Underneath my yellow skin

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Living vicariously through The Try Guys

During my dive into the Buzzfeed rabbit hole, I stumbled across a video of something called ‘The Try Guys’. It was a series of videos by four guys who worked at Buzzfeed doing daring, funny, and sometimes crazy things. I was immediately hooked and watched all the videos of them I could find. The zest with which they threw themselves into activities in which they had no experience was fascinating to me because I’m terrible at doing things I haven’t done before, especially if I have no interest in it. I’m always hyper-conscious about how I look as I’m doing it, convinced that I must look like a total loser. I have a hard time getting out of my own head, and there’s no way I could do some of the shit they tried (such as spending a night in the wilderness by themselves. And, not as a group, but each individually). I know part of that is that they’re men so they have more leeway than I as a woman would (for societal reasons and because of self-imposed limits based on societal expectations), but it wasn’t just that. More on that in a moment.

Let’s get the elephant out of the way. One of the reasons I liked the videos so much was because there’s a very hot Asian guy as one of the four. Eugene Lee Yang. He is insanely hot (though he doesn’t think so because like me, he grew up yellow in a white world, believing that he was ugly. He’s Korean, and he has the same dual-country shame that I do–both his cultures thought he was ugly just as both my cultures did, too), and unfortunately for me, gay. And too young. It’s just like me to go for the person I can’t have. Story of my life. Beyond his hotness, though, the fact that there was an Asian guy being prominent in this series (and often being the best at the activity) really warmed my heart. You often see white people (duh) and more and more black people with an occasional Latinx person thrown it, but it’s still rare to see an Asian person be prominently figured. He’s not a sidekick, which is refreshing.

I have to say, though, that while Eugene is my favorite for many reasons, the one I admire the most is Zach Kornfeld. Why? Because he’s the one who often has the least aptitude going into an activity, and yet, he does it to the best of his ability. Yes, he gripes and complains, but way less than I would if thrown into these activities. He’s like the C student who studies all week to get that C instead of being able to pull an all-nighter and get an A. Yes, the latter receives the better grade, but the former is actually the harder worker. (Yes, Eugene is like the latter, but the difference is that he works just as hard as the others, but his natural aptitude is higher in general.) Zach often mentions his little breakable body that isn’t made to do physical activities, plus he has an auto-immune disease that makes many things painful.

Side note: Both Zach and Keith (Habersberger) are lactose-intolerant, and yet, neither shies away from eating cheese by the bucketful on the show if need be. As a fellow lactose-intolerant person, I shudder whenever I see it. I also wonder if Eugene is lactose-intolerant because the vast majority of Asian people are, but that’s neither here nor there.

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The Buzzworthification of News: You Won’t Believe the 10 Ways It Sucks

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I saw a post recently from a mother chastising people with pets for calling themselves parents. She felt offended by it, but didn’t want to say anything in person because she felt that would be rude. In the piece, however, she had no problem being condescending, saying it’s fine that people choose to be childfree and lower themselves to taking care of animals, but it certainly, most definitely, wasn’t the same thing. Nope. Uh-uh. She wanted to make sure that everyone reading that got that point, so she repeated it several times.

Here’s the thing. Most people who have animal companions/friends* fucking know that being a parent isn’t the same as taking care of animals. Even the ones who call themselves parents mostly do it as shorthand. I don’t use the term myself, but mostly because I don’t want to be a fucking parent, not even in jest, not even of my cats. I don’t freak out if someone else calls me my boys’ mom, though, because I know they don’t mean it literally. I know my cats are not little people (though they might think I’m a big, dumb cat), and I’m fucking glad they’re not.

A couple of my Tweet pals pointed out that her assumption about childfree people being that way out of choice was faulty and hurtful. I agree with that, but personally, I’m just miffed because of the hectoring tone. I find this to be a problem with much of popular online media, and I have to point the finger at Buzzfeed and to a lesser extent, Upworthy. Listicles, hot takes, contrary views, all aimed at garnering more clicks. Recently, there has been a spate of ‘why you shouldn’t eat this food’ articles which basically boil down to, “I don’t like this food, so you shouldn’t, either.” The first I noticed was about mac and cheese, and the most recent was on onions (by Buzzfeed themselves). I read the mac and cheese one despite my best intentions, but I gave a hard pass to the onions one. There was one in the middle about lemons or some other innocuous foodstuff that I’ve blocked from my brain. If you look at the title of the first article, it’s called, Mac and Cheese is the Worst. The title of the second is For Everyone Who Fucking Hates Onions with the url being, It’s Time to Admit that Onions Are Disgusting. After reading the first article, my takeaway was, “I hate mac and cheese, and I want everyone else to hate it, too, so I don’t feel bad about myself.” If you hate mac and cheese, hate mac and cheese! No one is forcing you to eat fucking mac and cheese. You’re grown. You don’t have to like what other people like, for fuck’s sake!
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