Feb 11, 2010

That's Us!

The best response to Thomas Garvey's breathtaking pronouncement, "It's no secret, after all, that minority audiences unconsciously view characters as social emblems" (a claim I haven't yet seen defended on either aesthetic or political grounds), comes from Aziz Ansari:


Thomas Garvey said...

Okay, if that's the "best response" to my post, I'll take it! It's a whole lot smarter and funnier than anything you've ever written, that's for sure.

But, as is your wont, you have, probably willfully, misrepresented me. The point of the paragraph from which you ripped those half-dozen words was that minorities are often highly sensitive to negative portrayals by members of their own minority. Such portrayals are often not only seen as "negative," but also as "betrayals." Is it "breathtaking" to suggest that? Are you really arguing the contrary? If so, have the balls (for once) to say so.

As for Aziz, his routine might map to my post if he were responding to a film about Indians, by Indians, in which Indians were portrayed as powerless, depressed, and sexually predatory (as women were in the plays considered in Emily Glassberg Sands's study). But somehow I think then his routine would be very different.

Thomas Garvey said...

And oops, whatever Aziz Ansari might think, it actually turns out that Indians in India were pretty pissed off at Slumdog Millionaire. Seems they found its portrayal of their milieu negative and something of a betrayal. (Sound familiar?) You can check out this link for the details -


Aziz Ansari, of course, was born in America, not India. So in yet another way your little post has nothing whatsoever to do with the crux of my argument.

Rob Weinert-Kendt said...

As usual, in defending your most outrageous and presumptuous statements, you rephrase them to sound innocuous: You didn't say "minorities are often highly sensitive to negative portrayals," an anodyne claim with enough plausibility, not to mention plausible deniability, as to be not worth saying. You said, with the implicit authority of inside knowledge ("It's no secret"?), that "minority audiences unconsciously view characters as social emblems." Are you walking that back to say not all minority audiences always view characters differently from, presumably, those untainted by such internalized prejudice (you)? This sounds a lot like your presumption that if a person of color talks about race or racism in their art or in their commentary--actually, if anyone talks critically about race or racism without acknowledging that African-Americans have gained so much power, and that that whole pesky race problem is history--it must be their/our neurosis talking, or their/our politics, or both.

Ansari's joke is on the radio interviewer who made a similar presumption about how a minority audience views art, as if he's keeping score of "social emblems"--the interviewer assumes that Ansari, who looks a bit like the minority actors in a popular film, must unconsciously view that as progress for his people. That this assumption is inapt on so many levels (Ansari's not from India, the film isn't even by Indians, Indians don't universally love it) is the point of the joke, in case you didn't notice.

Thomas Garvey said...

But Rob, what do you spend most of your time talking about on this blog if you do not, in fact, view characters as emblems and plays as political statements? I'm just curious. Or are you saying minorities are different than you are? Hmmmm . . .

I understand Ansari's joke, what you don't seem to understand is that it's not germane to my argument.

But then you don't get the argument either, do you. I never said that "all African-Americans who discuss race are neurotic" - I referred to at most THREE PEOPLE. Really, you're so intellectually clumsy, it's no wonder you resort to smears. You'd lose on the merits.

Anonymous said...

I've noticed this Garvey assclown waits a day or two then tries to get the last word in (same as in the original takedown called "Ad Thominem"). He also takes the opportunity to spray perfume on the turds of his opinions. Don't let him do it, Wicked Stage!

Oh. Now he'll respond to this one.

Anonymous said...

"minority audiences" equals at most three people.

good to know.

Anonymous said...

I've noticed this "Anonymous" assclown can't put together a coherent thought.