You’ve lost count since Day xx of quarantine, for you’ve lost yourself to movies, social media and video games.

Fret not, I was there. Fortunately, I’ve found my way out, and hopefully my one simple trick can help you as well. Even for an attention span that seemed, at its worst, vastly shortened by the amount of video games I was binging, this one technique was able to trigger a domino effect and establish the framework that was discipline and routines into my jobless quarantine life.

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“Doctors hate him” joke here.

My first step out of the slow trap that was self-imposed quarantine was…

Reading Multiple Books at Short Timed Increments

What I…

Gilderoy Lockhart, former Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor and famed author in the Harry Potter books clearly went the extra mile when it came to writing, where most freelancers and authors wouldn’t go through all the trouble to acquire multiple streams of revenue; promote themselves; talk to the right people; hustle; bunco; flimflam; etc.

You’re probably thinking how I’ll summarize this with rubbing the notion of Gilderoy Lockhart as the best-selling author you’ll never be in my readers’ faces, despite the fact that he’s not even real. You’re not wrong!

However, we shouldn’t dismiss the fact that Lockhart’s primary skill, that of writing, was top-knotch, as his books, despite their fabricated content, entertained and won thousands of Wizard and Witch fans long after his memory was erased! Lockhart’s personal characteristics, his inner karma, every trait of his touted by so many self-motivational books and gurus out there would make any writer or entrepreneur successful in all avenues of the corporate/bureaucratic world if applied with consistency and wholehearted seriousness. …

Here is one title with a charmingly tragic backstory, whose publication fell on deaf ears and its contents remaining largely unread by the Asian American community until recent decades. At the time of its release, it was criticized for its “bad English” by critics and shunned by the author’s fellow nisei, or American-born Japanese, out of “embarrassment” (Ozeki VII). Given the time and circumstances, one can hardly blame them for their reactions. Traumatic events, particularly grievances inflicted by one’s own nation, have a tendency to be forgotten by the public consciousness, after all.

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This raises the question: who, indeed, was John Okada’s intended audience for his first and only book? His story concerns the plight of his people, extricated from both their heritage and their parentland, yet invites both ancestors and oppressors to the tale. He neither condemns anyone nor presents a solution towards his bleak ending. He wrote in a sedated, melancholic stream of consciousness that becomes a fever-charged fury at times, with narrative techniques that would have made an English professor drool in admiration. Yet, the presentation is raw and angry, occasionally despair-inducing. Clearly the author did not seek a light-hearted, cozy readership. It would not be too far a stretch to propose that John Okada wrote it for us, as fellow Americans, to remember such a dire chapter in our nation’s short history, and depending on the audience, its tale may speak louder for those wrestling with an Asian-American background. …

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The Debut’s Father-Son Narrative and Its Concerning End

The mixed messages from The Debut (2001) unintentionally coincides with the myriad components which constitute the puzzle that is Filipino-American culture. One can argue that Gene Cajayon’s directorial debut on one level succeeds in its resolving of the archetypal father-son conflict, but things become problematic with how the film ties loose ends, with the ending seeming to arrive to a rather reactionary conclusion of tribalism- that pinoys should stick with pinoys. Cajayon uses lukewarm colors, close-ups, shoulder shots and vague dialogue to provide the viewer with an ending scene that, due to its intentional omission of details, becomes open to plenty of interpretations. …

The goal of this little article is to clarify and distinguish between the buzzwords “philosophy” and “methodology” which are almost always used interchangeably in regards to martial arts. Hopefully the reader walks away with a more clear understanding of what to praise or criticize about a martial art. Frequently do people claim that an art like karate has bad “philosophy” due to certain schools relying on “katas”, when the correct word should be “methodology.” Philosophy is a huge deal in the Japanese arts, but it should be established that not all martial arts have a philosophy, nor do they need one. …

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Wong Fei Hung: the man; the myth; the legend himself

Kung Fu flick collectors and Chinese Language majors take heed of this particular entry in a classic series by Tsui Hark: Once Upon a Time in China III is chock full of very telling things about Chinese nationalism, from the background of the director himself down to the individual actors’ lines. In the third installment of this series starring Jet Li as Wong Fei Hung, the nation of China itself is presented as a maiden who is currently under threat by foreign and malignant forces; while the characters try to protect her they also reveal through their actions and ideologies how the very concept of Chineseness itself is as flexible and malleable as the oldest Chinese philosophies have allowed it to be. …

Dustin He

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