Protesting ‘Saturday Night Live’ for Its History of Yellowface is Great But…

Saturday-Night-LiesI think it’s great that a group calling itself Yellow Peril faction has organized a protest bringing attention to the long history of yellowface that has been a part of Saturday Night Live on February 15 before the live taping of the show. After all, SNL has given us plenty to get offended about over the years. Like this:

But two quick things I’d like to add.

What I Learned on YOMYOMF This Week – January 22 – 29, 2011

I was helping my parents look at furniture the other day when I finally resigned myself to the fact that the search would take more than a couple hours. Thank you, Sweden.

In that desert expanse of time between upholstery perusal and meatballs with lingonberry jam, I took to finding a temporary residence in the primary color-laden labyrinth.  After playing solo, silent musical chairs for a couple minutes, I found a chair that fit my tushy like a glove and slowly began to space out with my iPod and cheap over-ear headphones.

At one point, a parade of a family started marching past me and, unsurprisingly, I couldn’t care less.  My music’s blaring in my ears when suddenly, in the din, I can make out a faint ‘Hello.’  I brushed it off and ignored it for a bit before realizing that a small boy no older than three was happily waving at me – me, this veritable grinch.

It was adorable, a small kindness, and, in spite of the cold, cold winter in my heart, I felt just a little less dead.

Then I went back home to kick some dogs.

This week, your Offenders click-clacked their keyboards about dick size; masturbating with Bibles; and clues regarding Batman’s sexuality.  So, all in all an illuminating time for everyone!  Oh, penises.

1,001 Reasons I Love Movies: (#20) John Belushi and Me

Had he lived, John Belushi would have been 62 today. The star of films like Animal House and The Blues Brothers as well as one of the original Saturday Night Live cast members, Belushi died in 1982 at age 33 from a drug overdose, but he still remains one of the most influential comedians ever. He may have also been the first person to encourage my creativity.

I’m not the type of person who usually meticulously follows rituals or traditions, but there is one that I’ve observed for many years. On my birthday, I check into the bungalow at the Chateau Marmont where Belushi died. It’s usually just for the day and I go there alone to write, reflect and soak in the vibes. There’s nothing morbid about it. It’s just a way for me to honor a man who had a profound affect on my artistic life and to be re-inspired. And Belushi was definitely inspirational. There’s no doubt that my sense of humor was shaped by Belushi’s style of comedy. When I try to be funny in my blogs here, it’s really just my poor attempt to emulate his comedic voice.

I met Belushi when I must’ve been around six-years-old in a classroom setting. I don’t remember much about it and I certainly didn’t know who he was at the time—I was too young and he wasn’t a big star yet. But I remember him being very funny and very encouraging of my creativity (he must have seen some story or drawing I had done in class). He pulled me aside and said that if I had an interest in the arts, I should pursue it. He told me his parents were immigrants like mine (from Albania in his case) and that when he was a kid, he wished someone had encouraged his interest in performing because for the longest time, he thought it was an impossible dream for an immigrant kid like himself. But he wanted me to know that nothing was impossible if you worked hard.