Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Much ado about nothing?

Can someone please explain to me why the Hayden Kho sex videos scandal is making the front pages of our newspapers? I could understand if all the brouhaha is being bannered in the entertainment sections, but do we have no more pressing matters in this country other than a hack doctor’s sexual exploits? Does our Senate have nothing better to do than express outrage on behalf of Katrina Halili’s besmirched honor (if you can call it that)? Are there no bigger problems begging for solutions other than figuring out who spread the incendiary and indecent videos?

However, more disturbing than all the media (and Senate) mileage Hayden Kho has been getting is how the public is eating it all up. From people buying pirated discs of the videos in question to web-crawlers watching the now infamous "Careless Whisper" clip on YouTube, many are getting their kicks out of Haydengate, be it out of sick voyeuristic pleasure or snobbish sadistic derision. There are those who sympathize with the women who were unknowingly caught on camera by the devious (and deviant?) Dr. Kho, there are those snickering over how these people got what was coming to them, and there are those who think Vicky Belo's former (current?) boy toy should be burned at the stake. Whatever the opinion on the issue, everyone is lavishing too much attention on this admittedly offensive yet overly hyped case than what it's worth... or is it?

Fuss and furor over any celebrity expose are to be expected, especially one of a sexual nature and one as explosive as this. But in a day and age when sex tapes of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian are but a mouse click away, when pornographic DVDs are peddled on the streets of Divisoria and Greenhills, when nearly nude bodies bedeck billboards and magazine covers, you'd think nothing can shock us anymore. That people are making a big deal out of Hayden Kho's sex videos seems to debunk the theory that our culture has become desensitized to graphic sexual content. Then again, one could argue that we have actually become so addicted to smut and sensationalism that we can't get enough of it, which is why Hayden and his harem are such hot topics now. Call me jaded, but I'm inclined to believe the latter explanation.

I have my own opinions regarding the case of the Filipino people versus Hayden Kho M.D., but I'm not about to join in the collective clamor to crucify and/or castrate Kho. It's not that I think he is free of blame in all this; far from it. I understand the public outcry over the degradation of society's morals, or the feminist groups deploring the sexual exploitation of women, or the conservatives
censuring the abuse of technology, or the liberals decrying the violation of the right to privacy. But really, isn't our reaction to the videos more revealing than the acts shown in and implied by the videos? The scorn, the condemnation, the amusement, the titillation, the hypocrisy, the sanctimoniousness (yes, I'm talking to you, SENATOR Bong Revilla)-- they all point to the kind of values, principles, and priorities we have, both as a nation and as individuals. And I find that infinitely more interesting-- and unsettling-- than a bunch of illicit videos. Hayden Kho may have shown us his true filthy face, but whether we rebuke his sins or revel in his sleaze shows OUR true natures. So instead of asking where we can get our own copy of the sex videos, maybe we should be asking ourselves what that says about us.

If the reactions to the Hayden Kho scandal are indeed a reflection of Filipino society, then perhaps it is more important than I initially thought. Perhaps this is the impetus we need to take a good hard look at our social norms and value systems. Perhaps we can all actually learn a thing or two from Hayden (albeit not the correct lyrics to "Careless Whisper"), and in doing so perhaps we can all learn a thing or two about ourselves.

Perhaps this issue merits front-page headlines after all.


Post a Comment

<< Home