Thursday, February 19, 2004

so william hung is emblazoned on the cover of our school's newspaper singing in front of a stadium, backed up by a pair of azn dancers griding to his cutsy kitchy rendition of ricky martin's ode "she bangs." he's also been offered a $25,000 record deal by the same record company that first discovered 2pac shakur. congratulations, william, you're on the verge of becoming our first asian american popstar.

(while it's completely absurd to compare william hung to tupac shakur, there are some noteworthy parallels: one was used to perpetuate the corporate and suburban fantasies of ghetto life, the other finds popularity through america's exotica of difference, the enchantment of a non-threatening foreign accent)

william, we fell in love with you when you told us that you had "no regrets." we cheered with you when you were parodied on SNL and talked about on Entertainment Tonight, we wondered how far this craze will go when you appeared on Ellen's talk show, and now we're all deathly worried when you reveal your plans of naming your debut album "the white dragon" (take what you will from the symbolism, everybody.)

what started out as a popularity of earnesty (the "aww-shucks, ain't he something!" attitude) has become a popularity of mockery, a perptuation of america's subtle superiority complex towards fobs and new immigrants.

(what's also interesting to look at is jin's rise to fame, his video-within-a-video music video, but that's another topic.)

william hung! how does it feel to have your image usurped to embody a stereotype, to be thrust into the limelight as a spectacle for all of america to laugh at? i say, fuck them. claim the stereotype. when you're invited back to american idol as a wild card, show and tell your rickshaw and roasted dog meat, dress up in sandals and buddha beads, rock pocket protectors and nunchucks, drape yourself in a cape of the communist flag, and tell simon in a thicky thick accent that you will teach him all there is to learn about mathematics and mysticism, jump around like a little imp, bang your gong, sing of your homeland, and when you are done, drop your pants and ask america if they still think your penis is small and humbly ask if they would be so kind to suck it.

and if that doesn't work, we still got another shot. asian america, get ready because the camile and jonah madness is about to begin...