Tag Archives: irish

The Unbearable Whiteness Of Being (Part II)

Last week, I asked what exactly it meant to be White. Today, I’d like to step back and show you what it was that brought up this question in the first place.

It was this image here:

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Now that got posted by a friend of mine. Good guy, but with a habit (in my opinion) of reposting whatever liberal dreck pops into his FB feed without taking the time to question it. Allow me to break down why that image is such festering garbage.

First and foremost, it’s unbelievably racist. Not white-hoods-and-burning-crosses racist (we’ll get to them in a minute) – we’re talking the condescending, insidious racism of White liberal elites.

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“Because I’ll endorse Obama and speak at the Women’s March, but **** Asians and Palestinians.”

Continue reading

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The Unbearable Whiteness Of Being (Part I)

FACT: All Asian Americans are Asian by definition, but not all Asians are Asian Americans. The truth is that most Asians aren’t. While they may share an ethnic heritage, as well as many cultural similarities, Asian people who were born and raised in and reside in an Asian country have vastly different wants and needs and priorities than those who were born and raised in and reside in North America [and other non-Asian countries].

I wanted to start out with that quote for two reasons.

First, because it’s stolen from my co-writer’s post last Friday, which was a really good post you should read.

Second, because I think it does a good job of establishing the complicated and sometimes uncomfortable nuance that goes into addressing identity politics. Which is what we’re going to be talking about today and in the weeks to follow.

More specifically, we’re gonna be talking about White people.

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We’ll probably cover my use of this specific gif sometime later…

Before we dive in, I just wanna make something clear.

Race is a social construct – a series of categories that we’ve made up and ones we’ve made up only very recently in the scope of history. The fact of the matter is that there’s no actual place you can draw a dividing line when it comes to human beings and there’s no good reason you’d want to.

Not that it’s ever stopped us.

For better or worse, we have divided the world up into so many arbitrary categories, and those divisions have played and continue to play a major role in today’s culture. In spite of what some folks might suggest, ignoring racism doesn’t make it go away, and if we want to end the unspeakable hassle that is identity politics, we’re going to need to start by actually addressing them.

And here at Culture War Reporters, I think we’ve done a decent job. Continue reading

Stereotypes and Tokenism: What Daredevil Did Wrong and What Riverdale Appears to Be Doing Right

So right off the bat, I want to say that Arthur Chu of Jeopardy-winning fame has already done much of the groundwork for me with his [spoiler-filled] article “Not Your Asian Ninja: How the Marvel Cinematic Universe Keeps Failing Asian-Americans“. In it he recounts his primary disappointment with the second season of Netflix’s Daredevil, namely that the Asians presented in that show are generally villains across the board.

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Not only are they of an evil persuasion, they’re also, as the title of his piece implies, mostly ninjas. In terms of sheer volume the vast majority of Asians seen on screen during the season’s 13 episodes are that particular brand of martial artist. The rest are, in terms of representation, gangsters, white collar criminals, and crime lords. It is, as Chu says, “Not a good look.”

He picks the Kitchen Irish, a gang of an obvious ethnic background, as his primary example of the show using nuance with a people group. Matthew Murdock, the titular crimefighter himself, is of Irish descent, and another character nicknamed “Grotto” is a former member of the mob who elicits sympathy from both the show’s cast and its audience. While I understand that Irish heritage is unique and distinct from many others, and that people of Irish descent suffered extreme racism in early American history, what shouldn’t be ignored is the fact that on the surface they are White. As are the members of fellow gang the Dogs of Hell. As are Murdock’s friends Karen Page and Foggy Nelson. As is Frank Castle, the Punisher, as well as newspaper editor Mitchell Ellison. Television is full of White people, and with Daredevil being no exception simply stating that there are varied roles within even one subgroup feels like a given.

Unfortunately, Asians fail even when stacked up against other racial minorities. Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S4E20 “And the Minor Problem”: A TV Review

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I like DC Pierson. He’s one of the members of Derrick Comedy, a YouTube comedy group that featured the now relatively famous Donald Glover, AKA Troy from Community, AKA Childish Gambino. He actually appeared in a few episodes of the former-NBC-sitcom, and it saddens me to see him again here. Mostly because he doesn’t do anything of note.

No, DC Pierson merely serves as yet another eccentric diner customer, and one who doesn’t contribute to the overall plot at all. As far as I can tell, anyway. He plays “a legit psychic” who doesn’t tip Max but does end up reading Caroline’s palm where he initially sees two M’s and then “a small failure”. What could those letters represent? She comes up with “male”, “model”, “making (it with)”, and “Max”. That’s all pretty relevant to the happenings in this episode, except that she misses out on one key word: “Mother”.

[I’d just like to very quickly mention that Pierson has his own Wikipedia page, so who am I to criticize, really {and I mean that sincerely}] Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S4E19 “And the Look of The Irish”: A TV Review

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I was going to start this review off by wasting a paragraph on how neat it would be to eat at the Williamsburg Diner, what with its eccentric clientele and all, but instead let’s dive directly into the latest 2 Broke Girls character to rake in the site hits: Nashit. What do we know about him? He’s a poor Irish immigrant, apparently half-Indian [uh huh…], and he has sex with Max. I could go on, but his entry on the 2 Broke Girls wiki [at the time of this writing] sums him up pretty well:

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Yup. At this point in time Nashit’s undisclosed middle and last names could be “Tabula” and “Rasa”, because there’s really not much there at the moment. As mentioned in my review of the episode introducing him, Nashit didn’t have that much say in his relationship with one half of the titular duo. Max wants him and he more or less responds with an “okay”. He clearly doesn’t mind being with her, but it’s really hard to ascertain how much he actually likes her. Also, and this is important to mention, he has very few lines. It’s hard for a character to be well-rounded if you barely let them speak.

In this week’s episode Max decides that she’s been seeing altogether too much of her boy toy, and does what she can to get him out of the diner so that they’re not hitting the interaction trifecta [working, living, and sleeping together]. His new career path is chosen for him once he very ineptly handles Han’s gift to him [for being an employee who actually works hard], the Spritzy 5000. There’s more of that at the bottom of this post, so stay tuned. Short story shorter, he sprays himself and it turns out he’s hot.

The two girls teach him how to model, specifically for a Cocoa Puffs commercial. That’s fairly uneventful. At first he is terrible at it. Like really, really bad. Then we come back after a commercial break and he is good at modelling and all that. But it turns out that “Cocoa Puffs” is code for “pornography”! They’re at an audition for a porn movie! Specifically Sorest Rump!

At this point we get a little more of Nashit’s personality, specifically that he would do anything for Max, even “gay for pay”. Actually it’s never revealed if he understands what that really means, but at the very least he would be willing to make porn for his girlfriend, if we can call her that. It’s sweet, I guess. It’s not the best character work by any means because it’s really still just Nashit doing what Max wants. He knows that she wants him to do this [even if he doesn’t realize it’s to get him out of the diner], so he also wants to do it. Next week is, ostensibly, his last episode, and I really hope he gets to be a little more of a pretty face before his inevitable exit.

Elsewhere Oleg and Sophie practice celibacy before the wedding because it’s what her grandmother would’ve wanted. That doesn’t last for long, though Oleg does get a few great lines out of it. Joedth is looking for love after her junkie ex left the picture. Big Mary/John is beginning to get on my bad side because he only has one line and it obviously has to do with gay sex, which is his shtick now I guess. You’re more than that Big Mary/John, I know you are.

Oh, before we get to Stray Observations I should share one of Austin Falk’s tweets that provides a behind the scenes look at how this episode was filmed:

Current Total: $711.

New Total: $1,211. Last week they made $425, so with only $75 more this week I guess they’re being somewhat consistent. Again, I’ll just chalk this up to their combined three jobs.

The Title Refers To: A play on words that I actually really like! It refers to Nashit being Irish, him being good looking, and even sounds like someone with a terrible accent [see: Nashit] saying “the luck of the Irish”! This is the best title the show has ever had.

Stray Observations:

  • “Sad Ladies Book Club is reading 50 Shades of Grey again. There’s not a dry seat in the house.”
  • “Apparently the something blue at the wedding has to be my balls.”
  • “I feel like a bull in a vagina shop.”
  • “Move to call a moratorium on the words “grab”, “squeeze”, and “spray” until after the wedding-“
  • Something something what you say to get lesbians to exit a building: “There’s a Subaru outside that’s about to get a ticket.”
  • Joedth was using a dating app/site called “Lez Meet Up”.
  • “I had the decorator redo it nine times. You can feel his anger in the walls. It’s electric.”
  • “You’re eating is so punk rock. Tell me everything right now.”
  • 2 Broke Girls Cheesecake/Beefecake Menu: You’re welcome.

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2 Broke Girls, S4E18 “And the Taste Test”: A TV Review

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Just to start, I’d like to offer a brief apology for my review of last week’s episode. For the most part I try to keep a pretty even keel and take each episode as it comes, especially since I try to judge 2 Broke Girls on its own merits. That means acknowledging that it is very far from high art or what I consider to be good TV, lauding it for when it is funny and appropriately criticizing it for when it’s racist or needlessly crude or very poorly written.

I still don’t think it was a good episode by any means, but I could’ve handled it better. Here’s to me getting through to the end of this season, guys and girls and everyone else. Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S4E17 “And the High Hook-Up”: A TV Review

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This is a bad episode.

In all seriousness, though, this episode is awful. I honestly don’t think I’ve been as unsatisfied with an installment of 2 Broke Girls since “And Just Plane Magic”, where I listed off what happened in bullet points to avoid actually writing out what happened in multiple paragraphs. A bunch of stuff took place this week, sure, but to seemingly no end whatsoever. It says a lot that the writers were able to introduce a new recurring character [who will be reappearing in three more episodes] in such a thoroughly unforgettable fashion.

Anyway, I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself. The new character in question is Nashit, a handsome young man played by Austin Falk whose name is attributed to his being half-Indian and half-Irish [he very clearly isn’t]. Joedth, the joy which I get out of typing her name being the only saving grace of this review, hires him as a new waiter at The High. His stunning good looks create a ruckus and also causes Max to lust after him with a tenacity and passion she only ever devotes to . . . being snarky, I guess. Continue reading