End of 2016

What a depressing year. Glen Frey, Muhammad Ali, Prince, Florence Henderson from the Brady Bunch, Alan Thicke from Family Ties, David Bowie, Antonin Scalia, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds (the very next day). These people all meant something to us at some point in our lives. I suppose everyone has to go sometime, but man, this was a year when lots of people left early.

Politically, the only winners this year were Paul Ryan, Donald Trump, and Vladimir Putin. I’d like to say that the Republican Party won, but I don’t think that’s the case. This is going to be the most Russia-friendly regime in history, and I worry about our national security.

Russian hacking

I’m not sure why this isn’t bigger news, but the NY Times published a fascinating article on how Russia (or Russians) successfully hacked our election. I think Obama carries a lot of the blame for not reacting more forcefully to North Korea when they hacked Sony or acting forcefully against the Russians during the election, but I can see why he might have been hesitant to make a big deal out of it. After all, everyone seemed certain that Hillary would win and that they could deal with it later. I think my biggest shock at the article was:

Who gave Trump the election?

The Far Left gave Trump the election. They did it with their PC culture that relies on reacting to discussion with accusations of racism or sexism. By stifling discussion, turning the entire world into a “safe space,” and turning our public sphere into the Oppression Olympics, they ushered Trump right into the White House. I’ve been saying it for a long time. But it sounds a lot better with an angry British accent! I don’t think the Left gave the nomination to Clinton over Sanders, but I do think they created the environment that gave us Trump over Clinton.

Some optimism after the election

There is nothing to be afraid of. Let me repeat myself. There is nothing to be afraid of.

My Facebook feed is teeming with people saying that they feel “unsafe.” That they’re “scared.” That they already feel the violence starting to arise. They cite the CNN report that hate crimes have already begun to rise. I was even defriended by a cousin who said that I didn’t understand the “crisis.” Extreme Hillary supporters would have been angry if Trump refused to accept the election results, but after losing, they’re refusing to accept the election results.

Kickstarter for Naomi Hirahara’s The Big Bachi

Hey All,

Here with another indy project that y’all can support. Naomi Hirahara, whose YA novel I reviewed on bigWOWO, is turning her first Mas Arai novel into a movie. You can learn more and support it here (the Kickstarter expires in three days.) I just finished reading the novel a couple of weeks ago. It was a good read, but my feeling was that the characters were just too old to make into a movie. Seeing a bunch of 70-year-olds having a fistfight isn’t something that usually gets me excited, and there weren’t many young characters through which a viewer could see the future of the JA community. I e-mailed my concerns to the producer and author. I was happy to learn that because they had the same concerns, they changed the story to take place during the 1960’s with a younger Mas Arai.

“My body is separate from my politics,” interracial marriage, and where the environmentalists all drive Hummers

Once again, IR crept into the discussion. This time it’s the same discussion that has happened many, many times over the years. Asian American feminists and their non-Asian boyfriends are using the same argument that they’ve always used to dismiss the IR disparity: “This is my body! You have no right to question whom I date! To do so is sexist and patriarchal! How dare you! Ethan (or Biff or Whitey) is an individual, and that has nothing to do with my activism.” It’s the “my body is separate from my politics” argument. It’s an argument that has been made ad nauseum since the 1970’s. I don’t think I’ve ever had a post dedicated to the argument, so here it is.

Asian American activism, men and women

About two months ago, I was doing a podcast (which never got published and was hosted by someone else), and one of my interlocutors complained about Constance Wu, who had tweeted that she supported Asian women before anyone else (It was on Twitter and I can’t find it now). My podcast friend complained that he thought it was wrong that Constance Wu was speaking up for women before men. He told me how his black female friend also thought it was both wrong AND counterproductive. His argument was that Asian men and women go up and down together, and that it was stupid to separate the genders when it came to activism. I vehemently disagreed. I don’t know anything about Constance Wu, so I said, “What if she spoke up for Asian men and it turned out that she’s dating a White guy? Would that help or hurt Asian men?” Their answer was, “She is dating a White guy,” and “That would make it worse.” I pointed out that maybe the issue wasn’t a problem with what she said about putting Asian women first, but rather the possible discrepancy between words and actions. I said that given the trend of the Asian Female Celebrity Club, maybe it was better that she only spoke for Asian women. I said maybe it was better for ALL Asian female celebrities to only speak for Asian women.


Photo credit: Andrew Testa for the New York Times

Photo credit: Andrew Testa for the New York Times

I’m in shock. I think it’s hard to fathom exactly how bad Brexit will be, not just for Britain, but for all of Europe and the rest of the world. From what I’ve read, I have to agree with the experts that xenophobia was the driving force behind this. Tribalism has run amok, both on the Far Right and the Far Left. It’s invaded our own country with the Trump campaign, and it’s showing no signs of abating. This is going to be terrible for the world economy.