Monday, December 14, 2009

So good to me.

Monday 12/14
-Took an obligatory picture with two fellows from the NYPD, spent most of my day rediscovering my New York legs.
-Screwed up royally on the subway, because someone (Christine Lee) didn't notify me of certain things, and I didnt realize said certain things until I was.. in Brooklyn. So I got out, and screwed up again. Well played. But,
-New Yorkers are quite kind with people like me. :)
-Finally made it to see Christine Lee off of Bleecker, and am glad I did.
-Dustin and I slipped in to see a comedy show, which promised to be so much shorter than it was. In particular, most interesting was when this one Indian guy made a few Asian jokes and then some. He asked me if I dated Asian guys, I said no, as its a personal preference. But he jumped on that, and found me an unwilling ally as he made comments on the self hatred of Asian people, how "not even an Asian gay guy would date another Asian gay guy". He then went on to profusely use the words fag and bitch as they are verbally efficient, and one syllable. I think it went a little far. He used "fag" so often that it sounded like a hiccup, or the way some people use "like". Dustin and I did not applaud for him, and because the venue was so small, I like to think that he noticed it, that the couple sitting right in the front didn't bat an eyelash as he left the stage. In the context of a stand up performance, we as an audience do much face saving, by laughing, because silence is reminiscent to a comic of a kiss of death. But in very small but true ways, this is how a hegemonic culture develops. People make money and are put on national television, or the cable screen by saying things that people feel they have to laugh at, and thereafter, they are penetrated through to the privacy of our own homes, where people can laugh at racist, misogynistic, homophobic statements in the comfort of their own homes. And truly upsetting is that, this Indian guy's comments were probably the straw that made the camel finally say as his back was breaking, "Oh, well if a man of color can say it, who am I to not laugh?" all the while being relieved that it is now deemed somewhat socially acceptable.

If he was trying to be satirical, he needed to work harder.

There's such thing as white guilt, but is there anything reminiscent of what we can consider heterosexual guilt? It seems that we consider ourselves magnanimous for even letting queer folks exist, that there is no real sensitivity by heterosexual people of the word. It carries such less weight than certain slurs that get bleeped out on the radio. Marginalized cultures are of color, yes, and color combinations. (like a rainbow!). I think he felt that because of his South Asian heritage, he therefore claimed a license to be distasteful and offensive.

If youve read any sociological theory, Irving Goffman makes it his lifes work to hypothesize that we are actors playing on a world type stage. Shakespearean, yes, and more than that, its describes what we as concurrent actors and audience members do by laughing, and saving the face and performance of our fellow thespians. Dangerous. Gladiators and American Idol contestants alike, I despise standing ovations when unneeded, and this boy was exhibiting nothing brave, slaying no beasts. He in fact, acted as one.

The guy saw my face disgusted and sneered into the mic, "You look confused". I wonder if he was trying to regain face. I wonder if he was trying to recover himself as the down-with-the-people minority with the agency to be crass and uncouth. I wonder if his face would have fallen a bit if I had answered in front of the crowd, "I'm just embarrassed for you".

What a sociological marvel is this thing called stand-up comedy.

No comments:

Post a Comment