PopCornucopia is all about free associative pop culture tidbits as they strike my fancy, just like kernels of corn exploding into fullness at a random and unpredictable pace. And of course, the cornucopia is the horn of plenty.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Whole lotta Hari lovin'

Once again, Mana proves she has excellent taste. She raved about stand up comic Hari Kondabolu whom she saw live and was ROFL. Now I haven't the privilege of checking it out live, but the vids were enough to sell me on his up and coming greatness.

Now those of you who pooh-pooh at the general lameness and lack of critical awareness in comedians, Hari will combat your dismissive attitude if you just watch. He is immediately self deprecating, politically engaged, fearless, and adorably nerdy all in one fell swoop. Anti-racist, anti-colonialist, AND guffaw inducing? Say, what? Yes, people, it is possible and Kondabolu succeeds with aplomb.

For more, check out his website: http://www.harithecomic.com/

His blog is quite good too: http://www.harithecomic.blogspot.com/

But my favorite piece of work is a recent short film, Manoj, which he wrote and starred in. It's a "profile" of a racial caricature Indian hack comic Manoj (portrayed by a bearded Mr. Kondabolu), his dumb white fans, and an exaggerated version of Hari himself, deeply angry at the horrifying setback that Manoj represents for his own comedic aspirations. There's a bit of the Merchant/Gervais funnily-painful-to-watch mockumentary style in there, but it's also a really insightful piece that is a penetrating commentary on performers and their audiences. It questions who comedy serves, who is laughing at whose expense, and how people internalize stereotype and instrumentalize them in ways that further entrench racism, etc. (all those other bad bad -isms that social justice warriors, myself included, get incensed about).

Behold the mini masterpiece that is Manoj:

MANOJ from Zia Mohajerjasbi on Vimeo.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Present Tense Biennial: Just go see it

Hopefully will do more justice to this great exhibit in a later post with details, commentary, and my own insider story, but just wanted to say that you really need to see this exhibit at my old workplace. I was worried about procrastination of spreading the word due to my own life business so I wanted to say it now.

It's the best group exhibit I've seen at the Chinese Culture Center. Ever. Major props to Abby and Co. And it's FREE.

Again, GO SEE IT.

David Ruffin=Raphael Saadiq=Anoop Desai=Left Eye

Optically speaking of course.

Here's the original recipe:

The revivalist:

Raphael Saadiq - Love That Girl from Artists Den on Vimeo.

The futurist:

The feminist:

Aint 2 Proud 2 Beg

Nerd specs:The great pop music equalizer.

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