“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”
― Bruce Lee
In life, you must absorb what you need in order to grow. However, in doing this, you shouldn’t forget where you came from. Some can say that this can also be applied to pop culture. In this class, I have become more aware of the history of Asian Americans in the U.S. that isn’t usually told while also analyzing the popular culture of today and making connections with these and my own passion for the time being.
That is the key to popular culture; making connections through time. To be able to see that the popular culture of the past isn’t always different as you think from the popular culture of now. We explored the origins of the trope known as the Dragon Lady, placed on Asian/American actresses in film, the stereotype of the overachieving smart Asian student, and websites like alllooksame.com. We learned to analyze things in a new way using our hello kitty lunchboxes; an item of time can be an ipod, used to measure time based on when a song ends. And letter can be a movie used to show your appreciation for a popular culture that is from a different shore.
With class, I began to grow curious, delving further and further into the cosplay community. I found out that, just like with popular culture, not everything is as it first seems. There are so many problems going on; inequality among cosplayers, elitism, and public harassment (sexual and otherwise). Even with events like Cosplay World Summit, which is an event that supports the coming together of many different cultures for a common passion, these problems continue to persist. This is something I refuse to let continue, one person can make all the difference.
Though, you can only do so much when you already have too much on your plate. Unfortunately, I overestimated myself and took on way more than I could handle. This caused my work to slip along with my health, and gradually I fell into a hole that I couldn’t get out of. Looking back, I should have talked to my faculty and been more inclined to ask my classmates for assistance. With all of the challenges I faced this quarter, I’m relieved I was able to make it until the end.
As I continue with my higher education, I will remember these notes:
- History is usually told by the victor. Try listening to the victim instead.
- Use your “supapawa” to be the change you seek.
- Popular culture is an ever-evolving concept that is enhanced and widely received by society.
- I may not know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to do everything and then some. Set your priorities and manage your time wisely.
- It is ok to not be ok and ask for help, communication is key.