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February 24, 2012

New Guidlelines For Avoiding Ethnic Slurs When Covering Jeremy Lin are Informative, Hilarious

Okay. I suppose they had to issue this, given that some people don't know "chink" is a slur for Chinese.

But this reads like an SNL sketch. Imagine this as a sketch on SNL -- some reporters sternly warning you away from certain offensive jokes. Then repeating each joke. While insisting it's not funny.

That would be a funny sketch.

It's a funny document.

I'm not saying slurs are funny. If I heard any of these jokes, told as jokes, I'd roll my eyes. Kind of ba-dum-dum.

The medium is the message. Here, with the Asian-American Journalists Association listing every single dumb Asian joke you can think of, old, musty, kinda-racist humor is suddenly sneakily funny.

Here is the document. Tell me you don't feel like you're being punked.

DANGER ZONES

...

DRIVING: This is part of the sport of basketball, but resist the temptation to refer to an "Asian who knows how to drive."

EYE SHAPE: This is irrelevant. Do not make such references if discussing Lin's vision.

...

MARTIAL ARTS: You're writing about a basketball player. Don't conflate his skills with judo, karate, tae kwon do, etc. Do not refer to Lin as "Grasshopper" or similar names associated with martial-arts stereotypes.

"ME LOVE YOU LIN TIME": Avoid. This is a lazy pun on the athlete's name and alludes to the broken English of a Hollywood caricature from the 1980s.

What about:

CONFUCIUS: Avoid "Confucius say, 'nothin' but net.'"

I made that last one up but the rest are real.


Specifics

Comedy is built on the specific. Avoid specifics if you want to avoid a comedy vibe.



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posted by Ace at 01:41 PM

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