Eddie Huang – Fresh Off the Boat (Written By AmbassadorNique)

image

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.

End Tangent

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.

-Ambassador  

Lately… (Written By AmbassadorNique)

Man, I feel like I’ve been flooding the blog with posts lately. I guess it just means I am inspired more than ever to share the great things around me. Life is good and a little over a half a month in I am still on my mission to better health, a vow to continue to be educated, and to make better financial decisions. Some of my goals were re-arranged but ‘tis is life and as with anything adjustments must be made. 

 

As I mentioned in an earlier post my Japanese language class was canceled 2 weeks ago, and the Masters program that I had been waiting to apply too turned out to be not as great as I once thought it would be after sitting in their first informational. I opted out of starting a GRE prep course next month, and decided to start a less expensive one that started this past Saturday. This program saved me money and fit a lot better in my schedule. So instead of focusing on Japanese my main focus now is this exam. My biggest challenge now is relearning and memorizing math concepts that I have not had to use or see in YEARS! (HEEELLLLP!!) IMPOSSIBLE is nothing right? At the end of the day I can either make excuses and complain or I can face this issue head on! 

 

I’ve been reading a good book that was given to me by my friend Kim called, The Slight Edge. She would be a bit disappointed to know I havn’t gotten as far as I would have liked, but I will continue to read it today for quite some time I hope (as I wait for my GRE prep book to come in the mail from Amazon since I ordered the wrong year last time).  The book so far is good and touches on ways to stay disciplined and be successful in life, relationships and financially which is what I am about!

 

I’ve been going to the gym and its working out really well. My ease back into the routine is getting better. I recently had a fail moment where I went to eat out friend. After eating it I felt so disgusted that I now vow not to eat fried chicken again. At least form that establishment, Grandma’s ONLY!!

 

Today I was afforded the opportunity to attend a workshop called Nothing About Us Without Us done by Seattle community organizers John Paige and my friend LuLu. The workshop was done very well! Sadly we didn’t have much time so we were unable to go into greater detail about a lot of things. Nevertheless I really enjoyed being there and learning many new things and seeing a few old faces whom I was able to catch up with as well. I was able to get a real sense of what’s going on in the community and it seems that as much of a progressive city as Seattle is their has been a racial undertone for quite some time that continues to get ignored. One of the most interesting discussions was the discussion of red lining (in short.. the way blacks and other people of color were kept out of living in  what was supposed to be “desegregated” housing). We talked about how it still goes on today with fraudulent housing loans from banks, lack of employment, affordable housing, and gentrification. 

 

I had a great conversation last night with a good friend of mine who is from LA about African American communities, racism, classicism and education and how they play significant roles in what’s going on today. We both agreed that while there are leaders out there a lot of times they do not get the deserved credits, but instead society has a tendency to refer back to figures like Martin Luther King and not look deeper into the present leaders or the women that actually were the backbone of the civil rights movements and movements going on today, or any of the other key players. 

 

Sorry if you made it this far I know it was very random, but hopefully if you’re still reading you’ve learned something and you care…

 

-Ambassador

‘Girls’ Through the Veil

“Invisibility is problematic, caricature is worse….”

This article is from last year but I really enjoyed the analysis of the portrayal of the black woman on television. The quote above made me pose the same question to myself not only about black women but about all people of color. To take it a step further all under-represented groups. At the same time the article was also inspiring in thinking about the importance of creating our own content and holding each other accountable for how we are representing cultures of color. Rightfully so, it is still important to hold larger establishments accountable for their violations. In the age of smart phones I am surprised at the level of ignorance that still exists about minorities. One would think with so much information at our fingertips we would no longer be so quick to assume things about the unknown. I suppose with so much bad content, it’s hard to know where to find the truth. Only time will tell I suppose. 

‘Girls’ Through the Veil