So this week was kind of slow. A South Asian brother stayed in the headlines for being bad at singing and good at American Idol, we started reviewing Kiyoshi Graves’ Chase, and some white guy named Brandon DiCamillo (apparently from MTV’s Jackass) started making headlines across Asian American Internet community spaces for ching-chonging his way into YouTube stardom.

Wait, what?

The saga is rather neatly catalogued by the CKY=KKK: Against the Chinese Freestyle Rap blog, so I’ll save my breath. There really isn’t a whole lot to say about it other than the standard righteous indignation; this kind of stuff is stupid, and racist, and indicative of race problems in the United States. What I found much more interesting, however, was the way that the good folk behind the anti-blog (who mostly hail from the Fighting 44s, I believe – holla!) have managed to focus their activist efforts.

The core of their project is basically the Internet equivalent of a mass letter-writing campaign, facilitated by the fact that the “letters” take a matter of minutes; all you have to do is register for a YouTube account, rate the video one star, flag it as offensive content (hate speech), and leave a comment in the video’s comment section that says something along the lines of “this is ridiculous racist crap and it needs to get taken down right now.” If you already have a YouTube account, it literally takes about ten seconds. The goal is not to stimulate critical discussion, it is to get Brandon DiCamillo’s name associated with racism (hence the URL’s name; their blog is the first result in Google for “Brandon DiCamillo Chinese”) and get his video, as well as all the numerous cover videos (which is an equally disturbing phenomenon), removed from YouTube.


This I find to be a refreshingly direct project that taps into the intuitions of the experienced Internet denizen (namely, the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory – fig. 1) and defines its goals accordingly. That is to say, engaging people in discussion in YouTube comments is probably the worst use of time ever (a corollary of the GIFT), so instead the anti-blog aims to shut down those YouTube comments sections (by getting the movies removed). Resistance to the “Chinese Freestyle” video has a space to coalesce around – namely the anti-blog – which is strictly policed by the blog’s operators, meaning that the video’s defenders can’t really engage them there, either. This makes it harder to organize a pro-Chinese Freestyle blog in the same sense, since the entire goal of the anti-blog involves a preemptive strike at all their primary discursive spaces. And that is huge, precisely because they know that their opposition is primarily composed of the kind of people who adore Brandon DiCamillo and Jackass – that is, a bunch of immature fucks who have enough time to try and hold serious discussions in YouTube comment sections, and lash out against accusations of racism by kneejerk reflex because there are, quote, “Real racist videos out there”. That is to say, the anti-blog bears an elegant efficiency born of people who have spent way too many late nights flaming on forums across the internets.

Lesson of the day: location, location, location.

pat m.