The Imperial Senate Can Into Silly Love Song

It is inevitable, I suppose, that it has come to this. What is it like to blog for the first time in more than a year, after so much has changed? I think it proper that rather than expounding on something profound, or discussing the insights I have gained during this time, I instead should appeal to the lowest common denominator, and procure a piece of simplistic, cheesy, romantic, musical poetry.

I suppose it would be mildly more entertaining if I pretended it was an anime theme song. Also, pat on the back to anyone who can guess the reference or origin of this. Hint: מֹשֶׁה

 

My love is yours
I gave my love to you
My sweet and gentle love
To you

And when the morning sun
Shines on your smiling face
Then I know I’ve seen a smile
Worth living for

I’ll take your hand
And go to Scarborough Fair
And go to Scarborough Fair
With you

Though I am just a man
When you are by my side
With our hearts as one
I know I can be strong

Though I am just a man
When you are by my side
With our hearts as one
I know we can be strong

To walk to Scarborough Fair.
If I must fight
I’ll fight to walk to Scarborough Fair
Until I die,
My heart is yours

 

Vector graphics yay

Mildly unrelated.

The Imperial Senate Endorses Theodore Roosevelt for President of the United States of America

In the words of the esteemed magazine, the Economist, “America could do better than Barack Obama; sadly, Mitt Romney does not fit the bill.” In these troubling times, only one man has the courage, the madness, the intelligence, the manliness, and the imperial authority to lay claim to the as-of-currently decadent and decrepit American throne and successfully make America great once again.

He is Theodore Roosevelt.

Skeptics voice a number of concerns about the possibility and aptitude of a third Roosevelt presidency. Some say his 20th century solutions won’t work for 21st century problems. Some say he is too hot-tempered. Some say he is too revolutionary for his time. Some say he is dead. Some say he is immortal. But rest assured: the Imperial Senate believes that Theodore Roosevelt is the only person who has the ability to successful guide America in our troubling times.

For the convenience of the American masses, we outlay the advantages of a Roosevelt presidency below, and the man’s stances on the issues:

Military and National Security

In a Roosevelt presidency, America’s military expenditures as well as security threats to America will be reduced by 100%. In fact, there will be no military. Theodore Roosevelt will be the military. He is immune to bulletfire, single-handedly destroyed the Spanish in the Spanish-American war, and is what some call a “true” Chuck Norris – that is, what Chuck Norris wishes he could be. A Theodore Roosevelt can defeat anything using any weapon, be it a large stick, a handgun, or his bare judo-trained fists. Skeptics, however, might worry about what happens after Roosevelt dies. Who will protect us then? No worry. Roosevelt has children, grandchildren, and other descendants, and according to recent genetic studies, Roosevelt and his descendants carry an immortality, ultimate badass gene that allow them to destroy anything at will. Therefore, America will forever be safeguarded. Even more so, the entire world will be safeguarded. Theodore Roosevelt can punch Assad in the face and end the Syrian civil war. He can roundhouse kick the Euro and end the Euro crisis. He can even, with his peace-making credentials (see his Nobel Peace Prize), end the China-Japan squabble over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands by stomping the islands into the sea so there’s nothing left to fight over. All in all, America and the entire world will be at peace.

Environment

Teddy Roosevelt likes hunting and bears. Therefore, he will protect the environment, because without the environment, how can anyone hunt cheetahs, elephants, and grizzly bears bare-handed like him?

Healthcare and Social Security

There will be no need for healthcare reform. In fact, there will be no need for healthcare at all under a Roosevelt presidency. Roosevelt’s immense courage will inspire all those around him, and his imposing nature will either kill or frighten off every single ailment known to man. After all, he killed his own asthma when he was a mere toddler. With everyone in perfect health, there social security will no longer be jeopardized, because no one will need to pay medical bills and thus can provide for the elderly more efficiently.

Social Issues

Admittedly, Theodore Roosevelt might offend some conservative voters with his rather liberal views. For instance, he believes that blacks are equal to whites: “the only wise and honorable and Christian thing to do is to treat each black man and each white man strictly on his merits as a man.” He has even appointed blacks to federal office, which has alienated some traditionalist voters, particularly in the south. Even more bravely, he has appointed a Jew to a cabinet position.

Economy

Theodore Roosevelt will punch the economy in the face, thus ending the Great Recession. Theodore Roosevelt will also punch corporation CEOs in the face for being mean, making liberals happy. He will also punch Union leaders for being wussies (compared with union leaders in his day), making conservatives sort of happy.

Education

With the immeasurable wealth pouring into America, Theodore Roosevelt can spend leftover sums of money on educating the next generation of Americans into world-class badasses. America will become the next Eden.

All in all, a vote for Theodore Roosevelt is a vote for imperial glory unmatched since the days of… well, the last Theodore Roosevelt presidency. But Roosevelt cannot be POTUS if you do not vote for him. So go out, cast your ballot for Roosevelt, and ensure a better America for tomorrow, and other idealistic nonsensical slogans designed to inspire people.

In an age of darkness, when the hordes of darkness in their darkness are darkening the already darkened world, only one man has the courage to be liberal, conservative, and moderate at the same time without being a flip-flopper; only one man has the strength to punch all of America’s problems in the face; only one man is so immortal that he cannot be killed by bullets, that even death itself cowers in fear when it merely hears his name. And only one man has the ability to solve all the world’s problems easily. That man is Theodore Roosevelt.

For this reason, the Imperial Senate wholeheartedly, firmly, and enthusiastically endorses Theodōros Roseveltēs for Byzantine-Roman Emperor, God-Emperor of mankind, and POTUS.

Actually, Teddy Roosevelt never died. He is sleeping under Mount Rushmore, waiting until the day when America needs him most. When that day comes, he shall emerge on a white steed and rid America of its enemies and woes and usher in a new age of imperial peace.

I Love The Catcher in the Rye for the Same Reason You Hate It

Oh, u so romantic, so hipster.

Pic related. Also, I just realized, the guy kind of reminds me of a hipster.

The Catcher in the Rye. My fifth god of fiction, most blessed, most confounding.

In all the (admittedly few) years I have lived, only five pieces of fiction impressed me enough that I considered them as my personal gods of fiction. These works inspired me, changed the way I saw the world, altered the direction I took my life in (even if a little bit). Perhaps Holden himself from The Catcher in the Rye put it best: “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” And it happened only five times so far for me in my life. Unfortunately, I have ridiculously high standards for storytelling – not out of arrogance, I hope, but rather because I am just so easily bored.

The first god was Grave of the Fireflies, which taught me tragedy. The second was The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which taught me epicness. The third was The Lord of The Rings, which taught me imagination and limitless creativity. The fourth was Azumanga Daioh, a rare breed of anime that taught me about the whimsical and optimistic, yet also the wistful and sentimental to be found in youth and life.

And then there is the fifth god, my last god of fiction: The Catcher in the Rye. And possibly the greatest.

A lot of people don’t like The Catcher in the Rye. Even more hate the book, including many of my teachers and friends. I remember how I was talking with an English teacher of mine one day, and somewhere in the conversation I said that The Catcher in the Rye was my most favorite book. She seemed to freeze for a moment, blink for a few seconds, and look at me, a little perplexed, before admitting she didn’t really like it. I guess she was thinking this in her head, like all the book’s detractors: how could you enjoy a book that was about nothing but Holden Caulfield’s angsty, teenage whining?

And I think to myself: How could I not enjoy that?

The Catcher in the Rye was probably the last book I earnestly read from cover to cover. All of the other classics and “great pieces of literature” I read in high school couldn’t resonate with me the way The Catcher in the Rye did. Great Gatsby? Yeah, I waded through that one, but it felt like an extremely weak prototype of Catcher. Huck Finn? Well, I appreciated what Mark Twain was trying to accomplish, but it felt too dated for me (though I think Twain would sympathize). Lord of the Flies? Seriously, that was some boring @$# %&!* about some psychopathic kids adults who looked like kids. Their Eyes were Watching God? I used sparknotes. I didn’t even give it the honor of at least using cliffnotes (which is infinitely better than sparknotes). To be honest, barely any story I have come across in the past five years – high school English class or not – could resonate with me even 50% the way The Catcher in the Rye did (until now, maybe).

BOOOOOOOOO, BORING.

Don’t get me started on this one. If you really want to hear about it… I hate it.

When I see my writing, hear myself speak, listen to my thoughts as they ramble on and on – I hear a bit of Holden, too, even though I always forget, almost as if he is like a mirror into my being. And you know, every time, when I think to myself, “Do I think this is a good work of fiction?” I always almost subconsciously compare it to my fifth god of fiction. Not my first, nor my second, third, or even, I have to admit, my fourth. It is from The Catcher in the Rye where I set my standards for fiction, somehow.

I know some people enjoy reading or watching something that provokes the deepest depths of their deep, philosophical minds. Others enjoy reading or watching mindless entertainment, wrought with clichés and/or wish-fulfillment. Yet others want an intricate plot full of twists and turns, action and reaction, the great thrillers of human limits, physical and psychological. And still others want Disney a heroic, idealized triumph of goodness’ strength and might over evil (whatever “goodness” and “evil” are defined as). That’s all fine. But for me, the epitome of a good story is the immersive ambiance and the machinations of characters and their interactions; in short, two words: atmosphere and characterization. Particularly the latter.

And the tale of Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye, fulfilled precisely those requirements. Good atmosphere; even better, godly characterization.

There was no lofty philosophical modernist/post-modernist/whateverist rantings, no winding examinations of the deranged aspects of the human psyche, no ridiculous and depressing melodrama, no childishly optimistic Disney-like vindications of the human spirit, no goddamn love triangles that drag on for centuries. No, it was none of this. It was, for me, an extraordinarily written narrative about very, very ordinary circumstances and its very, very ordinary character (relatively speaking). The brilliance of the book, to me, is that it just tells me something as it sees it from its own (admittedly cynical, rambling) viewpoint. You’re not supposed to find the main character likeable; you’re not supposed to be enraptured by an exciting, explosive plot; you’re not supposed to cheer him on as he magically goes through some magical “character arc” or “changes to become a better/worse person” (I don’t understand why some people believe a “good” story blatantly needs this). You only see Holden and his, quite possibly, angst-filled, even whine-filled state of mind. That’s it. The Catcher in the Rye did for me what I thought usually impossible: portray an adolescent as an adolescent, portray a person being a person and not a character. In other words, it did one hell of a job characterizing one random adolescent dude. Isn’t it amazing that both the people who love and hate The Catcher in the Rye feel what they feel precisely because Holden Caulfield feels like such a real, living person, that he can extract real, living responses (loving or hateful), responses I don’t see everyday for most fictional characters? Responses to give to a normal person and not a character? Now that’s a brilliantly-written character. And a great story, too. Because it respects me by not expecting or wanting me to overthink too much. It wants me to digest it, slowly, over time, as it subtly changes me. It gives me all I can take, nothing more, nothing less, and asks for nothing.

French Fries, I choose you

French fries were my first solid food. French fries = my childhood

Anyhow, perhaps Mark Twain’s words from his Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (which has interestingly enough been compared to The Catcher in the Rye) sums up my ramblings: “Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR. -Notice”

I found storytelling beauty in The Catcher in the Rye precisely through the fact that it quite blatantly, and intentionally, wasn’t meant to be beautifully written literature. There was highborn “motive” or a grandiose “moral” or even much of a “plot.” Perhaps I can use Holden’s rhetoric of phoniness here (even though I don’t necessarily agree with it): The Catcher in the Rye is anything but a phony. It is authentic. It might be unpleasant, even frustrating and annoying, but it is authentic. (That’s not to say motives, morals, and plots are automatically phony and can’t be authentic.)

For when I think of my gods of fiction, and the effect they had on me, The Catcher in the Rye jumps to my mind first. The others – sure, they were just as influential on me, maybe even more – but they just cannot compare, somehow. Even Azumanga Daioh, which I consider the happy, mirthful antithesis of The Catcher in the Rye – even that, which I see as a natural compliment to The Catcher in the Rye… even that still plaes in comparison.

It’s funny I’ve finally accepted all this and understood it fully, five years later. And all this came to me, now, at last, because I think I might have found a worthy heir to The Catcher in the Rye. At least for me.

It’s an anime, of all things (for better or worse), but if that’s how it’s supposed to be, so be it. For as I watched it, flitting through episode after episode, scene after scene, amazement after amazement, layer after layer, depth after depth, wonder after wonder, I was, very slowly, irrevocably reminded, for the first time in five years, of Holden Caulfield and The Catcher in the Rye. Reminded, for the first time in five years, of the dialogue; the fullness of personality; the struggle, both silly yet serious. Reminded, for the first time in five years, of the bittersweetness of those years, the age of troubles, the days when the things that fueled the economy of the empire, the world no less, dwindled and society collapsed.

HVMMVS

Pic unrelated. Hummus is awesome.

I still remember the day I first got the book. After reading the first few chapters, I asked an upperclassman friend of mine who had read the book the previous year, “What’s the point of this?”

He loved The Catcher in the Rye, so naturally, he replied, “There’s no point. That’s the point.”

After that, I found myself enjoying the book more and more. I found its point in its not having a point. I came to love it too. And I finished the entire book in a day (or two days… I don’t remember).

A triumph of no triumph, a victory of no victory, a glory of no glory. It taught me a favorite sentiment of mine: the pointless, meaningless struggle to do something you know is futile, to face death (in this case the death of childhood) with a smile. It spoke to me in the language of literature that I enjoyed, the language which was, while arguably vulgar and aimless, also, at the same time, intimate and familiar, tranquil (in an odd way) and simple (but not simplistic). It spoke to me, angst or no angst, whining or no whining. Even now, when I am older, and no longer trapped in my own little adolescent bubble (I think), it still speaks to me (albeit in a slightly different way). Somehow. I’ve heard from some people that The Catcher in the Rye is like a mirror: it doesn’t show you about Holden and his worldview so much as it secretly reveals to you about yourself and your worldview at the moment you read it.

And so, now, there it sits, above the others, a god of fiction, lofty and vain, yet humble in its own way, too. And there it sits, and there it will sit, unchanging. It won’t change, ever. The only thing that will change is me.

And Holden; well, Holden will always be a friend. Sure, he might not be the best person – and maybe he really is a bad, whiny, angsty, self-centered little twit as some argue (although they always seem to forget that this is a young guy whose freaking little brother just died (I’d be depressed and angsty too if I had an awesome kid brother who died)), but he will always be a friend and inspiration (in a weird way), unchanging. As he himself puts it, “I’m not too sure old Phoebe knew what the hell I was talking about. I mean she’s only a little child and all. But she was listening, at least. If somebody at least listens, it’s not too bad.”

Thank you, Holden. Thank you, J.D. Salinger. Thank you, The Catcher in the Rye. Thank you, my fifth god of fiction. Thank you for listening. These five years wouldn’t have been the same without you.

NAPOLEON, DA DA DA DA DA DA DA DA DA DA DA DA

Pic (un)related.

P.S. On a brighter note, I decided to buy a copy of the book on Amazon for one penny the other day. I’m such a goddamn phony. I really am. Or just a goddamn cheap Asian. Wait… is there a difference?

Are Humanities and Social Sciences Bad for Asians too?

If you’ve been reading the news these days, you’ve probably come across one, or more, or many articles and op-eds telling people about how terrible it is for students to be going into the humanities or social sciences.

How will you find a job with that Studio Art degree? Will that Philosophy PhD satisfy your hunger? That B.A. in Anthropology will just land you a job flipping burgers at McDonalds!

That looks delicious, except for the fact that I’m vegetarian.

Actually, they are right. Slightly. Humanities, arts, social sciences, and so on: unfortunately, these majors tend to make less money than their science and mathy counterparts, and they also tend to have higher unemployment, even though, from what I’ve looked up, they still make more money and have better employment prospects than people without college degrees. So perhaps, as some of these articles and op-eds suggest, there are too many people going into the Humanities and Social Sciences. Fine. Makes enough sense. Society needs people going into all sorts of subjects, not just politics and literature. But see, for me, there’s a wee bit of a problem.

 

 

I’m Asian.

Asians, see, don’t tend to go into Humanities and the Social Sciences. Lots of Asians go into science, or engineering, or tech, or medicine, or something along those lines. I notice, for instance, a shift from “lots of Asians” to “not a lot of Asians” when I go from, say, my science/tech classes to my humanities/social science classes.

That’s fine, really. I don’t have a problem with that. Actually, never mind, I do. Asians, along with other immigrant groups, tend to emphasize getting degrees in “useful” subjects much more than other non-immigrant groups. That’s perfectly justifiable, except so many Asians go into these “practical” fields that it’s become a problem of imbalance: some within the Asian and immigrant communities are starting to advocate for parents and other Asians to encourage their kids to go into fields other than the stereotypical doctor/engineer lineup.

Stop the madness.

What does this have to do with Humanities and Social Sciences enrollment in general?

It means that when I see the people saying that less and less people should be going into humanities and social sciences, I feel a bit conflicted. See, that might be true to some degree, but I’m also Asian. And as for us Asians, I believe the opposite should be happening – that more and more Asians should be going into the humanities and social sciences.

Frankly, I don’t enjoy hearing an older Asian man or woman saying that I should just become a doctor, and I don’t want to hear another of that from somewhere else. I’ve heard it enough times, and I can just tell when they are about to say it.  I don’t want to be another Asian doctor or engineer. I don’t need to. Some Asians are fine with those fields, and I respect that, but that is not for me.

It’s an odd conflict. In general, there are more people in the humanities and social sciences than there should be; yet within the Asian (and immigrant) communities, it’s the opposite, in my opinion.

KONG FU ZU SAYS

Confucius, an Asian philosopher. I heard he was totally into the Humanities or something.

How to find the balance?

I don’t know.

But I do know it’s a good idea to not do something if you’re that ambivalent towards it. On the other hand, I also know it’s a good idea to plan ahead. There’s nothing wrong being an Art/Philosophy/whatever major, so long as you know the risks and consequences, and plan accordingly.

I think that’s what we should be telling stupid kids like me, instead of “Take this major,” or “Don’t go into that subject.” I should be telling myself “Think about why you want to do this, the pros and cons, and how you are going to manage yourself with these tools.” After all, majors are nothing but tools. College degrees are nothing but tools. Some tools are better than others, certainly, but all tools are useful somehow. You just have to familiarize yourself with the tool, its purpose, its limits and its potential.

That said, being a doctor ain’t fun. I’ve heard (though I cannot verify) that the debt from medical school makes other college debts look like a joke.

92% of statistics are made up!

Though I guess you can be a surgeon and get good pay to pay off your debts. Then again, it’s pretty stressful being one, I’ve heard.

(Note: I use “Asian” in this article, but in reality I could substitute Asian with most other immigrant groups. See here for more.)

Japan: Regretfully the World’s Last Hope Against Eurocentrism

Eurocentrism in its extreme form.

Why does the world continue to allow for a lack of respect for diverse peoples and cultures? Comrades, these are troubling times indeed, when the masses embrace the capitalist corruption of the people’s liberation: Eurocentrism.

On a serious note, Eurocentrism is a terrible thing. It makes me mad, for one thing; so much that I wrote a blog post about it ages ago. It also, more importantly, leads to a decline in respect for diverse peoples and cultures. It leads to, for instance, Mitt Romney arguing that Israeli culture is better than Palestinian culture, and thus by extension that generally Western culture is better than Islamic culture. Or, on a rather depressing note, it leads to unnecessary violence like the recent shooting rampage at a Sikh temple. But, on a brighter note, there is hope against Eurocentrism. In fact, it is blatantly obvious hope, even if you only have some basic knowledge in international affairs and history. That hope is Japan.

Japan is the best – and perhaps (currently) the only – counterargument against Eurocentrism.

No, no, I don’t mean to imply that Japanese culture is awesome compared to Western culture. Because it’s not. Yes, I think the phonological structure of Japanese is interesting, and I think the Japanese have the best Asian confectionary; however, Samurai and ninja are overrated, and I don’t give a damn about how spiritually pure they are in their martial arts, and anime is just goddamn anime for goodness sakes.

But Japan is still, perhaps, for now, the only clear argument against Eurocentrism.

Think of it this way. When you think of the “developed world,” or of “modernized” countries, especially those with any political or economic power on the international stage, these would probably come to mind: America, Britain, Russia (sort of), Germany, Japan, France, and so on. Which one’s the odd one out? Japan. Why? Because it’s the only non-European one on the list. When you think of countries that were formerly colonial empires/imperialist douchebags, these would probably come to mind: Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Russia, and America (arguably). Who’s the odd one out again? Japan. Because, again, it’s the only non-European one on the list.

Starting to get the drift here?

Japan shows the white devils that they, too, can be imperialist douchebags by shooting those godless, heathen, pagan Chinamen. (See First Sino-Japanese War)

For the past century and a half or so, Japan has proven itself to be the only successful non-European nation – if we define success as becoming a world power rivaling that of the “Western” states. A number of recent economic powerhouses, such as China, South Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, India, and so on, don’t count because they have only recently rose to power. Japan has been at it since the late 1800s, and not only that, it also has a history of being an imperialist douchebag like former Western colonial powers.

But one could argue that Japan is Westernized: they wear “Western” clothing, eat fast food, and have a democracy that supports freedom and equality. These, however, are relatively superficial. Traditional clothing is still very much commonplace in Japan, though in more limited contexts; and Japan still eats rice; and so on. Even their sort of freedom and equality is not exactly the same as in Europe or America. For instance, while there is freedom, there isn’t on the other hand much encouragement of individuality. Conformity to society is much more important; standing out, playing the unique hero – that’s discouraged. Shy from conflict, cooperate and compromise or even comply rather than “fight for what you believe in.” And so on. That’s not to mention that there’s still a clear patriarchal, even repressive, element of Japanese culture: women still have clear gender roles. Ultimately, the traditional influence on Japan is still extremely pervasive, even if guys don’t go around committing suicide to preserve their honor (as much).

Thus Japan – yes, that very Japan that gave you Pokemon and anime and sushi – proves that Western culture is not fully necessary for success. For Japan did not begin as a white folks’ nation with white folks’ culture, nor did it become one . Nay, even its modernization programme during the Meiji era relied heavily on cooperation between the government and corporate leaders of samurai stock, and it was done so in terms of a Confucian worldview (all honor to the Emperor, etc.); so so much for laissez-faire capitalism. And Japan’sefforts succeeded beyond imagination, flabbergasting the Europeans who watched in shock as Japan beat Russia and China and colonized Korea and Taiwan, proving that Westerners weren’t the only people capable of being big colonial douchebags/dicks/jerks. When Japan was defeated in World War II, they shocked the West once again as they rebuilt themselves into an economic power, without the need to adopt heavy doses of Western individualism, so much that in the 80s Americans feared that Japan would one day take over the world.

Arararararararararararagi

Anyone who can explain to me how this is related to the concept of Japanese conformity vs. individualism/playing hero will win free french fries.

My conclusion here is that perhaps culture does not determine the superiority of a nation or people; institutions (as well as historical luck) have a much bigger role. The Japanese developed institutions that kept them going for a long time, and, despite their current economic woes, still keep them going well enough to at least barely float. At the very least, something happened that caused Japan’s standard of living to rival that of America or France. I highly doubt it was because white people have better manners or philosophy. Japanese children are still taught values that adhere, directly or indirectly, to Confucian ethics and East Asian ideals. But this did not, and does not, really produce a culture inferior to that of the so-called “Judaeo-Christian” West (a concept which itself I find problematic, and, yes, you guessed it, Eurocentric).

If Japan, so steeped in its Confucian and East Asian roots, could produce a modern power without heavy doses of Western culture, who are we to day that an Islamic, Indian, or West African culture couldn’t do the same? That’s why Japan is so important. It’s the only clear evidence we have of a successful modern nation that isn’t Western in culture. Japan’s example proves that with good leaders, right timing, and luck, any culture can have the means to succeed and become the imperialist jerkass and/or economic powerhouse it always wanted to be, Western Judaeo-Christian culture or not.

Yes, Japan is overrated in some ways – no, in many ways. But in other ways, it really is the only hope against Eurocentrism, the only good evidence we have that you don’t have to be white to be an imperialist, greedy, violent, ruthless, colonizing douchebag if they try hard enough – and in some ways, that’s good for the white folks too. When every culture is a douchebag, maybe then it’d be easier to have respect for diverse peoples and cultures.

I admit I prefer Japanese rice over Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, or Indian rice. I like its texture and moistness. Also, this rice is white. Is that racist?

(Also, happy one year birthday to my blog. What an imperialist, people’s blast, a truest respect for diverse peoples and cultures:

Happy birthday to the masses, happy birthday to the masses, happy birthday to you all, may we rid the world of dirty reactionary imperialist-capitalists!)

Asians are Stupid Like Everyone Else

Nooders

On the other hand, the guy who invented instant noodles is a genius.

Maybe we’re just better at hiding it.

Asians are stupid, too. In fact, I would love for people to think Asians are stupid. That way, people will underestimate us instead of overestimate us, so they won’t be so surprised at our success. I mean, come on, the only minority in America that’s actually really smart are Jews, right?

Racisism aside, the model minority myth is unfortunately very popular among the masses. It is also, just as unfortunately, very popular among the Asian masses, which makes things worse. Sure, we have the glorious Confucius, odd family customs and rituals that incite higher suicide rates among students in East Asia, kung fu skills, and eyes that need eyeglasses – an important indicator of intelligence, I am told – but sometimes I’ve wonder if people haven’t seen a dumb Asian. I have. Or at least I’ve seen Asians that aren’t smart. Fine, “not smart” and “dumb” are not the same things.

Nevertheless, I have an unscientific, untested theory as to why there seem to be so many smart Asians – merely a matter of statistics, I believe.

Basically, the whole model minority myth is the result of circumstantial racial categories. In America, there are officially four major racial categories: white, black, Hispanic, and Asian. Now, well-educated immigrants, that is, immigrants who have high levels of education come from all over the world. We have, for instance, Iranians, many of whom fled from the current regime following the Revolution; we also have Africans (from Africa), who prefer to lend their talents away from their unstable homelands; we also have well-educated Europeans from Europe, well-educated people from Latin America and the Carribean, and so on. However, out of all these groups, only Asians constitute a separate racial category. Iranians and other Middle Easterners are often classified as white; Africans from Africa as black; and so on. So in the non-Asian categories, the well-educated immigrants are lumped together with other folks (some well-educated, some not-so-well-educated) already living in America, while in the Asian category, since there weren’t that many Asians to begin with, well-educated immigrants are overrepresented.

In short, my theory is that Asians only seem smarter because well-educated folks are overrepresented in the Asian category even though well-educated immigrants come from all over the world. Of course there are other reasons and issues too (such as the decent performances of Asians school in Asia), but I’ll just pretend they don’t exist for argument’s sake – I just want to point out one factor here.

Maybe all this makes no sense at all. If you are really skeptical, and wish to see a real example of a stupid Asian, look no further: he’s right here. I got barely passable grades in Calculus and Physics, and it’s a family thing too; probably explains why my parents weren’t so angry at me, since they figured they didn’t want me saying something like “Well, at least I passed Physics unlike you.” That’s a stupid Asian for you.

Look, I want Asians to be treated like stupid, normal people. That way, colleges won’t overestimate us and not want to take too many of us in, and we’ll be able to get into the best correges unrike those sirry American kids!

Asians are funny on my money.

Pic slighly unrelated.

(Ah, it feels good writing up something after a long absence. I am also a very lazy, unmotivated Asian.)

Skyrim vs. Anime – An Objective Comparison

Pic unrelated.

Despite being products of two drastically different psychoses, Skyrim and Anime (that is, Animeland, the magical land of magical schoolgirls, explosions, and skittles) are remarkably similar. Both are extremely inhospitable lands that contain some of the most dangerous environments ever known to man. They also may qualify as drugs.

That being said, in respect for the glorious Chairman Mao’s sponsorship of the ideals of “respect for diverse cultures and peoples,” it is pertinent that we compare and contrast these two generally unusual, occasionally creepy, and even fantastically insane realms.

1. Literary Achievements
Animeland: It seems the inhabitants, in a few cases, have a reoccurring penchant to live their lives like some mind screwing, post-modernist, insane incomprehensibility akin to that of Alice in Wonderland or 20th century Russian literature.
Skyrim: Scripture made by a living god that secretly shows, using Biblical style prose and poetry, that the world of Tamriel is actually that of a video game. Oh, and the Lusty Argonian Maid.
Winner: Skyrim.

2. Progressive Roles of Women in the Military
Animeland: Military women are sex objects
Skyrim: Military women are sex objects
Winner: Skyrim. At least they (probably) are wearing their panties or the pseudo-medieval equivalent.

3. Landscape
Animeland: Varies.
Skyrim: Varies.
Winner: Draw. Just kidding, Skyrim.

4. Safety and Security
Animeland: Statistics reveal Animeland to be an extremely dangerous to traverse, physically and mentally
Skyrim: Somewhat dangerous to traverse, despite the arrival of time-eating dragons
Winner: Draw. Bureaucratic regulations mandate that there needs to be at least one draw to ensure fairness.

5. Language
Animeland: High-pitched Japanese seems to be the default dialect among women. Its linguistic relationship with more standard dialects of Japanese is otherwise hard to discern.
Skyrim: Shouting at the sky can change weather or summon dragons.
Winner: Skyrim.

That's not the Dragon Language, it's ancient Mesopotamian cuneiform.

6. Musical Traditions
Animeland: Occasionally there exist decent ballads, but otherwise it’s the same thing.
Skyrim: Songs have the power to make universes explode.
Winner: Skyrim. Is there any comparison?

7. Courtship Customs
Animeland: This is better left unmentioned.
Skyrim: Marriage simply requires an inconsequential, petty trinket.
Winner: Animeland. Skyrim, unfortunately, encourages risky choices as it provides a small timeslot between engagement and marriage, and thus prevents serious contemplation on how one will now ruin one’s life forever.

8. Infant Mortality Rate
Animeland: Monstrously Low. For unexplained reasons the infant mortality rate for females is ridiculously low, hence why there are so many schoolgirls running around.
Skyrim: Absurdly High. There’s probably about 10 kids total running around the entire region.
Winner: Animeland.

9. Military Capabilities
Animeland: Giant mecha.
Skyrim: Manly shouts that rip through the fabric of time and space.
Winner: Skyrim

10. Byzantines
Animeland: …
Skyrim: Imperials are Romans. Romans are Byzantines.
Winner: Skyrim. No explaination needed.

Winner:

Skyrim 7-2

Sorry, anime fans, as much as I like a couple things here and there… but I saw this coming.

Pic also unrelated. Did you know this vaguely resembles Indic and Southeast Asian bas reliefs?

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