Thursday, May 23, 2019

A Big Comedic Mouth

Big Mouth swept the nation with hilarious controversy on September 29th, 2017, and people all around the country praised Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, and Jennifer Flackett about the creation of the adult amination embodying Kroll and Goldberg's struggles growing up and hitting puberty. The show's theme song also conveys Kroll and Goldberg's changes through life.

America loves a good laugh. Big Mouth provides both a good laugh and education about the anatomy of the human body. Also, the show talks about firsts. First crushes, first periods, first kisses. However, it also the show talks about how these firsts can cause a lot of shame. There are so many ways to make the people of America laugh. These creators decided to make a show that focuses solely on puberty and the hilarious aspects of it.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Future is Humor

The Office, a mockumentary based on Ricky Gervais’ sitcom The Office UK is an American 21st century television classic. While the show mainly takes place in the office of Dunder Mifflin, the show encapsulates almost every type of comedy and reaches a wide range of audiences. Depending on the episode the office uses all three types of comedy. Some episodes are very far fetched such as a sting operation on fellow competitors, this episode would be classified under the subcategory of farce, while other episodes might be considered a romantic comedy weather it be between Jim and Pam or Dwight and Angela. Many different times throughout the show these couples struggle or are separated but eventually end up back together. The most prevalent subcategory although, is satirical comedy which is seen in the vast majority of the show. 

The Office is known for its all different types of humor whether it be “hard to watch” comedy in which we as the audience know how awful the situation is yet we continue to watch knowing the outcome of the sheer stupidity. A prime example of this is when dwight purposely stages a fire at the office to test the employee's “safety awareness”. Along with this the Office has many Comic Heros, the main one being Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell. While at times he has good intentions, he can be racist, sexist, homophobic, and flat out immoral, and maybe just maybe a wee bit funny. He truly seems to care about the people around him and uses humor as his mode of expressing this. 

While he starts the show as the manager of the Scranton Branch he eventually creates his own paper company but because of his own hubris he lands right back where he started working alongside his employees at dunder mifflin. The show really encapsulates how humor is a necessary part of life. We are all human; there are good days and bad, we have our ups and downs, we lose people and meet new ones, but at the end of the day it's up to us to bring laughter and joy into the people around us lives.

Family Guy enlightens an imperfect world

Family Guy is an animated sitcom created by Seth Macfarlane surrounding the Griffin Family. The creator, Mr. Macfarlane uses many techniques of satire to help break down many prevalent stereotypes in the US, doing so in a light hearted manner. From a parody of Star Wars or stewie, a baby, taking over the world, family guy uses just about every satirical technique in the books and then a few. One of the creators favorite techniques to use is hyperbole and we see this throughout the show. An example of this would be between meg and her bully, in the episode the bully wants to “punch her pretty”. While you can’t actually punch someone’s face so hard they turn pretty, the bully is clearly exaggerating.

Family Guy has broken just about every taboo; terrorism, pedophilia, god/jesus, abortion, physical/mental disabilities, Transgenders and even AIDS along with just about every other racial stereotype, so why do people continue watching this show? There are two important things that the creators of family guy do so that they continue airing episodes twenty some years later. First and most importantly is they do not single out one group in particular but instead, they poke fun at many different (and many times) very taboo things. By doing this they are not marginalizing one specific group and instead make fun of human nature itself. I think what the show is really going after is the fact that we make mistakes, we’re ignorant people, and we all have our flaws and imperfections but when we can learn to laugh with each other instead of at each other, we are one step closer to a better world.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

In Dire Need of a Satire

The internet loves to satire. The internet loves to satire so much; it brutally satirizes itself sometimes. The YouTube series Epic Rap Battles of History satirizes both historical, or modern, subjects and the failures of education regarding these figures. For example, the creators took Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and dressed like them. They also imitated their styles in order to make fun of the rich men. However, the creators not only make you laugh but also make you think as well. With lines to entertain such as: "You blow, Jobs." and "Beating you is Apple II easy." But there are also lines slipped in to make you think about more serious things such as: "Hippie, you got given up at birth" and "I got a PC, but it wasn't from you." These lines reflect on Jobs' childhood and reason for death. Although joking because Gates made PC, PC for Jobs is Pancreatic Cancer. However, we can count on the creators, EpicLloyd and NicePeter to make us laugh and think critically in one sitiing.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

The "World's Language" meets Poetry

Music is the world's language. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, anyone can understand music. Now I don’t consider myself to be bilingual because of this fact, but it certainly holds true. Another form of art that is equally as expressive as music, but takes a good understanding of a language to grasp is poetry; there is more parallels that you’d think. Things like structure, rhyme scheme, and similar themes all carry over in each art form. Here are some examples of that.

When we look at “Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Hand” by Walt Whitman, you see a poem about love that has a dark side. A love that the narrator does not think will work out, and the person they love is going to get the metaphorical shaft. A response for this song was written by Alice Cooper in the song “Poison.” The lover writes back, “I wanna love you but I better not touch / I wanna hold you, but my sense tell me to stop / I wanna kiss you but I want it too much / I wanna taste you but your lips are venomous poison.” They also separate their longer sections of their works with a two line expressive interjection. Whitman writes “Who is her that would become my follower? / Who would sign himself a candidate for my affections?” to Coopers “One look, could kill / My pain, your thrill.”

Bruce Springsteen takes a poem out of Emily’ Dickinson's anthology, when he wrote “Born to Run.” As the title suggests, the couple in this epic four and a half minute song are getting away from society. The society that “rips the bones from your back” and is “a death trap, it’s a suicide rap.” Dickinson writes in “I’m Nobody! Who are you?” about nobody. Nobody does not want to be part of their society, one that forces you to connect with people who aren’t inspired. It’s a place where nobody does not like one bit and wants to escape just like Bruce and Wendy. These two works share a similar rhyme scheme as well. Dickinson writes “How dreary - to be - Somebody! / How public - like a Frog - / To tell one’s name - the livelong June - / To an admiring Bog!” This is an ABCB rhyme scheme, while bruce does the same thing in the end of his last verse. He sings “Where we really wanna go / And we’ll walk in the sun / But till then tramps like us / Baby we were born to run.”

I think Dickinson would have gaged if she listened to Ray Charles’s “I Got a Woman.” In his last verse he says “She’s there to love me / Both day and night” and “She knows a woman’s place / Is right there, now, in her home.” In her poem “I’m ‘wife’ - I’ve finished that -” she responds to this. Instead of using profuse profanity, like myself and many others would have, and exclaiming why Ray Charles needs to rethink how he sees woman, she says “How odd the Girl’s life looks / Behind this soft Eclipse -.” She is exactly right. You do not define a woman as being a housewife who is there to love you, that covers up her shining self, life an eclipse. I don’t know how charles missed that lesson.

“I’m a shooting star, leaping through the sky / Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity … There’s no stopping me.” This is exactly what I picture Dickinson sang after “A solemn thing - it was - I said -.” She writes, “And then - the size of this ‘small’ life … swelled - like Horizons - in my vest - / And I sneered - softly - ‘small’!” The other thing swelling in her vest was her lungs ready to belt out this epic song that shares the same rhyme scheme. They both don’t use one. Freddie Mercury sings “time … yeah … ecstasy … me … time,” at the end of the lines in his first verse, while dickinson says “said … be … fit … mystery.”

I don’t think Dickinson was the legendary theatrical heavyweight champion of the world, but he poem “Because I Could Not Stop for Death,” shares a similar message as Rocky’s theme song. “Gonna Fly Now,” is all about perseverance and the grind. Its poem length lyrics read “Trying hard now / It’s so hard now / Trying hard now / Gettin’ strong now / Coming on, now / Gettin’ strong now / Gonna fly now / Flyin’ high now / Gonna fly, fly, fly.” Those inspiring words, completed with a second to none guitar solo, backup vocals, brass, and sound production really give you the feeling you will not stop for anything. The narrator in this poem must have just watched Rocky run up the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, because they are on the same page. Death has “kindly stopped for me-” just like Rocky’s doubts and hardships he overcame. They also don’t use a rhyme scheme to develop their poem, its straight to the point with how they feel.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Poetry to Me

Poetry is relatively new to me. Of course I had to memorize Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” in 4th grade and I have read poetry most years in middle school and every year in high school. But it didn’t start to sink in until junior year when I had to write my junior theme on a poet. I again went with Robert Frost, and many of his poems helped open up my eyes to the world of poetry. When the poetry units roll around in English classes, it usually results in a lot of eyes rolling. But with my last two poetry units, they have not brought me any grief, quite the opposite in fact; when I talk to my friends or other classmates, however, they do not share the same feelings as me.

Many students feel the poetry units are a waste of time, or are dumb, or are boring. I legitimately feel this is the farthest from the truth. The reason, I believe, for their resistance to poetry is they really don’t dig into the works. They don’t find relatable themes and dig up food for thought in the poems. They push back before the poetry can get close: and this is sad to me. Without this blow-off and negative attitude towards poetry, I think it would have been a lot more impactful for many students.

Before I share what I found valuable or thought provoking or inspiring in several Romantic and Transcendentalist poems, I need to briefly explain the French concept of “je ne sais quoi,” which is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “something(such as an appealing quality) that cannot be adequately described or expressed.” I couldn’t have said it better myself, but one thing I would like to add is simply reading the definition will not tell you exactly what the phrase means. It’s a feeling. A spark. Something you cannot shake off and you can’t explain but it’s there. With that in mind, here a few things I love about some 1800s poetry.

To start we have “I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud” by William Wordsworth and “I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed” by Emily Dickinson. Contrary to the title of the former, what I got from this poem was the opposite of lonely. He describes a beautiful scene in nature, that he later explains was made up in his head. You can take nature wherever you want with you. This is a new idea for me, which is one of the reasons poetry is so great. It makes you think of things you never have before; it puts you in the head of another brain who has had great thoughts and revelations, and leaves you to decode them in their writing. In the latter, it describes the amazing feelings you get from nature. How you do not need substance to get intoxicated, for you have nature. This is a great reminder of the outdoors, something highly undervalued in our society. For example our government frankly does not give a rats ass about the environment. In addition, we spend so much time indoors, especially during the school year. From 8 o’clock to 3:04 we are forced to be inside, and then have homework and other activities after that, more often than not. These poems put light on its wonders and power, and how it is undervalued severely.

In a similar vein, we have “A Blessing” by James Wright. This poem is very straightforward all the way to the end. The last few lines read “Suddenly I realize / That if I stepped out of my body I would break / Into blossom.” Even after reading this poem many times and discussing it in class, I have not cracked the code and don’t understand what it means. This is beautiful in poetry is that you can not know exactly what the author is trying to say, but still feel the poem and what the author is expressing, and have something to ponder next time that I’m bored.

Next is “Desideria” by Wordsworth as well. His metaphor of “transport” being him leaving something he loves and “silent tomb” being his repressed sadness is my first je ne sais quoi moment. Metaphors like that, where they give you a different way of thinking about something that you have experienced is amazing and incredibly thought provoking. But it's more that just “amazing and thought provoking.” It gives you a cool feeling when you dig into this poem and find what Wordsworth is talking about, and that’s why I like poetry. Also I am not claiming to relate directly to losing a love and remembering them and being super sad. I’m 17 years old. But what makes this poem even better, is that even though this poem was written in the 1800s by a grown man talking about his problems, I can relate as a teen in the 21st century. I have certainly tried to escape worry or hurt through things like Netflix, video games, and being with my friends. But like he says, when you think of that thing that makes your gut drop it is hard to shake and plagues you mind. For me it’s not loosing a love, it’s probably something unimportant in the grand scheme of things like a big homework assignment, but nevertheless, this poem makes me think about my life in a new way, giving the poem good meaning.

“Ode to a Nightingale” by John Keats after my first two read throughs was about covering up pain with drugs. But then after I dug deeper I started to think that it was about having pain from something so good. To be honest I am not totally sure, but I think that’s it. This is another wonderful part of poetry, while I cannot personally relate to this theme at all, it takes you into a seperate word of magic, of “nymphs” in “hippocrene” with a drink that will taint the mind.

The first section of Walt Whitman’s “Song of myself” was a fun one. He tells how he loves his life and himself, and is going amazing. This poem brought a smile to my face. While many poems we read have tinges of sadness, or at least pensiveness, this one is outwardly positive. This is an approach I choose to take on life, and I am happy to see that Whitman felt the same way. Another reason I love poetry is because of the ability to draw parallels to the current day. There is obviously one in this poem, because there has not been a time when happy people didn’t live. But other poems surely give me things to think about, like how there were similar feelings had years ago, by people just like me. Further in his 6th section, the beginning of the poem really stood out to me. He writes, “A child said What is the grass? Fetching it to me with full hands; / How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he.” I could write a whole other blog post on this line, but that’s not why I’m here today, so I’ll shorten my ideas. When I was a kid, I thought that parents knew everything, that they were always right, and basically not flawed. As I grow older I realize how wrong I actually was. Every adult was a kid at one point, and there is no time when adults go from flawed kids to perfect adults. Hopefully they grow and learn a lot in their life, but nobody learns it all. So when I’m looked down on for being a youth it makes me furious, and any time an adult thinks they know more about life philosophy than I do, it makes me furious. Everybody on this earth is faced with challenges and learns from them. They go through different things, and learn at different paces, and some have had more years to learn than others. But that sure as hell doesn’t mean that they necessarily know more than I do about life; Whitman couldn’t have articulated this better. I am going to make sure that every person I mentor, teach, and interact with knows that I am not all knowing, and prove to them they aren’t either if they have somehow concocted that notion.

The last poem that I will be talking about was also written by Walt Whitman, titled “Noiseless, Patient Spider.” This hit home for sure with the speak of making bridges in new places, like the spider web and the wandering soul looking for spheres to connect to, with my nearing departure to college. A lot of ties are going to be cut in the end of the summer, some that will never be repaired. It’s sad but it’s the truth. This poem is exactly like that and again gives je ne sais quios, but this time with a more forward, and spooky aura. In this poem the soul does not know what is ahead of it: it is surrounded in “measureless oceans of space.” This is precisely what I feel with my future, but maybe add a compass and a crumpled map to the picture. Whitman tells of “the bridge you will need, be form’d--till the ductile anchor hold.” For me, this is the ties that I am looking forward to making in college, and beyond. This is the last reason I will give on why I love poetry: it really gets you thinking, of not only you past and how you can relate to a poet, but about your future.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

A Romantic Scavenger Hunt Part II

Hello Everyone! So sorry for the long hiatus but I was too busy getting lost in the orchids of the Atlanta Botanic Gardens.

I also found my Romantic goal: This lone rider made completely out of plants. If only I could turn into a series of vines and flowers riding on a plant camel *sigh*.

Anyway, below is your next clue. Nature may have carried this letter to a different location since I put it there, so keep your eye out for it wherever you are. Remember to appreciate the natural world around the letter, and to put it back when you're done. Happy hunting!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

A Romantic Scavenger Hunt

Inspired by Romanticism, I have written Romantic poems on sheets of paper, put the poems in envelopes, and left them around Oak Park. The letters appear as below.

I will be posting intermittently on the blog about new locations of the letters. Each location will given through a photo from the perspective of the letter. So, please, get out there and find Romanticism in the world. If you find a letter, read the poem, appreciate it and the world surrounding it, and put it back for others to find.

With all of that being said, here is the first image from the perspective of the letter.

Happy hunting. Don't forget to dance with the daffodils


I believe that the Western world views Orientalism in a negative light. It has made a bad impact on American views and society, especially since 9/11 and recent terrorist attacks. Due to the Eurocentric mindset, many people believe in similar versions of one ideology. I believe that all cultures and ways of life should be recognized and respected and no manipulated from Eurocentric mindset. I think that I have some part of an orientalist mindset but I also have some part not and more accepting. Society has, unfortunately, sculpted my point of view into a more Eurocentric, but I have learned from the new changing society to be more open and understanding. Living in a more liberal town has helped me gain a wider span of acceptance.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Musical Theater's Impact on Orientalism

As a child musical theater has always been a joy to me. Shows like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Newsies have always held a special place in my heart. I have learned valuable lessons from these shows and they have influenced the way I have thought since I was little. The show Aladdin, set in the fictional city of Agrabah, has extremely impacted my perception of the Middle East. I believe from this show alone I have developed an orientalist mindset. To get rid of this mindset I believe that one must not only visit the Middle East but talk to people from there as well. I believe that developing this orientalist mindset can be changed if one has an open mindset.

Orientalism in Modern Pop Culture

Orientalism is the representation of the Eastern World in a stereotyped way. Orientalism can be seen in film, music, art and literature especially from western civilization, like Europe and the United States. These predisposed ideas of people and the culture of the east, like the middle east, dates back to when the Europeans came in contact with the lower class of the east. This has carried on since than and stereotypes about Asia and the Middle East are very present in today's society.

Orientalism has been present in recent hip-hop music, video games like call of duty and many types of movies. I am going to focus in on one movie called The Dictator. The Dictator is a comedic-satirical film that plays on extreme exaggerations and general stereotypes to do with the Middle East. For Example, there were no modern type of buildings in the film and the orientalist idea that Middle East women are mistreated is acted upon, as the wife of "The Dictator" is smothered by the doctor after she gives birth. The Dictator is one of many pop-culture examples of Orientalism.


I think that Western world and culture views Orientalism in a negative way, when really it is just a different way of life. It is unfortunate in the way that we are predisposed to view Orientalism this way. A majority of the world has a Eurocentric views on life and they way it is to be lived, which affects peoples views, including my own, of other cultures. I think that there are many different cultures that are viewed as negative or different, and that people need to have an open mindset when it comes to learning about and accepting the way that different people live. Other cultures and ways of life should be recognized and respected in the way that people view Eurocentric cultures. Society has shaped specific cultures into being acceptable and "normal", while others are looked down on in society, which is a problem and has to be changed.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Taking on Orientalism as a Westerner

It is easy to fall into an orientalist mindset. The Oak Park/Chicago area has a lot of diversity, but our community does not have many people from the Middle East. Therefore, our main exposure to these people and cultures is through the stereotypes presented in the media. We see countless images of Middle Eastern people as terrorists or dangerous. The women from the region are depicted as submissive, and all the people are portrayed as not having the capability of the complex thought that we, as Westerners, supposedly come by naturally. 

These stereotypes could not be further to the truth, but the only way for us to fully understand the truth is to educate ourselves. Few people in our community maintain racist or sexist ideologies once they are exposed to the depths and diversity of people, cultures, races, etc that they had never met before. My sister is adopted from China and I have spent much of my life taking on stereotypes that people make about Chinese people, as I knew they were false first hand. Simply because we might not have direct access to people from this region or live there ourselves, that is no excuse for us to take a backseat in dismantling this outdated ideology of Orientalism. 

Orientalism In American Culture

Do we, as United States citizens have an Orientalist mindset toward the rest of the world? To have an Orientalist mindset means to a stereotyped view of certain Middle East and Asian countries. I believe that in hindsight and in the present day, we do have an Orientalist mindset, especially in our American culture.

Here is an example of a Time Magazine article cover from 2010 asking the simple question "What Happens if We Leave Afghanistan? The question seems simple enough, however, it is the picture of the cover of the magazine that really makes me question whether or not we have an Orientalist mindset. The woman in this picture, Aisha, went through a terrible tragedy in which her abusive husband cut off her ears and nose. However, the Time Magazine cover almost portrays the image as if American's leave, Afghan men will start abusing their woman. The magazine cover doesn't even pose a question. It states that this girl's traumatic injury is the direct result of "What happens if we leave Afghanistan." The idea that American troops have the sole power to be the physical and moral protectors these women because all Afghan men are barbaric, is insulting and a prime example of an Orientalist mindset in American media.

The next example is from a movie known as "The Dictator" which stars Sacha Baron Cohen as a Middle Eastern dictator. Throughout the movie, Cohen sends a message that Middle Eastern leaders are barbaric, uncontrollable, unable to control their people, stupid, and simply insane. Outside of the movie, Cohen performed press events and media appearances in character, bringing the character of an insane "oriental" leader to the front row of American media and entertainment. A number of times, jokes were made about terrorism such as when one character suggests Cohen visits the Empire States building before he or one of his cousins "brings it down." He also chants "Death over America" and "Death to the West" during the film.

Finally, for the last example, the film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom represents examples of Orientalism. In the film, Indiana Jones finds himself accidentally arriving in India after fleeing from China. An Indian tribesman discovers the group and brings them back to his village. Upon arriving, the group learns of a Kali-worshiping cult that has taken the village children as slaves, ruling from a palace nearby. After the arrival at the palace, the food served to the right included monkey brains, a snake with beetles cooked inside, and many other foods that are represented as cultural food when in fact, most Indians do not eat anything remotely similar to monkey brains. In the film, the palace is secretly hiding a cult still practicing inhumane rituals involving the removal of a live person's heart for the Hindu goddess Kali. Not only are ritual victim's hearts removed by hand, but they are also then lowered into an underground pit of lava. To portray Indian's in this way unfairly and inaccurately represents the actual lives and beliefs of Indians.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Post-War Orientalism in the 1950's

Last year when my family and I were going through my grandfather's Korean war records we came across one document that took us all by surprise. It was a letter from the U.S. government to my grandmother and it was telling her what to expect when my grandfather came home. The letter warned that he may be a changed man with strange cravings for Korean food and they treated it almost as if he had contracted some sort of cultural disease in Korea.

This is the most direct experience that I have ever had and its so shocking that this letter was sent by the U.S. government. The letter really treats Korea and Korean culture as something unfathomable and completely ridiculous. It really shows how ingrained Orientalism was and still is in our society and how harmful it can be especially if the western public has no substantial knowledge about eastern culture and life

Orientalism Loves Company

It's no secret that the concept of Orientalism has made a large impact on American culture and society. It shows itself heavily in films, a well-known example being Aladdin. The movie, while highly praised and loved by audiences of all ages, is the earliest work I can think of that has influence my own view of Orientalism.

The term that comes to mind when thinking about Orientalism and its effects, is "exotic." We as Americans tend to be fascinated by cultures that are different than ours in the same way we are fascinated by the different exhibits at a zoo. Movies such as Aladdin "cartoonize" Middle Eastern culture into something whimsical and fun, but most importantly exotic.

A more modern example that comes to mind is the tendency for men to fetishize women from foreign countries. Women from Middle Eastern countries, among Latin American, African, and more countries, are labeled as sexier because their background makes them "exotic," and therefore more attractive. We see this on social media, as well as the main focus in the content of a lot of music. It is rare to listen to a mainstream rap song without hearing something related to women from different countries. As far as Orientalism goes in America, it is like most outdated concepts such as racism and sexism. While it may not seem to be at its peak, it is clear that this is not the case. It has simply adapted to the way we receive our information and is prevalent in new ways such as media.

Crazy Rich Asians

The recently extremely popular movie Crazy Rich Asians was a monumental movie release for the asian community in not only America, but for Asian communities all over the world. Hollywoods lack of asian roles and asian presence has been extremely noticeable within their films and has been a growing issue over the years. In 2018, with the release of Crazy Rich Asians, people felt that Hollywood was making a statement that with this movie's release they would change the issue of asian presence and support those communities more. Wrong.

I felt that the movie Crazy Rich Asians was a way to appease the general public on the lack of asian presence in Hollywood films. I personally did enjoy the movie and felt that it was a step in the right direction, however the level of orientalism present within the movie is astounding.

The movie revolves around a couple in love, Nick Young and Rachel Chu, who travel to Singapore to visit his family who are crazy rich asians, extremely family oriented, and very traditional. Throughout the movie there are exotic parties, a tropical wedding, and an array of colors throughout the movie. The movie really highlights the craziness of rich asians and portray it materialistically along with the personality and actions of a crazy rich asian. All in all, throughout the entire movie I felt that orientalism was at work because it made asian culture look bad.

When Nick Young and Rachel Chu break up do to his family's tradition and family oriented beliefs, it makes it seem as if being family oriented is bad and prevents having a full life. In the ending scene when Nick Young does eventually acquire his mother's blessing and there's the scene where he and Rachel are reunited, it's further degrading asian culture and supporting western individualistic beliefs. This is seen in many scenes, not only in the love scenes. Another scene where they're representing asians badly is when Rachel is at the bachelorette party and the girls gang up on her and put a dead fish in her bed and write in blood "Catch this you gold-digging bitch". This scene plays into the theme savagery and portrays the asian women as savages. The orientalism is subtle and well hidden, however it's presence is there.

Once again, I'd like to reiterate that I did enjoy watching the movie Crazy Rich Asians and did appreciate the fact that Hollywood released a movie consisting of mainly an asian cast. However, from my perspective, Hollywood still has a long way to go in portraying Asians correctly and respectfully and breaking away from orientalism.

Orientalism After 9/11

Americans are raised with an Orientalist mindset, which disasters have amplified. One such catastrophe that has lead to both an increased awareness yet belittlement of their culture is 9/11. This incident has caused many in the west to look down upon the entire middle eastern region in a way that devalues and diminishes their individual accomplishments and cultures. Americans especially developed a stigma against all humans from the Middle East, fueled by the orientalist mindset. Because citizens have been raised learning of other countries as the “other” identity, it is easy for many to not appreciate those people. There are only select groups that commit terrorism, however, because the west tends to simply group together foreigners, the west consistently writes off the entire area as dangerous and violent people.

This leads to disunity between whites and middle-eastern Americans within the country. It also creates tension between citizens of the west and those of the Middle East.


Orientalism has clearly made a dent in American society. You see it in movies, TV shows, but also in music. One thing that I can think of that shows itself within it is Katy Perry's music video Dark Horse. The video has everyone dressed in Egyptian or Asian like clothing to represent a certain glamour or exotic fashion. Americans are very fascinated and aroused by different cultures. However, by imitating these cultures' looks and styles, it's almost as if they're poking fun without even knowing it.

Orientalism with Today's Culture

Unfortunately, I believe the world has a Eurocentric mindset which causes the world to revolve around one ideology. The way we view the world is the from where Europe is located, the West, the East, Middle East, Orient. It's frustrating seeing how the Western world views Orientalism. If people want to understand what occurs in the middle East they look to what was written previously, and that view is always skewed. Then if people want to view it on their own, they'll visit it for themselves, except with preconceived views of what's happening. This mindset is hard to eradicate only because it's been shaped around our society so much. I feel that if the world continues to communicate different views throughout, and not solely from television episodes or movies, real life events or situations, the Orientalist view could be changed.