Curiouser and Curiouser

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Working on a new writing project is always a little daunting for me. I don’t know the world, the characters, the detailed plot, nor the ending. Basically, I know shit. I have found that once I begin to think about a story, I tend to dive into things that seem to have no relevance.

For example, my characters in my fantasy has wings. The world they live in is completely made up. As I moved through my normal life, my mind seemed to come up with things that I could include in the story and world. So much so that I couldn’t keep track of it all. I bought a small notebook, this was before phones had become smart, and I jotted down everything that came into my mind that I thought might be of use. All of the sudden a flood gate opened, and my notebook was filled with nick knacks and tidbits and nuggets and morsels. I was amazed at what came out. And I’m not talking about my first time.

I remember watching a documentary about the evolution of birds. One of the topics it explored was: Do birds prefer to walk, or do they prefer to fly? To test this, the scientists put a bird on a wooden plank. The incline of the plank was increased to various degrees. No matter the degree, as long as the birds could walk up the plank, they would walk. It wasn’t until the incline had gotten so high that the birds were forced to fly up the plank. So I decided that my characters with wings would have that same behavior. That they preferred to walk, unless the place they wanted to go to required flight.

Be it fantasy, science fiction, or plain ole’fiction, the foundations of the world needs to be consistent. I’ve talked about his in the world of Harry Potter where J.K. Rowling almost made a mistake in this regard. Being the writer that she is, she caught it and corrected it.

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In my new book, one of my main characters is a skeptic. He was entrenched in his martial arts school, loved teaching, and loved working with kids. But a slow disenchantment led him down the road of rebelling against his own school, much like Bruce Lee had, and he questioned what they taught and their methods. His skepticism lends well to working with children because he’s willing to investigate their issues to discover their real causes.

Before I knew all of this, I came across YouTube videos from the Athiest Community of Austin, the ACA. Their cable access show, The Atheist Experience, is run live with callers that ranges from theists to atheists to conspiracy theorists. I have to admit the theist callers are fun to listen to because the debate that ensues is not only entertaining, but opened my eyes to what constitutes as evidence and gave me a basic overview of how logic works. Both of these things were not very well defined in my mind beforehand. And this current character that I’m writing understands those things well.

Now, I started to watch the videos before I began to write this new book. To prove that my mind knew to watch these videos because I was thinking about this new book would be difficult. But I’ve always allowed myself to dive into things that seemed unrelated to anything that I was doing in my life. A lot of it went into the ether. Some of it was useful. Quantifying it would nearly be impossible since I don’t remember where anything that I think of comes from. But had I not watched the ACA videos, I may have not had enough of an understand of logic and evidence to write this character well.

Steve Jobs talked about this process in his famous 2005 commencement speech at Stanford. In it he mentioned that he took a calligraphy class at Reed College simply because he was fascinated by the beauty of the lettering. He learned about serif and sans serif typefaces and what made great typography.

“None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But 10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me...It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them.”

I’m not saying that everything you’re interested in will become useful in the future, but you never know. Why not delve into something just because you’re curious? For me, it’s part of the great joy of life, to learn and experience new things.

AMWF vs WMAF

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The classic questions:

To be or not to be? 

What is the meaning of life

Does God exist?

Do you want fries with that? 

Which is more prevalent? Asian Male White Female couples or White Male Asian Female couples? 

I started my YouTube addiction when I began to ride my mechanical steedThere are endless videos that show motorcycle mishaps. I wanted to see the riders’ mistakes and hopefully learn from them. Those videos led me to babes on bikes, chics on bikes, babes and chics on bikes, which inevitably led to documentaries.

Recently, I had come across a forty-minute video from Natalie Tran, an Asian Aussie woman dating a pretty fly Aussie, for a white guy. She has a pretty big following on YouTube, and she received a lot of hateful comments due to her relationship with this white colonizer. I say colonizer with a heaping scoop of sarcasm and a sprinkling of yellow fever. Because as I was watching the documentary, I felt the anger from my younger days bubbling up. I remember talking with my fellow yellow brothahs on how white dudes were taking away our yellow sistahs. But we were no where near qualified to talk about a sensitive subject such as this, given our narrow point of view.

In Natalie's documentary, she speaks to several Asian professionals from a pick up artist to a matchmaker and a senior lecturer at the University of Sidney with a focus on Asian representation in the media. They all agree that Asian women tend to be desired as opposed to Asian males, who are not. The main factor behind both of these perspectives are the media. Asian women are hyper-sexualized. Asian males are shown as physically inferior (i.e. height challenged, meek), not engaging, nerdy, socially awkward.

The matchmaker has encountered women, even Asian women who would prefer not to date Asian men due to the above mentioned stereotypes. She's had to work extra hard to sell an Asian guy as a match, touting his many qualities that fall outside of the media fed image. When it came to selling a non-Asian male, the matchmaker didn't have to mention that he’s manly and does manly things. She realizes that the justification of Asian males is wrong, but it's become a reality of her job.

I'd recommend the video. I can't do it justice here. However, for me, the many conversations Natalie has is pretty engaging, but then I'm one of those undesirable Asian males. So I'm always open on how to grow—not height wise—and improve myself.

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After I was done watching, I noticed another video, a rebuttal to Natalie's film. This Asian fellow was particularly angry and honed in on how Asian males have a severe disadvantage versus other races. That white men have white privilege, so they automatically have an advantage. And his biggest point is that he sees way more Asian women dating white men than white women dating Asian men. Data through dating sites like OkCupid seems to support this.

So what can Asian men do to combat this beast of prejudice? Here's what I've discovered that not only will tame this beast but will make Asian males more desirable in the eyes of females all around the world and Venus. What you do is NOTHING.

Get out of town, Jimmy.

First of all, I don't live in a town, I live in a city. Second, I get out of the city all the time.

Let me drop some truth on y’alls. There's nothing to combat. If anything, the issue lies within the individual man. I don't care who you is, bruh, but if you wanna be attractive to da ladies, then you gotta love yourself. And not like that. Put the lotion away.

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What I mean is look in the mirror and get to know yourself. Your strengths. Weaknesses. Know your likes and things that make you go "Ew" like a valley girl. What are your core values? Are you a saver or a spender? Do you want a serious relationship, or do you just want friends with benefits? Being comfortable in your own skin will help dispel the power of your own weaknesses. In other words, they'll have little effect on you. Weaknesses don’t mean you’re weak. You may need to strengthen them if a situation calls for it.

And being open to yourself will also allow you to be vulnerable to women. That way when you talk to them, or anyone, you're not guarded. I tell women all the time that I'm a cheap date, that I attain the Asian glow drinking just one Coors Light. If a woman refuses to date me because of that, then we were never meant to be. She has no sense of humor. She may think my inability to hold my liquor is not manly. Therefore, I probably don't have the attributes she's looking for.

This leads me to another truth. Not everyone is gonna like you. Ya ain't gonna make everyone happy. If a woman doesn't want to date an Asian guy, then, as an Asian dude, why the fuck would you wanna date her? She's not worth your time.

Think of it this way. Would you want to spend time with someone who doesn't want to be your friend?

That's not to say that I didn't feel like low hanging fruit—yes, my fruit hangs low. For much of my younger years, I felt like I was inferior to other races of men. This is what I mean when I say the issue lies with the individual. I had this issue. No one planted it in me. So I decided to do something about it. I had to get out of my shell. I went out more, talked to different people, discovered that I had a pretty sick sense of humor, which I love. I slowly got to know me. Sure. There are things that I don’t like. But there’s a lot that I do.

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I decided to try an experiment. I switched my point of view and looked for Asian men dating non-Asian females. BLAM! My nephew had a black girlfriend, married her. I saw an old acquaintance of mine who had married a blonde. Saw a Chinese dude walk around in the gym with his Caucasian girlfriend. Actually, I don't know if he was Chinese or not. I can't tell the difference between the Asian races. AMWF couples were showing up everywhere. I was shocked.

So, instead of focusing on the issue that women don't like you for some strange reason, open your eyes to women who can handle your strangeness. From experience, going for what you want is way easier than being angry at the world.

There's one more point I want to hit on. Angry Asian harps on the fact that a lot of these Asian women only want to date white guys. He named several celebrities to prove his point. And their social media accounts show they all have white boyfriends. However, all of these women had railed against yellow fever, that they want to be seen and be wanted for who they are and not for what they look like. He then states that yellow fever doesn't really exist because guys don't care what race the girl is.

First of all Asian women can date whomever they want. Man, woman, dog, cactus. They are not obligated to date within their own race. Second, men do have their preferences. OkCupid and FaceBook had published a study that showed black women to have substantially fewer likes than other races of women. Third, Asian women can prefer white guys and still argue against yellow fever. Is it a double standard? Most certainly. But life is full of them. Notably slut-shaming. Society has taught women that it's bad for them to have many sexual partners. But it's fine if men do. I'm a dude. Even I think that's stupid. This brings me to my last point.

If you’re a woman and wanna sleep with someone and not be slut-shamed, then here's my contact page.

To live a happier life, remove the filter that the world hates you. Instead filter out people that don’t like you. It may feel like you're losing a lot of people, but you can't lose what you've never had in the first place.

I Am Ego, Hear Me Roar

Is there something in my hair?

A beautiful blonde woman stood like a statue that had been carved from the finest marble under the careful but masterful hands of a passionate sculptor who pined for a lost love long gone. Surrounding her was a group of stupids who were trying to assert their alpha male machoness like a pack of drooling wolves. Two wolves snarled. One flexed his bicep, which surprised me because I didn't think men did that anymore to impress women. This is two-thousand freakin' fifteen.

I was not part of the pack. I tend to hunt alone. OK. That sounds weird.

Anyway, the other wolf barked, "I know you can't do more push-ups than him." He pointed at me. "I can definitely do more push-ups than him, and I can out run the both of you. So I am the best."

He runs marathons as a hobby. Full marathons.

At a prior party, the host had asked a few of us to compete in a push-up competition. Two men were up to it. I sat silently, trying to blend my yellah self to the textured white walls of the living room. That did not work, even after I said no.

I was volunteered to be the third man of the push-up competition. I didn't know how many I could do, but I was not looking forward to finding out after eating and drinking the whole night. And despite one of the men being fifteen years younger than me, and pretty fit himself, I won. So that was how that wolf, who barked, knew I could do a lot of push-ups.

Then he said he could do more push-ups than me. I didn't rebut nor even challenge him because, again, I was at a party, and having a stomach full of junk food hadn't enticed me to test my physical limits.

Bruce Lee Two-Finger Push-up

The thing about ego is that we either feel superior or inferior when we do the stupid and compare ourselves to others. There will always be someone better at something or worse at something than us. And the purpose of growing as a person is to be better than who we were. That was why I hadn't wanted to be part of that push-up competition. It was meaningless to me.

And as a writer, I'm not ashamed to tell people that I've yet to be published, despite working on this novel for five years. I don't go into explanations why. I don't give myself excuses to share with others. I've yet to be published simply because I'm currently working on shoring up my novel. People may judge me, stating I've worked too long for no results. And that's fine. I have no control over what they think. I will continue to toil away inside cafés, pouring over my writing coach's notes, crying at the devastation she's left behind, and doing my best to write the best book.

It's not like I'm curing cancer and people are on the verge of dying without my help. I'm just a writer with something to say.

Punched In The Gut By a Woman

In a world where Evil Bastard has laid his devastation, a hero rises above the devastated world and finds a way to devastate Evil Bastard, ridding the devastation befallen on our devastated U S of A! This sounds like every action movie ever made, giving the audience a moment of satisfaction, like getting a happy ending at a questionable massage parlor in downtown San Francisco (I wouldn't know. Never gotten one. A happy ending. Well, from my past girlfriends. TMI?). Action movies happen in a black and white world. That's why the antagonist is the evil bastard. He deserves his final fateful fatal finish.

Bam!

Alliteration. 

What throws a wrench into the whole black and white picture is when the antagonist isn't an evil bastard. Or when he's not even a bastard but a really cool guy (like Aldous Snow in Forgetting Sarah Marshall). This happened to me once vying for a fair-haired maiden who was bare in a bear's lair just off a rare path used by mares whom dared to tear through hay to get to a pile of pairs with no care. And I thought I was the cool guy cuz I have long luscious locks like Aldous Snow, the rockstar. I can actually do the head banging thing, except I don't have an electric guitar let alone a guitar. Not even a fiddle.

Barring from giving too many details, on paper, my competition was pretty impressive, and pretty. I mean, I'd date him if I swung that way. I guess he'd have to swing that way too. But it was more than a little daunting when I realized he was my competition.

Imagine David calling out Goliath, but David only has a small rock that was really a pebble that was really, really small, and it turned out to be a grain of sand, and given the existence of air resistance, David couldn't chuck that puny grain farther than he could chuck the cool guy if his life depended on it (taking a breath).

On his sole TV interview, Bruce Lee once said, "Honestly express yourself."

What in God's name did he mean by that? Be you. Live your truth. Go after what you want. Live your life. So often we find ourselves trying to emulate someone else, fulfilling our parents' dream, staying our wants and needs, living what society wants us to be.

I thought to myself: OK, Jimmy, what do I say to my competition? Honestly express yourself...dig deep, Jimmy. Common, Jimmy! Cough! Hock! Deeper! What would Sifu the Sensei of masters Lee say?

Here was what I came up with, "Muthafucka, dat's my bitch!"

No, no I didn't say that. I'd say it in jest, but not about a girl I've yet to form a relationship with. Ugh...maybe I would. Gawd, what's wrong with me?

I began to suspect that the fair maiden liked the cool dude on our first, and, unbeknownst to me, last date. And I found out that I was second fiddle.

And because the other dude is pretty and impressive, there was no satisfaction for me, like she's gonna hook up with a loser or an asshole. Could he be an asshole? Sure. I don't know him that well.

But, man, that rejection was like taking a punch in the gut, like it went through my stomach and out my back. It's hard to come back from a hole like that. It was difficult to deal with because suddenly my mind was flooded with doubt, trying to analyze what I did wrong, what could I have done better, or did I not honestly express myself when I was with her?

And that was the thing! The cool guy had lived an awesome life, has great attributes (again, trying not to be too specific to protect his identity), and all I had was my humor and my writing. Since I've yet to be published, my humor was left with the job to win over this maiden. That's a lot to ask for from one skill.

What did I do afterward? I thought about the whole situation a lot, trying to come from different view points to see if I could have done anything better, and all I had come up with was, "I'm not sure what I did wrong."

I'm headed to New York to endure the coldest winter they've had and indulge in being a tourist.

Saturday Morning Quips

Is that a gold dumbbell?

Is that a gold dumbbell?

On a camping trip in the dark and scary woods, about ten of us started talking about what we looked for in the opposite sex. So the women went first because we were gentlemen and were more curious, or, more accurately, eager and desperate. One woman looked at me through sleepy eyes, slanty maybe, no, for sure, and straight up said, "I don't like guys with muscles."

Let me be clear: I go to the gym and workout. I don't take supplements, nor do I workout to try and get big. I'm not an intimidating kind of guy, since I don't care to try and prove my ego's manliness. Staying fit to extend the quality of life is my real goal.

My eyes flicked to her man. What does this say about him? That he was meek? Weak? Miserly? I mean, everyone has muscles, or else how the hell does anyone walk? Everyone fell silent because she was looking right at me. I'd never hit on her because I knew she was dating someone else. And weren't we discussing what we wanted, not what we don't?

OK... 

When it came to my turn, I simply stated that I wanted a connection. I told them that physical attraction is important, but that connection or that chemistry is really what I'm looking for. The ladies cawed and wanted details like boob size, hair color, fit or fat. They wouldn't accept my simple answer. To each their own.

You talkin' to me?

You talkin' to me?

A group of us slanty-eyed people had met up for dinner. Someone asked the group if we were to work as an assistant to anyone, who would that person be? The most popular answer was Hugh Hefner. Yes, ladies, that came from the guys. Mature weren't we? One born again Christian stated she'd assist anyone at the table, proving that service to her fellow man was the most important thing in her life.

My answer was Bruce Lee, and I explained that he had pursued acting during the time when racism against Asians in Hollywood was pretty high, still is if you consider the media's views of Asian women and Asian men (Beauty and the Geek). Most people don't understand the racial struggles Bruce had gone through on both sides of the river. One girl said white people can't do martial arts (I raised my eyebrows), and Bruce Lee created a niche. No and yes. 

Bruce had his first big break playing Kato, a man who wore a mask for most of his appearance. He also created the idea for Kung Fu, the TV show he was to star in and instead the main part went to white actor David Carradine.

What interested me was why Bruce persevered, despite the immovable road blocks. Simply put, he knew this was his path. How he'd get there was beyond him, which meant that the belief in himself was very important. He always said, "Honestly express yourself." Just do you. Ya know?

Then the guy next to me stated racism against Asians in American cinema didn't start until after Japanese silent film actor Sessue Hayakawa. He didn't know why but mentioned that Sessue was a heartthrob. So I asked him if Sessue was good looking. He shrugged his shoulders and said, "To each their own."

I raised my eyebrows again. 

Further down the conversation, he'd talked about taking acting classes and the time he lived in New York. So I asked if he was pursuing an acting career. He paused for a moment. "I'm gonna keep mum about that."

OK...

Unless he got raped or beat up, why would this guy be so closed? What am I going to do? Write about him on my site?

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A group of us decided to eat HongKongese food, food that was derived from Hong Kong cuisine. Thanks Captain Obvious, or Oblivious. A buddy of mine and I were standing by the men's bathroom, don't ask me why. He shook his head, complaining that the woman he was talking to was boring him. Why? She just talks about work, he answered. Understandable. I hadn't seen him in a while and asked what he'd been up to? He shook his head and said he'd been dating girls every day of the week. Anyone peaked his interest, I inquired. He shook his head again. Why not? He shrugged his shoulders.

Who's boring?

At the end of the night, he asked if I saw anyone I was interested in, and I shook my head because no one had caught my eye nor my ear. Then he complained that he didn't find anyone attractive, but was upset he hadn't gotten a number. Why do you need a number?

"It's a numbers game," he said.

OK...

Here's the thing: a baseball player doesn't go up to bat with the intention to strike out, so he can statically move closer to his next hit. He goes up to bat with the only goal of hitting that ball, a home run even. It's only after striking out does he put his mind at ease by thinking that he's now closer to that next hit.

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Several of us the other night talked about our worst dates. A woman recalled a blind date that hadn't gone well. They met at a coffee shop and she called him to see if he had arrived. He confirmed, but she couldn't spot him. She kept asking him where he was, what he wore, and realized he was right behind her. When she turned around, she was shocked by the sight of him. This peaked my interest. Was he too tall? Too short? Had a third eye that was actually open? A twin brother attached to the hip?

"He looked like my father," she said, recoiling. He was old, in other words. She didn't want to be impolite and leave immediately, despite wanting to.

So I asked if she let him down easy at the end of the date. She said no, unable to break his heart. "Did he call you afterward?" I said.

She thought about it for a few moments.

Crud, I thought deeply. "How many times did he call you?"

Not only had he called many times, but she didn't answer, which meant that he was interested but also had to go through the pain of wondering if she was. I advised her that she should have stated her non-interest when they parted, but she couldn't do it because she didn't want to hurt him. I'm sorry, but that's an inconsiderate bitch. Several of us tried to explain why letting this man go in the beginning would be like ripping off a bandaid, letting him know to move on, instead of peeling it off slowly and painfully, pulling at pieces of the bloody wound, as he tried to set a second date. She didn't get it. Unfortunately, I found this to be pretty common among both men and women. 

Jimmy's Got a Gun

Tis the season for agent hunting. I gots me a gun and am trudging through the vast wilderness that is the Internet, stalking agents like a jealous boyfriend. Dat don't sound right. Part of the process is reading interviews that agents sometimes do, as it may reveal something that could help me make a connection through my query letter. One agent had this to say, "You're writing not to get published. You're writing because you love the act of doing so, and you cannot imagine doing anything else." I love that.

I Have a Headache

I Have a Headache

I've heard people describe writing as an incredibly solitary act. Tell that to the voices in my head. If we as writers want to get published, or somehow get our work out there, then we need people. And to lure them into our trap, we need to do some research on how to write a query letter, how to write a synopsis, even how to write a book. Shocking!

I've also heard that writing the book is the easiest part of publishing. I've already gone through a round of rejections about four years ago, so have some idea of the difficulty. And most people don't even know that getting an agent is the first of many steps before a book is even released into the wild.

And every time I visit my brother, he asks me: What's my plan. My response never changes; I shrug my shoulders.

Career Planning

Career Planning

Like so many things in life, hunting in the wild takes a lot of patience, following your intuition, and preparation. If I run into the plains of Africa with my gun, I'll most likely scare away my prey. If I run into those same plains without being prepared, I'll get eaten alive. And if I rely solely on my instruments, then I may blind myself to the real prize.

A friend of mine didn't do any research or get any feedback on her query letter before sending it out. She received her first rejection and sent it to me, and it was obvious why she had been rejected. The premise of her story, as she had  presented it, was cliché, an innocent young woman meets a mysterious man. She didn't give away the hook; for example, the lurking overbearing vampire (Twilight), or sex addict deviant (50 Shades of Grey). I've not read my friend's book, she may be afraid of my honest feedback and it may not help in the end, but she relied on her "intuition" alone to write both her book and query letter. 

It just doesn't work that way.

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I don't care how wise a person is, I ain't lettin' anyone perform open heart surgery on me unless they know what they're doin'. But that doesn't mean that the most qualified doctor has all the answers. Many alternative and new treatments are being worked on every day. So doing at least some research is always a good idea, take in what you learn, then let that inner part of you create, or help make your choice. 

And this is the hardest part of all, I think. It's trusting that somehow everything will work out, something that my brother doesn't understand.

A couple weeks ago, I went to a party at some remote place where the bus only showed up once an hour. I use public transportation as much as possible. But by the time I realized the last bus back had left, I was having too much fun, I was stuck without a ride back to BART.

I didn't consciously say everything will work out, but I tend to live my life this way. After walking around the hotel where the party was held, I found an hourly shuttle that went to the San Francisco Airport, a BART stop. Had I panicked and yelled and cried and complained and pounded my fists, I might not have found my way home, or at the least, made the whole process difficult.

So when agent hunting, I can only do my best with what I know and learn and query these elusive creatures, and if I'm able to bait one in and form a great relationship, then great. If not, great. Either way, I'll trudge on.

Dats Some Big Ass Footprints

Dats Some Big Ass Footprints

All of life is a long road. We can't see more than a few hundred feet, even less in the jungle, but the only way to reveal more of the road is to just keep going. Sometimes the road ends quickly. Others will lead us for the long haul. All we can do is find our passions and follow them until it takes us to where we need to be.

Cultural Rant

I had gone to a happy hour with a whole bunch of Asian peeps. Most of us didn’t know each other, so the most common question was “What do you do?” I said that I had two jobs: one’s for money to feed my body, the other is my passion to feed my soul. Everyone else answered with some form of IT, engineer, or finance. In the Asian culture, we’re taught from the womb that we are to take practical jobs. I don’t know, but Tom Cruise’s acting career has proven to be pretty practical.

Where the slanty eyes?

Where the slanty eyes?

Back in my day when I taught kids self-defense, my teacher had taken on a new student, who had been on this planet for three-and-a-half years. He could barely speak, couldn’t remember the names of the techniques to save his life, but he learned the movement like he learned to speak, and became an amazing talent. As this young prodigy moved toward his black belt, toward adulthood, my teacher and I began to have pretty severe disagreements with our school and the prevailing arrogance and ignorance that bred within the limited bindings. It’s funny how arrogance and ignorance always seem to go hand-in-hand. And this school was literally the pure definition of this.

Tombstone of Fluid Man

Tombstone of Fluid Man

We finally left the school as we sought for widespread knowledge, much like Bruce Lee leaving the classical mess for something more open, taking what works and throwing out the rest. This was not something our former school understood, since they added more and more crap that only bred more ignorance and of course more arrogance.

Why do I bring this up?

My teacher tried to convince the parents that their son would be better off with him. They couldn’t, wouldn’t leave the school, despite the now adult having spent most of his life with the same teacher. The mother, especially, wanted her son to have earn his blackbelt from a Chinese martial arts school. And here’s the funny part. The school wasn’t even run by Asians. Sure, the system was Chinese; though, I’m not sure what that means (no slanty eyes to mark the school). Sure, there were Chinese characters imbued all over the school. Sure, they even had Chinese dignitaries and masters that would come by and teach seminars. But do those things make a martial arts, school, or practitioner Chinese? A freakin' punch is a frakin' punch no matter who throws it.

International Village People

International Village People

It’s that word: culture. According to my dictionary, one of the definitions is: the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group.

The customs of the school is Asian based, so not uniquely Chinese. The arts can be rooted back to Korea, Karate, some Kung Fu, but even the word Kung Fu is like saying Asian. There’s a lot of different Asians, and some of them Ajens don’t even consider themselves Asians. Most of the people teaching aren't even Asian. So when I heard that the mother didn’t want her son to be taught by my teacher because he wasn’t Asian, and she wanted her son to get his black from a Chinese based institution, I was beside myself, like I actually took a step to the side and was like “What? Get over yerself, lady.” And since the school had been based in the US, the achievements of that school, especially in international tournaments were considered US of Aye, not China, not any slanty-eyed nation.

The word culture has been on my mind since I started writing the 7th Province series because I’ve had to piece together the foundation of the society. A lot was drawn from my own experiences, a lot was invented, and a lot was used to help tell the story without giving too much away, through symbolism. Now, I’m not saying I’m an expert on what culture is, what it means, but I know this lady doesn’t really know what she was talking about. It’d be better if she had stated that she wanted her son to have the backing of an actual institution, and not by a single individual. As much as people see me as an American is how much I see this school as being Chinese.

My Dad Can Strike Your Dad Down

My Dad Can Strike Your Dad Down

Ultimately, she wanted to say that her son got her black belt from this school, not by an individual. And this is where culture and ego sort of mesh together, and it is from this place that I wrote the foundation of the culture of the 7th Province. Culture is very ego based. We see this in nations: America is the best country in the world. We see this in sports: My team won the championships. We see this in ethnicities: Blacks are the most athletic and can dance the best, or Asians are very disciplined. We see this in family: My dad can beat up your dad.

People throw the word culture around without knowing what they really mean. And some people love their culture so much, have so much pride in it, compare how much better it is than American culture that they’ve chosen to move here.

Just a Friday night rant.