Stories. Tadanori Yokoo. 1967
when old people talk to other old people mainly they talk about all the things they do to pass the time
“At times I’ve wondered if this isn’t a psychic workaround: is brown safer than black?”
Every South Asian reader knew the answer. When even whiteness is freighted in liberal circles with maudlin guilt, no color is safer than South Asian brown. No minority presence in the US is more reassuring, or less likely to get angry or acknowledge your antiblack racism. The South Asian is sometimes the soft-spoken but intense professional— the alert-eyed and firm-jawed Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN. But just as often the television South Asian echoes the gestures of the standard fawning coolie of yore: palms clasped together, head shaking from side to side, mumbling “sahib” through an apologetic smile crowned with an anachronistic mustache. Or she is a cartoon auntie flinging her sari over her shoulder as she hovers over a pot of steaming aloo methi, yelling to her son in Rushdiean patois: “Eat-na, why you no eat! Food is spoiling-goiling,” et cetera. Nussbaum didn’t mention that the show that for a while came after The Office in the NBC Thursday night lineup was called Outsourced. The show followed the comic travails of whites stranded in an Indian call center, but was chiefly humiliating because its South Asian actors had lined up eagerly, in possession of free will, to portray racist stereotypes. South Asians have done this proudly for years, chiefly in film: from the many who played monkey brain eaters in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom to Kal Penn as the repressed nerd in the Van Wilder movies, Dev Patel tomming through The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and the guy who literally played a coolie in The Royal Tenenbaums. Such minstrel figures paved the way for and now coexist with the accentless, “American” desi nebbish who fills the minority quota on TV.
He Started a Band for Easy Access to Drugs
I got my contributor copy of Skydeer Helpking. It is very pretty. It contains a piece I wrote called “Yeah, Thunder.” I am very proud of the piece that I wrote. Skydeer Helpking is nice and good.
Happy Birthday 2000AD!
A selection of covers from the first 500 issues. This is the kind of thing we got when I was a kid.