Friday, September 16, 2011

A Patriotic Filipino's Response To The Blood Traitor, National Artist F. Sionil Jose... Or Is It?

.:A Patriotic Filipino's Response To The Blood Traitor, National Artist F. Sionil Jose... Or Is It?:.

Nation, as a Patriotic Filipino®, fewer things would make yours truly's blood boil than a racist who mindlessly bashes our nation's dignity, and it amuses yours truly to no end when the Schadenfreude erupts and they are treated to as much racism as they have just dished out, because that's how we Patriotic Filipinos roll.

If there are two things we Patriotic Filipinos hate, it would be racism, and the Chinese. Our hopes to finally rightfully lay claim to the Spratly Islands were rekindled anew just this week when Ms. Philippines beat Ms. China in the Ms. Universe pageant. If more territorial disputes were settled this way, we'd be a much powerful nation, albeit Venezuela would become the biggest superpower in the world.

Still, as terrible as racism is, blood traitors are just the worst. As in the absolute worst. Is it not bad enough, dear nation, that other races malign the Filipino spirit? Why must we chip in ourselves to this cesspool of uselessness?

That is why there is such an uproar over F. Sionil Jose recently, in light of the statements he has made, calling us, and by extension, himself, shallow. "The nerve of this person to criticize us," you say. Who does this guy think he is? Some National Artist? Oh, wait.

What you need to realize is that F. Sionil Jose is himself a Patriotic Filipino. That makes all the difference in the world and renders him immune from disagreement. Why? Why ask why? After all, when one sees the ills of the Filipino nation yet is himself acting all above it, then he must be one of us, all the same.

It also helps that he made sure to criticize Mideo Cruz's pathetic excuse for art, because the CBCP certainly appreciated the unlikely assist. Truly, he is an indisputable authority on what is and isn't art, and what is deep or what is shallow. If you wish to challenge his unquestionable authority, feel free to place your National Artist citation on the table before engaging the man.

Somewhere, Carlo J. Caparas is grumbling out loud.

When faced with the almighty depth of a National Artist, all of us fall short and are mired in shallowness. What we think is deep is nothing compared to the depth of a National Artist's thinking: an honor that distinguishes him from the hoi poloi of shallowness that is the other Filipinos, bestowed upon him by, well, the other Filipinos. When he compared the tepid reaction of Filipinos to a Japanese cultural dance to the wild reception the Filipino tinikling dance got, surely, fans of the WWE were reminded of the huge difference between those shallow spot monkeys who do nothing but flips...

Shallow. Bet this guy won't ever win any championships.

... and the refined performers who are known for their deep, involving, technical maneuvers.

Deep! Bet this guy is main eventing everywhere by now.

Indeed, the tepid reaction this Japanese folk dance got is the kind of reaction that no real fan of culture would ever give, even if it's probably the first time they ever saw something. Surely, the first time Elvis Presley hit the stage on his first ever gig in some run-down bar, every Tom, Dick, and Harry fell to their feet to worship his greatness because everyone recognizes talent in an instant. Indeed, having a folk dance that we have owned and cultivated since pre-colonial times pales in comparison to appreciating a folk dance of another nation that we have obviously only ever seen for the first time.

This is the shallowness of popular culture, as it were, nation, and it afflicts us Filipinos and only us (Non-Patriotic) Filipinos. Clearly, we have a monopoly on this shallowness, because as the previous example has shown us, Japan is obviously immune to these criticisms. The sublime genius of the Japanese has led to such cultural watersheds like Evangelion, Hachiko, Grave Of The Fireflies, and La Blue Girl, after all.


Meanwhile, our concept of entertainment is utterly shallow, because how dare we compare the shallowness that is Kris Aquino to the depth that is Ryan Seacrest? Indeed, being deep or being shallow is an ever-fixed state of mind and affairs, and not at all a particular moment in one's complex humanity. The shallow moments you indulge in define you as shallow altogether, even if you work nine hours a day to put food on the plate for a family of four. That's just how it is.

Surely, the Japanese who read manga in the trains while groping schoolgirls at the same time (Multi-tasking is a sign of depth.) are far deeper than the Filipinos who don't even have elbow room to do any reading whatsoever. Surely, the Koreans glued to their iPhones, finding out the latest news about Jun Ji-Hyun and whoever she's dating, are getting deeper and deeper by the minute.


Turn to America, and we find nothing but top-notch TV programming. While Filipino television is nothing but a morass of love triangles involving the Amboy cutie, the rich mestiza girlfriend, and the maid, America is churning out instant classics.


Surely, this isn't just a case of rose-tinted glasses, or a sorrily mistaken assumption that the grass is greener on the other side, and that everyone else is deeper than the average, non-Patriotic Filipino. Certainly, we aren't taking the best-case examples of other nations, then comparing it to the worst-case examples from our own nation, are we?

Are we?

Nation, there is no denying the shallowness that permeates every fiber of this country. It's the very kind of shallowness that stems from our very language, and the only reason anybody disagreed with James Soriano was because he has yet to win a Palanca.

Indeed, we are a shallow people because of consumerism and crass commercialism, every inch of it engulfing the Filipino psyche. Surely, Hollywood, Bollywood, Shinjuku, Milan, and any of these other far-off places in no way whatsoever perpetuate this kind of mindset for their own respective nations. To disagree with the unfortunate implications of F. Sionil Jose's article is taboo, simply because he's F. Sionil Jose, dammit. He gets a pass.

Just like this guy. Also, deep.

Nation, there is no question about our shallowness and the depths we go through just to revel in that shallowness. There is absolutely no disagreement that there is a need for depth. While some people believe that depth is not only relative but aspirational and universal, we shake our heads and say that depth, or rather, a lack of it, is endemic to Filipinos alone, as has been handily singled out in F. Sionil's article. Naysayers may disagree, but clearly, this dissent comes from a lack of perspective and depth. Also, a lack of Palanca Awards to their names.

For you to be an authority on what is deep, you yourself need to be unquestionably deep. Just like F. Sionil Jose. Obviously, a handful of Palanca's and a National Artist distinction has earned him the gravitas to be unquestionably deep.

Heaven forbid we consider  F. Sionil's contribution of his "literature" to a commercial clothing brand, the very same kind of commercialism he rails against in his essay, to be anything other than lending depth to this brand. Just the touch of class that Freeway needed, of course! It's not selling out at all, no no no. It's not at all a quiet albeit begrudging acceptance that commercialism, like proneness to criticism, encompasses everyone, no exceptions whatsoever. Not in a million, billion years.

But really: is there a way out of this bubbling muck of shallowness the Filipino finds himself in? Do you wish to hear from the Master how to do it? Do you wish to know the truth? Well, you can't handle the truth!

Nation, we live in a world with depth, and these depths need to be guarded by men with pens. Who's gonna do it? You? You, without a single Palanca to your name? F. Sionil Jose has a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom.

You weep for the shallowness of this nation and curse the Patriotic Filipinos who incessantly point this out. You have that luxury. You have that luxury of not knowing what we know: that this condescension, while annoying, saves lives. and F. Sionil Jose's existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.

You can't handle the truth, because deep down in places you don't talk about in parties, you want that depth. You need that depth. We use words like Palanca, National Artist, and hindsight. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent in comfort that affords us that privilege to have depth and know it for what it is. You use these words as a punchline.

F. Sionil Jose has neither the time nor the inclination to explain himself to an ungrateful nation that rises and sleeps under the blanket of depth that he provides, and then questions the manner in which he provides it. He would rather that you just said "thank you," and went on your way. Otherwise, we suggest you pick up a pen and earn yourself some Palanca's. Either way, we don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to.

His depth is the depth of a Yao Ming. Our shallowness is the shallowness of a Verne Troyer.

It's great to know that the very vanguards of this nation, we, the Patriotic Filipinos®, are also the very first to throw this nation under the bus at the drop of a bamboo pole. Because that's how we roll.

Marcelle Fabie (Pronounced "Fa-bee-yay".), who blogs on, is a man who embodies the two greatest characteristics of a Patriotic Filipino®: he is patriotic, and he is Filipino. As an upstanding individual of strong moral fibre, he puts the "grit" in "journalistic inteGRITy." Hard-hitting, fearless (except when it comes to Rick Astley), and unbelievably opinionated, he stands for truthiness, justice, and the Filipino way. He has a Pulitzer, a Nobel, an Oscar, a Grammy, and five other weirdly-named pet dogs.


Unknown said...

OK, this whole piece put me in mind of a dramatic courtroom confrontation. *grin*

Well done!

Fickle Cattle said...

Oh my god. This is brilliant. Brilliant! This needs to be shared.

Fickle Cattle