"Look, we all know that there’s a trope in the movies where someone of a minority race is flattened out into just being “good at X” and that the white protagonist is the one we root for because, unlike the guy who’s just “good at X”, the protagonist has human depth, human relationships, a human point of view—and this somehow makes him more worthy of success than the antagonist who seems to exist just to be good at X.
So we root for Rocky against black guys who, by all appearances, really are better boxers than he is, because unlike them Rocky isn’t JUST a boxer, he has a girlfriend, he has hopes, he has dreams, etc. This comes up over and over again in movies where the athletic black competitor is set up as the “heel”—look at the black chick in Million Dollar Baby and how much we’re pushed to hate her. Look at all this “Great White Hope” stuff, historically, with Joe Louis.
So is it any surprise that this trope comes into play with Asians? That the Asian character in the movie is the robotic, heartless, genius mastermind who is only pure intellect and whom we’re crying out to be defeated by some white guy who may not be as brainy but has more pluck, more heart, more humanity? It’s not just Flash Gordon vs. Ming the Merciless, it’s stuff like how in the pilot episode of Girls Hannah gets fired in favor of an overachieving Asian girl who’s genuinely better at her job than she is –– the Asian girl knows Photoshop and she doesn’t –– and we’re supposed to sympathize with Hannah.”
–– Arthur Chu, on the public animus he received following his success on the gameshow, Jeopardy!, on account of his ethnicity [x]
I’ve been busy these past few days mentally sketching out the details of a dinner party I’d like to host for my friends, and despite the time that’s elapsed since that vague idea came to mind, I find myself no closer to my goal.
Up until now I’ve been locked in somewhat of a mental chokehold, grappling with the logistics of making it all come to fruition whilst bouncing back and forth between different visions for the evening, wondering how’d I’d walk that fine line between providing both sophistication and comfort.
I’ve realised, though, that my main problem was primarily a lack of direction. I’ve been unsure of what I’d like the tone of the evening to be. At first I was trying to plan a very detailed party right down to the decor, whilst still having elements of simplicity and comfort. I envisioned bold, artfully arrayed dishes with simple sides; a cohesive menu from start to finish.
But then I realised how contrarian this all was to my original intention for the get-together. So I’m now aiming for a more relaxed evening, with more emphasis placed on comfort and entertainment, rather than a relentless pursuit for culinary brilliance. I often find it easy to forget that I should enjoy the process of planning a get-together, since that’s the whole point, right? To enjoy myself.
Uni begins in two weeks, and with it, amidst all the preparation, I’m met once again with the slow-burning ache of anxiety***.
In order to fully commit to my studies, I’ve had to welcome financial instability into my life again. I hate that bitch.
I mean, I need to start budgeting. I need to start fixing my own lunches in order to be fiscally responsible. I need to start exercising my autonomy and effectively managing my OCD. I need, I need, I need.
I feel lost, but I know I’m not. I know I’m not. I’m the fog and the lighthouse; the ship and the iceberg. I’m my own Hercules, my own knight in shiny, patent leather dress shoes.
I can do this.
***Anxiety is a cruel, high-maintenace mistress hell-bent on fucking me over. With one finger primed and ready and ever so delicately placed against my clit, she awaits the familiar melody of my self-persecuting, irrational thoughts. And with it, she receives her cue. Her finger begins working its old, familiar magic.
I met a cute, like-minded Sicilian/Croatian boy at work today. At the conclusion of our shift, the two of us + another coworker made our way to the train station together. Once the third wheel had vamoosed, operation ‘Make that Boy mine’ took right under way. I hit on him for quite some time, but I don’t think he quite caught on to my advances until I brought up that I was gay.
It turned it he was completely oblivious to the fact. But once it was out in the open, I got the vague impression he showed a smidgen of interest back. I couldn’t be too sure, though. So as his train approached and the conversation came to a natural halt, I resigned myself to the idea that at best we’d probably only ever be friends. I cursed myself for missing my window of opportunity to formally ask him out. But then the unthinkable happened.
Before clambering onto his the train, he embraced me in his arms and wished me a safe trip home before letting go and being whisked away to the inner city. His absence was quickly replaced with an overwhelming sense of hope. I walked the remainder of the way home blasting my favourite, up-beat tune à la Janet Jackson on repeat.
I can’t wait till I him again tomorrow.