Thursday, June 17, 2004

A humbling Asian experience

I've been reading pretty closely lately. I must say Dykse san is the first Asian American person I've agreed with more than 90% of the time. Of course, I respect my brother's unique view of the Asian culture, too. He's the one who created the famous quiz "How Hong Kong Are You" that is now getting international attention.

People who know me well know I had seemingly superior arrogance toward Asians and Asian-Americans in general, mainly because I think they're sophomoric and materialistic and don't understand the meaning of life. (In recent years, I've been more tolerant and open-minded towards Asians who possess the sophomoric and materialistic qualities.)

In high school, I had been accused of being a self-hating Chinese by my fellow Chinese classmates. I may be a self-loathing harmonica player (because I hate other loud and obnoxious harp players), but I'm certainly not a self-hating Chinese. I embody and respect Chinese culture and heritage. Though I have lived in the US for more than 10 years, I have not forgotten one word of Chinese and I still read Chinese newspapers and study Chinese history on a daily to weekly basis. I'm a big fan of Cantonese pop songs and Hong Kong movies. Chinese culture is an integral part of me.

However, I do find some Asians in America annoying. Their reluctance to speak English and small social circle confine them to myopia and close-mindedness. Their refusal to be globalized or educated in a well-rounded way prevents them from achieving intellectual growth and maturity. That is not to say to lose your identity. My brother hangs out with Asian friends all the time because he feels more comfortable around them, but he still learns about "what and what not to do" from white, black, and Hispanic people.

Dyske's website is a combination of wit, statistics, and reliable personal experience. We share almost identical feelings on topics such as the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, the superiority of old people, the trivialization of Christmas by Jewish people, Bill Murray's character's snobbishness in Lost in Translation, and why Americans don't appreciate jazz (and our shared hatred for Cecil Taylor). I don't know whether he or I first came up with the idea that Chow Yun Fat bridges the gap between Asian men and white women, but I'm convinced that it's true. Also, his theory about online dating really makes me change my mind on the subject (because I was previously resentful of such a forceful mechanism). Now I don't look down upon people who are on or the Onion's personals.

I used to be very proud, but recent experiences have made me humbler than ever. My Asian friend Justin Ko wrote the following Friendster testimonial about me that best summarizes this entry:

DJ Hank was what I would call an extreme case of an eccentric person in high school. It wasn't until later that I recognized, appreciated, and respected his love for music and film. His talents in the arts have led to multiple successes in filmmaking, film critiquing, musical performances, and his website. This was all accomplished while he was on his way to becoming a lawyer. Before, I merely thought the natural high he got from life was annoying. Now I bow down to it with the utmost respect. Thanks for putting up with me and educating me in the important stuff, Sonny Boy.

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