I found out this afternoon via FB via a post from bigWOWO Rest in peace, Minority Militant, that Asian American blogger The Minority Militant had passed away and it brings up a lot - and definitely make sure and read the post at bigWOWO as it covers some of the needed words for Militant.
Because you gotta bring it honest - because you gotta bring it clean - I'll tell you that around 2011/2012 I lost touch with Militant. There was a lot going down at that time in the blogosphere and we had talked about things, I learned some things, heard some things. Supported him overall when I could, but didn't always agree on some of the things that was going on and said and wasn't quite sure what was real, what wasn't, who was right, and who wasn't. I'm not sure if that had anything to do with him and I losing touch, or he just faded from most people (and he turned his blog private later on). At the end of the day, whether or not he believed it - and I don't know if he did or would have, because I reached out to him and never heard anything back a few times - I still would have rep'd for him - and I'll still rep for his memory and of the Militant I had gotten to know for a time that seems too short because I always hoped we'd reconnect. That we'd get a chance to sit down and talk.
Sometimes he came into my thoughts and I wondered how he was doing. I thought it would be funny if I'd kick it down to Chicago and somehow we'd just happen to see each other, talk, chill, and drink and smoke until sunrise.
We never did. There won't ever be that chance even if we never even would have.
That's the shitty part of life I guess.
Even if all things come around and come full circle, nothing comes around if someone isn't there.
One of the things I truly loved about Militant was that he said it the way he wanted to. I think that was one of the things that initially got us together. He was raw. I was raw. We were both Southeast Asian kicking it from the Midwest. And he was live. Always. Checking out each other's blogs from afar we eventually started the conversations, the back and forths, exchanging some numbers, and doing some cross-postings and guest blogs.
I loved the way he blogged and the way he just put himself out there. He was one of the few people that rep'd back for me and it was something I appreciated. I felt that you know? And he got me in a way others don't. When I was throwing love at bloggers - the way I do - it was cool. He got it:
The Minority Militant: No lie - the top of Militant's head is better looking than my left ass cheek, and let me tell you something - my left ass cheek is the best thing I've got going for me and when the top of someone's head is better looking than the best thing about you - and it's only one of your ass cheeks - this isn't what I'd call a good thing. Stay militant but for god's sake cover your head with a hat.
When Banana came about, even though I couldn't get myself to be on a panel because I was shy like that and into my anonymity and not always comfortable in my shoes (which Militant understood), I knew I had to be there. I wanted to see some of my favorite bloggers just kick it.
Sure. He did it his way. And you may hear this and that and other things - but it is what it was and at the end of the day - it was all good.
But I remember when he needed to catch his breath.
When he had to get off the panel and kick it outside. 'Cause it was hot for him. I got it. I remember Gil Asakawa being there trying to bring it down. The only thing I could do, that I knew how to do, was try to insert myself for the moment. Come up and ask for a smoke. See if I could chill it out in my awkward way.
I don't know if he knew it was me or not, I didn't introduce myself. We just kind of looked at each other for a bit.
After the conference was over we were texting to meet up. But there was this drinks and get together afterwards, so you know. That was that.
We kept in touch. Did our email and post things. Talked a few times on the phone when things got hot.
And then fade to present.
I always hoped if Militant ever had any issues with me he'd talk it out with me. At the end of the day - doesn't matter though. That's just two people. That's the way things go, and forever I'll wonder things. And while I may have wondered before, now it's finite. But that's the selfish portion of me for wanting it to be all good.
Militant was a gift to the blogging world and the AAPI community with his raw and unwavering voice and dedication to try and get it done his way. He had some demons and sometimes you fall down - but who doesn't? He helped inspire a lot of people including me and he'll always be in my memories.
I can still learn from him.
His words, his posts, his voice that he lent here - they'll always be remembered. They'll always be respected. There's love for that even if he's looking on down telling me to shut the fuck up and to kiss the top of his Militant head.
And yeah - that's how I'm doing this - 'cause that's just the way it is.
That's the way it's gonna be.