Life ain't easy for a girl named Bich.

Posted On: Saturday - April 3rd 2021 5:13PM MST
In Topics: 
  Immigration Stupidity  Music  Humor  Political Correctness  Female Stupidity

This piece of stupidity from The New Yorker is a doozy. Peak Stupidity will not really have to add any humor to keep the Humor topic key attached, but we can't help adding more anyway. No, I don't read The New Yorker, though I've seen a few and even gotten the occasional cartoon (OK, just the one).

As much as he puts their stupidity on display for us, I got to this not from Steve Sailer himself, but from regular commenter Jenner Ickham Errican* in this comment.

The writer of this unintentionally hilarous New Yorker article is a young lady named, well CALLED now anyway, Beth Nguyen, an American immigrant who was born in Saigon. (Yeah, she wrote "Saigon", and I am very surprised from the rest of this that she didn't call it Ho Chi Minh City.) Miss Nguyen has a complaint: America Ruined My Name for Me. It's not her family name, Nguyen, that she is complaining about Americans mispronouncing. She notes for us:
Nguyen, because it’s the most common Vietnamese surname, has gone from suspiciously foreign and unpronounceable to acceptably different and only somewhat unpronounceable in America.
You don't have to be a suspicious type. It IS foreign. Yes, it's unpronouncable. The closest anyone who tries can come is win, but that's not really right. Tough shit, not my problem.

The problem is that Miss Nguyen is not a Beth, but a Bich. Yes, that's her Vietnamese given name and her parents were too proud of their heritage to let her change it.
When my family named me, they didn’t know that we would become refugees eight months later and that I would grow up in Michigan in the nineteen-eighties, in the conservative, mostly white, west side of the state, where girls had names like Jennifer, Amy, and Stacy. A name like Bich (pronounced “Bic”) didn’t just make me stand out—it made me miserably visible. “Your name is what?” people would ask. “How do you spell that?” Sometimes they would laugh in my face. “You know what your name looks like, right? Did your parents really name you that?”
Firstly, it sounds like Bich had a childhood environment that was infinitely better than it would have been under that Communists in Ho Chi Minh City, not to mention the other side of Michigan! White and conservative is what you want. If he teasing about her name is all she has to bitch about, compared to starving and living in a craphole under Communism, or, worse yet, no, no, NOT DETROIT!, she sounds pretty ungrateful. Kids are known to tease each other. Well, here:
I have always envied Asian kids whose parents let them change their names or have separate “American” names. Phuoc at home could be Phil at school. But my parents refused to let me change my name. They said that I should be proud of who I was, and they weren’t wrong, but they were so angry about it that I knew I should keep my worries to myself. I didn’t want to reject my family’s Vietnamese culture, replacing it with all that TV commercials promised. And so I stuck with Bich, or let it stick with me.
Well, what's it gonna be, Bich, rejecting your Vietnamese culture or being teased because... it's funny as hell, honestly.
My earliest memories of school include the tension of roll call, when I would try to volunteer my name to stop the teacher from attempting a pronunciation. The kindest teachers were the ones who asked me directly how to say my name—in classes of almost all white kids, it wasn’t difficult to figure out who would be named Bich. I was a shy child who then became shyer; I avoided meeting people so I could avoid saying my name. And I took on the shame of not being strong enough to handle the shame of the American gaze.
Holy crap, can't these ungrateful immigrants who write this crap ever use their imaginations to picture the shoe being on the other foot? I've been in deepest yellowest China where the people may not see a foreigner (and you are always one to them) for years. The kids will just gather around and point fingers and make comments. I'm sure they don't give a rat's ass what my American name is. Are the Vietnamese in Vietnam as polite and tolerant as Americans are, at least for those who are not the rich White businessmen? Would they all be so kind to spend the effort to say my American name the way I pronounce it, if they even could?

To understand the extend of the ungratefulness of this Bich (that one never gets old), please read as much of the article as you can stomach. I'll excerpt just a bit more here:
I remember being a kid and hearing my dad and uncles whispering about the murder of Vincent Chin, in Detroit, in 1982. Today, I talk to my kids about the murder of six Asian women in Atlanta. I’m teaching them about colonization, Orientalism, and anti-Asian immigration laws. About what happens when Asians and Asian-Americans are made invisible except as targets of derision or as ideals of behavior—as ways to create fear, enforce compliance, and shore up racism against Black, Latinx, and indigenous people. Of course, my children worry. We’ve all been worried for years. These days, we are extra careful when we leave the house.
Hahahaaa, she's serious. That's what's so funny. She's serious, so don't make any "he's so fat"/Chinese phone book jokes. This is neither the time nor place for that. BTW, I think this one Vincent Chin incident from ~ 4 decades ago is used by all Oriental people who want to bitch about Americans. They think we don't know enough to figure out the guy is Chinese from the name. Is he? I don't know for sure, but Chinese, Japanese, Dirty Knees, Loot at These, they can all claim poor little Vincent Chin.

Something about this whole bitch session in the New Yorker fits very well into Steve Sailer's idea that women writers are often writing to "talk about me" rather than to analyze any real problems. He's even got an axiom about it.** I've got a feeling that now-Beth Nguyen was not popular at school because she was not one of the pretty ones. You've gotta know that, if she had been an exotic cutie with a nice bod, she'd have other things to do rather than bitching in The New Yorker.

Even so, you'd think that at some point, 5th grade, 8th grade, some time, Bich would have heard this one Johnny Cash song and learned a lesson from it:

"... and if I ever have a daughter, I'm gone name her ... Bertha, Brenda, Beth, any damn thing but Bich!"

(I wanted to put up a video of Mr. Cash live from Fulsom Prison, but all the ones I checked had terrible sound.)

OK, well, listen, I don't want to start another 10-post long fisking of very piece of stupidity by this Krai Zhee Bich. (Wouldn't it have been cool at school if that was her full name?) However, there's a lot to unpack here, as the young writers say, and hopefully a few more jokes that I haven't got to yet, not all of them involving Miss Nguyen's given name here. I'll get back on this next week.

* Yeah, it took me only about 2 years to realize that should be read as "Generic American".

** It's Sailer's "1st Law of Female Journalism", The most heartfelt journalistic extrusions will be demands for how society must be re-engineered so that, come the Revolution, the writer herself will be considered hotter-looking. Nice job, duckduckgo - it was right on top!

Tuesday - April 6th 2021 5:11AM MST
PS: Peter, yes I remember your law from iSteve, something I remarked on a couple of times. Not everyone has got their own law on there, just Sailer and you, I guess .. ;-}

As massive as the amount of Hispanic immigration has been, I think I understand your law as saying it'll be worse importing big numbers of people -

1) who are even more different in their religion, morals etc, and, at the same time,

2) who are more intelligent than the Hispanic crowd and will take the high positions and the white collar jobs from good Americans too.

You could write a good explanation of your law and put it into a comment, and we'll post it.

That might help this week, as I think I won't have time for much posting this week . (I'll write this in a post shortly)
Monday - April 5th 2021 11:42AM MST
PS PeterIke: "Interesting, though, how Ms. Neeeeoooon ACTUALY says in the above: "It's really great being able to live among my own kind.

"Uhh huh. Not a feeling she's willing to grant white people, though."

That's really the bottom line. And our biggest enemy in the fight to live among our own kind is ... White people. Even conservatives. They drank deeply of that MLK "content of their character, not the color of their skin" brand Kool-Aid. Tabula Rasa, egalitarianism, Santa Claus and other lies we tell children.

Moderator: Sure, feel free to use my post. Typos? Any typos of mine are entirely imaginary. But feel free to correct them!
Monday - April 5th 2021 11:09AM MST
PS: That's a very good point, CB. I can only write something regarding Chinese. Without having had interaction with the Western world, the Chinese would be still be doing everything with those 3 to 10 thousand characters (3,000 is ~ the amount necessary to be newspaper-reading literate.) What we see written in "Chinese" with English (OK, whatever they are) letters is called Pin Yin.

There were a number of other deals like Pin Yin 100 or so years back. Pin Yin was like the VHS vs. the other Betamaxes. I thought "why didn't they make this easier for us? It's still freakin hard!" It was partly because they didn't just interact with English speakers, so it was developed to help Germans and whomever else. They have a number of sounds that are not particularly hard, like rolling "r"'s in Spanish or guttural sounds, but are close together. There are a number of sounds like c, s, sh, ch (more than those 4 though). Hence the stupid "x"'s in Pin Yin. Why "q" is pronounced "ch"is possibly due to the first reason(?)

I think this ought to be a quick blog post. I can insert your whole comment in that (typos corrected, if possible). I guess Vietnam relied on all characters at some time in the past, but then they were a French colony long ago.

Your question remains for the names though. I mean, if they are moving here, why not just start freaking writing it the way that gets Americans to say it the way they want Americans to? Maybe Nguyen could be Nwin. That's not so hard.

BTW, that's another post I wanted to write, though I've covered it a little bit before. How do the Chinese say "Seattle"? They say basically See-at-too. That's the best they can do. Do you see me complaining? If I can't understand, tough shit for them.
Monday - April 5th 2021 9:36AM MST
PS What I always wonder, from a linguistic perspective, is why Asian names are always translated into English with preposterous spellings. If her name is pronounced "Bic" why spell it in English with the 'h' on the end? A childhood filled with "Click your Bic" jokes surely would have been preferable. Also, "Nguyen."

Wikipedia attempts to explain the pronunciation:

But the section ends lamely explaining

"Common pronunciations by English speakers include [wɪn][18][19] and [nuːˈjɛn]."

So why not just frickin' spell it that way?
Monday - April 5th 2021 8:29AM MST
So, Ms. Neeeoooon, who seems to make at least part of her livign trashing white people, is married to the whitest guy imaginable. Also a writer, his name is Porter Shreve (whitest white guy name ever) and he looks like this:

As I said, the whitest guy imaginable. I don't know anything about his novels, but like most contemporary novelists, I assume he's pretty terrible.

They have two children, though I can't find a photo of them. I wonder how mixed they look.

Even though generally speaking the Vietnamese by far aren't the worst sorts of Asian invaders (though there should be exactly zero of them in America), Ms. Beth has taken the route of the white-hating academic, and like so many others, its been a success for her. I wonder if she tells her half-breed children that their father is a terrible white racist colonizer? Well, he managed to colonize her loins, at least.

This brings to mind PeterIke's Law, which I attempted to make famous on iSteve but he never picked up on it. It goes something like this: Asian immigration into America is going to be far, far worse than Mexican immigration, and Mexican immigration is a disaster.

Since I came up with this some years ago, I've seen it proven right nearly every day. The Chinese and dotIndians are far and away the worst of the bunch, but now we're getting carping Filipinos and whatever else into the mix.

When Polar Bear chaser Neeeeooooon was asked in an interview about moving from the Midwest to CalifornAsia, she let out with this opulent stream of total bullshit:

"In the Bay Area, Asians and Asian Americans are everywhere. They are a version of normal that I’ve glimpsed before but never lived with, and the feeling is—well, it’s a relief, an emotional relief. I can feel invisible without feeling diminished. I feel less self-conscious. I don’t worry that someone is staring at me because I’m Asian. (Now I think, did one of my kids put stickers in my hair again?) A hundred different micro-aggressions—especially, feeling foreign or unwelcome—kind of evaporate. I didn’t know that it would feel this way. I didn’t know how much tension I carried around before I moved here. I don’t mean this as a slight against the Midwest, or to suggest that micro-aggressions and racism don’t happen here; they happen everywhere. I guess I mean, I thought I was used to the experience of being a minority within a dominant culture. It turns out that maybe I was never used to it."

The entire thing is obvious baloney, but these kinds of people really convince themselves that everyone in Michigan was staring wide-eyed at the exotic Asian, as if every bumfug town in America hasn't had Chinese people running a take out restaurant since 1982.

Interesting, though, how Ms. Neeeeoooon ACTUALY says in the above: "It's really great being able to live among my own kind."

Uhh huh. Not a feeling she's willing to grant white people, though.
Monday - April 5th 2021 6:17AM MST

Martin Mull is an under appreciated gem- he was a kind of proto Al Yankovich- taking into account Weird Al’s originals, not his parody songs. Mull’s breakthrough album was called “Martin Mull And His Fabulous Furniture In Your Living Room”, which included such gems as “Licks off of Records” and “ A Girl Your Size (How could I not miss) ” . IIRC it got a lot of FM play.

I notice with amusement that one of the lines on the album version of “Licks Off of Records” was

“You say soft, and I get doleful
You say Negro I get soulful...” was changed in the 1980 version ( featuring Glen Campbell) below.

His TV show, Fernwood/ America tonight, with the great Fred Willard was a hoot as well.

Sunday - April 4th 2021 3:54PM MST
PS: Now I've got too many songs in my head at once, Dieter. You're jamming me with that Mr. Kite stuff (Tom Petty - a favorite of mine - kind of a weird filler piece on that famous Beatles album, I guess, or just something to fit in the "concept album")

Hans, I'd thought I'd put that Sum Ting Wong, et. al. video up on PS, but I realize now that was well before the start of this blog. Here's the short version from KTVU:

I do remember that the TV station blamed the mistake on an intern who worked there, and the intern in turn blamed someone from the NTSB who gave him the names who was ... an intern. It's interns all the way down, haha!
Sunday - April 4th 2021 3:47PM MST
PS: Oh, for Peter and Mr. G, I didn't see any pictures of Miss Nguyen in the article, besides that one self portrait or piece of artwork for the magazine article. I'll go check out some pics.

Mr. Blanc, damn good question. I can't answer that. I wonder what her answer would be.
Sunday - April 4th 2021 3:44PM MST
PS: Thank you, Mr. Ganderson, for that Jane Morgan song. I'd never heard of her, never heard the song, but at that part where she met the boy named Sue, I LOLed. And, it's got some Johnny Cash guitar licks in it. Now, I DO know Martin Mull, but didn't know he's written any songs. He was in the movie "Serial", a real good take on the California of 40 years back.

I don't know if your 3 points A-C would mean Jack Squat to anyone who may call you a racist, though, these days. Granted that was a few years ago for you, I guess, in front of, I assume, mostly White kids and no Beyiches ... I'm glad you didn't get a, or THE, book thrown at you.
Hans Peter
Sunday - April 4th 2021 2:03PM MST
PS Detachment from reality should be painful.
If America is such an evil terrible place then don't come here.
What an unfortunate name almost up there with Shitavious from Clevelandstan I believe. It isn't from the Mystery Babylon Bee either and you can do your own search on the name.
The news anchor babe who fell for the Sum Ting Wong, Ho Li Fuk, Wi Tu Lo, reading it live on air prank is an all time great morale booster.
Her position was redistributed for the good of the collective unity.
Forward! Yes we can, Si se puede!
dieter kief
Sunday - April 4th 2021 1:28PM MST
PS Biches with spelling problems aren't what I'd be looking for. Same is true for birches. Or chirches. Or circencical extravaganzas - unless they'd be - PLAYING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR. KITE, that is. Mr. Kite will always have a place in my heart!
Sunday - April 4th 2021 10:51AM MST
PS I imagine that Vietnam would gladly have her back. Why is she still here?
Sunday - April 4th 2021 9:44AM MST

She’s married to a white guy, of course. A VERY white guy. More on this tomorrow. Happy Easter!
Sunday - April 4th 2021 7:34AM MST

And fun fact: “ A Boy Named Sue” was written by Shel Silverstein.

Funny song written by Martin Mull:
Sunday - April 4th 2021 7:21AM MST
Happy Easter , everybody!

Dunno if Sailer’s Law applies- she seems reasonably attractive to me.

Is that Vincent Chin or Vincent “the Chin”?

I used the “Chin” joke onetime in class- a kid asked me if I thought Chris Christie was a viable presidential candidate: I said, “ nah, too fat, he has more Chins than the San Francisco phone book”. I went on to explain why that comment was not racist:

A. Is Christie fat? Yes.
B. Are there many ethnic Chinese in SF? Yes.
C. Is Chin a common Chinese name? Yes. Ergo...

There are more Andersons ( more properly Anderssons) in the Stockholm phonebook (or Mpls/ St. Paul, for that matter), but I can’t come up with anything amusing about that fact.
Saturday - April 3rd 2021 5:35PM MST

Liberals believe their own lies. If it makes them miserable, I have a really good laugh.
WHAT SAY YOU? : (PLEASE NOTE: You must type capital PS as the 1st TWO characters in your comment body - for spam avoidance - or the comment will be lost!)