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Jesifiable here—not posting inappropriate animated GIFs mind you—and here to present you the second ever 10x10. This time I got to take a poke at stand-up comedian, writer and California gal Jenny Yang. Through a mutual friend, I’ve had the fortune of meeting Jenny; she’s someone who’s helped me personally through my own transition out of college and into the scary world of adult responsibilities. So check it out and let the curtains roll.
(photo credit: Stephanie Lim Photography)
1. In a nutshell, how do you describe and define yourself?
Enthusiastic Asian American Immigrant Food-Eater, Stand-Up Comic, Writer and Social Media Doer.
Early adopters, like young people, see right through a lot of coercive methods of attracting eyeballs through online campaigns. However, these users are also deeply moved by methods of engagement that hit them close to home and make them feel empowered and fired-up about something. When we at 18 Million Rising roll out a campaign that gets people not just talking about and sharing our content, but adding their own, that’s the biggest win we can get. It means we’re tapping into something that’s already there but needs to be articulated in a way that’s accessible and meaningful.
I don’t think specialized knowledge is required to see and understand this “win” when it happens, but I do think that my background in media criticism and theory has helped me make this distinction between coercive and empowering technologies.
I arrived at my understanding of these things via critical theory, and much of my work is deeply rooted in my scholarly work with Walter Benjamin, the Frankfurt School, and also critical race and gender studies. I’d like to think my commitments to empowering users, resisting racism and sexism, and building what Benjamin called “housing for the dreaming collective” for the digital age comes through in my work. I wouldn’t have those touchstones without my theory background.
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