If you have watched Vox’s (no, NOT Fox) Borders series, you would have heard of Johnny Harris. In case you didn’t know, he also has his own Youtube channel.
Unlike Borders, his channel’s videos do not have a common theme. While he does talk about geopolitics as well, he also talks about other topics like nostalgia, education and even foods.
His food videos intrigue me the most.
In one video, he complains about how modern American breakfast dishes are basically desserts and it is a reason why he used to skip breakfast. In the sequel, he showcases (and swoons over) his favourite breakfast dishes, all of which are of foreign origin.
They intrigue me because of how unintentionally funny they are.
It is not to say he does not make jokes. He does through his editing; even then, the jokes are subtle. The two particular videos are funny in part because of his nationality.
Non-Americans often have a paradoxical stereotype of the US: a melting pot country with highly ethnocentric, bubble-dwelling citizens. In a way, an American feeling mind-blown by how terrible his country’s foods are and by how fascinating the foreign ones are can be a sight to behold.
Knowing his background, it shouldn’t be that funny, though. He grew up in rural Oregon and he got his undergraduate education from Brigham Young University, where the majority of the student body are white American Mormons. There wasn’t much exposure to anything non-Anglo-European.
His deadpan delivery can also be a factor. But, I still think his nationality is the main one, as it takes centre stage in both videos. As bad as it is, it is near impossible to dissociate him from his country’s stereotype.
Do I have a point to make? No, I don’t. I just want to write this thought down.
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