2 years ago

1 note(s)

Why Are Accents Funny to Dumb Immigrant Kids?

Navneet Alang asks, "What exactly is funny about accents? Why is it funny to hear otherwise, uh, “normal” (i.e. familiar) words pronounced in a different fashion?"

I’ve got the morning off, so here’s my take…

Accents are just the foreground—they’re not funny on their own (shitty “ethnic” comics who think they’re funny, though…). The real magic of Peters’ humour is in the punchlines themselves, not the funny sounding delivery.

Good accents are hilarious, particularly Peters’, because a) they’re spot on and b) they (hopefully) come from understanding, open-mindedness and (dear God, I hope) empathy. They can broaden our understandings of other people and provide a nice foreground for the jokes Peters is really trying to tell. And of course, just for fun: Peters makes fun of his dad’s accent in the same way that he jokes of his misunderstanding of punani—he’s acting like the goofball immigrant kid who really wants that cheap laugh. I’ve been there.

I’ve honed my Chinese accent just as I did my Filipino accent: careful observation, a patient ear, an eventual understanding of first generation immigrant issues, and a particular culture’s feelings and even values. It’s not just how they say it, it’s what they’re saying, and Peters knows that. Chinese people have awesome food, so they talk about how awesome their food is. Filipinos like karaoke (full disclosure: I am Filipino and I fucking love karaoke), so why not sing songs in a Filipino accent? And plenty of immigrants show up in Canada with no money, so they talk about the use in saving 50 cents versus eating a decent meal. Get it?

Also, the audience: certain audiences will “get” the accent, just like any tool of humour. For example, I don’t find Irish or British Isles comics funny because I don’t understand the difference (and there are massive differences) between, say, the ramblings of a working class character that goes to this church as opposed to the ramblings of a working class character who goes to that church.

Likewise, my close friends are my audience. We all grew up in the same neighbourhood full of immigrant kids with funny-talking parents. We sometimes feel like translators, and don’t always hear what we’re listening to. We can skim over the details and the nuances of other peoples’, even our “own” people’s, needs while joking about our parents around salespeople at the mall. That can lead to hurt feelings, or even to getting hurt by belt-weilding pissed off immigrant parents.

This doesn’t even come close to explaining accents in humour. Just the two pennies of a guy who actually jokes around using these accents. I live in Scarborough so I’m surrounded and humbled by the cacophony of the world’s accents and I usually feel like I’m laughing with the accents rather than at these funny brown people with probably stinky houses.

I’ve got waaayyy too much to say on this topic. So I’ll end with this little anecdote:

One of my best friends, a lovely and sporting Egyptian fellow, is fucking horrible at accents yet constantly tries to drop them when we’re joking around. They all sound the same. Meaning, they all sound Egyptian. We say his accents are fucking horrible, and he laughs and tells us to shut the fuck up. We admit his African accent is really good. But the joke isn’t the accents: it’s how fucking horrible this immigrant dude’s attempts at Apu-at-the-Kwik-E-Mart is.

Not all accents are funny. My sphynx-loving brother can’t seem to get part a) down, but he definitely has part b) down because his dad owns a convenience store. So the running gag stays funny because it reminds us of where we’re from and the people we encounter on a daily basis, hence David’s answer re: why accents are funny.

David’s question: how do non-immigrant people find accents funny? Do they? As Robert Hough stated in Toronto Life, “his attitude has been revolutionary in its simplicity: these jokes are not for [white people]. If you find them funny, good. But really, they’re not for you.”

PS. *Steps on soapbox* I personally don’t like referring to people as white. Reminds me too much of Vancouver’s green men, except in all white. And I’d hate to piss an Italian or Armenian person off. And I prefer the terms brunette and blonde, in no particular order. Blue eyes are cool, too. The hell was I talking about?…

David out.

2 years ago

3 note(s)

Reblogged From:
harlequinbooks

Harlequin Books: On Being a Man in the World of Women’s Publishing

'sup, Brendan…

harlequinbooks:

by Brendan Flattery, Production Coordinator of Digital & Internet

Sometimes I get funny looks when I tell people, with pride, that I work for Harlequin. More than once I’ve been asked “do many men work there?” or “what’s that like?” I’ve also been asked if I’ll be appearing on any covers, or…

2 years ago

510 note(s)

Reblogged From:
putthison
High Quality
Note to self…
putthison:

Men’s Clothes: How to Store Them
Men often email me to ask how to store their clothes, so I thought I’d offer a few simple best practices for most of the clothes in your closet. If you’re looking for information on seasonal clothing storage - like putting away winter coats in summer, read the great article Derek wrote a few months ago.
Remember that animal fibers (especially wool) can attract moths. Wherever you store your clothes should have some ventilation and be dry. Keep your wool clothing clean (moths like moisture and especially food stains). Some strong smells, like cedar, will discourage moths from setting up shop, though only mothballs will kill them.
Shoes: With shoe trees, preferably wooden. “Lasted” trees (trees in the exact form of the shoe) are best, but not necessary. Try buying trees for about $12 at your local Nordstrom Rack, or keep an eye out for pairs for about $3 at your local thrift stores. Shoe bags (usually made of cotton flannel) recommended when traveling, or for shoes that are likely to get dusty, like velvet slippers.
Socks & Underwear: In a drawer. Cedar smells nice. I actually store mine in an old aluminum cooler that has a few lavender sachets in it.
Shirts: Folded or hung from a hanger. Button the collar to maintain its shape and another button further down the shirt front to keep them from flapping around. A slimline hanger is fine for shirts, but don’t use wire. You’re not an animal.
T-Shirts & Polo Shirts: The thin cotton of polos can stretch if hung. Fold and stack them.
Suits & Sportcoats: Suits and sportcoats should be hung. At the least you should hang them from a hanger with some shape (a traditional suit hanger which bends forward slightly, rather than the straight plastic five-for-three-dollars hangers from the dime store). It’s even better to hang them from hangers with some width in the shoulder. You want something that supports the full shoulder pad, shaped not unlike your own shoulder. This keeps the shoulder of the coat from deforming. Wood is more attractive, but plastic will also work fine here (and is lighter weight). These usually only come with very high-end suits, but they can be purchased new, and most of mine came from estate sales. Decent suit hangers were apparently much more common thirty or forty years ago.
Trousers: I like felted clamp hangers, clamped onto the hem of the trousers, if you have the room. This helps wrinkles fall out. Hanging them on traditional trouser bars is perfectly fine, though. Look for bars with felt (best) or rubber (OK) coverings to prevent slippage.
Casual Pants: I fold my pants which don’t take a crease - blue jeans and chinos, primarily. Some denim enthusiasts hang their jeans from a hook rather than fold them to protect their wear patterns, but that’s further than I’m willing to go.
Belts: Rolled or hung from their buckles.
Ties: Rolled or hung, untied. If you’re lucky enough to have a fancy closet, you may have shallow drawers with dividers appropriate for rolled ties. If so: God bless. I’ve hung my ties for many, many years and they’ve suffered no apparent ill effects. Mine hang from a rack that was once designed to be used with clips to hang baseball caps. It’s a series of horizontal bars. You could get the same effect with a freezer rack hung on a wall. There are also plenty of tie hangers in the shape of coat hangers.
Handkerchiefs & Pocket Squares: These can be hung from clips on a rotating rack if you’re really fancy, but I just fold mine. A cedar box is nice, but you can also use clear plastic shoe boxes so you can easily spot your favorite.
Sweaters & Knits: Never, ever hang sweaters on coat hangers. Fold them. Hanging them will mess them up, especially over time (but even in a few hours for heavier pieces). Even if you think of that cardigan as “coat-like,” it should still be folded, not hung.
Hats: Hook ‘em! Or put them in hat boxes. And remember they can be a moth target, too.
Sweatpants: I recommend storing these in the garage, in a box marked “Salvation Army.”

Note to self…

putthison:

Men’s Clothes: How to Store Them

Men often email me to ask how to store their clothes, so I thought I’d offer a few simple best practices for most of the clothes in your closet. If you’re looking for information on seasonal clothing storage - like putting away winter coats in summer, read the great article Derek wrote a few months ago.

Remember that animal fibers (especially wool) can attract moths. Wherever you store your clothes should have some ventilation and be dry. Keep your wool clothing clean (moths like moisture and especially food stains). Some strong smells, like cedar, will discourage moths from setting up shop, though only mothballs will kill them.

Shoes: With shoe trees, preferably wooden. “Lasted” trees (trees in the exact form of the shoe) are best, but not necessary. Try buying trees for about $12 at your local Nordstrom Rack, or keep an eye out for pairs for about $3 at your local thrift stores. Shoe bags (usually made of cotton flannel) recommended when traveling, or for shoes that are likely to get dusty, like velvet slippers.

Socks & Underwear: In a drawer. Cedar smells nice. I actually store mine in an old aluminum cooler that has a few lavender sachets in it.

Shirts: Folded or hung from a hanger. Button the collar to maintain its shape and another button further down the shirt front to keep them from flapping around. A slimline hanger is fine for shirts, but don’t use wire. You’re not an animal.

T-Shirts & Polo Shirts: The thin cotton of polos can stretch if hung. Fold and stack them.

Suits & Sportcoats: Suits and sportcoats should be hung. At the least you should hang them from a hanger with some shape (a traditional suit hanger which bends forward slightly, rather than the straight plastic five-for-three-dollars hangers from the dime store). It’s even better to hang them from hangers with some width in the shoulder. You want something that supports the full shoulder pad, shaped not unlike your own shoulder. This keeps the shoulder of the coat from deforming. Wood is more attractive, but plastic will also work fine here (and is lighter weight). These usually only come with very high-end suits, but they can be purchased new, and most of mine came from estate sales. Decent suit hangers were apparently much more common thirty or forty years ago.

Trousers: I like felted clamp hangers, clamped onto the hem of the trousers, if you have the room. This helps wrinkles fall out. Hanging them on traditional trouser bars is perfectly fine, though. Look for bars with felt (best) or rubber (OK) coverings to prevent slippage.

Casual Pants: I fold my pants which don’t take a crease - blue jeans and chinos, primarily. Some denim enthusiasts hang their jeans from a hook rather than fold them to protect their wear patterns, but that’s further than I’m willing to go.

Belts: Rolled or hung from their buckles.

Ties: Rolled or hung, untied. If you’re lucky enough to have a fancy closet, you may have shallow drawers with dividers appropriate for rolled ties. If so: God bless. I’ve hung my ties for many, many years and they’ve suffered no apparent ill effects. Mine hang from a rack that was once designed to be used with clips to hang baseball caps. It’s a series of horizontal bars. You could get the same effect with a freezer rack hung on a wall. There are also plenty of tie hangers in the shape of coat hangers.

Handkerchiefs & Pocket Squares: These can be hung from clips on a rotating rack if you’re really fancy, but I just fold mine. A cedar box is nice, but you can also use clear plastic shoe boxes so you can easily spot your favorite.

Sweaters & Knits: Never, ever hang sweaters on coat hangers. Fold them. Hanging them will mess them up, especially over time (but even in a few hours for heavier pieces). Even if you think of that cardigan as “coat-like,” it should still be folded, not hung.

Hats: Hook ‘em! Or put them in hat boxes. And remember they can be a moth target, too.

Sweatpants: I recommend storing these in the garage, in a box marked “Salvation Army.”

2 years ago

576 note(s)

Reblogged From:
sesamestreet
Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeese!
sesamestreet:

Say cheese!  

Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeese!

sesamestreet:

Say cheese!  

2 years ago

364 note(s)

Reblogged From:
gq
gq:

Halloween Costumes We Will Not Be Wearing

gq:

Halloween Costumes We Will Not Be Wearing

2 years ago

2059 note(s)

Reblogged From:
utnereader
High Quality
utnereader:

(via Wall Street Journal)

People fuss about punctuation not only because it clarifies meaning but  also because its neglect appears to reflect wider social decline. And  while the big social battles seem intractable, smaller battles over the  use of the apostrophe feel like they can be won.
Yet the status of this and other cherished marks has long been  precarious. The story of punctuation is one of comings and goings.

utnereader:

(via Wall Street Journal)

People fuss about punctuation not only because it clarifies meaning but also because its neglect appears to reflect wider social decline. And while the big social battles seem intractable, smaller battles over the use of the apostrophe feel like they can be won.

Yet the status of this and other cherished marks has long been precarious. The story of punctuation is one of comings and goings.

2 years ago

1031 note(s)

Reblogged From:
eyeonspringfield
High Quality

Spinal Tap kicking Muammar Gaddafi in the butt, the timeless classic, now two for a dollar.

Spinal Tap kicking Muammar Gaddafi in the butt, the timeless classic, now two for a dollar.

2 years ago

A Dedication to Tuesday


I’ve dedicated this day to
writing
in all it’s forms:
journalism, poetry
—I mean, shit, what kind of other writing could there be?

"Good evening, I’m David Cadiente.
In today’s news,
Roses are red and violets are blue…”

The coffee is made though I can always use more
I’ll get some breakfast
blast electro, metal and offensive lyrics of rap
and resist the steaming temptation to nap. Though I don’t know
how long any of those deeds might take me.

Words don’t write themselves
Breakfast doesn’t make itself
Laziness and its cousin sleep—somehow strangely and a-sexually—does

2 years ago

45 note(s)

Reblogged From:
shortformblog

ShortFormBlog: Gallup poll: Americans favoring pot legalization at record levels

Almost there, buds (pun!)

shortformblog:

  • 50% of respondents want to see marijuana legalized — the first time it’s reached a full majority
  • 46% of respondents would rather that marijuana remain illegal … a number that’s been declining for years source

» Will we reach a tipping point? Quite possibly, the study suggests:…

2 years ago

84 note(s)

Reblogged From:
nationalpost
High Quality
yeah budday
nationalpost:

Photos of the day Stunt riders drive a car on the walls of the Well of Death, one of the attractions at Ramlila fair, in Delhi, Sept 30, 2011. (Adnan Abidi/Reuters)

yeah budday

nationalpost:

Photos of the day
Stunt riders drive a car on the walls of the Well of Death, one of the attractions at Ramlila fair, in Delhi, Sept 30, 2011. (Adnan Abidi/Reuters)