So, I spent a few minutes browsing the #Thingsblackpeopledo trend on Twitter last night. Oh come on, you clicked on it, too. It's just sitting there! I learned something very interesting about another culture.
Since Twitter revamped their trending topics algorithm in such a way that banished Justin Bieber from the list, some very interesting trends have been appearing. For example, as of this writing #thingsblackpeopledo has been trending since yesterday evening. It is a very eye-catching, as far as Twitter trends go, because it's like, woah, did Twitter just get very racist all of a sudden? But then you click on it and you realize it's (mostly) black people doing the Tweeting so it's (mostly) OK.
I was intrigued, lounging on my couch in the evening gloaming, sharpening my jade chopsticks with a special knife. See, I love learning about different cultures, especially the different words they have for "penis." I am quite familiar with what white people do, having spent four years observing them in their natural habitat at a liberal arts college. I know very well what Asians do, as my ancient Chinese grandmother lived in our house for three years when I was a kid. (Hint: They really want you to get married to another Asian person!) And I thought I knew what black people did, since I have seen literally eight early-90s rap videos on YouTube that were linked to by my friends' Tumblrs. Turns out I didn't know shit. On the first page of the #thingsblackpeopledo appeared these three tweets:
I was so shocked I nearly spilled my Pokemon Cards all over the floor. All black people lie regularly about their location!? For no reason? What the hell, black people? I mean, I could see telling your mom that you're going to be home in 15 minutes when you're really 20 minutes away so she doesn't start yelling you that your spring rolls are getting soggy. But when you just got in the shower to say you're around the corner? What's the point? It's not like reality is going to change to make it so that you're actually right around the corner! I'll admit, I began to doubt my strongly held belief that everyone of every culture is united by the fact that they all have funny words for "penis."
Then it was explained to me on Twitter that this phenomenon is actually the function of a "different interpretation of politeness" and that it is also "a Cuban thing." Ah ha! It all made sense to my highly logical brain! I sighed with the pleasure of comprehension and settled in for another long night of drinking bubble tea, giggling, making iPods in inhumane factories, being good at science, and having a small penis. (Or "jībā ") I drove some people off the freeway in Los Angeles and slowly drifted off to sleep.