Friday, January 23, 2009

Post-Racial Society

Congratulations President Obama; some say it would appear we've moved into a post-racial era, while others still feel the presence of racial prejucidice; anything is possible; Happy MLK Day; we're all the same blah blah blah. Every other blog in the world is talking about this right now.
And that's great.
I however, am going to be a culturist (which is kind of like a racist, but not really, because race is not a biological fact but a social construction and I don't like to use the word "race" in this context) for a sec and make fun of someone in my office.

Please envision yourself in the bowels of your client's headquarters building. You have come after lunch from the nicer office, with a cheesy "Congratulations on the impending birth of your unborn child" card for a couple whose name you cannot even spell ("Hey Jane, are there really supposed to be this many consonants in this name? Really? Huh. Ok. I'll take your word for it"), bearing a tray of Winco oatmeal raisin cookies. This basement room is your company's office space at this building and it is uncomfortably small and poorly lit.

There is a long folding table laden with yellow baby-themed napkins and plates, one pitcher of lemonade, two other trays of what appear to be Winco cookies (oops), a bowl of unripe fruit salad, and a plate of vegan cookies (shit. Why didn't I think of that? This IS a party for a vegan and her husband). A mystery dump-cake is also waiting to be scooped onto a plate... any plate really...anyone? Is anyone going to eat something? No? We're all just going to sit here awkwardly then while some people try to work at their computers and the rest of us whisper about absolutely nothing in particular? (Topics covered: due date of baby, gender of baby, Jane's trip she took to Scotland, ohhh... 4 months ago). Great.

Then Parvesh comes busting into the room, chattering in his Hindi-lilted English. Please imagine the following as such:
"Oh hi to everybody. Hi, is this the lunch? Oh, it is not a lunch? I was confused, and so I sent to everyone an email asking 'Is it a lunch is it not a lunch?' Oh, it is a just cookies and fruit thing? I did not see that e-mail. So this is the party then, huh? What we need is a movie playing- there- on that wall. It is for a projector, perfect. We get a nice Jim Carrey movie playing, with his antics- "

[At this point, glance over to Michael, the second youngest person in the office who is still 10 years older than you, and is possibly your last best hope for a person to laugh at Parvesh with. He is stifling laughter. You are pleased.]

"- with uhhh, what is that most offensive and ridiculous movie? Ah, 'Me, Myself, and Irene. Yes. It is sooo funny."

I went comatose round about this point in the conversation and slipped out soon after.

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