But hopefully not too much.
Contemplating deleting your Tinder profile yet?
“The comic came about after discussions with friends about online dating and the selective anonymity it affords people,” Callaghan explained to The Huffington Post. “Some people put it all out there whilst others gain the trust of potential dates through nothing more than a profile picture. It took a dark turn, the result of watching the entire first season of ‘Hannibal’ in three days.”
While we certainly don’t condone chopping up your dud of a date and eating him for dinner, we sympathize with anyone who winds up on a date with a raw vegan social media guru.
I grew up in a smallish town in the middle of Massachusetts. Ok, technically it was a city, but it had the feel of a small town. Fairly suburban, cars everywhere and everyone knew each other through at least six degrees of separation.
And boy was it white.
I’m not saying it was as white-washed as the middle of North Dakota. There were definitely other Asian kids growing up that I knew. But for some reason, no one really talked about the fact that my face looked different from the 23 others in the yearly class picture. No one acknowledged the elephant in the room. I grew up fairly unaware of my racial identity.
Then I moved to New York City and suddenly, I was Asian.
It seemed that everyone in New York wanted to know where I was “from.” Barest acquaintances would start speaking in Japanese, Chinese or any other language they thought was appropriate to my ethnicity. Instead of people describing me as the “short girl with the glasses,” it was now the “short Asian girl with the glasses.” One of my exes used to joke that he had “yellow fever.”
At first I was confused. Then I thought, “Wow, New York is really racist.” Then, I tried to go along with the joke of “I’m Asian/but not/I’m a twinkie” (twinkie=white on the inside, yellow on the outside). Then I got annoyed, especially when one person said, when learning my history, “Oh, so you’re like, fresh off the boat,” casually dismissing the fact I’m an American citizen who has lived here for most of my life. Most of my life in this case is 26 years and six months. I’m 27.
What is up with New Yorkers? I used to think. Why can’t they just live and let live? Why do insist on pinpointing my ethnicity via geographical location? Sometimes, I felt like wearing a GPS sign around my neck that said, “Was born here” with the appropriate coordinates so the teller at the corner bodega wouldn’t start playing the “let me guess what kind of Asian you are” game when I was just trying to buy my morning coffee.
But then I realized: The difference between New Yorkers and everyone else is that they say out loud what everyone else is thinking. Most of the rest of the country, including my hometown, need to catch up.
There’s nothing to me more insidious than silent racism. Racism that is shoved underneath the bed or whispered behind closed doors is lethal. Nothing is more dangerous and debilitating to a person (or a society) than choosing to willfully ignore the fact that yes, there is a big difference between you and other people that stares you in the face when you look in the mirror. That doesn’t make it better or worse. As Jane Elliott, activist and originator of the Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes exercise says:
We don’t need a melting pot in this country, folks. We need a salad bowl. In a salad bowl, you put in the different things. You want the vegetables — the lettuce, the cucumbers, the onions, the green peppers — to maintain their identity. You appreciate differences.
When I look at what’s going on in Ferguson, I wonder: Was silence what made the city explode? If the people of Ferguson were as vocal as New Yorkers are when it comes to “where we come from” would the situation have escalated like it has?
Now I by no means am claiming that New York is a haven of equality. It isn’t, by far, and I only have to look at the recent “stop and frisk” policy to know that. I only have to have one more person at a party ask me, “Where are you from-no, where are you from?” or “Do you know karate?” to acknowledge ruefully to myself that we still have a long way to go. “Quiet bias” is alive and thriving in NYC. Just go to 116th street and then walk 20 blocks down and it’s evident inequality isn’t just tied to economics in this city — it’s tied very much still to race.
But at least in New York, we talk about it. If we’re talking about it, if we’re laughing about it, if we’re pointing at the elephant in the room, that means we can dispel the stereotypes that separate us. I like to think it’s a major step in the right direction.
But when he opened it, it was just a wooden cutting board. Probably not what he’d been expecting, and definitely not something he’d been hoping for. His parents were pranking him — and even though he didn’t know it yet, his spirits didn’t waiver.
He remained the grateful boy that his parents had raised him to be.
First, he read his card. According to Uproxx, it read, “For you to eat barbecue with your knife. We love you a lot.” He completely lit up.
Then he inspected his new board, giving it the attention due a present purchased with him in mind.
He gave his family a hug, thanking them for thinking of him. You can really tell how much he appreciates them.
And then, the jig was up — and his expression when he realizes what his actual present is is pretty amazing.
This is how you know you’re raising your kids right. We’re sure his parents are very, very proud.
Thanks to the perfectly accurate CollegeHumor video above, we now have a term for that: Diet Racism.
“Enjoy the refreshing taste of Diet Racism!” says the voiceover. “It’s the perfect beverage for people who don’t directly contribute to oppression, but have strong opinions about how other cultures should handle it!”
I’m still not exactly sure how the campaign works. Apparently, a Facebook friend challenges you to donate money to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” But, as an alternative to giving money, you can also help the cause by dousing yourself with cold water. Though I’m not exactly sure how this helps. Do the water pellets morph into some sort of useable currency?
One time, I met a very kind woman in the final stages of ALS. At that point, she couldn’t move her limbs, what less lift a bucket of water over her head. Hence, this social media phenomenon is a bit condescending. It’s like if someone asks you to donate money to help people in wheelchairs and not only do you not give anything, but then you jump up and down. This woman simply wanted people to visit her and to talk to her like a human being.
Now people are even dumping ice water on their kids. I’ve seen the clips on Facebook. Ah, yes, because it’s important that innocent 8-year-old children are made aware of a terminal illness that leaves you paralyzed. “Hey, kids. Just wanted you to know that one day you might get a horrific, painful disease and die. Now who’s hungry? I made tuna fish sandwiches!” When I drive by the playground and see little boys and girls playing on the jungle gym, I think, “What’s a fun way to teach these tykes about the 1970s Cambodian genocide? Maybe Silly Putty.”
Celebrities have started posting their own ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video clips. That’s not a good sign. Once famous people get involved in a project, any semblance of freshness, fun, and sincerity quickly disappears into a fog of emotionally-bankrupt vapidity. Heck, Lou Gehrig himself is rolling in his grave at the thought of Khloe Kardashian using ALS to promote her line of pomegranate-scented headscarves.
And why “dumping cold water?” That’s not a punishment. On a hot day, cold water on your face feels pretty good. I would like to see people dump a bucket of boiling, scalding hot water over their head. In comparison to first-degree burns, I bet donating money seems like a pretty good option.
I’m starting a campaign to raise awareness for people with dry eye syndrome. And if you don’t give money, then you have to punch yourself in the nads. I haven’t decided who I’m going to nominate for the challenge yet, but I’m leaning towards people I dislike.
Some people are adamantly opposed to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. They’re writing long online diatribes. And they’re posting videos of themselves, explaining their opposition to the campaign. It’s a clever way to draw attention to yourself. I mean, you could just ignore it all, but what fun would that be? I predict the next crop of people will be those who want to make it known that they’re neither for nor against the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge… which they will explain while dancing naked on rooftops.
One of the opposition videos I watched featured a young woman explaining that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is wasting water… because there are poor, disease-ridden countries around the world whose poverty-stricken citizens don’t have clean water. It’s sad to think there are places on this planet where people don’t have clean water to dump over their heads. That’s why, in solidarity, I don’t shower. Well, if nothing else, I hope this viral craze encourages Americans to send their extra buckets of ice water to third-world nations.
I don’t know why the naysayers are so angry. Personally, I don’t care if people want to dump water on themselves. The people in the videos seem to be having fun. The world needs more fun, especially with the Twilight films so readily available.
I do have one serious complaint about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, however. Some critics argue that this spectacle isn’t really raising awareness for ALS. I disagree. It is raising awareness for ALS. And that’s the problem.
We don’t need to raise awareness for ALS. Look, it’s an absolutely despicable disease. It’s terrible that this sort of evil shit is happening. Hence, my latest Twitter campaign to stop evil shit from happening: #StopEvilShitFromHappening
But there’s not much of a point to being “aware.” Have you ever seen anyone suffering from Lou Gehrig’s Disease? You need not know anything about nerve cells or motor neurons to see that it’s bad. People are trapped immobile in a wheelchair, unable to speak. And there are a lot of terrible diseases. There are a lot of people suffering. There. I just told you. I just raised awareness. Now you’re aware. But awareness is not going to help. But there is something that actually could.
Stem. Cell. Research.
We can cure Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Well, I mean, I can’t. I’m not good with complicated concepts. I don’t even know how to use Instagram. But the scientists could very well cure it someday. How? Stem cell research.
This stem cell research is freakin’ amazing. Stem cells are capable of regenerating themselves. Stem cells have the ability to repair and replace damaged tissue. This is the medical breakthrough of the century… I mean, not counting calf implants.
Stem cell research. It’s the Holy Grail. It’s the magic pill. It’s the winning lottery ticket. It’s the most dramatic rose ceremony ever. Yes, it’s that good.
Dump ice water over your head. Shoot firecrackers out of your butt. Do whatever you can to force the government into putting more money and time and effort into stem cell research.
Remember when stem cell research was all the rage? What happened? Nobody’s talking about it anymore. Yes, this is going to take some time to perfect. And we have short attention spans. But I promise you that it’s worth the “Oh hey Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon are getting divorced!? That’s unfortunate. They seemed like a loving couple. “
Stem. Cell. Research.
I believe this is how we’re going to cure ALS… and hundreds of other illnesses, too. Elect politicians who support stem cell research. Donate money to stem cell research. Demand laws that allow researchers more access to stem cell experimentation. You can give all the money you want to ALS foundations, you can get a million “likes” when you post your ice bucket video online. But if you don’t support stem cell research, you’re part of the problem.
We don’t need to raise awareness for ALS. We need to cure it. And there’s a chance.
Tell your kids about stem cell research. Raise awareness for stem cell research. Is anyone here following Gwyneth Paltrow on Twitter? Well then tell her to post something about stem cell research. She seems like a nice person. I think she’ll do it.
There is a bigger picture here. We, as a society, have left future generations to deal with a cesspool of crime, violence, economic inequality, an eroding culture, a crumbling infrastructure, a devaluing of education, toxic food, and Taylor Swift’s new single. But we can leave behind something worthwhile, something that enriches, something that enhances, a gift to humanity.
I believe stem cell research can one day cure Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Take just five or ten minutes to read a little about stem cells. It’s fascinating. The possibilities are endless. And I will post as many selfies as it takes in order to get the word out.