Gwen Defends Harajuku Girls

Gwen-Stefani-5-The-Harajuku-Girls2Gwen & Katy Perry must be BFFs or have the same publicist or image coach or something, because the delusion runs equally thick with these two. Throw Madonna in there and you got the Grand Trifecta of Asian-appropriating white women (with Avril Lavigne clutching at their coattails).

When recently asked by TIME Magazine if she regretted her whole “Harajuku Girls” fetish phase from 2004, Gwen gave a resounding:

“No…. For me, everything that I did with the Harajuku Girls was just a pure compliment and being a fan. You can’t be a fan of somebody else? Or another culture? Of course you can. Of course you can celebrate other cultures. That’s what Japanese culture and American culture have done. It’s like I say in the song [“Harajuku Girls”]: it’s a ping-pong match. We do something American, they take it and they flip it and make it so Japanese and so cool. And we take it back and go, “Whoa, that’s so cool!” That’s so beautiful. It’s a beautiful thing in the world, how our cultures come together. I don’t feel like I did anything but share that love. You can look at it from a negative point of view if you want to, but get off my cloud. Because, seriously, that was all meant out of love.

Oh yes, by “celebrate”, she means: shut up, get in back, and kowtow, sidekicks!

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 4.35.59 PMAnd “Get off my cloud”? AHAHAHAAA what foolery. So is she supposed to be an angel or goddess or something? Ridiculous as that sounds, Stefani may have just coined the new catchphrase for self-important pop co-opters (paging Iggy Iggy and Mileyyyyy). Oh, but it gets better:

“…They were dancers that were cast, but they became real. One girl was a Japanese girl that grew up in L.A., and she got to hang around with three different Japanese girls that were from different places in Japan and had different backgrounds. They became best friends, and she got to go to Japan and see her heritage and see how we are all the same.”

Because they weren’t real people to begin with, just mute, cutesy pets yeah? And Gwen’s basically saying, “YOU’RE WELCOME, HJG #3” and taking credit for helping one of her props dancers wake up and smell the matcha and connect with her Supaaa Kawaiiii peeeoopleessss.

But really this is not surprising, coming from someone with a long and illustrious bindi-wearing, “Indian Princess” cosplaying, Ska-appropriating history. And I almost ralphed when Gwen “BUKK BUKK BBUKK!!!”-ed through Anita Antoinette’s Bob Marley audition on The Voice. Ugh, take a seat and turn it back around.

via Dlisted

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.

BCB Hoebags: Amy Chua & Jeb Rubenfeld

Welcome to the first inductees of 2014 into the BCB Hoebag* Hall of Shame: Amy Chua & hubby Jeb Rubenfeld!!

Shudder.

Shudder.

In all honesty, Amy Chua should have joined these hallowed ranks in 2011, when that Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother aka Chinese-moms-are-better-because-they (ALL OF THEM)-brutalize-their-kids-emotionally-physically-and-spirituality-WHAT-COME-AT-ME-AMERICA sensationalist mess that spawned a household meme no one in their right Asian American mind could stomach.

Well, fetch me a switchin’ stick, Fame Whore Mom Tiger Mom and her husband are back and classy as ever. With an (if you can believe it) even more trollish, race-baity, and offensively ridiculous message: Some races oh I mean ethnicities oh wait cultural groups yes that’s the ticket…are better than others! Because of three “unlikely traits”: Superiority Complex. Insecurity. Impulse Control. Yep.

And these successful, uh- risen groups? Cuban exiles, Nigerians, Mormons, Lebanese, Iranian, Indian…..and Chinese and Jewish (oh looky there! Obviously explains how these two were able to write such a magnum opus).

No better way to cash that publicity check ring in the new year than pseudo-scientifically exploiting stereotypes, ignoring virtually everything about American history and context, and hawking a 300+ page cunt punt to race relations with their new book: The Triple Package: How Three Random BS Traits Explain Why Some Groups Rule the Skool and Why Other Groups Suck at Life and Deserve What They Get (I’m paraphrasing, but basically). Eugenics always got a bad rap, am I right guys!? Model Minority, woof woof raise the roof!

Sure, Chua will backpedal and qualify, dodge and charm all throughout her high profile book tour, just like her last go-round. Semantics-shimmy all you want, the racial shit is implied; the damage is done. Book sales, speaking fees, and media hits, however, are over the moooon! LOL XOXO suckers!

Please Amy Chua. Just take a seat. You don’t speak for Asian Moms (#NotYourAsianTigerMom) and your bootstraps crap sure as hell doesn’t speak for the rest of us. Let’s retire this nonsense…to the BCB HOEBAG HALL OF SHAME!!

Check out some great takes on this horseshit at Changelab’s Race Files (YAASS), YOMYOMF and NY Post (really).

*We at BCB consider Hoebaggishness to be an equal opportunity quality across sex and gender(s).

Happy Holidaze from BCB

I was promised Damon Wayans.

Needs more Wayans

Season’s Greetings! Happy Kwanzaa! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Joyous Festivus! Sing Daan Fai Lok!!

You've in general been a disappointment this year (again) but since you insist on staying single long past your expiration date (mHo! mHo! mHo!), I am obliged to give you some lay see cash.

You’ve in general been a disappointment this year (again) but since you insist on staying single long past your expiration date (mHo! mHo! mHo!) tradition dictates that I give you cold, hard cash.

May you have spike in your nog, a log in your yule, and after 7pm on the 25th — we’ll see you and your cousins at the club!

And for all of you (riffraff) attending SantaCon — or your obligatory company holiday party, may I suggest the following as part of your festive ensemble:

Insert Power first in upper right

Insert Power Fist in upper right

Party time!
Dance, I said. Get on up!

This Xmas Eve I’m looking forward to our yearly tradition of going to my godmother’s and getting tipsy on Andre’s and homemade rum cake, goaded into a James Brown Christmas dance-a-thon (I’m serious, no camcorders this year) and BLACK SANTAS EVERYWHERE all black everything black on black, blacks on blacks on blacks on blaaackkssssEAT IT Megyn Kelly! Black Santas RUN THIS TOWN.

santa-black-album

So on that note, Dear BCB readers, whatever color or creed your Santa or non-denominational holiday archetype may be, have a Soulful Xmas and Funky New Year!

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

Worst Movie of Ever?

We at BCB think that racism can be hilarious, when it’s done right (see: W. Kamau Bell, Dave Chappelle, Hari Kondabolu, Negin Farsad, Stephen Colbert, Richard Pryor etc). But racism (and other -isms) just for racism’s sake — or its smug cousin, Hipster Racism — is just tired and lazy and ugly. And Buddha don’t like ugly. So she certainly would not care for this:

Seriously, was this written by a 9-year-old raised by Westboro Baptist and Jeff Dunham? What kind of drugs did they put in Sad Dachshund’s kibble to get him to go from an Academy Award to this? Is it weird to be equally offended and depressed that they topped it all off with an obnoxious cover of the Ramones?

Let’s organize a movement to ship Rob Schneider to some remote island where he can no longer be a threat to himself or anybody else with a shred of ethnic dignity. You go straight to hell, Schneider.

via Angry Asian Man