The Uproarious Haircut (plus color & tip)

The Uproarious Haircut (plus color & tip)

And yes, we should care but not really.

AOC famously paid for a $260 haircut, sorry and color plus tip (and do not quote anything I’ve said here as I’ve not done any research beyond the musings of, say, an article [and/or video] or two [or more but not fewer]). And people are in an uproar at the cost, and honestly, they fucking should be. We should all be fucking pissed that a Congressperson, who is paid a decent salary, does whatever the fuck she wants with her paycheck. Obviously, I’m kidding. I honestly do fucking care that she spent so much money on a haircut (plus color plus tip), though. I’m not pissed cause, obviously, without her job, she has no money, and the reason why AOC has no money is not because of her student loans, as she formerly proclaimed; it is because she spends it all. So, instead of being pissed, I understand and thereby know her a little better, and knowledge is, as we know, power. 

Unfortunately, the thing that I know about her now is that she’s bad with money. But so is everyone. So why are we all so surprised when one of us is bad with money? It may seem like a trite and frivolous thing, spending $260 on a haircut (and color plus tip), but all of you do it all the time, just not with haircuts. You buy overpriced coffee, overpriced technology, overpriced everything, all for what: A bit of status? The AOC issue is disappointing because she was supposed to be different. She was supposed to know better. Better than what? Better than to succumb to the overwhelming pressure of her ego’s own vanity? As if. Men don’t succumb so easily because they have not had a lifetime of berratement or even comment with regards to their looks. Not that this is an excuse for AOC. She should be ashamed, but she probably thinks something more akin to “I deserve this.” 

To be clear, I don’t care that AOC spent that much money. That’s not what I’m upset about. I’m upset about the fact that she spent that kind of money on anything so rudimentary as a haircut. The thing I learned, however, is that if Congresspeople make enough money to blow some on a $260 haircut (with color and tip), I’m now much more curious about being one myself. But who am I kidding? My electability is null. 

In the end, it’s the same old story, a woman being ostracized about her vanity by the same people who comment solely on her outer appearance. If most women are like most of the women I know, then we’re all just trying to “look our best” in order to remove our appearance from the talking table. We’re all just trying to survive this hellscape where nothing that comes out of our mouths matters unless we look good. And god forbid you look hot; the hot ones are never taken seriously. So, what’s a woman to do being stuck between a rock and a hard place? And what’s a woman to do when that rock and hard place are both other women? Perhaps the trickiest part for all of us to wrap our minds around is that women are complex creatures, because people are complex creatures, and women are people. And on my worst day, with a few extra bills in my account, I’d do the same thing, not on a haircut, obviously, but it would be something equally frivolous, and so would you.

You’re not ‘stuck in a rut.’

You’re not ‘stuck in a rut.’

How to be happy you’re alive.

 

I’m annoyed, frustrated and generally pissed that people cannot seem to grasp the simple idea that life is monotonous. Just like so-and-so says in The Princess Bride*, “Life is pain, highness. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something.” When you don’t feel like ripping today a new asshole or you don’t feel like being awesome or you just want to eat junk food and play video games, that’s called Regressing to the Mean. It’s normal. It’s all part of your human existence within a thing called math. At some point, over the course of some time, you MUST regress because growth only and solely upward is impossible; the math says so. 

Thus, the thing that every person dumb enough to pick up a self-help book needs to understand is that life is monotony, the everyday experience of experiencing everyday experiences every day. Awesome days cannot be awesome against the backdrop of every day being awesome. And days of misery cannot be miserable against the backdrop of every day being miserable. Get it? The daily routine of monotony is the baseline of your life that really gives your life (all the awesome and miserable days, events and experiences) its meaning. 

For the creative types, “one of those days (or weeks or months)” are absolutely necessary. Your brain requires time to mull and digest information. There are input times and output times. The output times are obvious to spot; you’re outputting creatively. Input times have been mislabeled as “stuck in a rut.” Instead of contemplating your life in such hopeless terms, realize the truth, instead of seeking advice. This “rut” phase is your brain’s input time. Instead of forcing and hoping and lamenting about how you’re so unmotivated, realize that this is the time when your brain needs to rest, perhaps even sleep. Read a book. Sit outside in the sun. Do nothing. 

You’re not going to feel awesome every single fucking day. Some people never get to experience the feeling of feeling awesome. And I’d even go so far as to say that everyone’s idea of what makes them feel awesome is different. Why are we all pretending as if we want the same thing? We don’t. I have yet to actually meet another writer who has the same sort of aspirations as I do as a writer. And yet, we all lump ourselves in together and hope to gain knowledge from someone who has found “success.” But another person’s success cannot ever be yours. 

So now, I understand how hopeless my efforts are as this is, in fact, a piece of advice, but that advice is to stop taking advice. Instead of being just like everyone else who seeks advice, seek truth, knowledge. The only place to find this sort of content is within books. Your local library has a healthy supply of them, and guess what, all the books are free to borrow! 

In short, you’re not stuck in a rut; you’re stuck in this thing we all call life. Get over yourself; relieve yourself of the pressure to be and achieve something all day, every day. The only way to find yourself is to actually spend time with yourself, and so, when you find yourself stuck with yourself (whenever you see yourself as “in a rut”) instead of lamenting about how you wish things were, show a little gratitude for keeping yourself alive, alive enough to want more than the mundanity that living affords so well. 


*written by William Goldman

Seattle doesn’t look good in sunlight.

Seattle doesn’t look good in sunlight.

A non-native’s ten-month stay in the Emerald City Part I

We moved into our apartment in Seattle, Washington, on 1 January 2019 after living in an airbnb for about three weeks while we searched for said apartment, and we will move out of this place on 31 October 2019. Since I’ve been mentally checked out of here for about two months now (after a rousing experience with some Chinese “entrepreneurs” went sour quite quickly after discovering that the “management” had some serious “issues”), my mind is clearly revealing some of the theories its developed about this place, and one of them regards the rain.

We had lived in South Korea for the past five years, and upon our departure, moved to New Zealand. Our plan was to fly to Auckland and decide whether or not we would stay. Under the assumption that we would love it and want to live there (oh so badly), we booked departure flights ten weeks after our arrival, hoping that would be enough time to decide whether or not we would stay (and we booked that flight to Honolulu [a cheap destination from NZ, quite frankly, and cheap enough to flush if we did indeed stay {and we had to book outbound flights because we lacked visas for our arrival but can easily stay with US Passports for up to three months as visitors}]). Unfortunately, after about ten days, we realized that there was no fucking way we were going to stay there. As urbanites, willful city mice, Auckland was not enough of a city for us, and NZ as a whole is rural. Obviously, we knew this going into it, but we thought that there would at least be some character to the city, some culture, some anything. But alas, Auckland is a little baby city and will require quite a lot more time to really mature into something interesting, a place of real interest. And NZ really feels like the edge of the world, and we were wanting to stay connected, get reconnected.

These things I am saying about NZ may seem obvious to most of you, so just go ahead and call me The Idiot. Despite having about two months to burn in a place we didn’t want to stay (for us, meaning no longer wanting to spend our money in), we tried to make the most of it. I started a Meetup for writers and met a handful of people (one of whom was American, funnily enough) who were all very friendly and amicable but who lacked … ambition. Everyone was so content, and it was a beautiful thing to behold. Just not the place for us.

And so, we also spent many hours of those two months deciding where in the United States we were willing to live. After much debate, we settled on Seattle. The climate in Seoul is a sort of hellish nightmare-scape. I needed some relief from the bitter, biting, relentless cold of winter and the melting, muggy, suffocating weight of summer. Seattle is supposed to be temperate. Seattle is supposed to be gloomy. Seattle is supposed to be wet and rainy. Seattle is supposed to be mild. And it is, but it’s also way too sunny for its own good.

From what I can gather from strangers is that this past summer was unusually sunny. The last winter was unusually snowy as well. The temperatures and climate overall were more extreme this year than past years, which screams to me climate change, duh (and Seattle has supposedly made some major changes, but those changes are not being reflected in the cost of living). And so, to my theory.

Native Seattleans were born into a climate of rain and gloom. Sure there are sunny days but not like the ones of late. Thus, there is a certain air about them, a somber sort of goth depression and a “don’t give a fuck” kind of attitude. This demeanor and thereby aesthetic suits rainy days, the gloom and darkness of long stretches of overcast spitting-type rain very well, extremely well; the two came together out of the climate conditions of Seattle itself. In the bright light of a sun-filled day, the look is a bit heavy.

Seeing a Native Seattlean in broad, cloudless sunshine feels like seeing a turtle out of its shell; they look a bit naked, pale, white. And maybe they are all trying to soak up as much sun as they can, when they can, but the general aesthetic is not pleasing. The worst part, however, is the climate change. This past summer, Seattle felt like a place where there is a lot of sunshine, but the type of people who live in places with a lot of sunshine are not like the type of people who do not. Thus, there were a few instances of people who live in sunshine climates strutting around in Seattle during the height of summer, and even they looked out of place. Seattle’s climate forces people who exist within it to dress and thereby look a very strange way. There’s really no way to look good. Not that looking good is important or even worthy of something about which to be written.

Anyway, Seattle feels full (and I use “full” in comparison here as this city feels mostly empty, either dead or dying or preparing itself for a boom) of mostly people who have been shipped in for work in the tech sector. We have met few natives and we’ve met even fewer people our own age (everyone being either older or younger than us), yet everyone we see while walking around seems to be our age. And obviously, Seattle, too, feels like a little baby city with a little too much sprawl, expensive public transportation, and nothing to offer as far as the fun of “street culture” (street food, street fashion) is concerned.

It’s raining again after about two solid months of hot summer sunshine, and I’m excited and energized by the gloom that rainy weather brings. This is why we chose this place for our ten-month stay, after all. I cannot honestly admit that it has been nice, but it’s been whatever it is that this time was supposed to be. Is it someplace I would ever like to live again? No. Am I upset that I lived here during this time? No. My point is simply that Seattle looks good in the rain; the sunshine only highlights its flaws.

On Healthcare

On Healthcare

What the fuck do you need your ‘beloved’ health insurance for if you can afford to pay for all your medical services OUT OF POCKET?

Duh.

The thing that these idiots (the “central” liberals and anyone like them) who continue to bash the healthcare plan supported by Warren and Sanders fail to understand revolves around the specificity of their lack of understanding around the concept of COST. How much should medical services COST? The argument boils down to the simple fact that the Dems are divided on the issue of whether or not the government ought to set the COST for medical services.

That’s right, the liberal party in this country cannot even decide whether or not the government ought to control the cost of medical services and procedures. What kind of fucking “Developed Nation” is this? Healthcare, the everyday services that every single fucking person (in the world) needs, is essential for a healthy, equitable existence.

IF the government controls the COST, that means that medical services and procedures will be set by the government, and if the government is working and serving the public (as opposed to the corporate interest, power and control in Warren’s sight-lines), the COST of medical services and procedures ought to be cheap enough to afford if you are a living, working (whether for minimum wage or not, and this is a wholly other issue) person in the United States. Obviously, when the government isn’t working for the people, we all shrink small into ourselves and convince ourselves that we can make our own decisions, provide for ourselves better than our government or anyone else can, a la Andrew Yang and his “freedom dividend” (which is a great idea, just not yet). Yang doesn’t believe in an America run by a government that cares and feels responsible for its citizens. Yang is a pure capitalist, dangerous and selfish.

Bottom line, No one is going to “take away your health insurance.” The progressives (Warren and Sanders) desire to make medical services and procedures CHEAP (in cost not quality), cheap enough for you to be able to stop shoveling money into your insurance premiums (and deductibles and co-pays) and pay for your medical bills yourself (which you already are plus payments to insurance providers), AND have some extra money, the money not being paid to your insurance, if all goes to plan. Not to mention that your healthcare needs (medical services and procedures) will no longer depend on your employment/employer. This will also lift the burden off small business owners who have to provide insurance for their employees, when really, the government could just make healthcare so affordable that if you pay an employee a healthy, equitable wage, they (employees) ought to be able to pay for whatever medical services they need whenever they need them. Do you honestly love that job you’re doing solely for that healthcare coverage? Didn’t think so. Thus, if American healthcare coverage is so cheap that you can work anywhere and afford to pay out of pocket for any medical services or procedures you might need, you’re free to do whatever you want for work. Uncouple your health insurance from your employment, and you are free.

The point that Warren attempted to make in the September #DemDebate (but could not due to her admitting that taxes will rise) is that yes, your taxes will go up a bit, but you will not have an insurance payment! Duh! So, yea, you will pay more in taxes (technically), but overall COST of medical services will be so cheap that you will not also have to pay money to some fucking insurance company. That money you save from NOT paying insurance crooks ought to be more than the taxes taken out, so when all is said and done, not only will you be able to afford all of your medical needs, you will save money AND no longer have medical bills to pay. If all goes to plan.

Duh.

Don’t be stupid. Vote in your best interest, not against them.

The He

The He

[New Chapter Sketch for the manuscript, Book II: Bromides]

“It smells like bread proofing,” I state in a soft whisper. “Shhh,” Ladybug shushes gently with a smile that could melt the heart of any cat lover. Looking around, I realize what it means. Of course, we could not have found ourselves in such a place of luck so as to be in the presence of freshly baked bread. Dreams need to be dreamt, nevertheless. We press on, slowly, through the immense downtown library, among the shoals of homeless who, forgotten or left behind by the system, are left to the only institutions within that same system that allows their presence. “It’s not so bad, though,” I attempt to clarify, relating back to the comment about the smell. “But to comment on the smell at all admits that a smell exists, which ultimately, at least here among those who hold this particular sentiment, means that the smell is bad, unless of course, among the company of those hunting for the perfect scene, eatery, with the same intention of being thusly able to consume the delicious thing smelled,” Ladybug explains. “That was deep,” I express, in genuine awe as Ladybug often finds itself within the throws of … cynicism. “You don’t need to understand everything to understand what is good, what is right,” Ladybug states, this time with a pointed finger directed at me, just below the brow between the eyes. I feel a bit cross-eyed. “Now, where is this damn kid?” Ladybug asks aloud to no one in particular. “I am asking you,” Ladybug rectifies. “Oh, well, how am I supposed to know?” I ask. “Cause you are why we are here. Je-sus, fuck-ing, christ, man!” Ladybug whisper yells. “If the Librarian sees you, you will die,” Ladybug warns. “Then we need to get up somewhere high so that if I am seen, the Librarian won’t be able to get me,” I offer. “Yea, sure that might work. Outside,” Ladybug instructs. We head back out into the cold.

Carefully, we find a series of trellises and steps up and around the backdoor, service entrance, and atop the HVAC system, we easily maneuver the totally mod, unfinished, exposed urban interior of the mid twenty-first century post-modern aesthetic. Ladybug stands atop the tip of my nose looking down, fluttering from side to side from time to time to reach a view from an angle I cannot supply. “There he is,” Ladybug whisper-shouts with a point toward a window on the far wall from where we are. “There, in the window, sitting with his manny,” Ladybug laughs; “Manny. Ha!” “I’m not sure if I can make it over there,” I admit. “No problem. I can easily fly,” Ladybug shrugs. “Just head on back toward the front door. I’m sure I’ll manage once I’ve convinced him. Or maybe just hang out here and watch out. And come a little closer. If I don’t come back up here to get you, then he’s made a run for it, so meet me at the front doors. If I come back to get you, then obviously, I’ll be here, and I’ll tell you what’s up. Okay?” Ladybug suggests. “Yea, sure. It’s no problem, except that your plan leaves me completely out of it, which means,” I begin. “Yea, they won’t know, but they don’t need to know everything,” Ladybug points in the vague direction of “everywhere.” “Fine, well then you’re going to have to tell Attila, or I will,” I counter. Ladybug feigns suffering, “Fine.” Just as it begins to flutter away, it looks back at me and says, “If he makes green, run toward him.” “What?” I ask but Ladybug either doesn’t hear me or pretends not to.

Carefully, I make my way atop the silvery, metal air vents toward the far wall where the windows ensconce comfortable, bench-like seating. I can easily see the boy in the window, and he seems upset for some reason. And he storms off. I try to follow from above, but there seems to be little to no way to make it all the way across to where the restrooms are. I hear the flutter of Ladybug, “He’s real mad about something. I wasn’t close enough to hear, but he’s gone.” “He’ll be back,” I state. “How do you know?” “He just went over to the bathroom.” “Oh,” Ladybug nods, standing upright in front of me now. “This is just me standing,” Ladybug clarifies. I nod. “Go back,” Ladybug demands. “Oh,” Ladybug nods, standing in front of me now. Ladybug gives me a stiff look. “There,” I point, seeing the boy emerge from the doorway into the bathrooms. “Excellent,” Ladybug jumps as it flutters away, back to the window where the boy will inevitably sit himself back down.

I feel like I have been sitting and waiting for quite some time now, and I cannot hope to see Ladybug from this distance, and the boy just sits there in the window, reading. Perhaps, Ladybug sits atop the book’s pages. I cannot know for sure. There really is little to nothing left to say about the situation at the moment, and I cannot know how much time will pass until something does, so I will sit here and wait, and as soon as something happens, I will let it be known, I say/think to no one and everyone.

The boy makes green. Made green. Is making green! I jump from the top of the air vent onto the top of the book shelves, and run along the top until I can jump straight at the boy as he attempts to vanish. Just as I fling my body onto the boy, grabbing him around his torso as tight as I can, I hear the shouts of Ladybug as it flutters into a safe tuft of fur between my front arms, “You’re a Lingerer, now!” As quick as we turn to light, the boy appears, as an adolescent or young man, in some … garb … of the kind you would find a person in while in a hospital. “It’s a psych-ward for the mentally ill, and I am a young man,” the boy-man clarifies. “Don’t mind her,” Ladybug interjects. “She is why we are all here,” the boy-man clarifies. “And where is it that we are?” Ladybug asks. “When,” the boy-man clarifies. “Right, of course. Are we on Earth?” Ladybug asks, in utter excitement. “Yes,” the boy-man answers. “Oh. My. God!” Ladybug exhales with a strong squat and simultaneous flexing of its upper legs upwards, while its middle legs flex inward, and its head screams upward through both blessed and cursed excitement. “Yes, both blessed and cursed. Did you hear that?” the boy-man asks. “Of course I heard. I hear everything,” Ladybug warns. But we still do not know when we are.

“Yes, right. So, when is it that we are?” Ladybug asks. “The Numerical Years, which roughly translate to the hundred years between 2020 and 2120,” the boy-man defines. “The now,” I accidentally whisper aloud. “Yes,” the boy-man supports. “How is it that you came by this Lingerer?” the boy-man asks. “It’s a long story, but it is why we are here. You, of course, know why we are here, yes? Please. Please know,” Ladybug pleads. “How would I know. I didn’t send for you, and if you weren’t sent here, then how did you get here?” the boy-man clarifies. “Is our arrival a signal?” Ladybug inquires. “Good question,” the boy-man thinks for a moment. “When were you before now?” the boy-man asks. “The middle-most peak where the three peaks meet,” Ladybug answers. “Oh, that’s impossibly far away,” the boy-man states with little to no actual tone of being impressed; “How did you get here?” “Through the corridor,” Ladybug answers incorrectly. “How then?” Ladybug asks. “We traversed through the corridor to find ourselves atop the middle-most peak where the three peaks meet,” I answer. “There’s a gap,” the boy-man offers; “You must be in the past or the future from whenever you were, but not yet at the moment right after when you were occurred.” “Why does this keep happening?” Ladybug laments, full diva, atop the surprisingly soft linens of the boy-man’s private sleeping quarters. “What has been happening?” the boy-man asks. “What hasn’t happened? I was late in delivering Dei,” Ladybug begins. “What?” the boy-man nearly whisper-shouts. “It was fine, but then immediately after that, the lorikeet, oh shit, where is that bird? Dammit! Well, first we were trapped in the circle’s corner, but now, it seems I’ve lost it all together,” Ladybug explains. “What else?” the boy-man asks. “Uh, well, then we’re here now, and we don’t know why!” Ladybug sighs as it rolls over onto its shell, distraught, burdened. “The why of a thing rarely matters,” the boy-man consoles.

Sniffling, teary-eyed, Ladybug rolls itself over, “What?” “What?” the boy-man asks, and then he turns to me, “He is fine. Just use he or him.” Frozen in the beauty of his IS-NESS, my heart races. He smiles, and rubs me behind the ears. I want to die in this moment right now. He chuckles. I will die now. He returns his attention to Ladybug, and I’m jolted alive. “What did you just say?” Ladybug reiterates. “The why never matters,” he states, when really he stated that “The why of a thing rarely matters.” Ladybug sits on its haunches. “So then what do we do?” Ladybug asks. “We wait,” he answers, with odd swiftness. “For what?” Ladybug asks, desperate again. “Who knows,” the he shrugs as he lies back on his bed, arms poetically crossed behind his head, feet crossed at the ankles, looking upward at the cloud-printed wallpaper that lines the five sides of the cube that is his personal living quarters. “Are you going to sleep?” Ladybug asks. “No,” he states. “What should we do?” Ladybug asks, again. “There’s no way of knowing for sure,” he states; “For now, you can familiarize yourself with this spacetime, or whatever, just chill.” “Ugh,” Ladybug exhales, exasperated, falling back onto its shell. “It’s not a shell,” Ladybug insists, palm atop its forehead, anguished.

“You wanna rest?” Ladybug finally asks. “Yes, please,” I lie. “Fine, just go be whatever. I’ll stay here with him, and if anything bad happens, I don’t know. Just, I don’t know,” Ladybug dismisses, on all sixes now, heading toward his (the boy-man’s) head, hoping it will get a chance to really talk to him. “Shut up,” Ladybug suggests with a wave of its hand. I curl up at his feet, although they smell an awful lot like another set of feet I’ve smelled, but that seems irrelevant. He’s warm, and he snugs me deeper into his knee pits.

Too Muchness

Too Muchness

It’s just too much.

I feel as though I’m afflicted with a phobia. If I were to guess, I’d guess that it is not an actual pathology, however, it does feel like one. I fear that I am afraid of too much. Not that I’m afraid that I have too many fears. That’s not it. Instead, I’m afraid of everything in a state of “too much.” For example, I am afraid of running too much. After realizing that to maintain my current (this was years ago) running ability (which isn’t even enough to brag about or even bring up really, nevertheless), I had to continue running every single day, and that was (is) too much. I quit running (although I still go out for a few jogs a year) cold turkey about two months after this realization. On a different note, one of my more vivid remembrances of “too muchness” happened roughly around the time I began having to wear makeup on stage for performances (as a gymnast, I never had to wear makeup for competition [although, perhaps I should have], and so, when I switched to dancing, the prospect of stage makeup sounded fun, albeit a little gross). I had worn makeup on stage when I was a child, but this time, I had to wear it as a young lady, and when I saw my own reflection, I liked it. I also then immediately understood that I would have to wear makeup like this every day or else, everyone would know when I wasn’t wearing makeup, or if I was wearing makeup and they saw me immediately after having seen me without makeup, etc., etc., &c., down the rumination wheel I spun. Until, ultimately, I decided that I would never wear makeup (off the stage) because people could see it, which meant that they could see when I didn’t wear makeup, which meant that I had to wear makeup every single day, and that was too much. There are other examples, but I strive not to bore.

Currently, I’m struggling with a different sort of too muchness, and the realization around this particular iteration spawns a bit of truth that I would rather not know. And please, save your judgments of my patheticism as I am very aware of how pathetic my situation is, not to mention the problematic egotistical nature of the situation. The issue is this: Although capable of writing every day, I do not out of fear that I will write too much.

The reality, however, may be less “ewe” and more “oh” once you’ve heard the underlying fear. And that fear is that I am afraid of scrutiny. (Boo, ewe.) I know the rules; I know the game. You’ve gotta write a lot, all the time in order to succeed. It must be an act to which you are fully dedicated. And I, I am only willing to dedicate myself so much lest it becomes too much. But I honestly do not even know what “too much” even means. Like, what the fuck? I decide to sit down and write, and as soon as I attempt to do so, a stupid fucking voice inside my head reminds, “Well, once you open this faucet, you could write for days on end. And that’s too much.” Too much what!

I don’t know.

And apparently, I cannot know because the problem inside my head is inside my own fucking head creating the problem that’s inside my own fucking head. This is why therapy and therapists exist, in case you were ever wondering. Goddammit, my nails are too fucking long to type fast, effectively and efficiently right now. Ugh.

Essentially, I’m stuck inside this psychological nightmare wherein I must write, but if I get carried away, I’m somehow afraid of writing too much (with no regards to how well I’ll write, mind you, and when has writing too much ever been a bad thing), but at the same time, I also fear the scrutiny and criticism of those who (I want to have) read my writings if they (the writings) gain any traction, AND I also fear that I will never be read at all, ever. Yea, I know; I’m a pathetic loser. And so, I suppose, the only thing left for me to do is to just write about this issue of “too muchness” in the hope of finding or knowing the signal to all this noise. The fear, most likely, revolves around something about how, I’m afraid that the next thing I write will be my last. It’s like they say, Hope floats on the death-farts of Dreams.

 

Am I a POC? And what is white, anyway?

Am I a POC? And what is white, anyway?

Am I?

I suppose that to know the answer to such a question requires the answer to a lot of other questions, namely, if I’m Asian—therefore descendent from Asian Culture—then what is Caucasian Culture? And is that how you know if you are or are not white, if you were raised in Caucasian Culture? Perhaps it is this question, specifically, that whites, in general, fear to know. How does that saying go?, You never try to find that which you would rather not see. And it is under this all-encompassing shame of whiteness that has ultimately led to a nation full of white people who have no culture, no identity. The world is not divided. White people, all over the world, are divided, and they have no cultural center or glue to rely on because to rely on Caucasian Culture would be to colonize.

Look at any, scientifically backed, global census. Here, just check out the Wikipedia page for Demographics of the World. That’s a simple enough check, right? Alright, so you didn’t need to scroll far to get a percentage distribution for the races of the world. If you add up the percentages of the populations of continents that are “not white,” you get a whopping 80%, which reveals that a healthy majority of the world is “not white.” All I’m saying is that when the news or the news or the news spews gossip about how the “nation is divided,”  “the world is divided,” what they’re really saying is that “white people are divided,” therefore, the nation is white, the world is white. But the United States of America is not only white, just like the world is not only “not white.” It never has been. This land upon which America stands had already been settled by “non-whites.” And according to today’s standards, Spaniards are “not white.” Are you starting to see my predicament? If everyone is “not white” then who is “white” and what does being “white” mean? Luckily for us “non-white”—and oh the irony now—the answer has been documented quite well by all those white people. It’s called History. In reality, we ought to refer to it as the History of Only the Good Aspects of White America, but then all of those atrocities would need to be documented in fairness and equality, and white people are divided on this issue.

So, what is Caucasian Culture? Fortunately for those “non-whites” out there, I have an inside scoop. As a “person of color,” I was raised by two white people. And honestly, it was awesome. Even though I look Asian, I had white parents, and we lived in a very small mountain town. Everyone knew who I was; everyone knew I was my white parents’ child. Obviously, I never thought about it that way when I was growing up; I simply never realized that I was “not white.” Intellectually I knew I was Asian, look at me, but that understanding did not come with the filter of being treated like an Asian. Sure, there were probably some people who treated me like an Asian, but everyone knew me, and so issues like that went largely unnoticed. There was this one time, though, sometime in grade school, when my dad, brother and I ran through Subway—as one was wont to do in those days—and while the guy making our sandwiches was ringing us up, he looked at me and my brother, and then, he looked at my dad and said, “They must really look like their mother.” My brother laughed, the way that he always laughed when one reveals their ignorance to him. My father scoffed as if the guy was a fool. And I looked at both of them, the only two males I had ever loved at that point in my life, and then looked at the guy behind the counter and asked, “What?” I honestly didn’t really understand what he was suggesting. My dad gave the guy a dirty look without another word. My brother muttered something and ushered me along to our table. I had every privilege and opportunity that every other “white kid” in my town had. If I had encountered a problem, two white people would come to my rescue, not two more “persons of color.” But even in all of this privilege, I was never taught or it was never explained to me that Caucasian Culture equaled Racist Culture.

Don’t get me wrong, I had the best parents when it came to their responsibility to instill within me a sense of and pride for my own race, to flesh out my identity in its entirety. And honestly, I think my mother will be disappointed to read my father’s reaction. She, being a masterful squeaky wheel, would have taught that guy a lesson about adoption. I can feel her now wanting to reach out and touch my face, tell me that I’m beautiful and that there’s no hair like Asian hair and no eyes as beautiful as Asian eyes, but she’s biased. No matter, we traveled as a family to South Korea during the summer before I started seventh grade. Before that trip, my mom attempted—on too many an occasion—to cook Korean food. We attended Korean Heritage Camp every summer and learned all about what it meant to be Korean, to grow an appreciation for why we look the way that we look that our differences are not just superficial. Koreans are different peoples, they have a culture, a way of life, that is not the same as the one I am growing up in. All of this effort, on top of also sending me around the world before I graduated from high school, forced upon me an innate understanding that everyone is different. There are no two people who are the same. How could you possibly treat an entire population of people the same way be it good or bad? The privileges of my childhood are privileges that, when whites say “people of color,” oppressed people do not have set into the palm of their hand, their only decision being whether or not you want to go on safari in South Africa.

Am I “white” then, if I experienced all of the privileges of “being white?” Well, first and foremost, I would never want to be white. No offense, but just look at History, white history! Caucasians are notoriously racist bigots with nothing on their minds but to control the lives and well-being of anyone “not white.” All “non-whites” are beneath the white man, and white history has shown us little else but this cultural consistency. So, what is Caucasian Culture? I’ll say it. The white man is Death. When the white man arrives, “non-whites” die. When the white man wants, “non-whites” die. When the white man takes, “non-whites” die. When the white man saves, still “non-whites” die. Wherever the white man goes, destruction follows, death in destruction’s wake. Obviously, no one is so naive to think that only white men are capable of such destruction. Nay, all men are capable of such destruction. All races are capable of such destruction, even of its own people. But that ought to be ANCIENT history by now. And, guess what, probably so capable are also women, but the men of the world have little to no idea what women of the past were capable of. We’re starting to find out now, though. My bet is that life for all people will be better with women in charge, just look at all the other apex mammals.

But today, here in the United States, we are not discussing the ills of other nations, the strife between people of the same race and nation. We are discussing white America. And the history of white America is not one to be admired. And yet, we are all sitting here today, in America, the great nation of freedom. And we want more. We want more. We have been groomed to be groundbreakers (literally, think of the Oregon Trail days), innovators, aspirants of the best, but unfortunately, this aspiration has turned into a sickly greed demon refusing to acknowledge the position of white privilege. Of course, not all white people subscribe to Caucasian Culture, but enough of them do and have split open the world of white people. White people are divided. “Non-whites” know what equality is because we can see it from the outside. Unfortunately, white people today do not even seem to know what equality is. Not only do whites treat “non-whites” terribly, they also, and have also throughout white history, treat poor white people just as poorly. So, what’s a poor white person to do: Support the fight and make sure that all people are equal, or do they ensure that they can rise through the ranks of the white world that continues to rule over and oppress all people?

I do not know what stimulates white people to fight for themselves over the good of the whole, but I do know that when your life’s survival is on the line, you are only thinking about Number One, yourself. Which then begs the question, why are all these white people in white America so poor that they’ve been resigned to survival mode? This is why I do not blame poor white people for not being on the side of all people. I blame the rich white people for taking such horrible care of their own people that they cannot do anything more beyond surviving from day to day. Shame on you, to all of you from every race and nation.

Fortunately, for me, I do not know what it is like to be white, but, like I stated earlier, I do know how awesome it is to reap all of the benefits of white privilege. At least, I used to. All of this “white privilege” disappeared once I represented myself, an Asian. Outside of the small town from whence I came, no one knows who my parents are, and worse, I am now in a relationship, and I fear that people assume that I’ve simply married a white guy, and I did, but my last name is not his white last name; it’s my very own white last name, my father’s white last name. And now, I don’t know if that’s any different or any better. In short, I used to be a “non-white” white person or “Twinkie,” but now I’m finding out that I’ve been “non-white” for quite some time. I have probably been a Person Of Color in the eyes of the world since the day I left for college, never to live again under my parents’ roof except for visits. But I only realized this a few days ago.

It all started, fittingly, over an IG convo I was having with an old friend of mine from college. We were chatting about Korean food, obviously, that’s what Koreans do. And then we started talking about my writing. In the end, she called me a POC author. And then I Googled “POC author.” And then I realized that I am a Person Of Color. I didn’t know whether to cry or scream. I’m not mad at my friend, obviously, she may be capitalizing on this “uplifting of minorities” in the publishing industry herself. If anything, I am extremely grateful for her essentially telling me that I live in David Foster Wallace’s “water.” Rudely awoken, I got to thinking … and writing. And I’ve come to zero conclusions, except for one, that perhaps has a few parts. First, white America sees me as Asian, but I’m culturally “white.” Second, white America sees me as Asian, but I’m not culturally Asian. Do not even get me started about being a “non-white” white person in Korea, that’s a story for another time.

I cannot live up to the stereotypes of Asian-Americans who live under the rule of a Tiger Mom. Neither can most Asian-Americans! And no one applies the stereotypes of whites on my Asian face. Whites are the most self-absorbed when learning about other people and cultures. Nothing makes me feel more diminished then when some white guy asks me where I’m from and when I respond, “Colorado,” they say, “No, where are you from?” If you are white and are reading this and thinking, “But the guy’s just trying to be nice. You’re the one saying that ‘whites are self-absorbed,’ but look, the guy’s trying to get to know you.” Well, sure, I hear you, but that’s not exactly the point. Do white guys ask you (I was picturing a blonde Texan in a pearl snap shirt and fringe tassel vest, with a short denim skirt and cowboy boots, despite never having ridden a horse or any live animal) where you’re “really” from? Didn’t think so. He only asked me because of my race not in order to learn anything about me as a person. It’s like someone complimenting your makeup. Some people are into it, but I do not understand the logic of feeling complimented when someone is praising your ability to be fake. It all comes down to that age old argument, “I do not have a choice.” Whites use this argument to get out of sticky situations. “Non-whites” are forced to rely upon it to try to make whites understand. And with race and sexuality and physical ability and intelligence and anything to do with variations beyond our control because they happen in the womb, all of these Civil Rights, we have to believe in them, uphold them, and then create a world that treats people as people not as a color.

So, no. I reject your offer to color me. I am a person. I am a human. That’s it. There’s nothing more to it. So to all my people out there, do we take advantage of this white olive branch and accept that they accept us and ultimately, get along striving toward equality? I mean, the whites have a lot going for them. Or do we give up on white people and just take them down? Honestly, I don’t really want to interact with anyone white or “non-white” who isn’t going to treat me like a human, first and foremost. So, could all the racists, bigots and misogynists please stand up? Oh, wait. We already see you.