Saturday, January 18, 2014

Project 52 2014 (2/52): I Started A Joke

.:Project 52 (2/52): I Started A Joke:.

I started a joke, which started the whole world crying...

Stop me if you heard this one, but Kris Aquino apparently attributes all her good fortune lately to the fact that she has left spearing the bearded clam off her regular list of activities.

Of all the self-absorbed, self-serving bits of news you could possibly publish, right? Well, given my track record of not exactly being a fan of Kris Aquino, I went ahead and mocked the piss out of the whole thing, because if she's so willing to attribute all her good luck to the fact that she has ceased indulging in the horizontal lambada, then maybe we should start attributing every single good thing that happens in the world to her and the fact that her legs are no longer like a Taylor Swift song, never ever ever (getting back together).

But see, I don't think what Kris does in her bedroom makes her any better or worse as a human being. I am not a fan because for some reason, this person who manages to make anything and everything about herself is given all the air time in the world to do so. And with that kind of power in her hands, what does she do with it? Why, she airs out dirty laundry, or proves just how out of touch with reality she really is with every single thing she has to say. I know this has little to do with the core of what I have to say, but let's just make that clear.

Anyways. So the 8List managed to get some traction, and then it found its way on Yahoo. And about as head-scratching as the instances where people go to the 8List and complain that there are only 8 items per list, the explosion on Yahoo was where things started getting even more insane than they normally do.

But I didn't see, that the joke was on me

Is it just me, or is there a glaring number of Filipinos who don't get satire? I mean, I look at a similarly satirical article like, say, "Five Facts About Being Poor (From A Rich Person)," and I see significantly more people who got the joke than people who just thought Cristina H was taking the piss out of poor people.

With this, I presume.

So what is it about the Philippine mentality that has a person look at someone say "I looooooooooove Kris Aquino" and completely miss the sarcasm oozing out of a statement like that? Heck, what is it about the Philippine mentality that even a good chunk of people who get satire use "satire," "parody," "irony," and "sarcasm" interchangeably? Does everything really need to be spelled out for us? Because I can go to any supposedly "educated" sector of the Philippine interwebs, and I'm bound to find a similarly disappointing ratio of people who just. Don't. Get. It.

What is the sound of a point flying over somebody's head?

I mean, come on! Not only did I also write these decidedly not pro-Kris lists, I also tried to be as crazy over-the-top as I can be with my imagery, as I pretty much exhausted what I thought was an already extensive vocabulary of alternative expressions for taking the skin boat to tuna town, but all that flew over the head of people who claim to have read the list. 

Don't even get me started on those who got mad but insisted they did not read the list.

Granted, I shouldn't expect a particularly high level of discourse on Yahoo, but where on the internet can I expect one that is as instantaneous and open as a Yahoo or a Pinoy Exchange?

I was particularly mortified when I saw an even less subtle satirical article by Ellen Tordesillas, overflowing with sarcasm from the first paragraph alone, being taken at face value by a strong majority of the readers. And don't even get me started on how many times I had to facepalm when people completely ignore the fact that So What's News is a fake news site, or how many people believe the Kris Aquino "interviews" by the Professional Heckler were legit (And one of the people who believed it? Sharon Cuneta.).

I keep saying that Filipinos deserve more credit and that we are not as stupid as people want to make us seem. I keep saying we deserve better forms of entertainment than the sophomoric, insipid types the powers that be deem fit to subject upon us. These people are not helping. At all. I hope they're just the noisy minority.

Inasmuch as I enjoy what little Philippine satire I've seen online, we have to admit one thing: none of it is very subtle. At least, certainly nowhere nearly as subtle, as, say, Brass Eye or The Life of Brian. You might even say that, just like sweetened spaghetti with hotdog bits, Filipino satirists have to tweak how they write satire to be as blunt and in-your-face as possible so that it would take an idiot for anyone to recognize what they see as anything but serious. 

Unfortunately, just as sure as Kris Aquino is not polishing the porpoise, we don't seem to have a shortage of idiots, either.

No matter how fool-proof you think you are, never underestimate the ingenuity of fools.

I looked at the skies, running my hands over my eyes
And I fell out of bed, hurting my head from things that I'd said...

1 comment:

Erika Presson said...

Napapa-iling na lang ako when people share satires and hoaxes on Facebook like it's factual. Parang, really? Hindi ba kayo marunong mag-search sa Google? With satires naman, eh wala yata sa dugo ng mga Pinoy yan. Kailangan pang ituro. Mabilis mag-react ang mga tao. Kulang din sa initiative mag-verify ng information at umintindi ng binabasa. Yun lang.