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.

 

‘Beauty & The Blogger’

‘Beauty & The Blogger’

… but don’t think influencing is something to be proud of.

-Bill Maher

(Real Time with Bill Maher, Season 17; Episode 8, 15 March 2019)

 

Imagine with me, will you?, the world in which you live. Perhaps when is the future. Perhaps when is the now. Either way, you plop down in front of a screen, and you scroll through YouTube or VidTube or YouVid, you get the point. You flip through a handful of your go-to channels, and then you browse a bit to see if there’s anything new left to discover. And then, you inevitably end up on the channel of an influencer. You watch this person entertain you with funny, educational, fun, beautiful life. You watch as this person either does a workout or performs some skill or teaches you something cool or shows you something cool or takes you along on some journey or slathers their face in makeup so that they may court jester you through the world of the elite.

The worst of these influencers, to me, are of the beauty variety. And a middle-of-the-road example would be Jenn Im, the beloved, adorable, cute, airy, uplifting, good-vibes-only, Korean-American, beauty influencer. Im runs a strong YouTube channel, has her own hype-clothing brand, collabs—seemingly endlessly—with all sorts of brands, all around the world. She’s living the dream, right? Unfortunately, not so much. The reality of the influencer market is that they are the future middle class.

If you cannot “make it” without a “job” (meaning, if you are incapable of creating work for yourself), you will not, unfortunately, make it very far into the future. Consider how much money it takes to live today, at the level of civility and luxury we all seem to think is middle class. From my perspective, the problem of the disappearing middle class is as much a problem of the actual people who make up the middle class as it is the powers that be who have (essentially) oppressed us. This is not really about that. Nevertheless, the amount of luxury that “middle-class living” demands has inflated the cost of a middle-class lifestyle. Not to mention inflation of the dollar in and of itself. What this means now, is that the middle-class lifestyle has shifted into upper middle class, and the what was the middle class is now lower middle class. What’s truly missing is the middle of the middle class. And so, it seems as if the middle-class lifestyle has disappeared, but really, those who are in the upper middle class are still middle class citizens, even if they do have a million-dollar net worth. A million dollars no longer makes a person rich, if they want to live an upper-middle-class lifestyle, and that’s crazy. Think about that. If you want the semblance of simply keeping up, you need to make more than a few million dollars. This is nearly unattainable for the vast majority of people, and this is why influencing is not something about which one ought to feel pride.

The future that I see includes a still disproportionate distribution of wealth with the majority of it being held by a few hands, but that group will grow. Influencers and content creators, with millions of dollars in hand each year, will fall largely within and makeup most of the middle class along with a few independent business owners and corporate, upper-level management, but they will never rise to the very top. And then, the poorest among us will be left far behind to (essentially) fend for ourselves within our own little, poor world. Economies will rise within the poor, and a few will be catapulted out, up into the middle class, the truly ambitious, perhaps further.

Now, you’re probably wondering why I would say that influencers will never rise to the very top, and you’re also now probably debating whether or not you should become an influencer. First, influencers cannot rise once they are influenced. Once an influencer is influenced, either by catering to their audience or by being bought by companies to promote products, they establish themselves among the service class of the elite. Yea, sure, they are rewarded handsomely, and are even invited to peep into the world of the elite, but do not be confused, they are not part of the powers that be. They are the tools of the entertainment establishment. Be a tool. This is what I’m here to say. Make yourself useful to someone who has money to pay you for your usefulness.

In a world that will—inevitably—be run and operated by artificial intelligence and robots, you will have to have a purpose larger than showing up to work every day. You need to create that purpose. You need to create your work. You need to create your value. Once the table is set, and it will be set very soon, everyone will have to sit wherever they land. The music will stop, meaning jobs will no longer be created for you. Make sure that you’ve found a seat long before that day comes.

Imagine, Socializing on Social Media

Imagine, Socializing on Social Media

I scroll through my Instagram feed, and then I tap on that little search icon and flip through my list of “Searches” that I stalk on a weekly (daily) basis. Today’s different though. I begin going through my usual round of six (twelve) people, but once I land on “Friend 3’s” feed, I’m blown away by her (I tried to remain gender neutral, but you will soon see that this would be nearly impossible) most recent post. It is a picture of a famous lady icon flipping the bird at the audience, with a caption that reads something to the effect that someone sent her a direct message and mom shamed her, but she doesn’t give a flying fuck. My heart begins to race. I don’t know what I’m feeling, but I immediately hit Follow (something I’ve never done despite having stalked this person for years now, but that’s a story for another time), scroll through all her mom pics and like them all, within reason (posts from the last month or two).

I don’t know what overcame me. For years I’ve harbored so much resentment toward this person for no real reason other than I did not like her in grade school. How petty. I always kept tabs on her, though, since she is of a certain ilk that I find to be terribly entertaining, but that’s neither here nor there. With everything that’s going on in the world, people, strangers take time out of their day to mom shame someone who has been struggling to conceive? I mean, this is just pathetic. I mean, at its best, this is pathetic behavior. At its worst, the behavior is psychotic. In general, the behavior is rampant.

Of course, I am not popular or significant enough on social media (or elsewhere) to have amassed any sort of attention much less that of the trolls, but I am capable of imagining what it must be like to be both a troll and a thing. Because the bottom line is that online, we’re all reduced to things, an it, not a person. That’s what all those pictures of you are; they’re not you; they’re pictures of you. And yet, we continue to put images of ourselves out there to be judged, to be deemed likeable, by a bunch of strangers who have little to no context of our lives (and lies), and who, quite honestly, could not give a flying fuck about us, good or bad. And then we demand sympathy (complain) for (about) the judgment.

It may seem as though the world revolves around influencers and those with the most followers and/or that little blue check, but the reality is that social media is truly an alternative reality, a new dimension. Everyone who uses social media subscribes to this idea that—in this social landscape—the winners are the ones who have the most liked images. And that follows equal how much the followers like the followed. (Of course, please exclude celebrities AFK who also use social media to provide access into their “private lives.” I’m speaking to normies who are “influencers,” whose sole existence lives and dies by the platforms on which they exist.) It is—within these powers that be—where alternative reality bursts forth. Much has already been written on the faux lives of these influencers, and honestly, I do not want to talk about them. They’re boring. What I want to talk about, instead, is us, casual users of social media platforms for the true goal of socializing.

For the past two months, I’ve made a concerted effort to reach out to a dozen or so (four or five) people I truly love and want to be around. A sort of social spring cleaning. I’ve been an avid non-user (unpredictable, unreliable user) of social media (as we know it) for all of social media’s history (I was a freshman in college the year that Facebook went live for college students). I quit Facebook altogether back in 2013, but I’ve always had a thing for Instagram. What I’ve learned is that IG can be gamed quite easily. I’m in the middle of a little experiment, and it’s going quite well. I’m surprised by how much more fun it is, too, to “play Instagram.” I’m also in the middle of a different kind of exploration. My hunch (and a million other people’s) is that people (Millennials) are longing for connection. My vote is, “Yes!” I know that I am, and from the responses I’ve been getting from the friends I’ve worked to reconnect with, I think that I am not alone in this longing.

So, what are we to do? Well, I would hardly consider myself an expert at finding friends, nor am I any sort of expert at all, but I know that people will listen to me and take my advice if I share it confidently and people like me (good luck). For me, I know that I cannot be friends with people who do not understand my innate need to tell the truth. I am also incapable of being friends with those who are unwilling to do the same. Thus, I’m a bit prickly; I’m a lot. Being largely introverted, I prefer to be alone (always or with my lifemate), which is not necessarily the right environment for a lively friendship. I do, however, very much enjoy the company of intelligent (beautiful) people. So, I sat down and thought about the most intelligent (beautiful) friends of mine, and decided who I wanted to now be friends with as an adult. I unfollowed everyone I did not care to speak to or care to hang out with or who I thought I could not count on in a time of need. I even went so far as to boot friends who were following me, but that I preferred wouldn’t. It felt good. That, what’s it called, “Social Purge”? I’m not sure. I think I saw it on IG at some point last week.

Anyway, I am shocked (pleasantly surprised) every single time a friend is so happy to hear from me in a personal way. It takes a lot of guts, though. Well, maybe not for you, but for me, reaching out to people you haven’t seen in a long time really is tough. I don’t know if they want to hear from me. We were friends in college, but we haven’t seen each other in forever. We were childhood friends, and then not really friends after high school, etc., etc., &c. The fear that drives is the fear that hides. I don’t know. I just made that up. But I’d encourage you, if you’re feeling lonely (we all have and do), to just take a chance, reach out and say, “Hey, I like you.” That way, when a person sends a note that says that, you can know that they see YOU, and they like YOU, not just the IMAGES of you that don’t really matter and that are all contrived and represent an alternative reality anyway. And to the trolls, never mind, you’re not worth my time.

I don’t know about you, but I’m officially on a #FriendshipHunt. As adults, finding connection with fellow adults becomes harder and harder because having a family can be so difficult and demanding. Not to mention those jobs. But perhaps, we can just start with simple, personal messages of love and real liking. Tell someone you like them today. I dare you to. You’ll be amazed at how good it ultimately makes you feel. So, if for no other reason, make someone’s day in order to make yourself feel good. What’s the harm?

 

 

Queen of the Kardashian Dynasty

Queen of the Kardashian Dynasty

I know what I’m about to say is going to sound utterly ridiculous (and is all opinion and conjecture), especially given my past opinion and view on the person about whom I am about to name and talk. This person is none other than Kim Kardashian. I never thought that in my wildest dreams I would a) willingly write about her b) willingly write positively about her. The thing I want to say, in short, is this: Queen. There is a lot you can say about the woman who is KIM KARDASHIAN, but there is also a lot that people do not say or do not understand, and the reason for this is because Kim Kardashian is truly, quite talented, full of ideas that have actually changed the world and garnered fast-copies. She doesn’t have a job title she can easily explain because her “job” does not exist. She is literally creating a new form or type or way to be employed. Of course, I will not go to such lengths as to support my arguments with proof and/or evidence and/or scientific literature. We are all simply going to smile and nod and get lost in the reality that Kim Kardashian is, in fact, super famous; does, in fact, wield god-like power over the masses; will, in fact, continue to change, morph, acquire more power, until one day, out of the blue, she will rise and flex all of that might toward something for which the world will not be ready.

You can see it in her face, her body, her total demeanor. Kim knows now, she’s seen it with her own eyes; she has wielded her power and realized its truth. What exactly spurred this on, I could only guess, but the important thing is that she is learning. Kim Kardashian was what?, an annoyance, the embodiment of selfishness and narcissism, the end-all-be-all of sophistication and class. But look at her now. She has not been wasting any of her time, any of her opportunity, any of her being to anything other than becoming KIM KARDASHIAN, the world’s first Queen of the World. I see you, Kim. But even better, I respect you now. Perhaps you’ve always deserved my respect, but I do not think this is true. I’m under no delusion that she is a mastermind who had planned this all along. Of course not. She is, nevertheless, smart ENOUGH to have taken everything that’s come her way and turned that back around to make something more. Kylie’s a billionaire because she got lucky, under the hard work of Kim. Kylie has not had to shovel or funnel any of her earnings back into her products; Kylie already sat atop the pyramid that Kim already built. Kim is not yet a billionaire specifically because she is the one who has had to invest all her earnings back into herself, to be the face of this Dynasty, to become something the world has yet to see. All that money that Kim makes, I would wager a hefty sum that she shovels a significant portion back into the machine so that the machine can keep on making money. It’s what every great accumulator of wealth does.

But the question is: Kim’s never really had a job, so how the hell does she do it? She’s stated that she hates being asked what it is that she does (Vogue’s 73 Questions), and it’s because she does not have a title. What does the Queen do all day? No one will ever know for sure. And, but seriously, what does she do all day? Again, of course, I have no idea, I do not know her, I’ve never even been near wherever it is that she’s been, and I’ve never attempted to even be in her proximity. I do know, nevertheless, what the life of a businesswoman looks a bit like. If I had to guess, and obviously, I’m guessing here, I would say that the majority of Kim’s day consists of making a lot of decisions. She’s the figurehead of multiple public-facing channels. Even if she herself isn’t making her perfume or makeup, everything in that process is being overseen, decided upon by Kim, herself. She also probably has some creative control over what the show airs, and she has to “attend stuff” during filming. During the other parts of her day she has to deal with stuff that rich celebrities always have to deal with: TEAMS OF PEOPLE. She has teams of people all dedicated to helping each facet of her brand (which is her bodily self) succeed, and not only succeed but also, push. I’m sure that Kim Kardashian has thought up so much stuff that has made other “public figures” and reality “stars” pull their hair out. Historically, she has dared to explore, to challenge herself, to be (forever) at the forefront of whatever IS. Now, however, she wants to rule over whatever will be. I would guess that she shifts herself slowly into being a strong, powerful puller of strings as opposed to the “talent” at the end of the strings. Feeling legitimate within the heights of celebrity, she continues to look upward toward the people with true influence, the supremely rich, the Lords of Business, the Rulers of Nations.

How do I know this? I don’t. I’m merely pontificating, equivocating about a person I’ve only glimpsed through the words of others, the videos of others, and a handful of images she’s shared with us herself (supposedly). And thus, the most interesting thing to me about Kim Kardashian is that she really was not much when this all began, and ironically, she worked really hard to prove us all wrong. Inadvertently, she made herself something only a fraction of us could even hope to aspire to, and I’m not even talking about her physical looks (which of course, one could argue she would be nothing without, at least at first). Also, don’t bitch and moan about how she behaves and portrays herself; if you were her, so would you. We women could learn a lot from Kardashian, even if she attempts to sustain a physique that’s nearly humanly impossible, she’s awesome to look at. Yea she’s vain, but she’s also learning. This is the most important thing. Kim Kardashian is getting smarter, which means she will be even better at being who she is.

In the end, I suppose I’m not entirely sure about what I’m trying so hard to communicate, except to say that we should all hope for more public figures like Kim. The world has literally watched her rise from just some slutty slut to a Queen at the head of a literal media dynasty. Everyone just needs to get over the stereotype that hot girls are dumb and smart girls are ugly. Whether or not her beauty is contrived should not matter, the majority of women slather themselves in makeup every single day, too. But Kim, she sorta forced the world into a whole new level, a whole new standard, and this, in and of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing. It does seem pointless, though. So, believe you me, I get it. I didn’t want to live in the Kardashian Dynasty, and yet, I somehow also totally did. And so, we’ve been living in the Kardashian Age whether we like it or not, and we all contributed to the making of this royal family. The Dynasty, so far, has passed its first test of time, and, so far, we’ve been lucky that Kim is mostly (fucking) sexy but also, good. She seems to want to do good, and she wants the world to be good. Lucky for us.

 

 

Dear Hillary Clinton

Dear Hillary Clinton

Dear Hillary Clinton,

[I already wrote about this back in 2016 (skip to the second-to-last para), but here I am again, writing about it now.]

When the World of Men demands that women be undeniably good—not just better, UNDENIABLY GOOD— before even being given an ear, the world ends up with you, Former Madam Secretary, Senator, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, a woman who is undeniably good and still, somehow not good enough. I finally read your book What Happened. And you know what? The disappointment I feel about how this book was not written before the election makes my heart ache. Not that a need to dwell on the past exists, but I am suddenly awed by the woman you are.

Out of respect for the Former Madam Secretary, Senator, First Lady, that you are, this is the first and foremost problem for me. Have you not had enough? Do not misunderstand me. The women of the world thank you, every day, for the gifts you have given us simply by being YOU. What I mean is, you have carved this path so hard and fastidiously that perhaps, at some point, people do not want to cheer for the person who always gets it all. As you have risen through the heights of American Democracy, have you ever stopped to think, “Hey, maybe there’s some other woman who could do this better than me?” Have you fully understood the immense privilege you’ve held as the “first woman fill-in-the-blank” when there have always been other women out there suffering, needing a firm hand. This does not diminish your accomplishments. We women are truly grateful.

You ask in your book what it is about you that people seem incapable of connecting with, relating to. As a millennial female, I used to see you the way that we are trained to see you: Ambitious = Bad. Of course, I understand and accept that you were the most qualified person in this country for the job. But you are right; the stigma of a powerful woman was too hard to defeat. Even in someone as young as myself, I could not shake the feeling that you were somehow too perfect to be authentic. I fell prey to the lies girls are taught. And so did you. You, one of the strongest among us, lament way too often about your likeability (in the book).

You learned and clawed and learned and clawed and learned and clawed again to be the woman you are today.You successfully played in the World of Men. I, for one, am so grateful to you. Women are courageous; we have been deceived. Women are strong; we have been deceived. Women are capable; we have been deceived. Women are whatever we want to be; we have much still to achieve.

And if you do not mind too much, I would like to present you with this warning: As the women of the Democratic Party begin to campaign, we cannot fault them for playing by the rules of men. Please, tell them, the Public. Be different. Be thoughtful. Read up on the ACTUAL FACTS of each candidate’s political positions, and do not rely on their public image. Accept nothing less than proof of their plans and proof of their intentions. The women of the fight will have to get “nasty” if they are going to stand a chance. Once one of those women is being sworn in, let them know that the rules of men will no longer apply, and that “nasty woman” will be just The President. At this time, The President will no longer need to fight like a man.

But a long road still lies before us all, as women, as people, as a nation. To me, your loss was no failure of yours. If anything, your loss revealed the failings of the citizens of America. It is our duty. It is my duty to demand the America in which I want to live, the America I want to support. The choice is mine. It always has been. This is the greatest gift your book gave me. You made me realize that you are not the one who has failed America. I am. I am the one who did not take hold of my responsibility as an American citizen to dive, head first, into politics. Politics is not a realm in which politicians play. Politics is citizenship. As citizens, it is our duty to shape this world. When a nation’s citizens rely on politicians, politicians will either do nothing or they will do whatever they are told by whoever says something and asks for something and presents a plan to get what they want. We, as citizens, need to make our politicians work for US. The corporations are winning, have won because they are the ones who have shouted the loudest about what they want. Sure, we can sit here and blame corrupt politicians, but we can also vote that corrupt politician out of office. We have always had this power. I know that I’m the idiot. Hence this letter.

You, Former Madam Secretary, Senator, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, have pointed at the gaps in my intellect, my character, my being as a dutiful responsible citizen of this Beautiful Home of the Free. I will forever be grateful. I cry in the face of my shame and ignorance. I shout in frustrated anger that my education never instilled this knowledge and duty within me, and I grew up in a very well-off area of the world, despite it being quite rural. America has failed us because we failed America. The disease that is crippling America is US, her citizens, the guardians of the American Dream.

And so, I suppose this letter is really an apology. An apology from one lazy citizen to the G.O.A.T. Hillary Clinton, you. I’m sorry. I deeply apologize for not being the best citizen of my own nation that I could be. I apologize that my own ignorance got in my way, got in the way of protecting the American Dream. I understand my failings, now, because of you. You are the spark of this here flame, and I hear you. Even more so, I’ve been activated along with the millions of other women and new men who have stood up to be counted in favor of an Equal America.

Thank you, and I’m sorry.

 

Dance, ‘Ant-Man’!

Dance, ‘Ant-Man’!

She had never really thought about it before, except under the specific circumstance of riding in Economy Plus on the night flight from Auckland, Auckland, NZ to Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. For it was on this flight that she watched, for the third or fourth time, Ant-Man and the Wasp. The first time, of course, is the most notable version of this movie-going experience.

She and her partner had decided that they were going to leave Seoul, South Korea—their current home—the year before, and now, the date of their departure only stood a mere month away. Having been seeped all spring and summer in celebratory senioritis, they were winding down their fundays in order to focus on the final tasks that all had to be accomplished during that final departure month.

The grand finale had to be big, and it had to be awesome. This only left one option: The late-night showing of Ant-Man and the Wasp in IMAX 3D at the newly reconstructed Yongsan IPARK on opening weekend. For those who don’t know, Seoul is the greatest city on Earth, but don’t take her word for it; she left. Anyway, in Seoul, there are movie showtimes at all hours of the night except maybe between 0400 and 0500. Thus, that last showtime they opted for was a showtime at 0140 – 0348. Yes, that’s right; this is a normal showtime in Seoul. The problem, however, is that the subways and buses stop running around (depending on the bus or subway stop) midnight, and they don’t start up again until about 0500 (again, depending on the subway stop or bus). So, what is one to do?

Well, they scheduled a bunch of shit and thought that they would try out the whole “Sextel” experience in Sinchon. If you know, you know. They planned a stay-cation that would begin in Sinchon, work its way through Hongdae, Ewa, Yongsan and Itaewon, whereupon they’d leave their apartment in Nowon at 9 AM on Tuesday morning and not return until whenever the first subway out of Itaewon got them back to Nowon on Friday morning. So, on Tuesday morning, they packed some daypacks with only the stuff they’d need, and off to Sinchon they went where the first thing on their tour was to meet her birth mother.

After an emotional afternoon and evening reconnecting with her birth mother, her man meeting her birth mother for the first time, they found themselves in a sextel over by the Yonsei University campus, and so, they changed clothes for an evening on the town. Wednesday, being unable to use the room during the day (if you know, you know), they checked out and filled the day with eating and finding various places to escape the heat for long periods of time without being weird or having to buy multiple handcrafted beverages throughout their stay and played hand after hand of Hold ‘Em. By 1800, they were checked into a new sextel, and they just kicked it in their room that had a circular bed and large circular jacuzzi all in the same room. They may or may not have run out for some orange diner-type food and bath bubbles.

By the time Thursday rolled around, they were getting a bit worn out, but they charged on. With morning filled with more coffee in establishments that were comfortable enough to spend hours in, they spent the afternoon grazing a pizza buffet and then, began their walk to Yongsan. Again, if you know, you know. The remainder of Thursday remains a blur of walking, walking, trying to find a GS for some liquor fixer, walking, walking, trying to find a bathroom, trying to find somewhere to eat, trying to find a GS for some more liquor fixer, walking, walking and walking. By 2300, she called it quits and threw a fit, which transpired into her lifemate calling a cab and the driver driving, literally, half a mile to their destination. And this was not the first time she lost it within a mile of their desired location(s). But come on, they had been walking all day—and not in a straight line—to Yongsan. Arriving at the theater two hours before the showtime, they felt quite proud of themselves and continued their never-ending Hold ‘Em game.

Obviously, Ant-Man and the Wasp was awesome. They left the theater around 0400 and decided that a cab to Itaewon would be quite cheap at that hour, so they hopped in a cab and grabbed a bite to eat at a 24-hour pizza joint. After the delicious slice, they walked to the next subway stop just to kill some time. As the sun began to create a gentle haze over the calm, cool city, they sat and tried not to fall asleep on a park bench just outside the subway stop that they would inevitably enter at 0530 in order to catch the first train out to Taerung where they would transfer to Line 7 to the Nowon stop where they would catch a bus for a twenty-minute ride to the stop one block from their apartment where they would eventually take a cold shower and pass out.

By the end of August, they were on a plane to New Zealand, where they would stay for a few months only to quickly learn that NZ was not the place for them. And so, onward they went back the USA via a short, tropical vacation in Hawaii. It was this first experience of Ant-Man that instilled the knowledge within her that Paul Rudd would indeed dance when she tapped on the in-flight screen and selected to watch Ant-Man and the Wasp to pass the time as they flew over the Pacific at night. And of course, it was on this flight that she realized that she very muchly enjoyed watching Paul Rudd dance. Of course, she had always known this, intellectually, but now, she became curious about it interpersonally.

 

 

 

Monday Moment

Monday Moment

If you’re just waiting for this ephing day to end, here’s something for YOU. I had the perfect image pop into my head today, and I’d like to share it with you, if you don’t mind. *shrug* Cool. Imagine with me …

Will Farrell, sitting on a bed inside a childlike bedroom, hair a-baby fro, dressed in a purple, magical-white-horse printed tee, and John C. Reilly atop his own bed, with a baby belly and crazy hair, they discuss the prospective future of Prestige Worldwide. “Oh, Jesus. My heart is beating so fast. Right now,” Will Farrell admits, shaken, nervous. He shakes himself off and begins:

“Peep hole ARE talk-in’

Talkin’ ‘bout PEEp-ho-oh-ole

I just ignore it, BUT

THey-eh

keep-uh sayin’

We la-AFF

just a little too

LA-OUD”

[JCR wipes tears from eyes while looking in awe; WF sings]

“We staanand just a little too clo-ose

WE STAA-air just a little to

Lah-ah-ahng

maybe they’re seein’ sumthin’

WE DO-ONT dar-Lin’

let’s give ‘em sumthin’ to talk ah-Bou-aout

let’s give ‘em sumthin’ to talk ah-bout

How about Luh-uve, LOO-OVE, love

Love-a-dove-a-shoo-ba-dee-a-canna-dig-an-hah!”

 


Songwriter: Shirley Eikhard

Step Brothers Screenwriters: Will Farrell & Adam McKay