Satire and the DDS
BAR NONE - Atty. Ian Vincent Manticajon (The Freeman) - October 22, 2019 - 12:00am

Art and satire have long been considered an effective form of commentary about the state of society. And this truism has been proven again in the public reaction to the performance of the University of the Philippines Visayas cheering team, The Skimmers, Wednesday last week.

The group of students from the Division of Humanities of UPV’s College of Arts and Sciences performed a cheer routine that highlighted the various issues under the Duterte administration. The resounding message of the performance as well as its excellent execution drew praises from its online viewers.

As expected, it also drew vicious criticisms from the so-called DDS-segment of the public, the Die-Hard-Duterte supporters. Insults and threats flew furiously and fast online, and the best thing that happened for The Skimmers was that these only amplified the message of their satirical performance. They got more support from the community, thus like the Youtube video link of their performance posted on Twitter, the hashtag #HandsOffSkimmers became viral too.

A satire is defined as “a creative work using humor, irony and sarcasm in order to criticize.” There are a few ways to criticize a satire. But if those who are offended by it lambast its performers carelessly, they risk showing themselves severely deficient in humor – that basic human tool for coping and survival.

When confronted with satirical entertainment, the first thing to do is to laugh. Some people didn’t find it funny? Maybe the message was true and it hit them right on the spot. But in reacting the way the DDS public did online, they may have plausible counter-arguments, but they entirely missed the point. As one internet pundit once said, “satire can not be refuted because it does not make arguments.”

However, satire’s punch draws its power when its entertained audience also can relate the subject of its ridicule and irony closer to reality. Thus, one can neither overestimate nor underestimate the power of satire. It can make you laugh and then think. Or it can disgust you, and in that manner you can just dismiss it and move on.

In The Skimmers’ cheer performance, the following lines could either make you laugh and think, or make you feel irked and lose your sense of humor.

“Tandaan, ang kalusugan ay kayamanan. Mahalagang unahin bago machugi. Doctor quack quack please help me. Persida Acosta ayaw sa bakuna. Ang budget sa health babawasan na nila... kung sa humps ay may kwarta pero ang sakit sang kalawasan ta ginatsapwera.”

“ROTC mandatory? Para maging makabayan daw kami? Sabi ni Bato at ni Duterte gusto ito ng nakararami. You do note, you do note is the liar is your fake. Hindi mo kami maloloko Bato. Bato, bato fake. Bato bato, fake. Bato ka nga, mapapel ka naman…”

“Welcome to the Philippines, Province of China. Digong Digong - Yes China. Scarborough Shoal - Yes China. Spratly Islands - Yes China. Open your mouth – Tuta ka! Let’s **** this President! Charot! (Joke)... Aton ang WPS!”

In fairness, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo handled the satire well. He said: "It's a free country, they can dish out jokes, criticisms."

If there’s one thing The Skimmers hurt right on the spot, it’s the DDS and trolls in the internet whose acute lack of sense of humor has been exposed.

Good job, Skimmers. You finally found the right formula in exposing the DDS and their trolls’ lack of credibility and cold superficiality of keeping up an appearance of mass support for the president.

UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES VISAYAS
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