The internet was abuzz when it was revealed that in the next episode of his vlog, white-guy-who-talks-a-lot-about-driving-in-Manila James Deakin was going to talk to everyone’s-favorite-son-of-a-dictator-and-failed-jedi Bongbong Marcos. People seemed appalled that Deakin, who came into local prominence for taking the place of Top Gear Philippines in posting dashcam videos of road altercations on Facebook, as well as eloquently stating in a congressional hearing that there might be some gray area in the issue concerning Uber and the LTFRB, would deign to associate with the likes of Bongbong Marcos. And in response, Deakin defended himself by claiming that he is neither a BBM defender nor a detractor—that he was simply a transport journalist willing to have conversations with anyone to find solutions to the traffic crisis in Metro Manila.
To this we say: fair enough. Bongbong Marcos doesn’t really appear to have any relevant experience in the trasnport sector, but his father did build many of these roads, albeit through a system so corrupt that we continue to pay their cost. But, if we take Deakin at his word, we can at least imagine the next few people that might show up on his vlog, offering their unique points-of-view in answering the question of what to do about traffic in Metro Manila.
In Hollywood, Harvey Weinstein garnered a reputation for getting his way, whether it be during awards season, or in his hotel room. It is analogous to the kind of political will that the late dictator continues to be praised for. If Deakin is willing to get in a car with Bongbong Marcos, he shouldn’t have any qualms about sharing some space with the now-infamous Weinstein. It’s a good fit, since Weinstein is known for not taking “no” for an answer, and Deakin is apparently unable to say the word.
Consider what El Chapo was able to accomplish. With his leadership, his band of criminals was able to create infrastructure where there was none before: an entire tunnel leading out of a maximum security prison. This is certainly experience that will be relevant to solving the traffic crisis in Manila, apart from the fact that the drug lord already has plenty of relevant experience in trafficking. As a bonus, an interview with El Chapo will put Deakin at the same level as another famous white guy: Sean Penn.
If Deakin is really considering all options in solving the traffic crisis, perhaps he should talk to someone with nuclear weapons. There is a certain nihilism to the logic that brings one to consider Bongbong Marcos a possible ally in making the Philippines better. If we take that thinking to its logical extreme, we might as well have Deakin talking to the North Korean dictator about the possibility of blowing up the entirety of EDSA. Apparently, no possibility is too dire for the transport journalist.
They say Mussolini made the trains run on time. This is apparently a myth, but given how Deakin can stand to be friendly with the Marcos scion, the truth doesn’t really seem to matter to him that much. Anyway, the bigger obstacle to making this interview happen is likely the fact that Mussolini has been dead for decades. But allow us this fantasy for a second, and imagine Deakin fawning over Mussolini’s much-vaunted ability to make public transport adhere to a schedule.
HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED
While we are in the realm of fantasy, how about the Dark Lord Voldemort? Have we considered the use of magic in solving the traffic crisis? It is certainly no more ridiculous than consulting Bongbong Marcos, who in the runup to the last elections, revealed that he didn’t know what the minimum fare for a jeepney is. Anyway, good old Tom Riddle would likely be more effective in the long run, and would likely leave less of a stain on one’s reputation and conscience.