a look back

It’s been a little over three months (wow three whole months) since I started this blog and as the school term comes to an end, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on my experience of having this blog.

What have we learned? What has been accomplished? What meaning has been brought to our lives?

We’ve been through a lot together, and *insert strains of nostalgic music*

Sorry I had to get that out of my system.

But really now.

Over these past few months, I’ve learned a little something-something about what it means to have a blog: specifically, what it means to be the author of a blog about Asian Americans.

Remember my second blog post, the one about Techne?

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).

Well, I’ve now come to realize how very relevant techne is to how I express myself on this blog, not to mention how other Asian Americans express themselves and their opinions concerning the Asian American community. At the very least, those successful in conveying themselves use techne. People like David So, Wongfu Productions, The Fung Brothers, and Timothy DeLaGhetto all use techne in the context of speech. I realize techne references to writing and that I’m talking mostly about Youtube Channels, and this use, too, is an important fact: I’ve learned that there are multiple ways to carry the discourse of Asian Americans (and their stereotyped problems), and that the visual and spoken word are just as effective as the written.

This is because they all have exigence, each person speaking has an audience to speak to and a reason to carry out their message, all by using ethos, pathos, and logos. Who would trust me if I didn’t have the oh-so obvious cred of being Asian American myself? And who would watch a single one of David So’s videos if he wasn’t talking from personal experience (’cause man his narrative is so authentic and his storytelling hilarious and effective)? Who would bother watching DeLaGhetto’s strange interactions with the camera (sorry but it’s true) unless he made a rational point now and then?

In the end, it’s all about being able to relate, because that’s the best way to get the point across. Otherwise, honestly, we wouldn’t even bother.

But what’s the source, the medium, the very thing through which all of this is even achieved?

(‘Youtube,’ you answer blankly, and granted, that is a totally acceptable response because yes I post a lot from that community.)

New Media. Social media. Mass media. Media media media.

Whatever adjective you decide to slap next to it, the bottom line is that everything we do, talk about, discuss, or publicize, it’s all done through a sort of media. It’s undeniable. There is no argument.

Like I detailed so thoroughly in my earlier post about false geniuses, the world today is so dependent on getting the word out through media, be it blogs, videos, podcasts, or an article. It’s the one thing we look to for information the most nowadays, and hopefully wherever we’re looking, it’s a trustworthy source, determined by the user friendly design of the webpage or fancy edits of a video. Angry Asian Man‘s website is a great example of what a user friendly blog might look like, with it’s familiar Home, About, and Contact tabs.

It’s why I’ve chosen to talk to all of you about Asian American stereotypes and the woes begotten from the resulting misconceptions via a blog. For me, there was no other way to go about setting forth the discourse I wished to engage in.

I’m the kind of person who adores the anonymity and lack of (genuine, meaningful) confrontation in blogging, as well as the ability to construct with words.

(Yes, I am that person.)

I’ve chosen blogging because audience matters, and I’m really much more willing to converse with (or at) people who would rather read articulate and thorough (albeit lengthy and rambly) text. This blog is meant to be read, it’s meant to entertain, so when I’m telling my stories or talking about the Asian American community from my perspective, I want the right people reading.

More and more, the words, “there’s a time and a place” reveal the intent of my blog, and others like it. WordPress is just another place where people’s voices can be heard. In reality, how many times has anyone ever made this horrible, verbal blunder that was said with no ill intent whatsoever, but was horribly insensitive at the same time?

What in the world do you say to that?

You’ll find it harder to correct anyone, especially if you’re someone like me, and especially when you don’t know how to go about it in the first place.

Concerning the Asian American community, I know that generally we’re a soft-spoken group, out there– we make up maybe 5% of America’s population, what are we supposed to do? The struggle between White and Black, Caucasian and African American, has lasted for decades (NAY, CENTURIES), and I realize that perhaps in comparison we’re a recent, minuscule addition to the mix, but we’re still here. At the store, in your classroom, on TV, living our lives and being misrepresented in every way.

A little bit of knowledge goes a long way. To emphasize why I choose to talk about Asian Americans without exhausting the reason too much, with a sorely underrepresented community such as ours, it gets to the point when laughing off non-PC jokes or outwardly ridiculing people for their lack of understanding becomes tiring. It stops working. It’s not effective.

This isn’t a blog where I hold up the “RACIST” flag every time something slightly offensive happens, though goodness knows we have enough people doing that for us already.

(Though the way I could condition people if I were such a person…)

Like my soon-to-be-published blog will thus illustrate, I’m here to educate. Or, here to say that education is the answer. Not necessarily the be all and end all to racism, but the tentative solution to unintentionally hurtful or awkward statements. The people who matter aren’t going to make the same mistake twice when they’re told explicitly what that mistake was (and its consequences).

And it’s not just information and knowledge that needs to be put out there, like a free candy bowl on Halloween (a clear ‘take what you want and don’t talk to me I’m scared of people’ sign). It’s the delivery that counts, the place, the people, the accessibility.

In blogging, knowing your stuff and then being able to back it up is extremely crucial in any discussion. Ever since my little wiki project, I appreciate so much more the importance of sourcing. You can’t understand or trust everything you learn from just experience, even if it’s what draws people in the first place. What if I were to bring up, say, the culture barrier between different Asian Americans and you have no idea what I’m talking about? Questions will be raised and BS will be called.

Most importantly, if I’ve learned anything this semester, it’s that people have got to care about whatever you’re talking about. Start simple, so that there’s something worth sticking around for, and then build up to the stuff that really matters.

And people will care, because

Thank goodness I’m moving over to Tumblr, where text will be less overwhelming and more spread out. Being in the zone can really tire someone out.

This will probably be one of my last… meaningful posts in a long while, so, as farewell…

Here, have a diving giraffe.

It’s been fun, but seriously… I need to get that Tumblr project done.

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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.