guest post: a trip to knott's berry farm

I'm on vacation! Taking a much-needed break. But don't worry. While I'm away, I've enlisted some great guest bloggers to keep things going around here. Here's Ryan Suda recounting a recent trip to Knott's Berry Farm.

This past Saturday I spent 12 hours at Knott's Berry Farm. Most of the day was spent standing in line for rides, the rest looking for any bit of nostalgia. I'm a sucker for nostalgia especially when it comes to amusement parks and places I've been when I was little. To tell you the truth, it's been 20 years since I've been there so most of the things I remember were replaced by things much larger, taller, and faster. The Wacky Soap Box Racers Ride was replaced by the 0-80 mph Accelerator. The Parachute Ride was replaced by the towering Supreme Scream.

This was all fine since I think the new rides were definitely improvements over the old but a certain part of me wishes I could see, once more, the old time Wacky Soap Box artwork and the floor of the Parachute Ride cage that my Aunty said I wouldn't dare stand on when the ride was at it's highest point. And it was nice to see that there were still some oldies like the Calico Mine Ride. The mini train chugged along while I smiled, looked, smelled, and listened for anything I once experienced so many years ago. For those few minutes, I actually did feel like a kid again. It was a good day.

Another part of Knott's Berry Farm that I really enjoy is the old Ghost Town. Here, the Knott family created replicas (and I hear that some of the wooden structures are real) of buildings and old time western scenes and daily life. There was a Post office, Jail, Barber, Assay Office, Saloon, and even a blacksmith shop, where there was a live blacksmith pounding out mini horseshoes and telling the history of the blacksmith. Cool. I love stuff like that. I love it so much that I told my friends I'd catch up with them later and now was on my way to do so.

But on my way, I see another building and I think to myself... oh no... I was having so much fun... please don't be anything...

Hmmm... and I look inside and this is what I see.

Sigh...and instantly, I'm no longer interested in the fantasy world and a flood of questions start filling my brain and I can only wonder... Hmm... why do his eyes look like that? Hmm...why did the person who sculpted this dude's head choose to make the eyes like that? Hmm...was he racist? Did he hate Chinese people? Hmm... maybe that is what Chinese people actually looked like back in the day? I mean, I wasn't around back then so how would I know?

Hmm...no, can't be. It's propaganda and the artist is just ignorant and went with what he envisioned Chinese people to look like. Ok... but if that's the case, then why hasn't anyone challenged this view? Hmm... the Knott's people seem like they love the old west and want to represent it accurately. But hmm... why has no one questioned this? Or maybe this has already been in the news or on AngryAsianMan.com and I just didn't hear about it and that there is actually a good reason for it.

Hmm...or maybe they should have a live person here just like they have a live blacksmith so they can tell the story. Has this been around for all these years? I don't remember it. Or do I remember and this somehow had subconsciously influence the way I saw myself as an Asian American? Hmm...and how does that affect non-Asian's views of us. ... or maybe... or, or maybe I'll... uugh... Hmm...

Aaaagh, I'll just let it be...

I'm here to have fun and don't want to do anything that's going to ruin my day.

Part time artist, full time entrepreneur. Ryan Suda is the owner and founder Blacklava.net -- a store for all thing Asian American.

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