What can we say about Angry Asian Man that you don’t know already? He burst into the blogosphere way back in 2001 with that amazing knuckle-sandwich of a name, and since then has been writing prolifically on the joys and irritations of Asian-American life.
Perhaps the best explanation is his own:
“Keep it real with the rice fields.”
Some friends and I made it up in college sitting around over ice cream and Korean food. It started out as a joke, as a mock catchphrase of Asian empowerment. Picture it: Asian Americans everywhere, connecting with their roots and finding pride in the famed rice fields of the Orient. Can’t you visualize the Chinamen? Wearing those funny hats. Holding a stick or something. Squatting. It also makes no sense at all. Perhaps that’s why we made it up. Actually, that’s exactly why we made it up.
That’s the way I usually approached most issues of Asian American pride. Facetiously. Mostly by becoming Angry Asian Man. “Angry Asian Man,” as I was dubbed by I don’t know who, represented all things loud and proud about Asian America. My purpose was to acknowledge and encourage our yellow struggle against The Man, who in turn was determined to keep us in our bamboo cages and hold us down. I was angry. I was Asian. And I wasn’t going to stand by and watch idly as my people were unknowingly subjugated!
And the racism! Man, was everything just RACIST. I threw the word around left and right. Angry Asian Man had developed the special gift of hypersensitivity towards Racism and could detect it anywhere and everywhere. I took the liberty of calling attention to the surrounding Racism for all to see! The picture of the Asian in this magazine ad? Racist. The word ‘Chinese’ on page 862 in Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov? Racist. The yellow traffic signal light? Racist. It was all Racism with a capital ‘R’. The rest of the world was unaware, but Angry Asian Man had been given the power to see!
…However, in time it became apparent to me that I was actually only half joking. The concerns I was raising were funny because there was truth to them. Because racism does exist, and because Asian Americans still do struggle with issues of acceptance in this country. My context for discussing these problems often came from comic exaggeration, because at times, it was the only way to make such ugly issues open and approachable…Of couse, it’s all in fun, but just like the persona ofAngry Asian Man, rooted in truth.
So stay strong, and support the struggle. Keep it real with the rice fields!
We’re thrilled to have him guest-blogging on Iggy and gave him the keys to this tiny corner of the MTV kingdom. He’s keeping us updated on Asian-American news, events, and goings-on about town, but also watch out for his take on Iggy content and clips…he’s not going to hold back and we wouldn’t expect otherwise.