Saturday, August 18, 2007

Let Them Eat Cake

Tingog is calling for the dismissal of Malu Fernandez from Manila Standard Today and People Asia magazine. Some of the commenters have even suggested the boycott of both publications as well as Fernandez' Luscious boutique.

John Marzan doesn't think its a good idea. He says it lets her "off the hook too easily." He agrees with Paolo Mendoza, who says there's an elitist in all of us. Mendoza writes:
But what does separate her from us? Are we not guilty of some form of political incorrectness against gender, race, religion and caste? Most of the bloggers who reacted may be in the right not to tolerate her article; but inward, isn't any of these hypocritical? All of us are guilty. If I judge her by that article, I would be guilty of the same hypocrisy.
Am I being a hypocrite for calling out Ms. Fernandez' callous articles? I don't think so. See, the difference between Ms. Fernandez and I is I don't write for a broadsheet and a ridiculously priced glossy. If I ever entertain bigoted thoughts, I keep them to my self, or I make a joke about them with my circle of friends. I would never, for the life of me, write them down for mass consumption, to flaunt to all and sundry my distaste of sharing a plane with chimays in Dubai. Further, I wouldn't defend my actions by insulting my readers' intelligence, suggesting they don't read anything thicker than a magazine.

There are only two reasons I can think of why the likes of Ms. Fernandez would even contemplate to lace her poorly-written article with such conspicuous contempt.

One, she truly is clueless, like Tim Yap. Which makes you wonder what kind of bubble she lives in. She talks about haute couture and French brands and "jetting" to Europe and America and Asia. She has obviously created for herself an illusion of a glamorous existence. Living in this "god forsaken place in the Third World" clearly doesn't fit her reality. Which makes you wonder if she's somewhat delusional. I too have been to Paris. I thought it was a beautiful city. I admired the always well-put together Parisians, the gorgeous urban planning, the smell of the Metro. And then I thought, Filipinos deserve to live in the same prettified conditions and all that that signifies. Livable living conditions for almost everyone if not all. We deserve it. And all of us, you and I, should work together to get it.

Second, and this I fear is the true reason given her advanced age, Ms. Fernandez simply doesn't care if she publishes her contempt for OFWs or for all of us. She doesn't give a flying fuck because she is untouchable. As Gibbs Cadiz has said, this kind of mindset among our supposed "betters" is the reason why we have the world's longest-running insurgency.

"Let them eat cake" was Marie Antoinette's famous last words as the crowds came for her at Versailles to face Madame La Guillotine. The two major interpretations have been similar to what I've written here. Oblivious or impervious? In response to the starving masses she said let them eat cake. But the French Revolution wasn't started by the masses. It was ignited by people like you and me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Umm...Marie Antoinette didn't say 'let them eat cake', although it is widely attributed to her.