What happened this year? Will it be known as the year that Julian Assange brought down the Western World? A year rocked by such high unemployment that it allowed “creative types” like Das Racist, The Kominas and Sunny Ali and the Kid the time to put out new albums? Will 2010 be known as the year of Sarah Palin’s Nikki Haley? Or is it the year of Joel Stein-ism? Let’s take a look.
Pakistan Floods: The July 2010 floods were devastating, affecting 20 million people and submerging 1/5 of the nation. But by then, people were suffering from the crisis of donor fatigue.
Racebender: M. Night Shymalan’s racist movie The Last Airbender. Come on, he made all the evil people brown! He also got very defensive about it too.
Truffle Fries: M.I.A.’s truffle french fries bollywood drama with the reportermoment. And the funny or die subsequent mock.
SB !070: Arizona’s immigration law which would allow the authorities the ability to pull over anyone to ask them about their immigration status.
Tea Party and Islamaphobia: Gawd, how the Tea Party did us in this election year using the Park 51 situation as their catalyst to instigate fear. With their ignorant misguided and misspelled words. Remember the apology for the “Monkey God Misspeak”? Or when Lungren convinced Bera to give return a donation? Or how Juan Williams was scared of people dressed in “Muslim Garb”? Or SAALT’s report on xenophobic political discourse being the norm now? There were so many news items coming out those few months that blogging about them at Sepia Mutiny got repetitive and exhausting.
Facebook Block: Remember when Pakistan blocked facebook for a few weeks citing cartoons as their alleged reasons? And then Bangladesh had to go ahead and follow suit? All a ploy to distract people from the politics at hand.
Census 2010: For the past years, we’ve been functioning with the idea that there are 2 million South Asian Americans with the median age of 29. As of March 2010, that should officially have changed with the latest census count. Though still waiting on the data, it should have a dramatic effect on how we continue to organize the community into the future.
Outsourced: Sure, we have many Desis on television shows now (mainly as sidekicks), but really, I’m not sure if Outsourced was a step in the right direction even though a lot of you thought it was funny and it got picked up for another season. In other outsourced news, outsourcing to India was still used in hateful racist political campaign ads. Remember this anti-Halter commercial from Arkansas? Or Schumer’s outsourcing tax legislation? Or Carly Fiorina’s ad about jobs going to Bangalore?
Aziz Ansari: He had his Comedy Central special Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening drop this year AND he hosted the MTV Movie Awards 2010 in addition to being on the TV show Parks and Recreation. But Hari Kondabolu is close on his heels though with a Comedy Central special to be aired February of 2011.
Padma Lakshmi: Still hot. But now a hot baby mama. Though who the baby daddy is, she still won’t tell.
Julian Assange and the Cablegate of Wikileaks: Pakistan creates a fake WikiLeak, and there’s a bunch of other leaks on South Asian countries that were slowly released while Assange tries running from the Western world.
Flying While Brown: It’s still an issue. There was heightened enhanced screening for people traveling from a “terrorist” nation. There were the body scanner machines that TSA started using this year that all of a sudden made everyone concerned about privacy. Even THE Shahrukh Khan got body scanned while going through airport security. The Indian Ambassador even gets a pat down.
New Music: There were a slew of new Alterna-Desi musicians that broke through this year. There was opera singer Sean Panikkar. Goldspot’s release of And The Elephant is Dancing. Imaad Wasif’s album The Voidist. Chee Malabar, Das Racist and Koom the Ripper all drop free music. Riz MC’s MICroscope album. The grammy nominated jazz extraordinaire Vijay Iyer with his album Historicity. Janina Gavankar’s Love Locked Down. Sunny Ali and the Kid get together. Fair and Kind’s brother and sister duo Anand and Arthi. Repping San Fran and Zulu Nation we have the up and coming Mandeep Sethi. Guitar playing Bhi Bhiman. Tasneem’s animal days are gone. GonjaSufi. Ras Ceylon got gully. King Khan, Humble the Poet and The Kominas all release awesome videos. And Sub Swara releases Trigger. Plenty more where these artists came from – can’t wait to see what 2011 holds.
Politics: What a dirty competitive year for politics. A large number of Desis ran for office this cycle, more than we’ve ever seen. But only three won in the end. There was the Sarah Palin supported, “rag-head” slurred, allegedly having an affair Nikki Haley who won her seat for South Carolina Governor. There was the white-washed half-Desi Kamala Harris who had a close race for CA Attorney General, and in the end, she won. There was the half Bangladeshi hailing from Detroit Hansen Clarke who is now sitting in Congress. And finally, all the other political madness that happened in the 2010 Election Cycle that proves we still have a long way to go.
Joel Stein: Clearly the Joel Stein article was the most important issue to Sepia Mutiny readers because on this day our website tripled in traffic. “My Own Private India” written by Stein was the most controversial topic of 2010 both with the mutiny and within the bunker. In the end, did he issue an apology? No. He apologized that so many people were offended by what he wrote. Classy.
So that does it – the 2010 Sepia Mutiny summary. What were the highlights to your 2010, mutinous ones? Any topics that I missed?
Be safe tonight, and have a Happy New Years to all.