Why is it that people are willing to spend $20 on a bowl of pasta with sauce that they might actually be able to replicate pretty faithfully at home, yet they balk at the notion of a white-table cloth Thai restaurant, or a tacos that cost more than $3 each? Even in a city as “cosmopolitan” as New York, restaurant openings like Tamarind Tribeca (Indian) and Lotus of Siam (Thai) always seem to elicit this knee-jerk reaction from some diners who have decided that certain countries produce food that belongs in the “cheap eats” category—and it’s not allowed out. (Side note: How often do magazine lists of “cheap eats” double as rundowns of outer-borough ethnic foods?)
Yelp, Chowhound, and other restaurant sites are littered with comments like, “$5 for dumplings?? I’ll go to Flushing, thanks!” or “When I was backpacking in India this dish cost like five cents, only an idiot would pay that much!” Yet you never see complaints about the prices at Western restaurants framed in these terms, because it’s ingrained in people’s heads that these foods are somehow “worth” more. If we’re talking foie gras or chateaubriand, fair enough. But be real: You know damn well that rigatoni sorrentino is no more expensive to produce than a plate of duck laab, so to decry a pricey version as a ripoff is disingenuous. This question of perceived value is becoming increasingly troublesome as more non-native (read: white) chefs take on “ethnic” cuisines, and suddenly it’s okay to charge $14 for shu mai because hey, the chef is ELEVATING the cuisine.
One of the entries from the list ‘20 Things Everyone Thinks About the Food World (But Nobody Will Say)’.
Real. As. Fuck.
And real talk, I wish there was a Clueless Whitebread Muhfuckas filter on Yelp, because they stay talking stupid shit about places around my way.
Let’s also talk about how if there is a white face in front of these foods, that person can get more money because this is now a “sophisticated version made by whiteys”, but if people are doing their own shit it needs to be cheap like it is back in the country.
Same thing about soul food being horrible and cheap and harmful to your health until some pasty trick decides to put it on the menu in their mediocre ass white table-cloth restaurant where they charge $20 for a plate of turnip greens and corn bread!!
i am so sick of people essentially saying ‘get over it’ whenever someone has a negative comment about race dynamics in the media, especially when it comes to black representation.
people don’t make these criticisms just to ruin everyone else’s cinema experience, they do it because what they are seeing and hearing is damaging. why is it so hard to respect that to some people this film is highly offensive and that that opinion is as valid as your own; and just because you may be fine with watching it doesn’t mean that everyone is.
perhaps you don’t have an emotional connection with slavery and the expendable nature in which the media treats bodies of colour, maybe you do, either way empathy is key; even if you don’t feel the offence yourself, try to put yourself in another person’s shoes. it can be truly painful to be exposed to the careless nature in which our society treats people of colour, be it in film or otherwise. think about the amount of times you have seen images on the news of dead unnamed brown children here and exploited black bodies there and how people will look at this and think ‘oh how terrible’ and nothing more, whereas if white bodies were treated in the same manner, people would be aghast at the level of disrespect shown to even contemplate broadcasting these images.
the media is constantly dehumanising people of colour, portraying them as constantly birthing or constantly dying but never really living without so much as a bat of an eyelid. consider how django unchained does nothing to help this trend. i can tell you seeing the trailer alone triggered my anxiety and made me genuinely uncomfortable and the mere thought of catching even a wry smile on a white person’s face at a time i consider inappropriate in the cinema would be enough to make me want to leave.
you may say, ‘what’s the problem? tarantino is anti-slavery’ but i would say that that is not enough. he, like any other director has to be held responsible for the images and stories he produces, and i do not think he has been wholly responsible with django, and this is coming from someone who enjoyed some of his other films. he may think he’s being a Good Guy by making a feature length film of ‘hey didn’t slavery suck’ but as far as i’m concerned some of us don’t want his privileged voice in the dialogue, and given that it is our history, our ancestors who went through these atrocities, and that it is us who are still suffering the consequences, i think the very least we should be allowed to do is voice that opinion as many times as we damn well like.
I like the movie but I get your point.