Pacific Ties, AAPI Blogosphere, And All You Ever Wanted To Know About Your Slanty?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

A little bit ago Evelina Giang from UCLA's Pacific Ties sent along some questions my way for her story on the AAPI blogosphere and the issue is now up and running both in print and online which you can read by following this link.

Definitely check it on out as it has some great insight into blogosphere and highlights some cool blogs like Angry Asian Man, Disgrasian, 8 Asians, and The Ch!cktionary.

About Pacific Ties

Established in 1977, Pacific Ties is UCLA's Asian American Pacific Islander newsmagazine providing news, analysis, commentary, criticism, and insight into the AAPI community.

Our winter issue has just been RELEASED and available at newsstands on the UCLA campus and by request (just shoot us an email for a free copy). Named "The Dialogue Issue," this winter quarter issue promotes discourse on campus issues and local news to politics, A&E and cultural awareness.

While we offer our publication in print, we also recognize the growing prominence of distribution through the Internet and the significant use of blogs for AAPI voices. Through multiple medium forms, we believe in creating dialogue among our peers, in our communities, and across the world to bridge societal and geographic divides.

So pick up or request an issue FOR FREE and keep the dialogue alive by:

1. Spreading the word about Pacific Ties (find us online at

2. Share issues of Pacific Ties with your friends, family, and community!

3. Give feedback; let us know how we're doing! (e-mail us at pacties [at]

Contact us if you'd like to read, inquire, critique, share and contribute. It takes two to dialogue, so you talk and we listen.
And If You Wanted To Know More...

Even though we know I'm a hack who when push comes to shove is just hanging out in blogosphere because I like to hear myself type, I thought I'd share the full Q & A with you if only because for one moment I kind of sound halfway coherent and I figure it should be documented.

And P.S. - I really started this blog so I could post naked pictures of myself...but that didn't go over so well...and they deleted my first account nakedslantyisfunforeveryone...

What is the goal of Slant Eye for the Round Eye? Did you have any specific intentions in starting the blog?

Even though there're some great Asian American blogs and voices out there, I still wanted to add my own voice into the mix. I wanted to promote the community, talk about things that mainstream media didn't always touch upon or write about in-depth, as well as just blog about things that mattered to me, from my perspective. In some ways that's one of the main reasons why I blog - to kind of say that sure, I might be an Asian American who blogs, and I might talk about some of the same things that other Asian American bloggers, or Asian American media outlets do, but I'm not the same either. While I'm a part of the community, I'm still an individual, and I think as far as the Asian American community goes, as well as just being a POC, there's power in that because of our history, because we've sometimes been seen as this homogeneous group who knows no separation from each other, when in reality, there is that separation.

At the same time, I know that a big part of the reason I blog is simply because I love seeing all the great people from our community who do their thing - no matter what it is - I just can't help not talking about it because I do get excited when I see Asian Americans and Asian faces breaking new ground, pushing new boundaries, or just simply being comfortable in who they are and saying to everyone around them "This is who I am".

Sometimes there's just nothing better than seeing that.

When a reader comes to your blog, what should they get out of it?

I guess I hope they get a little bit of everything - some news, some entertainment, maybe there's a post that makes them think a little bit more about race, our community or other communities of color, maybe they check out a new band, a new face, or just get re-acquainted with an old one. It's kind of like me - all over the board.

What role do you think blogs now have in journalism?

I think blogs can play a powerful role in journalism especially in regard to Op-Ed, creating discussions, getting out news that other outlets don't cover but at the same time, they're different than what we sometimes think of as typical journalism, especially in the newsroom sense - but I think that's changing as well.

How important is it that Asians blog? What addition do they add to the internet?

I definitely think it's important that we get on out and just make our voices heard in whatever capacity that is whether it's blogging, music, film, vlogging, maybe even starting your own NPO - I just think it's important that we're heard and that we make ourselves known because in some ways - even though it's changing - if we don't do it ourselves, it may not happen on it's own.

Sometimes you have to push a little.

Asian Week, the largest, most circulated newspaper serving the AAPI community, ceased newspaper printing last December. With the "the voice of Asian Americans" quieting in print journalism, what added responsibility do blogs have in speaking for the Asian American community? Do you think your blog has that responsibility?

One person or one group can't speak for the whole AAPI community, but I do think we do have a responsibility to speak as members from the AAPI community whether that's in a public forum, or on a more personal and individual level.

How do you think Asian Americans are portrayed in the media?

I think it depends on where you look and from what perspective.

Seeing Asian Americans grow in visibility in television and film where it's definitely better than it was five or ten years ago, I think has an overall effect in how we're portrayed in the media, because if we're never seen, or never heard, in some ways we stay "foreign" to people, whereas the more we're seen, the more portrayals of us that are put out in television and film or music, the more we become in a sense "normal" to people who might otherwise not think of us as necessarily belonging, or being a "real" part of American society, even though we are and have been. So in that sense I think it's gotten better.

But there's also this dichotomy where even if the amount of Asian faces does seem to be growing - especially with online media and reality tv - and you might see someone like Kal Penn in a network show like House - you still see someone in Yellow Face during Last Comic Standing. You still hear about guys like O.C. Welch calling Japanese cars "Rice Ready" trying to incite feelings of xenophobia. There's still a dearth of roles for Asian Americans in film that don't pander to the lowest common denominator outside of our own community, and we still haven't seen an Asian American musician/singer really break out yet.

Look at it from that perspective and it's definitely still mixed.

How has your blog been received by the AAPI community and by the internet?


Is there any important AAPI topic that you have written about that has prompted overwhelming/more than expected discussion?

I had closed comments up until around 5-6 months ago - because I'm kind of a dictator - but since I've opened them, there's definitely some great comments and discussions that do happen, especially about race - but sometimes it can be about the strangest things too.

Who are your readers? If known, are they mostly from the AAPI community?

From what I can gather it's a mix - a lot from the AAPI community, communities of color and definitely white people too - because I'm all inclusive and they like my Asian vibe even when I'm talking about White People.

What section would readers find Slant Eye for the Round Eye in the newspaper?

News, Op-Ed, Entertainment, It Made Me Laugh It Made Me Cry, and WTF Was He Thinking When He Wrote That.

Is there any special meaning to the blog's name, Slant Eye for the Round Eye?

Yes and no. But I think it's kind of self explanatory, and I think you either get it or you don't, so I'll leave with that answer :)

Do you have any additional comments?

Sorry this was coming to you late again?