Tuesday, December 26, 2006

quirky Asianness and JDATE

Among the races cohabiting so harmoniously in my home country, East Asians (i.e., the JCKrew) are probably known to Westerners as, per the stereotype, inscrutable and exotic, not to mention hard-working and a bit compulsive about "face" issues. A somewhat gentler form of this same stereotype places Asian folks in the category of "quirky"-- that is to say geeky and capable of creating email addresses whose meanings totally befuddle native speakers of English (evergotcha, godintoi).

It's all about the quirk. Think I'm kidding? Check those TV and movie roles: the Asian guy is little different from Harry Potter (bad eyesight, obsession with avenging the murder of his family), except that he doesn't get to bag-- or is it teabag?-- Ginny Weasley in the end. Hollywood, which loves braying about how liberal it is while simultaneously being one of the foulest bastions of racism in the US, has a little corner all staked out for my oddball brethren. You know it and I know it, so stop shifting around uncomfortably.

Certain Asians in the West aren't helping matters by actually being quirky (you fuckers know who you are), but sometimes the quirkiness pays off.

The awesome internet novel John Dies at the End is a perfect case in point. Written by David Wong, who has done stories for the likes of National Lampoon, John Dies is a comical take on the whole ghostbusting business. The novel, affectionately known by its abbreviation "JDATE," is the type of work all NaNoWriMo'ers can and should aspire to. Listen up, fellow yellow fellows: if we're resigned to being quirky, we should all borrow a bit of the David Wong mojo.

JDATE is now available in dead-tree form as a CafePress novel: see here. The online version is still available, too; word of the novel continues to spread like warm diarrhea from under a seated ass. Your homework tonight is to read the JDATE prologue, parts 1 and 2. If you don't find that shit hilarious, there's something very wrong with you.


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