“ching chong” means I love you

Who remembers Alexandra Wallace? Back in 2011, that girl from UCLA? Fun memories, right?

Though as a topic a bit outdated, Alexandra Wallace’s “not the most politically correct” (I’m quoting you verbatim, girl) vlog, made viral, managed to infuriate a good many members of the Asian American community to the point of vlogging, in the forms of singing, skits, ranting, and discussion. Videos, vlogs, and blogs dug into the topic at different lengths from the perspective of many different races, but in the Asian American community, these responses managed to instigate and make public a discussion long due: the matter of education and ignorance.

Now, around the time Wallace was relevant, I watched her and these response videos with my brother, cousin, and friends, Asian and white, and I realize now the topic is a bit worn out, and that the consensus of reactions summed up to:

And the reaction wasn’t even so much “oh, this just goes to show that white people are so racist” (even though sadly that is what some people took from the situation). No, what happened after the flurry of videos that said “girl, oh no you didn’t” came videos, people, a community that became suddenly aware of the root of all Asian-American problems and stereotypes: we realized that people just don’t know.

The problem with stereotypes is that they are sometimes true. Just because something is a stereotype doesn’t automatically make it true or false. In most cases, however, as soon as one, just one stereotype is proven true (in, say, one person), then, as a human defense mechanism, we use that stereotype whenever applicable, to protect us, to make it easier to put people into tiny boxes.

Of course, we all know life doesn’t work that way.

As much as I and others complain about Asian stereotypes, it’s hard to completely deny them because, guess what: there’s a group out there that actually fits those stereotypes. That group, ladies and gentlemen, consists of our parents. 

But it’s true. Bad driver? A+ student? Good at math and science? We’re loud, cheap, and we know kung fu? To some extent, all these stereotypes are represented by our parents, the generation before us: most of us Asian-Americans are second-generation. We can’t help that our parents’ actions define Asians; that’s just who people see. Also, the media… oh boy does the media play a role in representing the Asians. (That is to say not at freaking all.)

People are not going to notice an Asian kid, born and raised in San Jose, with a Californian accent, hoodie, and meatball sub in hand, and I’ll tell you that if people do notice that kid, they’re certainly not going to think “well all Asians must be like this.” Nope! They won’t give it a second thought.

But more on this second-generation business. Our generation of Asian-Americans, today, we have a voice, and we finally have a chance to be heard, and Youtube has been probably the most responsible for this. Youtube gives us the chance to say what we know everyone is thinking, and Youtube gives us the chance to clear it all up.

This brings me back to the matter of education and ignorance. Once we figured out the problem, some of us started speaking up, started answering the questions no one wants to ask out loud. David So, a (favorite) Korean Youtube vlogger, goes out of his way to explain Asian Stereotypes in three separate videos.

(But seriously. He cracks me up like no other. Go check him out. Shameless plug.)

All people really need is a little bit of clarification. So, if you find yourself a little bit out of the loop concerning these things, watch any of the videos I’ve linked to so far.

But seriously. Don’t guess, don’t assume, especially out loud… just ask. And for the Asian-Americans, just patiently, patiently explain which is fact and which is fiction.

Also, you’d better remember that conversation because

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it must be an asian thing

But it turns out it’s an internet thing.

(So I’m trying this thing where hopefully my posts will be less text-based, so as an apology for having a visually boring first post:

Ah, yes, and as mentioned in my first post I like TV shows so the majority of the gifs I use will reflect as such)

At this point, after hopefully having watched the video skit, you’re probably thinking, “Oh, funny video and all, humorously displaying the double standard still shown in interactions between Asian-Americans and non-Asians, yes, good” (or at the very least I hope you found the video funny) and now you’re wondering, “now what? Is she going to go on some rant about how people are rudely presumptuous when it comes to Asians, and they need to correct their behavior?” Well, no, actually; the same can be said for every other race or ethnicity out there, which the videos so-called “regular Americans” still have trouble grasping.

Today, though, I’m not here to talk about racism (*shocked gasp*), but for the sake of getting it out of the way:

 

So, moving on the from redundancy of the topic…

Today, I’m here to talk about what things are required (i.e. the tools at my disposal) for me to be able to talk about my experiences as an Asian-American.

Before I get into listing and describing what these required “things” are specifically, I’m going to get into what people normally avoid: semantics. The things I use (wordpress, gifs, youtube videos) to be able to expound on being Asian-American are umbrella’d by the old, Greek term techne. 

Sound familiar? Of course it does, because it’s the root word for TECHNOLOGY.

Why am I even talking about this? As fun as it is, thinking up fun little anecdotes about what it is to be stereotyped as a FOB (Fresh Off the Boat), it’s always good to get to the root and reason of why I am able to talk so freely about it as I do.

Techne is defined in the dictionary as “the principles or methods employed in making something or attaining an objective.” Teche is also a tool and form of rhetoric, the art of effective writing, with which comes the need to convince readers of my legitimacy through use of Aristotle’s ethos (trust), pathos (emotion), and logos (logic).

Let’s break this down, shall we? (STOP… Hammer time.)

In terms of my blog, my objective is simply to share stories and have discussions about what it’s like to be an Asian-American today, what with races all over the world still being so misrepresented. How do I attain this objective? Well, the “surface”, or the medium, through which I choose to represent myself (as one more member of the Asian-American community) is WordPress.com. (duh) I now have a way to express myself, but then how do I go about  convincing people to listen to me and read my blog in the first place? This part is really done by two ways: who I am and what I can do.

Who I am does a lot to legitimize my online presence: I am Asian-American, so automatically I am generally able to relate to those in the same community, where despite our backgrounds, we tend to be judged the same. Right there are my abilities to provide credibility (simply by being), empathy (experience; I’ve been in your shoes!), and logic (I guess my education gives me the ability to be somewhat articulate and comprehensive, so I hope).

These are all great things to be equipped with in my daily life and encounters; I am found genuine in any conversation. BUT: online, here, on WordPress, it doesn’t just stop there. Online, you need a world of other things to be regarded as legitimate, worth reading, worth even glancing over, and here is where we find my techne.

Here’s where life gets easier for me, and (warning) here’s where I date myself: I’m a 90’s kid. This here gives me the advantage that others have to learn, the advantage being that I was born during the time of the “dot-com boom,” and so I grew up just knowing and learning all the world’s new technology like it were a second language (which it technically now is considered as such). Just from being on the internet at all times of a day, week, or year, I can glean from websites upon blogs upon cultures (and their sub-cultures) what is in. Like any fad, fashion or market, the internet has trends, things that, in certain spots of the internet, are universally accepted, known, or preferred above others.

Personally, as you have experienced thus far, I prefer and have knowledge that there are others who prefer the simple, blog format of blocks of text, gifs, and videos (such as the skit way above). Knowing this simple preference already puts me above those inexperienced in certain internet cultures with blogs aimed towards my generation / people of my community or culture.

Naturally, knowing these preferences and being on this website will change the way I express myself. Even the theme of my blog is admittedly marketed towards those Asian-Americans who find (Asian-looking) flowers and talking apples cute.

And really, that’s all you need to be able to communicate online nowadays, to a specified audience. I look forward to using my techne skills to luring you in further into my world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wow I typed a lot of stuff.

Write what you know, right?

Or, in my case, write what you are. And what I am, or who I am, is an Asian American TV show enthusiast. The TV show enthusiast part is less about what this blog is going to be about and more a forewarning of the type of references I will likely be making in the future.  A lot. I mean, I do it enough in real life so it’s bound to cross over into my blog at some time.

Anyway.

As an ABC (American-Born-Chinese, for those not in the know) I’ve gone through most of my life noticing, being slightly insulted by, getting used to, and laughing over the moments in my daily life affected and or caused by my being Asian, and the stereotypes that come with it.

Don’t worry, nothing of a serious or particularly derogatory nature. At the very least, this blog will be centered around the more humorous tones of my ‘misfortune’. Being Asian, mind you, is not necessarily a hard life; being Asian-American, I find, can often mean I get the best of both worlds. People today in America (or at least the parts of which I’ve lived or visited) treat those of Asian descent like any other. And yet still, occasionally in daily interactions, on television, etc. I find it endlessly amusing how there can still be the occasional presumptuous stereotype that causes misunderstanding, in turn implying still existing misconceptions.

I plan to post things that relate to these stereotypes (moments in life, memes, Youtube videos, or things that come to mind), with the added input of my perspective on each of these things. I hope to amuse. Or entertain. Or endear.

Sidenote: I’m Chinese, so my thoughts will tend to be from the Chinese-American perspective, as an FYI.

Well, that’s that. ‘Til next!

Cheers

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