Sunday, May 20, 2007

It's not about them.



I found this video over at unfogged. Pretty cheerful.

Are you going to say it, or do I have to?

Maybe the reason there are no brown people in this video is because they all didn't want to stay after work for the shoot. The Asians had to go practice violin. It's New York City, right? Maybe they've all gone incog-negro, invisible amongst all the t-shirt wearing white kids with expensive haircuts.

Over about 8Asians I read a while ago how Asian Americans raised on the East Coast are stunned by the level that Asian Americans have integrated into West Coast society. They're stunned to see older generation Asian Americans with jobs that are not restaurant/grocery/dry cleaning. They're surprised when they see older generation Asian Americans speaking American English.

So while Law & Order makes me think of New York City as a gritty, vertical jungle where people of all races and colors come together to deliver frantic monologues and commit and solve horrible murders, the video above reminds me that it's still possible somewhere in America to have a dot.com entirely devoid of dark skin.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised; prime time sitcoms tell me that it's perfectly normal to go an hour or half hour without seeing the part of society that I live in.

Ok, readers, I know some of you are thinking that I'm victimizing the poor, innocent white people of that cheerful video above. You know what? They're gonna be fine. They're young, they're creative, they're attractive, they're white, and their dry cleaning is going to be ready on time. Nobody is suggesting they're a bunch of Asian-hating nazis....

But you noticed. Didn't you?

No, JP, I don't see whiteness, I just see NORMAL people.

Well, there you go. No brown people = normal.

4 comments:

yola said...

Thanks for posting this...I sometimes lull myself into not thinking more critically about the world we live in, and I miss very exact points like this. Thanks for keeping me, us all, awake.

Chadwick said...

I read your post before seeing the video, so my perception was tainted. I was compulsed to count the brown people by then, and I think there is a brown girl near the end. On the left. But yeah, those are a whole bunch of charming white kids.

What makes you think it was shot in New York? I'm not familiar with the band or the site it came from.

I don't think I've ever seen a sitcom that showed anything approaching my life experience. I'm just saying...

john patrick said...

Yola: Thanks! Do I know you?

Chadwick: I suspected it was New York, from the skyline out the window, and then I played "follow the links" and found that it's a dot.com in Manhattan.

Sitcoms don't approach your life experience? I thought "Friends" was real! Just kidding. Still, I wonder why there are no Filipinos on tv, given that most of us are made of ham.

$T said...

The band whose song is featured in this video (Harvey Danger) is from Seattle.

The band has an Asian member, clearly assimilated since he plays such crackerish music.

Said Asian dude is also a violinist.

So kudos if that was all intentional, but hilarious regardless!