I started reading Pink Smog this evening. Ping Smog is new. Published in 2012, it is billed as a prequel to Weetzie Bat. It is about Weetzie in junior high school in L.A. It is easier to read than Weetzie Bat, which is filled with oddly named characters right away. I stumbled each time I had to read and write out the name of Weetzie's boyfriend, My Secret Agent Lover Man.
Imagine me on my couch, reading Pink Smog.
Now, imagine me reading at the top of page 27, where Weetzie is talking about Cher:
Sometimes she'd be an Indian American with feathers, straddling a horse, and sometimes she'd be a showgirl with feathers.Now imagine me rolling my eyes.
Indian American? Really?! Surely Block knows that "Indian American" is commonly used to refer to Indians from India who live in the United States and identify as Indian and American!
Ok, well, maybe she does NOT know that... Maybe it isn't that widely known. But what about her editor? Doesn't her editor know the difference?
Based on the excerpts of Editorial Reviews on the Amazon page, people think Pink Smog is "intoxicating" and "sparkles." Obviously it does for some people, but for me--a Native reader--the "Indian American" shatters anything I might call sparkly about the story. And I'm guessing that Indian American readers might have that same feeling of being yanked out of the story by the author's ignorance.
Just for kicks, here's Cher in the feathers, on the horse:
Do I want to look up Cher's identity? Is she Native? I don't think so, but I'm calling it a night. Not looking up Cher.
I read Pink Smog thinking that it might shed some light on why Weetzie is "into Indians" (in Weetzie Bat), but other than the reference to Cher, the "Indian American," there's nothing about Native people or culture.
Next up? I've got copies of Baby BeBop and Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys... What will I find in them?