Saturday, September 19, 2015

That AlDub Thing

Do I know about AlDub? Yes. How can I not? It's all the rage these days. Everywhere I turn on social media, I hear it mentioned. When I shoulder surf over my wife's Facebook feed, it's there. It has even made its way to front page news of national dailies, the most memorable one being GMA network accusing ABS-CBN of sabotaging the segment in its cable channels.

So yeah, I know about AlDub. But for the life of me, I don't know what it's about.

From what I can gather, it's a TV segment on GMA's Eat Bulaga. They got this girl who's a YouTube star as the lead in a telenovela spoof, playing the role of a "yaya" of a family. Unlike other shows, they act out the drama on the streets. Have I got it so far?

And the producers found out they she has a crush on this guy, so they play it up. They show both of them on screen, but they never actually meet. That's the source of the tension that's been building up all this time, hence the buzz. Am I still on track?

All this I know just from the bits and pieces that people talk about. I'm out of the loop because we don't watch TV at home. I suppose I could find out what it's all about by actually watching a segment or looking up all the videos on YouTube. It feels like too much work, though, and I don't know if it's worth it.

Now I'm not denigrating this as a form of entertainment. If it makes people happy, good for them. Live and let live. I have my own pastimes that others outside of that subculture won't get. (If you're curious, at the moment, it's a game called One Way Heroics, a simple yet clever take on Japanese role playing games like Final Fantasy, and you don't really understand what I'm talking about, right?)

But I will say that it's refreshing not to know, to not be caught up in the thing. It means that I can spend the processing cycles that would have otherwise gone to AlDub on the things that I do find important. It means that I still enjoy the freedom to choose, social media virality notwithstanding.

This position, I think, gives me a bit more perspective than someone deeply involved in the phenomenon. I can look at it from the outside with an impassive eye (and at the moment, my emotional distance adjudges it cute but harmless.) I'm like a monk, really, cut off from the concerns of the world and hence able to contemplate on its state and how it relates to the larger context of existence.

The perspective works both ways, however. Just as I'm unable to understand AlDub and unready to involve myself in it, it also means that other people won't necessarily understand my own concerns, either, and will likewise be unready to involve themselves in it.

And so, well, live and let live, may you be as happy as I am, and I as happy as you.