Hey, folks! It's that time again. I am pleased to present the 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 Eugene Lee Yang.
Who are you?
I'm Eugene Lee Yang, a small town Korean-American boy with big city dreams who jumped on a bus in Nowheresville, USA with a one way ticket to Hollywood to become a star! They've made tons of movies about my life story, except for some inexplicable reason I'm always played by a white girl.
Who we are is so dependent on relativity. To my followers, I'm -- for some inexplicable, unwarranted reason -- pretty damn cool. To my colleagues, I'm an indefatigable workhorse with huge aspirations. To my sisters, I'm a stupid, stinky buttface who's super gross. To my hair, I'm a relentless torturer armed with a blowdryer and hairspray.
However, the through line seems to be that to everyone in my life, I'm a constant source of entertainment, whether I'm aware of it or not.
What are you?
I'm a filmmaker and performer who produces, writes, directs, edits and stars in viral videos for BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. If you Google me, you'll inevitably see my butt. Sorry, Mom.
I'm also convinced that I'm most definitely a mutant and have some untapped form of telekinetic and/or telepathic ability. Sometimes I just point at things when I'm alone and try to move it with my mind. I usually just end up squeezing out a cute, tiny fart because I have no idea what muscle I should be flexing.
In all seriousness, I used to think there were so many things wrong with me when I was young because I was such a bizarre, problematic, restless kid. Many parents would have put me on a prescription, but mine fostered my latent, creative abilities which, in a many ways, could be considered mutant-like, especially in the Asian-American community. I've always been, and will always be, an artist. It's just part of my DNA. Thanks, Mom!
Where are you?
What a weird fucking question. I love it.
I'm currently at my desk at BuzzFeed Motion Pictures' studios in Los Angeles, furiously trying to finish this questionnaire because, like most things in life, I procrastinated on turning it in because I was distracted by something shiny. On an average day, you'll probably find me at the following places:
Early morning -- drinking green juice and blasting my pecs at the gym like a boss*
Daytime, many times into the late evening -- nonstop video production work
Evening -- more green juice and wrecking my quads at crossfit, bro*
Nighttime -- food, cartoons, alcohol, more work, and I might even potentially sleep*, depending on how those four other things mix together
*anything with an asterisk is a lie
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Texas, but my Mom lives in France, and my family is from Korea. I used to think I was special, but that's par for the course for most people these days -- everyone's international as fuck, which thankfully is how things should be.
I'm pretty sure that my dad's side of the family descends from Northern China -- he claims we come from royalty. My Mom's side is as Korean as you can get -- she also says we come from royalty. I have a sneaking suspicion that Asian-Americans love to tell their kids that they descend from exorbitantly rich people.
The bottom line: I come directly from two amazing, beautiful people who survived a terrible war that dramatically changed the course for an entire race. That's really where I, and I'm sure many Asian-Americans, come from -- indomitable immigrants who, at the very least, deserve my respect and aspiration to succeed. If my parents can rise from nothing, then I sure as hell can make something of myself that is worthy of their sacrifice.
What do you do?
I create content. I used to pigeonhole myself as a stanch film director, but I've evolved into a true multi-hyphenate. Most everything you've seen me in online, I've more than likely formed from conception to release. It's kind of like birthing a baby, only with less excruciating pain, blood, hormonal changes, tearing...
Okay, so it's nothing like a baby, but you get the idea. I'm ultimately dedicated to giving life to great ideas.
On a more ideological scale, I strive to make people feel and think. I aim to create an impact, whether it be as small as someone smiling or as big as billions of viewers sharing my work. If we were all drops of water in a river, I'm squatting at its banks, tossing stones in to see what ripples.
What are you all about?
The biggest curveball my work threw at me was when it dawned on me, about a year into creating viral videos, that I was actually funny. I was, believe it or not, a "very serious artist" with "very controversial content." Even the idea of producing digital content was never something I would have remotely considered before joining BuzzFeed.
That's still a huge part of my process -- taking things seriously -- but there was a turning point where the audience began refer to me as a comedian, and I was flabbergasted.
I'm all about making people laugh now. I had this mission, as a burgeoning filmmaker, to inspire hate and shock out of viewers, because I was informed by professors that I was an "edgy" and "dark" talent. It turns out the most effective way I could reach people emotionally was not through rage, but rather, through laughter. However radical and severe I might come across, many people found it relatable, even, dare I say, charming.
It's been very humbling, this epiphany, that my lonely, weird attitude and anger towards life was not going to make my career because I was so singular and different, but because so many people out there can relate to my extreme behavior and laugh about it. I have always been honest to a fault, and though I still don't find myself particularly funny, that brutal honesty is apparently what drew people to my videos. That, and my naked butt.
What makes you angry?
So. Many. Things.
I really hate putting socks on and accidentally stepping in water in the bathroom. Then you have soggy-ass socks and you have to either put on a fresh pair -- which, ugh, so much work -- or grin and bear it and stick your wet foot into shoes which will definitely get way more smelly because of your haphazardness. Don't even get me started on stubbing your toe. You know what, feet stuff in general is infuriating.
I absolutely hate when drivers behind you honk their horn when you're making, say, a legal left turn, or waiting for a pedestrian to cross. Road rage is a contagious disease, and being a defensive driver takes the will of a warrior, because shut your fucking horn up you fucking idiot I'm waiting for granny to cross the fucking road you incorrigible fuck.
Oh man do I hate when you can't remember someone's name who you don't actually care about but who's friends with your friends and you awkwardly stand in a group like a nincompoop, waiting for what feels like forever for someone to blurt it out so you can jump in with, "oh, yeah...Stacey...I did see Game of Thrones last night, it was incredible." There should be a law that dictates you have to wear name tags at parties full of vague acquaintances.
I actually hate when waiters ask you, in the event that you want water, if you'll be having, "sparkling, bottled, or (pause) tap." This is more commonplace in Europe, but elsewhere, the implication of wanting water is that you don't need anything fancy and expensive. If I wanted to pay $10 for bottled water, I would lead with that and avoid the shame of awkwardly admitting that yes, I am cheap and will drink directly from your sink.
I will always hate people who take elevators to the second floor when there is a staircase. You can walk up one flight of stairs. It's like when you see people at the airport or in the subway line up to take an escalator. They will literally delay their entire day, and everyone else's, to avoid the seemingly impossible task of walking up or down a flight of steps.