Friday, January 23, 2009

wave of mutilation

You know it's a momentous occasion when I'm blogging on a Friday night. Remember how I've said that I have this superpower where I can kill a conversation in 2 seconds flat? My talent has struck again. Holy shit.

I went to dinner tonight with my friend K and his friends. In the mix was an acquaintance of K's named Kabir, an otherwise cool guy, kinda funny, (pretty funny, really), whom I figured I could charm with my garrulousness. I'm usually SO charming. Anyway, so the five of us were at a restaurant, and Kabir, who's Indian, is reacting to K's comment that he (K) likes the website Stuff White People Like, by saying that he (Kabir) reads it "to figure 'you people' (i.e. me, K, and Joe) out." Kabir is a cracker. And I said so. Which apparently he found neither funny nor accurate.

"You're not REALLY Asian." I told him.

The table fell silent.

Had I been around my own friends I wouldn't have minded since I have no reason to defend my acceptance and tolerance. But around strangers who don't know how hilarious I am, my joke fell pretty flat. And that's where the digging began. I started to explain that on college financial aid applications they classify races by neediness, and Indians don't qualify like, say, Laotians do.


I mean, like with affirmative action, you know?


At one point I actually thought, "Abandon ship!" Despite my intuition, i don't always listen. I kept going.

My friend TB once told me to just ride that wave of awkwardness like a pony. I've certainly made headway. But what do you do when people think you're racist -- or worse -- not funny? It gets mighty lonely on that saddle.


Anonymous said...

Comedy is not pretty.

Anonymous said...

Around 400 B.C., Democritus was known as the laughing philosopher. His ethical system regarded humor and overall cheerfulness as the highest good any person could offer.

What I'm trying to say is, you're totally right, humor over race! Or anything else that gets in the way of humor.