​Week -4 Weekly Roundup: City Gal Went Camping

If you are new to this site, let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

Some things about the election

I’ve decided to combine all my election sees and reads in one section, for the sake of easy-skipping, from now till November. If you feel overdosed on election-relevant information or simply can’t care less (if you are the latter, shall we have a conversation about it?), feel free to jump to the next section and continue from there.

(Lower right corner, y’all.)

  • A Hill parody on Medium, where she curses exactly like how I imagined she would talk IRL.
  • “We may be on the brink of electing such a damaged, sociopathic narcissist, that the simple presidential duty of comforting the families of fallen soldiers may actually be beyond his capabilities. And I genuinely did not think that that was part of the job that someone could be bad at. — John Oliver
(Imagine how creepy if Donald Trump is sitting where Obama is.) 

Here are some after thoughts:
I haven’t been someone willing to put my political opinions forward, especially in public forums, because of the occupational ethic I developed as a young journalism student to not let my personal views stand in the way of my professional unbiasedness. It’s also because of the general ineffectiveness I discovered when trying to sway others one way or another in terms of their political standpoints. But I’m not at all uncomfortable advocating for the following two points loud and clear until this November.

a. Register to vote! Vote is a privilege, one that is unheard of and unimaginable in certain countries outside of this bubble that we call the United States. In those countries, wars break off, people die and sacrifices are made in order to gain such a privilege. So don’t, toss it, away. The NYT infographic I linked above estimated that this year, 88 million eligible voters in the U.S. don’t vote at all, even in the general elections. That’s almost 4 in 10 eligible voters. That’s daunting. Remember the young U.K. citizens who should’ve cast their votes for Brexit but did not? It’s impossible to say now what their votes could’ve meant in terms of changing the outcome of the referendum. Don’t make that our own regret. GO VOTE.

b. I’m still one who believes that the president of the United States and the most powerful person on earth shall be a good person. Here, I’ve had arguments with people who claim good people don’t necessarily make  effective leaders. True. Maneuvering international and domestic policies requires certain self-assurance/arrogance and cold-bloodiness. I agree with that. But here’s the thing: A good person may not necessarily make changes happen, but s/he’s not going to fuck us over.

One might also argue that “good” is a subjective idea: What I think is good, you might not agree with. But within certain cultural context, there’s a set of values and beliefs that an overwhelming majority shares. Here, for instance, is the “American Dream,” where we think highly of those who love and commit to their loved ones and families (not leaving their children entirely to their spouses and make suggestive comments about them), who are willing to put quality and original work into their passions (not plagiarism or cheating), and who have a decent amount of humility and humanity, which enables them to be honest, to admit to their own mistakes and to empathize with others.

Why do I think these qualities are important in a president? Because the president is not only the commander-in-chief and the leader of this nation, but the role comes with a symbolic function, like what many royal families mean to their home countries. We want them to be harmonious and cohesive families, free of dramas, because their behaviors and morals represent who we are as a nation, as a collective being. For that reason only, I do not want to have Trump as the president of the U.S. because I don’t want to be represented by the characters and values of Trump and his family. And I urge all of those who think Trump’s set of ideas on immigration or foreign policies appealing, to leave those thoughts behind for one second and just think of the man as a stand-alone man, a father and a boss. Think back on the things he said and the attitudes he had about his wives, children and his colleagues, the people closest to him, and come to an independent conclusion on who this man is and how scary it would be to have his values inside the White House.

Some things I’m reading

  • Chinese netizens have a lot to say when a Chinese American became Miss Michigan. I have yet to find an English story that well explains where this hatred comes from, so if you are a Mandarin reader (props to you!), I recommend reading this explainer for some context and some answers.
  • I first heard of Talleen Abu Hanna from my college best friend when she moved to Israel two months ago. Learning the controversy around Abu Hanna, combined with the thoughts I had upon reading about the Chinese American Miss Michigan, has given me many reflections on beauty, acceptance and humanity in this world we live in today.
  • My freshman year RA wrote this piece about moving to India for two years after college graduation, and how this experience altered her perspectives on her heritage, privilege and self-awareness. I deeply resonated with her words and discoveries.
  • And why I say I’m living in the dopest city in the U.S. right now.

Some things I’m watching

  • Uncontrollably hooked to the new it K-drama “W.” Ep 1 with English sub is here. You are welcome!
  • This New York Times Food video that made cooking (friend chicken) looks like the most poetic art (scroll to the bottom of the page for the full video!).
  • Gilmore Girls revival now has a release date: Black Friday! And why I’m so tired of the relentless discussions of the Gilmore girls’ love lives.

AND someone please, PLEASE figure out a way to share this show with me in Myanmar, where Netflix is a very distant dream.

  • Cat, the Musical: It’s the first DVD I ever bought, first complete musical I ever watched, first (and only) time I at one point memrized all the lyrics to all the scores in a musical/movie, and first (and only) time I ever thought maybe I have what it takes to be a musical performer (I don’t, clearly). As much as I’m disappointed by the timing of it returning to Broadway (three weeks before I’m leaving the country? Seriously??), I’m glad the younger generations, born in the late ’90s and after 2000, now have the opportunity to experience this masterpiece, done by a topnotch production crew, in one of the world’s best venues. Maybe “Cat” can spike their passions in theater, like it did me, and make them have a life-long crush with the naughty Rum Tum Tugger, like I did, as well. No shame.

Some things I’m listening to

  • The recent Latino episode of Another Round (a theme the podcast should definitely dig deeper into), and consequently, this Spotify playlist.
  • I spent the weekend with a gang of campers near Steamboat Springs, Colo., where we went to a free concert and heard Robert Randolph and the Family Band play a bunch of covers (yeah, it would be nice if there were more originals).

PIC of the Week

camping (Apologize that I didn’t bring back more pics from the actual camping trip. My phone was dead and nowhere to be charged for the majority of the time we spent at the Dry Lake Campground. Here’s us heading West into the mountains Friday at dusk before the camping began. I was looking at one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen. My iPhone simply can’t do it justice.)

Shoutouts of the Week

I have several shout outs this week, let’s start with the most exciting one.

  • I bought my flight tickets! FINALLY!! It’s now official: setting off from Denver International for Yangon, Myanmar, a 3-day-travel, on Aug. 22. I purchased my one-way ticket on CheapOAir.com for a price not at all ridiculous, considering how close the departure date was when I made the purchase. This is my first time buying flight tickets on CheapOAir. Using an unfamiliar website to buy tickets is of a few NEW things I’m genuinely terrified of trying. The ordering process was hassle-free. I will report back later this month with a review of how the airport experience pans out for all your evaluations on CheapoAir.
  • Vanessa Hudgens’ Instagram (@vanessahudgens): a right amount of sultry selfies, mixed in with a good fashion taste, and low enough on the pretentious level within celebrity crowd. Approved.
  • One of the angels brought a convenient French press to camp with him last weekend and saved me from dying of decaffeination. I’m having problem finding his exact model outline, but it basically comes with a mug-like container with a press on top, and it can be hooked to a small propane bottle at the bottom to heat up the water. Not going to lie, it is a little work. But if you are like me who can’t survive without coffee, even when you are camping, it is a good investment. Also, shout out to my idea of using Nutella for s’mores. And shout out to the Europeans who invented Nutella. Y’all are geniuses.

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