Stuff Asian People Like

A "Fresh Off the Boat" Perspective on Asian Culture– This blog is devoted to stuff that asian people like

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Metro Boston, New York, and International


Metro News

Humor blogs probe racial stereotypes on the Web – TREND. Have you heard that Indian guys love posing for pictures with bottles of alcohol? That Asians perpetually cut in line or that Latinos enjoy flashing their flag at every opportunity possible? You would if you read any of the growing number of blogs created to laugh at the idiosyncrasies of a particular race. These sites — lovingly written by members of the race being lampooned — are spin-offs of the highly popular blog Stuff White People Like, which makes a numerical list dissecting all things liberal, white, middle-class Americans find cool — including No. 27: Marathons, No. 50: Irony and No. 64: Recycling. After only three months, SWPL has garnered 14 million hits, a high-priced book deal for its creator, Christian Lander, and many copycats.

Such as Stuff Asian People Like [http://www.asian-central.com/stuffasianpeoplelike/], the first in said genre (yes, Peter Nguyen, the blog’s creator, checked the origination dates of all the other similar blogs). “We’ve crashed two Go Daddy [.com] servers already,” says Nguyen. SAL started with 600 hits and in March had over 33,000 unique visitors.
“At first, I kind of freaked out. I didn’t think it would be this popular,” says Charlee Renaud, a 26-year-old lawyer in Louisiana, about her blog Stuff Educated Black People Like [http://stuffebplike.com/].

“It’s a way to make fun of myself and my friends, ’cause we all do these things,” says Renaud, who came up with post No. 3: Baked Chicken, because her boyfriend ate it at least three times a week, and No. 16: Moving to Atlanta, since everyone in her law school swore they would. “A lot of friends would say, ‘Ah, well, I can’t get a job here in Louisiana; I’m just going to pack up and move to Atlanta, ’cause everybody black is there.’ Which so isn’t true,” Renaud laughs.

Both Nguyen and Renaud say 95 percent of the feedback they get is positive. “A lot of people say, ‘Hey, I do this stuff as well,’” says Renaud. Only a few commentors call them racists.

“I wish there was something I could say to people who don’t get the joke. But I spent four years in grad school, so I’m familiar with people who are humorless,” says Lander, who is flattered by the imitations.

Like Lander’s book deal, Nguyen and Renaud are trying to capitalize on the momentum. Nguyen views his site as a way to unify Asians and get them to discuss less-talked about issues. He has started Asia Central, featuring blogs, videos and news. Renaud is launching a Stuff Educated Black People Like T-shirt line.

Be it observations on the bus, behavior habits of friends or comments from readers, both keep a running list of material and have no plans of slowing down. “We have enough topics for the next five years,” Nguyen says.

Tina CHADHA, Metro, 4/2/08, Original Article in the Metro, http://www.metro.us

Nothing but the Stereotypes: It’s grandma’s birthday banquet and your aunt on mom’s side smiles warmly at you in greeting … and then exclaims that you need to get pregnant already (also, you look like you’ve gained a few pounds). At some point in your life, you’ve come across a remote control enveloped in Saran wrap.

These points and many (almost a hundred) more are currently being illustrated, sometimes prodded or mocked playfully at, and explained at the “Stuff Asian People Like” (SAPL) blog.

Seventeen-year-old creator Peter Nguyen was not even aware of the existence of the other popular “Stuff” blogs back in February this year when SAPL was created.

Starting out as a Web site among friends, SAPL has grown rapidly. The site has reached almost a million hits in a few short months, servers have been blown out and the site’s hosting service shut off because of traffic congestion. What started out as a mere hobby of a Web site has blossomed into a comprehensive project reaching Asian American youth and simply those who are interested all across the world.

“I feel like there are so many nuances that people notice about Asians, but they don’t understand the reason why it is,” Nguyen said. “Like why are they so rude or how come they’re always so blunt or why they have to wear shoes only outside. Things like that.”

It’s more than just fleshing out mere stereotypes, however. There is often “truth to (the stereotypes),” Nguyen carefully claimed. “But it’s stuff like that that I want to explain.” He backs up every item on the blog with extensive research, historic evidence and reasoning behind each stereotype. “It’s dissecting it down to a science.”

SAPL’s goal is not just to entertain and inform, but also to bridge the gap between generations and reconnect people. “A lot of Asian people who live in America don’t know their roots. They don’t know why their parents do certain things,” Nguyen said.

Unlike the other blogs housed under the same genre, SAPL’s postings are not just written by Peter and his sister Nancy, who is the site’s media coordinator. Everyone is welcome to chime in with his or her voice. SAPL is different for that very reason. Guest writers and regular readers alike contribute notes and tips about the social, cultural and scientific quirks of the Asian people, and in doing so, strengthen communication within the Asian community.

While the majority of responses have been positive so far, every popular following has an opposition. For SAPL, the negative reaction is cut from those who claim SAPL is unoriginal. “We’ve seen this all before,” hateful comments will read.

Nguyen doesn’t try to take it personally nor does he think it’s worth retaliating over. “We try not to unless they escalate it,” he said reasonably, and then added, “We think it’s good that there are a lot of other Web sites that try to explain things so more people can understand where Asians are coming from.” True to SAPL’s message, unity and understanding remains its themes.

Nguyen, who has been interested in and crafting Web sites since age 9, has big plans for SAPL. Alongside his site, and he has branched out and has also created an online social community called Asian Central, which has just come out with its new design and consolidation. Nguyen will be starting college at UC Berkeley this fall as a computer science major but hopes that SAPL will continue to average one new entry a week.

Visit Peter Nguyen’s Web sites at www.asian-central.com and www.stuffasianpeoplelike.net.

Betty WANG, Northwest AsianWeekly, Vol. 27 No. 40 9/27-10/3/08,http://nwasianweekly.com/old2/2008_2740/pages/stereotype.html

 

 
CNN – News to Me

If you watch CNN, check out ‘News To Me’ on 9/6 & 9/7. Stuff Asian People Like will be featured along with some other sites inspired (well, sapl wasn’t inspired by swpl) by Stuff White People Like. We will all be part of a segment called “Politically Incorrect.” Set your Tivos.

Eric Lanford, CNN, 9/6/08, http://www.cnn.com/newstome

 


Newsweek

What do recycling, farmers markets and “The Wire” have in common? If you’ve ever read Stuff White People Like, the satirical blog that has clocked 20 million hits since its January debut, you’d have your answer. Random House handed the site’s author a reported $350,000 book deal—and that might explain the proliferation of knockoff sites by minorities poking fun at their own. Now there’s Stuff Educated Black People Like (No. 8: business cards), Stuff Asian People Like (No. 46: cutting in line), Stuff Jewish Young Adults Like (No. 4: Ultimate Frisbee) and more.

Jessica BENNETT, Newsweek, 4/14/08, http://www.newsweek.com

Level Up’s Top Six Gaming Tidbits for Apr 8th, 2008: RND…What would qualify as Stuff Level Up Likes, we wonder.

N’Gai CROAL, Newsweek, 4/8/08, http://blog.newsweek.com

 


National Review

Yellow Journalism – Following Senator Obama’s inspirational call for a great national conversation about race, many of us have been enjoying the Stuff White People Like website (while grumbling that it should actually be called “Stuff Liberal White Yuppies Like”). Inevitably, the site has generated spin-offs. Here is Stuff Asian People Like.

John DERBYSHIRE, National Review, 4/1/08, http://corner.nationalreview.com

 


Harvard College Democrats

That said, there is one spinoff blog I can laugh at without engaging in acts of gross political incorrectness: namely, Stuff Asian People Like. It can be difficult to generalize across Asians (which The Onion pointed out as early as 1996), but if you ignore cultural heterogeneity and shit, this one is great. Some entries are glaringly obvious among Harvard students (“Piano and Violin”) and Harvard tourists (“Peace Sign”). Others appear to fall into the category of stuff that Asians have produced that other people like (“Jet Li and Bruce Lee,” “Jackie Chan,” “Asian Buffets”). There are a few things that I think you have to go to China (or, you know, Asia – I don’t discriminate like that) to fully appreciate – for instance, the durian, a frighteningly spiky fruit that I never knew existed until I looked up one day while walking to dinner someplace in China – which city, I forget – and saw a bunch of them dangling ominously and pointily over my head from a tree. They are so spiky that Singapore forbids people from carrying them on trains, or at least the blog says so. Finally, there are a few entries that we all knew were true but never thought about it. The prime example is “Aging Cookware,” which is easily confirmed by a quick glance at my father’s rusty cleavers, with which he assails a cutting board that his father-in-law made him as an anniversary present well before I was born, lo these two decades ago. In sum, you have my half-Asian full approval (think about that one) to laugh at this blog.

Eva LAM, Harvard College Democrats, 3/30/08, http://harvarddems.com/blog

 


The Boston Globe

But Stuff White People Like is a hit, already receiving more than 16 million hits in its short life. Inspired by the blog, fans have created copycat sites such as Stuff Asian People Like and Stuff Educated Black People Like. Landers recently signed a deal with Random House to turn the concept into a book after a competitive auction that allegedly reached six figures.”

Vanessa E. JONES, The Boston Globe, 3/24/08, http://www.boston.com

 


The Houston Chronicle

Lander says the blog’s title has drawn more controversy than any of the posts. White people hate being lumped into a group that they don’t feel a part of, he says, adding, “that’s essentially the same thing that every minority has been dealing with for centuries.” The latest spinoff of Lander’s blog — Stuff Asian People Like

Corilyn SHROPSHIRE, Houston Chronicle, 3/20/08, http://www.chron.com

 


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Another list of stuff people like: This time, it’s a blog dedicated to Stuff Asian People Like. It’s the same sort of list about racial stereotypes as “Stuff White People Like” and “Stuff Educated Black People Like”. But I think many Americans are probably less familiar with Asian-American stereotypes than other groups, so this is an interesting addition to the group. An example: Stuff Asian People Like #30 – Cash Asian people love cash. I don’t mean they like “cash” as in, they like money in general. I mean that they like dealing only in paper money. Asians like paying for things in cash. Paying in cash is integral to many other things that Asians like.”

Eugene KANE, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3/15/08, http://blogs.jsonline.com/raisingkane

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