Katherine Ryan: Latest target of the ever-annoying Filipino collective rage

Posted on June 18, 2013

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Courtesy of Festival Journal

(Note: Katherine Ryan is a Canadian comedienne. Made corresponding corrections.)

Philippine social media was once again ablaze with rants from angry Filipinos about a certain Canadian comedienne, Katherine Ryan, after she made a joke involving Filipino children in a stand-up comedy show named “Mock the Week.”

“We don’t test any of our products on animals. We use Filipino Children,” said Ryan in response to the theme “unlikely lines from a cosmetics commercial.”

In the segment, celebrities were tasked to drop impromptu one-liners and punchlines for the phrase.

Shortly after the show aired, Ryan posted a statement on her Twitter account, explaining the incident.

(Source: Link)

Ryan explained her stand well, though there was really no need to do so, since the facts speak for themselves. The joke was made by the Canadian comedienne in response to a specific joke theme: “unlikely lines from a cosmetics commercial.” In other words, Ryan was giving an example of something that will never be said, in all likelihood. You know, because the theme is “unlikely lines from a cosmetic commercial.” It couldn’t get any simpler than that.

Unfortunately, nothing can stop many Filipinos from speaking their minds (or, in this particular incident, their apparent lack of it) by going blitzkrieg on the comedienne for simply doing her job as a, well, comedienne. Cyberspace was littered with insults aimed towards Ryan for allegedly offending the Filipino race, something which I find utterly hilarious.

As I have explained earlier, Ryan was simply saying things that are very unlikely to be said as a joke. It may not be funny for some (humor is subjective, anyway), but Ryan doesn’t deserve the flak she’s getting right now. Everything is rooted on a big misunderstanding, something Filipinos are quite notoriously famous for; many Filipinos are assuming that she’s actually insulting Filipino children, when that’s totally not the case. If you think about it, her joke may be interpreted more as a blow against cosmetic corporations, which might be testing their products through dubious means. But alas, thinking things through is not one of the Filipino’s strong points.

And so the whole issue degraded into nothing more than a silly, collective tantrum from a bunch of people who are all too eager to uphold the “Pinoy Pride” against insults or criticisms, even when there are no insults or criticisms to begin with. Everyone is so agitated over a non-issue, they just can’t help but jump into the fray and enjoy the brief moments of being a “cool” and “intelligent” netizen for standing up to those who look down on the Filipino people.

It’s things like this that give you a good laugh, but at the same time, makes you realize just how dumb things are becoming in the Philippines, which is a disheartening thought, since I’m a Filipino, too. What’s worse is that this trend of Filipinos collectively and irrationally hating on individuals for criticizing them, or even for something they didn’t do, have been around for quite some time now. Some of the more well-known cases of Filipino hate-bandwagon include:

1. Adam Carolla angering Pinoys with jabs about Pacquiao and Sex Tourism

2. Desperate Housewives drawing flak from offended Filipinos

3. Lucy Liu under fire from angry Filipinos

4. Dan Brown and the “Gates of Hell” issue

5. Justin Bieber angers Filipinos over boxer jokes (I personally don’t like Bieber, though)

And there are sure to be more. It’s a chronic phenomenon in the Filipino people; it’s almost like a social ritual to bash a foreigner every now and then to re-affirm just how awesome being a Filipino is, and that no one is supposed to doubt that, lest they feel the wrath of a battalion of over-zealous, pride-defending Pinoys.

These idiotic incidents tell an important thing about our society; it’s that most Filipinos have nothing better to do. It’s like they’re always on the lookout for the next batch of shameless outsiders who would dare to desecrate the sanctity of the Filipino heritage, when everything would have been over a lot sooner if they just learned to shut it and ignore those people; or even better, if they learned to actually listen to what they have to say, taking everything with a grain of salt and an open mind. But then, as I’ve said a while back, thinking things through is not the strong suit of the average Juan. Many Filipinos talk waaaaaaaay too often about people rather than ideas and the values those ideas hold; and you know what they say about minds who talk only about personalities.

So yeah, grab your popcorn, Internet folks. My fellowmen have provided yet another hilarious spectacle. Expect more to come.

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Posted in: Philippines, Society