YouTube is a free service so I shouldn’t complain yadda yadda the subscription boxes have been broken forever bla bla bla.
My views & comments have been in decline over the past while, and this month is no exception - possibly because I’m posting way too much, possibly because it’s exams/holidays, possibly because of the Google+ integration, possibly because my content is just not good or interesting anymore. But it certainly doesn’t help that those who want to see my videos don’t know when they’re online. The sub box and the YouTube algorithms are not doing me any favours.
I used to be afraid of posting about a new video anywhere else (Facebook, Twitter) multiple times. And then I gave up and realized that we have to post/tweet the crap out of our stuff to ensure that the people who want to see our videos will know that they exist.
Now Facebook is now limiting the number of people who see my posts, because I’ve been posting too much. Tweets last for a couple seconds and then get buried. You can only reblog yourself on Tumblr so many times.
It’s super annoying, and I hate it. I want you to know that I hate having to constantly shove my content in your face.
So: I’m posting Mon/Wed/Fri/Sun in December, and then I’m disappearing for a while. My channel is gunnarolla. I’d love for you to see my stuff. I’d love to get to 100K subscribers - the irony, of course, is that not all of these videos will actually reach your sub box. But it’s one of the last things I have left to accomplish before I fly into the sun and back into the world of traditional employment.
Check back on Mon/Wed/Fri/Sun. I am so grateful for those of you that have stuck around and have been watching, ‘liking’, commenting, and sharing. I am trying so hard to maintain the balance between what I want to do and what I have to do. I’m not discouraged and I’m not going to stop, but this technology is broken and it won’t ever be fixed in my favour because I refuse to become someone that I am not just for the sake of having clickable, shareable content so I’m telling you:
If you do not know what Project Ava is we are a group of people committed to sharing meaningful stories that move the advocates of today and tomorrow. Through short films, music, visual essays, and blogs, we seek to share the stories of real people.
We are so excited to announce that from November 4th-8th, we will be unveiling our Launch Campaign: A Week of Ava Love! A collaboration between Project Ava and two PA Student Ambassadors from Pine Creek High School, this serves as an opportunity for us to share the vision of Project Ava and get incredible community members, like you, involved!
Throughout the week, there will be several “challenges” to participate in: Monday Memories (Nov. 4th) - Upload your favorite picture to your Facebook Page and/or Instagram, and in the caption, tell us the story behind the picture. Time Flies Tuesday (Nov. 5th) - Write a status or tweet us three words that describe your past, present, and future. Don’t forget to tag/mention us! Shoutout Wednesday (Nov. 6th) - Using your phone (or laptop!), record a video of yourself giving a shoutout to a person that is important to you and share it on your Facebook Page or Instagram. Throwback Thursday (Nov. 7th) - Post a picture of you from your past on your Facebook Page or Instagram! In the captions, tell us a little it about the picture. What we would like to ask from you is to join us in our campaign! We know that our success depends on the support of you and other community members. We would also like you to please send this information to other advocates who you think would join on the campaign! We would love to get as many people involved as possible and know you could help us do that. Thank you for your support! We truly appreciate all your efforts and looking at doing amazing things with you in the future! Don’t forget to tag @Project Ava and use the hashtag #avalove for each challenge, so that way we can view all of your incredible contributions! Until our campaign is launched enjoy our Project Ava introduction video!
What are your thoughts on this video? Jason Chu is known for tackling more serious issues with his videos, in his latest music video the musician raps about China’s One Child policy. Shot in Beijing, the video includes a story line of one young woman who has to make a painful and difficult decision.
"I really really miss making content for you guys on YouTube, but here’s the thing: I can’t afford it to be honest. I don’t have a million subscribers, I don’t get huge paychecks from ad networks, I don’t have a huge team of people helping me…it’s just me."
This is actually something I’ve been wanting to post about since it happened last week. Some of you are friends with me on Facebook and saw my April Fool’s prank where my friend Vigor and I pretended to be in a relationship. This is a comment left on my later post revealing the joke.
I’ve been refraining from writing about Andrew Fung of the Fung Brothers on a personal level since he and David DO do good stuff for the community through their videos and service in the San Gabriel Valley area (albeit with objectifying and sexist vieos). However, let this be a lesson to all you internet-savvy people: If your humor or entertainment act infringes on my personal life, it is fair game for public shaming.
Here in Tumblr we’ve talked about the problems within the Asian American community when it comes to dating. Specifically interracial dating. This is a prime example of a bitter Asian guy lashing out because of who I involve myself with and because I didn’t accept his advances. We see this in a lot of YouTube videos where male entertainers will complain about “the white man taking all our women” and attack women of color for “worshipping the white man”. We see this at UCLA where someone vandalized the Vietnamese Student Association’s office accusing Asian women of being sluts, whores, etc for liking white guys. I’ve personally been on the receiving end of guys talking about how Asian women “belong to them” and are their “~*territory*~”. Way to uphold heteronormative patriarchal systems, assholes.
I’ll be honest: I haven’t dated an Asian guy. But that’s related to countless factors that are in play, none of which are Andrew Fung’s business.
Sorry bro, just because I don’t like you doesn’t mean I don’t like Asian guys.
Jesifiable here, hijacking Fascinasians for a post. If you haven’t checked out Flat3, the latest webseries to hit the web from New Zealand, then you probably should right now. The next story following the trend of quirky female comedies, Flat3 is a webseries that follows the unique perspectives of 3 Chinese-Kiwi women in their 20’s as they try to figure out who they are, what they’re doing in this life, and whose turn it is to buy toilet paper. And I got the lucky chance to interview these amazing women behind the new show—Roseanne Liang (Director/Writer), Perlina Lau (“Perlina”), JJ Fong (“Jessica”) and Ally Xue (“Lee”). Check it out!
How did Flat3 come into fruition and what have been some of your inspirations for the series? Roseanne Liang: JJ sent me an email one day asking if I might be interested in helping them write a webseries. I said yes. Then they asked me if I wanted to direct. I was actually planning to tell them that they weren’t allowed to use the script unless I also directed it - but I acted all nonchalant and shrugged ‘sure. Whatevs’. And then I told them I had edit it or else I would run away with all the footage.
For me, the inspirations for the series are Sex and the City, Girls, 30 Rock and maybe a little Flight of the Conchords. Oh and Louis CK’s Louie. Freaks and Geeks, my all -time favourite TV show. Seinfeld, Monty Python, The Office. Basically every comedy show I’ve loved and wanted to copy. It’s not plagiarism if you say it’s homage! It’s homage, by the way. In terms of webseries, I discovered Awkward Black Girl fairly late in the game. Also Natalie Tran’s Community Channel, but we’ll never be as quick or cute as her. We can try, but we can’t.
Perlina Lau: For Jess and I, it was a combination of boredom, restlessness to an extent and unnecessary self pity which kicked this project off! Also just our own experiences combined with shows we like watching ourselves. This was the foundation for most scenarios!
Late Tuesday night, a video with the title “Why I’d Hate to Be Asian” became instantly viral via Facebook. This video, featuring the slow-paced rant of Samuel Michael Hendrickson, further proves that this country is far from post-racial. Despite his claim that this was intention is to be a humorous, many APIAs are well past seeing the humor in continued stereotypes of our respective communities. Two years ago, Alexandria Wallace’s “Asians in the Library” took over the internet and many of our friends shared the same visceral reactions that include confusion, anger and disbelief. The sad truth is we will continue to see similar incidents pop up again and again, and as humans, we will find similar and instinctual reactions to these incidents. The real question is, what can we do as a community to disrupt this cycle of violence and circular debates? How can we change our response?
We must find a way to focus our energy on reacting in proactive ways. The danger we find in immediately attacking Henrickson may sometimes parallel the danger found in recording a bias-motivated video in the first place. Hendrickson does not fully understand who we are as APIAs, and as such, his lack of understanding has led to snap judgements and hate. While we do not believe that any person should be given full amnesty when racism is overtly enacted, we do hope that our community can look within ourselves to make sure we do not respond in the same manner as Hendrickson: a lack of understanding that may lead to more snap judgments and more hate.
It is more important that our community examine what has enabled Hendrickson to make comments that offer an incomplete picture of who we are. Hendrickson says something to the effect of “I would not want to be an Asian American male because they are not in showbiz. You do not get casted in a movie unless you are a kungfu master or a gang member.” Rather than attack just one individual, it may be more helpful to understand the widespread culture that he exists within. Yes, Hendrickson should be held accountable, but we need to remember that we can constantly cut branches without ever pulling out roots. Bigger problems that require bigger solutions are: Why is there such a poor representation of Asian American males within mainstream media?
While filled with sardonic comments, Hendrickson’s video brings light to a greater issue that permeates every facet of our identity as APIAs. While we do not want to alienate any members of our community with direct quotes, we have seen scary responses from our own community that include threats of violence and name-calling. There is a risk in “talking down” to individuals from a place of privilege. In order to truly combat racism, we must see it as part of a larger system of oppression. This system is not solely limited to racial/ethnic marginalization, but the unbalanced power dynamics found in ableism, sexism, homophobia, religious intolerance, and classism. This video would have no effect if a larger system did not already exist, even within our own APIA community. Attacking Hendrickson’s lack of access to education, his perceived lower-class status, his mental and cognitive limitations, and telling him to “be a man” or “grow balls” is to not understand that we are fighting ignorance with ignorance.
Many individuals in our community also share a complacent attitude, saying “asians just don’t get it” and that we “shouldn’t be angry about the video because we are just being trolled”. These sort of statement attempt to view the APIA as a homogenous community and as such, makes way for the model minority myth to take hold. There are ways to find solidarity and support, without drowning out our individuality. Too many of us are affected by years of internalized oppression and it is time to take a stand. Who are we to rely on if our own community members attempt to silence our voice?
Other comments attack the Midwest, where Henrickson currently resides. However, we see in these comments a great divide between the APIA community from coast to coast (and those of us in between). Many of the comments on social media are moving into arguments between our brothers and sisters who all identify as APIA and who are alloffended by this video.
Before Samuel took down his Facebook, his entire life was viewable to the public. One post of his details “Five facts that people don’t know about me” and explains how he suffers from severe Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and has Depression. Mental health issues are stigmatized in many racial/ethnic groups. In Asian languages, there is no word to describe any mental health concern besides “crazy”. In turn, our community often times refuses to talk about mental health and its effects on our own community. This refusal to acknowledge the concerns of many of our own make it difficult for us to understand the hardships of others. While an individual’s experience within each cultural environment is different, it is also helpful to acknowledge that members from all communities struggle with mental health concerns; mental illnesses do not discriminate. By allowing each of our communities to see shared struggles that exist, we can slowly build bridges to move toward a more collective union.
Yes, continue to be angry and continue to advocate for justice; anger can be a productive source to harness. All we ask is that each of us takes time to realize our own gaps in understanding and the stereotypes we hold of other groups. To further the discussion, while not shifting any of the blame onto any respective parties, it is important to seek the real culprit to absolve the blame that may be vetted against any one party. If we are truly interested in ridding the world of such hate speech, it is important to find the source. Later, Hendrickson returns to comment “I would like to really apologize to the entire Asian race and anyone else offended by my video. What I did was a joke but was not taken as one, with that being said, I sincerely am sorry for offending anyone”. We all know that this apology does not resolve larger issues at play.
Let’s face it, at the end of the day, we can accomplish so much more together, rather than apart. Instead of fighting back the hate with more hate, we need to remove the oxygen that fuels the fire.
Douglas Kim recently released this very well-done video on his experiences as an Asian American. While I side-eye some of the scenes, such as the car scene with the Asian girl and the white guy, Doug and I have talked about his intentions and the stereotype that follows that romantic pairing.
The lyrics “I’m pissed off but I’m too polite when Asian girls all want a guy who’s white” piss ME off, since we’ve discussed on Tumblr the horrible horrible misogyny and sexism in the Asian community when it comes to interracial relationships. I still disagree with Doug on him using this line and that scene when there were so many other issues and things he could have put in.
I recently talked with a female Asian friend of mine who told me what offends her most about “yellow fever” that some white Americans have. They would say, “What’s wrong with having a preference of someone you’re attracted to? How is that different from being attracted to blondes or brunettes?” She told me that when guys are attracted to her for being Asian, they’ve already put some sort of image of what they think she is on her, they’ve put her in a box. Their interests in her are purely self serving, in order to fulfill their preferences and desires. I think we both agree that there isn’t a problem with whites being attracted to Asians, but when it is exclusively being attracted to their Asianness, it becomes creepy. We both want our humanness to be recognized underneath our Asianness.
Seems like he’s got a good head on his shoulders, he’s very talented, and he put together a great video. I just wish it didn’t have that scene or that line in it. What are your thoughts? Is Doug a Youtuber who “gets it”?
Addressing Racism Within Our Communities: Conference Edition
This past weekend, I was lucky enough to go to a student conference in New York City. Overall, it was a fantastic and very well put together conference with very educational workshops, mind-blowing performances by talented artists, and opportunities for Asian American leaders and students to meet and bond.
However, no one could have expected one performer, David So, to veer in the direction he did. This is a video of his performance, the problematic jokes start at around 12:30 and peak at 12:50.
"I dated a Latina girl once. Mexican chicks are by far - they’re like the aphrodisiac. There’s something about those girls that, I just can’t get over it. The problem with you guys is: every time you date a Mexican chick, they always involve you in their fights. Like I don’t appreciate that at all."
I went with my first instinct and yelled “RACIST” at him. My friend next to me joined for a second time, where David So then reacted by saying “Shut up, that’s all over.” and continued on to his next joke.
This is an entertainer who made his name mocking racism and racists with his parody song of Alexandra Wallace’s infamous video about “Asians in the library”. He opened explaining that joke and slowly moved into more and more problematic humor.
Like gabrielarising, I felt something as soon as he said that. Racism within the Asian community is notorious. Anti-blackness is notorious. Anti-anyone-but-white-people is usually the most common. I know this from personal experience. This is wrong though, very very wrong. The speakers before David So came on talked heavily of coalition building. To me, coalition building is more than just a set of buzz words thrown together when talking about social justice. It’s about realizing that oppression is connected and what strikes one group of people down is related to our own lives. That means standing with my Latin@ family, my black family, my Native family, etc against comments and humor that reinforce white supremacy. That means speaking up when stereotypes like the “sexy Latina” are reinforced and fat jokes are wrapped up in a clusterfuck of “Youtube humor”.
I’m going to take an excerpt from gabrielarising’s post on MAASU:
Misogyny within a space of empowerment for Asian Americans made the situation slightly contradictory. By starting the conference off with this performer, it reminded some women in the audience of their positions as sexual objects and their secondary status. One woman, after he performed, yelled, “SEXIST!” to assert her voice as an individual who refused to take the verbal abuse lying down. I stupidly yelled in conjunction, “FUCK YOU!” not knowing what else to say. He replied by acting like he did not hear her, and just laughed it off. Apparently, he has done this many times in other venues, and when womyn confronted him, he would disrespectfully ignore them. Discussions with other folks later made me feel defeated at how easily everyone acquiesced to this verbal abuse. One man said it was merely, “Fun and games,” and that it should not be a big deal.
This is exactly what happened here. I refused to take the verbal abuse as a woman of color and I’ve gotten quite a bit of backlash for what we did. Most people joined in him laughing when he told me to shut up, and most people still lined up to meet him during and after the conference. Some told me that it was the wrong place and time to publicly call someone out on this. Some told me that I’ve gotten too radical and use too much alienating language.
Maybe they’re right, but if they are I think I’d prefer to be wrong. My philosophy is that if I don’t speak up, who will? If I don’t call someone out right when they fuck up, how many of the 1200 conference attendees would have questioned that humor? My friends have a saying. That saying is “struggle with love”. I might be in this without the friendship and/or support of established organizations, but I do what I do with a passionate and undying love for my community.
And again, just as gabrielarising said in their post,
It is up to members of next year’s MAASU and event planners of other APIA events to understand the importance of finding real performers who work to positively contribute to the community. By simply finding any wannabe artist with the least bit of talent is counterproductive to the mission of these events.
We want to counter the structures that bring down marginalized communities, but we cannot do that if we do not recognize what is disempowering us. The first step is to transcend our internalized oppressions.
Recognize all forms.
No one has the right to oppress others based on race, genders, sexuality, ability, and beliefs.
This article on ECAASU and its current form is a worthy read, especially the last paragraph. Though ECAASU no longer receives funding from the military and is a stand-up organization that provides amazing resources and opportunities for Asian American students, I think that this post was a necessary post.
Again, props to ECAASU National Board for their continuous work and to ECAASU 2013 Columbia Conference Board for putting together one of the best conferences I’ve been to.