Sunday, September 25, 2011

Profiling The Patriotic Filipino®

.:The Parallels Between A Patriotic Filipino® And An IWC Smark:.

For about a couple of years, I've been writing as an over-the-top character that I obviously patterned after Stephen Colbert. It was much easier to write articles when it was still PGMA's term, because it takes a special kind of idiot to think that any of my articles at the time were seriously singing her praises.

It boggles the mind how this graph was taken seriously.

All the while, I kept making reference to the Patriotic Filipino®, a concept I obviously coined from the more accomplished satirist, Chip Tsao. Often, I've been asked by those who read my attempts at satire exactly what it means to be a Patriotic Filipino, and I haven't really put much thought into that until recently.

One thing I realized is that at its core, the Patriotic Filipino mindset is mired in hypocrisy, but not just any kind of hypocrisy: a self-loathing kind of hypocrisy. The Patriotic Filipino will decry any slight against Filipino pride, but when they're the ones doing the bashing, they quickly place themselves above these pitfalls of the common Filipino. It's both intellectual elitism and boorishness coming together, both blind patriotism and colonial mentality joining forces. Broken down simply, it means we're all prone to it at some point or another, whether it's because we want to migrate from this home we call a hellhole, or because we remember we're Filipino only when Manny Pacquiao has a fight.

Now, I've been a longtime follower of pro wrestling on the internet, and it made me realize that there are a lot of stark similarities between the Patriotic Filipino and the internet smark, especially when it comes to the self-loathing nature of both. While the Patriotic Filipino resents being Filipino to the point of lashing out violently against anyone who reminds them about this, the internet smark resents pro wrestling so much, yet keeps on watching it every single week, anyways.

For the internet smark, John Cena represents everything wrong about pro wrestling today. Here was a man who got into body building, then ended up doing pro wrestling. He's popular with the kids and the women of the WWE Universe, but is booed mercilessly by most of the adult males. He came through the OVW farm league of the company, didn't start out in a whole bunch of indie feds before going to the big leagues, and has held the championship belt for a significant amount of time during his tenure. He rarely loses cleanly, even during handicap matches. He has his infamous five moves of doom, limited abilities, squeaky-clean persona, and panders to the fans. He's a company man, and the internet smark hates John Cena for that.

Shallow. Man, why is the WWE marketing to kids? That would never work!!!
Compare that to a man who hailed from Stu Hart's infamous Dungeon wrestling school. A man who knew from the get-go that wrestling was the career he wanted to be in. A man who has wrestled in Canada, Mexico, Japan, ECW, WCW, before finally heading to the WWE. A man whose crisp execution and technical skill made every internet smark wet themselves in delight. His gimmick was that he needed no gimmick, and he got over solely by his in-ring skill, finally earning the WWE title after 19 long years in the business. It's absolutely unquestionable that a man like that would be every internet smark's darling, right?

Unfortunately, that man was Chris Benoit.

Deep! That hand sign has a hidden meaning, you know...

Chris Benoit was so accomplished a wrestler that internet smarks who worshiped the ground he walked on made excuses for him and tried to look the other way after what he did. People were quick to dismiss his actions whether as the fault of multiple concussions he had suffered throughout his career, or outright insane conspiracy theories involving some massive coverup, or the more benign approach of separating the man outside the ring from the man in the ring.

In every single instance, they tried to soften the blow of Benoit's actions, which, I suppose, is being mighty charitable to the man, but come on! The way they try to divorce this ugly mess from the rest of Benoit's life just so they could continue heaping praise on him is hypocritical in the face of how they have been integrating everything they hated about John Cena just so they could insult every single aspect of his being.

How many of us IWC people even know John Cena personally? Yet so many of us claim he's a douchebag, so many of us profess to know what kind of a monster he is, some of us even associate our own homophobic failings against him all because we think he's not God's gift to pro wrestling. It's a sickening double-standard brought about by blind hate, and how cool it seems to be to boo the popular guy just so you could go against the grain.

I'm pretty certain other aspects of the world fare similarly, if Justin Bieber's rabid hater base is to be believed. Nonetheless, considering the similarities between Patriotic Filipinos and the IWC, it behooves us to learn the lesson from their folly, to be honest. Especially notable would be how the IWC gravitates towards remembering the Attitude era with so much fondness, yet having also been there during the Attitude era, these were the exact same people who wanted The Rock and Steve Austin to go away, yet are now clamoring that they come back. The Patriotic Filipinos did the exact same thing when they begged and pleaded in 2004 for FPJ to lose to GMA in the elections, and the minute they got their exact wish, they begged and pleaded for GMA to go away. They also prayed for Noynoy to run when his mother died, and now that he's our president, they're praying for Noynoy to go away.

We never are content with the status quo, are we? Well, that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially if it means we remain aware that there is always room for improvement.

One can hope that the Patriotic Filipinos, who wish to love this nation but for any of a myriad factors has a really funny, sometimes unfortunate way of showing it, would figure out for themselves that self-loathing gets us nowhere. Self-criticism, when approached in a constructive manner, would yield us so much more good, and the IWC would be so much better if people recognized this more. The less we complain about how low-brow Jersey Shore is and it has no room guesting in our wrestling programs, the sooner we would realize that pro wrestling isn't exactly the opera, either.

In any case, enough about the IWC at this point. Ultimately, while we have no control how we may feel about the depth or shallowness of the Filipino, or how we feel about people who malign us as a people, whether he be a foreigner or a countryman, what we do have control over is how we publicly react to it. We could trade barbs with them, but if we do not stifle dialogue along the way and prove to everyone why the Filipino people is still worth having faith in, no matter what our pitfalls may be, then yes, there will be less satirical Patriotic Filipinos running around this nation.

That, that is something to aspire for in our own ways: we do this nation proud both as individuals and as a collective.

1 comment:

Christian Kaw said...

If you want a prime example of blind, fanatical patrotism look no further than #pinoypride on twitter.

Everyday there always someone saying "Despite all the problems in the country, I'm proud to be pinoy"

Good for you. Nothing like good old fashioned ignorance to make you proud to be a Filipino!