‘Chinese Food’ Is the New ‘Friday.’ Except Racist
Who has fennel pollen martinis on the menu? What is fennel pollen? It can be a lot more fun to experience something when you have some insider knowledge and can gauge the climate.” Come early, stay late Selena Cuffe, host of the wine seminar: A South African Wine Odyssey, recommends adding a “bumper day” to your itinerary, and Phelps agrees. “If you can swing it, there’s nothing better than getting calibrated a day or two before the throngs of people show up. Everyone else will be dealing with hotel check-ins and luggage storage while you’re hitting your second mimosa of the morning. After everyone else has gone home after the festival, you can eat dinner at one of the restaurants run by the awesome new chef you learned so much about.” Plan ahead Lee Schrager, the Founder & Executive Director of the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival certainly knows a thing or two about the festival and its events. His tip? “Make sure you sort through the schedule and get tickets to events that suit your taste buds, whether you love burgers or tacos or pizza, or you prefer a more intimate dinner with a renowned chef and winemaker.” What if it’s your first time attending the festival? “I wouldn’t recommend attending more than one or two events per day to ensure you have time to fully enjoy everything.” Know how to get around New York City is over 300-square-miles of skyscrapers and rushing crowds. It can be easy to get lost, but luckily we live in the age of smartphones, which help even the most directionally-challenged among us at least look like we know where we’re going. Andrew Zimmern, host of the festival’s Oktoberfest event, recommends a few apps to make your life easier. “It’s great to keep an itinerary on your smartphone with links to the venues you’ll be visiting, so you’ll always have the addresses handy. Uber is a great app to have on hand for transport. Just request a car when you need it and they’ll send one right to you.” Want to take mass transit for an authentic NYC experience?
the overwhelming majority of which Wilson wrote and produced. On Thursday, MTV News spoke with Wilson about the runaway success of “Chinese Food” it’s racked up more han 5 million views on YouTube in just 48 hours and though claims he wrote the song in just 30 minutes, we suspect he’s being modest. After all, the track is unquestionably his biggest hit since “Friday” (the closest he came to matching it was Nicole Westbrook’s “Thanksgiving” , which topped out at 14 million views). But it turns out, scoring another hit is a lot tougher than you’d imagine … after all, not every delusional pre-teen with wealthy parents is destined for superstardom. So here’s a look at some of Wilson’s near-misses, those wide-eyed wannabes who put their faith in his hitmaking abilities, only to end up getting eclipsed by a song that rhymes “broccoli” with “Monopoly.” Hey, it’s never too early to learn that life is unfair. Drew Jacobs, “My Team” He seems like a nice kid sort of like Justin Bieber’s cousin who’s really good at math unfortunately for Drew, “nice kids” generally don’t make for good pop stars (ask Miley). Since being released in November 2012, the “My Team” video has only been viewed 160,000 times, though we do give him credit for trying to convince us he can actually skateboard. Lexi Sullivan, “Hot Stuff” Production-wise, it sounds like Wilson’s attempt at copying Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” (only four years late!) and though Sullivan makes every attempt to sass her way through the song “Please, whatever!” viewers clearly weren’t interested. Since being uploaded in January 2012, “Hot Stuff” has only been watched 186,000 times … which is better than the artist Wilson teases at the end of the video, Baylee Valentine, whose track “I Need a Hero” has amassed less than 10,000 views to date.
Chinese Food is not racist because it depicts pan-Asian cuisine; its racist because it lazily traffics in racial stereotypes and paints over the distinctions between vastly different Asian cultures with the same its all Chinese to me! brush. Its difficult to tell whether Wilson understands that the song he wrote deals in harmful misinformation, but judging by his earnest responses to Rebecca Blacks success, its likely thats not the case. Chinese Food is another example of the kind of cultural tribute thats harmful even when it lacks malicious intent the reason many Americans still dont understand why, for example, the song What Made the Red Man Red from Peter Pan is racist, or why calling Washington D.C.s NFL team the Redskins is not okay. Theyre not explicitly hateful, of course, or even vicious, but they are ignorant and diminishing towards huge swathes of people, reinforcing ideas about them that are vastly overgeneralized and demeaning. A communication breakdown still exists in the space between the celebration of multiculturalism and the commitment of hate crimes, a space where people mean well and certainly dont consider themselves racist, but still obliviously inflict damage and then refuse to acknowledge its existence or impact. Yesterday, Gawkers Cord Jefferson wrote a thoughtful article that explained how racism exists not just in overtly hateful thoughts and comments, but in the framework of plausible deniability that builds up around racism and how insane that plausible deniability can make people feel. Like those terrible Asian schoolgirl jokes on Seth MacFarlanes new sitcom Dads, Chinese Food can attempt to hide behind the post-racial America argument, the one that says that its okay to exploit stereotypes because they cant do us any harm, not anymore but it will fail. Thats the real danger behind the myth of colorblindness, the myth of post-racial America: the potential for the racism embedded in this confectionery video to be denied and enjoyed anyway. The problem, particularly with a viral video like this one, is that everyone sees it, but not everyone sees the damage implicitly wrought by it. Earlier today, a YouTube commenter wrote on the videos page , This is why kids become racist. She could be right; I can hear this song echoing down the halls of my high school as readily as I could The Fox. Viral videos like Chinese Food, when theyre widely viewed, become a part of our shared culture; theyre what millions of people talk about, reference in conversation, share with their friends. When those video depict other groups of people in inaccurate and demeaning ways for entertainment as exotic, monolithic, or otherwise fictionalized they encourage us to internalize those ideas, or at the very least to laugh them off. Chinese Food is, in a sense, a frillier, less overt manifestation of the same kind of minstrelsy that Miley Cyrus gets away with . It uses food the way Miley uses a dance incorrectly, with little concern for either accuracy or why its important to be accurate about other cultures to create celebrity, social capital or a desired image.
Musicians Play up Nashville Food Scene
Those people brought worldly palates. And an expectation that those palates could be catered to. The Kings of Leon, for example. Band bassist Matthew Followill says the band’s constant touring exposed its members to all manner of great food. And they wanted it when they came home to Nashville. “A lot of the people in the food industry are also big music fans,” Followill said at the band’s Nashville studio. “We kind of felt like Nashville didn’t have a really good food scene going on. And it has changed for sure, in the past three, four, five years and there have been a lot of great restaurants that have come in. But for a while it was kind of lacking in that area compared to some of the other cities on the same scale.” That’s changing. Fast. Last year alone nearly 75 new restaurants opened.