Lionel Shriver’s plea for moderation

Photo credit: Daniel Seed

Photo credit: Daniel Seed

A lot of my “liberal” Facebook friends posted about Lionel Shriver’s speech to the Brisbane Writers Festival. Read the entire speech here. Most of my friends were against the speech, basically saying that Lionel Shriver was acting like a privileged person and wasn’t empathetic enough to minorities. One commenter said that the speech was “worse than I thought.” While I’m not surprised at the objections to Shriver’s speech, I am surprised at the vitriol thrown her way. Some people even walked out of her speech. While I don’t agree with everything that Shriver said or the way in which she portrayed things, most of what she said is correct.

Hearts, not minds

I’ve been spending way too much time arguing on social media with people over the Constance Wu thing. I posted about this three weeks ago, followed by a post on Cultural Attraction, which was my big breakthrough over the last couple of years. Anyway, yesterday Phil from YOMYOMF posted this: Yes, Constance Wu can have a White boyfriend and still advocate for Asian Americans. In the article, Phil says what lots of my Facebook peeps are saying, that a woman who dates White can still advocate for Asian Americans. I actually agree with them 100%. As long as there’s no logical discrepancy between action and words, it’s fine. Similarly, an environmentalist who owns two homes or drives a Hummer can also be an advocate–after all, in the grand scheme of things on a planet 7 billion strong, what’s one extra car or one extra home? Logically, it makes hardly any difference at all.

What is normal?

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!)

Podcast with Mangri-La

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.

Anti-Asian jokes at the Oscars

King sent this one over: Constance Wu, Jeremy Lin and More Slam Chris Rock’s Asian Joke at Oscars.

So let me just say this: Chris Rock is probably the funniest guy alive, but he had a flat night. I don’t usually watch the Oscars, but since my grandmother wanted to watch, we saw the opening monologue. When we came back from dinner, I watched the end. Most of it was flat. I didn’t see the joke with the little kids, but I heard Sacha Baron Cohen’s joke about “tiny little yellow people” with “tiny dongs.”

The benefits and dangers of defensive thinking

Yesterday a blog reader e-mailed some Asian American bloggers (me included) about the new movie The Big Short, based on Michael Lewis’s book about the mortgage collapse. The reader noted that the big villain in the movie is a guy named Wing Chau, an Asian dude. I read the Big Short a while ago, and while the name Wing Chau does ring familiar, I don’t think Lewis’s book puts all the blame on Mr. Chau. He was a minor character, if anything. But Hollywood being what Hollywood is, it wouldn’t surprise me if once again, they Pinned the Tail on the Asian Male. Sexism? Blame the Asian Male. Racism? Blame the Asian Male. School too hard? Blame the Asian Male. The Subprime Mortgage collapse? Blame the Asian Male. The Asian Male has always been Hollywood’s favorite whipping boy. Anyway, the blog reader posed a good question. He asked whether he should be publicizing what he felt was a racist portrayal, or whether it was better not to bother giving the movie writers additional publicity.

Trigger warnings affecting mental health

Image credit: Andrew B. Myers, the Atlantic

Image credit: Andrew B. Myers, the Atlantic

Thanks, E, for sending this excellent and timely article: The Coddling of the American Mind. In this Atlantic article, the author discusses how “trigger warnings” and other liberal extremist projects may be contributing to mental health problems among college students and young workers. I’ve blogged about this fanatical nonsense before. If every response to a serious question is “you’re racist” or “you better check your privilege” or “is that a threat?” or you say that the validity of basic math is “dehumanizing,” you’re not going to go anywhere with your argument. But worst of all, you’re hurting people by creating a world where young people don’t have to face reality. They can remain children their entire lives, throwing tantrums whenever they feel like it.

The cop and the texter

springvalley

By now, you’ve all heard of police officer Ben Fields who was fired for slamming a high school girl who refused to leave after getting in trouble for texting during class. According to reports,

Police say the incident began around 11 a.m. when the girl became disruptive in her algebra class and was texting on her phone. Her teacher asked the student to leave, and when she refused, an administrator was called in, Lott said.

Angry Little Asian Girl threatens to sue Angry Asian Man

I saw this on 8 Asians.

Here’s Angry Little Asian Girl’s side of the story: Why the “Angry Asian Man” is pissing me off. [Edit: alternate copy here]

And here’s Angry Asian Man’s side: I am being threatened with an Angry Asian lawsuit.

Angry Asian Man is a popular blogger, and I’m not surprised that much of the Asian blogosphere is jumping in to support him. Plus, he’s a dude, and well, male privilege. But in any dispute, I think we have to step back and look at it from the legal aspect, not the popularity aspect.