Apparently, it’s my lot in life to compare absolutely everything to Pacific Rim! Because robots punching! And SWORD!
When I Marty F’n Day’s eyes light up when he took that first bite of food from this hole-in-the-wall Chinese place we found in San Francisco Chinatown, I knew that he suffered a long existance of never tasting authentic Chinese cuisine. He said it was the best Chinese food he had ever tasted. I postulate that it’s the ONLY Chinese food he’s ever tasted. What many of my non-Asian friends consider to be Chinese food is a pale shadow of the real thing. Indeed, for the longest time Audrey thought she hated Chinese food because what she had been exposed to all her life wasn’t even close to the real thing.
This phenomenon of people being subjected to cuisine that masks itself as Chinese food is perfectly embodied in Patrice Wilson’s latest… um… song I guess, “Chinese Food.”
Now before we get into this mess, I sincerely hope that Alison Gold makes a mint off of this terrible thing. She didn’t write it. She didn’t produce it. She didn’t direct this… music video. So I don’t think she be blamed for the awful. That blame lies squarely on the shoulders of Patrice Wilson, the… writer, I guess, of such things as Rebecca Black’s “Friday.”
Back to this… thing.
Whether he meant to or not, Patrice Wilson has created a weird sort of social commentary on the poor state of what I’ll be calling Faux Chinese food from now on. Some like to call it “Americanized” Chinese, but that implies that Americans don’t like authentic ethnic cuisine and I think that’s bullshit. I’m American. I love authentic cuisine. Everything about this is wrong. The video starts off in a Mongolian style kitchen. There are Geisha dancing somewhere in there. Panda Express is dropped as a Chinese food place. The lyrics are essentially a list of every Faux Chinese dish you’d find at your local maul (this is how I spell mall. Don’t judge me) food court. It’s clear that Wilson has no idea what he’s talking about.
Here’s another tell tale sign that there be no Chinese food here. There are hardly any Asians in the restaurant. Here’s a quick test to tell if a restaurant is serving ethnic realness. This works for any ethnic cuisine whether it be Asian, Latin, Mediterranean. If the majority, I’d say seventy to ninety percent, of the customers are from the culture of the food, chances are you’re gonna be eating the real thing. If it’s more fifty fifty, you’re gonna be eating some weird Faux version of that cuisine.
“Chinese Food” is a weird sort of celebration of everything that is unauthentic. There’s no Chinese food. There’s a weird pedo panda. Alison is probably too young to be clubbing. What the fuck are Geisha doing there. Fortune cookies aren’t Chinese, although even some Chinese people I know don’t even know that so you get a pass on that one. It’s a big fucking mess are tied up in a viral package.
So if you find yourself ordering the shit listed in the song or eating things that look like what you see in the music video, perhaps take a moment to reflect about your choices. I think you deserve better. Although, truth be told, sometimes even I crave the horribleness of Pando Express.
It occurs to me that while I talked about it when it was first announced, I haven’t said shit about the new 47 Ronin flick starring Keanu Reeves yet. Welp, this second trailer has dropped so now is as good a time as any to speak my mind.
To be honest, I’m not against casting a White guy or a half White/half Asian guy in a Japanese fantasy period piece. For once, I’m not going to complain about Whitewashing. I mean, they’ve got Mako Mori turning into a dragon. It’s clear they’re not going for historical accuracy by any stretch of the imagination. Also, Keanu’s father is hella Asian so I don’t think it’s appropriate to call him out for being just another “white” guy.
What infuriates me about this thing is that they’re pretending it’s based the actual revenge of the 47 Ronin which took place in 18th century Japan. The story has become legend and defines what it meant to be samurai. But unless you’re Japanese or a Japanese scholar or a Nihongofile or a GIGANTIC weeaboo, you wouldn’t have heard of the 47. It’s not a story that’s readily familiar to the target audience of the film. And those who are familiar with the tale will only be scratching their heads and wondering where the fuck the 48th samurai came from. Keanu isn’t even one of the 47!
I don’t see the benefit of tying this to something that so few audience members will have heard about. And if they look it up, they’ll be utterly confused, ”I don’t see anything about a ‘half-breed’ (guh, that’s what they’re calling him in the film) saving the day.” It bears so little resemblance to the original tale that if it weren’t for the title or the line about there only being “47 of us,” I wouldn’t have figured it out.
It would be like a Japanese studio casting Odagiri Joe (why do you hate Kuuga, Joe? Why?!) as the hero of the American Revolution. What, that sounds absurd? Well it makes just as much sense as this fucking thing.
Just call it something different! You can have your literal dragon lady and your whitish hero and your flashy swords. Just call it something new! Hell, give your writers some credit. They clearly didn’t think the original story was interesting enough for a film so they wrote some new shit! If you believe in that new shit, show it off! Give it a fresh coat of paint and a new name and fuck it, I’ll promote the shit out of your weird looking movie.
The thing is, this looks like a fun little action movie. You got your demon looking armor guy walking through fire. You got Rinko Kikuchi turning into a dragon. You got some really cool looking creatures eating warriors. Were it not for the dubious title, I think I would actually see this in the theater.
I open up and test drive a new digital art program, Mischief! It’s a whole mess of fun. Quick note, as soon as I stopped recording, the zoom feature worked perfectly smoothly. Definitely check it out here: http://www.madewithmischief.com/
This is NOT a paid endorsement.
Also, ignore my terrible spelling.
LeSean Thomas’s Soul Sessions video documentary series of his time in Korea comes to an end with episode 5, “Putting it Together.” It’s been an amazing journey and I’m so glad he took us all with him. Seeing how an animated show is put together really gives me a new appreciation for some of my favorite shows. The people behind the scenes are the true heroes of animation and I’m so grateful that LeSean turned the spotlight on them and their process.
We also get a teaser of an animated sequence from LeSean’s Canon Busters. OH. MY. FUCKING. GOD. I. NEED. IT. NOW.
Seriously, when is that shit gonna drop?!
Thank you, LeSean, for sharing your inspirational journey.
From: LeSean Thomas