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2008/06/25

Expat Crap

For the past 10 years or so, I've skimmed through the expat magazines and for the most part, very quickly throw them out. It's like Playboy, you don't get it for the articles, its just for the events listing/restaurant openings (though there are those who believe if you need these mags to find out about restaurant openings, you aren't cool enough).

City Weekend's article on "Turf Wars" this month was equal parts laughable and offensive. It's the kind of "humor" you'd expect from white bread high school students/frat boys who have little or no understanding of the inner city. They also seem to fail to understand very much about expats in China, but that's beside the point.

The article attempted to divide up the entire expat population in Beijing into 5 small categories, a tough prospect, but not so bad. The problem is their appropriation of gang names (Bloodz, Latin Kings) as an attempt to be funny and some strange looking ABC flashing a "gang sign" and attempting to mimic black slang. This is the print equivalent of a frat holding a "player's ball". It is unfortunately the image that too many white Americans, who have never had any contact with African Americans, imagine black culture to be. This is like the dolt who writes the Shanghai nightlife newsletter who refused to actually call Shanghai "Shanghai" and instead wanted to come up with some kind of "hip hop" term to refer to it as. Please!

You could do a funny article on the (lack of) diversity among US/Canadian/Aussie expats (beyond that, it gets dicey) without the usage of that language, which makes it offensive and downright stupid. Anyways, I'm not a fan of the expat rags to begin with, with the possible exception of Time Out and again, the main thing is the event listings. For everything else, the expat magazines only seem to serve a community of expats who don't know any Chinese people and only hang around with other expats.

Rant over.

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