I’m going to die from frustration

The Internet is a piece of shit.

If you asked someone about the Internet, you’d probably hear something like this:

“The Internet changed the way we live–the way we learn, communication, watch porn. Basically the best thing evaaaaar.”

Well I’ve come to the final conclusion that the Internet is going to kill me. I am a commenter. You know those “news” articles you read on the Yahoo frontpage? From everything from sports to politics to fashion, I am one of those people commenting, thumbs-upping, thumbs-downing. You know IMDb, the International Movie Database? After every movie I watch, I look at those pages as well as the actors, and I comment on the stuff I hated, the eye candy, whatever. Few people know this, but I regularly get into heated arguments. Off the top of my head, I’ve argued with people over some random contestant on Project Runway, Christina Hendricks’ gift(s) to men (tits. duh.), something about Nikki Blonsky, and whole horrible Public Enemies was. Is it a humongous waste of time? Yeah. Did I (do I) love it? Absolutely.

Those types of arguments excited me. I checked back frequently, whether I was out, at parties (yikes), or sitting at home with nothing else to do. But then I realized that that kind of back-and-forth was futile, and in a way, frustrating. On the plus side, I became an excellent and meticulous arguer. But that’s because for the most part I was arguing with people who were just like me: convinced that they, and only they, were correct and unwilling to admit that they were wrong. No, this is the Internet baby. Sit back, block user, and enjoy anonymity.

That weird kind of stress of trying to articular a point and getting nothing across was tiring. I abandoned that lifestyle. I had had enough; I grew up and became the person I wanted to be.

That included staying out of my normal shenanigans and naturally, trying to simply increase the amount of responsible discourse on the Internet. 99% of you know that such an ideal is so unrealistic that it’s ludicrous. Hell hath froze over before people on the Internet do anything close to responsible. They don’t proofread. They talk like how they speak (😉). They name call with no repercussions. I will go so far as to say that EVERYONE on the Internet has become some sort of troll.

You always comment that this Yahoo “News” story about “Must-Have Makeup for Summer” is not actual news? YOU ARE A TROLL.

You always post every little detail about your favorite sports team? YOU ARE A TROLL.

You have an opinion and belligerently express it in every way you can? Duh, YOU ARE A MOTHERFUCKING TROLL.

[Warning: Rant] I CAN’T FUCKING READ A (REAL) NEWS STORY ON ANYTHING WITHOUT IT TURNING TO FUCKING POLITICS. Oh, they wrote one sentence that commented on Obama’s first pitch at a White Sox game? It turns into a free-for-all on Obama’s presidency.

There might be a story on how Michelle Obama mistakenly touched the Queen on her back. You know, that respectful, “help your elders” back touch which usually translates to, “Can you move your creaky bones any damn faster.” Sure, maybe by English Royalty standards this is a no-no, but if anyone trips over this for more than a hot minute you have some serious problems. I can respect icons, I can respect royalty, and I watched every minute of Wills + Kate. I will bow down to those motherfu**ers, but don’t tell me for a second that their shit don’t stink. Naturally, the comments on this story ranged from how Michelle Obama vacationed while America starved, how she was being condescending towards the Queen, and then the racist ish.

Then there was a blog on Buzzfeed about Obama’s “Tall Tales” in a book by Dave Maraniss. Did I criticize the post? No. Who am I to judge? I’ve never read a book by Barack Obama nor have I read books critical of Obama. I replied to a commenter, simply: “Minorities have a different experience than white people in America.” I intentionally left out any mention of Obama, who, in the article, was accused of portraying him as more black than he really was. BUT I was braced for a shitstorm even while knowing that I hadn’t said anything inflammatory.

One man displayed a lack of deeper comprehension and bombarded me with instances of how minorities have the same experiences as whites in America. Yes, they indeed apply for driver’s licenses, get married, have children, just like white people! They are even elected POTUS. I responded that I meant a general life experience. To drive the point home, I asked, rhetorically, “What does that say about our country and our people? That IF Obama indeed acted more black or more white in different circles, what does that say about who he had to please socially and politically?”

That was then chopped up even further. It got as far as illegal immigration. I got in my last word, but that argument has since died.

Soon after that, I clicked on a Yahoo News story also about Maraniss’ book. It was TL;DR status, so I went straight down to the comments. The same inflammatory crap: people calling Obama an array of creative nicknames such as Oblamer, Othugo, Obamination, etc. You get the picture. Then came to the refreshingly and seemingly innocuous question: “What is a community organizer and how do they get paid?” I wet my pants–I had recently read the novel Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President by Edward McClelland for a class. I gave the objective definition of a community organizer and told a little bit about what Obama was facing when he took on the role of community organizer and that he was paid very little. Not a huge surprise. Then:

He’s just a Savior! That’s what Kristen would have you believe. He might have been there at one point in time to help but I think that is when he realized that he could easily coax people into doing what he wanted because he is partly black. His radical ideas and beliefs are smoothed over in his double talk and sly speak. You know he’s about to sell you a pile of garbage when he starts talking about the greater good, social justice or tries to tell you that the government has your best interests in mind and at heart. Notice that Kristen is in Washington D.C. Anybody else find that a little “strange”?

Is this what humanity has come to?

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I leave for home on Friday morning and I am juiced. Not that I haven’t enjoyed college or anything, but my god, I need to go!

My dorm room is smaller than my bedroom, and I share it with two other ladies. Not chill. In addition, I think the bathroom is one of the most private rooms in a person’s home. Communal bathrooms are just ludicrous. So I’ll be glad to have that back. I’ll be glad to have a fully-stocked kitchen with absolutely everything I need. I’m tired of snacking, I want to eat!

Eat GOOD FOOD. Up here in Northwest DC, there is NO good food, even if you have the money to pay for it. Tenleytown, the neighborhood where AU is located, has no good eats (aside from Popeye’s). I’ll be happy to have delicious burritos, steaming bowls of pho, $5 plates of heaping Chinese food, fresh and authentic Italian food a ten minute drive from my house. Hell, I’ll be happy to have a car. I’ll be out of the shit cold weather (although when I come back it’ll be even shittier and even colder). I’ll be happy to see my family, friends, my puppies, and celebrate Christmas and the New Year.

Winter Break, I’ve been waiting for you.

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People who inspire me

Mark Twain

Abe Lincoln

Wendell Phillips

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San Francisco

I have yet to find a person who dislikes this city. Few people I talk to express anything but love for this city.

During my free time these days, I’m going to publish a “series” on San Francisco, from history to culture to food.

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Occupy _______/ the 99%

I’m procrastinating writing my essay, so just let me make this quick.

The Occupy movements are important. They represent a spread of generations that all have a common problem. However, discussions for me always come back to this: what is this really going to do? Perhaps I haven’t done enough research on the movement itself. From what I understand, the movement protests corruption and greed of the big business.

So, nothing new. Are they really raising awareness? After all, anyone affected by this discrepancy would probably already know that the 1% is “bad.” But what is really going to happen about that? Is that CEO really going to be giving his money away because some people are upset that he’s rich?

Shouldn’t we be raising awareness for other things that could actually bring about tangible change? Here are some ideas:

  • Occupy Congress. At least the CEOs work.
  • Oppose tax cuts to the wealthy. This seems the most obvious. Fair is fair. The definition of the middle class is muddled by their taking on the burden of high taxes.
  • VOTING AWARENESS, and not just of the large elections, and not just because of a political party. Find out what matters to you, and pick your candidate appropriately. Socially, I’m liberal. But I find myself moderate if not somewhat conservative on some issues. The problem today that there is such a focus on two parties that more often than not, candidates represent their party’s ideals and not their own.
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Songs for Books

Read this music to get you in the mood for books.

Another Bullshit Night in Suck City – “Pittsfield” by Sufjan Stevens
Atmospheric Disturbances – “The Scientist” by Coldplay
The Sound and the Fury – “Romulus” by Sufjan Stevens, “Resurrection Fern” by Iron & Wine

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Culture shock

I have always been an outsider; at the same time I have not. The most important thing to keep in mind as you read this: I am not having an identity crisis.

San Francisco’s rough 20% Chinese population and the fact that I spent the majority of my youth in the western areas of San Francisco (Richmond/Sunset) and went to a predominantly Chinese ensured that I would never feel like a minority. [Other East Asians, you know, the type that dem whitefolk can’t tell apart, contributed to the “ingroup” as well]

The East Coast, as I understand it, is a bit different. It’s not like they’re Columbus seeing West Indians for the first time. However, I’ve had the displeasure of encountering some people who are probably the fucking modern-day equivalent. Within a few minutes of meeting me and perhaps inquiring or assuming my ethnicity, some ask if I speak Chinese. This is a valid question, despite being asked seconds after “Hi, my name is _______.” However, after balking when I reply, “No, not a word,” I begin to believe it’s inappropriate. I don’t ask every white person if they speak French, Russian, German, Italian, Swiss, Gaelic, whatever. Is it so hard to assume that there’s a huge probability that I grew up in a household not too different from their own?

I’m proud of my heritage. But there are ways in which I can’t “connect” with it, and why should I? For as much as I love history and the past, I have no inclination to learn the Chinese language (other than for strategic uses as China will one day rule the world), to visit China, to trace back my ancestors. My family is here, my life is here. I can tell you that my paternal great-great-grandfather came here in the late 19th century as a laborer. My great-grandmother was a seamstress in Oakland but never learned English well. My grandmother was the first bilingual social worker in San Francisco. My dad is a retired sales manager. My mom’s parents were both immigrants and died before she was a teenager; she and her four siblings raised, fended for, and prospered themselves.

Like, yeah, I’m the fucking American dream.

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Megabus & me

Being on the East Coast has afforded me to the pleasure of having multiple metropolitan areas close to me. Being a college student has limited my methods of transportation. A plane ticket is expensive and a car is out of the question — I’ve discovered the joys of the charter bus. At about $20 from DC to New York, it’s much cheaper than any other mode of transport and quite convenient given the amenities considered a standard now, including free Wi-fi and electrical outlets.

I think it’s pretty understandable that comfort includes having a whole row (two seats) to yourself. The last round trip I took, I was lucky enough to be on emptier buses with less people — most everyone got their own row. Call me selfish, but the last thing I want to do is sit next to a stranger for four hours when I could just as easily have two seats to myself (as I would be able to evidently conclude later, it’s hard to manage all my chargers, wires, electronics when I’m pulling them out from the cramped foot space).

Which brings me to my main point — I have come to the realization that I am probably candidate #1 when it comes to choosing which person to sit next to. All those stragglers who came at departure time when we were supposed to arrive 15 minutes early — they’re looking for me when they walk onto the bus and realize that since they’re LATE, they won’t be getting their own seat. It’s a horrible stereotype, really.

Stereotypes are shortcuts in the cognitive process. They’re unnecessary, but convenient. 

When you see me, the smallish Asian girl on the bus, quietly texting on my phone, taking up my seat and my seat only. You think that I won’t be talking loudly on the phone (Middle Eastern people do that, right?). I won’t be pulling out stinky food (White people do that, right?). I won’t disregard you in general (Black people do that, right?). Out of the younger crowd, the Asian is also desirable. White girls have a propensity to feel entitled and rude. Same with black girls and Latinas, but oh shit, in a worse way! No…sit next to the Asian girl whose clothes look laundered and doesn’t seem like she’d be much trouble.

I’ve made all the above generalizations that people, including myself, may be inclined to think.

So being the bitch I am, I usually place my bag on the seat next to me and scowl before departure. No one will want to sit next to the person in the horrible mood, right? I did this as the bus filled up, as every person’s solidarity was ruined with the late scragglers, until I was the only person left with a row to myself…

…Until a Megabus worker came and yelled at me, screaming that I hadn’t paid for that seat and therefore my bag should not be on there. He then proceeded to walk away, obviously pissed as tits, threatening that anyone else who did what I did would be kicked off the bus.

Remembering this incident actually makes me very angry. My Asian girl tendencies had kicked in and I had quietly apologized and dutifully removed my bag when this guy was downright disrespectful towards me. I should’ve given his sorry attitude right back.

I live a life full of regrets.

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Doo Wop

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“I Hate Gay Pride”

I was on a Youtube binge when I came across this video on my sidebar. What caught me was the title: “I Hate Gay Pride!!!!” Expecting a bigoted old man, I was pleasantly surprised to watch a very thoughtful and insightful analysis of society. Noticing the usual slew of people who simply did not understand the video, I thought that I’d both clarify (or at least show you how i interpreted it) and add my own thoughts to it.

The majority of “negative” comments on the video spanned from those who probably didn’t pay attention to the video/didn’t understand it/only reader the title — “So what? I’m gay and proud!!!” — to the even sadder people who wrote a long paragraph about their trial and tribulations of being gay — “I went through high school alone…My family rejected me…I’m proud to be gay.” And by sadder, I mean missed the mark in a more time-consuming way.

Here is the video, summed up in one sentence: There shouldn’t be a NEED for gay pride.

Opposites make up or, rather, create our perceptions, from the basic to the abstract. Without cordiality in existence, one could not be considered “rude”. Without niceness, there would be no “mean”. This phenomenon can be witnessed in such current issues involving homosexuality — gay rights, social stigmas — through the burgeoning of “pride” among the gay community. The reality is the notion of “pride” is sad because “pride” is simply the reaction to how society has treated LGBTQ people with shame, disdain, and made them feel inferior. In agreement with the video, while I support gay pride and support gay people, I hate the fact that there is such a things as “gay pride”. If people were less ignorant and hateful towards gay people, there would be no need for gay people to take a stand and be proud.

I’m straight and I’m not proud. I’m not ashamed. I’m not anything. Because no one has ever told me that being straight was wrong. No one has look at me differently because I was straight. No one has denied me rights because I’m straight.

More to come — I’m tired!!

Me with friends @ the Gay Pride Parade 2011 in SF!

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