it’s a glass, it’s a gymnast! it’s–

Tumblr.

I don’t wish to prolong the inevitable.

Since I first created this blog in September (wow, that long ago?), I’ve learned 2 things:

1) There’s so much to talk about! and

2) WordPress.com is not the place to do it.

What am I saying? Well, for 1) I’m saying I’d like to continue the discourse and expand it. More specifically, I’d like to make known the discrepancy between 1.5 and second generation Asian Americans. I want to make known that there is a difference. I want to be able to make it more public what these terms mean and what they imply. I want to show people the difference in cultures, in language, in life. I want to go over some of the more well-known stereotypes that each generation of Asian Americans suffers, to help debunk the myths, to bring into the light the true and the false, the painful vs. the painless. (E.g. small eyes, loud talkers, etc.)

I’m not saying I want to draw the line between bullying and joking, because that all depends on tone, relationship, context, and representation of who is doing what. But like so many advocates of anything know, the first step to action is awareness. The goal is that hopefully, instead of exhorting people to alter their viewpoints, the knowledge imparted into them will do all the work, and people (readers, viewers) will take their own initiative to be more aware, more cautious. More caring, more conscientious, enough so to learn not to assume. And I want to present all this information to the right audience, in a language I can speak.

What do I mean by ‘language’? Well this leads me to 2). Location, location, location.

The question of language is: who am I speaking to? Who is my audience? Where are my people? One thing’s for sure: they aren’t here, and they aren’t on my wordpress blog.

I mentioned in a past post that I prefer to speak in with loose structure (as long as you get what I’m trying to say, who needs it?), casual language (we’re buds! No need to be formal here), and gifs (fun fun fun!). In this way, it makes me able to reach out to those in the same situation, the same generation, and to relate to a world of gifs and sarcasm– but wait, that can’t be right, because I’m describing the people of Tumblr.

I get Tumblr, and Tumblr gets me. And by now, I’m starting to get the sense that those on WordPress.com don’t appreciate the creative use of gifs the way I do. I can only imagine that when they scroll through my blog they see large pieces of text and then obnoxious flashy gifs and say:

So, it seems only natural that I create a Tumblr blog to continue my discourse on.

It’s not just a place with insane fanatics (among other things), but a place with intelligent dialogue, i.e. usually via witty remarks and questionable grammar and punctuation, but meaningful nonetheless. With unique voices and clear messages, Tumblr is filled with conversations that have been avoided too long and need to be had. They say what needs to be said, the things whispered behind hands and not in households or schools where the typical reaction is:

The “Asian American” tag on Tumblr is quite revealing in itself, and with a quick Google search, I easily found a blog about the activist history of Asian Americans and one blog that belongs to an Asian American photographer who seeks to represent the misrepresented.

As to how I wish to continue the discourse of my blog (read: reactions to racism via personal/others’ accounts), I find myself much inspired by two particular blogs: Disgrasian and Angry Asian Man.

Disgrasian is a website run by two Asian American women who write and talk about racism with basically no filter. The writing is quirky, and it uses personal opinion and experience to the uttermost to get their points through. They do their best to answer questions about racism, whether it’s about Asians or not (though Asian Americans are the focus). In one particular post, Jen, one of the writers, does a scene-by-scene breakdown of the new Karate Kid, tearing it apart with the assistance of her mother.

Disgrasian.com

Disgrasian.com

The Angry Asian Man blog has a voice and style that I relate to and appreciate. He posts about what’s relevant, interesting, or extremely strange, and it all relates to Asian Americans and racism, all from his perspective. On the About page where he talks about himself and how the blog came to be, he gives the motive and reason for why he writes, and really, for why we all write:

Mind you […] it was all very facetious. A big joke about hyperbolic, misguided Asian pride. And most people knew I was joking, save for a few who just got annoyed at my “zeal” […] or those who were truly concerned that I might actually lead some some sort of dangerous Asian uprising. Watch out for that guy —he’s really vocal.

However, in time it became apparent to me that I was actually only half joking. The concerns I was raising were funny because there was truth to them. Because racism does exist, and because Asian Americans still do struggle with issues of acceptance in this country. My context for discussing these problems often came from comic exaggeration, because at times, it was the only way to make such ugly issues open and approachable.

So Angry Asian Man became a cause. And just like Angry Asian Man, the views expressed in the contents of this website will inevitably be ridiculously zealous and exaggerated. Of course, it’s all in fun, but just like the persona of Angry Asian Man, rooted in truth.

Angry Asian Man

blog.angryasianman.com

I understand his mentality very well.

To sum up, with wordpress, in terms of the discourse I’ve been in engaging in and blogging furiously about, I seem to have run into a wall.

Thankfully, the Tumblr blog is under way. It’s up, but still a lot of work has to be done, so until I come out with the half-finished product, look out for the post!

Until then, keep waiting.

Assuming the suspense doesn’t kill you.

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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.