Most of “Language, Learning, Identity and Privilege’s” scathing indictments are aimed squarely at the person of its author. The literary piece can be, and without vitriol, reasonably considered on its own merit. Indeed, the article acquired its dubious designation as satire only in the teeth of rising opposition to its perceived pomposity. Even so, the essay unambiguously expresses its point that English is a superior language of instruction in education; and that Filipino is a language of the lower classes.

This is the thought it states clearly, with no need for interpretation.

Granted the writer humbly self-deprecates with reference to Rizal's "malansang isda", he nevertheless abnegates that very point in the subsequent paragraph.

Even if the essay were written anonymously, it would still be apparent (and it is strongly suggested in the writing) that the author is certainly not a member of the peasantry. Granted the writer humbly self-deprecates with reference to Rizal’s “malansang isda”, he nevertheless abnegates that very point in the subsequent paragraph. The piece praises Filipino as the Language of Identity, and within the same sentence, relegates Filipino to the streets as the language of the uneducated.

For a moment, allow me to be biased and opinionated in the belief that mastery of any language is a poor measure of intelligence, creativity, or love of country. The same applies to religion as an accurate measure of morality; or print in a national broadsheet as a reliable measure of substance.

Playing the satire card gives the writer an all too easy “out”. Why deny the essay the force of its convictions? If the article was meant to be satirical, the writing on its own, gives little indication of any deliberate or even subtle irony. To classify “Language, Learning, Identity and Privilege” as satire would be an awkward attempt to palliate the trenchant, bigoted view of language that it expresses; regardless of the essayist’s learning or identity or privilege.

 

 

*for your perusal, the article to which the above essay refers may be visited at:  http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/331851/language-learning-identity-privilege

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