Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This nation reeks of a sad inferiority complex.

This nation reeks of a sad inferiority complex, and it's happily displaying it for all the world to see.

The most recent example, being that of the brouhaha over the (misunderstood?) troll post of Chip Tsao, shows how embarrassingly obvious this inferiority complex - under the guise of demand for respect and dignity - really is, and how this nation has no problems flaunting it. That this nation has to make a point of acting offended, and with such fanfare complete with public blacklisting and empty, senseless threats of boycotting, for every jest poorly done or otherwise.

Can't we just shrug off trollbait articles, or silly stereotypes that show poor knowledge of our identity as a nation? Last time I checked, those should reflect poorly on the authors or makers of said stupid articles or shows, not the referred country or group of people.

Now, if you're a fellow countryman and netizen you're probably familiar with the RRRAAAAGE reaction that Tsao's article elicited from bloggers both inside and outside the country.

However, I wouldn't go into that. I wouldn't be a hypocrite and say that these bloggers are stupid for doing such a knee-jerk reaction and they should think, just think, and realize that worldwide mass media has a bad, tasteless stereotype prepared for people of every race and profession.

I wouldn't expound on the well-known fact that we as a nation have a poorly done generalized stereotype for every Joe the trailer trash American, Gupta the five-six Indian, Ching the booger-eating Chinese, etc, etc. That just because Filipinos have self-branded themselves as the world's hardworking underdog doesn't mean they're supposed to be off-limits when it comes to crass insults and gross stereotyping. All of us are supposed to know those things; anything short of acknowledging those is nothing short of undeserved arrogance.

However, forget about bloggers. The nature of blogs and the convenience that they provide encourage the posting of spur-of-the-moment rageposts that authors would most probably regret posting after the haze of anger clears. That makes them a tad forgivable, provided that the authors wise up within 24 hours after posting their shit.

No, I'm more disappointed at our politicians.

Unlike bloggers, politicians should have minutes--nay, hours--of mulling things over before deciding to call reporters from all newspapers and TV networks and whine, over national and international airwaves, that this or that foreign national trolled the Filipinos and demand for public apology. By all rights, they should have had more time to think before broadcasting for all the world to see the flag of Inferiority Complex.

Our politicians and activist leaders surely have the penchant for making knee-jerk reactions towards Filipino stereotypes lurking in international mass media. Chip Tsao's facepalm-inducing article (which elicited the ire of government officials such as Senator Pia Cayetano) isn't the only case where politicians - who may or may not be merely seeking for easy PR stunts - have gone apeshit and made a universe out of a molehill over an offhandedly-delivered jest or comment.

There was much ado against Teri Hatcher delivering a racist line from her script in Desperate Housewives, which apparently implied that Filipino doctors are incompetent. Of course, that implication isn't true at all - so why react in such a manner towards a work of fiction? Knowing that Filipinos all over the world even lambasted the wrong person (Hatcher, for saying what was in her script that was written by somebody else) is already embarrassing in itself.

And yes, who can still remember Claire Danes' persona non grata status handed down by the government for saying the obvious, which is the fact that parts of Manila smelled of cockroaches, had rats all over, and that the sewage system is malfunctioning or non-existent?

All of the above cases involve high-ranking politicians carelessly call for public apologies and "boycotts", not even thinking that acknowledging the truth and actually acting on them is way better than calling forth even more attention on the facts that they are trying to deny. Okay, so one visiting foreigner said that Manila reeks of cockroaches? Fine, let's shout to the rest of the world how one famous personality remarked that our city smells like vermin! And that we're demanding Apology! For something that is fucking true!

Good job. Keep it up, politicians. Keep it up with our tax money and wasted airtime.