That man who took a busload of children from his own day care center hostage didn’t just snap like Michael Douglas in a bad movie. He was clearly prepared for his self-directed drama, having reportedly done the same thing twice before (Why isn’t he in jail?) He even did it in front of Manila City Hall, where he was sure to get a good crowd and the attention of politicians. His companion even knew which politicians to call. And media gave him exactly what he wanted: minute-by- minute coverage for ten hours. That’s not public service, that’s whoring for ratings. So the guy’s an instant celebrity, and he doesn’t even have to win a vote-by-text popularity contest. He gets to lecture everyone on the ills of Philippine society, which is nothing we haven’t heard before, except that it’s not usually delivered with a grenade, a gun, and a busload of children. (My sister noted that the hostages in the bus were waving for the cameras.) Everyone was scurrying to give the hostage-taker what he wanted, even the police. Now every moron with a gun knows that the way to get full media coverage is to take people hostage. No doubt some politician will give the hostage children scholarships so he can look like a hero. So everybody’s happy, especially the hostage-taker and the media organizations, and you’re reading this and gnashing your teeth.