The 33-year-old actor and former Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement wrote a piece called “The ‘Hilarious’ Xenophobia of Time’s Joel Stein” via Huffington Post:
“I want to applaud Joel Stein for his hilarious account of Edison, New Jersey in his Time magazine article this week, ‘My Own Private India’; it is as unique and groundbreaking as Thomas Alva himself.
“Were it not for the intelligent, fresh sense of humor of individuals like Mr. Stein, the world may never know about Americans who happen to be of Indian descent. Gags about impossibly spicy food? I’d never heard those before! Multiple Gods with multiple arms? Multiple laughs! Recounting racial slurs like “dot-head”? Oh, Mr. Stein, is too good! I don’t know how he comes up with such unique bits. (I was worried that he’d missed an opportunity to joke about Dr. King’s predecessor, Gandhi, but I see that he got to that hilarity on Twitter. More never-before-heard satire!)
“Growing up a few miles from Edison, NJ, I always thought it was hilarious when I’d get the crap kicked out of me by kids like Stein who would yell “go back to India, dothead!” I was always ROTFLMAO when people would assume that I wasn’t American. He really captured the brilliant humor in that one too!
“Critics might call Mr. Stein‘s humor super-tired or as played out as the jokes about that cheap Jewish car that stopped on a dime to pick it up, or that African American kid who got marked absent at night school. Although unlike Stein‘s Indian American piece, in 2010 those other jokes don’t show up in mainstream media like Time Magazine. I wonder why that is…”
And here are a few snippets of Joel‘s piece:
– “In the 1990s, the not-as-brilliant [Indian] merchants brought their even-less-bright cousins, and we started to understand why India is so damn poor.”
– “Whenever I go back [to Edison], I feel what people in Arizona talk about: a sense of loss and anomie and disbelief that anyone can eat food that spicy.”