Thursday, February 5, 2009

Age 16

OMG! Have you heard the latest?!? You just won't believe it! Miley Cyrus was making racist faces! ROFL! I can't believe it!

There are some "controversial photos" in which Ms. Cyrus (aka Hannah Montana, I believe) is "using her fingers to make her eyes slant, which is considered degrading to Asian people." Her website response: "I've also been told there are some people upset about some pictures taken of me with friends making goofy faces! Well, I'm sorry if those people looked at those pics and took them wrong and out of context! ... In NO way was I making fun of any ethnicity! I was simply making a goofy face. When did that become newsworthy?"

An "advocacy group" -- racist, we must suppose -- calling itself the OCA, had issued a statement declaring that the starlet had "encouraged and legitimized the taunting and mocking of people of Asian descent, [and] she has also insulted her many Asian Pacific American fans." OCA. Organic Consumers Association? Orthodox Christians for Accountability? Oldsmobile Club of America? Online College of Astrology? Oculo-Cutaneous Albinists? Oriental Complainers in Action? Yes, that's it -- the Organization of Chinese Americans.

Well, first of all, who doesn't hate those stinking Asian bastards, with their good grades and their neatly combed hair. Think they're all that, don't they. They're as bad as the Jews. Get a clue, ya uptight WOGs. She "encouraged" racism? -- "legitimized" the "taunting" and "mocking" of Asians? She "insulted" them? Boo furking hoo.

If I press my nose, am I making fun of Africans? If I rub my eye, am I mocking Asians? If you pinch your nose, are you ridiculing Europeans? Race is not about a distortion of features. Since when is scratching ourselves a free speech issue?

What I think is interesting, though, is when people unconsciously work out their issues in public. They expose their insecurities, their fears of vulnerability, their deep wounds and angry scars -- all bound up in the moderated tones of rationality. And what I think is interesting is when you catch people lying. Just watching the process. Fascinating. The sincerity, the outrage, the squirming, the pretended bafflement -- however it manifests. The groping for plausibility, for ingenuity.

How do we know Ms. Cyrus is lying? Context. Here's the picture.

Obviously. Obviously. It's obvious. To pretend otherwise is just stupid. To make it explicit, the only one there without squinty eyes is the guy who appears to be Asian. Duh.

Question is, so what? Private photo, private party -- nobody's business. Lord knows we're not allowed to make mistakes publicly. We're not allowed to make them privately either? Anyone who is offended by this -- actually, truly offended -- needs to grow up. I'd be more concerned about where that dude in the white teeshirt has his hand; don't think he's not aware of it. And the dude to the right -- is he holding a glass of wine? And the dude in red -- you know what he's doing, right? -- he's doing the mouth-cover/giggle. Me so sollie. Sickening, with their skinny noses and their pink faces. Stinking European bastards. Nevertheless, stupidity isn't enough. Behind offense, there must be intention.

But balanced with that is courtesy, and kindness, and empathy. Even generalized mockery offends our dignity. When we defend our ethnicity, we're defending our children.

Miley Cyrus, age 16, has made her apology, such as it is. She lies, age 16, but we should show her the same graciousness that we'd have appreciated from her. Perhaps it will encourage her, age 16, to more transparency in her next publicly exposed failure of judgment. We lie, after all, because we fear more of the harshness that we have received in the past.


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