"asians: they pack light, travel efficiently and have a thing for slip-on shoes"

Up in the Air, directed by Jason Reitman, opens in select theaters today. George Clooney stars as a corporate downsizing expert whose job is basically to fly around the country and fire people. The film has been getting extremely good reviews, and was just named Best Film of the Year from the National Board of Review -- probably the first of many accolades as we head into awards season.

Why do I bring it up here? Because of one joke that makes it into the trailer. Yes, an Asian joke. I haven't seen the movie, but the trailer gives you a pretty good idea of how it plays out. At the airport security checkpoint, when choosing a line, Clooney explains to his reluctant protege:
"Bingo. Asians. They pack light, travel efficiently and have a thing for slip-on shoes -- God love 'em."

"That's racist."

"I'm like my mother. I stereotype. It's faster."
Hardy har har. Isn't it nice to be the quick, throwaway joke in this fun, feelgood movie trailer? And we're supposed to laugh along because, hey, it's George Clooney, the coolest cat in movies, and the one calling him on the racist quip is the uptight young newbie who is still green to the ways of the world.

Should I be happy that George Clooney positively stereotyped me as an efficient traveler? The next time you're going through the airport security checkpoint, see who rushes to get behind you in line. Then go really slow on purpose.

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