Sunday, December 16, 2007

Aasif Mandvi

"I wrote this poem," Daily Show alum Mandvi says, "because I'm afraid of Americans."

The poem begins with the image of a handsome white man on TV telling a young Aasif Mandvi all that he knows about the world. They're best buddies.

Then the white man yells, "Jiiiiihaaad!" "His mouth is open now like a whale..."

"What is this word?" The poem is a fable. The man and Mandvi are friends until the white man yells "jihad."

The poem is frenetic, hypnotizing. The white man eats everything. Mandvi and his mother crouch and hide from him as his mouth engulfs everything. What did his grandfather do to make the white man mad? "It's not your dada, it's not your grandpa," she tells him. He's happy, for a moment. Suffice to stay, it doesn't stay happy.

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