Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Hello, Ma? It's Me, Guido.

A blogger called The Doorman, who writes a blog called Clublife (which covers topics related to the nightlife in New York City) recently wrote an offensive piece called "Stiffs."

What makes the piece offensive is not the title, but the subject. He is writing about Italian-Americans in the two clubs he works at and the way they hold their cell phones. Apparently it's different from the way everyone else holds their phones. But the offensive part is he refers to them as "Guidos." Now we all know (at least we all should know) that "Guido" is a pejorative term for an Italian-American from Brooklyn. "They" are supposed to be the height of the stereotype – you know, T-shrt wearing, gold chain sporting, Trans-Am driving young man with no class and no brains.

Since I'm an Italian-American from Brooklyn (but about as far from a "Guido" as you can get) I find this highly offensive.

Here's a little taste of the stupidity The Doorman espouses:

Next time you're in a nightclub, I want you to look for guidos. There's something about them I want you to see. If you're not in their natural New York habitat, they might be difficult to find, but if you are making the rounds of the Manhattan club dungheap this weekend, I want you to focus on some guidos because I'd like to share this with you.

What I want you to scan the room for are guidos talking on their cell phones. You'll be doing this because I want you to notice the stance. The Official Guido Cell Phone Stance.

He also offers photos of what "normal" people look like on their cell phones, in contrast to what a "Guido" looks like.

This kind of stupid, insensitivity only to helps perpetuate stereotypes. There's no reason for it, other than prejudice. Either that or The Doorman is just an insensitive dolt. Either way, there's no call for this kind of thinking, let alone a need to write about it.

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