5.31.2019

Angry Reader of the Week: Crystal Duan

"Alas, overthinking feels more like a permanent residence."


Hello, my friends. You know what time it is. It is time, once again, to meet 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 Crystal Duan.


Who are you?

My name's Crystal Duan. I'm a kid of Chinese immigrants living in Los Angeles. My Chinese name is 段云美, and I'd like to think I have a connection with pretty clouds as that translation would dictate.

What are you?

Ha, this question's interesting. For so long, I've defined myself by "what" I am, rather than who I am. I used to introduce myself at networking events as "I'm a journalist, oh my name's Crystal" on accident. Label before the person. What a shitty way to live.

I'm a freelance journalist and writer. The more salient identity these days is tarot reader and aspiring spiritual consultant. 5'2" on a good day.

Reader, thinker, talker, 24 year old -- whatever you want to see me as.

Where are you?

Physically, I'm sitting in my apartment in the valley typing this up. I'm a mile from the nearest 99 Ranch, so that's cool.
Existentially, I'm contemplating what my future career is going to look like constantly these days. How does what I want to do change based on what direction the world is heading in? And how do I fit into that two years out of college? Alas, overthinking feels more like a permanent residence.

Where are you from?

My roots are in Hunan and Tianjin provinces. I was born in Hartford, Connecticut and moved to Oregon when I was 3. I went to high school in the Portland metropolitan area.

Then I lived in the Midwest for four years during college and moved around a lot. I feel more ties to there on some level.

What do you do?

Talk a lot. Think a lot. Drive a lot. Listen a lot.

I've written for a variety of publications, notable among them Bustle, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Indianapolis Star and Asian American entertainment magazine Character Media. Since going solo a few months ago, I've started writing more longform examining cultural debacles.

I'm also an aspiring astrologist and tarot reader who vends at events around the east side of LA.

What are you all about?

I'm about social change, philosophical contemplation, unironic love of Asian childhood vices like anime and Haw flakes, good fucking writing from people of color.

What makes you angry?

When people are hypocritical, complacent or uncurious.
When your efforts feel wasted.
When your sphere of influence doesn't extend beyond your awareness.
When you know where you're going but no idea how to get there.

These feelings then lead to lots of fear. Then, throw in institutions our society have already been too lazy to fix, and you get cycles of racism, sexism, classism, every large scale evil you could get that we are all unfortunately complicit in. Horrifying.

But what makes me angrier is when we don't try to unite to have hope. To ask the tough questions and finally answer them. Let's do more of that !!