Oh doctor!! In what experts are calling the biggest local news story of the past 150 years, Hong Kong based terror language Cantonese, affectionately known locally as ‘the language of spite and hate’, has been toppled for the crown in Saturday’s 2016 WWLC knockout series finals in downtown Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong.
The stunning upset marks the first time in the history of the WWLC that Cantonese has relinquished the coveted top spot to any of the world’s competing horrific languages. According to WWLC historian and statistician, Chan Chun Lin Jr, records date back as far as the first Opium War (1839) when visiting British Warlord and drug dealer, Admiral Wetherby J Snotsberry took time out from routine British East India Company funded merciless unarmed civilian bombing campaigns to note in his journal: “I’m not sure what’s more heinous and objectionable…the unintelligible blood curdling death screams of shrapnel riddled Chinese peasants writhing in agony under the hard rain of our military superiority and newly wrought technology, or the diabolical and equally unintelligible cackling of the as yet, un-wounded, fleeing for their miserable lives down dingy coastal town alley ways, shouting desperate warnings to their Chinese kin while straw huts and rice paddies explode all around them.” – A J Snotsberry, 1840.
The following year, the Right Honourable A J Snotsberry went on to found and inaugurate the very first World’s Worst Language Championship, comfortably won by Team Cantonese, heralding an unsurpassed 175 year run as world’s worst language.
For generations, Cantonese has reigned supreme as the undisputed world’s worst language, fending off stiff competition from the likes of Hindi, French, Arabic, Spanish, Korean, English, ABC Southern Californian English and Putonghua. It has consistently swept nearly all 10 categories since the ‘defined category’ system was implemented under WWLC rule reforms in 1938…rules that sought to even the paying field and allow competing languages the opportunity to joust in individual disciplines. But the ’38 reforms did little to loosen the savage grip Cantonese held on the trophy…nothing it seemed, could compete with the unsettling, snarling, bitter tones of the repellent men and women of Cantonese stronghold, Hong Kong. Until now.
Amid chaotic scenes on Saturday afternoon in picturesque downtown Sham Shui Po, it was Tagalog to take the crown.
Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken by up to 60 million people of the Philippines. In its standardised form, Tagalog (or simply Filipino) is a devastatingly nauseating language once considered by the US military for use in enhanced interrogation techniques along with waterboarding, binding in contorted stress positions, sleep deprivation, food deprivation and subjection to extremes of heat and cold. In July 2007, the European Court of Human Rights formally ruled that prolonged exposure to Tagalog was torture and condemned its use by intelligence agencies and military organisations around the world.
Over the last 10 years, Tagalog has enjoyed success and kudos but never the title in the WWL World Championship Finals. Jubilant Philippines President, Rodrigo ‘Rody the Vigilante’ Roa Duterte praised the 2016 win as the ‘sweetest moment’ in Philippine history since his notorious implementation of the Davao Death Squads in 1998. ‘We really stood up this year and showed the world that not only are we number one in vigilante fuelled summary execution crime, but we’re the world’s worst language too…it doesn’t get any better than that!’ – ‘Rody the Vigilante’ Duterte.
In the lead up to this years championships, few gave Tagalog much hope. ‘A lot of people have this misconception that Filipinos are simple, laid-back coconut collectors with an easy drawl and unflappable nature, ready to freshen your tropical gin and tonic while you sit back and survey your plantation from the cool, cool shade of your imported treated oak veranda. Well, you know…when we aren’t out in broad daylight, brandishing handguns, homemade knives and 2 foot long machetes, whacking suspected drug users in street-side cafes and movie ticket box queues, that’s pretty much true. But this year was different. Team Tagalog meant business this year.’ – Nic Salonga, Team Tagalog Masseuse.
Turning tradition on its head, 2016 was the first year a competitive Tagalog team was selected from outside of more familiar recruiting grounds such as the corrupt, grime smeared streets of Manilla, the compound armed guarded shopping malls of Cebu and the deadly streets of Davao.
‘Don’t get me wrong. These areas are goldmines. Some of the spoken language coming out of those centres is world class. I mean, it will sear the ears off a bronze statue. It’ll have you curled into the fetal position in seconds, crying for it to stop. But, you know, when you’re competing against Cantonese there’s just no shortcuts. You need something special and there’s no way around it. It’s just that bad. Cantonese is fucking horrific. We’ve come so close in recent years and in the end it was just a bit of sideways thinking that pushed us over the line this year. Just a great team effort. I’m proud of them all.’ Isidro del Pradoso, Head Coach, Team Tagalog.
Pradoso explains that the 2016 Tagalog team was made up of randomly selected, Hong Kong based Filipino maids. ‘I don’t know if you’ve ever been in the same space as a bunch of Filipino maids in Hong Kong for more than a few minutes at a time…maybe on the MTR, a bus or a cramped staircase or something…but they’re incessant. I mean, I’m a pacifist and a Filipino myself…and I was nearly driven clinically insane last Easter when I visited Hong Kong on a 3 day business trip. I was ready to kill every last human being…man, woman and child on that train just to make a single Filipino woman stop beaking into her phone. Luckily, as I was pulling out my concealed machete, it dawned on me…if one Filipino maid can drive a guy like me to the point of literal mass murder, imagine what a group of them…together…all jabbering at the same time must be like. It was a real light-bulb in the head moment for me.
But, I don’t know what to put their stupendously aggravating jibber jabber down to though. It must be something to do with living and working as a maid in this vacuous, desperately callous Hong Kong milieu. It gives an edge to the voice, like no other place, a desperation…some kind of blaring ignorance maybe. From what I saw, Filipino maids certainly have absolutely no regard for other people in any way shape or form. They just don’t care. It’s like they take a huge deep breath, hold it for a second…and then unleash this highly irritating torrent of flipping, flopping, clicking, clacking, rolling, wobbling noise that never seems to end. Now, if you’re the type of mindless cretin who can sit there in an enclosed, crowded public space, stone cold, and yell and scream into your phone or carry out these teeth rattlingly loud, selfish conversations with your ignorant chums, without the slightest consideration for other people, then hey, the WWLC is for you. You see, in the WWLC, you need that kind of obliviousness. It’s not a competition where caring, self reflection or any form of humanity counts. It simply rewards ignorance and baseness. That’s why Hong Kong Canto has been so strong for so long.
Anyway, history now shows my hunch was right. Just look at the result. Four of the 6 judges were hospitalised and one was so out of control he swiped a paring knife from a mango juice stall and attacked our whole team before they could even finish their main routine. And I knew, I just knew as soon as Jisweda Marcos was stabbed in the throat by that judge, that our chances of winning were pretty good. I just had that feeling. Jisweda’s a real trooper though, she’ll be back next year bigger, badder, louder and more inconsiderate I’m sure.’
The categories and results for the 2016 competition were as follows:
Hong Kong’s Lament
‘I dunno. It just seems everything is going wrong these days. Mainland China is pushing us around, rents are high, there’s lead in the water pipes, our city sucks. It’s all kind of taking the wind out of our sails. Maybe we feel weak somehow. I dunno. It’s shameful to be the first ever team to lose this championship. I lost face you know? I just don’t know what to say. There just wasn’t the same kind of spite and malice in our voice this year. It’s like we are looking over our shoulder or something. We just weren’t able to lash out consistently across the 10 disciplines with the right kind of vicious streak we usually have. I don’t know. They had that ‘put the child to sleep’ category this year. It was a new category. I mean, what is that? If an infant’s ear drums burst, how are we supposed to not put it to sleep? We lose points for our efforts. I feel like we got robbed. I just…I dunno…I’m speechless. We want to protest the result, actually. I mean…is it legal to have Filipino maids who are based in HK, represent the Philippines? They are here in our home base, stealing all our ideas, using us as inspiration. It’s not fair.’ – Jimmy Wong, vc, Team Cantonese.
Let’s hear it for Team Tagalog. Congratulations on a very well deserved victory. You must be very proud!