FIRST PRINTED: THE VOICE OF SIERRA MADRE
From simple jests to the big screen, casual conversations to comedic skits, simple exchanges to artistically created and manipulated memes and puns, we have heard it all, or at least have seen a glimpse of the world of politics from a jester’s point of view. It’s confirmed! Politics IS a joke.
I guess that is what’s so Filipino about it all, our ability to take something as serious as a national issue or that of the biggest situations in the country like the pork barrel or the current Binay or PNoy telenovela on television and make a joke out of it, laugh at it, make light of a situation that can directly or indirectly affect us.
If you look at the proliferation of jokes, memes, puns, skits, blogs and posts of Filipino’s on the internet, it’s easy to see that we speak fluent sarcasm and irony just as well as our national language, Filipino. No one can say that the Filipino people are stupid because being able to write such artistic and creative puns and jokes is an indication of the country’s high intellectual quotient.
Our punch lines have gradually evolved from the slapstick comedy where someone gets physically hurt just for a scene to be funny which we have become accustomed with into the intellectually stimulating and witty one liner and memes that is flooding the World Wide Web and the national television.
Now that the election is near, we would all again be bombarded with campaigns and promises and some other tactics that are possible gold mines for these kinds of things. The world would again see just how smart and witty every Juan and Maria is. But are we really?
One can collect all the puns and punch lines that we have accumulated for the past years, from the “Bangus Government” jokes, the “Erap Jokes,” the “I’m sorry, Hello Garci” mixes, up to the current abnoy and uling gags, and probably end up with a series longer than the Harry Potter. And the thing is, it would be based on truth.
We make a joke out of things not only because it is easier to digest but because jokes don’t necessarily come with a libel case or slander case. We make fun of things mostly because that’s just as far as we can go into changing it while hoping that someone out there would be pissed enough to actually do something about it. We laugh at things because crying in one corner isn’t an option.
Filipinos don’t cry over spilled milk. We make a whole dramatic-comedy telenovela or film about it and laugh at the reality that is being thrown right into our faces. Then, at the end, we realize that we are actually at the receiving end of the joke and can’t do anything about it anymore but laugh. So we laugh.
Politics is a joke. We have long established that. But since we are the one who elected these jokes, what exactly does that make us?
With that in mind, I guess we really aren’t that witty or smart after all. A smart person would know when the joke is on him. So, who’s laughing now? #