Marketplace, PBS, 2004-4-18
The Loh-Down: TransEthnics

To listen to this commentary (click here)

Looking for a way to de-stress after a week of tax anxiety? Commentator Sandra Tsing-Loh says odds are, you picked up some soothing green tea over the weekend or signed on for a few sessions of tai-chi. In this edition of the Loh-Down, she says an ethnic trend has hit ever-trendy Los Angeles and show signs of spreading:

“So last week, trolling late night cable, on comes a commercial for the local spaying program “Desex In The City”. It features a lovely blond Caucasian looking female petting a dog for no particular reason I can see before a gigantic Buddha head and its the final Buddha head for me, fifteen years into the multi culturism movement I guess its time for Asian American people to just give it up, to take our cultural heritage like a farm trout and release it out into the wild, it really isn’t ours anymore, is it? At this point I know no Asian person who meditates, tends a Zen garden, eats a micro biotic diet, does chi ga or twists chop sticks into their hair, only Caucasians do that after yoga, or perusing soy products at whole foods, shopping for slippers or picking out little green tea scented soap lets, who feel inside they are actually a small Japanese person, they are Asian people born into white bodies, TransEthnics. I think back to a college experience described by an Asian American girlfriend invited for dinner, she rings the doorbell, door opens and there stands her date a white male engineer in scraggly red beard and receding hair line, in full anzories and a happy coat grinning giggly, oh she thought he is a trainee and that’s a little sad. But that does not have to be. I am thinking sick as I am of my own Asian heritage, my Shanghai experiences, a  miayazma of warm pineapple beer and shrimp heads tai poo food I call it. God maybe I drop my ethnicity and join someone else’s. I recently met Melkon Khosrovian, a personable Armenian who hand makes modern spirits, a collection of delicious flavored vodkas. He says Armenians drink vodka with dinner not wine, and suddenly it hit me how at home I always felt an Armenian culture, I mean everyone knows at least one exceptional super Armenian super small businessman providing ridiculously exceptional quality twenty four seven, be at your amazing shoe repair guy, your corner mini market owner who carnally stocks Fritos and the small perfect halfs of late night Brie you require. I once had an Armenian shuttle driver do a three our drive in an hour fifteen with a pit stop, Steven Hawking still doing the calculation, and so modern spirits vodka in hand I say you can keep your Buddha heads and your brown rice while you spay,  I am all Armenian now. From my Mount Ararat of a mind I am saying, TransEthnicaly, word to my peeps, peace out.”





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