September 14th, 2012 / 9:35 am
I Like __ A Lot & Mean

White Boy Drag: Jackie & Lily Talk, Episode 1

Not White Boy Drag, just a white boy

This is a conversation. It is 1:06am MST. We are both HTML Giant contributors. We are also both Asian. This is happening IRL.

Lily Hoang: So, imagine there’s someone sitting at a café, smoking a cigarette, drinking a fucking Americano, reading David Foster Wallace. What do you think?

Jackie Wang: Who is this wienerschnitzel? Lemme guess. A white boy with lots of feelings.

LH: Haha, no, it’s me: I’m in white boy drag!

JW: White boy drag?! That’s an interesting term. What exactly does that mean? You’re not going to kill yourself and make everyone else feel bad about it, are you? Cause that would be taking the performance a little too far!

LH: Well, it’s hard being a white boy, I gotta admit. Like you don’t know how hard it is. The guilt. The burden of genius. All the privileges. It’s hard to balance, keep the head sane, ya know?

JW: You know what I hate about white boys? They’re always complaining about how they can’t get laid, but it seems obvious to me – like – why they can’t get laid. Should someone tell them? Should I be the one to tell them?

LH: Tell me!

JW: Their penises are short! Hey, Lily, sidebar: You’re going to have make this coherent because from here on out, my brain is scrambled. The Ambien’s kicking in.

LH: I think I can try to hold this thing together.

JW: Hey, do you think I could get fired for this?

LH: No way. Your Ambien is prescribed to you. Let’s keep on going.

JW: Don’t you think it’s weird that Tao Lin isn’t a white boy?

LH: Seriously? I’ve never met him. I always thought he was white.

JW: No, Lily! He’s Asian! He’s one of us! Well, maybe not you since you’re in white boy drag.

LH: Hey, Jackie, did you ever notice we’re both Asian? Why doesn’t Tao Lin like us?

JW: Oh, he only likes whiteys for some reason. He should reach out to his people. Us. Right here. Jackie Wang and Lily Hoang.

LH: Do you think Tao Lin is a better example of white boy drag than me?

JW: Well, he’s been doing it longer.

LH: He knows what he’s doing.

JW: Do you think if we were white girls we could date Tao Lin?

LH: No, Jackie. You’re a lesbian. Did you forget?

JW: Oh, I’m doing straight drag right now.

LH: Do you think queer theorists will teach this blog post?

JW: I think this is valuable. I think what we’re doing is important.

LH: Jackie, what are we doing?

JW: What we’re doing is making fun of Charles Bernstein for political reasons.

LH: Woah, slow down, we can’t just make fun of Charles Bernstein. Can we?

JW: I guess we just did. Oh great, now we’re gonna get crucified by all the poets!

LH: But they’re all white boys. How bad can they burn you?

JW: You’re right. Probably not very bad at all. They might ignore me at AWP or leave anonymous comments on this post. Those people don’t need drag to be white boys, unlike us. I mean, like, doesn’t Judy B say something about how we’re all in drag all the time? Like constant performativity?

LH: Oh shit, you just brought Judy B here. Shit’s gonna get real, people.

JW: Yeah, Judy B. comes with me everywhere my Ambien does. The Ambien unlocks the part of my mind that Judy B sleeps in.

LH: Ok, focus Jackie, cause we’re onto something. So, if we’re all in drag all the time, who are the white boys dragging? Are they also in white boy drag? Like meta-drag? They certainly seem to be performing their affect well.

JW: I see a lot of white boys in hiphop drag.

LH: What does that even look like?

JW: They kinda look exactly like white boys, indie white boys in particular, except they only talk about how much they love hiphop. And sometimes, they throw themselves into bad situations to show how hard and legit they are. You know, like Blake going into the hood for Vice Magazine.

LH: Like Neo-wigger-indie-boys?

JW: Let’s take a break and interrogate Dylan. He’s not a white boy drag. [Note: Dylan is a friend who has been patiently watching as we type out this whole ridiculous thing.]


JW: Ok, we’re back. Hey, Lily, I have a question for you.

LH: Go.

JW: Why do you want to be in white boy drag when white boys are so boring?

LH: Well, personally, I wanted to know what true suffering feels like.

JW: Wait, why are you suffering? Is this for real now?

LH: Yes, it’s hyperreal. I can’t think of what Baudrilliard would say, but he’d probably have something to say about this.

JW: White boys love him. You’re really getting the hang of this.

LH: You think so? I’m pretty excited.

JW: Except have you noticed that you’re not a white boy?

LH: [ironic silence]

JW: Lily, I’m worried now. Maybe you’ve taken this whole performance too sincerely.

LH: Have I just become the New Sincerity?

JW: Lily, you can’t be a whole genre.

LH: That’s not a fucking genre. It’s who I am.

JW: Don’t even tell me you like Harmony Korine.

LH: Shut up. He’s such an artist.

JW: You know, I actually really like him. I tried to stalk him once. He was in Sarasota shooting his film about teenagers on spring break or something and I tried to find him. Get this, I even called his agent to see if I could interview him for HTML Giant.

LH: Shut up. Now who’s the white boy drag!? Ok, side bar: I feel like we should clarify that whereas white boy drag is problematic, we both strongly endorse white drag boys.

JW: Ok, confession time. I guess I might also be a white boy drag. I like Vincent Gallo.

LH: Does this make you embarrassed? Will you be able to admit this tomorrow?

JW: Nah, I’ll just tell them it was the Ambien talking. But if Harmony Korine’s agent is reading this, could you please tell him I’d love to do an interview with him for this blog?

LH: Hold on, Jackie. Now that you’re a white boy drag, I can’t tell if you’re being sincere or ironic.

JW: Woah, what’s the difference? If you’re asking if I actually like Harmony Korine, then the answer is yes. My ex-girlfriend bought me a limited edition box set of his zines.

LH: Getting gifts like that means that you’re a white boy drag. I bet she was a WOC (Hey White Boy: WOC is Women of Color!).

JW: Gotcha: She was actually a white woman.

LH: Well, I tell you what. That just doesn’t fly around here. I’m beginning to doubt your ability to be a good white boy drag.

JW: Hey hey hey now, I’ve read the white boy canon.

LH: Like what?

JW: Well, the heavy hitter white boys like Salinger and Kerouac, Bukowski and Miller and the Marquis de Sade and Celine. And I really love the movie The Holy Mountain. GOD I HATE WHITE BOYS WHO LOVE THE HOLY MOUNTAIN.

LH: So you’ve read some fiction. To be a good white boy drag, you have to hit theory and philosophy too. Obv.

JW: I’ve read the Cliff’s Notes to Capitalism and Schizophrenia, both volumes.

LH: Who hasn’t?

JW: I’ve also read Zizek, Badiou, and Agamben. I know about affect and animal studies. I was even thinking about applying to EGS. Do you think that gives me points or takes them away towards being a truly excellent white boy drag?

LH: You’re gonna need to get some bitches up in that reading list if you want to be legit at EGS.

JW: Well, Judy B lives in my head, yo. But whatever, I love DFW. I identify with David Foster Wallace in a misunderstood genius kind of way.

LH: As a white boy drag, I empathize. I feel.

JW: Here’s some POC (Hey White Boy: POC is Person of Color!) cred too: I’ve read Murakami and Bolano and Borges and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. And here’s some indie cred: I like foreign films, preferably not from any core countries, it’s periphery or bust for me. And preferably nothing that’s ever released. I want to discover it on an invite-only torrent site like Karagarga.

LH: So, it really was embarrassing that I was reading DFW in public. Looks like I’m not cut out for white boy drag after all. What a bummer. But Jackie, I think you’re prime material. You should give Adam Jameson a call. He has plenty of pointers.

JW: I’m glad we finished this conversation because I think my Ambien just wore off. And I have to teach in a few hours.

LH: Cool, I should be heading home to pet my cats anyways.

JW: Your cats are real cute, Lily. Tell them that I say hello and I miss them. Tell them I’ll drop the white boy drag when I visit them and pet them, because who wants to be touched with white boy drag hands?

LH: Ok. Good night Jackie. (2:55am MST)



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  1. A D Jameson
  2. lily hoang

      nice, adam. thx for being a good sport. xoxo

  3. Arthur Guess

      Lily drops a lot of f-bombs in her many of her posts. Seems
      they are needless when she uses them, and the word loses its shock value when
      she does. I don’t know.

  4. A D Jameson

      There’s no such thing as whiteness. Race is a myth.

  5. David Fishkind

      are jews white? sometimes asians say yes to this, sometimes they say no… what do you think, lily and/or jackie?

  6. A D Jameson

      Along those lines, I was talking with Lennard Davis the other day (I’m taking a disability studies seminar with him this semester), and the oft-remarked-upon “whiteness” of the Western Tradition came up, and Prof. Davis said, “Yeah, if you consider the Greeks white.”

      I think Davis is right. And I find it troublesome when Cultural Studies folk reify the concept of race (as this post does, even if only in play). The concept was, we should recall, invented none too long ago, and mainly for racist purposes (literally!).

  7. A D Jameson

      A Thai friend once told me that I was Thai. So I consider myself Thai.

  8. A D Jameson

      Lily, I recognize a polemic when I see one! :)

  9. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      Its being a social construct doesn’t make its material, systemic and institutional implications any less real.

  10. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      this is my new favorite thing on htmlgiant and not just because there’s a picture of me

  11. reynard

      jackie thanks for reminding me how much i love holy mountain but i think i prefer sante sangre

  12. Adam Robinson

      Can someone summarize this for me?

  13. lorian long

      is htmlgiant dead

  14. Mahmoud

      Thanks for curing me of my asian fetish

  15. mimi

      if not someone please put it out of its misery

  16. John Sakkis

      is Alejandro Jodorowsky allowed to like his own movie? is “white boy” the same as white man? him being a white man of Jewish Ukrainian ancestry and all.

  17. Mike James

      TJY, I feel like I really get you sometimes.

  18. Matthew Simmons

      But I just started posting again…

  19. mimi

      you know, matthew simmons, i have been lurking around htmlgiant long enough to

      actually. have. noticed. that.

      perhaps there is chance for a resurrection, a renaissance, a rebirth? hope for the future of htmlgiant after all??

      : )

  20. Andrew Worthington

      i found this reallly reallly really really
      reallly reallly really really
      reallly reallly really really
      reallly reallly really really
      reallly reallly really really
      reallly reallly really really
      reallly reallly really really
      reallly reallly really really
      reallly reallly really really
      reallly reallly really really
      reallly reallly really really funny, i think

  21. Lilzed

      white … whiter than Cleopatra

  22. deadgod

      if time itself was his demeanor
      there’d be no sunlight or a glimmer
      of sunlight landing on the street
      Sunset girls must be discreet

  23. juniorcakes

      Thanks for curing me of my gross tool of the patriarchy fetish! It was getting itchy.

  24. juniorcakes

      I feel like I was writing an essay about anger, sadness, the sainthood fetish white boys have for other dead white boys (nobody PLEASE ever tell me that I have to read the biography of Steve Jobs ever again fuuuuuuuuuck) and then this post existed and it was a funnier and happier outlet for my anger, THANK YOU

  25. juniorcakes

      I love a good excessive use of ‘fuck’, myself.





  28. mimi

      ZZZIPPPPPY! mon photon plus favori!

      i like ADJ le plus for his lists

      et moin for his super-heroes…………………………

      other than being intrigued by heath ledger as the joker…….

      i, um……….




  29. A D Jameson

      That’s of course very true, but it’s interesting to ask whether we (humans, society) want to continue believing in race. And, if so, what the criteria for race will be.

      For instance, what defines whiteness? Who is white? Who will be white? And why do we want there to be white people?

      Anyone who likes having whiteness will need to answer these and other questions.

  30. A D Jameson

      I’ve actually made only one video, but you just gave me a good idea for my second one.

  31. A D Jameson

      In other words, the implications depend a lot on the social criteria.

      So how do you define whiteness, Tim? What are white people like?









  34. A D Jameson

      Then thank you, ZZZIPPPP!

  35. Brian R

      so yeah when i saw Kids it changed my life it was so real, so true. i saw things had to change, but how could they change, when change only leads us back to the old change paradigm? my hemp tweed project is coming along good. yeah, i listen to all kinds of music, just not any of the crap on the radio or itunes. no, no that’s all fake. let me explain to you how its an actual true fact that a lot of great black music is not by blacks. they want to claim it all is because of politics. i say that even though it’s not politically correct. i care not for political correctness, my friend. hey bro, let me tell you, it’s not good times to be a white man. hippy, hipster, grunge…these are all just labels. my whole life is a war against labels. could you imagine ever doing that? i’d puke. i mean i’m for gay marriage and all, but seriously, man, i’d puke. can you turn that off? i can’t listen to that. she’s just selling sex and can’t even sing. moving her body around dressed all skanky. that’s not music. it’s just porn. all the makeup. why do girls wear makeup, anyways? unnecessary. really, it turns out that soy is bad for you. it is a myth that we all have small dicks, right? really? i know, but i
      keep reading about it all over online. something to do with heat? so in
      the cold they have to develop their brains more that must be it. bigger
      brains. still sucks though. i just need to get into a better headspace and stop worrying about superficial people, tune in more deeply to my core, plunge in and explore it. of course racism is bad, but you can be totally against racism and not make everything about race. i mean those people who want to make everything about race and just perpetuating the same old system. yeah, so is it really true that you watched Star Wars special edition, but you’ve never seen the director’s cut of Wrath of Khan? i can’t watch their movies, man. too angry. the humor is just mean, and everything has to be political with all this unhealthy conflict and arguing. nonviolence is the way. the more enlightened path is to try to understand and respect everyone’s point of view. we look at it now, yeah it looks bad. but they probably thought they were doing good, or tried to do they best they could. and then they were the strong ones, and no matter what, the strong always destroy the weak. evolution. you can’t fight it. don’t believe everything, man, lots of minorities are rich, way more than most whites. people exaggerate. it’s all politics, so unreal. i’m into acceptance. mindful acceptance. i’m more spiritual than religious. i’d vote if a really sincere, caring, truly principled guy ran for president. seriously. women will not date nice guys. no, it’s true. well don’t listen to her. or her. especially not her. she just hates men, that’s all. then wonders why no one wants to be with her, or even talk to her. have you ever seen that old show Beverly Hillbillies? i have all the episodes on tape. yeah, seriously so bad it’s good. let’s smoke a bowl and watch it tonight. OK, Gilligan’s Island is fine too, better looking women anyway. lol.i don’t know man. that’s funny but come on. Tolkien is actually really deep, but people just think its a stupid story about magic. symbolism. they’re called archetypes. yeah, the quest. you’ve never heard of that? you should check it out, man. hero with a thousand faces, buddha, and rumi, they changed my life. if islam listened to the sufis, there wouldn’t be any terrorism. the hero in my book has many hero archetype qualities, but his quest is more on the inside, like learning about himself, trying to find the right woman, looking past superficial differences to see everyone’s humanity, transcendence. Quantum physics, man, quantum physics, the mind is where it’s at.