Tag Archives: tweets

Shame Day: Shia LaBeouf

Writing the first Shame Day of 2014 is a difficult position to be in. The topic must be the source of some terrible wrongdoing, but must also have committed that wrongdoing in a way that truly incenses us as decent human beings. All that being said, let me present today’s subject, Mr. Shia Saide LaBeouf.

Now rest assured, dear readers, I have reasons for targeting the former child star and lead in Disney’s Even Stevens and repopularizer of the word “no.” Believe me, I wouldn’t willingly put myself through having to check and recheck that I’m spelling his surname correctly otherwise. To begin with, midway through December of last year he released a short film titled Howard Cantour.com.

The film follows the titular Cantour, an internet film critic, and received a pretty hefty amount of critical acclaim. Not only that, but it starred my number one favourite stand-up comedian who almost exclusively jokes about food, Jim Gaffigan. It was also a near shot-for-shot adaptation of the comic Justin M. Damiano, by Daniel Clowes.

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Fame Day: Public Shaming

I was going to write about comics helping people, or about how a Swedish toy catalogue acknowledged that girls can play with Nerf guns too, but I ultimately decided to focus on a wonderful Tumblr account I found recently. It’s called Public Shaming, with the subtitle “Tweets of Privilege.” Creator Matt Binder sums up the gist of his blog with the following:

I started retweeting people complaining about welfare, food stamps, etc. and then following it up with a previous tweet of theirs that makes them look hypocritical/dumb/etc. I discovered that as I would retweet these, my followers would start @replying these people and let them know they were idiots. They would then delete their offending tweet. Well, I couldn’t let that happen. So, I screenshot away.

What Binder is very aware of is that Twitter is, by and large, a public forum. Anything that you tweet, unless your privacy settings are changed, can be read by anyone and everyone; my local Metro, and other newspapers around the world, have a section dedicated to them. This is something that people like Donald Trump often forget. As he mentions, once the tweets draw enough attention they are normally taken down. While this is unfortunate, screencaps serve to archive these tweets, and I’ve embedded a few for your viewing pleasure. The first two are a few of the more relevant ones, and the last is a wonderful showcase of hypocrisy:

I actually tried pretty hard to find a tweet without a bunch of profanity.

In response to Korean pop artist PSY closing the American Music Awards.

“WTF. WHEN DID AMERICA BECOME A SHOWCASE OF DIVERSITY?!” My personal favorite. -Matt Binder

Regarding a few Mexican high school marching bands and dancers marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Just one of the many, many tweet comparisons that highlight the plight of the privileged.

A lot of the “tweets of privilege” happen to be teens and twenty-somethings writing about employment and the economy. There’s a definite trend of people saying that the jobless are lazy, when only months before they were complaining about being unemployed. What Matt Binder is doing with his blog is exposing hypocrisy where it so often festers [the internet], while also helpfully reminding everyone out there to watch what they say. If you stick your foot in your mouth out loud, there’s a chance someone will hear it, but less that someone will actually record it. On the other hand, making a tweet in poor taste about someone’s dead brother online is really all it takes to get on the news. So let’s give a round of applause for this Tumblr and its creator, and for what it is on the internet: a shining light that unveils the words of the wealthy and unwise. You can follow Matt Binder on Twitter at, easily enough, @MattBinder.

Re: Where I Try To Explain Red Dawn

I don’t normally get that angry about things. Disappointed, sure. Upset, often enough. But really, truly angry? That emotion is normally reserved for pure, undistilled racism.

Yesterday I wrote about the production history of Red Dawn, and mostly talked about how the plot was immensely improbable and how the film industry is all about money, et cetera. What I did not at all dwell on was the potential of the film to bring out racism in people, similar [but not at all comparable] to the abuse of Middle Eastern Americans after what happened on 9/11.

On Facebook Racebending.com directed me to Tumblr user manilaryce, who compiled a number or racist tweets by people who had just watched Red Dawn. I have embedded the image below and on the right.

The following are a few of the tweets that particularly stood out to me:

Kinda wanna kill some Asians right now and defend the homeland, thank you Red Dawn for sparking some patriotism in me

The only reason Im going to see red dawn is cause there’s sexy ass guys running around with guns killing Asians my type of movie;)!

I now hate all Chinese, Japanese, Asian, Korean people. Thanks. #reddawn #amazingmoviedoe

Red dawn was sickkk..just another reason why to hate asians.

This is like when racist Hunger Games fans tweeted about how the casting of a character as Black ruined the movie for them. The difference between that situation and this one is that I feel directly targeted.

One of the tweets, by @elysse223, reads “I usually love Asians, but in Red Dawn I found them terrifying.” After reading that I almost immediately felt worse, like both me and everyone else like me had been transformed into inhuman movie monsters.

The only consolation I can take in all this is that the film is being almost universally panned. Liam Lacey, reviewing the film for The Globe and Mail, says “Red Dawn panders to the worst kind of racist and jingoist impulses, though the movie is so preposterously insincere, it feels like those adjectives should be in air quotes.” Over at Indiewire Gabe Toro describes the film as “stitched together with scotch tape and falling apart at the seams, letting casual racism and misanthropy to spill out the sides.”

I honestly don’t have a lot to say except that I’m angry, hurt, and somewhat unsurprised that this is what audience members all over America are choosing to take away from this movie. I am Asian and I am not evil. I do not want to take over America. I do not want to ever feel like this: