Friday, March 28, 2014

On Satire & Real Implications of Racism

Hello Angry People of the Internet (But Mostly Twitter),
As an Asian-identifying person, after reading the Tweet and then watching the Colbert Report clip (skip to around 4:50) I agree that the racist quote could be taken out of context. HOWEVER, the Ching-Chong character is clearly a satire and meant to be very offensive.
Satire is taking a normalized, mostly unquestioned social situation (keeping the name Washington Redskins despite it being a slur against Native American people) and applying it to another social situation in which it seems out of place, all in order to highlight the reality of such a construct outside of the socially-normalized sphere (if the Redskins Original Americans Foundation is politically correct, shouldn’t the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever be as well?).
It’s hyperbole, it’s dark comedy, and most importantly, it is rooted in reality. (And not irony, goddammit.)
The flippancy of the Colbert character (CHARACTER, this is a satirist television show and not the man himself) toward one specific ethnic group resulted in outcry, so shouldn't the same reaction also be happening in relation to the Redskins? Shouldn't this anger be directed to the fact that Daniel Snyder refuses to change the name, and buries himself in deeper by establishing a foundation for the marginalized group while still utilizing the slur in its very title? I’m not completely sure if the foundation could be qualified as genuine, sustainable assistance, but I do appreciate that they’re doing something at all.
Could the The Colbert Show have tweeted something more tasteful? Of course. On a platform where you can’t rely on context, how did they not expect this to enrage people?
At first glance I was a bit hurt, and even watching the clip can only assuage that so far. However, I still believe that satire can be useful. I would have preferred if the point could have been made without the expense of my (in America, still minority and still facing real racism) ethnicity. I don’t know how to solve this situation exactly, make a satire with power-majority white people as the focus? The Cracka’-Lackin’ Club for Suburban Youths or Whatever? (Disclaimer: SATIRE.)
Now that we all know what satire is and that racism should be unacceptable, I can only ask now to GO AFTER THE REAL RACISTS. And maybe read A Modest Proposal. As for The Colbert Show, perhaps it is time to lose that specific character in the future. I would appreciate it, at least.
But most of all, BE CIVIL when engaging in debates. We can only have progressive dialogue when there aren’t rape/death threats being thrown around, ya feel? Be kind, friends.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cultivate Your Happiness

“No mockery in this world ever sounds to me so hollow as that of being told to cultivate happiness. What does such advice mean? Happiness is not a potato, to be planted in mould, and tilled with manure.” 
-- Villette, Charlotte Brontë

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about happiness. I've been studying Mills and Kant and Aristotle. I watched the documentary Happy the other day. I've been trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. The above quote was read for my 19th Century British Women Tales class (shut up, I'm an english major and this is fascinating), and if you've read Villette, you know that Lucy Snowe is a narrator of woe and malaise. As well as unexpected hilarious quips (look, she compared happiness to a potato, I mean come on). However! I quite disagree with her belief.

I cultivate my happiness. I do it in farmer's markets picking out the reddest, juiciest apples. I do it in searching through Strand Bookstore for the perfect novel to read on a park bench. I do it in serendipitous subway rides after finding one another at crosswalks. I do it in wearing oversize sweaters and dark lipstick while the wind rustles hole-speckled, orange leaves for me to step down in a perfect crunch. I do it in using italics.

Today was really and truly pleasant, for no big reason at all. I find my best days are started with good books, a hot drink, and a song playing over and over in my head. I cultivate happiness so I can have days like this.

Since entering this so-called adulthood, I've realized that life (or mine at least) has become a process of waking up. I want to stay awake. I want to take advantage of every opportunity to create happiness. I cultivate my happiness. How do you cultivate yours?

Listening to: Who Do You Like? - Joywave

Monday, September 17, 2012

Time Warp: Autumn

It's finally autumn! Almost-- the weather still insists on constantly switching from oppressively humid and deliciously crisp. Meanwhile, I insist on pumpkin-infused goodies and trying to get away with wearing long pants/ beginning the process of nobody-has-to-see-my-legs-so-woops-what-is-shaving.

A whole season has passed since I last blogged here, and a lot of stuff has happened! I had a rough end of the semester at university, but I grounded myself at home with the judicious application of sun, work, and fun. How have my goals been doing, you ask?

Did I:
  • Eat vegan? Well... not really. I'm trying, just not very hard when there is so much cheese to consume. I've been better at limiting the amount of dairy a day to just one product and only buying cage-free eggs. This goal still needs improvement.
  • Get a job? Yes, actually! I got my first waitress job at a brand new restaurant in my home town. It wasn't glamorous work of course, but I had a lot of fun with my co-workers. And because I'm from such a small community, I always saw people I knew or hadn't talked to in a few years. I'm just a townie. I also ended up being a bit of an assistant to the manager and owner, since I knew how to work with computers and make seating charts and etc. Anyways, I had to leave because obviously I go to college in a completely different state. Right now, I have a few job interviews lined up so hopefully all goes well and I can get another job!
  • Move into an apartment? Not this summer, it just ended up making more sense to live at home. However, I feel like I became a lot closer to my family and (surprise!) I missed them more than ever when I moved into this Jersey apartment. Living here is great, though! My two roommates are just as big of nerds as I am. And I get a lot of reading done on the commute to classes.
  • Get fit? Right when I moved back home, I exclusively ate fruits and veggies, and only ate when I was actually hungry. And through this method, within one month, I had reached half of my weight loss goal! Then I started waitressing, and I continued to lose inches from my waistline while building up some wicked muscle, so the number on the scale didn't matter anymore. I've somewhat maintained my fitness level since starting the semester, but I think my progress my summer did wonders for my body and my mind! Eating healthy and staying active is key. 
  • Stuck with a blog? I'm tryin'! And I think I'll be writing for my university's blog as a food journalist? Updates soon.
So! I think it's time to add more goals to my list.

What should I try to do this fall?