#28: Making Up for Lost Time

I blame the Game of Thrones premiere

Alrighty guys…. I’ve got a slew of interesting reads from the past two weeks to start your weeks off on the right foot. Might as well get started!

“By saying nothing to anyone, Ivanka could be everything to everyone.”

This is one of my favorite quotes from this extremely good profile about Ivanka Trump. I admit, I’m biased because I absolutely love profiles on Washington women—BUT this is an excellent peek inside the enigma of Ivanka (particularly when you add in the challenge of not being able to actually interview Ivanka on-the-record). You think you know Ivanka, but you don’t. Is the “authenticity” she cultivated authentic at all? Image is important, but is it everything? Just a few questions that this piece poses.

I also really admire the author, Elania Plott, quite a bit. If you like this Ivanka piece, you’ll also really like her write-up on Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s wife, Louise Linton, and Heidi Cruz, wife of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

If you like profiles on mysterious famous figures (not just Washington Women), I recommend this Keanu Reeves profile from GQ.

History: South Korea struck down its abortion ban

This is a huge deal, considering I wasn’t even aware South Korea had a ban on abortions (except in cases of “rape, incest or danger to the mother’s health) for 66 years.

I think this an amazing example of progress in a country whose fight against the patriarchy has only recently gotten media coverage. I think its really easy for “feminists” in the United States to focus on the plights we have in our own country (wage gap, etc.) and forget the women around the world who are just catching up to our domestic status quo of gender equality. Having a global perspective on feminism is really great! Food for thought!

Preachin’ in Sneakers

IDK if you’ve noticed, but hipster churches are very much a thing Hollywood and other places (think Justin Bieber’s church, Hillsong) and they seem to be making a lot of money. How do I know? Because the preachers in these Trendy Places of Worship are literally wearing sneakers that costs thousands of dollars—along with designer clothes. Is this what Jesus would want? Whether or not you think its materialistic and a touch hypocritical, that’s your choice—but food for thought!

Also: Happy Belated Easter lol.

Reality Check: You’re not the Office All-Star Rookie you want to be in your workplace, and that’s okay

This was passed along to me, and I’m extremely thankful I read it because it gave me a lot of much-needed perspective (which you tend to lack when you’re a hyper-focused 20-something). It’s mostly a piece about the growing trend of young people almost expecting raises, promotions, or higher recognition from their management after just one year. I think people just starting out in their career are really hyped to prove themselves and show what they can do. This eager-beaver attitude, however, can put management in a tight spot: Your employee might not be ready for a promotion, but you don’t want to discourage them either.

I also think a part of the equation is the “image” aspect of career advancement and perhaps young people seeing their peers get promoted faster than they do. Not only are people my age eager to prove their bosses what they can do, but they also want other people to see that they’re a #successful #bossbabe who can afford a luxury apartment and boozy brunch every weekend. The desire to succeed is a dangerous cocktail of professional, social, and self-pressure.

But fact of the matter is: If you haven’t been promoted yet, it’s not your time. It doesn’t matter if someone you know just got promoted—you’re on your own career timeline. On my first-day of my full-time job, my former co-worker told me: “Welcome to the next 40 years of your life!” And he was right. I have years (and years and years) to get promotions and raises. I can wait, and so can you.

Music Monday: Yo-Yo Ma at the Southern Border

"As you all know, as you did and do and will do, in culture, we build bridges, not walls," he said. After his performance, he gestured to the bridge to his right. "I've lived my life at the borders. Between cultures. Between disciplines. Between musics. Between generations."

Stragglers

That’s all for now folks!

See you next week!

Newsletter #27: Something New

~knew thangs~

Hey guys! Happy start to your work week! I got a suggestion to make this newsletter more discussion and “take-y” when revealing my links to you guys, and to take more care in explaining why I chose them and thought they were interesting—SO we will be doing this today just for kicks to see what happens!

“Youth, Vigor, a Sense of High Purpose”

This is a good read about why “Kennedy” allure is still so potent so many years after JFK and RFK’s respective assassinations, and an examination into why 2020 hopefuls like Beto O’Rourke (his Vanity Fair cover SCREAMED Kennedy-esque) and Pete Buttigieg are seemingly following suit—using their “outsider” perspective, youth, hopeful demeanor, and vague-ish policy to inspire Democrats without alienating those in the middle.

Beto and Pete aren’t the only ones who have seemingly used this model. Barack Obama is another obvious example of these tactics being used successfully in the modern era. Ditto with Bill Clinton. Even the show West Wing kind of had that aura (youth, change, hope, “best” of America, whatever) and it was extremely popular! (Not gonna lie, I also had a phase of really enjoying that show)

Racism and Dating (A Podcast Ep)

This is a 55-min episode of Invisibilia that was kind of a hard one for me to listen to, just because it hit close to home and it was a lot to digest. It discusses the role of “race” and the possibility of “internalized racism” in the way Asian women date. In essence, how Asian women are often seen dating white guys when they date interracially. Is this really a preference, or is there a level of internalized racism going on here?

It’s well known in the Asian community that Asian often knock on Asian women for not dating within their own race, particularly if they date white dudes. The most extreme of them are called “Mens Rights Asians” and say things like how women of their own race only want “colonial white d*ck” so that’s why they’re being rejected by Asian women. They claim that Asian women who date white guys are just as racist as your neighborhood white nationalist. While there ARE patterns to suggest that Asian Men-White Women partnerships don’t really happen as often as Asian Women-White Men partnerships do, this podcast recognizes that there’s a lot of factors that go into romance in the first place—let alone interracial romance (i.e. history).

I’ve previously had this discussion with another Asian friend of mine after noticing that I, too, had only seriously dated white men. We talked about how it could be a good idea for us to “decolonize” our dating sphere and try seeing some men of color—just like the girl interviewed in this podcast described (although not to her extent). This podcast, however, explored how doing this intentional “decolonization” could be more objectifying, gross, and ill-intentioned than following your natural desires. However, opening up your sphere to more varied races could be a good thing as well!

Beyond how white men can fetishize asian women (every asian women you meet will probably have stories about this, myself included), flipping the topic and exploring how asian women may or may not fetishize white dudes is—obviously—a sensitive and uncomfortable topic for some people. But I saw this one reporter’s endeavor as a really worthy and brave one. I encourage you to listen.

Giving Birth While Held Captive in Syria

This is an INSANE story about a German journalist who was held captive in Syria while pregnant and have birth while imprisoned. This is a really simple Q&A format with her from Süddeutsche Zeitung (it’s in english, don’t worry) lets her tell her own tale—why she went to Syria in the first place, how she was imprisoned, what imprisonment was like, etc.

I really encourage you to give it a read, a light skim even (when you skim it you’ll just end up reading it because it’s so interesting). One of the most interesting bits? She believes she was liberated from her captors (likely al-Nusra Front, who used to be aligned with al-Qaeda) by another jihadist group because a judge “apparently ruled that it had been un-Islamic to kidnap [her] and that freeing [her] had re-established Islamic law.”

Globalism in Pop Music? Discuss.

While this Guardian article doesn’t necessarily press this question—I think its an interesting one! While the U.S. can still claim pop-sensation Ariana Grande, I don’t think anyone can doubt Spanish-language (“Despacito” and “Taki Taki”) and Korean-language (BlackPink is playing at Coachella, okay?) are rising in popularity.

With large markets like India reportedly getting Spotify soon—will Indian pop also be making a rise? Do streaming services have a role in the diversification/globalization of today’s pop scene? So many questions!

Kendall Breaking Her Silence

Maybe you missed this, because it was pretty deep in the NYT article—but Kendall Jenner spoke out for the first time re: her endorsement of botched music fest Fyre Festival:

“You get reached out to by people to, whether it be to promote or help or whatever, and you never know how these things are going to turn out, sometimes it’s a risk,” she said. “I definitely do as much research as I can, but sometimes there isn’t much research you can do because it’s a starting brand and you kind of have to have faith in it and hope it will work out the way people say it will.” Even when she trusts her collaborators, “you never really know what’s going to happen.”

Also, if you’re wondering, Kim Kardashian is not considering a run for presidential office (despite her apparent political interest in criminal justice reform):

“It would be probably the most stressful job in the world, and I don’t think that’s for me.”

Stragglers

(These links don’t get 2-4 paragraphs but they’re still WORTHY of ur time)

  • Remember how I posed about that one woman who had no qualms about being rich in the last newsletter? Here’s an interview with the daughter of a Disney, with her basically saying that money isn’t everything:

They did a study at the Chronicle of Philanthropy years ago where they asked people who inherited money, “What amount of money would you need to feel totally secure?” And every single one of them, no matter what they had, named a number that was roughly twice what they inherited. So that’s what you need to know about money, right? 

Music for Your Monday (and K-Pop plug)

A lovely string cover of Taeyeon’s Four Seasons. (The title of this newsletter is also a Taeyeon song)

That’s all folks!

Let me know how you liked this new format! You can reply to me directly, DM me on Twitter, or just chat with me about it (I think a lot of people who read this have my # haha).

April Fools'!

please don't I hate pranks

Betcha didn’t think a newsletter was coming today—well JOKES ON YOU I’m actually writing one this week and doing it on time! Who’s FOOLIN’ NOW?!

Politics

International

Culture

Hope you guys don’t get pranked today…

See you on the flip!

So... now what?

This weekend's turn of events were pretty anti-climactic.

Hello to the beginning of another week! If you didn’t hear, Special Counsel Robert Mueller submitted his report to the DOJ, and the DOJ told Congress the basic findings. Highlights:

  • No one on Trump’s campaign colluded with the Russians during the 2016 election

  • Obstruction of justice? No evidence proves that President Trump actually did commit obstruction, but the the stuff they did find didn’t exactly exonerate him.

  • No sealed indictments—which was a huge question mark for those keeping an eye on this particular investigation. This essentially means that no one else is being indicted as part of Mueller’s probe.

  • AG Bill Barr, along with DAG Rod Rosenstien, took that (???) finding from Mueller re: Trump/obstruction of justice and said there wasn’t enough evidence to do anything about it, basically.

SO… NOW… House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler wants Barr to testify before Congress to explain why they decided what they decided re: obstruction of justice and I guess get more info on this investigation. You can probably also expect (a lot of) calls to “release” the report in its entirety—although I can imagine that report has sensitive info and intelligence, and would have to go through the redaction process with multiple agencies. IN OTHER WORDS, don’t hold ur breath on this report being released. (If only this were the report, amirite?)

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming:

Politics

I have a bunch of articles that are “Asian”-related somewhat so they get their own section :)

Culture

That’s all for now folks!

I’m gonna see Ariana Grande tonight lolol. See you in the next one!

Another Late One

I blame daylight savings time!

I was very sleepy yesterday and I’m a lil sleepy today (hence the lateness of this email). But let’s get on with it:

Politics

National

Culture

Das all for now!

See u on the flip!

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