Meltingpot readers, I hope you believe me when I say that I really, really, appreciate your comments and thought-provoking responses to my writing here. You all make me think and reconsider many of my opinions and you often open my eyes to fascinating new information. So thank you for that. And now perhaps you can help me with some more burning questions.
1. Did anyone else besides me watch way too many newsweekly specials this weekend about the guilty verdict handed down to American college student Amanda Knox --the poor girl rotting in an Italian prison accused of viciously murdering her British roommate? And then afterwards worry that Amanda Knox is being convicted for being an American stereotype? Seriously, the fact that she kept a sloppy house and liked to have sex and smoke pot seemed to be enough to convict her of murder. I know when I was a college student in Spain, all of the boys wanted to come play in my yard because they knew American girls were easy. And Black American girls? That was like hitting the Jackpot! So at the end, my question really isn't is Amanda Knox guilty or innocent, because that hot mess of a crime seems to be crawling with inconsistencies, but rather is the stereotype of the Ugly American still so strong overseas that if we're not careful, could do us real harm?
2. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that the big billboard movie posters for Clint Eastwood's new flick Invictus feature a full-frontal shot of Matt Damon, but Morgan Freeman, who plays Nelson Freaking Mandela, is in dark profile behind him? Why is that? The movie is about Nelson Mandela (I checked on IMDB) and yet Matt Damon's no-name rugby player is the main attraction on the movie posters. Really? Even Nelson Mandela can't get White people to go to the movies?
3. And speaking of White people at the movies. Obviously a lot of White, Black and other people are enjoying Sandra Bullock's new film, The Blindside. It's the number one movie in the land right now. And I ask you, why do you think that is? A lot of folks have grumbled that it's just one more stereotypical film of rich White people helping the poor Black (overweight) innocent. I haven't seen the film so I don't really have an opinion but I'm curious what you all think? It is a true story and Sandra Bullock is delightful with that fake southern accent and gosh, it's the holiday season when all we can think of is goodwill towards men. So is it okay to like this movie?
4. Am I the last meltingpot maven to hear about the Mr. Hyphen contest, sponsored by Hyphen magazine. In his story for the AP about the contest, Jesse Washington describes the event as, " a faux pageant in the San Francisco Bay area aimed at redefining the image of Asian-American men beyond nerdy, sexless stereotypes." But it's not really "faux." The talent is real, the judges are real and there's a big check for the winner. Is this the way we break out of stereotypes? Can you think of some other pageants we might want to create?
Okay, those are all of my questions for now. I'll be waiting for your answers.