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Asian Christmas

As we’re nearing the end of another holiday season, I would like to thank my parents for the wonderful gift that they bestowed upon me.   Ever since I was but a wee fetus, swimming around in an embryonic pool of placenta, I was blessed…

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for the gift of being Asian.

Oh, the gift of being Asian is a gift that keeps on giving.  Despite our shortness and bad vision, there are several reasons why it’s great to be Asian in America.  For example, one reason is that we don’t get kidnapped.  Have you ever heard of an Asian toddler who has gone missing?  No, because high-profile, baby kidnapping is mainly a Caucasian sport.  Why would anyone kidnap an Asian when you can easily buy one online?  Similarly, I don’t worry about identity theft, because unless another female Asian is jacking my credit cards, I’m guessing the cashier would find something suspicious.  “But you don’t look like a Jackie Chan…”  Ha, gotcha.  Thus, being Asian affords me peace of mind.

Going along with stereotypes is also a plus.  Overall, Asian stereotypes really aren’t that bad.  So, fine, Asians can’t drive.  But neither can women, so even though I’m doubly screwed, at least we have company.  Stereotypical Asians are also smart, hard-working, and socially inept.  The last one is actually a good thing, because our social awkwardness prevents us from being universally shamed, like Italian-Americans on Jersey Shore (yes, I Survived a Japanese Game Show was embarrassing, but I’m not Japanese… so it’s cool).  Also, given that stereotypical Asians are closet ninjas and kung fu masters, I feel pretty safe walking the mean streets of New York City alone.  If I ever do get mugged, I’ll simply do a few Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon backflips to escape.

Being Asian is also a gift because we can always pretend that we don’t speak English.  I could go into a store, shoplift some Hello Kitty merchandise, and if I ever get caught, just blame it on my Communist heritage.  “Oh, I thought we were all sharing… No speak Engrish.”  Then I will bow, say “Konichiwa,” and leave.

Honestly, if we wanted to, Asians could get away with anything.  We could walk out on a bill in a restaurant, and then show up the next day and get served, since no one can tell Asians apart.  (Sometimes I can’t even pick my mom out of a crowd.)  If you ever were accused of such dining and ditching, you could just respond back in perfect English and slap your accuser in the face.  God, discrimination is such a bitch.

The one downside to being Asian is that if you’re female, you have to deal with the fetishists.  And if you’re male, well, good luck trying to find anyone who will appreciate your skinny arms and engineering prowess.  It also gets tiring to keep up the peace signs/bunny ears for every photograph you take.  But despite these minor hiccups and the occasional embarrassing YouTube clip, the greater gift of Asian-ness must be celebrated.  And with our squinty eyes, straight hair, and aversion to sunlight, we’re pretty similar to vampires — and vampires are really “in” now.

So, thank you Mom and Dad, for the gift you’ve given me.  And for everyone else, Asian and non-Asian, I wish you a joyous holiday season and a very happy New Year.

Peace.

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You Just Don’t Mess With Must-See TV

With the return of television’s hottest heartthrobs like McDreamy, McSteamy, and Michael Scott in a fat suit, TV is officially back from its eight-month hiatus. During the next few weeks, network execs are undoubtedly waiting to see if audiences will also come back…especially after enduring a long summer of repeats, Japanese game show knock-offs, and Deal or No Deal.

While some may have enjoyed a continuous helping of Howie Mandel as a placeholder for quality programming, I am slightly skeptical that viewers will come running back with open arms to their favorite old shows. After all, to put it in economic terms, TV is a normal good with plenty of substitutes. When the writers strike halted production earlier this year, viewers naturally altered their behavior. Instead of installing themselves on the couch for 30 Rock every Thursday, people may have gone to the gym, read a magazine, or, God forbid, even had conversations with their families during dinner. Plus, some Americans are probably still ticked off about the strike itself; instead of watching our 401ks plummet, it would have been nice to have a quality show on TV to distract us.

So now, even if viewership returns to their normal levels, is this necessarily a positive development? For everyone who does NOT work at a television network, the answer may be no.

To illustrate this point, I have included a graph which shows how substitutes to television (like reading, exercise, and family time) may have crept into our daily routines… and how such activities may be preferable to Project Runway marathons:

  • Lower TV consumption = High literacy, healthy kids, more time with family = Not so bad?
  • Higher TV consumption = Low literacy, rampant obesity, excessive Paris Hilton exposure, remake of Knight Rider = Armageddon?

Then again, if 30 Rock gets canceled and I never find out what happened to Liz Lemon’s baby quest, someone’s gonna pay… and it might be the woman on the neighboring elliptical at the gym. I’ve got a lot of aggression.

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