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Kumar heads to the White House. Harold unavailable for comment.

Dr. Gregory House may have been on to something this week, as [spoiler] Dr. Lawrence Kutner’s apparent suicide may have, in fact, been politically motivated. [/spoiler]

Actor Kal Penn will now be able to hyphenate his title as Actor-White House Liaison, and will soon begin his duties as an associate director for the Office of Public Liaison, conducting outreach to the Asian and Pacific-Islander communities, as well as to arts and entertainment groups. Whether or not he will parlay this into a further political career like Sonny Bono, Fred “Gopher” Grandy, and a large percentage of the cast of Predator is still up in the air.

According to our biography of Penn from Newsmakers, it appears he was gearing up for this latest role as early as last year, even before President Obama was elected:

In 2008, Penn also spent time focusing on education, both of others and his own, while continuing his acting career. He was hired as an instructor at the University of Pennsylvania for a semester. There, he taught two courses, “Images of Asian Americans in the Media” and “Contemporary American Teen Films.” Penn also pursued graduate studies in international security at Stanford University.

This may lead some to reinterpret Penn’s earlier work, such as the cogent analysis of Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle by noted scholar Chris Csont:

Unlike the more common narratives of assimilation, Harold and Kumar are not looking to mask their cultural identities, but are instead seeking to partake in the American pastime of conspicuous consumption. As they are harangued by Caucasian Americans (whose dialogue is made up of hyperbolized variations on advertising catch phrases), they maintain course for the White Castle: the unassailable fortress of American cuisine. In this sense, the film conflates “whiteness,” consumerism, and fast food (itself a particularly loaded symbol of American consuming habits), and, in doing so, works against the product placement and tie-in advertising of its title, creating a space for discourse on all things American.

Also, in light of this news, some have questioned whether President Obama will ask that Kathleen Sebelius withdraw her nomination as Secreatry of Health and Human Services to be replaced by Neil Patrick Harris.

Source: “Kal Penn.” Newsmakers, Issue 1. Gale, 2009.

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Posted on: April 10, 2009, 10:46 am Category: Factoids Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

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