Thursday, January 25, 2007

get the DVD when it comes out

I have rarely laughed so hard in my life than at the 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors. They're an Asian comedy troupe that skewers both Asian stereotypes as well as Asians themselves. (Here's their myspace page.)

KQED, the local PBS station here, aired a documentary about these guys, and how they pitched their show to (I think two) Asian TV stations in the LA area, hoping for a regular slot.

They were certainly good enough for it. But they got turned down. Why?

The fact is, all varieties of Asians have been busy trying to roast each other centuries before anyone in Europe had figured out a use for fire. Japanese think they're better than Chinese. Chinese think they're better than Japanese. Everyone looks down on Filipinos. Everyone thinks Koreans smell funny but they're jealous of how tall they are. Everyone knows the Vietnamese are lil dwarfs but that they also kick ass ("1000 years to kick out the Chinese, 100 years for the French, 10 years for the Americans.") The 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors isn't afraid to expose and exploit those feelings for humor.

But the chickenshit TV station perceives this as damaging to the Asian image as "model" immigrants. The station wants to present a unified Asian face to the Americans (read: whites) because they still fundamentally believe we all look alike to them. They want Americans to continue thinking of Asians as serious, smart, hard working, pro-family, pro-education, trustworthy, thrifty, clean, loyal, courteous, kind, cheerful, and obedient. (Otherwise what? They'll deport us all?)

This does both the Asians and the Americans a disservice. There never has been a "unified Asia." It's as sensible a term as "unified Europe." No one considers Italians and English and Slavs and Swedes to be the same kind of people, why should anyone think Asians should be?

Support these guys. Don't let them fade into obscurity.

Memoirs of a Chinese Geisha (5:44)

Condom Ad (1:51)

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