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12.22.2006

All the children sing 

While visiting a friend's place for a Christmas party, I happened to hear a track consisting of Korean schoolchildren singing "I Will", from the Beatles' White Album.

It took me a while to figure out the song they were singing, but my immediate reaction was that I was disappointed that they didn't also record a version of "Why Don't We Do It In The Road".

12.16.2006

The meaning of language, again 

I've don't regularly watch Rosie O'Donnell on television, and I wouldn't terribly mind if she were placed on a space shuttle destined for the sun.

That being said, I have a hard time mustering up the same level of outrage that many other Asian-Americans have over O'Donnell's recent attempt to imitate the Chinese language.

Some say that the ching-chong gibberish is comparable to the use of the word "nigger". I think that it is absurd to compare them to a term that carries the historical weight of a few centuries of slavery, violence and discrimination. I had no idea that we Asian-Americans were so insecure that we would object so strenuously to a national media figure repeating taunts that the mean kids in school used agaisnt us while they made fun of our slanty eyes. Apparently, we are.

(This is not to deny that Asian immigrants and Asian-Americans have been mistreated in the past, just that there's really no connection between that history and the specific slurs addressed here. As a converse, I think it is correct to view the word "Jap" as extremely offensive, as it gained a particularly poisonous connotation during World War II.)

12.07.2006

Applicable to ultimate frisbee, poker, math, life in general 

A snippet from an old ultimate frisbee article:

Question: What single event or realization was most important to your development as a player?

Jim Parinella: Figuring out that I could throw it away just as well as anyone else. When I was younger, I used to play in fear of making a mistake, so I wouldn’t get involved in the offensive flow as much as I could have. I looked at players on good teams and the good players on my team and was in awe of them, often without good justification. Eventually, I learned to have a healthy disrespect for them and a healthy respect for my own game, and it was suddenly a lot easier to play. One particular moment that stands out was being with MGUS for the first Cuervo series. MGUS had some good players, but no one that I was in awe of, and I thought we were going to get crushed when it counted. But we beat Windy City and New York pretty handily to qualify for the finale, and should have made the finals against the best teams in the country. Then I realized that it wasn’t so tough after all, if only I got more involved.

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