The beauty influencer who wants to be the hot intellectual, but who is, ironically, not smart enough to know why nobody thinks she’s intelligent…lol.

The beauty influencer who wants to be the hot intellectual, but who is, ironically, not smart enough to know why nobody thinks she’s intelligent…lol.

When someone who has built their career (&yes, I am dignifying the “influencer” with the terminology “career” as models are considered to have “careers” as people who work for the sake of commercial interests as advertisements, and what is an “influencer” but a small-scale advertising and marketing agent, much like models of yore?) around their image laments that they are not taken seriously for their very average intellect, I wonder, wholeheartedly about how their perceived intellect has failed to recognize the irony in their lamentations. 

Picture, with me, will you, a younger-than-average-looking, cute, bubbly Korean-American plopped down in front of a camera she positioned to be pointing at herself slathering dozens of different products on her face in the name of “beauty” while attempting to make a statement (without outright saying it) about how glammed-up, hot girls are smart, too, which means that not only does she perceive herself as hot (obviously, due to her online following, right?), but also, she perceives herself as smart, and she wants to be recognized as such. She also perceives of herself as able to maintain her relevance due to the work of others (as a fast-follower rather than a genuine creator, she outsources the creative aspects of her videos). This combination of her lack of genuine creative skill alongside her out-sized perception of her intellect will be her inevitable downfall. 

It is at the moment when you accept the world’s definition of success that you will fail. 

At first, she wonders aloud about how the viewers of her “books videos” (and no, there are no actual quotes from this “influencer” as I am not about to waste my time rummaging through her intellectually void videos for a second time to gather exact quotes) are definitely different from the viewers of her regular (vapid, beauty) videos. And then, while continuing to paint her face with the dozens or so products, she sort of explains how when she’s all “glam,” people comment in a way that makes her feel like nobody takes her “thoughts” (or attempts at more intellectually leaning content) seriously. 

I, literally, laughed out loud. 

And now I’m realizing that I have little to no idea where to actually begin when attempting to be critical of a thing that really requires no intellectual critique. But alas, I do not want her to “go away,” nor do I wish that she would stop making content. I wish for her success and representation as an advertisement. I just also wish that “influencers,” in general, simply own up to the fact that they’re nothing but ads. I actually had plans to write about a certain white woman who is “trending” rn due to her fraudulent behavior in posing as Latina, but then I realized that I’d be amplifying yet another dumbass white woman instead of shedding light on a fellow Korean-American (although, I am not technically Korean-American, as I am, technically, a transracial Korean).

The only point of this writing is to hopefully help her understand why she cannot be taken seriously, unfortunately, at this point in time. This is not to say that one day she might be considered an intellectual, but today, at this point in time, with her average mental capacities (&I’m not being mean here, since, if you were to watch some of her cooking videos for yourself, her attention to detail is slim, which doesn’t bode well for the longevity of her career and apparel business that contributes to the continued catastrophe that is fast-fashion) I am confident that she could become someone who could potentially have something intelligent to say in the future. 

My point is that she’s providing the proof for her own average-sized intelligence. 

Anyone who has built their career on their image is spending all of their time thinking about their image. This means that this same mental energy cannot be utilized for intellectual pursuits. Yes, she does read (but she includes audiobooks as “books read,” which I cannot tolerate because you do not read an audiobook!), but not only does she read fluff, she largely does not understand what she reads. Her reading comprehension, in fact, is so low that she has a hard time finishing each week’s publication of The New Yorker within the week that she receives them. 

This is the thing that intellectuals know about people who care a lot about how they look—they know that the amount of time people spend doing their makeup, shopping for makeup, selecting their outfits, shopping for outfits, worrying about whether or not a certain makeup look makes them look smart is the exact reason why she is not smart. The entire portion of the video was dedicated to her ruminating about what sort of makeup look will make her LOOK intelligent to the viewers who stumble upon her “books videos” instead of spending that time studying the books she’s going to talk about in a way that will actually make her intelligent. Get it? 

And so no, I’m not being mean, nor am I saying anything particularly damning. I’ve only repeated things she’s shared herself, which means that these things are open to discussion and criticism because she put them out there. And it is this same principle that has put my own opinion of her “out there” for criticism by someone far smarter than me. 

I get it. She desires to be perceived as intelligent more than she actually wants to be intelligent, and I know this through her (failed) attempts to drop knowledge about ideas such as “cognitive dissonance” and “antifragility,” the latter of which I know she knows absolutely nothing about because she’s never once referenced the author or his source material when discussing books, not to mention that her usage of the idea of antifragility in such prosaic and superficial terms proves that she knows absolutely nothing about it. Hint: It is, first and foremost, an economic theory. 

She’s aware of the fact that school was difficult for her, and she’s even proud of the strides she’s made in her intelligence. I’m not here to deride the work that she’s done. I’m merely the messenger attempting to explain to her why nobody will ever take her seriously until she takes herself seriously, which doesn’t mean figuring out a way to look like someone to take seriously but rather, means that she needs to cultivate actual skills that will make other people see her as intelligent. And pointing a camera at yourself as you review consumer goods for the internet is hardly an intelligent pursuit, which again, is why one’s money is not a reflection of one’s intellect. 

Which actually brings me to another point about her general lack of intelligence with regards to finance. She continually refers to herself as financially independent. Hmmm…what does that mean? Well, for starters, financial independence is defined by the fact that one no longer needs to trade their time for money. She thinks that because she can name her own hours (like all business owners) she is financially independent. Hmmm. Okay. Well, first off, she is working, “hard,” every day. She doesn’t even work for herself. She has a manager and advertisers for whom she works. She thinks, “But I can choose my advertisers.” Yea, until your numbers droop (when you inevitably age-out of the demographic category into which you currently fit). And if she decides, even for one month, to stop making videos, from where will her income come? Wealth is largely determined by how long you can sustain your current lifestyle without trading a single second of your time for money. Financial independence means that you are wealthy. 

Is she rich? Sure. Does she have some cash stashed away that makes her feel as though she can afford her lifestyle without income? Probably. But she is not financially independent because her expenses are too high, which means that she must pump out videos and content so that she can continue to cover her expenses (and I’m not even going to attempt to break down how her apparel company will fail). She must relegate herself to content creation in order to sustain her lifestyle. So is she rich? Yes. But is she financially independent, fuck no! 

And obviously, smart women can be hot, and there are a lot of hot women who are incredibly smart. Intellectualism, however, is a completely different pursuit, but even among the dowdy intellectuals, there are hot women, and I know this because I’m a hot woman who is an intellectual. But my pursuits have not revolved around my fortunate appearance, because, who cares? My pursuits have been around cultivating my intellect, and so, when someone interacts with me, they’re seeing the fruits of my labor (my intellect), and when someone interacts with her, they’re also seeing the fruits of her labor, which largely revolves around her image. 

At the end of the day, she’s showing up to her intellectual pursuits with a makeup bag and complaining that nobody (except her tween following) is impressed by her intelligence.

None of this matters, obviously. I’m just bored.

Bedlam 50 | 2020

Bedlam 50 | 2020

READ 50 BOOKS IN 2020 (audio books not included because they require no reading, and also, I don’t utilize the form)

Completed Reads: 61/50 [31Dec2020]

  1. Factfulnessby Hans Rosling
  2. Elasticby Leonard Mlodinow
  3. Paradise Under Glassby Ruth Kassinger
  4. The God of Small Thingsby Arundhati Roy
  5. The Privileged Poorby Anthony Abraham Jack
  6. The Association of Small Bombsby Karan Mahajan
  7. North American Tree Squirrelsby Michael A. Steele, John L. Koprowski
  8. Rest In Powerby Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin
  9. Children of the Landby Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
  10. In the Land of Men by Adrienne Miller
  11. Unravelling the Double Helix: The Lost Heroes of DNA by Gareth Williams
  12. The Uses of Pessimism: And the Danger of False Hope by Roger Scruton
  13. The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone by Philip Fernbach and Steven Sloman
  14. Shades in Shadow: An Inheritance Triptych by N. K. Jemisin
  15. Popular by Mitch Prinstein
  16. Novacene: The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence by James Lovelock
  17. The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin
  18. The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
  19. The Influential Mind by Tali Sharot
  20. Nudgeby Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein
  21. The Fifth Seasonby N.K. Jemisin
  22. Minority Leader by Stacey Abrams
  23. Freedom Is a Constant Struggleby Angela Y. Davis
  24. #Republic by Cass R. Sunstein
  25. Americanahby Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  26. What We See When We Read by Peter Mendelsund
  27. Slavery By Another Name by Douglas A. Blackmon
  28. Humble Pi by Matt Parker
  29. The City We Becameby N.K. Jemisin
  30. Our Time Is Now by Stacey Abrams
  31. Astro Poets by Alex Dimitrov and Dorothea Lasky
  32. Pelosi by Molly Ball
  33. There There by Tommy Orange
  34. The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
  35. Dress Your Best Lifeby Dawnn Karen
  36. Well, That Escalated Quicklyby Franchesca Ramsey
  37. How To Argue With A Racistby Adam Rutherford
  38. Hunger by Roxane Gay
  39. Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires
  40. The Power of Ashtanga Yoga by Kino MacGregor
  41. Samsung Rising by Geoffrey Cain
  42. Self-Inflicted Wounds by Aisha Tyler
  43. Women, Race & Class by Angela Y. Davis
  44. The Mind Club by Daniel M. Wegner and Kurt Gray
  45. Born On A Rotten Day by Hazel Dixon-Cooper
  46. Docile by K.M. Szpara
  47. Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara
  48. How To Stop Time: Heroin from A to Z by Ann Marlowe
  49. The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste
  50. Postmodernism by Glenn Ward
  51. Chocolate Cities by Marcus Anthony Hunter and Zandria Robinson
  52. The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli
  53. Habenby Haben Girma
  54. The Road to Character by David Brooks
  55. Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Designby Kat Holmes
  56. The Nine Lives of Pakistan by Declan Walsh
  57. Famous Trials in History by Elisabeth A. Cawthorn
  58. Nobody Ever Asked Me About The Girls by Lisa Robinson
  59. How to Make a Slave and Other Essays by Jerald Walker
  60. The U.S. Constitutionby Heather Moehn
  61. The Law of The Land by Akhil Reed Amar

…DONEZO… ✌💛🌱

&if you’d like to see some of what i’m up to in photographs, visit my photography site Find.Yummy.Love. *peace*

Some (more) thoughts on some (different) stuff…

Some (more) thoughts on some (different) stuff…

namely Greenlights by an actor afraid of being ‘cancelled’


I find it implausible that the title book would have advice for me about how to “succeed” in this life/world, because, not only am I certain that all of the “author’s” quote-unquote approaches are simple manifestations of their being straight (cis, ik, but this is not about that, rn), white, and male, but also, the published “work” cannot be much more than self-referential ramblings that enamored the author, themselves, to their own overwhelming mental capacity and obvious genius, which is the first major giveaway of a not-writer—one’s belief in one’s own genius when reading back thoughts that were written down years ago (despite however infrequent these “writings” actually occurred) and calling it “writing.”

The Listmaker

The Listmaker

The Listmaker feels the pull of the list urging him to take a look. Unwilling to reveal his list to the stranger, he ignores the pull. Picking up on some new discomfort within the Listmaker, “Something wrong?” Cinoa asks. “Oh, no, I’m fine,” the Listmaker lies. “So, say, where did you used to live before?” Cinoa cordially prods for the sake of consistency. The Listmaker no longer enjoys the small talk with the stranger and attempts to shrug off the stranger’s cordiality, “Oh, you know, here and there.” “I see,” Cinoa responds as he takes a sip of his coffee while maintaining fixed eyes on the Listmaker. Unwilling to look rude in front of the stranger, the Listmaker feigns a trip to the pantry in order to get a feel for his wristwatch, “Would you like something to eat?” Cinoa keeps sharp tabs on the Listmaker, “No, I’m fine.” “Sure? I’m famished,” the Listmaker pretends and continues to the pantry whereupon opening, he steals a quick feel of his wristwatch. Of the analog variety, the watch lacks a glass covering so that the Listmaker may feel the hands of the face without looking at the thing, thereby allowing the Listmaker the option to know the time, when necessary, without having to remove his eyes from his list. The attentive person, however, can witness this action and deduce that the Listmaker wishes to know the time, which ultimately, in the Listmaker’s mind, makes him seem impatient, rude, otherwise engaged. Thus, with both arms in the pantry now, the Listmaker gets a good feel of his wristwatch while his head remains visible, beyond the pantry door, as he looks to the stranger and offers, “I have crackers or cookies, if you’d like.” Almost vertical, relatively speaking, while the other peers down and a little to the left, the long and short hands of the watch, respectively, reveal that the time is very near 1900.

Knowing that the clock in his study will soon chime out, giving him an excuse to check on something, the Listmaker returns to the eating counter where the stranger sits, “Do you enjoy being a stranger to so many people?” “What do you mean?” Cinoa asks, entertained, chuckling. “Your line of work seems to force you into the lives of strangers,” the Listmaker extrapolates. “Oh yea, I see what you mean,” Cinoa admits; “It’s not so bad. I actually like getting to know new people.” “What is it that you do exactly?” the Listmaker asks. Cinoa glances away from the Listmaker as he responds, “Oh, yea, so I make sure that people know that they are entitled to a new roof whenever something happens to a roof that damages it. The tricky part is that most people have to file a claim with their insurance within a certain amount of time after the damage happens or else they lose out.” Familiar with this particular set of circumstances, the Listmaker nods, “Sure, I see. People can be really stupid.” Cinoa begins to look uncomfortable. The Listmaker watches the stranger fidget within himself a bit until Cinoa eventually breaks and reaches for the sheets of paper within the back pocket of his jeans. Looking even more concerned, Cinoa strokes his hair with his right hand. “Everything alright?” the Listmaker inquires. “Oh yea, I’m …” Cinoa begins to respond when the clock in the study chimes out. “Sorry, excuse me for one minute,” the Listmaker apologizes as he walks by the still-standing stranger through the living room, into his study adjacent to the living room.

The Listmaker furiously scrolls through the receipt roll to find what’s listed there within the day’s list, accounting for 1900 on through to at least 1930.

1900 – 1901 Don’t let the stranger see the list

1901 – 1906 Evade the stranger

1906 – ____ Run

Heart pounding now, the Listmaker feels trapped, and just as he turns over his shoulder to shout out another lie to the stranger about how he needs to check on something outside, Cinoa grabs the Listmaker’s shoulder. “Say,” Cinoa impedes; “Are you alright? You look tense. I was having a nice time, but you look awful. Why don’t we just sit back down and relax?” “Were we sitting? Oh sure. No it’s nothing,” the Listmaker almost shouts aloud in an attempt to seem calm, and then he continues, “But actually, you know, it’s getting late, and really, I should get back to my work.” With a hand still on the Listmaker’s shoulder, Cinoa feigns complicity, “Yes, yes, right. I’ve overstayed my welcome, haven’t I?” Feeling bullied, the Listmaker remains calm, revealing as little emotion as possible. Stepping away from the Listmaker a bit, giving him some space, the Listmaker takes a slow, steady breath. “Say, what is it that you do? I’m sorry I never asked before. That seems so rude now,” Cinoa jovially states, ignoring the tension. “Oh, you know, a little bit of this and a little bit of that,” the Listmaker evades. Cinoa, feeling frustrated and understands the evasive tactics of the Listmaker, changes his tone, “Now look here, kid. I can see through these little games you play.” Kid? the Listmaker thinks to himself, and then aloud asks, “Who you calling a kid?” Lost in the confusion of being called a kid, the Listmaker forgets to evade the stranger, or did I? But it was more of an emotional evasion as opposed to the physical that now seems more relevant, although the distinction was not detailed on his list. Stern and angry, Cinoa becomes impatient and quickly lurches and grabs the Listmaker by the throat, “Give me your list!”

The tiniest of tiny little buzzes buzz by. 

Gasping for air with only toes left on the ground, the Listmaker wriggles and grabs at the stranger’s hands that wring his neck. Unable to speak, the Listmaker has no choice but to focus on staying alive, somehow. Cinoa, however, outsizes the Listmaker in height and weight. With no hope in sight, the Listmaker does his best to make a gesture of some sort that he desperately hopes the stranger reads as a concession. “What?” Cinoa mocks; “What? I can’t hear you.” the Listmaker blinks hard, moves his mouth as if trying to speak. “Say, are you trying to tell me something?” Cinoa continues on in his mockery. Batting at the stranger’s hand now, the Listmaker attempts to nod. “Oh, very well,” Cinoa feigns as he drops the Listmaker from the grip. Something moves beyond one of the windows that catches Cinoa’s eye.

“Careful!” Ladybug whisper-shouts upon its return to the Lingerer waiting outside.

Coughing and writhing on the ground, the Listmaker feels lost, but then suddenly remembers his list. Knowingly, the Listmaker rolls over so that his body hides his list from the stranger. He clutches his side as if in agony and wraps a hand over the list in an attempt to either fling the thing or conceal it in a pocket. “Say, you were trying to tell me something, kid!” Cinoa yells through the Listmaker’s wheezing and violent coughs. Fuzzy, dry, the Listmaker chokes out a raspy, “Khi ont no-owe hat khour kalking ah-bhowe-hut.” Frustrated, Cinoa begins to pace the floor back and forth in front of the incapacitated Listmaker. At this moment, the Listmaker feels a bit of strength return and decides that the time has come, according to his list, for him to run. Nimbleness is essential, and so, the Listmaker gathers himself in his mind and in one dynamic action, he clambers to his feet in an attempt to take off for the front door. Unknown to the Listmaker a small unrolled portion of his list sticks out from beyond his grip of the receipt roll. Cinoa catches the smallest glimpse of what must be part of the Listmaker’s list. And so, being bigger and faster, the stranger lurches forward and reaches for the slip of paper sticking out from the Listmaker’s hand. As the Listmaker plants a strong foot on the ground, ready to take off into a full sprint, the stranger grabs the slip of paper, forcing the top edge of it to tear from the rest of itself.

The Listmaker, aware of the lost portion of list, immediately wonders at what time does his now-torn day’s to-do list end; how much time does he have left? With that thought, the Listmaker’s world grows cold and damp, and with the remainder of his consciousness, the reality of the situation weighs heavy upon him, since, having been distracted earlier in the day, the Listmaker knows that he will not wake, as per the usual, already written, command of the next day’s list remains unwritten. All he can do, his consciousness consoles, is stay calm and rest within the lost, dark hinterlands until, as he remembers, per the next day’s list, she arrives. And as the Listmaker cools to a chill, a small buzz buzzes by, “She’s coming. Hang on. She’s coming.” A soft, wet nose gently nibbles on the underside of his face at the soft flesh where the jaw becomes earlobe. 

I’m not jealous. You’re jealous.

I’m not jealous. You’re jealous.

There’s general jealousy, like envy, a sort of wanting of something that you admire, but you know that it will not satisfy you once you have it. Then there’s a deep, dark, rage-type jealousy that includes (but is absolutely not limited to) wishing you were as talented and/or intelligent as someone else, that you could be that amazing, celebrity-like, star person. And then there’s the type of jealousy that just makes you want to kill yourself, end it all in the name of “What the hell is the point of me even trying when someone like her already exists?” The “her” in question is none other than Ursula K. Le Guin.

Like all of my favorite writers, I found out about Le Guin not long before she passed away. I’ve read a number of her short stories and novels, but the truth is that I prefer her nonfiction, well, just the one nonfiction I’ve read so far (aside from essays and other, shorter nonfiction), No Time To Spare: Thinking about what matters. It’s a beautiful book about aging, growing older, being old. It’s the type of book that I wish I could simply quote in its entirety here, but obviously, that’s illegal. The book, nevertheless, is that good. I could and would gladly transcribe the thing in its entirety for you to read. Of course, you can, as easily, check the book out yourself from your local library (and I would encourage you to do so).

And so, I have decided to choose my top five quotes, the quotes that are resonating with me the most these days. They are as follows (okay, my top 6), in page order as opposed to order of importance, which would, theoretically, be impossible to determine:

6. “Old age is for anybody who gets there.” (p 9)

5. “When did it become impossible for our government to ask its citizens to refrain from short-term gratification in order to serve a greater good?” (p 118)

4. “It’s so much easier to blame the grown ups than to be one.” (p 123)

3. “Cruelty is a human specialty, which human beings continue to practice and perfect and institutionalize, though we seldom boast about it.” (p 151)

2. “Belief has no value in itself that I can see. Its value increases as it is useful, diminishes as it is replaced by knowledge, and goes negative when noxious. In ordinary life, the need for it diminishes as the quantity and quality of knowledge increases.” (p 195)

1. “The warmth of the sun is on my face as soon as its light is.” (p 211)

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.

 

No Coming Back

No Coming Back

She always thought that being a child was overrated. Despite what others might say to her through the desperate need to matter, her youth will not fade anytime soon. If only they knew, she mumbles, as they grasp at this reality daunted by age and bound to time like a worthless servant, extant only to service a master that will grind them back to the ash from whence they came. Read more

The Garden

The Garden

He always knew that her happiest day would be that fated day when she would die. Now she’s dead. Obviously, he’s not happy, but he is on some level since he knows that all she ever wanted was to no longer be alive. And so, if part with her physically he must, with happiness and goodness, he will and at the very least, selfishly keep her alive by using her physical remains to nourish the garden she tended to every single day, in the long shadow of his envy. Read more