Posted by Jay Livingston
Here’s a question (not taken from a publisher’s test-bank) from the final exam I gave today:
2. One observer of culture commented, “I'll tell you what I like about Chinese people. They're hanging in there with the chopsticks. You know they've seen the fork; they're staying with the sticks. I don't know how they missed it— going out all day on the farm with a shovel. Come on: shovel — spoon. You're not plowing 50 acres with a couple of pool cues.”I offered a bonus point to anyone who could identify the culture critic who was the source of the quote. (Answer here.)
To say that using chopsticks instead of a fork and spoon is like plowing land with pool cues — this idea is an example of
c. the sociological imagination
d. group polarization
I didn’t realize it when I was composing the exam, but I was guilty of sexism. None of the females in the class even took a guess. Most of the guys did, and sixty percent of them got it right. I might as well have asked which NFL teams Brett Favre has played for (or hasn’t played for).
I do know at least one female Montclair sociology graduate who would have nailed the bonus point. But in general, comedy, especially stand-up, seems to be a guy thing, and I’m not sure why.
Maybe I should have used a quote from