Triple Unconsciousness

March 23, 2019

The article is about Youtube creators Fung Brothers. It is regarding how the Asian American hipster rhetoric is perceived in the mainstream discourse and how the authors think that the Fung Brothers are doing more work to change that rhetoric than meets the eye and how that can work to overall change the whole rhetoric of Asian Americans in whole in the American discourse.

Well, in the most basic sense of the word, rhetoric would mean the way we talk about specific things in the general discourse among other things. Which I think is an ‘idea’ that works only for the mainstream media and discourse. For example, when we go into the postmodern critique of let’s say Marcel Proust; there really is no specific rhetoric that is followed. Different authors go different ways and these ways interchange and the values of Proust’s works are taken out and deconstructed.

But the mainstream narrative of things do use rhetoric. That is why there is a presence of ‘narrative’ and somethings need proper(or improper) rhetoric to be adopted and narrated in the mainstream. And this article challenges that that Asian Americans too can be a part of the hipster rhetoric and bring in something unique that can be enjoyed and consumed by communities of different backgrounds. So, my guess would be that the authors are challenging the ‘white’ hipster rhetoric?

I do think that the rhetoric of who can be the hipster and how that needs to change is important. This article however brings up an angle on how to view the content of the Fung Brothers that was personally not interesting to me.

For example: the idea that you can reduce a white jazz musician to just a hipster posing as black jazz musicians is absurdly funny to me. This I think can only be said by someone that really hasn’t done anything in life than to live and write boring essays. I am not going to put making music or other forms of art as something supreme but to think that white musicians are just playing jazz and blues(and other African/African-American forms of music) for being a hipster and appropriating culture is propably one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. I wonder what Miles Davis would say to this

Another thing, about the three different kinds of viewers that can gain something from the Fung brothers; Who in the planet is not included in the list? As far as I’m concerned everyone that exists can be literally put into those categories. Then why categorize? How is that anything unique(called triple consciousness)? Double consciousness was an unique perspective because it was specific. Black and non-Black consumers. I think bringing up triple consciousness to analyze the Fung brothers is something that I don’t even find something that should be said. It sounds that vague to me.

The food and cultural topics are interesting(in a simple way) contributions to the realm of YouTube. But(even as a deconstructionist) I really think the Fung brothers have more to do with content creation and internet fame through high-school humor than to do with raising anything that challenges the hipster rhetoric and brings forward a different Asian American(or any other) hipster rhetoric at all.

Nelson plays his identity politics as anybody else involved in anything within the American discourse right now. By using the term ‘of color’ but nonetheless I think his framing of what the discourse has become of the 30 million word gap is interesting. The main attack being on the weaponization of the idea that language IS the hinge by which the literacy of a population revolves around. This notion of fixing the low income children of color and their parents with regards to them just learning more words is something that is taking part in the structural racism going on in America, according to Flores.

He argues that rather than looking at these children and their families as something to fix we should rather be looking at the word gap as something that has derived from a problem. It isn’t the problem itself. He denies the claim of language being the notion upon which we can determine the values of the children ‘of color’. This views sees the deficiency of words as a problem to be blamed on these communities that should be fixed. But how has this gap come to be? These families often have parents working almost extensively throughout the week and almost never getting the chance to even properly communicate with their children. And that capitalist society and the tradition needs to be criticized. He also criticizes the researchers who only want to follow this seductive narrative due to the huge funding that their getting for it. Funding to fix these poor pieces of shits. So they can learn words and so on and so on.. Nelson criticizes and frames his argument(while playing his identity politics) against it.

And he suggests that instead of trying to fix people we should really try to fix the system that’s bring this gap on us. The system of oppression and capitalism where people only exist as tools of reaching the product. And also look at the diversities and linguistical differences as resources rather than problems. So the teachers could use them as in the classroom to better promote a narrative of literacy that isn’t dependent on who knows more words.