angry reader of the week: bd wong

Greetings, good citizens. It's time to meet another Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is actor BD Wong.

Who are you?
My name is BD Wong, which stands for something that one can somewhat easily Google.

I have name issues because I changed my name professionally at the beginning of my career, causing momentary Two-Name Discord until I finally fully committed to the one (new) name. A few years ago, the periods in my first name were dropped when the DMV computer could make no place for them on my driver's license. At that time I made my driver's license, passport and credit cards all consistent, without periods (pain in the ass). NOW I have name issues because I have to constantly assert to everyone that there's no periods in my name like there used to be. Celebrity problems (yawns).

What are you?
I am a third generation Chinese-American. I make my living as an actor, a public speaker, and I have authored a book and directed for film and the theatre. I talk a lot, text a lot, Tweet a lot, and am most attracted to other people who worship verbal communication. I have a pre-teen son who is wildly entertaining and parenting informs a lot of my decisions or views on life. I love all kinds of people and am most attracted sexually to other men. I do not like super loud places where conversations do not easily occur. I am drawn to delicious food, other people who are drawn to delicious food, and especially, people who MAKE delicious food. I like old things, and prefer to recycle something rather than buy the new version of it. I am still using my mother's standing mixer and wearing some of my father's clothes. I actually don't have too much of a problem yelling at someone if I think they deserve it.

Where are you?
I live in New York. I work in Los Angeles. I was born in San Francisco. I'm writing this on a plane.

Where are you from?
I was born and raised in San Francisco, and lived there my entire life until moving to New York sometime a long time ago between the Woodrow Wilson administration and the present.

What do you do?
First, I need a snack. Then, I read some text many times that someone else has written. I drive or am driven to a place where other people like myself have also read said same text many times. I digest, process, use my creativity and my past experiences (both my life experiences and my text-reading experiences) to speak aloud the portion of the text that has been assigned to me, which includes the implementation of facial expressions and the recreation of countless human emotions. At this point I probably need another snack. I will repeat the above with any number of other assigned text portions (for any number of additional snacks). After the required and assigned text portions have been either recorded by expensive state-of-the-art equipment or viewed by a gathering of fellow humans in a large darkened room, and more snacks, I may go home.

What are you all about?
Today I am about my growing sure-ness that a human being gets one big shot in the span of her lifetime (actually, sometimes it's not so big), so I think that life should be basically spent making sure that everything in one's path is right for one. This is not so easy to do, but it can be fun trying. It can hopefully make you a really happy dude when you finally, blissfully flatline. I hasten to acknowledge that lots of people believe you get MORE THAN one big shot, and I respect that and even wonder about it myself from time to time. I'm not sure yet one way or the other, but I do know that If you believe there are multiple shots, and that belief somehow motivates you to make less passionate, colorful, or fearless choices for the life you're living now with the thought that you'll have another time around or go to some idea of paradise where you'll then REALLY live, I'm afraid I think that makes you kind of an asshole.

What makes you angry?
I'm not sure, my first answer to this question, my immediate knee-jerk response, is "Stupid Questions." Why is that? I think maybe this is the root of something bigger. I am on Twitter a lot (@BD_WONG) and folks ask a LOT of stupid questions and it always makes me mad and I end up engaging them and lecturing them and it's a waste of time. Come to think of it, it's not the Stupid Questions themselves, it's the People Who Ask Them that piss me off.

I think we were all given the gift of curiosity - like some kind of magical amulet in some Harry Of The Rings movie. If we don't use it wisely, it reveals the ignorance and laziness of the world, and somehow, that discovery, the discovery of just how indolent and clueless humans are capable of being, will begin the unwelcome process of self-destroying mankind. Why am I being so dramatic about this?

Because there isn't time for stupid questions. Life is too short. There are trillions of things to do rather than assume that life is full of DownTime, that we should be able to fire off meaningless, time wasting questions that inspire even more meaningless, time wasting answers. So every question has got be a gem, or the bar will eventually creep depressingly low. Each question should be gorgeously informed with, not only our gift of curiosity, sure, but also with intelligence, the crucial component that can turn a simple question into a stimulating conversation, a dialogue. It is dialogue that brings human beings together for all kinds of amazing things. But the Stupid Question, simply asked because "it doesn't matter, it's just a stupid question, why don't you just lighten up and answer it?" represents to me a mind set that is, essentially dangerously lazy. "What's the big deal?" You know, I think it's the Mindset of the Stupid Question that is even worse than either the Asker of the Stupid Question or the Stupid Question itself. All three get my Asian-American goat.

A stupid question is also one asked without particular empathy. If we took a moment to think about BEING asked a stupid question, we would never ask one. We could then spend our time coming up with a stimulating question that starts a conversation that leads to something interesting and fulfilling and that even perhaps changes the world in a mind blowing, positive way.

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