The Office
Diversity Day

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Miss Alli: A | 1 USERS: A
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Diversity Day

Kelly needs to leave after the video -- she's got a prior commitment. "If you leave," Michael says, "we'll only have two left." She pauses. Michael stops himself, hearing some distant alarm bell clanging quietly in his head, and he sends her on her way with a "Namaste." These days, she'd have thought that was a kind of purse. Too bad for Michael. Michael straddles a rolling chair and tries to conduct a straight-talking rap session. He claims to be "two-fifteenths" Native American, until Oscar points out that that's impossible. I don't know. If you told me Michael is partitioned differently than normal people, I don't think I'd argue the point. Of course, Michael says it's hard for him to talk about those two fifteenths, because of "the suffering." After Oscar is prodded into talking about being Mexican, Michael keeps up the bridge-building by asking whether there's something less offensive than "Mexican" that Oscar would like to be called. He declines to elaborate for Oscar about what makes the word "Mexican" offensive. In the middle of this, Jim dashes out to answer his phone, but the call is gone when he gets there. I love the fact that they included the detail that not only are office seminars of this type often (if not always) excruciating, they keep you from doing the things you're actually supposed to be doing.

It turns out that Michael's seminar is highlighted by a game he has people play where you put a card on your forehead (without looking at it) that has the name of a "race" (like..."Italian") on it, and then people treat you like the race written on your head, and you have to guess what it is. This game is approximately as ill-advised as you think it is, based on that description. Kevin's reads "Italian," Angela's reads "Jamaican," Pam's reads "Jewish," and, brilliantly, Stanley's reads "Black." As Michael sets up the exercise, he smacks a card onto his own forehead that reads "Martin Luther King, Jr.," telling them all that he has a dream that they'll all "really let the sparks fly." And then, because the people who write this show never leave a joke at a 9.8 if they can boost it to a 10, Michael adds, "Git 'er done!" It's just...it's tiny, tiny, tiny, that throwaway, but it speaks to (1) Michael's relentless efforts to reference pop culture; (2) Michael's embrace of dumb comedy; (3) Michael's failure to recognize that maybe self-consciously redneck humor isn't the best choice for Diversity Day Take 2; (4) Michael's irritatingly enthused pep-talky-ness; and (5) Michael's repetition of all things tired and overused. And it's not even the joke, really. The joke is that his head says "Martin Luther King, Jr." That's just extra.

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