is dead, so sue me", of course people will always make books—but that isn’t a sign of life.

One can already hear the distant wheezing of warriors who will fight tooth and nail to say that literature is flourishing, et cetera—but just as Claudio wasn't trying to hammer a nail into OPM's coffin, this isn't a spiteful stomp on a grave.

Sans sarcasm and other literary devices (the latter is a thing of the past anyway—replaced by emojis), "Basagan ng Trip" is a pleasure to read. Claudio writes with clarity and he hurries to get his point across without sacrificing style.

It's a shame that despite the proliferation of "I heart reading" posts in Facebook, there wouldn't be enough people who would read this book. Not to say that I agree with everything Claudio wrote, but that's not the point of reading.

We do not read to confirm our biases. We hear another person's opinion and, with luck, learn something.

"Basagan ng Trip" offers poignant insights and addresses timely issues like "Did EDSA have a point?" and "Why the media should be biased."

The question is: Who wants to know and who has time to read more than two paragraphs? —KG, GMA News

"Basagan ng Trip" is published by Anvil Publishing, Inc. and is available at select bookstores, priced at P295.