Am I the only one who detests those “miso” t-shirts? You know — the ones that proclaim, “Miso Happy” or “Miso Vegan”? Weak puns based on the supposed inability of Asians to speak English (& which hearken back to Full Metal Jacket & 2 Live Crew)? Give me a break.
Here are a couple shirts I like a lot better from Blacklava: I Speak English & I Will Not Love You Long Time. Take that.
ETA (5/18/08 ): I am clueless, but it took me a while to realize perhaps some of this post could be misconstrued. I am, by no means, in the English Only camp; what I like about the “I Speak English” shirt is that it addresses the presumption that any Asian –or often other POCs too — is a foreigner & couldn’t possibly speak English or be born here. In hindsight I can see that the shirt without context might well be misread though. And I certainly did not mean to imply I believed English speakers were superior; apologies if anyone thought that!
LOL that rocks
Heh, glad you appreciated the post.
i understood what you meant and i appreciate this post. at my local vegan boutique i saw some of the miso shirts and stood there feeling some dissonance about them. on one hand the little cartoon-like character was *cute* but on the other hand its another example of the cutesy play on words that imply all things Asian in this country are CUTE and that English is not spoken at the same fluency as white people. it definitely gets old doesn’t it?
who cares if they are trying to mock our supposed subpar english skills? by getting pissed off and defensive about this, we affirm their anglocentrism.
learning english as a second language is an impressive feat, especially for those of us who don’t start until we’re adults. but if we’re not fluent enough for white america’s taste, who gives a shit? unless we are ashamed of english subfluency amongst POCs, we can set a strong example by not getting worked up* about stuff like this.
*i’m not asking anyone to ignore it, just transcend it. of course transcendence is not always appropriate, but in cases like this it’s almost a necessity for me. i refuse to let myself become a thrall to bullshit of the annoying but somewhat petty variety. it’s just too pervasive.