WARNING: Wall of Text

January 29th, 2011 by k Leave a reply »

Ok, so last time, I thought I was going to write a pretty short post, and it ended up being >1000 words. This time I expect the post to be kind of long, so I don’t know what that means for actual length…


So, starting off, one of the biggest things that everybody has been talking about lately is Amy Chua’s book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Everybody includes a bunch of my teachers, along with seemingly every major news publication and TV show. So, naturally, this blog cannot ignore the issue, especially considering the demographic of the writers/readers of it.


If you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, the book is a memoir written by Chua about parenting her two daughters. As you can tell by her name, she is Asian.  Though she was born in America and is a professor at Yale University, Chua’s parents were immigrants, and she raised her kid in the same style as her parents, the style that all of us are familiar with.


Chua’s book came into national attention when an excerpt from her book was published in the Wall Street Journal, under the title “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior.” Yeah, if you haven’t already, read it. Basically, it involves extreme punishment during practicing piano, for those of you who haven’t read it yet and were too lazy to do so when I just told you to. This triggered a national outcry, some people were angry, others contemplated if this was the reason China was so ahead of the U.S. acadmically. Everybody had their opinion on it, from those condemning her, calling for charges of child abuse, to those arguing that all Americans must follow her model, or we’ll be taken over by the Chinese. That’s enough time summarizing, so if you want to witness the media firestorm of opinions, Google News “tiger mother.”


So, after everyone’s written and/or yelled into a camera their opinions already, here’s mine. Like in many cases, those on either extreme are wrong. Children should be allowed to enjoy their childhood, to have fun, to socialize. Disparaging them or forcing them into activities they hate are clearly not healthy. Neither is banning TV or sleepovers, as this results in children who are unable to connect with the outside world. On the other hand, absolutely neglectful parenting also has consequences. I’m going to use the stereotypical “Drop out of PCC, work at McDonald’s, become a drug addict and then a hobo” example so I don’t have to come up with my own. Parents are responsible for their children, so they must care for them, and hard work and responsibilty are indeed important values to teach.


So, what’s my solution? Well, clearly, I’m advocating moderation. But where on the scale of moderation, you ask? “Your solution is vague, it can fall anywhere on the scale from 1-10, with 1 being ‘You must practice piano/violin 4 hours a day, and get a 4.0 GPA, no use of electronic devices, and if you disobey, I’ll beat you’ to ‘You got a D+? That’s great! Yeah, go ahead and take the pickup tonight, I don’t care where you go. Oh, want some of this beer?’ ” Yes, that is exactly my solution. There is no one solution. Parenting isn’t a cheap baseball cap; there is no one-size-fits all.


Parents must look at their child, and see who they are, what they are like, what they are capable of. From this, you decide how to parent, what standards to impose, how much pressure to give them. You can’t just read a parenting book and expect to know exactly how to parent your child. Or even worse, you can’t read a Chinese newspaper, or listen to Chinese radio, or hear from a friend. There is a tendency in the Asian community to hear, through one of those aforementioned channels, about how some kid got into Stanford, had a high GPA, was an expert pianist, had a high SAT score…and this was what his parents did.  This is what you have to do to get into a good college.


Well, guess what? That kid’s parents don’t necessarily know why their kid got into Stanford. Maybe it was the piano, maybe he wrote a really insightful app essay, maybe he just happened to get lucky. But more importantly, that wasn’t your kid.  No matter what you do, how closely you try to follow the advice of those parents, or of parenting experts, or of “parenting experts” on Chinese radio/newspaper, your kid will not be somebody else’s kid. No crazy, magical parenting method will get your kid into a good college. If you want to parent your child, you must actually parent your child. Get to know them, accept them, learn what it takes to help them. Figure out what drives and inspires them. Maybe that’ll help them into Stanford. Or maybe they’re just not the type for high-level colleges. See what alternatives there are for them to be happy and successful.  


Yes, this will require a lot of effort. But you were the one that brought your child into the world. Don’t expect a quick and easy solution.




Next, the State of the Union. You should all  watch it because it’s you know, the state of our union. It’s an hour long, but President Obama stated that the two top priorities for the country should be innovation and education. That we must progress our scientific innovation, and also educate our kids better. That “we must stop getting rid of good teachers, and stop making excuses for bad ones,” that we should better support these good teachers.


Of course, I totally agree with this. The future of this country depends on the education of the young, and on what developments can be made to keep ahead of the rest of the world. I fail to comprehend how politicians turn to education when they need to cut money to pay off debt. As we all have experienced, the American public education system is flawed.  And now, with budget cuts, not only is college tuition becoming ridiculous, teachers are being fired. And of course, this goes by seniority. So newer teachers are let go, despite being highly competent and motivated, while older teachers can stay despite being less qualified to teach than most of their students. In freshmen year, when pink slips were being handed out, my history and biology teachers received one, even though they were both great teachers that worked hard and cared about their students, while my math teacher, who did nothing, was completely safe. Along with a bunch of other teachers, including my future AP biology teacher, whose incompetence I could write a whole post about.


The good thing is that the Los Angeles Unified is, I believe, getting rid of the tenure system, so that poor teachers can be eliminated despite their seniority. Hopefully this can stay, as I know the teacher union is mounting strong opposition.


It’s not all about the teachers, though. I’m  curious to see what Obama’s plan is, to restructure the education system, to advance learning so that those innovations can be developed, to change attitudes about education, to make higher level education affordable. It’s clearly not an easy task, but it is a very important one.


And even if you don’t care about this, or the rest of the President’s speech, he called for high speed internet nationwide, something I think we can all approve of.




Now, onto a common topic of mine: Asian-Americaness.


I don’t remember the context, but recently, my mom stated that my brother was “an ABC.” Just in case, that means “American-born Chinese” in this case. My dad quickly responded, that no, he’s not. And I agreed with him.


This may be nitpicking, and I don’t want to get into SAT grammar crap, but in that phrase, “American-born Chinese,” Chinese is the noun. The American-born is just modifying it. That means that the person is a Chinese. That just happens to be born in America. Yao Ming is a tall Chinese. Jackie Chan is a tough Chinese. Hu Jintao is a powerful Chinese. Person X is an American-born Chinese.


Yeah, well Person X is not my brother, I’m 99% sure. And I’m 100% sure that’s not me. I am an American. If you, for some reason, need to label by race, I’m an American of Asian descent. Or if you really need to, Asian-American. Chinese-American. Whatever. But I am not a Chinese. I am now getting into the territory of my debate with Tim, which he has adamantly dodged attempts to continue. So I want him to post his response on this blog. Or just in our IM, I guess, but he hasn’t had a post yet, so we might as well conduct our debate through the opinion section of the Leafwood Times.


Anyway, the point is, I was born in America, I was raised in America, I will, barring something life-changing, (Admission into Cambridge, alien invasion of only North America, etc.) continue to live in America. I am American, not Chinese, no matter what my physical race is. In a conflict between the two countries, I know which side I am on. I do not consider myself Chinese. I do not consider myself a part of Chinese culture. Maybe you guys feel differently, I want to hear your opinions.




Finally, I wasn’t sure if I wanted include this part, because it involves the stupidity of stupid, loser sophomores. To quote Jon Stewart, after seeing a video of a radical right-wing 13 year old at the Republican National Convention, “Is he even an acceptable target?” Or another Stewart quote, after seeing Glenn Beck do another stupid Glenn Beck thing, “Fuck it, it’s not worth it anymore” to mock him. Also, yeah, it may be kind of loserish to devote a section of this post to their stupidity. But I’m still going to do it, because it’s just too funny.


So, yeah, this is based off a facebook convo between two sophmores that got into my news feed, due to one of my fb friends having one comment in it. I can’t figure out how, if it’s even possible, to upload pictures from my hard drive to here, so yeah, it’s in the Life Sucks Group, if you want to see it.


Oh, nvm, copy and paste works well. Meh, think I’ll take out names and pictures. Text in red is my commentary.


  •  
  • I’m sorry but if you dont watch Ghost in the Shell, Akira, Appleseed,
    And all you do is watch Bleach or Naruto, then you are NOT an anime fan.
  • Oh, good, anime elitism…almost all elitists are stupid, but yeah…anime elitism. They like Bleach and Naruto. Bleach and Naruto are animes. Sounds like they are anime fans.
  • 2 people like this.
    •  

       id say more if you dont know who osamu tezuka is then youre not an anime fan.

      4 hours ago
  •  Introducing, guy number 2. He’ll be interacting with the original poster throughout.
    •  
    •  

       Lol, yeah
      GO ASTROBOY, lol

      4 hours ago · 1 person
    •  Original poster again. It’s pretty much these two losers going back and forth, unless otherwise indicated.
    •  

      do you know how many “otaku” i talk to who dont even know about him? how do you not know about the father of modern anime and manga and call yourself the ultimate anime fan.

      4 hours ago
    • How do you call yourself the ultimate anime fan at all?
    •  
    •  Theyre poopheads

      3 hours ago · 1 person
    •  

       That was really necessary…
    •  i think its more of the fact that its really really old and hard to access

      3 hours ago
    •  This is a third party, with some *gasp* logic. People might prefer to watch newer animes instead of something really old? What is this madness.
    •  

      Yeah, its sad that american kids watch bleach and naruto, ( which is getting too old ) and think they are otakus. SCREW YOU GUYS

      3 hours ago
    •  
    • Sad? I think this convo is a lot more sad. I also like the way he uses “American.” We’ll get back to that later. And another unecessary insult. Even if you disagree with these people,  they haven’t done anything to you…
    •  

      thats a negative thing…. but okay
    • 3 hours ago · 1 person
    •  
    • This is logical person again. Yeah, I like this guy…they’re being really anal about qualifcations for being  an “otaku” when the majority looks on this group negatively…shouldn’t these extreme standards for who is part of a group be reserved for something else?
    •  

       Naruto and bleach are decent animes, but they are praised too higly, alot of these fake otakus say bleach and naruto are SUPER actionpacked. FUCK! Ghost in the Shell takes action to a different dimension!

      3 hours ago
    •  
    • To a different dimension? Is there 3d anime now? Ben, fill me in.
    •  

      The correct term for Naruto/Bleach fans are known as Narutards and Weeabos. Get it together.

      3 hours ago · 2 people
    •  

      Ok, this is a 4th guy, another anime elitist. Random unecessary insults again. 
    •  ‎:D

      3 hours ago
    •  
    •  

       Yeah, i got sick of those two animes

      3 hours ago
    •  
    •  

      im happy with only bleach and naruto.

      3 hours ago
    •  
    • Yeah, this is the guy that’s my fb friend, lol.
    •  

      Seriously? There’s even elitism over ANIME AND MANGA now?

      3 hours ago · 1 person
    •  
    • Yay, another logical person. You echo my thoughts exactly.
    •  
    • i actually like bleach(the manga anyways) the only thing that actually makes either of those 2 series bad is the fans…and the fillers. buts its how stupid the fans act that make people judge the quality of the show. bleach actually has a pretty good changing and evolving storyline, intense and wonderful artwork, a wide range of character to the point the main character isnt the only person who has a back story and it can still be pretty funny at times.

      3 hours ago · 1 person
    •  

      Ok…WTF? The only reason you it’s bad is because of the fans? That makes no fucking sense…so you’ll not like something that you say is great otherwise…because of how fans of it think. Yeah, I don’t think I even need to explain this one…yeah, I don’t think those people should call themselves “otakus,” because they watch it for enjoyment, not to participate in some wierd system of feeling socially superior to compensate for failing socially in real life.
    •   
    •  I like how weeaboos think they know japanese culture because they watch bleach or naruto

      3 hours ago
    •  
    •  

      they do?

      3 hours ago
    •  
    •  

       
    • Yes. Some of my friends think japanese culture is better than western culture, and i dont think theres nothing wrong with an opinion like that, but they only think that because they watch anime. they havent even been in Japan or have been in a japanese home, so how would they know?

      3 hours ago
    •  
    • Ok, uh…first off, have you been to Japan? Based off a comment you’ll see later, it seems like you haven’t either. And second, “I don’t think there’s nothing wrong with a opinion like that” is a double negative, a disguised way of saying “I agree with them, but I want them to agree EXACTLY the way I do, and also, an incredibly stupid statement.
    •  
    • No, my arguement is not that he’s an idiot, because Western culture is better. I’m not going to resort to a stupid arguement like that. As you guys know, I think that anime and manga and a lot of Japanese crap is stupid. But seriously, it’s stupid to say that either culture is “better.” How can you say a culture is “better”. It’s simply different. It’s how a group of people chooses to behave. You are in no position to argue that it is “better”. You can prefer one culture to another, but you cannot say a culture is better or worse, unless one of the cultures is North Korea, or something. But Japan and the U.S. (and Europe, since he said west) are both places with highly developed, civilized cultures. They both function fine, and to say that one is better than the other is childish and idiotic.
    • i mean i have done alot of research into japanese culture and history and i believe that the eastern(japanese culture) were a alot more honorable before the westerners came but i dont think im an expert on japanese culture based on anime.

      3 hours ago · 1 person
    •  

      Watching anime doesn’t make you an expert, but your hours of reading wikipedia pages on Japanese culture does…
    •   
    • Yes, i agree, watching anime doesnt make me a native. These retards think japanese culture is all cute and fun and games, it certainly can however, but they dont realize that japan is a very, VERY conervative society. When they think theyve watched enough anime, they’ll go to Japan and embarass themselves in public and wont even notice it. they’ll eat a big fatass bag of of chippy brand potato chips and drink ramune WHILE walking in public out on the streets.

      3 hours ago
    •  I’m assuming, based off the first sentence, that this confirms that hasn’t had the experience of living in Japan that he previously referred to. And as for the rest of it…uh…I don’t even know. I’ll leave everything else for our anime/Japan expert, Ben. What’s your commentary on this?

 

Yeah, it probably wasn’t worth it to explore that stupidity. Oh well, it led to some somewhat meaningful ranting about society and culture.

So yeah, that’s it. I don’t know if there was something else I wanted to talk about, but I think this is already way too much writing.

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13 comments

  1. Benji says:

    WALL OF TEXT O_O xD

  2. Benji says:

    Anyways now that I’ve actually read it… wow and a serious good job on your treatise on parenting. May I have permission to call your parents and tell them to read this post?

    As for ABC vs. Chinese-American — you are whatever you want to call yourself. You can call yourself an eggplant for all I care.

    In response to anime elitism, anything goes really as long as you keep your stupidity to yourself. No need to let the world know you’re a loser.

  3. k says:

    lol, yeah, I don’t think I want my parents reading my blog posts…and I don’t think you have my home phone anyway.

    Yeah, you are what you call yourself, I just don’t want other people calling me soemthing else.

    Yeah, well, tell that to those guys, posting their stupidity on facebook.

  4. Benji says:

    hey I’ve got to have your home phone somewhere… I mean I know my parents had it in like 3rd grade or whatever.

    and lol facebook and people who frequent facebook are stupid imho (no offense). People, seriously, keep your stupidity to yourself. If you have to post it online somewhere, make a blog and post it where nobody will read it xD don’t post it on some top-5-in-the-internet website with 20 million users

  5. k says:

    I read somewhere that 90% of college students use facebook…and from looking around, like, almost everyone at AHS does…so that’s a lot of stupid people.

  6. k says:

    And yeah, I think, for obvious reasons, that it is a generelization to say all fb users sre stupid.

  7. Benji says:

    yeah, maybe that’s why America is failing. it’s facebook’s fault.

  8. Benji says:

    ok, all facebook users except the multimillionaires who started the company are idiots.

  9. k says:

    I think the majority of facebook users aren’t from the U.S…and yeah, I think there are a lot of other things causing failure than facebook…

    On a semi-related note, go watch the Social Network, lol. It’s about the influence of facebook, kinda…I don’t know how many American movies I’ve told you to watch now.

  10. Benji says:

    and I never watch them xD

    yeah and I’m probably just cynical and anti-Facebook like that.

  11. k says:

    Yeah, I think you are…lol, my dad’s the same way…

  12. Benji says:

    your dad is anti-Facebook? we should be friends.

  13. k says:

    On facebook.

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