March 12th, 2004
Rules: Leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
I will respond; I'll ask you five questions.
You'll update your journal with my five questions, and your five answers.
You'll include this explanation.
You'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.
- If you were a character on Buffy, what archetypal role do you think you'd play? Like Giles is the father figure, Dawn is the child needing guidance, etc.
I've always felt like a Xander. I'm not sure how he fits into an archetypal role, however--is he the supportive friend, the second-in-command? I think the writers short-changed him through the latter seasons to where he might seem that unexamined sidekick, but his character through the earlier seasons was a bit more nuanced.
- Your journal name is "that yellow bastard" -- do you really think of yourself that way? How do you view being Chinese, and does it figure into your everyday life?
Not really. "That Yellow Bastard," as I'm pretty sure you're aware, is actually the subtitle of a Sin City comic book by Frank Miller. The moniker itself is a bit self-effacing, and while I know I can be a real jackass sometimes, most of the time it's just something funny to call myself.
As far as being Chinese, it's slightly troubling for me, having grown up in not just the United States, but in an area of the US where there's not a huge Chinese community. I've always found myself straddling both cultures--Western culture, where I feel completely comfortable and Chinese culture, where I feel totally out of place.
And both cultures have members who would have difficulty accepting me--having lived a great deal of my life in the South, I can say that I have been the target of prejudice; one of my brother's co-workers from China told one of his friends that they call Chinese people like my brother and myself "bananas" (yellow on the outside, white on the inside).
In a way, my brother's co-worker was right. Whenever I'm thinking about or confronted with issues of identity, I tend to pre-identify with your average white male. Yolk magazine had an interview with Dean Cain (who's half Japanese), where he talked about when he was young, one of his neighbors referred to him as "the little Chinese boy," and his response was something to the effect of, "I always thought of myself as American." When I read that, I was shocked that someone had put my feelings so simply.
The protagonist of John Irving's novel A Son of the Circus is an Indian doctor who grows up in Canada. He grapples, too, with this same sense of homelessness--a sense of belonging to neither the natural nor "nurtural" skeins of his upbringing.
I will always acknowledge my Chinese-ness--I won't go as far as to say I have what all the kids are calling "AZN PRIDE" (I've seen a lot of racial pride movements often emphasize superiority or nationalism over equality or compassion). Having finally been to China to see the relics of my cultural history, however, it's even more important to me now to know things like what came before; to learn things like how to better speak Mandarin.
But growing up Chinese in America, I don't think I will ever shake the feeling of being a foreigner, no matter where I go.
- What do you like best about yourself? It's easy to talk about the negatives, but what DO you like?
Best? I don't know if I've ever really thought about that. I'm smart. I guess from that comes the poker and the writing and the aggravatingly persistent movie and television memory.
- What would you most like to be doing for a job or career right now? What's stopping you?
I wouldn't mind writing a weekly column on a random subject of my choosing, but I doubt an editor would ever go for "Weekly Musings by That Bastard." Part of me still would like to do voice-overs and/or perform audiobooks, but aside from the funds required to make a professional demo reel, I still need to work on character voices. Perhaps something in the way of documentary filmmaking or screenwriting, but I'm entirely too complacent to actually work on a screenplay.
Had I the appropriate backup funds to do so, I would try to make my way as a professional poker player.
Honestly, I'm pretty content working at the job where I'm currently working.
- Given unlimited money, no bureaucratic hassle, unlimited transportation, and one day, what would you do?
If we're talking fantasy world? I suppose I wouldn't mind seeing the Moon or Mars.
If we're talking realistic, perhaps go straight to Paris and play some poker at the Aviation Club on the Champs-Elysées. I'd stay past that day, go see all the stuff I missed, and pay out of pocket (hopefully with all the poker winnings) for the flight home.
If you had given me a week or a month, I would have chosen the World Series of Poker.
Oh good. I had thought you'd forgotten, and I was interested in the answers to the questions.