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.

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.

 

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.

 

No, we’re not woke.

No, we’re not woke.

Submitted to the NYT Opinions Column | 20 January 2019

We Millennials have been fortunate enough to not be stricken with the death tolls that traditional wars typically accumulate, thus, we’ve been living under this impression that our generation lives in peace (despite knowing that we do not), lives in reality, harmony, when in reality, we are living our war. The war of our generation is going on right now, right underneath our noses, without our consent, without our even knowing it. And this war is for the Soul of America. And as this is America, this is a war for the Soul of the FUTURE—a future intrinsically tied to technology. Read more