May 11, 2009

The Illiterati & The Book Blockade

Thanks to Robin Hemley, he has brought to light an organization of shadow bureaucrats inside the Bureau of Customs more insidious that that of Dan Brown's Illuminati. They cloak themselves in cheap barongs and three-piece suits but actually they're sarcophageal worms in human forms. They call themselves, the "Illiterati" because all they do is obfuscate justice, corrupt laws for their own betterment and frustrate honest merchants by imposing ghost charges knowing full well that these sellers would rather settle than fight them to City Hall.

Unfortunately for the Illiterati whose minds are so narrowed that no new ideas (apart from those culled from the Dark Ages) could possible permeate through, have been dragged into the limelight when they started the 2009 Philippine Book Blockade. Little did they know that book-loving Filipinos will not take this intellectual insult without a fight. They will burn epitaphs of those who instigated this much like the Nuremberg book burning events and they will ask for the heads of the Illiteratis. I agree if this will come to this. It would be an enlightened notion if all book-loving Filipinos call for the resignation of a certain Customs examinee Rene Agulan and the irksome DOF Undersecretary Espele Sales who infamously implied that novels are non-educational. Perhaps the good Usec was very enthusiastic in displaying his God-given level of intelligence. In the dispatch of Robin Hemley, he wrote:
Customs Undersecretary Espele Sales explained the government's position to a group of frustrated booksellers and importers in an Orwellian PowerPoint presentation, at which she reinterpreted the Florence Agreement as well as Philippine law RA 8047, providing for "the tax and duty-free importation of books or raw materials to be used in book publishing." For lack of a comma after the word "books," the undersecretary argued that only books "used in book publishing" (her underlining) were tax-exempt.

"What kind of book is that?" one publisher asked me afterward. "A book used in book publishing." And she laughed ruefully.

I thought about it. Maybe I should start writing a few. Harry the Cultural and Educational Potter and His Fondness for Baskerville Type.

Likewise, with the Florence Agreement, she argued that only educational books could be considered protected by the U.N. treaty. Customs would henceforth be the arbiter of what was and wasn't educational.

"For 50 years, everyone has misinterpreted the treaty and now you alone have interpreted it correctly?" she was asked.

"Yes," she told the stunned booksellers.

Oh, the bile and the acid. Reading such inane logic as codified by the tenets of the Illiterati will infuriate any intelligient and sentient being. How these worms finished college remains a mystery. How they ended up in the top echelons of government is surprising. Well, not very surprising enough considering that the entire admistration may be full of Illiteratis- each department hiring their underlings and junior Illiteratis.

How this affair shall play out will be subject to further news articles and hopefully, more exposures against the cabal of Illiterati inside the Palace. And such is a great plot for Dan Brown, unless Customs get to tax it first.

No comments: