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June 28, 2005

Testing, testing ...

Hey all, Claire here, your Scalzi-July-replacement for Fridays. Very excited. Very excited. I'd give you a more complete intro, but I was planning on making that my first entry in July and frankly, I just don't have that many ideas, so I'll still need to do that.

Instead, I'll talk about Scalzi. Obviously he thinks I'm a loser, since he gave me Friday. Actually, Scalzi, I do have a social life. Just ask my mom. Also, Scalzi seems to be copping to the fact that he needs some sort of affirmative action program on this website. Notice the underrepresentation of women among his July bloggers, and the severe underrepresentation of Asians. Since my other blogging gig is as one of five or six regular bloggers from the staff of Asian American Hyphen Magazine (over there I have Sunday, as befits my active tv watching schedule), and since I spend my weekly blogging space taking advertisers to task for using racist stereotypes, clearly Scalzi thought he could kill two straw men with one stone. We've seen this tactic before, Scalzi, and we shall overcome.

More on Friday. Surely one hadn't planned on allowing me to set the tone?

Posted by at June 28, 2005 05:56 PM

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Comments

John H | June 28, 2005 10:46 PM

Since you mention Asians in advertising, what do you think of the McDonald's flap in China? I would think a company as big as McDonald's could afford to do some focus group studies before offending a couple billion people, but maybe they know something I don't.

In terms of Asian stereotypes, what are some examples of performances (film, tv or ads) that you would say are the most egregious? And which would you consider examples of realistic portrayals?

(Not that I expect you to answer here - just trying to give you ideas for your July blogs)

Justine Larbalestier | June 28, 2005 11:11 PM

Yeah, Claire, I was shocked, shocked that Scalzi could only find two women worthy of replacing him. And what's worse not a single Australian. WTF?

Soni | June 29, 2005 02:56 AM

*sigh* There's never an ACLU wonk around when you need one.

Justine Larbalestier | June 29, 2005 12:37 PM

Ain't that the truth?

claire | June 29, 2005 03:20 PM

john h: mcdonald's is infamous for its lack of sensitivity in advertising. you might remember the flap a few years back in india when mcd's was trying to sell a partly vegetarian, and definitely non-beef-eating, populace on its fries. mcd's fries, which they claimed were made in veggie oil flavored with artifical beef fat flavoring only, was found to contain actual beef fat (in small amounts) in its western restaurants (not in india) and mcd's flubbed the damage control mightily. they were sued. you can read about it here.

in the mid-late nineties in germany they had a campaign, similar to their mcrib campaigns featuring cowboys and home on the range decorations, called "Chinawochen" or "china weeks". the campaign featured a buck-toothed, slit eyed, pseudo noir detective who told a noir-ish story of searching for bite-sized egg rolls in broken german. they served little deep-fried dim summy things complete with fortune cookies. there was no protest at all.

most recently in america, mcd's decided to "appeal" to the asian american community by giving us our very own website! apparently, we're lovin' it, but mainly as the butt end of jokes and wtf comments on aa blogs.

just to get y'all up to speed on asianspeak, the commonly held most egregious asian characters in da moobies are: charlie chan (in all his incarnations, always played by a white guy) and long duk dong from "sixteen candles", played by gedde watanabe. every gen X asian american had at least one traumatic long duk dong experience as an adolescent.

we got ours back in 1993 when the first anthology of asian american fiction, edited by jessica hagedorn, was titled "charlie chan is dead". and again, in a small way in 1999 or thereabouts when bernice yeung published an entirely fictional interview with gedde watanabe in her zine "option 8" in which watanabe contends that his portrayal of long duk dong was a postmodern protest against the feminization of the asian male.

justine: well, i didn't want to mention it, it's not my fight, but there don't seem to be any persons of southern hemispherian origin at all represented here, as far as i can tell from the photos (unless they're just really good at passing.) please correct me if i'm wrong. but if we need it, i'm happy to draft a manifesto.

John Scalzi | June 29, 2005 05:15 PM

A manifesto! A manifesto! Oh, please!

Seriously, though, some of my best friends are antipodean.

Honest!

claire | June 29, 2005 09:15 PM

john,

i'm sure you didn't mean any harm by it, but you should know that "antipodean" is considered outdated and condescending among many people of a southern hemispherian persuasion. to name an entire half of the world "the antipodes" is to claim that that half is "opposite" or "other", implying, of course, that the half from which you speak is the base, or standard, from which the "antipodes" deviates.

there's also a very bad connotation with the "podes" part of it, implicit in images of feet stomping, walking on, and generally dissing the "other" in culturally inappropriate ways.

i believe the preferred term is "southern hemispherian", although recently there have been objections to that too. by the way, please don't make the mistake of thinking that hearing southern hemispherians referring to each other as, variously, "podees", "antis", and "cunts" gives you a license to follow suit. many southern hemispherians feel that they have a right to "reappropriate" or "reclaim" these terms and use them as symbols of power, or of overcoming their oppression by mastering its terms. this is, of course, very controversial within the southern hemispherian community/s and should in no wise be argued by outsiders who wish to keep the teethmarks off their necks.

Justine Larbalestier | June 29, 2005 11:42 PM

Claire, can I marry you?

Soni | June 30, 2005 01:15 AM

Apparently you can, in Canada.

Justine Larbalestier | June 30, 2005 11:14 AM

Do they allow bigamy as well as same-sex marriages? Cool!

claire | June 30, 2005 01:37 PM

sorry, but i read "uglies" and i'm not getting into a three-way with your husband until he stops ending novels right before the climax. you wouldn't believe how much chocolate i've been eating since then.

Justine Larbalestier | June 30, 2005 05:28 PM

Oh well, I guess it's better we remain just friends then, given that both Scott and me are totally addicted to cliff hanger endings. But Uglies made you eat lots of chocolate? Huh?

claire | June 30, 2005 08:03 PM

that's true. you're both teases. no bigamy for you.

re: chocolate. it's got some chemical thingy, like stimulating your brain to produce endorphin, or seratonin, or some sort of -in thingy. nice replacement for ... uh ... catharsis when your ... uh ... interlocutor doesn't provide you with one.

Justine Larbalestier | June 30, 2005 11:47 PM

Catharsis? Interlocutor? You haven't forgotten I'm a YA writer, right? We don't understand those things about which we do not write.

You also need to know that all that stuff about chocolate being the love drug is just propoganda put out by the evil chocolate corporations.

It's not true.

Most people don't naturally like chocolate, but are brainwashed into thinking they do. And way back when the brainwashing started to wear off and chocolate sales started to plummet so they came up with the chocolate love thing. Cunning bastards.

Jeff Porten | July 1, 2005 12:59 AM

Watch it, you're going to offend the Jewish candy store-owning community. If my Dad dies in his sleep tonight, I'm going to inherit 1,000 pounds of fudge. July 4th weekend and all.

Claire's comment reminded me of the time I asked an Argentinean friend why they use a dollar sign for peso. He asked me why we used a peso sign for dollars. We agreed to drop it until one of us has time to look up semiotic history and see who did it first.

And I think that's the first time I've seen someone say that a threeway would be okay *after* the husband proved his literary merit.

BTW -- photos? Where?

claire | July 1, 2005 03:02 AM

okay, if this blog is rated g, i need to know right now because i'm on tap tomorrow.

no sexual innuendo at all? or can i do the sexual innuendo with the understanding that i will be misunderstood?

John Scalzi | July 1, 2005 05:43 AM

It's not "G"-rated, Claire. Write whatever you want.

Justine Larbalestier | July 1, 2005 12:23 PM

Gosh, Claire, I can't believe you'd stop with the innyeuendo (see? YA writers can't even spell the word) on account of innocent YA writers. I'd've thought our naievety'd be a red flag to a bull.

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