Friday, June 27, 2008

Dream Girl

So about a week ago, I had this dream that I hooked up with Aishwarya Rai. It was kind of crazy, almost amazing, and then a bit creepy (when she turned out to be my half-second-cousin whose mom (my mother's aunt) followed us around to keep us from hooking up b/c she didn't approve of me "making her daughter gay."

I have to say, I was a bit proud of my dream, despite its incestuous aspects, simply because when does that every happen really? Where a beautiful superstar chooses ME, and I'm not actively day-dreaming the story's progression? Yeah. never. But it also got me to remembering the interview she did with Oprah a few years ago.

I believe Aishwarya was doing a promotional tour in the US for her then-soon-to-be-released Bride and Prejudice, but the film was never even mentioned by Oprah. Nor, for that matter, is most of her other work (except in the introduction).

It's difficult to even know where to begin. There are so many terrible things about this exchange between America's mammy* and India's native informant. The hypersexualization (Kama Sutra) and desexualization (Kissing), the cultural ignorance (Arranged Marriages) and appropriation (Saris), the exotification (um, YEAH) and alienation (singing in movies).

Props to Aishwarya for taking it in stride. I woulda straight laid the smackdown on Oprah. Anyway, just thought I'd share some of this stuff about my dream girl with y'all.

*This is not meant derogatorily. Rather, I'm referencing the way that Oprah is constructed in our media and in our society; the caricature that stands in place of the person.


goc said...

Oh my god ... I had horrible flashbacks to when that oprah interview happened. I vaguely remember screaming in anguish. Ok maybe not that extreme but it was bad.

p.s. Your dream game is wayyy better than mine, thats all I got to say.

Sky said...

Yeah. the thing is, my memory told me it was less bad than it ACTUALLY is. There's one with Letterman that's pretty awful, too.

R. said...

Props to you for coming up with such amazing dreams while not actively controlling them. Very impressive.

I don't think I can even bear watching the Letterman interview, and I'd probably break something in frustration, and I'm too broke to be breaking I'm not going to watch it.

I'd seen the Oprah interview before, but watching it again was more interesting. Your girl did take it in stride, but what was more interesting was the way all the language was crafted and the interview structured to make her seem an unfamiliar as possible. The whole bit about having to go to a "far-away exotic land"...give me a break. Again and again, they took normal stuff--like a movie industry, family structures, and clothing--and made it seem completely strange. So much of that interview could've been written so people would identify with Aishwarya rather than exotify her. And we all know Oprah is good at making people feel at home...