Bitter Asian Man
May 18, 2011, 05:47 AM
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New York Magazine has a long article whose themes won't be unfamiliar to readers of my 1997 essay Is Love Colorblind?
Paper Tigers
What happens to all the Asian-American overachievers when the test-taking ends?
(The illustration is not from the article, but from the sadly missed Bitter Asian Men website of yore.)

Yang complains that while years of test prep help East Asian guys get prestigious credentials, then after schooling they're not getting enough blondes and CEO jobs. He recommends, reasonably, that Asian guys study Game and other self-help techniques. (The Successful White American Executive / Salesman personality that Yang envies was honed by generations of self-improvement efforts, from Ben Franklin'sAutobiography and Ralph Waldo Emerson's lecture tours through Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People.)

Yang concludes:

And though the debate [Amy Chua] sparked about Asian-American life has been of questionable value, we will need more people with the same kind of defiance, willing to push themselves into the spotlight and to make some noise, to beat people up, to seduce women, to make mistakes, to become entrepreneurs, to stop doggedly pursuing official paper emblems attesting to their worthiness, to stop thinking those scraps of paper will secure anyone's happiness, and to dare to be interesting.
Okay, there are a lot of interesting suggestions here. Yet, in an article on racial conflict in a national magazine, could we go a little easier on the "beat people up" recommendation? I realize this New YorkMagazine article is suggesting beating up only white people, not anybody who isn't supposed to get beaten up, so that's okay. But, still ...