• http://akira.hana.bi Akira Uchimura

    It’s been good for ALAs as well.

    ALAs? stands for Asian Latin Americans :)

  • zdrav

    Certainly, it’s become a lot easier to be Asian American these days than, say, 20 years ago.
    But still, Asian America is still a very insecure and ill-defined place. And increased Asian American “pride” doesn’t mean that Asian Americans are more comfortable in their skin. It may simply mean that Asian Americans are happy to leverage their somewhat cooler status to impress their white friends with whom they wish to associate.

  • ewlin

    “It may simply mean that Asian Americans are happy to leverage their
    somewhat cooler status to impress their white friends with whom they
    wish to associate.”

    That’s silly. Where’s your evidence that Asian Americans are trying to impress their ‘white friends’? If you’re going to accuse API of something like that, back it up with something. I certainly don’t go around doing anything to impress ‘white people’ specifically. I’m not even what that means…

  • http://www.facebook.com/tinabot Tina Tsai

    By the time boba became hip and ubiquitous, I had already gotten sick of it. ^o^

    Most of the time, I request for no boba, but I don’t mind having some in some Half and Half, though.

    I like the concept of the Boba Life videos but I don’t like the way it was executed…clearly I’m not the target audience.

  • KAMIKAZIPILOT

    Growing up in Hawaii being Asian has always been cool so I never had any problems growing up with regard to race. Even when I moved away I never had any problems with insecurity due to race, probably a result of my upbringing. That said I never did like boba tea as for some reason it never fails to give me the runs. I’ve never been one to eat something because it’s considered “cool”, I eat something because I think it tastes good, that’s it. Wonder why the author thinks the little ice cream balls are nasty (I assume he’s talking about Dippin Dots)? Those are actually really good, just that they’re expensive so I don’t eat them too often.

  • zdrav

    Food is the absolute lowest barrier to cultural appreciation. I’ll start giving people credit when they learn to appreciate Asian literature and media, for example.

  • A_Lee

    I dunno if it’s Asian-Americans that are cool, or Asians that are cool. (Or if we’re just kidding ourselves, and neither group is cool.) Although it’s safe to say, if you’re wondering if you’re cool, you’re probably not cool.

    Coolness or hipness is an amalgamation of admiration, fear, and envy. Someone who is harmless, incompetent, and insecure cannot be cool, while someone who is dangerous, competent, and confident cannot help but be cool.

    Japan has had the frisson of coolness for sometime now, because they produce some pretty cool stuff, culturally and technologically (competent), and because they frankly don’t care if the rest of the world thinks they’re weird (confident). And there’s still the latent trauma of WWII, and the Japanese economic dominance of the 80’s (dangerous). Asia as a whole is getting more competent, confident, and dangerous, especially China, even if Japan might be declining somewhat. Asia is perceived as the future, so everyone wants to get on board.

    But if we were to look at the SoCal subculture, I think the Asian/Asian-American zeitgeist is definitely on the rise. It’s a potent fusion of imported Asian culture, and a newer generation of more confident, and yes, more Americanized Asian-Americans. The imported Asian culture has gotten much more sophisticated, and along with the the futuristic skylines of Asian metropolises, even the elite classes in America want to get familiarized with their newly wealthy neighbors across the Pacific.

    But let’s not kid ourselves, its still mostly white guys trying to get Asian girls, plus some Japan-o-philes. It’s still mostly John Smith chasing after Pocahontas, who wants to be free from stuffy ol’ dad and all those traditional rules. Clearly the power and the coolness is still with John Smith. If that starts to change, then we can talk about “hip to be Asian-American.”

  • hexed13

    After reading multiple books on the 442nd Regiment and having a few Hawaiian friends, the difference between a mainland Asian and a Hawaiian Asian is striking. Mainland Asians tend to be more reserved, less outgoing, and paranoid. I think your first sentence says it best, while mine would have read, “Growing up on the mainland being Asian has never been cool…”

  • hexed13

    I would venture to say that Asian things are cool, not necessarily Asian people. At least my generation is still uncool, I don’t know about millennials.

  • KAMIKAZIPILOT

    True, after all anyone can like sushi or boba tea or Korean BBQ. That pretty much means nothing in terms of racial acceptance or coolness.

  • KAMIKAZIPILOT

    LOL, “Growing up on the mainland being Asian has never been cool…”. I guess it depends on where you grew up. After all there’s a big difference between L.A. and a small town in the middle of Kansas. I’ve got cousins that grew up in SoCal and they seem pretty well adjusted too, with a good mix of white and Asian friends, although no Hispanic or black friends. I even remember feeling a little jealous of them since they grew up near L.A. as there just seems to be so much more to do there than Hawaii, which is boring by comparison. Although they seem a little “white-washed” compared to me, I don’t fault them since you can’t really chose where you grow up. They’re all successful too (job, marriage, kids, etc.)

  • zdrav

    Yup, it’s the most dumbed-down and easily-palatable-to-the-dominant-group version of “tolerance” and “multiculturalism”.

    Bring your food! And your women too!

  • keltec

    huh i remenber i was getting beaten up for being asian when i was in elementry school time sure has changed

  • Moshan

    White guy here: I am still amused over the sheer obsession that many Asian dudes have over us chasing Asian women. It reminds me of those white guys being paranoid about black guys chasing white women.

    I guess there’s a corn of truth in both stereotypes, but most relationships in both cases are legitimate and in both cases the men tend to have racist inclinations(“our” women for “us” etc).

    As for the article itself, I never understood the vibe that being Asian wasn’t cool. I grew up with anime culture and although I never tried to make it my own, I also believe that art transcends class, race and age. If something makes a connection, it does, no matter what cultural, racial or class barriers. Anime/manga is popular precisely because it is so good.

    I am also personally a nerd, and I like to play Asian role-playing games, who have their own unique and style just like I know many Asians like playing Western games. You want that variety. But I’d agree with skepticism if you’d see a white guy ONLY into Asian stuff, then it becomes creepy. But in my quite extensive circle of nerdy white guy friends, almost all of us are deeply enmeshed in Asian culture(read: Asian nerd culture) and none of us are only into it. There’s plenty of nerd culture that’s homegrown too that’s very good. Like the LotR, Magic the Gathering, D&D, Star Trek/Star Wars and so on…

    As for the specific culture in SoCal, well, I don’t live there so I can’t comment but Asians now make up 15% of California’s population and probably over 20% in SoCal, so it’s only natural with a growing population, you’d make an impact.
    Hopefully, the rest of America can learn from higher marriage rates, lower divorce rates, less crime and more pro-social behaviour from Asians. Don’t get paranoid by the “model minority” threat. Is it better to be a fuck-up? I think not.

    (P.S. You don’t have to worry, all my girlfriends have been non-Asian(mostly white and black), so you can sleep well at night without dreaming nightmares of where all those white penises you keep worrying about are going. At least this one’s safe.
    I wouldn’t mention it otherwise, but you do seem to care. A LOT :D)

  • Moshan

    I’m not sure if Asian people are so obsessed with being seen as cool by specifically white people. I think most people want to be seen as cool(and most of us are failing! And then we learn that it’s kinda sad chasing validation from other people and learn to be ourselves, warts and all).

    At least that’s what I have noticed. The relations between my community, the white nerdy community and the Asian nerdy community is mostly great. But maybe that’s because we’re all nerds and don’t really give that much thought to race(or at least we white nerds don’t give much thought to race, perhaps because we don’t have to?).

    At any rate, as someone wrote in the thread, food is usually the entry to a new culture and a very low threshold. What matters then is literature. But frankly, a lot of Asian(specifically East Asian) philosophy has already made an impact. Think about Buddhism(the preferred religious alternative of the white liberal elite) or the concept of Zen. Feng Shui isn’t really hip yet but it took a while for Zen to reach the public consciousness.

    One thing that might work against this is that ‘Asian’ is a huge umbrella. There are clear differences in culture between India and most East-Asian nations. And China is quite different from Japan. So far, most of Asian culture has been Japanese culture in reality to most Westerners. As Asia grows in importance, this will become more nuanced, but the price to be paid is that it will also become more fragmented.

    Another thing to remember is that this generation is the most connected, ever. A lot of young, urban Asian kids in places like Hong Kong, Singapore or Seoul know English much better than their parents generation and consume a lot of Western culture. This might mean that the differences will shrink and a challenge to getting to know an Asian culture for a Western audience may be that the younger generation could be more Westernized than ever before, meaning that there will be a more homogeneous experience, rather than an eductional one. You connect on things you have in common, which everyone likes, but it could defeat the concept of diversity to a significant extent.

    But I don’t know! That’s what my Chinese close friend, who’s quite rooted in his ethnic identity tells me when he complains at how fast China’s youth is Westernizing and how quickly they forget their roots. (He also complains about the lack cultural capital among the American-Born Chinese he meets, like their lack of proficiency in Chinese or their ignorance in ancient Chinese medicine to take two examples).

    Maybe he’s right, maybe he is wrong. Possibly, Asian-America will play a crucial role as a cultural bridge between both sides in a way that few can as you have a foot in both places. The future’s exciting and bright!

  • zdrav

    You make some excellent points. I agree that appreciating a culture’s literature is a real sign of true appreciation due to the amount of effort and skill it takes. You bring up stuff like Confucius and Buddhism as being embraced by the West, but we must almost realize that that stuff is OLD AS DIRT. It’s from such an ancient time period that it’s very vulnerable for cultural appropriation (the “Eat Pray Love” Syndrome). So when we talk about literature, I think we need to talk about contemporary literature that reflects the thoughts and concerns of modern Asians.

    You’re also right in that modern Asia has a lot of access to Western pop culture, but it’s also rapidly becoming a much more two-way street. Asian Americans (and non-Asian Americans) are also able to consume Asian pop culture more easily than ever before. Personally speaking, I remember having to go to my local Asian supermarket to rent low-quality VHS tapes if I ever wanted to watch Korean dramas. Nowadays, I just go to one of dozens of streaming websites where I can watch any show in HQ.

    Yes, the future’s exciting and bright!

  • A_Lee

    I’m actually very sympathetic to the plight of the average nerdy white straight single male, who is basically the only acceptable target of universal hate in modern America. Whitebread, vanilla, et cetera. If you were paying attention to the way things are going in this country, especially for your kind, you would be a lot less gleeful then you seem to be.

    Multiculturalism isn’t saving you, it’s killing you. But hey, being a target of universal scorn in your own country is a small price to pay for anime and sushi, right?

    Given the amount of words expended by you in describing White male-Asian female pairings, and the amount of words expended by me doing so, I’d say you seem to care a lot more. A LOT :D)

  • TheSpeakerOfTruth

    but most relationships in both cases are legitimate and in both cases
    the men tend to have racist inclinations(“our” women for “us” etc).

    “Most” is a strong word, and as for imaging your white penis, let me imagine a microscope first. Better question to ask is about the white obsession with Asian men, like passing laws making it illegal for them to marry white women until the 60s.

  • TheSpeakerOfTruth

    You sound like a good guy, but that bridge needs to be burned – and hopefully “Asian-Americans” can be a part of that.

  • TheSpeakerOfTruth

    No race is cool.

  • TheSpeakerOfTruth

    edit

  • Michelle Kirkwood

    This country has been multicultural since day one,even if a lot of us didn’t get along half the time,so this statement:Multiculturalism isn’t saving you, it’s killing you,: is ridiculous.And white males getting hate—well, that only because traditionally , it was white males who ran everything, and made everybody else feel like s*** for not being white. Hell, you still make people feel like that today–and white men still have all the privileges, so you really don’t have a damn thing to whine about. So just be quiet,please.

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