Sixteen Candles (1984) Pretty in Pink (1986)

Ted the Geek: Hey Dong, what’s wrong?

Long Duk Dong: Do you remember that old movie we were both in?

Ted the Geek: Sixteen Candles?

Long Duk Dong: It’s got me down.

Ted the Geek: Why Dong? That’s where we met. That’s where we decided to go into business together. Now we run a successful software company. We both millionaires. I’m CEO. You’re my Vice President.

(Long Duck Dong throws his chair to the floor)

Long Duk Dong: Look you white motherfucker. I may be your Vice President, but I am not your Asian sidekick.

Ted the Geek: You’ve been reading Twitter again, haven’t you Dong?

(Long Duk Dong picks up his chair and sits down)

Long Duk Dong: Yes. I’ve been reading Twitter again. It’s good to keep in touch with the younger generation. You, me, Steven Colbert, everybody who grew up in the 1980s, do you know how young people see us? Do you know how many young Asian men and women in their 20s grew up hating themselves because of me? It’s a good question. Maybe we should ask it more often.

Ted the Geek: I think you’re taking Sixteen Candles a little too seriously Dong. It’s just a 1980s teen comedy. You’re meant to laugh at it, not obsess over it when you’re in your 40s.

Long Duk Dong: Asexual Asian men, Asian dragon ladies, how is any of that funny?

Ted the Geek: You were hardly asexual Dong. You got laid.

Long Duk Dong: But don’t you see Ted? That’s the joke. Asian men in Hollywood movies have traditionally been presented as completely asexual. So a horny Asian kid, unlike a horny white kid, is in and of itself funny.

Ted the Geek: I was a horny white kid Dong, and I was funny.

Long Duck Dong: But you weren’t funny because of the color of your skin. Even my name, Long Duk Dong. It’s like I wasn’t even supposed to be an individual, just this big Chinese dildo.

Ted the Geek: You are a big Chinese dildo Dong. That’s why everyone loves you. That’s why you get the girls. All you have to to is recycle that “hey sexy girlfriend” line and they’re putty in your hands. You’re a funny guy Dong. Women love guys who can make them laugh.

Long Duk Dong: I get the white girls Ted. Asian girls, black girls, Mexican girls, they all remember that movie and think I’m still the same self-hating little turd I seemed like back then. They don’t realize John Hughes pulled a fast one me. I’m not politically correct. I have nothing against slapstick ethnic humor. That’s why I hammed it up. I was supposed to be this goofy, funny awkward kid, like we all are as teenagers. But this movie wasn’t just about goofy, funny awkward kids. It has a larger ruling class, white supremacist agenda that it manages to slip in under the cover of the idea that you’re not supposed to take it seriously. First of all, it’s not only racist against Asians.

Ted the Geek: Who else is it racist against?

Long Duk Dong: Do you remember when Molly Ringwald and her friend Randy are in the hallway talking about the perfect birthday present? Molly Ringwald says she wants a hot guy in a black Trans Am. Randy’s like “oh my God, a black guy” and then sighs with relief when she realizes her friend meant a black car, not a black guy. Well, what if Sam did want to date a black guy? Michael Jackson was big in the 1980s. So was Prince. What’s wrong with it?

Ted the Geek: Nothing Dong It was a joke. You’re taking it too seriously.

Long Duk Dong: Sixteen Candles is also racist against white people.

Ted the Geek: You mean the Ryszczyks, the way it’s supposed to be funny that Sam’s father keeps mispronouncing the name? That’s not racist. I can’t spell Ryszczyk either. The jokes on Sam’s father. He’s a narrow minded, Midwestern white guy who can’t change with the times.

Long Duk Dong: It’s not only Sam’s father. It’s Sam. Sam’s sister Ginny is supposed to be a bimbo, so she doesn’t know how to chose the right WASP guy. Dad says Rudy’s a greasy bohunk. Remember when Ginny says that to Sam? And how does Sam answer? She says “well is he?”

Ted the Geek: What’s bohunk anyway?

Long Duk Dong: It’s a derogatory word for American of Eastern European descent, Bohemian Hungarian.

Ted the Geek: I thought they were Italians.

Long Duk Dong: That’s another thing. John Hughes does play the Ryszczyks as if they were Italians. They’re like the family in Married to the Mob. Now how can you make a film in Chicago and not know the difference between a Polish American and an Italian American? How stupid did John Hughes think we were. And how stupid was John Hughes? Why would you want to alienate two ethnic groups for the price of one?

Ted the Geek: Lighten up Dong. Italians and Pollacks don’t get pissed when you make fun of them. They love ethnic jokes.

Long Duk Dong: I used to think Polish jokes were funny too. Then I found out it was it was the Nazis who invented them.

Ted the Geek: What do you care about the Nazis Dong? You’re Chinese.

Long Duk Dong: You should have told that to John Hughes. He has me yell Banzai. That’s Japanese not Chinese and that’s racist. Would he have a German speaking French? An Englishman speaking Russian? Of course not. But Japanese, Chinese, what’s the difference? It’s like we’re not real people or anything.

Ted the Geek: Oh come on Dong.

Long Duk Dong: And do you know what’s even worse than the racism?

Ted the Geek: What?

Long Duk Dong: The rape culture.

Ted the Geek: The what culture?

Long Duk Dong: The rape culture. You don’t see it because you’re a fucked up middle-aged man just like me. But those kids on Twitter know, and I’ve been educating myself. Sixteen Candles may not be the most racist movie ever made. But it’s certainly the most pro-rape movie ever made.

Ted the Geek: The most?

Long Duk Dong:  It’s pretty bad. You play a rapist yourself.

Ted the Geek: A rapist? Where do I pull a woman into an ally and fuck her against her will?

Long Duk Dong: You don’t remember how you fucked Caroline Mulford when she was drunk?

Ted the Geek: That was totally consensual sex. She enjoyed it.

Long Duk Dong: Enjoyed it? She was too drunk too enjoy anything.

Ted the Geek: It’s comedy. She’s this upper class senior bitch who’s like the last girl you’d expect to sleep with a guy like me. That’s what makes it funny. Jake Ryan is so smitten with Sam he gives Caroline to the geek, me. That’s why Jake was a good guy. He didn’t horde all the talent for himself.

Long Duk Dong: Do you remember what Jake says?

(Ted starts laughing)

Ted the Geek: He says she was passed out in the bedroom so drunk he could violate her ten ways to Sunday and she wouldn’t know what happened.

Long Duk Dong: You think it’s funny to rape a drunken 17 year old girl?

(Ted continues laughing)

Ted the Geek: That’s the joke. The actress was like 25. I was 15. The only rape going on was statutory rape, by her.

(Ted is now laughing so hard he’s snorting)

Long Duk Dong: You’re missing the point. They filmed it. It was like Steubenville. And don’t you think there was something just a little creepy about casting adults as the cool kids and 15 year olds as the geeks? The guy who played Jake Ryan was 24 years old. Molly Ringwold was 16. That’s the perfect dreamboat hunk? He puts his drunken girlfriend in his father’s car with a 15-year-old kid who can’t drive, then goes off and seduces a 16 year old girl. That’s not only sick. That’s criminal. What if Jake Ryan had been the football coach and not another high-school kid? A grown man handing off a drunk girl off to a 15-year-old kid so he can fuck her while she’s passed out, that’s funny to you?

Ted the Geek: It’s funny because Jake Ryan’s father’s so rich he can afford to let his son trash a Rolls Royce. But let’s just agree to disagree on Sixteen Candles.

Long Duk Dong: John Hughes was a racist and a rape apologist. I’m glad he’s dead. I hope he suffered.

Ted the Geek: What about Pretty in Pink?

Long Duk Dong: What about it?

Ted the Geek: There’s no racism in Pretty in Pink. And it doesn’t apologize for rape. Just the opposite, it’s feminist. Ducky’s in love with Andie.

Long Duk Dong: To be honest, I’ve always thought Ducky was gay.

Ted the Geek: He is. Have you seen his Grindr profile? But back then he was in love with Andie Walsh. Andie’s in love with Blane.

Long Duk Dong: It’s feminist that she’s in love with some rich preppy?

Ted the Geek: Pretty in Pink is about how Ducky has to learn how to get over his sense of entitlement. Then the girl he’s in love with so she can go off and marry the rich guy she really wants. Do you know how progressive that was for the time? Hollywood was always telling every geek, every unattractive guy, every working class loser that he deserves a beautiful girl. Pretty in Pink is saying no. You don’t. You see Dong? I read Twitter too.

Long Duk Dong: I guess so. But Ducky’s a more interesting character. The film is saying one thing and showing another. It’s saying Ducky has to give up his sense of entitlement. But it’s showing the opposite. Most people who watched it thought Andie chose the wrong guy.

Ted the Geek: Pay closer attention Dong. Why did Andie chose Blane over Ducky? It’s not that Ducky’s a geek. It’s that he’s a loser who reminds her of her father. Remember when they go to the rich neighborhood. Andie looks at the houses and says “my god these houses are beautiful.”  She’s checking out Ducky as potential husband material. When he’s not interested in the big houses that means he has no ambition,that he’d be just fine if he worked in a record store for the rest of his life. That reminds her of her father, Harry Dean Stanton, another loser who can’t hold down a job. That’s why his wife walked out on him. If Andie chose Ducky it would mean starting the whole cycle all over again. She’d walk out on Ducky just like her mother walked out on her father. So she’s choosing to end the cycle by going to the prom with Blane.

Long Duk Dong; Yeah. I guess so.

Ted the Geek: You see. So you admit Pretty in Pink’s not pro-rape.

Long Duk Dong: Yeah. It’s not pro-rape.

Ted the Geek: Is it racist?

Long Duk Dong: I guess not.

Ted the Geek: So what’s wrong with it?

Long Duk Dong: It’s boring.

Ted the Geek: Dong. You’re 45 years old. You’re supposed to find a teen comedy boring. You want to watch a film? Jean-Luc Godard’s great. So’s Pierre Melville. So’s Martin Scorsese.

Long Duk Dong: Something just bother’s me about Pretty in Pink. It’s Blane. He’s awful.

Ted the Geek: That doesn’t matter Dong. He’s Andie’s choice. You have no right to question a girl’s choice of mates for any reason. It’s rape culture if you do.

Long Duk Dong: You know what really bothers me. It’s like these rich white motherfuckers like Jake Ryan and Blane McDonough always get the girls.

Ted the Geek: Don’t go hating on white people Dong.

Long Duk Dong: I don’t hate white people. I feel sorry for them. These John Hughes films are all about training middle class white girls to find the right upwardly mobile husband. They wind up choosing Wall Street dipshits like Jake Ryan and Blane McDonough.

Ted the Geek: You don’t know they’re going to Wall Street Dong. Jake or Blane could have just as easily dropped out of society to write poetry, or to protest the war in Central America. Maybe they wound up sitting in redwood trees or shutting down the WTO in Seattle.

(Dong looks at Ted)

Ted the Geek: OK. Yeah. They probably went to Wall Street. But they were Sam and Andie’s choice and you have no right to question a girl’s choice for anything. That’s rape culture.

Long Duk Dong: I’m not questioning Sam or Andie’s choice. They can marry anyone they want. Molly Ringwold wasn’t even that hot anyway. What I’m questioning is the way they put these Wall Street dirtbags up on a pedestal. Blane McDonough? Jake Ryan? The perfect 1980s husband was the kind of guy who ruined the economy in 2008. Those Wall Street jerks ruined your country and you still love then for it.

Ted the Geek: Dong. Don’t hate. That’s what Andie said to Ducky. Hating guys like that because they’re rich is as bad as hating people because they’re poor.

Long Duk Dong: Jesus you white people are hopeless. At least in China they line an occasional banker up against the wall and shoot him. Here, these guys destroy your standard of living and you give them 7 figure bonuses. It’s like Stockholm Syndrome or something.

Ted the Geek: You want to line Jake Ryan and Blane up against the wall and shoot them?

Long Duk Dong: Well I’d prefer a guillotine, but a firing squad will do.

Ted the Geek: You’re just a hater Dong.

Long Duk Dong: I’m thinking about the working class. What about Andie’s father? What about Iona? What about Ducky? Is life really all about putting the working class people in your past who love you behind you so you can move to the upper-east side and send your kids to Harvard? Why exactly do we assume Ducky is going to end up as a loser. He has good qualities. He fights for Andie. You can feel the working-class rage smoldering underneath the goofy exterior. Why are bland, boring, white bread Jake Ryan and Blane McDonough sexy and Ducky not sexy? Why do we automatically assume Ducky would make a lousy husband? I for one think he’s the better man.

Ted the Geek: Ducky says he’s available on his Grindr profile. Go for it.

Long Duk Dong: That’s not what I mean. Pretty in Pink may be a bit more liberal than Sixteen Candles. But it gives Andie only two choices: Wall Street dirtbag or goofy loser. Isn’t the world a much bigger place than that? Aren’t there far more than two kinds of potential husbands in the world? Isn’t there an entire spectrum of men in between?

Ted the Geek: That’s the Breakfast Club.

Long Duk Dong: Really? I haven’t seen it.

Ted the Geek: Check it out. I think you’ll like it. And stay off Twitter.

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3 comments

  1. Gay Twilight ( John Marino ) CA 4K OWNER and Sixteen Candles Fan · · Reply

    My favorite movie is Sixteen Candles. I cry every time I watch it. I wanted to be the one sitting on the table with Jake looking into his eyes getting ready to eat the cake. That would be some hot cake sex. I was in Charlotte, North Carolina for a few months on vacation. I met the man of my dreams! I would gaze into his eyes and dream about the good life. We had a few dates at Taco Bell and the sex was down and dirty in the van.

    1. Would have been OK if Hughes had left out the racism.

  2. […] 1992 is what makes it so fascinating today. The 1980s had plenty of romantic comedies. Most of them, like the loathsome and racist Sixteen Candles, were deeply reactionary under the cover of not taking themselves too seriously. But the early 90s, […]

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