Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What a shame. This print had such potential but it is marred by colonialism, and why not say it: racism. Oh it makes me so sad. Where’s my handkerchief?

While I like the idea of different cities, especially Beruit, and will even overlook the fact that India is not a city, I would not wear this dress. Why, oh why are the Europeans depicted as slim as twice as tall as the Asian city dwellers? I mean just look at the hierarchy of being that is created. Who is this guy in a turban doing a world tour? Isn’t he a negative stereotype as well? Yuck! Oh what a terrible thing to do to good silk. I've always longed for a travel print of Beruit, and will keep on looking. Sighs.

It’s like “The Mikado”. Though I love Gilbert and Sullivan, I won’t hedge around it: The Mikado is a racist light opera. It can’t be done anymore. Period. Yes, “Three Little Maids from School” is a fabulous tune, I know. But the heroine’s name is Yum-Yum for crying out loud. There are white people running around in wigs. Even the British knew enough to ban performances of the Mikado during the state visit of Crown Prince Fushimi in 1907. 1907, people. Not exactly a time of sensitivity and multi-culturalism in the British Empire. Of course the irony of it was that Prince Fushimi totally wanted to see the play.

I know someone will argue with me that modern versions have excised the two instances where the n-word appears in Gilbert's libretto. Taking out the racial slurs does not salvage this one. Thw hole thing is a racial slur. And don't tell me is actually a satire of the British, much in the way that Montesquieu's "Persian Letters" used a distant locale and perspective to satirize the French--hogwash.

All right, I'll stop being a control freak and link to it so you can decide for yourself.


Post a Comment

<< Home