Anoop The Vote

Hey Bobby, this is how you answer questions on your Indian heritage.

It would be sadly ironic if the Desi dude got voted off the show on a Michael Jackson song, considering the desh fascination with MJ. Even more ironic since Anoop chose to sing, “Beat It.” After watching last night show, I think it will be too true.

[And now, the cursory South Asian American male objectification.] Isn’t he dreamy? ;-)

UPDATE: He didn’t get voted off. Surprise. Someone should’ve bet me.

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About Taz

Taz is an activist, organizer and writer based in California. She is the founder of South Asian American Voting Youth (SAAVY), curates MutinousMindState.tumblr.com and blogs at TazzyStar.blogspot.com. Follow her at twitter.com/tazzystar

41 thoughts on “Anoop The Vote

  1. HE’S SAFE! Sorry for those of you on the West Coast, but according to some Idol website, I sadly don’t watch the show :( , Anoop is safe.

  2. 1) I just remembered how much I hate this show.

    2) Terrible song choice for Anoop. I much prefer the college stuff he’s done.

    3) I can’t believe I might have just agreed with PAULA (clip cut out, so not sure).

    4) He needs to fire his stylist.

    5) The intro video was sweet; I liked his parents.

    6) Once upon a time, a few years ago, every SM post seemed to have an M.I.A. reference or connection. Many people were sick of it, but I didn’t get it. Now, thanks to this irritating, all-consuming obsession with psychoanalyzing Bobby Jindal, I totally do. I am so, so sorry ancient mutineers. I can’t believe I annoyed you this much with Mathangi and I feel terrible for doing so. Apparently, in to every post or conversation, a little Jindal must fall. Sigh.

  3. I voted for ‘Noop Dogg last night, so I’m glad he’s still there.

    Questions: Do you think Anoop was selected in the top 13, so that the desi American population could have someone to positively represent them on American Idol? Will he succeed in redemption on American Idol? Will he make America forget about (gasp) Sanjaya?

  4. Thanks for posting this Taz. I’ve no real interest in A.I. but I was curious to see how Anoop was doing. For those of you who follow the show, what are his chances of actually winning?

  5. Hey Bobby, this is how you answer questions on your Indian heritage.

    Oh good here we go again. Time to start attacking Mr.Jindal

  6. ANNA, with respect: I agree that no one should criticize Jindal’s change of religion; and we don’t know the full details of his life story or his experiences growing up and the way that might have influenced his politics and his way of looking at things. And no one owes it to anyone else to maintain any aspects of their inherited culture. That being said, I found his and his wife’s responses to Morley Safer’s question about Indian traditions to be disturbing. Granted that the question itself was probably unfair and uncalled for in that context.

  7. Not to take away from bobby. I have managed to tune back in to AI this season for only one reason and that is Anoop. I think he’s rebounding from his first performance in the last round singing “Angel of Mine”, which he did quite well, but just didn’t get enough votes to be in the top 3. He thought that he should do more upbeat tunes…and unfortunately that’s what has gotten him into trouble.He does much better is slower R&B rhythms, and should pick songs or change them so they go that way. His “My perogative” and “Beat it” did not do his voice and skills justice.

    Although he is a good singer, it really depends on his song choice and performance next week. He needs to get back to being more subtle and humble in personality, and really sing well. His competition is stiff, and the chances of him actually being “American Idol”, I would say is almost nil. I think all I would wish for him is actually to make it to the top 10.

  8. I think the first comment in the actual post is uncalled for and will probably reduce this post into a Jindal bitchfest.

  9. Thank you ANNA for expressing that so beautifully. It seems like bullying to me, and keeping young people in place. Hey, don’t be like that guy or you will be betraying your HERITAGE.

    Oh, back to AI. Never watch it. Dullest show there is, IMHO.

  10. Move over Sanjaya Malakar……..”Noop Dawg is here!. Seriously, he should have been voted off based on his performance last week. There was no substance in his material. Jorge’ and Jasmine who were voted off were far better than Anoop. He will have to come back with a mother of all performances next week to redeem himself. Sure he has a good voice and talent, so does the 10 others.

  11. I don’t see anything wrong with the first line on this post. Whether we love him or hate him; feel the need to protect and mother him or be indifferent to him, the said guy is a reference point for the Indian American community this decade. And pop culturists, journalists, bloggers, late night talk show hosts, Entertainment Tonight show hosts, all use period icons or cultural icons all the time to tap into the commonalities, reference points or to build introductions.

    Of late, this site has been too involved in dictating how the common man (or fellow bloggers) should view the celebrity or the ‘recognizable face’. A kind of bullying by itself, in my opinion. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert could not successfully do what they do if they never invoked any of the iconic references their audiences can recognize or understand.

    Public figures know what price comes with the territory of name and face recognition. They are tough. Let’s channel our sympathies into other directions.

  12. Malathi,

    What may work for Anoop may not work for Bobby and I personally don’t think it makes sense invoking Bobby Jindal on a totally unrelated post.

  13. Hey, I’m not ashamed to admit that AI is my guilty pleasure…

    Ooooh that was a bad performance and song choice for him…but I’m glad he’s still there, because the dude has some serious pipes. And yes, Anna, he either needs to hire a stylist or if he actually already has one, tell him/her to “Beat It.”

    Huey @4, I think he’s still there partially because of his prior fanbase (he got a lot of press in the audition/Hollywood phase) and likeability factor. He comes across as sweet, unassuming, and genuine. So did Jorge, but I don’t remember him getting that early exposure. And I think his performance Tues. night was actually worse than Anoop’s, which wasn’t easy to do…

  14. Umber desi @ 13,

    I don’t care about Anoop’s specific answer vs. Jindal’s specific answer. I haven’t even watched the link.

    I am defending a larger principle–that of a writer/blogger/commenter/whoever to invoke a major contemporary (or historic) reference point. It happens all the time, in every form of communication of ideas, thoughts, discourses and rhetoric. Examples: Madhuri Dixit was compared with Madhubhala (I think) Agnetha of ABBA with Greta Garbo Rushdie with Marquez Rushdie with Seth Stalin with Lenin the Castro brothers Gandhi with Nehru Leno with Letterman

    One, especially a reader (consumer/subscriber), may intellectually disagree with the actual comparative points and the validity of the comparisons. But to insist that a blanket moratorium needs to be imposed on how all people should view a person (especially the one we have chosen to take under our wings and nurse) or event is to engage in a form of tyranny, censorship.

    It is a question of crossing a fine line. And again, my opinon is that, of late that fine line has been crossed a few times on this site. Personally, I don’t find it very professional.

  15. People expressing a negative view of something is a blanket moratorium? How is that tyranny or censorship?

  16. 16 · Malathi said

    Personally, I don’t find it very professional.

    Professional? Here? That’s funny.

    Thank you.

    I (obviously) don’t have a problem with the first line that I wrote. I don’t feel like it was a stretch, nor do I feel like I was “M.I.A.-ing” the post to be hip and culturally forward. I literally thought while watching the intro to Anoop portion that it was very well done, and that the Jindals could have learned something from it about messaging.

    This is a post about voting. Jindal is running for POTUS, Anoop to be American Idol. Politics and entertainment are intimately related. They BOTH did an interview where they talked about how desi they were. They are both going to be judged by America, and they both HAD to talk about their Indian heritage, because we are the others in this nation and we can’t talk about voting anyone into office without setting that context ‘right’ in America to Americans. As Desis, it’s a point of pride to hear how our ‘tokens’ (in the running for POTUS, AI, ANTM, Top Chef) address their heritage. Because in a very deep way, they are representing us. EVEN IF we don’t want them to. They do. Simply watch that Slumdog video post from earlier this week.

    I do not want this thread to ramble into another lame ass Jindal bashing comment thread. I did want to highlight how well done the Indian heritage portion of the video was done, and trying to emphasize a comparative analysis by linking the two. I apologize if the connection between interviews of heritage and voting wasn’t clear in the intro sentence – I was trying my hand at a new form of ‘short’ blogging. Didn’t work for some of you, obviously. I’ll try to do better next time.

  17. Sorry, if I did not make it clear that I am not reacting to one particular negative comment on any particular thread.

    I am choosing to voice my opinion on a trend that I am perceiving of late–especially when it comes to certain hot button issues.

    Hence the statements like, “Of late, this site has been too involved in dictating how the common man (or fellow bloggers) should view the celebrity or the ‘recognizable face’” and “of late that fine line has been crossed a few times on this site.”

    It is one thing to expect to read angry letters to the editor from the public in my local newspaper but totally another when one colleague chooses to write letters to the editor in reaction to another colleague’s take on an issue. Nobody expects all the newspaper guys in our local paper to agree with one another but everybody expects them to magnanimously and respectfully voice their own perspectives in their own column or editorial space. Any less comes across as unprofessional.

    And I am saying this as gentle as I possibly can say given that I am venturing in dangerous territory. Perhaps it is an unsolicited opinion but I am hoping that it will be seen as constructive criticism.

  18. 18 · Taz said

    I do not want this thread to ramble into another lame ass Jindal bashing comment thread. I did want to highlight how well done the Indian heritage portion of the video was done, and trying to emphasize a comparative analysis by linking the two. I apologize if the connection between interviews of heritage and voting wasn’t clear in the intro sentence – I was trying my hand at a new form of ‘short’ blogging. Didn’t work for some of you, obviously. I’ll try to do better next time.

    I don’t want to turn this into a Jindal thread either. Could we have some memorandum of understanding that we just stop calling Jindal Indian? He was born and raised in the United States like me. (in fact not too far away) Neither of us are Indian by birth or carry Indian passports. My name, religion, and enjoyment of karela do not make me Indian. What makes me Indian, is that I voluntarily choose to identify as Indian, call myself Indian, and carry on Indian cultural practices. Bobby chooses not to do that. Let’s honor his choice and not call him Indian. He is American.

    Anna, I understand people have questioned your desiness because of your name or religion. I don’t think most people here are attacking Jindal because of his name or religion. They are attacking his decision to not identify as Indian-American. You clearly do identify as Indian-American. We can discuss whether or not it is valid to attack him for his decision to not identify as Indian or if is ridiculous since most people still see him as an Indian, but I don’t think most attacks on him are attacks on christian Indians or Indians with anglicized names. Anyway, hopefully this won’t veer off into another Jindal thread.

  19. 15 · goriwife on March 12, 2009 02:23 PM · Direct link · “Quote”(?) P.S. – And OMG, I heart his parents!

    PG alert!

  20. Agreed. I think it’s pretty clear that Jindal is NOT being attacked because of his religion. It’s because he likes to pretend he’s not brown, plain and simple. And I, for one, am perfectly okay with Sepia Mutiny never mentioning Bobby Jindal again in the future. He’s not desi, and therefore this blog can ignore him.

    I did not think Taz’s Anoop/Bobby comparison was out of place in this specific context, though. I admit I don’t follow American Idol, but after seeing that video, I might just vote for Anoop because of his personality. Also, his parents are sweet.

  21. 18 · Taz said

    I don’t feel like it was a stretch, nor do I feel like I was “M.I.A.-ing” the post to be hip and culturally forward.

    Oh, I didn’t mean it like that at all– I was trying to say that at one point in the past, M.I.A. was a common theme on this blog, no matter what we were discussing. When readers bemoaned this, I was utterly clueless as to why it was a problem (because I like her). I just meant that now, I understand what they felt. It was a comment on ubiquity, not hipness.

    19 · Malathi said

    It is one thing to expect to read angry letters to the editor from the public in my local newspaper but totally another when one colleague chooses to write letters to the editor in reaction to another colleague’s take on an issue. Nobody expects all the newspaper guys in our local paper to agree with one another but everybody expects them to magnanimously and respectfully voice their own perspectives in their own column or editorial space. Any less comes across as unprofessional.
    And I am saying this as gentle as I possibly can say given that I am venturing in dangerous territory. Perhaps it is an unsolicited opinion but I am hoping that it will be seen as constructive criticism.

    I don’t know about “dangerous”, I think that’s a bit excessive, but as for constructive criticism, I have some for those who might view us the way you do. I can only hope that I’m as skilled as you were, at conveying such feedback so gently.

    This is not a newspaper. It is a blog. It is annoying when people expect us to operate like a newspaper, because we are a blog. When we were formed, five years ago, we didn’t all agree with each other. That’s part of what made and makes the site so special. You may agree with Taz but other commenters agree with me, and all of us feel welcome here because of that diversity. If this site were Pro-Jindal or Anti-Anoop, it would be very boring, an echo chamber of “dittos” where there was no dynamic conversation or opportunity to learn about why the other side thinks or feels the way that they do.

    My comment was not an “angry letter to the editor”; it was exactly that and nothing more– a comment, one which I can assure you was written with nothing even remotely close to anger. My commenting on another blogger’s post was also not “unprofessional” because this is neither my nor Taz’s job; that’s an odd term to employ here, because I do not make my livelihood from SM, nor did I attend graduate school to write for it.

    I don’t have the time to “magnanimously and respectfully voice” my “own perspective in” my own post and it would be painstaking and exhausting if I had to, each time I wished to convey a different perspective. I’d rather use my limited time to learn about other things, so that we can bring you an even wider variety of posts, on which to comment and disagree with each other.

  22. I hope we can return the thread back to its intended topic, which is not Jindal, whether the first sentence of this post is awesome or my audacity in replying to Taz.

    When I was at lunch today on the hill, the table next to us (all non-Desi) was talking about Anoop on AI. They loved him (but wanted him to wax his eyebrows). I was thisclose to transcribing their convo, “Overheard in NY“-ishtyle because it was hilarious. FOCUS, people! There’s a reality show contestant among us! ;)

  23. Brown@21

    No, I’m not Pardesi Gori (I’m an infrequent visitor, but I think my history here and the folks in the Bunker can attest to that), and I’m not sure why you made the leap to think I was.

    Regardless, I really did get enjoy seeing his parents in that video clip!

  24. I think we should have an entire thread titled “WHO is pardesi gori?” in order to figure out what her brand new SM moniker is. Seriously, this whole PG thing is getting a little ridiculous. The pattern, goriwife: express a dissenting opinion -> “OMG IT’S PARDESI GORI!” -> “who?”

  25. Brown@21 No, I’m not Pardesi Gori (I’m an infrequent visitor, but I think my history here and the folks in the Bunker can attest to that), and I’m not sure why you made the leap to think I was. Regardless, I really did get enjoy seeing his parents in that video clip!

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. She said the same thing many times. Anyway, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, for now.

  26. 26 · Radhika said

    I think we should have an entire thread titled “WHO is pardesi gori?” in order to figure out what her brand new SM moniker is. Seriously, this whole PG thing is getting a little ridiculous. The pattern, goriwife: express a dissenting opinion -> “OMG IT’S PARDESI GORI!” -> “who?”

    PG = Indian men and sex or “stri dharma ” and so on

  27. PG = Indian men and sex or “stri dharma ” and so on

    And we don’t like any of those topics.

  28. Goriwife is somebody different from PG, at least if that’s the same goriwife whose blog I’ve read. It doesn’t sound anything like PG at all, PG has a set of issues she’s interested in and a set of arguments she makes. Goriwife hasn’t done any of that. Give her a break.

  29. ANNA, have you seen this? I agree, it’s getting old. Seems like both communities (black and brown) like to tear each other down.

  30. Goriwife is somebody different from PG, at least if that’s the same goriwife whose blog I’ve read. It doesn’t sound anything like PG at all, PG has a set of issues she’s interested in and a set of arguments she makes. Goriwife hasn’t done any of that. Give her a break.

    Ennis, I just checked out her blog and some of the stuff she writes does indeed sound like the old PG. Maybe it’s not her, but I’m not 100% convinced. She’s also pretending to be you.

  31. I dont watch this crap show normally. I think i watched the important parts of the first two seasons and then some of the other seasons while channel surfing until the craptacular Sanjaya made me want to root for him to stay on as long as possible just to piss off the judges who have no taste in good music(including Simon who I normally would prefer for his negativity).

    I happened to be channel surfing and when i realized the theme was MJ, i decided to check bits and pieces of each song. I donht have a problem with the guy singing Beat It. For me, AI has too many slow boring songs. THese singers are trying to be pop singers. Sing songs with freaking hooks that can keep me entertained. No one is going to be a Dylan out of this group. So sing the freaking catchy songs. Beat It is one. I dont care if it’s karoake. At least it wasnt as boring as most of the other choices. How the hell does not one person pick a song from Off the Wall?

    And that boring song the blind guy sang? Are people in Norway crazy to make that a #1? I never heard of it and it sucked.

  32. No, I don’t have a blog, but now I’m curious and will have to google Goriwife to see what Ennis is talking about. So much for moniker originality…sigh…

  33. Interesting blog. Ironically, the post I hit on in my search had a commenter claiming to be PG. Go figure.

    Anyway, for Brown or anyone else who has their knickers in a twist, all you have to do is type “goriwife” into the search box for a full listing of comments I’ve made at SM dating back to 2006 (which isn’t that many, but I think you’ll get a pretty consistent picture). Over and out.

  34. 38 · niki said

    this made me sad and happy at the same time

    Yeah, thanks for that. I’m still crying. A non-verbal, autistic little boy who hadn’t spoken in six years said “Anoop”, because he gets so excited whenever he sees him perform on AI. And Anoop has reached out to his little fan, too (read the Mother’s blog). I need kleenex.

  35. 39 · A N N A said

    Yeah, thanks for that. I’m still crying. A non-verbal, autistic little boy who hadn’t spoken in six years said “Anoop”, because he gets so excited whenever he sees him perform on AI. And Anoop has reached out to his little fan, too (read the Mother’s blog).

    OMG. Here’s the link to his mother’s blog. I have tears in my eyes now too…