Thursday, April 10, 2008

When In Rome...

I just saw the Judd Apatow comedy, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" yesterday.  Written by and starring Jason Segal, this film was, in many ways, a fairly standard Apatow vehicle.  This means plenty of raucous jokes, sexual innuendoes (and outuendoes), objectified females and good ol' frat boy bonding.  That still doesn't mean it wasn't sweet, endearing, clever and memorable at times.  It was-but it also made you walk out feeling a little nauseous like, "I laughed a lot because it really was a funny movie but I don't feel so good about it."

Anyway, one scene really stood out to me from the film.  
No, it wasn't (*SPOILER ALERT!)
the part where Segal shows his privates a lot-and I mean ALOT.  No, it wasn't that memorable scene near the end with all the singing monster puppets. It was this one tiny clip which showed an asian couple taking pictures at their breakfast table.  The husband was snapping away while the wife posed with her forks mid-air as if about to dig into her eggs and ham.  Something kind of like this...

except dorkier cause, you know, my roommates are totally way cool.

Asians seriously have this stereotype of taking pictures of everything they see.  I notice it everywhere I go.  I see the Japanese tourists asking me to take a picture of them near Royce. I've been one of those tourists, always having to rush up to my friends because I've been left behind, snapping a shot of a cool-looking leaf (what? it was cool.)

And I know other people notice it.  Once, at a concert, a couple friends and I got caught up taking pictures of a REALLY awesome looking light (what? it was cool) and my friend Hayoung, overheard a man behind us exclaim, "Dude, what are they taking pictures of? They're just perpetuating the stereotype of Asians."  Ok. I don't even think he put it that eloquently but..WHAT??!!  

Yes, we are Asian. Yes, we do have cameras but so do pretty much 50% of the world out there. Digital cameras are being sold like candy and with an increase in standard of living, more and more people can afford to take a vacation every now and then.  Are we Asian for wanting to preserve those memories of our happy times with photos?  I was angry at that boy only because he was stereotyping Asians but as an Asian who fits that stereotype, I can't argue against it.  But you know what, that's ok. Because for every comment like that that someone makes, I get 50 more fun photos that I can look back on and cherish until I'm 50.  

In our defense, we were in San Francisco's Chinatown and Japantown. We had to fully "perpetuate our Asian stereotypes." We just had to.

Maybe this was going a little overboard.  You creepy creepster!

1 comment:

The dude said...

hey in regards to your comment about Asian tourists, I think that Asians just stand out more when they take pictures because they are often in big groups and dress and act in a manner that makes them noticeable. But when I visited Europe there were plenty of white people who would take just as many pictures. Even at UCLA I often see non-asian tourists who take tons of pictures of everything, it's just that they're more nondescript about it.