Congratulations are in order here, folks. Thank you. Hey, I made it through another birthday! But since my SanDisk memory card reader decided to malfunction (how timely--one year and an expired warranty later), I can't download my party pix. So, I won't waste any time writing about the festivities you weren't invited to. I don't want to rub your face in how much fun you missed and not be able to share with you the images of me partying with my senior parents and their spoiled brat dog.
Speaking of seniors, two weeks ago on NHK's Nodojiman (Japanese amateur singing contest), a teenage girl appeared on the show along with her grandmother. As the two held hands, they sang a song. But I forgot to ask my mother what the song was about. I was so awestruck that a teenager not only didn't mind being seen with her grandparent on international television, but was proudly holding her hand, too. I kept imagining the show being American Idol or something, and I couldn't. Are you kidding me? No American kid would be caught on TV performing with an elderly relative. What is it with our society that makes aging such a horrific event that women race to get face lifts and men stock up on Viagra as soon as the wrinkles and gray hair appear? Isn't aging a natural process in other societies where the elderly are actually looked up to as being wiser or something? In our culture, it seems like we want to hide our old folks. Yes, I am sensitive to this issue especially since I've acquired another birthday. Sob! Still, the image of that young girl and her grandmother singing together was so sweet that I just had to take a photo. But it's another one you won't be seeing tonight.
As I've mentioned many times, I just love receiving your emails and Facebook Friends requests. Keep them coming. This week, I got an interesting message from Mary who is also Japanese and African American. After reading my last week's post, Mary experienced her own "huh?" moment with a monoracial friend. Here's what Mary had to say:
"I thought about you last night and your experiences with the monoracial white man who told you that your name didn't sound Japanese. There is someone in my life who I'm trying to tolerate and be friends with. He's white--half German, half American. Even with a law degree and a Masters in psychology, my friend Eric said the stupidest thing to me. As we were watching television, we noticed a biracial boy on the show.
I told Eric, 'Aw, he's really cute!'
Eric responded, 'I hate biracial people.'
Stunned, I said, 'Thanks a lot, Eric!'
He replied, 'Well, you're not biracial because you're half black and half Japanese. That's all the same race. There are only two races--white people and everyone else.'
Mary went on to write, "How does one argue with an idiot without becoming one?"
I'm sorry, Mary, but as you know from reading this blog I have no answers--just lots of questions. It's truly amazing how misinformed people are, but even more amazing is their sense of entitlement to tell you--a mixed-race person--exactly what you are. I mean, who put these people in charge?
Somewhere during the existence of humans, someone decided that the word biracial means that you are half black and half white. Then, some others decided that the word hapa means that you are half Asian and half white. It's crazy, I know. In my dictionary, biracial means someone who is of two races period, while hapa is the Hawai'ian mispronunciation of the English word 'half'. But back to Eric's declaration that there are only two races--white and everyone else. I'm stunned myself, Mary. I mean, does Eric think he hailed from Whiteland? And, why does he hate biracial people anyway? If any of you readers have comments, please leave them here.
On another note, it seems that today's mainstream movies are casually introducing the idea of mixed-race families to the public. Recently, I saw Mall Cop (don't ask) and was surprised that the protagonist was a monoracial Caucasian who lived with his white mother and his Latina daughter. It turns out, ha ha, that the mother was an illegal alien who only wanted her green card. So, she married the mall cop, birthed a daughter, and split. Somehow, this was a big family joke and a picture of the mother on a burro, I believe, was supposed to make us hysterically roll around in the aisles whenever they showed it. I found it kind of sad, really. Couldn't the writer have created a Latina who was not the stereotyped alien lusting for a green card? Couldn't she have been a successful business entrepreneur who decided to dump her mall cop hubby because he was such a loser? Jeez. Think, people, think! You're writers. Write creatively!
Speaking of writing creatively and films, we're still accepting submissions for Watermelon Sushi. If you'd like to audition for our producers in Los Angeles in June, please get your reels, resumes and headshots to us ASAP. You can find all the details, including breakdowns, on the Hip Hapa Homeez group page at Facebook. While you're there, please join us. With mixed-race notables like Jasmine Guy, Lonette McGee and Rain Pryor as members, you'll be in good company. Not to mention Kool Mo Dee, Professor Griff, Biz Markie and Ghostface Killah!
The pix I've posted are all from birthdays long gone. At the very top QBwoy hosted my birthday party at his reggae club in Hollywood. Beneath that one, QBwoy hosted another one of my birthday parties in Santa Monica where Mikki joined us. The other three photos are all from the same birthday party at Siam Place restaurant in Santa Monica. From left to right: Lisa, me, Karen. Next pix: Cat, me, Kristina. And lastly, Chi, me, and Cat.
Until next week, I remain Your old...