BROS! WE OWN HIP HOP RIGHT NOW!

BROS! We did it. I can’t believe it. Ever since the first day I bought my Young Black Teenagers maxi-single, I have waited for this day. Come on, you remember YBT right???

That’s right, tap the bottle and twist the cap! Cause the rap game has been taken over. And by taken over, I mean the best rappers in the world are white, just like yours truly, Chad McDougal, part-time cell phone salesmen and part-time community college PE majorer, and ohyea my county’s greatest rapper. I’ve won cyphers at my dad’s law firm’s annual Easter Sunday breakfast and I’ve won impromptu freestyle rap competitions at underground TGIF back parking lots. So you better believe I know it when a takeover has, uh, taken over. Check it:

Greatest rapper in the game right now? You guessed it:

Greatest female rapper on the top of your charts right now?

URGH I WISH I WAS SWAGGY P, getting all up in Iggy like that! Wait, hang on, I just got a call.

Hello? What was that bro? Swaggy P, I mean Nick Young is what? He’s not… uh, what? Oh. Damn. 

Wait, I take back what I said about Swags P. I always wanted to be Kevin Love, I’ve told y’all from the very beginning! These are crazy times, y’all. No black musicians made the Billboard Top 100′s 2013 top track list for the first time since 1958. I’m not racist yo, I swear. But I just gotta say, its nice and refreshing to see people who look  like me finally singing, I mean spitting the rap game, that I like. See, Eminem agrees:

Durian Tourism….made in Oregon

coupledurians

Well, isn’t this precious? There’s a new Très Exotique durian tourism venture, brought to you from a young hip white couple from Eugene, Oregon. Because of course it is and of course they are. White privilege +  disposable income + a dash of Columbus complex….Oh, the places you’ll go!

Some choice bits from the NPR (again, OF COURSE) feature:

“What if a single taste of one fruit — in this case, the durian — changed the course of your entire life?

The moment (2009) Gasik and Culclasure inhaled the fruit’s gassy aroma of fermented pineapple and onion and tasted its cool, creamy, vanilla-flavored flesh, they were hopelessly hooked. Now, after years of traveling through Southeast Asia tracking down and eating durian almost daily, they have become experts on the fruit. And for other travelers who catch durian fever, Gasik has written a durian travel guide to Thailand , which comes out in June….

“It’s very sensual — the thorny texture, intense aroma, bizarre appearance and amazing range of flavors found in no other fruit or natural food,” Gasik tells us by email from Bangkok. “Durian is the only fruit in the world that I know of that combines a very high sugar content with a high fat content. It’s like crème brûlée on a tree.”…

Since the couple departed for Asia in 2012 to pursue durians nearly full-time, they’ve eaten the fruit in 13 countries, including Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Australia.

And even Gasik and Culclasure have more new durians to taste. This summer, they’re hoping for a chance at “elephant dung durian.”

Elephants often eat fallen durians off the ground, Gasik explains, and sometimes the entire fruit manages to pass through the animal unbroken. The flesh of these durians supposedly goes through a further ripening process that amplifies the taste.

“There’s a guy in Malaysia who says he’ll have some in July,” Gasik says. “I’m really, really excited.”

CBruhs: BARF LOOK AT THESE HIPPIES. Tripping all over themselves to scoop elephant poopfruit into their maws. Who can just up and leave to the other side of the world to eat fruit all damn day?? WHITE PEOPLE. And why can’t durian just be durian and not compared to creme brulee in order to somehow “translate” it? Who do you think knows what the texture and aroma of creme brulee is even like?? OTHER WHITE PEOPLE. You wouldn’t say potato is the daikon of Europe…or something. Actually maybe you would say something like that AZN.

AZN: At least it’s really durian and not a euphemism for a sex tour.

CBruhs: If it was 2 white dudes I would be suspicious that it really was. Well, he did describe durian as a “sensual” fruit. What does that even mean? So what would be a “not sensual” fruit…like a cranberry? Something from Europe obviously because only Asian fruits can be sessy fruits. Anyhoo I’m personally more interested in the Russell Wong Joy Luck Club Watermelon Tour. Coming soon to such exotic locales as your local Ranch 99.

 

Thanks Char Char!

Why Asian Americans Should Care About Native Mascotry

Art by Carrie Grubb

Art by Carrie Grubb

Over the past couple weeks, many Asian Americans who are active online were swept up in the major drama that was #CancelColbert. I’m not saying I’m completely on board with Colbert’s usage of “Ching-Chong” and “Oriental” to illustrate the ridiculous racism of Dan Snyder’s sham foundation (nice try Dan). Nor am I going to debate the contours and pitfalls of satire, or even re-hash the whole Twitter sh*tstorm here, as there’s already been much media a-blitzin and I just CAN’T WITH THAT. Google it.

Rather, I’d like to touch on recent efforts and why I think AAPI peeps should get on board — efforts intended to re-focus online energy and demonstrate solidarity with Native activists by supporting the original issue: changing the Washington R*dsk*ns name (and ending Native mascotry in general). These campaigns have been led by Native activists both online (EONM) and on-the-ground (see: AIM, Oneida Nation) decades before it became part of Colbert Report‘s slate or a blip on the radar of AAPI online activists.

Yes, there are deep shared social, economic, and even cultural histories between Native Americans, First Nations, and Asian folks, especially in the Northwest and Canada, that is not widely known (perhaps we can get into this via a future guest post)…but I believe there are also some immediate and intuitive parallels that should feel familiar to us Asians. Particularly how Native communities continue to be plagued by stereotypical and racist imagery  — and the narratives invoked to justify them.

Cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz

Cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz

How often have Asian Americans heard variations on the “Relax, I’m Honoring You” theme? From Katy Perry’s shuffling, mish-MESS geisha at the AMAs — to the HIMYM yellowface “homage” to kung fu flicks — to Tao’s dodgy apology about its “happy ending” advertising…to basically every case of yellow fever ever. And that’s just in the last six months!

Every Halloween, there’s geishas and ninjas and Pocahontases, oh my! — a swarm of costumed commodification set loose upon the land to try our last nerve. There’s always that one person at the party playing racial dress-up in a kimono, a feather headbandy thingy, a sombrero, or some other dreadful item (see: Dreadlock. Hats.). It’s a perennially pervasive problem, as reflected in the popular “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume” campaign (and let’s not even get started on music festivals and haute and hipster fashion).

SETH2FINAL2-1

photos for poster

These “costumes” don’t exist in some harmless, aesthetically pleasing vacuum, but are the gateway drag to activating a network of stereotypes and/or acting like a bigoted asshat. The ornamented geisha is just shy of being a submissive, exotic whore. Like the mascot “chief” with colorful feathers is a step away from a drunk savage — as Jacqueline Keeler notes in her powerful Salon piece, “My Life as a Cleveland Indian“:

“Because it’s not just the static image of the mascot that is the problem, be it stoic and noble or a horrific caricature with a feather on top. It is the license it confers others to act out dated stereotypes about us and ignore our real issues — even our humanity. This is particularly noticeable when members of EONM challenge fans, who immediately go from saying, “But we are honoring you,” to, “You’re drunks and on welfare, you should be grateful we are doing this.”

These are just a couple, perhaps more obvious examples of how our bodies, our traditions, our imagery have been similarly filtered through the fun house mirror of White gaze and used to sell products, experiences, and racial fantasies. Our culture reduced to a schtick: something ancient and quaint you can buy in a curio shop or cobble together with a hot glue gun, chopsticks, and a hodge-podge of crap from Party City.

Of course, there are limits around how far we can/should take these parallels between Native and Asian issues and experiences. But in this common understanding of what it feels like to be be reduced to kitsch and caricature, there is the opportunity and necessity to go all in together. Asian Americans, as another relatively small (but fast growing) racial group, have also felt like we were shouting into the wind, laboring to be seen and heard on our own terms — beyond buckteeth and slanted eyes, chopsocky and dragon ladies. We’ve come to appreciate the support and significance of allies, and building community beyond the usual suspects (shameless shoutout to #BuildDontBurn).

The Washington R*dsk*ns, Chief Wahoo, the Atlanta Braves — shouldn’t be viewed as solely a “Native” cause. Because the underlying issue — cultural (mis)appropriation and the lurking racism that props it up — is a shared one. Changing even one Native mascot is a win for AAPIs, because it chips away at the system that supports these stereotyped symbols, and shifts the public’s understanding around what is and what is not acceptable. What is paying respect and what is plain ol’ racism. We can do better and go farther together…and that’s how we’ll win.

***

Many Thanks to Jackie Keeler and Ethan Keller for reaching out and sharing their stories, as well as those of other Native writers and activists. Please check out their Native-led online activist group Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry (EONM) and follow them on Twitter.

Reappropriate is aggregating a list of posts and shares that are a part of the #Native and #AAPI solidarity effort around #notyourmascot, #not4sale, and #changethename. Check it out here.

What you can do:

- Sign the 18MR petition calling on Dan Snyder to change the R*dSk*ns name and mascot here.

- Show your support by blogging & tweeting with hashtags #Not4Sale #NotYourMascot and #ChangetheName

- Send an email to Wylliet(at)redskins(dot)com asking them to change the R*dSk*ns team name.

- Add your voice to the mix!: write your own blog post, Op-ed, or sound off in the comments.

JT Takes Over Chinatown

FRESHLY back from an amazing Legends of the Summer concert at Candlestick featuring Jay”-”Z and Justin Timberlake, AzN is high as a kite and was looking forward to ANY news, video, audio, hair samples from the new new new King of Pop: JT. Alas, that’s when this video came out:

Since the video was shot at the Yankee Stadium leg of the tour and features NYC Chinatown in all of its Oriental glory, I decided to reserve judgement and allow Cbruhs to comment. What proceeds is a highly edited for content version of our brief email exchange because I didn’t want too many curse words and wanted to minimize the amount of unabashed JT MAN LOVE I show pretty much all the time.

AzN: Check out where the new JT video was filmed. Gonna just tweet it unless you wanted to add something like OH I LIVED AROUND THE CORNER!

Cbruhs: Gotta run some errands but will watch when i get back. UGH I hope this doesnt encourage more douchey hipster kids to come shit in chinatown as their cultural playground. Some of the old chinese-owned bars are now $15 cocktail places where white waitresses wear cheongsams and that NO CHINESE PPL go to or work at. It’s pretty disgusting

AzN: I’d be curious to see what you think. if it’s on a JT video, that means its beyond hipsterdom already.

Cbruhs: eh, looks like he’s in that overpriced hipster club i hate on doyers.  i think the vid still looks ridiculous…maybe most of all b/c “take back the night” is a well-known anti-rape campaign and foundation. i think overall it’s really not as terrible as a lot of other things i’ve seen (I’m looking at YOU dickbrains, DAY ABOVE GROUND) but still eyeroll-inducing b/c it’s the same ol’ exotification of chinatown/ethnic field trip stuff. especially how he walks through this “secret chinese passageway” where he knows everyone. yah right — out asian-ing the asians. at least he didn’t have some swooning asian girl on his arm (like that barftastic Heineken commercial). And to quoth my old roommate Char Char: “Oh GAAAAAWWWDDD”.

AzN: I saw the show last Friday and was disappointed there wasn’t much dancing on JT’s part and the dancing in this video looks pretty weird. Esp with these black and white shirts he keeps insisting on wearing…

Cbruhs: Totally, I thought his dancing was a bit underwhelming in this video too — it’s kinda funny when he’s trying to go all Fred Astaire on the like, 2 brokedown steps of the barbershop. Ha! There’s was probably some over-it Chinese dude waiting off to the side for JT to finish so he could open up shop and start the work day.  His shirt also makes my head hurt. JT’s hair, on the other hand, is laid like Murraaay’s.

AzN: I do however like how most of those storefronts are actually Vietnamese spots. VIETNAMTAKEOVER.

Cbruhs: If they really wanted to make an accurate day-in-the-life-of-doyers vid, they’d show an old dude in a wife beater on a cell phone with a cigarette dangling out of his mouth 86 a mangy chihuahua-sized rat by stomping it into a crack in the wall with his foot. Wearing SHOWER SHOES. true story. I witnessed it with my own eyeballs, as this man came to my rescue right after i saw the rat and screamed and scampered away like the soft ABC that i am. And this video would star Jin tha MC and Eddie Huang and yo gramma. Now that’s “Taking it Back”.

AzN: ANYWAYS, I should probably mention at this point that I already bought tickets to the newly added San Jose show that just came out this morning. OHLOOKISTHATLEVYTRANOVERTHERE?

Buckwheat Groats: “Swag Like a Douchebag Racist”

I’ve never heard of these assclowns “Buckwheat Groats” — but their video “Swag Like An Asian” definitely takes the cake for most racist, misogynistic, douchebagtastic, Yelloxploitation brick of turd I’ve seen in a hot minute. All in one fell swoop.

I can’t even watch this more than once because the lyrics and images make me wanna choke their fugly mugs with their own fur coats and rip the chunky one’s face pubes out with my bare hands and feed it to him. From the “Asian bitches” sucking on his diamond dick chain, to lines like: “put some nuts on your girl that’s my kung pao chickenhead”, there’s just so much to rage at.

No thanks white boys, y’all ain’t cute and you can keep your back-handed, fetishistic Asian “tribute”. And sorry, but a laundry list of pan-Asian stereotypes does not a good rap video make. The ability to wrap your ignant minds around that is some #SWAG you’ll never have.

And we’ve said it before and we’ll say again: HIPSTER RACISM IS STILL RACISM!!!

via Angry Asian Man

Friday Fuckery: Konichiwerk

It’s no secret that my veneration for drag queens, throwin’ shade, and yes, ovahness — is near unconditional (and borderline obsessive)…but GRRROOOOOAAAANNNNN.

Dude’s like one step away from yellow face. And if we’re getting technical here, there’s many things one could point out about this video (besides Mike Diamond) that aren’t Japanese, one of which is — it’s filmed in CHINATOWN. And can we please just slaughter and bury that chopsocky font please!?! KonichiDON’T.

Thanks Princess Char Char!

Bon 4 de Juillet!

My buddy Tinio posted this on FB today and I don’t see what else can be more fitting on the Fourth of July than a bunch of surburban French kids channeling every action scene from American movies and making this awesome mess. AMERICA FUCK YEA!

Friday Fuckery: Hipster Racism & Lucky 8′s China House

Hipster Racism seems to be getting a lot of attention lately — from Lindy West’s excellent Jezebel article to Kyria Abraham’s exasperating, self-serving response, to this very recent example of Orientalist food truck foolery.

We here at BCB are well aware of this epidemic (we created a “Hipster Racism” category for the blog in 2009) and are pretty happy about the general increase in dialogue about it.

So for this Friday’s Fuckery, we present yet another culprit: Lucky 8′s China House (seriously), a new chic restaurant in Seattle’s Capitol Hill area, owned by Bracey Rogers and his wife Marcy Akiyama.

CBruhs met some friends at this joint a few weeks ago, and was swiftly irritated by its overpriced cooptation of ethnic food, lack of any (visible, maybe they were in the back washing dishes) Asian staff, and in particular, an ironically mustachioed server named “Tiger” who announced in rather dramatic fashion that he was about to make a bike delivery (for examples of why this is problematic, contrast this with the unglamorous, dangerous, and sometimes fatal reality of real Chinese delivery men).

Last night, BCB friend Louie Gong went to Lucky 8′s China House and was similarly not impressed by the stereotypical decor: kung fu movies, a gong, a giant to-go box, and drinks like “Phists of Phooey” (you just don’t fuck with a Bruce Lee movie). Basically what he describes as “a cartoon version of Asian culture…like they turned an Asian-themed slot machine into a restaurant.”

After Louie paid, Tiger apparently noticed his last name on the credit card. As Louie was walking out, he heard behind him: “Gong….Gong?? Hey, Gong!?” He turned around, and Tiger had gathered the cooks, picked up a mallet, and then for reals CLANGED THE EFFING GONG.

Incredulous, Gong the person asked to take a pic for posterity. And ridicule:

For Louie, this was a delightful reminder of how kids would mockingly chant “Goooong!” during basketball games. So thanks for that, Tiger — and thank you Lucky 8′s China House for serving up another shining example that there really is no difference between “Hipster racism” and just regular ol’ racism.

photos by Louie Gong

Oh Hell No: Ashton Kutcher in Brownface

Yesterday, Popchips unveiled its new ad campaign “Worldwide Lovers”, in which worldwide D-bag Ashton Kutcher plays four different characters on a dating show. One of these characters is “Raj”, a Bollywood producer — which is basically Ashton in brownface, a sparkly blue sherwani, and a shitty accent.

I don’t think I need to explain why this ad is racist, but I wouldn’t mind an explanation of what the hell this has to do with Popchips. And believe it or not, this campaign cost $1.5M…and those lucky enough to live in Denver, L.A., New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Seattle would have been treated to outdoor ads as well.

Even more wack was the initial response Popchips released: “The new popchips worldwide dating video and ad campaign featuring four characters was created to provoke a few laughs and was never intended to stereotype or offend anyone. At popchips we embrace all types of shapes, flavors and colors, and appreciate all snackers, no matter their race or ethnicity. We hope people can enjoy this in the spirit it was intended.”

This ad isn’t about RACE, people….it’s about SNACKERS! Of all um, “shapes, flavors and colors”….especially pervy, pathetic, Indian snackers! So if you’re offended…just stop that right now!

Writer Anil Dash has been very active in responding to the ad campaign, outlining next steps and documenting his correspondence with the company.

It looks like all the tweets and criticism paid off, and Popchips pulled the ad and apologized. Founder and CEO Keith Belling wrote on the company site: “We received a lot feedback about the dating campaign parody we launched today and appreciate everyone who took the time to share their point of view. Our team worked hard to create a light-hearted parody featuring a variety of characters that was meant to provide a few laughs. We did not intend to offend anyone. I take full responsibility and apologize to anyone we offended.”

Friday Fuckery: T.G.I. Friday’s Korean Tacos

photo: T.G.I. Friday’s

We’ve all been goin’ ga-ga for Korean tacos over the past few years, from Roy Choi’s groundbreaking Los Angeles-based Kogi truck to Seattle’s Marination Mobile…and countless imitators. The latest of which is your favorite suburban binge-drinking office party spot, T.G.I.F.! Or, Thank Goddess It’s Fracking Time for Korean Tacos Hells Yes Hi-Five Brah!!!

If you want a little something extra to go with those Loaded Skillet (teehee) Nachos or that bowlful of Tuscan Spinach Dip (TM), these tacos are made with Black Angus steak and they’re served with Sriracha, ginger-lime slaw, cilantro, basil aaaaaand jasmine rice pilaf. Let’s just ram the whole of Southeast Asia and the Asian subcontinent in there for good measure — and kinda skip over most of the Korean ingredients thing…kimchi and kkakdugi smells may freak out the mall walkers, brah!

Regardless, I will probably still order this mess next time I’m by the Westfield. In mah belly, it’s always Friday (Fuckery)!

via Eater

Thanks Char!