Jeff Smith 2 p.m., April 16
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- The Single Life: Random Adventures in Awesome
Fetish: noun 3. Psychology. any object or nongenital part of the body that causes a habitual erotic response or fixation
Who knew that Dreamstreet was the hotbed for a study on racial fetishes and the men who love them?
It was a hot night set to the sounds of noisy guitars, angsty wails and whirring fans. My beer was warm and awkward in the plastic pint glasses used by this off-beat venue on Bacon St. The crowd was odd at best. It was a motley crew of athletic looking people in skin colored workout shirts, full-sleeved tattooed boys in matching black t-shirts and baseball caps, and the usual Obecians who range from the noticibly tall older lady with a gut who wears too short tanks tops to the young hipsters that think Dreamstreet is cool because it’s sooo not cool.
The current musicians consisted of a girl with a tambourine who enjoyed heckling the audience, a young man with a tre-chic Magnum P.I. mustache and a guy next door drummer in a plastic cage. We were all chatting about various topics and drinking our pitcher. As we neared the end of our shared beer, the group fell into quiet and we waited for someone to put forth the possibility of moving to the next bar. My dear friend took the plunge and said, “You guys wanna stay…or are you ready to get out of here?” Everyone mumbled something about being ready, yeah I’m tired, or this place is too loud except for one guy that had just been introduced to the group that night. He responded, “Can we wait a few minutes? I want to see the next band because the drummer is a hot Asian chick.”
I laughingly said, “What, do you have some kind of Asian fetish or something?” All the girls at our table laughed and my dear friend chimed in, ”Uggh, I hate that. It’s so inappropriate!”
Smart Guy responded, “What, really? Is an Asian fetish bad?” All the girls laughed and the other male in the group chimed in, “Asian girls are hot. I agree with Smart Guy.”
My dear friend turns to me and reveals that this conversation about Asian people preceded my arrival at Dreamstreet. In fact on the ride to the bar, Smart Guy had commented that the driver in front of them was a cute Asian girl and as usual hot Asian girls couldn’t drive.
Disclaimer: I need to add a disclaimer here because it may seem that I am using the term “Asian” as loosely as Smart Guy. I am. However I am trying to capture his attitude. I am aware that the continent of Asia is huge and involves people not usually coded as Asian (i.e., people from India or Nepal).
Moving on…The rest of the group was shocked into uproarious laughter by the casual and old school ignorance being wielded by this man. He resurrected the stereotype of Asians being bad drivers while insulting the object of his desire. Another girl in the group added to the discourse, “P.S. did something traumatic happen to you that involved an Asian person. That’s usually how sexual fetishes develop. Something bad happens and then hate turns to love which would explain your driving comment. Do people still use that stereotype?”
Both Asian fetishists checked out of the conversation at this point. Smart guy was suddenly really feeling the whine of the guitar and the vigorous, heartful drumming. The other guy just stopped listening and zoned into his own happy world where a group of girls was not harping on him. The rest of us erupted into even more laughter.
The laughing was not to be mean. It was an honest reaction to an unexpected conversation about race in the middle of hippie, peace and one love central…OB. The point of it, as my girlfriends discussed later was: Please say whatever you want, but be prepared for feedback, disagreement or jokes. There was no spitefulness behind the laughter and cajoling, simply an expression of opinion as straightforward as, “Asian chicks are hot, but they can’t drive.” You don’t see me crying silently into my beer every time you mock me as I wipe out on a 1-2 foot day over and over again and again and again. Man-up please.