Social Justice Warriors getting their wookie on again

I note with displeasure that the perpetually offended among us are getting all worked up about a poem in the New Yorker.

Eighty-year-old Calvin Trillin’s “Have They Run Out of Provinces Yet?”, which was published in the latest issue of The New Yorker, takes as its subject the vast variety of Chinese food available today.

… The poem begins:

Have they run out of provinces yet?
If they haven’t, we’ve reason to fret.
Long ago, there was just Cantonese.
(Long ago, we were easy to please.)
But then food from Szechuan came our way,
Making Cantonese strictly passé.

It goes on to list all the different cuisines of China which have become popular in recent years, and laments the stress of keeping up with changing trends:

Now, as each brand-new province appears
It brings tension, increasing our fears
Could a place we extolled as a find
Be revealed as one province behind?

Commentators were quick to criticise Trillin, with the novelist Celeste Ng saying that the poem could be interpreted as asking “Why are there so many kinds of Chinese people?”

Old racist white man tosses off rhyming hate speech, then defends it. Time to shuffle off, #CalvinTrillin.
    — Jinho Choi (@GoldenTalon) April 7, 2016

white man expresses distress that Chinese food is so diverse. More self-centred white indulgence at 6.
    — Polly is a nice name (@__catpower) April 7, 2016

On  The Stranger website, Rich Smith called the poem “casually racist”, writing: “This longing for a time of chow mein—which is, as I’m sure the food writer knows—a westernized dish—is a longing for the days of a white planet. Those days when we white people comfortably held power, when they made food for us, when the only fear was the fear of another cuisine to conquer, the days before we had to ask ourselves stuff like—does this poem rest on an unexamined racist sentiment?”

There’s more at the link.  The offending (?) poem may be found here.

Personally, I found the poem very amusing – typical satire, directed at its Western audience rather than Chinese cuisine.  However, it seems that those of a more liberal or progressive bent are, indeed, bent out of shape about it.

Would I be guilty of racism if I accused Mr. Trillin’s critics of being pointy-headed idiots with empty spaces where their brains need to be?  As far as I can see, I haven’t used a single racist term in that sentence.  Your thoughts, readers?



  1. "Would I be guilty of racism if I accused Mr. Trillin's critics of being pointy-headed idiots with empty spaces where their brains need to be?"

    No. You'd be guilty of telling the truth — and so subject to the wrath of those who can't tolerate anyone pointing out simple facts.


  2. Its time to end this stupid culture war, preferably with biological weapons. Spanish Flu part 2, Influenza Boogaloo

  3. I do wish they'd use their heads as something other than a spacer between their ears, or a hat rack. Either way, it's otherwise-unused space.

  4. Anonymous – Biological weapons have a bad habit of jumping from the intended victim back to you.

    I agree, it is time to end the cultural war, us vs. them mentality, hen pecking order crap or what ever you want to call it. And start focusing on who wants us to be fighting amongst ourselves and what they have to gain by it. Then 'We The People' can put a stop to it.

  5. We laugh.

    But these people are from the very same mold that Pol Pot sprung from.

    Did any of you catch the recent probation hearing for one of Pol Pots top men, when he insisted passionately that "everything they did, they did for social justice?

    Give them power and soon enough they will be putting people in camps.

  6. This is the great resilience of H. Sapiens: We laugh at everything. We laugh at each other. We laugh at ourselves. We laugh with the ones laughing at us. The worst crimes in history are committed by people unable to do this. We now take ourselves far too seriously and have forgotten that offense cannot be given, it must be taken. The adult lets offense roll off, or even better, sees the joke and laughs louder than anyone else.

  7. Actually, this would be an excellent opportunity to cancel Ms. Ng's and Choi's US citizenship, assuming they have it, and send them to live in China where they don't ever have to listen to any White people ever again. We don't needs malignant idiots of their sort here, no matter where they were born. Any White people who behave in an analogous fashion are called "Nazis" and roundly denounced by everybody, not coddled.

  8. The thing that is really funny is that by and large, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, and other East Asians have assimilated here so well, and done so well scholastically , socially, and economically, they have started to have the quota system used against them, because of their success.

  9. I cannot lower myself to describe the critics of Trillin as they deserve, using the vernacular of the common folk. It must suffice to portray them as those in polite society would, i.e. "fucking stupid".

  10. THIS is the fallicy, the ugly truth of what these statist, Socialist beliefs mean…. If they're allowed to run to the ultimate conclusion, The path ALWAYS leads to the Gulag, the Death camp, the cattle cars rolling east…. The death of people for the horrendous crime of DISAGREEING with them…. And they call US barbaric?

  11. Hopefully, each new absurdity will open more eyes and make SJW more and more irrelevant.

    My fear, however, is not that more people will buy into their claptrap and believe what they say, but that some will go along because they view it as advantageous. The wannabes will work ever harder to sit, as they believe, at the cool people's table.

  12. Pointy-headed? Are you accusing Chinese of being Mongoloids?! How insensitive! I'll have you know that millions of Chinese live nowhere near Mongolia, Inner or Outer, no matter how strongly their crappily assembled electronics and kit furniture might suggest otherwise!

  13. What is wrong with simply ignoring the fokkers? Their assumptions are racist, and should be ignored or laughed at, not taken to heart or allowed to ruin your day.

  14. What Reg T said. (Except that some of them have gotten so powerful, in parts of society you cannot afford to ignore them anymore.)

  15. So a satire on restaurateurs looking for a marketing edge becomes, when read by the intellectually disadvantaged, a racist manifesto. I wonder how much tax revenue went into polish for those pointy heads? (Apologies to the genetically microcephalic)

  16. With sjw there seems to be a small smiunt of people who have a large media / social presence. Legal insurrection keeps on bringing up the same names.

    I am amused by what vox is doing:

    And instapundit had a link to an article on renting astroturfers. Amazing…

    And the report of trump using fake bots on Twitter. Wow.

    So what is real? What is not real, but manipulated?

    Another anon

  17. Trillin's critics absolutely are pointy-headed idiots with empty spaces where their brains need to be.

  18. Can we sneak onto campus with a sound truck and serenade them with "Cat's in the Kettle (at the Peking Moon)"?


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