Agitprop for the Elite

A few days ago I got to watch “Electile Disfunction,” which has been getting rave reviews. I have to admit I laughed quite often, but there were times when I was not amused.

The play pokes fun at the leading presidential candidates, and takes off from the tactic of the Communists to mount propaganda disguised as plays. By poking fun -often coarse and often libelous- free speech is utilized to put the powers that be in disrepute.

As a friend who watched the play with me commented, “let them try to stage this play in Tondo and let’s see how far they’ll get.” The play is meant for the middle and upper class and plays on civil society sensibilities. The play could have been far more humorous if it had been less didactic and more satirical.

And yet it had some good moments, particularly when it took a cue from the musical “Chicago” and portrayed Fernando Poe, Jr. as a marionette being controlled by Estrada who was being controlled, in turn, by Danding Cojuangco.

And yet I couldn’t help but suspect the play was far too kind to the President and to Raul Roco; the level of vicious parody reserved for Ping Lacson and FPJ simply wasn’t present when it came to them.

And the closing “state of the nation” speech was marred by homophobia, which is a pity because it was the best part of the whole performance.

Instead of staging it at the Music Museum in Greenhills, I’d really like to see the play performed in, say, Tondo or some other “low brow” area to see how the audience might react.

Manuel L. Quezon III.

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