1.17.2011

Keanu, Russell, and the threat of Asian men

Calm down...this won't be like before.

However, I must remind readers of something I mentioned before about Keanu's good looks, and how they're derived from his Asian side, which most fans don't even realize exists.  Talk about being in denial; I've always wondered how folks could even miss that.  I mean, come on...those eyes, that hair, that natural golden tint to his skin which most white folks in America would gladly sell their souls for - those traits didn't come from his blonde English mother, if you feel me.

Keanu owes his success mainly to his East Asian looks, not his acting ability (deal with it).  And yet when he does a film, 99.999% of the time, he portrays a white guy.  The Hollywood illusion here, of course, is that his "exotic" looks are owed to Caucasian ancestry, and that if his white female fans in particular want men who look like him, they need to keep dating the white boys, cross their fingers, and hope to hit the genetic jackpot.

Yeah...um, okay.

With that in mind, let me throw some math at you.  In 2006, when I was studying Psychology of Women under Dr. Wendy Williams, she presented us with a most fascinating statistic: in China, there are 110 million more men than there are women.  Acccording to the 2010 census, we're somewhere in the ball park of 308 million Americans (approximately 25 million of which are black women, by the way).  Let's do a quick estimate, shall we?  If all the educated, gainfully employed heterosexual women in America ages 25-40 (both white and non-white) decided they were fed up and wanted Chinese men, they could each have one and there'd still be millions to spare.

And that's just talking about China - we haven't even looked at the other 50 countries in Asia.

Now let's talk Russell (Lawd).  Though he's also mixed, Russell's Asian features are more obvious than Keanu's, and in my very humble opinion, Russell is the sexier-looking man.

But I digress.

In my last post about Keanu Reeves, I mentioned he has a net worth of some $350 - $400 million.  Alas, Russell cannot make the same claim. For while Keanu can pull an exotic passe blanc (a la Jennifer Beals), Russell Wong cannot.  With all the deliberate efforts in Hollywood to keep Asians invisible - the men in particular - Russell's acting career was hindered from the get-go.  He was not allowed the same opportunities as Keanu, even though his acting, martial arts abilities, and overall appearance, charisma, and presence are far superior to those of Keanu Reeves.

Despite their differences in success, both men pose the same threat.  With Keanu being from Canada and Russell being from the U.S., they represent the ultimate nightmare of the white agenda: good-looking, successful, Asian guys who speak English fluently.  In a world where white people are just 12% of the species and steadily declining (children of color already outnumber white children in America), the last thing Hollywood wants is to promote a group of non-white men who are good-looking, abundant in numbers, and who can produce children like the men pictured above.

What's my point?  A commenter on my last Keanu post referred to his portrayals of white men as "subversive".  Now that I think about it, she's correct, but not in the way she'd like.  His portrayals of white men subvert his Asian half, not Hollywood's white agenda.  Remember: this is a country in severe denial about anything positive coming from POC.  Our contributions and our aesthetics are consistently devalued and dismissed.

So whenever Keanu plays a white guy, and his appearance is reviewed favorably, the credit is usurped by the white aesthetic which deludes itself into thinking that on its own, it can produce that (and before people start listing European actors with similar phenotypes, check your history books.  There were times when various regions of Europe were invaded, conquered, occupied by Africans and Asians for centuries...just FYI).

Films like The Warrior's Way, Tekken, and Kiss of the Dragon are also subversive, but once again, not in the favor of Asian men.  All they do is remind white women that they "don't really want" want Asian men, and if they absolutely have to mix, then let it be with men who aren't so numerous, and who are most certainly not a military or economic threat.

Suggested Reading:

Why is "Blasian" so Relevant and Powerful?

16 comments:

  1. Total agreement. Keanu's wealth is based solely on his looks, cause he can't act his way out of a wet paper bag. He's always been hot, but honestly I didn't know he had a white mother. His Asian heritage is obvious, however.

    Russell...absolutely glorious! He can actually act, and I've been known to wave a bit of pink lace cloth in his honor at times. Am likely to wave some in a matter of minutes; that pic is so hot. (I have never wanted to throw panties at Keanu, btw)

    in China, there are 110 million more men than there are women. Acccording to the 2010 census, we're somewhere in the ball park of 300 million Americans (approximately 25 million of which are black women, by the way). Let's do a quick estimate, shall we? If all the educated, gainfully employed heterosexual women in America ages 25-40 (both white and non-white) decided they were fed up and wanted Chinese men, they could each have one and there'd still be millions to spare.

    I'm a scientist, so I wish that people would look at the numbers; at the data to draw reasonable conclusions, instead of twisting the data to support subjective theories. Like the following:

    So whenever Keanu plays a white guy, and his appearance is reviewed favorably, the credit is usurped by the white aesthetic which deludes itself into thinking that on its own, it can produce that...

    When white people truly understand that they are going out of style; that their days of "pure-ness" *rolls eyes* are numbered, then maybe they will get their shit together. Maybe. Much like those last-minute Christians who have fucked up all their life and find God in their last five minutes.

    Who's to say that won't happen with white people, when the numbers become overwhelming and the data can't be manipulated; when bullshit rolls downhill and the lies can't subvert the truth?

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  2. Total agreement. Keanu's wealth is based solely on his looks, cause he can't act his way out of a wet paper bag.

    *is dead*

    He's always been hot, but honestly I didn't know he had a white mother. His Asian heritage is obvious, however.

    People must be in some serious denial to miss that.

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  3. I don't think people are in denial I just think many people are unaware. I personally had no idea what Keanu was, I really didn't care. I thought he was white because I saw a white guy in film. I never thought to question anything about his background because I was enjoying whatever movie was playing(the Matix). Don't get me wrong I figured he had something else brewing in his blood but who in America doesn't? I guess whatever agenda Hollywood has up its sleeves about having everyone see only white works. Here's one reason...people are unaware, sometimes we just want to watch a movie because it looks cool or we like action scenes we already know the acting is going to suck so we don't pay too much attention to the actors. I didn't realize that POC couldn't afford such a luxury.

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  4. @ asummermoon

    people are unaware, sometimes we just want to watch a movie because it looks cool or we like action scenes we already know the acting is going to suck so we don't pay too much attention to the actors. I didn't realize that POC couldn't afford such a luxury.

    POC can't, and in a way, you just illustrated why.

    When we try to act like white people and not pay attention to certain things in films, it allows Hollywood to have its cake and eat it too. It allows them to vaunt the Aryan aesthetic while usurping our myriad aesthetics in the process, and giving themselves undue genetic credit. This way, "white" stays "right" even when the actor is non-white.

    Sickeningly, it harkens back to colonial policy in Africa in which white teachers were instructed to lie to African children and tell them all the kingdoms, all the empires, and all their monuments (pyramids, Great Zimbabwe, etc.) were built by "their white ancestors."

    Don't get me wrong I figured he had something else brewing in his blood but who in America doesn't?

    The problem with this statement is that white people often use it to gloss over important issues like these, not to mention get POC to shut up about these issues. It's a very convenient question to ask, if you think about it. It's a derivative of the Human Race Derail, which is often invoked to get POC to ignore the problem of racial inequality, thereby belittling the POC experience in America.

    Once POC buy into the argument of "it shouldn't be about race and casting doesn't matter", we then become supporters of ther white agenda in Hollywood, which further encourages the institution to marginalize POC in media.

    'Cause I'll be honest - I, for one, am thoroughly sick of white saturation in media. I've stopped going to movie theaters, and I've gotten exceedingly picky about the shows I watch and DVDs I rent.

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  5. ^^(I, for one, am thoroughly sick of white saturation in media. I've stopped going to movie theaters, and I've gotten exceedingly picky about the shows I watch and DVDs I rent. )

    This!
    1)Why I stopped reading comics
    2) Why I stopped going to movie theaters except once in a blue.
    3)People not understanding or caring why I don't(usually white, but surprisingly and just as often enough POCS.)

    I had an argument this week with a friend about why I don't engage with people IRL as often. Doesn't understand why since in his words" I'm worldly, beautiful,intelligent, witty: the definition of attractive." I tried to explain as best I could and he agreed but still said, "I need to let I go or I'll be unhappy all the time.(hes a POC:Asian/Hispanic, but very optimistic and easygoing by nature.)

    I told him that I'm not unhappy, or that if I am, I'm alot happier than i was when I dumbed myself down just to fit in with everybody else. "I'd rather be myself, and have everyone hate me, than to be something I'm not and have everyone love me." I told him that the very qualities that people like about me are the very qualities that make them afraid of me and resent me because somewhere in the back of their minds, they don't feel its "right" for me to have those qualities or if I do, express them so freely. It causes all kinds of friction. And I told him I don't see the point of socializing with people I have so little in common with. Then he said "We're all human, you can always find something in common with them.(bless his heart)"

    So then I said "Why is the responsibility always on me? Why can't they find something in common with me? Why am I always expected to reach toward them? Why aren't they reaching toward me if everything you said is plain to see is also true?"

    He shrugged, "You gotta be the bigger person."

    I said," I am, at work and school, where I have to be if I want to get somewhere. But for my own peace of mind, in my private life, I'm very picky about who I let be around me on a personal level."

    Sorry that was so long.

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  6. I also had a discussion with him about how deeply entrenched racism is in the American pysche that even if you "Play the game" you will rarely ever achieve the same level of success as a white person who is half as talented, or stupider than you simply because of the fact that they're white.

    What bothers both of us is that POCS who do this, often have a selective memory when it comes to how they got up the ladder in the first place. We just came to different conclusions about how to confront it, because of our different temperaments. He's a social butterfly, and even though he understands all this, he has to be around people, whereas I don't.

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  7. The fact that Russel Wong is not a MEGA STAR, is proof of this, ohhhh he is so damn fine, and so damn talented. It's a fucking shame. Makes me hate AmeriKKKA for being so willfully blind.

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  8. @ Ankhesen Mié by all means I understand what you're saying and after I read the post I was thinking wow I guess I fell right into the trap Hollywood set out which is why I realized that I as a WOC could not afford to be so unaware but I would be lying to myself if I didn't admit with a sigh how upset I am that I can't just enjoy a film without thinking about all the conspiracy behind the casting. Also, even if I knew for a fact everyone in America was mixed with something I would never drop my guard about people being discrimated against because their mixture isn't the "acceptable" blend (Russell looking more sterotypical Asian than Keanu therefore getting paid less because of the hollywood haters)I know better than that.

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  9. @ Student

    I told him that I'm not unhappy, or that if I am, I'm alot happier than i was when I dumbed myself down just to fit in with everybody else. "I'd rather be myself, and have everyone hate me, than to be something I'm not and have everyone love me."

    THIS.

    What bothers both of us is that POCS who do this, often have a selective memory when it comes to how they got up the ladder in the first place.

    Girl, preach.

    I am, at work and school, where I have to be if I want to get somewhere. But for my own peace of mind, in my private life, I'm very picky about who I let be around me on a personal level.

    Ain't enough co-sign in the world.

    @ asummermoon

    Nothin' but love, boo - I wasn't attacking.

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  10. I never was a full keanu fan. I thought he was cute but I never was curious about his background and it wasn't until after the matrix came out that I found out about his racial background.

    Russell on the other hand had my attention since New Jack City. Even though it was a small part as a detective I thought he was fine. Then when he blew up with the Vanishing Son movies and Series I immediately became a fan.

    I was reading on his IMDB page and there were some posts on there that said he was offered the role Neo but he turned it down. He was offered a lot of roles that were big budget films and he turned them down. I also was disappointed that he didn't achieve the success that Jet-Li, Chow Yun Fat & etc... did. He made history as the 1st Chinese American star of the 1st Asian American Tv series. That's Huge! but does he get credit for that, nope!

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  11. I find it fascinating (and amusing) that people on here really didn't care too much about Keanu, but totally melted for Russell.

    Whattaya know...actual talent really does make an impression.

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  12. I'm kinda late, but here's some interesting facts about Keanu Charles Reeves. He's actually of Chinese and Hawaiian ancestory on is father's side. His name means "Cool Breeze Over the Mountains" in Hawaiian and he was born in Betruit, Lebanon. He is a Canadian citizen and admitted on a late-night talk show that (the dog he had at the time) ate his Green Card! LOL! And he couldn't leave the US for work until he was approved to travel! Now that's a humbling experience for a most humble person!

    I've been a fan of Keanu's a lot longer than Russell's. Both men are fine I love Asian men, so for me both men would be welcome in my bed. But not at the same time, and if Russell wasn't a married man!

    I'm not sure why Russell isn't the bigger star of the two of them, maybe Keanu just had better
    management team.

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    Replies
    1. "maybe Keanu just had better management team."

      GURL!

      Delete
  13. @ Aries415

    Thanks for the fun facts; I knew them, but I probably should've posted them as additional info.

    I'm not sure why Russell isn't the bigger star of the two of them, maybe Keanu just had better management team.

    *raises eyebrow*

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  14. I know this sounds horrible but for that very reason I won't date white men, because they fragrantly dispel the fact that in order to get those kinds of looks that it doesn't come from POC traits. Like sorry bro but your white ass is not going to get a gorgeous warm skinned baby. No you're gonna get a pale as fuck baby. Like wtf. The White Ego is fucking astounding.

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  15. I have always loved Keanu. I knew of his background because he is what sparked my love for Asian men. I remember when I use to tell people of his background it was like shock and awe. What initially made me curious was his skin-tone. That is what sparked the curiosity. I don't know much about Russell so I will have to look into him now.

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