Wednesday, August 05, 2009

An Indian Man's Burden

Man, woman, burden, boon, whatever.
  • You walk through the Washington Square Park and the chess players in the corner assume you play chess of course.
  • You go to a comedy club and the cast does "Dell IT Support Guy" jokes on seeing you.
  • You get frustrated trying to answer Bruce Maggs 's: "Name an Indian currently living in India who many US Americans would know and associate with being from India."
Anyway, humor is hard. Onion does a gem, here it is verbatim:
"Upon arriving late to his meeting with President Barack Obama and famed African-American intellectual Henry Louis Gates, Cambridge police officer James Crowley once again detained the distinguished Harvard scholar after failing to recognize the man he had arrested just two weeks earlier, White House sources reported Thursday. "When I entered the Oval Office, I observed an unidentified black male sitting near Mr. Obama, and in the interest of the president's safety, I attempted to ascertain the individual's business at the White House," Crowley said in a sworn statement following the arrest. “The suspect then became uncooperative and verbally abusive. I had no choice but to apprehend him at the scene for disorderly conduct.” Witnesses said that Sgt. Crowley, failing to recognize Gates on their flight to Logan Airport, arrested the tenured professor in midair, once again at the baggage claim, and twice during their shared cab ride back to Cambridge."


Blogger AC said...

What does "many" US Americans mean? Would Manmohan Singh qualify as an answer to Maggs's question?

12:18 PM  
Blogger AC said...

Incidentally, the CAPTCHA I had to enter for the above comment was "pagolo" -- just saying! (To Muthu's other readers: it's not funny unless you speak Bengali.)

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi AC:

Many, in fact most in US wont know Manmohan Singh, maybe not even in academic circles.

Pagolo: What fun! Others: there are many reasons to learn Bengali.

- Metoo

4:35 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Try asking a typical American to name any leader or intellectual from any other country and you'll get mostly blank stares. We're likely to only know of entertainers from other countries, honestly. For India, I'd say Ravi Shankar and Aishwarya Rai. If it's upsetting to you that Americans would only know of those 2 people, just be glad it's not Paul Hogan and Yahoo Serious.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear you mate.

I am not upset, I will be happy even if large fraction of US Americans know "only" an entertainer from India, just so I can respond to Bruce. But alas, Ravi Shankar is limited to the coasts, and Rai is indistinguishable from the many good looking Indian women even to the eligible US Men, I would suspect. No basketball players from India in NBA. :)

Canada I suspect has different problems. Many in US would know athletes (Wayne Gretzky) or entertainers (Celine Dion) but think of them as US Americans or they live in US.

-- Metoo

11:15 AM  
Blogger swat said...

and as the world knows by now, most americans even the very outsiders would first contact--emigration/airport staff--don't know of superstar indian entertainers--shah stop khan (rukh his middle name means stop in Hindi and that's just what the US authorities asked did!) :)

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, the burden, maybe you guys could make your homeland better, so the rest of the world will have a better image of Indians?

3:45 PM  

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