Aloha! I'm on vacation, taking a much-needed break from blogging for a bit. But it's all good, because I've enlisted the help of some great guest bloggers to keep things going around here. Here's Wesley Chan, the self-described "mellow guy" of Wong Fu Productions, on what would make him angry.Hi, my name is Wesley Chan. I am not a blogger. That's not what I do. But I'm going to take shot at it because, seriously, who in their right mind would say no to the Angry Asian Man himself? Trust me. The sense of gratitude I feel can only be rivaled the dreadful fear of boring you Angry readers. But, I shall try my best!
Contrary to its name, I know this blog isn't simply focused on finding reasons to be angry. Sure, there are plenty of everyday Asian American stories we find frustrating, senseless, and more often than not, "WTF" worthy. But let's remember that anger is just one feeling within the intricate spectrum of human emotion. As a community, I'd like to believe we have just as many endeavors and achievements to celebrate as offenses against us.
Now most people know me as Wes, the mellow guy in the trio known as Wong Fu Productions. It's very true -- I don't get angry much. When offered the opportunity to write a guest post, I thought to myself, "What would make me angry?" Aside from the many instances of discrimination so well-reported in this blog, what new subject could possibly taunt the livid beast in me that's so often dormant? In order to get to that question, I'll first need to describe a moment of realization I had several weeks ago.
While I was finishing up some final touches for a new music video, I noticed a few online announcements other music videos also coming out soon. As someone involved in new media production, it's quite exhilarating to see that, for once, there is variety and options. By that, I mean more people or groups eager to create content like music videos, shorts, features, etc. The growing number of Asian American creatives in this developing industry is a clear indication that our community is progressing.
So, back to the question. What would make me angry?
Simply put, to lose what we've accomplished thus far, would make me angry. To see our progress crumble from within, would make me angry. Well, maybe angry isn't the best word. 'Disheartening' may be more fitting, but anger would undoubtedly follow soon after. We are Asian Americans on the rise, and we are approaching a very critical moment. As more artists and creators enter the arena, it becomes easier pit us against each other and label it a competition. What's dangerous is if we succumb to that idea -– so much so, that we ultimately stop supporting one another.
It's undeniable that healthy competition leads to better end products, but we can't let it blind us. In the media/arts industry especially, it's easy to find differences in artistic backgrounds, in creative processes, in stylistic choices. I see those discrepancies as charming attributes rather than openings to compare and compete. We are Asian Americans on the rise -– meaning there's still a ways to go. So as we proceed with the climb, let's not commit our energy to deciding who is above or below. Instead, let's try to sustain a positive outlook and get to the top together. In doing so, I truly believe our most celebrated accomplishments of today will only be dwarfed by our continued successes of tomorrow.
Wesley Chan is one member of the trio that is Wong Fu Productions. Along with Philip Wang and Ted Fu they have created a brand and fan following based around their short films, music videos, video blogs, apparel and concerts.