Esther’s Space- journey through my life

April 3, 2007

Cho’ momma is so funny

Filed under: Uncategorized — estherspace @ 9:12 pm

“The Chippendale’s dancers are gay. They’re gay. Because there is no such thing as a straight man with visible abdominal muscles. You have to SUCK COCK to get that kind of muscle definition.”

“Because I wasn’t Asian enough – they decided to hire an Asian Consultant. Because I was fuckin it up as an Asian. She would follow me around: “Margaret! Use chopsticks! And when you are done eating, you can put them in your hair. Now you’re wearing shoes which is something we don’t do in the house. Now I’m just going to leave this abacus right here…”

“I am not gonna die because I failed as someone else. I am gonna succeed as myself. And I’m gonna stay here and rock the mike until the next Korean-American, fag hag, shit starter, girl comic, trash talker, comes up and takes my place!”

I can’t even imagine where to begin.  While the other people I forced to watch the DVD with me didn’t totally get it, I spent the entire hour-and-a-half with my pen and paper…”oh, that is sooo performance, why does she do her female voice like that?” etc.   While some of the references were above my head (sorry!), such as Karl Lagerfeld or “Facts of Life,” once I got into her performance it did help me to better understand the performativity of individual categories of identification.  However, I was looking for it.  The others I watched the DVD with were less than impressed.

The gay man.  Please draw your attention to quote #1.  Every gay man was rather ‘effeminate’ and spoke in a particular manner, and apparently all moved in the same way.  The ‘gay man driving’ thing was soooo nasty.  Oh, and my efforts to appreciate the ‘balls in pantyhose’ scent, bad idea on my part!

“Because I wasn’t Asian enough….”  This is a problem facing individuals of all ethnicities who have been displaced (if that is what it can be called) .  Today at work I had a conversation with one of the security guards about the flack that he has been getting due to the fact that after high school he let go of his ‘thug’ identity in favor of a different image.  Now, he is being criticized for not being ‘black enough.’  My roommate’s mother is German and her father is Greek, with both of them actually coming from their respective countries.  However, my roommate is not ‘Greek enough’ for her dad’s family or ‘German enough’ for her mom’s.  We went to the Russian deli and bought farmer’s cheese.  People only go to the Russian deli to buy farmer’s cheese in order to make Pascha (traditional Easter cheese thing).  But, we are sooooo American.  And we spoke English the entire time.  We received a serious ‘evil eye’ from the owner, maybe it’s related to the fact that last time my roommate was there, she was asked “Vhere are you fram?”  and she responded with, “Michigan.”  I’m Russian Orthodox but know less than 50 words in Russian, and my accent is enough to make any Real Russian flip shit.

How can we win?  Is is about winning?  Wouldn’t the best choice be to allow everyone to behave in whatever manner they feel most comfortable and refrain from categorizing them?  I would argue that such is not possible, for we, as a basic human need, want to categorize ourselves, because in identifying with others we are able to feel like we belong somewhere and are not floating about existence entirely on our own.  We are not made to be completely individual; there have to be at least connections with others that can be drawn.

Even Margaret Cho (Mo Ran Cho) isn’t completely free from the identification process.  She does her best to convince her mother and herself that she is just who she is.  But, as she admits, who she is is simply a, “Korean-American, fag hag, shit starter, girl comic, trash talker.”  Hey, it might not be mainstream, but she is identifying with these various groups as a means of defining herself.  And, even if she doesn’t wholly recognize it, she is performing her ‘self’ in a manner that allows her to define herself as such.

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