THREE years ago, if you told me that I’d one day be writing about the word “charot” due solely for its significance in current events, I would have dismissed you as completely and utterly crazy.

    Which only serves to highlight the kind of world we live in today.

    According to the internet, “charot” as a word first appeared as the title for a Roderick Paulate movie way back in the 80s. That said, there seems to be no consensus as to where exactly the word comes from, except that it developed from Filipino gay lingo before becoming a mainstream term for “Hey, don’t take what I just said seriously, regardless of what I actually said.”

    Amazing, isn’t it, how such a long complicated thought is communicated through just a single word.

    Of course, “long complicated thoughts” is exactly what the DDS have trouble with, so it came to the surprise of absolutely no one that they reacted violently to the single line in a rather long and colorful commentary in the winning cheerdance routine of the University of the Philippines Visayas Skimmers. And by “reacted violently” I mean exactly that – they reacted by doxxing the members of the Skimmers and sending them threats of violence and harm.

    Can’t they just, I don’t know, develop a rash or something whenever they read or hear something they disagree with?

    Equally of no surprise is that Presidential Spokesperson and Randall Boggs impersonator Sal Panelo claims that the reaction of the DDS is “natural.” Because of course, it is. Why wouldn’t threats of violence directed at people holding contrary opinions be normal for the DDS?

    Or perhaps Panelo was forced to say that because Duterte’s favorite useless appointee jumped into the fray as well? She must have lot of time on her hands while doing nothing in the OWWA if she has time to weigh in on that single line from the Skimmers routine.

    To be honest, that is perhaps the greatest injustice there. The Skimmers routine was brilliant from start to finish. It covered so much ground in so little time, and even added a bit of self-deprecation in there for some extra zing. But because of the dominance of the DDS narrative, people will come to associate the UPV Skimmers only for a single line they uttered, taken completely out of context and made to seem like a direct threat instead of the tongue-in-cheek joke it was meant to be.

    Meanwhile, when Duterte does the exact same thing, and is in fact with all the power and authority to ensure that whatever he utters can come to fruition, all of a sudden threats of death and violence become: jokes, hyperbole, exaggerations, the product of Bisaya humor, or requires the use of our creative imagination to interpret properly.

    Complicated but docile when said by Duterte in his capacity as President, simple and offensive when said by anyone else within a specific context.

    Hilarious, if it wasn’t so sad and pathetic.

    Maybe it shouldn’t be, “Let’s kill this President! Charot!”

    Maybe it should be, “Let’s kill this country!”