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.
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