More on the cultural debate between Lam and Huang

More on the cultural debate between Lam and Huang

There is nothing I like more than these few things in life. First and foremost, my wife and the rest in no particular order… 1. Lunch specials. 2. Movies and tv shows. 3. Hating on Republicans. 4. Chinks talking about Chinks. The Lam-Huang conversation that just keeps going and going apparently has another episode at Eddie Huang’s blog. I already said on twitter that I struggle with reading comprehension, so it was nice of Eddie to break it down further for the likes of me. So what I understand now is that he’s against those who take a culture from group X and then reinterprets that culture and feeds it to group Y as the culture of group X. But Huang says we’re all looking at it too micro and we should look at it macro. Let’s enlarge HIS magnification on the subject and make it even more generalized. (Man, I could be watching Game of Thrones instead of this shit right now.)

What Huang really doesn’t like is when an audience views a subject and not see the subject in its truest form because the messenger wasn’t honest or pure enough. The end. I solved it bitches! The answer is E, all of the above. We see this problem in the cooking world (let’s go micro for a second), with chefs who dislike the term ‘molecular gastronomy.’ They claim, “Yo what is that? All cooking is molecular. Sheeeeeeeeeit.” However, they’re going about it all wrong. They would like to expect that audiences of all levels of food/cooking knowledge to ‘get’ what molecular gastronomy is as a movement, but not call it that. “You see your Honor, she was supposed to interpret it as art, not as blatant dick shot on her cell phone.” Wait what?

In this world, you can’t choose how you come off to other people. This is the source of the saying, “Haters gonna hate.” I think the idea of wanting the audience to interpret something in the truest form is like a thing for Taiwanese people in the U.S. I guarantee you this thought goes through Jeremy Lin’s head sometimes, “You stupidass reporter. I’m Taiwanese not Chinese.” But it’s OK. I, however, tell people I’m Chinese because it’s one love, one people, and those metal-lacing-in-milk-formula commies will have democracy one day. Tail gonna wag the dog you sons of bitches. See we’re all Chinks. I’m just from Taiwan. That’s the difference. On we go…

It probably still riles up Taiwanese here in the U.S. that so many people in the U.S. probably think Taiwan is a little puppet state of China. And this gua bao shit is ours, it’s not Korean or Japanese or some weird fusion hybrid. When the consumers of a bun don’t know where it originates… IT IS OKAY! No, it really is. When you wanna look at this shit… it’s like, would the people eating a Momofuku bun or a rip-off version from Ippudo have liked the OG version that the Taiwanese love? Perhaps. There’s a reason why worked when it worked at the place in which it worked, but that’s for a biz school case study. No one sets out to screw over the Taiwanese with these source of these buns.

Gua baos aren’t exactly a new recipe. There were Taiwanese people in New York City who coulda done this shit before David Chang and momofuku. There coulda been someone brave and entrepreneurial. It just so happened that Huang came along and did it after Chang. That’s cool. Ain’t nothing wrong with that. To all the bao and bun loving people in NY, it’s all the better there’s more to go around. Should they know where it came from? It doesn’t matter. It’s not anyone’s responsibility to be like, “I got this idea from place X and it resembles something in place Y, and I’m serving it to you as my own.” We can’t go around insisting that people see us that way that we want to be seen. You gonna waste a lot of time and anger being like, “They just not seeing us right cuz this interpreter didn’t present it the right way!”

Cultural imperialism doesn’t exist because it exists everywhere. When they talk about America as a melting pot, they were talking about culture (meanwhile the people themselves self-segregate like a bunch of non-melting metals with super high melting points). New American is a genre because we live in the United State of America. We happen to be open to mixing all that shit up. In other countries that have open minds, you’d get that too. I mean in Europe, the fucking right-as-hell-almost-nazi like parties get like 20% of the votes in some elections before the runoff. So yea, maybe there’s more melding of cultures here and we don’t end up knowing where things come from. Who cares?!?! We all got lives to lead and bills to pay. If some kid is eating Korean-filling tacos and think tacos were simultaneously invented in Korea because the Korean taco truck guys didn’t tell him where it’s from… Well fuck. That kid doesn’t need to get that right. This country can’t even figure out gay marriage in 2012, and we think this country could place an emphasis on correctly identifying from where things came? Please. This country got better shit to do. It’s called HBO.

Posted by Danny on June 8, 2012 at 6:44 pm

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