The announcement that Google Reader would be shutting down hit me like the loss of an old friend with whom I had lately fallen out of touch–softly at first, then more powerfully. It’s easy to think as tech consumers that things die because of our neglect or disinterest. The biggest cliché that I acknowledge here is that Google Reader was more than a website, and whatever we neglected was more than a RSS aggregator. Still, Google Reader supported a blogging culture in which I have participated more infrequently over the years. Perhaps it’s worthwhile to take a wistful moment to reflect on how things have changed and what we do now.
I think I started using Reader in 2006 or 2007. I started by following some TV fan blogs that I wanted to keep up with. (I was really into Lost at the time.) When I got a handle of finding RSS feeds, I began to add everything. Blogs for cooking, news, tech, music, of college administrators and advisors, and even calendars and events. I must have cleared hundreds of items a day, reading post titles in fractions of a second. (The Trends feature in Google Reader tells me opaquely I have read 300,000+ items since 2009; apparently, it can’t fully count how many items I have read.)
In the summer of 2007, I started a blog with a close friend for our campus Asian American student organization. In the process of gathering things to write about in the world at large, I started a folder in Reader called “asian americana”, and then set out to find all the Asian American blogs there existed. There weren’t that many. Into “asian americana” went Angry Asian Man, of course. Hyphen magazine had a blog, too. Reappropriate was refreshing. Sepia Mutiny was still alive. Disgrasian was just a new upstart. If I missed any, my sincerest apologies; I read you all.
Our friends at the East Coast Asian American Student Union contacted us with a heads-up: tomorrow is the deadline for regular student registration to their 2013 event, scheduled for Feb. 22-24 at Columbia University.
Among the guest speakers for this year’s conference:
Norman Mineta, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation and Secretary of Commerce
This year’s workshops will include excerpts from the upcoming documentary Uploaded, the death of Private Danny Chen, the microaggressions phenomenon, and ways Asian-American and Pacific Islander families can support LGBTQ children, among other topics. (A full listing can be seen here.)
The deadline for late registration is February 14. For more information, visit the conference website or the ECAASU Facebook page.
Give the person or people behind the OSU Haters Tumblr some credit: the campaign has actually spurred their school, Ohio State, to confront the racist attitudes of some of its students. Tonight, members of various student groups will hold a special town hall meeting to discuss the ugliness the page uncovered. Continue reading →
by Guest Contributor Daily Chicana, originally published at Daily Chicana
A few weeks ago, I was at the grocery store buying some jalapeños to make a batch of guacamole. An older white woman watched as I picked several peppers and placed them in a produce bag. “You better be careful with those!” she cheerfully warned.
“Oh, it’s okay,” I smiled, tossing the jalapeños into my cart. “I can handle them. They’re not too hot for me.”
“Well that’s because you’ve got jalapeño blood!” she replied before ambling away.
I stood there for a minute, taken aback at the notion of jalapeño blood. I was unsure of what to make of this comment. Was she a kindly old lady trying to make a silly joke? Or was she making some sort of reference to my skin color and/or ethnicity? I found myself asking, “Is ‘having jalapeño blood’ another way of saying ‘Mexican’?” Continue reading →
The Thursday before The Avengers premiered, I put on my Captain America USO Girl costume and headed down to Madame Tussauds in New York’s Times Square. I had very little idea what I was going to be doing there and only went initially because a call for Marvel cosplayers (people who dress up as various characters) had been put out for a photo-op by the museum. They were about to open their Avengers exhibit. Admittedly, I was nervous, as cosplaying without the guarantee of a friendly face in your corner can be nerve-wracking. Fandom doesn’t always have its head screwed on straight when it comes to the touching, ogling, and respect of female cosplayers.
The crowd wasn’t exactly what I was expecting–and I mean that in the best way possible.
What inspired me to reflect on my own particular educational journey was how much it contrasts to those of the women featured in the article. For example, one of the women opens up about the lack of encouragement she received, even being told that she “wasn’t college material.” Nevertheless, she worked towards an associate degree from a community college over four and a half years and eventually ventured on to graduate work. Another of the women only started looking into the possibility of attending college after others expressed surprised to hear that she did not plan to apply. The third woman, who was on a more traditional educational track (going to college right after high school and then on to be a full-time graduate student), still notes wistfully that Latina/os often experience an identity crisis in classrooms where “your culture is repressed and your language isn’t validated” (emphasis added). Continue reading →
At a recent performance, Jay Electronica asked his audiences “Do women like to be choked during sex?” Apparently, he asks this question at every show, and is conducting an informal survey so that him, his DJ, and Nas, can decide a $20,000 bet on the issue on December 25th.
Unlike other tumblr pages, Microaggressions isn’t laid out so that you have to scroll down to go from post to post; the multitude of mini-anecdotes is arranged side-to-side, like a community bulletin board:
“You speak so well. You don’t sound like other black girls.” - when: almost every week since I started high school
In less than a week, the site has already amassed more than 200 contributors, with stories touching on issues from racism to size discrimination to stereotyping to sexism and beyond.