So, you caught the "Asians" comment, right? Hello, what did I say about the invisible Asians? It's like, they are not "Kevin and Mike" or even the "father and son team," they are the "Asians." I'm so over this BS.
If you have not already checked out Key of Awesome, then you have not really lived, loved and laughed. A spawn of the Youtube channel, Barely Political, best known for their "Obama Girl" video, Key of Awesome specializes in musical parodies. Spearheaded by the ridiculously geeky cute, Mark Douglas, I simply cannot get enough of their social commentaries via musical spoofs.
Oh, and I sent Mark a quick fan note once and he actually responded! That sounded slightly pathetic but to hell with it, I'm proud to be a KoA fan. Just want to officially congratulate them on one year of great work and wish them lots of fun and financial success for years to come.
Okay, why do I get the distinct and troubling feeling that Asian Americans are still invisible on TV. I will tell you why; here's a short list.
1. Two of the only three glee cast not yet profiled are Asian Americans, the third is a mulatto (apparently pc to use this term now). The Asian American "Tina" and "Mike" are hugely talented for their voice and dance, respectively, but nada. Additionally, in the 2010 premier, in reaction to the school reporter's inquiry, "What can you say about the rumor that you two are dating," Tina responded, "We can't date? why, because we're Asian, that's racist." Mike chimed in, "totally racist." Uh, what? Does it mean if they were dating non Asian folks, it's not racist? Strange, no, just bad racist writing.
2. Dancing with the Stars, as with most popular competitive reality shows, usually have interviews with the losing contestants on the network's talk shows. Nothing of the sort happened for the Asian American dancer, Margaret Cho, No talk of her afterward either like there still is about the Hoff and Bolton.
3. Kevjumba and his dad, who are still alive on the "the Amazing Race 17," have had so little air time since the first race. Like most Asian Americans in shows, they get the consolation prize of a web profile. What, yellow people don't have appeal? If it were not the fact they almost got eliminated, they may have had no prime time at all. Oh, and the "Asians" comment is classic!
4. Ada, the invisible Asian American in "Biggest Loser" got all of five words aired before this week. She literally had to call out to trainer Juliana, asking her to help her have a breakthrough, before they gave her any air time. Jesus, she witnessed her own brother drown and was blamed for it by her parents her whole life. What is a more compelling story than that and it took pleading on Ada's part to get help. Sad. I can go on, but that's enough griping for this week in TV land. Hulu.com http://img.poptower.com/pic-32047/the-biggest-loser.jpg?d=600
According to national statistics, over 34,000 people in the United States die by suicide annually. It is also the 3rd leading cause of death for teenagers between 15 and 19. Life is hard but they are especially difficult for young people who have yet lived long enough to cultivate a sense of self and create supportive networks.
We live in a society that promotes idealistic experiences during ones youth. All other realities are shunned so young people only know to keep their pain to themselves. It includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse at home, ostracization and bullying in school...
In light of recent suicides of GLBT youth due to bullying and social non-acceptance, we should consider what kind of society we have created. As many commentators have noted, before we ask, why the suicides, we must consider how our society has been complicit in creating an environment of intolerance. We have laws and policies that explicitly say same sex marriages and relationships are wrong. This is the message absorbed by GLBT youth. So, it is a lot to ask them to just buckle up and that "things will get better" when really, all they see around them is government sanctioned bigotry and oppression.
Other countries like Australia recognize that modern societies are terribly alienating. We may be aware of people's pain, but we either ignore or don't know how to address it. So, Australia created RU OK? Day, which began October 7, 2009. On this day annually, you are to ask people around if they are in fact doing okay and extend aid anyway you can.
I find it a bit comical as with all national holidays, in that it only lasts one day. I mean would it go like this?: "Are you OK today? But only today, okay? I didn't give a shit yesterday and certainly won't tomorrow; but, TODAY, genuinely, you okay?" All joking aside, suicide is an important issue. Tolerance, kindness and sincerely caring for your fellow human beings should be a given. What do you think you can do?
If you do not already know, Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) is a TV show where stars from all sectors of entertainment are matched with professional dancers. They train the stars to perform typical ballroom dances ranging from the samba to the waltz. The appeal is that these stars supposedly have no dancing skills but through proper cultivation, eventually blossom into dancing swans.
Needless to say, I use to avoid DWTS like the plague. As a dance enthusiast, I saw no joy from watching "stars" I've never heard of dance badly, really badly. My mind change around DWTS third or forth season. I saw that it was not merely a popularity contests where the public calls in to vote for their favorite "stars" and not the best dancer. As proof, unlikely Olympian stars Kristi Yamaguchi and Shawn Johnson and even the goofy Donny Osmond have won in past seasons. I was sold.
I especially looked forward to this season with the likes of Margaret Cho, my favorite female comedienne. I find her stand ups revolutionary, daring and smart. I use her skits regularly as teaching material in my classes. A champion of marginalized people's everywhere, I was overjoyed to see her on DWTS. To top it off, she is a damn good dancer. She has skills and heart and just a great attitude.
Her elimination this week broke my heart. Why did she get kicked out? No, not because her samba sucked. In honesty, it was fairly sloppy and she had done better in weeks past. But it was far from being atrocious like dances done by "Dead Arm" Michael Bolton and "Pigeon Boy" the Situation (see images above, left and right respectively). So, why, why did she get kicked off?
I believe it was because she essentially dedicated her dance to the LGBT community. She wore a gay pride inspired flapper dress and openly stated her dance was about, "...expressing pride and happiness and joy. It's about coming out as beautiful, coming out as me."
Even her partner, Louis van Amstel, seemed noticeably upset by Cho's overt gay comments. It's unclear if he signed up for the gay agenda but he probably knew it was the beginning of the end for them as contestants there. Mainstream America simply are put off by blatant celebrations of gayness. So, it was not strategic of Cho but I have more respect for her than ever. The American public robbed Cho, not only of her chance to really grow as a dancer, but also a mainstream platform to advocate for the LGBT community.
DWTS is much less interesting this season without her.