Cultural Imperialist

"Scathing Spats on Shallow Subjects"


Sun Aug 20




Interracial Couples Aren’t *That* Happy

interracialThe surest way to get someone to spend on your product or cause is slapping a broad cross-section of humanity on a billboard. Often this means a roughly equal balance of men and women, white, black, Hispanic, Asian, Arab and Persian, unless UN sanctions stretch over to modeling. Speaking of stretches, I saw a billboard campaign on the subway to get GLBT people (and maybe the Q's, too) to stop smoking, which is slightly more challenging than making them straight.

But you know what's even harder to swallow? Interracial bliss.

You can put a snoring black man and a bemused black woman in bed together (another subway campaign, promoting marriage) and it looks about right, but every portrayal of interracial couples makes them seem like Will Ferrell and Rachel Dratch's "Lov-ah" characters from SNL. Wrapped around each other, beaming, endorphins rushing as their eyes meet and their globules of melanin wriggle with excitement, these diverse dyads have no problem that some combination of big booty, no booty, slanted eyes, Afro, Jewfro, horn-rimmed glasses, grillz, purple highlights and wispy goatee can't fix. The power of colorful love can even win elections - ask New York City's new public advocate, white guy Bill De Blasio, his black wife and whack (white/black) kids, who starred prominently in his TV ads.

This is more ridiculous than anything Balki Bartokomous opined on. Interracial couples fight all the time, over their differences as much as their common humanity. My Asian-American warned me from the start not to call her "oriental," which is only supposed to refer to inanimate objects, so I already have a cultural minefield to avoid. For fun she nibbles on "fish snacks," the suicide bomber of disgusting munchables dressed as normal treats, whose aroma explodes my nose whenever her mouth approaches mine.

As a laid-back white guy whose earning prospects in the creative industries are magnitudes below the painfully productive Asian doctors and bankers my gal's relatives pushed her toward, I'm already viewed warily by her family, and giving them a bag of oranges won't help. Neither does my love for Conan O'Brien, whose comedy is "not natural" according to the gal's dad. Then there's the language barrier - I'm looking around befuddled as the Cantonese flies around the dinner table and bits of English creep in. The same occurs even for my Mandarin Chinese friend and his Cantonese gal. Two Wongs don't always make a right.

The next time you see a colorful couple laughing it up, drinking in love on a billboard, shake your head in disbelief. There's only one certainty that comes from an interracial pairing: Their kids, like Fred Armisen or any mid-level bad guy on "24," will be able to play characters of multiple races, hence better earning potential. Isn't that what really brings us together?

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