Kpop has become a global phenomenon in the last several years.
In South Korea, and even in one instance in America, Kpop schools have opened to train youngsters hoping to make it big as an idol have opened up.
Even in America, Kpop has finally started to take off.
If Zumba can become a global fitness / music phenomenon, can’t Kpop accomplish something similar with a Kpop inspired fitness program?
Can Asians in the west finally become…(dare I say it?) cool?
Or would we become unwitting punchlines like Psy was only allowed to cross over with an over the top satire video?
Does anyone want to work with me on this? I can support by helping out with coming up with a business plan and maybe some branding.
One of the (MANY) problems with Asian American media representation is that in the few times we are seen in media, we have these humiliating stereotype roles.
You might be familiar with the Chinese take out delivery boy.
Here are some hallmarks:
- Speaks in broken English. Sometimes with a “generic Asian accent” that has random influences of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean accents.
- May resorts to miming to communicate.
- Often the temporary emotional punching bag of the main character.
- May be the butt of racial jokes.
- Note how this person could be a male teenager, or a an adult male, but they are still referred to as a “Chinese take out delivery boy”.
Stereotypes are humiliating because they dehumanize us and insult us. They take the tremendous complexity and depth within us…and distill it to several punchlines.
Several writers that I look up to like David Mura and Gene Luen Yang have said that as writers, we resist these dehumanizing stereotypes by taking them and making them richer and deeper. We resist by reclaiming and rehumanizing them.
This is more of a personal desire, rather than a tactical desire that furthers social justice, but the stereotype I most want to see rehumanized is the Chinese take out delivery boy / person. Asian male actors frequently talk about how THAT is the role they always end up auditioning for. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have a role that rewarded all those years of auditions, all those frustrations, all the humiliations, all the time spent trying to make a bit part come alive?
- I want to know their background.
- Where did they grow up?
- What’s their relationship with their favorite customers?
- Who are their least favorite customers?
- What pisses them off?
- What are their thoughts on their city?
- What do they do to relax?
- What’s going on with their families?
- Can we have an actor with a good Chinese accent? Can my parents tell what region of China he’s from?
- What are they doing in their spare time?
- What do they do during the slow times of the restaurant?
- What are their flaws?
- Have they experienced trauma?
- What is their love life like?
Is anyone working on this? Does this exist already? Let me know here.
I mean that’s pretty much it. Get Steve Carrel to play his character Michael Scott from The Office and give him lines from Trump.
- “You know what uranium is, right? It’s a thing called nuclear weapons and other things like lots of things are done with uranium including some bad things.” -IFLScience
- From CNN:
“I was sitting at the table. We had finished dinner. We’re now having dessert. And we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen and President Xi was enjoying it,” Trump said, before telling interviewer Maria Bartiromo he was told the strike was ready to go.Trump added that he told Xi that the United States had “just fired 59 missiles … heading to Iraq,” incorrectly identifying the country he was striking when relaying the story to Bartiromo.
- In a speech to the Coast Guard
- “Look at the way I have been treated lately, especially by the media. No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse, or more unfairly.”
- “Well, er, it wasn’t, er, it wasn’t very stupid, I can tell you that. [In response to the interviewer suggesting that his tweeting that there were tapes was a smart tactic]” -Fox Entertainment
- “We have a very good relationship. People say we have the best relationship of any President-President, because he’s called President also. Now some people might call him the King of China, but he’s called President. ” -Fox Entertainment
- “Our country’s really in bad, big trouble. We have a lot of trouble. A lot of problems. And one of the big problems, I talk about, divisiveness. I think that a lot of people will appreciate … I’m not doing it for that reason. I’m doing it because it’s time to go in a different direction.” -NYT
- (With this quote, you can even imagine continuing in Michael Scott’s voice with something like “I talk about divisiveness, to talk about unity. A lot of people will keep talking about divisiveness and divide. But I’m going to keep talking about divisiveness and unite. You could even call me…the Uniter in Chief.”
- Any Donald Trump “word salad” speech, but instead of a large audience, in a small conference room
No conversation on Trump is complete without mentioning his extreme racism and sexism. Michael Scott, as offensive as he is, does not say things a white supremacist would say. So how would Michael Scott handle being given Trump’s horrifying lines and tweets?
I believe Michael Scott would say to the “documentary team” filming him that he refuses to say these things. I think it would be weirdly powerful to have Michael Scott, a beloved character from a beloved show, reject these hateful lines.
A phrase that I’ve used as a mantra is “step into uncertainty.”
As creatives, as writers, as entrepreneurs, and even as people navigating everyday life, we are constantly navigating uncertainty.
My impression is many people think of creatives and entrepreneurs as people who throw their entire being into the unknown. I feel like we’re seen as throwing ourselves off a cliff as some kind of tribute to the creative and entrepreneurial gods. If we’re deemed “good enough” by these gods, we might be saved.
My reality has been quite different. I describe us as “stepping into uncertainty.” The relationship we have with uncertainty is one of curiosity, exploration, and incremental commitment.
We think and act probably more like a rover sent onto a far away planet or asteroid. We try to safely explore in small steps. We limit risks. We take time to analyze the situation. We take time to experiment (safely). And if the situation seems too dangerous, we turn tail and retreat. Better to wait for a safer day to step into uncertainty than one day of foolish bravado and machismo.
In light of the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica scandal, and the larger ramifications of people realizing just how much data Facebook has on us (IT’S SO MUCH DATA), in addition to how they have not exercised much care of said data. In response to this, I’ve heard talk of people deleting Facebook.
At this point, I treat Facebook as a news source, an entertainment source, as a gossip site, as a place to make life/career announcements, as a place to plan events, as a socializing site through the messenger, and many other uses (and Facebook knows this). I’m tempted to delete it, but the pure utility of it is undeniable (and Facebook knows this too).
I want to propose a not-for profit, or co-op, or open source model for a social media site. I’m also curious about what a decentralized “social media network” would look like.
For example, what if everyone had their own private server, running the same software that could communicate using a set protocol with other servers running the software?
Does this make any sense? If it were a co-op or not for profit model, would people pay in for it? If it were a de-centralized, open source software / communication protocol, would enough people take the time to download it and maintain it?
Aside: To be clear, problem goes beyond Facebook and for profit social media companies. Taking control of our online data should impact internet service providers (ISP’s) as well. The amount of data our ISP’s have is unsettling. ISP’s and any company that sells supposedly anonymized data should have some kind of oversight.
This may seem like a morbid “Want to See”, but hear me out.
I have friends across the country. I have friends I haven’t seen in years. This was made possible because of social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and technology like texting, email , and phone calls.
I’m a part of different social groups, different communities…and I can keep them apart from each other.
On top of that, in today’s age of social media, algorithms determine what we see is based on a team of programmer’s hell bent on getting us addicted to social media and finding ways to monetize us.
If I died, there are people who may know me, but may not hear news of my passing because of algorithms that don’t reflect their actual priorities/values. There are people who wouldn’t even be able to be reached by the people making the arrangements for my death.
It causes me genuine worry that death in the modern age, for all the talk of how connected we are, may hit us long after the rituals and community grieving has passed. I worry about how others would hear of my own death, but also how I would hear about the death of others.
Death and dying are a part of life. We’re willing to plan out all the other parts of our lives, including saving for retirement, and writing a will for our material possessions. Doesn’t it make sense to plan how we’re going to tell our friends and family?
So this is my want to see: an app that emails, texts, FB messages, and DM’s everyone you know that you have died.
Let me know what you think, or if you would be interested in working on something like this with me HERE.
I hear writers trying to get traction say they don’t have time to read because they spend all their time writing (and that pesky job).
I hear established writers talk about who and what they’re reading, and how it’s helping their work.
See the difference? The reading feeds the writing.
As I’m stepping into organizing, activism, the arts, and entrepreneurship, one of the realizations I’ve had is how many people are involved in these activities. There is no one person show.
When I’m creating and collaborating, and a lot of times seeking out guidance and advice, the people who are helping me are doing this for free. They’re taking time out of their lives to meet with me for coffee, or take a call after work. They could be doing their own work, or chores, or relaxing, or sleeping. But they chose to speak to me.
The only thing I can currently offer is taking the time to express my thanks for their energy and my appreciation.
Any success I would have in the future would be because of the people who have been willing to support me, lift me up, and pull me up. It would be egotistical, unfair, and outright dishonest to claim all the glory.
Yes, I would have worked hard to get there. Yes, I may have taken on risk. Yes, I may have had more responsibility and pressure to get there. But I didn’t do it by myself.
If I’m not gonna pay them for reaching a milestone*, than the least I can do is express my deepest thanks.
*But really, I would love to be able to pay them.
When I was working a “traditional job”, it was quite easy to keep my personal life and work life separate. (As in I kept them as separate as possible.) Now, I’m stepping into positions, roles, and growing the Asian American Literary Collective as an organization, the separation of personal life and work have become blurred. My Facebook messages (and text messages) have become a mish mash of work, friends, friends I work with, and co-workers I’m friends with.
This is awesome because it means I’m allowed to open up, be my full self, and reach my potential.
At the same time, this is raising the problem of how to “shut it down” when Facebook (and texting) is both work and social. (Texting is a little worse because my texting app doesn’t let me “mark as unread”.)
When I’m trying to rest, seemingly harmless conversations slip into topics closer to “work” too easily. A lot of times it’s even my fault!
Here are some solutions I’ve come up with so far:
- Not using Facebook as a “rest” website.
- Being more okay with leaving texts on unread
- My “rest” should not be on a screen
- Going for a walk
- Doing some stretches / exercises
- Taking a 10 minute nap / meditating
- Doing a quick journal session for an emotional check in
Have other people run into this too? Anyone else have any other ideas or suggestions?