Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Desperate Housewives or Desperate Pinoys?

There has been an outpouring of national indignation of the past few days in blog-o-sphere that has even made it into the op-ed pages of metropolitan dailies. A derogatory slur about the competence of Philippine medical training “… before we go any further, can I check those diplomas because I just wanna make sure that they’re not from some med school in the Philippines,” on the US sitcom Desperate Housewives.

The fuss is similar to that of about a year ago when the indigenous fast food outlet, Jollie Bee, received a serve from an American customer who didn’t like the pink dressing on the burgers. For a few weeks the internet ran hot with indignation. Why are Filipino’s so thin skinned in these situations?

When this latest piece of negativity hit the air waves my 23 year old step son asked “Why are they saying that?” He, like almost all the Filipinos I have met, regards America as the land of milk and honey. Prick a Filipino and out gushes the desire for a Green Card, if I could just get to America all my troubles would be over.

Whereas for the average American the Philippines is barely a blip on the radar. Apart from a cheap tourist destination of exotic tropical beaches and available mocha coloured maidens the Philippines is sorta like Mexico, but far enough away not to worry about. Outside of natural disasters and political coups things Filipino are page 10 at best.

For the writers of Desperate Housewives it was pick a 3rd world country, any 3rd world country, the Philippines, the Maldives, India, whatever. But yes, it does hurt when those you have put on a pedestal flip you the bird even if they are a 3rd rate TV sitcom.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A lot of Americans (and, yes, I'm a US citizen, born in the USA) are arrogant, callouse, and terribly irresponsible. In fact, they are cads, for the most part. America should...must...stand above the norm simply because of its generally perceived wealth and its enormous power. (I say generally because, in truth, there are a GREAT many people who go hungry, who go without, who are, in fact, starving, in the US. They are the untold masses you never hear about because they are conveniently swept from the various social rosters so the US looks good "on paper.") Be that as it may, the "landed," wealthy, well-to-do, and the indolent are often completely irresponsible when it comes to the feelings of others. And, beyond that callousness, is a penchant for needing someone to bully, needing an enemy, needing someone and something to belittle and castigate.

We are a very sorry bunch, here, in many ways. Why? Because, just like the rest of humanity, we're human, which means we are, as a majority, anything but humane. And Bush and his ugly Republican cohorts have done nothing to further kindness and gentility. In fact, they have pushed us the other way -- to revelling in barbaric and uncivil attitudes towards anyone not "born in the USA." In fact, they promote hate, bigotry, and prejudice. I'll stop here as we don't need Dawn going off on a tangent and stealing the blog topic.