Cats killing dogs, cocks killing cops
Tarantadong Kalbo posted a cartoon featuring a head of a rooster this morning. For a moment there, I thought it’s one of those revelations — that he’s also a Pavement fan, that it was a Watery, Domestic reference. Until I read the caption. The caption reads “Elmer <3,” a nod to Gerry Alanguilan’s graphic novel of the same name. (Just kidding about that Pavement bit, but TK made a Bly Manor reference just the other day, so…)
The cartoon however, like most of the artist’s creations, is double-edged sword (or gaff) that could make you spit out your morning coffee or activate your hyperacidity. “Fighting cock kills police chief in N. Samar,” says the headline. “The blade cut his left thigh, slicing his femoral artery. He was rushed to hospital and declared dead on arrival,” racist BBC News reported.
In case you need more cocksplaining, in cockfighting, gaffs or “tari” (“tambod” in Bicol) are tied to the roosters’ left leg and these knives are their weapon during the fight. These knives are very very sharp that the presence and services of a professional “magtatari” is necessary in every cockpit match.
Turns out, it wasn’t just a nod to the Alanguilan’s book, but a connection made between the books’ story about “chickens vs. humans” and that tragic news. Some people cried foul, maybe a reaction to the outpouring of Ha Ha’s and outnumbering the Sad reacts, 723 to 24. Some people said they don’t like the art, but respects the artist’s opinion. (May mga ganun pang drama, mars?) Some people called out the artist, said the art was insensitive or something, saying we don’t need stoop down to “their” level.
Preach. (Was thinking, ‘who’s the fascist, now?’) I don’t think the artist was guilty of any of that. He just made the connection between the freak accident and Elmer. The rest is left to the audience, how they would react. It was a freak accident, darkly funny, and darker than the darkest dark comedy I could think of right now (i.e., Vincent Vega accidently blowing off a black guy’s head in a car). Yet it was also really weird and freaky to the highest level.
Maybe he was good guy, that cop. Or maybe he was the same as those assholes who couldn’t respect a funeral. That doesn’t change the fact that that freak accident is a black comedy material of the highest grade of weed. Well, a lot of things happening these days are (PhilHealth, DOH, Manila Bay). Although most of them are infuriating rather than freaky.
Thinking about it now, all those sentiments and comments (DDS, yellows, NPA, ACAB, bootlickers, etc.), people arguing about this and that, I thought, somehow, this is very Elmer, all this shit. And maybe if all those people arguing in the comment section would read Elmer, maybe they’d found something they could agree on. Or maybe they’ll just find more things to argue about.