Tuesday ∗ 11 Jan 2011

coming in 2011: The (presidential) Troubleshooter!

yes, it’s as absurd as it sounds.

i now have visions of Mar Roxas as The Troubleshooter, a new superhero, who’s urgently needed for any and every trouble that needs to be fixed in Malacañang. not that there’s trouble now, but Mar will be gifted with those troubles soon.

because this is a gift for Mar, PNoy has said. yet, i do wonder if being labelled The Troubleshooter is a gift, much less an honorable position at all. my personal experience with the idea of troubleshooting is technology. a Windows user for most of my adult life until recently, any Windows problem, i found, had the troubleshoot-this-problem option. this process of course asks the most basic questions, you almost want to get offended. as with a printer that won’t work, it will ask: are you sure the cable’s attached? are you sure your printer ink cartridge is installed correctly? click on this to test. are you sure you clicked at all?

ok, ok. that last bit’s an exaggeration, but you get my drift. troubleshooting as a verb is to do some problem solving that, given its roots in technology, means looking at all possible reasons for a problem and eliminating them one by one until you get to the real cause (definitions are here and here). now this of course seems like a valid need of any presidency, to have a troubleshooter, i mean. but to call it this, versus, oh i don’t know Chief of Staff? just seems … juvenile.

of course it’s possible that this is really just a problem with — a failure in — rhetoric, but goodness, if they still don’t know the right words to say, and if they’re still not creating proper categories and labels for the offices and people they include in their Malacañang plantilla, we can only wonder what’s being said behind closed doors. language and communication must be first in a list of presidential image priorities: because really, all we’ve got to hold onto as citizens are words. words! we wish for a government that chooses its words well, especially to go with what it actually does well.

ah, but the already insecure government might say we are picking on them by picking on the petty, which ain’t true. in fact, it is because we take nation and government seriously that we can’t let things as small as this or as huge as foreign policy pass, that we don’t want to. nothing is too petty, especially in the age of double-checking with Google. not tourism logos, not the spelling of scientific names, not claiming to fame wrong animals as indigenous.

but here, to humor government and support Mar in his new superhero role as The Troubleshooter! these are the first things that come up when you actually Google the concept of troubleshooting, the troubleshooter, the troubleshot.

1: Relax. When faced with a problem, don’t panic. — such sound advice really, except that this government has proven itself too relaxed, i.e., as with the way it handled the bus tragedy last year. too steady for comfort they are, eh? and in which case maybe The Troubleshooter! will give them a sense of urgency.

2: Choose which problem you’re having among a list. Remember that this is only some of the thousands of possible problems. For more specific issues, contact Mr. Hope. — yes, naman. there are a thousand possible problems and specific issues for this government, Mr. Troubleshooter, and these are piling up from the petty to the fundamental. this is a long list seven months hence, you do need to enter your troubleshooter role with a whole lot of hope.

3: Standard troubleshooting step: Restart. — yes, let’s. hopefully the kind of restart that means all bad memory and viruses — including Kris food and mouth disease — will be erased. PLEASE?

4: If trouble persists, restart on Safe Mode. — ah, this The Troubleshooter! doesn’t have to even tell this government, we’ve been in safe mode for the past seven months eh? no big change without big dangerous decisions.

5: If problems persist, Delete Program then Reinstall. — yes, please. and delete all instances when the President’s love life was mentioned especially by his four witch-sisters who insist we all stop talking about it, delete all of Mai Mislang’s tweets, delete all of the Pilipina Kay Ganda campaign materials from the face of the Earth especially the smiley PNoy suggested be drawn on the coconut tree. please keep all programs that force us to reckon with our international image such as the Manila Bus Tragedy. only so we can open that program and click on Help.

6: If it’s a virus or worm, take out your Motherboard Manual. — ah, yes, the specter of Cory does live in this Presidency every day. that’s not just a manual that PNoy uses, sometimes it’s also what goes wrong. what of the motherboard that’s also the virus and worm? what of the President who knows not to decide against his mother? yes, we’re getting bored.

7. You can leave it running all the time, but you must restart periodically to fix minor glitches that arise after using it for long periods of time. — oh yes, minor glitches might be solved by some amount of restarting, but what of a government that doesn’t want to be running all the time? dear Mr. Troubleshooter, there must be a way to keep this glitches from happening, which might mean just Googling it.

now i know i might be expecting too much from him, about as much as i do from this government, but there has got to be no problem too small or too large for The Troubleshooter! right? after all this government has got its hands full with problems. who knows, maybe The Troubleshooter! will actually save the day.

the more important question might be: what color costume will he be wearing?

Posted in: bayan, gobyerno, iconography, kalalakihan, komentaryo, pulitika

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