Join 3,438 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Ninja Say What?! (SLYT)
July 5, 2010 2:05 PM   Subscribe

Ninja Say What?! (SLYT)

Ninja, please.
posted by fuse theorem (51 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
he counts.
posted by dabitch at 2:09 PM on July 5, 2010


Oh please, that was terrible. Unless it's meant to be offensive and stupid, in which case bravo.
posted by Keith Talent at 2:14 PM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


At first, I thought it was just some people being stupid. Then, it clicked.

Well done.
posted by Malice at 2:24 PM on July 5, 2010


Keith Talent, I think you might have missed it.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 2:27 PM on July 5, 2010


What did I miss?
posted by Keith Talent at 2:32 PM on July 5, 2010


The video is a comment on the word 'nigger'. By avoiding that particular word, substituting it with a different one ('ninja') that does't cause a visceral reaction in most viewers, the authors of the video draw attention to how strange it is for a label's appropriateness to be so extremely context-sensitive. The authors don't seem to have a message beyond that; they're not judging whether it's right or wrong that 'nigger' (or 'nigga') is used the way it is. They're just commenting on how weird modern usage of that word is, in practice.
posted by Fraxas at 2:41 PM on July 5, 2010 [13 favorites]


what?
posted by joelf at 2:42 PM on July 5, 2010


(I hope I got that right. I was trying to play the straight man to Keith's comment. Did I do that right?)
posted by Fraxas at 2:42 PM on July 5, 2010


It also does a pretty good job of exploring the different, use-dependent meanings of the n-word.
posted by fatbird at 2:52 PM on July 5, 2010


What did I miss?

There's a difference between ninja and ninjers.
posted by Elmore at 2:59 PM on July 5, 2010 [7 favorites]


Oh, so there wasn't some secret buried subtext that made the video any less stupid. Good to know.
posted by Keith Talent at 3:00 PM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't fucking O-Ren me, Beatrix... don't fucking O-Ren me. Did you see a sign in front of my house that says 'dead ninja storage?'
posted by kid ichorous at 3:03 PM on July 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Fraxas: "The video is a comment on the word 'nigger'. By avoiding that particular word, substituting it with a different one ('ninja') that does't cause a visceral reaction in most viewers, the authors of the video draw attention to how strange it is for a label's appropriateness to be so extremely context-sensitive. The authors don't seem to have a message beyond that; they're not judging whether it's right or wrong that 'nigger' (or 'nigga') is used the way it is. They're just commenting on how weird modern usage of that word is, in practice."

Yeah, it's no fair that only black people can usBWA HAH HAH HA I'm sorry I couldn't even type that sentence with a straight face.
posted by ShawnStruck at 3:03 PM on July 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


the authors of the video draw attention to how strange it is for a label's appropriateness to be so extremely context-sensitive

Yeah 'cause there are no other instances in life of words being context sensitive.

Oh, these guys are so smart, how did they come up with this?!
posted by new brand day at 3:13 PM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


You should only use the n-word when talking to your fellow juggalos
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:13 PM on July 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


Dead Ninja Storage is my new favorite band name.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:19 PM on July 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm with Keith Talent. Kind of cute when I figured out what they were saying, but it left me scratching my head a bit. The only message I can really take from that video is that the modern usage of nigger/nigga is absurd or strange or silly or maybe even racist (based on the scrabble game, but I'm less certain of this last one). Stripped of its context, that would be true: it was certainly bizarre that a bunch of Asians were offended that a black person called them 'ninja'. But it's only absurd because it was stripped of its context. The word 'ninja' spoken from a black person to an Asian person is not a slur and doesn't have any history or power, so it's absurd that they took offense. It's not at all bizarre or silly that a bunch of black people who use the term 'nigga' casually would be offended if a white person called them 'nigger', and that's plainly obvious. So what's the point, then?
posted by PercussivePaul at 3:27 PM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fucked up, man. Ay... y'all ask me y'all ugly ass ninjas shouldn't be in here fuckin' around with all these guns and shit...

- Avon Barksdale
posted by Elmore at 3:27 PM on July 5, 2010


the point is that it's funny because it's a reversal so that's the point: it is funny. clearly they were like hey lets make a video with all the niggas replaced with ninja and then a black guy comes up and the asian guys are like :-/ and hahaha.

if they had been a little more aware of the extant usage of this (juggalos, various asian rappers, hell the Don and Mike Radio show was making this joke in like 1997) they probably wouldnt have made the video but they weren't so they did and it's still pretty inventive, especially the final seconds.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:31 PM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Q: Where do you store your ninjas?
A: In a ninjar.

thank you.
posted by boo_radley at 3:34 PM on July 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is all covered in David Icke' new book, "Ninjas~ Power Vibrations & the New World Order"
posted by nola at 3:35 PM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


The point is that many of you need to go watch old clips of George Carlin to get a remedial education.

"Humor 307: The Peculiarities of Language and Related Cultural Effects."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:36 PM on July 5, 2010


eg in Surprise, Ninjas! that comma takes on a whole new meaning
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:36 PM on July 5, 2010


see also
posted by boo_radley at 3:39 PM on July 5, 2010


The reason it's offensive is that the Asian kids have unilaterally decided that the word ninja should be reserved for their use alone, the implication being that the real world corollary niggas is also only offensive becuase black people chose to deny the use of the term to everyone but their own. That's just fucking retarded.
posted by Keith Talent at 3:44 PM on July 5, 2010


That's just fucking retarded.

I see what you did there.
posted by LordSludge at 3:48 PM on July 5, 2010 [6 favorites]


Exploring the word in a removed setting that highlights certain aspects of it is not automatically criticising its usage or limitations. Arguably, they're making the point that the word is not reserved, it's just that using it without understanding its context-sensitivity makes the likelihood very high of using it offensively.
posted by fatbird at 3:51 PM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe it's just me, but I thought it was a relatively lame, tame joke about what word Asians would use as affectionate in-group disparagement. I don't see the makers sitting around, saying "Ya'know, we should make a commentary on the absurdity of misappropriation of reappropriated racial slurs by intra-group third parties and the tyranny of context." It was probably more like "Dude, I am so fucking high. Let's make something to put on youtube. Like Friday with ninjas, or something." The notion that these guys are completely serious about reserving the word ninja solely for the use of Asians is... well, I don't want to say retarded...
posted by stavrogin at 4:03 PM on July 5, 2010 [7 favorites]


the authors of the video draw attention to how strange it is for a label's appropriateness to be so extremely context-sensitive

You should try the dog world, where you can say "I really liked the rear on that black bitch" in polite company.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:06 PM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think it's a bit funny in its absurdity, but I agree that any message one could take away from it is clueless and potentially offensive.

There's nothing wrong with a group reclaiming a hate term, but that doesn't suddenly mean it's a good idea for the groups (aka everyone else) that they're reclaiming it from to throw it around more. That kind of misses the point. Doesn't seem to hard to grok.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 4:07 PM on July 5, 2010


Their analogy is awesome, because there's totally a painful history of people using "ninja" as an epitaph while committing hate crimes or referring to Asians as subhuman.
posted by availablelight at 4:14 PM on July 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Hooray, that was fun! Thanks for the funny video, fuse theorem. I enjoyed it because I don't feel compelled to be outraged for other people all that often.

Ninja please!
posted by Poppa Bear at 4:17 PM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Man, I just thought it was a video about a small clan of ninjas and their reaction when somebody who was not a ninja revealed their secret ninja identities.
posted by Comrade_robot at 4:24 PM on July 5, 2010


i didn't think it was funny until "what a ninja got to do to get some orange chicken around here?"
posted by nathancaswell at 4:27 PM on July 5, 2010


When frat boys and sorority sisters get down to the business of social commentary and tackle the big issues of the day you can be assured of a lame group project video. Well done, kids. Carry on.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 4:34 PM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I liked this bit much better when it was in Leprechaun 2: Back 2 Tha Hood.
posted by euphorb at 4:49 PM on July 5, 2010


Shrug. I get it, but it's one of those things that reminds me of Dave Chappelle talking about the need for context to be laughing with the joke instead of laughing at people. Growing up, Southend Seattle, "nigga" was used cross-race for nearly anyone. (and yeah, I remember the "nigga vs. nigger" conversation came up a couple of times with folks).

Then you get older and you realize people's grandparents were lynched to that word.

Or, you know, kids get shot by the cops to that word, today.

Me? I just use "Fool" or "Sucka"... has the same "don't think too much of yourself" intent without, you know, the genocidal history to go with it.
posted by yeloson at 4:53 PM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


In the first ten seconds of that video, in the distant background, you can see somebody briefly dressed in black walking by. Then he disappears.

I watched that whole thing thinking I should be seeing him pop up in the background, in a reflection, something. I never did, though.

Well done, ninja. Well done.
posted by mhoye at 6:23 PM on July 5, 2010


On the whole, dull. My favorite part: the two fellows shouting "FUCK YOU NINJA!" at the Asian gentleman dressed in black garb, about to climb over a fence, mostly for the gentleman's facial expression, limited to the subtle use of one hand to indicate his confusion at the situation. He was able to ask "Why all the hate, my brothers?" with a simple gesture. Simply sublime.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:39 PM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is what me and my friends have been calling each other ever since we heard about Die Antwoord.
posted by azarbayejani at 7:24 PM on July 5, 2010


Me? I just use "Fool" or "Sucka"

You are Mr. T and I claim my $5.
posted by Rangeboy at 7:41 PM on July 5, 2010


Coolie, please.
posted by erniepan at 8:11 PM on July 5, 2010


You heard me, Coltrane.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:18 PM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


At the end, the confusion over whether the Indian is an Asian -- that was priceless. I can hear half of my subcontinent friends saying "we're Asian too.. YES WE ARE...".
posted by hanoixan at 9:16 PM on July 5, 2010


What's all the fuss? That video was gay and I would know!
posted by Mike Mongo at 10:29 PM on July 5, 2010


Joke's a little old, execution was pretty good. I got a couple of good laughs.

The whole n-word discussion is pretty tired anyway, and Chapelle flogged that horse to death for comedic purposes. It is becoming the racial equivalent of a fart joke. Always a cheap way to get a laugh.

But the reversal was clever and this time it worked on me, though.
posted by falameufilho at 5:05 AM on July 6, 2010


Haters gonna hate.
posted by Premeditated Symmetry Breaking at 8:25 AM on July 6, 2010


Got Rice?
posted by iamck at 10:46 AM on July 6, 2010


I didn't bother watching the video, but I am now going to have fun substituting "nigga" for "ninja" everywhere I go. Esp. with that ninja restaurant in the meatpacking district mentioning in the howaboutwe article. "You mean the wait staff are all dressed as niggers? Awesome!"

Also, nyukka please.
posted by Eideteker at 11:30 AM on July 6, 2010


Oh, and it might be on youtube (not bothering to search) but I have on my computer back in Boston a 7-minute video about a family of Asians (Japanese, I'm pretty sure) all calling each other "nigga." It's pretty hilarious, especially when viewed in the context of all the hispanic kids I've seen calling each other "nigger" in the recent past.
posted by Eideteker at 11:33 AM on July 6, 2010


Here's your Asian family. Kind of meh.
posted by stavrogin at 11:54 AM on July 6, 2010


« Older How Goldman Sachs gambled on starving the world's ...  |  In a narrow plot next to the L... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments