Thursday, July 20, 2017

John McCain and How I Lost My Mother

Fairfax, Virginia 1998, a weekend.

My mother wasn't herself. She was irritated. Visibly upset. She snapped at us and then laid on couch, rubbing her head. I was yet 18, but as she dismissed my siblings one early Summer afternoon in Virginia, I knew something was wrong. This wasn't a sinus infection as diagnosed. That day my siblings had practice, they were late to practice and my mother refused to drive them. I didn't have my license, and if I recall correctly, mind you a big "if", I hopped in the car and drove my younger brother and younger sister to their respective practices. My mother all the while, on the couch, alone in our living room, staring at the ceiling. It felt like the hottest day of the year.

Twenty-four hours later, my mother was in surgery, having a brain tumor removed. Never was life the same.

I'm unsure if any of the above is real, to be honest, it all becomes a blur. I've tried, for nearly twenty years, to piece together the horror of finding out my mother was diagnosed with brain cancer, but I can't. I simply can't. I've been angry at myself, the world, and my God since. I wish I never got in that car. I wish we spotted it sooner. I wish a lot of things, but most of all, I wish I had my mother back.

Yesterday was a shit day. Work was shitty. Boss was on my case. I didn't have time to have a proper lunch. I nearly re-injured my back. Petty first world problems. Then I saw the news alert that John McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer. Don't cry at work. It's an ugly, frowned upon thing. I didn't, but I should've locked myself in a stall and at least let the moment in.

Anytime I hear anyone is diagnosed with brain cancer, it strikes an immediate and a gut-punching chord. No one, not even my worst enemy, deserves the tragedy of having someone they love suffer from brain cancer. It is not a forgiving disease. It is not a forgiving diagnosis. It is relentless. As a family, we saw our rock, our center deteriorate before our eyes. She fought, she faded, and then it was over in less than a year.

I will always have my critiques of John McCain, I've said plenty here in this space. The same goes for his wife and his children, but they don't deserve this. They deserve better. Everyone deserves better than what they're facing.

Re-watching McCain's interrogation of Comey gives me flashbacks, the similarities are there. The broken thought process, the shaky demeanor, and the internal struggle are present. I can close my eyes and see her on that couch. Head staring at the ceiling. Waving her arms. My siblings terrified. Me looking for the car keys. Her forgetting my name.

McCain visibly regressed in front of our eyes.

Brain cancer is all of the crap verses of cancer with a crescendo to the worst things about dementia in one heartbreaking coda. It leaves you weighted, exhausted, and numb. Forever changed.

John McCain served his country. He went through hell and back. Maybe just maybe he can overcome the inevitable one last time. The likelihood of that is none. Cancer sucks in that way. You can survive torture, you can survive being a prisoner of war, but something so minute can humble you in a second. It doesn't care who you are in the world, it comes and it collects.

My hope is McCain will bring to light that we can and we must do more about cancer. We need a more robust conversation about this, we need Senators to realize that when they attempt to pass bills that take away healthcare, it has real life consequences. No one is invincible. We all deserve an equal chance to fight and to live.

You can donate to End Brain Cancer here. And many other places.

Fuck Cancer.

I am Frank Chow and I approved this message

Sunday, July 9, 2017

RIP to One of the AAPI Greats - the Minority Militant



I'm a year late and I hate myself for it. Today while looking for one of the Minority Militant's classic screeds, I stumbled upon his passing.

From his family's GoFundMe:

Keon Enoy Munedouang (August 17, 1980 - May 4, 2016) was a Navy veteran and a writer who lost his life last week at the age of 35. He immigrated as a child from Laos as a refugee. Keon enlisted as a young man in the U.S. Navy, achieving the rank of SK2. Upon receiving his honorable discharge, he became a writer and an activist, connecting with others through his spoken and written words. As a writer and activist, Keon's influence was huge. He was known among his peers for his sharp wit, courage, and sensitivity to the less fortunate. He always stood up for those who had no voice. His work inspired a fellow writer and activist to organize the Banana Conference, which eventually became V3Con, the largest Asian American social media conference in the world.

Keon leaves behind his mother, three sisters, two nieces, one nephew, and a community of friends. As a veteran who dutifully protected his country and served with honor, Keon was eligible for a full military burial. However, his family chose to honor him with a traditional Buddhist ceremony followed by cremation, which is in keeping with Lao customs.

Keon was loved by all. He was generous with his time and money and never asked for anything in return. We, Keon's family and friends, ask your help in celebrating Keon's short but amazing life. Keon was always a hero to those around him, standing up for the oppressed, the underserved, and the forgotten. We wish to send him off with a celebration that recognizes him for who he was.

My comment on BigWoWo's blog:

I was lucky enough to work with Keon on a project in Chicago. He was a passionate, funny and complex individual. His in person demeanor was different than his blogging one, but the fire was always there. He challenged me to be a better and a prouder Asian American.

I lost touch with Keon when I moved to California. Shortly after, he became quiet and recluse, and closed his blog down. I’ve been away for sometime from the blogosphere, but this has me nostalgic for the old days. No one could rip like the Minority Militant.

RIP Keon. The Minority Militant was the realest.

I only wish we could've stayed in touch more and created more. The world would be better for it. We need more like the Minority Militant, especially in today's political climate. Rage on in peace, Keon, may your diamond shine ever so bright.

I am Frank Chow and I approved this message

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sometimes I Would Love to Go Off

My response to a social network, unnamed, that I don't want to post to out of shear rage.

Context: A person stated "economic woes" were why people voted for Trump. I sent this clear article countering the STUPID REPEATED ARGUMENT. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/9/15592634/trump-clinton-racism-economy-prri-survey

Then the individual dropped the "identity politics" argument and the "not ALL are deplorable, quit demonizing." Followed by "policies that are supported by all that effect change must be bipartisan."

Shudder, I do declare!

What I didn't say:

Identity politics is a convenient term for people of privilege.

Change will not come by capitulating to a side that chooses racism, xenophobia and party over country. You either face the actual problems facing this nation or never see real change. Like how is this difficult? "Demonize?" They are deplorable.

I'm sorry if someone stating the fact that racism was the motivating factor behind Trump loyalty makes you uncomfortable, but that's on you.

Policies that are of concern that can effect real change (in no particular order):

  • End gerrymandering
  • Stop all voter suppression
  • Strengthen public education
  • Medicare for All
  • Fair and non-xenophobic immigration policies
  • End police brutality
  • Tax the 1% in regards to SS, Healthcare, Wall St. transactions, etc.
  • Impeach Trump
  • Also too, sexism. More women have signed up to run for office. That's energizing. That's addressing actual problems. 
  • Also, also too, singing songs of the bipartisan fairy while someone takes away rights from your friends, family members and loved ones is deplorable! 
We need to keep fighting. We need to keep resisting. Fake allies are the worst. 

I am Frank Chow and I approved this message


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Mourning for Our Nation

Last night and today on Twitter I went through all the stages of grief. You can see my reaction there. At this moment the KKK is marching in celebration of Trump's win.

Over 50 million people hate me, my friends and my family; it's beyond comprehension. I always warned about the alt-right and the deep seeded racism in this country. Never would've thought we'd be here today.

I'm scared ya'll. I'm not sure if I'll ever love America the way I once did. My heart is broken. My mind is exhausted. My eyes are tired. And it's now sunk in that America was never great, we just said it enough that we believed it. I'm gonna need time to process this.

I am Frank Chow and fuck this message

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

After a Day like Today

We realize, we're really going to miss this man and his presidency.



I am Frank Chow and I approved this message

Monday, August 29, 2016

Sometimes You Just Need

Music. This album seems to be shaping up nicely and this song happens to be my favorite thus far. I don't care to write a long post about Kaepernick, Trump, Hillary and whatever. Bon Iver makes me think creatively, I'm gonna stay on course. Enjoy.



I am Frank Chow and I approved this message.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Orlando

Devastating:

The deadliest mass shooting in American history took place Sunday morning when a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people and injuring 53 others. Police fatally shot the suspect.

Orlando Police have so far identified 48 victims and notified the next of kin of 33 of them, they said at a press conference Monday morning.

Their mission throughout Monday is to continue briefing all next of kin, said Danny Banks of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

I keep thinking back to when I lived in Chicago. My friends were diverse, free-spirited, some gay, some straight, some bi, some queer, and some were still figuring it all out. We were young and Boystown in Chicago was a common place for everyone to meet, dance, drink and be ourselves. I can't even count how many times we were in a gay club or bar. It was part of our circle and for my LGBT friends, they felt safe to be themselves.

I kept replaying those days in my head last night and I wept. I'm still having trouble keeping it together this morning. The idea that someone could shoot up any of those places never popped in our head once. The victims 53 dead, 50 others still in the hospital, didn't either. This monster took away their lives and all because of "two men kissing." This was an act of hate so blinded that it couldn't see love.

It's infuriating. It's maddening. It's a tragedy. Everyone of these victims deserved better. We as a nation need to do better. If Sandy Hook wasn't enough, I'm not sure this will be either. And that is even more infuriating. There are people in our nation who choose guns over lives. They choose a weapon fetish over children. And the NRA keeps feeding them with faux-macho propaganda. Gun control, gun laws aren't snatching up guns, and they certainly aren't impinging on your fucking freedom. Common sense would've solved this years ago. America can solve this.

I leave you with Lin Manuel-Miranda and the victims, What We Know About Them So Far. "Love is all we need."



I am Frank Chow and I approved this message

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Trump's America

I'm just gonna leave this right here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Ninja Thought


The parties are so much not the same.

I am Frank Chow and I approved this message

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Sanders Not Your Savior

We shouldn't be married to politicians. The moment we do, we certainly will be disappointed.

Exhibit B: Bernie Sanders NY Daily News interview

if I win, it will mean that millions of people now want to be involved in the political process in a way that has not previously existed. Every item that I am talking about on my agenda is, I believe, supported by the majority of the people in this country. My major job is to mobilize the American people to demand that Congress listen to them and their needs rather than just the big money interests. That's how you make change take place. For example, as you know, I've talked about the need to make public colleges and universities tuition-free. Do I believe we can deliver on that? Absolutely, because I believe that millions of young people and their parents understand that that's what we should be doing right now. And I think if Republicans or some Democrats want to vote against it, they will pay a very heavy political price.

"Heavy political price" -- I'm sure McConnell is fanning himself right now! What this tells me is Bernie is either completely unrealistic or he has no idea how to start an actual revolution. Or how things get done in Washington, the United States and the world. I've had my reservations about Bernie, mainly this, how does this so-called revolution translate into change? Apparently, Bernie doesn't even know.

More from Michael Cohen's Twitter. Read the whole interview. It's shockingly bad.

I am Frank Chow and I approved this message