Tag Archives: blog type 3

Differing Opinions on the Atlanta Shooting

After seeing the tragedy of the Atlanta shooting on March 17th, as an Asian American, I was overwhelmed with sadness and anger. I quickly started to see differing opinions all over social on whether this was motivated by racism or not. I decided to criticize an opinion piece from Fox news that I thought best emulated the opinions that argue that racism played no role in this shooting, which I have linked below.

Tucker Carlson: Media ignoring facts about Atlanta shooter to boost their political agenda

In this article Carlson references that the shooter denied any claims of it being a racially motivated attack and instead blamed his sex addiction. One of my criticisms is that Carlson accepted this answer in the article, saying “Instead, the usual liars are describing the massacre in Atlanta as the one thing it apparently wasn’t: A racial attack.” . Although this is what the shooter said, it is hard to ignore that six of the victims were Asian women and that there is a very real possibility that the shooter may have fetishized Asian women. It’s also hard to ignore that this happened after anti-Asian hate crimes in major cities surged 149% in 2020.

In the article, Carlson says “Robert Long seems deranged, but his obsessive and violent behavior seems sadly familiar if you follow the news closely.” I would argue that we shouldn’t pity this man, he placed the blame on this spas for his sex addiction. This article also has a tone of victim blaming, which I have seen all over the media as well. They explain, “Then there’s the very real question of sex addiction, which we should not laugh off. Why is there so much prostitution in Atlanta?”. I don’t think there is any reason to be questioning prostitution in this situation, we should instead be wondering how to stop these crimes.

Lastly, Carlson references the election results, saying how all Hispanic counties on the Mexican border turned “red” overnight. He attributes this to the riots that occurred after George Floyd’s death last year saying, “The rise of BLM, and the riots they led over the summer, is a big part of why that is happening. Decadent White liberals loved the whole thing, but no one else did.” I also disagree with this, I believe that most people were genuinely angry and distraught because of his death and how long it took to charge Derek Chauvin. People in the Black community and even other communities wanted change and this is how they sought it out. However, I am also well aware that people chose to take advantage of the riots and that many white people engage in performative activism, which is defined as “activism done to increase one’s social capital rather than because of one’s devotion to a cause”.

Although I disagree with many of the points in this article, I’m glad that I was able to understand more of the differing viewpoints on this topic. I believe that knowing these viewpoints can open up more meaningful conversation and debate between people.

Gen Z You Can’t Cancel Eminem

Cancel culture is the “thing” right now I’m actually ok with that because to me it’s a form of natural consequences that are necessary in our changing and ever more inclusive society. I also think that language or even imagery that maybe inappropriate in most settings isn’t inappropriate in others like within the arts. Eminem isn’t only a rap artist he is a lyricist. He employs incredible skill in the way in which he utilizes language within his works.

“I won’t stop even when my hair turns grey (I’m tone-deaf) / ‘Cause they won’t stop until they cancel me” – Eminem “Tone Deaf”

“Tone Deaf” by Eminem

The utilization of irony within this new song Em just released is frankly so extremely obvious as Eminem is clearly not tone deaf. He has become an expert at utilizing the public discourse and highlighting what’s most controversial at the time. This is how Eminem has built his brand. Haters have always driven Em to greater creativity and expended his fan base.

So if you must continue your effort to cancel Em but it will result as wasted energy and an expanded net worth to Marshal Mathers empire.

“The Dark Side of K-pop” narrative is rooted in xenophobia

Blackpink from YG Entertainment

As an Asian-American, Korean popular music which is widely known as K-pop, was never unknown to me. Like any other form of music, K-pop was always there – so the recent surge of coverage in American media is somewhat odd. It’s as if America is a late bloomer to anything outside of America and now we’re watching the west try to play catch up with the K-pop wave, which has already made its home around the rest of the world. K-pop blew up in the late ‘90s and early 2000s and has become better known in recent years for its flashy choreography, vibrant colors, and meticulously put together groups.

And every few months, an examination of K-pop’s “dark side” appears.

Again.

And again.

The K-pop industry is notorious for its treatment of its stars, referred to as idols. Idols are celebrities who have undergone extensive training (dance, vocal, media, etc.) and are produced by a company. This isn’t actually restricted to just Korea as China and Japan also have idols, but a lot of the whispers about the K-pop industry are more popularized. Rigorous years of training, strict dating rules, lack of autonomy – the infamous “factory manufactured idol” is common knowledge. The discussion that “idols are like robots” is had every time a K-pop act blows up and it’s unavoidable, especially considering how prevalent it is in the industry. Scandals from prostitution to abuse fill the crevices of the industry.

But the strangest thing to me, is why there is such a fixation on the salaciousness of the K-pop industry.

Now don’t get me wrong – that’s not to defend the industry. As a matter of fact, I actually don’t even really like K-pop. In the same way I can name maybe Shania Twain as the only country singer I ever listened to actively, I can name maybe two K-pop groups I listen to regularly. But there’s something uncomfortable about the American media pushing that K-pop idols are nothing more than puppets and robots and then Hollywood shoe horning Asians into roles where they are unfeeling robotic entities who have no autonomy in their lives.

The stereotype of Asians being docile isn’t anything new as Asian women are often touted as submissive and obedient in media and Asian men are often shown as undesirable because they’re not as “masculine” as other races. So it doesn’t seem like a coincidence that Americans are looking at K-pop idols as something with no autonomy or voice.

Therein lies an inherent problem with American reporting on the K-pop industry and it’s the tendency to other Asians based on racist stereotypes. Because of these caricatures of Asians, American media is having a difficult time acknowledging the boom of the K-pop industry and is incapable of separating K-pop from the racist lens they have of Asians. They can’t help but look for negatives because that is what supports their preferred narrative.

Often people look at the K-pop industry scandals and comment “wow how can Koreans let that happen!” and “I don’t understand that culture”. The most popular arguments fall under the notion that the same scandals just don’t happen in the American music industry.

I’m here to tell you that it does – you’re just not paying attention because it’s American.

The recent Britney Spears documentary, Framing Britney Spears, has sparked a conversation online about the safety of American musicians. People are flooding to Spears’ support (and rightfully so), but the most commonly asked question is “how could anyone let this happen?” Unfortunately, Spears’ struggle against her family for independence isn’t private knowledge. It’s been public knowledge since 2008, when her father received control over her financial assets. For over 10 years Spears’ situation has been reported time and time again, but only now is it finally being acknowledged. It isn’t rare for injustices in the American music industry to be glossed over.

Michael Jackson, a legendary music icon, will forever be associated with Leaving Neverland, a documentary following the stories of the survivors of his sexual abuse toward minors. But that doesn’t stop anyone from playing his music at family events or his media presence even after death. Surviving R.Kelly is a documentary that details the decades of sexual abuse R.Kelly got away with in the music industry – and he did it all in plain sight. R.Kelly’s infamous sex tape depicted him engaging in sexual acts with a minor and instead of reprimanding him for it, it was turned into a part of culture. From Dave Chapelle’s skits to homages in other songs, R.Kelly’s sexual abuse was well-known, especially among those in the music industry. And in the year of 2021, he still hasn’t answered for his crimes.

Pop singer Ke$ha suffered emotional abuse and gender discrimination at the hands of her music producer, Dr. Luke and still hasn’t won her lawsuits. Dr. Luke continues to make music for acts like Doja Cat, Kim Petras, and more.

One Direction, formed by Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell, known for acts like One Direction and Fifth Harmony, has a reputation of taking away the creative freedom (overall freedom really) from his artists and setting up “slave contracts”. A contract leak showed that One Direction were not allowed to speak poorly of him, and two members suffered from anxiety while in the group. A recording from a member of Fifth Harmony was leaked where one of the members states “They are making decisions on a regular basis to fuck us over, to make us literal slaves, like literally slaves” while being comforted by another member. None of this seems to impact Cowell’s career as he continues to land gigs as a judge on music shows and creating new bands.

The list goes on from P. Diddy’s alleged slave contracts to Megan Thee Stallion suing her record label in order to release new music.

So why don’t Americans spotlight these issues in the same way? In the same way that Koreans might say “well that’s how it is in the industry”, Americans turn a blind eye to the injustices in the American music industry as well. It is a well known fact that the American music industry is predatory, but it is chalked up to a “dog eat dog world” – if you want success you have to suffer for it. If American musicians are being controlled and media manufactured, it is because that’s the price they must pay for fame.

But it’s much easier to be critical of something in another country than it is to be critical of something in your own country. It’s easier to look at another country and say “that’s wrong and something should change” because you’re not expected to act with that knowledge. When looking at your own country and saying “that’s wrong something and should change” that responsibility falls on the people in that country. By writing narratives about docile Asians who must be controlled and pairing that with the rise of the K-pop industry, while also ignoring that the same plights are had in the American music industry, it becomes xenophobic.

While there’s nothing wrong with exploring the negative intricacies of the K-pop industry, it is xenophobic when the lens is directed at it only because it is an “other”.  I wish American media would focus less on the problems in another country’s music industry and more on the problems in our own music industry, but that also asks for American reporters to step back and reexamine their biases. That will probably take another ten years or so. In reality all I can ask is that anyone reading this understands that when being critical of another country, first think about whether or not you are critical of the same thing in your country. If you struggle with this thought, then that should give you the answer.

Much ado about not much of anything

 

The author of “What if climate change isn’t real” starts off by suggesting that only 95% of scientists believe in climate change … only 95%. Apparently, if at least 5% of experts disagree with something we should seriously question the validity of the other 95%.

Maybe the author is a one-percenter …

The subheader to the title of this piece is, “What should we do if science turns out to be wrong?” My first thought is, “nothing.” Who cares? I mean seriously, what is the worst case scenario of climate change not being a really, really big deal?

We live on a cleaner planet with less trash floating around in the ocean?

We have more options for fuel, which will increase supply and lower prices?

Yeah, sounds rough.

dunce

As it goes on, the blog does begin to redeem itself as it weighs the pros and cons of taking action to fight climate change. In the end, the author decides takes a “why not” attitude saying that we may as well go ahead and do something since the risks of climate change outweigh the risks of lack of climate change.

Overall, this whole blog is not well thought out and doesn’t really make any compelling arguments. It reads like something that was a required writing for school. The points are stretched and the logic is sketchy.

Unrealistic Relationships

Ever since I was a young girl, having a girly girl magazine telling me what to wear, how to do my make-up, or what currently is in was the most popular thing ever. Of course, I enjoyed these things growing up because I wasn’t born and raised in the world of internet but besides articles telling women what beautiful is when really they only represent 2 percent of what women really look like, what bothers me the most is articles about relationships. They are always so cheesy and unrealistic. I always think to myself if the writer of the article is living in some television fantasy and thinks that they are a relationship counselor because of it.

Here is a blog from Cosmopolitan and the 10 ways men can impress women (According to “woman”). It is pretty sad that these 10 things are the most creative things that this author got from the women that she got this information from. Number 8 on the lists says that a woman was impressed by a man who can “lift weights”. Are you kidding me right now? I know that person isn’t speaking for all woman but is this realistic? Sounds like someone shallow who has nothing good to find in a guy but how fit he is by how much weight he can lift. Two of the things on the list has something involved with coffee in them. What if the person you date doesn’t like coffee? Does that make them less wanted and desirable?

I want to point out also that most relationship articles in general are majorly between men and woman. What if the reader was lesbian or gay? These type of articles do not represent a relationship well at all and always live in that crazy television or movie fantasy life. The fact of the matter is ladies (and gents), if you aren’t okay with being subjugated to look or do something in particular, don’t take these articles seriously. This is the reason why in society today that we have unrealistic expectations of relationships and how it should be.

Thank you,
Sophia