Friday, November 30, 2012

Asians Majority of Silicon Valley Workers

San Jose Mercury reports that Asians are now the dominant workforce in Silicon Valley. Is it really surprising though? I guess, but when did Asians not dominate math, engineering and sciences? Its been going on for the last several decades unless you've never met an Asian person in your entire life. What I would prefer to see though is more Asian college graduates pursuing sales and marketing roles that require a different skill set and prepares for senior management.

Courtesy of San Jose Mecury

When one looks at most company management teams, the majority is still predominantly white. I don't have a problem with it personally as long as everyone has a fair shot at making it to the top. The way I see it is that Asian Americans are always hustling. As you can see from the pie charts above, it took a decade for Asians to increase their footprint in Silicon Valley by 12%. That's some impressive growth numbers and it just goes to show you that hard work and persistance pays off. 

Naturally, this can create stereotypes and lead to an imbalance where one ethnic group dominates a particular sector leaving other hidden talent to be overlooked. I believe this is unhealthy for the same reasons many Asian Americans argue for greater diversity in other arenas. For instance, blacks dominate 78% of the NBA. Yes, the same one that overlooked Jeremy Lin. And we all know whites dominate Hollywood. This infographic below says 70% of casting calls show preference for white actors.

That said, pursuing an engineering career for Asians is the perfect ice breaker for the world of technology and business, but can be limiting when there's a desire to climb the corporate ladder. The beauty of this country is that if you don't like it, you can do something about it by starting your own company as long as you have the right idea and the balls to risk everything for a shot at tremendous success. 

Take entrepreneur Brian Wong for instance. He's not based in Silicon Valley, but he is a business development techie. This guy is a smart mothafuckin' hustler i.e. a sales guy. At 21 years old he already has his own company, Kiip, that offers embedded rewards for mobile gaming apps. Okay, so he looks a tad dorky but he is only 21. Remember what Larry Ellison looked like when he founded Oracle? Look at him now: CEO, Playboy, Business Tycoon Extraordinaire. If Brian becomes a multi-millionaire or even more so a billionaire, which is highly probable, I don't think he'll have any trouble finding a hot date. 

He better watch out for gold diggers though. Yikes! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Red Dawn Encourages More Asian Racism And Threat Construction

OMFG. Here we go again. As if the barrage of racist tweets against Psy for performing at the AMAs weren't enough, Hollywood coincidentally, had to add fuel to the fire by releasing an offensive, vociferous movie where an exclusive group of white American teenagers, the Wolverines, counterattack the North Koreans who invade my homeland, not North Korea, but the United States of America. I was going to let this story fall by the wayside, but I encountered too much of this kind of bullshit throughout my life to just sit here and let these ignorant assholes degrade what my country stands for.

I get it. Many of these tweeters are adolescents or young adults, immature and still learning what it means not to be ignorant. Nevertheless, one would think that the collective consciousness of the American youth has continued along its evolutionary tragectory and not regressed to this pre-Civil Rights or Civil War era.

Ah yes. Brings back memories of growing up Asian in the U.S.

Someone will incessantly argue, "Its just a movie. Its fictitious. Get over it."


Monday, November 26, 2012

True Or False: Asians Want To Be White

This YouTube rant speaks on behalf of many Asian Americans, myself included, and I'm glad she set the record straight for anyone out there who thinks that all Asians want to be "white". Its simply not true. Why do people assume that just because Asians, Koreans especially, get some facial plastic surgery that its because they want to mirror the white physical features. C'mon really? Asians - minus the self-loathing embarrassments like this one - care more about their aesthetic appeal irrespective of race.

Look, there are beautiful people of all races. I believe women are less likely to agree with me on this topic, but the fact of the matter is every ethnicity has its subset of beautiful people. Does it mean you're necessarily attracted to them? No, but you can't deny a person who's beautiful. So to assume that Asians who get plastic surgery, wear colored contacts or dye their hair color do it to intentionally be "white" instead of simply enhancing their looks is not only reductive, but also an implicit self-concession on your part that being white is the de facto standard of beauty. 

That, in and of itself, is a false assertion. Asians want to look beautiful just like any other goddamn human being or creature on this planet. Race is irrelevant.

I don't know about you but I've seen plenty of ugly white people. Plenty. I have also seen plenty of ugly Latinos, Blacks and Asians. And for the ones that are good-looking, guess what? They all share similar characteristics of beauty. Beauty has no racial preference. These are physical characteristics that are borderless, timeless and vary depending on the era. No race is biologically predisposed of looking more beautiful over another. That is not reality. That is however, the unfortunate perception of reality due to the influence of the mass media. For instance, let's compare and contrast how American and Asian entertainment portrays Asian males (I'm feeling positive that Hollywood is finally getting their act together or they'll just yellowface the shit out of us).

Han Lee (Actor: Mathew Moy) from 2 Broke Girls

Tae-Shik (Actor: Won Bin) from The Man From Nowhere

Get my drift?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Psy Called Racial Slurs Post AMAs On Twitter

My last two blogs covered how ignoring Asians is no longer an option given the changing landscape of the world economy and the socioeconomic rise of Asians in America and back East. The Far East. Unfortunately, there are those individuals filled with hate who make themselves feel better by letting the world know that they don't like "chinks" and wish for us to "go back to Asia". At least that's what these Twitter users said after Psy's performance on the American Music Awards courtesy of Public Shaming's tumblr.

Now I haven't been completely onboard with the K-Popstar's claim to fame, but that's not to say I won't give him props for his accomplishments. I respect him as an artist and think he does have real talent. It took Justin Bieber 4 years to amass 800 million views on YouTube whereas Psy has almost achieved the same view count in about 4 months. That's pretty impressive.

I get that Psy is not American and he was singing a song that wasn't in English which may have made some folks feel alienated, however he did close the show with MC Hammer who is 100% American. This duet is a reflection of America's changing cultural landscape in that we're becoming more of a melting pot. Dude, we have a Black president! But what also pisses me off is the fact that countries all over the Asia-Pacific have been open arms embracing American music for nearly a century. Korea especially. There's not a single night club you can go into without listening to American music and its been that way for generations. It's like what Swizz Beats said when he referred to Big Bang's release of Blue. America never rolls out the red carpet for Asian artists, and yet when American artists go overseas to Asia, countries over in the region show them all kinds of love rolling out the red carpet, inviting them on talk shows, having them perform, etc. etc. I'm glad to see we're moving forward.

Why can't these Tweeters above embrace Asian artists the same way? I grew up feeling alienated many times simply because I wasn't white. It made me feel like a permanent outsider hearing these kinds of hateful remarks and it pains me to see this sentiment is still pervasive in America today. Its 2012!!

Look, if you want to get really anal about it, none of Scooter Braun's artists' are American proper. One Direction gets plenty of mainstream airplay and they're a British boy band. Yes, they do sing in English, but that doesn't make them anymore American than Psy. And if we're strictly speaking of the United States of America, well both Justin Bieber and Carly Jae Repsen are not US Citizens so maybe they shouldn't be at the AMAs either. And while I'm at it, maybe we shouldn't have Shakira on any of our American TV shows too since, you know, she's from Latin America which isn't America proper.

Perhaps Psy should've sang an English version of Gangnam Style at the AMAs? Maybe, but it doesn't make sense. Gangnam Style is about a district in Seoul, Korea not America and there's really no American city center that parallels the same shallow and arrogant 'tudes as that particular geographic location. Psy created this song for his home country, not the American market. It just so happens Psy stumbled onto fame when the rest of the world fell in love with its high-energy, infectious beat. Don't blame Psy or the AMAs.

Another surprising tidbit. Most of the anti-Psy tweets came from women of the caucasian variety. Granted, this is only a sample of the entire universe of tweets, negative and positive, but never would I have expected that much of a backlash to having Psy on the AMAs. In fact, after scouring the Twitter feeds, I see more guys all around giving Psy props! Well look at it this way. If President Obama got all kinds of flack on Twitter for being Black and re-elected, then no doubt that the same bunch will probably post a racial slur about Psy.

Moving on...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Correction: Ignoring China Is No Longer An Option

One of my buddies sent me this video on YouTube documenting the dramatic rise of a wealthy class in China. This is one of the rare times I've seen someone of white or European descent kissing the asses of Asian big shots and definitely won't be the last. As I mentioned in my previous blog how ignoring the Asian community is no longer an option, I can say confidently now after watching this piece that not only ignoring or belittling Asians will no longer be an option, but also suicidal move for ones professional and personal endeavors.

Let's face it. Asians have always been under the mercy of European Imperialism and American "Big Stick" foreign policies. There are two sides to this history of course. Not all of it was necessarily bad e.g. capitalism, democracy, Vietnamese sandwiches, etc. I will say however, that even as an American born Asian I frequently felt like a second-class citizen compared to my white counterparts, naturally yet disagreeably so. Asians were always economic subjugates of this domineering West, but as you can see from this video, times are changing.

Ka-Ching Dynasty isn't all glitz, glamour and gold. As much as I like the idea of a rising Asia, I believe there's a lot of damage it could bring to the collective consciousness of the people in that geographic location. One of my friends made a very good argument that such rapid growth creates bubbles and a nation of hollow individuals that become enchanted with opulence, greed and a disregard for the environment. Another Gangnam Style perhaps? Who knows? At this point I say it's too early for me to make that judgement call, but I hope that isn't the case.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ignoring Asians Is No Longer An Option

For the longest time I have felt that Asian American voices have been ignored or simply drowned out by the cheers and jeers of non-Asian audiences, but this past 2012 election and the changing landscape of the world economy should serve as a wake up call to everyone that Asian Americans are no longer the silent minority.

In fact, Asian Pacific Americans pulled off the most historic wins in politics growing their clout in the US. And what about our social standing relative to the world economy? Well for one thing, my displeasure for Cloud Atlas's yellowface of Asian men probably isn't held in solitude, and I'll bet the collective outrage has adversely impacted their box office sales worldwide.

According to IMDB as of November 2012, Warner Bros raked in merely $18 million, roughly $82 million short of their initial investment in the film. I'm glad the film tanked and I think a substantial number of Americans, regardless of their ethnic background, are fed up with Hollywood's perpetual promotion of white heroines against the backdrop of other ethnicities, and they're speaking up about it, not just with their voices, but also their wallets. Looks like the executives over at the film studios didn't get the memo that its a bad idea to alienate the entire Asian male population.

James Cameron, the director of mega blockbuster Avatar, is as shrewd with business as he is talented behind the camera. Word has it Cameron is working on the incorporating Chinese Na'vi into an Avatar sequel.
“Within five years, China could easily be as big a gross-revenue market for film as North America, and there are very specific economic incentives for having both Chinese content and Chinese co-production."
I'll make another bet that Cameron is intelligent enough to include Chinese characters with equal or ample screen time as their white or blue counterparts. Unless he has no qualms about pissing off the largest country in the world that owns a huge chunk of our national debt, I doubt he'll portray these Chinese Na'vi as strictly antagonists.

Monday, November 5, 2012

How Not To Pickup A Girl

The other day I witnessed a pickup flop right before my eyes. Now before I go on criticizing the way I saw this hapless Asian guy trying to pickup a girl at a local coffee shop, I commend him for at least trying and I have to admit that I've made some big mistakes too; by no means does it make me less guilty.

Here's one example of me being lame. One time I was walking down the street and saw this hot Asian girl carrying her laundry basket. She wasn't even struggling with it but I went ahead and asked her, "You need any help with that?" as kind of a lame joke. She immediately blurted out, "No thanks!" and so, I just continued on walking. #FAIL.

Okay, so maybe that wasn't my greatest moment in pickup history. I've had better comebacks before, like at the gym one time when I saw this girl working out on a leg press machine and I intentionally went up to her with a cheesy opening line.
Me:  Hey, do you need a spot? 
Girl: Ummm. No thanks. 
Me:  Are you sure? Those weights look pretty heavy. 
Girl:  I'm sure. Thanks.
It was a freakin' leg press machine! You don't really need a spot for a leg press and definitely not for 20 pounds, but I was persistant nonetheless. I marched forward anyway after pretending to turn around as if I were about to leave and responded back,
Me: Can you pretend like you need a spot? *half smiling*
Girl: *Two second pause.*  Oh...I get it. 
         *She starts to giggle a little*  That's pretty good!
Actually no, it was pretty horrible because I didn't have much else to follow up with. I resorted to some small talk but I didn't really get anywhere because there was another, bigger issue. I was trying to pickup a girl at the gym - a place where women feel gross with all of these guys staring at them. You're sweaty, they're sweaty and most women probably don't want to be bothered which is why they have their headphones on. In fact, whenever I see a woman with her headphones on I interpret that as, "Leave me the fuck alone. I don't want to be bothered." Not to say its impossible to achieve success at the gym, but I'd much rather prefer a bar, lounge or coffee shop, which brings me to my next story.