Wednesday, October 20, 2004

"Already cook, foh-tee-fie dollah"

So was watching this (rather bad) movie on tv the other night. It starred Rob Lowe, and frankly that was the only reason I continued watching it for as (shamefully) long as I did.

At one point, some woman is trying to purchase fish for a big important dinner date at her house. She doesn't know the first thing about buying fish, and ends up purchasing one from some grocer, an Asian man of some sort who assures her that the fish is "already cook," before quoting her a price of "foh-tee-fie dollah."

I try not to rage like this too often, but fer cryinoutloud, why are Asian people in movies like this so frequently relegated to the role of corner-store-grocery guy who can't speak English without an accent? It's annoying. Kinda like Ming Na in that episode of L&O: SVU where she plays a Chinese illegal immigrant indebted to the Chinese mafia. Is that all Asians are good for? Oh, and they gave Ming Na an accent, even though she clearly has none in regular speech. And that accent was so disingenuous, given the perfect grammar, diction and even word choice underlying the stunted pronunciations.

I'll give the Rob Lowe movie a few extra props because it does feature a woman who at least looked somewhat Asian as the main woman's right-hand girl. She (the Asian woman) is really good at her job, and the main woman lobbies/blackmails the big boss into giving her a promotion from "assistant" to "junior account executive" with a huge pay raise.

The funny thing is, as the movie was on, I was on the phone with Debra at the time. Right after the fish-selling scene, I said, "See now what's up with that?!" and Debra laughed at me, saying, "I knew you were going to go off on that!" We laughed. At least my point is firmly ingrained in at least one white girl's head.

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