Clash of the Titans

Saturday, April 03, 2010

I always love crossover titles because it allows some of my favorite characters to go against each other. Captain America vs. Batman? I’m all over it! Chun-Li vs. Mai Shiranui? Everybody wins! Now two of my favorite people are “clashing.” These two happen to be Adam Carolla and Manny Pacquiao.

I love Adam Carolla! I love Manny Pacquiao! This is gonna be awesome! Are they gonna do a movie together? Is Pacquiao gonna be a guest on Carolla’s podcast? Oh wait, it’s just another case of people blowing something completely out of proportion. This nonevent that’s going around is a result of people getting offended at the typical Adam Carolla rant we’ve all come to know, and in my case, love. Of course, we all know that Filipinos are a proud race, me being one of them, that EASILY gets offended at the slightest bit of negative commentary, let alone one directed at the national hero. reports:

Adam Carolla starts off his vulgar tirade by bashing Manny for not giving blood before a fight. He then proceeds to say that Manny is off “praying to chicken bones” and that you don’t have to respect him because he’s a “fu**ing idiot”. “Someone has to tell him that it doesn’t make a difference.”

“Here’s how you know when your country doesn’t have a lot going for it: When everything is about Manny Pacquiao.”

“Get a fu**in life as a country”

“All you fu**in got is just an illiterate guy who happens to smash other guys in the head better than other people”

“Really, you want some guy with brain damage running your country? Why don’t you get your sh*t together?”

“All they have over there is Manny Pacquiao and sex stores.”

“What happens when Floyd Mayweather beats him? Does your country go into depression?”

That’s the excerpt from The Adam Carolla Podcast used by many talking about this topic. I spent a brief amount of time within the journalism field as both a reporter and an opinion columnist. And the one thing that always, ALWAYS causes some type of conflict is misrepresentation of quotes. It’s unacceptable in new stories because it drops any sense of objectivity.

Notice the line breaks between each of those quotes? It means that there is missing dialogue. They are excerpts of an excerpt. I listened to that specific podcast. Where’s the part where Carolla justifies his view on why Pacquiao should give blood? He argues if Pacquiao isn’t juicing, then it raises up some suspicion as to why Pacquiao isn’t so willing to do it.

In this case, there’s a little misrepresentation going on and a lot of taking offense at a rant that isn’t that big of a deal in the first place. I like how “racist” immediately comes to mind in many of these headlines and news stories. If this objective news reporting can then be considered as a subjective opinion, is it just as valid? Sure, but let’s get some things straight.

Is somebody a racist for thinking a boxer, a man that makes a living by hitting and getting hit, is illiterate and/or a bad choice to be voted as a politician? Is somebody a racist for telling a country to not be so invested in living vicariously through the exploits of a single individual who just so happens to hail from said country?

I’ve listened to Adam Carolla when he was on Loveline, I watched him on The Man Show, and now I follow him on his own podcast. Carolla isn’t racist specifically against Filipinos. He’s quite possibly made fun of every type of people grouping on Earth, from Germans, to Muslims, to the state of Florida, to the city of Burbank. If you can think of a single person or group of people that Adam Carolla hasn’t made fun of, then call him up and I GUARANTEE you that he’s got something to say on the matter. Anybody that actually listens to Adam Carolla knows that angry ranting is his thing, just like Denis Leary, Lewis Black, Sam Kinison, and many other comedians. And just like these other comedians, if you can listen past the vulgar language, you can understand the underlying points of their rants.

Despite the accusations of racism, I think the most volatile part of this issue for Filipinos are those last questions that Carolla asks: What happens when Manny Pacquiao loses? What happens to a nation when their infallible national hero is defeated in the ring? And considering what happened to icons like Kobe Bryant, Michael Phelps, and Tiger Woods, I’d also like to ask one more question that’s buried deep within the minds of Pacquiao fans: What happens when that defeat occurs outside of the ring and the infallible hero ends up being human like the rest of us?