BANANA Recap by AzN

I’m not sure what folks were expecting before they attended BANANA, the Asian American blogger meet-up that Steve Nguyen and Lac Su, author of I Love Yous are for White People set up. Did we think we’d all get in a room with our bargain UC degrees from the 2000’s and hash out every gender, racial and class issue known to (wo)man? I was expecting two things, to meet up with like-minded Asian American bloggers and to be a part of the first of many videotaped panels that would be broadcast online.

Did I get to meet other bloggers? Check. I not only met the folks I knew beforehand like bigwowo and asianamericanmovement and The Antisocial Ladder, but I met new folks that I’ll start reading as soon as I’m done writing this spot up. Meeting these folks was 90% of why I drove through the Grapevine and skipped a few days of work (in addition to the Red Velvet Pancakes from the Buttermilk Dessert Truck, which I F’N MISSED OUT ON BTW). Finally putting a face to the emails, comments, and collabo-blog posts means we at BcB are one step closer to being a part of the meth induced, unicorn riding, dragon-hunting mythical hope of having Asian American bloggers united to push the movement from online to offline and to recreate the Civil Rights Movement for Asian Americans (via Twitter, WordPress, and Facebook). That’s very ambitious, and we weren’t about to do that at one panel at U$C on a saturday afternoon whilst Socialists are outside our door selling overpriced books about Democrats being part of the “establishment” (seriously, I really wanted to buy Democrats: A Critical History, but I ain’t about to pay cover price from a dude with a Che beard and Mao glasses). The point is I got to meet lots of folks I will continue to contact (whether they like it or not) and that’s what mattered the most for me.

The other reason I came was for the panel. It wasn’t great, and it could have been better. I know folks were critical of the questions asked (questions the panelists themselves wrote up). I sure know that one heckler in the audience thought it could have been better. But the panel makes sense if you consider this as an introduction to the very idea of annual offline blogger meet-ups. This year is the introduction, the next year will be focused on a specific topic, the year after that will be break out groups, and so on. Bottom line is that I came in EXPECTING the actual panel to not draw many folks in person. The actual goal was the video that will be put online and consumed by the people that read our stuff. Sure the questions can be better and the flow could have used some help. I’m just sayin the people that read our blogs don’t and won’t go to SC to see us talk, they’ll watch the video when its produced. So I wouldn’t jump into any conclusions until then.

The truth is I thought the drive was worth it. And I’m going to assume the folks who flew in from NY, CO, and OR thought it was worth it. And if you drove in from a neighboring SoCal city, all the better. 5 hours out of a Saturday morning to shoot the shit with like-minded Asian American folks would have been worth the 15 minute drive I hope. At the very least, if you didn’t feel it was worth it, let me tell you that I was glad every single one of you came out, and that I had a chance to talk to most of you. I can now put a face to the online communiques I’ll be sending to y’all from now on.

And now to this, what everyone is probably waiting for. Let me start by saying The Minority Militant is the only blogger I had actually met before the event. He’s my boy and will always be. I think it was unfortunate he didn’t get a chance to speak his mind, the mind that I know can be eloquent and thought-provoking. He made one mistake, and I’m thinking he’s regretting it and will eventually write an apology (wait, he just did). I’m not going to condone him for his action, but I’m also not going to slam him on his behavior. At most, he caused a distraction, but not a commotion. And his burps and belches and quizzical looks could easily be overlooked if you were really intent on making the panel work. If you decided to focus on the drama behind the camera, then I’m thinking you missed a few things, but I hope you come back next year where the panelists will be offered Odwalla Protein Dranks and Martinelli’s Apple Cider pre-recording, and Zimas post-recording. Trust me you, that alcohol induced spectacle was the second most alcohol induced drama I experienced that weekend…

So in conclusion (Ms. Lawler, this is a blog and not a 7th grade english paper), I wanted to say props to Steve Nguyen and Lac Su. Although there weren’t any PI’s on the panel, there were some Yiet-Nah-Meeh folks running around behind the scenes, before and during the panel that made it all happen. Drama or no drama, I think we all took 1 step back, 1 step sideways, but had a few hops and skips forward due to BANANA. I just implore you not to call it BANANA next year, cause I can’t spend my whole life railing on the term, only to defend it during year 29…


4 thoughts on “BANANA Recap by AzN

  1. :O Red velvet pancakes?!

    I wish I was able to attend and meet you all in person. Stil waiting on those videos from everyone. I was surprised to learn that MM was the drunk person everyone was talking about.

    Next year, try another fruit name. PAPAYA!

    Happy Thanksgiving BCB!


  2. Pingback: Peeling the Banana « Asian American Movement Blog

  3. Pingback: Darnivorous: A Blog by Dariane Nabor » My BANANA Event Recap

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