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Let's talk about Apu...

for those of you talking about stereotypical portrayals of white people, black people, jewish people - think about this.

there are hundreds of white characters on television. there are hundreds of black characters on television. there are hundreds of jewish characters on television. thus, any "negative" portrayals of whites, blacks and jews are not as offensive (i.e. because they are part of the overall portrayal of that race on television).

by contrast, there are HARDLY ANY indian characters on television.

in fact, it seems that ALL indian characters that appear as secondary characters have accents that are designed to make us laugh. just look at where they position the laugh track every time that "very bad man" guy said something on seinfeld.

that's probably why indian groups seem to raise this complaint more often these days than any other group.
 
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Klubmasta Will:
by contrast, there are HARDLY ANY indian characters on television.</font>

FYI there's a new show out (or almost) about some detective guy who is indian. No accent.
 
on cbc=INSTANT HIT!
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by jungleboy:
...its such an obvious sterotype of East Indian people...the voice....the job...I'm not sure what to say, it seems pretty clear to me...making fun of his religion....the Flanders family is a differnt matter complety and see my above arguments....

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Ah DUH....all media is based on stereotypes weather they are overt or not. And it serves a purpose. Firstly stereotypes act as an ordering process. They help us sort out obscure facts and order the mass off data we receive every day. Secondly stereotypes help us understand and remember messages easily. As well they are a mode of characterization and an expression of values and beliefs. DAMMIT... we all have stereotypes weather good or bad and weather or not we chose to acknowledge them! To ignore them would be to disregard all of our differences. How far you take them and if you employ them is your own decision, but let's not take things overboard!

*L*
 
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...it great that all the white, middle to uppermiddle class people are deciding what is offensive or not...


I know indian people who are offended by it...

hmmmm...choose the obsessive white middle class Simpsons fan or an actual brown person.....


hmmmmmmmm.....


obviously I know not everyone making posts here is white but you see my point....
 
...would you guys be cool if the Simpsons had rape jokes or jokes about slavery...

..."dude, they make fun of everything"....
 
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by jungleboy:
...its such an obvious sterotype of East Indian people...the voice...</font>

I've seen good scores on both sides of this argument, but to help you put your finger on (one of) the problem(s) with Apu is the fact that his voice is performed by Hank Azaria, who is from Queens ... definitely not India.
 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by [EmPress]:
Ah DUH....all media is based on stereotypes weather they are overt or not. And it serves a purpose. Firstly stereotypes act as an ordering process. They help us sort out obscure facts and order the mass off data we receive every day. Secondly stereotypes help us understand and remember messages easily. As well they are a mode of characterization and an expression of values and beliefs. DAMMIT... we all have stereotypes weather good or bad and weather or not we chose to acknowledge them! To ignore them would be to disregard all of our differences. How far you take them and if you employ them is your own decision, but let's not take things overboard!</font>

Who, pray tell, is us?

Ah. The majority.

The unenlightened, unwashed, jerry bruckheimer-watching unthinking masses who like things nice and easy like.

Think like a sheep, bray like a donkey. Huh, just like the Tribe board!
 
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by jungleboy:
...its ok to make fun of white people...</font>


it's better to kill them!
 
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Do you think if we all lived in India, the Simpsons would have a token white guy working the Kwik-E-Mart, and everyone would be arguing about him instead of Apu? Sort of like bizarro-world?

Rob
 
No lie here - I love the simpsons, and I love apu, he makes me laugh ("We're finally going to put that bitch on ice!"). Tough to explain... and becoming entirely academic about it, like all those losers who write dissertations about religion in the simpsons, etc. really does take away from the enjoyment of the show.

But I can see why some people would find Apu offensive - especially most of the second-generation plus east indians who've struggled against stereotypes for their entire lives... stereotypes generated by a moronic majority. (Why people would actually care about what this moronic majority actually thinks is another story - not caring is climbing a few rungs closer to enlightenment, wait, that's buddhist innit?)

So I can sympathize with that... which doesn't mean I'm going to stop laughing, but I sympathize with it anyway. Everyone has their own context to take thing in with, and I don't think it's a bad thing to be more sympathetic and understanding about other peoples context. I mean, rather than getting all narrow-minded and backlashey and gang-y uppey (then again, this *is* the Tribe Message Board, where y'all seem to think ostracization is enjoyable and sporting, for some perverse reason.)

I don't think the Apu stereotype is malicious in intent, I do think it's satirical (the whole town of springfield is quite fucked up by realistic standards, so why not this?) But if someone stops to point out why it's offensive to them, why not try to reach out rather than snap back? C'mon guys, prove me wrong here - are you part of the moronic majority or do you have brains of your own? (Winners get a nice shiny penny.)
 
^^^ well said.

i think it's more than reasonable for certain people to feel insulted this. i know i feel a tinged annoyed when i hear people faking chinese accents even though the odd "me so solly" joke occasionally still cracks me up.
 
I'm east indian and it doesn't bother me. I don't know anyone who actually runs a quickie mart. In fact amongst my family and friends we're pretty much limited to professors, chemists, engineers, mathematicians, computer scientists, lawyers, operational officers. My parents have 10 degrees between the two of them. It doesn't violate my sense of cultural identity because I know indians as a whole are a damned hard working and intelligent culture.

Besides, it's just a joke in a show that makes one dimensional caricatures of everyone. There has even been dialogue in the show that acknowledges the shallowness of the characters.

However, I do wonder what the impact of such stereotypes has in areas where there isn't a lot of exposure to different cultures i.e. the midwest US etc. Without exposure to real people, the ignorant are left with only caricatures upon which to base their preconceptions about other cultures.
 
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by deep:

However, I do wonder what the impact of such stereotypes has in areas where there isn't a lot of exposure to different cultures i.e. the midwest US etc. Without exposure to real people, the ignorant are left with only caricatures upon which to base their preconceptions about other cultures.
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King of the Hill deals with that pretty well. Hopefully all the hicks are watching that show.
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"Be Careful with that! They haven't made those since the War! Now how am I gonna make fun of the frogs?!" -Krusty-
The simpsons is the most hilarious show there is out there period.
The concepts and humour they touch on, isn't really understood by children, well maybe astute politically minded ones, and everytime I watch an episode I have seen a hundred times before there is alwyas something that I have missed that I can laugh at. Besides whenever they include the deleted scenes its pure hilarity.
 
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by DJ Doublecross:
King of the Hill deals with that pretty well.</font>

I don't see how it does. Just because fun is poked back at a culture doesn't mean that it does anything to undo what's said about another.

Like I said, it doesn't bother me too much, but I don't make the mistake of overestimating the average television viewer's intelligence
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no matter what anyone says it won't please mr. jungleboy.

it really is pointless to argue, he'll just come back with a lame rebuttal every time.

if you can't see that they poke fun at most situations and people (kinda like south park but at a notch or two lower). the simpson family themselves are a stereotypical, white lower/middle class family. with the dumbass blue-collar, semi-alcoholic, overweight father and the uneducated house wife.

if you can't find humour in a show like that (even if sometimes it is really crappy) then don't watch it.

do you have any comment on BET and how their comedy shows usually contain at least 30% white-person bashing jokes? i laugh - mostly at the comedians 'cuz the jokes really aren't that funny. but then again, you'll just say that i can't make that comment since i'm white and don't understand.

as for the non-diversified locales that Deep was referring to, it is true. living in mississippi for four months and having a majority of my relatives from timmins i can attest to that. it's kinda scary how people can be so brainwashed from the beginning - a lot of ignorance and just plain stupidity goes on in those places.

one more thing - comedy is mostly based on the shortcomings and differences in people and the events that occur with them. i find it rude sometimes when shows like MadTV have skits about handicapped people - but i laugh. what else would be left if comedy wasn't allowed to poke fun at these things? probably just a bunch of three-legged horse jokes.

--craig
 
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by deep:
I don't see how it does. Just because fun is poked back at a culture doesn't mean that it does anything to undo what's said about another.
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Hmm, maybe I should watch King of the Hill before I make such claims then.
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But from what I have seen in the rare episode here and there, isn't a lot of the social commentary in that show based on the fact that southern whites in the US rarely come into contact with other races like Chinese and Aboriginals, and when they do, they base their judgements on vaguely formed stereotypes, only to find that they don't apply so neatly in real life?

That's what I gathered at least... but like I said, I rarely watch the show.

Rob
 
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by DJ Doublecross:
But from what I have seen in the rare episode here and there, isn't a lot of the social commentary in that show based on the fact that southern whites in the US rarely come into contact with other races like Chinese and Aboriginals, and when they do, they base their judgements on vaguely formed stereotypes, only to find that they don't apply so neatly in real life?
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Possibly, but I would tend to think that getting that bit of a irony would require a lot more reflection on the part of the average viewer than just taking the stereotypes at face value and laughing at that.

A conclusion I came to about humanity a while ago was that the majority of people's lives are determined by what is most comfortable for them to do.

Advancing, changing, growing, learning, etc. are all more difficult than staying the same. Consequently if you could make a pie graph of people's lives you'd see how little of it ever really represented an advancement in any dimension of their lives.
 
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