Thursday, September 14, 2006

"Survivor: Race Wars" Premieres Tonight—With A Rice Daddy and Mama on the AsAm Team

So, tonight's the dreaded night, the premiere of "Survivor: Race Wars" (a.k.a. "Survivor: Cook Islands") on CBS at 8 p.m. Dreaded, that is, unless you're a blogger who needs stupid crap to write about/complain about/rag on, yeah? Heh. Must. Not. Look. But. Can't. Look. Away! The horror! The horror! In other words, it's reality t.v.

Hope y'all caught the Washington Post's t.v. column last week (link via Angry Asian Man) which exposed host Jeff Probst's moronic (mis-)understanding of race/culture/nationality/ethnicity/geography, vis-a-vis Asian Americans. Here's just a sample:

"When you start talking to a person from Asia, you realize -- Wow! They have all different backgrounds!"


The other day, he told the reporters, he went to his dentist, who is white, and the dentist brought in another dentist, who is Asian. "And I found myself saying to the Asian doctor, 'Where in Asia is your family from?' " The dentist said he was Korean. "The only reason I had the courage to even ask that question or the knowledge to ask that question was I'd just spent 39 days with people from Korea," Probst said.

Asians, he explained, include Chinese and Japanese and Koreans and "they don't necessarily get along," adding, "This is stuff maybe I should know."

I have no words. Well, I do, but the blogosphere's already said it all for me, I'm sure, so I'll refrain. [Definitely check out Mixed Media Watch's on-going coverage and compilation of links on this crap, it's hilarious, in a sad, head-shaking sorta way, of course.]

You know, with all the yelling/head-shaking/calls-for-boycotting on one side and defensive-posturing on the other, I might actually watch this thing (after having tuned out after season 1 or 2), just to see what happens. [And, of course, there's the blog fodder.]

But anyway, I was cruising around the official website to find out about the 5 members of the Asian team, and discovered that the elder two members, Anh-Tuan "Cao Boi" Bui, 42, of Virginia, and Jenny Guzon-Bae, 36, of Illinois, are parents. The Pinay realtor has a middle-schooler son, Casey [hey, Kimchi Mamas, the second half of that hyphenated surname sounds Korean to me!].

Our own reality t.v. Rice Daddy proxy [yeah, don't know if that's a good thing, either] came from Vietnam as a pre-teen refugee, has had a whole bunch of jobs (including the U.S. Army), but currently is a nail salon manager. [Interestingly enough, of all the contestant profiles, his seems to be the only one that doesn't display his profession under his name/age/hometown heading—instead, it says "prelate, loyal order of moose."] A Survivor fan-site profile page has the full text of an article from Cao Boi's (yeah, that's "cowboy" Vietnamesified) local paper interviewing his sons, Jesse, 12, and Nick, 9, who live with their mom:

"He never really did anything strong or cool before," Nick said. "He might embarrass us. He talks a lot and sleeps a lot. He snores."

But on second thought, maybe their dad isn’t such a wimp after all.

"He is pretty strong, and he can survive without food for a week," said Nick.


"I’m going to expect him to be acting crazy like usual. He will probably be swimming a lot, and he would be the first one to start a fire," said Nick. "He will probably act like the boss."


Even though they’re in awe of their dad’s newfound fame, the boys missed him a lot when he was on the Cook Islands from June through late August.

"It was kind of lonely. It was sad to not be able to see him," said Nick.


Anonymous said...

I have not EVER watched Survivor but suddenly I am interested in this one.

Superha said...

Darn... could have used this post yesterday. Think I missed it already which makes me not want to tune in for the rest of the season. I'm one of those people who can't watch a movie halfway in unless I really have to. Does anyone know if they ever show encore runs of Amazing Race?

Anonymous said...

I admit it, I tuned in for this car crash. Interestingly, it seemed like the contestants seemed to shy away from the word "race" as in "I figured out pretty quickly the teams were divided by 'ethnicity'". The way I learned about 'ethnicity' and 'race' were that they are two distinct concepts. My view is that by saying the groups are divided by 'ethnicity', the show is being intellectually dishonest.

honglien123 said...

Ah...I can't watch! Must not! Plus the damn Tivo doesn't work at the mo. and the hubs is out of town on business. *cry* (yes I can program software, but if it has wires, forget it).

Cao Boi Bui...that's hilarious. Never count the Vietnamese guy out, I mean, most older Viet men I know have been through some sh*t and can survive nuclear holocaust if it came to that.

honglien123 said...

Superha, they show reruns of Amazing Race on the GSN (Game Show Network) I think! I was flipping through the channels one day and saw an episode of Season 7 (?)

Superha said...

Thanks honglien123! BTW, your son is really cute! Love his facial expressions. :)

Family Man said...

Rice Daddies - I want to make Rice Daddies Working Dad's site of the week, but I can't find a mission statement. Does one exist? Can you make one up and email it? And who is the best person to contact. And who founded this group?

Working Dad is the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper's parenting blog.

Paul Nyhan

daddy in a strange land said...

Here's some AsAm perspectives on last night's show, starting with our own InstantYang, then CityMama at Kimchi Mamas, and others:

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