I saw a funny/racist clip of Bill O'Reilly "analyzing" PSY's Gangnam Style video to try to figure out why it's so popular. The pundit he had on said that it was just a mindless pop song with a good beat and it was meaningless and that's what people are looking for these days.
At best, this is extremely lazy, as they didn't even translate the words from Korean. At worst, it's just plain racist, implying that because it's in a language they don't understand, it's meaningless.
In most cases they would have been right: pop songs are mostly meaningless. However, this pop song actually did have a meaning: it was parodying Korean superficiality, where poser kids claim to be from the uber-rich Gangnam district, the Beverly Hills of Seoul. They could have picked that up from a quick scan of Gangnam Style's wikipedia page.
I didn't think much of the O'Reilly clip because, well it's Fox News. Getting mad at Fox News is pretty much just pissing in the wind. Mostly forgetting about it, I went on my merry way to get a long-overdue haircut in Chinatown.
I was chatting with the woman washing my hair, a middle-aged woman a few years younger than my mom. She asked if I worked or studied and when I said I worked she asked, "Oh, do you get two days off?"
I was thinking she was asking about Christmas break until she followed up with "like Saturday and Sunday?"
I prodded a bit, asking, "When do you have off?"
I was a bit taken aback, laying face up with my hair lathered up, feeling like an asshole because I get to not work for two days of the week and still be able to subsist.
This woman washing my hair for tips works 6 days a week, while we all take for granted our God-given right to a weekend. I didn't get a chance to ask if she had kids, but I knew the story well enough.
It was my parents story, both of them working 7 days a week to feed their 3 kids and aging parents with their local real estate business that served the immigrant community that the big real estate companies had no patience for.
My dad had the business phone line forwarded to our home phone during off hours so they were literally working the whole day. I grew up in fear of answering the phone because an angry client shouted at me the one time I did. I hated their business. They were always b busy working, and I was always the last to get picked up from school. As an adult though, I look back and thank God for my parents' diligence, paying my college tuition in motherfuckin' cash and giving me such a great position in life.
It's also the story of the Filipino lady who served me fried chicken at my college's local munchies spot, the one that got robbed every other month. She lived in Baltimore with her shut-in mother, supporting both of them with her fast food salary, as well as paying for her children in the Philippines to go to nursing school. Before I graduated, she had gotten a new job with my college's food services staff, a big step up. She had also met a nice man, an American citizen, who agreed to marry her so that the byzantine immigration laws would let her bring the rest of her family here. She asked me to be her best man(???) but I politely declined.
What does this have to do with Bill O'Reilly, you might ask? Well, these business-minded family-oriented Asian folks are exactly the kind of people who would vote Republican if the Republican party would even acknowledge their existence.
We start small businesses, creating jobs despite not benefiting from the "job creator" tax cuts. We don't rely on state assistance when we're old or sick or down on our luck because we have a strong family-oriented culture that has us take care of each other when we're in trouble. We do whatever it takes to excel in the broken school system so we don't have to go through the same economic hardships our parents went through. But Asians don't exist on the political radar, so it's ok to blatantly discrimint against.
Fuck that, I'm so tired of that shit.