Tonight was a night of ultracoolness, since I got to hang out with both Joz and Ernie, especially since I've never hung out with Ernie at all, much less spoken or even e-mailed him. The husband was really jealous (hehe).
Anyway, it just made me realize how in the loop and how out of the loop I am about things, such as pop culture, Asians/Asian Americans, queer stuff, etc. I think I had a blank stare most of the time Ernie and Joz talked about Asians on reality TV, since I was trying to think the last time I actually watched TV for any significant amount of time. Yet, at the same time, Ernie invited me to be a contributor of 8asians.com so I can write about Asian/Asian American issues specifically for their website. One particular reason that struck me about why he wanted me to contribute was to get varying opinions from different Asians/Asian Americans about different issues, and that he wanted to get different people who wouldn't be able to be in the same room with each other.
It's got me thinking that while I'm totally into being a contributor for the site, it got me thinking about the different Asian/Asian American communities that I've been involved with, and how SF is in its own little bubble and how people who live here have a lack of perspective about the world outside the Bay Area/NorCal, so it's something I'm looking forward to. I think one of the weaknesses of living in the Bay Area is that there's a uniformity of opinion that gets rather stifling--granted it's fairly liberal, but I like the idea of being able to butt heads with people who don't think like me, especially Asians. When I was at UCR, nearly all of my friends were either centrist to conservative, and I was really the only liberal person in the group (as well as queer, ethnic studies major, etc.), and we had heated discussions about things, but we remained friends in spite of and because of our differences. We truly liked each other.
It sometimes feels like that living in the Bay, one can easily lose track of the fact that the vast majority of the US is not like the Bay, and there's a smugness that Bay Area people seem to have (thanks to Ernie for this term). And yet--it seems to be the Bay Area non-natives who have this smugness, and those of us who are Bay Area natives who have a sense of deeper attachment to the Bay Area and what it's stood for, and how it's developed. Unlike a lot of my transplant friends, I do remember the South Bay when it was all farmlands instead of high-tech companies; when I was one of maybe 5 Asians in my classes; when we had no Filipino markets, or meeting places aside from our families; when racist epithets would be yelled at me by white kids in cars. I've seen the transformation of the Bay into one of open acceptance, if only because there were so many of us Asians, queers, etc., that one couldn't afford not to have at least the facade of acceptance and still seem to be a decent person.
But given how my life has changed where I was an attention and media whore, to one where I'm content to living my life on the sidelines, having had my current 15 seconds of fame, I think 8asians will force me to at least look at the world as viewed by fellow Asian folk, and remember how fucked up and how cool it is for us to be in America. I get tired of living under a rock to study, study, study.
Maybe it's that perspective that I'll be bringing to 8asians. Or, maybe it's the fact that I'll be talking about hot gay guys, porn, and Asian bears. And my quest to find a hot Asian leather top/daddy. :)
I do hope Ernie knows what he's getting into. :)