Under Cement

What happened to my ambition? Thrown to the side like my feelings. Hoping for nothing. Really, what is hope? I’ve lost my definition for hoping, wishing. Because in this life there’s only one positive: Death. After that, the rest is history. Who remembers those gone, but they cared till the last breath. Made promises to the same never fulfilling their prospects. When it all goes black, what happens after that? None can grasp the concept. Living like no tomorrow but no tomorrow makes no sense. Because if there’s no tomorrow there’s no more days, only a lifeless shell.. under cement.

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When I Die

Please just cremate my body. The funeral, viewing, all that.. I don’t need that shit. If you want to have a gathering just do it at someone’s house and don’t spend a lot of money on my death. That benefits nobody. Thank you.

Rest in Peace AIM

AOL Instant Messenger was, like for many late 80’s early 90’s kids, a very large part of my life for a good majority of my middle to high school years. AIM was a daily thing for me. I’d come home from school, do my homework, and spend the rest of the night talking to people on AIM.

AIM provided me with several years of meaningful connections. It forged many relationships I had, platonic and romantic, and I’m still friends with many of those people today. We would not have been as close if we didn’t spend hundreds of hours talking to each other (and probably 11 other people at the same time) on AIM every night.

I remember my first AIM SN. There were a few really unimaginative names originally, but I eventually settled on bigbadm0nkey. Until now I don’t know why I chose that name. I didn’t think of myself as big, bad, or a monkey when I was in seventh grade, but I stuck with it until high school.

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That big bad monkey up to mischief again.

Then I met this girl named Michelle Higgins. We became best friends. We used to have this thing where we would sing JLo and Ja Rule songs or Ashanti and Ja Rule songs and she’d be Ja Rule and I’d be JLo or Ashanti. Haha. I didn’t realize at the time how cool of a friendship we had, but that’s the thing about high school. You look back and realize that things insignificant to you then were actually meaningful and important.

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This is Michelle. Yes. She actually thought this was cool.
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And I got her that giraffe because I’m the coolest.

Her AIM SN was im i c ih e il il e so when it was all capitalized (IM I C IH E IL IL E) it was easy to read as Michelle. Of course, she did this, because MICHELLE was obviously taken by some bitch that probably never used it. Anyways. She suggested that I should get a new SN because mine was stupid. She was right. ID A IL T O IN. It took me like two seconds to create it and that SN was the beginning of my social bloom.

Me and Michelle got heavily into the “AzN pRyDe” scene. I played DDR like all day every fucking day at the mall. I loved breakdancing, CHAPS shirts, Pochacco, Sticker Pictures, Drop n Harmony, Dragonball Z, playing Tekken, and a lot of other stuff that was particular to high school Asians in Jacksonville (and even the entire nation) during the early 2000’s. I still love some of these things. It was really weird, but also kind of cool when you think about it. Like I genuinely loved this stuff and it created a community and instant commonalities.

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And every Asian had a picture like this from the Korean picture place at the mall that your friend worked at and did the pictures for free.
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This is what you would call “HeLLa AzN” and get mad props if you were on this level 11 Azn (Sorry Ernesto, mad props though)

During this awkward and obliviously (at the time) embarrassing phase, I think we switched SN’s a lot. Like she was Azn Hella Pinay or something at one point and I was Azn Ungoy (Unggoy is Tagalog for monkey. I know. I don’t know why I was obsessed with being a monkey.) and TallAznGuy probably.

Almost every person I knew had an account on one of the original major Asian social networking sites. Friendster, AsianXO, Asian Avenue, AngelFire, and Geocities. A lot of these profiles or sites would fizzle out. The only site I can think of that people actually dedicated to for a while was Xanga. That still came a little later.

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OMG 15 years old. I’m so strange for screen shotting this. And for rating myself 10. smh…

Through all of these networks and profiles and things we had to solidify our individual identities, the only constant was AIM. AIM never fizzled and it kept our community connected the entirety of high school.

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AND THIS. Also, I love R&B. Always have. So that’s why I was playing R&B in each screen shot lol. This was in 2003.

dalt o matic was my final and the SN I used for the longest after IDAILTOIN got boring to me. Daltomatic began in ’02/’03 I believe. The “AzN pRyDe” scene was on its way out, but not completely dead. Asians still congregated at the mall every weekend and did a lot of the same stuff. We just stopped TyPiNg LyK DiS and sticker picture businesses went bankrupt in America but remained significant in Japan and maybe Korea. Not North though.

When I was younger, hell, even now I’m reticent and introverted. The things I didn’t want to reveal or couldn’t say to someone face to face were a lot easier to say online. It made me analyze people’s reactions to things I thought would be unacceptable or potentially awkward person to person. When I saw that people are a lot more understanding, approachable, and amicable than the idea I made in my mind, it helped me become more sociable with others in person. I wouldn’t be able to approach girls if I kept that mentality and to be honest I’d probably still be a virgin. And not like in a “I’m waiting for marriage” way. Like “Steve Carrell’s Andy in 40 Year Old Virgin” way where people that don’t know me think I’m a serial killer. In a way, AIM was instrumental in molding me into the person I am today.

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In a sense, this picture would not be possible without AIM.

I didn’t think much of it when I stopped using AIM, but hearing the news that AIM is done made me realize how much it meant to me. And I wanted to take my time out to put that out to the world and thank AOL and the internet for this gift. Thank you and RIP AOL Instant Messenger.

Game of Thrones Lacks Diversity

John Boyega recently “slammed”, “ripped”, and “bashed” Game of Thrones for not having any black characters. I really enjoyed Boyega’s performance as Finn in The Force Awakens and I’m a bit taken aback by his opinion. I would expect him to know a little more about the show he’s speaking on, but sadly he does not realize there have been a few black characters in the GOT series.

The first two black characters I can think of (and everyone adores) are Missandei and Grey Worm. These two have been in a “will they, won’t they” relationship for a while and were the ONLY characters in the show to do that (that I can think of). On top of that, Grey Worm is the most skilled warrior in Daenerys’ army and Missandei has a very powerful position as the queen’s advisor and Handmaiden. They aren’t the only black characters in the series, though. The first black character I remember seeing on the show was Salladhor Saan, the pirate. Xaro Xhoan Daxos was a prince that Daenerys considered marrying because he could provide her with wealth, which she needed to take Westeros. Other black characters have appeared on the show and they may not have had tons of screen time, but most characters don’t anyways. My point is…

Either Bogeya is full of shit or he hasn’t even given Game of Thrones a chance due to his preconceived belief that the show lacks diversity. If he were to actually watch the show he would have seen that there are two black actors with plenty of screen time and significance in regards to the story.

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I’m so fucking glad GOT has black characters.

If Boyega were a fan of the show, he would know that House Stark’s motto: “Winter is coming” doesn’t mean that Sansa better use that bikini while she can. In Westeros it is ALWAYS winter. “Winter is coming” is the Stark’s way of saying be diligent, be prepared. Winter hits hardest in the realm of the north where House Stark rules. The land is the farthest habitable land north of the Known World‘s equator. You could look at it like Norway, Sweden, and Finland of our Earth.

This is where I make this guy look like a dumb ass (well at least for a Hollywood actor bashing a show that people religiously watch and not for its diversity). Don’t talk about something you have no idea about. If Bogeya were at least a bit educated in human history and evolution (which he could be, but social justice is known to cause delirium), he would know that humanity started in Africa and our ancestors dispersed onto other continents. The humans that went north evolved into what we call “white people” today.

Let’s start from the beginning. Humans used to have fur. Under the fur was light skin. Other primates have similar features. As evolution went on, we started becoming hairless. Being in Africa where Summer seems to never fucking end, these traits lead to the development of melanin in our skin to protect the body from UV radiation. This is what humans do. When adversity becomes a consistent factor in our lives, we evolve to adapt and survive. It’s one of the most phenomenal things about us. Well, when we got hairless, perhaps some of us were less hairy than others and hair equals ugly. So war began and the furries won because they are very good at camouflage unlike their fur-less adversaries, making them excellent at guerrilla warfare (get it? guerrilla.. HAHA!)

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This is probably the kind of stuff that started the whole mess.. that I just made up.. hypothetically.

So after the great furred victory, the fur-less were forced to depart from their humble beginnings and just get as far away from the crazy furries as possible. This led them to the cold and frigid mountains of Norway and Sweden. The sun’s intensity couldn’t hold a candle or light one compared to the scorching deserts of Saharan and central Africa. Humans in this region started to become lighter since melanin didn’t have a function any longer. Maybe whatever powered the ability to produce melanin focused that energy towards something else. Like being really bad at dancing. I don’t know. This is just how white people started. Not literally. You get the idea, though. Particular races are concentrated in areas of Earth because for thousands and thousands of years, they were the only ones there. The only reason that societies are mixed is because of immigration (which wasn’t always possible or popular) and vessels that could travel vast sea. Those ships didn’t always carry a colorful group of characters, except during the slave trade. And if you watch Game of Thrones, not many in Westeros own slaves, but there was a slave trader named Malko (black) that bought and sold two of the main characters as slaves: Tyrion and Jorah (both white). So they’re not trying to offend anyone, but they have to be logically accurate as well.

“I ain’t paying money to always see one type of person on-screen. Because you see different people from different backgrounds, different cultures, every day. Even if you’re a racist, you have to live with that. We can ruffle up some feathers.”

Great Caesar’s ghost… The point is this: BOYEGA YOU ARE AN IDIOT!! Don’t make pretentious slanderous arguments about something you obviously have no substantial knowledge of! When something is about race, fine, be outraged. It would be fucked up if a massively popular TV show left out black people purposely and illegitimately. Yet you don’t even know shit about this one and think it has to do with skin color?! Race baiting is the most deplorable action these days. I’m especially disgusted when a celebrity does it, especially someone I actually liked (like you), because many people will listen to that filth and take their word. Apologize and tell your fans you were wrong, you fucking scum.

Even Rick Ross loves Game of Thrones, so I’ll take that co-sign, and he’s more black than you’ll ever be.

President Trump: Mexico Will Pay For Border Wall ‘Eventually’

Let me start off with a couple of very recently written articles that purport the idea that Trump’s campaign promise that Mexico would provide the funds needed to build the wall along the border were unsubstantiated.

Trump says Mexico ‘eventually’ will pay for border wall
Trump Is Having A Real Time Breakdown Over The Collapse Of His Mexico Wall

“Eventually, but at a later date so we can get started early, Mexico will be paying, in some form, for the badly needed border wall,” Trump said in a Twitter post. With a bit of journalism and ten minutes of homework I was able to determine Trump’s end game.

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On the 30th of last month, a few Republican members of Congress introduced legislation HR 1813 – Border Wall Funding Act of 2017 (PDF) to the House. The general purpose of HR 1813 is ultimately to provide funding for border control improvements by charging a 2% fee (USD) on all remittance transfers to the specified South American countries. The remittance transfer companies must collect the fees and submit them to the Treasury. The companies are designated 5% of the remittance fees collected for expenses incurred from collecting the fees.

This is just genius. The fact that Trump isn’t boasting about it and his sly “eventually” tweet make it so much better. Let me explain. It’s been reported that many undocumented immigrants come to America, work their asses off (they really do) for low wage, no benefits like overtime, and send the money back to the country from whence they originated from. This hurts our economy in a few ways and once you learn the numbers, the hurt isn’t something we should ignore. The damage is staggering.

According to the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform, in 2015, foreign money transfers from the U.S. surpassed oil revenue as contribution to Mexico’s GDP (2.3%). Also, the CAIRCO site has many other statistics and interesting info about the negative impact illegal immigration has on our economy and on American society so you should check that out after finishing this.

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Latin America and the Caribbean received a total of $68.3 billion through remittance transfer companies like Western Union and MoneyGram in 2015. An estimated 67% of that money was transferred by an undocumented immigrant. I don’t know how that statistic was concocted but it makes this entire scheme more awesome. Mexico alone received 88.2% of that $68.3 billion.

That’s nearly $70 billion that leave the United States and benefit the economy of a country that won’t even have a diplomatic meeting with the new U.S. president because of drama. That $70 billion could fund our annual education budget. That $70 billion could employ 2.3 million Americans at a comfortable $30,000 a year. I chose that salary because at least 51% of U.S. workers make less than $30,000 annually. This money could do a lot of good. Instead it’s being “funneled” into countries that don’t have a similar interest with us.

Let’s do the math. Trump has stated himself that he believes the wall will cost approximately $8 billion. Since President Trump is a real estate mogul, knows his shit, and it’s his wall, we’ll take his word. HR 1813 is to take effect for the next five years and since the transfers to Mexico aren’t slowing down, we’ll use 2015’s total remittance amount as the average amount for the next five years. 2% of $68.3 billion over five years would total $6.83 billion. That leaves about $1.17 billion, but again, migrants are not slowing down their money sending. And with Western Union coming up with promotions like this to incentivize sending money across the border, the effort to cover that $1.17 billion will be minimized.

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Don’t get me wrong, immigration should be encouraged because America is the land of opportunity. We should embrace people that want to be a part of that. Immigrants can be and have always been incredibly productive Americans, especially when they are not able to achieve their full potential in their native country. That is the backbone of our society and that’s what made this nation great, but when that opportunity is taken advantage of and those impassioned expatriates that went through the process of becoming citizens are disrespected, that’s when we have an issue. Their journey and their struggle should not be taken lightly. Yet we have an immense amount of U.S. currency leaving our country, sent by undocumented immigrants, and vitally contributing to another nation’s revenue. A nation that does not care about us. They have no interest in boosting our economy. There is a problem, it started a long time ago, and it’s gotten out of control.

That’s why I’m so glad someone like Trump has broken through and woke so many of us up. We actually have a chance to save the country we love and make it great again. This is just the beginning.

A Toxic Social Construct

Race is a social construct. It’s the most enduring devastating thing that humans have built. Black History Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, census on race, affirmative action, “equal opportunity”, et cetera.. were/are all instrumental in the racial tension and other oppression we have in this country today. There is no possible way that this could have been prevented seeing as how our country was founded, slavery, and the discrimination that followed (not pinning these problems on any particular person or race either because that would be contradicting to my writing).

Statistically, black children’s grades tend to be poorer than other races. A bigot would love to use this as proof that black people aren’t parenting as good as they are or that black people just don’t have the same mental capacity. Another statistic shows that black children adopted by white parents have grades that are at the same level as the white students in their school, but start to decline as the social effects of being black become more prevalent in their lives. That puts a dent in the bigot’s argument, because their grades were similar until they had increasing amounts of time taken from the racism-free (don’t nitpick that) confines of their white parents’ homes.

So based on those two statistics, there’s no reason that black people aren’t as successful in school other than being black. They aren’t doing anything wrong themselves. It’s just the more they know they’re black in school, the more their grades decline. This isn’t necessarily true for every black person, but the statistics show that it’s the most common scenario. When I read that, I was astonished because there’s no logical explanation. Maybe there’s some domino effect starting from the foundation in our education system and falling through the processes, but I have no idea and there’s not a whole lot to go on in speculation. Maybe that’s meant for someone much smarter.

I kind of wish there was a study of white children adopted by black parents and if their grades were to increase after social awareness. That’d give a lot of insight.

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ABC News

We can’t make some statistic of an alternate reality where racism isn’t real and what our worlds would be like, but there’s definitely something to think about when there’s an obvious detrimental nature in categorizing people by their skin color.

A lot of people lose their identity to skin color and then others are flabbergasted when they see a Korean man speaking in the accent of a rural-born Tennessee Memphian. It would be really nice for me if it was normal to be questioned about my origins rather than “your English is very good” which has actually been a reply (multiple times) to me meeting someone for the first time. Identity is such a precious thing to most people and they spend a lot of time tweaking it as much as they can with social media. To lose any of it and having absolutely no control over that hurts. I’m certain other people feel this way as well, but it’s not something we dwell on.

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We can’t, because it’s just not realistic in any way. It’d be like believing in the possibility of a teenage girl having a relationship with a 100-year old vampire then having the pedophile mystical being fight an offensively uninteresting werewolf to win her over. Not as childish but just as crazy. Also, my national non-categorization of race scenario would benefit everyone while the pedophile vampire scenario should never have been brought up in the first place.

Sorry, I just hate that movie so much.

When I was young, I wasn’t appetent about what race I was and I never questioned my peers’ skin color or what it meant about them until the social impact grew more and more sounding in my daily life. It wasn’t some man that came around and put those ideas in my head either, but it was actually those peers that had asked me if I was Chinese or if I’d ever tried dog before until I was annoyed that had me confused and eventually keen on knowing why I was being asked/accused of such specific scenarios. It eventually spreads to every innocent mind until everyone is cliqued up only with people that look like them. Maybe this isn’t as true today, but ten years ago the only time those groups got together was to play basketball.

Anyways, like I said before, I don’t want to dwell on this too much because a: it’s too far-fetched in our society and b: thinking about how much better life would be is upsetting. I’m a little early but happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.