#SorryAsianParents

A goofy kid just trying to make sense of the world while trying to be Asian American


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There’s Something About (Sad) Millennials

Sometimes we need a little help to keep from falling

Oh man, it has been a long time since I wrote something. Hi Hi, I want everyone to know that I am not dead; I just took some time off from doing anything creative to focus on my alcohol abuse. Wait, what I meant to say is that I took some time off to focus on myself. Honestly, it’s all just some grade-A millennial buulllllsheit.

I’m not going to lie, I have spent the past few months lollygagging around; there was a point in my life where I did not know where I was going or what I wanted to actually do. So like many people who are in the post-college-oh-shit-I’m-almost-30 slump, I got a job making tips so I can participate in what some may call “Life Experience.” AKA: drinking myself into oblivion and avoiding all adult responsibilities.

Despite how much damage I put on my brain and liver, I still have a mind that will always (sometimes) want to make the “right” decisions. However, ingesting a bunch of booze can force your brain on a time-out, interfering with your conscious decision-making as you board the blackout train. For a random example (don’t look too much into it), making the choice of raging on a giant hill in Berkeley to drink alcohol and chase just-made-it-to-18-year-old-Irish girls a viable one for a soon-to-be-30-year-old-but-looks-23-cuz-he’s-Asian an easy one.

Ahh, I can’t lie. That was me, sorry for fooling you. Stupid? Yes. But at that point in my life, I found it easier to deal with the I’m-too-old-for-this-shit hangover than to confront my future with a sober mind. Trust me, getting rejected from a girl whom you may never see again is better than getting rejected by life.

The big thing I’ve noticed is that I am not alone. There are plenty of people like me who feel unmotivated, taking one step forward while taking two vodka shots back. If you don’t want to admit your similar circumstances, then we can just say it’s “your friend” (ehh, wink wink).

People in my age group are down and feel as if they have lost their path in life. Being lost can mean a lot of different things. You don’t have to be broke and living with your parents to feel like you don’t know what the fuck you’re doing. Look at me, I have a decent paying job that pays for self-destructive things that I do, I’m still alive, to say the least. Despite all of the positive factors in my (and probably yours) life, there’s still a lingering feeling of emptiness, a void in adulthood left unfulfilled.

Why are my peers and I so messed up? Growing up, we were told that we could be anything and do anything, but yet some of us do nothing or, worst, can’t. Are the destructive lives and uncertain future of millennials a result of poor planning, were our pipe dreams too big? Did you really need to take a bong rip and blow off work for the new season of Stranger Things. Well, I don’t know the answer. But I do know one thing: It’s probably because we broke ass shit and our education is nothing more than a glorified party degree.

Don’t just take my word for it. In Stephen Harrison piece “Start-Ups Aren’t Cool Anymore”, he explains how we millennials are fucked. “Underemployed Millennials simply could not build as they entered the workforce,” Harrison wrote. “Student debt worsened the underlying economic problems.” Our education was not providing the cash flow that we need to build a more Instagram perfect life. No money, mo problems. 

If the words of a Dallas writer doesn’t convince you how us born in the late ’80s got the short end of the stick, then let the American government tell you. In “Are Millennials Different?”, a study by Christopher Kurz, Geng Li and Daniel J Vine for the Federal Reserve, we basically are told that we are smarter, have different ideas in life because we’re racially diverse and are poor because the past generation handed us a shitty economy.

They didn’t exactly say that (it was me who paraphrased it, shhh).

“Millennials are more racially diverse, more educated, and . . . are less well off than members of earlier generations when they were young, with lower earnings, fewer assets, and less wealth. For debt, millennials hold levels similar to those of Generation X and more than those of the baby boomers. Conditional on their age and other factors, millennials do not appear to have preferences for consumption that differ significantly from those of earlier generations.”

So, the people who are blaming us for the downfall of the economy are actually the ones who fucked it all up. Shame, shame, blame game. 

Now, what are we going to do about it? Honestly, we just have to play with the hand we’re dealt and not give up! 

Personally, I take one day at a time while planning for my future. Sure, the planning part might not be consistent, or it may be put on pause for a music festival, but you have to just live life. But, you gotta make sure that you’re still making small steps forward, even if it’s with one hangover at a time.

Listen to some music, save money and take a vacation or watch a relatable TV show for a false sense of comfort. Take a drink and have fun on this adventure and try not to let the little stuff bring you down.

It’s no big secret I love the show New Girl. To quickly sum up the show, it’s about a group of friends who are nearing the age of 30 trying to find their path in life.

His love for me is unbearable at times.

Sounds familiar? The show reminds us how surrounding yourself with positive friends and family can make this butterflying a more fun experience. You may be awkward and poor now but with help from the village, you can transform into a less poor and an even more awkward adult.

It’s ok to be unhappy and it’s ok to be happy with your current self in “adulthood.” Don’t feel guilty for having fun now, but know that you can’t Peter Pan it forever.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to, taking a turn onto Dazed and Confused road with everyone else. I’m not saying that I’m a changed man, I’m still that Asian boy who’s trying to find the right banana milkshake blend of Asian and American who continuously disappoints his hard-working Oriental parents. I am working on it and so are my fellow post-grad slummers.

If all else fails, you and I can always become sugar babies (;P)


 

 


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Exploring Microaggression: What the hell is Microaggression?

By Airec Sype

The internet has always been a hub of good ideas: if you’re into stuff like DIY’s or trying to find a non-trendy-but-trendy-hipster place to brunch, or trying to gather up magical tips to help you lose your virginity for the first time. (Porn isn’t a reliable source for educational virgin tips for getting women or losing your virginity btw. Not everyone is lucky enough to just stumble into a threesome). But if you troll the internet a lot, like I do, you will notice that it is a Wild West of ideas with raw-uncensored thoughts. Which, of course, without filtration, the internet is saturated with a lot of racist (but sometimes hilarious) comments.

Instead of me calling it “internet racism,” lets ground this phenomenon in the scholarly world. First coined by Harvard professor Chester M. Pierce in 1970, psychiatrists have described these light “insults and dismissals” as microaggression.

Derald Wing Sue, psychologist and professor at Columbia, defines microaggression as “brief, everyday exchanges that send degrading messages to certain individuals because of their group” that occurs subconsciously when no harm is intended, unaware of the unintentional offense.

For example if I said that all Asians can’t drive, or all Mexicans are illegal immigrants, or all Middle Eastern are terrorist, or all black people can rap, or all Jewish people are cheap, or . . . maybe I’ll stop there . . . then it’s a form of microaggression. I think.

In simple terms, it’s kinda racist but not, but still kinda is . . . like diet racism!!!

Since openly expressing your hate for another racial group, like lynching black people or sending Japanese people into not-so-fun-summer-camps, isn’t the cool thing to do anymore (because we all know how uncool it is to be judgmental and exclusive right bros ‘n hipsters), diet racism seems to be the new trendy form of hate. Especially on the internet. #newhatenowtrending

Sue also states that microaggression appears in four forms: microassault, microinsult, microinvalidation, and microrape. But if you want to explore more of her work or what all of those four micros mean then you can hit up the Wikipedia link provided above like I did. Especially microrape, it’s just as bad as it sounds.

Being a millennial, we have all been exposed to a misguided judgment powered by microaggression, either online or in real life.

One time my brothers and I tried going to a party on the North side in Visalia. Little did we know, it was a Norteños party (gangsters who bang red). The (Mexican) door guy told us that no Gooks were allowed. At that moment, we didn’t know why this guy was being a fucking racist. Then he proceeded to say that if we don’t bang then it’s ok and welcomed us to come in.

Being obviously dumbfounded by his second clause, we asked him to explain what a gook was to him. His definition of a gook was an Asian gang-banger . . . if he or his fellow gang-brothers had seen the movie Full Metal Jacket or took a simple high school history class, he probably would know that being a gook isn’t a simple street banger and that Charlies were also in the trees and not chocolate factories. So instead of embracing his lukewarm idiotic welcome, we decided to get the fuck out of there.

Now I know that not all of us have had access to a gang kind of experience, I know we have all seen this ignorance in the comment sections on YouTube or on Facebook.

While doing research for one of my blog post on A Dark Minded Giggle, I came across some over-generalizations of the African-American culture in the comment section of this YouTube video:

Long story short, LTG defeated Viscant (20-4) in a game of SF4, or as the gaming community we call it: a raping (yeah, we nerds can have a harsh choice of words).

LTG is African-American who presents a “thug” style. Or urban. I don’t really know what to call it. But in the YouTube comments, Uzumaki Naruto provides an explanation on why “ghetto blacks” are how they are.

so microaggressive bro

so microaggressive bro

Now is he trying to be a racist? I don’t know. I’m not a ninja like he is. He does not state that he dislikes African-Americans but offers his own scientific-sociological explanation on why “black communities” are “like that in the first place.”

He may not have malice intent, but you gotta admit that his view of African-American upbringing is pretty fucking racist.

Now let us look at some stuff online that isn’t as harsh as Naruto comments and a little bit more of a diet racism.

BuzzFeed has some examples (like my Azn brotha down there) of racial microaggression in their post “21 Racial Microaggression You Hear on a Daily Basis,” by Heben Nigatu:

Yeah, I’ve heard that one before too brotha

Or this BuzzFeed post by Tayna Chen, “21 Questions Asian Americans Are Sick of Answering

Those two BuzzFeed link shows us some examples of lighthearted stereotypes, if lighthearted racism is a thing. However, BuzzFeed has also been an unintended platform of ugly unfiltered thoughts of microaggression towards Asian Americans as well.

On January 6th, BuzzFeed requested their Facebook followers to ask questions that a civilized person might have for Asian Americans in a new segment called Ask an Asian . . . you must be an idiot or super oblivious if you didn’t know what was coming . . .

I first caught this story from the blog Angry Asian Man after my friends kept posting it to my wall. Basically, along with a some questions people had about Asian culture, there were just some racist ignorant questions.

oh yeah, what do you think was gonna happen

oh yeah, what do you think was gonna happen

here are some that made the cut

here are some that made the cut

It looks like either BuzzFeed deleted some of the comments or they’re somewhere in the “see more” section. If you visit the Angry Asian Man link that I provided above, you can see his compilation of racist questions.

Being an avid poster on Facebook, I too have witness my fair share of internet racism on my comment sections.

these are my friends

. . . these are my friends

To be fair, my friends are dicks. But they’re my dicks. In a non-homo way. Not that there is anything wrong with being gay. Dammit I “microaggression” again.

But seriously? why all this online hostility against Asian Americans. Is it because Asian Americans are viewed as the “model-minority” and we’re suppose to just bend over and take it? Why does no one outside the Asian American race jump to the gun and defend our honor as often as oppose to say an African-American? I want my Social Justice Warrior white knight too! Or in this case Social Justice Samurai! Preferably female and hot like in the movies.

No wonder the Huffington Post reported that Asian Americans are the most bullied.

A friend of mine said the reason why it’s easy to ask such negative questions about Asian Americans is because we are “succeeding” in America. And the reason why this PC America takes more offense to other ethnic misconceptions is because they’re still facing a tough struggle. There could be some truth to that belief, I guess. I didn’t know that Asian Americans won the Minorities War and a seat at the WeMadeIt Table. Yay us! We’re no longer oppressed and now everyone thinks we have big dicks!!!

But we have fallen off track here with my PRO-ASIAN-AMERICAN rant. Let us return to the topic of defining microaggression.

So microaggression is this term that we use in post-racial-politically-correct America to define something (a statement, piece of art, whatever) that does not intend harm but has an underlining oppressive tone . . . yeah, that kind of makes sense. And on the internet, there are a lot of stupid people being racist, sexist, homophobic, and all the other kinds of -ist. But you know what they say: there are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

But wait? If we use the term microaggression to explain something that someone might get butthurt over, then wouldn’t that mean that everything is racist? Like comedy or TV shows? Or your old aunt and uncle who immigrated from a different country who doesn’t know better? Iono, that’s a touchy subject here. But I’ll save this conversation for next time when I explore microaggression even more and question whether there is any validity to the term and debate if everyone’s a racist or if this is just a Social Justice Warrior term that lets everyone know that there is a stick up their ass. Hmm, that last part is kinda of mean.

Till next time, Airec Sype.