“What more can I say?”
“What more can I say?”
There are a few reasons why I care about the recent controversy over the new Cheerios commercial. One reason is personal so I will get it out of the way first. This reason is the fact that I’ve been dating outside my race since Middle School, and I too may one day have bi-racial children. How could anyone see this beautiful child caring about her father’s heart (the leading cause of death in African American’s is heart disease MESSAGE!!!), and turn into a conversation about a black man having children with a white woman. WHAAAAT?! I’m pretty sure bi-racial children have been present in American History since before President Thomas Jefferson (oooops… lol). Furthermore, are we really afraid of interracial relationships in 2013? I thought we moved past that saga decades ago! The crazy part is this “bold” commercial is so NOT bold, Clarence Thomas would look at it and ask, “what’s the issue?”
We’ve seen television shows that have touched on interracial relationships since I Love Lucy, but I’m not sure we have seen a mainstream product advertise outside of the norm. When it comes to advertising have we only integrated people of color in stereotypical roles? The angry intimidating black man, the black woman singing or dancing for Cheese burgers, laundry detergent, chicken wraps? The over sexualized latina / Asian woman? The nerdy Asian male? Hmmm….
In closing I understand the move by cheerios to hide the comment section from youtube, however I hope they will issue a statement in support and stand behind their commercial. While I understand the move to hide the comment section from a business perspective, from a social perspective I think it stops the dialogue, and hides the truth of how people may feel when their able to leave comments anonymously. Maybe in the future cheerios will actually make a bold statement that people aren’t ready to address! (apparently they already have… :shrugs: ) I can think of a ton of examples, like the emasculated Asian male actually getting some shine, representation of LGBTQ parenting, religious statements other than Christianity and Catholicism. At the end of the day people just want to be happy and be themselves. Lets learn from other people’s ignorance and our own. The accept and promote the inclusivity that we will need to embrace one another’s differences. Isn’t that what diversity truly is? Let’s all find our true identity and embrace the identities of others, we’ve all got a lot to learn about one another something that doesn’t fit in the box.
On his new songs, the rapper points fingers in every direction, including back at himself.
Oh how the time flies… I recently wrote a blog post, but before writing this one sadly I wasn’t sure if I had posted it… I did… This just means I haven’t been writing enough. Lately I’ve been working on a graduate school application trying to sum up my life in 7 very general questions that don’t seem to ask much about the person I have transformed into through life experiences I guess that’s life, we have to bend the rules in order to freely express ourselves and still manage to get what we want out of it.
I’ve been doing a decent job of sharing things that inspire me lately on this blog. Last night the Pharrell interview with Henry Rollins really inspired me. It made me feel like I wasn’t crazy. YES, I am not the only one who thinks that equality and justice should be common sense. We are far from perfect beings, but we are slowly moving in the direction of enlightenment.
I am trying to catch myself when blogging in order to find some sort of direction. Inspiration is always nice to find but often times the same things that I post that affect me can affect us all. From the recent Boston bombings to drone strikes. However, this is not a news blog.. If you want the news follow NPR or something, however I do my best to add my perspective on situations. Bloging to me is a form of art. Articulation to me is art. Being able to put together words is important to me, to tell your truth and deliver information. Factual or fiction its all in the delivery. My writing skills are not amazing, but its easier to freely right a blog and not care if it will be broken down and torn apart since there is little consequence for my opinion!
Insert Segway here…
The other day I sat back thinking about all the time I spent as an amateur Hip Hop artist. When I say amateur, I mean nobody really heard it, except for a few of my friends and my family. I thank them for their ears, their criticism, their support, their honesty, and for some their lies. Lol. Recording music was my way to express myself, even when expressing pure ignorance, I was telling my truth as I knew it. I look back on the enjoyment I received when a song was completed and ready to be shared and I remember how much I enjoyed those moments. At some point life got involved and I began to see that I was in too deep and what was once a hobby, and a way to express myself became open for interpretation by anyone who would listen. It changed from a hobby to me to a DREAM that I wanted, and the goal was less about therapy and more about trying to get paid. I’m not sure when that happened; I’m not sure when I realized it wasn’t feasible. One day I just stopped. I became a critic like everyone else examining and dissecting everyone else’s art. It sounds horrible but it’s the truth. Today, art is art to me. I have my opinions, but it’s like religion, your god may not be my god and I’m okay with that. You enjoy what you enjoy because of why you enjoy it. That’s all that matters to me. I will support the art that I enjoy and life will be okay for all of us. On the flip side I will defend the art that I like to the fullest if debates occur, and still think some art is GARBAGE (haha). It’s not that the art I like is better than what you like, but it’s like saying “I have the best mom.” She may not actually be THE best, but shes MY mom… so no doubt I will defend her honor.
I’m wrapping up this grad school app, still on my work out plan, still cooking, and not yet learning my Japanese. The days are going by faster and I’m determined to make the most of the extra day light we have. Stay focused.
I can’t say that I’ve ever been a huge Wu Tang fan growing up on the West Coast, however I can say they have always been a crew that I and everyone else highly respected. Great story by NPR!
Last night the one and only Eddie Huang spoke at Town Hall Seattle. He is currently doing book lectures for his memoir Fresh Off the Boat. Last night he was joined by Seattle’s own Blue Scholars, Sabzi and Geologic. The talk was a good one. I write this in the least critical way. He spoke on topics from his life, culture, identity, technology, Hip hop, and food to critics. Eddie talked about how we as Americans can be so engulfed in our judgments and miss the moments that we are supposed to enjoy while loading pictures of food on Instagram. (Interestingly enough I’ve been having the same feelings and thoughts specifically after seeing the film Jango.) Everybody has an opinion of why they either like or don’t like something but at the end of the day its just art that is to be digested. Hate something or love it, save the criticism for the critics who get paid to criticize.
The one hour Q & A format hosted by Gio (and later the audience) delve into his upbringing in Orlando. He talked about how the city was married to “The Mouse.” This concept never really crossed my mind. Eddie spoke about how Disney World basically left Orlando cultureless. He said there was a danger in having a city being ran by a corporation and used the example like Seattle being married to Microsoft (or Amazon for that matter), or how Portland is to Nike. Eddie noted this concept is dangerous when a corporation gets so big that they become larger than the government itself.
*Disclaimer* Start Tangent…
Interesting enough on the way to the show from Beacon Hill my girlfriend and I were talking about her culture and the diverse background of her parents being Chinese coming from Cambodia moving to Thailand and eventually to America where her father would be assigned a Vietnamese last name and they would eventually attend a Vietnamese Christian church. We spoke about her trying to make sense of it all while creating and forging her own Chinese-American identity that she hopes to share with her younger sisters. Very heavy and a lot to think about, but nothing easy is ever memorable ;).
My girlfriend and I also spoke about the gentrification that is taking place right before our eyes as we passed through Yesler here in Seattle. It’s shocking that large parts of Rainier and MLK have been gentrified and the same thing is happening currently to Yesler before our eyes. Is the International District next? While there is a lot of history, the same can be said about the previous places here in our city. I hope we can all wake up and get active about keeping Seattle’s rich culture before Paul Allen owns the entire city and leaves it cultureless.
The audience Q&A was better than I had expected. Aside from the disappointed female that wasn’t to happy about him having a girlfriend, most of the questions were good. He managed to give good answers to the ones that were not. Eddie said the goal of an artist is to bring the audience into your world and let them see what you’ve created, they will judge it, break it down and indulge, but the hope is that you can let them out so that they can create a world of their own. He compared old school hip hop to the WWF in that it always had its characters that were fun with big personalities and ego’s. There were rappers that had the illest fantacy’s and created their own worlds like Harry Potter books. He compared his cooking style to the likes of a Kendrick Lamar who managed to make the world fall in love with him for showing a different side of a familiar story. A quote that stick with me is, “Always mix some sugar with the medicine to go down because Robitussin is some nasty shit.” His spin on Mary Poppins.
When speaking about food Eddie said that he would tell the youth to put their health first and make them read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (about the Chicago meat packing industry). Understand the impact of a slaughterhouse, and teach nutrition. Most importantly be creative.
Also Eddie was big on JUICING. He reiterated that was what he was into was juicing! He stressed the importance about not being swayed by critics and yelp reviews and to make your own decision about what you like and to learn the real history behind these foods and just to enjoy. So much of his talk could be related to so much that we do in life.
In closing one thing Eddie said towards the end is that he was never afraid of being broke. The thought is an interesting one to think about, because based on your background broke and rock bottom can mean really different things. However, in all definitions that lack of fear and a lot of dedication to yourself and your art is what makes legends. This superior belief in yourself that nothing can stop you is what will fuel your passions. While there may be different dynamics and layers to this, life is nothing without sacrifice, hard work, belief in the impossible, and dedication.
Thanks for inspiration Eddie Huang.