Sunday, March 10, 2013

Quote of the Day

"I can see how the lettering is offensive. They could have made the statement of 'Fry Rice' without changing the lettering. That obviously made all the difference. I don't think it was racist, just borne out of ignorance. They clearly don't know why many Asians might find it offensive. It's a good opportunity now for them to learn. It's hard to comprehend what you don't know, and clearly the editors of the newspaper have no idea what many Asians experienced and experience in terms of racial prejudice."

-- Huffington Post commenter "Kacey" on the controversy over a poster printed by a Vermont newspaper supporting a local basketball team whose opponent was Rice High School

The poster read "Fry Rice" in the standard "Chinese calligraphy" font. You can see it for yourself above.

I love this comment because it's all there: the concerned suggestion of alternate routes that somehow might've been less offensive, as if there's anything you can say these days that won't offend someone; the call for this to be a teaching moment about tolerance; the insinuation that white, or some other kind of majority, privilege is to blame for this supposed ignorance. It's all so, so -- utterly fucking joyless.

You know, the theory of Dunbar's Number -- what David Wong of Cracked humorously calls "the Monkeysphere" -- dictates that a human being can really only care about 150 other people, maximum. That after that it becomes a zero-sum prospect where in order to bring new people into your sphere of concern you have to turn a certain number of people out. I swear, these days my circle is down to about twenty people. I care about them very much and would fight to the death for them. Everyone else I just don't give a shit about. You're the victim of ignorance or injustice? Sorry, life sucks. Thankfully, while my circle may be closing in an effort to keep out the stupid, the circles of others, thanks to the various media that connect us all, are rapidly expanding. There's always somebody willing to endlessly fret over your plight. Which is good because it means I don't have to.

Misanthropy. It's the new black.


JohnF said...

And privilege is the new Hitler.

Chez said...

I'm gonna call that Foley's Law.

Claude Weaver said...

Way's it gotta be black, Chez? Huh?

Can't it be taupe or something? Your ignorance of basic color coordination in fashion really belies your (off-)white privilege.

You really should take this as a teaching moment.

But honestly, what they should have done was put the "Go 'Toppers" in like, Applebee's or Hooters lettering. Then its a whole "sitdown vs. takeout dinner" thing. Yes, yes, you can pay me for these.

I just don't get it. Unless the school is somehow predominately Asian, it can't be more than a clever play on words. And if it is mostly Asian, then how could Rice High not see that joke coming a mile away?

JohnF said...

It's an honor just to be nominaed.