Just over a week ago I was checking my emails, hoping for more nose rubbing videos. As I mentioned in my last blog post, videos were coming in much less quickly now, and it seemed as if they had almost dried up. I hadn’t received a nose rubbing video for a couple of days. I don’t know what I was expecting. I’ve only told the readers of this blog about it, and yes, there is a good number who read this, but I surely couldn’t expect that that alone would be enough publicity in order to get the quantity and quality of videos that I’d require to create a smash hit viral video. How many nose rubbing clips does it take to make a smash hit viral video? That’s the trouble with our education system; they just don’t teach you important stuff like this. But what ever the answer to that question is, I would definitely need to spread the message about the Eskimo Kissing song a lot wider.
I scrolled down my emails. “You won’t satisfy girls with that. Get a much bigger manhood”. Bloody X-girlfriend again; she just won’t stop. I don’t care about penises; it’s noses I’m interested in. An email from EBay. Damn. One from Papal. Bugger. One from a university friend. No attachment, no links to videos. Damn again. Where were the nose rubbing videos? The Olympics had finished now. What were people doing that was so much more interesting than recording and sending me a nose rubbing video?
I continued to scroll down my emails. Some more spam. A load of emails from Facebook; none of them relating to nose rubbing. An email from Youtube. Ahar! This could be one. But no, it was informing me that someone had subscribed to my Youtube channel. Damn them. An Email from the BBC; something about some possible radio work, and a meeting with the new director general. Why weren’t people sending me their nose rubbing … hang on. The BBC? Some possible radio work? Meeting the director general? OK, this wasn’t a nose rubbing video but it was pretty special.
I did a little dance around the room; sort of between a foxtrot and a tango in case you’re interested. I was just considering a cheeky little cancan when a thought struck me. Hey! Maybe the director general would do a nose rubbing video.
“But isn’t the term Eskimo racist?” said Sean, on the way to aYoung’uns gig.
“Racist?” I replied.
“Yes, I’m sure it’s not politically correct to say Eskimo” said Mike, “; they’re called Inuits”. He did an Internet search and read me an article about how the word Eskimo was deemed a pejorative term by certain Inuit people of Greenland and Canada.
“OK, well I’ll just have to keep it quiet from the Inuit people of Greenland and Canada then. I’ll just make sure not to tell any of them”. For some reason, they didn’t find this to be a convincing solution.
“So you’ve created a racist song. And you want other people to join in and support your racist endeavours. You want to get people involved in creating a racist video that goes viral”.
“That’s not the idea at all” I protested. “I want to unite the world through the power of the nose rub”.
“We can’t have a racist in the group”.
“Racist is an adjective. You can’t say I’m a racist. That’s like saying I’m a disabled”. It’s important to have a sense of perspective about these things. “I may be racist but at least I can speak English”. Again, I don’t think that argument was winning them round. I was starting to get a bit worried. What if I am racist? I’m not sure I’d like myself very much if I was racist.
I got my phone out. This would be a difficult moment, but it had to be done. There was no point putting it off. I called my friend Aisha. I’ve known her since I was six. Being blind, I’d never even realised that she wasn’t white until I was in secondary school. I’d never even given it a moment’s thought.
She answered the phone cheerily. “Aisha,” I began, “I think I’m a racist. So I was thinking, maybe it’s best if we don’t talk for a bit, until I’m sure about …”.
“David”, she interrupted. She always interrupts me; I think it’s because she’s Asian. “Racist is an adjective, not a noun”.
“Yes I know that, but that’s hardly the point.
The point is … hang on, how dare you correct my use of English. You’re not even originally from here”.
“That was a bit racist David. As was that thought about me interrupting you” she responded. How did she know about my racist thought? Ah yes of course, she’s Asian; they can read your mind … or something.
That was a difficult phone call. We’d not managed to say a proper goodbye because her phone had cut off. Maybe the call had been intercepted by the government who had started monitoring it due to its racist nature.
As I began to talk to more people about the Eskimo Kissing song, more people were posing that same question: “but isn’t the word Eskimo racist”. I began to become deflated. I could hardly go ahead with this project if people were going to think it was racist. But as I mentioned in a previous blog post, it didn’t feel like I’d done any of the creating. The song just seemed to pour into my head. Perhaps I had a racist subconscious. But I could hardly use that as an excuse. 80 % of the brain is subconscious, so that would make me 80 % racist. I think I’d rather be consciously racist; at least that would only make me 20 % racist. And the subconscious part of the brain also works on autopilot, meaning that I am being automatically racist, without even having to think about it or even knowing that I am being racist. Goodness knows what racist things I’m doing on a daily basis; what racist things I might be subconsciously thinking now as I write this blog post.There is of course another explanation, perhaps a more logical one: maybe I’d been possessed by a racist spirit. That would just be bloody typical. Why does this kind of thing always seem to happen to me?
Then I had a terrible thought. What if someone from the BBC had been reading all of this? I checked my emails to see whether they had contacted me to say that the director general had changed his mind about meeting me, because he’d read my blog posts and heard my song, and couldn’t be seen to be holding Meetings with someone who was racist. “The BBC has a very strong policy on people with racist subconscious minds. And anyway, the BBC has changed their mind and recruited Ricky Gervais instead. We just can’t afford to take risks like we used to do”. That’s an idea: maybe if the word Eskimo is racist, I could just do a Gervais and say I’m reclaiming it – brilliant. As a sidenote, Ricky Gervais’ website isn’t particularly accessible for blind users with screen readers. An accident?
There were no further emails from the BBC. There were also no nose rubbing videos. Obviously all my racist readers had sent their videos in early. I was impressed; they might be racist but they were very efficient.
The paucity of nose rubbing videos coupled with some people’s negative perception Of the word Eskimo had somewhat dampened my enthusiasm. I also realised that if anyone from the BBC had recently started reading my blog then they would probably be a bit bemused by the fact that all I seemed to ever write about is nose rubbing. “Well there might be a one off show on the subject of nose rubbing, but he’s hardly going to sustain a whole career with us out of it”.
I decided that I should probably do some research about the term Eskimo and see how I felt after that. Naturally, I did what all of us would do in such a situation and went on Wikipedia. Wikipedia would tell me definitively and indisputably whether I was racist or not. I found very little to substantiate the argument that the term Eskimo is racist. Yes, it is seen as a pejorative term by certain parts of the Inuit community because there is a school of thought that the word translated means “roar meat eater”; but I don’t think this is considered as definite fact, as it is a translation of an extinct language. However, the word Eskimo does not solely refer to the Inuit people. The word Eskimo also encompasses the Yupik people, and therefore it would be wrong to suggest that Eskimos are simply Inuit people. The word can also refer to other groups of people. So I think the word Eskimo is fine in this case, certainly the term “Eskimo kissing” which is a western colloquialism and a westernised concept. And I can hardly sing “We’re Inuit and Yupik kissing tonight”. It would somewhat ruin the song’s catchiness, and probably be detrimental to its success as a novelty hit. Then there’s another problem: what about the Aleut, hey? Did you think about that? No, I bet you didn’t even give them a second’s thought. You could perhaps say that I should include the Aleut people. “We’re Inuit, Yupik and Aleut kissing tonight”. And there are all sorts of other people we’d be discriminating against if I didn’t mention them.
So, now who’s racist? Perhaps Mike and Sean are racist. After all if it was up to them, they would have me discriminate against the Yupik and Aleut people, something which I condemn very heavily indeed. I’ll let you – the discerning reader – be the judge of that. Perhaps I should eject them from the Young’uns and replace them with band members who are less racist. Maybe I could audition some Inuit, Yupik or Aleut band members. I’ve always wanted some throat singing in the group. Mike had a go once but it didn’t really have the desired effect.
Anyway, I have decided to keep the Eskimo Kissing project going, but to let it develop over a longer period of time. This will mean I can concentrate writing about other things other than nose rubbing. I think we’ve probably missed the boat for this year’s Christmas number one anyway, so we can take our time a bit.
I am in Germany this coming weekend with the Young’uns, so I might be able to get some international nose rubbing videos. In the meantime, Email me your nose rubbing videos to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t then you are clearly making a racist statement. Maybe I can start an antiracism campaign: I’m a rubber not a racist.
In other none nose rubbing news: the 110th Young’uns podcast will be released next week.