Ramona S. Diaz


On separate occasions in the documentary Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, newly hired Journey frontman Arnel Pineda describes his life as a “fairy tale” and a “Cinderella story.” It’s better described as a globalization of the American Dream, a kind of “Mr. Deeds Goes on Tour” narrative where Deeds is now a Filipino discovered somewhat randomly through the world-shrinking magic of the Internet, specifically YouTube. In one of the most distinct moments of the film, a concertgoer admits her preference that the band’s new singer “was from here,” as if outsourcing has ever been viewed as an issue in pop music. What that young woman clearly really meant, in spite of her insistence that she’s not racist, is that she wishes he was not Asian. And it’s this racial aspect of Pineda’s story that is one of the more intriguing parts of the film. Not only is the choice of a Filipino singer, regardless of his vocal talent, met with bigoted criticism around the web (“the Internet giveth and taketh away,” director Ramona S. Diaz told me in a recent interview), but there’s also a kind of reverse racially charged phenomenon at play in the fact that suddenly Journey is a huge hit with Filipino Americans, who are now a large percentage of the band’s live audience just because of Pineda’s nationality.

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published: 02.01.2015
published: 01.31.2015
published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015

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