Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In Praise of Chip Tsao

I don't see why my good friend Manolo Quezon should find himself apologizing to Reyna Elena for correctly appreciating the literary and journalistic nature of Chip Tsao to begin with  The recent satirical piece on the Spratley Islands brouhaha between China and the Philippines by Chip Tsao in his Politically Incorrect column for Hong Kong Magazine, has "sparked outrage" according to one broadsheet's headline in part for labelling the Filipinos "a nation of servants."  

Manolo also points to Ms. Connie Veneracion's "lack of affection" for Mr. Chip Tsao:
The Spratly article is not the first time he’s taken a swipe at Filipino women either — see this.  Now, I don’t like dignifying bad taste with indignation. Writings like his probably generate enough controversy to sell newspapers and books, it ain’t my style but I don’t have to do what so many others have done in similar cases (Malu Fernandez, Desperate Housewives and Henry Enfield). My interest in Chip Tsao, his style and his article is to point out that low class and tacky journalism is not peculiar to the Philippines. It’s everywhere.
This got me really curious about what the hubbub is all about with Chip Tsao.  So I followed Connie's link. I'm glad I did.  Here is an excerpt from the piece in which Connie Veneracion says that Chip Tsao takes a swipe at Filipina women, from last October, which is actually about the very serious melamine contamination crisis in Chinese milk products last year.  
Inspired by the poisoned milk powder scandal, a friend of mine is planning to import a wet nurse from the Philippines. His wife has just given birth to a baby, and he is, most justifiably, extremely worried about anything made in China...But why from the Philippines? Why not recruit a wet nurse from China? I asked my friend who until recently had whole-heartedly loved his motherland. “No,” he explained, “How can you be sure that a Chinese wet nurse is not going to be fake, with something like a Bangkok ladyboy-style plastic bag filled with artificial milk made from poisoned powder?”

So allowing Hong Kong families to import Filipina wet nurses would be an innovation. And not only for babies. What else would be as impressive as a status symbol than when you are visiting a billionaire for lunch and you and dozens of other refined guests are offered a glass of fresh milk to toast everybody’s health, instead of a glass of Chateau Rotschild Lafitte? You would be told that the troop of in-house wet nurses all hail from remote villages in Luzon or Mindanao, instead of the polluted city of Manila, transported to Hong Kong only minutes after they gave birth to their babies, jetfresh, to guarantee the best vintage. So, loosen whatever restrictions and bring them in, Sir Donald—just a thought for your policy speech as I look forward to the milk-tasting party hosted by my friend, whom I warned it would be better for legal reasons, if his wife, the madam—instead of himself, the sir—supervises the job on the spot.
Politically incorrect indeed, figuratively speaking, and full of delicious innuendo,  but I think Mr. Chip Tsao is a Master at the genre called Tongue-in-Cheek, or in this case Lips-on-Teats, as he manages to make a pointed criticism of China's food safety policies whilst delivering fulsome praise for the purity and reliability of Filipino Nurse Maid Service.

I am linking to Chip Tsao's Politically Incorrect at Philippine Commentary.  He's a an entertaining read...


AdB said...

I read that wet nurse piece in a blog that was up in arms -- I thought it was funny.

Didn't know it was Tsao who had written it but this war at home piece clearly was a miserable attempt at satire; if that was the aim of the author, he failed because it wasn't funny, it was simply crass.

Political Jaywalker said...

I don't think he should have either..... look at what happened naunahan pa niya si Chip Tsao, lol.

ACruz said...

Hi Dean,

I just discovered your blog in the middle of the Chip Tsao mess. I'm glad to have finally found someone who sees the man and his writing for what it really is - simple satire!

- Anton