Sex and the Ivy

Racism is the new snark.

Filed under: Asian, Gawker, Race — Elle November 30, 2008 @ 6:57 pm

“I mean, look at all these rich nerds with fetching Asian ladies on their arms. We don’t want to sound “offensive” but it’s just a thing, you know?”

Gawker: Following Hallowed Nerd Tradition, Michael Phelps Dates Asian Chick

And in the comments:

“Asian is the last stop before Gay.” #

“My wife already knows when she’s tired of me and kicks me out that my next wife will come from Korea or Sri Lanka.” #

“Mr. Butterfly Champion gets his Madame Butterfly*.” #

“He so horny**!” #

“White nerds dating Asian girls is a trend. I don’t think it’s offensive to point it out.” #


- My friends and I make plenty of offensive comments about each other’s race/sexual orientation/etc. but we do so in private. So though I’ve been referred to as a Madame Butterfly, these things are said in jest and directed toward me specifically by my friends specifically, not directed at an entire group of people by anonymous commenters who don’t know them.
- Some argue that there’s truth to some stereotypes like “Asians are the last stop to Gay”. However, I can think of lots of stereotypes out there (”Blacks are thugs,” “Gays are diseased,” “Fat people are lazy”, etc.) that shouldn’t ever be said out loud. Why? Oh, that’s right. Because they’re stereotypes, which by definition, means that they have no empirical basis.
- Interracial relationships are not “trends”. Trends go out of style. I’m pretty sure this isn’t just a hot commodity for the season.
- People have no filter on the Internet, especially not on websites like Gawker, because they mistake “being offensive” for “being controversial”. A racist remark isn’t snarky humor, it’s just racist.

Call this an overreaction, but I’m seriously disturbed by some of these comments. The Gawker article is offensive, sure, but considering the website’s habitual outrage at other people’s displays of ignorance, I’m going to chalk this up to a poor attempt at humor. The commenters, though? I guess they demonstrate that some people out there — educated or not — clearly need a crash course on racism and its seemingly harmless manifestations.

* For those unfamiliar with the opera, Madame Butterfly depicts the relationship between a condescending American and a self-sacrificing, exoticized Japanese woman, who gets abandoned (after marriage, mind you) for a new and improved American wife.

** A reference to the Vietnamese prostitute in Full Metal Jacket. Everyone’s heard “Me so horny. Me love you long time”; no one ever knows where it’s from. Now you do.

(reposted from Tumblr)

How To Watch The Election

Filed under: Uncategorized — Elle November 4, 2008 @ 1:23 am

Excellent summary via nickdouglas:


1. When the polls close:

(map from Huffington Post)

2. What states matter:

According to the prediction models at, McCain absolutely can’t win without Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Indiana and Montana. He has less chance of winning without taking both Ohio and North Carolina than you do of wearing a condom and getting HIV.

3. What states matter in what order:

I distilled this from 538’s Nate Silver:

At 6 PM EST, most of Indiana’s polls close. An early call for McCain means hold onto your butts (because it indicates unpredicted McCain support); an early call for Obama means pop the champagne (for the inverse reason).

At 7, the rest of Indiana closes and a McCain win isn’t as meaningful. But at the same time Virginia, Georgia, and most of Florida close. If Virginia goes Obama, again, champagne. Same for Florida. If Obama wins his long-shot Georgia because of the record number of black early voters, then call a Republican and do your best Nelson “Ha ha!” because this whole map’s going blue.

At 7:30, Ohio and North Carolina close. Bad voter turnout here actually helps Obama, thanks to his huge lead in early votes. Either way, by now McCain probably has to win both or…finally…champagne.

At 8, Pennsylvania wraps up. But the projections may be off depending on which votes are counted first. Again, if you’re still holding onto your butts, keep a grip.

At 9, if Obama is still struggling, he’d better win Colorado. But not much chance it’ll come down to this.

6 PM: McCain needs to not already lose Indiana.

7 PM: McCain needs Florida and Virginia.

7:30: McCain needs Ohio and North Carolina.

8: McCain probably needs Pennsylvania.

9: McCain needs Colorado.