Maybe here’s the reason you don’t see many Chinese comedians. When searching Google for “Chinese stand-up comedians” the only results are satires OF Asian comedians. Sponsored and created by Netflix, of course.
We have a situation that reaches all across our county today that the people that are most interested in inequities, injustice, and disparities in our country deliberately overlook while shouting about more opaque, dubious, and less-immediate systemic problems. Problems that exist by far greater multiples in the very cities most of the loudest mouths have headquarters. I say headquarters because a lot of the people doing the lamenting have several other vacation properties and offices they spend their time in, far away from the problems they’ve caused and continue to cultivate.
Here’s the impetus for this essay: S.F. Chef Causes Runaway Hit that Becomes Nightmare.
The article, written and run in the S.F. Chronicle, which is a paper that has a paywall, meaning you have to pay to even sample their writings, discusses a dish created in the elegant and black-table clothed Lily restaurant, which is an Asian spot. Asian cooking being historically the most inexpensive, save nothing but the hooves type food. It’s rice, which is cheap, with grasses and light seasoning and usually fish, egg, or some widely available and inexpensive protein to accompany it. And it’s usually healthy and delicious. Sometimes it verges on the exotic for American palates.
But restaurant owners no doubt have spotted a way to create HUGE margins for this commoditized cheap fare. Serve what you can find in sidewalk trucks and anywhere you can hook up a gas tank to heat up a wok to 600 degrees, and plate it like it was for royalty and jack the price up by 10,000%. Cha-ching.
And where else to do this but a city that has a disproportionate Asian population, including a bonafide “Chinatown” where families with a long line of American-born descendants still I’ve as if it were the Han Dynasty? San Francisco!
So a chef decides to play a “joke” which the punchline is anyone’s guess. He fries some rice and puts atop the grain most every super-exotic, micro-portioned piece of barely-digestible he can find and charges $72 a plate.
As most of us recognize, San Francisco is now a modern epicenter of billionaires penthoused far above lumps and piles of homeless, needle-tracked, offal-covered wretched carcasses of the disowned in the sidewalks and public parks below(complete with enormous, shiny yet pigeon-tagged monoliths of modern art for them to muse upon. Exorbitant commission paid to the “starving artist” for by the public, of course, to pay his $10,000/month Sausalito-hilled studio across the bay.)
And what must they have to pick at on their plates? $72 fried rice! So the restaurant is selling 20-25 cartons of the stuff PER NIGHT, which happens to catch San Fran’s THC-bloodshot eyes. WHAT!?
So, the chef comes out and announces it was all “a joke.” The usual disclaimer laid out for the public after the joke has fallen flat and the dupe upon which the joke was played lays dead. The punchline has collected its profit already by the comedian to speed away within their Tesla roadster.
But then the joke comes full circle. If you want to read anything about it you can. But you have to pay for that privilege in San Francisco. Buy your annual subscription to the Chronicle at their website.