Ching chong, ting tong

2.2 million views on YouTube. That’s how many videos Jimmy Wong has so far for this amusing little video response to a thoughtless post by a college student annoyed by overhearing Asians talking in the library. The song is good, but not great, and you probably won’t remember it exists ten years from now. But take a minute to think of how many things came together to make this video.

  1. a singer-songwriter tradition emphasizing individual, even idiosyncratic narrative viewpoints;
  2. an immigrant tradition that brings the descendants of Chinese, Norwegian, English, Fon, and countless others to sunny California;
  3. a modern, privileged self-involvement that makes young people of no particular accomplishment or skill post videologs of their everyday lives for the whole world to see;
  4. technology that allows us–you, me, everybody reading this–to view those videos with a simple mouse click.
  5. Not just those, videos, but all kinds of videos: amateur guitar players, news clips from Benghazi, wrestling matches videotaped in 1983 and lovingly transferred to digital files, English television shows, public domain films.

OK, that’s enough thought. Let’s just sing along. “Ching chong . . . ting tong . . . ling long . . .”

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