It was recently reported with the proper “Oh’s and “Ah’s”, that the Malacanang head and chief, leader and ruler, master and commander, sovereign and czar – not to mention titles of downright ignominy and profound shame – has been chosen to receive the “Don Quixote of La Mancha Award” somewhere in Europe, some time this year. While the award-giver may deem the recognition as proper and right, there are valid reasons to wonder what many others think and conclude about the award-recipient – considering that exactly the same award is a recognition of either two basically antithetical perception or contradictory judgment.
More commonly known as “Don Quixote de la Mancha”, there are those who look at this unique persona as some kind of a hero, a legend, a champion – someone whose courage and determination are beyond question, particularly so in the presence of a perceived evil. Reason: He was some kind of a knight ready to go against anything – and probably against anybody as well – he saw as bad and should wherefore be challenged to a gentleman’s combat. In other words, “Don Quixote” is seen as a symbol of what is right with some kind of a strong persistence to champion it, come what may, no matter what people say.
On the other hand, many more people see the same character as an incurable dreamer, a funny pretender, a futile warrior. Reason: Complete with the proper shining steel knight armor and firmly holding a long shining lancer plus impressively mounted on a big fierce looking horse, Don Quixote fought windmills as huge imagined enemies. All these he did with a faithful, short, fat and dumb sidekick named “Sancho Pancha”. Together, they made some kind of a hopeless and hilarious pair. No imagination is needed to say what happens to someone fighting windmills as hostile foes! Thus stands the meaning of the term “Quixotic”: Starry-eyed. Head-in-the-clouds. Mad-cap. Whimsical. Utopian. Visionary. Preposterous.
It us but right and proper therefore that when someone gets the “Don Quixote of la Mancha Award”, the recipient thereof better think what the supposed recognition really means. Again, this is not in anyway meant to doubt the sincerity and intention of the prestigious foreign Award giving body. What is herein being forwarded is the local eerie feeling that the person awarded appears to fit exactly the quixotic personality profile – the volatile characteristics – of the figure after whom the Award is named. And this is neither really intended to cast aspersion of the Award recipient, but simply meant to convey the caveat that the one and the same recognition is axiomatic with “Quixotic”.
Incidentally, in this day and age, one should be very careful in seeing to it that the Award he or she buys locally or from a foreign land, should be not only worth it but also free from any negative connotation. Paying for something only to be thereafter lampooned is something detestable. This is not fair – to say it right! More. For the people to pay for a chattered flight to a distant country simply for the recipient to get a possibly dubious Award, this is not right – to say the least!
June 17, 2009