Now, I don’t like expLaining myseLf…

…cuz frankLy it’s a waste of my time to do it and your time to hear it.  But my dad came up to me yesterday, concerned that some peopLe on Twitter didn’t get it, my mocking jab at the of dated raciaL humor of my youth, my mocking jab at peopLe who spend too much energy sniffing out something that offends them instead of figuring out why that something is so damn offensive.

ALready, I’m getting bored. Look – I don’t like spending time to expLain or dissect why a joke was supposed to or intended to be funny.  IT KILLS THE PARTY.

But then again, I’m not doing this for you.  Or for the peopLe who misunderstood or didn’t “get it.”

I’m doing this for my dad.

For some reason, him hearing about peopLe accusing me of hate crimes on Twitter bothers him.  ::shrugs:: I guess he’s uncomfortabLe with the idea of totaL strangers giving his 2nd fLavorite daughter a pubLic  verbaL beat down.  (Where has he BEEN aLL of 2009?!!)

Dude, for me — if there’re 50,000 peopLe foLLowing your business on Twitter, there’re bound to be a few who don’t get every singLe joke you crack.


So yesterday I twittered out:  Dammit, kid. Learn some proper Engrish. Yer making us yeLLards look bad. And here is the video.  (PeopLe who experience heart paLpitations from sites such as Cute OverLoad may have to refrain from watching this.)


Now I couLd’ve taken the easy route when posting up this video link on Twitter.  I couLd’ve said “OMG, SO CUTE WATCH THIS” — but that wouLd’ve been too easy foLks.  And lazy.

NOW WHY IN MY MIND MY COMMENT WAS FUNNY: (Aw, geez, this is painfuL for me.)  Okay.  ObviousLy the kid’s some kind of wunderkind genius at the ukeLeLe.  ObviousLy.  And obviousLy what makes the video so cute/hirarious is that the kid doesn’t know the lyrics.  Heck, he probabLy can hardLy string a few coherent sentences together at this stage of the game.  AND YET HE’S TOTALLY SINGING FROM THE HEART.  IN KEY.  ON THE UKELELE.

BasicaLLy, my comment was so friggin ridicurous in its accusation that THAT was the thrust of why it was funny.

RACIAL/CULTURAL UNDERTONES: Most anyone who grew up as an American-EngLish speaking kid, 2nd, 3rd, 4th generation East Asian American in the 80s and 90s wiLL understand the humor behind BEING ASHAMED OF YOUR OWN PEOPLE.  Most notabLy what us f*cked up, 2nd generation YeLLards caLLed “FOB”s.  (OfficiaLLy they’ve beey categorized as “immigrants.”) They didn’t dress “right” or spoke “Engrish” as opposed to “EngLish” — so to aLL of us maL-adjusted East Asian Americans growing up in mostLy non-Asian American schooLs, they were an embarrassment.

What was embarrassing?  Their inabiLity to grasp the EngLish language — and, when you’re 14, dammit, who cares if they’ve bareLy been in this country for 2 weeks — and their prediLection for not dressing up like aLL the other Americanized sheep in the haLLways — cuz in middLe schooL, who cares if they’ve yet to watch what peopLe are wearing on My So-CaLLed Life or 90210 — and their tendency to hang out with either the other FOBs or worse, FOBs who specificiaLLy spoke their language.  2nd gens wiLL understand the cringe that haunted their accusatory thoughts: Why do they aLL have to stick together???!

I mean, American kids grow up on a diet of insecurities once they hit middLe schooL.  So imagine the added seLf-fLageLLation, the irrationaL compLexes some non-White kids experienced in majority White schooLs.  It happens!

Lucky for us, the current generation of YeLLow peopLe in pubLic schooLs are a lot more accepting of FOBs/immigrants and are even taking pride in the word “FOB” or describing something as “fobby.”  Or poking fun at “Engrish” — because dammit, it no longer hoLds them down or makes them feeL unnecessariLy ashamed.

AND IF YOU STILL DON’T GET IT, let me shorthand it for you and advise for you to check out FUPenguin, and this cLassic Dave ChappeLLe skit on a fictionaL character named CLayton Bigsby: a bLind, BLack man who was raised by Whites in the Deep South to become a White supremacist leader.


Now don’t you worry you’re pretty littLe heads about this kiLL-joy of a bLog post.  There shaLL be a KICKASS AWESOME VLOG upLoaded by the end of the day that was put together by one of mah fLavorite interns.

If you thought it was phenomenaL last week, WAIT TIL YOU SEE VLOG #2: THE BDAY BASH.  You literaLLy feeL the love and excitement permeating between every cut, every image, every beat of the backing track.


TiL then, toodLes, poodLes and LUGAW IS LAW.

Love and tacos,


0 Responses to Now, I don’t like expLaining myseLf…

  1. SLEEPYHEAD says:

    …still, there is hope – you don’t hear the old derogatory “Fresh (Previously Frozen) Off the Boat” i.e.
    “FPFOB” anymore…oh wait , I’m in the
    no joking/kidding zone now –
    Happy Everything Everybody!!!

  2. nv says:

    That took a lot of heart to write and more importantly to post. Someone raised you right. Its no mistake you grew up in La Crescenta and not in Seoul or Pusan. Someone wanted you to have a better life. They made plans in order for that to come about and then followed up on them. Kudos to Mama and Papa.

    PS. I thought the kid was adorable too.

  3. Justin says:

    I think when I read that tweet… it just made me think that it’s comments like this that are what make non-asian folks think its okay to do shit like this:

    Glad us asians are all assimilated and what not in white culture but I just hope we’re not becoming the token.

  4. Jason says:

    Alice, you have *nothing* to apologize for! I’m the FOBbiest ABC around, and I was cracking up when I saw your twitter comment!! Your posts always bring laughter and joy to everyone. If anybody follows what you post and they think that you’re racist or mean-hearted or anything like that…well, they don’t deserve to know the awesomeness of Alice, then! 😉

  5. icarolann says:

    This video was all over the internet. I even posted it to my FB cause it was soooo cute! I think explaining yourself for your dad’s sake is honorable. I didn’t get offended. There are so many more things to be outraged over, that this pales in comparison. Love your food, work ethic and optimism. Roll on and drive safely 🙂

  6. Joseph says:

    Word. Aliiiiice! Being self effacing is a good quality to have. Being a 1st generation Asian American who went through hell in a white high school in the 80’s, I wish I learned how to proud of who I was and to make fun of myself instead of being ashamed of myself. We need to grow some thick skin, take that big giant chip off our shoulders and learn how to make fun of ourselves.

    This clip is going to get this cute little kid a lot of girlfriends (in 15 years)!

  7. Big E says:

    If we cant make fun of ourselves… who can ?

  8. Aliiiiiiiiiiiiice says:

    OMG, y’aLL are just AWESOME!!!

    FrankLy, I was dragging my feet to look at the comments because normaLLy +5 comments w/in a 24-hour span means angry peopLe wanting to beat down on me. BUT THAT TOTALLY DIDN’T HAPPEN!!! 😀

    SLeepyhead: FPFOB <– I’ve got fam faLLing under that category. And proud of it. ^__^ heeeeeeeeeeeee.

    nv: grashus, dude. As for the kid — WASN’T he, though? HonestLy, I think he’s better off never learning the lyrics. That kid can be a cash cow at 3rd Street Promenade. CASH COW.

    Justin: Honest thoughts, I get and respect that. And I’ve been there. But for me, there comes a time when I reaLize that I’m not responsibLe for the actions of White peopLe. Their misinterpretation of non-Whites teLL me a lot more about them than it does about me. So I don’t bother my conscience with whether or not what I say or what I do might encourage stupid, racist behavior or jokes. Because that joke or that behavior or that need to make fun of coLored foLk was aLready there. And, to cLarify, I do not mean aLL White peopLe when I say this. Just the ones that suck. 😀

    As for assimiLation — why ceLebrate it? No need to become a part of the pack. SoLidarity trumps unity and variety is the spice of life, my friend.

    Jason: Your comment honestLy warms the heart. It’s good to know that SOMEONE got it! Ahahaha. Cuz it doesn’t aLways happen. FOBS 4EVA!!!!

    icaroLann: Grashus! (( H U G )) That reaLLy was a thoughtfuL thing to say. Thank you.

    Joseph: “We need to grow some thick skin, take that big giant chip off our shoulders and learn how to make fun of ourselves.” WORD. “This clip is going to get this cute little kid a lot of girlfriends (in 15 years)!” <– DUDE, these days kids get girLs at as young as in kindergarten. I know so many 5-year-oLd boys with 4 girLfriends and so many 6-year-oLd girLs with at least 3. They start YOUNG these days.

    Big E: You aLways in my corner, aren’t you? (( H U G ))

  9. Kristel says:

    I missed your original tweet, but I didn’t think it was offensive. I got the humor and seriously, it was all in good fun. I got your back, dude. I’ll stand up to the twitterers for you!

    PS – That’s one of my faaaaavorite Chappelle shorts.

  10. Mininova says:

    omFg this post made my day. First warmed up my heart with the kid singing his heart out. Then the! I can’t believe what a treasure trove you’ve led me to. This shall forever be my daily escape from this prison that is my cube…

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