The melting pot of America has many strange ingredients but none is more exotic than the Asians. They are known as dour, enigmatic people who prize science and silence. Many dress properly with well-fitted, traditional clothes. They style their hair without dyes, curling irons or spray. Unlike the blacks and Muslims, they have not tried to force their ethnic rituals and holidays on the rest of us. Often they exhibit a reserved attitude toward sexuality and we can be grateful for that. Most impressively, large numbers have embraced Christianity in recent years despite their ancestral allegiances to pagan spirituality and communism.
Yet something new if afoot among America’s teeming oriental masses. These people who were once so comfortable behind the scenes are now stepping forward to demand a place in the spotlight of our culture. They wish to be taken seriously in the media, in fashion and the arts. One of the oddest elements of this strategic push is their desire to be performers in the comedic vein. Ultimately, this begs the question: Is America ready to laugh at Asians?
The Chinese first arrived in the United States 100 years ago as railroad workers and fishmongers. Since then, they have gone on to productive careers in technological fields. They attend colleges in great numbers to pursue scientific degrees (causing much consternation among those who feel it takes affirmative action too far). The population has developed a reputation as “nerds,” more likely to marry a supercomputer than a supermodel. (Compared to other demographics, they are not interested in pornography and masturbation.) Along these lines, they have a noteworthy distrust of the outdoors, preferring hectic shopping malls, techno discos and even a cramped bedrooms instead. They are industrious, loyal workers, but seem strangely out of touch when it comes to the great debates about our homeland identity.
But are Asians ready to stand up and be part of that great, moral experiment that is Christian America?
This important question remains to be answered. In keeping with their ethnic customs, it’s a hopeless task to get an Asian to divulge his thoughts. They will confuse you with a barrage of conflicting language, indecipherable emotions and sparks of outright lunacy. They have mastered the genius of subterfuge and illusion, making it impossible for ordinary people to tell the difference between a rich one and a poor one, a 40-year old and a 14-year old, an inner-city gangbanger or an effeminate teen in expensive street wear.
Humor is meant to enlighten us about ourselves. It should be wise, but gentle. One thinks of the joyful energy of a banjo player, the grouchy banter on a cop show, a silly video of a dog eating a mouse… As we face the horrific onslaught of sexuality and radicalism on our very own soil, these are the small things that bring us happiness in our daily lives. Yes, we Christians get caught up in the fire and brimstone, particularly when faced with Obama’s cruelty towards hardworking citizens, but we do need a little chuckle now and again to remind us we’re human after all. But can our Asians handle this?
That “geeky” Asian persona does not fit naturally with the concept of comedy. We pity our smaller friends. They are so serious and strange! You never knows when an oriental is thinking… or laughing, as the old Tennessee saying goes. They don’t have that worldly “hair on the chest” experience that makes a man a man. A man needs to be a man to tell a good joke and maybe that’s the heart of the matter. The Asians have the most delicate, smooth arms. It’s believed that their aversion to masturbation gives them that glorious glow. They move with an ethereal grace, hovering just about the floor with their pretty steps, shooting coy smiles at you across the supermarket or late at night on the side of a road. Sometimes you just want to rush at them, pick them up in your arms and tickle them till they scream like little girls! It’s an odd thought, and doing this with an Asian will likely get you arrested, but who amongst us hasn’t been distracted by the idea? And don’t get me started on their women! They can be awfully playful, but it’s never easy to tell if you’re offending one or making her happy.
Many of your top Asian comics today seem to understand that their ethnic stereotype is not, in essence, terribly funny. In the videos I’ve seen on Youtube, including the work of C.S. Lee, Rob Schneider, Dat Phan and the inexplicably successful Jen Jeong, they reject their heritage by employing loud, brash, oversexualized material. Margaret Chong, arguably one of the top Chinese-American comedians of the 1990s, embarked on a personal crusade to destroy the “china doll” image that her fellow countrywomen had worked for centuries to create. Chong was needy, emotional, outrageous and possibly lesbian– all things that are completely out of character for the Asian female. Henry Cho, who happens to hail from Knoxville, tries to play the “good ol’ boy” with his down home accent and his dungarees, his flannel shirts and observations of Southern life. But who can take him seriously with his high-heeled shoes compensating for a lack of stature and his overly technical eviscerations of the Tennessee we all know and love?
Another common tactic in Asian stand up is “the funny face.” They smirk and scowl after an unusually complex comment. It’s basically an aggressive demand that you laugh along, completely violating the idea that we, as Americans, are free to laugh at what we choose. This is part of the larger agenda at work here, commonly found in the acts of Rex Navarette and Esther Ku, to enforce a “politically correct” dimension of guilt on white audiences. Liberal whites feel they must laugh in order to appear hip, even if the jokes are a bit too obscure or yes, too technical. Is it any surprise that much of oriental comedy concerns gadgets and science? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate for these people to speak a little of their native tongue for us to laugh at? Our Asian-American comics seem to obey an unwritten rule to never speak any other language but English and this tragically deprives Americans of a deep well of humor.
One of the greatest challenges facing Asians in America today is that they do not know how to laugh. I’m talking about a good, old fashioned belly laugh, something that gurgles in the pit of your stomach, erupts in your sternum, marches out your throat and then echoes across the room. The Asian laugh is a sneer, dripping down from the nose and getting all sarcastic in the mouth. It’s high-pitched and even a little bit evil. Evil? Yes, there’s a lot of hate in an Asian laugh. They laugh when you fall on the road, when your football team loses, when your dreams are crushed by the megalomaniacs running this country. At the root of Asian humor is a mocking attitude towards the suffering of others. They love to see heroes fail. Maybe this is why we Americans have such a hard time finding them funny.
Pat Morita, the only Asian to ever make me laugh, sadly passed away many years ago but he knew the key to oriental comedy is staying true to your roots. He was quiet and respectful and always wore appropriate clothes. Americans did not see him as a cultural threat, but more as a friendly ambassador from a foreign land. He sought to introduce us to his strange and sometimes offensive heritage and gave us plenty of room to stand back and chuckle in amazement. Another of the true greats of Asian comedy, “Long Duck Dong” from the movie, The Breakfast Club, was the perfect foil for white actors. He did not try to offend our sensibilities, but worked tirelessly to reinforce our most heartfelt suspicions.
In the end, the question of whether Americans are willing to find Asians funny comes down to integrity. Asians need to investigate their own enigma and let the world know the results. Most of us simply find them confusing and we want answers. We might respect their decorum, but what do we really know about these quirky, svelte people? The fact that they abhor dancing, emotional excess and masturbation is impressive, but it’s not enough.
The Asian needs to address that sneaking suspicion that they’re simply in America to chase white boys, luring them with innocent, yearning bodies and coquettish giggles. Their fabulous secrets coupled with a genetic disavowal of intercourse makes them a highly-sought prize among single Americans, even homosexuals. Could that intentional? In a curious twist, while Asians avoid sex, they are keenly obsessed with marriage. In fact, no racial group is as competitive when it comes to marriage as the Asians. This combative nature exists not only within each family, but amongst all those who share an Asian identity. Could their comedy be the catalyst to further Asian-White marriages? Certainly their stand-up performances can be viewed as an effort to normalize the obscure, the technophilic and the lithe, but is it part of a globalist interracial marriage agenda? Until we fully understand the Asian, is patronizing their comedy really worth the risk?