Why does society bend to the vocal minority? Because minorities are injured by the actions of society, and if the injuries are to stop, society must change.
|Posted: 03 May 2018 at 10:20pm | IP Logged | 12
Being the fat kid in school is in no way comparable to being of an ethnicity that is mocked and disenfranchised. Being the fat guy in adult life doesn't net you anything, either. On the other hand, you can make yourself feel better about it all by simply having another Twinkie.
What? What? It's a joke. A joke, people. Why does everyone ignore intent?
Apu's characterization is based on race. Few others on the show are. There is no stereotypical Black Simpsons character grooving down the street with a boom box on his shoulder on his way to buy his usual meal of fried chicken and watermelon. There is no Mexican kid breaking into everyone's cars at night and doing sombrero dances at his parole hearings. We do have Apu, however, who speaks in a humorous dialect and works 24 hours a day in his convenience store, cheerfully being robbed and bowing to everyone's wishes.
The humor is racially based.
And has been for thirty f*ckin' years now. At first, he was just one cartoon among many, but the Simpsons has gone on to carry tremendous cultural cache and East Indian refugees now must carry this albatross around with them. Is it the worst thing that's ever happened to anyone? No, but we can put a stop to it and should.
Apu is offensive. We know this because people have spoken out and said they find him so. That's the objective definition of offensive. That you can not and will not see the point of their complaint doesn't make them wrong.
You've had your funny East Indian stereotype for a good long while now. You've enjoyed laughing at him and having him perform for you. Yes, it would be nice if ethnic stereotypes could sing and dance and entertain those of us with less determinate backgrounds forever, as is their perceived role in society. But now someone has spoken out, and yes, it's no fun being called out on having backwards, unenlightened values; It's no fun being told you're insensitive.
Do we have to listen to whiny SJW's every time they speak out? Not really, no. But this is racially based, and the fact that this portrayal has become so ingrained in our daily lives is exactly what makes it so harmful. There are few enough positive portrayals onscreen and none with the power to balance out the Simpsons' portrayal of Apu.
I'm pretty sure the producers are going to jump on this, and have the character become the focal point of protest groups on the show; have him deliver a heartfelt and moving apology for simply being what he is, and trundling off into the sunset with his family and a polka-dot bag tied to the end of a stick as music rises and there's not a dry eye in the house. And then probably have him back behind the counter next morning because he remembered a shipment of burritos and beef jerky was due in, and one must be on one's business if one is to run a business, yes, yes.
The appeal of the Simpsons and South Park; the appeal of Trump is in large part due to the offense they offer. "You think I need to change? I don't care what you think. What do you think about that?" It's a visceral kick to tell off those who think they know better than you. F*ck them and the horse they rode in on.
But we're on a web site where the rainbow-colored logo literally reminds us to "care." We can do that here in the U.S. Part of what makes America great as a society and a culture is that we do embrace the voices of the minority and we do change in response to the concerns of those who call out for it. Change isn't surrender. Properly handled, it's advancement and represents an improvement in the lives of everyone. Change is also inevitable. So do we want to grab hold of it and steer in a direction that betters our lives, or do we look forward to next season's Rashid, the funny Muslim guy who really isn't here to blow anything up. No, really he isn't. By the by, you wouldn't happen to know of any flight schools in Springfield, would you? No, no. Just asking for a friend...