Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Fwd: Re: re: Autoresponse (fwd)

<snark> <witty comment> <link stolen from more popular site> <snark> <Rabelaisian witticism delivered with inappropriate sexual connotation> <exhaustion> <unfunny snark, later edited out but never removed because of Blogger code glitch> <rant fueled by job frustration, summarily deleted> <failure of medium>

Monday, April 04, 2005

It is bullshit that M.I.A. is touring under the aegis of Clear Channel. You can’t shut up about how awesome your terrorist father is, but you sell tickets to your tour exclusively through the corporation that broadcasts Fox News to 60% of the country and also owns Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura? Whatever.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

I Want Candy?

Hurrah, Daily Candy has come to the 617 (as of 12/1). Now we, too, can willingly be bombarded with watercolor-bedecked spam emails about little-known, tragically overpriced boutiques and spas!....I'm sure Low Culture can't wait. OK, fine, despite its pretentions, Daily Candy isn't entirely unbearable. But face it, this is not the biggest nor most underground city in the world, folks. What can DC tell me that I don't already know (ha) or that isn't covered in full by one of the 37 myriad lifestyle weeklies available from my friendly neighborhood newsbox? (Hitha Prabhkar's fashion section of Metro alone is enough--dude, Hitha, channel Vogue on your own time, OK? I just want a rundown on the war in Iraq and some funny animal stories while I wait for the Dunkin to kick in.) More importantly, what can a bunch of uppity New Yorkers tell me about my beloved (adopted) hometown?

Indeed, this quote from the Editor-in-Chief of DC, Dany Levy (taken from yesterday's Metro--thanks Hitha), doesn't inspire much hope about the level of "scoop" game these folks are bringing: "[W]e chose to launch Boston right now because, in the past 5 years or so, Boston has undergone a pretty phenomenal change. Yes there is and always will be a classic Boston style, but there's also this burgeoning fashion scene with more edge. And the restaurant scene is on the total uptick. I've been amazed at the food so far--at the Federalist, Metropolis, tonight I'm eating at Number 9." Umm, I've lived here since 1997 and as far as I can tell there was no sudden "phenomenal change": maybe I missed it, but I don't think I woke up one morning in 2000 and suddenly all the food began stacking up vertically on my plate and all the snob ladies walking their pugs up Charles St. emerged carrying As Four circle bags and Proenza-Schouler bias-cut skirts or something. And listen, if you're going to name-drop hot new restaurants to show how in-crowd you are, do not choose The Federalist and No. 9 Park, both venerable, high-class old dining institutions. Union, Oleana, hell even Tremont 647 would give you more street cred.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Fox on Sox


Fox News, don't get the wrong idea: I still unapologetically loathe you for being the official mouthpiece of a gay-hating, truth-bashing administration.

But just this once, you done good.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

On Hiatus

Hôrê men poleôn muthôn,
Hôrê de kai hupnou.


There is a time for many words,
and there is also a time for sleep.

~The Odyssey, XI.379 (Nekuia)

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Gaysian v. Gaijin

Me Chinese, me play joke, me put failed racist humor in your upwardly mobile men's lifestyle magazine and try to pass it off as homophobic chic!

Details—perhaps the world's most famous closeted magazine (think of it as the Tom Cruise of the Condé Nast empire)—has come under fire from Asians recently for a piece (featured in their latest issue, out now) called 'Gay or Asian?' [.jpg of magazine page]. The "offensive" article presents a photo of a stylish, Eurotrashily groomed East Asian man and asks the reader to deduce (based on the editorial board's commentary on his look) whether he is a full—on homosexual or just a mincing little Oriental. As the writer says, "One cruises for chicken; the other takes it General Tso style....[Are his] delicate features refreshed by a cup of hot tea or a hot night of teabagging?" Sassy!

Now, on first seeing the article, my immediate response was to assume that it was just Details's garbled attempt at reporting on the whole Last Stop Before Crossover phenomenon....You know, because East Asian girls tend to have boyish bodies (petite, broad-shouldered, flat-chested), guys who date them are said to be at the last stop on the dating train before it crosses over to the part of town where you, uh, well, you know, find the, how-you-say, fudgepacking factories. (Get my drift? Don't make me spell it out for you....Just because I'm brown doesn't automatically make me a spelling whiz like some movies might make you think, ok? Anyway, "last stop" is really old news—when it's mentioned (as the above linked blog notes) in a year-old Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, trust us, it's old news—but hey, a few years behind the curve is a typical reportage lag for Details (rumor has it the May issue will feature trucker hats and an interview with up-and-coming pop tart Jessica Simpson).

But it turns out that not many others had the same dismissive response I did, as many Asians were quite taken aback by the article. (This young Asians forum argument over it pretty much sums up the brouhaha. Kawabunga also reports on what the angry slanty-eyeds are doing in response—ooh, an anti-Condé Nast Yahoo! Group—while offering a handy gay v. Asian Venn Diagram that maps the hazily-gendered space inhabited by the modern AZN dude much more accurately than the self-loathing queers over at Details could ever dream of doing.)

Now, as a personage of both the gay and Asian persuasions, I have to say that the only part of the article that I find offensive is the fact that the hot Dolce & Gabbana jacket featured is only available in white, which is so not a good color for me outerwear-wise. Heh. In all seriousness, it's hard for me to understand why anyone, let alone just Asians, would see this piece as bigoted. First of all, if there's someone who's going to be offended here, it should be the gays: stereotyping all homosexuals as pedophiles and deviant testicle-snugglers is a bit more offensive than saying all Asians eat General Tso's chicken. So why doesn't GLAAD or some random pack of homos climb out of their k-hole long enough to put together a protest Yahoo! Group or some such?

The short answer is that gays only organize into Yahoo! Groups when it comes to sharing photos of A&F models. The long answer is this: the whole fag-bashing component of the piece is so crudely written that it's obvious that this is all intended as some sort of camp satire for homos (albeit a weak one), homos who the editors know would just laugh it off thanks to the far superiorly attuned sense of humour possessed by the homogays. Indeed, pretty much every issue of Details is chock full of such sly queerbaiting/homo entendre, as the editors of the magazine recognize its status as one of that elite cadre of magazines I like to call "gay for pay." (Side note: Details was actually the first mainstream magazine to publicly out some supposedly gay-for-pay-only porn stars.) You know, it's that group of magazines, often referred to as lad-rags—think GQ, Men's Health, Cargo, etc.—that are ostensibly for straight men but are secretly read only by gays. These are not to be confused with magazines like Maxim, which are ostensibly for straight men but are secretly written only by gays. (Don't believe me? Just think about it: straight people—straight men particularly—are pretty much devoid of any humour; they definitely don't do that whole self-deprecating comedy thing. So could straight dudes really put together a magazine that caricatures/self-mocks the prototypical hornball "straight guy" archetype as deftly as Maxim does? Also, someone I used to work with who once freelanced for Maxim reported back that it was nothing but a bunch of 'mos sitting around making up senseless titty jokes, tongue planted firmly in cheek and Cosmo Vodka Gimlet planted firmly in limp little wrist.)

Also, do these Asians live in a cultural vacuum? 'Gay or _______?' is a "humor" feature (called 'Anthropology') that not only appears every month in Details but prides itself on always being crass to the extreme: past issues have included 'Gay or Guido?' and 'Gay or British?', and hell, just last month the issue featured 'Gay or Jesus?', which showcased a hot, impeccably muscled model playing the son of man, complete with diamond-cutting cheekbones, a pair of fetching mandals, and the most amazing abs, plus the most tantalizing whiff of pubic hair peeking through a bulging see-through linen tunic. But you don't hear any complaints about that one from Jerry Falwell....Are you telling me that the dense bozos of the Religious Right can grok the (Tinky-)wink(y)-wink queer-friendly nature of Details, but a bunch of humorless Asians can't?

Actually, maybe I should reconsider my position, and maybe gays should be offended—not by Details's limp moisturizer jokes, but by the very Asians who are themselves claiming offense. I mean, let's look at what this outrage from the Asian community boils down to: basically, a bunch of Asian people are upset because an article is equating them with gay people....gasp! horror! Heaven fucking forbid! Please America, completely ignore us and our culture, deny your persecution of us throughout history, fetishize our women as kittenish whores, blaspheme our holiest beliefs, decimate our cuisine for the sake of your bland honky palates, fail to differentiate among our thousands of ethnicities, cast us in movies only as either doctors or kung-fu fighters, ridicule us for being gap-toothed Engrish-spewing tone-deaf nerds on TV, but please oh please oh please don't associate us with the homosexuals! We don't really care that we're constantly, mercilessly stereotyped and ignored as a worthwhile subset of American culture by you, just promise you won't say that we like to take it up the ass and displease THE LORD YOUR GOD like those faggots do. Ack!

Fucking bigoted chinks.

Anyhoo, speaking of tone-deaf nerds, SF Gate columnist Emil Guillermo has been spewing forth articles about how dorky American Idol reject William Hung—the supposed quintessence of America's horrible attitude toward Asians—is only getting his 15 minutes of fame because he fulfills America's racist fantasies of Asian people. Uh, what? There are plenty of reasons to haterate on American Idol, but accusations of unspoken bigotry are hardly first on my list.....Turns out this is actually a popular meme in the land of Blog (not that that has any correlation to its relevance, coherence, or interest, but hey). Basically, because William fits all the classic racist stereotypes of the ineffectual Asian male—he's awkward, he has bad teeth, he's a virgin, he studies engineering, he barely speaks English, he attends Berkeley, etc.—his emergence as an American cult(ure) icon only shows how racist our country truly is. Wha? Now, we could be considered racist if, say, William Hung were some white dude who entertained us by dressing up in "yellow face"; but last time I checked, all those unappealing things cited as William Hung's "stereotypes" are just facts about him; he's not "fulfilling" any ideally bigoted image by having bad teeth, a worse accent, and a problem losing his virginity—that's just who he is. In fact, by calling attention to all the ways in which he doesn't fit in to hackneyed American conceptions of manhood—and then sneakily claiming these are personal "faults" of his that somehow make anyone who likes him a racist—you serve only to marginalize him and attempt to deflect attention away from your own racist leanings. Dumbass!

A similar scenario arises whenever Carson Kressley from Queer Eye For The Straight Guy is discussed. Many—homos included—dismiss him (and his show in general) for reeinforcing the "worst stereotypes about gays" thanks to his flamboyanté demeanor, campy humor, and slavish adoration of couture. This would be a horrid riff on tired old fag-bashing stereotypes if, say, Carson and the other 4 members of the Fab Five were actually 5 straight dudes who were basically gay sambos trained by Bravo as interior decorators and hair stylists and then paid $80,000 an episode to really flame it up in front a bunch of TV cameras. (That's of course how they make Frasier, which surpasses even Will & Grace as prime time's best gay drawing-room farce—small surprise given that Frasier's current producer and writer is author Joe Kennan, who writes gay drawing-room farces. But that's a story for another time.) Anyway, the fact remains that Carson really is gay, effeminate, and obsessed with fashion, just as his colleagues really are Broadway dancers and interior decorators and hair stylists. They don't just play gays on TV, get it, so calling them out for being too stereotypically gay is like being outraged that black people would dare to show their black skin in public.

But my favorite line from Mr. Guillermo is when he offers that final damning evidence proving that American Idol is a racist scourge: Why does America allow an untalented Asian to be ridiculed? "You certainly wouldn't see them glorify a black man who couldn't sing and dance on American Idol. Nor would they prop up a clumsy, tone-deaf white person." You're right, Emil—we reserve the glorification of talentless black men and clumsy, tuneless white people for prime airplay on MTV, not on hack shows like American Idol. Dumbass!

[I know, I know, the lack of posting. And considering that 4 of the total 5 readers of this blog either date Asian girls, are Asian girls, work for Condé Nast, or all of the above—all groups I chose to skewer this evening—I hardly chose a topic to get myself back in your good graces. I just haven't been inspired in a while, sorry about that; but I'm aiming for posting twice a week, hopefully thrice. Email me with topics and I would be happy to oblige.]

Monday, April 12, 2004

Cherished Spring Tradition #37: The Easter Egg Witch Hunt

I was all set to raise this blog from the dead on Sunday, in honor of Easter, but I got a little tripped up by all the Christian "fuzzy math" and had to ditch the idea. Q.v.: tradition/Mel Gibson tells us that Jesus was hung out to die by the filthy Jews on Good Friday, then "on the third day he rose again." Nowadays some celebrate that resurrection on Easter Sunday, but that's not quite right, as technically the "third day" of JC's crucifixion (i.e., 72 hours after they first strung him up) is actually about right now, Monday late afternoon, and not Easter Sunday morning. So in fact, by resurrecting my blog on Monday midday, I am more correct than all of Christendom and have once again proven myself more right and upstanding than those goddamn Bible-thumpers with their brains so full of the LOVE OF OUR LORD JESUS that they have no room for things like reality or chronology or accurate time-keeping. (Hell, in refusing to recognize divorce, the Catholic Church alone is some 475 years behind everyone else.) Homos 1, Christians 0!

But why focus solely on the "celebrating it on the wrong day" tradition of Easter when there are plenty of other dumbass Easter rituals, like biting the heads off bunnies and wandering aimlessly around outside in fetching crinoline frocks while hunting for Easter eggs? Be glad you don't celebrate Easter in Michigan, where some kids out hunting for hidden eggs found a hidden cache of loaded guns instead. Yeek! One of the guns went off when it was dropped, but nothing was harmed (except of course for those children's love of OUR LORD JESUS). Ironically (or is it?), the city where this went down (Flint, MI) happens to be not only the birthplace of gunnut activist Michael Moore but also one of the prime targets in Moore's scathing anti-violence screed Bowling for Columbine. Wire reports say the children were easily calmed down and don't seem particularly affected by the sight of the guns, concerning themselves more with the giant Easter baskets the police department gave them as consolation—baskets their parents will have to pry FROM THEIR COLD, DEAD HANDS.

In other horrifyingly ironic news, Clear Channel has dropped Howard Stern for being too indecent, while continuing to aggressively promote Rush Limbaugh's misogynistic, homophobic, anti-American roid rages against fags, libruls, feminazis, pinkos, towelheads, etc. Thankfully, the drop doesn't hurt Howard much as he is mostly broadcast via a little indie pirate radio station called Viacom. And wait, it's not really ironic or surprising at all, given that Clear Channel is actually the official mouthpiece of the Bush administration and the butt-boy of the the newly prudish FCC (whose high fines of Howard's show prompted his dismissal). The Howard Stern news comes soon after Victoria's Secret (which is owned by Express/Bath & Body Works, who knew?) announced that their fear of similar FCC fines has caused them to cancel their annual televised fashion show. The sexed-up Victoria's Secret striptease "fashion" show has aired for the past few years with no problems on CBS, which also broadcast this year's nippletastic Superbowl. CBS president Les Moonves issued an official statement about the cancellation: "The CBS family is deeply saddened by this news, especially Ray Romano. We here at CBS feel that the exposed breasts of white women like Heidi Klum and Gisele Bünchen are beautiful things that should be shown repeatedly on TV and shared with all the little children of the world; a one-second flash of the semi-exposed breast of a filthy negress like Janet Jackson is a totally different other nasty thing and should immediately be censored."

Right, so those who still aren't over that whole Janet Jackson controversy marketing ploy should head over to the always-enjoyable Smoking Gun site, which posted 16 actual emails sent to the FCC about the Superbowl. There are some real winners in here, America: one person encourages the FCC to "pull the pine cone out of your collective butts"; another thanks them for "supporting the superiority of men. Only men should be allowed to bear [sic] their chests on American television"; another cautions that "I am not a finatic [sic] but I do fear THE WRATH OF GOD if our country continues its moral decline"; this one pretty much sums up most people's feelings about the issue; a creative type forwards an email meant for MTV's show-planning committee that states "I look forward to next year, with Dr. Ruth leading a discussion on group sex and Madonna humping a football" [ed. note: HOT!!!]. But the punchline comes courtesy of a horribly offended former strip club and XXX website owner: "exposing a breast on national TV is bad enough, but to flash a fake breast adds insult to injury." Ha!

Hey, since it seems like we're all in a censorship mood these days, I'd like to take a moment to channel my own Michael Powell and talk about things I would ban if my father were Secretary of State I ran the FCC. Sure, I'd outlaw homophobes and other hate speech and terrorist speech and Atkins Diet speech and all that offensive stuff. But first I would mobilize the armed forces to enforce the popular annual banished words list: "LOL" and "bling" definitely need to die, and thankfully "metrosexual" seems to have done so already (now if only metrosexuals themselves would do the same). I would also demand higher standards of decency from fast food companies, meaning In-N-Out Burger could no longer print Bible verses on their food, and all chains would be forced to use anti-fast food songs by The Shins in their commercials, just like McDonald's did. The only naughty thing I would allow would be Burger King's amazing AMAZING AMAZING! Subservient Chicken (a play on BK's "Have It Your Way" campaign); the "chicken" is actually a kinky dude in a chicken suit that does whatever you tell him to do, from flapping around in his living room to grabbing his crotch like Michael Jackson. Go play with him now, and don't forget to consult Boing Boing about getting him to do the real nasty shit!