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The AbsurdistThe Absurdist

Monday, April 05, 2004
  Decoding Detail Magazine's "Gay or Asian" article

Apologies. I have not written all day. I have recently returned from a day trip in outer space as a test pilot for President Bush. He's really taken this whole Mars travel to heart. He must really miss home. I must tell you, that whole "The Great Wall of China is visible from outerspace" talk? It's total bullshit. Those crazy scheming Asians sure had me fooled. But who am I to talk? I am one quarter Asian on my mother's side (my father, a faded Hollywood leading man who earned the padding to my trust fund by being overdubbed in Japanese while endorsing canned "Pork Of The Sea" Whale blubber, was a Far East frequenter). With private schooling in Shanghai for 2 of my formative pre teen years, I fear I was both duped and blind perpetuator of the myth of the Great Wall. I guess you can't always believe what you read in a censorship state textbook hell bent on mind control and cultural revolution.

Speaking of not always believing what you read, I am puzzled by the recent and somewhat oblique article from Details Magazine. In response to their whole "Gay or Asian" item, I had to write them a rather terse missive demanding an explaination. My letter is as follows:

Dear Details,

I am responding to your recent article entitled Gay or Asian written by Whitney McNally. I am unclear on what exactly this article is supposed to mean. I would like to take this opportunity to understand specifically what you mean by the following statements made or suggested about Asian people:
    "One cruises for chicken, the other takes it General Tso-style."
What exactly does that mean? General Tso-style? Is that in reference to a hot and spicy poultry dish? If that's the case, I'll need to bring some Tums. It's delicious but can sure give you the burns something fierce! Or do you mean the war-mongering Chinese general that trumped rebels, revolts and reconquored lost lands? Because if that's the case, I don't think General Tso "took" anything of the sort. He was reputably very no nonsense. And who "cruises" for chicken? Is that what the cool hip readers of magazines like Details call take out? You Details people was so 'down' to the fancy street lingo!
    "Whether you're into shrimp balls or shaved balls, entering the dragon requires Imperial tastes."
Again, you seem to be mixing food references with things that I'm not quite sure are other food references. If I'm not mistaked, I think you mean shaved coconut coated rum balls which are quite delicious to the lips, but all trouble on my hips! And what about entering the dragon? Is that not the kung-fu contest that Bruce Lee competed in to the death? That crazy island guy had all those scary hand attachments, like fuzzy bear claws and sharp ginsu knives! If that's the case, no way. I ain't going near the dragon, and I don't care how good the desserts taste.
    "So choke up on you chopsticks, and make sure your labels are showing."
This sentence made no sense to me. Maybe "brush up" on you chopstick technique? They are very hard to master. And why would I make sure my labels are showing? If I have bad chopstick technique and I spill food on myself, will someone need to see the fabric care label on my clothes?
    "Study hard, Grasshopper: A sharp eye will always take home the plumpest eel."
I guess this one makes some sense, but you can't really fish for eels by eye sight. They tend to live pretty deep in the ocean, unless you find them in an aquarium at the fish market. Then you can easily spot the nice ones. But they're usually sold by the weight, so the bigger you get the more expensive.
I've done my best to understand what Whitney has written. Still, I don't think it makes any sense. In truth, I think Whitney may be a little touched. But just in case I am mistaken, please correct anything I may have gotten wrong.
Yours truly,
The Absurdist
 

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