This is partly because the rest of the world has caught up to wrestling’s ethos. With each passing year, more and more facets of popular culture become something like wrestling: a stage-managed “reality” in which scripted stories bleed freely into real events, with the blurry line between truth and untruth seeming to heighten, not lessen, the audience’s addiction to the melodrama.
Another diversion from the all-important blogs about streetfighting…
I’ve blogged before about black guys on the Bachelor, even though I don’t watch the show. Since I’ve gone back on Facebook, I’ve been exposed to all kinds of TV-related news. I had no idea, but there was actually an Asian dude on the Bachelorette. Represent!
Just to break up (for a second) the discussion about streetfighting and martial arts.
Check out Dumbfoundead’s video above. I thought it was interesting.
Also, Asian American TV actors have been recently speaking out against Hollywood’s Whitewashing. It’s creating a very big conversation. It was even featured in the NY Times. Check it out here.
I wanted to link to my post about the Default Human Being. I think we’re trying to change what the “default” is. I think we’re making a lot of progress in that area. (Thank you, RiceDaddies, for preserving a copy of my son’s artwork which got lost in our server migration!)
In my quest to understand the martial arts better, I’ve been listening to some Joe Rogan podcasts. Some of them are very good. Others will drive you crazy. One of Rogan’s favorite punching bags is Chinese martial arts. His main point is that kung fu doesn’t work because we haven’t seen a kung fu fighter of the caliber of Machida, GSP, Liddell (all karate) or Pettis (TKD) in the UFC. Rogan feels that Wing Chun and other forms of kung fu have been refuted since there haven’t been any kung fu fighters at the elite level of MMA. He doesn’t say anything about other “unproven” arts like Krav Maga or Pentjak Silat, but he smacks Wing Chun around as if he were an Asian American feminist beating on a handcuffed Asian American frat boy.
Check out John Hackleman’s excellent vlog above about the three kinds of fights. Hackleman is Chuck Liddell’s coach, and he makes excellent points about the 3 kinds of fights: MMA fights, kid playground fights, and adult self-defense. If I were a martial arts coach, I would make sure that all of my students knew which fights they were training for. A punch is a punch, and all fights require good physical fitness, but each category has its own goals and aims, and therefore each requires its own preparation. I agree with everything that Hackleman says, and here are some of my thoughts:
1. A top Muay Thai fighter in Thailand only makes around $5,700 a fight. That’s insane. Meanwhile, a One FC champion can make hundreds of thousands a fight. It would seem to me that the choice is obvious, although I hope people will still do Muay Thai. There’s too much culture there to give it up.
Sorry for the late notice, but I had a podcast with Tales from Mangri-La two weeks ago. You can hear it here. The guys who run the podcast are part of a Reddit called r/Asianmasculinity. Sorry for not keeping y’all updated on my web stuff, but I got detracted with Keon’s death, and I wanted to help raise awareness of his contributions. I had to give Keon his space. But I like what these guys are doing! I don’t know if I was so well-prepared for the podcast since I wasn’t sure exactly what we were going to talk about, but I was told that it would be like a bunch of guys talking in a bar. Perhaps if I were really drinking, I would’ve remembered more about our conversation with Jessica Hyejin Lee, who is now a tech CEO.
I learned about Anni Ma from YOMYOMF. Anni is a feminist who works to “free the nipple;” she goes around without a shirt to protest the double-standard in society where men can go shirtless but women can’t. See her interview above. In the interview, she talks about the double standard: how men can go shirtless without shame. She talks about how she wants to show the world how regular boobies are just as good as boobies you see in the movies that don’t have tanlines or stretch-marks (she actually raises a good point–how do they avoid tanlines in the movies?).
(Edit 5/10/16: People have asked how they can help Keon’s family. There is a GoFundMe page here. Please support this veteran, patriot, hero, and artist by supporting the family in giving Keon the Buddhist ancestral farewell that he deserves.
About Keon’s anonymity: Everyone at the Banana Conference knew Keon by name, but he chose to use only his moniker online in order to separate his activism from his future work as a novelist. Keon never completed his novel. His family has approved the release of his identity so that this hero can leave the world proudly and to get recognition for his immense contributions to the Asian American blogosphere and the many people he influenced.